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Everything posted by Beech27

  1. Jordan/James finals opponents by ELO: https://ca.nba.com/news/the-last-dance-did-michael-jordan-or-lebron-james-face-tougher-competition-in-the-playoffs/ub0a1xhfjsff1kuizb90rbd7y Every Finals Opponent Team Rating Opponent 2017 Warriors 1850 LeBron 2015 Warriors 1802 LeBron 2016 Warriors 1790 LeBron 1998 Jazz 1762 MJ 1997 Jazz 1751 MJ 2012 Thunder 1737 LeBron 2014 Spurs 1730 LeBron 2011 Mavericks 1717 LeBron 2013 Spurs 1711 LeBron 2018 Warriors 1710 LeBron 2007 Spurs 1705 LeBron 1992 Blazers 1702 MJ 1991 Lakers 1697 MJ 1996 Sonics 1695 MJ 1993 Suns 1634 MJ
  2. If EVIL makes the final, then I don't think his title win was an experiment as much as an appetizer. Anyway, it's probably too soon for ~BC explodes~ with a White/EVIL final, but it will probably still be viable going into the final nights. SANADA could make it. Okada, of course, can always win things. But do you run back Okada/Naito already? I suppose Naito defending is a different role. (Yeah, I have no idea.)
  3. I’d choose that Cena match as his best singles performance (against some other than Taker or HHH), but if I can cheat a little I’d add the WM 30 triple threat (a good match with a great finish), and the Evolution/Shield six man as his absolute best.
  4. Maeda was around BML for a bit.
  5. There's pretty credibly evidence that he has a pattern of grooming/propositioning underage girls via social media.
  6. Jay White lives in the US, so sadly doesn't benefit from New Zealand's relative freedom from COVID. They haven't said anything about Ospreay, but I'd be shocked if the company holds the allegations against him. They just used Chase Owens, who offers them so much less value. (Not saying this is how I want it to go, to be clear.)
  7. Some newer, ongoing series that either I like, or people broadly seem to: A Chorus of Dragons, by Jenn Lyons The Burning, by Evan Winter The Poppy War, by RF Kuang Burningblade and Silvereye, by Django Wexler There is also the aforementioned Locked Tomb trilogy by Tamsyn Muir isn't epic fantasy in any classic sense, but it is excellent.
  8. If Go instigates another 30-minute staredown, a draw is definitely on the table. But I don’t see NOAH wiping the GHC history in any case. Go is winning matches now by comboing Misawa and Kobashi signature spots, Kaito’s whole thing is being a Misawa fan, and they’re one parent-company decision away from booking Jun Akiyama again. Kenoh has said a lot of things about leaving the past behind, but I think they just want him to be—or he wants to be—NOAH’s Naito, rebelling against every corporate decision in newspapers and magazines.
  9. Harrow the Ninth is out, and I think it’s better than Gideon (which was my favorite book in... a while). It’s structurally challenging, jumping around in time, tense, and POV; and you need to remember a lot of names, and deal with severely compromised narrators. But it all serves the narrative, and doesn’t feel like literary wankery. It also goes way deeper on the lore, magic system, and weird gonzo mystery plotting. So it manages to be difficult/deep, while superficially fun on a moment to moment level. Really ambitious and impressive follow up to a hit debut.
  10. He had a couple against Kawada in 91 that are really good. Kobashi was later in ascending, and Taue was still a faction underling to Jumbo at the time. Edit: I was wrong! The Tsuruta singles matches against Kobashi were more substantial than I’d recalled. Which means I know what I’m watching for the next few days.
  11. (No need to spoiler tag this now, I suppose.) I'm not really sure why NOAH is going the double-champ route so soon after introducing the National Championship, but it struck me as mostly superfluous to begin with. They don't really have the roster depth to justify two big singles titles. But I guess we'll see. I watched Kenoh/Nakajima this morning. They kick eachother hard, and often, which I expected. The sum is... almost boring, though, which I didn't expect. I suppose they were going for a kind of deliberate violence, both men comfortable and unhurried. It felt plodding to me, though. And while I liked the idea behind the finish--Kenoh wins via a flash KO, after a headkick--I didn't think it was executed especially well. That is, the camera zooms in and clearly catches Nakajima talking to the ref right before the match is called. So either he's legitimately unable to continue (which I don't believe) or the camera demonstrated he wasn't knocked out at all. Maybe (probably) that's nitpicking, and I'd have easy justifications if I'd liked the match more to that point. (The ref asks him if he can continue; he responds with jibberish; ref calls the match. Easy.) I think I might just be getting bored of matches built almost wholly around letting the other guy hit you, and then taking your turn. I understand fighting spirit, that it's not just about trying to win, but prove something along the way; but I wish it were a trope more sparingly deployed, and a larger emphasis was put on striking to win.
  12. A miraculously cured Shibata would be my answer. Somewhat more realistically, I’d have chosen Kawada to win the IWGP title when he beat Kensuke, rather than just having the latter man vacate it for losing a non-title match—and then win the rematch with the belt on the line. Even if Kawada had been a zero defense holder of the title, it’d be something neither Misawa or Kobashi ever did.
  13. This is far, far, far from the biggest problem with Underground--either on a conceptual or actual level--but quasi shoot style doesn't really make sense in a company that has built matches around punches for decades.
  14. Maybe this show/tournament should get its own thread, but I’ll put it here for now: Not exactly stoked on this field, but it’ll be interesting to see if they really do strap the rocket to Fredericks. Winner gets Moxley for the US title at a date TBA.
  15. I like it a lot. It’s a 60 minute match where they seem focused the entire time, so your time never feels wasted. And they do a really good job of avoiding the usual ironman escalation trap, where you either have early, cheap falls, or emphatic falls that leave no room for escalation and make it hard to believe either guy is still standing as the minutes wear on. Here, every fall feels earned, and the accumulated damage/fatigue a legitimate—but not debilitating—factor, so the last 15 still has somewhere good to go. But I don’t think it’s a drop everything MOTY, like VOW seems to. Some plot threads and limb work don’t really cohere moment to moment or big picture, so even though they pace well (and this is a cliche criticism) you can’t help but feel there’s a better match to be had in half the time. I also didn’t really like the announcing, although “Will Yehi tap, here at Wendy Wine Company!?” is great unintentional indy comedy.
  16. "The new plan is to make even more compelling characters and storylines" is a hilarious line. So, the old plan was to create fewer compelling characters and storylines? No wonder that wasn't working! Even putting that aside, it reminds me of cross country parents who would just yell "Go faster!" the whole time, as if simply being better was a choice you could make in the moment, and performance wasn't a result of multiple inputs over weeks, months, years. Which is to say, they aren't going to create more compelling characters and storylines unless they change one (or several) of the inputs that lead to the current product.
  17. That could be it. Essentially, the gist seems to be he's highly respected by those he's worked with. Never quite had whatever it takes to be a transcendent star, but did his best at that level because New Japan needed him to; then, put over Tanahashi when it was time, and worked his way down the card.
  18. I'd say Nagata is highly respected, and over in that regard, to modern fans--even if he never clicked is a transcendent top guy. (To be fair, New Japan throwing him into shoot fights did him no favors here.) It probably also must mean something that he made the WON HOF on the back of a unanimous Japanese vote, and that Danielson and Regal both cite him as one of their all-time favorites to work with.
  19. For what it's worth--maybe nothing!--the youtube video titled "Warhorse Makes His AEW Debut & What is Matt Cardona Doing in AEW?" has 412k views, which is the most from this episode by quite a bit.
  20. At least for now, they've said it's until the end of the year. Which would mean Okada--or whomever--would still be free for WK.
  21. It probably won't surprise anyone, but the (as far as I can tell unsourced) rumor is that the KOPW title is very much Okada's idea. He likes goofy things, and this kinda fits with the notion that whenever he loses the title, he also loses his mind a little. Anyway it seems pretty low-risk. If it ends up going well, you can keep doing it. If it doesn't, you can never do it again, and let it fade away quietly as a COVID-era experiment.
  22. I can’t see New Japan helping any other company with a dome show, even granting significant post-COVID goodwill. But yeah, Okada or Tanahashi would be a huge help, assuming LIJ/BC is going to be New Japan’s main event focus for a bit. Otherwise... it’s hard to see. Available former dome main eventers to NOAH/DDT would be Akiyama, Mutoh, and Kenny. Mutoh can’t really do a big singles now; Akiyama seems not to want to. Kenny is wrestling Endo already, so that’s one big match down. And then it’s easy to get into fantasy land really quickly. Kawada never retired, right? Kensuke still looks real jacked, and he and Miyahara had a real falling out—so that’s something.
  23. I don’t really associate NOAH with the dome, anyway. They need to fill the Budōkan first—which Kenoh has been promising for a couple years now.
  24. I wonder if this might tie in to Okada’s interview with Inoki. Bring the founder back while you wrestle some outsider.
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