Segunda Caida

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

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Unicorn Gimmick Matches- Cell Block Match

Shank v. Timber the Lumberjack - NWA Wildside 7/1/00

Shank is one of my favorite gimmicks in wrestling history. He was a guy working a babyface convict gimmick where he would threaten to rape and murder his opponents. He set up this match by laying in wait outside of Timbers family's house and discussing how his grandmothers body would never be found. The Cell Block match is a cage set up in the unpaved parking lot outside the Wildside arena, no ring, just a cage on dirt. This is a match I have wanted to see since it happened, so I was amped that I unearthed a copy. The match has amazing opening, Timber is in the cage screaming for Shank to get in there, and Shank appears from out of a hole with sod placed over it and jumps Timber from behind. The punches and kicks in this really felt like a pair of guys fighting over weight time in a yard. Shank really stomps like his trying to mush someones head. They also both land some really brain damaging unprotected chair shots. Finish was kind of silly, but nutso, Shank pries Timber's axehandle into the top of the cage and uses it a platform to hit an moonsault where he hits his knee into Timber's temple. Shank then just squeezes his way out of a hole in the cage, before he is jumped by Terry Knight and Jeff G. Bailey.  This wasn't long, but really violent feeling, and Shank rising from underground like a raised vampire was one my favorite freakshow spots ever.

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Friday, April 28, 2017

Reigns vs. Braun: A Match History, Part II

5. Braun Strowman/Bray Wyatt/Erick Rowan vs. Roman Reigns/Dean Ambrose/Seth Rollins (Raw 10/19/15)

ER: If I had to choose one word to describe this match, I would choose "sluggish". It was 10 minutes, but really draggggged. This continues the trend of Braun hardly getting involved in matches, as he did nothing in the match for the first 8 minutes, and by the end did no actual moves. He pulled Roman down off the apron, threw Ambrose to the floor, then got Roman into a choke. I really liked how he looked before this, so I'm unsure why they suddenly had him stop working. This was mostly Ambrose working Bray, playing FIP, leading to Rollins leaving with a fake knee injury. Dean was on fire the first minute of this, but just a few minutes in was already airmailing punches a foot past Rowan's head. When Bray locking on a grounded side headlock is the most interesting part of the match, you just move on with your life, admitting to yourself and your family that you chose the dumbest fucking hobby.

6. Braun Strowman/Bray Wyatt vs. Roman Reigns/Dean Ambrose (WWE House Show 10/31/15)

ER: Really fun No DQ house show match. There's tons of loud kids in attendance which makes house shows the best (really the only life situation that loud excitable kids add to my enjoyment of something), just tons of kids screaming for Reigns and yelling at Wyatt. At one point Ambrose gets put through a table and then gets caught with sister Abigail off the rebound lariat. Reigns leaps in from the floor to save him at the last second, and one kid - not trying to start any kind of chant - just screams out "THIS IS AWESOME!!!" And it was pretty awesome. Braun worked slow methodical monster in this one, with some nice moments like standing on Ambrose's knee and ankle while soaking in the boos, then stomping on it. Bray introduced chairs and a kendo stick, all of which got used by everyone. Roman had a bunch of fun superman punches including a great one saving Dean from another sister Abigail. The whole match built to Braun getting speared through a table, which feels like a big spot on a house show. But this whole thing was fun, definitely sent people home happy.

7. 16 Man Elimination Tag: Braun/Wyatt/Harper/Rowan vs. Reigns/Ambrose/Usos vs. Rhyno/Dudleys/Dreamer vs. Sheamus/Rusev/Barrett/Del Rio (Raw 12/7/15)

ER: What kind of a weird mess of a match is this!? Tommy Dreamer was in WWE a year ago? They were actually collectively called Team ECW?! This is such a weird match. It was the opening segment on Raw, and starting Raw with a match is weird enough, but starting it with some sort of 1997 Gang Warz elimination match is even weirder. And then The Wyatts are the first team eliminated when Dreamer pins Rowan with a DDT. But this thing is a total cluster, a kind of fun cluster, but a total cluster. A member for each team is in the ring at all times, so there's bodies just constantly getting in the way of each other. Del Rio is oddly spirited in this, stiffing up Team ECW with these cool low yakuza kicks (like a yakuza kick, but thrown to a seated opponent) and taking a couple big bumps. Rusev sells way too much for everybody, the Dudleys do a bunch of old bad spots (I like when Bubba is unprofessionally stiffing people, not so much his "working a minor league baseball stadium" style), Usos work stiff as well with some nasty uppercuts, Reigns has a fun/silly segment where he does a superman punch to three different guys on the apron. Not all at once, but Wade Barrett would get on the apron, and get punched, then ADR would climb up on a different side of the ring, and get punched, and so on and so on. This match had over half a Royal Rumble worth of dudes, and it happened, because.

8. Braun/Wyatt/Harper/Rowan/Sheamus/Rusev/Barrett/Del Rio vs. Reigns/Ambrose/Ryback/Usos/Dudleys/Kane (Tribute to the Troops 12/8/15)

ER: A much, much, much better version of the 16 man match from the day before. We drop the elimination stip, make it 8 on 8, Kane and Ryback replace Dreamer and Rhyno, and everybody works pointlessly stiff for the least watched WWE TV special of the year. This isn't really a Roman/Braun show, as they only have one moment together (Roman superman punching him while he gets Kane in his standing side triangle) but it's a hot 10 minutes. Harper was a standout here, throwing beastly palm strikes and ambushing Ambrose with a great superkick, Kane throws his nice uppercuts and gets out of the way, Ryback is dressed like the most gassed Bushwhacker, I don't remember any moment where any League of Nation member is in the ring, and out of everybody that could have taken the pin, Luke Harper takes it. Also, the Dudleys are still around, and take up time in 2015 doing the Wazzup drop, and it occurs to me that at this point there are thousands of fans who have never see any of the Wazzup commercials, and only know this as a thing that the Dudleys do. The reference is so old, it has now become their own. It would be like a team in 2000 doing a Where's the Beef double team flapjack, with a crowd of children screaming Whhhheeerrrrreee's (as the guy went up for the flapjack) THE BEEF (when he hit the mat). It would be like someone considering retiring their Austin Powers catchphrase-based offense in 2012, but then taking it out for another spin. Though I do look forward to someone doing a Borat "My wiiiiiife" bronco buster in 2022.

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

2017 Ongoing MOTY List: Terry/Navarro v. Panthers

15. Black Terry/Negro Navarro v. Blue Panther/The Panther CMLL 4/11

ER: The old dogs make one of their couple-times-a-year Arena Mexico appearances and work a fun exhibition-y match with some nice scrapes and solid drama down the stretch. Each caida had some time to breathe, and while there were some holes in the game at times, this was plenty fun. Navarro and Terry come out to a nice reaction, both men looking like they could teach a trade school class titled "How to Wear a Championship Belt". Terry and Panther son start and have probably my favorite matwork of the match, fighting over arms rolling through things not gracefully, but assuredly, Terry almost feeling like he's testing the young member of the match, his dad more of a known commodity. Terry gets caught a couple times early and by the time their partners get involved Terry is bending arms and working indian deathlocks in a more painful way. Navarro and Panther Sr. have more of a spry-off, trading arm drags, Panther gets a nice short arm scissor and makes Navarro yell with a nice ankle lock, and Navarro locks in this awesome hold, like he folded a figure 4 while holding his own legs for leverage. The arm lock he taps BP to end the primera was simple and wonderful, and then Jr. goes for a roll up and Navarro catches it, hoists him up and wrenches his neck in nasty fashion. Drama ramps up in the tercera with Terry hitting a big Thesz press, and everybody doing a fun and silly "everybody trapped in a hold" spot, but instead of stacking a superplex or holding a 4 man abdominal stretch, they all lock twisty lucha holds on each other. It's dumb, but I enjoyed it. It comes down to Terry/Jr. and I liked this, with Jr. hitting a huge dive but comes up limping, and that limp leads to him taking too long to hit a moonsault, so he catches knees. Panther hits a seated dropkick waaaaay across the ring (his second of the match) for another nice nearfall. Maybe my favorite moment was right after this, when Navarro and Blue Panther are both getting as close to possible to the action from the apron - with both even getting inside the ring - knowing they won't be able to physically save their partner but recognizing how close each man is to a loss. Nice emotional moment to cap a fun match.

PAS: I really loved the first fall of this match, it is what you want when you see this matchup on paper and Navarro and Terry are clearly excited to be plying their trade in a title match in Arena Mexico. Navarro and Panther do some really intricate stuff, I especially loved how Navarro tapped Panther with a short arm scissors, I was expecting them to do the Backlund Deadlift spot, but instead Navarro just shifted his weight and got the tap. The roll up counter was awesome looking too, he catches young Panther and stretches him out like he is on the rack. Second and third falls were fine, although that was closer to a normal CMLL tag match as opposed to the maestro stuff which you never see in big arena lucha.

2017 Ongoing MOTY List

Complete and Accurate Black Terry

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Complete and Accurate Wednesday Morning War Games



I have been doing a series of reviews of Indy Wargames match on Wednesday Morning War Games for the last couple of months. Like other C+A's I will be rating these matches EPIC, GREAT, FUN and SKIPPABLE. I have already found some gems, and hopefully I will turn up some more.

1991

Ric Flair/Barry Windham/Sid Vicious/Larry Zbyszko v. Sting/Brian Pillman/Steiner Brothers WCW WrestleWar 2/24/91-EPIC

2001

NWA Elite (Justice/Jason Cross/Adam Jacobs/John Phoenix) v. NWA Wildside (AJ Styles/Onyx/Air Paris/Stone Mountain) NWA Wildside 7/7/01-SKIPPABLE

2005

Team IWA-MS (Ian Rotten/Chris Hero/Axl Rotten/Corporal Robinson/Bull Pain) v. Team NWA (Tank/Eric Priest/Chandler McClure/Sal Thomaselli/Vito Thomaselli) v. Fanin Family (Eddie Kingston/BJ Whitmer/JC Bailey/Mark Wolf/Steve Stone) IWA-MS 7/2/05-GREAT

2006


2007


G1 (Tony Givens/Robby Cassidy/Moe Jenkins/Wayne Adkins) v. The First Family (Brian Logan/Beau James) and The VSS (Alyx Winters/Chase Owens) CWA 3/21/09-EPIC

2011

Urban Assault Squad (Nemesis and Shadow Jackson)/Kimo v. Hate Junkies (Stryknyn and Dany Only)/Azrael NWA Anarchy 10/29/11-GREAT



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Wednesday Morning War Games: NWA Wildside Team NWA Elite v. Team Wildside

NWA Elite (Justice/Jason Cross/Adam Jacobs/John Phoenix) v. NWA Wildside (AJ Styles/Onyx/Air Paris/Stone Mountain) NWA Wildside 7/7/01

This didn't do very much for me. This was less a violent fight and more a chance for athletic guys in jnco jeans to do backflips. I liked the opening section with Styles and Adam Jacobs, it was juniors wrestling, but well worked. Styles took some nutty bumps into the cage, which is something he is still doing 16 years later, and Jason Cross has a nice brainbuster, but otherwise this was forgettable. Justice is Abyss and looks even dumber in an Andre the Giant singlet. Finish has Stone Mountain return to the fed as the Wildside team's surprise partner, he then turns on his team and they have a long beatdown section with Jeff G. Bailey yelling over the microphone. Wildside did War Games a bunch of times, hopefully I will find a great one, this wasn't it.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

All Time MOTY List Head to Head 1983: MS1 v. Sangre V. Piper v. Valentine

Roddy Piper v. Greg Valentine 11/24/83

PAS: My goodness, I haven't seen this match in years and the brutality really stands out 30 years later, I can't remember a more violent focused attack then Valentine trying to destroy Piper's ear. Piper's ear is just oozing blood as Valentine beats on it with a length of chain, harrowing stuff. I really liked the opening of this with both guys almost doing a test of strength with their neck muscles and slowly inching forward to attack. Piper had a bunch of really creative uses of the chain early, wrapping it around Valentine's mouth, pulling it taut and smacking it into Valentine's eye, using at as a wench to lock him in the corner, just a ton of neat flourishes. Once Valentine gets a chance to attack the ear though, it goes to another level. I always love Piper's wild brawling, he just throws hands with such abandon, they don't always hit, but a crazy fuck like him will throw five to land one. That style of brawling and his crazy selling really work for a guy with a damaged equilibrium. Finish felt a little abrupt, which is my only criticism, I think Piper really should have unloaded with some bigger shots then a yank off the ropes to get the pin in such a war. Still the 80s were a decade with amazing brawls and this is right at the highest level of them.

ER: I also hadn't seen this in probably 15 years, and my god did it hold up. Any 30 second segment of this match would have me laid up for days. Somehow they worked 3 more dog collar matches over the next few weeks which...could not have been THIS violent, right? I would never want to see a dog collar again after working this match. I'm sure we have zero footage of those other dog collar matches, right? Anyway, the neck muscle strength makes this unique and painful enough for me. I sleep wrong and get a kink in my neck for two days. But these guys are leaning back with their full body weight, whipping their own neck around to damage the other's neck. It all looks so nasty. And then the chain shots start. Caudle and Solie did a good job putting over the bulk of the chain links, even pointing out that it was a "cow chain". Because all the chain shots are gross. A lot of the shots WITHOUT the chain are gross. But the chain shots are gross. The chain gets whipped into each man's head, neck, arm and shoulders, and bless these men because it looks just as great when they're just punching each other in the face. Valentine shows he's not messing around in the least when he clubs the side of Piper's neck with his fist. The shots are so great, and they'd get tired of throwing blows, then go back to the chain. Both guys sold the chain so perfectly, and sold the ricochet effects of the chain so perfectly. Probably because they were both getting hit with a fucking chain. But Valentine raking the chain over Piper's eyes while also wrapping it around his ears (you can see the blood getting cut off to Piper's ear!!)? That's freaking pro wrestling right there. Piper puts over the ear injury great, stumbling around like only he and Funk can pull off, And Valentine drops all kinds of great elbows and knees. That leaping knee to the chest was a killer spot I don't remember him doing even a few years later. The wench spot was awesome and something I've never seen, with Piper teaching a science class on simple machines, wrapping the chain around the ring post and giving Valentine slack before choking him back, just so damn cool. The ending was confusing and felt like something additional was supposed to happen: Piper yanked Valentine off the ropes face first and looked like Valentine was supposed to land throat first on a punch, but doesn't really put that over well. Piper beats him some more with the chain and even hooks Valentine's leg with the chain, but Valentine sells the whole thing kind of strange considering how he was acting moments before the pin, and moments after the pin. A finish with just either man bloody and getting KO'd would have made this a GOAT contender, as is it's a match that's "merely" a MOTY most years.

Chicana v. MS1 review

Verdict:

PAS: Piper v. Valentine would win a lot of years, but MS1 v. Chicana is the greatest match in wrestling history. There were moments when Piper v. Valentine approached those heights, but it had kind of a weak finish and a match will have to be perfect to take down MS1 v. Chicana. Champs retain.

ER: It doesn't matter, but I'm going to go Valentine/Piper. I love stipulation matches executed at the peak of their stip: The Dundee/Koko scaffold match was my #1 Memphis match, Panther/Villano mask match is my favorite match of all time, Colon/Hansen strap match is my favorite of that year, Kabuki/Adams superkick match was my favorite WCCW match. I freaking love stips matches executed to the limits of the stip. I didn't actually realize that until I saw the Colon/Hansen match. And I don't think it's possible to have a better dog collar match than this one. I mean, Piper does a fist drop with a chain on his fist! This takes it for me, but champ retains on the split.


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Monday, April 24, 2017

CWF Mid-Atlantic Worldwide Episode 101

Episode 101

1. Arik Royal/Roy Wilkins vs. Dirty Daddy/Snooty Fox

PAS: Just a great, compact, formula southern tag match. Daddy and Foxx are already very good at the babyface role in a tag match, Daddy bumps big, sells well and times his comebacks, Foxx is a good power hot tag, kind of babyface Nikita Koloff (which is a total compliment BTW). Royal and Wilkins are great at cutting off the ring, having an interesting set of beat down offense and talking shit. This has a nice Daddy in peril section, good Foxx tag, a great cut off of Foxx (Royal obliterates him with a nasty lariat) and a nice short finish run. This is everything you want from an Elite 8 seven minute tourney southern tag match.

ER: This wasn't the match I expected, and that's a good thing. Fox really impressed me as he worked a long control segment with Wilkins, and he had mainly been seen as a hot tag guy before this. He's clearly improving, given more and more responsibility each match, and I liked him roughing up Wilkins. Royal was great when he tagged in, sending a tired Wilkins running towards Fox to distract him, then blasting Fox with a killer western lariat. And that finish by the All-Stars is absolute murder. Also, forget when exactly, but Wilkins did a dropkick to Daddy while Daddy was lying down and it looked awesome. Pretty sure that's a spot we've seen from him before, but this is the best I've seen It look. Really dug this, good showing by all.

2. The Carnies vs. Ethan Alexander Sharpe/White Mike Jordan

PAS: This opens with a long dance off and a section where White Mike plays cornhole, oof, it felt like a college improv troupe stuck in a bad idea with no way to get out. When the match finally started it was OK, until the end where Sharpe stops in the middle of the match to start lecturing Jordan on his behavior, as they are doing a poor mans Bobby Eaton with the Blue Bloods gimmick. I like Jordan and the Carnies (could do without Sharpe) but this was overall a stinker.

ER: I'm watching this cornhole segment thinking "Phil might be letting me review CWF shows solo from here on out". This is an accurate approximation of Schneider wrestling hell. The fact that we don't even get the cornhole story paid off with a winner is another problem entirely. I wanted to see how legit White Mike's shot was. But it was a way for the Carnies to eventually jump their opponents, which ehhhh fine whatever. Loved the Carnies here once the match got started. Awful especially had some big moments, huge chops, stooged around nicely for a shot, hits the best bombs away butt splash in the biz, really starting to come across like a Dick Murdoch son who has at least two Avenged Sevenfold CDs. I wanted more from the match overall, but the Carnies finisher is legit and I'm glad Sharpe got punished for wasting everyone's time.

3. Ugly Ducklings vs. Joshua Cutshall/Tracer X

PAS: Fun tag which is the most workratey match of this round. Lots of pretty complicated spots which were timed well, fun dynamic with three little flyers and Cutshall as a big heavyweight cracking everyone. I really enjoy Lance Lude, he seems to be made of jello on his bumps and hits some pretty elaborate armdrags and ranas. Didn't think the interlude between Stokely and Coach Mikey was needed, and the end might have had one reversal too many, but I mostly enjoyed this. Would like to see WWN use Cutshall with Tracer X as a team in FIP or EVOLVE, they really have nice chemistry.

ER: I'm pretty much with Phil down the line on this one. I like both these teams and liked how they matched up, Ducks bring the bumps and Killjoy even throws some surprisingly stiff shots. I love matches that have dives right next to a barrier-free crowd, always seems crazy to me. I really liked all the workrate-y exchanges, though I think Cutshall's wind up elbow should be more of a KO blow, felt like they moved on from that shot too quickly. The manager moment of the match I guess allowed for some recovery time, and while it was overall pointless I didn't mind too much as I like Mikey's look. Didn't expect the upset and I have a feeling this might set them up to be crushed by the All Stars...

4. Tripp Cassidy/Cain Justice vs. Sandwich Squad

PAS: Really fun five minute potato fest. Basically all four guys just laid into each other. Cassidy and Biggs had a really fun exchange of shots with Cassidy using throat thrusts and backfists and Biggs laying in headbutts. The finish was nasty with Biggs obliterating Justice with a pop up forearm, before the Hero's sandwich. I really enjoyed Justice's KO selling, as he really looked like a boxer or an MMA fighter who didn't know what arena he was in.

ER: I wanted more of a showing for Justice/Cassidy in this one, they both got in shots (especially Cassidy with a bunch of cool strikes to Biggs) but it never totally felt like Sandwich Squad were taking them seriously. I thought the heels deserved better, especially Cain who got a little steamrolled. I don't typically mind the Squad steamrolling guys, but I wanted a bit more competitiveness. Nice showing for the Squad, though, they at least looked like killers.

5. Sandwich Squad vs. The Carnies

PAS: Carnies jump the Sandwich Squad at the bell and they have a short violent sprint. I like how they are building this feud with The Carnies getting more and more desperate. The Aaron Biggs running splash felt like a KO blow and I loved how it was sold. I have a feeling a big blowoff is coming between these two team and I am excited about it.

ER: If you're going to blow things up in just a couple minutes, you do it like this. Carnies jump the Squad right after their win, Cassidy sticks around to help with the beatdown, Awful locks in a mean leg submission, but this short match was ALLLLL about Biggs' running Thesz Press. Holy shit that was a finish! It felt like a bullied high school fat kid finally just snapped and just ran body first into his antagonizer with the goal of crushing him through cement. These teams should have a good feud down the line.


6. All-Stars vs. Ugly Ducklings

PAS: Lance Lude comes into this match with a bad knee, and the All-Stars work a great "guy with a bad knee" tag match. Brutalize Lude, until he gets a hot tag, let hubris get the best of them and almost lose, and then do some cheap shit to pull out the win. Ducklings are great in ring bumpers and were flying around for all of the All-Stars big moves. Short and perfectly worked for this situation.

ER: Yeah yeah yeah this was easily my favorite match on the show, really loved this. I found myself really rooting for the Ducklings to advanced and surprised myself by how pissed I got when Gemini interfered, leading to the All-Stars win. Lude turns in an awesome performance, limping around and taking vicious bumps, fighting like mad, standing up like a man, scrambling for that hot tag. Killjoy comes in and lands some great shots, but also takes a brutal lariat. Perfect amount of time for what they were going for, and while I still REALLY wanted that upset, I'm sure All-Stars/Sandwich is gonna be a killer. Damn, just can't get over all the awesome scrambling here, those early parts where Royal was just trying to contain Lude. Great short match.

PAS: Another great round of tourney matches, I really did not like the White Mike cornhole horseshit, but otherwise all of the matches were good, and different and smartly worked. We set up a sensible final which should be an excellent match.

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Sunday, April 23, 2017

CWF Mid-Atlantic Worldwide Episode 100

1. Smith Garrett vs. Darius Lockhart

PAS: This was a rematch from Episode 1 of the CWF Worldwide and was a spirited little affair. First time I have seen Lockhart, and I am a little uncomfortable with a heel wearing #blacklivesmatter trunks, especially in the South, especially against a white power looking babyface like Smith Garrett. Troublesome politics aside, match itself was hardhitting and fun, Lockhart really laid it in, and Garrett is a fun brawler, I especially liked Lockharts stomps in the corner, really felt like they were going to crack a rib.

ER: I liked simpler parts of this, like the fast missed chop exchange, but move trading portions kinda turned me off. But the shots landed hard and that will go a long way. I didn't love the finish of Garrett taking a running knee straight to the face and just responding with an elbow. If I had a nice running knee I wouldn't want someone shrugging it off. But Garrett throws a nice elbow, and he had some big overpowering throws, including an Angle slam that practically flipped Lockhart over. Like what I saw of Lockhart and I second those corner stomps. As usual Cecil and Stutts fill me in on all kinds of personal history which really helps accelerate my acclimation to all the indies that CWF pulls from.

2. Percy Davis vs. Tripp Cassidy

PAS: I am continuing my warming to Cassidy. I am embracing the corniness of the character and trying to appreciate the commitment. The story behind the match is that Davis was a former member of Cassidy's IWA-MS invading army and turned his back on evil to become a dancing babyface. Cassidy is trying to punish him for that and bring out the brawler, I liked how Davis got more vicious as the match went along, and his KO selling on the finish was great, he really looked unconscious.

ER: Cassidy is really winning me over too. I don't love the shining wizard finisher (but love how Davis sold it), but the rest of the work, the cheating, the cheapshots, all that is totally working for me. All of the stuff outside the ring was great, him undoing a turnbuckle pad, wrapping Davis' head in the ring skirt and kicking it, throwing weird open hand strikes; he moves with a nice confidence and that's important when doing a character like that. No matter how cheesy I think it is, committing to it 100% at least raises its floor.

3. The Carnies vs. The Sandwich Squad

PAS: The Carnies are both really great at making that switch from clown to killer, it isn't an easy transition, but something which is critical for being a great heel wrestler. Early in the match they are stooging around for the Sandwhich squad, Awful is selling an open hand chop like he is having heart palpitations, Iggy is in midair screaming to be let down and getting bodyslammed. However when they flip that switch they really lay in an asskicking on Mecha Mercenary, including some great looking full weight drops, it has to really suck to have a porker like Kerry Awful drop right on your breastplate. When Aaron Biggs makes a hot tag they are back to stooging, just a great heel tag performance, the kind of thing you might see from Arn and Tully or the Midnight Express.

ER: Man this was great, just constant moving and constant squishing. The first couple minutes are mostly comedy, and then Iggy just smacks Biggs and does a nice dropkick to Mecha on the floor, then gets Irish whipped into a dive onto Mecha (that gets him slammed onto the apron), then Awful comes barreling in with a wild flip dive. And then the Carnies take over with all sorts of great attacks to Mecha's gut, big sentons, double stomps, Awful does a couple great bombs away butt drops, really working the big guy over, Awful even breaks up a pin attempt with a diving headbutt to Mecha's nether regions. Phil is right that they know how to flip the switch from stooge to nasty, and it's huge. Iggy can do amusing do-si-do spots with Mecha one moment, and the next he's hammer punching him in the back of the head. Carnies leaped way up the list of my favorite current tag teams with this match, but I dug both teams.

4. Joshua Cutshall vs. Nick Richards

PAS: This was a rematch of a match we loved from earlier in the year. It was Three Stages of Real, which had the first fall submission or KO, second fall you had to win with your finisher and the third fall was falls count anywhere. First two falls were pretty disposable, the match would have probably been better off as a straight falls count anywhere, but that final fall was a hell of violent brawl. Both guys take some really nasty bumps, especially Richards who finds lots of ways to fly kidneys first into the sides of chairs. Richards clearly has Cactus Jack influences, and this felt like an ECW era Cactus brawl. Cutshall was right there throwing big shots, and taking some pretty nasty bumps of his own. The finish was especially great, with both guys brawling on the bleachers, Cutshall throws his big elbow and smashes the wall full force, Richard then cutters Cutshall off the bleachers into a bunch of chairs, he didn't get the cutter full, but it was an insane bump by both guys. Nasty stuff and I continue to really dig this matchup.

ER: Yeah they didn't really make great work of the 3 falls format, they run through those first two falls like they were working an Ultimo Guerrero tribute match. But I liked Stutts putting over not only the submission, but attempting to add some psychology to Cutshall tapping so early, saying he's like someone who works better when they're cramming for a test, a guy who works harder when he's under the gun. Third fall is where the money is at. Most of it takes place outside the ring and there's a ton of unnatural and painful bumps. Richards lays down chairs and is the first to get knocked off the apron on to them. There's a kid in the front row chanting "Let's go Nick!" and the two of them make sure to do some close up magic right in front of them, really laying in the strikes. I always like Richards' strikes, they're kind of weird as he doesn't have much of a wind-up but they always land with a thud. Both guys take some gross spills across chairs both in and out of the ring, and the brawl through the crowd was a good one, loved them brawling up through the crowd (past more kids) and the spots into the wall were really satisfying. I really like how these two match up.

5. Slade Porter vs. Cain Justice

PAS: This was the least of the Cain Justice matches I have watched so far. Porter has a bunch of Chikara style comedy spots he shoehorned in, and alternated between comedy spots and headrops and stiff elbows, lots of current indy tropes I don't like. Justice did some cool stuff, I love his finisher and some of the armwork to set it up, but it felt like he needed to force Porter to work his match, and instead it felt like he worked Porter's match. Did really like the post match angle with Justice ripping up Cecil Scott's bad arm, although I was bummed we didn't have Scott on commentary for the main event.

ER: I still thought this was more of a Cain match than Phil, and there weren't really head drops in the match (just one snap German suplex), but I still didn't love Porter's comedy offense, it all felt pretty forced. I laughed before the bell when he built to exposing his nipples, only for Cain to chop him right when they were exposed. But I hate comedy workers who go in there with bad strikes. If you're gonna work comedy spots, at least work stiff enough to give your opponent a reason to be selling while you go through your comedy routine. But Justice brought some nice kicks and some of his nasty subs, loved him joining Porter's hands behind his back  and then throwing them past his shoulderblades. I liked this, but it could have lowered the level of silly.

6. Ric Converse/Trevor Lee/Chet Sterling vs. Arik Royal/Brad Attitude/Roy Wilkins

PAS: CWF MA does this kind of big star trios matches well. Gives everyone a chance to shine, sets up future matches and doesn't burn through too many singles matches. I really loved Attitude in this as he is great at timing cheapshots, he also is a great slimly corner man, he is really expressive. I could use a picture in picture of just Attitude reacting to all the action, while the main match was going on. I also really enjoy the Wilkins and Royal team, and they are great at both the slow down cutting off the ring parts of the match, and the big time fast exchanges. I don't know the history of Converse in this fed, but Stuttsy did a great job explaining why his presence in this feud was a big deal, and the Converse and Attitude showdown felt big time

ER: All-Stars & Attitude are a hell of a trios team, and those other guys ain't too bad either. This match looked better on paper than in execution, but these guys have higher floors than most, so even with some out of sync spots and time that maybe could have been used better, this was still good. Attitude comes off like such a star, and the Converse/Attitude interaction was my favorite thing in the match. Sterling was off on a bunch of his stuff. I know I've been higher on him than Phil has been, but I understand those prior complaints now. I dug all the "All-Stars/Attitude slowing things down" parts, and Lee always bring impressive everything (he had a killer thrust kick here, much closer to one of Kabuki's old throat/chest jabbing kicks than the more modern slappy kick), and this was a perfectly fun match.

ER: Really fun, suitably epic episode of TV for their big 100. We thought the Richards/Cutshall match was good enough to land on our 2017 Ongoing MOTY List, meaning that every single damn one of the 2017 Cutshall/Richards matches (both of them) have landed on our list. I need to figure out which episode their 2016 match aired on...

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Saturday, April 22, 2017

1963 Match of the Year

Golden Moose Cholak v. Larry Chene Chicago Wrestling 3/15/63

PAS: Cholak holds the Chicago version of the world title and is sort of an incubatory Vader, he is a giant dude just as comfortable cracking Chene with headbutts and clubbing forearms and he is taking big bumps to the floor and stooging. Cholak opens the match with some really fast leg takedowns which were awesome looking. Chene uses some tricks to get minor advantages, tying Cholak's boots together, leapfrogging the ref for a dropkick, but most of the match is Chene trying to survive Cholak's onslaught. Chene keeps coming forward face covered in blood and starts to turn the tide as Cholak begins to gas out. Finish has a real epic slugfest feel to it, Chene doesn't have great punches, Cholak's selling still made it feel like the last round of 15 round title fight.

ER: What a treat! Cholak is gigantic, looking like John Goodman in Barton Fink, and then blowing me away with these gorgeous super fast rolling single legs. His single leg takedowns would look awesome if Timothy Thatcher did them. Now picture John Goodman doing them. I'll wait. While you're picturing John Goodman doing awesome fast takedowns, Moose is punching Chene in the hamstring. Moose gets his laces tied together and takes a big stoogy bump off it, and Chene grabs a headlock and throws some great uppercuts. The announcer says that "Cholak steamed across the ring like a baby hippo" and you're in love. And then Moose hits a couple of standing splashes while in north south position, and yo've never seen that, and now Golden Moose Cholak is the only wrestler you ever want to watch. Chene works a nice headscissors and they build to a ridiculously awesome spot where Chene leapfrogs the ref to dropkick Moose. I thought Chene was going to give the ref a reverse frankensteiner or something. Chene gets busted open by Moose, Moose takes a nice backdrop, and Chene does a cool flying scissors takedown to win the segunda. Moose stops messing around in the third and absolutely brains Chene with a headbutt. "The Moose is mean tonight," says the announcer. The announcer puts over all the blood in Chene's eyes, saying he doesn't even know where to punch, he's just throwing at the large object heading his way. Chene somehow throws a shoe right at Moose's face, and what the hell is happening!? Chene is a real fighter and keeps throwing no matter how damaged he is, some missing, some landing, but always flying towards Cholak's head. Sadly we end in a time limit draw, but Cholak really made this feel like an epic war, with Chene playing his end admirably. This is a great 20 minutes.

ALL TIME MOTY LIST


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Friday, April 21, 2017

Wrestlemania Weekend Cherry Picking

Way too much wrestling Wrestlemaina weekend to watch, but we cherry picked some non EVOLVE indy stuff that looked good

Matt Riddle v. Dan Severn GCW 3/30/17

PAS: Really fun match with Riddle and Severn just in there rolling with each other and laying in every time the threw. Severn is a little awkward, but mean old football coach is really the best wrestling role he has had, I loved his knees to the kidneys and how he would walk through Riddle's shots to grab him. I really think Riddle doing his fighting spirit german no-sells was weak shit, especially in this kind of match, but I liked everything else. Finish was especially awesome with Severn landing these nasty knees to the spine, getting a really close near fall with a bodylock dragon sleeper, only to have Riddle squirt out, land some vicious elbows to the temple and lock on the twister. This really makes me want to see more 2017 Severn, totally fun stuff.

ER: "Old man grappling" sounds like a top contender for the Segunda Caida masthead, so I was expecting to enjoy this, and it delivered. Severn is pushing 60 and pretty stiff in the ring (as in, inflexible), but he's got the size and the strength and the literal decades of muscle memory bore into his brain, so he's a fun lug within the current grapple-heavy style. He's also pale, which made Riddle's knee and palm strikes read terrific, as Severn had tons of pink and red areas minutes in. Severn kept bullying through Riddle's finesse while Riddle just wanted to land strikes in bunches. I liked the commentary as they brought up things like Severn being a part of MMA infancy and how far it advanced by the time Riddle was brought in, but they also made me genuinely laugh out loud a couple of times (talking about Severn's "dad strength", which is funny and true, and as Severn is fishing for "Beast" chants one of them points out his crowd work, calling him "the Todd Barry of wrestling". That's funny). I really hated the Riddle German no-selling, and I was hoping it was leading to Severn just destroying him with those knees to the spine into the dragon sleeper he was going for, like Phillip Jennings breaking that dude's neck on The Americans. This was all fun stuff.

Dominic Garrini v. Martin Stone PPW 3/31/17

PAS: I thought this was pretty disappointing. Garrini is a new Segunda Caida favorite, but lack much of the style which made the Cain Justice match so special. Stone is a guy with a positive rep, but I thought he was pretty terrible in this, this was Garrini forced to work a Stone match, full of tough guy elbow exchanges and goofy finger breaking spots. Garrini had a couple of leaps into triangle chokes which were cool, but this did very little for him. Finish was lame with Stone just breaking a triangle choke from a Ju-Jitsu world champion and putting on some sort of weak crossface for the tap, totally lame, the equivalent of Shane McMahon out wrestling Kurt Angle.

Low-Ki v. Shane Strickland WrestleCon Supershow 3/31/17

PAS: My Killshot thoughts are well documented, so this wasn't an ideal Ki opponent for one of his 6 or so matches we might get this year, still they worked this mostly as a quasi-competitive squash and Strickland is a perfectly fine guy to get squashed. Ki is in the Game of Death gear and no matter what he is wearing he will kick a dude hard in the chest, his downed elbows looked especially nasty here, thought they might slice Strickland. Stricklands moments of offense looked kind of dumb, but they were few and far between. Really liked the finish as both guys fought on the top rope, until Ki set up his hanging double stomp onto the ring apron, which was a finish for sure. Ki's base match is so high right now, not sure this was anything more then his base match, but I enjoyed it.

Jay Lethal v. Cody ROH 4/1/17

PAS: This was a bullrope match with a member of the Rhodes family, so I figured I would check it out. I mostly enjoyed this especially when they were hitting each other with cowbells. Cody breaks out a nice blade job (wasn't at the level of Dusty or Dustin, but not bad for a first time), there was a great moment where Lethal went for the Lethal injection but Cody pulled the rope causing Lethal to piledrive himself. I thought this got a bit move tradey at the end for a match which should be all about gouging and choking, but I still enjoyed this more then I would have any other version of this matchup.

ER: Decided to add Riddle/Severn to our 2017 Ongoing MOTY List. What other WM weekend matches should we look at for possible inclusion?

Complete and Accurate Matt Riddle
Complete and Accurate Low-Ki

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