Segunda Caida

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

Monday, August 28, 2006


Here is the current list, reviews for the older matches are in previous DVDVR's

1. Chris Benoit v. Finlay WWE 5/21
2. Jun Akiyama v. Masao Inoue NOAH 4/23
3. Rey Mysterio v. Randy Orton WWE 4/4
4. Chris Benoit v. Finlay WWE 5/3
5. Finlay v. Rey Mysterio WWE 3/20
6. Chris Benoit v. JBL WWE 4/11
7. Homicide v. Necro Butcher 5/13
8. Chris Benoit v. William Regal WWE 5/8
9. American Dragon Brian Danielson v. Samoa Joe ROH 8/6
10. Chris Hero/Necro Butcher/Super Dragon v. Samoa Joe/B.J. Whitmer/Adam Pearce ROH 4/22
11. La Mascara/El Hijo Del Santo v. Blue Panther/Tarzan Boy CMLL GDL 1/1
12. Rey Mysterio v. Mark Henry WWE 1/15
13. Damien Wayne v. Sean Denny NWA-VA 5/6
14. Meiko Satomura v. Aja Kong Sendai Pro Wrestling 7/9
15. L.A. Park/Marco Corleone/Johnny Stamboli v. Dr. Wagner Jr./Dos Caras Jr./Lizmark Jr. CMLL 5/19
16. Yuki Ishikawa v. Hiroyuki Ito Big Mouth Loud 5/4
17. El Hijo Del Santo/Negro Casas/Mistico v. Atlantis/Black Warrior/Ultimo Guerrerro 8/4
18. Low-Ki v. Necro Butcher IWA-MS 4/1
19. Rey Mysterio/Bobby Lashley/Chris Benoit v. JBL/Finlay/Randy Orton WWE 2/23
20. Samoa Joe v. Necro Butcher IWA-MS 1/12

Previously on the list

- Juventud v. Kid Kash WWE 1/3
- A.J. Styles v. Matt Sydal ROH 1/14
- Samoa Joe v. BJ Whitmer ROH 1/14
- Chris Benoit v. Randy Orton WWE 1/24
- Shadow WX/Mammoth Sasaki v. Abdullah Kobyashi/Daisuke Sekimoto BJW 1/27/06
- Finlay v. Chris Benoit WWE 1/30
- HHH v. Big Show WWE 2/13
--Finlay/JBL v. Lashley/Chris Benoit WWE 2/16
-KENTA/Takeshi Morishima/Mohammed Yone v.Kenta Kobashi/Yoshinobu Kanemaru/Tamon Honda NOAH 2/17
- Undertaker v. Kurt Angle WWE 2/19
-KUDO & MIKAMI v. Yoshiaki Yago & MIYAWAKI Chikara 2/24
-Milano Collection AT/Skyde v. Claudio Castagnoli/ Chris Hero Chikara 2/26
-Minoru Suzuki vs. Yoshiaki Fujiwara Big Mouth Loud 3/22
-Finlay v. Bobby Lashley WWE 5/8

14. Meiko Satomura v. Aja Kong Sendai Pro Wrestling 7/9

I can’t remember the last time I watched a non-IWA-MS, non-lucha women’s match, but when it is Aja Kong v. Meiko Satomura you watch and enjoy. Aja is one of my favorite wrestlers ever vagina or no vagina. The best monster wrestler ever, and that includes Vader. Meiko is a ton of fun too, she has some really flippy offense, which I usually hate, but she lands everything with some nasty force. I mean at one point Aja is on the ground and Meiko runs to the ropes does a handspring for no reason, I start to scoff, but she ends it with her knee driving right into Aja’s kidney’s, and all of a sudden I am fine with the handspring. She invented the pele kick, and she has a bunch of different ways to hit it really violently. Meiko is tearing up Aja’s arm for the majority of the match, so at one point near the end of the match, she takes over, by switching her lead foot and hitting a pele kick nearly from the ground right into Aja’s bicep. She brings a ton to the table.

This match was unsurprisingly made by Aja Kong. She is the master at playing a vulnerable killer, King Kong moments before falling off the Empire State Building. Meiko is working over the arm here, and Aja is Queensized at selling the pain in everything she does. There was one moment in the match, where she had just escaped an armbar, and she franticly scrambles to grab a garbage can, but when she gets it she kind of crumples for a minute, attempting to muster another run. That kind of stuff is just on another level of most wrestling selling, the difference between DeNiro and Affleck. This wasn’t an Aja classic, I could do without the duel Death Valley Driver no-sells, and it may have been about five minutes too long. Still you forgot all about Aja Kong, go watch this and remember.

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Hey the Action Zone is finally back, I hope we get more then a couple of weeks this time. This was really paced like an old 80's territorial TV show, which was fun, but I hope this doesn't mean that we won't get to see all the main event matches that NWA-VA is running. Watch it at

What Worked

Jesus fuck Damien Wayne is crazy, I don't know what kind of bumps he took in the ladder match proper, but in the impromptu match he lands on his head like four times, and flies off a legitimate 15 foot ladder steps and dies hard. I don't care for the booking of the title change. I think it makes the face look pretty weak, if he only can beat the champion running in fresh after the champ wrestles a ladder match, and then only after the champ knocks himself out. I assume they aren't booking Sean Denny as Mikey Whipwrecht so I don't know why he won the belt in such a Whipwrechian way.

The OSE match was a pretty classic Center Stage style squash match. If Masked Superstar isn't Preston Quinn, Preston Quinn showed him how to punch. As he has the multiple different great looking punches. I also really liked the postmatch interview too, as all three of the OSE are really good at that kind of promo

What Didn't Work

The Scotty Blaze v. Lazarus match had way too much Lazarus on offense. Scotty has a ton of fun offense, so if he is working a squash match, he shouldn't be selling that much. Especially because Lazarus doesn't have a ton he can do.

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Monday, August 21, 2006


This was a shockingly good show with only, Hogan v. Brown out right sucking, and a lot of stuff being actively good.

Jumping Jim Brunzell v. Mr. Perfect Curt Henning

PAS: This is really early in Henning's run, so he is working a competitive opening match with Jim Brunzell. Were these guys in the AWA in the same time? I ask because they work really well together, with Brunzell doing some nice simple leg work, and Henning getting in all of his crazy oversell bumps. This was early in Henning’s run so Brunzell takes 70% of the match, and Henning wins with a flash powerslam. Henning had really great punches, which is something I don't remember at all, he has a hook and an uppercut as well as a straight right and they all look great. He was just off a run working Lawler in the AWA and for at least a little while he had picked something up.

Don "The Rock" Muraco v. Greg "The Hammer" Valentine

PAS: This takes a while to get going, but it ends up being pretty fun. Muraco is avenging the crippling of Superstar Billy Graham (which means he really should be working Zahorian) who is doing color at ringside. It starts pretty slow for a blood feud, and Muraco doesn't really do a ton here. Valentine is awesome though, everything he does looks really nasty and tight, almost like Finlay without the bumps. Forearm shivers, elbows to the throat, clubs to the back of the neck. He just beats you down, there was a little too much mishigos with the shin guard, and after the WWF 80's set I never wanted to see another 20 minute draw, but I am getting really excited for Greg Valentine month in September.

Junkyard Dog v. Hercules

PAS: This wasn't as awful as it looks on paper. It was basically worked as a slugfest, with two big guys pounding on each other. Problem was that neither guy hit particular hard, especially after watching Valentine pound on someone. If they had laid it in a little more this actually would have been good.

Hulk Hogan v. Bad News Brown

PAS: During the 80's set I watched a ton of Hogan, some of it was good (Backlund, Bossman) some mediocre (Volkoff, MSG Savage) and some of it stunk (Wrestlemania Savage, Muraco.) This was pretty stinky, neither guy could really bump at all and all of their offense looked like shit. Plus Hogan was carrying around that ridiculous helmet, which led to the cheap finish. Outside of his Timothy Flowers cage match I have been pretty disappointed with all the Bad News I have seen in the last couple of years. I need to get his hard head feud with Fujiwara or something, as my youthful illusions are being crushed.

Barry Horowitz v. Blue Blazer

PAS: These guys had a really fun match on the 80’s set, this wasn’t as good as that, but still was really fun. Horowitz looked really great here as he has a ton of fun offense, I especially liked his superkick. Watching this match, you get the sense Horowitz would have been a really great New Japan junior gaijin in the early 90’s as this was a really NJ Juniors style match. Blazers superfly splash finish looked kind of crappy, but otherwise this was solid.

Ted DiBiase v. Hacksaw Jim Duggan

PAS: Man alive was this a blast. I thought this could go both ways, these guys have worked each other a ton, but both kind of dogged it in the WWF. This could have easily been a main event a big Mid-South Superdome show. This was worked like a sprint Watts main event. Lots of great punch exchanges by both guys and they were both bumping around the ring. Great timing on everything. Really just paced at a million miles an hour. I can’t wait to see their matches up on the Watts 80’s set.

Hart Foundation v. Rougeau Brothers

PAS: I liked this a lot too, I actually think the Harts work better as faces then heels. Bret is a pretty decent face in peril and Neidhart is a really fun hot tag. The opening had the Harts just destroy the Rougeau’s, it was a fun one sided beating with Raymond starting a stillborn “Let’s go Jaques” chant. You had the Rougeau’s take over, and they have a bunch of fun heel stuff. Bret breaks out his great piledriver which he never wins with.

Jake Roberts v. Ric Rude

PAS: This is during the Cheryl Roberts feud and she is at ringside. She really doesn’t have the meth teeth one might imagine a Jake Roberts wife would have. This was good, Roberts isn’t as good as a face as he is as a heel, but Rude is amazing. He smashes away on Jake’s shoulder, including two great top rope fistdrops on the shoulder. He also does his awesome eat of a backdrop on his tailbone. Out of all the dead folks on this show, I have no idea how Roberts is still breathing, I bet no one would have bet on that horse.

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Here is the current list, reviews for the older matches are in previous DVDVR's

1. Chris Benoit v. Finlay WWE 5/21
2. Jun Akiyama v. Masao Inoue NOAH 4/23
3. Rey Mysterio v. Randy Orton WWE 4/4
4. Chris Benoit v. Finlay WWE 5/3
5. Finlay v. Rey Mysterio WWE 3/20
6. Chris Benoit v. JBL WWE 4/11
7. Homicide v. Necro Butcher 5/13
8. Chris Benoit v. William Regal WWE 5/8
9. American Dragon Brian Danielson v. Samoa Joe ROH 8/6
10. Chris Hero/Necro Butcher/Super Dragon v. Samoa Joe/B.J. Whitmer/Adam Pearce ROH 4/22
11. La Mascara/El Hijo Del Santo v. Blue Panther/Tarzan Boy CMLL GDL 1/1
12. Rey Mysterio v. Mark Henry WWE 1/15
13. Damien Wayne v. Sean Denny NWA-VA 5/6
14. L.A. Park/Marco Corleone/Johnny Stamboli v. Dr. Wagner Jr./Dos Caras Jr./Lizmark Jr. CMLL 5/19
15. Yuki Ishikawa v. Hiroyuki Ito Big Mouth Loud 5/4
16. El Hijo Del Santo/Negro Casas/Mistico v. Atlantis/Black Warrior/Ultimo Guerrerro 8/4
17. Low-Ki v. Necro Butcher IWA-MS 4/1
18. Rey Mysterio/Bobby Lashley/Chris Benoit v. JBL/Finlay/Randy Orton WWE 2/23
19. Samoa Joe v. Necro Butcher IWA-MS 1/12
20. Minoru Suzuki vs. Yoshiaki Fujiwara Big Mouth Loud 3/22

Previously on the list

- Juventud v. Kid Kash WWE 1/3
- A.J. Styles v. Matt Sydal ROH 1/14
- Samoa Joe v. BJ Whitmer ROH 1/14
- Chris Benoit v. Randy Orton WWE 1/24
- Shadow WX/Mammoth Sasaki v. Abdullah Kobyashi/Daisuke Sekimoto BJW 1/27/06
- Finlay v. Chris Benoit WWE 1/30
- HHH v. Big Show WWE 2/13
--Finlay/JBL v. Lashley/Chris Benoit WWE 2/16
-KENTA/Takeshi Morishima/Mohammed Yone v.Kenta Kobashi/Yoshinobu Kanemaru/Tamon Honda NOAH 2/17
- Undertaker v. Kurt Angle WWE 2/19
-KUDO & MIKAMI v. Yoshiaki Yago & MIYAWAKI Chikara 2/24
- Milano Collection AT/Skyde v. Claudio Castagnoli/ Chris Hero Chikara 2/26
-Finlay v. Bobby Lashley WWE 5/8

16. El Hijo Del Santo/Negro Casas/Mistico v. Atlantis/Black Warrior/Ultimo Guerrerro 8/4

This was the main event of the sold out 18,000+ Arena Mexico show, and in front of that crowd the match got some time and the guys all worked really hard and we got a fun lucha trios match. The big difference between this match and some of the lesser CMLL stuff I have seen this years, outside of the time it was given, was Mistico. He has become a guy who works to the level of his crowd, and here he is going nuts. He is going for a ton of high difficulty stuff and hitting almost all of it, there is a spot where he and Ultimo are on the floor and Guerrerro throws him in the air he lands on the middle rope strand and flies back into a rana, just an amazing looking spot, which he hit perfectly. He opened the match with a balcony dive and bumped huge. There was plenty of other highlight stuff their too. Santo is a guy who doesn't need 18,000 to work hard as I have seen him do as many big spots in front of 43 people in Suburban New York. He is on point here though, all of his stuff is so beautiful, he hits alot of his signature spots, but also one or two things I haven't seen before, the finishing spot of the third fall was a rolling senton into a rana (instead of a tope) it was gorgeous looking. Negro Casas is one of my favorite wrestlers in the world, however he was definitely not the focus, he had a nice opening exchange with Atlantis and a great silla, but not a ton else really memorable.

This was a fun match, but not a classic. It probably wouldn't break my top 10 of 2005 lucha matches if it was last year. It really was missing any strong rudo presence, great rudos make great lucha matches, and while Black Warrior and Ultimo Guerrerro are both really athletic, they really lack much personality. I would much rather see Pierroth hit someone with his belt, then watch Ultimo hit a big suplex or take a bump. Atlantis has been a really fun sniveling heel in previous matches, but he like Negro Casas was kind of in the backround here. Really worth seeing, and it is definitely a match that non-lucha fans or guys who just like big spots would get really into, still isn't the classic lucha match I am still waiting for in 2006.

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Sunday, August 20, 2006


Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Kintaro Kanemura ZERO-ONE 9/1/03

This is from the 2003 Fire Festival and is just a total blast. You have the king of the scum garbage indies v. the king of the scum shoot indies. Fujiwara slaps the shit out W*ING to start the match. He also lands some nasty headbutts busting up Kanemaru's head hardway (of coure he probably gets busted open legit putting on a baseball cap) but gets cut off by a punt to the balls.

Fujiwara sells shots to the balls really well, wincing with each motion afterwards. There is a great fighting spirit spot near the end of the matches, where they exchange slaps and ball punts, and Fujiwara does a really great fighting through testicle pain sell. Kanemaru takes it to the streets slamming Fujiwara into the rail and putting him through a table. He controls until he decides to smash Fujiwara's head into a table, he dents the table, but everyone know you can't hit Fujiwara in the head. He comes back with some brutal slaps and headbutts until Kanemaru bumps the ref. Kintaro grabs a chair a swings it, but Fujiwara catches his arm in a Fujiwara armbar, an awesome counter, unfortunately the ref is down, and when Fujiwara checks on him, he gets rolled up in a very RAW semi-main kind of finish.

This was really fun, Fujiwara fits perfectly in a crazy brawl, and has some really fun garbage wrestling spots. It really makes me want to get a hold of all of his FMW. Kanemaru is a guy who has great shtick, and can do his match really well, and Fujiwara plugs right into a Kanemaru match and it is great.

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Yoshiaki Fujiwara/Mariko Yoshida v. Yuki Ishikawa/Carlos Amano 3/25/05

This is a mixed tag from a Chigusa promotions show of all weird mixed tags. For some reason they were using a gigantic ring, I mean a ring that looked 30x30. I would have liked to see spots where the younger Ishikawa used the giant ring to tire the older Fujiwara, but I shouldn't Coey a match. Fujiwara and his trainee Ishikawa start out, and run through some beautiful shootstyle stuff. Great matwork, and super nasty punches and headbutts. Ishikawa has one of the best punches in wrestling, and he drills Fujiwara here. Fujiwara of course smacks him with Kikuchi level headbutts. One of the craziest things about current Fujiwara is that he has really retained all of his quickness. He is 57 years old, but every once in a while he will break out a counter which is blindingly fast. The first move of the match is Ishikawa going for a shoot and Fujiwara countering into a Fujiwara armbar with Dragons Gate speed.

Fujiwara also has some really fun mixed tag spots. Amano comes in and tries to outstrike him and he no-sells except a shot to the balls. Then she comes in later to headbutt him, he laughs at her grabs her like he is going to headbutt her, but instead gives her a big kiss Dusty Rhodes style.

Ishikawa however is the king in this. He comes off as such a scumbag rapist. He lifts Marika for a bodyslam, and just holds her there with his hand on her special parts and a smirk on his face. There is also a section where Ishikawa and Yoshida do some awesome fast matwork which ends with Ishikawa in an STF and he leans down to lick her ear. You really get the sense this how every Joshi fan with a Yoshida avatar would wrestle her if given the chance.

Finish is great as Amano goes all Take Back the Night on Ishikawa and all three of them beat on him. Yoshida then locks in a triangle choke and Yuki just gets this beatific smile on his face as he is face first to her flower. He even waves off the save from Amano.

Totally fun match, which makes me badly want to see an Ishikwa v. Fujiwara singles match, and for GAEA to restart with Ishikawa as your lead heel.

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Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Shinya Hashimoto 6/1/94

Despite being the first ever New Japan trainee, this was Fujiwara’s only IWGP title match. This is a match up of two of my favorite wrestlers of all time, I saw Hashimoto maul Dylan Knight live in a tiny gym in Pennsylvania and caught his bandana when it was thrown to the crowd. I still have the bandana hanging in the hall of my apartment.

I could see a lot of Puro nerds not caring for this match. This isn’t smooth and dramatic like a classic All Japan match from the 1990’s, this was rough and awkward. Both guys would try attacks, which would get countered and then there would be pauses and restarts in action. It was very weirdly paced, in a way I really liked and could see other people hating. Fujiwara really dominates the opening, working on Hashimoto’s shoulder and attempting to really lock in the Fujiwara armbar. The first pause and shift in momentum comes, when Hash bulls Fujiwara into the corner and wraps his bad knee in the ropes. Hash then points to his shoulder in a real “eye for an eye” kind of way.

Nothing was hit really cleanly here, Fujiwara kept trying to catch all of Hash’s kicks. Some he would succeed in blunting, but a lot would go through. The more that landed the less he was able to block, in a way that you could tell he was being worn down. All the blocking and awkwardness was the really the opposite of the big strike exchanges most big Puro matches have. Everything was a struggle. There is a long fight for the first DDT, with Fujiwara trying a bunch of counter attempts, and Hash laying in the knees. When it finally hits Fujiwara takes an almost Kobashish bump on it . Hash pins him off a second DDT which really was sold the way a tough boxer sells a meaningless second knockdown. The first KO was really enough to win the match, but his heart won’t let him go down. Still there was no fight left in him.

I loved this match, it really felt more shootstyle then Hash’s match against Takada. This didn’t have the drama of that match, but it had the rough edges and awkwardness, which really made it look like a fight.

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Friday, August 18, 2006

WWE 24/7 Thoughts- SMACKDOWN IN NEW ZELAND 3/4/06

Matt Hardy v. Road Warrior

PAS: I kind of liked this. Hardy had his knee attacked the night before on Smackdown when Animal turned heel, and Animal works over that knee for a bit. I especially liked Animal’s dragon screw for the finish, because it looked like he had never applied that move before.

TKG: Hey I think I saw the match where Road Warrior turned on Matt live. It was part of the series of matches were the WWE had Matt tagged with people that the crowd was indifferent to, and had the non-Matt guy work face peril. Dug the opening as Matt gets the crowd hot by teasing throwing the shirt only to get knocked down by Road Warrior. Matt knows his money is in the merch, can’t waste it. .Matt’s all about the selling of the leg as he tries to apply his stuff. Fine lil match.

Finlay v. Bobby Lashley

PAS: This was one the early matches against each other, so Finlay was in the process of turning Lashley into a good wrestler. He was still pretty green at this point and Finlay spent the match either controlling on the mat or bumping all over the ring. I especially loved his drop toe hold and various chinlock and cravate variations. Lashley has gotten a ton better, but this was a great match even when he was bad. Finlay is fucking awesome.

TKG: Before the match they do a Lashley man on the street segment. It may be the only time I’ve seen him come across really comfortable on the mic. Lashley has gotten good enough at this point that Finlay no longer needs to bump like Terry Funk and I had almost forgotten the period where he was bumping like a freak. Lashley is really temtative but this is Finlay’s match.

Boogeyman v. Orlando Jordan

PAS: This is weirdly long, as OJ gets a long control section. I didn’t think they actually had him work any matches. Boogeyman’s finisher looked really good, and this was shockingly okay. I also liked all the double entendres by Taz. “Boogey isn’t going to put a worm in Orlando’s mouth”, “ Orlando has juice all over his thigh”

TKG: This is set up by some long JBL mic work where he does the Volkoff spot and sings God Bless America to boos. The match itself wasn’t as bad as one would expect. And well Taz has been superfun the whole show as he works blue, takes shots at ugly people in the audience and just seems more loose than he ever did on Smackdown or PPVs.

Booker T v. Chris Benoit

PAS: This was maybe a step below their really great Smackdown series, but this was really great match. Both guys really lay it into each other, I love Booker’s body shots and he broke out a bunch of them. Benoit also does an especially great job of taking the scissors kick. It really looked like a nasty neck bump. The finish was really great as it was the Booker corner roll up countered into a sharpshooter into a crossface.

TKG: Yeah these two work each other well. This had more Booker stalling and mugging than the Smackdown series. Both guys work stiff with each other and Benoit alsso throws some beautiful worked punches at one point. Sometimes this type of one move transition to another move finish can come across overly pretty. Here these two guys get to do smooth finishing sequence that’s really great without being “ pretty” .

Rey Mysterio v. Randy Orton

PAS: These guys had one of my favorite matches of the year against each other on Smackdown. This wasn’t that match, as it was a lot more shtick. I enjoy a lot of Orton’s bullshit and I especially dug his dizziness sell after the satellite headscissors by Rey. Orton is a guy who usually tries one new thing a match, and most of the time it is stupid. Here he does a Argentinean backbreaker into a neckbreaker which he needs to chalk up as a failed experiment. These guys have really great timing with each other, and while their wasn’t as many holy shit moments as in the SD match, there was a couple of really pretty exchanges.

TKG: I didn’t like this as much as Phil. Orton’s over the top selling really came across bullshitty. Really Andrew WK over the top camp…like he was saying “this is all fake”. I often like Orton’s playing to the back of the dome goofy selling stuff but normally its combined with big bumps. Without the big bumps it felt like he was just goofing around. Orton and Rey have had two matches I liked a ton. This did very little for me.

Kurt Angle v. Undertaker v. Mark Henry

PAS: This is your basic WWE 3-way, each guy gets an exchange with everyone, Undertaker v. Mark Henry and Undertaker v. Kurt Angle exchanges were fine, Angle v. Henry wasn’t particularly good. Angle’s punches are pretty remarkably bad. I did like the Angle ankle lock reversals. Lots of ref bumps and bullshit for a finish and Taker and Angle get to bear up Henry a bit.

TKG: Most of match was really Taker as Henry v Angle segment was short while Taker gets kind of extended sections with both. Angle sells longer on house shows than he does on the TV…well he lays down for longer.

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

WWE 24/7 Thoughts MAPLE LEAF GARDENS 10/84

Maple Leaf Wrestling 10/22/84

Nick DeCarlo v. Rene Goulet

PAS: Wow was this bad. I have really liked the little Goulet I have seen, but this was a stinker. DeCarlo has the worst shoulder block I have ever seen and continues to go back to it again and again. I did like Goulet’s incubatory Shining Wizard as he attempted a headscissors and kneed him in the head.

TKG: The one time he actually hit the headscissor take down it was a nice one. Goulet has a fingerless weight lifting glove hidden under the sequined glove he wears to the ring. Those were unbelievably bad shoulder blocks. I talk a lot about WWF style guys controlling their own bumps, and the bumps which had nothing to do with the moves applied in 84 make Ed Leslie bumps look great. Pretty unwatchable.

Moondog Rex v. David Bruno Sammartino

PAS: This was shockingly not bad. Sammartino had a bad reputation, but he looked pretty good here. He press slammed the 300 pound Rex, had really nice punches, and took a couple of biggish bunps. One impressive power spot and some bumps really should have been enough to have a big career in 80’s WWF. There were plenty of matches on the 80’s WWF set not as good as this.

TKG: I liked this a bunch. Rex bumps around nicely in beginning. Watching the 80s set I really got into Bruno’s kicks but wasn’t really impressed with his punches. His son’s jabs are better. The father may have had better bodyshots. Moondog works a bodypart , Sammartino bumps and is fun doing firey babyface on his knee demanding that the heel come at him some more stuff. Rex has some neat second rope moves. Well paced, bunch of cool stuff.

Dr. D David Shultz v. Rick “Quick Draw” McGraw

PAS: Exciting match on paper, but it was kind of a stinker. Shultz did some stalling, and then lots of holding down and pin attempts with cheating. McGraw had nice height on his dropkicks, but this was a nothing match.

TKG: So still in the afterglow of David Sammartino and was stoked to see these two matched up..” hmm maybe 84 was all about the roided juniors in WWE”, but no. lots of neat circling to heat up a match but match was a nothing.

S.D. Jones v. Greg Valentine

PAS: This was your big match S.D. Jones as this is for the Intercontinental Title. Jones does your basic 80’s Black Babyface offense, but he does have nice headbutts, and some headbutt variations, which is really all you can ask for your 80’s black babyface. Valentine bumps around a bit and then wins the match with a beautiful back suplex. Perfectly fine wrestling.

TKG: I don’t know you can hope for some high verticle leap spots and some shucking dancing. The announcers keep on talking about how much SD Jones likes to dance for the public. But he really doesn’t do much dancing…a shoulder lean and a Harlem shake but no fancy steps. That suplex at the end was pretty great. Match was perfectly fine.

Nikolai Volkoff v. Rocky Johnson

PAS: Rocky Johnson does a little more dancing then Jones, although his Jheri curl would really have made a face headbutt offense difficult. Activator in the eyes feels really heelish to me. This wasn’t very good.

TKG: Johnson has a nice vertical leap, some smoove dancing and nice footwork but this stunk. This started as awkward sloppy and then they slowed it down and it stayed ugly. Johnson has one impressive leaping roll up and some nice handspeed. Volkoff is about as bad as I remember him being and this went way too long.

Goldie Rogers/Bobby Bass vs. British Bulldogs

PAS: Who in the fuck is Bobby Bass? He is a guy I have never seen before and is just a total superstar. He looks like a less muscular Phil Hickerson and is a total bump freakHe has a really fun way of bumping where he takes everything kind of on his forehead. He takes a Flair flop as a dangerous headrop. He also does a missed top rope headbutt which was totally insane. Bulldogs are a fun spot team, kind of 80’s Briscoes. Dynamite takes a completely superfluous bump where he attempts to piledrive Rogers on the ramp and takes a back bump on the ramp, which in a meaningless match like this shows why he is in a wheelchair.

TKG: I’m guessing Bass has to be in a wheelchair too. Bass and Rogers are fun as bumping comedy jobbers with lots of comedy bumps and miscommunication spots. Crowd really gets into all the stuff, And just when you’re beginning to really dig them as comedy jobbers suddenly they get a fun run of offense. Rogers isn’t much on offense but fucking Bass is just on fire with his offense. His missed top rope headrop is insane, I mean Davey boy Smith picks him up for an irish whip and you don’t believe that Bass can get up. Basss then takes another head bump followed by eating a piledriver. BOBBY BASS~!!

Kimala v. Andre The Giant

PAS: This is a steel cage match, and starts pretty fun. Kimala has some nice chops and Andre bleeds a fair amount, but this goes too long. We do get our Andre cage match high spot as he hits a tope rope butt smash. It goes 13 minutes and would have been really good at 8 minutes

TKG: Odd escape the cage match as ref essentially holds door closed and the announcers put over the sharpness of the top of the fence. There really are no WWF cage near escapes as near falls. Instead you kind of have to have opponent beat before ref will open door. Kind of hurts the match as I was unclear what was going on.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Video tapes are a dead media at this point. But back in the day of wrestling tape nerds you could divide wrestling tape nerds into two basic groups. The real division isn’t between U.S. and Japanese tape fans, not between indy and territorial fans. Nope the real split is between guys who meticulously catalog their tapes (knowing every match they have) and those who have absolutely no idea what’s on half their tapes at this point. Tom is a proud member of the second group. Nothing is more fun than throwing in a random tape that is either unmarked or incorrectly marked and finding out what’s on it.

Original Midnight Express v. Jerry Lawler + Bill Dundee 10/30/87 -Taped marked as 1980-81 Memphis

PAS: This is for the AWA tag belts and is a match which on paper looks really awesome, but especially in the 80’s on paper matches were often pretty disappointing. This however was even better then it looked on paper. Lawler and Dundee are a great tag team, we all know what great individual wrestlers they are, and how well they match up against each other, but they also have great face tag team shtick. Their opening babyface in control section was just full of great stuff. I especially loved the variations on the partner blocks the Irish whip into the corner, also this was a punch marks dream match with both Lawler and Dundee breaking out tons of different combos. I especially loved the running left hook by Dundee. OMX were a lot fun in this too, especially Randy Rose who looked Eaton great in this, he takes a huge high backdrop, and has a bunch of fun offense. Slim Paul E. with his sport coat with rolled up sleeves throws in the phone and the OMX win the belts. I liked this more then any of the Rose/Somers v. Midnight Rockers matches and this was fucking with the high end Rock and Rolls v. Midnights matches.

TKG: Man this was fun. A lot of faces do stuff effectively, heels try same spots only to have the backfire. If you’ve seen the Memphis doc on youtube, you may remember the Hector Guerrero vs. Lawler spot where Hector puts Lawler across top rope and then kicks at him…Lawler tries same spot and Hector gets out of way. Lawler does same spot with Rose but with Lawler working face this time out. Lawler is caught with knee in corner and ends up face in peril eating a punch with a big bump to floor and then taking body slam on the floor running powerslam from Rose, etc. Dundee is all over the place as guy on apron…running after Heyman on the floor. Holding back heel from making tag while waiting for Lawler’s attempt to make hot tag etc. But really this match is about the early face in control section with the two faces just laying in punches and clotheslines..with Randy Rose just running head first into the fists and lariats. Dundee does a top rope knee drop with refs back turned. I don’t know what the top rope rule was at the time but ref turns around and really can’t figure out what’s going on as Lawler and Dundee switch off going for two counts on Rose before ref can figure out who is the legal man. I don’t know if it was a stunt granny but there is also a nun in the front row who punches at the air with every face punch and gets absolutely irate at all the heel cheating. I have no idea why I haven’t heard this match pimped before.

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This show actually felt kind of ECWish in its shittiness. While most of these shows have been shitty in a WWE way, this was really Heyman booked crap.


PAS: The first part of Foley’s mikework was okay, better then most of his WWE mike work, but kind of a poor version of his intense ECW stuff. The jokey stuff was a sorry imitation of the jokey stuff. I want to see Foley opening Christmas presents or riding rollercoasters.

PAS: I kind of enjoyed large parts of the main event ladder match, it was a total ugly train wreck, but that is real ECW ugly train wreck wrestling. Pair of guys doing things they can’t pull off and hurting themselves. Sabu matches are always best when they were 2/3rds hit 1/3rd miss. That even was kind of shitty ECW booking, although it was really shitty ECW booking.


PAS: Heyman as heel commissioner not letting Kurt Angle wrestle for health reasons is really stupid. I mean Angle is months away from death, keeping him from popping his head off in a ladder match shouldn’t be a heel move.

PAS: Rebooking Punk v. Credible two weeks after that match kind of got over and running it into the ground is ECW shit to the tee. I wonder if we are going to get to see a two out of three falls Punk v. Credible or a 30 minute iron-man Punk v. Credible. I have no idea how in fuck they are booking a straight edge wrestler as a face in ECW, but they really blew an opportunity running in D.C. I imagine for a couple of grand donated to Positive Force you could have had Ian MacKaye come down to the ring and lecture the audience about respecting women and not throwing things. That would be heel heat. Shit if you are going to have Punk work as a fake shooter you might as well form the MACKAYE CLUB.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Thoughts on Dragondoor?Gate? Hole? whatever in Mexico from DVDVR 158

Arena Mexico- 5/13/06

Arkangel de la Muerte/Negro Navarro/Skayde vs. Hayato Fujita Jr. /Kanjyuro Matsuyama/Shinji Nohashi

PAS: We only got about half of this match but it was pretty fun. It is always a treat to see Negro Navarro, and he was pretty great here, locking up a nice submission and doing his great kip-up. Nohashi hit a cool tope with a nice camera angle.

TKG: Yeah that was a great camera angle. Arkangel threw some really nice elbow drops and Navarro took a posting well and any time you get to see Navarro it‘s a treat but there really wasn’t much to this match.

Dark Angel/India Sioux vs. Mima Shimoda/Raven Hiroka_

PAS: Hiroka is the worlds shittiest Etsuko Mita, but she did have a really nice exchange with Dark Angel. Mima Shimoda doesn’t do a ton here, and we didn’t get a ton of time.

TKG: This was real clipped and nothing you want to see again. I liked India Sioux’s version of Virus’ finisher.

Dragon Scramble Match: Matematico vs. Ultraman vs. Kahoz vs. Cuchillo vs. Black Terry vs. Astro Boy Jr.vs. Brazo de Plata Jr. vs. Daisuke Haonaka vs. Hijo del Fantasma vs. Toshiya Matsuzaki

PAS: Ridiculously fun match which was a total train wreck but in a really entertaining way. You got to see a bunch of old luchadores who never see the light of day. Black Terry had an awesome punch exchange with Ultraman. For an ex-high flyer Ultraman has really turned into Jose Luis Castillo in his old age. Cuchillo and Kahoz are guys I haven’t seen in years, and they looked like guys I hadn’t seen in years. Kahoz especially looked shitastic, as he was completely unable to bump over the top on his first attempt, so he has to run to the other side of the ring to bump to the floor Also that actually looked like the real Matematico who must be 70. Total blast.

TKG: Black Terry looked to be guy holding this entire thing together working fun sections with Hijo del Fantasma, Matematico, and Ultraman and one of the Japanese kids. Gran Cuchillo comes out and stretchers the other Japanese kid just smacking him around with the butt of his gun, suplexing him on the ramp and then dropping elbows. Cuchillo hitting opponents with the butt of a pistol may expose the business more than Tiger Jeet Singh hitting opponents with butt of sword. But Cuchillo is way more fun. Cuchillo and Kahoz are really too old to pull off their miscommunication heel double team stuff. But fuck all that other shit: BLACK TERRY~!!!

Brazo De Oro/Brazo De Platino/Passion Hasegawa vs. Mazada/NOSAWA/Katsushi Takemura

PAS: This was alot of fun, the early parts were a little rough, as Platino spent the opening parts just doing all of Super Porky's spots but not as well as Super Porky. However when it got kicking it got really fun. Oro was especially awesome here, especially his stuff with NOSAWA, and his incredible tope. Passion was really fun as the fake Brazo fucking up all of the Brazo spots, and when Platino stopped apeing his brother and started hitting all of his dives he looked great too. Easily the match of the show.

TKG: Was that really Brazo De Platino. I remember him looking more scummy and garbagey. He does all of Platinos big dives but I don’t remember Platino looking that kind of classically handsome. Platino’s section where he was apeing Plata spots wasn’t much and the Passion v. Takemura exchanges weren’t much. But then fucking Brazo de Oro worked his section with Nosawa where they essentially did Ki vs. Red spots with Oro working superfast to dodge all of NOSAWA’s offense and then getting in his own strikes. Brazo de Oro’s speed was just amazing. And then once the match got going it was just on. I think my favorite Passion being too small to do Brazo signature spots was when he kept trying to lay across the heels only to get tossed off while Platino set up his big dive.

4 Way Dance: Averno/Mephisto vs. Trent Acid/American Gigolo vs. Brute Issei/Shigeo Okumura vs. Milano Collection AT/Kazuchida Okada

PAS: The match listing listed the Backseat Boyz, but instead American Gigolo was Trent Acid’s partner. You know someone sucks when you are pissed about being baited and switched out of Johnny Kashmere. Okada took some big bumps, but this match may have been the worst multi man match of Trent Acid’s career. Imagine what that entails.

TKG: The screen says that this went 11:23 but I swear it felt twice as long. They do the everyone puts everyone else in a headlock section before the big guy comes out only to do a big man miss-communication spot two or three times. With Issei really playing poor man’s Pancho Tequilla playing a poor man’s Brazo Platino playing a poor man’s Brazo de Plata. Averno and Mephisto are first eliminated for excessive rudisimo. Yeah so the Arena Mexico crowd is left to watch Issei/Okamura vs. Gigolo/Trent Acid. Do the Arena Mexico fans have any stake in an All Japan vs. PWU match up. All Japan is eliminated for PWU vs. Toryumon finish. This needed Slugger.

Decision Match for the vacant NWA Welterweight Title: La Mascara vs. Hajime Ohara

PAS: This was okayish. Mascara is a little green to lead Ohara through a real lucha title match, and it came off as more of a mediocred BOSJ match which doesn’t make TV.

TKG: Yeah this was where the lucha and the resu in your lucharesu just fall apart. This isn’t worked like a lucha title match at all. There is a cool part early on where La Mascara appears to get pissed as though Ohara is taking liberties with him and the two just start swinging at each other. Baby Richard keeps on trying to remind Ohara about his closed fists and elbows. This would be fine in a lucha brawl but you build to the brawling parts of match. Ohara paces his stuff like a puroresu match so you don’t have the lucha ebb and flow where wrestling section leads to break down into brawling section which leads to a regroup to wrestling section.

Super Libre: Dos Caras Jr./Hijo del Lizmark vs. Mark Jindrak/Johnny Stamboli

PAS: This was a pretty fun WWE Heat main event tag (2002 Heat, all four of these guys are liver enzymerific.) I don’t think this was as good as the technicos v. Stamboli/Palumbo would have been, and definitely not as good as the technicos v. Jindrak/Cade (especially with all the real life familial heat between Dos Caras Jr. and Lance Cade) Still these teams work each other alot, and they have a ton spots with each other. Jindrak looks like a total superstar as he hits all of his high spots and is a taunting fuck, doing a little bird flapping with his arms after he flew. He has crazy ups, and if he actually moves to Mexico he will be a big ass star.

TKG: Not as good as a Heat main event tag…closer to a RAW one. Jindrak’s taunts are great and him and Stamboli work like a touring tag team with lots of heel miscommunication spots that they could work against any face team. They do the old MX arm pull over rope spot that always makes me smile. And well, so about a year ago New York Times printed an article about the success of lucha libre in Mexico. Someone in WWE read the article and said “the only people who watch our shows are gays and wetbacks, we need more wetbacks”. There was all kinds of writing on the internet about WWE bringing in Mistico and Ultimo Guerrero and who they should and shouldn’t bring in. I proposed that they bring in Dos Caras Jr and either Sicodelico Jr or Hijo del Lizmark as they essentially can work you’re basic OVW style and are tall and masked and would be easy to plug in and build around..WWE ended up bringing in a bunch of minis and having them work US midget comedy spots. After watching this match, if I were to fantasy book luchadors in WWE, I’d use Sicodelico Jr as my Dos Caras Jr partner. But still fun, full Worldwide point.

Relevos Increibles: Atlantis/GREAT MUTA/Ultimo Dragon vs. Perro Jr./Dr. Wagner Jr./Ultimo Guerrero

TKG: Man I was expecting this to be BA—AD. Arena Mexico announcer says that Ultimo Dragon is thought of in Japan the way Santo is thought of in Mexico…and I was all ready for the worst type of money mark match. But this turned out to be pretty fun. Dr Wagner and Perro come out and agree to team while Atlantis and Ultimo Guerrero are pissed that they are on opposite sides. And they do a lot of great lucha storytelling throughout the match with Atlantis and Guerrero sparring happily. Guerrero unhappy whenever his partners go after Atlantis. Atlantis and Perro Jr stoked to match up, etc. Atlantis just looks super great in this as he has to carry his team in ring. Ulitmo Dragon has been useless for years and for the most part never eats anything. At least in this match he spent a lot of time eating offense. Muta has had twenty years of great ring entrances and essentially works as Abby here. Guy wandering around looking deranged and scary. His elbow drop isn’t as good as Abby’s and Abby can work a simple effective match around opponent stealing his fork and forking Abby while Muta having opponent dragon screw him really doesn’t mean a ton in Arena Mexico. Also the Arena Mexico crowd has become enough of a heel crowd that they react to Muta’s stuff like its camp while the Coliseo crowd seemed to have a more visceral reaction. Still Muta was hell of fun in this and the movement back and forward from guys just doing shtick and storyline to guys wrestling is what you want out of this type of main event lucha.

PAS: I liked this a lot too. MUTA is fun as an old old guy who still kind of can hit some of his signature spots at half speed. It’s lucha every weekend there are a dozen shows main evented by guys like that. Ultimo who normally works exactly like a old old guy who hits some of his signature spots at half speed, actually seemed kind of energized, with his spots being hit more 3/4 speed.

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Wow that was shitty show. Some ok mic segments and a fun squash but really that’s it.


So a couple of good mic segments. Samoa Joe actually almost makes you care about the Rhino, Brown, Joe three way. Sting as Crow isn’t good on the mic. He is a lot better on the mic working old guy surfer dude “Dude, he’s golden in my book”…You want to see him and Bob Barnett feuding over Anette Funiccello or something. And well Cornette is a guy who’s always solid and really skillful in explaining matchmaking.

I liked the LAX squash. TNA works in a studio with two entrances and have never really been able to get that over. LAX comes through a separate entrance (through a Mexican flag?...with shots of pictures of Che in their entrance video???) by the Spanish announce table. TNA has actually been able to get across sense of architecture of the Orlando studio!!! Konan and Moody Jack doing banter across ring really gave the whole squash a real New Jack with music playing feel to it. Konan at a couple points fell into doing the everybody will be speaking Spanish, French language separatist thing again…which is silly but the whole out of control feel of the scene made what said not really matter. Jarrell Clark is really good at eating stuff and at this point for a shitty Clark tag partner I don’t know if Rance is better or worse than Batts.. AJ Styles had some fun angry mic work. Then Daniels tried to talk street and that was embarrassing. I say every week that I'm tired of squashes but this is how you make a squash appear special.

OK I've always always been a fan of the different managers compete to get a hold of new talent angle. I enjoyed that with Savage enjoyed it with Bigalow. It's a weird angle in that even as a little kid I was aware of the work of the angle : "OOoh this is a cool formula to put over new talent"..I don't think I ever really thought "Holy shit everyone wants this guy". Also remember as a child thinking that Sir Oliver Humperdink was a really ugly Miss Elisabeth. But anyway, point is I'm not sure if its a formula that actually works...But it is a formula that I like. Two problems. 1) Bobby Roode isn't a new guy they are trying to introduce. He's a known quantity. And (2) the managers scouting him are Shane Douglas, Simon Diamond and James Mitchell..who are all really undercard managers with Mitchell being the guy positioned highest. I mean where was Gail Kim. How much would it have cost to drag out some of the old TNA managers? They don't need to bring out Jimmy Hart. But this angle could have used some more shitty useless managers. This angle really needs Percy Pringle, Gertner, Bobcat, Russo, Mortimer Plumtree, DI, and Goldilocks. you could switch any of those folks for Nurse Veronica or Brown Eyed Girl if you need to.


Man, starting a show with the segment that has the combination of Borash and Slick Johnson in it, really not way to get on my good side. Borash isn’t really bothered by Steiner or Jarrett but does the scared bug out eyes for “BIG Jimbo is coming here toinight”…. Jimbo is too big for him??? This show was just filled to the brim with Borash and Slick Johnson.

They run a video package about how the Naturals and AMW always bring out the best in each other (which is true) and then follow that up with a real nothing of a match built around AMW miscommunication spots and then had Jarrett and Steiner squash the Naturals. Umm don’t tell me two teams bring out the best in each other and then give me a nothing.

Five way dance? Five way? Not a three way or a four way but a five way. I guess three way is one less person than there are corners in a 4 sided ring. So a five way is the three-way of the six sided ring. So it’s a five way with Slick Johnson as ref. Plus Petey Williams, Sonjay Dutt, and Frankie Kazarian. Lethal comes out selling his head and neck but for some reason they don't do a Lethal as face in peril section. Lethal is good as face in peril, eats stuff well, can sell, and came into match with weakness. Instead they do Sonjay Dutt in peril with Williams and Kazarian working over him. And that is about as bad as you'd imagine a Kazarian, Sonjay Dutt, Williams match to be. Eventually Shelley takes over and Shelley is willing to do simple stuff (just kicks to ropes etc) instead of feeling obligated to just hit highspots. And Lethal gets to do babyface with weak neck who still willing to sacrifice himself by throwing several different types of diving headbutts (Dynamite Kid style, Race style, etc...he really needed to do a tope)...leading to him eating the "sic flip piledriver". Wrong guy went over and wrong guy was worked as face in peril. Sections with Lethal and Shelley were nice but majority of the match had nothing to do with them.

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Here is the current list, reviews for the older matches are in previous DVDVR's

1. Chris Benoit v. Finlay WWE 5/21
2. Jun Akiyama vs Masao Inoue NOAH 4/23
3. Rey Mysterio vs Randy Orton WWE 4/4
4. Chris Benoit v. Finlay WWE 5/3
5. Finlay v. Rey Mysterio WWE 3/20
6. Chris Benoit v. JBL WWE 4/11
7. Homicide v. Necro Butcher 5/13
8. Chris Benoit v. William Regal WWE 5/8
9. American Dragon Brian Danielson v. Samoa Joe ROH 8/6
10. Chris Hero/Necro Butcher/Super Dragon v. Samoa Joe/B.J. Whitmer/Adam Pearce ROH 4/22
11. La Mascara/El Hijo Del Santo v. Blue Panther/Tarzan Boy CMLL GDL 1/1
12. Rey Mysterio v. Mark Henry WWE 1/15
13. Damien Wayne v. Sean Denny NWA-VA 5/6
14. L.A. Park/Marco Corleone/Johnny Stamboli v. Dr. Wagner Jr./Dos Caras Jr./Lizmark Jr. CMLL 5/19
15. Yuki Ishikawa v. Hiroyuki Ito Big Mouth Loud 5/4
16. Low-Ki v. Necro Butcher IWA-MS 4/1
17. Rey Mysterio/Bobby Lashley/Chris Benoit v. JBL/Finlay/Randy Orton WWE 2/23
18. Samoa Joe v. Necro Butcher IWA-MS 1/12
19. Minoru Suzuki vs. Yoshiaki Fujiwara Big Mouth Loud 3/22
20. Juventud v. Kid Kash WWE 1/3

Previously on the list

- A.J. Styles v. Matt Sydal ROH 1/14
- Samoa Joe v. BJ Whitmer ROH 1/14
- Chris Benoit v. Randy Orton WWE 1/24
- Shadow WX/Mammoth Sasaki v. Abdullah Kobyashi/Daisuke Sekimoto BJW 1/27/06
- Finlay v. Chris Benoit WWE 1/30
- HHH v. Big Show WWE 2/13
--Finlay/JBL v. Lashley/Chris Benoit WWE 2/16
-KENTA/Takeshi Morishima/Mohammed Yone v.Kenta Kobashi/Yoshinobu Kanemaru/Tamon Honda NOAH 2/17
- Undertaker v. Kurt Angle WWE 2/19
-KUDO & MIKAMI v. Yoshiaki Yago & MIYAWAKI Chikara 2/24
- Milano Collection AT/Skyde v. Claudio Castagnoli/ Chris Hero Chikara 2/26
-Finlay v. Bobby Lashley WWE 5/8

1. Chris Benoit v. Finlay WWE 5/21
This list looks like it is going to end up the top 20 Finlay matches of 2006. 20+ minutes on PPV between Benoit and Finlay and of course it was amazing. I loved the early build of this match, their Smackdown match had a lot of matwork at the start, but this was built more like a Memphis main event. They start with a really tight collar and elbow, which they roll to the outside while holding on to, then they face off and talk trash, with Benoit grabbing a super quick double leg and an amazing fight for a sharpshooter. Sharpshooter is a protected move in the context of the WWE, but I have never seen it sold like death like it was here. Finlay was struggling like his life depended on it. Then they go back to their feet and Finlay does a really great fake of a thumb to the eye. If the match ended with the ref DQing Benoit for poking Finlay in the eye, it would have probably been 17 or 18 on my list, instead they go another 20 minutes.

There were so many little pieces of Finlay greatness in this match, Finlay grabbing his own ankle to block the sharpshooter, shooting the half by the ropes, the constant shots to the back of the head, the hammer lock Dragon sleeper, eating the German suplex on the floor. This may be the first Chris Benoit match I can remember where he was clearly the second best guy in the match. Benoit ruled here, but this was Finlay's show, 49 years old and the best wrestler in the world. Who would have thought it.

2. Jun Akiyama v. Masao Inoue NOAH 4/23
My favorite thing about NOAH isn't really your big matches between big stars, it is when they elevate random undercard guys into a big run or two. They do a great job of making the crowd believe and even guys who have underperformed for years really step it up. Ogawa's GHC title run, Kikuchi battling the New Japan Juniors, Tamon Honda challenging for the GHC title and winning the tag belts, IZU battling for respect. Masao Inoue's big run is one of the strangest and probably the coolest, I think he had long been considered one of the worst big league wrestlers in Japan. In the last year or so, he has found a way to harness that shittiness into a formula that delivers great matches. The Dark Agents tag title challenge was one of my favorite matches of 2005, and his GHC title challenge is one of my favorite matches of 2006.

Inoue is perfect as the lovable heel loser getting his improbable big match. It starts with Inoue (who has visable indentations from his reading glasses) jumping Akiyama at the bell and hitting a big suplex and a roll up. Akiyama is established as a guy who can get upset quickly and the crowd buys the near fall. Akiyama locks on the choke, and you also buy Inoue going down quickly. Inoue then spends the next couple of minutes with some awesome stalling, and then some really great eye rakes. When Akiyama responds to the eye rakes with rakes of his own, the crowd starts booing him unmercifully. Akiyama is great as a guy who can't deal with the crowd booing him. There is a point where he just decides "fuck it, you want to boo, boo this" and just murders Inoue, including a calf branding into the steel barricade. Inoue is working as a guy with a limited number of options, he can't go toe to toe with Akyama, and he can't out quick him, out wrestle him, or out power him. He needs to either catch Akyama in a mistake or outsmart him. The rolls ups, and the stalling fit into that, and he keeps getting near falls by tricking Akiyama into almost getting counted out. Near the end Akiyama is just killing Inoue, but Masao won't go down. It isn't no-selling because he is so tough, it is more like he knows this is his only shot and despite all of his flaws wants to die on his sword. Not a ton of cool moves or fancy sequences, but still one of the best matches of the year.

7. Homicide v. Necro Butcher 5/13
Alot of people still dog ROH as a promotion full of indy dream matches, but this was a match built around booking more then dream matchiness, and was pretty awesome. It starts with about eight minutes of Necro v. Joe which is always great. Joe gets jumped by Hero and Claudio and sent back, and Whitmer and Pearce come out and we have a two on three brawl for a bit. This was the weakest part of the match, but was still pretty fun. Pearce's piledriver on the floor was really nasty looking, and really should have taken out Claudio for longer. The heels take over leading to Homicide's music coming on to the crowd going nuts. The long term booking of this feud led perfectly to this point.

The Necro v. Homicide sections of this match were great, just craziness. The crowd char toss ended up being a really cool visual, and both guys took nutso bumps on the ring of chairs. My favorite thing about both wrestlers is the tightness of their brawling. Most of the shots from both guys land solid, yet it has the ragged feel of a real fight, when stuff misses, it misses in the way punches in a real fight would miss. I don't know if Necro would work as an every show guy, he would be kind of worthless in your throw away Chris Daniels 4-way dance, but it would be really stupid for ROH not to bring him back as a special attraction. He is one of the few guys you could bring in every couple of months, and stick right in the main event.

9. American Dragon Brian Danielson v. Samoa Joe ROH 8/6
You can't really go wrong with the two best wrestlers in your promotion wrestling in a main event for a title. I really enjoyed this match, I haven't seen a ton of 2006 ROH so this was my first chance to watch heel champion Brian Danielson, and he was a blast. The opening had Joe just dominating and Dragon kept bailing out to regroup. His regrouping stalls were really great, as he would do deep knee bends or slap himself in the face. He eventually takes over on Joe, by smacking his knee with a chair and working over that knee. This may have been the one part of the match that dragged a bit, you are going to have down spots in a 60 minute match, and I did enjoy Dragon's shit talking, him starting the "boring" chant was pretty inspired. Still it was obvious from the start time of the match, that it was going 60, and this part felt a little like a time killer.

Last 20 or so was pretty spectacular. Joe's tope was as good as I have ever seen it, it was almost Popetekisish like some one dropped a couch out of a four story walk up. Dragon's springboard into the crowd is the craziest highspot on a show with Jack Evans on it. The near fall section was great, I especially loved the head and arm amateur takeovers by Dragon into the cattle mutilation. Joe powering out of the Big Daddy elbows, into landing his KO knees was sweet as well. Final spot of match was great too, as Danielsons goes for a roll up off the ropes which Joe counters right before three right into the choke. Just great timing on the spot, and made the crowd go ballistic. This was probably the best 60 minute draw ROH has run, but I do think that these two have a better 25 minute match in them. Still it had three separate "This is Awesome" chants, so Meltzer really should drop the 5 on it.

10. Chris Hero/Necro Butcher/Super Dragon v. Samoa Joe/B.J. Whitmer/Adam Pearce ROH 4/22
This was the first match in the CZW v. ROH feud and was a totally fun all out brawl. Pearce and Whitmer are a pair of guys I don't really care for, but they both brought it pretty hard in this match. Pearce gets his head split open early and wrestles the match with a bloody vagina opened up on the side of his head, and Whitmer takes huge bumps including getting his head double stomped in a chair and getting Psycho Drivered off the apron to the floor. Super Dragon was fun in this too, although allot of the interactions with the fans I read about didn't make the DVD. If I got to see him monkeyflip a dipshit fan, or beel a bisexual, I imagine this match would have ended up higher on the list. The stars of this match were Chris Hero, Samoa Joe and Necro. Hero was such a great pussy heel in this, knowing exactly when to hit a cheap shot, run away or cockishly slap on a cravate. Necro was Necro, he took lunatic bumps, bled alot and threw really nice combos. Joe was a total maniac here, just killing everyone he gets his hands on. The Joe v. Necro showdowns were awesome, and I hope we get another real singles between the two at some point. My favorite spot of the whole match was when Necro sets up two chairs with the seats touching to suplex Joe through, Joe counters that, knocks Necro down, and switches the chairs so the backs are touching, before powerbombing Necro through the backs. Just the look on his face and the timing of the switch was awesome. I liked the Claudio turn, and the CZW boys really needed to go over initially.

14. L.A. Park/Marco Corleone/Johnny Stamboli v. Dr. Wagner Jr./Dos Caras Jr./Lizmark Jr. CMLL 5/19
Man alive is primed up L.A. Park just about the best thing you are ever going to see. This was an absolutely insane brawl with Parka flying across ring and just beating the holy shit out of Wagner for the first couple of falls. Really reckless stuff, Parka would just fly through the air and it really looked like he had no idea what he would do when he landed. He ties tape around his face and hands. One of the recent additions to Arena Mexico is Tony the caracturist, he draws little pictures of Mistico and Dr. Wagner, so Parka just beals Dr. Wagner Jr. right into Tony, grabs his easels and just smacks Wagner with it. After getting pounded for a two caidias , the technicos take over when Corleone hits his partners with a running dive from the ramp to the ring. Wagner comes back and just starts wailing away on Parka. Including ripping off his mask and apparently breaking his nose with a narsty enzigiri to the face. The third fall briefly turns into a match with Lizmark and Stamboli actually doing some nice exchanges, before going right back into Wagner and Parka killing each other. After this match both Parka and the two refs got suspended by the commission. There were parts of this that were really awkward looking, but it really just contributed to the insanity of the whole thing.

15. Yuki Ishikawa v. Hiroyuki Ito Big Mouth Loud 5/4
These are my two favorite wrestlers in Japan, working my favorite Japanese wrestling style. It probably should have ended up higher on this list. This was a lot of fun, but was really hurt by my expectations of it. Ito works a really agressive style, where he will either knock you out or make a mistake. Teddy Atlas would call him a TV friendly fighter. Ishikawa is the crafty veteran here who counters Ito's agression and tears him up on the mat. Some nasty shots by both guys, and some great tricky mat counters by Ishikawa. Ito gets two knockdowns and looks like he has the match won with a choke, but you don't want to take Ishikawa to the mat, as he outmaneuvers Ito and gets a sweet ankle lock out of knowhere. Great match, although I really think these two guys have a classic in them. This is a second match on a card, and the guys work it like a second match on the card. Ishikawa v. Otsuka from the first BML show was a semi-main event, Ito v. Tamura was the main event of the show it was on, and thus both matches should have been as good as they were. This wasn't set up to be that and it wasn't, although fans of both guys would still really dig this.

16. Low-Ki vs Necro Butcher-IWA-MS 4/1
I am loving all of these Necro indy dream matches. I usually hate dream match wrestling, but Necro is a guy who brings his own thing to every match he is in, in a way that you get to see a bunch of random guys work a Necro match, rather then just watching two athletes have a contest. Low-Ki is a guy who will beat the shit out of you, and Necro will take a huge beating so that is what we got to see. I was live for Ki knocking out Dan Maff, and some of the shots on Necro looked worse then what he hit Maff with. Necro was able to land some of his big shots too, and his punches looked totally awesome here. Still Necro really works better in 10-15 minute matches, and this lasted too long. Matches this brutal tend to get a little repetitive. If someone is taking a KO level beating 5 minutes in, and is taking a KO level beating 17 minutes in, it kind of makes the guy giving the beating look like shit. It was always my problem with the Momoe Nakanishi v. Kumiko Maeakawa matches, and this wasn't as egregious as that, it was still bad. Still this match had alot of goodness in it. The double stomp through the table was the spot of the year so far, and this had a ton of holy shit moments in it.

19. Minoru Suzuki vs Yoshiaki Fujiwara- Big Mouth Loud 3/22
These guys have a couple of matches on the upcoming 80's Other Japan set, this may have been as good of either of those, and Fujiwara is nearly 60. He also neither looks or wrestles particularly different then he did 17 years ago. Fujiwara is a guy who looked 57 when he was 27 and now still looks 57. He is some weird Dorian Grey thing, where he aged all he was going to age immediately and will stay that way forever. The matchh had some awesome mat counters, inlcuding the first move of the match which had Fujiwara counter a Suzuki shoot into a Fujiwara armbar. Fujiwara also had some sweet counters for Suzuki's sleeper suplex and piledriver.The speed that Fujiwara moves is shocking at his age, I mean he is as quick as tiny effeminate Ultimo students in their early twenties. Suzuki tones down his dickishness working his trainer, but still was enough of a cock for a Minoru Suzuki match.

Hidden Gems
One of the things I enjoyed about the early part of doing my 2006 MOTY blog was writing up some matches that might be under the radar. Now that I have watched more wrestling I have less room for those hidden gem type matches. So I am going to do an addendum for stuff that might fall under the radar of your average fan (i.e. no big show NOAH, WWE, TNA or ROH)

Katsushi Takemura vs Virus- AJPW- 6/25
Virus is one of those hidden wrestling geniuses, guys like Yuki Ishikawa, Hiroyuki Ito, Preston Quinn, Negro Navarro and Solar, who are doing brilliant stuff below the radar of even obsessive wrestling nerds like us. So anytime any of those guys show up anywhere you could watch, you jump on it. Here Virus carries mediocre MUGAist Katsushi Takemura to probably the best match of his career. Virus is just ridiculously fast, and has some crazy offense, including some nutty hammerlock front facelock neckbreaker. Outside of one armdrag to the floor where he got caught on the guardrail (no guardrails in Mexico or Big Japan) he hit his stuff perfectly. He really made Takemura look great too, eating his tope nicely, and making Takemuras U.S. Indy offense look nasty. Takemura wins with a F5 which Virus eats better then a Hardy.

Pequeno Halloween/Pequeno Damien 666 vs Ultimo Dragoncito/Pequeno Olimpico- CMLL- 6/30
Really fun mini’s match from Guerreros Del Ring. Mini Mexicos Most Wanted are fucking insane. I mean they are out bumping actual Mexicos Most Wanted. They also have a ton of fun nasty double teams and take all of Pequeno Olimpicos fancy armdrags really well. Pequeno Olimpico needs to switch gimmicks, his fancy armdrag stuff would work fine as a Pequeno for 2002 Olimpico, but current Olimpico really needs an Shane Twin to work as his mini.

This was an especially impressive match because Ultimo Dragoncito keeps hurting himself, in the first fall alone he messes up his neck on a simple snap mare, and then after hitting a gorgeous Asai Moonsault cracks his face on a front row chair. The match builds real well with each fall ending on something crazy. For the third fall Pequeno Halloween takes a reverse suplex on the floor which is Necro Butcher crazy, and was probably the fourth insane bump he took in the match.

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CMLL Guerreros Del Ring 7/12/06 Reflections

India Sioux/Marcella/Dark Angel v. La Nazi/Medusa/Princess Sugieth

PAS: Really nothing match which was clearly their to set up the Medusa v. India Sioux match, but did nothing really to make you want to see that. Only luchadora who looked good was La Nazi, and they aren’t setting up La Nazi v. Debbie Malenko.

TKG: Hmm….trying to think of any other Jewish female wrestlers… Isn’t there a Gypsy Lee? Miss Texas v La Nazi would be pretty great. The Marcela sections with LA Nazi were really nice and that’s really the match you want to see. For how few luchadores they have they really feel like they are running through their big stip/mask matches too fast which will make the whole thing feel like even more a novelty than it already is.

Olimpico/Atlantis v. Mistico/Negro Casas:

TKG: Ah yes that’s the good stuff. This was for a title and started out all awesome with Negro and Atlanis working the mat. Their section was followed by Mistico and Olimpico working quick exchanges which while executed nicely kind of felt silly as Olimpico is your power man and Mistico is your fast underdog worker and the two were working like it was Red vs. Brian XL Still pretty great finish to first fall. Second fall Olimpico worked more power stuff and Atlantis was just a blast heeling it up, kicking Que Monito and Negro was just a star fighting back from every hit he takes…Mistico hits a totally beautiful leaping DDT that I can’t properly describe. Just totally fast and impossible. Favorite spot in third fall was Olimpico and Atlantis going to clothesline his opponents—Casas ducks while Mistico eats his…Casas turns surprised that Mistico didn’t duck bends down to instinctively check on Mistico and gets hit with a boot just as he leans down. Fun fun match

PAS: According to Meltzer the promotion wanted to lead off their new Fox Sports show with a bang so they told everyone to go all out. I don’t think this match aired on the Fox Sports show, but it definitely felt like all of the guys were working hard. Mistico usually dogs it on Coliseo shows, but he was nuts here, working at a million miles an hour. Atlantis takes all of his spots really fast. You forget Negro Casas is Negro Casas until you see him wrestle, and then you remember. The early exchange with Atlantis was so awesome, that you get the sense the were running through their regular spots, but I don’t remember these two feuding.

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Gregory Helms v. Tatanka

PAS: Man alive was that match a blast. Tatanka is a guy who has been around for a while and I don’t think he has ever had a better match in his whole career. Really violent, as both guys were just laying into each other with big shots. Tatanka’s top rope chop was especially nasty. I am sure Helms must have had a singles match with Mike Youngblood on the NC indies, and may have event had a match with end of the road Wahoo, but I can’t imagine either match being as good

TKG: All you need to be high end Indian is stiff chops and a nice elbow drop. No elbow drop in this but still plenty stiff. Helms also was willing to work real stiff and I really liked the nasty low enziguri that replaced his shining wizard. I can’t think of last time I’ve enjoyed a Helms cruiser match this much. Helms’ arrogant heel stuff may work better vs. heavyweight. Arrogant guy who comes over from other brand and refuses to shake peoples hand backstage may make sense as way to promote a heel to sheet readers. But really not something actual audience cares about, I suppose it could lead to a Booker feud down the road. Arrogant small southerner taking liberties with big Injun guy is something the audience can respond to.

London/Kendrick v. James/Stevens

TKG: Hey a WWE tag match with both a face and a heel in peril section. Stevens didn’t look as bad in this as he did the last time we saw him. Mostly him eating offense. He’s not Eric Young or Johnny Nitro. Nothing really compelling about the way he eats offense but fine. London/Kendrick hit a bunch of fun double teams and then James controls the offense when London takes the headbump.

PAS: James had a really nice elbow drop, but had a crappy finishing kick. London took a big bump, these teams might have a better match in them.

Rey Mysterio v. Mr. Kennedy

PAS: This whole Rey v. Chavo feud doesn’t really have the actors to pull off what they are trying to do. You get a sense that the promos would be a lot better if Rey had passed and this was an Eddie v. Rey Sr. feud. The match was a lot better then their first match, as Kennedy clearly had worked Mdogg20 so he had some indy highflyer bumps to take. Rey has a really pretty crucifix bomb.

TKG: Rey Sr vs. Eddy wouldn’t be very good in the ring. Maybe they should have gotten Edie’s mom instead of his wife…I remember her being really good in the JBL angle. Rey whips out all his indyer offense but for indy touring Rey vs. Midwest guy this was smoked by Rey vs. Ace Steel.

Vito v. Sylvain

PAS: I don’t understand what angle they are working having Vito beat all of Patterson’s bottoms. Feels like it sets up a match with Patterson, but he is in the hospital.

TKG: Vito working his way through the flock amuses me. But like Phil says with Patterson hospitalized, unclear who gets to play the Raven role? Next week we get Vito vs. Barry O, followed by Vito vs. Mel Phillips building to Vito vs. Vinny Mac? Mike Bucci just got promoted…I always figured he was the guy who wrote the RF apologist letter to the Observer. Maybe he has enough power to book himself to avenge Patterson’s honor.

Sylvester Turkey v. Jobber

PAS: Turkey can’t really work the violent MMA gimmick when he is working visibly looser then Shane Helms.

TKG: Yeah at least vs. Hardy he seemed like a fun poor man’s Yasuda. But if you’re going to work MMA guy squashing jobbers you need to have some Goldberg intensity and not work like lazy Yasuda. Yasuda disinterested v. jobber isn’t going to get anyone over. If Burke is going to be Hoshino he needs better suits.

TKG: MVP really feels like a Battledome gimmick.

Bobby Lashley/Batista v. Finlay/William Regal

PAS: This was a total blast, Finlay and Regal are the best tag team in wrestling, and you can tell that Regal is really inspired working with Finlay. Regal actually looked like the best guy in the match, although Finlay was bumping huge. Batista looked pretty rusty, as Lashley’s offense looked better.

TKG: Regal just looked on fire. All of his stuff working over and selling for Lashley were just amazing. Those two never had a great singles match and never looked like they would but watching this you felt like these two have a match in them. Finlay must have worked 500 matches with Goldberg and he can eat a spear like nobodies business. I really liked Booker and his wife’s real bama couple chemistry and making him do fake Sir Laurence Oliver really fucks him up. Him as kingfish worked, him as prison theatre Hamlet doesn’t.

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Wednesday, August 09, 2006


What Worked

-RENE DUPREE~! I think he must be in his 30’s by now, but he was always one of my favorite OVW guys with no offense (Carlito, Cena)

-The Vampire has nice squash offense, for a syndie squash guy his stuff looks better then Snitsky but not as good as Luther Reigns. I imagine his competitive matches will also fall into that Snitsky/Reigns region

What Didn’t Work

-The Heyman vs. washed up ECW guys feud really needs some progression. I imagine Dudley Dudley is still working Florida Indies. Dudley Dudley and Little Snot vs. riot helmeted Bashams would be really fun.

-Big Show is a way shittier fake Shane Douglas then Helmsley. That was kind of an ugly suit for a guy rocking a “nice suit” gimmick

Sabu v. Kurt Angle had some big bumps but was a disjointed mess. Not in the good way that most Sabu matches are disjointed messes, but in the way most RAW main events are disjointed messes. Their little mat exchange at the end looked uglier then Jado jacking Kurt Angle reversal sections. RVD’s chair whiff was a microcosm of his entire career.

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006


So I came into this show with kind of really positive feelings toward TNA. The previous episode delivered two fun matches and a fun Nash/Alex Shelley segment. Plus I went to the Edison, NJ ROH show this weekend. Looking around that show I noticed that about 2% of the audience was kids 10 and under lots of them wearing TNA Samoa Joe shirts. For whatever else is wrong with ROH fans, they aren’t WWE fans. WWE fans are angered by enthusiastic little kids ruining the “wrestling experience” for them. ROH fans understand that they’re a cult and recruiting youth is something that they want to encourage. Watching little kids respond to Dragon v. Joe made me really hope that TNA has further success. So I came into this episode of Impact with good, positive feelings and I get this:


Monte Brown had a nice shirt. I don’t know what the fabric was but it was a nice shirt.


Wow this was shitty episode. So they run an angle where they split up team Canada. Result of the split is that there is at least one Team Canada member in every TV segment? This show sucked!!

I'm not sure which was worse the shitty sports entertainment/mic segments or the shitty matches.

Just one bad match after another:

-X-Division three ways are pretty much always bad…but 4 ways are normally at minimum watchable. Normally when TNA runs an X division 4 way, people are smart enough to work it like a face/heel tag. Give the thing some structure. This had none of that and was a complete mess that just went on forever. Neither Williams or Devine really worked heel. Was Williams making a face turn? I mean this may have been the worst of the Impact X division multi-person matches. It appeared like Shark Boy was the smartest worker in the ring as there was some sense and build to what he was trying to do. Everyone else was just doing random shit. The other thing was it wasn’t that they where doing fast random shit. I mean spotty fast exchanges are one thing but they were working medium speed. I really can’t do justice to how bad this was. This was worse than some of the Lance Hoyt singles matches.

-Who was the jokester that laid out the James Gang and Eric Young vs. A1 and AMW match. A1 and Kip James work wrestling exchanges, Eric Young does shtick, AMW do miscommunication spots and BG James throws a dropkick. Now there is nothing wrong with building a 6 man match around two guys pairing off to do exchanges, face shtick, heel miscommunication spots and a dropkick. You can build a 6 man around having only two guys pair off and do wrestling exchanges while everyone else essentially does characterization. But who decided that two guys to pair off would be A1 and Kip James??

-So when they were building Samoa Joe v. Rhino as BATTLE OF MACHINES…I was fully aware that it wasn’t going to be as good as Junji Hirata v. Yoji Anjo. Aware that I’d rather see Joe vs. Hirata. Aware that I’d rather see Joe vs. Anjo. I was shocked when it wasn’t as good as Bill Eadie v. Black Jack Mulligan. This was mess. Samoa Joe does nice job bumping around and selling. But that was his role here. Samoa Joe is at his best when in role of playing “THE MAN”. Even when he was in the ring with the likes of Sting, Jarrett, and Steiner..Joe played role of “the man”. Here he played role of “afterthought”. The big table bump in end looked as convoluted as you can get. And really three way dance between three face/tweener guys who crowd like really feels like a burial of everyone. I don’t really give a rat’s ass about Rhino or Brown, so them being stuck against each other doesn’t bother me. Joe on the other hand. I think Joe vs. 2006 Blackjack Mulligan would have been better match. I am sure that Joe vs. 2006 Bill Eadie would have smoked this.

And then there were the endless awful sports entertainment/mic segments:

-Borash is saddened by the idea that he might be loosing young Eric Young to the James Boys. “This wasn’t part of our plan”. JEREMY BORASH TANNING WATCH: Last time we did one of these Borash had turned golden, this week he was more of a honey color.

-Christian does a long endless in ring mic segment with a strobe light going on behind him. Sting says some stuff. Then they do a backstage interview with Jarret. Christian and Sting segment really got nothing across. Normally Jarrett is good at hitting all the points and getting the storylines accross but I don’t have any idea of what they’re trying to push here. I’m guessing this was twenty minutes of an hour show that just did nothing to heat up their main. Two long mic segments and a video package and all that I got out of them was the realization that Jarrett and Sting have two of the worst looking goatee’s I’ve ever seen. They should bring in David Faustino as celebrity ref.

- Who thought the way to give Chris Sabin personality was to give him a backstage segment with Jerry Lynn. I’d love to see the booking meeting “Hey maybe some of that Jerry Lynn charisma will rub off” .

- TNA is filled with a million unexplained angles/mysteries that I really don’t care about. Of the million unexplained mysteries in TNA…”what is the definition of ‘hippophit’?” ranks just above “what’s Jackie Gayda’s secret”and just below “what was in Ryan Shamrock’s envelope?”. So not like I’m excited that we get the reveal. But figure should acknowledge it. A “hipophit” turns out to be a creature that is half elephant and half hippopotamus. You’d think that would be called a hippophant or a elapotamus. But you’d be wrong. Monte Brown adds more layers to his character as he is no longer working self hating black man as face, but rather self hating black as tweener. He has internalized racism so much that while he feels that he belongs in the jungle, he wants to rebuild the jungle as a restricted community. “Hippophits don’t deserve to live in Monte Brown’s Serengeti”. Like Steiner, Brown doesn’t want to interact with half-breeds and there will be no products of miscegenation in his dream village. “Rhinoceroses don’t deserve to live in the Serengeti either”.. I’m guessing that’s due to their hook nose. I guess this is an interesting bit of characterization but still just a painfully awful mic segment that does nothing to heat up the match. It was a really nice shirt.


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FAR FROM CLASSIC TOMK- throwaway comments written about a bunch of matches in 2004

Ahh 2004 and I was full of optimism about the future of the heavyweight Pro-Wrestling. Its almost sad looking back on my optimism.

"Between this [ Ogawa v. Goldberg] and Takayama vs. Nakamura 2004 really started out on a good foot in terms of heavyweight wrestling."

Goldberg burnt out on wrestling and now does MMA commentary. Ogawa really doesn't do "wrestling" anymore.JBL retired. Takayama went down for a couple years and who knows to what degree he'll recover.

And the two people who's work most excited me in 2004 are dead.

some stuff here I still stand by, other stuff not so much...

Takeshi Morishima vs. Jun Izumida:

Man Izumida is on this ridiculous hot streak. Normally when guys who stunk get good after ten years is cause they simplify, drop silly stuff, work tighter. Izumida has taken the opposite tack and just gotten on an offensive tear. Ridiculous. Plus all of Izumida's old Tenzan'ish (headbutts, mongolian chops) offense is also looking really crisp lately. And yeah I'll see it best diving headbutt in the business today.

Chris Benoit vs. Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels

Cooey seems to like the early exchanges in this. I have no idea what he sees in those. The rest of match is all about the Benoit crowd heat. The crowd heat was awesome, but what made it so awesome is it was all about the crowd turning on the story of the match. Shawn Michaels goes for the WWE I hit opponent’s offense and hits a laughable German suplex in what was laid out as a "we are equal" faces spot. Crowd boos. Crowd boos any time anyone but Benoit is on offense. Crowd doesn't want to see the match that's been laid out for them. Crowd heat cool, actual match not much.

Eddie Guerrero vs. John Bradshaw Layfield - WWE Heavyweight Title (WWE 5/16/04)

This is your WWE match of the year.

How does one work as a World Title Holder?

Ric Flair gets alot of crit on the net for the way he worked as champ. It's asked "Why is he begging off from Ricky Morton?"

Hogan doesn't get the same criticism. As he either gets criticized because his formula was stale, or praised for work as "strong champion". I've never understood the second as one of goofiest things in any Hogan match is the "I have to loose the beginning of test of strength segment)". You have the biggest guns in wrestling, why is Bob Orton, Lanny Poffo or the Bossman powering you down? Why do you have to dig deep to win test of strength with Adrian Adonis? Stupid.

Kobashi gets some crit for his championship work against guys who aren't on his level. He can't find way to make lesser opponents credible unless they work same work the leg formula. Why does everyone have to work Kobashi same way? Rikio spends entire match working the leg until he starts throwing bombs. It's Rikio why not throw bombs from start. Sano beats Akiyama by just destroying his ribs. That’s what gets him to the title challenge. But he never does that in the title challenge itself.

Helmsley doesn't know how to sell for opponents.

Eddy Guerrero has figured out how to work a match against lesser opponent. Whole match is based on Eddie being the better wrestler and Bradshaw just not being at his level. All of the offense, all of the selling is built around that. Just a fucking great Championship match.

When I watched Eddy vs. Lesnar I remember thinking that I liked the way two worked together and would have liked to have seen them work a series.

Eddy vs. Bradshaw was better than that although I have really no interest in seeing the series. Unfortunately that’s what I'm stuck with. Still 5/16/04 is your WWE match that should make this or any list.

KENTA vs. Jun Izumida (NOAH 6/11/04):

Izumida works as poor mans short Hashimoto, Kenta works as Kenta. They do a spot where Kent hurts his shins doing Kawada kicks to Zamia’s head. I hope Kawada and Jamal work that same spot. I like old school AJ, love count out post dive loch falls....I'm big fan of count out finishes. Liked the Hash v Vader count out finish which the crowd turned on. Izu vs. Kenta, best worked count out finish this year.

Kaz Hayashi vs. TAKA Michinoku - AJPW World Jr. Heavyweight Title (AJPW 2/22/04)

Who would have thunk. Two guys who I think of as being natural heels. Two guys who started out in lucha inspired juniors promotions. Working AJ-they work what felt like really good AJ juniors style match. This wasn't no NJ goofball juniors. This wasn't Toryumon meta-lucha. This was Aj juniors match, with AJ juniors style selling trace-ing line back to Fuchi vs. Kikuchi. Who would have thunk it.

Kawada vs. Hashimoto (AJPW 2/22/04)

The new thing that Hashimoto has brought to Japanese heavyweight wrestling is Ole Anderson, Ricky Steamboat bodypart selling.

Yeah there used to be you worked on body part for submission or the old school AJ body part work was lead in to throwing bombs (i.e. you weren't going to be able to throw opponent until you had weakened through body part work).

Hashimoto says we do bodypart work like Steamboat. Hash and Kawada are both broken down guys coming into this match and that adds to the epic feel of it. One of the things you realize by watching Kawada out of AJ, is that Kawada is short. Kawada is shorter than Ohtani, shorter than Kohei Sato. Dwarfed by the likes of Noaya Ogawa. He's short guy coming into ring with Hashimoto. But hell, Hashimoto worked credible singles match against Liger he can do it with Kawada. Whole match is built around Hashimoto's arm vs. Kawada's leg. If the two worked a match pre injuries it would have had a ton of suplexes. It doesn't need them anymore as its all about the bodyparts.

Hashimoto is alot better at the bodypart selling and work here but Kawada really steps up to the plate figuring out how to work this style. And besides which when Kawada no sells, the audience has to recognize "his leg is sleight screwed up" ...thus his fighting spirit no sells seem well like either legit fighting spirit or more often a game face to show no intimidation from opponent. Kawada does that alot here grimacing followed by putting on a game face, there are these great moments where he moves like an old man struggling to get out of bed and then just fights to try to hide that on his face.

Epic match. Everything I wanted out of meeting of these two.

Naoya Ogawa vs. Bill Goldberg (Hustle-1)

Speaking of selling, the weird thing about Ogawa in Zero-One is that he's become all about the selling. In all the endless mediocre Ogawa/Hashimoto vs. shitty guys tag matches. It's Ogawa who always plays face in peril while Hashimoto works hot tag. It's Ogawa working Kikuchi to Hashimoto as Kobashi. Not a role that anyone would've picked Ogawa for five years back. Somehow through this Ogawa has gotten actually good. He's limited in that he has a WWE superstar’s offensive depth. He has about three really over offense moves. And he’s able to sell between that. Goldberg also not a guy with allot of depth of offense. Both have really over offense spots but not allot of them. The two come together in ring and just feel like they were made for each other. Between this and Takayama vs. Nakamura 2004 really started out on a good foot in terms of heavyweight wrestling.

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CLASSIC TOMK-from TOA post on Shawn Michaels vs. Carlito Colon on RAW 10/17/05

Originally you described match as sloppy. Match dragging and being sloppy are two different things.

Only sloppyness I saw was last run of Michaels offense and Michaels really annoying constant need to adjust his hair plugs during sections where he is selling. But neither of those things hurt this match that much.

As that last bit of face comeback offense was really one run. And the hair stuff you just got to take for granted at this point.

This was the first Michaels TV match that made a permanent tape since the nineties. I mean maybe he's got on for a six man or such. But this was a long singles match with Michaels and it made tape.

I don't think Carlito is that great. He works a pretty basic punch, chop and schtick style. He takes a high backdrop and knows how to work heel. I don't think he even has a finisher other than roll up at this point.

But sometimes styles make matches.

Michaels at this point in his career is a guy who is pretty over with the crowd has nice long flowing hair and has a good thrust kick. Great Kabuki had a pretty succesfull career working with just those thre things. But Michaels instead of accepting his limitations, normally when in the ring with far more athletic workers tries to work like Psichosis in WAR. And it tends to be every bit as ugly as you would imagine Great Kabuki trying to work like Psychosis in WAR would be. HBK doing I have a counter for every counter type wrestling is pretty awfull stuff.

But put in the ring with the more basic type worker that Carlito is and Michaels works well within himself. This really felt like Carlito as heel trying to take down Great Kabuki in Kabuki's home town.

Carlito did a nice job of hiding Michael's weaknesses. Carlito's punches and chops looked good. He cut off Michaels face stuff well. The big double bump to floor was a big bump in the match context and was timed well. Michaels looked like he had some fire and had a nice thrust kick.

Best TV Michaels match I've seen this decade. I'm struggling to come up with a better PPV singles match of his.

Carlito's limited and I could see finding his stuff to drag but he's been able to carry Michaels, Cena and Flair to their best matches this year. Something has to be said for that.

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William Regal v. Finlay

PAS: Neither of these two singles matches were classics, but both were Regal v. Finlaytatic. Regal looked awesome here, as he was the stiffer of the two guys. Including some really nasty elbows to the ear and head. This kind of felt like it was working towards a run-in but everything they did was great.

TKG: I don’t know about working toward a run in. Felt like it was the first part of a match as Regal was just going after Finlay. Really almost felt like concentrated body part work as he was just taking apart the shoulder area. Like a really high end version of a Tom Pritchard match. Last weeks match was full match. This felt like only part of a match. But a spectacular part. Lashley’s run in kind of denies the chance to get the rubber match.

Elijah Burke v. Scott Wright

PAS: I liked Elijah Burke’s bodyshots a bunch, and he had a nice dropkick. He looked a lot better then Turkey did last week.

TKG: Turkey looked pretty shitty as poor man’s Yasuda last week. Burke is really going to disappoint in the Murakami role. As you can’t do that role and do chickenshit heel complaining that jobber is pulling your braids shtick at same time. But yeah I really dug the bodyshots and liked the stroke into submission finisher.

Sylvan v. Tatanka

PAS: This was a really fun Velocity main event. Tatanka has really nice impact on everything he does, and I really loved the stiff top rope chop. Sylvan bumps really well and I kind of hope he doesn’t get fired if Patterson dies.

TKG: Smackdown is the craziest thing in the world as no matter how depleted their roster gets they can still deliver the matches. Disappointed that Tatanka didn’t do his old role up finish. Sylvan moves around a bunch while applying the neck vice into chinlock—like he’d been studying his Randy Orton tapes. Sylvan also hits a really great spinebuster/uranagi.

Mr. Kennedy v. Batista

PAS: This was worked exactly like the Samoa Joe v. American Dragon match from ROH Saturday. Kennedy is the worlds shittiest American Dragon and Batista is a pretty shitty Samoa Joe, but it is a good match structure and this was shockingly good. Kennedy’s execution is crap, but Batista is really good at selling, and his selling makes this match.

TKG: Kennedy was working more like poor man’s Corino than poor man’s Danielson. But yeah this was surprisingly good. Kennedy’s execution is crap and he looked like he might fall on his face rolling from putting the headlock into putting on the hammerlock. But his ability to play the role he was playing was really important to making that match work. This is the best match I’ve ever seen with Ken Kennedy and I used to watch Midwest indy tapes.

Vito v. Brooklyn Brawler

PAS: Feels like an inside joke with legit gay guy against a hetrosexual transvestite, called by a gay guy and a shower molester. Surprisingly progressive for a normally homophobic show.

Scotty 2 Hotty/Funaki v. K.C. James/Idol Stevens

PAS: K.C James is really fun, nice punches and elbows. Idol Stevens is early Heartbreakers level bad. You kind of only need one good wrestler for a tag team so I could be into a James/Stevens v. London/Kendrick.

TKG: Idol Stevens looked really awkward and nowhere near being ready for TV. Not really ready for ECWA summit, either. James is a guy whose career I’ve followed for awhile with some admiration…but had never seen him work. Years ago I remember when James was running an indy and brought in Corino…James ran a wrestling school scam that week where he claimed that Corino would hand deliver all the students audition tapes to Hashimoto. Kind of scam that made me know that this is a guy who understands the business. And then there was his run in Puerto Rico. Anyways I was happy that he didn’t disappoint. Phil mentioned his punches but I was really impressed with his interactions with the crowd and the way he leaned into and ate both Fuanki and Scotty-2-Hotty’s offense. Did an impressive job making Hotty’s offense look good.

Diva Search

PAS: The pie test is actually useful. These girls need to be able to keep their composure when white cream flies unexpectedly into their face. Randy Orton is back from suspension.

Chavo Interview

PAS: This angle hasn’t gotten disgusting yet, although you know it is coming. Chavo can’t really carry a long mike segment like that. Although the turn made sense

Undertaker v. Booker T

PAS: Booker T v. Undertaker was the start of a really great match. I especially loved the top rope armdrag counter to the old school. The constant pimping of Undertaker as Chuck Liddel is hysterical. I would like to see this Khaliless and given more time. It makes me want to watch all of their Booker as Voodoo priest match.

TKG: This without Khali would be Undertaker winning cleanly. Worked similarly to last weeks match as it’s Booker bumping around for face opponent until opponent makes mistake and Booker takes over for a couple minutes. Booker just really solid in this as he eats the stuff well and his strikes are solid. JBL does nice job putting over the different sections of an Undertaker match.

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Monday, August 07, 2006


Kurt Angle vs. Shane McMahon - The Street Fight-Sicko Circus Act

“Your total disregard of the human consequences is almost sickening. We were just talking about the DVDVR boys~! and their inability to appreciate wrestling as an art and not some sicko circus act.”
- Randall –

“Unlike WWF wrestling, the popularity of extreme wrestling is driven by the bloodlust of its spectators, who clamor for the participants to continually cut, hit and slash each other with all types of implements... Although extreme wrestling is rehearsed, it is nonetheless quite dangerous for its participants, who voluntarily subject themselves to bleeding wounds, many of them self-inflicted to keep the blood flowing.”
- New Jersey State Assembly Bill 2304

Phil and me re-watched the “Kurt Angle vs. Shane McMahon Street Fight-Sicko Circus Act” a second time Sunday night. These are our thoughts after second viewing.

Match starts with Angle dominating for first minute, than Shane wins an exchange scores a leg takedown and an armdrag and than does an amateur ride on Angle. Shane's punches had that Bill Alfonso vs. Todd Gordon untrained stiffness thing going for them, not quite Marc Curtis vs. Randy Hales stiff. It looked like on slow-mo that Angle got cut on the leg sweep not on the punches, as Shane hit him with his forearm on the way down and bounced his face on the mat with his weight on top of him.

Angle then goes to par terre position and challenges Shane to mount. Angle controls completely. Really dug the punishing crossface attempts, Ross or Heyman should have got over that being a legit way to hurt someone in the amateurs. After a 12 match series with Benoit, odd that Angle chooses this match to show stiff tendencies.

Angle goes to the par terre a second time at about the five-minute point in match. We really dug Shane’s kick into wrestler in par terre. It is one of the great classic old school wrestling spots.

They then brawl to outside of ring as Shane dominates the next ten minutes of offense as we enter the portion of match where the crowd should have chanted “Money Mark! Money Mark!”. Coolest spot of the match was definitely Shane’s nasty armdrags into the ring barrier, very innovative stuff and looked very neat. Second was Angle countering the pinning attempts with great looking bridges.

The WWF ring apron is like Captain Caveman's body hair ---you just reach in and pull out anything. Also Angle really should have reversed the sharpshooter (which was early Rocky bad, as was the floatover DDT, Shane seemed to be doing an homage to crappy 90's Rocky) rather then just using the Kendo stick. It looked like Shane landed wrong on the SSP on the garbage can as he hit his ribs on the corner when he should have probably taken it on the middle. After missing the SSP onto the trashcan, Angle should have transitioned into power offense. Instead he just tossed Shane over the top rope (Shane needs to study Nigel Fairservice to learn how to do this properly) and then kicked Shane down the aisle. Seemed weak. Also ridiculous that Shane counters Angle with suplex, there should have been no point in the match where Shane outwrestled Angle. There were far too many.

The first suplex attempt through the glass was easily the rudest bump of the night, Shane lands on the top of his head right on the steel grate. He had to have concussed himself. Shane and the bookers were looking for this to be visually impressive but physically safe (even safer then the big falls) so he was wearing three shirts and god knows how many pants - little did he know. Angle adjust the second suplex to insure that it goes through the glass, by throwing Shane HEADFIRST, kind of an odd way to protect someone. Shane gets cut right above ear at the temple, which of course would kill him instantly if it were any deeper.

Angle then goes to overhead belly to belly through the second glass panel. When prop doesn’t break, Angle decides to protect Shane from taking another headfirst bump to the floor on the belly-to belly. His strategy is to adjust so as to catch Shane’s head flat on his own face to keep it from hitting the floor. Not smart. This is where I would guess Angle got his tooth knocked out, and apparently lodged in the back of Shane's head.

Angle tries another belly to belly this time this time keeping it a back bump but throwing with more force. Again panel doesn’t break. Although the back bump into the solid glass was nasty, this time Angle rather skillfully catches Shane on the way down. After the third failure of the spot, Angle tosses Shane face first through the glass, at this point Shane is super bloody (all hardway) and Angle's back is approaching Yamakawa, especially after he falls down try to drag Shane (which may have been a planned fatigue spot, but he fell onto broken glass).

Ross comments on Shane's bloody face, saying that his father would want the match stopped. Heyman mentions that Mass Transit's dad wants it stopped too. They go back to the Ring and Shane is rolled in leaving a blood spot on the mat with what appears to be Angle’s tooth in the middle of it. Angle then gives an agonized grimace where you can see his now Benoitish hockey smile. Truly one of the great visuals in garbage wrestling history.

About 24 minutes into the match at this point and Shane delivers an “Angle Slam” to Angle but Angle clearly has the momentum. The final spot has Angle placing a Balsa wood plank on the top rope (which was terrifying after all the previous hideous prop issues) Angle hits Shane twice with the already warped piece of wood. Mike Chioda shows some nice ring sense (the only person in this match to display any) by holding the board while Angle climbs up. Chioda seemed reluctant to do this, while a Nick Patrick would have jumped right on it (heck, Patrick would have kicked his leg through the glass panel to get it to break). Angle executes a pretty swanky Angle Slam off the top rope, with the extra spice of both guys landing on the broken glass chunks, which dotted the ring at this point. They show a close up of a defeated Shane McMahon and he has the thousand yard stare and apparently had blood in his left eye, Angle walks back from the ring and also has that John Matua look in his eyes. This is the point in the match where I am used to seeing Onita and his opponent each enter their ambulances.

“The Legislature further finds and declares that, because its principal purpose is to entertain by having its participants intentionally cause bleeding, or perform acts which reasonably could be expected to cause bleeding, extreme wrestling should be distinguished from professional wrestling. The emphasis on dangerous stunts that cause injury and bleeding makes extreme wrestling potentially harmful to its participants. Furthermore, the atmosphere of base violence and depravity that prevails at an extreme wrestling event has a deleterious effect on children and young adults. Moreover, the liberal bloodletting that characterizes many extreme wrestling events constitutes a public health hazard not only for the participants, but also the spectators. For all of these reasons, extreme wrestling should be subject to strict State regulation. Because the creativity of those who seek to profit from vulgarity cannot be underestimated, the State Athletic Control Board should be given a proper amount of latitude to regulate the attendant excesses of extreme wrestling that presently exist and that could be incorporated into extreme wrestling events in the future.”
New Jersey State Assembly Bill 2304

If it weren’t for the visuals caused by the missed spots and failed props, this would have been a poorly booked and booked too long money mark match. Meltzer said "Angle was phenomenal here" but Shane appeared to be calling the match (very loudly) and Angle really showed a failure to improv properly and his decision-making skills were pretty poor. Very fun but very not good. The WWF could have really used a crowd killing match before main, too bad they fired Chyna.


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