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Boss Rock

Member Since 25 Apr 2017
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 05:07 PM
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Topics I've Started

Hiromu Takahashi vs. El Desperado (NJPW BOSJ, 5/23/2018)

23 May 2018 - 08:41 AM

An awesomely violent and hate-filled match that drove home how much these two hate each other since the Junior tag feud. Hiromu jumps Desperado at the start and brawls with him all the way up to the higher-level seats where he nails a fantastic shotgun dropkick. Back in the ring we get some wonderful mask-tearing before Desperado mounts his comeback. From there, it's an absolute bombfest with both guys going for broke in trying to kill the other. Desperado eventually reaches the point where he realizes he can't beat Hiromu in a fair fight and tries every dirty trick in the book to put him away. And yet Hiromu still kicks out of nearly everything and looks like he might be able to pull it off. In the end, Desperado has one final trick up his sleeve to steal the win, but Hiromu still makes him earn it.

 

I loved the aggression and desperation in this match and there were so many cool touches like Hiromu literally dragging Desperado down the steps and Desperado making a mouth hole in his mask to help him breathe easier when fatigue was setting in. My only issue was that with how many tricks Desperado needed to put Hiromu away with, I feel like Hiromu still finding a way to overcome would have been a more satisfying conclusion. Still, this was awesome.

 

Best match of the tournament thus far. ****1/4


Kazuchika Okada vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi (NJPW Wrestling Dontaku, 5/4/2018)

04 May 2018 - 10:58 PM

Despite the number of times these two have fought over the past 6 years (this being the 9th singles match), Okada and Tanahashi managed to have another great match. However, the unofficial "30 minute rule" was in full effect here and the beginning stretch of the match featured your typical NJPW main event padding. Even still, they found cool ways to introduce learned psychology, such as Tanahashi skinning the cat after being hit with the turnbuckle dropkick by Okada. Okada also tried to hit the tombstone multiple times but Tanahashi escaped each time. 

 

I was hoping to see Okada be a bit more aggressive considering he was out to kill Tanahashi in pretty much every tag match leading up to this bout, but things didn't really get cooking until the 10 minute mark when he began to crank on the neck of Tanahashi. It was here that we began to see much more of a struggle, as each man knew what move was coming and would try everything in their power to escape. Okada's cockiness and disrespect towards Tanahashi would allow the Ace to mount his comebacks, such as a High Fly Flow to the outside. Okada was finally able to hit the tombstone on Tanahashi, and somehow both men were spent even though Tanahashi took the higher impact move. 

 

The final 10 minutes was perhaps the most thrilling of any Okada title defense this year, with both men's hatred seeping through and Tanahashi returning Okada's disrespect. It was also interesting to see both men recover quickly from the other's signature moves. This wasn't just fighting spirit: it was both Okada and Tanahashi being battle-hardened from their prior matches together. They had taken so many dropkicks, slingblades, and suplexes that they no longer had the same effect they once had before. However, while Okada's focus had led him to victory at Wrestle Kingdom 10, it was his braggadocio at Wrestle Kingdom 9 that almost cost him this match. Having Tanahashi right where he wanted him, he instead chose to laugh and relish in the moment which allowed the Ace to fire back with strikes that nearly knocked the Rainmaker out. Still, Okada knew when to counter the High Fly Flow and looked to put Tanahashi away with the Rainmaker when we got one final callback. Tanahashi slapped Okada to escape the Rainmaker only for Okada to maintain wrist control, which won him the match at Wrestle Kingdom 10 and would become an instrumental part of his winning ways going forward. This time, Tanahashi was prepared and managed to do what no one else had: break wrist control. Tanahashi finally had the recipe to beat Okada but like his rival, who had been undone by his arrogance in the past, Tanahashi spent too much time playing to the crowd. Okada, desperate not to let Tanahashi surpass him again, grabbed his tights and pulled him in for the finishing blow.

 

Wow, I put down a lot more words than I expected. Even though I wrote three paragraphs gushing about this story, it wasn't a perfect match. The beginning was too padded and Okada seemed to sell exhaustion even though he had controlled most of the match simply to create more drama leading into the finishing stretch. That being said, this was an awesome main event match and a fitting way to close the book on this rivalry for good...I hope.

 

****1/2-****3/4.


Kento Miyahara vs. Naomichi Marufuji (AJPW Champions Carnival 4/30/2018)

02 May 2018 - 07:45 AM

A fitting final match for a great tournament. It was almost as if the more battle-hardened Marufuji was looking at a younger version of himself. The two are rather similar with their fast-paced offense and reliance on knee strikes. Some really great offensive sequences and inspiring comebacks from Kento, who's as good a babyface as he is a cocky dick. Experience won out for Marufuji, but Kento made him earn it as he survived multiple kicks, knee strikes, an apron piledriver, and even a Shiranui before Marufuji had to resort to the Fisherman Flowsion.

 

Am interested to see the direction this goes in as Marufuji is not quite ready to challenge for the Triple Crown (he has a GHC match with Sugiura coming up) but offered to face Kento on his turf. Either way, a fantastic match to wrap up the tournament. ****1/2.


Kento Miyahara vs. Yuji Hino (AJPW Champion Carnival 04/29/18)

01 May 2018 - 08:25 AM

Great match to close out the A Block. Kento can be a dick in his matches, but he was in full babyface mode here (even letting go of the post choke without the ref having to grab his hair!). Kento started off strong and would get in some short bursts of offense before Hino would turn the tide with a huge strike or suplex. Kento would get overpowered for several minutes but as soon as he mounted his comeback, he would be drawn right back into Hino's game whether it be a striking battle or fight on the outside. Hino was incredibly dominant for the entire finishing stretch and looked like he would put Kento away, only for the champ to literally snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

 

Great ending to a great match. ****1/4.


Big Show vs. Rey Mysterio (WWE Backlash, 4/27, 2003)

30 April 2018 - 05:47 AM

Really good sprint. Typical awesome performance by Mysterio, but Big Show was great in this as well. Mysterio utilizes a hit-and-move strategy and tries to chop down the giant while Big Show does a great job showing ass and selling frustration and rage. When Show is finally able to get his hands on Rey, the latter mounts one of the most creative comebacks with multiple 619's to the lower body. But in the end, the giant is just too strong.

 

Awesome, sub-five minute match.