Re: The 2012 MOTYC thread
Randomly got onto watching some of the BJW Strong Climb tournament last night, only watched Callihan/Sasaki and Sasaki/Sekimoto, but I suggest Antonio not read past Callihan/Sasaki as IIRC he adored the shit out of Sasaki/Sekimoto (could be the wrong match for all I know, but I wanna say that's the one).
Anyways, rambling thoughts!~
Sami Callihan v Yoshihito Sasaki, BJW Strong Climb Tournament Semi-Final (3/26/12)
Man this was such a strange match, probably the most conflicted I've felt in a while. On the one hand I loathed a lot of what Callihan was doing, and at the same time thought he brought a lot to the match. The whole spitting on hands before a chop deal and telling Sasaki to 'fuck off' annoyed the shit out of me, maybe I've just watched too many people strongly communicate a range of emotions without haing to audibly swear multiple times throughout a match, but there wasn't one point where I thought 'oh I can really feel a sense of hatred in his voice', I mean christ the strikes alone were enough to tell even the most clueless of viewer that both men weren't best friends. Then seeing some of his crazed/angry facial expressions came off more Randy Orton esque than they did Terry Funk, and then his whole deal near the finishing stretch with the multiple kick outs at 1 followed by him popping up to take another and looking 'CRAZY~' (in fact I'd say laughable than crazy, and I'm somewhat of a Callihan fan compared to a few who are regulars in this thread)just didn't come off well to me, I appreciated they were going for a story of him basically refusing to stay down but each hit coming closer to finishing him, but the whole popping up deal and crazy eyes deal just didn't come close execution wise to say Hashimoto/Choshu. I also am really not a fan of the whole 'you chop me, I chop you mano a mano' sequences that seem to dominate in BJW: the strikes were excellent but it felt like a heavyweight spotfest with chops and forearms just replacing high flying spots and I can't defend it when I'd be critical of the same thing if it were a juniors match. That being said, Callihan's dive was super, I liked how they played off an early spot in the match where Sasaki countered a Callihan springboard attempt with a lariat, and then later when Callihan went to do a running boot he managed to block Sasaki's lariat attempt with a kick to the arm. The strikes as I said were fantastic, especially Sasaki's chops in the corner when Callihan was grounded. Finishing stretch wasn't awful bar the whole Callihan won't stay down deal, and I have to say Callihan looking legit fucked only to half play possum and hit a desperation delayed backdrop suplex was a much more creative and smart way to catch Sasaki off guard than just aimlessly hitting the move. Felt like a big spot in the match and I give them immense credit there. Still despite being a fan of well done stiff matches, I just don't enjoy watching two guys try and out-do one another in strike battles, I'd much prefer one guy to dominate the other and then force the other to respond later in the match, still that's a personal preference and I won't argue if people could look past that side issue and just adore the stiff as fuck chops.
Yoshihito Sasaki v Daisuke Sekimoto, BJW Strong Climb Tournament Final, (3/26/12)
Again, despite some things I liked in this match (near enough all down to Sasaki) I really think this just tells me that the whole BJW strong style scene might not be for me. I can certainly understand why the stiff strikes and power based offence appeals to people, but a lot of it just feels like one big ego spot where both men wish to assert their dominance by knocking the other down...and it just doesn't captivate me at all. Sekimoto here wasn't all that interesting, I thought him hitting a backdrop suplex on Sasaki's head and following immediately with a dive before slowly working over the neck was a bit strange, I dunno it was good psychology but I don't think Sekimoto is exactly skilled at making that sort of workover terribly engaging, seems better off in those Hama tags trying to find creative ways to topple a bigger and stronger opponent. Sasaki sold the neck very well for the most part (kind of ignored it from time to time in the big spot trading during the finish sequence) and he definitely proved a clear underdog role and the crowd were certainly pulling for him to win the match. HATED the top rope Michinoku Driver being a transition spot, that's the sort of thing I just cannot fathom and would have served as a great spot to kill Sekimoto's dominance and allow Sasaki an opening, but Sekimoto was up and hitting moves not some 30 seconds later and it came off as such a wasted spot. The two Germans being effectively rendered nothing with Sasaki popping up to hit a desperation lariat again didn't impress me, but I do concede fans of the match could use it as an argument of Sasaki just hitting one last big move out of instinct in order to win: its a fair argument even if I wouldn't personally agree. Near fall drama was quite good though and I liked the element of doubt in Sasaki winning before he unleashed one final lariat, if you were a regular BJW watcher and pulling for Sasaki to win I doubt they could have teased the loss any better before delivering the upset win, again being a rare watcher and not as invested in either guy it didn't make that connection with me but I can't argue against it appealing to a more regular BJW watcher.
Also between this match and the Sasaki/Okabayashi 6/21/12 match (again I was left rather apathetic to that match as well), WHAT IN THE FUCK is Sasaki thinking with those headbutts? I mean jesus christ that is just dangerously stiff for the sake of being dangerously stiff, I think it was the first one he hit on Okabayashi and you could hear the crack on the skull upon impact and it was quite sickening to hear, and the blood loss that followed the third and fourth headbutt was absurd. I mean it was around 15 seconds and he had blood entirely covering his face, and from what I've seen said in here it seems like one of his trademark spots in big matches, which is frankly horrifying if that is the case.
Last edited by WOOLCOCK : 07-15-2012 at 04:42 PM.