Thursday, January 4, 2018

NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12 - 1/4/2018

NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12 - 1/4/2018

I'll be doing selected matches here.

Jay White vs Hiroshi Tanahashi
I liked the technical wrestling and selling of the leg early on. I was sure this was what the match was going to be built around. They sold it for a little after they did it then they just stopped and forgot about it in classic Tanahashi fashion. Tana started doing multiple high fly flow's and didn't even once grab his knee or sell it and by the end of the match, it was liked it never happened. The match then went to the typical Japanese finisher stretch where both people try for big moves until Tanahashi hit his and got the win.

This was Jay White's chance to really make his name and I can't say he did here. Whatever the Switchblade character was supposed to be didn't come out here and first impressions are so important. Yes, he yelled at Tanahashi about being the ace and all, which I really did like that they caught, but I don't see where you really go from that here. On the in-ring end, he's fine, but personality/character/charisma > in-ring work. At the present, he's going to be a midcard guy hanging around with Iizuka and I don't think that was the original plan.

The match wasn't anything special, though they got the pace right. Can't really recommend going out of your way to see it.

Kenny Omega vs Chris Jericho
My dislike for Kenny Omega has been well documented multiple times. I haven't been a real big fan of Jericho since 1997, and I was a big fan then. During the mid-2000's, I used to be able to predict Jericho's every move due to how formulaic his matches were, even though they were good.

Kenny Omega came out wearing an Egyptian god costume here with a huge gun.

This was a good match. They started out quick with Omega jumping off the top through a table on the outside, nailing an announcer. Then Jericho got out of the way. He beat up the ref and his son and bashed Kenny off of a table and later a chair multiple times. Kenny got cold spray, blinding Jericho, while still in the Walls of Jericho, which they didn't sell that great. Tons more chair play here. Omega caught Jericho going on top with a V-Trigger, but Jericho held on, instead of falling through the table below. I didn't like this part as I didn't even know the table was there, so had Jericho just fallen it not only would have been a cool spot, but it would have been a surprising spot as well. Kenny mostly took control from there on out with Jericho grabbing onto the ropes to get out of a one-winged angel. They then went to the finishing stretch with Jericho going for a lionsault and Omega catching him with a one-winged angel on the chair for a cool finish.

Jericho carried this here. He got Kenny to work slower. He sold, he brought character to the match and really did try to take it to the next level. He was the glue to this match and was great the whole way through. Kenny was Kenny as usual. He did sell more to his credit, but he had his usual goofs. After going through a table and getting hit with chairs plus everything else, Kenny still sprinted through every move he did like Usain Bolt, totally killing any confusion of fatigue. Kenny also did a total moronic thing here. He was bloody at one point, making for a really cool look with his wild caveman like hair and blood going down his face. What does he do? He grabs some water, which washes the blood away and minutes later, his face looks as clean as day, killing a really cool visual.

The Tokyo Dome crowd wasn't the best stage for this match. It would have had a lot better in Budokan or Sumo Hall. Brawls and that like aren't getting as over here because people further back can't see it up close. And in the end, Japanese people react louder to Japanese vs Japanese than foreigner vs foreigner.

I did like the finish and I was into the match the whole way through. Jericho gave Kenny a wrestling lesson that I doubt Kenny will remember. Jericho brought everything to the match, while Kenny brought very little and had this match been with someone like a Suzuki or a Nagata who has the basics down, this would have been legendary. Nagata or Suzuki would have been so fired up and had that crowd so hard behind them had they been in it. Maybe next year? Probably the best match of Kenny's career and probably a top 5 solo performance of Jericho's career, though his WM19 match is always going to be his best match.

I truly feel vindicated after this match. I argued and fought with people all year who said Kenny Omega was the greatest wrestler and his series with Okada was better than any other match in the history of wrestling. The supposed GOAT laid an egg in the biggest match of his career with one of the best workers of this generation. This is the next Ric Flair? Really? This is the end to my wrestling hell where Kenny Omega is the greatest worker ever and I'm glad that people are finally going to see how limited Kenny really is. The love for this dude made me absolutely hate pro wrestling and I'm glad it's over.

Kazuchika Okada vs Tetsuya Naito
Okada is wearing full tights here instead of trunks. I always like "big match" costumes, moves and entraces to make it seem more important. Crowd is into this from the start. Okada hard bleached his hair blonde here and looks older than usual.

The announcers talked about this match being predicted to be 5 and 6 stars here "by the oddsmakers", quoting Dave Meltzer and I wanted to vomit. THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE FUCKING REAL YOU MORONS.

Didn't like this match at all. Naito worked Okada's neck early, Rude Awakening it against a barrier but they quickly gave it up and just went into a MOVEZ bonanza. They did every move in their arsenal in the first 30 minutes, not stopping much at all, then quickly started selling fatigue before going into the finishing stretch. Not a smart match by any means and I was done with this within 10 minutes.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

NJPW 1/30/1990 - Owen Hart vs Jushin Liger

NJPW 4/28/1991 - Owen Hart vs Jushin Liger

Jushin Liger beat Owen Hart with a Liger Bomb. They did a lot of things here but unfortunately, selling wasn't one of them. They popped up from everything seconds after they did it and it really hurt the flow of the match. There wasn't a real story to the match either and Liger got very little offense in before getting the win. Lots of cool athletic spots here, but that's about it.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

World of Sport 1/28/1980 - Smith Hart vs John Elijah

World of Sport 1/28/1980 - Smith Hart vs John Elijah

Elijah picks up the first fall quickly after a failed crossbody that became a body slam

Hart takes the 2nd fall fall after a surprise slam

The finish

John Elijah got the win at 1:19 in the 5th round with 2 falls to 1. This wasn't overly special but it wasn't bad. Smith didn't bring much to the table here minus 2 cool takedowns. Elijah had great facials all throughout the match and took a bunch of bumps for Smith. I did enjoy the fight for the bodyslam, but this was an average WoS match.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Stampede Wrestling 12/8/1979

Stampede Wrestling 12/8/1979

 Keith Hart vs Joe Ventura

"If they do not defend their title within the next two weeks, it will be stripped from them. So we might have a strip show here on television." - Ed Whalen on Keith and Bret Hart's tag titles

"If you're confused, that's Joe Venutra the engine and Keith Hart, the caboose." - Ed Whalen | "Okay, now I'm confused." - Me
The finish

Keith Hart got the win with a roll-up. Decent match here. This was mostly all technical ground work and might be a bit of an acquired taste, but it was believable and pretty solid all around. They showed the last 5 minutes of the 11 minute match and the crowd either wasn't into it or it wasn't mic'd well. I was rather impressed with Keith here.

Ed Whalen interviewed a fan. They said they had a petition about overturning the result of a match with Sandy Scott and The Dynamite Kid. They got 60 signatures.

Keith Hart said him and Bret had a month to defend the belts and were running near the end. He said he didn't know if Bret could make it in time and if they had to forfeit, he'd team up with Bruce Hart.

Don Gagne was interviewed. He said he was fined $200 last week for slamming JR Foley, the manager. He said if he gets involved again, Foley will get hurt.
"That belt there is mine. I'm keeping it." - Don Gagne
Bruce Hart vs Andre Sweezta
Sweezta is from Ukraine.

The finish

Bruce Hart beat Andre Sweetza with a flying clothesline. Bruce got jumped early then made a quick comeback for the win. This was not long at all and Bruce barely got any offense in before the finish.

JR Foley apparently was scouting Sweetza and smacked him for losing.

Bruce Hart said he wanted a match with The Dynamite Kid before Foley came in.

"Just tell me what I have to do." - Bruce Hart | "GET LOST. GET LOST." - JR Foley
Foley said he wanted Sekigawa to take care of Don Gagne tonight, "because money does talk".

The Dynamite Kid said Hiroshi Yagi was overweight and he'd cripple him tonight.

Larry Jones vs Yan Ki

Wayne Hart, another Hart family member, is the ref here. They randomly cut it off after 2 minutes and told us Yan Ki won. What they showed was all headlocks as seen above.

Leo Burke & Hubert Galant vs Tony Staton & Oservio Oshura
Stanton is in the corner

Oshura beats up Galant

Leo Burke fires up

The finish

Hubert Galant got the win here above on a crossbody. They showed about 5 of the 18 minutes of action here. Not too much to say due to the clipping except I really liked Burke's fire.

Leo Burke said he wanted to beat both Harts to win the titles, not in a tournament.
Galanta said the same thing.

The Dynamite Kid vs Hiroshi Yagi
Joined in progress of course.

The ref declared this a no contest after both men were outside the ring and didn't make it back in. A shame this was clipped. What they showed looked really good and Yagi was an awesome babyface. Yagi would go on to become Ryuma Go. The crowd was really into Yagi and Dynamite was really good here too. Yagi looked like he was bleeding from the mouth. Only about 8-9 minutes were shown, but it was good.

Yagi said he would lose 5 pounds in 3 days so he could challenge for DK's title.

"You started it and I'll finish it, brother." - Dynamite Kid
Dynamite Kid said Yagi was even more overweight than what he claimed and he said he'd take him on next week.

Foley also said Bret Hart would have to wait for a title shot.

North American Heavyweight Title - No DQ - Don Gagne vs Mr. Sekigawa
Gagne is Frenchy Martin. Sekigawa is the future Mr. Pogo, so this is quite the odd dream match.
As only Stampede can do, they cut away, saying this went to a no-contest. I guess we'll just take their word for it then since we'll never be able to see it...What they showed wasn't bad at all either. French Martin was a fiery baby face and Sekigawa could move. While they weren't super flashy, they made up for it by knocking the basics out of the park and making it look like a fight. They spent a decent portion of this choking each other out with wrist tape.

Stu Hart said the belt would be held up but the rematch had to have full rules and Leo Burke would be the ref. Burke promised a winner for next week. Stu was hard to understand here.

Overall thoughts: The editing and cuts on this show are the worst I've ever seen on a wrestling show. They wasted our time and ruined the show. Awful. I don't know how anyone could put with this week after week without throwing something. I actually did like a lot of the matches here but none of them were complete and some of the matches were cut in the beginning and more importantly the end. Don't waste your time watching this.