Segunda Caida

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

Sunday, December 10, 2017

CWF Mid-Atlantic Worldwide Episode 130

Episode 130

1. Mace Li vs. Snooty Foxx

PAS: I thought this was a really good 5 minute match, by the far the best Li has looked. It was the story of Fox's superior strength versus Li's guile. The spot early on where Fox spinebusters Li into the corner and then cannonballs him was awesome. Li takes over with a DDknee and then works over Fox's knee. Fox did an awesome job selling it, trying to do all of his same moves but a little tentative and awkward, great vulnerable babyface performance, and another quill in Fox's rookie year performance, he has been overshadowed a bit by how legendary Cain Justice's rookie year has been, but Fox has been a strong #2.

ER: What a fun little short story match, super impressive performance from Foxx. Phil makes a good point about how Cain's rookie year has overshadowed Snooty's, it's totally true. Foxx has this assured confidence of someone who has been there longer than he really has, and it makes me forget he is even a rookie at times. Mace Li doesn't do tons for me yet, but I liked half his strikes here. He tried a bunch of different strikes from different angles, and I think that's a pretty smart plan with iffy strikes. You have bad corner punches? Weak punches from mount? No worries, through in some body shots and downward elbows to the traps, doing that makes it all look like part of an aggressive attack where individual strikes don't really matter as much. Snooty's knee selling was great. Before that we get that awesome corner spinebuster with the huge rolling hip attack, so Li wisely works to flatten Snooty's tires. Snooty climbing the buckles with a weakening knee actually had me inch forward in my seat, dude's selling was so good it was making me picture a horrific Sid scenario. The more I think about this match the more I like it.

ER: Can't believe Phil didn't mention the Aric Andrews shaved face comedy politician vignette. I'll say, on its face, I don't like it. I liked the Lee/Andrews dynamic that we had. Andrews suddenly being Bob Backlund stumping for a title shot seems like a big step back. Add to that, he had an awesome look with that beard. Now suddenly he shows up with no beard, and goes from looking like a pill dealing Black Crowes roadie to looking like Tim Robbins in High Fidelity. Jesse Adler coming back has just gone and messed everything up.

2. Michael McAllister vs. Nick Richards

PAS: I loved this match. It was an old fashioned potato fest, reminded me of some of the great Ian Rotten matches from IWA-MS, just a pair of guys laying in meaty chops and forearms, no leg slapping here all of the sound was thudding impact. Every shot felt like it was a little deeper and nastier then you would expect. I really dug the story of Richards constantly going for the cutter and getting cut off in nasty ways, at one point McAllister pegs him in the back of the head. I also really liked all of the work around the Cobra Clutch.  Richards also takes a couple of crazy bumps to the floor because he is nuts. This is the first chance I have had to see McAllister since we started watching CWF, and he was great, he does a good job of seeming nuts without overdoing the facial expressions.

ER: Man what a great fight. McAllister hasn't done a lot for me in the year we've spent watching, but it also feels like even though we've seen in him in several matches, we haven't really seen him. He was in a goofus gimmick in a tag team where his partner SIS outshone him, he's been in pull aparts and rumbles and multimans, this is I think the only actual singles match we've seen. And what a way to debut! Both guys are rocking a good pudge, McAllister has a grumpy mug like scowling Patton Oswalt, and Richards keeps trying to escape with a cutter. Every time he goes for that damn cutter McAllister makes him PAY and that's the whole match, and that's all the match you need. These two both land with some thump here, and I loved how we started with both a little tentative, both making fists but knowing that once it starts, it's on...and once we're on we never look back. Richards takes a nice backdrop, and McAllister starts landing heavy elbows and palm strikes to Richards' head and nose. They brawl all over without it ever seeming like a brawl, if that makes sense. It felt like Richards was always trying to veer this to the finish of a wrestling match, but McAllister kept immediately derailing him. The stuff on the floor was great, with Richards missing a dive (and I know I point this out a lot, but the guys here are such pros that they keep the family vibe during crazy matches without taking away from the match: Richards takes this huge missed dive bump while not making any of the regulars need to scramble out of the way) and McAllister splats him with a splash off the apron. Every time one of them turned their back on the other they paid for it, with McAllister running into boots and knees or Richards getting caught with elbows, a nice sliding lariat, and a nasty cobra clutch. This whole thing had meanness running throughout, and I love that they never hammered any kind of redemption story for McAllister, just let the action speak.

PAS: Ethan Sharpe gives a pretty great promo about losing the iron man rumble record, and how that was his big achievement. Serious Ethan Sharpe is pretty great.

3. Arik Royal vs. Chet Sterling

PAS: Really great match, easily the best Sterling match (at least tied with the Logan Easton Laroux match I saw live) I have seen. Sterling comes into the match with tape on his neck from being jumped by Brad Attitude at the Rumble, and Royal even calls him out on it at the beginning of the match. With Mark Henry basically retired, Royal is the best in ring shit talker in wrestling, and he is at peak form here as he takes apart Sterling's neck. I loved him just shoving Sterling awkwardly into the rope to take control, and the big ring apron powerbomb was a great huge move, and I loved the Coach and Jerry Carey raising his hands victoriously in the ring. Same with Royals low tackle which sent Sterling flying into the camera man. Couple of minor quibbles, I really liked how Sterling's blown dive worked in the context of the match, but they really should have audibled and delayed his comeback a bit, here he violently crashes on a blown dive, but still moves right into the planned comeback. I also really am lukewarm on Sterling's offense, he is a great seller and underdog babyface, but then he comes back with these lame half nelson suplexes where he barely lifts Royal at all. I also thought it maybe went one kick out too much, that powerbomb near the end was super brutal and probably should have ended it. Still a great Royal performance and some great Sterling selling and a really nifty main event.

ER: WOW this was a blowaway great match. I just got back from seeing a great noisy violent show (the screaming high energy of METZ with killer band Moaning opening for them in Portland) and I came back from the cold and threw this match on and was treated to a different kind of violence. Before the match Royal points out Sterling's bright red kinesio tape and yells out "You just gave me a target!" We've all seen guys work over a knowingly injured body part, but rarely do we get a heel calling his shot right before the match. And man does that neck get targeted in some nasty ways. Royal does something that more wrestlers should do, but you somehow don't see enough: use the ropes. Finlay was someone who was really great at using the ring as a weapon, but it's not something you see outside of apron spots thrown often awkwardly into matches. You don't even see anyone using a hotshot anymore. But early on Royal violently throws Sterling backwards into the bottom and middle ropes, and from there I knew I was going to love this. Royal used the ropes to cross Sterling up with rope running, throwing him through the ropes and to the floor (which later gets used against him), and then doing an actual apron spot that added to the match, brutally powerbombing him into the apron (with his neck hitting the bottom rope). Sterling couldn't be kept down but his comebacks always felt smart and fit nicely within the match. I actually liked his half nelson suplexes, as he really shouldn't be able to lift Royal that much, and they weren't treated like killshots but more like hard takedowns. I also liked how Royal didn't take them on his neck. No need to. Royal keeps working in shots to the neck, even Gemini sneaks in a shot on the floor. Sterling gave a great gritty performance, stumbling around, bringing fight, hitting a nice senton off the apron after Royal misses his Thesz press. But Royal is one nasty MF and he absolutely wrecks Sterling with a sick powerbomb. That powerbomb really should have been the finish, and watching it back you can really see Sterling's head whip. Gross spot. But Royal has tons of great offense and looked like a mega star here, and Sterling's performance really kept me into this beyond just being a great Royal singles. This match was just what I wanted and then some, the kind of stuff that makes me recommend CWF to everybody.

ER: On paper I didn't think too much of this show. It didn't look bad but wasn't something I was rushing home from work to watch. And it might be the under the radar best hour of wrestling TV of the year. The opener was a hot 5 minutes with a great powerful-but-vulnerable babyface, we got a killer slugfest in McAllister/Richards, a great promo after that match from Cain Justice and Ethan Sharpe, and then a 20 minute main event that stands up to some of the best main events of any fed this year. This episode slayed, McAllister/Richards and Royal/Sterling are easy additions to our 2017 Ongoing MOTY List, and I can't say enough nice things about these guys. I gotta get my butt to the Sportatorium in 2018.

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Every Grain Offering of Yoshiaki Fujiwara's You Shall Season with Salt

Yoshiaki Fujiwara/Daisuke Ikeda v. Great Kojika/Hiromitsu Kanehara Kana Pro 6/16/14 - FUN

Fun on paper shootstyle tag, with the odd insertion of the 73 year old Great Kojika. The Fujiwara v. Kojika sections were actually pretty fun, with Kojika throwing some nice hard chops. When Kanehara tagged in he brought the heat, throwing big stiff kicks. There was some cool Kanehara v. Fujiwara sections including Fujiwara moving him into the corner, throwing a slap and the countering the return slap into a Fujiwara armbar. Ikeda was weirdly neutered in this, wasn't in the ring tons, really dominated by Kanehara in their exchanges, hit some lariats, but that was it. Ends up having Kojika throw salt in his eyes for the DQ. I kept waiting for Ikeda to break out and be Ikeda, and Kanehara seemed ready to go there, but it didn't happen. Still I enjoyed this thoroughly.



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Saturday, December 09, 2017

Be Joyful in Hope, Patient in Affliction, Faithful in Yoshiaki Fujiwara

Yoshiaki Fujiwara/Yuki Ishikawa v. Hiroshi Hase/Yuji Nagata NJ 9/20/93-EPIC

Hase is one of Fujiwara's all time great opponents, especially considering they didn't match up that much. There are two awesome singles matches and this superb veteran/rookie tag. Baby Ishikawa and baby Nagata were both great in this, but the highlight was really Hase and Fujiwara's brilliant grappling. Hase was a world class amateur and his matwork with Fujiwara always has this wrestler versus submission fighter feel. I love how fast Hase's takedowns are, and how you can see Fujiwara's brain working to find openings to counter. Ishikawa versus Hase was also really fun, as it was worked less equal, but Ishikawa was still capable of finding moments to shine. We get another classic Fujiwara finish here, Nagata comes in and is rolling, throwing kicks to Fujiwara stomach, and dumping him with german suplexes. However at this point whenever I see a young boy getting on a roll against Fujiwara I am just waiting for the floor to fall out, and Fujiwara spins out of german suplex and locks on a painful looking kneebar for the tap.


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Friday, December 08, 2017

One of the Soldiers Pierced Yoshiaki Fujiwara's side with a Spear and Blood and Water Came Out

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Akitoshi Saito NJ 8/3/93 - EPIC

PAS: Holy hell was this awesome. Fujiwara attacks Saito at the bell and starts choking him with his black belt and it was on. Fujiwara versus a kicker is always the best, and Saito wasn't afraid to throw huge kicks especially to Fujiwara's belly. Fujiwara is the greatest body shot seller in wrestling history, he always sells them like he is about to throw up, but is keeping it down to fight through a Crossfit workout. Saito gets Fujiwara down and opens him up with knuckle punches to the head. Then a pissed off Fujiwara fires back with big headbutts as blood is running down his face. Finish was great Fujiwara crumple to the ground after a couple of nasty body kicks and Saito comes into finish him off, Fujiwara though grabs the next body kick and turns it into a nasty ankle lock for the tap. He then does this awesome strut around the ring with a shit eating grin on his face. He jaws a bit with Aoyagi who was seconding Saito and then offers his hand. Saito throws a kick at him, and Fujiwara has this great "look at the tough guy" smirk and struts out of the ring. I saw this on Ditch's site and got excited, but it totally exceeded my pretty high expectations.


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Thursday, December 07, 2017

New Japan HandHeld Bonanza: Lucha Cherry Picking

Pete over at PWO has gotten his hands on a ton of New Japan HHs from the 80s. I am posting the Fujiwara matches in C+A posts, but I figured I would do some reviews of the lucha guys showing up and my buddy MattD showed up as well!

Tiger Mask/George Takano v. Brazo De Oro/Brazo De Plata 9/6/81

PAS: Slim and trim Brazos looking great. We have a couple of other 1981 Brazos New Japan matches and we don't have any lucha Brazos this early. They are here to serve as foils for the technicos and they do a great job eating fancy arm drags. We get a nasty Plata top rope senton which is less lung collapsing in 1981 then it was later. Takano is a big dude and he flies around quite a bit with some nice arm drags. Mask is at his best when he comes in, hits his stuff and leaves and he had some cool flipping sentons. Nothing mindblowing, but a great chance to see a couple of lucha greats early in their career.

MD: I'm going at this in a more comprehensive way than Phil, watching everything (including Tiger Jeet Singh handheld matches). He is a wiser man than I. For 81 Brazos, I jumped the line though. The setting on this is amazing. It's some sort of outdoor bathhouse with steam rising up in the foreground and a crowd that seems eager for all of the Brazos' relatively outlandish stuff. Tanako competently takes most of the match with Tiger Mask hitting just enough of his signature stuff at the beginning and end to leave you satisfied. Oro and Plata, despite being very young here, base perfectly both on offense in taking stuff (goofus and gallant) and fit in just as well as they would in Japan ten years later.

Tiger Mask/Gran Hamada/Kengo Kimura vs. Steve Wright/Coloso Colosetti/Black Man 3/5/82

Totally fun trios match, that was a better finishing run away from being a real lost classic. Black Man had a couple of fun lucha exchanges with Hamada, which included Hamada taking a couple of his legendarily high backdrops. Colosetti wasn't in a ton, but I liked his exchanges with Tiger Mask where he kept trying to brawl like a rudo, and kept getting caught with spin kicks, I loved how he finally got frustrated and just palm thrusted TM in the eye. The rudo star of this match was Wright, totally awesome performance, he may look like an accounts payable manager, but he is remarkable agile, at points looking more agile then Tiger Mask. He has really great looking cartwheels out of arm bars and a cool kipup, and when it got time to get nasty, he through some really nice uppercuts and some vicious bodyslams and an awesome looking judo throw. Match kind of ended abruptly, which is a problem for a lot of Tiger Mask matches, but it was a real treat to watch.

Junji Hirata v. Luis Mariscal 8/29/82

Mariscal is a 70s and 80s luchadore who worked as a Baby Face and Scorpio trios partner and lost his hair to Villano IV and Perro Aguayo, I don't remember seeing him before, but he was a fun discovery. Young Hirata was svelte but hit hard, and these two had a nice scrap. It started with some basic but solid grappling, and then Hirata actually got snippy and they had a bunch of nice punch and chop exchanges. This was an undercard match with little heat, but I could visualize Mariscal having similar exchanges with Enirique Vera and tearing the house down. Really liked the multiple in ring topes by Mariscal to set up the pin

Kantaro Hoshino v. Villano III 8/29/82

PAS: Pretty strange match, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. V3 jumps Hoshino at the bell throws him to the floor, posts him, and hits a plancha. The match never felt in control, with Hoshino ripping at Villanos mask and Villano constantly biting Hoshino's head. It really felt like someone should be bleeding, and I enjoyed seeing a real lucha brawl in New Japan. Finish had Hoshino DQed for trying to rip off Villano's mask, and he goes nuts and beats up the ref. Then he ties up V3 in the ropes and tries to tear off the mask again. Really felt like a match setting up an apuestas, and I guess we need another batch of handhelds for that.

MD: Yeah, this was enjoyable. V3 rushes Hoshino and just doesn't let up for a few minutes. Pure rudo beatdown to start a match. I love how he keeps things moving, using the ring as a weapon, leaping off the ropes inside and out for extra leverage, pulling Hoshino half out to hit a knee on the apron, bulldogging him into the turnbuckle, etc. If Villano was doing this here against a guy working a different style, what the heck was he doing in Mexico at this time, right? When it's Hoshino's time to fight back, he goes straight to the mask and then follows it up with some revenge usage of the ring as well. The finish is where the weirdness sets in as they move on to rope running and submissions, like the end of a title match primera. Thankfully, it cycles back to hate with the mask ripping finish and the never-ending post match with the two trying to get their hands on each other. This left me wanting to see about three dozen more 1982 V3 matches. Then I made the mistake of looking at what else he did in 82. Not much, just, you know, feuding with Los Misioneros, including apuestas matches with Signo and Texano. This was definitely better than nothing though.

Black Cat/Isamu Teranishi/Kuniaki Kobayashi v. El Signo/Negro Navarro/El Texano 1/1/83

PAS: This was one of the most exciting matches to show up on this batch of footage. We have so little prime Missonaires de la Muerte, we know how awesome all these guys were as oldsters, and their rep is so great, that any time 80s MDM shows up it is a lucha fan holiday. This was more like an awesome first fall of a great trios match, then a great match on its own, but it was a awesome demonstration of what made this team so special. They were just relentless, attacking at the bell and always moving forward. Their pace was really something to watch, never not moving, never not attacking. They didn't take many bumps but every bump was athletic and crazy. We don't get a ton of offense from the Japan team, Kobayashi has a couple of cool armdrags, which Texano bumps huge for. For some reason Kobayashi and Teranishi start brawling post match, as the MDM just strut out victorious.

MD: Los Missionaries were the prototype for a rudo trios side for a reason and here you can so clearly see why. Relentless is exactly the word I'd use, too. This was just the perfect combination of complex spots and improvisational bridging. They kept working back into their corner, kept switching up, kept helping each other whenever possible while their opponents weren't on the same page at all. This would have played well as a Guerreros primera twenty years later (give or take a powerbomb), maybe even thirty. You saw hints of the stooging and miscommunication that would have, in another match, been part of a tecnico shine or comeback. You saw hints of them basing and bumping. At times they were moving so fast that you'd think that there was no way they'd feed an armdrag in time, but they do. Primarily, though, this was their showcase and they brought it, from the initial ambush to the triple team hanging seated senton on the floor and the nasty, nasty tombstone that finished things. Again, it just leads you to imagine all the things we don't have.

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I will Still Be Carrying Yoshiaki Fujiwara When He is Old, His Hair Will Turn Grey and I Will Carry You

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Masa Fuchi AJPW 7/11/00-GREAT

This was the battle of the two legends of old man grumpy puro. The Walter Matthau invitational. This was a 30 minute draw which All Japan clipped up on their commercial tape much to my chagrin. I imagine a full version might hit EPIC status. We did get a bunch of cool moments, Fuchi working a headscissors with Fujiwara trying and failing multiple escapes. Fujiwara ripping off some great Fujiwara armbars, with Fuchi fighting to the ropes, and a headbutt and slap fight. I liked the finish, with Fujiwara escaping a headscissors only to get caught in a choke and almost going out. Lets hope AJ Classics eventually gets to 2000.


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Wednesday, December 06, 2017

There is Snow in His Hair, and Black Terry Helped Put it There

Black Terry/TAKA Michinoku v. Kyu Mogami/Tank Nagai K-DOJO 9/18/17-FUN

Nifty chance to see Terry work in Japan, he is a guy who is amazing at adjusting to his location and he works here as a returning legend. TAKA spends a lot of the match showing Terry all of his submissions, including locking guys up in a Neblina and a rocking chair. Terry gets to do a little brawling outside, which he is a master at and gets to be the focus of the finish as he chops the nipple off of Mogami and hits him with a front cracker and a back cracker for the win. Needed a little more from the rudos to be a great match, this was a showcase more then a competative match, but it was a nifty showcase.

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I Press On Toward the Goal For The Prize of Yoshiaki Fujiwara

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Riki Choshu NJ 1/4/94-GREAT

These two had a certified classic in 1987 and have always matched up beautifully. This was a dome show match, and surprisingly minimalist for such a huge stage. This had a lot of grappling early, not Choshu's strength, but Fujiwara is always work watching grab holds. Finish was bigger of course, with Fujiwara desperately grabbing at Choshu's arm, and Choshu squirming free. Fujiwara starts throwing nasty kicks to Choshu's lariat arm and Choshu powers up and starts cracking Fujiwara with multiple lariats. Fujiwara eats three of them and stays standing, he goes to counter the fourth, trying for another armbar, can't pull it off and finally goes down on the fifth for the pin. Had a classic Fujiwara finish, but probably needed a bit more before that to hit EPIC level.


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Tuesday, December 05, 2017

2017 Ongoing MOTY List: Styles v. Lesnar

1. AJ Styles v. Brock Lesnar WWE Survivor Series 11/19

ER: I'm sure most people were expecting this to be a 7 minute Lesnar mauling, and it is a 7 minute mauling. What I meant is that most people probably thought it would end after those 7 minutes, instead we got something special. But my does Lesnar maul him for 7 minutes. Brock tosses AJ around like a total dead body, and AJ flies around spectacularly. His bumps on German suplexes look absolutely body collapsing, and he bumps over the top to the floor with a real death wish. Lesnar's knees to the ribs look like something a human shouldn't be able to manage. But the comeback is great, and I'll always love that Lesnar missed knee in the corner as a transition. Once AJ gets in control he really makes it count. They flub a tornado DDT a bit, but after that Brock shows off why he is so special, bumping wildly and deservedly for AJ. Lesnar gets run through the ringside steps with such force that it looked like a car crashing through the front of a strip mall nail salon. Styles hits all of his big flying moves, and they work great as actual offense, and better as actual tension: Every time he goes up in the air you keep expecting it to end badly for him, for him to get caught. the moment of Styles locking in the calf crusher was huge. Brock is a super gifted salesman, and in that moment you could see the size difference completely erased, Brock easily looking like a man who could be beaten clean by Styles. And then Lesnar comes up with the greatest escape from the calf crusher, just grabbing AJ by the back of the head and smashing his face into the canvas, several times. It was one of the more violent wrestling moments I've seen this year. And wouldn't you know, all that tension AJ built up with the flying ends up backfiring, with Brock catching him coolly and planting him roughly with a quick lights out F5. Awesome match.

PAS: This was really tremendous, best Brock match since the Wrestlemania match with Reigns, and it is great to see that he can still bring it on big occasions. I loved the opening thrust kick right to Styles chest great way to say hello, and the knees he was throwing looked like they were going to puncture lungs. Styles is still an electric bumper even at 40 years old he really has kept almost all of his athleticism.  Some of those suplex bumps looked terrifying, a great combo of force and acrobatic bumps, they weren't the Shawn Michaels/Ziggler look at me bumps, he flew the way a guy should fly when being thrown by a Gorilla. After taking this huge beating Styles comeback was credible and great, his flying moves really land with force, he never felt like he was doing springboards to look cool, they always felt like attacking from afar was his only approach. Airplanes don't try to punch it out with King Kong they dive bomb. The calf slicer spot was incredible, Styles had been killing the leg all match, and Brock sold the calf slicer like all of the tendons in his knee were shredding, Brock countering it by trying to show Styles the inside of the ring was incredible stuff, right up their with Ki breaking Callihan's jaw for violence of the year. I also like how Brock has brought back the F5 as a one move killshot, he isn't throwing ten of the them a match anymore, it is back being a one hitter quitter. Incredible match, loved every second of it. Big match inspired Brock is still the absolute best.


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Better is the Sight of Yoshiaki Fujiwara than the Wandering of the Appetite

Yoshiaki Fujiwara/Osamu Kido v. John Quinn/Otto Wanz 6/14/84-SKIPPABLE

I have liked previous Wanz, but he was pretty much just working like a less mobile Northeast Indy mailing it in for a check Bundy, not sure who John Quinn was but he wasn't much better. Fujiwara isn't going to be able to do much in this context, so it was all shtick, Quinn hurts his hand punching Fujiwara on his head, Fujiwara keeps hold of a headlock by pulling Quinn's beard. Add that to a desultory ending and this can be missed. 


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