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jaedmc

JAE STILL WATCHES WRESTLING

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Wrestling has always fascinated me. I tell people that I don't watch Hollywood cinema much anymore but I'll watch the shit out of wrestling. I think that wrestling is more honest about its goals and can be much more effective at telling it's story because more often than not it doesn't pretend to be something it's not. It's two people fighting for their livelihoods. It can be just as poetic as Shakespeare or as bombastic as Michael Bay, but the way it utilizes the human body as a storytelling tool is unparalleled. That's what keeps me coming back to wrestling, the way two "competitors" try to both protect and push each other's bodies to the physical limits, walking the razor's edge of creation and destruction. 

 


I haven't been around much but I still watch wrestling. I still get excited about writing and talking about it. I miss you assholes. I'll try to write something once a week, but shit happens.

 

LETTTTTTT'S GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

 

Jake Roberts vs. Terry Taylor

 


This is one of those perfectly executed matches. And it's a masterclass by Professor Jake Roberts in selling in order to tell a long term story. Both guys go for their finish in the first three minutes, Jake can't hit his and Terry hits his so well that it sends Jake to the outside. This is key for the rest of the bout because Jake sells it like his brains are scrambled. Watch him getting up between holds and how he can't seem to wrestle out of it because his synapse isn't firing exactly right. The announcers sell both guys as solid SMART wrestlers, so not having your mental faculties is going to put you at a severe disadvantage.

 

Taylor chooses to work and arm and Jake sells that too. Once he gets in control again he transitions between holds by trying to work out the soreness in his arm. This key for storytelling in wrestling, using the time between the moves to tell the bigger story. Take note.

 

Jake's still not mentally right when he hits the DDT and he ends up fucking up his pinfall, turning Terry towards the ropes instead of away from them. This is where having great announcers is key to telling the best in-ring stories. They explain how such a move is a tactical error, immersing the audience in the world of wrestling as a "real" fight that requires cunning and athleticism to succeed in. Often times wrestlers today make stories about booking. I love Dolph Ziggler but what is his excuse for losing? "They're holding me back. I work great matches that I planned in advance with my opponent, but they don't want me to win the fake matches so I don't. I'm steamed!"

 

Terry rolls out to the outside of the DDT using the 10 count to his advantage, a perfect way to utilize the rules of wrestling to show how they can be an advantage or disadvantage. Next time you watch a match, where I guy rolls out you'll think - "That shit worked for Terry Taylor!"

AND to put the ribbon on the gift, the head injury comes back into play when Terry sweeps Jake's legs out from under him and Jake hits his head on the canvas. This gives Terry enough room to sneak out a victory with an inside cradle. 

 

What's brilliant about this match is that you can show this match, which is under 10 minutes, to anyone and they would understand a great deal about the "reality" in which wrestling exists. It lays the ground work for rules and psychology so that one can follow any story from here on out. To me this is the prototype television wrestling match.  The rules for wrestling are illustrated clearly so that other matches on the card can build or bend around them, and it displays how effective ring psychology can be in building an effective short match, if you make sure to utilize every moment you're in the ring to telling a story. Telling a story isn't about a symphony of moves that builds to an orgasmic crescendo of head drops and avalanche bombs of death defying madness. It's about making an audience understand how one man can defeat another man in the squared circle.

 

Tenryu vs. Goto


 

This is what's up. Tenryu's WAR promotion had feuded with New Japan. THat feud ran its course. Attendance didn't stay up so Tenryu was like, "Let's bring in them FMW guys and do that." That worked for a minute and then it didn't and Tenryu was like "Okay, I'm done." This match was from that FMW period, hence Tarzan Goto's burly ass being in it. AS soon as his crew took a pair of scissors and cut off Tenryu's boot, I was IN. And the best reaction is when he throw's the boot to the crowd, and they're like "Oh Tenryu's not getting that back at all." I mean if I was the dude who got that boot it would be on a shelf right next to some Kamen Rider models and a poster of Kana. And you know that crowd was thinking the same thing. That boots gone, sorry Tenryu, we love you, but we need this boot on our mantle. You understand. 

 

There are many elements to love about this match, one in particular is that it breaks this unwritten rule about referees and makes the ref the main story of the match about halfway. That bastard Goto is jabbing people in the throat with a Sake bottle and cracks it over this poor referee's face, opening up a geyser of blood. Isao Takagi, I think that's who it is - someone correct me, takes over, and he's got the ref's blood all over his shirt. I mean, imagine that scene in BOYZ N THE HOOD, and Ricky just got shot, and Cub Gooding Jr. is holding him and "RICKKKYYY" and then you tap him on the shoulder and say, "Hey, Cuba, you gotta ref this match."

 

And Takagi is kinda biased, cheering Tenryu to get the hell up and defend the honor of this company and all that. C'mon Ricky is dying out there in the alley, pull your shit together. NOW imagine Ricky coming back from the dead, taking the ref shirt back, and finishing the match with a big bandange keeping his grey matter in tact.

 

That's this match you guys.

The ref gets all this sympathy, which long term speaking doesn't really help a company draw money, but fuck it man WE'RE TELLING A STORY. Does this wimpy ref have enough fighting spirit to count to three?!?!?!?! I don't knoooooow. 

 

Another element I love is Power Bombs. That's that 90's shit, man. I loved the 90's and I love Power Bombs. I Power Bomb my kids today. If I created a wrestler on WWE 2k15 all he'd do is Power Bomb and superkick, Power Bomb and superkick. I love Power Bomb's so much that I capitalize the P and the B because it's important. The last three minutes of this match is Tenryu just hitting all his shit and Goto getting owned by repeated Bombs and top rope elbow drops. Tenryu jacks him a couple times legit, chopping him in the THROAT, and later dropping an Elbow on Goto while he was laying on his side, slamming his head into the ground. Basically the last three minutes are me playing Fire Pro Wrestling deciding what combinations of moves I want to win with again a crappy AI - getting tired and just winning with a Power Bomb.

 

Violence is good.

 

Funk vs. Eddie Guerrero


 

This is Guerrero's NWA/WCW debut and Terry let's shit get crazy because he's a classy guy.  Terry shows veteran savvy by bailing out early when Guerroro gets to flashy. Flip all you want motherfucker I'll be outside the ring. BUT instead of being a douchebag and making an example of the flippy guys, Terry still let's Guerroro get the better of him with speed because that's the more interesting story. It's not about one style being stupid, it's about how does Terry Funk ADAPT to a quicker more athletic opponent. So you get to see some creative solutions to Funk's problem like utilizing a giant swing OR just man handling the smaller Guerrero by bodyslamming him over the top rope straight to the floor. 

 

The piledriver to the floor is overkill, but it tells the story that Terry Funk IS overkill. He's dangerous and that kind of play is disgusting and desperate. Can Ric Flair fight a man like this? Should he even come back and fight a crazed bastard like Terry Funk? 

 

Guerrero made the most of his time, and Terry gave him enough space to execute some cool spots. It's perfect for both guys because Terry looks desperate and dangerous and Eddie looks like a young guy to keep your eye on the future as he gets more bouts under his belt.

 


 


SONG OF THE WEEK BECAUSE OBVIOUS.


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Notice that the ref in the Tenryu/Tarzan match is that hammy mother fucker Red Shoes Unno. So, yeah, of course the match is about him. I love how Tarzan, right from the opening bell, is trying to one-up and disrespect Tenryu. Starts off by getting Tenryu down and spinning around on top of him, amateur rasslin' style. Genichiro is all like "let's have a nice match, friend," giving Goto a clean break. Goto then switches the table and slaps the taste out his mouf (to keep the NWA theme going), lighting Tenryu's fuse. GUH PUNCHES right away and we're into the meat of the match with both guys trying to cause severe bodily harm to the other. You can see a very young Tomohiro Ishii with a sweet flat top as one of the WAR young boys outside the ring. The replacement ref was ANIMAL FUCKING HAMAGUCHI. He fucking slapped Tenryu after a pin attempt to instill fighting spirit. Awesome.

 

Taylor/Roberts was excellent. Everything had a purpose, Jake's selling was top notch (constantly trying to shake the cob webs out and then later trying to get feeling back in his arm), and Taylor's opportunistic technical abilities were a good foil.

 

I've always loved that Funk/Eddie match. Eddie isn't selling all that well here and his character work is pretty void but his athleticism and eagerness somewhat make up for it. Wiser, older Guerrero would've been selling the shit out of that over-the-top-rope slam like death. Instead, this version was up on the top turnbuckle to hit a splash to Funk on the outside within a minute, not even selling while poised on the top. It's fun watching guys learn the craft as they go along. I'm 100% with you on wrestling being about filling the space between moves. If you can sell well and you know you're character, you're set. Guerrero was still figuring it out here.

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Jae, we love you. Please never leave us again. We need you in our world more than anything. 

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ANIMAL HAGUCHI WHAT THE FUCK WAS I THINKING.

 

 Guerrero was still figuring it out here.

Right! Between these three matches you've got Jake Roberts, Terry Taylor, Tenryu, Terry Funk, Tarzan Goto, and Eddie Guerrero and Guerrero gives, I guess, what you'd call the worst performance. Athleticism is there, but the concept of the story isn't clicking. Too busy fitting some shit in. That bodyslam to the floor probably should have been it. You could feel the monumental shift in energy from the crowd where they're like "Oh fuck that little flippy dude just died." The section that followed negated the severity of that spot.

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You've still got it!  *clap*clap*clap*clap*clap* 

 

I kind of want to go home and play 2K15 with Jae's powerbombing, superkicking CAW.

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BRIAN KENDRICK vs. TENGKWA

 

 

I have a weird love for Brian Kendrick. He's one of those guys that I always want to see succeed. I have no idea why. This is him wrestling a guy in a mask in Holland. I think what I like about him is that he doesn't let he subverts the expectations of his size. He's pretty fit, he's small and quick, you'd expect him to wrestle a typical Indy Junior Highspots oriented style. But he doesn't do it. For one he's more technical oriented. And I don't mean he pantomimes chain style wrestling he saw in a World of Sport video. The way he locks up with a guy has intention. When he tries to work out from under neath the little test of strength battle he drags it out and makes it look like a struggle. It doesn't come easy and he has to find some strength out of it. What he learns in this exchange is that he's going to have to be a little underhanded to get an advantage over the strong opponent - hence the tights pulling and the quick roll-ups. Makes Tengkwa more threatening than he appears to be. 

 

Kendrick is clearly a Shawn Michaels student in the way he controls his opponent by pounding them while they're down. For both HBK and Kendrick it's a way of showing superiority when you're not a superior athlete. They can wrestle a brawling style only when the other guy is down, they don't actually have the capability to out muscle their opponent on a level playing field, but they can act like they did after the match. Also while playing heel, Kendrick understands that Tengkwa should get the best highspots and that he shouldn't outshine his opponent with flashy moves. His role is to get the other guy over, and he takes it seriously. The only time Kendrick goes up top he comes down awkwardly and lands on his opponent's knee. If you were just a typical fan, you'd think he was a loser, but that's because he did his job in this match by making the other wrestler look like a winner.

 

It's not a particularly memorable match, but I do believe it shows a selflessness you don't find much in wrestling in the way Kendrick worked out a match that would maximize the shine of his opponent.

 

I should also mention that I LOVE the moment right before Tengkwa hits his finish that a fan has such a viscerally emotional reaction and yells TIGERDRIVER. As though he were Tengkwa's cornerman. It felt as though he'd gotten very invested into the story and when he saw an opening for Tengkwa to finish the match he called it, his hero saw it to and nailed and the fan rejoiced. 

 

When's the last time you had a reaction like that to a wrestling match?

 

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I'm on a little vacation which means binge watching wrestling.

 

Akira Hokuto & Minami Suzuka vs Yumiko Hotta & Takako Inoue 9/5/93

 Akira Hokuto is straight up calls out Hotta, throwing Inoue into the corner for the tag, and Hotta whips her ass and they work Hokuto’s leg which is sold pretty well at times and given enough lip service later so as to let you know she knows you know it should be hurt - and sometimes that’s enough to do the trick. 

The finish stretch is all about breaking up some pins and the turn comes AGAIN off a fatal mistake by Hokuto when she chooses the opposing corner to climb for a double top rope drop kick with Suzuka. Hotta, of course just clocks Hokuto and tags in to go to work. Eventually Suzuka can’t hold off Inoue and Hokuto, who suffered the lion share of the damage for her team is to hurt to left her shoulder. It’s a great story. Hokuto was waaaaaay too cocky coming in, and thought her side was just going to dominate. If she stayed on top of Inoue maybe they would have. And full credit goes to Hotta and Inoue who did some really fun leg work, like top rope double axe handles onto Hokuto’s leg while she’s in a boston crab. I mean, I don’t even know if that works but in the world of wrestling it totally makes sense.

Love this match, check it out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lq2hjB3a3D0

 

STAN HANSEN vs. CARLOS COLON IN A CAGE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rYRFmgIINY

I love Hansen taking his knee pad down to drive the bone into Colon's head. I love Colon getting punched in the face and countering by just headbutting the fuck out of Stan Hansen. And it's such a huge moment because from there Hansen wabbles around like he's drunk and it's a beautiful dance. It's a fun brawl made even more fun by the fan in the crowd with the horn feeling the rhythm of Colon's punches and timing it perfectly so that he punctuates it. 

The ending is hilarious too. Colon's jacking up Hansen's leg. A brawl erupts outside. The camera gets preoccupied with the scuffle and Colon is basically like "I'm done with this Hansen punk I want fresh meat." and he just walks out the door and kicks Jason Vorhees in the fucking balls.

Carlos Colon is the baddest man of all times.

 

CARLOS COLON vs. JASON THE TERRIBLE BARBED WIRE MATCH

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uos29UMh_FE

Not that great of a match but a little follow up to the previous match(I don't know if this is actually chronologically later, but I guess it would make sense). THe highlight is Colon taking Jason's mask off and wearing it because he's a madman and I love him.

 

I'm watching fucking anything this week so if you got any recs let me know.

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As always, my go-to recommendation is this  Bull Pain wrestling in a women's prison

 

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YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

BULL PAIN vs. SOULTAKER IN A WOMEN'S PRISON

This is one of the best wrestling crowd's ever. If I ran a company I'd just tour different women's prisons. Bull Pain looks like he's having the time of his fucking life messing with these ladies, and they're having a blast giving him shit. THEY'RE EVEN CHANTING "SOULTAKER."  I bet the crotch chop became the defacto taunt in that prison forever. I can't believe Bull Pain went over, that place would have went banana's to see PAin get his ass whooped. The announcer is so gross. "We're in the women's correctional facility!(like it's an awesome place to be.)" and then "I wouldn't mind getting corrected for a little bit, if you know what I mean". 

Oh wow, they even had Pain run in on the Todd Morton and Terry Golden match and beat up the champ. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjAYN1h3u34 Did they run multiple shows there?

 

I might watch Orange is the New Black again if they start a wrestling promotion and Crazy Eyes puts on a lucha mask to become the champion.

 

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That Colon/Hansen match is just wild. Might also be the only other time I've seen him blade aside from that AWA title match against Rick Martel, too. Jason getting straight kicked in the balls was hilarious. Also, who was the guy in the blue trunks that apparently just came out to bleed all over the place?

Here's my go-to, since I had to upload it myself a couple years ago. Taste the boot leather! 

 

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Oh man that Soultaker match.

"Referee Al Keholic"

"Those sisters are getting down over there!"

"Bull Pain flipping off a whole section of inmates there... I'd be getting the truck warmed up."

"I think that's the only touch she's had from a man in awhile, and it had to be Bull" 

Million billion stars.

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That legendary FMW street fight is something a friend and I reflect on every other month or so. So much amazing stuff in one match! Thanks for uploading it. 

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You're welcome. DEAN deserves credit too because he's the one who reviewed it and led me to find it. Who knows who I pulled it off of, FLIK or maybe Ditch. Maybe even Dean's old file page?

EDIT: Jeez I'm dumb, completely forgot about the 9.8 Muta Scale Level blading Hansen did for the NORTHERN CHOP when he first showed up in All Japan. Of all things to gig for. Stan earned that paycheck.

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YOU GUYS ARE WINNING THE DAY.

ONITA/TARZAN GOTO vs. KURISU/KENDO NAGASAKI

Fucking Texas Death Match Cosplay Is The Best. I love that Goto comes in rocking the fucking joggers with knee pads over top. And Kurisu with the straight up plaid tucked into some fucking denim NEVER MIND the fact that he had cowboy boots on. AND HE USES THEM TO KILL SOME FACES. Just a great parade of wrestling fashion.

This match was a madhouse. The camera guy was all over the place and it felt like watching Cloverfied but awesome. Fuck what's around this corner, they're killing eachother everyone run! The urgency of the camera guy to follow the action made everything even more unpredictable. Probably one of my favorite films of 1990 if I was going to rank it. Just under Abbas Kiarostami's Close-Up.

The post match interviews are beautiful Goto looks like his life has been fucking changed by 10 wild ass minutes. It's a good prequel to him getting murdered by Tenryu in the match I reviewed earlier in this thread.

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GOTTDAMN, Kendo Nagasaki is so fucking awesome.

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A CAW that only does Power Bombs and Superkicks? Is there a Create-a-Venue option so you can port in some of ROH's usual stomping grounds?

Anyway, jae, I'd like to jump in here and offer a link, and ask that you watch and review any match you want on this card:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xp8Xt56nbd0

 

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Oh boy. Chances are good that I do three of those matches. The Hokuto match at least.

1 hour ago, DEAN said:

GOTTDAMN, Kendo Nagasaki is so fucking awesome.

Kendo's chair shots on Goto were fucking stout. And I REALLY LOVE when that Onita's defense to a chair shot is to just give up his leg. And Kendo is like fuck that leg then.

Furthermore, I love that there are multiple instances where a wrestler has no idea what the fuck is going on, starts looking at the chaos trying to find a combatant, and someone walks up and punches them in the head. 

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JAE'S WRESTLING BINGE WEEK VACATION CONTINUES!

NIGEL MCGUINNESS vs. BRYAN DANIELSON vs. AUSTIN ARIES 2008

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bh-jL0kYR_0

I'm a little weary of multi-man matches if Yoshihiro Tajiri isn't in them. I also don't like one pin and it's done style. I understand the necessity of them, but that doesn't mean I have to dig 'em. Furthermore this is Night 1 of a Multi-Night event so the wrestlers can't blow their shit on the first night because they gotta give the crowd something tomorrow. So already this match is on the wrong foot. I didn't like the opening stuff because some of it was a little too cutesy and technically illogical. Maybe I needed a little more context because I would have given some of it a pass if it were in CHIKARA or DDT where wrestling physics are a little warped. The lay out was a little to quaint too. DAnielson gets his head knocked off but transitions the pin into Cattle Mutilation. While this seems like his kind of counter it leads to the section that they clearly labeled as "We all take turns doing our personal submissions." And for Nigel and Aries it didn't really make sense to go into it.

Most impressive part of the match was definitely Austin Aries. The match was in England so Nigel had hometown hero vibe. Danielson is over wherever. So Aries was odd man out BUT he totally made the match about him and I think by the time it was over fans were kind of wanting to see him win. Pretty impressive when people are chanting your name while Nigel and Danielson are doing 1 on 1 stuff in the ring. I guess you could criticize that and say the dudes in the ring should be getting the spotlight, but really it's not like they were doing anything that interesting. Disappointing match.

 

YUMIKO HOTTA vs. DYNAMITE KANSAI - DREAM SLAM 1993

from that youtube link that fella a couple posts back linked me to. match starts around 4:50:00.

Fuck yes. Love both of these gals. Kansai has this moment super early where she does a snap mare into an almost chicken wing, that she then rolls over into a kind of camel clutch position. Each beat is super clear, there's no rushing - she's just finding the positioning that she wants to be comfortable in. It's really small moments like that which create the illusion that there is a kind of martial art technique to the wrestling form. I always write about "gameplan" wrestling, and this feels like it's Dynamite using traiing to dictate where she goes instead of whatever she and her opponent of decided on before hand. It doesn't feel like the opponent is being cooperative because each beat exists because Dynamite is clearly in a position of control, and those moves allow her that control. Something to think about I think.

I love each momentum switch. The first big one when Hotta lands a series of head kicks is one of those "Hey I'm fucking IN THIS." moments. It's echoed again later when Kansai goes up top and gets hangman'd in the corner. That's a perfect moment because up until then Hotta has been getting her fucking brains scrambled, so for her to be able to take her time and put effort into each kick is a huge advantage. And from there she can't fuck around because she's WAAAAAAY behind and has to start spamming Tiger Drivers and other big shots. It's that kind of desperation that kicks this match up several notches. Because WE know she can't have much left in the tank and now we know SHE knows it too. So once that Black Tiger Bomb comes out we know it's over but it was still a great ride. Great fucking match.  Everyone check it out.  

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On 9/1/2015 at 7:50 AM, jaedmc said:

BRIAN KENDRICK vs. TENGKWA

That's me on live commentary, I miss those days

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I STILL WATCH PRO WRESTLING

SAKURABA vs. SANO (Kingdom, 1997)

This is a great primer match for shoot style noobs, as it effectively details how to mix shoot technique with pro wrestling psychology. There are lessons here that can be transferred to other styles of wrestling, which  just goes to show you that no matter how you dress it up(lucha, hardcore, American Super Indy,) it's still pro wrestling.

Let's start with the first thing you'll notice the point system gimmick. You start with five, every time you get knocked down or need to use the ropes to escape - you lose a point. As you can see, the opponent doesn't GAIN a point for knocking you down, you LOSE a point. So the graphic basically becomes a HEALTH BAR. Every time one of those bars drops off, the wrestler is sustaining damage and getting closer to defeat. Just like Street Fighter or Tekken or Cosmic Carnage for the five of us that had a Sega 32x. By the time Sakuraba is down three bars and Sano is at "full health" Sakuraba's ability to make a comeback seems daunting. So even if you don't speak Japanese or have any idea what the fuck is going on in the ring, you can see those bars going down and KNOW that it means someone is in trouble. By creating a visual cue for the audience you're also helping out the wrestlers. Many shoot style guys can be pretty stoic in their selling(not the two in this match) and matches were supposed to feel a little more real in their sudden ability to win. So with the point system you can cue the audience that they're hero need support, so he doesn't have to play to them for sympathy like a Ricky Morton or a Shawn Michaels would.

Ring Work. What's really special about this match is how they express their offense so the audience can understand what's going on. Shoot style, particularly in grappling is a very tight visual. Two guys getting wrapped up on the ground and it can be difficult to figure who is winning and who is losing. Sano and Sakuraba do a great job of giving each other enough space so that every one knows who is on offense and who is on defense. Think of Terry Funk throwing a punch, and how he pulls his fist all the way back before launching it. That's not how any real fighter would throw a punch because his opponent would get the fuck out of the way by the time he came close. He does that so the people in the back can follow the action, and if they follow the action they INVEST in the action.

Sano and Sakuraba basically work MMA style like Terry Funk throws punches.

Watch around the 2 minute mark. They get up, PAUSE, Sakuraba puts Sano on the ground but Sano switches to the top. PAUSE. Audience catches up. Sano gives Sakuraba a lot of room in the guard. He gets to his feet and let's the audience see that he has options, but Sakuraba is effectively protecting himself. Sano gets back on his knees, gives Sakuraba space and places his arm so everyone can see it, and allows Sakuraba to try to sneak an armbar. Everything in this grappling sequence is spaced out and clear so that even non-MMA fans and non-wrestling fans can follow along. At the same time they're educating the audience so they can start spotting the moves during the pause. When Sano takes the back around 3:50 mark, he quietly places his arm under the chin and you can hear people murmuring and getting excited before he officially sinks in the choke.

Wrestling in general could use more of that. I always see guys moving from one move to another and not expressing the impact of what they're doing to the audience. Not only does it allow the audience to invest, but when you make each move matter it makes it easier for the Face that's getting beat down to get sympathy.

Anyway that's the match I watched today. I enjoyed it and it made me think about the elements I love about wrestling.

 

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