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Thread: Ed's Puroresu Review Thread

  1. #21
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    Re: Ed's Puroresu Review Thread

    Entry #5
    G1 Climax Finals 1996-2000


    So naturally I hadn't been watching enough G1 Climax as it it this month so I decided to revisit this project from over a year ago.


    1996 Final - August 6th 1996
    Masahiro Chono Vs Riki Choshu

    Mr. Grade One Climax is back again in the final, his fourth in six years, but for the very first time he would be unsuccessful losing out to Choshu. It's so funny that this match would come up first on my revisit to classic G1 finals after Tenzan and Nagata have wrestled their final tournaments recently and had fans desiring a 'miracle run' - and yet here's Riki Choshu booking his own miracle run 2 decades earlier. Prior to the 1996 tournament, Choshu had announced it was going to be his final G1 and years after booking himself selflessly to help create new stars in Chono, Hashimoto and Mutoh in the G1, he had set himself up as the sentimental fans favourite and the crowd got behind his miracle run of going 4-0 to reach the final, against the man he had booked so strongly in previous tournaments, Masahiro Chono. After a couple of electric minutes of brawling that the crowd love, this match calms down and tells a pretty basic story of Chono, the heel, dominating the match only for Choshu to make the big comeback and win with his sharpshooter which I think was a little anti-climatic after all the 10 minutes plus of heat. The crowd are the best thing about this match, they are in love with Choshu and are desperate to see him end the streak of G1 wins for Chono; they pop massively for Choshu struggling outside the ring midmatch only for Tatsumi Fujinami, Choshu's big rival of the 1980s, to slap the veteran and fire him up for a comeback. Good match, fantastic atmosphere. Recommended.


    1997 Final - August 3rd 1997
    Hiroyoshi Tenzan Vs Kensuke Sasaki

    My first takeaway is god damn, how has Tenzan put up with that terrible haircut for over 20 years. This is my first time seeing young Tenzan and if that wasn't mindblowing enough, this is worked as a frantic under 10 minute sprint so that dude is rushing around at break neck speed. Sasaki is back in the final 3 years after his dud with Mutoh which I'd call the worst G1 match up to this point. This is a good match and the shortness of it's duration makes this one of the most refreshing G1 Finals in history. There's teased nWo Japan interference but the good brothers like Fujinami and Ohtani make sure they never enter the ring and disrupt the momentum of the match. Tenzan is bleeding quite a lot from his mouth halfway through this match. Recommended.


    1998 Final - August 2nd 1998
    Shinya Hashimoto Vs Kazuo Yamazaki

    In the handful of matches I've watched of him so far, I'm in love with Hashimoto. He's such a monster of a man where he should be dominating every opponent he's in the ring with, but there's a vulnerability to them which provides the match with it's drama and uncertainty, similar to Vader. . I can totally see Hashimoto's influence in Samoa Joe's work. Not only have I never seen a Yamazaki match before, I've never heard of him, so I went in totally blind here. These guys laid into each other pretty early on with some brutal strikes, in fact most of the match was strikes until Yamazaki focused in on the knee of Hashimoto to chop this big ass tree down because in a straight fight he knows he's at the disadvantage. What's amazing to me watching this match almost 20 years on is how crazy the crowd goes everytime there's a submission locked in on Hashimoto, like three seperate occasions the place is buzzing for Yamazaki submissions. In this day and age, if someone locked in a sleeper or a leg lock of some kind the audience would sit on their hands and not react and the viewers at home would probably flip through their twitter feed for a moment, but in 1990s Japan, these fans are making a racket and sense that a finish might be going down. I can listen to an argument that Hashimoto left the knee selling to one side as he completed his fighting spirit comeback with a BIG elbow drop from the top rope and the brainbuster to win the G1 Climax, but it didn't take away from the match to me. Great stuff, Hashimoto rules and finally wins a G1 after 7 years of failure. Highly Recommended.


    1999 Final - August 15th 1999
    Keiji Mutoh Vs Manabu Nakanishi

    Uh-Oh, I've hit the Nakanishi years. From one of the best tournament finals to without question the worst one so far. Really boring final; young Nakanishi does not impress me in the same way young Tenzan did. Not a fat lot going on here, some leg work that has no consequences. The only time the crowd seemed interested is when Nakanishi picked up what I imagine was a surprise victory with a torture rack submission. Struggling to see how Nakanishi won a G1 before Tenzan did if NJPW were trying to create their next heavyweight star.


    2000 Final - August 13th 2000
    Kensuke Sasaki Vs Manabu Nakanishi

    Ugh god, on paper this didn't look good at all, two of my least favourite wrestlers to appear in this G1 Finals project. It's better than the Mutoh match from 1999 because it's not as boring, but the action is a little erratic and doesn't tell a great story. Nakanishi is all over Sasaki, like it's an extended squash for most of the match In the past year it appears as though Nakanishi has developed his infamous stomps before a big move. Sasaki manages to come back into it with a beefy battle of lariats and survives a few attempts of the torture rack. Moments later Nakanishi taps out to a walls of Jericho like submission completely out of the blue which was pretty anti-climatic given the beat down Sasaki endured.
    Last edited by Ed; 10-21-2017 at 04:09 PM.

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    Re: Ed's Puroresu Review Thread

    Nice to see this back! I actually agree with your thoughts on the matches pretty much (I probably liked the 99 Finals because it gave us a good surprise moment though they picked the wrong one of this generation by far to "make" & Nakanishi ultimately failed but both matches were bottom tier and Kensuke winning with the Crab Hold totally ruined any hope Nakanishi had left.)

    Notes: While the 96 match wasn't super great, the story led to one of the most legendary & most successful G1s. And what a difference between this & today's retirement stories.

    Wait until you see Tenzan in 03 for multiple reasons. But yeah, that was definitely a good 'un too & hard to believe Tenzan was the workhorse of his team at the time with Chono. Otani. <3

    I didn't know Yamazaki either when I first saw this but after watching UWF-i I knew he ruled and yes Hashimoto was at his peak. Their whole rivalry was insanely awesome. Great storytelling and the epitome.

    The less said about the next two years the better.
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  3. #23
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    Re: Ed's Puroresu Review Thread

    Entry #6
    LARIATOOOOO: An Introduction To Stan Hansen




    So as part of some 'research' so to speak to improve my knowledge of some wrestlers before voting on WC's Hall of Fame in December, I decided I was going to start by looking at the career of Toshiaki Kawada. The first match of his I watched involved Stan Hansen who I had never actually seen wrestle before and I found myself being much more impressed by him so I naturally found myself gravitating more towards checking out his work first instead. So after a weekend of watching Stan Hansen matches, here are some matches I felt strongly enough to write about:


    Stan Hansen Vs Andre The Giant - 23/9/81 NJPW
    A match that's been reviewed several times on WC so I don't really have any original comments to make on this one. I found it to be a real eye opening match into how great a wrestler Andre used to be at his peak; my memories of Andre are of his broken down WWF run and having boring matches with Hulk Hogan so to see him here so mobile and quick is shocking and awesome. Wasn't a huge fan of stopping and restarting the match, just to lead to another no contest result, but that's a minor gripe on an otherwise great match. Apparently they wrestled a 15 minute match for WWF in the same year at a house show which would of been amazing to see if it was taped. Any wrestling fan should set aside 10 minutes to watch this. Highly Recommended.

    Stan Hansen Vs Giant Baba - 4/2/82 AJPW
    In 1982 Hansen jumped from New Japan to the promotion he'd be most remembered for, All Japan to work for Giant Baba. I have seen pictures of Baba before, but this is the first time I've ever seen him wrestle and no offence but he's the weirdest looking wrestler ever, giant head and torso but skinny af arms, reminds me of the top half of ET. I wondered what his style was gonna be like and whether his fragile body was gonna stand up to Hansen before the bell rang and then he just boots Hansen in the face straight away and we were off. As the promoter of All Japan, I found him to be really selfless in his performance when others in his position might not be that way inclined, he worked the match with the intention of getting Hansen over as his big gaijin heel and it worked as he sold well for him. Clever match in Baba using his smarts to weaken the left arm of Hansen to take away his feared Lariat, eventually he hits it, but it can't lead to a finish. In what seems to be a favourite finish of Hansen matches, it gets thrown out as a double countout and he just beats up young boys that prevent him from fighting Baba any longer which gives me Minoru Suzuki vibes. Recommended.

    Stan Hansen and Terry Gordy Vs Genichiro Tenryu and Toshiaki Kawada - 16/12/88 AJPW
    MY GOD THIS MATCH. This is the finals of the 1988 Real World Tag League and I think this is one of the best tag team matches I've ever seen that works on a number of levels. He doesn't get to win, but Kawada is the MVP and without knowing too much about this time frame, this feels like a really important match in his early career in establishing him as one to watch. He's only recently turned 25 and had only roughly been back with the promotion from his excursion for about a year, and I wasn't expecting too much of a showing from him here in his cheetah print zubaz against Hansen and with Tenryu being the main man on his team so Kawada would be the likely punchbag, but he's fucking excellent in this match. He's totally fearless and the crowd is electric anytime he brings to fight to the American bullies. He's also incredible in his selling as his beloved zubaz get ripped open exposing his knee and getting worked over outside to leave Tenryu for a 2 on 1 beatdown. This match is brutal; the kicks, the chops, the punches, everything looks like it hurts, and Hansen particularly sells exhaustion of the match really well. I've never been a massive Gordy fan, but he works so well here as his Hansen Jr sidekick. and is always near by to prevent a comeback and he even does a little dance when Hansen picks up the victory. Highly Recommended.

    Stan Hansen Vs Kenta Kobashi - 4/9/91 AJPW
    Hansen kills Kobashi with a lariatoooo right before the bell and the ref won't count Hansen's pin. Rather than let it go and get on with the match, Hansen is pissed and spends a lot of this match arguing with the referee that he already had the match won, which leads him to take out even more aggression on Kobashi. Awesome. Kobashi spends the majority of this match working from underneath, he's completely rattled by the sneak lariat before the match that it takes him until the 2nd half of the match to mount any kind of offence back in Hansen's way, and of course Stan is beating him senseless from minute 1. Kobashi eventually works his way back into the match through sleepers and an awesome moonsault nearfall. This match is a master class in selling during a brawling style match from both men; Kobashi is either in pain or in a coma for a lot of this match, and once the comeback starts, Hansen goes so dizzy and spaghetti legged, and expresses such pain on his face that the fans explode because they feel like he's on the ropes and Kobashi is in with a chance. A lariat on the outside is pretty much the moment Kobashi's hopes of winning the match fade. Hansen rolls him back into the ring, Kobashi ducks the another lariat attempt, but Hansen swings right around to catch him immediately with a second attempt to get the win. In the end, even though Hansen cheated to start with, it feels like he pulled off a lucky victory because of Kobashi's great performance and one day this young prodigy is gonna have his number. Fantastic match. Highly Recommended.

    Stan Hansen Vs Kenta Kobashi - 29/7/93

    2 years later and Kobashi still doesn't have Hansen's number. There's no cheapshot attack before the match so they start off on an even playing field and it's Kobashi who has the better of the early stages, so much so that it feels like a reverse of their 1991 match where Kobashi is going to steamroll Hansen all the way to victory. It evolves into a pretty even but stiffly fought contest with both men having their periods on offence and the other working from underneath. Towards the end of the match, Kobashi changes up his strategy because matching Hansen blow for blow isn't working, so he goes for an array of quick pin attempts and cradles. Eventually, Kobashi goes back to the top rope to attempt another moonsault, but Hansen fights back and lariats him off the top rope and straight away you know Kobashi's out for the count and his efforts have been in vain. I really like how the lariat has RKO/Diamond Cutter vibes and he can pull it out in different and unexpected situations, not just when he signals for it. I preferred their 1991 match because it's more of Hansen's match and this is much more about Kobashi, but it's still a great watch. Highly Recommended.

    I think I might have a new favourite wrestler. I've never been a huge fan of old school wrestling, if it happened before I was alive I'm probably gonna struggle to appreciate it. With Hansen however, I'm having no problems at all watching his matches. He's awesome on both offence and selling, and I feel like I'm not watching a guy have a pre-determined wrestling match where he's cooperating with his opponent, but instead a fight where Hansen is trying to knockout his opponent. I love how the Japanese fans fear him as he's making his entrance and winding up that left arm for a lariat that's about to kill their favourite babyface. He's such an awesome bully heel brawler and I wouldn't be surprised if he's someone Chris Hero took inspiration from.
    I think I'm going to continue watching a bunch more of his matches, so if you've got any recommendations, let me hear them please.
    Last edited by Ed; 10-25-2017 at 07:55 PM.

  4. #24
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    Re: Ed's Puroresu Review Thread

    Sort of surprised this is probably the most Hansen you've ever watched.

    Hansen is the best. One of the best heel wrestlers of all time.
    -------
    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:


  5. #25
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    Woo boy those matches are great. AJPW from around this era is my favorite kind of wrestling and a lot better than the American offerings on the whole.

    RE: Finish to Hansen/Andre & Baba - 80's puro up to a certain point late in the decade was overwrought with bad & indecisive finishes sadly. But after said point Baba declared he would go to an all clean finishes version of booking which personally I think is best & a big part of what made AJPW so magical.

    The tag match was amazing, my #2 80's match to Jumbo/Tenryu. Yes it was Kawada's breakout & ftr I would rate Kawada a bit ahead of Hansen overall but Hansen's mega awesome so it's more than fine to dig more into him.

    Hansen/Kobashi rivalry was a thing of beauty. That lariat is a great example of AJPW being the GOAT. That as a heel spot to me is a million times more effective than any SZKG or BC type of crap or Jinder or a zillion WWE guys. Everyone reacted perfectly to it including the ref as well. Tremendous work.

    As for recs? Here's a few, though you've covered some high end stuff. The Kobashi 93 match is my personal favorite Hansen match:

    vs Terry Funk - 4/14/83
    vs Carlos Colón - 1/6/87 - Bullrope Match
    w/Tenryu vs Jumbo/Yatsu - 12/6/89
    vs Misawa - 7/28/90 - Triple Crown
    w/Spivey vs Misawa/Kawada - 11/16/91
    vs Kawada - 2/28/93
    w/Giant Baba vs Misawa/Kobashi - 11/30/93
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  6. #26
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    Re: Ed's Puroresu Review Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Darling Nicky View Post
    Sort of surprised this is probably the most Hansen you've ever watched.

    Hansen is the best. One of the best heel wrestlers of all time.
    As I've said before, not a huge fan of old wrestling and with how much content there is these days in modern wrestling, it's hard to find the time to dive into this stuff. I've already probably seen more Hansen matches than any other Japanese wrestler from the same time period!

    Quote Originally Posted by Zero View Post
    RE: Finish to Hansen/Andre & Baba - 80's puro up to a certain point late in the decade was overwrought with bad & indecisive finishes sadly. But after said point Baba declared he would go to an all clean finishes version of booking which personally I think is best & a big part of what made AJPW so magical.
    In a vacuum of watching a couple of early Hansen matches, I thought the finishes worked in getting him over as this wild American cowboy who just wants to fight. However if this was happening all the time with other top wrestlers as well, then yeah that sucks and good for Baba that he changed things up.

    The tag match was amazing, my #2 80's match to Jumbo/Tenryu. Yes it was Kawada's breakout & ftr I would rate Kawada a bit ahead of Hansen overall but Hansen's mega awesome so it's more than fine to dig more into him.
    The match I actually watched first was Kawada/Hansen from '93, had I watched this tag match first I'm sure I'd have gone down the Kawada route because he was the MVP of the tag. I'll be looking closely at that guy before the year is out I'm sure.

    Hansen/Kobashi rivalry was a thing of beauty. That lariat is a great example of AJPW being the GOAT. That as a heel spot to me is a million times more effective than any SZKG or BC type of crap or Jinder or a zillion WWE guys. Everyone reacted perfectly to it including the ref as well. Tremendous work.
    Yeah I'm for sure gonna take a look at some of their other matches as well. Maybe Kobashi finally gets to beat him at some point

    The Lariat is FEARED. So awesome.

    As for recs? Here's a few, though you've covered some high end stuff. The Kobashi 93 match is my personal favorite Hansen match:

    vs Terry Funk - 4/14/83
    vs Carlos Colón - 1/6/87 - Bullrope Match
    w/Tenryu vs Jumbo/Yatsu - 12/6/89
    vs Misawa - 7/28/90 - Triple Crown
    w/Spivey vs Misawa/Kawada - 11/16/91
    vs Kawada - 2/28/93
    w/Giant Baba vs Misawa/Kobashi - 11/30/93
    Already seen a couple of these, and begun watching others. I'll have some more reviews up in a couple days probably.

  7. #27
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    Re: Ed's Puroresu Review Thread

    love watching Hansen matches, the brutality is great. The crowd excitement for Hansen, whether it's fear or adulation, it's always a sight to see
    Spoiler:


    Milano Forever!

  8. #28
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    Re: Ed's Puroresu Review Thread

    Entry #7
    LARIATOOOOO: An Introduction To Stan Hansen Part II



    Stan Hansen Vs Terry Funk - 14/4/83 AJPW
    I'd always heard Funk had the reputation of being loved by the Japanese fans, but this is my first time experiencing it and I can confirm they love that crazy guy; it's a struggle for him to even get to the ring he's that mobbed by fans. I don't think I can even call this a match, it's more just 15 minutes of really violent action where Hansen takes a lead pretty early on and never lets it slip and Funk puts on a masterful job of getting his ass kicked. I'm not sure what blow exactly causes it but there's a moment where Hansen's stomach starts getting dripped on by blood and when the camera cuts back to Funk his face is a mess. Later on things get really uncomfortable when Funk escapes to the crowd for a breather, Hansen goes after him with his rope, ties him up and drags his ass back to the ring covered in streamers. He then chokes Funk for minutes until Dory Funk Jr makes the save and stops Hansen from killing his brother. Recommended.

    Stan Hansen and Genichiro Tenryu Vs Jumbo Tsuruta and Yoshiaki Yatsu - 6/12/89 AJPW
    A year on from Stan Hansen and Terry Gordy's win in the 1988 World Tag League, Hansen is back in the finals again, this time teaming with a guy he humbled the year previous, Tenryu. Looking at his history in this tournament, Hansen won it 4 times with 4 different partners from 1983 to 1989. I like to think that Hansen is such an asshole to be around that his partner wants nothing to do with him by the time the next year's tournament comes around Jumbo and Yatsu have neat matching vests for this. First time watching Yatsu and he's got the Petr Cech gimmick going on (protective headgear) which might as well be a massive bullseye because it paints him as the vulnerable one in his tag team that's just asking to be picked on, and Hansen obliges. He removes the headgear of Yatsu, he and Tenryu work over him, Jumbo has to make the hot tag to bring some momentum to his team and later on Yatsu has his head taped up like a half-arsed mummy costume so he can back to the thick of the action. Tagging with Hansen seems to bring out the beast in Tenryu, and when Hansen eventually kills Yatsu with a lariat, Tenryu does his part to keep Jumbo away from breaking up the pin. The match is a little long in the tooth for me, especially compared to the year previous that flew by. This feels like it plays more into the Jumbo/Tenryu feud rather than it be anything meaningful for Hansen. Recommended.

    Stan Hansen Vs Mitsuharu Misawa - 28/7/90 AJPW
    This is Misawa's first shot at the Triple Crown shortly after unmasking and picking up the big win over Jumbo and the crowd have already taken to him judging by the chants for his entrance. I didn't really enjoy this, felt like the weakest match I've seen Hansen in since I started this binge, although that might not be the biggest criticism when I'm cherry picking career highlights. I think the pet peeve for me is the match is all about Misawa controlling the match and working over Hansen's left arm for a good 15 minutes to eliminate his biggest weapon and the end result is Hansen just wins with the first lariat anyway. What I can respect is the great job Hansen does in selling for Misawa to put him over anyway he can even though he's the one that gets to win and how he's pulling a desperation lariat out of his arse to save his skin in these matches.

    Stan Hansen and Dan Spivey Vs Mitsuharu Misawa and Toshiaki Kawada - 6/11/91 AJPW

    Here's Hansen with another tag team partner in another tag league! Hansen nails Misawa as he's making his entrance and he doesn't get to take off his emerald jacket until a few minutes into the match. This is a really good tag match, well paced and sees Hansen in more of a crazy mood than normal. A favourite spot of mine sees Spivey lock in a boston crab on Kawada, Hansen, the illegal man, grabs a chair from outside whacks it against Kawada's back and then flings it at Misawa he's that fired up an eager to keep fighting. - thankfully Kawada and Misawa are just as pumped up as him and ready to take the fight to him. Wasn't too impressed with Spivey, kept slowing the match down going into submissions and didn't really match up to the brawling that the other three man were all about. Misawa wins the match with a frog splash - Sasha Banks would be proud. Recommended.

    Stan Hansen Vs Toshiaki Kawada - 28/2/93 AJPW

    This was the first match I saw of either wrestler, so I'm viewing this for a 2nd time now I'm a bit more familiar with each guys style. While I don't think this is on the level of the Hansen/Kobashi matches I've seen, this is still really good stuff as Kawada tries to prove he's every bit as tough as Hansen is in this stiff affair. The closing 5 minutes are amazing as they do a few Lariat teases that Kawada dodges only for him to get caught by the biggest lariatoooo ever that Hansen swings with such force his momentum carries Hansen himself straight out of the ring. Hansen takes a while to get back in the ring, which gives Kawada another time to recover and mount a late rally of his own. Ultimately he's downed by a lariat to the back of the head and Hansen yet again in the early 90s is taken to the limit by one of the 4 pillars but he has enough about him to see out the victory. Recommended.

    Stan Hansen and Giant Baba Vs Mitsuharu Misawa and Kenta Kobashi - 30/11/93 AJPW
    A quite incredible match for a number of reasons. Hansen surprise surprise has a new partner for the 1993 tag league, Giant Baba, who had to step in for Ted Dibiase who got injured and ruled out of the tournament after one match. It was one thing to see Baba look quite fragile when I watched his match from 1982, 11 years later he's virtually immobile. However, that's by the by because Baba's connection with the crowd is so strong that they are truly invested in him trying his hardest in this match despite the fact he's slow, can't bump as well etc. That then creates a weird dynamic where Hansen is now a babyface by proxy of teaming with the sympathetic Baba, while Kobashi and particularly Misawa are being boo'd when they are on offence. It's bizzaro world. They manage to get through this 30 minute time limit match quite well, covering nicely for Baba's limitations and Kobashi I thought was on fire as the FIP in the first part of the match. After the match things get even weirder when Hansen actually shakes the hands of Misawa and Kobashi in a rare sign of respect, the first time I've ever seen him be calm in the ring. Recommended.

    One takeaway I have from watching this set of matches is AJPW seem to do way more with their tag league than NJPW does with theres. In the 5 years I've been watching New Japan, they are at their creative and in-ring worst during the tag league and hardly anything interesting happens.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed
    However if this was happening all the time with other top wrestlers as well, then yeah that sucks and good for Baba that he changed things up.
    When shoot style started & buried AJPW/NJPW for being "fake" and themselves having all definitive winners & taking their fans it changed Baba's mind. Without that who knows where we'd be.

    The Lariat is FEARED. So awesome.
    LARIATOOOOO

    -

    Matches:

    That Funk match was just so much violent fun. Funk's such a crazy bastard and Hansen is perfect for all the reasons to face him. Here's one more rec for you though it's obviously more about Funk that that match was building to. Terry Funk's original retirement! Terry/Dory vs Hansen/Gordy 8/31/83 Amazing crowd & match.

    I loved that Jumbo/Yatsu match! But fair that it's more about Jumbo/Tenryu. I thought Yatsu busting open Hansen with headbutts as revenge was a great moment too though. Perhaps if you ever get time to dive in more you may like it more.

    Hansen/Misawa were notorious for not having good chemistry but I won't say I didn't like it on some level, Hansen was excellent in selling. Plus I think I enjoyed seeing Misawa being so different than the Ace of the mid-90's and if you told me "Guy hits a lariat then attacks the other's elbow with a cowbell" wouldn't that be Hansen on Misawa? Here it's the other way around.

    Spivey was unquestionably the weak link in that match but to be fair he was much better than the man who ripped off his WWF gimmick 2 decades later.

    Old man Baba was usually a mix of fun & embarrassingly bad. But his star power added so much and helped save a tournament that had both DiBiase & Gordy taken out along with Kawada's knee blowing out. Still he's still ancient at this point & the fact they had this match is a huge feather in the other 3's caps. Thought some of Hansen/Misawa's best interactions tbh but Kobashi was man of the match & best in the world in '93. One of the most fun Hansen matches.
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    Re: Ed's Puroresu Review Thread

    Entry #8
    G1 Climax Finals 2001-2005





    2001 Final - August 21st 2001
    Keiji Muto Vs Yuji Nagata

    This match didn't do a lot for me. It's sort of a match of two halves where the first section of the match is this prolonged, grounded, MMA-vibe deal where Nagata is supposed to be some great MMA/Wrestler hybrid and can counter Muto's signature moves into submissions and holds, and then the second section is more wrestling based, it's faster, power moves are coming out and everything feels more impactful. The opening 10 minutes are an absolute bore, none of the submissions look like they hurt or that Muto is in a struggle to escape them, and because Nagata is using a scattergun approach of a half dozen different submission moves that effect different body parts, it doesn't lead to anything significant later on in the match. Nagata didn't feel like himself in the first half of the match, like he didn't feel comfortable wrestling the way (I presume) Inoki wanted him to, but once things picked up and was more big moves and strikes he looked more at home. The best part of the match is when Nagata delivers the exploder suplex only for Muto to pop up and hit the shining wizard which the crowd explodes for. A later shining wizard attempt is countered into the crossface to win to give Nagata the 2001 tournament win.


    2002 Final - August 11th 2002
    Masahiro Chono Vs Yoshihiro Takayama

    Welp. I wasn't a fan of Chono all that much in the 90s, I doubt his work a decade later is going to hit the mark. On the plus side, I do like me some ol' melty face
    Takayama. What this match has going for it right at the bell is that the crowd are with them; Chono is over as fuck and they are willing him on to win. Takayama dominates the match which makes sense given his size, and what that allows Chono to do is to fire back at the right times with his strikes and big spots to pop the crowd. Just when Chono is rolling, Takayama lands a single knee lift and it's almost a match ender. Mr G1 pulls it out from somewhere because with a drop toe hold and STF, he's back in control and he finishes it off with a multitude of Yakuza kicks. This really surprised me, it's nothing epic but it's a good match that feels great with an electric crowd. Recommended.

    2003 Final - August 17th 2003
    Hiroyoshi Tenzan Vs Jun Akiyama

    It's so funny to be watching this match and then later that day listening to Dylan on a podcast talk about how this was always his favourite G1 finals up until the latest one with Tanahashi and Ibushi. There is a clear step up in quality here for the first time since 1998 and the Hashimoto/Yamazaki final, and I think a lot of that has to do with Uncle Jun; in my limited viewings of him, he is never not fantastic. His selling is amazing and he did a stellar job putting Tenzan over in his big moment. Tenzan has to withstand a lot to survive this match and have is opportunity to lock in his new submission move, the anaconda vice, and when that is locked in, the crowd are molten that their guy has vanquished the invading Akiyama. It's without a doubt the best Tenzan match I've ever seen. Highly Recommended


    2004 Final - August 15th 2004
    Hiroyoshi Tenzan Vs Hiroshi Tanahashi

    First time seeing the ace of the century in a G1 Finals and it's starting to feel like the New Japan I'm more familiar with with 20 minute matches where nothing of note happens for the first half. Tanahashi impressed at times with his athleticism to hang in there with the stronger Tenzan, but I never got the sense Tenzan was in any danger of an upset to the youngster. A couple of Anaconda busters and then the vice sealed the victory for Tenzan, but Tanahashi certainly looked one for the future in defeat. Tenzan matches Chono as the only two men to win back to back G1 Climax finals; surely they're setting him up for a significant IWGP Heavyweight Championship run........


    2005 Final - August 14th 2005
    Masahiro Chono Vs Kazuyuki Fujita

    I wasn't a big fan of this at all. Not because it's a different style, but because it's fucking Chono again and this time he's moving even slower than he was in 2002 and at this point it's becoming a little unbelievable he's winning these prestigious tournaments. This is without question the most unique final I've seen so far, it's only about 10 minutes long and with Fujita in the match you can tell they're going for more of a shooter/MMA type vibe. Fujita kicks Chono's ass for a while, making the crowd sympathetic and invested in a Chono comeback which inevitably comes. There's two moments in the match I like. Firstly Chono at one point does a Hashimoto like DDT and then points to the sky, and looking at the dates, Shinya died 1 month prior to this so it was a nice touch. He actually follows up straight away with a shining wizard so he went down the 3 musketeers callbacks route. The other thing I dug was Chono ripping apart his own tights to expose his metal knee brace that just helped make his knee strikes a little later on feel more impactful. Those moments are nice, but I'm left frustrated by the match layout of Fujita dominates for 5 minutes, and then out of nowhere he's helpless to broken down Chono's comebacks. It's all Fujita for 5 minutes, then it's all Chono for 5 minutes and he wins in an anticlimactic fashion.

  11. #31
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    Re: Ed's Puroresu Review Thread

    I liked the Fujita match, it's compact and does what it needs to. The Hashimoto tribute from Chono was awesome.

    Would agree re: Mutoh-Nagata, Takayama-Chono and Tenzan-Akiyama, though I'm surprised you didn't dig the '04 finals. Maybe harder to appreciate after years of Tanahashi as John Cena. Also worth noting the booking of that show - Tenzan had to beat both Nakamura and Shibata earlier in the night, while Tanahashi only had one match - against Tenryu - who he beat with a surprise roll-up after like 5 minutes. But the 2004 G1 is the best ever and even as someone who thought that match is great the tourney had other matches that were better.

  12. #32
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    Re: Ed's Puroresu Review Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by King Steventon View Post
    I liked the Fujita match, it's compact and does what it needs to. The Hashimoto tribute from Chono was awesome.

    Would agree re: Mutoh-Nagata, Takayama-Chono and Tenzan-Akiyama, though I'm surprised you didn't dig the '04 finals. Maybe harder to appreciate after years of Tanahashi as John Cena. Also worth noting the booking of that show - Tenzan had to beat both Nakamura and Shibata earlier in the night, while Tanahashi only had one match - against Tenryu - who he beat with a surprise roll-up after like 5 minutes. But the 2004 G1 is the best ever and even as someone who thought that match is great the tourney had other matches that were better.
    I didn't mind the '04 finals, but it didn't stand out as anything great. Watching it directly after Tenzan's match with Akiyama probably gave it too high a bar to reach.

    I've heard you and others recommend the 2004 G1 as a whole. On paper it looks like a pretty fantastic line up of talent with a variety of generations represented. NJ World has nothing but the finals on their service, but looks like there's some of it in a ditch somewhere. Might get around to giving it a look one day.

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    Re: Ed's Puroresu Review Thread

    Shame you didn't like the Fujita vs Chono match. But I know your feelings on Chono and Fujita's style is rather hit and miss for people. Some like it (Like I do), others don't. The 04 finals I liked. Love Tenzan. A little underappreciated by newer fans because of his state these days but in his day, he is great. The Akiyama match is tremendous. It's probably hidden under some of the newer G1 matches but it's certainly one of the best matches in G1 History. I think I watched Takayma vs Chono but I don't remember much of it, have to watch that later.
    Spoiler:


    Milano Forever!

  14. #34
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    Re: Ed's Puroresu Review Thread

    I've only stopped into this thread a few times. I need to go back and re-read. Good stuff, Ed.

    Oh, and....

    STAN FUCKING HANSEN!!!!

    and

    Love me some Melty Face


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