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Monday, July 06, 2015

MLJ: Satanico vs La Familia de Tijuana 4: Satanico vs Damian 666 1 and 2 [mano a mano] and [hair]

EDIT: I wrote up the hair match a week or so ago and since then the singles match from the week before dropped, so I'm posting it here with a few thoughts.

2002-10-18 @ Arena Mexico
Satanico vs Damian 666

Short match but a fun, heated one. They started with Nicho distracting Satanico (and Averno/Mephisto) from the outside and Damian sneaking in. That led to the initial beatdown, which was pretty much everything you would want in this scenario: stomping, punching, kicking, biting, etc. with just a hint of Satanico potentially coming back, only to be cut off soundly, sometimes by Damian and sometimes by an interfering Nicho. Finally, this led to Averno and Mephisto taking out Nicho and Satanico dodging a weapon shot in the chaos to get some revenge, leading to a quick backslide win that was satisfying but not nearly so satisfying that you didn't want to see the hair match. Good and functional for what it was.

2002-10-25 @ Arena México
Satánico vs Damián 666 [hair]

This is the second single fall CMLL hair match I've seen in the last week or two. One was from 1994. One's from 2002. Neither were on big shows. It's still weird since I've not seen another CMLL Apuesta match like that. Even something like Oro, Jr. vs Metalico had three falls and that was a lower card match just meantto get a young guy over. This felt much more name than that (as did Cota vs Casas). If anyone has any ideas why these two were one fall, let me know.

Anyway, this is triumphant rudo babyface Satanico and that, like every other version of Satanico, is awesome. When you were so bad for so long, you bask in the support and adulation of the crowd and it's got to be even better when you don't have to change your ways to get it. Damian made a good foil for him in some ways. They were close in age, just a few years different. They both had the satanic gimmicks. Damian had this indy sheen in his moves and manner that Satanico didn't.

Since he was playing de facto face, it was Satanico that was ambushed from the start. Satanico, always good at taking enough of the match fought back, with the two of them trading blows until Damian hit a low kick and really took over. With only one fall to work with, they couldn't do things within the normal structure. There was a beatdown but it didn't last long. It was pretty good though with pin attempts (this is one fall after all), choking over the ropes, raking the eyes, biting the hand, and going for submissions.

Finally though, Satanico pulls him down in the corner and starts punching away. He hits the bulldog and then, much to my amazement hits it the second time. He used that spot in a lot of his more babyface performances but usually he's cut off on the second one. It's always validating to see someone hit a move that usually gets reversed or is a transition (like Flair hitting a top rope move) since it makes it all seem less unreal. He followed it up with a nice Vader bomb for two (Damian grabbed the ropes) and then the two of them started to unload on each other on their knees. I think it was a testament to them that they could already reached this level of selling just a few minutes in:

They started to throw bombs at this point, Satanico's hart attack clothesline, a missed knee into the corner, a hugely overshot Damian moonsault, etc, only for Damian to hit the ramp drawing Satanico in for another ambush. This would lead to the loose story of the rest of the match, with Damian rudo-ing things up as much as possible, grabbing onto the rope for dear life on cradle attempts and an abdominal stretch. Just like how Satanico was able to play babyface here, I think Damian was able to take things up a notch as a bad guy. The ref kept catching him however, which let Satanico come back and hit two running arm breakers and a Fujiwara. This match, while solid, was really missing that long beatdown/visceral comeback that I want to see in an apuesta match.

Satanico kept on the arm towards the finishing stretch and Damian sold well enough, using his good arm to attack when he could. Case in point is this double clothesline. I love how Satanico sold it here, just making it mean so much when it was just one small, late match collision.

The finish could have been more dramatic, and it was muddied as well with Damian's second putting his arm on the rope. I liked what they did and thought it was good for the time and limitations they had but I really wanted something more gripping, in the heat, the comeback and the payoff/finish.

Bonuses: One, kids in Damian paint approve.

Two, A much later video of Damian putting on his mask

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Sunday, July 05, 2015

NWA Classics on Demand - Price Tag Reviews #3

Yesterday was $6.65 so far I am all in for 24/7

Jose Lothario v. Gino Hernandez 1979 - $2.00

This was a steel cage (called a fence match by Boesch) Texas death match. Bix mentioned this was available before, but I had never heard about it or seen it, so it was new to me. JIP after the first fall, but we get almost 20 minutes. Classic bloody 70s/80s cage match. Hernandez was a revelation, bumping, selling, bleeding and landing some big shots. Both guys were really good at milking drama out of 10 counts, Lothario is a simple wrestler but he has great expressiveness, awesome punches and pretty good old man bumping. I liked the finish a lot with Lothario going tailbone and spine first into the post, as a counter to a nasty neck crank. Felt like something which might paralyze someone, and definitely should have kept him down for 10. Great, great cage match, Gino is the guy who is going to get the biggest reputation boost from this footage.

Kerry Von Erich/Kevin Von Erich/Fritz Von Erich v. White Knight/Gary Hart/Dick Murdoch 1979 - $.50

Really fun match, 2/3 falls six man tag in two rings with one set of guy paired off in one ring, another in the second ring and one guy in the middle tagging out to either ring. Crazy match set up which I have never seen before. Really early Von Erich brothers, Kevin is wearing boots, and Kerry has shortish hair, this kind of chaotic match works really well to their style, they were always at their best at crazy sprints, and this match has lots going on. Murdoch is also really great at filling a match with cool little pieces of action. I absolutely loved all of the Murdoch and Fritz brawling, just two old badasses beating on each other, I imagine there was a classic singles match at some point. Unfortunately the match just cuts out without a finish, which is a total bummer, otherwise this was aces, but no finish is only worth a couple of quarters to me.

Dusty Rhodes v. Maniac Mark Lewin 1/7/79 $.75

Short bloody nasty little affair. It almost feels like a match made so Dusty would make the cover of seedy wrestling magazines, as two minutes in Dusty has a spiderweb of blood on his face and in his blond afro. Lewin does his best to win a bleeding contest too, as he is covered very quickly. They smash each other into posts and tables, and Lewin brings in a 2x4. Finish is great with Dusty bionic elbowing Lewin right in the brain stem, knocking him down for one more elbow and the pin. Could have used a couple of more minutes, but a treat to see an old fashioned clubberin from the American Dream

$9.90 so we are already over the pay wall, and I haven't watched either Flair v. Wahoo match yet.

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NWA Classics on Demand - Price Tag Reviews #2

Our running tally from yesterday is $2.65

Andre the Giant v. Harley Race 1/7/79 $3.00

This is exactly the kind of match I was hoping would show up when this service was pitched. Two absolute legends, guys with limited footage in their primes having an old school 35 minute 2/3 fall World title match. I am pretty sure there is no other footage of Andre wrestling for the NWA title, and I am also pretty sure this is the only version of this match up we have. First fall was pretty interesting with Andre really doing some nasty arm work, lots of twisting and pulling, a nasty looking hammerlock submission, the Anderson brother hammerlock body slam ect.. Harley gets dominated most of the first fall, but is able to get Andre to the floor and hit a nasty looking bodyslam on the concrete for the countout.

Second fall had Harley working a bear hug for some reason, Andre sold it well, but it is a conceptually odd move to use on a guy that much bigger then you. Andre makes a big comeback, hits a butterfly suplex and a big splash for the pin. Third fall is pretty short and has Harley bumped around the ring before deciding to bail to the floor, where he grabs Andre's legs so they both get counted out. Sort of a clever finish by Harley, although also sort of bullshit. Still a great match, cool chance to see both guys younger and spry, and neat to watch Andre work this kind of NWA title match. Well worth at least $3.00 and that is cutting it a little short.

Chavo and Hector Guerrero v. Dr. Death Steve Williams and Ted DiBiase 7/85 $1.00

This was a Banolero on a Poll match and isn't something we had available when we did the Mid-South set. Really neat to see the Guerreros, as they are dynamic tag team, my favorite spot was a minute in when the Guerrerros did a  do see do dropkick spot, and Dr. Death and DiBiase tryed the same thing and failed.   Match was hurt a little by the on the poll stip, the Bandolero wasn't hung on the poll as much as dropped around it, so the wrestlers had to drag it to the top to free it, and their was a lot of battling around a poll instead of just wrestling, not sure if this would have made the DVDVR set, but it was still cool to unearth. I am really hoping for a bunch of new Chavo Guerrero stuff, such an awesome guy with a under documented career.

$6.65 with plenty of cool looking shit left to come, shouldn't have any problem earning a second month subscription

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Saturday, July 04, 2015

Paragon Pro Wrestling 7/4/15 Review

Came across this show almost completely by accident. It airs on the Pop! network, which I only knew about because we recently watched a TV show called Schitt's Creek on the network. I checked yesterday on the off chance they were showing repeats of the show, and saw the next morning they were airing a pro wrestling show. Looked it up, and as fate would be it is the first show that has aired.

This fed runs out of Las Vegas and does shows at the Sam's Town Casino. This may be the first time that Casino wrestling has aired on TV since death days AWA. The crowd looks awesomely touristy. There really does not appear to be many actual wrestling fans out there. It's all older white men in golf shirts, fanny packs and cameras around their necks. This truly looks like a 1996 WorldWide audience and it's glorious.

1. #1 Contender Battle Royal

Woof. First match of your first episode of TV, and you start with a battle royal. And it determines the #1 contender to the title, no less! During most of the entrances they show how Jessy Sorensen won the title from Caleb Konley in a lumberjack match, so then we get back to the ring and suddenly 15 nameless guys are standing around. I recognize Gangrel, Joey Ryan, Konley, Darin Corbin, nobody else. There is a large black guy they call Tyshaun Prince, he threw a nice punch at one point, big overhand right. There's a big fat white guy wearing a neon green singlet, but he gets effortlessly tossed to my eternal disappointment. There is another guy with a handlebar mustache who I assume is working some sort of babyface mixologist gimmick. Konley ends up winning this thing. I guess it got all of the talent on TV, but pretty pointless since nobody gets to look good in a battle royal, and everybody got eliminated too fast to learn many names. That was a rough start to your first episode of TV.

2. Darin Corbin vs. Crash Test Cody

The announcers inform me that "we are STILL reeling over that epic battle royal". I mean, it was a 6 minute long battle royal. Cody has a weird milky right eye. His left eye is brown, and then the right eye appears to be reallllly light blue. It looks creepy. Now, when a guy comes out working a crash test gimmick, I would expect him to be a wild and reckless bumper, but Cody hardly bumped at all. He did throw some ugly forearms, though! Corbin is a guy you know. He's a guy you've seen turning up on indy cards for over a decade. And he still isn't a guy you get excited about seeing. He didn't look offensive at all, but outside of his finisher amusingly being called the Ginger Snap, he offers nothing. CTC misses a nice cannonball into the corner. That was the most interesting thing that happened here.  Naw I take that back, Corbin took a drop toe hold into the bottom turnbuckle really nicely, really went mouth first into it. So two interesting things.

We get a bad Jessy Sorensen promo and then an amusing Joey Ryan interview where he grooms his impossibly lush beard and talks to himself in a mirror and then gets a towel delivery from room service.

3. Espiritu vs. Mercurio Jr.

This is clearly not CMLL's Mercurio, nor is it AAA's Espiritu. I have no idea who either man is. I do know, however, that the ring audio is off and appears to be about 3 seconds ahead of what's actually happening in the ring. The commentary is synced up properly, but yeah you can hear crowd reactions and them thumping around on the mat when nothing is going on. Espiritu looked fine here, I wouldn't mind seeing more of him. Mecurio did some slow mo lucha-ish spots and looked pretty low rent. Espiritu at least knew how to engage a crowd and had some polish.

Lisa Marie Varon does an in ring promo to hype up Kevin Kross, calling him the most vicious shooter and that anybody who faces him will DIE.

4. Kevin Kross vs. Sugar Brown

Sugar Brown looks like Bad News Allen and wears boxing shorts with fringe so I'm already liking Sugar Brown. Kross has some size and works some nice strikes, threw a good running knee, really great deep scoop overhead belly to belly, nasty Saito suplex to end the match. Sugar was here more to put over Kross, but got to do a fun tornado avalanche in the corner (that got no sold, but whatever). This at least established Kross as a tough dude, and made him look good in the process. He's really the first guy this whole show who actually came off as important.

5. Joe Graves vs. Jessy Sorensen

Graves is a guy I really like, and Sorensen is a guy who broke his neck in TNA, got told they would pay his medical bills, and then never paid his medical bills because TNA. If I had serious medical bills to pay I'm pretty sure "continuing to professionally wrestle" would not be one of the ways I would choose to pay them off. Graves looked really good in this, throwing some real fine knee variations, like his nice knees from the clinch and an even better sliding knee. Sorensen looked okay, threw a nice neckbreaker, seemed to be in position for everything. I loved Graves working him over with knees, and choking him out with his wrist tape. To my surprise, Graves wins the title with a choke....ohhhhh but then another ref comes out and reverses the decision to give the title back to Sorensen. Well. Nothing like having your babyface champ get dominated and lose the title on your first show, only to get it back on a technicality.

Well, okay. First show. Things moved along at a quick pace, so that's a plus. The wrestling was not inoffensive. The production was surprisingly slick. They aren't really bringing anything unique to the table, but there were a couple guys I dug. This is a strange show to be on TV in 2015.

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NWA Classics On Demand- Price Tag Reviews

Pretty cool idea as the NWA has gotten a hold of Paul Bosch's Houston wrestling archive and is putting it up on demand. Lots of previously unavailable stuff here, and some very cool on paper matches. I figured I would get the first month for $9.77 and see if it is worth it. So I am going to rate each match by how much it is worth to me, and see if gets to $9.77, if it does, I'll kick in for another month

Chris Adams v. Kevin Von Erich 1/18/85 $0.10

Really fun six minute sprint, both guys really went after each other. Adams looked awesome, as he is very good at timing some super violent looking superkicks, including catching Kevin with one as he was coming into the ring, and blasting him with one to the back of the head for the pin. Looks like the folks running this put in new commentary, and while it isn't awful, it is pretty generic, full of cliche and amateur sounding. I liked this match a bunch, but it was on the DVDVR 80's set, I am mostly interested in seeing new stuff so I am only going to give this match a dime

Nick Kozak v. Apache Bull Ramon 1/7/79 $0.05

My all time favorite band The Mountain Goats put out an amazing all wrestling themed album Beat the Champ earlier this year. One of the songs "The Ballad of Bull Ramos" is about the ending days of Bull Ramos's life, and the joy one can find in your memories, and how even death isn't sad when you've lived a great life.

This match wasn't much, the kind of match people who say they hate 70's wrestling are talking about, lots of nerve holds and criss crossing, Ramos wins with a terrible elbow drop. Still giving this a nickel for giving me an excuse to post this song, and listen to it a couple of times.

Wahoo McDaniel v. Terry Funk
Wahoo McDaniel v. Gino Hernandez 2/6/81 $2.50

A bit of a bait and switch as this is listed as a Terry Funk v. Wahoo McDaniel and that match is the semi-finals of an elimination tourney to wrestle Harley Race for the title. The Funk v. McDaniel section is only about three minutes as Funk jumps Wahoo at the bell, smashed his headdress (Wahoo must have bought the headdress's in bulk, for all the times they got ripped up) and threw him around the ring, before Terry got quickly rolled up. Gino runs in and they both beat on Wahoo a bit before the start of the final match. Wahoo v. Gino was a pretty great double juice brawl, with Gino really doing a grizzly blade job. Wahoo is so great a just leveling people with chops, and Gino is awesome as a pinball heel. he flies over the top rope a couple of times with true abandon. A little bummed I didn't get to see more of a Funk v. Wahoo dream match, but Wahoo v. Gino was really good and the kind of hidden gem I want this project to unearth. Easily worth $2.50 or so

After the first three matches of the month we are at $2.65, pretty good start as I have waited on watching some truly juicy looking stuff

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Friday, July 03, 2015

IWA Mid-South Top 18 Matches: #13 Chris Hero v. Samoa Joe 5/24/04

#13 Chris Hero v. Samoa Joe 5/24/04

PAS: Interesting match which was a real snapshot of its time. Joe was in the middle of his dominant ROH title run and the biggest deal on the indies. Hero was the top guy in IWA-MS, had developed his own rep, but hadn't gone to ROH yet. This was also the start of the "Lets go" dueling chants in a big match (Tomk invented it at an ROH show, but this was the first time the whole crowd erupted in it). Dream match strike exchange, let's go dueling chants indy wrestling is something which became pretty terrible, but it would be unfair to look at this match strictly by what it birthed.

Match itself had some real electric moments, especially early it felt a little like a big inter-promotional match, almost like a poor mans WAR v. NJ singles, as they really went after each other to test their mettle. The crowd was going bonkers too, IWA-MS was in a real indy dream match period here, but this actually came off like a huge deal. I did think Hero went down a little easy, he was toe to toe with Joe in the first part, but got dominated a bit down the stretch. Still I like heated main event wrestling a lot, and it had been a while since I watched peak Samoa Joe and he was awesome back in the day.

ER: Wow, this was GREAT! You watch these guys in so many matches, and then you see something from a decade ago and it's startling how differently they moved. I watch a lot of Negro Casas obviously, and I love current Negro Casas...but then you see Negro Casas from 20 years ago and it's god. The differences would be more apparent if you had taken a 15 year break from watching and then come back, but their changes over the years are gradual. And in this match Joe moves like I never remembered him moving before, and it was awesome. I loved all the battles over the wristlock with Hero, and Joe was going to the mat and doing weird wristlock takeovers that I never remember seeing from him before. Fighting over headlock takeovers, faking leg kicks to instead grab a wrist, rubbing wrist tape in the eyes to gain an advantage on the ground. Hero looked really good here as well, he was really starting to get into shape at this point, and the crowd was rabid. I never got the impression that Hero was being dominated at any point, in fact Hero gets almost all of the offense in the last 5 minutes of the match! Though they did present Joe's strikes as being stronger (odd turn as I associate Hero with KO elbows now). Hero did a nice job of making it seem like he was doing actual moves to set up Joe's trademark offense. I got so tired of guys just running at Joe in the corner so he could do a uranage. Hero loading up the elbow pad before running in and getting caught with it was a nice touch. All of their reversals seemed really organic and they matched up like guys who had fought each other tons of times. I really, really loved this. So much that I watched it twice! I was really pleasantly surprised at how damn well it held up.

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MLJ: Satanico vs La Familia de Tijuana 3: Averno, Mephisto, Satánico VS Damián 666, Halloween, Psicosis

2002-10-04 @ Arena México
Averno, Mephisto, Satánico VS Damián 666, Halloween, Psicosis I

This was a week after the title change and it was the second match on a Friday night card, which is nuts to me. It was stilted and short, yes, didn't really have a finish and was more of an angle, but it was still heated. After this was Felino, Negro Casas, Virus vs Blue Panther, Fuerza Guerrera, Juventud Guerrera, which apparently didn't make TV, which is a god damn travesty, then an atomicos match with Los Hermanos Dinamita, which did make TV, so there's no justice. The main event was Silva and Vampiro vs Dantes, Wagner, Jr., and Bucanero. Was Vampiro actually over in 2002?

Anyway, I guess I'm glad we have this match. It's super heated. They start with a backstage talk with Satanico getting the troops ready for war and revenge. I love that he can pull this off in a track suit. Only Satanico.

I really quite liked La Familia's entrance. They came out to Oye Como Va (which is stuck in my head now but at least it's not Tarzan Boy's theme). They had the belts. Damian had a singapore cane (more on that later). Halloween had changed his look to match Psicosis more. Psicosis wore his mask out to the ring. Los Infernales' entrance was sort of hilarious in comparison. Satanico rushed the ring. Averno and Mephisto took their time since they had the girls with them. That led to Satanico getting swarmed.

As I said, this was more of an angle than a match, so they got right to it. There was a brief but effective beatdown. La Familia had very solid, if a bit "indy" offense (things like the Hardy Boyz' poetry in motion and tandem legdrops with one to the groin, which is a weird thing for Damian to be doing). Satanico had one of his big comeback moments of rushing the ring and fighting everyone, but he was cut off by a nice Damian headbutt. That let Averno and Mephstio charge the ring. La Familia, being the despicable scoundrels they were, meant to have no part of that. With a quick low blow to set it up, Halloween drilled Mephisto with the cane drawing the DQ, even as the announcer shouted that this wasn't baseball practice! They nailed Averno too, but Satanico made it back in and ducked it while launching a kick, sending the cane into his hands. He went to town and then started to just destroy Halloween's leg with it.

Halloween did the stretcher job (and I swear the announcer was saying pinata over and over) and it was suddenly two on three. That went about as well as you'd expect for Damian and Psicosis. Satanico directed traffic like only he could. Nicho and Damian tried to fight back but the odds were just too far stacked against them. It did lead to a great moment of Damian being defiant and bragging:

Ultimately, Damian had enough, got a quick foul in on Satanico and lived to fight another day. Nice heated match/angle/match that built well to a hair match.

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Thursday, July 02, 2015

Ring of Honor on Destination America 7/1/15 Review

1. The Addiction (Frankie Kazarian & Christopher Daniels) vs. Gedo & Kazuchika Okada

Well, this was very long. Also, this was not very good. Nothing about it was even actively bad, they just did not need this much time for what they ended up putting out there. So...a lot of people really seem to like Okada. Is it because he's Japanese? His popularity kind of confuses me. For people that like moves, a lot of his moves don't really look that great. His matches never seen to have a very coherent build. Is it because he's a good looking guy who sometimes cocks his eyebrows in charming ways? Is this like when people were into Naruki Doi? I am still a Gedo fan but really he just mostly throws punches now. I like his punches quite a bit, and always like a guy who throws a crisp jawbreaker, but watching him take a bunch of Daniels/Kazarian offense doesn't do a whole lot for me.  Kazarian and Daniels don't look bad at all here, just really forgettable. Kazarian threw a nice high kick on Gedo, their leg sweep/clothesline looked nice, but there just wasn't enough here. Also, Corino and Kelly are just flat out bad on commentary. It's shocking how much they just disappear during matches. They literally talk as if they barely pay attention to matches. They rarely call the action, just occasionally point out something that is likely happening. It will be quiet and then Kelly will make an observation like "Gedo is looking to tag in..." Also this match had alllllll the fucking Red Shoes horseshit smeared all over it. If you've been looking for visual examples of why Red Shoes is terrible, look no further. This guy talk with his hands so fucking much and it's horrible. So horrible. It's like he's rehearsing for a loud hammy, brassy drag queen production of the "Snap out of it!" scene from Moonstruck. You guys, I hate him so much.

2. Adam Page vs. Watanabe

Ehh, this wasn't much. We're joined in progress with Colby Corino on the floor helping page cheat.  Colby is not acknowledged at all by Steve Corino, which I suppose it not to surprising considering Kelly/Corino just disappear constantly on commentary. If you tried watching some of this show with your eyes closed you would have no clue what was happening. A couple moves will happen and nobody will say anything, and then they'll go for that same move that wasn't called and Kelly will just yell "AGAIN!" or they'll do some moves on the floor and instead of calling any of what's happening Kelly will just yell "ON THE FLOOR!" They're quite passively terrible, and now that I've noticed them I'm afraid I won't be able to stop. Fans seem way into Watanabe and I really have to assume it's because he's Japanese and wrestles in Japan and is therefore "legit". At least this match he doesn't do any of his awful Church Lady selling. He throws these awful missed clotheslines that look like he's throwing a baseball. I mean that arm is coming nowhere close to Page's head. Page has that bland level of indy polish, where he takes things fine but does nothing very memorable. Here he takes a nice bump to the floor, runs into a boot nicely, but then hits some sort of goofy shooting star shoulder block thing off the apron and you just go "yep, that's indy!" Next.

3. Adam Cole vs. AJ Styles

Cole is back from his shoulder injury and is sporting a new post injury dad bod that was all the rage for one day on Facebook. Cole works a little like James Storm, moves similarly, even gets distracted by his own long hair in the same ways. This match was pretty bland but going moving pretty well down the stretch run. I'm getting real tired of moves done on your own knee. The brainbuster on your own fucking knee is just needlessly cute. I mean, a brainbuster drops a guy on his fucking head, on the mat! That's a hard thing to make more painful. Is getting sloppily dropped on the guy's knee really so much worse than being driven full force into the mat? It just looks silly. And speaking of silly, Cole needs to come up with a better way to set up his flipping piledriver. He went for it a couple times but it was avoided by Styles, so Cole just ended up doing these dainty little bunny hops off the middle rope. Cole must have a steel plate in his cranium as he gets dumped on his dome a few times and they never seem to have much impact on the match, including Styles dropping him with a nasty brainbuster on the apron, and later on a couple of piledrivers. A couple of the reversal segments looked good in here, my favorite being Cole ducking out of the way of the Pele Kick to hit a superkick of his own. The Pele Kick rarely misses so it's nice seeing somebody actually scout it.

This whole show was inoffensive. I don't think anything was very good, don't think anything was very bad. It also wasn't memorable. If I wasn't writing this show up as I watched it I would be fucked.  This was definitely an hour long show that featured professional wrestling.

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Wednesday, July 01, 2015

MLJ: Satanico vs La Familia de Tijuana 2: Damián 666, Halloween, Psicosis I vs Averno, Mephisto, Satánico © [MEX TRIOS]

2002-09-27 @ Arena México

So once the suspension lifted (I think there was a suspension), La Familia challenged for the trios titles. This was just good booking as Los Infernales wanted revenge on them but had to put up their titles to get it. It had a BS ending but it wasn't a feud ender, so it absolutely worked to build up heat for both the next trios match and the hair match. We rarely see Rudos vs Rudos title matches, and this one, while relatively brief and certainly not scientific, was a lot of fun.

Los Infernales had the belts coming in. They had defeated Olimpico, Safari, and Mr. Niebla over a year before. Satanico was de facto babyface here, with La Familia as the invaders and Los Infernales as the bad guys the crowd loved to hate, "their villains." This was all pretty simple (though with La Familia's quasi-indy offense and Mephisto power move layered in) and primal.

Satanico and Damian started with Satanico getting an early advantage off hip tosses. Damian forced some distance with a push and went off to the ramp to sell the arm. La Familia huddled, came up with a game plan, and Damian came back in. A couple of hip tosses later, they swarmed, thus executing the plan. The beat down was on with some great clubbering and their hardy boyz double leg drop to take the primera.

The segunda kept it going, including this brilliant tossing of Averno into the corner:

a Halloween spear, three corner clotheslines. Satanico was great here. He was so good at fighting back in the midst of getting warmed/beat down. I half wonder if Ultimo Guerrero (who always makes sure he looks strong) didn't learn it from him. Ultimately, he ducked a Nicho corner charge (and boy did he go flying) and the come back was on:

It was intense and satisfying, with double teaming, Satanico playing to the crowd, this crazy sunset flip powerbomb to the outside by Mephisto, a triple power bomb (done twice as they lifted Nicho up again after the first) and this triumphant pin:

The Tercera quickly went back to something more even (after a GdI body splash that is), with a Satanico vs Damian punch off, a bunch of cut offs, some chopfests and rope running, tandem power bombs (with feet-on-ropes near falls), Satanico awesomely holding the rope down to force La Famila to go tumbling through on a rope-run which led to these dives:

With the other four out of the way, it became Damian and Satanico, back in the ring, to finish things up. Satanico locked in the Satan's knot but there was no ref. Damian snuck in a low blow. The ref finally made it in, and La Familia stole the titles.

Very satisfying match which left everyone wanting more. For some reason these guys worked really well together.

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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

NXT Cocoa Beach Road Report 6/26

My wife and I were down in Orlando for a week for our anniversary and some how I convinced Chelsea to tag along with me to an NXT house show. This is the first wrestling show I have been to in years (outside of a lucha show in DC which was more of an art instillation), last time was Sami Callihan v. Fit Finlay in EVOLVE, and in my return I got to see Sami versus a much lesser Irishman.

The show was in a tiny National Guard armory and as a whole it really felt like the old ECWA shows we went to en masse back in the early 2000s, some pretty good matches, some really green wrestlers trying some things and some shocking bush league gimmicks. No great matches, but most were at least entertaining, and everything moved pretty quickly.

Uhaa Nation v. Axel Dieter

Solidly worked opener, with Dieter working over Nations arm with some fun Euro holds, and Nation doing a fine job of timing some exciting comebacks. Dieter is a weird guy to get signed, kind of tubby, not very big or dynamic. He is a guy I have seen a handful of times before and never really stood out, not one of the WXW guys I would have guessed would move on. Nation was fine here, but he did really stand out. He is a guy who has main evented in front of some pretty big crowds in Japan, but he wasn't commanding the room like I expected him too. He felt like someone who is still aways away.

Devin Taylor/Charlotte v. Lina Fenene/Cassidy

Lina is the Rock's cousin and is really huge. She is clearly pretty green still, but did a nice job working a big brick wall which the faces were trying to knock dow. She looks like a taller Patty LaBelle and I imagine that Patty wouldn't sell very much either. Charlotte has really improved her chops, which is very important for a Flair scion.

Bull Dempsey v. Mike Rollins

Bull Dempsey is basically working as 2009 Super Porky. Lots of comedy spots about being too fat to hit his moves. He had a really amusing spot where Rollins does a kip-up and Dempsey tries a bunch of times and fails, he also has a rope running spot where he loses his wind. Dempsey is a fine fake Super Porky, kind of like Brazo De Platino, and this seems like a gimmick with some actually legs. He was over, and amused Chelsea. I don't see why they just don't rehire Super Porky, but I enjoyed this. Rollins was terrible though, kind of reminded me of 1998 Tom Brandi. Nice hair, good body, sub Jim Powers in the ring.

Sasha Banks v. Blue Pants

Blue Pants is clearly an NXT inside joke I don't get. This was Banks working as arrogant heel champ who ends up wrestling someone they believe is beneath them. It is a classic wrestling match trope, and Banks is really good as Flair getting frustrated as Rocky King rolls him up. She totally gets her character, interacts with the audience well, and comes off vulnerable without hurting her character or looking weak. Banks felt big league in a way that most people on this show did not. Blue Pants isn't much and a better George South would have made this a better match.

Hype Bros v. The Mechanics

Shocked at how much I enjoyed this, really thought Mojo Rawley felt like one of the most ready to go guys on this show. His execution wasn't perfect, but he brought a bunch of energy to the match and worked perfectly as a meathead tag partner to Zach Ryder. Great working the apron, great as a hot tag and the doomsday device leg lariat thing they did was pretty cool. The Mechanics were baffling to me, they were basically a short B- version of a southern heel tag team, a homeless Death and Destruction, a sawed off Bad Attitude. I have no idea how they ended up in a WWE feeder system. One guy had Captain Roughneck on his trunks, and fuck that noise. Match would have way better if Hype Bros had Damien Wayne and Preston Quinn to work against, instead of their scab replacements.

Marcus Louis v. Angelo Dawkins

This was the only absolute stinker match of the show. Dawkins is a black dude who kind of has the body of a pretty good high school football linebacker three years after graduation who eats like he still is doing 2 a days. He does the James Harden cooking pot motion, and I think Lil B cursed this match. Louis is a French guy who spends the whole match doing nerve holds and making crazy guy faces. Long, dull, poorly executed, boring, a failure in every way a match can fail.

They have a segment where Louis Valentine comes out and wants to dance with the ring announcer (who was getting sexually harassed by the scumbag fans all night) he get interrupted by Preston Cunningham Jr. who does the worst most implausible spoiled rich kid promo I have ever seen in wrestling (think about how much ground that covers) this would get laughed out of an ECWA Super 8 battle royal, I have no idea how something this yarder got past the curtain, just awful

Finn Balor v. Solomon Crowe

It has been so long since I have seen Crowe actually get a chance to spread out and work a match. When Callihan was in the indies he was one of the best wrestlers in the world. Really happy I got to watch him actually do his thing a little bit. Balor isn't my cup of tea, but he can execute his moves, and did a pretty good job selling his knee, which Crowe worked over really viciously. This felt like a second round US Indy tourney match, worked pretty simple, nice execution, nothing anyone will remember in six months, but very exciting in the moment. Crowe is still really good, I hope he gets a shot to do something.

Vaudvillians/Blake and Murphy/Chad Gable + Jason Jordan

Last time I saw Blake and Murphy they were dull faces, but I really liked them here as a sleaze bag pretty boy heel tag team. They do Heavenly Bodies way better then the Mechanics do Anderson Brothers. Vaudvillans have some fun shtick, and worked your car crash workrate spots really well. Gable is still a little raw, but is clearly going to be great. It will be interesting to see how an Olympic wrestler working as a junior (he wrestled at the Olympics at 185). Jordan is much bigger and already has a fun suplex based offense, he seems crazy strong as he was just deadlifting pretty big guys. Match had the most action of the night, and I enjoyed the pace after some slowly worked openers.

Fun overall show, missed going to live wrestling although I didn't miss wrestling crowds. Might actually be able to convince my wife to come to another show with me sometime.

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