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New Year Dash

The last two matches were pretty good. Especially SUZUKI-GUN vs LIJ. The match started with Naito got chairshot from Taichi. From that it was nasty brawl. Almost every exchanges felt superb - Desperado/Bushi, Suzuki/Sanada, Sabre/Sanada (which is one of my favorites in-ring rivalries), Sabre/Evil and finally the final exchange between Taichi/Naito. Naito got hit by Intercontinental Championship which is pretty meaningful. My rating is **** which is No but highly recommended in my book. The main event between Okada, Tanahashi, YOSHI-HASHI and BULLET CLUB was good too and the atmosphere was breathtaking. Yoshi-Hashi's return. Gedo/Okada exchanges, White/Tanahashi started built their IWGP Heavyweight title match and least but not last Okada and Tanahashi in one team. It was worth ***1/2 and I recommended it to watch it.
 
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#1 Somamaniac
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13,614 Posts
CMLL Super Viernes 04/01

Yes To: Dragon Lee vs. El Barbaro Cavernario ****

Fantastic match. The first two falls were short but I think they lead into the third fall well and told the story they wanted. Cavernario was relentless with his assault on Dragon Lee, basically going through him like a bull, beating on Lee for the entirety of the two falls with Lee getting minimal offence. Cavernario was an awesome rudo in this match. His offence looked devastating and him ripping Dragon Lee’s mask but acting like he did nothing was a nice touch. The third fall is where the match’s bread and butter lies. Dragon Lee mounts a wicked comeback with a bullet tope followed by a somersault plancha, sending the fans crazy. They began exchanging big bombs (there was a strike exchanged that was clearly puro influenced) and they teased the apron hurricanrana excellently. At one point, Dragon Lee went for it and Cavernario powerbombed on the apron. Just excellent stuff from both men. I loved this so much.

AND

Yes To: Nueva Generacion Diniamitas (El Cuatrero, Forastero & Sanson) vs Angel de Oro, El Soberano Jr. & Niebla Roja ****

The match flowed so well with great rudo and técnico work with Nueva Generacion Diniamitas being amazing being bruisers, getting heat from the crowd (Breaking up covers, cheating), being foils for técnico by being destroyers effectively and Oro/Soberano/Roja being flashy, getting the crowd on their sides and putting on a show. The last fall was sensational wrestling with great nearfalls; nail biting stuff. Awesome trios match like only Nueva Generacion Diniamitas can do.
 

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Baby It's Violence
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7,120 Posts
YES to KUSHIDA, Jeff Cobb, & Yuji Nagata vs. Will Ospreay, Hirooki Goto, & Tomohiro Ishii - NJPW: New Year's Dash

Just a fantastic, fun banger of a match with a ton of action. We got to see some great shine from KUSHIDA and Nagata, and it setup some fun feuds for the coming months. I also can't wait for another Nagata/ISHII battle. :mark:

****
 

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THE EXTREME HORSEMEN
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5,978 Posts
Nagata, KSUHIDA & Jeff "I SMELL GOOD" Cobb vs Billy Ostrich, Goto & Ishii ****

:banderas In the words of Cyrus, this 6 man was TREMENDOUS. Billy/KUSHIDA one last time killed it, Cobb looked very good, Goto was awesome as always, and Ishii/Nagata was :eek:wens3
 

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Pico pal q lee
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3,111 Posts
YES/Nominating

Naoya Nomura & Yuma Aoyagi (NEXTREAM) vs Takao Omori & Black Menso~re - AJPW 1/3/19, All Asia Tag Titles
https://rutube.ru/video/f939b73319439a681dc19478d740716e/

Some Korakuen magic to start 2019. The match itself isn't some out of this world action. It's a very basic tag match with some sloppy exchanges from Omori and Nomura (who needs to get better at striking, is the only thing lacking on his repertoire) but Korakuen is fully into it so everything they do is elevated ten fold. The last few minutes are fucking awesome, so when you have a good enough build up with a hot crowd and you give them a very good finish, the match becomes a lot more special than it seemed it was going to be. I liked Nomura as the FIP and Aoyagi as the flashy guy that came in to turn the tides or make a key save. Black Menso~re kept things fresh too, as Omori can barely move at this point so a dude like Menso was needed. The crowd fucking loves Nomura and I'm still all in on him.

Kento Miyahara vs KAI - AJPW 1/3/19, Triple Crown match
https://rutube.ru/video/975cf237f2b544c235f3c8507056dd5b/?pl_id=1324972&pl_type=user

The first 20 minutes of this are worked very smartly. Every exchange was compelling and every transition for one of them to work on top made sense. Loved Kento's work on KAI's head and his selling of the leg was really good considering KAI didn't spent much time working it. The challenger was great throughout this match, sold well, showed great fire when he had to, the crowd was really behind him and every cut off he made was well timed. The last 8 minutes is like Miyahara flipped a switch and forgot to sell, I think his matches should never have leg work because his whole offense is based on his knee and speed and he clearly does not care about changing it up when it comes to final sequences :lol thing was, it was a really dope 8 minutes. Korakuen lit, KAI doing awesome and Kento just knowing when to hit his stuff for maximum effect. Had he actually sold near the end this could've been amazing, but just like Omega/Tana, the positives far outweigh the negatives and the match was still awesome and worthy of an early MOTYC nod.
 

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Is a Snit Head
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22,148 Posts
The first half of Tanahashi/Omega was on its way to being something amazing. The second half was good but more of what we've come to expect from a big New Japan match. Overall I think I'm in the ****1/4-****1/2 range.

There's not much that I've ever liked more than the first half of the match. Commentary did a great job with this too. You've got the leader of the old guard in Tanahashi, the guy who came in when New Japan was doing bad and was the leading force to bringing them back. But he's getting older. You've got Omega saying he can hardly move and he's washed up. You've been hearing about how much he's hurting for years now too. Then you have Omega who is gets called the guy that can lead New Japan to being a world wide company. Former leader of the evil foreigner faction he's recently been getting talked about the savior of New Japan. Tanahashi says he's a piece of shit still. And we know the backstory with Omega possibly leaving. The guy that's supposed to bring the company to new heights might be gone. Oh, and he's being an asshole in the match. The big hero ends up reverting to being more of a villain once again.

He's laughing at Tanahashi as he throws him onto a table. Bullies the ring announcer. He's talking to shit to the Japanese at ringside and he's not showing Tanahashi any respect at all. It was a great performance and makes you think that maybe this isn't the guy that should be leading the charge. The Bullet Club started using weapon and interference a lot when that had sort of been something that New Japan wasn't as big on. Tanahashi says he doesn't want that. So Kenny brawls with him outside the ring and sets up tables.

Oh, and then Omega hurts his leg doing that cool flippy stuff in a heavyweight match. Tanahashi shows a mean streak and you feel like he's fighting for everything that the company used to be. It was just an incredible opening 20 minutes. It made me wish that the Bullet Club wasn't still a thing because this was the type of match that should have ended them. They come in as heels, turn face, claim they can bring the company to new heights, decide to leave, and revert to being assholes in their last match. It's what happened here and it worked so well.

Second half was really good but it was "just" the second half of a big New Japan match. Still amazing but we've seen it done better before.

But man was that first half of the match amazing.
 

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45,092 Posts
YES/Nominating

Naoya Nomura & Yuma Aoyagi (NEXTREAM) vs Takao Omori & Black Menso~re - AJPW 1/3/19, All Asia Tag Titles
https://rutube.ru/video/f939b73319439a681dc19478d740716e/

Some Korakuen magic to start 2019. The match itself isn't some out of this world action. It's a very basic tag match with some sloppy exchanges from Omori and Nomura (who needs to get better at striking, is the only thing lacking on his repertoire) but Korakuen is fully into it so everything they do is elevated ten fold. The last few minutes are fucking awesome, so when you have a good enough build up with a hot crowd and you give them a very good finish, the match becomes a lot more special than it seemed it was going to be. I liked Nomura as the FIP and Aoyagi as the flashy guy that came in to turn the tides or make a key save. Black Menso~re kept things fresh too, as Omori can barely move at this point so a dude like Menso was needed. The crowd fucking loves Nomura and I'm still all in on him.
This was Korakuen goodness 101. Omori's legs are so rickety, but he was really putting as much as he could out there. Bless him for that.

Nomura has that SPEAR, though.
 

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The NEW
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13,419 Posts
Trevor Lee vs. Cain Justice - CWF Mid-Atlantic RGL: Bon Voyage & Hurry Back! - YES!

This is something that I've been wanting to see since I first discovered Cain Justice in early 2017. Since then I've thought that Cain Justice should be the one to end Trevor Lee's reign, and now after seeing them battle over it for the first time, that feeling is even stronger. This is at least 90% Trevor on top, working over Cain's arms, back + both legs - including the right one, which he apparently injured recently. Trevor of course delivers on top, and there's this awesome teacher vs. student dynamic to it, as Trevor trained Cain, and they play it borderline perfectly for my tastes. Cain gets a few hope spot submissions, but Trevor always finds a way out & continues giving maybe his most promising young student in CWF a beating. Fabulous ace performance by the man.

I think there's so much potential in a trilogy for the title between the 2; I am not usually into fantasy booking shit, but I would 100% have Cain get a re-match in a few months after getting a few wins under his belt, have him lose again to Trevor, but get more offense in that one & then ultimately have him beat him for the STRAP in the 3rd one. Even if that doesn't end up happening though, I am very happy they finally faced off, as the match sure was GREAT.
 

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#1 Somamaniac
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13,614 Posts
NOAH Navigation For The Future 2019 - Day One 06/01

Yes To: Kaito Kiyomiya vs. Kenoh ****1/4

This really encapsulated the progress not only Kaito has made over the past year, but Kenoh too. Kiyomiya's offence in the early parts of the match looked so fluid and you could see the confidence Kaito now possesses. He is playing to the crowd, not thinking twice about doing something. He feels and looks like a champion now. Kenoh turned from a very good wrestler to a great one over the year, his chemistry with Kiyomiya has grew and so did his wrestling. The early parts of the match Kenoh began working on the ribs of Kiyomiya. Hitting nasty kicks to the ribs, jumping knees towards the region but Kiyomiya began getting to the match more and the two started to have more than a back and forth battle. They picked their spots to hit the big moves well, in my opinion. They didn't waste one big move after the other. There was tension, a struggle in everything they did. They built towards the big moments like the nasty dragon suplex on the apron and Kiyomiya doing the Emerald Flowsion and made them count. They matched each other and had a compelling match w/ striking, reversals and suplexes. Excellent contest.


1. Kaito Kiyomiya vs. Kenoh - NOAH 06/01
2. Dragon Lee vs. El Barbaro Cavernario - CMLL 04/01
3. El Cuatrero, Forastero & Sanson vs Angel de Oro, El Soberano Jr. & Niebla Roja - CMLL 04/01
4. Strong Hearts (CIMA, Duan Yingnan & T-Hawk) vs. ALL OUT (Akito, Konosuke Takeshita & Yuki Ino) - DDT 03/01
 

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CHIEFS KINGDOM!
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3,225 Posts
Yes to:

-Ibushi vs Ospreay - WK13 **** 1/2
-Kazuchika Okada vs Jay White **** (good match, White dumped Okada on his head pretty nasty with the second Rainmaker counter. It's still like watching Cody get this type of push, it isn't right because he's simply not that good.)
-Tetsuya Naito vs Chris Jericho - WK13 **** 1/4
-Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kenny Omega - WK 13 *****

No to:

-Gauntlet - WK13 ** 3/4
-LIJ vs Suzuki-Gun vs R3K - WK13 ***
-Ishii vs ZSJ - WK13 *** 3/4
-GOD vs LIJ vs Young Bucks - WK13 ***
-Cody vs Juice Robinson - WK13 ** 1/2
-Taiji Ishimori vs KUSHIDA - WK13 *** 3/4
 

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Lets go to the old mill anyway, get some cider!
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15,626 Posts
Jay White vs Okada WK 13-****1/4

I know everyone talked about some of the WK matches being rushed but this was the only one that I really felt deserved and would have benefited from maybe 5 more minutes. But White has come so far and truly this was a monumental moment for him. He is certainly the most improved talent in just a year that I can recall. Okada going back to the rainmaker persona was great and the crowd was so into this. This actually got the best sustained reaction of the night and it was never dull. Great heavyweight classic style match.

Ospreay/Ishii/Goto vs Cobb/Kushida/Nagata New Years Dash-****

What a cracking 6 man this was. Nagata is still the man and I am salivating for a match with Ishii like now. They also built to Goto/Cobb well and I'm always down for Ospreay/Kushida as they have had 2 of my favorite Jr's matches in recent memory. This ruled and all 6 guys are studs.
 

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CHIEFS KINGDOM!
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3,225 Posts
YES to:

-LAX vs The Lucha Brothers - Impact Homcoming **** Great match, if a little to many big impact finishers used and then kickouts.

No to:

-Willie Mack vs Sami Callahan - Impact Homcoming - *** 1/2
-Eli Drake vs Abyss (Monsters Ball) - Impact Homcoming * (don't like hardcore)
-Tessa Blanchard vs Taya Valkryrie - Impact Homcoming *** (good match, a little to sloppy with to much fuckery)
-Johnny Impact vs Brian Cage - Impact Homcoming *** (fuckery finish, Cage gets his shoulder up before the 3 count that gets counted anyway.
 

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Baby It's Violence
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7,120 Posts
YES to Dragon Lee vs. El Barbaro Cavernario - CMLL Super Viernes 04/01

I don't watch CMLL much, but I remember watching a great lightning match with both of these guys about a year or two ago. I'm glad I checked this out, because it was just tremendous.

Cavernario was just ruthless from the opening bell, mauling Lee and violently throwing him around outside. He even went for the mask and ripped it clean off, all the while showboating and being arrogant enough to cost himself a fall in the process. The third fall was the longest, starting with a tremendous comeback by Dragon Lee who was going ham with massive dives that almost resembled diving spears, which eventually turned into these huge moves thrown by both guys for a bunch of great near falls. Lee eventually won making the full comeback.

There was a ton of great heat here, and if I could give this any criticism, its that this ref had the most dramatic slow count ever, although I guess he was just older or something. IT felt kinda goofy at times. Still, tremendous match!

****1/4
 

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That's Lucha for ya. There's always referee fuckery. You'll get used to it after a bit. (and it will always be there)
 

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Baby It's Violence
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7,120 Posts
That's Lucha for ya. There's always referee fuckery. You'll get used to it after a bit. (and it will always be there)
I figured it was a normal thing, given how many times it happened.

But I was actually getting somewhat annoyed by how slow it was at times. It felt like Earl Hebner's dramatic slow counts, only done times ten :lol
 

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And we all know wrestling doesn't need anything else reminding us of Earl Hebner. :monkey

Consider it a lucky exchange that the old, fat ref was an old fat ref, and not one that tried to go heel mid-match for reasons nobody can explain. Potential MONTERREY LOGIC.
 

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Custom User Title
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Reminder that CMLL couldn't even keep heel ref fuckery out of the fucking LA Park v. Rush feud last year, where at the best the "fuckery" should be the ref accidentally getting in the way and becoming squished bulldozed mince meat.

I haven't got around to Caveranrio/Lee yet but big recommendation to Cavernario against Soberano Jr last year in March for a ruthless Cavernario beat down. If I actually put my 2018 list from best to worst it might have landed in the top 5. Their rematch in July is very good too, though not on the same level.

EDIT - slow ref counts aren't uncommon, I think it is a way to try to add more drama to the match, yeah, but it really can be jarring.
 

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Thought you were going to add there already was a Cavernario vs Soberano match from this year. Almost got very red mark out smiley because that first 2018 match is still around top three for last year. Need to see this July match now. :hmm:
 

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CHIEFS KINGDOM!
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3,225 Posts
Yes to:

-Will Ospreay, Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii vs KUSHIDA, Jeff Cobb & Yugi Nagata - New Years Dash 19' - ****


The rest of the show wasn't bad, it just didn't have the big surprise. Jesus it's gonna be painful to watch White be the IWGP champion after Osaka.
 
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