Sunday, May 24, 2020

AEW Double or Nothing 5/24/2020

AEW Double or Nothing 5/24/2020

I had some other things going on during this, but I wanted to share my thoughts on the parts of the show I saw.

Best Friends vs Private Party
15 minute pre-show openers are not good. These are supposed to be quick samples, not lengthy affairs. Private Party's stock really has only gone down since the first few episodes of AEW Dynamite and while they aren't a finished product, they had room to grow. Unfortunately, as you will see later in the show and as we see often in AEW, people like them have gotten shafted in favor of The Elite and their friends. This match would have been really helped by fans being there.

Casino Ladder Match
I missed most of this. I'm over ladder matches. Everything you could do in them has been done. And this isn't 1993 or even 2001 where a great showing gets you places. These matches now just scream as being dangerous filler. The comedy stuff with Marko Stunt was stupid and like always Darby Allin took some reckless bumps. There was a bunch of sloppiness here including a botched finish.

MJF vs Jungle Boy
A good outing for both guys. This went too long and they did too much like always. Jungle Boy showed he can go here and is ready soon for bigger and better things. MJF was good but would have been better with a crowd to work with.

I didn't bother with either the women's or pretending to be a woman's matches, nor will I ever with the latter.

Dustin Rhodes vs Shawn Spears
Man has Shawn Spears fallen. This dude got a semi-main spot when he first arrived and is now a complete joke. They completely jobbed him out here and made him out to be a fool. And the highlight of his gimmick with having a legend as a manager means little because Jake and Arn are also managers now too. Tully, you would never go for this if it was you. Don't let this happen to your boy either.

Cody vs Lance Archer
Like a lot of Cody matches, it was long, they did too much and it was slow. The nonsense with Arn didn't help the match, though Mike Tyson stole the show.  As someone else put it, AEW is "Where the big boys lay", going off on WCW's "Where the big boys play" as AEW has had hosses like Cobb, Wardlow, Archer and Lee lose. You don't have hosses or monsters lose because then they are less threatening which defeats the whole purpose of their existence. Where does Archer go from here and how does this benefit him in anyway? Meanwhile if Cody lost, he could have challenged again down the line and not lost too much momentum.

Jon Moxley vs Brodie Lee
Brodie's booking and gimmick has not been good at all so far and it has really exposed him. The whole "definitely not Vince McMahon" gimmick has really been lousy. All common sense would tell you that he wins tonight, yet AEW went against the grain. There was no reason for him to lose this and I fail to see what he gained from this. Moxley, after years of main event work is still not a great wrestler nor is he a real intriguing personality. Like everything else, this was too long.

Stadium Stampede - The Elite vs The Inner Circle
I've always been intrigued by wrestling matches in non-wrestling settings, as I've mentioned here before. This was entertaining and funny, but so are comedians. The difference is, they don't take powerbombs through guardrails or get slammed on pool tables.  As the saying goes, they were "so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should". The more you think about this one, the less sense it makes, but the marks in the ring were much more concerned about getting their laughs in than protecting the business. Make sure to care and believe in their serious angles though like an on/off switch because The Elite said so.

Overall thoughts: This was a really long show. Everything went too long and everyone did too much as usual. The booking was questionable and their decisions to expose the business were also questionable. I did about four other things while watching this show and I still didn't really miss that much.

Thoughts on Hana Kimura's death

Thoughts on Hana Kimura's death

NOTE - I may offend you. I'm not being edgy, I'm really just a person who typically has unusual, strange and unpopular opinions.

Hana Kimura's death is really an odd situation for a number of reasons.

I'm completely baffled how a pro wrestler of all types of people, would kill themselves over what fans think. This is a job where you encourage people to get mad at you and to harass you, and apparently, it drove her over the edge. I'd think if anything wrestlers would enjoy this situation and would try to gain more heat off of it.

I'm also really baffled that a girl with the golden ticket would do this. I always figured like a lot of other people that Hana would end up rich, famous or both. Not only was she super attractive, which was enough on its own, but she had charisma and a presence.  I said many times that she could be awful in ring and still probably do well due to her looks. While other people like Jungle Kyona have to prove they can play, people like Hana have to prove they can't, usually multiple times over. Even if she somehow did fail in that manner, her looks always meant she could marry a guy with money.

I've always felt something was off with Hana, though I've never met her personally and don't know that much about her non-wrestling life. She was absolutely gorgeous, yet dyed her hair goofy colors and always felt like a person who wanted to be something else, hence maybe her over the top behavior sometimes.

Whatever caused her death, I think the hatred she got online was more the sprinkles of the sundae issue, not the ice cream. I don't think it was the root cause, but the final shots. Only Hana and maybe some of her friends know what was really going on.

I do think those same friends or perhaps even Stardom itself dropped the ball here though. There had to have been some signs somewhere.

Hana will be missed. She's easily another of many wrestling "what if's" and is without a doubt another pro wrestling tragedy. Her death is going to be something that is going to be continued to be talked about for 20-30 years and I wouldn't even be shocked if like a Kurt Cobain or a Bruiser Brody, the legend of Hana Kimura grows after her death.

I hope Hana has found her peace and I hope her mother Kyoko will be okay.

We cared, Hana.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

WWE Wrestlemania 36 - Firefly Funhouse Match - John Cena vs Bray Wyatt

WWE Wrestlemania 36 - Firefly Funhouse Match - John Cena vs Bray Wyatt

This was something like we've never seen before in wrestling. This was a moment in wrestling history that is going to be remembered for a long time to come. With this and the Taker/AJ match, wrestling likely changed forever this weekend.

But at what price?

You can't run this in front of a live crowd. You can't take this on a house show tour. You can probably do a sequel with Bray/Cena, but after that? And if random WWE midcarders thought it was hard to get over before, just wait until they try and follow this. How do you even go back to WWE wrestling, yet alone something more sports based after this? How do you even attempt to explain this?

A lot of people called this a series finale and if anything felt like a jumping the shark moment, this was definitely it. Whatever was left to expose in wrestling was exposed over these last two nights in many different ways.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

WWE Wrestlemania 36 - Boneyard Match - AJ Styles vs The Undertaker

WWE Wrestlemania 36 - Boneyard Match - AJ Styles vs The Undertaker

I was bored and not interested by the rest of the show, but I did catch this.

I've always been a fan of wrestling matches outside of the ring. I loved the Austin/Booker T supermarket fight. I was intrigued by DDT's attempt at it in an office building and I liked some of their matches at camp sites as well. While DDT got a lot sillier with it than I would have, it's a neat concept. I've written up matches like that myself for fun.

What differed here was that it wasn't done live and really had movie-style production done for it. The match could have been done live and really wouldn't have lost anything had it been done that way, but it was done this way to cover Taker's physical issues.

I really enjoyed it. Both guys played up to their characters. They did things you would expect them to do and we probably got a better match/segment than we would have gotten live. The match/segment also was believable for the most part, atleast in a wrestling sense, minus the teleporting. I didn't see the need for that.

Already, I am seeing a lot of people call for more of these and for these to become the norm. That's a bad idea. This same match wouldn't have worked with a Dolph Ziggler or a Kofi Kingston. This match needed a really strong character/gimmick to work. The match also benefited from still being fresh. As we talked about above, there were similar things done, but, few people saw them. Everyone saw this tonight.

It was hard for me to watch this and not think this was the future of wrestling or at the very least was a lifeboat for something that declined and gotten very stale. But like anything else, the more its done, the less special it will be and the less effect it will have.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

CMLL 11/15/1990 - Los Brazos vs Mando Guerrero, Anibal and Super Astro

CMLL 11/15/1990 - Los Brazos vs Mando Guerrero, Anibal and Super Astro

2nd fall finish

Rudos win!
Los Brazos got the win in the 2nd and 3rd fall to win the match. This was a great match. The Brazos brought the comedy, Mando brought some technical wrestling and Astro brought the high flying and underdog babyface work. This had something for everyone and was a great display of lucha libre. A match like this would be a great intro for non-fans of lucha to check out and is a great example of the many kinds of stories and characters you can do in a wrestling ring.

CMLL 1/25/1991 - Mascara Sagrada, Octagon and Atlantis vs Pierroth, Fuerza Guerrera and Kung Fu

CMLL 1/25/1991 - Mascara Sagrada, Octagon and Atlantis vs Pierroth, Fuerza Guerrera and Kung Fu

Fuerza pulls him down by his mask

Pierroth wins the first in quick fashion

The finish to the third fall

The faces got the win here in a heated match. The heels jumped the faces early and then Atlantis made a big comeback, going nuts on Kung Fu. That was great. Pierroth and Sagrada got into it and like always Fuerza and Octagon went at it. The heels controlled most of the first fall but then faces got an extended sequence where they mostly destroyed their foes. This was good stuff that really made you want to see Kung Fu and Atlantis go at it.

CMLL 8/30/1991 - Octagon, Anibal and Kato Kung Lee vs Satanico, Emilio Charles and Kung Fu

CMLL 8/30/1991 - Octagon, Anibal and Kato Kung Lee vs Satanico, Emilio Charles and Kung Fu

Kato gets his arm tied up

Octagon gets tied to the top rope

I think the faces took the first fall and third fall here, but its lucha and its hard to tell sometimes. No one was really bad here, but I think they spent too long on the heel beatdown in the first fall and even a little in the second fall and it dragged what might have been a good match otherwise.  Emilio Charles was great here. He really bumped big and even the simple stuff he did looked great. He just had so much energy and was an amazing heel. Satanico was good too laying in real simple punches, stomps and bumps but putting effort into them and making them look real nice. And hey, he actually got a good backbreaker sequence out of Anibal as seen above. Octagon didn't get much time but looked good in his shine spots. Anibal tried but he is just too broken down in these clips and clearly didn't have it anymore.