Friday, October 10, 2008

Random review #3

As ripped from my post on the DVDVR boards; this is Shingo and Dragon Kid versus Masato Yoshino and Naruki Doi, 8/28/08, Summer Tag League Finals from Dragon Gate. And it rocks.

Built somewhat slow to emphasize the finishing run, and Shingo impressed me by keeping the selling of his arm consistent, when Doi and Yoshino started working on it, I was fairly certain it was going to get totally dropped and ignored, but I guess Shingo is smarter than I'd normally give him credit for. Everyone had a great section with everyone, no match up wasn't entertaining, and the Yoshino/Shingo sections were ridiculously good. Yoshino took amazing bumps for Kid's hurricanranas, and man, the finishing stretch was just a total blitz with nearly everything getting tossed out but not to the point of being ridiculous, although there are some kickouts I could have done without. I'd say this is my favorite match this year, but I think it's probably my number two or three, I just can't put it ahead of the BJW tag (we all know which one :D) due to the fact that despite Shingo's good selling, it's not quite as harrowing as Shinobu's and it doesn't play into the finish. And the heat isn't quite as good, plus there is no spot within this match as amazing as Teioh's submissions in the BJW tag. These guys do get a lot of credit for hitting everything so crisp while maintaining the ridiculous pace during the last bit, but still...just can't edge it past the BJW tag.

No More Heroes II

Because I am a nerd of all varieties and have only one blog, such a momentous thing must be posted here.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Talent elevation (the lack of it) in Pro Wrestling NOAH

NOAH just doesn't know how to pull the trigger at the right time, in my opinion. Sure, building up new stars is good, but it just gets a bit ridiculous in NOAH. Essentially, it boils down to having them look strong in tags, challenge for belt, win belt, have a few defenses, swap. And the process begins over again, even though they are now established and should be a consistent challenger. I mean, it eventually just gets to the point where they spend so much time building someone that the initial fire regarding that individual is lost, just look at Shiozaki. He's liked, he has ability, yet he's still not even in the scene of contention for the GHC simply because he hasn't been wrestling long. They won't put the belt on him simply because of the principle that he's "inexperienced".

Another thing that grinds me about the GHC is the way in which a challenger usually seems to be appear for the belt, i.e at total random. Sugiura randomly pins Morishima in a tag, gets a title match. Rikioh...what did he do? Got a title match. Kensuke at least made since because of the thirty minute draw, but it was so predictable, both results, the draw and then the subsequent title match and win. You know who needs a title shot? Go Shiozaki. But they won't, because they're afraid to pull the trigger and be daring. Nothing is surprising about NOAH, and the only person I'm really entertained by anymore is Hirayanagi, because his heel work is tops. I love Shiozaki, and hopefully his reign as FIP champion will proceed him making a challenge for the GHC when he returns.

NOAH needs to take lessons from NJPW, who are doing a great job pushing their entire new generation while still having the older guys look strong without being necessary to carry the company, bring in good gates, or hold the IWGP title. Sure, Mutoh's got it now, but look at who's challenged for it. Nakanishi, Goto, and Makabe. Two new generation stars and an older one who probably had the year of his life, wrestling wise. Nakanishi's resurgence this year was amazing, even if it's tapered off a bit. And Mutoh is pretty much guaranteed to lose to a new generation star to complete the cycle and produce a great blast of momentum for whomever wins the belt (probably Nakamura, or if they want to wait, Tanahashi would be a great choice simply for his history with Mutoh). Tetsuya Naito is getting elevated rapidly, he's a great performer and NJPW has already given him a high profile match (the tag on the Red Shoes Unno anniversary show). And man, yeah, Goto winning the G1 this year is exactly what I mean. NJPW knows how and when to pull the trigger, which is something NOAH needs to learn. It's the quality of the build up, not quantity.

*shamelessly copied from my post on GameFAQs Pro Wrestling OF board*

Monday, September 29, 2008

Random review #2

I think I found my favorite match for the year so far, maybe being edged out by Mashimo/Madoka versus MEN's Teioh/Shinobu from BJW, which was an amazing tag contest that was highlighted by great execution, story, and something that you don't see much in puro, long-term selling with no breaks. Anyways, I'll probably do a write up for that match later, that's not today's subject.

Hirooki Goto and Tetsuya Naito versus Shinsuke Nakamura and Hiroshi Tanahashi, 8/26/08 "Red Shoes Unno 20th Anniversary Show".

You want to see why New Japan has the brightest future out of the three major companies? This match will illustrate that. Four young wrestlers, two of them former IWGP Heavyweight champions who have nowhere to go but up (Nakamura & Tanahashi) , the 2008 G1 Climax winner (Goto) and the standout rookie of 2006 (Naito). Naito, despite having just over two years experience under his belt, is amazing. He hangs in this match so well with his peers, you'd think he was brought up with them. This match is highlighted by several things, for one, the crowd heat is perfect. Screams for all four men, pops for all the major moments, and overwhelming support for Naito. The match starts with great feeling out sections between Tanahashi and Naito, and picks up pace when Goto and Nakamura get in there. Naito is in over his head against both opponents, but he never says die and gets some great nearfalls (particularly the Goto lariat assisted German Suplex). He even nails a picture perfect Stardust Press (with faster rotation than usual) on Nakamura, getting an unbelievably close nearfall for a two year wrestler against a two time IWGP Heavyweight champion who has almost always been considered the future of the company (hence the nickname "Supernova"). The finish pays a lot of respect to Naito, as he is hit with both Tanahashi's High Fly Flow and Nakamura's Landslide before being put away. Tag wrestling needs to return to this simplicity, there are no over complicated spots, no real dead time, and a focused story. Highest recommendation.

NOAH 9/27 Osaka, AJPW 9/28 Yokohama

Yeah it drew 3300 (claimed). Less than half of the Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium's 6700 seat setup for pro wrestling. That'd be what happens when you book such a weak title match and barely any undercard to make up for it; granted the 2/3 falls tag is probably good, but the end result was predictable and it's just going to lead to another KENTaiji/Kanemaru & Suzuki match, the fourth this year, 2nd time that the GHC Jr. Heavyweight Tag titles will be on the line. NOAH could have been unpredictable (like All Japan was the day after) and given No Limit (composed of the excellent young wrestlers Yujiro and Tetsuya Naito from New Japan) the Jr. belts, but it was not to be.

Speaking of All Japan, they drew 4500 (claimed) to the 5000 seat Yokohama Cultural Gymnasium. That's a pretty good draw, and the show was loaded with surprises. First off, Naomichi Marufuji conquered the arising star of All Japan's Jr. division, Ryuji Hijikata in a twenty six minute match that I really want to see. Joe Doering joined Voodoo Murders, adding a gaijin influence to the group not seen Giant Bernard and RO'Z, for example. And, in the great shocker, Keiji Mutoh became a 4 crown champion after he defeated Suwama under his Great Muta guise, claiming the Triple Crown. He is currently IWGP Heavyweight Champion as well as Triple Crown champion, with a challenge coming up in Shinsuke Nakamura (who Mutoh defeated earlier in the year to win the IWGP title for the first time in over eight years). Minoru Suzuki has stepped up as the first challenger to the Great Muta, so Keiji is going to have a rough time coming up soon.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Makabe and Yano selling shoes? Whatever. It's hilarious. Makabe sounds so gruff.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Random review #1

*copied and pasted from the original writing on Strong Style Symphony*

Recently watched Nakanishi/Yoshie from PREMIUM twice, just to really scope it out. Loved it both times, maybe a little more the second time. They work so well together, built completely around the drama of Nakanishi actually being able to toss Yoshie. Even after the fact gets established, it still stays on your mind that it isn't easy for Manabu to do it, so it's easily possible for Yoshie to block the moves and go on the offense. In a way, it's similar to their G1 2005 match, but that's not a bad thing. Crowd gets into the struggle, and the finishing run is fun, just to see Nakanishi toss Yoshie around. High recommendation.