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fxnj

Member Since 06 Nov 2013
Offline Last Active Today, 01:16 AM
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Topics I've Started

The Destroyer vs. Mil Mascaras (AJPW 10/9/1973)

12 January 2018 - 02:35 AM

Watched this for the first time in a while and this blew me away.

It's hardly some hidden gem as it's been a favorite among tape traders since forever ago, but I guess some combination of me forgetting just how good this match is and me not being attentive enough in my viewing when I first saw it led to this really surprising me. I love it from the opening bell with the amateur style positioning work they did. They did a really good job working at a stalemate with lots of great struggle like you'd see in Golden Age matches. The boston crab spot was so good. I got a kick out of it being a tight headlock that leads to Destroyer pulling out the strikes and ultimately losing the first fall. The beginning of another one of my favorites in Kawada/Kobashi 6/12/98 follows as a similar structure as the first fall of this. 

By the second fall it looks like Mascaras starts to have Destroyer figured out. Destroyer starts looking like the clear underdog in the match, but it's hard to count him out as he's known to be crafty and the commentators even bring up his stuff with Rikidozan at one point I assume to put that over. I love the detail work in how Mascaras moving really quickly out of the way in a rope break because he knows how sneaky Destroyer can be. Soon, though, Destroyer manages to surprise him with a figure four and Mascaras's selling is fucking great as mentioned. Love the ring attendants coming in at the end of the fall to break up the hold to get over just how deep Destroyer had it locked in.

Third fall is what really puts it over the top as a classic. It's ironic Mascaras has a rep for not selling considering how great he is in selling the leg in the fall. Just so much great drama as he tries to come back with the tables suddenly turned on him. Awesome watching him even resorting to cheap shotting Destroyer. Great nearfall as well with him hitting the cross body on Destroyer. The actual finish with him taking a hard bump to the outside and just barely being too late in beating the count is tremendous. Great show of respect after the match too. 1973 MOTY and a strong candidate for 70's MOTD. ****3/4


Watching new footage vs old footage

28 November 2017 - 10:13 PM

I was interested in seeing where different views are on watching older stuff compared to newer stuff. What do people prefer and what do they end up watching more?

I used to be all about watching stuff from current year with just a little archival footage on the side. Now I almost only watch older stuff and I've seen a total of 2 matches from 2017. It's not that I dislike newer stuff as I loved both the matches I watched, but there's a few reasons I simply prefer to watch older stuff.

Main reason is there is so much great historical footage popping up online these days I just can't find the interest to watch a full show as it airs. There's always been wrestling on TV or popping up soon after it airs, but historical footage has really exploded online in the past few years, so it's a lot more exciting for me to watch these matches or wrestlers I'd heard pimped for years but which hadn't been online before. A lot of great older stuff also gets taken down all the time. There's been so many matches I'd put off watching until they got taken down. In comparison, just about any new stuff is gonna go up on a streaming service and stay there for the foreseeable future. It simply feels more pressing to me to watch older stuff than newer stuff.

Another thing is that match recs for newer stuff are often heavily influenced by the hype. When I look at reviews for a new big match I often see people buying into the hype and calling it the best thing ever or people giving some backlash to the hype and saying the match sucks without much middle ground. Criticism of recent NJPW seems to revolve around the question of if viewers are watching the greatest match ever with people going in on their first viewing and trying to pick apart reasons why a match shouldn't be 6 stars. That's an utterly shit way to watch wrestling. I prefer to wait until the hype has died down and watch the stuff people are still talking about a year or more later.

One more thing I'll note is that I don't really see much difference in watching a match as it airs and watching it years later. There's always gonna be a tape delay whether it's a few seconds, a few hours, or a few match. Further, you'll always be watching some TV producer's sterilized version of the footage. The only way to truly watch a match as it happens is to be there live. I remember going to AJPW shows regularly when I lived in Japan in 2015 and it was easily the greatest thing about being there. I had such a great experience that I still haven't watched the airings of any of the matches I saw as the TV versions just can't compare to the magic of being there. I completely understood why a lot of Japanese fans only follow one promotion and lose interest in watching tapes from other promotions. If I could still attend AJPW live events regularly, I would probably just be watching that and nothing else. But I am stuck with taped matches that don't have the live magic, so just watching the best available taped matches seems the next best thing.

Toshiaki Kawada vs. Keiji Mutoh (AJPW 7/13)

26 November 2017 - 12:25 AM

Fucking great big match that came out of nowhere. I've heard not a peep of pimping for this and didn't even know it happened until I opened up the video of this event, but it absolutely delivered. Match starts a little slow with them working the mat, but I enjoyed it. Kawada's gameplan initially is to ground Mutoh and work over his arm. Mutoh's selling is interesting, initially just seeming dumbfounded by Kawada's strategy but then progressing into selling legit pain as Kawada keeps going after the arm. There's this great little hope spot where Mutoh tries to stand up and turn it into a striking match, but his hurt arm means there's not enough behind his strikes and Kawada quickly takes back over. Eventually, Mutoh decides he's had enough of that and starts making a comeback by going to town on Kawada's injured knees, and that's when the match really kicks into the next gear. There's this great explosiveness behind everything Mutoh does and Kawada's selling is incredible. Really needs to be seen to be believed as I think it might be his best leg selling since the RWTL 1993 finals. The match reaches its high point during an extended figure four spot where it looks like Fuchi might throw in the towel for Kawada, but Kawada digs deep and gets to the ropes. I was popping right with the crowd for that one. Kawada gets a lucky break when Mutoh seems to injure his own knees off a moonsault, which gives him just enough of an opening to string together some big moves (while keeping up the awesome leg selling) and just barely do enough for a 3 count. ****1/2 A shame this didn't get nominated for the best of 2000's project as I imagine this sort of match would have done quite well among the people who got burned out by the NOAH stuff.