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SmartMark15

Member Since 20 Apr 2017
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 09:49 PM
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Topics I've Started

Kenny Omega vs. Tetsuya Naito (NJPW G1 Climax 8/13/17)

13 August 2017 - 10:00 AM

I don't know, guys. I think they broke me. Perhaps I just understand the "grammar" of this style more now or perhaps they really just have finally refined this main event NJPW style to something that I completely enjoy because I LOVED THIS. 

 

It starts off a little slow but without much of the meandering matwork that comes from matches earlier in the year. Here, they go right for the good juicy meaty stuff. Lots of mind games from both guys as expected and lots of personality. Both guys target the neck relentlessly and there are some pretty fantastic moments that surround it. Omega not being able to complete his usual kip up and springboard was MASTERFUL (5 star moment). Omega stayed fairly consistent with his neck selling all throughout the match too and god knows it played right into the finish as well. Naito meanwhile put in what might be one hell of a babyface performance. He looked amazing taking just a BRUTAL beating from Omega. I have so much love for Omega's repeated and deliberate V Triggers all building up to that glorious callback of Naito collapsing just as Omega went in for one more (5 star moment). It was a great spot at Dominion and it's a great spot here. Then you have that ridiculous top rope DDT into the ring post and a whole series of bumps that people really shouldn't be taking (face first into the turnbuckle off the top, top rope powerbomb countered into Rana, etc.). Loved the desperation of Naito at the finishing stretch trying to hit any variation of Destino possible to get a pinfall. He probably went for one too many but that is a minuscule nitpick to this match.

 

Is this the MOTY? It just might be. It really just might be. While Okada-Omega III had the blistering pace and the down to earth story, this seemed to perfect the more theatrical elements that something like the Dominion match aspired for.

 

Whoa, boy, what a G1.

 

*****

 

 


WWE Women's Champion Trish Stratus vs. Lita (WWE Raw 12/6/04)

11 August 2017 - 09:52 PM

For the time, they were given this was a wonderful sprint of just great action and even some good storytelling here. Some missed timing aside, I find that Trish and Lita really brought a lot of impact and crispness to their action here. One of the main problems that some womens matches have is that there's just not enough weight behind the moves they're pulling. That was no such problem here. Everything was snug and impactful. The finishing stretch was fiery hot with a lot of decent nearfalls and a great pay off for what is really a very strong womens match. 

 

***3/4


NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair vs. Wahoo McDaniel (NWA Battle of the Belts, 9...

02 August 2017 - 06:35 AM

A classic Flair title defense match. Wahoo makes for a great larger man with heavy hands to combat Flair. Their strikes looked great and they told simple great stories for each fall. First fall almost entirely as Wahoo's shine and setting up the efficiency of the Sleeper as his finisher. Second fall was all about Flair cheating his way back on top by using the ringposts and the ropes. The final fall was short and sweet, a classic Flair dirty win to end a very fun and engaging 50 minutes or so of action. I really enjoyed this.

 

****1/4


NXT Women's Champion Bayley vs. Sasha Banks (WWE NXT Takeover: Respect 10/07/15)

26 July 2017 - 09:14 AM

Performance of a lifetime from both ladies. Sasha in particular absolutely nails her performance as just a really despicable heel and is even able to work the notoriously smarky Full Sail crowd into genuine heel heat. Poking Bayley's eyes to get the first fall, trash talking Izzy and stealing her headband. You wanna talk genuine heel heat? A little girl CRIED. Meanwhile, Bayley puts in one of the best babyface comeback stretches, putting money in the bank with Sasha's hand and paying it off beautifully at the finish of the match. Prefer this to their first match and I find it strange that general consensus seems to disagree.

Probably the best women's match in WWE history.

*****

WWF Champion Hulk Hogan vs. Paul Orndorff (WWF The Big Event 6/28/86)

18 July 2017 - 08:56 PM

Orndorff goes in hot, ambushing Hogan to kick off the match. From there, they work a very tight, very close brawl leading to Orndorff getting an extended heat segment on Hogan. Hogan puts on a masterclass of sympathetic babyface selling. When he's down, he's down. This show was worked in front of 70,000 people and Hogan, more than Orndorff, understands this. You can see the way he begs for crowd support, how every bump and sell if just a little bigger than usual. My only gripe was the poor timing and execution of the comeback. Hogan just decides to pop right back up. There's usually a little more build to his comebacks than that. But once it gets going, it's hard not to get engrossed by it. A screwy finish to keep the feud going but this was a pretty good Hogan-formula match.
 
***1/2