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Ramble On
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Lets hope 2012 is as good for wrestling as it looks like it's going to be for movies :D. World's ending and all, the wrestling world better give us a good year.
 

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Bad Intentions vs Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan - IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships - NJPW Wrestle Kingdom VI
****

Shinsuke Nakamura & Toru Yano vs Go Shiozaki & Naomichi Marufuji - NJPW Wrestle Kingdom VI
****1/4

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Minoru Suzuki - IWGP Heavyweight Championship - NJPW Wrestle Kingdom VI
****1/4+

Spoke about all 3 a little in the puro thread, was going to go into more detail in here but I'm tired so can't be bothered.
 

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I figured this could be a cool project. I'm going to add any matches I'll rate 4 stars or higher on this post, to make it easier for myself and I hope this list can be useful for you guys looking for good matches from this year.

Cactus's MOTYC for 2012

★★★★★

★★★★ ¾
John Cena vs Brock Lesnar (WWE Extreme Rules; 2012/04/29)

★★★★ ½
Dave 'Fit' Finlay vs Sami Callihan (EVOLVE 11; 2012/04/13)


★★★★ ¼
Kazuchika Okada vs Hiroshi Tanahashi (NJPW; 2012/06/16)
Daisuke Sekimoto vs Suwama (AJPW; 2012/01/02)
Kazuchika Okada vs Tetsuya Naito (NJPW; 2012/03/04)
Prince Devitt vs Low Ki (NJPW; 2012/05/03)
CM Punk vs Daniel Bryan (WWE Over The Limit; 2012/05/20)
Super Smash Brothers vs The Young Bucks vs Futureshock (PWG Threemedous; 2012/07/21)
CM Punk vs Chris Jericho (WWE WrestleMania XXVIII; 2012/04/01)
Atsushi Aoki & Kotaro Suzuki vs Atsushi Kotoge & Daisuke Harada (NOAH; 2012/22/01)
CM Punk vs Daniel Bryan (WWE Raw; 2012/01/30)
El Generico vs Ricochet (PWG Death To All But Metal; 2012/05/25)
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Minoru Suzuki (NJPW; 2012/10/08)


★★★★
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kazuchika Okada (NJPW; 2012/02/12)
Daisuke Sekimoto vs Yuji Okabayashi (BJW; 2012/02/26)
El Generico vs Low Ki (EVOLVE 11; 2012/04/13)
CM Punk vs Daniel Bryan (WWE Money in the Bank; 2012/07/15)
Tatsumi Fujinami & Mitsuya Nagai vs Yoshiaki Fujiwara & Yuki Ishikawa (Legend Pro; 2012/01/08)
Sami Callihan vs Yoshihito Sasaki (BJW; 2012/03/26)
Yuji Nagata, Wataru Inoue & KUSHIDA vs Masakatsu Funaki, Minoru Tanaka & Masayuki Kono (NJPW; 2012/07/01)
Daisuke Sekimoto & Yoshihito Sasaki vs Akebono & Ryota Hama (BJW; 2012/01/02)
Masato Tanaka & Ikuto Hidaka vs Naomichi Marufuji & Taiji Ishimori (Zero-1; 2012/5/16)
The Young Bucks vs The RockNES Monsters vs Super Smash Brothers (PWG World's Finest; 2012/03/17)
Low Ki vs Prince Devitt (NJPW; 2012/11/11)
CM Punk vs John Cena (WWE Night of Champions; 2012/09/16)
Kenny Omega vs Shuji Kondo (AJPW; 2012/03/20)
Austin Aries vs Alex Shelley (TNA Against All Odds; 2012/02/12)
Jun Akiyama vs Keiji Muto (AJPW; 2012/03/20)
Hiroshi Tanahashi, Hirooki Goto, Tetsuya Naito & Tama Tonga vs Kazuchika Okada, Shinsuke Nakamura, YOSHI-HASHI & Tomohiro Ishii (NJPW; 2012/05/27)
Kazuchika Okada vs Karl Anderson (NJPW; 2012/10/08)


Write-ups
Daisuke Sekimoto & Yoshihito Sasaki vs Akebono & Ryota Hama
BJW; 2012/01/02

For a team of disgustingly fat fuckers, Hama & 'bono are pretty swell in the ring. One day removed from his great ZERO-1 match, Sekimoto is once again putting being the man. He's really growing on me. Hama & Akebono are the big bullies of the match, mostly dominating Sasaki until he gets the hot tag to everyone's favorite roided up midget. Can Sekimoto overcome the big behemoths of Akebono & Ryota Hama? Go see the match and find out.

Rating: ****


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Daisuke Sekimoto vs Suwama
AJPW; 2012/01/02

Only two days into the new year and Sekimoto already has three matches that could be considered MOTYC material. What a worker. This was a rare powerhouse match that I really got into, something that doesn't happened that often. Suwama, aware of Sekimoto's freaky strength, takes out his back and leaves him helpless. Locking in a crab, whipping him in to the barricade, just making him his bitch basically. This is all fuel to Sekimoto's comeback. He sells the back well and leaves you on the edge of your seat whenever he attempts a big power move.


Rating: ****¼

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Tatsumi Fujinami & Mitsuya Nagai vs Yoshiaki Fujiwara & Yuki Ishikawa
Legend Pro; 2012/01/08


The first five minutes of this great ten minute match is mostly matwork that really isn't pretty. There isn't any flawless transitions and nobody makes any progress but I do think this helped the match The mat-wrestling was mostly a struggle that nobody benefited from and now they all pissed off and just want to kick and punch the crap out of each other now. Fujiwara was really the star of the show. Even in his sixties, he can still pull out a great performance like this. He was the grizzled vet that added to tension to the opening parts of the match after bitch-slapping his opponents.


Rating: ****

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Atsushi Aoki & Kotaro Suzuki vs Atsushi Kotoge & Daisuke Harada
NOAH; 2012/22/01


I went into this match thinking the outsiders stood no chance and they did a great job of trying to convince me otherwise. With pointless, yet entertaining matwork, stiff strikes and plenty of high spots and near-falls, this match may sound like a typical Kurt Angle spotfest, but it really wasn't. The near-falls were very emotion-filled and the match could of went either way. A bloody good showing from all four parties.

Rating: ****¼

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CM Punk vs Daniel Bryan
WWE Raw; 2012/01/31


I really did appreciate the little things in the match like Bryan wrenching Punk's arm like he's William Regal and Punk having to switch arms before the bulldog. It also sounded like the crowd did too, giving an audible reaction whenever Bryan contorted Punk's arm. There was a continuity issue though; Bryan switched which arm he working on during the break, but it's no biggie. Still The best WWE TV match in years.

Rating: ****¼

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Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kazuchika Okada
NJPW; 2012/02/12

I liked how Tana was seen as the vet in the match, dominating Okada with headlocks and Okada only gaining control after taking advantage of Tana's mistakes. Epic match that had my heart-racing on some of the near-falls. I do wish the selling had more continuity.


Rating: ****

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Austin Aries vs Alex Shelley
TNA Against All Odds; 2012/02/12


Just barely a four star match, this was pretty good. Shelley's babyface role in this match felt forced and didn't really work for him until the finishing stretch. Aries was gold as usual. Aries working on Shelley's injured neck really put Shelley over as a good guy, as did Shelley's selling of the sick apron Death Valley Drop. The ending stretch was simply fantastic and it really had me rooting for Shelley and I'm a huge Austin Aries fan. It was back-and-forth and filled with spots, but they all had a strong meaning behind them.

Rating: ****

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Daisuke Sekimoto vs Yuji Okabayashi
BJW; 2012/02/26


What I love about these two workers is that they wrestle a 'powerhouse' style match using basic moves yet they still keep me entertained and can get a MOTYC out of it. That sums this match up nicely. It's partner versus partner and there's a lot of cool spots showing the team's curiosity on who's stronger.

Rating: ****

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Kazuchika Okada vs Tetsuya Naito
NJPW; 2012/03/04


We all know I'm a mark for great limbwork and it's going to be no surprise that I loved this match. Okada weakened Naito's neck to set up for his Rainmaker and Naito went all Mutoh-style and took out Okada's leg via basement dropkicks. Plus, 99% of the moves here are all aimed at those body parts. Add on top of that those nuclear near-falls we always get in IWGP title matches and you're looking at an epic match.

Rating: ****¼

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The Young Bucks vs Super Smash Brothers vs The RockNES Monsters
PWG Worlds's Finest; 2012/03/17


Everything an indy spotfest should be. Nothing more really needs to be said.

Rating: ****

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Kenny Omega vs Shuji Kondo
AJPW; 2012/03/20


It's my first time seeing Omega and I'm a fan already. His heel work is amazing and he just comes off as a right arse to the crowd. Not to mention his epic moveset. There's nothing too in-depth I can really say why I loved this match other than it was just a great face versus heel back-and-forth match filled with plenty of sick moves.

Rating: ****

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Davey Richards vs Michael Elgin
ROH Showdown in the Sun Night 2; 2012/03/31


It has it's flaws and I think Meltzer giving it the full five stars is fucking insane, but considering this match has two guys that I don't care about at all and I ended up loving near enough every second of the match, that's got to be enough to get a nomination. They tried to play up Elgin's size and strength against the smaller size of Richards. There was sick moment whether or not Davey could hit a top rope suplex because of the sheer size of Elgin, this would of been a really cool moment if you know... DAVEY DIDN'T FUCKING RELEASE GERMAN ELGIN WITH EASE FIVE MINUTES EARLIER! Ergh. Aside from that and your typical ROH main event finishing stretch no-selling and near-falls overkill, that's all the bad stuff I can say about this match. The match was filled with emotion, mostly thanks to commentator Nigel McGuinness really getting into the match and rooting for Elgin which really set the mood for plenty of high-stake spots and awesome (and some bad) near-falls.

Rating: ****1/4

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CM Punk vs Chris Jericho
WWE WrestleMania 28; 2012/04/01


Going into this match, I wasn't too sure what to expect. Both are great wrestlers, but I recall feeling greatly let-down by Jericho's match with Edge at WrestleMania two years ago, so I had a feeling this wouldn't deliver. Thankfully, the match not only exceeded my expectations but I would consider it a strong match of the year candidate. It was the little things that made this match so great. Jericho trying to make Punk freak out, get disqualified and lose his title was a great underlying storyline and even simpler things such as Punk bridging while locking on the Anaconda Vice to stop Jericho from kneeing him made this match a technical classic.

Rating: ****¼

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Low-Ki vs El Generico
EVOLVE 11: Callihan vs Finlay; 2012/04/13


This was bloody fantastic. Low Ki's strong style background visually intimidated Generico. He flinched after Low-Ki attempted a strike and when Generico tried to return the favor, Low-Ki just stared at him like a motherfucker who then proceeds to beat the living crap out of Generico. Generico needs to find something to combat Low Ki's offense and he eventually does with his speed. This told a great story and ended at the right time, something a lot of EVOLVE matches struggle to do.

Rating: ****

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Dave 'Fit' Finlay vs Sami Callihan
EVOLVE 11: Callihan vs Finlay; 2012/04/13


Limbwork, stiff strikes and MANLINESS~! Both men bleed the hardway by headbutting each other. In a similar vein to their last match at EVOLVE, Finlay dishes out most of the beating. At the time, the spot where both men knock each other down with dueling kicks not once, not twice, but THREE times did annoy me, but when I look back on it now on how it made the closing minutes even more epic. The final counter was also fucking epic, but I'm not going to spoil that for you. As of now, this is my MOTY.

Rating: ****½
 

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Ramble On
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^^^ That's new lol. Great idea though, people will know where to look for a list then (Y).
 

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Ramble On
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IWGP Heavyweight Title - Tanahashi vs Suzuki
The fact that this wasn't the same as every Tana match in his reign immediately made it better for me. MiSu dominated nearly the whole match apart from a few hope spots and the comeback at the end and it was awesome. Tana didn't get any pointless leg work in like he usually does and when he did try it failed misserably because MiSu was just a badass cutting him off. I also loved Suzuki winning in every strike exchange until the last one where Tana won and it led to his comeback. This is the first time in so long that the finish in a Tana match didn't annoy me much. I loved MiSu using the enormous ramp to try and gain a countout and I also loved how he played a complete dick all the way through and taunting Tana and the crowd which always led to Tana getting some offense in. The first great match of the year then for me. ****1/4

The show overall was really good imo. Both tag title matches were easy **** matches for me and there was a few ***1/2 matches too in Sugi/Goto and the Nakamura/Yano vs Go/marufuji tag.
 

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Wrestlekingdom VI:
Apolo 55 v. NRC ****
Marufuji and Shiozaki v. Yano and Nakamura **** (MOTN)

This was a damn good show.
 

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Kohei Sato vs Daisuke Sekimoto - ZERO-1 World Heavyweight Championship - ZERO-1 01.01.2012
Hoped more than I expected for this to be great and it ended up being better than I ever thought it had a chance of being. Sekimoto's phenomenal in it and strangely he always seems to put in his best solo performances when he's working from behind which he is from the chairs spot on the floor onwards. His selling was top notch with all the little things he did like his blank faces after taking a big bump and clenching his fingers. Really liked as well how he did his in part in making Sato look like a super champ by not giving any power moves away in the first half of the match without building to them. Could have done with 5 minutes chopping off in the 2nd third but you know.

****
 

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Ramble On
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I'd just like to say that Bryan vs Show from SD was seriously entertaining to watch. Bryan running away from Show was great and I legit thought Show was going to tap out. Also made me wonder if they are going to turn Bryan heel after he got the cheap victory and acting like a douche about it lol.
 

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Kohei Sato vs Daisuke Sekimoto - ZERO-1 World Heavyweight Championship - ZERO-1 01.01.2012
Hoped more than I expected for this to be great and it ended up being better than I ever thought it had a chance of being. Sekimoto's phenomenal in it and strangely he always seems to put in his best solo performances when he's working from behind which he is from the chairs spot on the floor onwards. His selling was top notch with all the little things he did like his blank faces after taking a big bump and clenching his fingers. Really liked as well how he did his in part in making Sato look like a super champ by not giving any power moves away in the first half of the match without building to them. Could have done with 5 minutes chopping off in the 2nd third but you know.

****
Thanks for the heads up. I have this show, but not sure if I can be arsed to sit through all 2 hours of it, not being familiar with Zero-One and all. Anything else worth seeing from it?

I'd just like to say that Bryan vs Show from SD was seriously entertaining to watch. Bryan running away from Show was great and I legit thought Show was going to tap out. Also made me wonder if they are going to turn Bryan heel after he got the cheap victory and acting like a douche about it lol.
I second this. It's not a MOTYC or anything, but I loved the psychology in it. I know it's a cliche but it really was a modern day retelling of David vs. Goliath. I'd love to see what these two could come up with at the Royal Rumble. Henry was great on commentary too. He wasn't a one dimensional heel and actually put both guys over and he didn't side with Michael Cole like most heels do. ***1/4
 

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Daisuke/Sato was too long, Sato brings nothing to the table aside from his stiff as hell kicks. Korakuen being so quiet didn't help either. Sekimoto carried Kohei and made things interesting but not enough for a MOTYC mention imo. The Fire Festival Final was shorter and had a better crowd (although Daisuke didn't looked as good as he did here).

kinda off topic but I was pissed with Daichi's match. I guess I should have seen it coming but after all the fantasy booking I couldn't help but feel disappointed.
 

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Kohei Sato vs Daisuke Sekimoto
ZERO-1; 2012/01/01

The beginning and end of the match were great, but it was the middle that really held it down. The match started out very power-based with plenty of headlocks, shoulder tackles and chest slaps. MANLY~! It was all going great until about eight minutes in when Sato took control of the match. Sato doesn't seem to have any idea to make his control segments interesting and they went on much longer than they needed to be. The finish had plenty of impressive deadlift moves that we have come to expect out of Sekimoto. Trim off 5 minutes out of the middle and this would of been MOTYC-worthy.

Rating: ***¾
 

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Ramble On
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I second this. It's not a MOTYC or anything, but I loved the psychology in it. I know it's a cliche but it really was a modern day retelling of David vs. Goliath. I'd love to see what these two could come up with at the Royal Rumble. Henry was great on commentary too. He wasn't a one dimensional heel and actually put both guys over and he didn't side with Michael Cole like most heels do. ***1/4
Yeah I'm sure Bryan/Show could have a great match at a ppv, they seemed to have great chemistry. I still want to see a proper Bryan/Henry match because those two could work great together imo. I'm just hoping Bryan has a great year and shows what he's really made of to the WWE audience. He started getting booed because of his slightly heelish antics against Show and I'd love to see him go heel and defend the belt at Mania.
 

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Yeah I'm sure Bryan/Show could have a great match at a ppv, they seemed to have great chemistry. I still want to see a proper Bryan/Henry match because those two could work great together imo. I'm just hoping Bryan has a great year and shows what he's really made of to the WWE audience. He started getting booed because of his slightly heelish antics against Show and I'd love to see him go heel and defend the belt at Mania.
Bryan has been with WWE for nearly two years now and he really hasn't had many chances to show that he's one of the best wrestlers in the world. Give a few PPV main events with 20 minutes, Bryan could get ridiculously over based solely on his ring skills alone. Hey, it's happened before with Benoit and Bret.
 

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Thanks for the heads up. I have this show, but not sure if I can be arsed to sit through all 2 hours of it, not being familiar with Zero-One and all. Anything else worth seeing from it?
Not really from that show. Z1's a really consistent promotion for enjoyable matches.
kinda off topic but I was pissed with Daichi's match. I guess I should have seen it coming but after all the fantasy booking I couldn't help but feel disappointed.
Yeah it wasn't good. Crowd could have helped more but I think both guys need to be working with guys like Otani more and less with each other.
 

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Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) Vs. Minoru Suzuki
The best defense since Nagata in April. Suzuki dominating, and dominating with offense that slowed Tanahashi down, worked great. Suzuki was also an excellent prick character with stuff like lounging in the ring during a potential count-out. It managed to make Tanahashi feel threatened and potentially out-classed in a way I haven't felt since he wrestled Giant Bernard. That made his comebacks and eventual victory much more emotional, which at this point in his streak was vital. Not just the best match of the year so far, but the best match in months. Would have stuck this high on my 2011 list. Sleepers matter!

The Big Show Vs. Daniel Bryan (c)
I really enjoyed Show Vs. Bryan. I agree with the consensus so far that it won't be MOTY or anything, but was a total pleasure to watch. It had a good story, Show gave Bryan some offense and went more even with him than I expected. The ending was good for this stage of Bryan's turn, and the way Bryan sold it as willful worked.
 

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I'll throw this in:

Black Terry/El Hijo Del Pirata Morgan/Skayde vs Negro Navarro/Trauma I/Trauma II-1/1 Todo X Todo Lucha Show...****.
Match was very good. Navarro & Skayde had some really good exchanges when they were in together and Skayde was able to hang.
 

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Dios perdona, los Perros... NO!
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IWGP Tag Team Title Match
Bad Intentions (Giant Bernard & Karl Anderson) © vs Tenkoji (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima)​
Whether this is the feeling of someone in the know or a genuine issue, I have to admit that a lot of wrestling matches don't feel as if the match is a proper fight but rather a flashy affair with the intetion of winning sprinkled between the big moves. This, however, felt dirty and it felt like a real fight. Bad Intentions truly beat the crap out of Tenzan at the match's start with repeated elbows and knee-drops (after Kojima was knocked off the apron) and it gave the crowd an awakening thanks to Tenzan's counter of Anderson's brainbuster due to his growing ego and confidence in thinking Tenzan was down for the count. This definitely got the crowd heavily behind Tenkoji, with a loud pop when Kojima went for the Bakayaro Elbow.

I honestly thought Bad Intentions would retain after a Gun Stun, Magic Killer AND a very impressive aided-powerbomb by Bernard. Tenzan's kick-out gave a lot of kayfabe sense to Bad Intentions dropping the belts (adding to booking sense of this being the perfect time and opponents to drop it to), though, and Bernard definitely didn't look bad in defeat, either, having succumbed only to both of Tenkoji's individual finishers. This had A LOT of things that went right for it but, sadly, it did have it's weak points, too.

Bernard's selling of Kojima's DDT was, without question, below par but otherwise he held his own (and despite him not being the greatest thing in the ring, a match such as this makes his badass nature a gem). The worst moves of the match and a major issue for me were, however, were Kojima's chops. Sure, they had the crowd behind them but I have a massive disdain for weakly attempted chops. Unlike quite a few people I don't have an issue, as such, with the move but rather the tendency for a wrestler to deliver a superfluous amount of them to the point that they look weak and extremely ineffective. Perhaps I'm being overly critical of them, but it's a definite means of lowering my enjoyment within the match and hurts its rating. Faults aside, I also have to bring up the issue of Anderson's Gun Stun (and this is perhaps my newbie experience of Anderson showing, here) but his mannerism during the cutter and setting up of the Gun Stun on Tenzan reminded me A LOT of Randy Orton's RKO - especially the ground pounding. Whether done in homage or not (and this doesn't seem it is) I'm not a particular fan of wrestlers using another's "set ups" or mannerisms.

All this aside, and in summation, this match was damn good and definitely better than my expectation of it. It's not going to win any awards for greatest match of the year, but it does everything it needed to, and does it well, I must add. Great match.

Rating: 4.25- (the chops make me want to drag this down to a 4 but I'll make somewhat of an exception and settle with this)

Still have Tanahashi/Suzuki, Apollo 55/NRC and Yano/Marufuji to watch through. By the looks of things I'll have another three early MotYCs. Not bad for one show.

I'll throw this in:

Black Terry/El Hijo Del Pirata Morgan/Skayde vs Negro Navarro/Trauma I/Trauma II-1/1 Todo X Todo Lucha Show...****.
Match was very good. Navarro & Skayde had some really good exchanges when they were in together and Skayde was able to hang.
You can never go wrong with Black Terry. I'll give that a watch after I'm done with Wrestlekingdom. I've read, though, that the second and third falls are a bit rushed not to mention El Hijo Del Pirata is probably a bit out of his league but you and Segunda Caida only sing its praises so I shall give it a go. Not the greatest Maestro Lucha fan but I'll make do. If a match is good enough, though, it can make a fan of just about anyone.
 
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