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Thread: Ed Reviews Everything

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    Ed Reviews Everything

    So the idea for this thread is that it's a place for me to randomly post reviews of wrestling matches from different eras, different promotions and different countries and at the end of every match say whether I'd add it onto a list of my all time favourite wrestling matches which will be updated in the opening post. The plan is for the list to be ranked as I go along and cap it at a certain number so I'll eventually have to make a decision to cut a match to add another match to my list, but it'll be a long time before the list gets fleshed out so I'll decide later whether that element of the thread is going to go ahead.

    What I've found over the years is that I've got wrestling ADD so to speak, where I'll be into a wrestler or a promotion for a week, binge watch them, think about turning it into a long form review project and then halfway through the planning stage just give up on that idea because I'm sick of watching that wrestler or that promotion and I want to watch some other shiny new toy instead now. In the last year career retrospectives on AJ Styles, Shawn Michaels and Randy Orton were planned and researched only to move onto watching something completely different before I published the first review. I had planned to review all of wXw's 16 carat tournament but that obviously hasn't happened yet, and my puro reviews get updated maybe once a year, so I'm kinda shit at sticking to a project which doesn't bode well for this. The thread will be really useful to put out my thoughts on a random match out there that I've watched before the idea of writing about it has become unappealing.

    Inspiration for the thread comes a little from Shock's 30 Day lists projects, Jim's PPV reviews and Steve's recent attempt to condense the 2016 indie matches he's watching into an ongoing list.

    ---

    Ed's List of Favourite Ever Matches:

    #1 - AJ Styles Vs Samoa Joe (TNA Turning Point 2005)
    #2 - Sasha Banks Vs Bayley (NXT Takeover Brooklyn)
    #3 - Brock Lesnar Vs Daniel Bryan (WWE Survivor Series 2018)
    #4 - The Undertaker Vs Triple H (Wrestlemania 28)
    #5 - The Shield Vs Team Hell No and Ryback (TLC 2012)
    #6 - Sasha Banks Vs Becky Lynch (NXT Takeover Unstoppable)
    #7 - Eddie Guerrero Vs Rey Mysterio (WCW Halloween Havoc 1997)
    #8 - Kevin Steen Vs El Generico (ROH Final Battle 18/12/10)
    #9 - Dolph Ziggler Vs Alberto Del Rio (Payback 2013)
    #10 - Combat Toyoda Vs Megumi Kudo (FMW 7th Anniversary Show)
    #11 - Genichiro Tenryu Vs KENTA (NOAH 8/10/05)
    #12 - KENTA Vs Low Ki (ROH Final Battle 17/12/05)
    #13 - Kenta Kobashi Vs Stan Hansen (AJPW 5/9/96)
    #14 - Kenta Kobashi and Yoshihiro Takayama Vs Mitsuharu Misawa and Jun Akiyama (NOAH 2/12/07)
    #15 - WWE Championship Elimination Chamber 2019 - (WWE Elimination Chamber 2019)
    #16 - Triple X Vs America's Most Wanted - (TNA Turning Point 2004)
    #17 - Bret Hart Vs Shawn Michaels (9/11/97)
    #18 - The Hart Foundation Vs Stone Cold, Goldust, Ken Shamrock and Legion of Doom (WWF Canadian Stampede)
    #19 - Jimmy Havoc Vs Will Ospreay (Progress Chapter 17)
    #20 - Ilja Dragunov Vs Zack Sabre Jr (wXw World Tag League 2015 Night 2)
    #21 - Zack Sabre Jr Vs Tommaso Ciampa (Progress Chapter 24)
    #22 - Ric Flair Vs Bret Hart (WWF 12/10/92)
    #23 - Atsushi Onita Vs Terry Funk (FWA Origin 4th Anniversary Show)
    #24 - The Von Erichs Vs The Fabulous Freebirds - WCCW 12/8/83
    #25 - Shinjiro Otani Vs Kendo Kashin (NJPW 8/12/97)
    #26 - The Great Sasuke Vs TAKA Michinoku (M-Pro 15/12/94)
    Last edited by Ed; 05-05-2019 at 05:25 AM.

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    Re: Ed Loves Wrestling - (Definitely Not Another List Thread)



    So you may of missed if it you haven't been watching WWE in the last few months (and well done if you haven't and put that time to better use), but Triple H and Undertaker are having their last ever match in Australia. Forget the end of an era happened and that Shawn Michaels is coming out of retirement for that Saudi money - final means final this time (hopefully). WWE put a collection of HHH/Taker matches up on the network this week and I decided to watch all their big matches again to prepare for next Saturday, so that's where this thread starts.


    Never doubt WWE's ability to make a video package that totally overhypes something and makes it feel 100 times more important than it actually is. There's a two minute clip introducing this collection of these guy's matches that is very flashy and exciting to the eyes and the tag line is 'one of the greatest rivalries in WWE history' and I think every wrestling fan would know that's not the case. It would be like Sky Sports having an advert for Liverpool Vs Arsenal and describing it as one of the fiercest rivalries in premier league history. No, they're just two big football clubs that have been in the same league forever and happen to play each other a lot and not often is it actually for anything super important. To neither man is the other one their best or even most memorable opponent. When you think of Undertaker opponents you think of Shawn Michaels or Kane, when you think of Triple H opponent's it's Shawn Michaels or Rock. It's so manufactured and in keeping with WWE's marketing.

    1st April 2001
    Undertaker Vs Triple H - Wrestlemania 17

    Undertaker was granted this match when Kane threatened to throw Stephanie off a flight of stairs; if WWF Commissioner William Regal had denied Undertaker his request then the butterfly effect would of meant no womens revolution. Motorhead play Triple H to the ring which on the Triple H mania entrance scale is fairly tame. One positive thing I will say about this match is that there was more intensity for the start of this match than you'd see for very personal feuds in 2018, Taker doesn't wait for a bell, he just keys on Hunter with punches outside the ring. The generosity towards this match ends there. Mike Chioda takes the idea of the ref bump to absurd levels as he is down for about 10 minutes from just colliding into Triple H which allows them to brawl through the crowd till they reach a jungle gym which JR calls a camera tower. Triple H nails Taker over and over again with chair shots which I'm sort of enjoying because it's brutal but it's a dated attitude era spot. And then the big spot happens where Taker chokeslams Hunter off the 'tower' into a sea of fans or so it would appear from the first camera angle. This structure was no higher than the top rope and the replays show he falls into a crash pad a couple feet below. Taker then jumps off with an elbow drop onto Hunter that resembles two boys mucking about on a bouncy castle this pad is so springy. They get back into the ring and Chioda is STILL not moving. The one spot in the match that I actually think is pretty creative and good is when Hunter counters the last ride with a sledgehammer shot to the head just in the nick of time which busts Taker open. It's a great nearfall that would of come off huge if the streak was a thing at this point, but becomes wasted when Taker is declared the winner in the blink of an eye after this spot. The sledgehammer is such a corny weapon because being hit on the head with it should at best crack your skull open and at worst kill you, but Taker one minute later after suffering this trauma incident to his head is on his feet winning the match with a Last Ride. The sledgehammer can go in the bin along with Jimmy Havoc's Halloween costume prop ax.

    Does it make the list? - Certainly not

    May 4th 2002
    Undertaker Vs Triple H - Insurrection 2002


    The UK tour in 2002 is more infamous for the 'Plane Ride from Hell' that led to the release of Scott Hall and Mr. Perfect and a bunch of lawsuits, but until I watched this match I didn't know this tour featured Undertaker and Triple H main eventing a pay-per-view where the top rope breaks about 5 minutes in forcing them to wrestle like it's Matt Riddle's Blood Sport. More on that later. Roles have switched here since their Wrestlemania X-7 match, Triple H is the triumphant returning babyface after his career threatening injury in 2001 and Biker Taker is now in full swing as Big Evil, beating respect into people. Taker cost Triple H the Undisputed Championship at Backlash in that crazy hot potato period where there were six different champions from Mania to Summerslam, and so this match is all about revenge for Triple H. Hunter is over big time in London. It's the usual opening minutes of your standard Biker Taker match, he's getting the better of the strikes, he attempts the old school, he does the leg drop on the apron; nothing out of the ordinary. And then Taker's whipped into the ropes and snap, something comes loose on one of the turnbuckles, the top rope immediately loses all it's tension and Taker takes a nasty unexpected tumble onto his back. Jim recently reviewed the god awful IC title Elimination Chamber match from 2015 where four professional wrestlers died on their arse when an unexpected situation arose and they didn't know how to improvise around the problem and it led to some of the most awkward, deer in headlights wrestling you could wish to see, and I don't know if that's put me in a mood to heap praise onto two professionals who successfully navigated their ring malfunction, but fuck I think this is the 2nd best Undertaker/Triple H match ever.

    Once Taker confirms to Earl Hebner quickly that he's ok, Triple H jumps on the opportunity to dominate the match and it takes on this new strange direction that wasn't in the script that switches up their expected formula. Triple H lands repetitive neckbreakers to force Taker to bump on his bad back and Taker sells them like they fucking hurt and he's hot about it - I'M GONNA KILL HIM he yells as he walks into another Triple H attack. It's both common sense and quick thinking from Triple H that wasn't on display at the 2015 Elimination Chamber. The ropes give the match a sense of danger everytime they go into them and at one point Triple H lands in the corner and some bolt of some kind flies out and bangs off the steel steps and the crowd 'OOOOOOO's as the top rope droops even more. Taker doing snake eyes has never seemed more captivating. JR is fantastic at turning this accident into a positive by screaming that the ring can't handle the bad blood between these two. There's even an incredibly smooth counter when Triple H attempts a pedigree, but as he goes to hook Taker's 2nd arm, Taker stands up and spins him around to catch him in a beautiful chokeslam - it's the best finisher to finisher counter in their series of matches, I can't believe they never did that spot at a mania. Triple H picks up the clean victory with a pedigree which goes against the narrative that Triple H has never beaten The Undertaker; I guess to Americans if it happened in England, it didn't really happen.

    Does it make the list? - I'm tempted because this is one of the few Taker/Triple H matches I enjoyed, but I think it's setting a low bar for the list to include it, so nah.

    June 23rd 2002
    Undertaker Vs Triple H - King of the Ring 2002

    God I love the KOTR pay-per-view set with the giant throne. This is an Insurrection rematch, this time for the WWE Undisputed Championship and it's a match with none of the charm of the previous match. The very worst thing a wrestling match can be is boring, and for about 15 minutes Undertaker and Triple H have a boring match. It's not a bad match, it's mechanically sound and there's no botches, but nothing memorable is going on and they lose the crowd about 5 minutes into it. The point where things get irritating is when Earl Hebner takes the exact same ref bump that Chioda took at WMX-7 where he's caught between the turnbuckle and the wrestler being tossed into it. He spends the rest of the match dead and then moving like a slug and making the slowest counts in the world. The Rock shows up to shut up Paul Heyman on commentary who has been accusing Rock of being punked out in the locker room by Brock, but Taker attacks him and at that point the match might as well of been a triple threat Rock gets that involved with both men. Taker wins eventually with a roll up and a fist full of tights that Maryse would be proud of. The only interesting moments of the match involves The Rock's interference which is never a good reflection on what came before it as anyone who saw Wrestlemania 27 can confirm.

    Does it make the list? - No it's a bag a shite.

    Speaking of Wrestlemania 27 in a seamless link....

    April 3rd 2011
    The Undertaker Vs Triple H - Wrestlemania 27

    For the first time on pay-per-view it's the old school Undertaker gimmick against Triple H which does make for a different story because now Undertaker is much tougher to beat, near impossible in a streak match so on paper Triple H has never looked more of an underdog. For my money this is the most disjointed wrestling match I can ever remember because the first half of the match is nothing like the second half of the match and that's not a good thing. I'm sure there's plenty of examples of a great match being ruined by bad booking or interference right at the finish, or a match ending abruptly because of a bad injury like Owen Hart Vs Austin; those things are understandable. In terms of a great match falling off a cliff halfway through and only the two wrestlers in the ring are to blame, this stands pretty unopposed I feel.

    The start of the match is incredible. It's utter chaos as they go through the Cole Mine, take crazy back bumps off tables, the amazing spinebuster through the Spanish table. For the first time on this show you feel like you're watching an epic match that's going to go down as one of the best of 2011, in fact it's the first time these two feel like they've got a great match in their locker. Triple H is going all out for the streak and will not show the concern that Shawn Michaels showed for Taker in previous years; he doesn't care about putting on a show for the audience, if he has to win ugly he'll win ugly, but he'll be immortal if he claims the streak. When Triple H brings the chair into the ring, that's where this whole match turns to shit and I haven't see this match in a number of years and it's even more infuriating now than the last time I saw it. They go into the laziest finisher spam section of a match you can imagine where a finisher will be delivered, it's kicked out of and then they stall for 30 seconds before another finisher is performed and rinse wash repeat. That five minute section where it's just last rides, chokeslams, pedigrees and a whole lot of lying around on the canvas is the Taker Streak match formula at it's worst. Then Triple H batters Taker over and over and over against with the steel chair and when Taker tries to get back on his feet, Hunter yells at him to stay down - which kills the mood a little when Triple H was supposed to be this heartless bastard that wasn't going to show Taker any mercy in his quest for the Streak. I will say this, the tombstone from Triple H has everyone in the arena on their feet and fearing the worst. Taker looks very vulnerable at the end of this match so the opportunist last throw of the dice going for Hells Gate is a clever way to end things; I'm too fucked to stand up so I'll beat you on my back. They go for the artistic moment ending where Triple H reaches out for his trusty sledgehammer only to lose grip before tapping out which I actually love because it's no holds barred and Hunter reaching the ropes won't help him escape. So I guess that's two positive moments to gleam from a frustrating last 15 minutes.

    Does it make the list? - Nope, there's a lot to like about it, but probably even more to dislike about it.

    April 1st 2012
    The Undertaker Vs Triple H - Wrestlemania 28


    Undertaker is the best wrestler at expressing himself without saying anything. You see it when he reveals he's now cut his hair off, stares a hole into Triple H's soul and then slowly raises his gaze up to the HIAC as if to say 'I'm ready for this, are you son?'. The supernatural parts of his character are never what draw me to Taker, it's his old man badass attitude. This is a match all about pride. Undertaker demands the match because while the record books show he won at Wrestlemania 27, symbolically he lost because for the first time ever he couldn't walk out of the ring at Wrestlemania, he was reduced to needing help that the loser Triple H didn't. On this night he needs to put that embarrassing memory to rest by being the phenom again, and win in a more convincing fashion than just survive by the skin of his teeth. Triple H shows pride in going down swinging; this time when he's in the hells gate, he doesn't tap out, he'd rather risk passing out than to give up all over again, and right at the death he gives Undertaker a defiant DX chop because he can't bear the pity from his opponent. Triple H is much improved in this match from WM27 because this time he is unforgiving in how he destroys Taker and doesn't show him the concern he did last time, he knows he needs to push through and be more ruthless this time. In fact a lot of things are much improved in this match, namely how the last 5-10 minutes isn't just spamming finishers, they build and react to them better this time. There's this amazing moment where both men are down towards the last few minutes, and Shawn is in the corner watching them struggle to even get off the mat and even though their bodies are shot, their minds are still saying fight on; Taker reaches out to pull Hunters hair and Hunter shoves him away, then Taker tries to grab his arm and Hunter pushes him off again, and Shawn is just shaking his head thinking when is this going to stop, they're both fucked but their minds are too stubborn to stay down.

    This match is stacked with callback spots. There's the hells gate where Triple H reaches out for the sledgehammer and drops it again, there's the barrage of chair shots to the back, there's the constant pleas to stay the fuck down and just take the loss that falls on deaf ears every time, and there's even the way Triple H has to clutch at Taker's gear to bring himself to his feet before dying to a tombstone in the same way HBK died 2 years earlier. Something I haven't mentioned in the other reviews is that every single time Undertaker goes for Old School, Triple H drags his arm to counter it and Taker takes a huge fall to the canvas; this match Taker finally hits Triple H with the old school. It's the smallest detail that is easily missed if you haven't recently seen the previous matches, but it's something else that adds to the feeling this is a recharged, refueled, back to his best Undertaker who swept through the opening five minutes in full control.

    Shawn Michaels is the man with the target on his back when it comes to the major criticism of this match. I can see why people might find him a distracting factor in this match, but to me the role he plays in the match as the conflicted referee is necessary to making this match so great. It's slightly unbelievable to think the streak match could end this way, but the idea that Shawn is asked to call the match off because Undertaker isn't going to stop even when he can't stand up is an interesting story that's never been told before, and again it comes back to pride because Taker demands Shawn lets the match continue at several points because he'll fight to the death for his streak and to rebuild his reputation. The Sweet Chin music into the Pedigree is THE best nearfall in a streak match - there's no debate in my mind on that. So Michaels acting is a little goofy, that's in keeping with most of his acting during his in-ring days and at least he's putting effort into the conveying his side of the story; he's watching his best friend and a man he greatly respects go to war over this holy grail that cost him his career and he ALMOST in a flash of anger taints the streak forever with the superkick after Taker pushes his buttons. This might push other people's buttons, but I can't think of a better use of a special guest referee ever, this is the one streak match that is unlike any other.

    The post match is powerful and so easy to buy into the idea that it was an end of an era with Taker helping Triple H back to his feet and Taker and Shawn helping Triple H back up the ramp for a curtain call. The reason the match was happening was because Taker was embarrassed he needed help to leave the ring a year ago, and now here he is after going to hell and back, being the one to do the helping because Triple H is the one suffering now. It's a moment of overwhelming mutual respect from Undertaker, and character wise it's like he's had a cathartic experience to conquer his demons from the year prior. The crowd eat this up and it's the most natural standing ovation part timer Triple H has ever got.

    Does it make the list? - Absolutely, precious few matches at Wrestlemanias since 28 have felt this important and delivered such a powerful story, and six years later I think I love it even more than the first time I saw it.

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    Re: Ed Loves Wrestling - (Definitely Not Another List Thread)

    God bless you for rewatching some of those.

    I'll say this for Wrestlemania 28. It's not their worst match, not in a world where King of the Ring 2002 exists. It's never a good sign when the best part of your match is a guy who isn't even in the damn thing.

    I don't mind WM27 too much. The first 15 minutes is fantastic, although the second half is very pretentious, which is a criticism is give to the 28 match too.

    Never enjoyed WM17. The sledgehammer shot is cool but other than that it's a dull brawl.

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    Re: Ed Loves Wrestling - (Definitely Not Another List Thread)

    what about shotgun Saturday night

    I don’t think the 28 match is “great”.
    -------
    Quote Originally Posted by RaiZ-R View Post
    What the fuck is happening to you guys? I once got a blowjob where she used her teeth a little bit too much and I ended up with a bloody dick, I still enjoyed the blowjob up to the point I started bleeding. I can honestly say that I have never had anything I would call a bad blowjob, that wasn't a great experience but up until I started gushing blood I was having a great time!
    Spoiler:


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    Re: Ed Loves Wrestling - (Definitely Not Another List Thread)

    Have to agree with pretty much everything you've said there Ed. It's kind of going full circle again with HBK having an involvement in the upcoming match again...I do wonder if they'll end up recycling some of this stuff for the Saudi audience as they know it works.
    I have a plan so cunning......

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    Re: Ed Loves Wrestling - (Definitely Not Another List Thread)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tennessee Nicky View Post
    what about shotgun Saturday night
    I did actually watch that (and the Kuwait cup match) because originally this was supposed to be review of the collection itself until I saw the amount of TV matches they had. It's a quick watch that is worth it for Undertaker going down the wrong escalator and ending up in a crowd of fans that he has to barge his way through to get to the ring

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    Re: Ed Loves Wrestling - (Definitely Not Another List Thread)

    January 25th 2015
    Jimmy Havoc Vs Will Ospreay - Progress Chapter 17

    For better or worse, Jimmy Havoc will always be the wrestler associated with Progress the most. Before the explosion of interest in the new wave of BritWres with guys like Zack, Marty and Will, Jimmy is the reason why any buzz for Progress existed in their first couple of years with his feud with Jim Smallman/Progress itself and his rise to the championship. The story was that Jimmy was brought into Progress for their Chapter 2 show after the promotion were inundated with requests to #BookHavoc. Havoc wanted to use Progress as a company where he could redefine himself as a wrestler, he didn't want to do death match wrestling for them, he wanted to do technical wrestling and be respected for his craft, particularly after receiving praise from Nigel McGuinness. Yet owner Jim Smallman kept booking him in deathmatches against his wishes and at chapter 9 he turned heel by attacking the beloved owner and compere. From there on, Jimmy turns into, for lack of a better description, a fucking cunt of a character as the champion and leader of the main heel faction at the time, Regression. While this is all going on a guy barely out of his teenage years, Ospreay, is a babyface on the rise and ends 2014 battling with Regression and earning a title shot as we head into 2015.

    Lets get the one negative I had about the match out of the way. Right at the start Ospreay is beaten up by Havoc's goon Isaac Zercher before the bell, but when the bell does ring, Ospreay isn't showing much effect of that attack and holds his own with Jimmy so it felt a little pointless to have that pre-match attack if there's no selling of it. It's very weird to watch young Will Ospreay, I don't go back and rewatch 'fairly recent' wrestling matches too often, so the 2014-2015 rough around the edges but obviously talented Will Ospreay I haven't seen since in a long time. In this match he's actually less flashy than he is now, I don't feel like I'm watching a guy who's moveset is tailored to wow the fans with athleticism and not be so much about hurting his opponent. None of his standard closing stretch moves of today are on display here which makes everything feel incredibly fresh. However, some 2018 traits are still on show with the infamous Ospreay blood curdling screams. One of the best parts of the match is when Jimmy bites on Will's ear and as the blood trickles down his ear and neck, Ospreay is screaming like he's being decapitated like a Saw victim. It's not the type of typical blood spot you'd see in a match, but Jimmy Havoc isn't a typical wrestler so it showcases he's bit of a psycho of a villain, more Villain than Marty Scurll could ever be, and that 21 year old Ospreay is probably biting off more than he can chew entering into this sick world and going up against him one on one.

    Ospreay's story in this match is that the finishing move he thinks is going to defeat Jimmy Havoc, the top rope 630 splash, is the exact same move he almost broke his neck on in 2014 and so now understandably has some PTSD when he thinks about attempting it now. There's about three times in the match where he goes up to the top rope ready to hit his finisher, and he hesitates and it allows Jimmy the chance to get back to his feet and the opportunity is gone. To me that's more believable a reason to be scared to perform a move than when Billly Kidman didn't want to hit the shooting star press all those years ago because it injured his opponents; in the moment should you really be that worried about hurting your opponent? but having those doubts about your own personal safety and potentially ending your own career before it's even begun? yeah I buy that a lot more. When Will reaches the point in the match where he plucks up the courage to perform the move, Havoc gets out a toolbox and dismantles the top rope so that Will can't use the move now even if he had the balls to risk hitting it. Ring destruction can be more trouble than it's worth, see something like Ciampa/Gargano where they ripped up the canvas to expose the wooden base, but when it's someone as despicable as Havoc and there's a storyline reason to remove it (take Ospreay's finisher out of the equation) it works and really adds something to the match. It's another opportunity to highlight Will's innovation as he composes himself enough standing on the middle (now top rope) to perform a high risk move. Ultimately Ospreay goes down, but he does so in a way that enrages Havoc as he kicks out at one for the acid rainmaker. A second acid rainmaker finishes the job and keeps the title around the waist of Jimmy fucking havoc.

    Does it make the list? - First impressions, it's better than any Ospreay/Havoc match from 2016-18. Their deathmatches really miss the target for me and this has some really nice themes running through it without devolving into just another Havoc hardcore match. This match makes me want to see another between them where Ospreay does get that career making win. I'd go as far as to say it's my favourite Jimmy Havoc match and a match from Ospreay that I'd prefer to rewatch over some of his more beloved New Japan matches because his performance shows more depth. I'm adding it to the list.

    26th July 2015
    Jimmy Havoc Vs Will Ospreay - Progress Chapter 20

    Six months on and Jimmy Havoc's reign as Progress World Champion has now reached a whopping 609 days and Will Ospreay is back for another shot at the title. That is an incredibly long run as champion, but it's important to remember how infrequent Progress were running shows in these early years compared to today, Jimmy only won the title at Chapter 10 so we're only talking ten shows as champion here which is more digestible compared to say Travis Banks having it for almost 20 shows in half that time. From the great video package and the Wrestlemania-type special ring entrances you can tell that this is a hugely important match in Progress' history, arguably this is their biggest ever match in their 7 year history. Havoc's entrance works with his blend of two AFI songs suitably matching his Gorey psychopath vibe, but Will's doesn't really work at all as there's a geeky Assassins Creed deal going on where two fellow assassins hand Ospreay his special robes, but then still comes out to his regular music Shoot to Thrill by AC/DC in a complete mood shift. There's a time to cosplay as a video game character and it's not when you're about to face your nemesis in a No DQ match.

    There is so much about this match I don't like The London Riots are brought in by Jim Smallman to make sure Will has some back up in case Regression outnumber Will and hand the match on a plate to Havoc, but when Regression leave ringside before the match even starts, there's no reason for the Riots to be there. Worse yet, London Riots are the ones messing around with Havoc, taking weapons off him when it's a No DQ match and allowing Ospreay to use them instead - it just doesn't feel like a babyface move at all, you shouldn't really be stacking the odds against the heel in that situation. There's two different ref bumps in the match, which on one had does give you the symbolism of Smallman having to do the decisive count like he did the night Havoc won the title, but never the less it's still two ref bumps in one match. They botch probably the biggest spot they planned to do in the match when a superplex through a table goes awry, and another table spot is a mean looking double stomp through the table by Havoc, but Will has to do the odd set up where he's holding himself balanced perfectly on the ropes totally exposing his torso literally just so the spot can happen which takes me out of the match to have a cooperative spot like that . Ospreay kicks out of three separate acid rainmakers dotted throughout the match which just has diminishing returns for me. Perhaps the most annoying part of the match for me is when Jimmy pulls out his axe and there's a teased beheading spot; I'm willing to believe a lot of things in pro wrestling but murder infront of a live audience isn't one of them.

    Given the extent of those criticisms, I think it's clear to say that I didn't enjoy this match as much as their first one. I do think it has merits as a match that delivers on the expected amount of violence for the level of rivalry and paying off the previous story of Ospreay having PTSD over the 630 because that's the exact move he uses to win the title and end Havoc's reign on this night. The big positive of the match is how they paid off the 2 year long storyline of Havoc as Progress Champion because that's one of the loudest reactions to a title change you'll see in an arena that small, everyone is going crazy over young Billy being the one to end the Havoc reign of terror. Perfect booking from the Progress team to crown Ospreay as their new babyface champion and this really feels like the end of one era and the beginning of a new era in the company. Come for Jimmy Havoc, stay for this exciting young wrestler who is going right to the top in this business.

    Did it make the list? - No. I guess the best way to summarise it is that it's the weaker match, but the bigger moment. It's no surprise this is the most talked about match of the two because it's the long awaited title change, but I just had too many issues with overbooking the blow off match for the feud. Had I watched this in real time, there's every chance I'd be higher on it if I didn't know the result going in and didn't live through those two years where Jimmy was a relevant part of Progress and I'd of been dying for a title switch.

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    Re: Ed Loves Wrestling - (Definitely Not Another List Thread)

    6th October 2018
    The Undertaker Vs Triple H - WWE Super-Showdown

    I might as well complete the HHH/Taker series of reviews in here. This match reminds me a lot of the Triple H Vs Sting match from Wrestlemania 31 in terms of being such an egregious Triple H match and such an overdose of attitude era nostalgia that you can't treat it like any other match on the card, the match exists as a parody of their history together. I hated the Triple H/Sting match because Sting in WWE was this huge 'what if' deal for decades and then they just wasted him on a match more memorable for a DX Vs nWo run in after a pretty serious build up of Sting in WWE is important folks. Here, there's nothing to get too angry about because all these men are way past the point of ruining any legacy, so I ended up finding the whole thing hilarious and the the most bizarre match of the year. Highlights:

    - Triple H in dick mode dismissing Taker's MMA strikes and then doing the old school tease
    - Brawling into the crowd to set up a back bodydrop spot that they botched only to turn in the other direction and come back rather than try it again
    - Triple H for the first time in his career doing a diving elbow off the apron to put Kane through a table. I don't think it was in honour of his brother-in-law.
    - Shawn doing everything in his power to hand the victory to Triple H as if only now after 8 years is he showing he's bitter about Undertaker taking his career.
    - Shawn then showing conflicting emotions about entering into the ring when Taker tried to pillmanize Triple H only Taker couldn't get Triple H's big head through the chair.
    - Taker for some reason taking the Pillmanizer spot. He actually sold a windpipe injury pretty well with excessive wheezing.
    - Mayor Jacobs generally being the worst corner man ever, you'd think HBK was Lio Rush the way he couldn't catch him.
    - Triple H crying post match as if this match with no stakes was somehow the biggest win of his career
    - Shawn Michaels offering his hand to Taker with 'haven't we been through enough' like they're Magneto and Professor X.
    - The fucking taking a bow celebration from all four men when they just spent 30 minutes beating up each other and then having to cheat to win.
    - THE TURN from Frasier and Niles. It was a trap, they were pissed after all!
    - The fact that THE FINAL TIME EVER was used to set up another match with the last of the summer wine crew in a months time.

    It wasn't all laughs, the match was nearly half an hour long and moved at a snails pace so there was lots of down time and taking an eternity to set up spots. I will say this about the match for a positive spin. When I saw Undertaker live in 2015 it was probably the best experience ever watching live, so for as shit as the match may of come off watching in the comfort of my own home, the live crowd in Australia probably enjoyed that before it got a little long in the tooth. However, mania this year got it right with how to use Undertaker these days; give everyone the gong and the goosebumps entrance, hit the signature moves, and get out of there before you embarrass yourself. I would take Taker performances like that for the next 5 Wrestlemanias.

    There is a bigger problem surrounding this match and that's that WWE don't think this was a parody. They didn't put this match on so everyone would have a laugh at how absurd it was, they actually think this was an epic battle of two legends and they believe they can only turn to veterans like this when there's 70,000 fans to fit into a big arena. That's how out of touch with the audience they are. Justifying it with these are the stars the Saudi government want to see so it's only a couple of months of TV effected is too easy, because this has been every Wrestlemania since god knows when where the stars of 20 years ago have to be brought in to be the star power on big shows. When this attitude era generation finally can't lace up their boots anymore, who do they turn to because this decade they've flat out sucked at making the current crop of main eventers feel like they're on the same level as the stars of past eras. Their over reliance on attitude era stars will come back to bite them one day.

    Does it make the list?
    - hahahaha no.

    June 16th 2013
    Dolph Ziggler Vs Alberto Del Rio - WWE Payback

    I don't want to speak too long about this match because Shock put out a great review of it yesterday that I can't do justice to, but he encouraged me to watch it again and as I feel it's list worthy, I'll throw it into the thread with a quick blurb. I think this is one of the most unique matches I've ever seen. From memory Sami Zayn did a similar type NXT match where he sold a concussion throughout and it cost him the match but I'll be damned if I can remember his opponent, point is that type of story isn't one you see all that often and certainly not executed to this tremendous level. It feels like the type of match WWE wouldn't touch anymore because it only works by referees and doctors taking a backseat to a wrestlers desire to fight on through the pain and in this era of CTE awareness and concussions being a hot topic in sports I think it sends out the wrong message to show doctors and officials letting a match continue when someone is obviously loopy and in danger of hurting themselves seriously. Then again they let Liv Morgan wrestle on after Brie KO'd her so what do I know?

    This is Alberto Del Rio's career performance. He knows how to read this Chicago crowd perfectly by over-egging his entrance pointing to the 5% of people in the crowd who like him and ignoring the 95% that are booing him and he's the perfect smug prick when Big E gets sent to the back because now he knows he can really push the envelope on how vicious he can be and there's no-one to physically stop him. Ziggler was off for 5 weeks with a concussion before this match, and to exploit that by focusing all the offence on Ziggler's head makes him the most heartless bastard in his pursuit of the title. He's borderline deranged in stooping to those levels. Ziggler is great in selling all this by the way, but Alberto is the showstealer in this one, pun intended. It's a shame his 2013 really drops off after Summerslam when The Authority become the big heels in the company and he has to settle with trying to get something out of the bizarre RVD return.

    Maybe this is just the Evolution hype talking, but it didn't escape my notice here that the Divas Champion is in this match cast as the caring girlfriend of the male wrestler (AJ is fantastic in the role) and Del Rio actually boots the title away in an act of disrespect. 5 Years later that shit wouldn't fly at all to have a man be that much of a dick to the women's champion, I'm not saying I want to see things like that return, but it was an effective way of getting Del Rio heat and that's probably a closed off avenue now.

    Does it make the list? - I don't rate the match as highly as Shock does, but I definitely think it's list worthy in terms of someone's career performance (arguably more than one persons), a unique story, a MOTYC in a very strong year for WWE and one of the best executed double turns in history where amazingly WWE listened to their crowd instead of fighting it.

    6th September 2018
    Low Ki Vs Fenix - MLW

    I've seen maybe two matches from MLW this year so I'm not even going to try and explain what the angle going into the match is and who the woman managing Low Ki is. All I know is this is my favourite luchador in the world right now going up against one of my favourite wrestlers of the 2000s in a first time ever match, so I had to give it a watch. WCW's Tony Schiavone is the lead commentator for MLW and I felt lost without Mike Tenay being there to tell Tony just why these two junior heavyweights are so impressive and what their background is. Low Ki is the MLW Champion going into this one so they must be high on him, a fiver says he'll mess it up somehow and not be welcome in MLW in 2019.

    I was expecting an exciting 10 minute TV title match going into it, I was not expecting things to turn so violent with blood and mask ripping so perhaps this has been a real heated affair in the build up to this match. This is pretty savage at points with Ki's kicks as brutal as they were 15 years ago and then wiping Fenix's blood on his chest before he squares him up for more kicks. Fenix can be sloppy sometimes, but the tricks he pulls out when he's jumping from the top to middle ropes are insane, especially when he's slapped down and then kip ups off the top rope and regains balance. The latina woman managing Ki does nothing all match until the finish where she rips the mask off of Fenix and he has to conceal his identity by covering his face with both hands and he can't protect himself as Ki crushes him with a devastating double foot stomp. It's a finish that puts over the importance of a mask in Mexican wrestling as well as presumably a great set up to a second match between these guys. Good stuff.

    Does it make the list? - No, it's a cool match but I'm not sure this will even crack my top 100 for 2018.

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    Re: Ed Loves Wrestling - (Definitely Not Another List Thread)

    Great post, totally agreed about the HHH Vs Undertaker match being like HHH Vs Sting.

    Glad you enjoyed Ziggler Vs Del Rio. Definitely Del Rios best performance. I love Ziggler in that match too but it's Del Rio who gets everything right. Especially his facial expressions and playing off the crowd.

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    Re: Ed Loves Wrestling - (Definitely Not Another List Thread)

    25th February 2014
    Kana Vs Meiko Satomura - Kana Pro

    Years ago I was approached by a former member here called Josh to be a part of a book he was writing about professional wrestling that never got close to being completed. My small role in the book was to answer some questions Josh had set me to try and express my views on wrestling and why it's a passion of mine. One of the questions was about how can professional wrestling be perceived as an art form and I spoke about how I do believe that wrestling is a work of art, it should be recognised more for it's artistic qualities, and how I feel like it has more in common with things like Opera and the Theater more than it does combat sports where you're working against someone, not with them, and winning comes before putting on a good show for the paying customer. Like any piece of art, everyone can have their own interpretation of what the wrestler/artist was trying to convey in their match, what emotions they were trying to stir up. Perhaps even there's no such thing as 'a bad wrestling match' if someone somewhere can find something to like about a match everyone else hates - a certain match in Australia this week really tests that theory. I don't wish to go into that rabbit hole right now because there's a match to talk about, but this match did make me think of that question Josh posed to me about 5 years ago about wrestling being perceived as an art form because this match is very experimental, very artistic and there's definitely a lot of creativity in the mind of Kana.

    This match explores the theme of music in wrestling to a degree I've never seen before. We all know how much music can enhance the experience of watching a wrestling show from perfect entrance music to the right choice of tune in a video package to get you pumped up for an upcoming match. Kana (WWE's Asuka) is played to the ring by a guy playing a Kokyu (traditional Japanese stringed instrument) which is something a little different but nothing too mind blowing, we've seen live musical performances before at Wrestlemanias and Wrestle Kingdoms. However, once the ring announcements are complete and the referee has signaled for the bell to ring, the guy starts playing the Kokyu again as Kana and Meiko circle the ring and he does not stop playing this thing for the entire 18 minutes of the match. There is no commentary either, so believe me, you can hear this thing pretty clearly. When he starts the crowd gasp at the sound of something they weren't expecting that is pushing the boundaries of what they've always been used to in their wrestling - and I love that, instantly I feel hooked to see where this is leading. Oh yeah I should mention the small arena was under Undertaker entrance blue light for the whole match so not only are your ears getting a different wrestling experience, but your eyes are as well

    The result is a wrestling match that really resembles performance art; there might be other matches that push the envelope even further but I haven't seen one like this before. At the start I'm really into the contest, Meiko and Kana circle the ring and try to better each other in matwork which you know is sublime given their talents, and the music suits what's going on, it feels like a meeting of two respected Japanese warriors, slowly feeling each other out like a game of chess. In the middle of the match however I felt like my ears were getting fed up of listening to the same music going nowhere, it's a decent instrument to listen to for a couple of minutes to hear an authentic Japanese piece of music but then it entered into irritating territory and wasn't really matching the action in the ring that had stepped up from matwork to Meiko dominating with strikes and power moves and Kana doing just enough to keep her head above water. Eventually the musician caught up with the match in the final third and there is a definite change of mood in his playing, it's much faster to signal we're in a frantic race to a finish here. Meiko starts rattling through her signature moves that Kana can muster just enough energy to survive and then we go into a final battle of sleepers and chokes that Kana comes out on top of. I can't fault the in-ring action, it's a very good match between two excellent wrestlers, but the music does overshadow the match and in the middle of things it was more distracting than beneficial.

    Does it make the list? - It doesn't. I'm not sure I'll ever be in a rush to watch/listen to this match again, but I'm glad it exists because I don't think there should be shackles placed on creativity and experimenting in wrestling. It did feel more of a one off novelty match than your standard great match.

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    Re: Ed Loves Wrestling - (Definitely Not Another List Thread)

    8th June 1997
    Shawn Michaels Vs Stone Cold Steve Austin - WWF King of the Ring 1997


    This is a match I never knew existed until I was searching away on the network, I had always figured that WM14 was their only big match together and they just missed each other in the years before that. I'm actually a lot higher on the WM14 match than a lot of people so the idea of seeing these two guys together before Shawn's back forced his first retirement and before Austin's neck break at Summerslam 97 was one I was really excited to watch. The set up is Michaels and Austin are the current tag team champions and this is the first time reigning tag champs have ever wrestled on pay-per-view in WWF; this would go on to be one of Vince Russo's favourite angles, the rivals who are better than every other tag team which makes the division look incredibly weak. We're right in the middle of the amazing Austin/Bret feud and in the segment just before this match, The Hart Foundation lay down the challenge to any five WWF wrestlers to face them at Canadian Stampede. With the way they merge that segment into this match and the interviews before hand, you can tell both Austin and Michaels were set up to be two of the five men to accept that challenge. I loved the realism of Austin cutting his promo and the camera following him as he walks to gorilla, crossing paths with The Hart Foundation and an especially irate Brian Pillman (who he beat up earlier in the night) and then talking trash at them as he walks through the curtain to his music. I miss shit like that in today's wrestling where the story at hand can come before the overproduced look of the product, makes things feel live and unscripted.

    The match starts out with some neat exchanges and mocking of one another from both men, with Michaels giving the fingers to Austin and Austin doing the sexy boy pose. The match then goes way off script when a MENTALLY CHALLENGED INDIVIDUAL as Vince calls him goes over the ring barricade and everything halts as security escorts the kid safely away from any harm. Michaels gets a bad rap for his behaviour and unprofessional attitude during this time in his life, and rightly so, but they must of caught him on a good day here because he's incredibly protective and caring to this young fan of his that he helps calm the kid down and walks up the ramp with him. Very early in the match you could tell Austin was gonna be the heel of the two of them, and that unscripted moment with the fan just amplifies that because Shawn comes across like a great guy, while Austin is the dickhead who just wants to keep fighting on. It is weird to see Austin during this time when he's on the rise and not too far off exploding but his opponent is certainly the more popular of the two. After a while things get feisty between both men, there's more snap in the irish whips and lightning pace to running the ropes, there's more pepper in their punches, and Austin ends up exposing the concrete floor to press Michaels onto which is a pretty nasty thing to do to your partner.

    The finish to the match sucks but I can understand why they did it, you can't put either man over the other one while they're tag champs and this feels like the start of a bigger story to set up more HBK/SCSA matches in the future. There's a ref bump, Austin has the match won with a stunner but there's no-one to count the pin, Austin stuns the ref when he comes to, Sweet Chin Music to Austin, the 2nd ref comes to the ring and cares more about Tim White than the match in hand so Michaels superkicks him and the Earl Hebner runs in as the third ref to DQ both men. Overall this match is better to WM14, but WM14 has the better and more satisfying ending. When it comes to judging wrestling matches, the finish is always the most important thing and to end this match on a wet fart of a finish does take away from what had been a really enjoyable contest up to that point.

    Does it make the list? - Close, but that finish does really taint things to where I think WM14 probably is my favourite out of the two. I'll leave it off.

    Now I'm off to watch the Canadian Stampede main event which I'm pretty sure will make the list.

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    Re: Ed Loves Wrestling - (Definitely Not Another List Thread)

    Really like this match. I think it's the first time WWE ever ran that "tag team champions that hate each other" storyline, which got way overdone after this. These two definitely could have had a classic together in another timeline, but their feud came about at the wrong time. I don't think this or WM14 are quite great, but it's not their fault. This was their first match together; by Wrestlemania Michaels was put together with blu-tak and bubblegum, and Austin was still adjusting to his post-neck injury style. Also, because of the quality that these two were churning out around this time, this match doesn't stand out as much as it might.

    The Canadian Stampede tag is one of my all time favourites so looking forward to that review.





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    Re: Ed Loves Wrestling - (Definitely Not Another List Thread)

    Quote Originally Posted by Shock View Post
    Really like this match. I think it's the first time WWE ever ran that "tag team champions that hate each other" storyline, which got way overdone after this. These two definitely could have had a classic together in another timeline, but their feud came about at the wrong time. I don't think this or WM14 are quite great, but it's not their fault. This was their first match together; by Wrestlemania Michaels was put together with blu-tak and bubblegum, and Austin was still adjusting to his post-neck injury style. Also, because of the quality that these two were churning out around this time, this match doesn't stand out as much as it might.

    The Canadian Stampede tag is one of my all time favourites so looking forward to that review.
    Funny how you mention it because Austin had the same story with Dude Love not long after this - only Austin's injury lead to them vacating the titles before anything happened.

    I remember watching this match on an Austin DVD I have (The Legacy Of Stone Cold Steve Austin - It's awesome btw) and really enjoying it. It felt like they were trying to save stuff for a future match but it was still a great match which speaks volumes on how good both were around this time.

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    Re: Ed Loves Wrestling - (Definitely Not Another List Thread)

    Quote Originally Posted by Shock View Post
    The Canadian Stampede tag is one of my all time favourites so looking forward to that review.
    6th July 1997
    The Hart Foundation Vs Stone Cold, Goldust, Ken Shamrock and The Legion of Doom - WWF Canadian Stampede


    This is a pretty unique match for the company. Sure 5 on 5 matches happen every year at the Survivor Series, but that's elimination rules and they just do it because it's an old tradition so they plug random guys into the match usually with no story. This is a rare example of WWF actually having a stable of 5 guys who are issuing the challenge to another five guys while in the midst of an incredibly popular angle. It's a match that really stands apart from anything else. Maybe Invasion 2001, but that's a match of 8 individuals and the Dudley Boys and a weaker story.

    Where it starts to become comparable to other matches is in atmosphere and a white hot crowd creating a special aura that raises the experience in what you're watching. Think of Rock Vs Hogan, not the greatest match of all time but the noise from the crowd and the way the wrestlers played up to it makes everything just feel captivating. Shock in his review compared it to Punk/Cena and RVD/Cena and he's bang on the money there in terms of the crowd being fully engaged in what they're seeing and the usual roles being flipped on there head because there's only one acceptable result. The entrances of the Hart Foundation to the rabid Canadian fans is something quite special because they all come out one by one and they're all huge stars, even the ones who aren't Canadian, they can't get enough of Pillman and Davey. Bret is just god to these fans and as the match begins the fans will not let up as they cheer on The Hart Foundation who seem to be battling for national pride on this night. I loved the start to the match with Austin and Bret going at it, so often in matches like this you'd see them start with the scrubs so to speak, and build up for five-ten minutes until the two biggest superstars in the match are the legal men, for so many other matches the 'heat' part of the match would be building up to Bret and Austin finally getting to lay their hands on each other, but here they can't wait another second, they want to fight right now. Some lovely callbacks also with the Million Dollar Dream counter also. There's an early Shamrock/Pillman exchange which is just hilarious as Pillman has him down on the mat for a pin and he grabs Ken's arm and makes him tap out with it in a 'why are you hitting yourself?' child like way.

    Austin is tremendous in this match just like he is for most of 1997, he's living his best life in this match as a heel flipping off all the Canadian fans and getting to unleash a can of whoop ass on the people he hates the most. It's a huge help he puts in one of the best performances of his career because his ragtag team of allies on the night are a mixed bag; LOD are past their peak, Ken is pretty green so he'll look really good one moment and then lost the next and Goldust was fine but didn't really standout to the level Dustin can. Maybe I'm being a little harsh to expect 10 great performances when that many people can't stand out at one time, but idk. The crowd do their best to make it seem like a must-watch, but the match to me has clear peaks and troughs when Austin is and isn't involved. The match really loses some steam for me when Austin has to leave with his knee 'injury', and the same too for Owen who along with Bret was fantastic in the match, and the problem anytime that trope is used is that I'm less invested in the nearfalls until they come back from behind the curtain because we know this match isn't finishing without them. Also looked pretty dumb that Davey, Jim and Brian just stood their on the apron watching Bret struggle in the sharpshooter and it was up to a limping Owen Hart to come down the ramp to break it up. I understand the story they were going for but come on guys, why couldn't the other team of been brawling with those three guys at that moment on the outside so it looked as though Bret was helpless.

    I'm not in love with Austin getting pinned by a roll up when there were 4 other guys who could of easily taken the pin instead of him, but I guess it just puts that icing on the cake for the crowd that it's Austin who gets beat. Especially when he tries to attack Stu Hart at ringside and then the Hart clan like Bruce Hart jump the railings to make everything even more chaotic. It's total comeuppance. Post match Austin is handcuffed and marched out by security after attacking the Harts after the bell and then there's a feel good celebration with the extended Hart family in the ring to close off a great show.

    Does it make the list? - It does; this is a really special match in the company's history and there aren't many other matches that can top this for crowd investment and atmosphere. Anything with Bret Vs Austin is almost certainly making the list.

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    Re: Ed Loves Wrestling - (Definitely Not Another List Thread)

    I agree with some of your criticisms of this match. I think a lot like Cena vs RVD, if this was wrestled in front of a dead crowd this match wouldn't be near anyone's favourite matches. But that crowd makes it feel so special. To me it's one of the best matches of 1997, in a year stacked with high end matches.

    Totally agreed about the Hart Foundation's entrance being incredible. The place is shaking when Bret comes out.





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    Re: Ed Loves Wrestling - (Definitely Not Another List Thread)

    Quote Originally Posted by Shock View Post
    Totally agreed about the Hart Foundation's entrance being incredible. The place is shaking when Bret comes out.
    I just had a look to see if it polled in your Greatest Ever Entrances list that we did, and good old Flock included it in his five.

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    Re: Ed Loves Wrestling - (Definitely Not Another List Thread)

    May 5th 1993
    Atsushi Onita Vs Terry Funk - FMW Origin, 4th Anniversary Show

    This is the infamous (deep breath) no rope barbed wire exploding ring time bomb death match. I am far from a lover of Japanese death match wrestling, light tubes and skewers in the forehead aren't my bag, but there is something about barbed wire matches that I do find entertaining. Substituting the ring ropes for barbed wire causes the least interesting parts of a wrestling match to become the most gripping. There's no reason to get on the edge of your seat for a collar and elbow lock up right at the bell in an ordinary match, but when the environment is now a hundred times more dangerous because being forced into the ropes is now going to rip a piece of your flesh off, the battles for control in a lock up and Irish whip attempts become the high spots. That's heightened by the explosions that are detonated when a wrestler makes contact with the ropes, although I personally prefer it more gritty without the special effect explosions, but it pops the crowd better.

    I love Terry Funk every time I watch him, he's an incredible brawler and seller and that's on show again in this match where he makes the most of every barbed wire tease. He's vicious in the opening five minutes of the match when he has control, and then as Onita makes his comeback, the Funk jelly legged selling is on show and seeing this guy stumble about on his feet when he's been knocked loopy is very dramatic considering what he might fall into, and the crowd are gasping the entire time he has them in the palm of his hands. This is the first time I've ever watched an Onita match and I'm instantly drawn to his charisma, even from his 'Wild Thing' entrance he seems like a guy that people actually care about when he takes sicks bumps so they're at least done for a reason. He takes one nasty looking bump into the wire that breaks the wire and he unexpectedly falls out of the ring and his back looks ripped to shreds. When the match had 5 minutes left to go, a timer appeared and some sound effects with increasing intensity started counting down the remaining seconds - when it reached 1 minute to go it became deafening, like an air raid siren warning everyone to get the fuck away.

    I'm a little lost on the rules of the match as they kept fighting even after Onita scored the win and the timer kept ticking down. I'm assuming they were trying to beat each other up to the point where one of them would be left in the ring to suffer the explosion. I think they could of had the match go an extra couple of minutes deep into the 5 minute timer but there's about another three and a half minutes left when Onita gets the win. In the end Onita has second thoughts after leaving Funk in the ring alone, with 10 seconds to go he returns for Funk to save him, realises he doesn't have enough time to get him out the ring and so he covers his body when the explosion goes off and they both face the blast together. The post match is so cinematic it's unreal. Some 80s action movie vibe montage guitar music starts playing as Onita and Funk slowly get to their feet as smoke fills the arena. When they get to their feet they survey the damage of their battlezone. The version I watched showed backstage footage of Onita and Funk talking and there is a lot of mutual respect in the room and Terry, almost crying, thanks Onita but says they will have a match in the future on his terms, his stipulations. This is definitely a match that makes me want to see more of Onita, but more importantly more of Funk in Japan.

    Does it make the list?
    - As far as barbed wire matches go, it's probably the best I've ever seen other than Starr/Janela from Beyond wrestling earlier in the year (because that was more gritty, no explosions), and it's definitely a spectacle that I thoroughly enjoyed watching. I'm adding it onto the bottom of the list.

  18. #18
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    Re: Ed Loves Wrestling - (Definitely Not Another List Thread)

    Terry Funk is probably the best all-round wrestler ever. You could give him just about any match type or opponent and he'd give you the goods. Like you I'm not a big fan of death matches but the ones I've seen from Funk have been better than average.





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  19. #19
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    Re: Ed Reviews Everything

    Onita's death matches are more showy than they look. More about emotion and showmanship (like the explosions). I prefer the gory ones with some good wrestling (Takeda's for example) rather than flashy ones like these myself, alhough this is pretty good.

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    Re: Ed Reviews Everything

    Quote Originally Posted by MC 16 View Post
    Onita's death matches are more showy than they look. More about emotion and showmanship (like the explosions). I prefer the gory ones with some good wrestling (Takeda's for example) rather than flashy ones like these myself, alhough this is pretty good.
    Yeah the gory stuff is just not very entertaining to me, I watched a couple of the recommended Takeda matches this year and I didn't enjoy them. When there's 100 brutal weapon spots in a match, they all blur into one and there's no point teasing anything. If there's only 3 or 4 in the match, then I'm way more engaged because there's tension building up to them. If we're talking a blow off match to a blood feud, I don't mind it so much, but when it's just deathmatch because it's BJW and it's the expected house style for half of those guys then I'm out.

    This week I'm going to be using this thread to look at womens matches only in the lead up to Evolution on Sunday. The first match coming up later today hopefully is another trip to FMW.

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