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What Are You Watching?

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  • 15-05-2020 1:57pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 2,211 ✭✭✭


    So we're all in lockdown and fresh wrestling content is a bit thin on the ground. Some people hate the empty arena stuff so much that they aren't even watching the new content that's being produced, so I figure how about a thread of wrestling people are watching. I know the last few weeks I've watched stuff that I've always wanted to watch but never had the time and also stuff people have suggested to me that I'd never have seen otherwise.

    I'll do a few matches I've seen the last couple of days to get the ball rolling.

    Kaito Kiyomiya vs Go Shiozaki (January 4th 2020) NOAH- The best title match of the long (!) Kiyomiya reign and, for me at least, the only time he really came across like a World Champion. Kiyomiya will have longer, better reigns in the future and this is a taste of what's to come I think. Shiozaki is super impressive here as his time finally arrives to lead the ark. This match made waves on a day that is traditionally dominated only by NJPW. ****1/2

    Masato Tanaka vs Konosuka Take****a (March 20th 2020) DDT- Tanaka is the outsider heel champion bullying young ace Take****a. It's pretty great stuff. Love Take****a's work in general but he shines here in the underdog role and Tanaka is ancient but still absolutely great. ****1/4

    Joey Ryan vs Chris Hero (5th September 2010) PWG- Hilarious to watch for all the wrong reasons. Ryan is a PWG regular, works like every BOLA and this is the year they try to reward him for that (keeping in mind at the time too he'd had a WWE tryout and wasn't the comedy di*k guy yet) but the crowd doesn't react the way PWG had hoped. It probably didn't help that Hero has a killer match with Akira Tozawa earlier in the night and this looked like it was his tournament. For sheer morbid curiosity it's worth a watch, to see Ryan trying to work a straight 20+ minute match maybe not so much. **3/4

    Kushida vs Will Ospreay (10th April 2016) NJPW- It's Ospreay's NJPW debut, getting the call after impressing on a Rev Pro show in a match against Okada. I remember at the time enjoying it, but on rewatch it's so much better than what I thought it was. Ospreay's selling is great, he dazzles with his flying, the structure blending the mat and submission stuff of Kushida with the flying and (at this stage still slightly ropey) striking of Ospreay is great stuff. You just know you're seeing something special in Will Ospreay. The only thing this match lacked was the really hot closing stretch but, given it's position on the card (3rd from bottom) that doesn't upset me and because you know what comes later it's cool that NJPW keep an even better version of this up their sleeve. ****1/2

    Throw up a few matches and it might help people find a way to keep themselves entertained during this.


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Comments

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 12,658 Mod ✭✭✭✭riffmongous


    Not really interested in watching any one-off matches unfortunately, wrestling for me is about much more than a match. I will watch a match though if I already am familiar with the storyline.

    Already exhausted with the Network, so now mostly just watching OSWs and old Impacts from the Christian Cage/Main Event Maffia era, for all it's problems it's a very easy watch as the episodes are short and there's some good humour and skits in there


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,211 ✭✭✭LineOfBeauty


    Not really interested in watching any one-off matches unfortunately, wrestling for me is about much more than a match. I will watch a match though if I already am familiar with the storyline.

    Already exhausted with the Network, so now mostly just watching OSWs and old Impacts from the Christian Cage/Main Event Maffia era, for all it's problems it's a very easy watch as the episodes are short and there's some good humour and skits in there

    I can do one off matches but definitely if I know the context they are taking place in, the stakes, the characters involved it adds a lot to it. I tend to watch full shows instead of just one off matches but for this I'll try and pick out the most interesting stuff good or bad and try to do a small paragraph about them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,042 ✭✭✭✭eh i dunno


    Have the network free for a few months so as someone with no Interest in modern post 2000 stuff I've been watching a few of the stone cold interviews. Ric flair was very good. Undertaker and bret hart also pretty decent.

    Watched the ric flair documentary and the Jerry lawlor one too. Flair was excellent.

    Watched bret hart v Austin again last week. Absolute classic. That match will never get old for me. Watched the Canadian stampede in full just to see the pop for the main event which was a pretty decent match.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,211 ✭✭✭LineOfBeauty


    eh i dunno wrote: »
    Have the network free for a few months so as someone with no Interest in modern post 2000 stuff I've been watching a few of the stone cold interviews. Ric flair was very good. Undertaker and bret hart also pretty decent.

    Watched the ric flair documentary and the Jerry lawlor one too. Flair was excellent.

    Watched bret hart v Austin again last week. Absolute classic. That match will never get old for me. Watched the Canadian stampede in full just to see the pop for the main event which was a pretty decent match.

    Loved the Hart/Austin Survior Series match too. I watched the Hart interview with Austin recently, spoke a bit about it and it added to the match a lot. Watching Bret he just did so many little things in his matches that make them very rewatachable.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,211 ✭✭✭LineOfBeauty


    So I'm running through every PWG BOLA as my lockdown project (American indies have never been my strong suit) I finished night 1 of 2012 and wow, like there was no MOTYC candidate but the floor on this show was 3 stars and it peaked with the main event of Mike Elgin vs Davey Richards in a rematch from their 5 star ROH match a few months earlier. It didn't reach that high, I went ****1/4 but this was great stuff and stars everywhere!! (including Drake Wuertz having a banger with Roddy Strong). It just drove home how bad the American indies are right now, give me this workrate stuff everyday over current indie irony wrestling. Like almost all these guys got signed by a major company btw.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,211 ✭✭✭LineOfBeauty


    A couple matches I enjoyed today.

    Johnny Gargano vs Michael Elgin -PWG BOLA night 2. Sooo good! Starts hot and the pace never drops and I think this had one of the best submission finish teases I've ever seen. I don't even think I'm exaggerating when I say Gargano is, or at least should've been, this generations Ricky Steamboat. The man is the most naturally sympathetic face in the world and his work is great. ****1/2

    Yuji Okabayashi vs Tank Nagai- 2AW 23rd May 2020. The 2AW World Title match that's been getting a bit of hype, and I think rightly so! I'm not a 2AW regular but the final 3 matches on this show ranged from very good to legit banger and this main event was a banger! Big beefy guys doing big beefy guy things, it builds and builds and you end up with a pretty great, hard hitting match that told a great story of Nagai working the back but Okabayashi just had too much for him. I'm tempted to say this match is the best empty arena match I've seen. ****1/2


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,042 ✭✭✭✭eh i dunno


    Watching wrestlemanias biggest matches at the moment and I've just endures hogan v warrior at wm6. Terrible stuff. How they became such big stars with such limited skills I'll never know


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,635 ✭✭✭RollieFingers


    Man that Nagai/Okabayashi match was great, definitely up there for the best empty arena matches alright, I'd maybe have the Kazusada Higuchi and Tetsuya Endo match from DDT slightly above it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,211 ✭✭✭LineOfBeauty


    Man that Nagai/Okabayashi match was great, definitely up there for the best empty arena matches alright, I'd maybe have the Kazusada Higuchi and Tetsuya Endo match from DDT slightly above it.

    Gotta watch that! Love Endo, last DDT show I watched was the Sakaguchi / Tanaka match (very good i thought). I think the Higuchi /Endo is next on my DDT watch list!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,211 ✭✭✭LineOfBeauty


    eh i dunno wrote: »
    Watching wrestlemanias biggest matches at the moment and I've just endures hogan v warrior at wm6. Terrible stuff. How they became such big stars with such limited skills I'll never know

    It's funny because that's such a well received match, partly because expectations were so low going into it and partly because the red hot crowd helps it a tonne.

    Like it's definitely not a work rate classic and it's one of those matches you know they ran through every spot several times before they went out there but while it's no work rate classic and compared to the elite stuff of the time it looks pedestrian but for a WWF main event at that time it was really good.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,042 ✭✭✭✭eh i dunno


    It's funny because that's such a well received match, partly because expectations were so low going into it and partly because the red hot crowd helps it a tonne.

    Like it's definitely not a work rate classic and it's one of those matches you know they ran through every spot several times before they went out there but while it's no work rate classic and compared to the elite stuff of the time it looks pedestrian but for a WWF main event at that time it was really good.


    I thought it was woeful. It was just before I started getting into wwf and I can see the appeal but not for me. Warrior was limited enough but hogan was actually worse


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,042 ✭✭✭✭eh i dunno


    Watching hbk v ric flair at wrestlemania tonight. End of an era but he should have retired years earlier because he look shattered at the end. Some showman though


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,211 ✭✭✭LineOfBeauty


    Man that Nagai/Okabayashi match was great, definitely up there for the best empty arena matches alright, I'd maybe have the Kazusada Higuchi and Tetsuya Endo match from DDT slightly above it.

    So I just watched the Endo/Higuchi match and it is a certifiable banger. In terms of enjoyment I'm having a hard time separating that and the 2AW World Title match. Every time I see Endo in a big time match I'm left wondering how is everybody in wrestling not talking about this guy? He looks like the coolest man in the world, he's so smooth in the ring, he's gotten way better at spacing out the high spots, he bumps like crazy, he's still only 28, surely his time will come.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,211 ✭✭✭LineOfBeauty


    Going for a revival here.

    So with Lockdown level 5 in, I'm using my free time to watch more NJPW. Just finished up watching Naito/Omega 2017 GI Climax Final. I have no idea why but I've only seen this match once (in real time) but going back and watching it and this is something else. I don't know if it gets a bit lost in the shuffle of all the great matches happening in NJPW around this time (Omega/Okada series always takes precedence) but watched in isolation this is beyond a doubt one of the greatest pro wrestling matches ever. The crowd is at boiling point from the entrances and only get louder as the match goes on, I'm not sure I've heard many crowds as hot as this Ryogoku crowd were on this night. The in ring is breathtaking, two of the very best to ever wrestle doing it in their absolute primes. Everything about this feels like magic and no match I've watched since the pandemic makes me wish more for a return of normal crowds. In any list of matches of the decade, this has to be at least top 5.

    Also going back to the early 80's on NJPW World and watching all the Dynamite Kid/Tiger Mask matches. They hold up so well, Kid was so far ahead of his time it's insane. His work is great, everything has such snap to it, he conveys pure intensity and every time he loses he kicks his opponent after the bell in frustration. Just great stuff.


  • Registered Users Posts: 773 ✭✭✭TimesArrow


    Every Survivor Series.. some of these are a real struggle.. onto SS 98 now aka “deadly game”


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,211 ✭✭✭LineOfBeauty


    TimesArrow wrote: »
    Every Survivor Series.. some of these are a real struggle.. onto SS 98 now aka “deadly game”

    Survivor Series 2003 always stood out to me as a particularly good ppv with a really fun Survior Series style match.


  • Registered Users Posts: 773 ✭✭✭TimesArrow


    Survivor Series 2003 always stood out to me as a particularly good ppv with a really fun Survior Series style match.

    Was that with Team Austin v Team Bischoff?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,211 ✭✭✭LineOfBeauty


    TimesArrow wrote: »
    Was that with Team Austin v Team Bischoff?

    Ye that's the one! Definitely one of the more memorable Survivor Series matches. Taker vs Vince was a blood soaked gimmick filled buried alive match and Kane vs Shane Ambulance match was good for what it was too.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,689 ✭✭✭sky88


    that 2003 was great austin vs bischoff match was so good might be my match tonight


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 12,013 Mod ✭✭✭✭jaykhunter


    I just finished Haunting of Hill House, i'd recommend it thoroughly :o


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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,301 ✭✭✭✭gerrybbadd


    When I go on the Network now, i tend to go for documentaries or interviews. The Undertaker stuff is really good, especially the Untold episode detailing his feud with Randy Orton.

    Amazing stuff.

    During Lockdown 1, myself and some buddies would set up parties on the PS4, each week one of us would choose a PPV, and we'd all watch together, having the craic in general. Every Friday night.

    Could be an idea for here actually, if anyone would be interested?


  • Registered Users Posts: 773 ✭✭✭TimesArrow


    Some of those Untold episodes are great and the Orton/Taker one was one of the best


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,211 ✭✭✭LineOfBeauty


    SO ROH has always basically been a blind spot for me in terms of availabile wrestling. Aside from a few dvds I bought and whatever shows would appear on NJPW World, I'm basically going into it fresh. I figure, I've got time so I got ROH Honor Club yesterday. They've done pretty good work on the back catalogue and most of the stuff is there (except 2007).

    Started on some stuff this morning that I know I'll be into to ease myself in. A 2008 match from the Hammerstein Ballroom with The Briscoes vs Katsuhiko Nakajima and Kensuke Sasaki is great and equally hilarious as Sasaki avoids bumping completely and Nakajima is flying about the place like a pinball. ****

    Then a match in Tokyo in 2008 which is KENTA/Ibushi vs Nakajima/Marafuji is wrestling at a pace you don't see often. Stiff as hell, complicated sequences made to look so easy. I loved everything about this, at one stage late in the match Nakajima smashes Ibushi in the face with a kick and you think he must be dead. Contrived finish aside, pure and utter banger. ****3/4


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,277 ✭✭✭x43r0


    I'm probably late to the party but just discovered the Untold series.

    The Taker/Orton one drew me in but the HHH/Foley one brought back a lot of great memories. I can very clearly remember staying up and watching the 2000 Rumble on S4C. I think maybe it was Mae Young's puppies that burned it into my mind :(


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,211 ✭✭✭LineOfBeauty


    So I'm watching every Dragon Gate USA show. It's fun, not only because the shows are pretty great, but also because the guys at the Open the Voice Gate podcast started a review series for DGUSA at the start of the pandemic so I'm listening to the reviews after I watch each show for context and analysis.

    It does strike me that DGUSA was probably a bit ahead of it's time. If it through some magic it existed exactly as is at the start of the indie explosion in 2014 they'd have done way better business wise. But even so it's such an influential product.

    Watched the Open the Northern Gate 2010 show today, the first of their double header in Canada and it had two excellent matches in Mochizuki/Doi and Yoshino/Dragon Kid. But it's main evented by a tag between BxB Hulk/Pac vs Yamato and Shingo and I swear it's perfect. Perfect pro wrestling. All 4 guys are on, the flow of it, the pacing, my takeaway was if I lived to be a hundred years old and practised something (anything) every day of my life I'd still not be as good as these guys are at pro wrestling. It's insane how good this was and it's one of the best tag matches I've ever seen. *****


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,211 ✭✭✭LineOfBeauty


    Enter the Dragon 2010. Bryan Danielson vs Shingo Takagi. Danielson is at his absolute peak (I think this is his best ever performance) and he's in there with one of the greatest pro wrestlers ever who is nearing his peak too. Nearly 30 minutes, the crowd in Philly are red hot and there's a big match atmosphere to this. I went ****3/4 but couldn't fault anybody for going *****

    This entire match is available on YouTube and it well worth a watch. This comes after Danielson's release from WWE post Nexus angle.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,793 ✭✭✭Sirsok


    Just finished Rumble 2000,01,02,03 and 08.

    The early 2000s , what a time to follow the product. Nearly every entrant gets a pop. I heard a theme song was there was a huge pop, tried to think who it could be.... it was Chris Nowinski.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,211 ✭✭✭LineOfBeauty


    Sirsok wrote: »
    Just finished Rumble 2000,01,02,03 and 08.

    The early 2000s , what a time to follow the product. Nearly every entrant gets a pop. I heard a theme song was there was a huge pop, tried to think who it could be.... it was Chris Nowinski.

    It's jarring, even watching ab episode of Raw from like 2010 (which was considered a down period at that time) and the live crowd is night and day to the audience WWE was drawing pre pandemic. I don't know at what stage it was that they drove away fans that make noise at their live events, but by 2019 they were well and truly gone.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,793 ✭✭✭Sirsok


    For some reason im quite down on post 2010 era , as beyond top levep guys the undercard got no real development, so Rumbles seemed less fun as a result i would imagine.

    The 2015 Rumble though my god , think that was probably thw worst Rumble in recent memory. It was like they purposely made it **** so that Roman winning would seem exciting or something.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 20,753 ✭✭✭✭beakerjoe


    Where to start. For me to the dance as a wee lad. WM 5 and the mega powers exploding sold me on pro wrestling. Since then Ive been an habitual (I wont say loyal) fan of WWE which has been put to the test in recent years. Even when its the dirt worst I still have curiosity to see whats happening. So I watch bits of Raw and Smackdown and probably all of NXT.

    AEW is where my focus is. It provides me with the storylines, the in ring action and the star power I crave.

    I always keep in touch with NJPW but truthfully I dont keep up with it as good as Id like. AJPW and NJPW on Eurosport in the mid 90's started my appreciation. Then reading about it in Power Slam magazine helped me understand the ins and outs. Watching matches in japense on youtube months after they happened was as much as I followed until the NJPW World streaming service got up. Since then I watch as much as I can, though theres only so much wrestling to consume.


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