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Everything posted by sevendaughters

  1. solid hand, still young at 26. his tag team with Kazuki Hashimoto (no relation) is good.
  2. I was getting Kobashi's GHC run tapes within a few months of them being aired (not his physical prime but an artistic one) and he's up there in my top 3/4 workers. But mostly not really, apart from Tanahashi.
  3. I have seen some decent Cody matches, I am not writing him off. He doesn't fit in New Japan too well but that's fine, not everyone should belong everywhere if there's a healthy and diverse scene.
  4. on a rewatch Cody-Juice for me was a straight up DUD
  5. such a brilliant match isn't it? full of tiny details and little brilliances. the little fist bump to TAKA telling him to go away, I got this one. the stuff with the taping. THAT dragon screw. Suzuki's amazing armbar transition. a great heel performance begetting a great babyface performance. great finish too. might watch this again later.
  6. the WK13 DAVEs are in rates the Gauntlet as 4 separate matches: - Nagata/Cobb/Finlay v Bullet Club *3/4 - Nagata/Cobb/Finlay v Best Friends/Goto *** - Nagata/Cobb/Finlay v Suzuki-gun *1/2 - Suzuki-gun v Yano/Taguchi/Makabe *** Ospreay v Ibushi ****3/4 LIJ v R3K v Suzuki-gun ***1/4 Ishii v ZSJr ****1/4 BOCOGz v Yung Bux v LIJ **** Cody v Juice *** KUSHIDA v Ishmori ***1/2 White v Short Shorts ****1/2 Naito v Y2DAD ****3/4 Ace of Life v Ken *****1/2 ("Hopefully I can run this down next week. Live I went *****½, and most of the feedback was in that range (mostly *****1/4 to ******) but I need to be able to watch it without interruption to give a fair rating. In the building this was maybe the best live match I ever saw.")
  7. I know you didn't ask for recommendations but Dominion from last year and the various great G1 matches talked about on here are well worth your time.
  8. Good post Beech. I've spoken on this before but (imho) because wrestling occupies this non-academic, 'low culture' spot, where it is sociologised (what kinds of people like wrestling?) and pathologised (why do these people like wrestling?) rather than examined for the same kind of textual merits as literature then, by dint of its ostracisation, it creates and cultivates a fanbase whose mindset is to not see the artfulness. Just look at the people in the AEW/WWE conversation on Twitter using the term 'major leagues'. There is literally no consideration that, in artistic terms, All In and Wrestlekingdom 13 were unqualified successes in excess of anything WWE has managed in 2018. WWE is major, everything is else isn't. By turns the academy has largely owned the literature question - sales figures rarely factor in analysing quality. In film and music, the real public arts, the responses are usually a mediation of fan and critic in the winds of time. Historical importance is a slightly more sensitive judgement that takes into account other phenomenon but really it is a fairly empirical analysis of what was in the past that is still in the present. It casts a strange shadow. Like, it doesn't matter how much enjoyed that amateur-filmed Futen Bati-Bati show, it wasn't important, it was of no significance. In this history and business-first sense it is also where the overbearing presence of Dave Meltzer is more crushing than his star system - because the public face of wrestling's own commentariat is primarily a historian and analyser of industry and business. That isn't Dave's fault, I love Dave and he is a hero of mine. But those that have tried to fill in a new space online or in print haven't quite managed to make the impact; Fin Martin in Powerslam was good at artistic criticism for a while before turning into a crank and then the magazine went under. John Pollock at LAW was a fun and open-minded critic of wrestling whose opinions I enjoyed. And the LAW went under. It really doesn't help that many wrestling fans, especially those in the public conversation, are easily-angered online men. I speak as a former one (easily-angered, I am still an online man), before you wield your pitchforks. It is hard for a lot of people to talk emotionally and openly about this thing that at its absolute best provokes profound emotions (like after WK11 I was just on this wild high) that move us deeply, but especially so the fanbase of this thing. I am proper rambling here, sorry, late afternoon coffee. I still think Maeda is the best.
  9. I'm trying to think of other workers who have adapted so ably as Tsuruta. It's a great point. I think you could argue a case for any of the guys who worked traditional matches and then went to shoot-style covered a lot of ground between them. Maeda was working dorky World of Sport matches and finishes doing faux-MMA with Karelin with a bunch of stops between. He wasn't the best at any of them, but he was credible at most. Nobuhiko Takada too, who managed to get himself over with the aura of legitness even though he was, err, not. Even Minoru Suzuki, who is probably just outside the parameters of this conversation, scores super high on this. Arguably the highest, given his ability to seriously grapple, work NJPW main event style, do a walk and brawl, and various points between. Tenryu deserves recognition as a late convert to pro wrestling who still spans generations.
  10. I leaned more heavily on culture and influence than in-ring. If I recalibrated for work then Tsuruta goes higher up for sure. Probably the most underrated Japanese worker I'd say. Given how much of the wider conversation around great work in Japan seems to start directly after all the guys he influenced.
  11. if I had to go top ten (I don't but I am) 01. Akira Maeda 02. Antonio Inoki 03. Rikidozan 04. Mitsuharu Misawa 05. Giant Baba 06. Genichiro Tenryu 07. Riki Choshu 08. Keiji Muto 09. Shinya Hashimoto 10. Nobuhiko Takada I don't have a recency bias but it's hard to put the greats of post-2000 in just yet.
  12. Shingo worked OWE...tenuous I know.
  13. are you doing this in the voice of your avatar?
  14. Workrate comparison will always skew toward the modern worker (particularly 90s onward), and historical and statistical analysis gets you the older guys. That makes it less of a conversation, and I'm outlining what the general area of existing thought is so we might navigate this into a conversation rather than clumsily declaring Rikidozan better than Tanahashi because of culture; it takes bigger circumstantial events than the existence of Hiroshi Tanahashi for wrestling to be that popular again. Japan needed heroes and self-confidence after a destructive war. Rikidozan and his acolytes, beating up foreigners, were that. Japan is different now, arguably more sophisticated in many respects, and the storytelling capacity of wrestling has changed because of media and technology. Bill James wouldn't be able to nail this one down.
  15. Hard hard question. I am an avid cricket fan. In cricket there's an ongoing debate about who the best batsman ever is. Is it Don Bradman, who has the highest average by a clear distance whilst playing on uncovered pitches in the pre-war era, or is it a modern player such as Brian Lara or Sachin Tendulkar, who would have faced a wider range of super-athlete opponents and excelled at the top for longer. There are other variables, of course. Eventually my friend decided this: it's hard or difficult or even just unfair to compare people who existed 20 years apart from each other. I think this works for wrestling, even though some people linger at the top for longer because of the nature of the sport. Like, how do you begin to compare Hiroshi Tanahashi and Rikidozan? It seems like they exist in two different worlds. This isn't me criticising the question, by the way, just explaining how I get to my answer/s. Meltzer always posits that the hierarchy of Japanese wrestling goes something like Rikidozan as most popular, Baba and Inoki next, and then a raft of third tier guys like Tenryu, Choshu, Muta, Misawa, Kobashi, Kawada, Hashimoto, and Maeda. Maybe a couple of others. I'm not trying to name them all. Then there's the alternative history that brings in Kimura, Onita, Sakuraba, Toyonobori, Sayama, and a few others. Also in terms of pure innovation or sheer overness you can't really miss: Chigusa Nagayo, Manami Toyota, Takada, Tamura, Kohsaka, Liger, and a few others. Modern greats such as Okada and Tanahashi have to be in the mix too for the ways they've not just commercially revived wrestling in Japan, but re-energised it and detoxified it to a certain extent. After all is said and done I think Akira Maeda has a strong shout. A huge draw, an innovator, an intriguing character, and a great worker in his day. It's not just the way that UWF links to MMA and that whole side of history, but Maeda's breaking away inspired others to do the same, which leads to the great boom period for a lot of promotions in the 90s. Maeda is obviously an acolyte of Inoki and influenced him in many ways, which is why I'd call Inoki the GOAT of the Showa period. Since 2000, for me, it is Hiroshi Tanahashi.
  16. should have stuck my oar in here, I placed top 3 last year! I'd have gone Tantabara by Tal National this year.
  17. PREDICTION: Hiromu comes out after Ishimori murders Taguchi
  18. I also wonder how much of this is Meij's direction rather than what Gedo would want given what he has to work with.
  19. hope you're right but it's not like they've made loads of smart expansion moves (Back to Yokohama Arena, Cow Palace)
  20. in the shower I was trying to think of a way forward for NJPW and came up with the following. it's mad because NJPW picked up steam overseas before Omega was even a junior in NJPW but I think many see the company and him as synonymous. however: - cancel Dome 2. you can't do it justice now. it was a bad idea. get rid of it before it becomes a millstone. - get Oka and Kawato back in the first half of the year and ensure neither has a stupid gimmick. I propose the gimmicks of "their actual names". - similarly get Beefy Boy Kitamura back in and put him in the mix on a lower title, say the tag straps with a veteran to guide him. - turn Will Ospreay into the new foreign ace. I'm not a huge fan but while Kenny gets WWE'd to fuck, Ospreay can look cool. - Shingo goes heavyweight. - longer contracts that don't finish right after the Dome. you're stable now, 1 year is bullshit. - while we're chopping wood, maybe this is where we quietly move Honma on and some of the cheeseballs cluttering up Bullet Club - goes without saying but need to try and entice someone to make the jump to them, be that Nakamura or KENTA from WWE, or a domestic player who can work. Nakajima, Aoki, Hino, CIMA, Strong BJ would all be on my shopping list. We're in fantasy realm now though. - nail down Ibushi somehow and push him strongly - ?? - become #1 promotion! undecided on Jericho. he's done well and it works, but also I think hitching their wagon to his star might not be best.
  21. like 2001 again for Vince, two shipwrecks at once
  22. think when it comes to Tanahashi / Omega / Okada you're talking 3 of the highest level guys in the industry ever and you go for the one you like most and make a post-facto justification. i like Tanahashi more than the other two because he's an old school proper non-geek non-cool babyface who wrestles a coherent and basic style with a premium on a psychology of the type of wrestling I grew up liking (Flair, Hart, Steamboat). if someone said they liked Okada more then I'd be like cool. but that they're clearly waaaaay better? suspect.
  23. so weird but the contract thing every year leaves me feeling miserable about wrestling.
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