Segunda Caida

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

Thursday, September 28, 2006

PRO-WRESTLING FUJIWARA-GUMI SHOW #3 7/26/91

Mark Rush v. Kazuo Takahashi

Mark Rush was a guy I liked from the early UWF2 even though he never really had a good match. He was a amateur wrestler with an amusing circus strongman mustache. This was better then any of the UWF stuff I saw him in, and was overall pretty good. This was almost all amateur style mat exchanges which looked really good. The only striking came near the end, when Takahashi slipped in a little headbutt and they started throwing blows. Until that it almost looked like worked RPW, which came off really well.

Bart Vale v. Lato Kirawarik

Lato is a Sumo guy I am assuming. Because he was really fat and kind of Polynesian looking. Not as good as Arashi, better then Koji Kitao is my early impression. Bart Vale isn't a guy who will make you look good in your debut. I think Fujiwara works him on the next show which will clearly be the litmus test.

Wayne Shamrock v. Duane Koslowski

Koslowski is an Olympic wrestler who had some matches in UWF. He was pretty fun here, as Shamrock continues to not irritate me. Shamrock keeps him off with kicks and punches, and Koslowski gets in with a big throw or two. Really cool looking suplexes actually, looked more like Matt Hughes throws then Scott Steiner suplexes. The finish was really pretty looking as Shamrock hits a Northern lights floating over into a kneebar. It would be a really great Austin Aries spot but I don't know if I buy Shamrock throwing an Olympian, especially as smoothly. Still this was on the good side of fine.

Napataya v. Yusuke Fuke

Napataya is one of those Thai ladyboy kickboxers I think, as he does a really fey dance before the match, has sorta cornrows and really great Grace Jonesish facials. This match had some fun parts, as Napataya was wearing Fuke out with kicks, and Fuke would shoot and try to take him down and Napataya would either grab the ropes or Fuke wouldn't be able to get a hold of him. Still they basically do that for five rounds and Fuke never gets the expected takedown. Really sort of a cocktease of a match, as you were waiting for Fuke finally to get him down, and then he doesn't and then its over. It's like if the Midnights cut off the ring, beat down Ricky, he almost makes the tag, and then they pin him.

Naoki Sano v. Minoru Suzuki

Man am I steamed Sano only worked two matches for PWFG as he is fucking gold again. This goes to a draw which keeps it a little below the sublime Sano v. Shamrock match on the second show, but it was incredible. The counters in this were faster then in the Shamrock match, but it was paced similar.

Suzuki was the one brining the pro wrestling here, as he breaks out a nasty piledriver and even tries a dropkick. The dropkick spot was great as he threw it and Sano steps away contemptuously, Suzuki lands bounces up and hit a brutal jumping spin kick into Sano's grill. Suzuki was great here, as he is awesome as a fired up babyface, there is a point where is trying to get a cross armbreaker and he is just chopping at Sano's arm and kicking him in the head in a frenzy to try to get Sano to break his grip. There is a great spot where Sano has on a choke, and Suzuki is slapping his own face to keep himself awake. I loved the draw finish too, as both guys have kneebars on each other and are just twisting the ankles in desperation to try to get the submission before the bell. I clearly need to get more UWFI Sano, as he is truly brilliant in both of his PWFG matches, and I want more shootstyle Sano.

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Masakatsu Funaki

Man was this great. This was almost completely worked on the feet, alot of throwing hands and feet. There was some mat stuff early, but it was really incidental to what was going on. I really dug Fujiwara's in fighting here. He was working over Funaki on the inside, throwing little bodyshots, and a great looking sneak short headbutt which dropped him for a count. Funaki is the guy with the reach and Fujiwara needs to conduct the match on the inside to win. Funaki was winning the distance here, and Fujiwara is awesome at selling a beating. He does almost a Flair flop when he get caught with the heel of Funaki's boot when he was going for a single leg crab.

The finish is what really made this match. Funaki drops Fujiwara with a high kick for a close ten count. Fujiwara barely beats count, and Funaki is all over him, trying to finish the fight. Thigh kicks, hooking slaps, kicks to the head he swarms all over Fujiwara against the ropes. Fujiwara is so overwhelmed that at one point he almost turns his back, which Funaki just drills him with some kidney shots, Fujiwara is able to get off the ropes but he is backpedaling eating shots, Funaki shoots confidentially for the takedown, and boom, Fujiwara catches his arm in a a Fujiwara armbar using his legs, he wrenches and Funaki has to tap out. Probably the best flash finish I have ever seen in wrestling. Really puts over Fujiwara as the master defensive wrestler, someone you can never count out, never drop your guard, as he can get you like that. Had me jumping off my couch. Just awesome stuff.

Labels:


Read more!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Phil's UPDATED 2006 MOTY LIST

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. American Dragon Brian Danielson v. Nigel McGuiness ROH 4/29
11. Chris Hero/Necro Butcher/Super Dragon v. Samoa Joe/B.J. Whitmer/Adam Pearce ROH 4/22
12. La Mascara/El Hijo Del Santo v. Blue Panther/Tarzan Boy CMLL GDL 1/1
13. Rey Mysterio v. Mark Henry WWE 1/15
14. Damien Wayne v. Sean Denny NWA-VA 5/6
15. Meiko Satomura v. Aja Kong Sendai Pro Wrestling 7/9
16. L.A. Park/Marco Corleone/Johnny Stamboli v. Dr. Wagner Jr./Dos Caras Jr./Lizmark Jr. CMLL 5/19
17. Yuki Ishikawa v. Hiroyuki Ito Big Mouth Loud 5/4
18. El Hijo Del Santo/Negro Casas/Mistico v. Atlantis/Black Warrior/Ultimo Guerrerro CMLL 8/4
19. Low-Ki v. Necro Butcher IWA-MS 4/1
20. Rey Mysterio/Bobby Lashley/Chris Benoit v. JBL/Finlay/Randy Orton WWE 2/23



Previously on the list


- Juventud v. Kid Kash WWE 1/3
- Samoa Joe v. Necro Butcher IWA-MS 1/12
- 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


10. American Dragon Brian Danielson v. Nigel McGuiness ROH 4/29

This was a title v. title match and the first match of their trilogy. This has the long opening mat section which is your basic Danielson opening. Nigel brought alot more to the mat stuff then most opponents do, and I was really engaged with all of the early stuff. I especially dug the early headscissors escapes by Danielson, as I am mark for a good headscissors escape. I also like alot of the little things, the elbow to the small of Danielsons back, the grabbing and twisting of Nigel's ear ect. All of the stuff leading to the rope breaks was fun, especially Nigel going behind the refs back to piss off Danielson and make him snap and throw a punch. It was actually one of my old favorite Rugby moves, cheap shot a guy when the ref isn't looking, and then take the penalty when he swings on you. I imagine that the rope break shtick might get tiresome if watched more Nigel Pure title matches, but I liked all the stuff here.

I also really loved the finish, I like a good countout finish alot, and the second row crazy Danielson dive headfirst into the chair was awesome. It was exactly the kind of loony spot the match need I also liked how it was set up by Nigel trying for the countout earlier. The reason I have this a little below the Samoa Joe match is that the hot near fall section before the finish, was a big step below the Samoa Joe match, seemed kind of cursory to me, while the last ten minutes of the Joe match were insane. I really dug how these guys match up with each other, and I am really eager to see their other two matches now.


Read more!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

PRO-WRESTLING FUJIWARA-GUMI SHOW #2 5/19/91

Minoru Suzuki v. Kazuo Takahashi

This was basically a short squash with both guys working for takedowns on the mat, before Suzuki slaps on a quick cross armbreaker. Hard to tell much about Takahashi here. It had some energy.

Bart Vale v. Yusuke Fuke

I liked this a little better then Funaki v. Vale, as this wasn't based around Vale's flashy and loose looking kicks. This had kind of a weird story as Fuke kept going for submissions which would be reversed by Vale. Almost built as a showcase for Bart Vale Abu Dhabi superstar. Weird to watch Vale work this, but I prefer him as shitty Jean-Jacques Machado then as shitty Mirko Cro-Cop. After all of his submission grappling he ends the match with a sick looking knee to the head, which was even more jarring considering how tender everything else he throws looks.

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Wellington Wilkins Jr.

Damn was this a blast. This was worked as a mat brawl, both guys were exchanging really nasty shots mostly on the mat. Short punches to the temple by Wilkins, almost JYDish seated headbutts by Fujiwara, Wilkins kind of leaping from a lying position into a knee on Fujiwara's throat. Fujiwara was almost working heel here, as he slaps on a kneebar and lays out in a supine lounging position with his head resting on his elbow, he almost looks like he is stifling a yawn. Wilkins is great, he has nice deadlift suplexes and takes Fujiwara's signature boston crab reversal as a dangerous neck bump. Is their any other shoot Wilkins out there? Did he work Kingdom or something?

Wayne Shamrock v. Naoki Sano

I was pretty much in shock during this match, I couldn't believe what I was watching. I have never particularly cared for a thing Ken Shamrock has ever done, so I expected nothing out of this match, and it turned out to be as good as anything on the 80's Other Japan set. So much to love about this match, as they pretty much went back and forth from spectacular mat exchanges into awesome slugfest strike exchanges, great takedowns, into more spectacular mat exchanges.

The pacing of this was great, I especially loved how they paced their mat highspots. One guy would get in position and struggle a bit, and their would be a lull, and then super fast move into a choke or a kneebar. The crowd would pop huge for all of the mat spots, and it was the pacing of them which would really do it. Then after the mat near falls they would stand and just lay into each other with big shots, Shamrock's strikes looked way better here then in the previous match, and Sano was drilling him too. This was before Sano went to UWFI so I would guess this was his first shootstyle match ever, and he was a master of it. This was Sano's match, and while Shamrock was game, you could tell Sano was leading him. I also loved how Sano mixed in pro moves, as I actually bought an STF as a shoot submission, and a DDT as a shoot throw. I have never heard anyone even mention this match before and it is a total hidden classic.

Masakatsu Funaki v. Johnny Barrett

This was perfectly fin, but suffered a bit in comparison to the previous matches. Funaki really works this match the Maeda would, and that isn't a compliment. Barrett was fun, but you never got the sense Funaki was in any danger of losing. Some cool stuff, especially Barrett's shoot armdrags, but this was the PWFG version of a competitive TV squash. Naylor said Julio Barrett was a great NWA jobber, and that is what he was here.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,


Read more!

Monday, September 18, 2006

NWA VIRGINIA ACTION ZONE RESTART EPISODE 2 WORKRATE REPORT

What Worked

Are Thrills and Chills working a gay gimmick? Chills keeps tweaking Thrills nipples and slapping his but. They couldn't look gayer if they had cocks tattooed on their cheeks, yet I get the sense that it is all unintentional. I mean white American youth culture is just really gay normally so maybe they just represent that. Match against Grail and Krotch was fine if a little short. Since when did Brandon Day's Krotch become Grail's Krotch. Was there a Krotch on the pole match?

I have been watching a ton of UWF and Fujiwara Gumi lately, which is really the pinnacle of the style Sean Denny is trying to work now. It is pretty hit and miss right now, there were parts that looked really good, and parts that looked off. I really liked the opening mat section, but the finish reversal section look pretty awkward. Denny in guard, getting armbared and getting the back, their really wasn't enough struggle for any of it. Denny needs to work stiffer if he is going to be doing this too. Still I dug the match and I really think Mike Vaughn is great. I also don't know how fake MMA is going to work against the old school style that most of this promotion works. It was kind of style clash here, and I am less sure about the Wayne v. Denny rematch

The pull apart at the end was good studio wrestling

What Didn't Work

Their are a million Krotch jokes you can make. MulDoomstone Ryan had me dying at the last NWA-VA show. Just repeating his name in "funny voice" isn't a really a joke Rick O'Brian.

I thought they would lose their licensee if anyone tapped out? Where was the commission. O'Brian called something the shootfighter position.

I don't know why they are hyping an August show in the middle of September


Read more!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

WWF 24/7 BOSTON GARDEN THOUGHTS

Boston Garden 6/27/86

Les Thorton/Tiger Chung Lee v. Danny Spivey/Mike Rotundo

I grew up on WWF Superstars, where guys like Lee and Thorton got beat in five minutes, it is fun to see them work a long competitive match. The Thorton v. Rotundo sections of this match were really great, the Chung Lee v. Spivey parts of the match, not so much. 1986 Spivey really stunk, and Chung Lee had a couple of amusing comedy bumps, but not much else. Thorton was super, he had a cool mat section with Rotundo, nice European uppercuts, nasty knees ect. I am really digging alot of the WWF enhancement guys. Thorton was no Bobby Bass but he was pretty great.

Handsome Harley Race v. Tony Atlas

Tony Atlas was always really bad, and by 1986 he was way past his prime, but Harley Race is a guy who worked as a touring NWA champion. He knows how to work a fun match around a useless Black babyface working a hard headed ethnic gimmick. You have to figure Harley probably had multiple 60 minute matches with Rufus R. Jones and he can pretty much graft that match structure on this match. Race has a lot of different "I am headbutting a black guy" spots, the initial headbutt which establishes the thick skull, various revenge spots from Atlas, and then an almost Fujiwaraish headbutt to the jaw which circumvents the think black skull. For a match that wasn't very good, this was pretty good.

King Tonga v. Duke of Dorchester Pete Dougherty

This was a little disappointing. The Duke is really not a high end WWF 80's WIMPY. Tonga is really athletic at this point, but the match wasn't much. They worked the match around Tonga's thick skull, in the match right after they worked Atlas with the same gimmick, all that was in addition to the JYD match in the semi-main. Who was the road agent for these shows Orval Faubus?

Pedro Morales v. Moondog Spike

I was excited for the chance to see the Moondogs work in separate singles enhancement matches. Still 80's Pedro Morales is rough. I did enjoy the finish which was Moondog Spike and Pedro Morales working a two count roll up sequence. I almost expected them to do stereo kip-ups and a poses to crowd applause.

Jake Roberts v. Ricky Steamboat

There were two of these on the WWF 80's set, and this was better then Toronto match but not as good as the other Boston Garden one. This was worked as a brawl with Steamboat breaking out all of his illegal karate, and Roberts bumping around more then I remember him doing. There was some great sneaky Roberts, although he was on defense for the majority of the match. He really is great at hte little things, there is a spot where he can't get his snake bag open, because of his sweaty hands, he just kept getting more desperate and it was a great way for Steamboat to get back on offense. Every time I see WWF Steamboat I am shocked at how roided he was, in the Wellness WWF he would be booked like Bobby Lashley. The match ends with a countout, and Roberts totally splits his head open in the post match, which was weird to see on an house show.

Hulk Hogan v. Randy Savage

This was your standard match between the two of these guys. Savage bumps all around the ring for Hogan's crappy looking offense, Randy gets a couple of offensive moves before hitting his top rope elbow which Hogan completely no-sells. Then Hogan hulks up and squashes him. No wonder Macho Man wants to stab Hogan today.

Moondog Rex v. Billy Jack Haynes

Yikes, WWF Moondogs are not Memphis Moondogs. Billy Jack really blows, he kept throwing these godawful dropkicks, over and over again. For a guy who was working a strongman gimmick he was clearly less roided then Steamboat.

King Kong Bundy v. Junkyard Dog

This was shockingly great, maybe the best JYD singles match I have ever seen. JYD has really nice pacing in all of his matches, but his big flaw is that he is a punch, kick, headbutt wrestler with shitty looking punches, kicks and headbutts. They all looked great here though, Bundy must have been leaning in to them. There was a bunch of cool punch exchanges, and Bundy doing sneaky shots with the chain. There was a great fight over the chain which JYD won by landing a really great looking headbutt. JYD actually had a giant encephalitic head, when you add that to his being Black, you really bought him having headbutts stronger then anyone else's, it must have been like getting hit with a frozen turkey.

Don Muraco v. Paul Orndorff

This was as boring as Don Muraco v. Paul Orndorff. I think I fell asleep four time in an eleven minute match, and I was watching in fast forward. I can't believe anyone ever liked either guy


Read more!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

World Championship Wrestling 4/13/85 THOUGHTS

World Championship Wrestling 4/13/85

PAS: Phil Schneider
LB: Lee Benaka

PAS: Two weeks in a row Buddy Landell takes squash of the week, as he just beats the shit out Sam Houston. I don't remember Landell being stiff, but he is slapping on the cravate, kneeing Houston in the back of the head, and knocking his teeth out with a beautiful dropkick., punches in the temple. Almost a Johnny Valentinish beating which isn't what a remember Budro being about. His post match promo was great too, and you get the sense that if he could keep his nose clean he would have been huge. (How big a snowplow do you have to be to get fired from a promotion with Jimmy Valient and Tully Blanchard?)

LB: Buddy Landell is Fit Finlay, as Phil said while we watched this. This was a great way to build up Landell as a threat to Magnum T.A., as the week before Tully Blanchard had much more trouble putting Sam Houston away than Landell. Houston got no offense whatsoever, and everything from Landell looked crisp and brutal.

PAS: Only two Dusty promos this week. His first promo about families made absolutely no sense, but was really awesome. "The Dog family and the cat family and this family and that family"

LB: The sight of Dusty, Jimmy Valiant, and Buzz Sawyer in the interview booth, with Dusty using the Russians' chain as a leash for Buzz, was impressive.

PAS: Man Baby Doll was looking particularly grotesque this week. She looked like Gollum in drag queen makeup. Tully cuts a great cocksucker interview about how expensive his lifestyle was, with his dilated pupils really hitting home the truth of the statement.

LB: Baby Doll just should never wear a suit. It just doesn't help matters at all. I always love promos when heels complain about how losing a title has resulted in severe financial setbacks for them.

PAS: Ole and Arn demolishing Rocky King and Gene Ligon was just beautiful televised studio squash wrestling. Classic Andersons with both guys ripping and tearing at the arms of King and Ligon. Ole is a fucking killing machine in this, every time one of them gets to their feet he just does an amateur takedown or a leg pick and starts pounding on them. I go back and forth between this and the Landell match, but their was some quality beatings administered on this episode.

LB: The violence in this squash was just breathtaking. Again, neither jobber got any offense in. Ole's top rop knee-to-the-back of the standing Rocky King gave me a backache. I also liked Ole's constant snarling when he was in the ring administering his energetic beatings. This is not the Ole I remembered.

PAS: We luckily get two Andersons promos. It is shocking how bad Arn is at this point, but Ole is kingsized. That calm sadistic asshole, already slipping in some subtle Ole style race baiting "You know Thunderbolt the Anderson we don't pay people like you any mind."

LB: Ole also called Thunderbolt lazy and claimed that he just laid there during Arn's attack on Thunderbolt the week before. Another thing I always like is when a heel provides commentary on a film clip where the narraration has very little relation to what is happening in the ring. Ole also was wearing a blue "demin-look" t-shirt with white stitching and his name ironed on, probably at a shopping mall store where you could get custom-made iron on shirts. The care and craft that went into the shirt makes Ole's demeanor in and out of the ring even more chilling.

PAS: Buzz Sawyer v. Ivan Koloff started out slow, but really built to a very cool match. Ivan worked over the arm which may have been a match placement problem as it followed the Andersons clinic in the previous match. Still it led to a cool second half of the match, where Buzz would go for a grounded bearhug and Ivan would escape by punching the arm. Buxx was also a complete suplex machine in this, and he had great snap on his stuff.

LB: This was a great long match, and the run-in ending almost made you want to see Rhodes/Valiant/Sawyer challenge for the Russians' six-man belt. That is, until you saw the two other Russians' matches in the second hour....

PAS: Second half of the show was really rough. You had a ridicoulously long and meandering Nikta squash, were he just kept doing snap mares and chinlocks. Nikita is being pushed as a killer and he is going long with Josh Stroud. Just total crap. Then we get a KUNG FU SUPERSTAR tag match which at least had Barbarian and Abby at ringsized to distract me. Then a long dull Krusher Kruschev squash and those two squashes really make me not want to see the Dusty/Boogie/Buzz v. Russians match the whole show was setting up.

LB: Goodness, the Nikita match would never end. I'm not sure what they were trying to prove there. I predicted when I saw the jobber in the Nikita match, "This won't last long," but I was very wrong. The Graham/Barbarian tag at least saved us from too much of the sad spectacle that was Superstar Billy Graham at that time. Tony Schiavone was amusing when he speculated that the Barbarian hailed from the jungles of the Amazon. Phil commented that things were veering into serious MMA Bizarro-land between Kung Fu Graham and now the Royce-trained Barbarian. And why have Abby at ringside if he wasn't even going to take a whack at someone? At least the announcers showed proper alarm at his presence, but it's not like Abby was really threatening anyone, except through his presence. And Krusher Kruschev is useless.


Read more!

Florida 10/12/85 WORKRATE STYLE

What Worked

-Man talk about a one man show. This was Kevin Sullivan, some Kevin Sullivan and a little more Kevin Sullivan. Sullivan spike piledriving a anorexic Jimmy Del Ray, Sullivan and Roop jumping Haitian Sensation Tyree Pride, arena clips of Sullivan throwing Kendall Windham out on to the street. The highlight though was The Devil interrupting Kendall's Wrestler of the Week award, and jumping the whole Family. When the middle aged pearls wearing sportswriter lady tries to intervene, Sullivan just smacks the shit out of her. I mean just pops this middle aged Whist playing lady right in the mush. "THIS ISN'T THE FIRST TIME I'VE SMACKED A BROAD." Ain't that the truth.

What Didn't Work

-I like Blackjack Mulligan, but man is the Florida face stable rough. Mike Graham, Tyree Pride and Kendall Windham is the world crappiest Dudes with Attitude.

-How many masked jobbers did Florida have? I could have sworn we saw a half a dozen on this show. Kind of kills the Grappler when you have five other guys doing his gimmick.

-Since when did Jack Hart have a loaded glove, kind of kills the Grappler when you have guys jacking his gimmick. What the fuck did Len Denton ever do to piss off Mike Graham?

-The opening tag was fun when it was Hector v. Grappler, but there was a fair amount of shitty Punisher (Assassinator? Killer? I can't remember that loads name) v. Coco Samoa sections too. Also ridiculous long and uneventful. Kevin Sullivan really need to run in on this one and have Bob Roop stab everyone in the head.

- Man that final tag stunk. I don't know who Prince Wakawaka was, but outside of his wavy hair he did nothing. I am pretty sure that Cuban Assassin was Gustova Mendoza not Fidel Sierra. I did like him winning with a front chancery. Still the jobber team had like five hot tags.


Read more!

Monday, September 11, 2006

PRO WRESTLING FUJIWARA-GUMI SHOW #1 3/4/91

Pro Wrestling Fujiwara Gumi 3/4//91

After watching all of the UWF2 from 88 and 89, and reading the Funaki bio in the Observer, I decided I need to get all of the Fujiwara-Gumi. Tim Cooke, Tomk and I are buying all of it, and will be reviewing all of it. When we are done we will be putting together a PWFG comp so everyone can feel the love as well.

Wellington Wilkins Jr. v. Yusuke Fuke

I only ever remember Wilkins as a comedy opening match guy in MPRO, but he is a blast as a shootstyle guy, just laying in the kicks and submissions. Fuke has really fast hands, and throws a couple of really pretty flurries. Goes back and forth for a nice long time, before Wilkins wins with a nasty looking kneebar where he grabs the folded up knee. This was better then most of the opening matches from the late 80's UWF, and got me very excited to work through these shows.

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Johnny Barrett

I was really excited when I saw this on the matchlist. Barrett is an early 90's Florida indy worker who was an early DDP tag partner and feuded with the Nasty Boys. Somehow he ended up in UWF2 working as a Greco guy. All of his earliest UWF matches are filled with 3 Stooges style selling and dropkicks, so of course I loved them. Fujiwara of course is fucking Yoshiaki Fujiwara. This was as great as I was hoping it would be, although for different reasons. By 1991 Barrett had gotten the hang of working the style and is actually a really great shootstyle monster, kind of like Gary Albright with takedowns instead of suplexes.

Fujiwara really puts him over great here, as they exchange big shots, including Fujiwara's awesome shootstyle headbutt, which is completely different from his pro-style headbutt . His Pro-style headbutt has him grab the hair and really rare back, the kind of showy headbutt that plays to the back row. The shootstyle headbutt is more like a ram, he bends his knees and drives the top of his head right into either the jaw or the temple of his opponent. It is so different from his pro-style headbutt, that it always looks reckless and potatoey. It really looked like he broke Barrett's jaw. The finish was awesome, Barrett is on top, and tries to maneuver for a cross armbreaker, he slips while trying to apply it, and Fujiwara pounces, grabbing his ankle and sinking in a deep ankle lock for the tap. It actual looked like Barrett blew the spot and Fujiwara just went with, although it might have been intentional. Fujiwara is an amazing defensive wrestler, and this was just a brilliant reaction spot.

Minoru Suzuki v. Wayne Shamrock

It is good old Ken rocking an amazing Paul Diamondish mullet. This is clearly a showcase match for two of their young stars, and they work a showcase 30 minute draw. Kind of the shootstyle version of a IWA-Mid South "two-guys-who-trained-with-each-other-intro-match" Think Delirious v. Matt Sydal or Marek Brave v. Josh Abercrombie except with kneebars instead of mirror sequences, and nine counts instead of 2.9 finisher exchanges. Much like one of those matches, their was alot of cool spots, but no real structure or story outside of "look at these two guys do stuff". Watching Ken Shamrock wrestle is alot like watching him shootfight, he has a bunch of cool looking leglocks and leglock counters and awful looking strikes. There was some nice stuff here, I especially liked Suzuki using the Fujiwara headstand leg scissors Boston Crab counter into an armbar near fall. Very cool Fujiwara tribute on a Fujiwara show. I also liked the draw finish as it really looked like Suzuki was desperate to put away Shamrock. Still some cool stuff doesn't make a great match.

Masakatsu Funaki v. Bart Vale

While Johnny Barrett has improved a ton from the UWF2 I watched, Bart Vale really hasn't. He still is pretty useless on the mat and throws these flowery kicks which don't really land at all, think Ernest Miller. Funaki puts together a pretty cool match, but plugging Vale into it really doesn't work. For the match to work Funaki has to sell Vale's shitty looking kicks like death, which looks like crap. The near falls and the finish were all really cool, and this would have been a good match with a kicker who actually connected with what he threw.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,


Read more!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

TNA IMPACT WORKRATE REPORT EPISODE #47

I missed 46.

Larry Zbysco " You know who should be fired? That idiot Slick Johnson" Are they trying to turn Larry face?

WHAT WORKED:

Naturals vs. Devine and Shelley was kind of disappointing. Naturals vs. Strong and Aries was one of better tag matches on Impact and this was a couple steps below it. Still a good match with faces looking crisp. Slick Johnson looked totally lost in this. Working a heels outsmart ref sections when ref is that out of place doesn't work. And I don't get the whole point of the Shane Douglas angle where he pimps the team then has them loose. Their are rumors of Ace getting fired so might want to save Shane for the Douglas/Ace/Tony Hawk vs. Wolfie D/Jamie Dundee/Duane Peters feud.

Main event street fight was pretty good too. Styles and Homicide are both really good at doing passionate brawling as their strikes look good, they bump big and they can get across anger well. Hernandez and Daniels aren't really that good at streetfights...neither can really project "angry brawl". You would expect that in a match like this you would pair off the good streetfight worker from each team with the weaker brawler on the opposite team (Homicide v. Daniels, Styles vs. Hernandez). They don't do that as for the most part they had Aj working Homicide and Hernandez working Daniels. This has its strengths and weaknesses. Strength is that the Homicide/AJ sections were fucking great and brutal. Weakness was when they showed the Daniels v Hernandez sections it just threw the match off. There were small parts where Aj worked Hernandez and Homicide worked Daniels and those were fun without being as balls out as the AJ v Homicide stuff. For whatever weaknesses Daniels has in this type of setting (coming to a street fight in dress slacks and a button down shirt doesn't help) he took some crazy bumps eating all the really brutal momentum turning spots right on the top of his head.

WHAT DIDN'T WORK:

You can tell Russo is no longer involved with this promotion: they ran two feuding brothers mic work segments with neither of them built around fighting for dibs over fucking their sister. Still even if it's supposed to be a motif if you run the same premise twice it weakens both segments. AMW were like brothers and now they are breaking apart: "You tell me what's going on brother?"...followed by later in the show where we discover that Christian and Rhino were like brothers who are now falling apart. Fuck that Christian Rhino segment made no sense. It may be the strongest Christian's come across on the mic in TNA, but I have no idea why that segment was supposed to make him a heel or what that segment was supposed to accomplish and it was all over the place. They seemingly introduce the whole Rhino and Christian as brothers' idea in this segment. I mean if you read the sheets you know they started out together but their has been no talk of it anytime before. Christian takes a couple minutes to book a Ring of Glory angle where "Sting you say your a man of God...I am God"...I have no problem with sacrilege angles but this came out of nowhere and went nowhere. They do the old face turning heel offers his back to other face. Way that segment usually happens is that the face doesn't hit the heel behind his back, then the heel blindsides the face. I guess that's so cliché that to do it would make the face look dumb and weak. Or who knows? But instead they have Rhino go "I don't need a chair to kick your ass!" Why does he want to kick Christian's ass? What's Rhino's motivation? The announcers say Christian took this too far? What are they talking about? Breaking from convention/cliché may make the face look strong...but it makes whole sequence nonsensical.

Another Abyss squash another waste of Cassidy Oreilly. I liked Abyss' punching of the thumbtacks as it's a nice crazy man visual. But the squash is waste of everyone's time. Hey it's Raven...they hint that he's telepathically controlling Brother Runt with his Jewish mind control powers. Shit.

Speaking of dumb shit: crazy Hebner, Slick Johnson as character and absolutely insane wannabe NIN video to promote Sting's retirement match were all just embarrassing. Earl Hebner is a crazy guy running in from out of nowhere to disrupt stuff because he has a secret that "he's going to tell the whole world". "What does he know? ". I can't believe that they're booking Earl Hebner as Jackie Gayda.


Read more!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

TNA IMPACT WORKRATE REPORT EPISODE #45

WHAT WORKED:

HOLY SHIT WHERE IS CHRISTY HEMME??? I mean how coked up would she have to be before they decided that she was in no condition to perform? This week they replaced her with a tractor pull "SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY" style voice-over announcer. I liked the contrast between him and the PPV pimping griot. They should get those two guys to replace Tenay.

Cornette's interactions with Eric Young were really fun. Did he do a program with Boo Radley?

Runt's attack on Abyss was pretty great. All the stuff around it goes below. But the dive and the bulldog both were really good looking.

Homicide vs. Daniels was worked the way it should be worked. Basic face/heel stuff was nice with the face controling the early exchanges till the chair leads heel to control..heel controls untill he spends to much time jawing with crowd and face has time to recover. Basic stuff well done. Homicide gets over his combo wrestler/thug character. Good match.

WHAT DIDN'T WORK:

And well then there is the rest of the matches: The six man had some moments. The Devine as heel in peril section was ok and the Lethal as face in peril section was really good. Nash's tan was hysterical and a six man like this is perfect role for him. Nash can get over his characer and not get overexposed. But some idiot decided to build this match around Sonjay Dutt runs of offense. As that really was the body of the match which is a mistake and kept this from making top side.Abyss squash was a shitty squash followed by mediocre Mitchell mic work. the attack by Runt was awesome. But did they need to do a squash and mic work to set it up? Does Abyss still need weekly squashes for people to take him seriously? Raven's shitty presence doesn't suggest good things either. And well less said about main event the better.

They're doing a bad job setting up this PPV. The set up for the three way with Rhino explaining the falls count anywhere concept never came acrsoss violent or out of control. The million video packages setting up the Sting v. Jarrett story were also especially cheese ball. Best part of the video package was watching Sting's black lipstick on lower lip grow into a goatee over course of his time in this promotion. But that doesn't make me want to buy a PPV.

Labels:


Read more!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING 4/6/85 THOUGHTS

PAS: Phil Schneider
LB: Lee Benaka


World Championship Wrestling 4/6/05

"Today is a free day"
Ole Anderson

PAS: I had a shit eating grin on my face this entire show

LB:  This show was a whole lot of fun, and it opened perfectly with an excerpt from Ole's confrontation with Thunderbolt Patterson.  The menace in Ole's voice was enough to fill the big freezer in the basement of Aunt Lena's house in Brainerd, Minnesota.

PAS:  Sam Houston v. Tully was pretty fun. Not super competitive but Houston always brings jobber fire. Perfect 10 Baby Doll has gigantic hands, I mean she looked like she could palm a pumpkin. The soft core porn video package of Tully turning down pussy in a search for Baby Doll was amazing. Tully was rocking some spectacular stunner shades, and knows how to show a lady a good time. I am only bummed the dicks in the WWE production department, put generic music over what was assuredly an amazing Hall and Oates tune.

LB:  Sam Houston was really tall.  I always liked him since I saw him in person wrestling the Warlord in the Municipal Auditorium in Topeka, Kansas, during the dying days of the Central States promotion in the mid-1980s.  What if Sam Huston would have seriously abused steroids?  Would he have been bulky and huge, or would his lankiness just have been exaggerated severely?  Tully's slingshot suplex didn't look really smooth due to Houston's height, but it was a nice enough match.  The Tully video was bizarre indeed.  Tully was sitting in a mansion at a opulent table eating alone, and a woman at the top of the stairs kept calling her to him.  Except that it was a music video, and it was all done in pantomime.  Tully evoked emotions of disinterest, exhaustion, and ennui balanced with a healthy dose of randiness.

PAS: Flair v. Gene Ligon was not one of your classic Flair v. Enhancement Guy matches, Ligon doesn't bring as much to the table as George South or Mike Jackson, and there were some points where they looked like they were on different pages.

LB:  I don't really remember much about this one, so I think Phil was right on here.

LB:  A Superstar Billy Graham squash was predictably sad.  Graham looked like today's Scott Steiner on a bad day, and his touted "Kung Fu" moves were hard to discern.  And Number One Paul Jones had his arm in a sling.  A rather sorry sight all around.

PAS: Lee is crazy, watching Kung Fun Billy Graham was just like watching Jet Li. The speed, the grace, the KUNG FU!!!

PAS: Goodhelmet really needs to put together a "homoerotic promo videos of the 80's" comp DVD. Magnum T.A. shirtless posing on his Harley like a Blue Boy centerfold would surely make the cut.

LB:  Magnum T.A. was just over the top and almost made me question my sexuality.  Almost.  This video should have turned him heel.  The shots of him making out with plain-looking bar chicks was not impressive, and the repeated close-ups of some woman licking her lips was disconcerting.

LB:  Yet another music video featured Jimmy Valiant prancing around to yet another generic soundtrack, certainly not "Boy from New York City".  It seemed to be stock footage of women walking around on a beach and Jimmy posing in front of old cars and small airplanes in a museum.  Not sure what it was trying to convey, but maybe the original soundtrack would have provided more of a clue.  And it was fun to see Tony Schiavone wilt when the Boogie Woogie Man planted a kiss on him at the beginning of his post-squash-match interview.

PAS: Three separate Dusty Rhodes promos, boy that producer must really like Dusty. They were pretty good promos though. If you have to hear from someone three times, it might as well be Stardust.

LB:  I especially liked the final promo, where a beat-up-looking Dusty was standing outside his limo with a drink in his hand, celebrating his win of the TV title.  He really did look like he was getting lit up after a bruising triumph, and it was a lot more real than any of the "backstage" celebrations you see on wresting shows these days.

PAS: Ivan Koloff really had a ridiculous Boris Badanoff Russian accent. Dusty Rhodes and Tommy Rich are the worlds greatest Moose and Squirrel.

LB:  Yeah, Ivan's accent was pretty thick.  At least they didn't let Nikita say too much back then.

PAS: Buddy Landell had probably the best squash just for the elbow drop, and man did pre-Horseman J.J. Dillion wear some dandyfied suits. He was resplendent in a maroon velvet tux with ruffled collar. I like exasperated executive J.J. way better then fake Don Carson, he didn't even clean his glasses once.

LB:  Buddy Landell was a lot of fun, with the Flair strut and taunts to the audience about being the real Nature Boy.  I love J.J. as an "exasperated executive" (perfect!) and wonder whether J.J. was wearing these dandy suits prior to this in the Central States when he was heading up the Rat Pack and trying to stuff Rufus R. Jones into a rat suit.  I think he was somewhere between executive and dandy back then.

PAS: Black Bart kills Ron Rossi by tossing him hard into the bottom rope, which snaps and Rossi lands very wrong on the floor. Only "Holy Fuck" moment of the show, but it was a big one.

LB:  Of course I was up getting another beer when this horrifying bump occurred.  J.J. thoughtfully kicked the limp snapped cable out of the way so that Bart could carefully put Ron Rossi back in the ring.  That's a tough way to earn $25.00.

PAS: Arn v. Raging Bull was pretty beautiful, nothing fancy, just solid blue collar wrestling. Everything looked hard and solid. It was mostly a set up for the Ole turn on Thunderbolt Patterson. The promo before hand was great, as Ole warns Patterson "I'm not going to touch you...not today"  and the Anderson's beat down on Manny and T-Bolt makes you want badly to see the Omni blow off. The post beat down Anderson promo was kind of strange, as Arn wasn't really giving an Arn promo, as he was much for Bobby Jaggersish, lots of "Daddys" and "Jacks", while Ole did the serious killer stuff great.

LB:  I was going to say the exact same thing about Arn's post-beatdown interview.  It was hard to accept the idea that these two were related, except for the last name and the early male-pattern baldness, as the pinched Minnesota accent clashed harshly with Arn's Georgia twang.  I think Ole tried to assert that their fathers were brothers, but that seemed to be made up on the spot and did not make much sense.  But you did want to see Thunderbolt try to gain revenge and prove that Ole wasn't "carrying" him for all that time.

LB:  Prior to the end of the show, the announcers teased an Avalance Buzz Tyler match and failed to deliver.  Damn!  That was the only fault of this great old show.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,


Read more!

Monday, September 04, 2006

WWE 24/7 SHORTIES -Phil and Lee Benaka

Shorties

Ron Garvin v. Big Bubba Rogers

PAS: This was easily the best match we watched on our day of ON DEMAND. Ronnie Garvin is one of my favorites, and really works best in a street fight setting where all he is required to do is throw his great punches. Even green as goose shit Bubba Rogers isn't afraid to take huge fat man bumps, like getting bealed off the top rope and flying outside the ring. Also we had some nice blood, including the visual of a spreading bloodstain on Bubba's dress shirt from Ronnie Garvin's open wound.

LB:  Bubba's weight looked more evenly distributed than his fatter-looking days as the Big Bossman.  However, if Ray Traylor were still alive today and flying from town to town for indie shows, he probably would be charged for two seats owning to his condition as a "man of size."  The opening sequence with Garvin tagging Bubba with quick punches was great.  Bubba's selling and frustration (along with that of boyish Jim Cornette) was enchanting.  I never did quite understand the rules of the Louisville Street Fight, other than it allowed managers to gratuitously interfere with tennis rackets for cheap endings.  The blood was great, and this match went on for a while but was always fun due to Garvin's manly offense.

Sweet Brown Sugar/Dizzy Hogan v. Jobber Black Bart/Ken Timbs

PAS: Short meaningless enhancement tag from Mid-Atlantic, placed on the show for the fact that Dizzy Hogan went on to be Brutus Beefcake and Sweet Brown Sugar wrestled as Koko B. Ware. Of course the Sweet Brown Sugar who wrestled in this match went on to be Skip Young, but I suppose that WWE on Demand editors have cross racial identification problems.

LB:  Phil and I had great fun as the night went on mistakenly identifying various African-American jobbers as future WWE superstars, including the future Bobby Lashley and Booker T.  Ken Timbs was the most enjoyable participant in this match in that he really seemed to care about making most every move mean something.  Jobber Black Bart didn't look much different than the James J. Dillon third-rate heel stable Black Bart who appeared on the 1985 WCW show that we watched later this night.  Was this the match that looked like it was filmed in front of two rows of spectators?  Aww, those early 1980s territory TV matches were the best.

Lord Al Hayes v. Bobby Heenan

PAS: This was a battle of the managers from AWA, and was a blast. Lord Al Hayes has a bunch of fun british escapes which work real well to frustrate Heenan. Heenan doesn't really bump big or bleed alot, but he does have surprisingly nice punches.

LB:  This match was another winner.  I actually had never seen His Lordship wrestle, although I have fond memories of seeing him manage the Super Destroyer Mark something-or-other in the Central States wrestling I grew up on.  Hayes was quite dickish with the boot grinding into the head and slaps.  Heenans hide-and-seek with the foreign object down his trunks was done pretty well.  I was surprised that Heenan was able to get his heat back so completely at the end of the match when he clocked Hayes and the referee with a chair.  And the ref got to his feet first, but I suppose His Lordship absorbed most of the impact.  It might have been better to have had Nick Bockwinkel help Heenan rough up Hayes at the end, but it's nice to see Bobby take care of himself.

Labels: , , , , , ,


Read more!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

2006 HIDDEN GEM- WRESTLE AND ROMANCE

Hidden Gems

Genichiro Tenryu, Koki Kitahara, Masao Orihara & Don Fuji vs. Shiro Koshinaka, Akitoshi Saito, Michiyoshi Ohara & Masashi Aoyagi – WAR-7/27/06

This was the main event of the WAR reunion show, and was WARtastic. Lots of old guys with weird lumps on their body punching each other in the face. Parts of this dragged a bit. I didn’t like the beatdown on Don Fuji, he is a fake WAR guy and really should have been replaced by Yuji Yasuruoka. Still lots of this were class, I loved the constant brawling off to the side of Koki Kitihara and Saito, when ever shit was going on they would find each other and start the asskicking, where are tape of that indy feud? You also had the world’s greatest dive train, with Orihara hitting a beautiful Quebrada, followed up by Tenryu trying a sumo thrust off the apron, and finally Koshinaka hitting a great asssmash silla. Orihara was a lot of fun here, he looked a little less sleazy then he did at his sleaze peak, although his multiple eyebrow piercings do make him look like Arashi’s weed hookup. I loved the section where they were beating on him, as Saito is kicking the shit out of him, and after three nasty kicks on the ropes, Orihara just kind of spits a flemy blob right at him. I can just imagine the hepatitis swimming in Orihara’s spit, in a country where Muta is such a big star, an Orihara spray really should be a finisher. Of course Tenryu was the star here, randomly throwing things at folks, punching people in the eye, landing weird low angle brainbusters on peoples necks, just great stuff. In the world of a million indy promotions, Tenryu really needs to start up WAR again fulltime.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,


Read more!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

THE HAMMER ON 24/7

Greg Valentine Month

The 24/7 Hall of Famer of the month is Greg "The Hammer" Valentine which I am very excited about. Valentine is one of those I guys I haven't seen a ton of stuff from, but I have been loving everything I have seen recently. Everything he does is hard, solid and violent.

Greg Valentine v. Roddy Piper Starcade 83

I don't think I have seen this match since I rented the Best of Starcade video set from the Blockbuster on Telegraph Ave. in 1991. Merciful crap is this great. For pure violence this is right up with best gimmick matches I have ever seen, I would say this is better then Funk v. Flair I Quit and Tully v. Magnum (although I am re-watching that this month too) and fucking with Wargames and the Vader v. Sting strap match. It starts out with a great test of strength with both guys pulling hard with their necks on the chain. It devolves into hideous violence, with both guys pounding on each other with the chain wrapped around their fist and hands. Valentine starts pounding on Piper's bad ear, and Piper is bleeding a gusher from it, I mean totally sick looking. Piper does a really cool sell, where he has lost his equilibrium and can't stand. Doing little things like holding the ropes to punch. The finish was a little flat, but this was incredible, and if you haven't seen it in a while go find it.

Greg Valentine v. Ron Garvin Royal Rumble 90

Their MSG match was my #2 match on the 80's set. This is the feud blowoff in a submissions match. It had the same visceral violent feel of the MSG match, but a little goofiness kept it from being as great. It was a submissions match, where both guys kept going for pins. Once or twice it is a nice spot to show confusion, but they kept going back to it. Also it had a bunch of spots based around the dueling ankle protectors, that was fine, but it took away from the beating. Still this match had some great beatings, Garvin has great head movement, he is one of the few punchers in wrestling who moves his head the way a fighter should, and of course Ronnie Garvins punches, were Ronnie Garvin punches. Hammer had some nice punches too, including a short tricky left hook which he dropped allot, also of course he dropped some big elbows and clubbering. I really could watch these guys beat the shit out of each other for ever

Labels: , ,


Read more!