Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Saturday, January 24, 2015

New Japan Pro Wrestling on AXS TV Episode 2 Workrate Report

I enjoyed the first episode last week so see no reason to not keep this party going.

1. Minoru Suzuki, TAKA Michinoku & Lance Archer vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, Tomohiro Ishii & Jado (3/23/13)

The above is a list of guys I like or even love, and Lance Archer. So I see that guy is still around, and still very much not good. This match seems pretty clipped down (end said 14 minutes but this barely goes 4), so we mostly don't see Jado. We do get a lot of Nakamura looking awesome and kneeing Archer in the face and stomach many, many times. I have still yet to be blown away by Ishii. Several friends whose wrestling opinions mostly match up with mine absolutely love Ishii, but he always comes off like a lumpy WAR guy with sub-WAR clotheslines and stiffness. His clotheslines and shoulder blocks and forearms look okay, but seem a little light for a guy built like a tank. Something just seems to be…missing. Hadn't seen TAKA in ages so that was nice, even if what we saw was mostly him taking offense, although I loved his high cradle majistral. And boy, Lance Archer. Even in limited time the guy just looked like junk. He's so unnatural in the way he gets in position and throws guys in turnbuckles or ropes. There is no subtlety with him getting where he needs to fall. Nakamura kicks him in the face but he needs to be in the turnbuckles and ends up falling diagonally to his side to get to them, in a way nobody would ever fall after being kicked. Later he needs to throw someone into the buckles, is out of position to make it look convincing, so walks all the way around him to properly whip him. There are just a shocking number of mini time stand still moments with this guy. Also, Minoru Suzuki booted the ring boy who held the ring ropes for him. I love that man.

After the match we get a brutal promo from Davey Boy Smith Jr. Awful stuff. Just clunky language and spit shouting.

2. Hirooki Goto vs. Kazuchika Okada (3/23/13)

Well this match right here is a pretty microcosm of why I don't typically seek out New Japan stuff. This was just junk. I actually liked the beginning leg work grappling, even assuming it wouldn't go anywhere. From there Goto dominated, until Okada just kinda decided it was his turn to go on offense. That's arguably my least favorite way to structure a match, when one guy takes a bunch of stuff up front, and then a switch gets thrown and the other guy goes on offense at full strength. The transition to Okada's control was real weak, as he takes a bunch of offense from Goto, then just reverses a whip and goes on offense, with Goto now suddenly having to sell a bunch. I guess he was tired from dominating Okada? We get to our forearm exchange that we all knew was going to happen, and then we take turns doing big moves until the finish, with Mauro Ranallo grating on every last nerve by screaming over the last 6 minutes of the match. Screaming does not make it epic. Rachel was in the room while I was watching this and she was laughing at how idiotic Mauro was sounding. We have a lame submission exchange with Goto barely making the ropes and using his last bit of strength to get there…but then after they break he just locks on his own submission. A lot of convenient selling in this one. Mauro reminds me many times that that's Fighting Spirit. We also get a real obnoxious muggy referee, cupping his ears and and flapping his hand in a "Bring It!" motion, just begging to hear a guy verbally submit. Bleeeech. Awful match. At least the Rainmaker looked good. I also liked Okada's reversal of the Goto shiki.

Well two episodes in, dug the first one, really disliked most of the second one. We get a throwaway clipped up 6 man and a horrible "puroresu EPIC". I enjoyed Mauro and Barnett on the first show, could not stand Mauro on this show. By the end of the Okada match he was unbearable. Fingers crossed for a strong third show.

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