Weekend show feedback
Bubba vs.Kevin was a great fight right up until it started. Kevin again proves his frontrunner character, quitting in the corner after 2, claiming 'kidney' problems. Real issue is a few inches up and toward the front, a little on the left side. Maybe he can go back to harrassing the hiphop universe with his lame shit now. For his reward, Bubba gets to fight Uriah. Some strange matchmaking for the next heat of fights from Dana until you realize he's angling for a Uriah vs. Zit Face Guy final, which does look like the money fight.
Thumbs on Mars. Most of the fights went a minute or less. Some was virtuosity and some was just mismatches.
Best fight: Jensen-Held, was like the only actual fight
Worst fight: Davis-Spiritbum
KO: Michael Page, if we believe it
On the prelims, very bad pro debut for Erickson, getting KOed in the 1st by Lemke. Zero defense against head shots. This was one of the longer fights. 22 yr. old (bday boy) Murdock mugs 36 yr. old Raio, finally stopping him with G&P in the 3rd. Both came in with 1 fight. Joe Pacheco, already looking like a shoo in for the next MW tourney, walks right through the clueless Pierre, finishing quickly with Americana. Horrible mismatches here. Undefeated Mucitelli wrecks the clueless pro debuting Dillingham who though skinny jiggles in more places than a stripper. This card is a travesty so far. Do they even have a commission up there in Maine? Hermansson reverses a TD but Butcher quickly snags a tri on him. Hermansson defends well but Butcher keeps it until he has to tap. Actual skills on display in that one if not for long. The hyped Brit Michael Page finishes Ryan Sanders with a single glancing counter right that leaves him cringing on the floor 10 seconds in. Almost looked 'strange'. Sub-.500 Vidkay blows right through Peterson, dropping him with knees and putting him out pulling Gulllotine. 18s.
On the top card, supposed 'tough' guy Spiritwolf (got nerve calling himself that even if it is his name) quits a few seconds in vs. Marcus Davis, UTC after 5m from a 'low' knee that looked beltline at worst for a NC. Think he saw Marcus was going to box his ears in. Fat Bald Mexican Bellator HW #2B (Ryan Martinez) KOs Travis Room With A Wiuff, fighting at his normal weight of 250+ btw, in a few seconds. Wiuff's chin is shot. He's done. In the main for last season's LW tourney final, Held surprisingly outboxes Jansen to take the 1st. Fight doesn't get near the ground. Great 2nd as Held gets the early TD and goes after leglocks, and Jansen defends and counterpunches, gaining top position much of the round. Jansen 10-9. Fight's even. Close 3rd with Held very gassed. Jansen dominates early standing. Held gets it down and starts rolling for subs but Jansen defends. Not doing as much damage countering as last round but I think with the early advantage more than enough to edge it. 29-28 Jansen. Judges agree.
Glory 5 Kickboxing
Thumbs up. Very entertaining card with plenty of clean finishes. Unbeatable announce team of Jimmy Lennon Jr. & Lenne Hardt.
Best fight: Faveau vs. Constantin but almost everything was good in some way
Worst fight: Watson vs. Moxon
KO: Several way tie. Armani/Ilunga/Spong.
@ 79 kgs Catchweight, with both late adds to the card, Jhonata Oliveira nearly finishes it in the 1st but then runs out of gas and Nicola Gallo dominates the 2nd and 3rd. Both are exhausted at the end. Really looked like a draw that would go to an extra round but the judges give it to Oliveria (the judging system is 5 judges, 10 point must, and the final score is the point totals from all 5 cards, so there's no 'unanimous' or 'split' or 'majority' decisions).
@ Lightweight, Johann Fauveau opens fast and withstands a gradual build from late sub Pasniciuc Constantin to take a close decision. Really good fight.
@ 67 kgs Catchweight, Reece McAllister sharper in the first two and holds his own against a charging Tim ‘TNT’ Thomas in the 3rd to take a wide decision.
@ Heavyweight, Daniel Sam just has too much power and knocks Jaideep Singh rubberlegged in the 1st and 3rd for standing 8s to take a wide decision.
@ Featherweight, Mosab Armani from Morocco coming off a long layoff shocks the house by quickly finishing local champion Liam Harrison with a solar plexus punch. Stunning. Armani wears an 'Allah is God and Muhammad is the prophet' T shirt and for some reason is the only winner not granted a postfight promo.
@ Light-Heavyweight, Dustin Jacoby with only 3 kickboxing fights in way over his head and suffers multiple KDs before losing via 3 KD Rule in the 2nd to Michael Duut. Jacoby needs to decide between this and MMA. He's not talented enough to succeed at both.
@ Light-Heavyweight, Stefan Susperregui opens fast but Danyo Ilunga comes on to steal the 1st then finish quickly in the 2nd via clean high knee KO.
@ Middleweight, Eddie Walker horribly outmatched and Stephen Wakeling destroys him with leg kicks from the bell, ending it in the 2nd.
@ Lightweight, Albert Kraus just all over late sub from elsewhere on the card Warren Stevelmans, outboxing him handily for all three rounds and nearly sweeping the cards. Active if not competitive.
Also @ Lightweight, in a sloppy, amateurish fight that didn't deserve its placement on the card and where both could have been DQed for holding, Jordan Watson by wide decision over Steve Moxon. Only stinker of the day.
Nice video tribute to Ramon Dekker before the main @ Heavyweight, in which Tyrone Spong handles Remy Bonjasky easily, battering him in the corner for much of the 1st and then knocking him cold with a single right hook late in the 2nd. Sad to say I think Remy is finished. The comeback isn't working and he said as much on the postfight. Tyrone looking scary @ HW.
Thumbs in the middle edging toward down.
Best fight: wasn't one
Worst fight: Branch-Filho for the (yet again) nonperformance by Filho
Didn't see the prelims. Opener ends prematurely as Justin Gaethje opens a cut on JZ Cavalcante's forehead with an elbow and the doctors call it off. Gaethje very impressive looking while it lasted.
In a mild upset, Josh Burkman blows away Aaron Simpson, rocking him with rights and finishing quickly with a high knee and G&P. Simpson's chin looks shot also. Burkman vs. Fitch on the next card. Burkman doesn't sound like he wants the fight.
Einstein defined insanity as 'repeating the same behavior and expecting different results'. If he was an MMA guy he could just go 'booking Paulo Filho', who yet again spends three rounds on Mars with the other guy, David Branch in this case, pounding on him. Horrible.
Marlon Moraes blows away Tyson Nam, confusing him with varied attacks before taking off the top of his head with a HK. This kid is a KILLER.
Anthony Johnson takes a 29-28 UD over Arlovski in the main. Okay, AJ is really a little too small for HW. It's not a good fight. AJ drops AA 2x at the end of the first and there is confusion whether it's the bell or the ref stopping the fight, but nobody gives him a 10-8. The rest of the fight is him rocking AA standing but then diving in for a useless single leg to rest. AA still can't take a punch and AJ still has no cardio.
This was a "thumbs up" show. The best match was the main event, Hirooki Goto versus Kazuchika Okada, while the opening six-man tag - Bushi, Super Strong Machine and Yuji Nagata versus Tiger Mask, Jushin Liger and Manabu Nakanishi - was the worst. However, I wouldn't call any match on the card outright bad.
I have yet to be disappointed by a New Japan iPPV.
Best match: Kazuchika Okada vs. Hirooki Goto
Worst match: Opening six man tag
A really fun show, headlined by a worthy final, and another excellent match between Okada and Goto. Think at this point, Okada may be one of the best at selling near falls, he also did this effectively in his semi final match with Toru Yano. Was initially surprised that Tanahashi and Okada are going to have a rematch so soon after the Tokyo Dome, but this convinced me that if it weren't for Okada's contract situation at the time, he would have won the title there, so he will win it at Sumo Hall instead now his deal is cleared up.
I'm a huge fan of Prince Devitt's slow build heel turn, aided by his recent Twitter activity, which was referred to by Alex Shelley after the eight man tag, which was another really good match. His promo after the match was great to put over the new character shift, and so funny too, a bit like what Sheamus would be like without PG constraints in WWE. The idea of Devitt wanting to win almost all of New Japan's belts is great, but I think a more convincing upgrade to heavyweight status would be to go after the Intercontinental Title to prepare him for a proper Heavyweight Title shot. Really liked the Devitt, Anderson, Taguchi and Tonga team, though it would make sense if Taguchi wanted no part of Devitt's actions after a while.
I like how New Japan are giving Tomohiro Ishii more prominence, including his big win over Kojima a couple of weeks ago, his great match with Goto last week, and now getting the pin in the six man tag on this show. Looking forward to the KES/CHAOS tag titles match, and also the upcoming Nakamura/Davey Boy IC Title match.
Guess if they had to do an NWA angle at Sumo Hall, then it's better sending Rob Conway than that other guy they had as champion before him. Makes it a shame though that all the stuff with Adam Pearce and Colt Cabana happened, as either one of them would have made more sense in today's climate. I'm guessing Kojima wins the NWA Title, and they use him to try and make the title more relevant on a worldwide level, even though it'll be treated as another midcard belt in New Japan.
Special mention should go to the storytelling in the Okada/Yano semi final. Being partners in CHAOS, you could tell they were having fun with each other at the start of the match, and then it built into a hell of a match in its own right, with Okada doing a fantastic job of making you think that Yano could beat him.
Looking forward to the April 7th show - even with Rob Conway on it.
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