2020 MOTYC/Recommend A Match

Mr. S£im Citrus

Representing Blacks Without Soul since 1975
I wouldn't call it a MOTYC candidate, but since this is also a "Recommend a Match," thread, 8/10/21 Bayley vs. Asuka was fun to me, loved all of the submission counters; those two have good chemistry in the ring.
 

cobainwasmurdered

CWM
Staff member
8/2/2020 - Open the Dream Gate Title - Naruki Doi (c) vs Eita

Going into this match I was mildly conflicted, as it was both compelling in that I could see reasons how/why either wrestler could win, but also offputting because of the general antics expected from Eita and RED in such a match. Buildup thru the match was fun and then we hit the requisite ref bump, leading to a "well here we go"... only to be stunned when Eita actually keeps RED out of the ring, indicating he wanted to play it straight. It was a pleasant surprise then when the ref recovered and the match continued as normal, turning into a classic that I was def not expecting going in. Great psychology at the end of the match when Doi hits the Muscle Bomb (a generally instakill super finisher) but can't hold for the cover because of his arm, allowing Eita to mount the comeback and finally submit Doi clean with his El Numero Uno armlock. Spoiler is hidden moreso for how it ended rather than who, as I'll say Eita won the Dream Gate title since it plays into match #2 of this post.

Major downside to the match IMO mainly came from the presentation as it was filmed via single cam and without commentary, both of which were very odd when this was supposed to be their first major show since bringing fans back.

8/9/2020 - Speed Muscle (Naruki Doi/Masato Yoshino) vs Punch Tominaga/Jason Lee

I generally watch minor taped shows from any fed off on my second monitor while working with other things on my main screen, having low expectations which are then usually met, and ultimately the show goes out the back of my memory where I don't think of it again. Every so often though I'll hit a gem that makes watching it worthwhile, and the other night this was that match. In this case however it was not so much for a 4+ star workrate, moreso for the antics and character work in the match.

Backstory to help add context to the match: In the leadup Doi had been lamenting about how being the now-deposed champion he's stuck in matches with the likes of Punch Tominaga, who for the unfamiliar is generally the butt monkey of Dragon Gate (though he can put on a good performance every so often); closest familiar analogue I could think of is Heath Slater during his WWE Legends feud phase. Doi's remarks incited Punch to really bring it for this match, hitting the perfect level of his typical dorkiness blended with a fiery underdog performance as he continually calls out Doi during the match, while Doi in turn shows he wants little to do with Punch. Yoshino and Lee contribute their own work as well but the other two are the focus of this one.
missed this somehow. Looking forward to watching these. I've never been super impressed by Eita's inring so finally seeing him turn the corner will be interesting.
 

Slayer

I have no lies or truth in what I say
9/21/2020 - AJPW Jr Title Match - Koji Iwamoto (c) vs Ikuto Hidaka

Champions Carnival finally gets a spreadsheet match, but it isn't from the actual tournament
 

Slayer

I have no lies or truth in what I say
I'd say the entirety of Dragon Gate's Dangerous Gate is a good watch, but to limit it to one match

9/21/2020 - Naruki Doi vs Kzy

need to revisit their title match from last February, but atm I think this surpasses that one for DG MOTY
 

cobainwasmurdered

CWM
Staff member
9/27 AJ Vs Sami Vs Jeff Hardy
9/27 Roman Reigns Vs Jey Uso

The ladder match had a ton of innovative spots and the ear gauge spot was both sick and hilarious. I love Sami's gimmick. He's a terrific heel.

The Roman match started off slow but the last half to a third was fantastic. It's noteworthy because I think it's some of the best heel work in a major company in a while and it's going to be remembered as a big moment for him. This is what people always wanted from him.
 

cobainwasmurdered

CWM
Staff member
9/30 Ishii Vs Shingo

holy shit was this hard hitting. just beating the shit out of each, shots like thunder, two guys going at it until one couldnt get up hard hitting. Loved every second and I'd call it the best of the tourny so far.
 

cobainwasmurdered

CWM
Staff member
10/1 Yoshihashi Vs Tanahashi
10/1 SANADA Vs Naito

Yoshihashi is having a really fun G1. He's had some good performances here and there over the years but this is the most consistent he has been.

SANADA/Naito was hurt a little bit at the end by some botches because they were just totally soaked in sweat but it was a fantastic match and in some ways the botches put over just how exhausted they were. It's a lot easier to forgive at that stage of the match and circumstances than if it was the entire match or at the start.
 

Slayer

I have no lies or truth in what I say
10/5/20 - Champion Carnival Final - Kento Miyahara vs. Zeus

The final match in comparison to the rest of the Champion Carnival was reminiscent of a seven-game playoff series where games 1 thru 6 are forgettable blowouts or memorable for bad reasons (e.g. poor play or bad officiating), but then game 7 is a classic that washes away the taste of those earlier games. Zeus' newfound heel personality adds a fairly fresh component to the latest meeting of this pair, as he is pretty savage to Kento thru the course of the match before Kento comes back to make it competitive in the homestretch (admittedly a regular component of a big Kento match), with no clear indication of who was going to win keeping me on edge until the end
 

cobainwasmurdered

CWM
Staff member
10/5 G1 Ibushi Vs Ospreay

I think most people know that I am not a fan of Ospreay. My antipathy for him is not to the extent of others like Omega or the Bucks but he has many of the tendencies they have that I dislike in a wrestler. I find a lot of what he does looks too much like running through a gymnast routine, that he does a lot of silly spins for no reason, that his facials are goofy (not omega goofy), and his attempts to do njpw striking come across really bad.

That said he is an incredible athlete and when he is with the right opponent who can either play to his strengths or reign him in a bit than he is capable of turning in an excellent performance which is what happened here. There were a few points where it still felt like he was rushing to get from planned spot to spot but Ibushi kept things smooth. Ospreay also played to his natural unlikability which is something he needs to do more of because welll...he's a douche. The finish was really well done.
 

King Kamala

Integral Poster
10/10- Kota Ibushi Vs Minoru Suzuki

I love Suzuki goading Kota into a slugfest, thinking his toughness will win out and just being outgunned by the younger, stronger opponent. That sick smile on Minoru's face after Kota nailed him with the Kamigoye.
 

cobainwasmurdered

CWM
Staff member
10/10 Okada Vs Shingo
10/13 Okada Vs Ishii
10/18 SANADA Vs Ibushii

still catching up slowly but I'd add these. Finals took a bit to pick up but some of the best near falls I've seen and considering how bad Ibushi seemed to be beat up and the historical context (first guy in the current format to back to back) it's for sure noteworthy.
 

MFer

Administrator
Staff member
10/29/20: Ilja Dragunov vs. WALTER for the NXT United Kingdom Championship

Just two psychotic men trying to murder each other.
 

King Kamala

Integral Poster
11-2- Road to POWER STRUGGLE- Dangerous Tekkers Vs Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI- IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Titles Match
 

King Kamala

Integral Poster
10-26- Jay Lethal Vs Hot Sauce Tracy Williams- ROH Pure Title Tournament Semi-Finals match.

I've always thought Hot Sauce was a great technician but he seemed lacking something personality wise. I love seeing matches where something finally "clicks" for the wrestler and they have a breakthrough moment. His character has been "OK, he's a never say die babyface" but in this episode, he finally looked and acted like that. Shades of Chris Voldemort (the good aspects!) tbh.
 

cobainwasmurdered

CWM
Staff member
SLOWLY catching up on non-njpw puro

8/5 Shiozaki Vs Marufuji

Both guys chests are bruised af. Marufuji goes after the arm and head as much as he can. Shiozaki has some really good power spots including a deadlift vertical suplex off the floor into the ring. These two are both former proteges of Misawa so you see a lot of that any time they meet up. I remember when everyone considered KENTA the clear superior of Kentafuji but I think Marufuji at this point has held up just as well if not better as a consistent worker.
 
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