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Everything posted by Beech27

  1. Well, EVIL did win. I wonder what happens now? It's hard to see him beating Okada; but it's hard to see Naito/Okada being run again so soon, in front of very few fans. And if they do run EVIL/Naito, what does that mean for SANADA? Kawato did look like a geek. Even before the beatdown. But, the beatdown did happen. He'll win the match, and get to show off his moveset; and I'm (still, for some reason) pretty high on the kid, but this was inauspicious.
  2. @Curt McGirt A few Biff Busick matches, per the GAB thread:
  3. EVIL cheating his way to a win everyone knows was "supposed" to be SANADA's ascendance would be interesting. It does seem like living up (down?) to his name should lead to... something. Especially since LIJ have basically been faces for a while now.
  4. The aging indie dumbass threshold has been so altered by the last week that “Low Ki is a selfish idiot who doesn’t care about protecting anyone” almost seems like a charming reminder of easier times.
  5. Octagoncito Vs Mini Abismo Negro There was a lot to like in this match, but I probably enjoyed the opening few minutes of matwork the most. It felt deliberate in a contemplative way. The idea behind this kind of opening is that both opponents are probing for an advantage, but it's often just an excuse to display ground-based acrobatics. There is a bit of that, but there are pauses and shifts in weight that show caution. Things pick up quickly, though, and before you know it the tecnico has the first fall. Octagoncito drops the second, however, after he destroys his tailbone on the floor. I really love the german suplex hold that finishes this fall, because it indulges one of my favorite little details--when a wrestler is clearly trying to kick out, but can't. Pinning should be effective, you know? If the only way to win is knocking your opponent into next week, so many nearfalls are less believable. The third fall is much longer than the first two, and does feature the substantial interference and escalating moves you'd expect. I felt things got a little less tight here; there were moments where each wrestler seemed to wait for a spot or just lose the plot briefly--which I'd notice less if they weren't so good about it earlier--but it was still really compelling. And the powerbomb that (basically) finishes it was suitably emphatic.
  6. This would seem to imply he'd leave AJPW eventually. But yeah, he's not featured in-ring much, and doesn't book anymore, so--while I love him--I'm not sure this is a huge loss. (I also think Jun--not Mutoh--would be the ideal old legend for Kaito to beat in a title match, given his history. Seems unlikely, though.)
  7. Gran Naniwa vs Damian 666 I feel like I remember hearing talk that Damian goofed off in this match, annoyed at having to lose to a 17-year-old, and not getting to face Liger in the next round. But I can't find anything to say that's true, or was ever even a popular rumor. So, that's probably not what this was. But it was strange. Damian wrestles like he expects the crowd not to know him, but he'd been in FMW for years at this point, and the whole posing/chanting thing at the start shows he's not a stranger. Still, he makes it very clear that he knows of several Japanese wrestlers. As spot-stealing comedy goes, he's incredibly unsubtle. The humor in aping Misawa or Muto is in wiping your nose and pulling up your trunks after an elbow, or skittering off the ropes and up the buckle in characteristically arrhythmic fashion. He just yells names and does their moves. But somehow, it's charming, and maybe funnier for being not that funny? Like he's making fun of comedy wrestling while doing it. Maybe. It's hard to say, but I smiled a lot. Their genre trope comedy worked better for me, doing slow motion strike blocks, leaps for no reason, etc.
  8. Joe Doering isn’t on anything either, but Juice is probably the most prominent example. Anyway, Sasha didn’t owe him her time or a statement. Whatever the intent, it’s not comfortable to talk to someone who said what he did, and their last interaction was him joking that she looks like a man. I hope people realize how much of a life raft she gave him by offering both; not everyone is going to be that generous, and we shouldn’t make it the standard by which aggrieved parties are judged.
  9. Well, if you’re saying someone’s story doesn’t add up, you are attempting to discredit them. That’s just what those words put together in that order mean. Anyway, it’s gross to debate the mechanics of this. But man, Riddle is a really big, phenomenally athletic fighter, who is trained to physically overwhelm people. He can choke someone with one hand. ”Why didn’t the woman fight back better or yell?” is victim blaming. We should avoid that kind of thing.
  10. Always felt Kaito was just one more 90’s tribute spot from taking the leap. Surely this will do it.
  11. RVD vs Kroffat Best non-pillars 90's AJPW match* sounds like a fascinating deep dive. Jumbo and Tenryu were a few months early to make this a much easier conversation than it otherwise would be--but then, this isn't presently the conversation at all. I haven't watched an RVD match in a long time, or this match before. Kroffat, I've seen plenty of, and recently. Both are tremendous athletes, and that become immediately obvious. RVD reminds me of the old Dead or Alive commercial in which various young men monotonously intone that the prodigiously proportioned women in the game "kick high." Well, he does do that. And Kroffat provides the structure to really make his high kicking--and jumping, and splitsing--as useful as possible. It would be easy for him, instead, to go spot-for-spot, and build the whole match like the mini-standoff they begin with. He wisely does not do that, however, showing just enough flash to make RVD's athleticism look even better--because he cannot match it--and enough heeling to make it feel like earned triumphs. And RVD's stuff does look good--we have to give him that much. He already sells by shouting OOF and then moving on a moment later, and generally doesn't seem interested in anything except the next thing. But the next thing is good, and exciting, and the crowd is invested. All Japan's juniors didn't always adhere to the typical King's Road formula as strictly as the heavies, but this mostly does. RVD is clearly going to lose before he does, and it takes a big scary finisher to put him away. A generous conclusion to a generous performance by Kroffat, and RVD does everything you'd ask a relatively green 25-year-old athlete to take advantage of that generosity. The only disappointment one feels is not with this match itself, but with the fact that RVD wouldn't really get better than this. *Funny coincidence, then, that this crowd got to see possibly the best pillars match as the main event on this very show, as it's 6/9/95.
  12. I imagine everyone is being tongue-in-cheek, but Dexamethasone is an anti inflammatory—not anabolic—steroid. There’s rodent evidence it actually decreases testosterone levels.
  13. Ishikawa vs Murakami I have a real fondness for the post-90's-boom era of Japanese wrestling, this promotion, and these wrestlers. So, this match is a favorite for me as well. It is something new and something old, immediate and evocative. Murakami is a reckless dickhead. 4 ounce gloves. Kickpads. Hair gel. And the goddamn eyebrows, that sneer enough for the rest of his face--though the rest does participate with cartoonish enthusiasm. Ishikawa is here to defend pro wrestling, and his home promotion. Black trunks. Taped fists. And a stern countenance. Inoki isn't here, but his presence is. Murakami starts how Murakami always starts: swinging. He connects plenty, and with some velocity, but not with enough technique or focus to finish Ishikawa. If you're fighting the "Terrorist of Heisei", you can't give in to terror, and must instead rely on your skills, and the patient application of them. Real confidence over bravado. Ishikawa surviving this way is the story of basically every exchange. He gets caught, but he can get things to the mat and slowly pull Murakami out into deeper waters. Murakami doesn't learn. And so, he gets beat. One perfect punch and one perfect hold. I think @Lamp, broken circa 1988is right about the history here. Both the history each wrestler brings, and the history they represent. Pro wrestling as a fighting sport, fighting other fighting sports. But you don't need any of that, really. If you're steeped in American mythology and pop culture alone, you recognize the young itchy trigger-finger standing in the middle of a red dirt road, facing the old steady shooter, who moves once, and decisively. And on a moment-to-moment level, it's thrilling violence. Love it.
  14. The next time he wrestles Ibushi, that’s going to be countered into a disgusting head drop. (He’s basically leaping into an Emerald Flowsion.) Although, Okada countering into a tombstone is probably the spot to look out for.
  15. Edge attributed the “greatest match ever” thing to Vince in an ESPN interview, and is pretty blunt about not liking it. He thought it was a rib at first.
  16. Murakami/Ishikawa is on YouTube (unlisted) in higher quality, if no one minds an extra post.
  17. The diving headbutt also gives us an anecdote demonstrating how far back "killing the business" critiques go. From a Karl Gotch 1990 interview in the WON: WON: One of the things Larry Malenko told me and I don't mean necessarily Billington or Satoru Sayama is that a lot of wrestlers nowadays look like a trampoline act. KG: That's it. Nowhere could you ever see a guy crawl up on the turnbuckles. It's just like the Empire State building. Just stand there and wait for someone to push you off. Where is it ever logical to put a guy on the turnbuckle while you stand on the second rope? WON: You mean for a suplex? KG: Right. Then there was this other idiot that they made World Champion. This clown who was like a kamikaze. WON: Harley Race? KG: Yeah, Harley Race. He'd dive with the head-butt and he looked like a kamikaze coming in. That's the trip of no return that all these guys travel on the yellow brick road. It's not believable. How do you want people to believe this?
  18. This is maybe a bit pointless to go over, but there still isn't much current news to discuss. Of course, people are jumping on the fact that Dave's source here almost certainly is Omega. But I'm really less interested in that, if only because people fighting about Kenny and Dave on twitter is tiresome. I think the second post is interesting, if not unexpected. Maybe Gedo should say "25 minutes, rainmaker" a little more often, but I digress. Regarding the first post, I admit my first reaction was that that seems unlikely, if only because Okada's such a big deal. But we've discussed at length that Okada basically has his template, and lets the other guy work around it. He's the standard, the constant with which they must contest, however they can. That's the story in almost all of his matches, so perhaps it shouldn't be surprising if the process matches the presentation.
  19. Kawada vs Taue, before they tagged, and before the 90's All Japan main event style would mostly phase out matches of this length and structure.
  20. One possibility that comes to mind, seeing Hayashi on a NOAH card: Kenoh seemed to be building a feud with Tamura before Lidet sold NOAH. So, there's a pretty easy invasion angle to write, considering their sniping at one another, and Kenoh's open disdain for his former corporate bosses.
  21. Well, that is an interesting braintrust, whatever happens. Potentially, they could be to shoot style what DDT is to comedy, and BJW is to deathmatch wrestling, mixing a more stylized variant with relatively conventional pro wrestling. Or they could go all the way with their niche. Either way, at least it's an identity. Wrestle-1 also always did produce good youtube content, which made them very easy to legally follow. They should bring along whomever was behind that work. It's also vaguely relevant now, so I'll post this, which rules.
  22. I want to keep Wrestlemania 30, since I was actually there. And of course, I'd change my mind a dozen times over a dozen days. But: Misawa vs Tsuruta 6/8/90 I already feel I've made a mistake not picking one of the six-man tags that led to this, or came out of it. Those were, of course, great matches with great crowds. But this too is a great match with a great crowd--"great" doesn't do them justice--and it is unique in seeming historical while it happens. The second Spartan X kicks in and the crowd erupts in MI-SA-WA it seems like they know, and they know because they've decided to manifest their want in the universe. (And if the story of Baba changing the finish because of how over Misawa seemed day-of is true, then they basically did.) I mean, I can't know that the people there felt that way, but it feels like it in hindsight. And if I could know, and be a part of it, and not guess--and maybe stick around in Tokyo and catch some tags, but I'd pay for them in order not to violate the rules of this thread--then I think I'd have to do that. Hashimoto vs Takada 4/29/96 This is, I think, the peak of Dome-stuffing King of Sports era New Japan. When Hash lands his first flush leg kick, and Takada looks just the slightest bit worried, and Hash nods "yeah, you should be" without really nodding at all, and the crowd just erupts... I feel like most great Dome matches would actually be more fun to watch anywhere else. But these guys fill it with their broad-strokes macho "legitimacy", which of course they were not, though of course it doesn't matter. Pro wrestling is believing in the fight and fighters you're watching, even though you know better, until you don't actually know better. Hokuto vs Satomura 4/29/01 I need a Hokuto match on this list. This is, of course, not her best--though it is great. I think it functions as a kind of companion piece to my first choice, though. That felt like a beginning--this, an ending. Not just for Hokuto's career, but for Joshi as a significant mainstream strand of wrestling in Japan. There are a million factors and timeline complexities, and so it's too simplistic--even flat out wrong--to say this match marks a clear change in direction. But wrestling is also about making symbolic realities real. And so there's a kind of present-tense nostalgia for a thing not yet entirely past, that seems worth presence.
  23. There are external factors too, such as the rise of the original UWF and Maeda's accompanying outspokenness about the comparative "legitimacy" of his form of pro wrestling.
  24. Just seems like such a pointless exercise, considering the Mutoh shine is long gone, the valuable roster pieces mostly have landed in AJPW or NOAH already, and neither Zero-1 nor Big Japan have closed.
  25. Rollerball Rocco vs Kung Fu To be honest, I bounced right off this match a couple times, and just went to do something else. Which I have not done with many matches that were far worse. It's just that this... I wasn't quite sure what to do with it. But something about the weather suddenly being brutally hot reminded me of a day during summer vacation and my Grandma's house. She had cable, and didn't much care what I used it on, whereas my parents did not, and were relatively strict about violent entertainment. I sat there in the air conditioning with a bowl of cereal and watched a worked martial arts fighting show--probably WMAC Masters based on Googling, but I can't remember. Anyway, it seemed at the time to be the coolest thing anyone could ever see. This was a lot like that. If I had stumbled on this match at my Grandma's house during summer vacation while eating Raisin Bran--she didn't ever have kid's cereal, but that was fine--I would have had no interest in seeing wrestling that looked any other way. And the kids in the room seemed to agree. Even watching it as my present-tense self, the athleticism and execution is obviously impressive, and they're pretty creative deploying those strengths. Rocco gets his hand karate chopped, and then headbutted. That's pretty great. And it doesn't matter and he wins anyway after a low blow, but that's fine. I'm still not sure what to do with this now, but if it was funnel cake and I was 8, walking around the fair grounds, I'd eat it, love it, and maybe even remember it.
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