I live in England and it usually takes a good 5-6 weeks to get over here. Will obviously be quicker to US.
That long? Shit, it usually gets to me in a fortnight. Honestly don't remember having to wait any longer than 20 days to get an order. Might depend on how iften you order, or used to order. Last year I practically made an order every couple weeks. And I'm talking 10 discs a pop or something. Haven't bought anything from IVP in ages, though (been using SlamBamJam since I've been buying Lucha), so who knows how long it'd take if I made one now.
6 MONTHS!?!? Goddamn you, Andy! Great read, as usual.
Back a little earlier than I thought
Kenta Kobashi v Yoshihiro Takayama (NOAH, 4/25/04)
- Last 15 minutes might be the best 15 minutes of any match this decade. I've watched this three times in the last year or so, and the first ten minute spell always seems a little... pedestrian, I guess, but really, that final quarter hour is just *that* good. There's always a sort of mini-story going on in all the big NOAH singles matches of the era, especially during Kobashi's title reign, where you've got one guy's signature strike going up against the other guy's. It was Kobashi's chops against Misawa's elbows in 3/1/03; it was Kobashi's chops against Akiyama's knees in 7/10/04; here it's still Kobashi's chops, but he's stacking them up against pretty much all
of Takayama's strikes. He'll kick you, knee you, elbow you, and straight up closed-fist-punch you right square in the face. He's also quite the big son of a bitch that's not afraid to heel it up, which is why I dig him a helluva lot. Things pick up big time when Takayama decides he's had enough of this chopping bullshit and goes about trying to rip Kobashi's arm off. Kobashi sells it as well as you'd think. There's a really great moment out on the floor where Kobashi gets whipped into the guard rail and rushes right out so he can murder Tak with a lariat. Problem is, his chopping arm is his lariat arm, so he basically does as much damage to himself as he does to Takayama. Then he tries crawl back into the ring, but Tak ain't havin' none of that shit and goes about dropping him with a German on the floor. Kobashi's holding onto the rope and struggling on the apron while Takayama WILL NOT be denied his German suplex. Eventually he gets it, Kobashi lands on his head, and at this point people start to think "So, he's working with one arm, just got landed on his head, and has the knees of an 87 year old woman. Shit, he might actually lose this time!" Finishing stretch is as good as you'd expect, full of white hot death and all that good stuff. Kobashi hitting multiple lariats with the bad wing will no doubt grind some peoples' gears, but Hell, it's Kobashi -- you gotta know he's gonna "fight through the pain" and use all the fighting spirit his crazy ass can muster. Besides, he sells it well enough in a "this is gonna hurt you more than me" kinda way, and Takayama's too preoccupied with dropping him on his head and punching him in the face to go back to the arm anyway, so I'm not about to complain. And I'm the kinda guy that usuall would. Finish is perfect. The reaction to Kobashi pumping his fist and signalling for the moonsault is insane. I'd probably put this in my top 15 of the decade. It's no wonder why Takayama is practically a brainbuster away from being a drolling mess these days. ****1/2
Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa v KENTA & Naomuchi Marufuji (NOAH, 4/25/04)
- Ogawa is such a piece a shit. You know that guy that walks around the club slapping girls' asses because he's buddies with the bouncers and knows that they've got his back, for some reason, should someone try to punch him in his smug little face? The kinda guy that makes you wonder how the fuck such an insufferable little jackass comes to have friends like that, or better yet, why they haven't dropped him themselves already? Well, that's
Ogawa. He's all cocky and generally acts like a douchebag right out the gate here, spitting water at Marufuji, poking their eyes, slapping them, and standing on them after Misawa drops them with some elbows. It's basically an extended squash for the first twenty minutes, with the young guys getting their shots in but eventually being floored by Misawa's trusty ol' elbow. All roads lead back to the elbow, folks. Ogawa picks his spots to come in, mostly when there's easy pickings, and goes about being a little shithead in his own way. He's actually quite great in that sense, but, as strange as it sounds, he needed to stooge some more. I know, I know, the idea of anybody other than SUWA stooging in the land of eternal stoicness that is NOAH probably sounds a little cooky, but he's pretty much the closest thing to being NOAH's answer to Bobby Eaton that you're likely to get, so why not go all the way with it? All of his bullshit and shenanigans through the match was just begging for a big revenge spot from the youngsters... but it never really came. Still, the lil' juniors wind up looking as good as one could hope for by the end, even in defeat (there was no way they were pinning the tag champs at this stage, let's be honest), and Marufuji even kicks out of Misawa's running elbow smash for a terrific nearfall. Naturally he dies after an Emerald Flowsion, but kicking out of everything the champs could throw at him -- and ditto for KENTA, btw -- beforehand put them over about as effectively as possible without them actually winning. As a totally pointless aside, Marufuji looks eerily like a girl I used to go to school with. It's completely shattered my world, because I saw her again a couple weeks ago and she looks legit *smoking*. Now I'll never be able to remember her the same way again. Not sure what that says about me, actually. ****1/4