Segunda Caida

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

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Last Gleaming Glimpse of Gable?

So American Alpha has been broken up, so that the member of AA who nobody actually remembers watching can have a soon-to-be-failed singles push. Gable will no doubt also flounder, though perhaps we may see him fight Tye Dillinger on an upcoming PPV pre-show. I'm not too optimistic we'll be seeing anything of interest from either going forward, so I thought I'd showcase the last fun Gable match, which feels like the last time he'll be treated any kind of special:

Kevin Owens v. Chad Gable (WWE Smackdown 6/20/17)

American Alpha hasn't been on TV in a couple months at this point, so when Gable came out as an open challenge opponent for Owens I wasn't expecting a whole lot. Then Gable starts throwing go behind takedowns and it becomes impossible to not get into it. This was a real fun style clash with Owens trying to smash Gable while Gable threw him with pint size strength. Gable bumps big and misses hard, really makes Owens look like Godzilla, crashing and burning to the floor and into the barricade, scrambling out of the way of a cannonball to hit a huge chaos theory suplex; Owens does exasperated bully really well here, loved when he kicked the middle rope while Gable's neck was resting on it, and this was certainly one of his better pop up powerbombs. I always like open challenge as a match set-up, but the matches usually fall short; this one delivered a nice compact explosion. It's 7 minutes, nothing major, but managed to make Gable look like a potential threat. Maybe I'm wrong and they'll give him something interesting to do. But until further notice, this match feels like the lat glimpse of what could have been.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

2017 Ongoing MOTY List: Ki v. Dutt

4. Low-Ki vs. Sonjay Dutt Impact Wrestling Slammiversary 7/2


ER: 2017 continues to bring Low-Ki matches on the reg, so after all these years TNA has done something right! This wasn't totally worked like a 2/3 falls match, but I liked the way the pinfalls were integrated into it, and how the mandatory ref count after a pinfall allowed them to eat pins and not have to keep wrestling the next second (always a psych quandary). They start with a lot of lock-ups and some solid grappling, always like bridge up spots, liked Dutt going for a kind of nasty crossface, not the opening I expected. The first fall comes when Ki takes a sunset flip power bomb and comes right up in one motion stomping through Dutt's chest. I usually dislike when a top rope rana or powerbomb is "rolled through" like that, as it never looks like anybody rolled through, just looks like a guy took the move and then decided to do his own move anyway. And this looked like Ki got hit with a bomb, but was also seamlessly able to stomp a hole in Dutt's chest. Dutt smartly starts the segunda by throwing Ki to the floor using his own momentum, and both guys take turns seeing who can bump more violently into the guardrail (it was a tie, for our benefit!). Ki misses a stomp and I like how they established that Ki stomping on Dutt as hard as possible is okay on his ankles, but landing on the mat was too hard. It's silly, but within its own universe. Ki misses a huge stomp onto the ring steps which leads to Dutt overshooting an ill-advised moonsault but Ki makes it look like a nasty Russian legsweep into the rail. Finish to the second is a good one, with Ki locking on a dragon sleeper, only to have Dutt flip into a pinfall for a sneaky win. Ki nails another stomp after Dutt monkey flips him into the buckles (I love spots where Ki gets thrown into something and he just holds on), but eventually Dutt hits his own disgusting stomp, a moonsault that lands him feet first into Ki's ribs. Suitable finish for a quality match.

PAS: I thought this was excellent, a candidate for best TNA match ever. Ki is on a decades long roll, but I thought Sonjay really stepped it up too.  Dutt really flung his body around on bumps, the Ki John Woo dropkick is a cool spot, but Dutt flew off it like he was hit by a trolley car. I loved how the match was built around the danger of the double stomp, it added a structure to the match. Ki winning the first fall by the roll through double stomp, him torching his ankle on the missed in ring double stomp and missed double stomp on the steps (and it makes perfect sense that you would hurt your ankle when you miss, but not when you hit, ankle turns are all about landing where you don't expect to, Eric would know this if he had ever done anything athletic in his life), and finally Dutt winning with the old Hikakari Fukaoka moonsault double stomp (which is especially nasty when done by a guy Dutt's size, Dutt isn't big, but Fukaoka was like 110 pounds and it still looked like she liquefied the guts of anyone she landed on.) Ki would also lay in nasty body shots to cut off Dutt, which made total sense as your body has to be damaged from getting stomped on.  The whole thing felt like a the wrestling equivalent of a Julio Cesear Chavez fight, killing the body so head would die.

ER: First, I did competitive amateur dog dancing through my teens; Second, I have it on good authority that Phil has no idea how to leave his feet. I have an eye witness that gave me a hilarious account of him on a trampoline; Third, I still maintain that landing on an uneven, boney man will more likely lead to a rolled ankle than unexpectedly landing on a flat surface. But considering I know two people who ended up in a boot just from stepping off a curb, ankles are essentially looking for any opportunity to stab us in the back. I said the logic worked within the universe it created, and it does.


2017 MOTY MASTER LIST

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

2017 Ongoing MOTY List: C.W. v. Wayne

41. C.W. Anderson v. Damien Wayne AML 2/25

ER: Dig this handheld slab from North Carolina, filmed from the back row, which only makes some of these shots even crazier when they look this nasty from this far away. CW is wearing his great glow in the dark C W hands singlet, with matching neon green elbow pad, Wayne has bulked up a bit,  and both guys aim to bruise jaws and throw worked punches of pure poetry. There are dictionary examples of "Worked overhand right" and "Worked left hook" from Wayne and Anderson, respectively, but this match is more than that. These two lay their shots in all the way to the back row, which makes their ringside brawling seem far more violent and less like an easy way to pop a crowd.
Sadly, due to the handheld we miss a lot of what appears to be CW being thrown into the guardrail, hopping over it, and then elbowing Wayne as he charges in. But everything we do see is 100% gold. We get Wayne dropping a couple of his big legs (including that one from the top to the apron which is still one of the crazier spots in wrestling), CW's big spinebuster, a great spinebuster reversal, CW sneaking in a couple cut-off headbutts that I don't remember seeing him use before, and some fun bullshit around the finish. The ref takes a tremendous bump and the typical late 90s ref finish is given a new coat of paint by two guys who actually understand the timing of such a spot, and a ref with a death wish taking a big bump to the floor. Big thanks to whomever was standing in the back of this room with a camcorder. You're the real hero.

PAS: This was a match of two absolute pros putting together a match that they must have had 200 times. This feels like a house show match from an alternate time line where Jim Crockett Promotions just kept running into 2017.  The ringside brawling looked really great from what we saw of it, one advantage of having elite punches like both guys have, is that you can always go back to a slugfest and make it compelling. Damien Wayne had got to be in his 40s now and still is doing insane legdrops to the apron, how is his tailbone not rice crispies? I thought the ref bump looked great, but the finish was kind of BS. Wayne was working heel the whole match, and then gets two long visual falls on the babyface? Was there some double turn I missed? Despite the goofus finish (man 2017 get your shit together) this was really fun. I wish I had every North Carolina indy version of this match up, I am sure they are all awesome.


2017 MOTY MASTER LIST


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Monday, July 17, 2017

CWF Mid-Atlantic Worldwide Episode 107

Episode 107

1. Aric Andrews vs. Chet Sterling

ER: I thought this was a much better showing than their match on the Saturday night show. Sterling certainly looked better here and things were a bit more evenly paced. I thought Sterling looked pretty bad last match, and here he was back to the level where my brain typically slots him, so we'll call that one a low outlier for now. Andrews is a tall lanky guy (not sure he's quite 6'6" as Stutts says...) and I like how he looks when taking armdrags and such, those long legs flipping all around. Really liked him catching Sterling in a wild powerslam, and the finish was cool with Sterling faking him out on a blockbuster before actually hitting it.

PAS: This was a lot better then their previous match. I thought Andrews was totally great here, I loved his body work, including some of the nastier pro-wrestling body shots I can remember seeing. I loved that powerslam, Andrews had Sterling hooked in the middle of the rotation so he was fully rolled up. I also loved the commentary on this match, where both guys were concerned that Sterling wasn't sweating enough, which might be a sign of dehydration, just a great example of how Stuttsy and Cecil add to a match.

2. Arik Royal vs. Nick Richards

ER: This started off plenty fun, and things really ramped up for me once things spilled to the floor. It was a real amusing and professional brawl through the building, as the fans didn't really seem to move. So you have a couple guys brawling through people that were stationary, and they had to bump with that in mind. It starts with Richards hitting a tope and him pulling back while Royal catches so that they don't go sprawling through the people in the front row, and they keep working around and falling next to little kids, felt fun and professional. Royal takes a backdrop on the floor and Richards hits a huge elbow off the apron, and by then kids are feeling confident to come up and get a close look. Back in and things get a little too sloppy. Richards missed a sunset flip and Royal wobbled a bit too long before he realized Richards was no longer going for the flip, and there was a ugly enziguiri, a dangerous and ill-advised top rope butterfly suplex; the whole end run just felt too messy.

PAS: I really enjoyed the crowd brawling, felt violent and safe at the same time. Very impressive how well both guys bumped in a way that was reckless but not fatal to small children. Although I imagine whoever owned that crutch that Royal broke on Richards back might have been a bit peeved. I actually thought the top rope butterfly suplex was a nice piece of improv and landed nastily, but I agree that some other in-ring stuff didn't look great.

3. Dawsons vs. Sandwich Squad

ER: This was okay, but I don't think the Dawsons are as good as I thought they were, and by that I mean I don't think they're good at all. I think I was tricked as they looked like one of the only teams trying slightly hard in that Hardy Boys tribute gauntlet mess. They're tubby guys with beards which probably pulled a Jedi mind trick on my brain, but they just don't seem that good. They always seem out of place for stuff, they make normal spots look clunky, and they always have a hard time getting up for moves. In this match alone they made the Squad look bad on a bodyslam and barely got off the ground on a chokeslam. A couple times they were supposed to miss a move off the ropes and I have no clue what it was that they were even supposed to miss. One of the times Dave Dawson appeared to throw a really slow Mongolian chop? I have no idea. Sometimes them being crossed up makes for a nastier spot, like them falling on each other during a double flapjack, but it starts to look bad in a longer match like this. Squad had some nice moments, thought Biggs had a great standing splash, and in the Dawsons favor I do love the "turn face opponent's mask around" spot, but this felt like it should have been better. And again, that's probably due to my inaccurate feelings about the Dawsons going into it.

PAS: I liked this match much more then Eric did, I don't think the Dawson's looked great, but this was a pretty great Sandwich Squad performance. Aaron Biggs has lost some weight, which is good for his overall health but not great for his gimmick, he is moving really well though and his Finlay roll on Zane Dawson was a true holy shit spot, I also loved the cut block/splash combo that the Sandwhich Squad did during a very exciting finish run. Mask turnaround was really nifty as was the brutal chair shot leading to a finish. Dawson's looked off, but I have liked them enough in other things to continue giving them the benefit of the doubt.


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Sunday, July 16, 2017

CWF Mid-Atlantic Wrestling: Saturday Night's CWF

Saturday Night's CWF

Just like the Superstars show that preceded it, this was another 80s throwback show, with the old Saturday Nights Main Event logo and 80s commercials spliced in between matches. It's a good gimmick.

1. C.W. Anderson vs. Ric Converse

PAS: I loved this, talk about an 80s style match (although way more NWA 80s the WWF 80s). Anderson opens the match by catching Converse with a superkick at the bell and he takes over early. I always like when matches deviate from the feeling out process which begins most matches. Anderson was nasty in this, ripping at the arm, jamming his thumb into the tendons, throwing great elbows, hitting his awesome left hand. Anderson also kept taunting the ref, refusing to break the count and daring him to DQ him. Converse is a big rawbone guy who throws big shots and he was really fun as a tough guy fighting from behind. Finish was clever as CW is going down to a crossface he reaches out and punches the ref in the face to get DQed. Fun BS ending which I assume is setting up a no DQ fight.

ER: Man, CW is so damn good. He was one of my favorites 17 years ago, never really considered at the time that he'd still be one of my favorites this much later (though teenage me also probably thought he was in his 40s in ECW, but 58 yr old CW is still going to be someone I want to watch). Did any of his WWECW house show matches make fancam? All of them sound interesting, the Rene Dupree and Stevie ones especially. But this kind of match is my bread and butter right here. I wasn't really expecting Converse to be working so behind the whole match, but it totally worked as CW cracks him with the superkick to start things and Converse is playing catch up from there. Phil makes a great point about matches that deviate from the typical feeling out process. This starts like a gunshot and it makes things more frantic. All of CW's shots look great as he picks Converse apart, but Converse is a big dude so always has a few big blows to land. Loved CW genuinely not caring if he gets DQ'd, just throwing it back in Redd's face whenever threatened with it. Converse came up with some cool stuff, like his spinebuster block, and this is a match up I cannot wait to see get no DQ treatment. Timing on the big left hand is off a bit, but Stutts does a nice job covering up what might have happened. These are the kinds of matches that keep me tuning into CWF.

2. Alex Daniels vs. Trevor Lee

ER: A fun match that I think tried to do a bit too much. I was really getting into the slow burn from Daniels and liked where it was going, looking forward to that moment where he first tried to catch Lee napping (which ended up being great, with Daniels leaping high for an elbow drop while Lee got back into the ring, except it was so high and enthusiastic that Lee just moved). The slow burn was real fun, methodical knuckle locks, bent wrists, and I liked when both guys would toss out occasional nasty slaps (loved the short 3/4 arm slot slaps both men utilized all match). The match breaks open nicely when Lee rolls out of a sunset flip and eats a sliding kick from Daniels. Daniels starts slowly picking Lee apart but Lee locks on a great octopus, and Daniels takes a super high flapjack. We get another nice breakout as Lee gets knocked off the apron into the short ramp (not sure why the section joining the ramp to the ring was missing, but I'm happy Lee utilized it as a dangerous "under construction" area, felt like something Finlay would do). Daniels has a nice habit of taking potentially overthought indy offense and making it look plausible, and vicious: Trapping Lee in the ropes, hopping to the apron and coming back in with a blockbuster could have looked way too silly, but it looked nasty. And from there we go into the long home stretch, which was executed flawlessly, but I think did too much. The moves looked great, but it got almost too inside itself. Once it gets to the point of guys pushing their opponents out of their own rollup to get into position for the next move, my brain starts making distance. I didn't love the strike exchange portion, which had more of that "take a strike in a way that gets you in position to do another strike" style. It's not my thing and I wish it was cut. But the very end is straight fire, with Lee getting that STF at all costs, eating a high amount of slaps and boots to get there. The struggle over the STF and Lee selling the strikes was awesome. I wish this could have been trimmed a bit, but overall this was another high end CWF title match.

PAS: I agree with Eric, this had lots of stuff to really like, but had a bit too much at the end. I also really dug Daniels Larry Z style stalling as he kept bailing out on Lee to look for an opening. The two big momentum shifts were great, the sliding kick was brutal looking and a real surprise, and the bump by Lee was nasty stuff and really put him in plausible danger. I also think the home stretch overdid it, they went to the "Daniels hits killshot, gets a two count and grabs his head" note a couple too many times, and no way should Lee being going back on offense that soon after that brainbuster in the corner (honestly that move should have put him in a neckbrace for two months, with Stuttsy updating his progress in a somber voice week after week). I did really love the battle for the STF, and this match succeeded in making Daniels in the area which was it's goal. It just got a little too 2017 for me to love it unconditionally.

3. Aric Andrews vs. Chet Sterling

ER: The Aric Andrews showcase match I've been waiting for! Phil has been more bearish on Sterling than me in the past, but this was the first time I think he looked actually bad. At worst before this he was "generic cross-fit guy" according to Phil. I always thought his basics looked good, nice headlocks, nice big spots like his snap half nelson suplex; here he looked bad, throwing tons of bad punches that never threatened to look damaging. His punches are better than someone like Abyss, as at least he was aiming them in the right spot, but the landings were poor, the body shots fell short, the speed was slow, just no good. But again, this was an Andrews showcase, and Andrews looked good. I dig his simple things, like a fast missed clothesline or a sunk in Boston crab. He's got long limbs and I like the way he whips them into dudes. So this wasn't a great match, but it was good to see more of what Andrews can do.

PAS: Chet Sterling's gimmick is "I'm Different" except he is very much "the same."  I mean he came into Living on a Prayer what utter basic shit that is. I liked his big dive at the opening, but the rest did not look good. I did like Andrews in this, but I am still waiting for him to have a good match.

4. Roy Wilkins vs. Mecha Mercenary

ER: It's weird to have a match where each man's partner is not allowed at ringside, but both of Wilkins' seconds are allowed. I'm not really sure why they needed the stip if Coach could still run interference for him. This had plenty of fine moments, though I thought Wilkins' strikes looked off in spots. Still, he flew into a nice Mecha lariat, and I like how Mecha commits the same on hits as he does on misses; his missed leaping elbow drop always looks great, just a big chunk of glacier falling into the Arctic. If a match was going to have a bunch of interference, I liked how this interference worked, with the ref selling GREAT in the corner after getting accidentally squished (someone get me the name of this Woody Strode-esque referee, who sells getting his head whipped into the buckle the same way Tenryu masterfully sells a piledriver. This guy is a flat out keeper!), Mecha getting clonked in the back of the head by a nice belt shot, and then Wilkins locking on his sleeper on an unconscious Mecha. It's much more satisfying than the hell just pinning his opponent, instead making it look like he choked him out and making the ref go through the process of raising Mecha's arm.

PAS: I really enjoyed this, Mecha is a guy who will get hit hard and hit hard back. I loved Wilkins trying his body press and bouncing off Mecha like Wile E. Coyote running into a brick wall. That was a nice ref bump and I loved how all of the second jumped on Mecha like ants on a sugar spill.

5. Dominic Garrini vs. Cain Justice

ER: Hey, you want to see a couple guys have a completely original match that feels like it was inspired by no other match? Watch these two match up. These two fight like they've never seen another wrestling match and just construct it all from scratch. Their movements are weird and the matches don't build with any traditional structure, feels like the first guy who combined chocolate and potato chips on a lark. Garrini throws these weird and cool hammer strikes, using them to attack Cain's torso and also using them to effectively block strikes. Both guys do weird crane kick attacks to limbs, and again, they just move differently, awesomely. Garrini is on the attack from go, blocking a Cain cheapshot that he had scouted coming and grabbing that arm. Garrini kept coming and coming and Justice would only get a break if he was able to dodge and counterattack. I loved Cain getting leveled and falling to the floor, love that spot where a heel gets put down with a match winning shot but by sheer luck lands under the ropes or falls outside the ring. This spot was handled here more naturally than normal, with Cain taking a sprawling bump across the middle rope before falling to the outside. Still, Garrini taps him which I didn't see coming. I was expecting a count out after Cain fell out. This was a blast, just a weird, unique, wholly original 7 minutes of fire.

PAS: This was worked more like a brawl then their first match, and while it wasn't at the level of that out of nowhere classic, it was still a total blast. I loved Garrinni's hammer punches, they really look like a thing a ju-jitsu guy who never trained kickboxing might throw to get closer. Garrinni also threw a nasty delayed german suplex, which was almost Otsukaesque. Cain was more Anderson then Carl Greco here, and had some nasty arm work, including trying to hyperextend it against the rope. I loved the finish with Justice setting up his arm submission, but he stopped briefly to taunt Cecil Scott and got reversed and tapped. Great bit of comeuppance, and I desperately want to see the rubber match.

ER: I don't think the "throwback format" worked anywhere near as well as it did for the Superstars episode. Superstars seemed like a full committment to the presentation, this just had guys coming out to 80s songs and a couple commercials. The wrestling was better on this one, so I can't complain when I get a long CW match, and the whole show was quality wrestling. In fact, we added THREE matches from this show to our 2017 Ongoing MOTY List, no small feat.


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Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Bad News Berzerker Goes to Japan: Part 3

66. Stan Hansen/John Nord vs. Mark & Chris Youngblood (AJPW 1/7/94)

Oh man was this ever good. THIS was the Nord I wanted in Japan. He looked a little rusty in the trios match opening night, and here we are a few days later and he looks as good as his best Berzerker matches. I love all the big boots, the big knee, works a killer grounded headlock (pushing up off his heels to wrench it in), really makes Chris think about it before hitting that gnarly falling slam, drops a great legdrop for the win, and obviously knows who he's teaming with as he misses with this enormous lariat in a way that I've never seen him swing before. Chris would have Hoshikawa'd if he didn't duck. And the Youngbloods were super fun. Neither of them have tons of offense, but they make it work, and Hansen/Nord didn't treat them like total jokes, and that makes it way better. Mark throws really great short Mongolian chops, Chris throws a bunch of weird chops, and Hansen/Nord appropriately sell all of them like their BBQ is getting invaded by a bunch of pesky flies. Hansen sells them with confusion and anger, like a dog not understand why biting this porcupine keeps hurting him. Nord takes his first classic backwards bump over the top in over a year here, flying out of the ring off a double dropkick. Chris' hot tag chops are great pro wrestling, keeping both big men off balance until it eventually catches up to him, and Mark had a nice style of painful looking bumps. This whole thing was a blast, far better than the mugging I expected. Hansen/Nord took 80% of the match, but never looked like they were steamrolling the Youngbloods.


COMPLETE & ACCURATE BERZERKER

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Friday, July 14, 2017

Anarchy Wrestling Hostile Environment 6/24/17



Chase Jordan v. Jeremy Foster

Really energetic opener. I liked Jordan as a goofy looking guy who would get vicious when taunted by the crowd. At one point he hit a diving punch to the back of Foster's head which was as violent as anything on this show. Foster is a hyper competent babyface who had some nice moments, including a great looking heel hook. Finish felt a little off, but this was a fine use of 8 minutes.

Ryan Vega v. AJ Gray

This was the climax of a feud which saw Vega stab Gray in the eye with a pen and piss on a referee. Vega has a nice scumbag look, although it is more Reddit troll then dangerous gutter punk. Match was a Gray showcase, as he was getting his revenge by hitting huge spots, he had a crazy Orihara moonsault and finished with a Phoenix splash where he kneed Vega in the ribs. Gray was fun (I remember liking him in CWF too) and this was another good match. 

Nightmare Kyle Matthews v. Anthony Henry

Another in a run of really entertaining Kyle Matthews matches, he has turned into one of my favorite guys in the world to watch. Henry is a guy I have seen a lot in EVOLVE and he was always a bit too go-go-go for my tastes, there was some of that here, but Matthews slowed him down some but still danced with him when it was time to dance. Really enjoyed Henry's arm work, after a Valet distraction he whipped him off the apron with the arm, and worked it for the rest of the match, including a cool bridged Fujiwara and a elbow lock with back control. I love how they have turned Matthews octopus into a killer hold, and both Henry's escape from the first attempt and the final finish were really well done. Looking forward to Matthews having a long fun run with this belt.

Lynch Mob (Joey Lynch/Matt Lynch) v. The Approved (Adrian Hawkins/ Bobby Moore)

This was a taped fist street fight for the tag team titles. I really dug this when The Approved and the Lynch Mob were punching each other in face, the Approved both have some really nice looking right hands, and the early part of this had a ton of energy. I liked how the Lynch Mob used dives, they were almost Sabuish in their recklesness. This fell apart a bit at the end, as both teams were setting up elaborate set pieces with chairs and it lost a lot of the energy it had earlier.

Tank v. Brad Cash

Here we had a Tapai death match along with lots of additional pokey weapons. This had some nice moments, Tank is a good brawler and the parts that resembled a brawl were good, still lots of this was geek show Mr. Pogo stuff. Lots of slow cutting by each guy, it was gross and bloody but not that compelling. I always prefer death matches to be built around stiffness and and bumps, the final bump by Cash was nasty as Tank choke slammed him on gusset plates, but this was mostly stabbing. Gory spectacle, but I am over gore for gore's sake

Rock C v. Jessica Leigh

I liked Rock C's reverse grapevine leg lock finisher, and she had one nice side suplex, but otherwise this was more a match for the live crowd, then anything you want to watch on tape.

Jacob Ashworth v. Stryknyn

Really fun heavyweight title slugfest. They start out early with some basic tight takedown and lock up wrestling, but like most face v. face matches, it really kicks in when they start throwing hands. Stryknyn hits a great looking barfight headbut and throws some really great straight rights, he also has some nice looking stomps. Ashworth doesn't have as crisp punches, but has great babyface fire, and some of the exchanges looked down right Lawlerian. I didn't love the moves section as much, lots of full nelson slams and B- spears, but I have to love any match based on great punches.

Team Elite (Gunner Miller/Kevin Blue/Billy Buck/Chris Spectra) v. Jeremiah’s Battalion (Gladiator Jeremiah/Cyrus the Destroyer/Se7en/Azreal)

The first recent vintage Wargames match I have reviewed since I started my C+A Wargames and it lives up to the name. This has been building for a while since Billy Buck turned on Slim J, turning him into Gladiator Jeremiah. Buck then joined Team TAG and Jeff G. Bailey. Jeremiah then began recruiting monsters to take with him into war. Before the match they announced that Iceberg was in the hospital meaning the Battalion was one man short. Buck and Jeremiah start out and Jeremiah mauls him, bloodying him up and chucking from cage side to cage side. Heels get the advantage and Jeremiah takes some big bumps into the cage. At one point Cyrus, who is 350 if he is an ounce, gets hurled into the cage and breaks the whole thing, For the rest of the match the cage looks like it is going to collapse, which doesn't stop nutso Jeremiah from doing a dive off the top. Really enjoyed Spectra who came in with nunchucks and actually had some fun offense with them as weapons. Se7en also really hurled people around when he came in, he has such force in everything he does. The final Battalion member to come in was the returning Azreal who comes in lowered from the ceiling with druids holding torches. It was a pretty dope entrance, especially for an indy show. My only real complaint in the match is Azreal being the one to submit, a hacksaw in the mouth is a fine way to end a match, but having a guy have this big entrance only to be the loser seems like weird booking. Still great violent performances by everyone in this match, and one of the better Cornelia Wargames I have seen.

COMPLETE AND ACCURATE WARGAMES



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Thursday, July 13, 2017

2017 Ongoing MOTY List: Demus v. Terry

6. Black Terry v. Demus 3:16 ANCLA WWCI 6/24


PAS: Black Terry goes to ratty filthy war once again. This is another grimy classic, as Terry just keeps getting better as he keeps getting older. Demus looks like a demented bridge troll as he just plows forward with violent shots, only to see Terry fire back just as hard. Terry in brawls has a super high floor, but there were a couple of things that pushed this to another level. Demus had some awesome ground and pound punches including a spot where he had a reverse headlock on Terry and just rained shots down on his face. Finish was super nasty too, as Demus hits this great looking choke. It felt like a best case scenario for Brock v. Joe if both guys were basically midgets.

ER: Add another one to the growing list of "violent brawls that make me fascinated and confused by Black Terry". I love that Phil calls out Demus for looking like a demented bridge troll, because I watched this thinking he looked like Warwick Davis in Leprechaun, then saw what Phil wrote. These two are small, almost small enough that if they did an electric chair spot, you could picture them wearing a gigantic trench coat and sneaking into an R rated movie. But their fists are huge and loud and they make liberal use of them. The arena/backyard/swap meet/building is always as much a character in Terry singles brawls as the workers themselves. This building isn't quite a tented yard with jagged rocks like in his Wotan match, but damn is this building the best. It's got people standing on 3 levels, the staircases up to the levels look hastily planned, people's legs dangle off the upper stories as they sit and lean against the railing; it looks like a background you'd see in Street Fighter II. You get your fight on top of an aircraft carrier, your fight in a bathhouse, your fight in front of a Thai statue, your fight in a dimly lit Mexican building that smells like dog blood, etc.

The gold in this one obviously starts when they brawl out to the crowd, throw each other face first into chairs, slip in beer, punch each other literal inches from people's faces, everything you'd want from a Terry brawl. A woman - showing herself to be total marriage material - hands Demus the rest of her beer, then cheers wildly as he spits it into Terry's face, and the face of a fan Terry is leaning against. They roll around on the floor, fly into ringposts, both men punch each other hard in the face - no matter if they're in front of fans totally losing it or totally there to crack jokes, they're equal opportunity punchers. Terry is a great bleeder and these handhelds always fascinate me: the idea of a son following his dad around, filming him while he bleeds in dirty buildings. What are the car rides like afterward? Does he nap? BTJr. is missing out by not just making a Black Terry 24/7 live feed.


2017 MOTY MASTER LIST

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Bad News Berzerker Goes to Japan: Part 2

65. Stan Hansen/John Nord/Johnny Gunn vs. Mitsuharu Misawa/Kenta Kobashi/Jun Akiyama (AJPW 1/2/94)

I truly love Kings Road/NOAH 6 man tags. You can always expect a certain level of professionalism, they don't overstay their welcome, you get some nice match-ups and you can typically guess who is going to take the fall. There's a familiarity but also always some pleasant surprises. This is a wonderful babyface team against a kinda strange heel team. I don't think any of these three heel men had ever met before, and they had certainly never worked together before. They are joined here together in their mere whiteness. Johnny Gunn is a guy who nobody has an opinion on, and here looks okay. He is somehow both clumsy and smooth. He'll trip on the ring ropes entering the ring, he'll set up an arm drag way too early, but then he'll break out a cool snap fisherman suplex. Sometimes the clunkiness and smoothness can happen within one move, like when he locks Misawa in an awkward Russian legsweep but then ends it with a slick floatover into a pin. Nord looks a little rusty here, his bumps seem more tentative, he gets crossed up a couple times on rope running which is odd as nobody ran the ropes more than this guy the previous two years. But he still lands a couple gorgeous kneedrops, his huge falling slam on Kobashi, some nice big boots, a great lariat, and it's neat seeing him next to Hansen. Hansen of course looked better than anybody here, yanking his kneepad down for a great kneelift, working the apron like a total savage ("Pin him again, John! Now tag me in!!"), beating dudes into the crowd, taking nasty Kobashi chops and booting him in the face. The double teams are still a little clunky but we'll see if they improve over the tour. The finish is obvious to anybody who's ever watched even a little All Japan. Once Hansen and Nord spill to the floor, we know we're in the stretch. Hansen kicks and punches Kobashi through the crowd and abandons him, but in a great show Kobashi comes charging back and surprises Hansen before he gets back to the ring. Kobashi turned in a great babyface performance in this one. The stoic Misawa fights over the tiger driver and Nord bursts in with an awesome save, doing a classic Berzerker axe handle, landing on his knees. But Akiyama tackles him to the floor, and with Hansen tied up still with Kobashi, Misawa merely cracks Gunn with an elbow (and Gunn leans in great, getting spun around in a 180). Misawa spins him back around, tiger driver is academic.


COMPLETE & ACCURATE BERZERKER

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

2017 Ongoing MOTY List: Brock v. Joe

11. Samoa Joe vs. Brock Lesnar WWE Great Balls of Fire 7/9

ER: The build for this has been tremendous. Lesnar is an all time great at those sit down promos, and him getting choked purple was an all time wrestling moment, flat out. And this starts great with Joe jumping Brock during Heyman's intro and smashing him through an announce table. Brock always flies through tables with gusto. Guy is a total bump freak, still, somehow. "Brock with vulnerabilities" is one of my favorite wrestling personalities ever. And hot damn this is great, Joe rushes with a back elbow and kick, both men exchange sick knees, Joe throws tons of great mixed jabs in the corner (working the ribs and face), Brock starts throwing mean knees and Joe goes right for the clutch. First german about 90 seconds in, and Joe takes another right on his shoulder. I love when Lesnar uses the suplexes to create space, not to make up the meat of a match. Joe is fighting to win and mulekicks Lesnar's Great Balls while blocking the ref's view, and the fight over the clutch is majestic. Brock's face swells up and changes colors spectacularly in chokes, like Takayama's face after taking a few punches. His face is an incredible pro wrestling tool. Lesnar throws more germans and I urge Joe to stop rolling over, back-to-Lesnar, after each one. Joe grabs the clutch on an F5 attempt, and I love Lesnar trying to shake him off by backing into the corner, but that let's Joe get the hooks on the choke. Lesnar is a freak, and with his air vanishing he manages to pop up, nail the F5, and then lay on the mat catching his breath like a man who almost drowned. I wanted more, but damn was this a great 8 minute fight. They need to run this back.

PAS: I really enjoyed this as well, Joe has always been awesome at these energetic sprints, and this reminded me of a less crazy version of the Necro classic. I loved Joe jumping him before the bell and laying him out, and his attack at the beginning was pretty intense, I thought the jabs and knees to the stomach were a nice call back to the diverticulitis (which is really something they should bring up on commentary). Lesnar is amazing at selling chokes, he always looks like he is mid-stroke. I liked the F5 counter for the pin, I only wish that Lesnar hadn't spammed that move so much over the years.


2017 MOTY MASTER LIST

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