Segunda Caida

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

Saturday, October 28, 2006

PRO WRESTLING FUJIWARA-GUMI SHOW #7 11/3/91

Jerry Flynn v. Wellington Wilkins Jr.

PAS: Really great opener, clearly beats Flynn v. Meng in the BLOCK for the best Jerry Flynn match I have ever seen. Flynn may have 7 inches on Wilkins, and the match is really worked around that height difference. Flynn would pick him apart with big palm strikes and kicks on the outside, and Wilkins would be able to get inside and land some knees and headbutts. They had some really cool mat exchanges too, with Wilkins being really scrambely in grabbing for arms and legs..

TKG: Yowza was this fun. Both guys get near falls (or momentum change stuff) built around almost busting their opponents nose. And you have all these moments where either Flynn or Wilkins have to back off to check the bridge of their nose. You quickly realize first guy to bust the other guys nose will win. You watch this and go damnit if Bischoff had only put these two guys in masks and neon gi’s Blood Runs Cold would have kept that promotion alive.

Bart Vale v. Yusuke Fuke

PAS: Fuke is really good at playing the fired up youngster, however all the fire gets taken out of him early when Vale just dumps him directly on his neck with a german suplex. It really looked like it concussed Fuke, and he seemed glassy eyed for the rest of the fight. It also made the rest of the match really anti-climactic as nothing done afterwards was even close to as nasty as the german.

TKG: This really should have been stopped after that German. Had a bunch of fun things in it but was real hit and miss. They do a big build to Vale throwing a powerbomb and then Vale throws this especially ginger powerbomb. All the build makes it look even shittier. That powerbomb leads to the finish. I mean he dropped Fuke right on top of his head in first minute, but a tuck a kid into bed throw, leads to the finish.

Wayne Shamrock v. Kazuo Takahashi

PAS: I had been talking up Shamrock to Tom, and this wasn’t exactly the right match to showcase him. They have a cool staredown, and Takahashi goes in for a shoot, he gets a throw which Shamrcok scoots out of and just kicks him right in the eye. He clearly breaks Takahashi’s orbital bone as his eye just starts swelling huge and they stop the fight.

TKG: So at start of this I go “Shamrock’s strikes aren’t as stiff as either Flynn’s or Wilkins’” and then Shamrock goes and tries to punt Takahasi cheek into the fifth row.

Duane Koslowski v. Masakatsu Funaki

PAS: The bloopers and blunders episode of PWFG continues here. This starts out fun with Koslowski shooting in, and Funaki showing his hand speed on the stand up. Funaki has really great combos, as at one point he threw a jab, right hand, hook, uppercut four slap combo. Then Koslowski throws a northern light suplex and concusses himself on the landing. Amusing finish, but I would have liked to see what they would have done with an actual match.

TKG: I was digging this a lot until the finish.

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Minoru Suzuki

PAS: Fujiwara had been mostly working undercards up to this point, but man does he deliver in a main event spot. Suzuki is your young guy desperate to overtake the veteran ace of the company, and he dominates here, although he is never able to put Fujiwara away. This is really all about Fujiwara as a defensive wrestler, he blocks and eludes and counters and while Suzuki would easily win a decision, there are no judges in PWFG. There are a ton of nifty little things in this match, but I especially loved the way Fujiwara used hand and wrist control. Suzuki is rarely ever able to lock anything in solid, as he is always getting his wrists and hands grabbed and twisted. I am not a big fan of the draw booking, but the finish here was great, Suzuki is getting more and more frustrated, and he and Fujiwara start shit talking at each other, and then at the end they both are working on ankle locks as the bell rings, and Suzuki refuse to let go. Then when he does he is punching the mat in anguish and frustration. Just great stuff.

TKG: Both guys were working defensively as you had sense that Suzuki was fighting to block headbutts before they were unleashed. Fujiwara tries to establish distance to headbutt and Suzuki pulls him in. Really Phil’s covered the whole story here so pretty much all left to talk about are the cool little pieces like that, the multiple ways Fujiwara fights out of a choke (my favorite being this thing where he uses his feet to push his way out). Cameraman did a pretty great job here getting really expressive shots during long sleeper segment where Fujiwara spouts different types of bubbles till getting to the ropes. For a show that really had only two matches,,,this was a fucking great match.


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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. William Regal WWE 10/8
5. Briscoes v. Austin Aries/Roderick Strong ROH 8/12
6. Chris Benoit v. Finlay WWE 5/3
7. Finlay v. Rey Mysterio WWE 3/20
8. Chris Benoit v. JBL WWE 4/11
9 American Dragon Brian Danielson v. Nigel McGuiness ROH 8/12
10. Homicide v. Necro Butcher ROH 5/13
11. Chris Benoit v. William Regal WWE 5/8
12. American Dragon Brian Danielson v. Samoa Joe ROH 8/6
13. American Dragon Brian Danielson v. Nigel McGuiness ROH 4/29
14. Mistico/Negro Casas v. Averno/Memphisto CMLL 4/15
15. Chris Hero/Necro Butcher/Super Dragon v. Samoa Joe/B.J. Whitmer/Adam Pearce ROH 4/22
16. La Mascara/El Hijo Del Santo v. Blue Panther/Tarzan Boy CMLL GDL 1/1
17. Rey Mysterio v. Mark Henry WWE 1/15
18. Damien Wayne v. Sean Denny NWA-VA 5/6
19. Meiko Satomura v. Aja Kong Sendai Pro Wrestling 7/9
20. L.A. Park/Marco Corleone/Johnny Stamboli v. Dr. Wagner Jr./Dos Caras Jr./Lizmark Jr. CMLL 5/19




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
- Rey Mysterio/Bobby Lashley/Chris Benoit v. JBL/Finlay/Randy Orton WWE 2/23
-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
-Low-Ki v. Necro Butcher IWA-MS 4/1
-Yuki Ishikawa v. Hiroyuki Ito Big Mouth Loud 5/4
-Finlay v. Bobby Lashley WWE 5/8
-El Hijo Del Santo/Negro Casas/Mistico v. Atlantis/Black Warrior/Ultimo Guerrerro CMLL 8/4
-Rey Mysterio v. Finlay WWE 9/5
-Sadico v. Terry 2000 AULL 9/13


5. Briscoes v. Austin Aries/Roderick Strong ROH 8/12

I hadn't seen much recent Briscoes in the ring, although the greatness of their redneck promos had got me rooting for them to rule. It is really hard to pull off one of these pedal to the floor workrate tag matches, It is really easy to go too long, easy to hit too many moves early so the finishes don't mean anything, easy to hit too many big spots for meaningless kick outs. I think 95% of these matches fail, I didn't like the Dragon Gate six-man, don't care for most KENTA/Marifuji tags, I don't like this kind of stuff.

With all that preface, this match was spectacular. One of the few times that it just worked. All four guys were completely on point. My favorite thing about this was the brutality. I mean every shot was tight and nasty, Aries hits his springboard back elbow in the corner, and just pops Mark Briscoe right in the eye. Jay nearly breaks Aries nose with a high knee, Strong just blisters people with chops. The beating they lay on Aries when he is the face in peril was great, everything was done with such force, the spot where Jay springs off of Aries back to knock Strong off the apron was a great tag spot. When Strong finally gets the tag, Aries just lies down in the corner sucking air, it is little stuff like that which makes a match. You had a big hot run at the end, which really never had the point where I throw my hands in the air- which most of these matches have. I do think Strong came back a bit quickly from spike Jay Driller and the Doomsday Device, but it wasn't egregious. If this is your cup of tea, you will absolutely shit yourself over this match, even if it isn't I still think you should check it out.

9 American Dragon Brian Danielson v. Nigel McGuiness ROH 8/12

This match reminded me a lot of Austin Aries v. Samoa Joe when Joe dropped the title. In the sense that the body of the match was nothing exceptional, but it built to an absolutely brilliant finish. The stuff pre the floor, felt a little perfunctory. They went through the rope breaks and it felt a little like killing time, it was fine, but I think the early work was better in their first match.

Everything after they go to the floor is amazing. Nigel is certifiable for letting his head get mauled like that, but it lead to an amazing visual, and incredible heat for the finish. He had a lump on his head the size of a grapefruit and was covered in blood. When he comes back in he is just has a great babyface scream. He doesn't get in a ton of offense, but he does hit this amazing lariat. He does a spot where he bounces off the ropes to hit a lariat, the first attempt he fails because of the blood loss, but he gets his energy back tries again and just kills Dragon. It was such a great variation of a signature spot, and was one of the better near falls in company history. Danielson is such a killer, and the Gary Goodrich elbows have never looked this good. I really think after this match that Nigel could carry the promotion as champ, and that is something I wouldn’t have thought before this.


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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

PRO WRESTLING FUJIWARA-GUMI SHOW #6 10/17/91

Yusuke Fuke v. Jerry Flynn

So whoever the Fujiwara-Gumi road agent is, thought the best way to open up this show, is to have Fuke and Jerry Flynn go to a 30 minute draw. You read that right Yusuke Fuke v. Jerry Flynn BROADWAY baby. I actually enjoyed big portions of this match, as Fuke is always fun, and Flynn brought more to the mulleted kicker role then Bart Vale does. They had some really nice near falls, including Flynn almost getting DQ’ed for kicking Fuke with the toe of the boot in the throat, and Fuke almost going down to a spin kick to the guy. I also liked how Fuke got the tap from the cross armbreaker right after the bell. Still 30 minutes for these two is preposterous, and this would have been much better at a third of the length.

Wayne Shamrock v. Wellington Wilkins Jr.

With my new found PWFG inspired Shamrock love, and his status as a ratings dynamo, I have wondered how a current Smackdown Shamrock run would look. This match was a nice template for a fun 6 minute Shamrock v. Regal match. Wilkins brings the carnyish headbutts and cheap shots, and Shamrock is always intense. He does a really great thing where he struggles to get in position for a hold or a throw, and then there is a moment of stillness before he explodes. He does a couple of times here, especially right before he flips Wilkins for the finish, and it makes the subsequent move look even cooler.

Kazou Takahashi v. Masakatsu Funaki

This was another fun short match, I guess the Fuke v. Flynn epic took up all of the time. Takahashi is way below Funaki on the ladder, so he rushes Funaki at the bell and takes him down. This clearly kind of pisses Funaki off, as he stomps on his head on the break. Then the rest of the match is Takahashi eating big shots trying to get in on Funaki. He does get him down again, and Funaki is able to ankle lock him for the tap. I think it would have been better for Funaki to knock him out, rather then Takahashi getting him down just to lose, but this had a bunch of spunk and fire and was fun to watch,

Yoshiaki Fujiawara v. Mark Rush

Rush is a amateur guy with a comedic mustache who I always enjoy, but isn’t usually in very good matches. This wasn’t a Fujiwara classic, but was a lot of good clean Fujiwara style fun. Most of the first ten minutes or so was straight wrestling, with Greco locks and amateur rolling. Rush does that kind of thing very well, and Fujiwara added some touches, including reversing a ride by fishooking the ear, and faking a headbutt. Later in the match after Rush hurts Fujiwara’s ribs with a suplex, Fujiwara gets nasty, laying in some headbutts, and knees to the gut for a down.

Rush really works like a typical UFC one dimensional wrestler, kind of like Rashad Evans, he has solid takedowns, but know real idea what to do on the ground. Meanwhile Fujiwara is always looking for something to hook and grab. The improvisation is one of the things I love about watching Fujiwara, he tries for a gutwrench which he kind of blows, as Rush ends up on top. Then Fujiwara just snatches the ankle from below and starts twisting.. I really enjoy watching Fujwara work all of these limited guys, he really gets a chance to play around, and the matches always put a smile on my face.

Minoru Suzuki v. Bart Vale

Probably the least of the matches on the show. Vale really did very little here, Suzuki worked and worked, but Vale kind of laid around. I did like a lot of the little matwork touches by Suzuki, he kept driving the point of his elbow into the small of Vale’s back to flatten him out, and he would shift quickly from hold to hold to try to get a submission on. The finish was pretty cool as it was a grounded full nelson with a bodylock. Still not much of a match or a main event.


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Monday, October 16, 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. William Regal WWE 10/8
5. Chris Benoit v. Finlay WWE 5/3
6. Finlay v. Rey Mysterio WWE 3/20
7. Chris Benoit v. JBL WWE 4/11
8. Homicide v. Necro Butcher 5/13
9. Chris Benoit v. William Regal WWE 5/8
10. American Dragon Brian Danielson v. Samoa Joe ROH 8/6
11. American Dragon Brian Danielson v. Nigel McGuiness ROH 4/29
12. Mistico/Negro Casas v. Averno/Memphisto CMLL 4/15
13. Chris Hero/Necro Butcher/Super Dragon v. Samoa Joe/B.J. Whitmer/Adam Pearce ROH 4/22
14. La Mascara/El Hijo Del Santo v. Blue Panther/Tarzan Boy CMLL GDL 1/1
15. Rey Mysterio v. Mark Henry WWE 1/15
16. Damien Wayne v. Sean Denny NWA-VA 5/6
17. Meiko Satomura v. Aja Kong Sendai Pro Wrestling 7/9
18. L.A. Park/Marco Corleone/Johnny Stamboli v. Dr. Wagner Jr./Dos Caras Jr./Lizmark Jr. CMLL 5/19
19. Sadico v. Terry 2000 AULL 9/13
20. Rey Mysterio v. Finlay WWE 9/5



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
- Rey Mysterio/Bobby Lashley/Chris Benoit v. JBL/Finlay/Randy Orton WWE 2/23
-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
-Low-Ki v. Necro Butcher IWA-MS 4/1
-Yuki Ishikawa v. Hiroyuki Ito Big Mouth Loud 5/4
-Finlay v. Bobby Lashley WWE 5/8
-El Hijo Del Santo/Negro Casas/Mistico v. Atlantis/Black Warrior/Ultimo Guerrerro CMLL 8/4

19. Sadico v. Terry 2000 AULL 9/13

This is the final of the AULL lightweight tournament, and is two young greenish guys going totally balls to the wall in an attempt to have a classic. Terry 2000 is the son of the local legend, so the crowd is rabidly behind him, which is always fun. You have some perfectly serviceable matwork in the opening caida before they start the white hot death. Sadico starts it out, both guys are on the floor, and he hits a forearm, then just bounds up to the top rope and hits a nutty Orihara moonsault to the floor. He gets the fall soon after with a Ki Krusher. The second fall is basically a set up for Terry 2000's suicide attempt, they brawl into the crowd, and Terry does a probably 14 foot plancha off of the balcony. He rolls into the ring and gets the countout. Terry 2000's dad is cornering him, and he is desperately trying to stretch out his knee in between falls.

That was a pair of good opening falls, and the third fall gets better. They start l by exchanging some very pretty armdrags. Sadico gets in some really quickly applied submission attempts for near falls, and the crowd goes nuts rooting on their favorite. Sadico also knocks Terry 2000 into the second row, and goes up and hits a certifiably insane springboard somersault plancha into the crowd. He gets back into the ring, and teases a countout. They go back and forth for a while before Terry 2000 hits a flip into a Fujiwara armbar for the submission and the belt. It amuses me to no end how the Fujiwara armbar is now the most over move in Mexico. FUJIWARA FOREVER!! Their was some awkward parts in the match, as both guys are still clearly green, still this was a total blast and really is the kind of thing we should be seeing on CMLL television every week.


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Friday, October 13, 2006

PRO WRESTLING FUJIWARA-GUMI SHOW #5 9/28/91

Pro-Wrestling Fujiwara Gumi 9/28/91

I was weary of a Fujiwara-Gumi show with no Fujiwara, but this continued their run of great shows.

Lato Kirawarik v. Kazuo Takahashi

I am really enjoying Takahashi as the Lee Scott of this promotion, as he is the guy that they match their outsiders against to show their stuff against. We get to see all that Lato Kirawarik has to offer. It isn't a ton,, but he had some nice rushes, and some hard slaps. Perfectly fine stuff, and Takahashi eats it like a champ.

Yusuke Fuke v. Wellington Wilkins Jr.

This was alot of fun, as Wilkins continues to be my favorite of the random PWFG gaijin. He was really working heel here, as their was a ton of little cheap shots, a low blow, a shot on the break, kicking on the ground. At one point the ref even shoves him and I half expect him to bump like Flair to Tommy Young. Fuke gets really pissed off and is all firey and feisty.

Bart Vale v. Naoki Sano

Sano continues to be the absolute king of PWFG as he manages to have a really fun match with Bart Vale of all people. Vale throws these wild awkward kicks, and most of the time they land weakly, Sano is anticipating where the are going and leaning deeply into them. Vale actually looks like a killer here. The mat stuff is great too, with Sano really working towards half crabs and boston crabs like they are legit shoot moves. Vale is in his Bart Vale Tudo mode too, and looked really good countering. It is a tragedy we never got a Sano v. Fujiwara or Sano v. Funaki match out of his little run.

Masakatsu Funaki v. Mark Rush

This was only semi-competitive, as Funaki controlled this. It was a nice showcase for how fucking fast and smooth Funaki is, although it wasn't a particularly compelling match. Rush did have a nice takedown, but this was a Funaki show.

Wayne Shamrock v. Minoru Suzuki

I liked this alot more then their debut show match. Much like the first match, the opening was both guys working for ankle and leg locks and both guys rolling with some nice counters. The stand up and suplexes in this match looked alot better then they did in their first match, and it actually built to the finish well. Suzuki has really fast hands, and landed some really nasty combos. Shamrock official ruled in 1991, and he was throwing hands too. I love how they established Shamrocks dragon suplex as a deadly finisher. Once he hits the dragon, it is lights out, and the dragon he landed here looked like it should end a night.


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Thursday, October 12, 2006

TNA IMPACT WORKRATE REPORT EPISODE #50

Ah yes it is episode 50 and I think this project will stop here. I was originally planning on doing a full year of reviews. But fucked up in tivoing episode 51 and 52. If someone sends me the missing episodes I'll write something on them. Otherwise I think I'm done. I mean well the decision to bring back Russo and bring in Angle really feel like the kind of dumb desperate moves that one makes on their last legs. So part of me figures I should keep going since those hirings kind of suggest that the promotion may only have two more months of life and really should document their last grasps of life. Bringing in Russo at this point really feels like the functional equivalent of when your local indy decides to bring in Todd Gordon (indy kiss of death). And really have put in to much time not to watch the end...but

So here ya go Episode #50:

WHAT WORKED:

Most of the wrestling on this show was mediocre but passable. Kazarian/Bentley vs. AJ/Daniels was fine. Actually liked the opening even arm drag exchange between Kazarian and Daniels. They went to the face in peril section and for some reason chose to have Daniels work the in peril role and alot of the heel double team stuff wasn't pretty. And Slick Johnson can't work tag matches. Chris Sabin vs. Alex Shelley wasn't as awful as your normal Chris Sabin match. Shelley led him through some mat work, got a watchable striking section out of Sabin and was able to get in some basic face v heel characterization. Match was ultra short, with dumb finish and dumb booking but...matches were all mediocre but passable.

I actually like the video packages building to Rhino vs. Christian. Rhino says "you ended friendship three weeks ago" and they show footage of heel Christian attacking and bloodying Rhino. Of course they don't show that the face threw the first punch...but video package put together better than the angle. Rhino: "once you turn on a friend that's the last thing you do". Also liked all of the footage of Christian and Rhino hanging out in their youth on the road and whatnot. The booking never really did anything to establish that these guys were once friends so the turn didn't mean anything. The friendship footage is airing way too late in the storyline but yeah nice video package filled with stuff they should have aired earlier and with stuff edited out that they never should have done.

-HOLY SHIT IT'S RON FULLER~!!! Smart booking to have Ron Fuller talking to Bobby Roode while sitting in a car. Two of them talking standing up would have made Roode look like a midget. Still you don't tease Ron Fuller and then not use him for something.

-LOVED the main event town meeting setting up the lumberjack strap match. Cornette as per usual is really good in role of guy explaining booking. Zbysco was just amazingly great in his buffoon role and Jarrett played his role of guy who hates the audience and is afraid of Samoa Joe really well. Whole angle is super old school and straight out of Dutch Mantell Puerto Rico(I think Dutch's Puerto Rican booking is really overrated by Meltzer as I'm not convinced that it's better or more succesfull than Chris Youngblood, Barnabas, Invader or Luke Williams Puerto Rico booking...still this was straight out of PR playbook). Cornette, Zbysco and Jarrett know how to play their traditional roles pretty perfectly. Surprisingly I was disappointed with Samoa Joe in this. In general Joe is really excellent on the mic working kind of this Nick Bockwinkle-ish smug character. Where his smirking smugness is part of his menace. Here he was booked to be Road Warrior Hawk. Monster face who tells the audience that he's going to beat the heel for the fans " Oh what a rush!" Samoa Joe came off more as Spencer for Hire Hawk than Road Warrior Hawk. Unfortunately, Spencer For Hire Hawk is really out of place in this angle. But right when Joe seemed like he was lost Zbysco came in and heeled it up and it all fell back into place. The thing with formula is that formula works. Really the whole use of Zbysco comedy and the build the whole way Cornette has been used, the Eric Young comedy...all felt very much like Dutch Mantell in Puerto Rico booking. Dutch does two things comedy booking and slow build stuff. One of the things that TNA has occasionally done right has been slow build. The build to 3LK breakup, the build to Steiner vs. Joe. None of these things really delivered but I'll take good old school build to shit over no build to shit anyday. As the build is entertaining and engaging. I assume bringing in Russo will push the Mantell comedy and you'll loose any sense of slow build as Russo is more concerned with finishes and immediate match stips that will never be followed through with. Who knows?


WHAT DIDN'T WORK:

-I guess part of the reason I was feeling generous with the undercard matches is that anything would look good next to the big showcase match. Abyss vs. Raven's "Hangman's Match" was just painful to watch. This was sub Flair vs, Piper from the last years of WCW. Raven losses balance and falls down trying to throw the first punch. Raven fucking collapses whenever he tries anything, punches, lariats whatever. Raven was working like the worlds shittiest Flair where the only thing he could do to get on offense was low blows. And he couldn't even execute the low blows well. Everything looked telegraphed. The two of them looked like they were wrestling in amber. This almost approached Sid vs. Nightstalker, Warrior vs. Disciple Ed Leslie million billion stars as I was laughing all the way through it. It never got to that so bad it's transcendent point. Although it approached it. Raven did take a nice bump for leg sweep on the barrier. And a couple things that were neat ideas. Really to be transcendently bad you can't have the one or two mediocre to good spots this had. Its possible if not for that leg sweep bump, I might have put this on top for how close it was to transcendence. I mean Ron Fuller is right there. He could have a better brawl in his sleep. Robert Parker vs. Madusa was more heated than this. I mean I guess you can't use Robert Fuller if you insist on billing Abyss as 6 ft 8...unless you start billing Fuller as 7 ft 2 or something. After watching Abyss and Raven stumble through a wrestling match...Spike Dudley comes out and attacks both of them. Spike's offense looks like Benoit after watching Ron Reiss vs Loch Ness. this makes the booking even sillier as Spike looks more athletic than his opponents, has better looking offense and yet is booked as ineffective little guy amongst monsters. I guess that's how you would book a Benoit, Ron Reiss, Loch Ness three way feud.. But c'mon the TNA versions of Loch Ness and Reiss are no more than four inches taller than their Benoit.

-So I went to see Jackass II the first weekend it came out. It's very different from the first movie. The Jackass guys do more gross out humor in the second. The first one had gross out humor. But who hasn't engaged in self destructive behavior for amusement in our youth? Who hasn't shot a bottle rocket out of their ass? Who hasn't had their friends push and crash them in a shopping cart? Who hasn't snorted wassabe or eaten urine flavored Italian ice? It was about a bunch of self destructive guys doing things that young groups of self destructive guys do to entertain each other. The first Jackass movie was really marked by the other pranks, the pranks done on the general public to get a reaction. Ingenious stuff like boxing in a store to see what the merchants will do, shitting in a hardware store to see how people react, and putting a toy car up their rectum to see how a doctor will react. While the prank is about the reaction shots, the pranks are still built on self destructive behavior: forcing yourself to shit in public, putting a car up your ass, and getting KO'd. The humor linking all the sections of the movie isn't about hurting others it's about the entertainment value of self harm/self destructive activity. The combination of stunts we've done with stuff we would never even think of was the key to Jackass' charm.

In the second Jackass movie all the gross out humor is ratcheted up a couple of notches. It was made four years later and is marked by how old everyone is. And so the ratcheting up of the gross makes sense. Anyone over 25 knows that if you go to a party where people propose playing truth or dare, you need to leave immediately. Because if you're still entertaining yourself that way when you get older, it's going to involve some scat. And well the key to JackAss II is that the humor is about aging. The best pranks built on tricking the man in the street are all done by cast members pretending to be old men or women (well there is a brilliant bit in Bangladesh but still)...these are pranks which are funny because of the age that the cast is pretending to be. The rest of the stuff is funny because of the actual age of the cast members. The first Jackass was great because it made me nostalgic for my youth; the second is poignant because it's a reflection on aging. These guys are too old to be still engaging in self destructive behavior for humor. And each one of them on some level seems aware of this.

This isn't young guys who feel like nothing can hurt them. These are guys very very aware of their own mortality. They are still willing to put their own bodies at risk to achieve a laugh. They know that self harm is their bread and butter but they are very aware of the physical consequences of everything they do. The cast is constantly negotiating the value of a joke vs. the personal consequences. Dave Englund nearly has a breakdown before agreeing to get shot. Bam Margera tries to negotiate his way out of getting hit in the balls by counter proposing that he'll instead take a dildo to his ass. Chris Pontius suggests drinking horse sperm so that he can get out of doing anything potentially "worse" later on. The recognition of mortality is the key to Jackass II. Young guys engaging in self destructive behavior for their own amusement is expected. Old guys doing it are poignant and it makes for much more biting humor.

Ideally if you were going to have wrestlers represent Jackass II, you'd have Rip Rogers, Chavo Sr. and Gypsy Joe. Well ideally you'd have Puppet and Iceberg attached to each other by a bungee cord but that's neither here nor there. Rip Rogers, Gypsy Joe, and Chavo are guys who know that wrestling is about destroying ones body for entertainment purposes and they know that they're old men in a young man's game. You run Chavo Sr. vs. Alex Shelley. Gypsy Joe talks a reluctant Rip Rogers into getting into a shopping cart and taking a gigantic bump to distract Shelley. That would make sense. You could do the same thing with Dutt, Lethal and Sabin. You wouldn't get to deal with aging but you could do the same guys engaging in high risk behavior to get results. Chris Sabin wrestles Alex Shelley. Jay Lethal talks a reluctant Sonjay Dutt into getting into a shopping cart.

But that's not what TNA did.

So let me get this straight. Sonjay Dutt and Jay Lethal apparently decided to kidnap Johnny Devine put him in a shopping cart and then crash the shopping cart into the ring post in order to distract Alex Shelley? This is supposed to have something to do with Jackass movies? How is hurting your opponent an example of high risk self destructive behavior? What the fuck are Sonjay Dutt, Chris Sabin and Jay Lethal doing? It's like someone watched them doing their robot dances during the cypher and decided they should repackage them as "a bunch of rich kid ravers living off their parents' money, they have all the talent in the world but they can't be serious. They're more concerned with getting high and having a good time than wrestling matches! "

The cultural milieu that Jackass represents isn't the cultural milieu Special K represented. Repackaging the X-division guys as Special K completely misses the point of the Jackass franchise. And only serves as a reminder that neither Chris Sabin nor Sonjay Dutt belong so much as lacing up Elax the Exploited Child's boots.

Whatever you want to say about WCW, they at least understood the Robocop concept.


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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

PRO WRESTLING FUJIWARA-GUMI SHOW #4 8/23/91

Pro-Wrestling Fujiwara Gumi 8/23/91

Duane Koslowski v. Kazuo Takahashi

This is another really fun Koslowki match, as he was chucking Takahashi all over the ring, with Takahashi getting in his fair number of shots. I think someone could make the argument that for US Olympic wrestlers turned pro Koslowski > Angle, I might not be the guy to make that argument, but someone could.

Bart Vale v. Jerry Flynn

I imagine Flynn was a Vale trainee, as he looks like the fuck up nephew to Vale's older wiser redneck uncle. Like Bart stole his share of cars in the day, but doesn't understand why Jerry has to stick up liquor stores for crank money. "Hell if I have to whoop that boys ass, to teach him a lesson, then I gots to whoop his ass." This wasn't as great as one would hope a mulleted redneck County fair karate fight would be, but it was still fine. Feels like it would have been better if it was contested in THE BLOCK.

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Lato Kirawarik

This was a total blast. Fujiwara puts on kickpads in the beginning of the match and decides to use his kickboxing. Really had the feel of Matt Serra breaking out his highkick, as Fujiwara just has a shit eating grin on his face the whole time he is landing axe kicks, high kicks and Tiger Mask style spin kicks on the befuddled Sumo dude. Lato does get some offense including an awesome rush where he lowers his head and gores Fujiwara like a bull. Finish was great as Lato bulls Fujiwara into the corner and pops him with shots, Soronaka breaks them up, and Fujiwara points to the ref and says something, and when Lato is distracted smacks him with a high kick. "Hey look over there...BAM"

Napataya v. Minoru Suzuki

First round was exactly like Napataya's match with Fuke. Napataya throws a kick, vamps, Suzuki tries to take him down, fails, Napataya makes Joan Crawford faces. Second round was quick, as Suzuki gets the takedown that PWFG has been working towards for two shows, and slaps a crossarmbreaker on for the tap out. It was what it was.

Masakatsu Funaki v. Wayne Shamrock

So I am going to go on record. Ken Shamrock used to rule at the pro-wrestling. I imagine if he ended up going to New Japan instead of WWF he would have had some great matches and we would all be Shamrock fans. This wasn't as good as the transcendent Shamrock v. Sano match, but it was pretty great. Both guys were clearly great athletes, and work a really fast style. I get the same vibe from this as I got from the Takada v. Yamazaki series although I like this match up more. Not a ton of selling, alot of moves, ext. Still for workrate shootstyle this was great workrate shootstyle. Great ending, with Shamrock and Funaki exchanging really fast strikes, Funaki goes for a German, ends up eating some nasty back elbows and Shamrock does a standing switch and crushes him with a dragon suplex for the KO. I was worried this was going to another 30 minute draw, and was really happy to see a winner.


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Monday, October 09, 2006

WWE NO MERCY THOUGHTS

No Mercy Thoughts

I was on the fence about getting this PPV, Finlay main eventing is something I wish to whole hardily support, and I really liked the Rey v. Chavo brawl on Smackdown a couple of weeks back. Still not really enough for me to kick out the cash. Then I read Meltzer's report that we get PPV CHAM PAIN~! and Regal v. Beniot and I run and order the replay, and it was well worth it. Great PPV>

Gregory Helms v. Matt Hardy

We used to take road trips down to North Carolina to watch these guys tear it up in National Guard armories, and now they get a big chunk of time to do their thing in Raleigh on PPV. This is why you buy the single brand Smackdown PPV's, guys who can wrestle get the time to do it. Helms has turned into quite an asskicker, as he was working pretty damn stiff here. I especially loved the double underhooks into grounded knees. They broke out their big New Japan juniors finishing run, and it was alot of fun. The top rope Shining Wizard was especially great, and I can't believe I never saw it the indies during the summer of Shining Wizards. I buy 2.9 wrestling more, when they are kicking out of multiple neckbreakers, rather then tope rope brainbusters, and they really got the crowd hot for this.

Aaron Idol/K.C. James v. Paul London/Brian Kendrick

I think this was the best match of the London/Kendrick title run. Just stellar tag team wrestling, and a North Carolina crowd raised on Rock and Roll Express matches popping for every spot. First couple of time I saw Idol, he absolutely blew, but he has seasoned into a perfectly acceptable heel tag worker at this point. K.C. James has worked enough Puerto Rico to work this match in his sleep. I really liked Idol's seated abdominal stretch move for a tag rest hold, and the initial cut off of the hot tag with Kendrick getting pulled down, was great. I also love the way London and Kendrick build their crazy dives into the match. The initial double somersault senton and London's crazy tope to cut off James. I was pretty bummed initially that this wasn't the Pitbulls in this match, but I can't imagine that it would have been any better.

Hey Regal is uncut, didn't think I would find that out on PPV.

Christ the fat writer in the g-string has a name now? What is with all the male ass on this show? I much prefer the subtle gay imagery of Magnum T.A. on his bike, or the Fantastics in their little tuxes, to this really hateful gay imagery on this show. Why can't Vince admit the love that dares not speaks its name, so we aren't subject to it squirting out like this.

MVP v. Marty Garner

Cham Pain used to rule those same armory shows that Matt Hardy and Gregory Helms did. For some reason he was the one OMEGA guy who never got a break. So his PPV debut as a skinny guy for JBL to make recycled Heenan jokes about, was kind of bittersweet. I was hoping for at least one big bump. They must still be angry over the Rock leaving them behind.

Undertaker v. Mr. Kennedy

Undertaker really needs to stop thinking he is Helmsley and needs 20+ minutes every PPV. He really works best in 12-15 minute matches, I loved his recent TV match with Booker, and I got the sense this would have been good with about 8 minutes shaved off. Instead it was way too long, and sort of dull. I liked Kennedy's piledriver though.

Rey Mysterio v. Chavo Guerrerro

I have been FFwding all the build towards this angle, but the wrestling parts have been pretty good. This was a really fun streetfight, with alot of nasty bumps. Chavo giant swinging Rey into chairs and hockey boards was nasty, and the 619 around the rail was fun too. The regular brawl parts of this match was fun too, as Chavo was just laying in the uppercuts. I thought Rey's big dive was a little underwhelming, but otherwise this was what you wanted.

William Regal v. Chris Benoit

Well fuck. This might be my favorite match up in wrestling history, and it shows up on PPV. It was Regal v. Benoit and you got all that you would hope from that. The first headbutt which split Regal open was Kikuchi level nasty, it sounded like someone dropped a Mango off a 5 story ledge. I also loved Benoit chopping Regal right on the open wound to get the blood flowing again. Regal's King Kong kneedrop was a new wrinkle and a great one, one knee to the ribs, one to the neck. I especially loved all of the mat struggling, Benoit's mat work always looks like a viscous fight, and the countering of the Regal stretch here was great, as was Regal fighting the crossface like his life defended on it. I like how Regal doesn't fight the crossface, but always immediately taps, really puts over the viscousness of the hold

Batista v. King Booker v. Finlay v. Bobby Lashley

I liked this alot too, Finlay and Booker really held it together, and outside of a little awkwardness, Batista and Lashley played their roles well too. Finlay was on fire here, I loved his little moment of domination, where he tossed Booker, Fujiwaraed Batista, and then picking Lashley's knee when he came in. Finish ruled too, Lashley's spear from nowhere was awesome, he was super low to the ground, and it was almost a Pete Rose slide. When Batista won the title he was a guy in his late 30's who looked like he was in his mid 20's, now he looks like Lance Herickson, he is a guy in his late 30's who facially looks like he is in his late 50's. Lashley does Batista way better then Batista does, hopefully house show matches with Finlay could get him back to form, otherwise they need to dump him back to RAW. Booker actually won clean which was weird. I also don't know if they are turning Regal and Finlay face, but I am hoping we get a TV Booker v. Finlay title match, as their stuff against each other here was great.


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Thursday, October 05, 2006

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING 4/20/85

"We Are the World" Dusty Rhodes

PAS: There must have been a Braves game on or something (pre-season maybe?) as this show seemed to run shorter then most, and was pretty uneventful.

LB:  Even the preshow clip of Tully jawing with Dusty from the interview stand that concluded with a freeze-frame shot of Dusty about to slap the manly face of Perfect 10 Baby Doll went nowhere during the actual show.  I do like the freeze frame device, as if the producers are sparing us from something that would be just too awful to watch.  I wish TNA would try pixel-ating Christopher Daniels the next time LAX busts him open, just for the effect.

PAS: We got to see a comparison of the three greatest elbow drops in wrestling history on this show. Abdullah The Butcher, Dusty Rhodes and Buddy Landell. I think Abby wins the elbow dropoff as he gets crazy height for such a corpulent man and crushes Gene Ligon with the point of the elbow on the throat and the tit flab across the chest. The whole squash was pretty fun, with Ligon showing some fire and Abby doing a bloodless mauling, including trying to pry out Ligon's eye.

PAS: Budro's squash was much less impressive then his mauling of Sam Houston the week before. He worked over the shoulder the whole match, a strategy which consistently befuddled Tony Shivone and David Crockett. The elbow drop had nice height and torque but landed on the chest not the throat, so it would be the least of the triumvirate on this day.

LB:  It's always nice to watch J.J. Dillion trying to pry the frenzied Budro's figure four leglock off his near-crippled opponent.  J.J.'s delicate manipulations that the announcers interpret as actually causing more harm are a nice touch.

PAS: Dusty defended his WORLD TELEVISION TITLE against Krusher Kruschev in a pretty fun match, although a step below the other feature matches. Dusty does break out his dropkick, but Kruschev kind of stinks, and is pretty much all shitty bearhug. Dusty's elbow was thrown early in the match and was done with blinding speed. He looked like the worlds ugliest Dragon's Gate wrestler.

LB:  Prior to this match, there was a taped and not very impressive ceremony in which Jim Crockett announced an agreement involving Japan and some other countries resulting in the creation of the WORLD TV title.  Jim quickly got out of the way after presenting the belt so Dusty could claim We are the World!  I guess this WORLD TV title concept was quickly forgotten.

PAS: Arn looked better this week, in your Minnesota Wrecking Crew squash. Including busting out some viscous looking arm takeovers. Ole was still the man though, as he has been my favorite wrestler to watch in this serious of shows.  I liked how he wouldn't even let the black jobber tag in, there is man who sticks to his principles.

LB:  Goodness, Thunderbolt Patterson sure was useless with his rubber-limbed offense and lazy eye.  Teaming him with Manny Fernandez did Manny no favors (the Bull and the Bolt!), and Manny's fire and charisma failed to rub off in the least on the scorned Patterson.  I am curious to see how the National Tag Team title situation sorts itself out, although there can't be much suspense in the outcome.

PAS: Fuck was Paul Jones's cream colored tuxedo amazing looking. What was the impetus  for the Jones v. Boogie Woogie feud? Was it lost in the mists of time? Because that lasted longer then the Hatfields and McCoys. We haven't even gotten to all of the betrayals yet. Boogie Woogie still has his innocence.

LB:  I would love to have a butter-colored tux to wear, but I could do without the forearm and wrist scars that Paul Jones insisted on showing off to the camera. 

PAS: Yeah he looked like a depressed goth teenage girl.


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Monday, October 02, 2006

TNA IMPACT WORKRATE REPORT EPISODE #49

WHAT WORKED:

THE MACK BROTHERS~!!! HOLY SHIT!!! Who are these guys??? Last weeks show I went into a long involved thing about this promotions poor use of jobbers and then they go and bring out these crazy fucks who take every single bump in the biggest most painful way possible. I've said again and again that I'm tired of squash matches but if you're going to run squashes you need to do them right. And this was doing a squash right. I need to see more of the fucking MACK BROTHERS!!!!

Hey the X Division guys are watching Jackass to train for their future matches. AWESOME!!! I mean they're going to fuck this up but the thing about Jackass is that those guys actually know how to sell big spots. Each skit/ match builds to one big spot, spot is sold as something that hurts and skit is over. None of the no-selling stringing of meaningless spots together that the X division guys tend to do. Big spots lead directly to finishes. You can see why Jerry Lynn doesn't understand this.

Speaking of comedy skits: TNA does the sports entertainment right!!! HOLY SHIT, when did TNA figure out how to do sports entertainment this well? the problem with allot of the McMahon/Russo sports entertainment philosophy was always pretty obvious. "No one wants to see long wrestling matches so we'll give them short wrestling matches and long skits" fails to recognize that most wrestlers can't pull off long skits. Hell most SNL professional comedians can't pull off long skits. End result was you had a lot of wrestling programming built around one joke skits stretched too long. That's painful enough on SNL but especially bad on show without professional actors. Somehow someone in TNA figured this out. And so this week was filled with quick two minute skits. You set up premise and deliver the punch line and then stop...skit over. The Slick Johnson skit was kept to a quick visual bit with no dialogue and Don West narration. Jeremy Borash never opened his mouth he just was guy holding the mic. Shane Douglas and Naturals stuff is dumb but kept quick and to the point. Bobby Heenan is completely washed up at this point but segment got point across quickly. The X division guys backstage watching Jackass got the point across and was over. All of the Jarrett and Eric Young segments were perfect as they just got the joke over and never tried to stretch the little bits out too long. The short spots all lead to the big piece at the end with Cornette doing matchmaking. Cornette is great in that role and the fan lumberjack match was sold well as you transitioned form the comedy into the danger. Jarrett and Young played their roles with him well. Just all the comedy/sports entertainment came off as really well done and efficient.

WHAT DIDN'T WORK:

While everything else was efficient, you couldn't have made that Raven/James Mitchell segment short enough not to be embarrasing. Both guys depend on meandering Dungeons and Dragons mic work...and the combo of both in same promotional package made me long for the Raven's mom angle.

Matches weren't really any good. James Gang/with Smiley and Shark Boy vs. AMW and Bentley/Kazarian was about two minutes long and still messy. The Christian vs. Killings match had some interesting ideas. Christian was really fun in role of guy in showcase matches on RAW. He played weak heel who did allot of Terry Funk shtick and bumping, had a nice Anaconda vice, and an over out of nowhere finisher. He came into TNA as a guy positioned on top and has never really figured out how to work from on top in TNA. Never figured out how to work as not-weak guy. Never figured out how to work as strong face. Here he's back to working as a heel. But instead of working as a weak heel he tried to work as strong one and he had some interesting ideas on how to pull it off, how much to give Killings and when to cut him off. the Tomakaze has always been an out of nowhere finisher. Finisher that you don't need to build to and it's a believable head dropping finisher. Here Christian builds all of his offense around working the upper body and neck attacks. Came back on offense through lariats, snapmares, neckbreakers, rope assisted sling blade, neck vises, etc. And you got the sense that he might be a guy who can figure out how to work heel from the top. Or he might make a great Tom Pritchard tag partner. After all that match is won with a spear and really the match was bad but you still got the impression that Christian is a guy who might potentially figure out how to be effective in TNA. Still match stank.


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TNA IMPACT WORKRATE REPORT EPISODE #48

WHAT WORKED:

I liked Ron Killings' shirt. Killings tells Christian that he needs to stop making excuses. You win some, you loose some. So for those of you who haven't been following TNA since the beginning to recap: In 2002 Ron “The Truth” Killings was working the gimmick of being an "Uppity Negro" demanding an immediate end to racism and reparations for past crimes. He was so over with the Nashville crowd with that gimmick that the fed really had no choice but to give him the belt. He was booked as a heel. Over the next three years, Killings was booked as a babyface in a mid card trio. He kept his mouth shut and lets the lighter skin folk in his tag team do the talking for him and dances and smiles. He's now a singles allowed back on the mic as a happy go lucky wrestler "you win some, you loose some" " "WHAT'S UP WHAT'S UP!!" Ah I can't get up the energy to write about this as I really don't care about the way Killings has been used by this fed and anyways I just read the Aja Kong bio from the WON HOF issue where Meltzer comments on how she's surprisingly articulate. "she's known for being quick-witted and funny on camera, and the Japanese love the paradox of the monster who you think can't spell cat if you spot the "c" and "a" showing instead they have are smart"...Ahh you got to love the Japanese. I imagine they would also get a big kick out of the paradox of "Is fat back grissy?"... Still, it was a nice shirt.

The video packages setting up the "public execution" were awful. The Mike Tenay/Don West mic work pimping the "live public execution" later on the show was shit. But I really enjoyed the Jarrett mic work. As it was super old school and fun and the Cornette over phone stuff was even more old school and still fun. Man I haven't seen an over the phone conference on a wrestling show in two decades. As our society moves more and more in the direction of digital communication and tele conferencing. I want to see this make a comeback.

WHAT DIDN'T WORK:

This show sucked!!!!

Outside of the Jarrett/Cornette stuff there was no good mic work/sports entertainment stuff. Goofball overproduced video packages. Ooh spooky spiritual Sting video package...Ooh elaborate execution video packages. Just shitty. I've already mentioned the bad Christian v Killings mic work but I should also mention that Christian talking about how he's already beat down another wannabe rapper is dumb. Really mentioning that he once worked Cena makes everything seem even more budget. Show starts out with LAX continuing their Gangstas in SMW stuff. And while Homicide is worlds better than D-lo, and Hernandez is worlds better than Mustafa...Konan just isn't New Jack on the mic. New Jack knew how to work a heel promo when he was working heel and how to work a face promo when working face. New Jack came out in front of SMW and told them that the Gangstaas weren't fans of the audiences beloved old babyface minorities. "The JYD days are over, the dancing Too Cold Scorpio Days are over". New Jack didn't come out and tell the audience "When I beat Ricky Morton, I'll dedicate my win to Junkyard Dog who was always a great brawler but never got to hold a title because while he amused you white folks, you wanted him as a clown and kept him down. Dedicate it to Rufus R Jones, Burrhead Jones,Willy B Hurt and the rest of my brothers who were never given the respect they deserve." It's not an effective heel promo. Dedicating your matches to beloved babyfaces, even if you attach race baiting doesn't make for a heel promo. Konan dedicating his match to his mother, Mil, Jose Lothario, Tito Santana, Pedro Morales and the Guerreros makes for a shitty heel promo. Heel promor built around love for mama and beloved babyface wrestlers of the past???? And really they need to stop using Daniels as the mic worker for the face team...him challenging heels doesn't have the fire that Styles can get on the mic. "We have exercised our rematch clause!!"...He's an angry actuary.

While talking about the shitty SE elements of the show...I say this pretty regularly but Mike Tenay is awful in role of guy who feels need to explain all of the booking. Let the action speak for itself...no need to explain everything. Mike Tenay "I love that motion eric Young does with his eye. It's almost like he's saying he's "eye to eye" on the level with the TNA fans"... I imagine Tenay explaining "I love that move that Scott Hall does shaking his hand..It's as though he's mocking his opponent by pretending that he's so scared that his hand is shaking". "I love that motion that Austin does with his two hands, it's like by crossing both third fingers he's saying I'm not only flipping you off with one finger but with both hands and his full essence"..Stop explaining everything.

And well the matches stank too.

The Sabin/Lethal vs. Ki/Williams match was just a mess that did nothing to heat up the match they're trying to build. Williams starts the match up and can't figure out wether he's working face or heel and pretty much the bulk of match is built around Williams vs. Sabin's touring match. We've already seen that. It isn't good. come back from commercial break with Ki heelishly riding and humiliating Lethal while Sabin does the worlds shittiest pro forma partner on apron complaining to ref. It was like Sabin had never seen a tag match and only read about the partner on apron spots. but we get very little of the Lethal vs. Ki as we're back to Williams in the ring. On of the things about TNA is that they have alot of guys who I'd rather see anywhere else. Guys I'd rather see working real match than stuck doing exhibition meaningless X-division crap. Petey Williams isn't one of those guys as really you don't want to see him outside of xdivision crap. You don't want to see him actually build a real match...stick to spot spot spot...Well anyways here Williams goes for some attempts at matwork and well really you don't want to see it. Match ends with the same Williams reversal into Sabin reversal into Williams reversal into Sabin reversal of sic flip piledriver into cradle shock that we've seen a million times. Rather see that than Williams try anything else. But still.

This fed has no understanding of how to use their jobbers. Norman Smiley and Shark Boy aren't big bumping jobbers. They're guys who know how to lay out a basic match. Some mat work, some comedy spots..some structure. Ideal jobbers to work opposite guys like Williams or Dutt (guys with one or two hot moves but can't structure a match if his life depended on it). Instead TNA puts them in matches against Abyss in short squashes that demand big bump style jobbers. Eric Young is a guy who can bump big, structure a match, throw good punches and has a personality that's really over with the crowd. He needs a jobber that plays to his strengths...large jobber that plays to Young's status as over underdog. Young can act afraid and agitated in front of useless big guy, run and bump (doesn't even need to bump for offense just do comedy running bumping) hiding and eventually dominate with comedy and brawling. Ideally match him up with a guy like Hoyt or maybe an unmasked Abyss. Here they ran a match between Young and Shark boy??? Why run a cult fan favorite vs. cult fan favorite? The big thing Young has going for him is the crowd being really into him. Putting him up against another cult fan favorite totally undermines his strength. Shark boy takes 80% of the offense and then Young blows his ridiculous wheel barrow into ace crusher finisher. Stupid booking--and blown finisher makes for shitty match.

Hey I was just talking about useless big guy and here he is. Abyss vs. Spike stank as completely exposed Abyss. The commentators claim there is a 1 foot height difference. Spike has a great first run of offense but when Spike isn't on offense, Abyss is and well Abyss doesn't have good looking offense. A big portion of match is built around set up of two thumb tack covered tables that have nothing to do with the match finish. Yeah thats right they spend a big portion of match setting up a stacked table spot that never used in match. Why not just have the tables pre set up. James Mitchell is no Uncle Honky and is completely awkward trying to help set up tables. Raven comes in post match and has a set of really shitty exchanges with Abyss and then carries Spike away. Spike is being booked as Cassidey O Reilly??? Spike vs. Mad Man Pondo would have been a better match. By a lot. Who books a garbage match where you build a big contraption and then don't use it??


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Sunday, October 01, 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. Mistico/Negro Casas v. Averno/Memphisto CMLL 4/15
12. Chris Hero/Necro Butcher/Super Dragon v. Samoa Joe/B.J. Whitmer/Adam Pearce ROH 4/22
13. La Mascara/El Hijo Del Santo v. Blue Panther/Tarzan Boy CMLL GDL 1/1
14. Rey Mysterio v. Mark Henry WWE 1/15
15. Damien Wayne v. Sean Denny NWA-VA 5/6
16. Meiko Satomura v. Aja Kong Sendai Pro Wrestling 7/9
17. L.A. Park/Marco Corleone/Johnny Stamboli v. Dr. Wagner Jr./Dos Caras Jr./Lizmark Jr. CMLL 5/19
18. Rey Mysterio v. Finlay WWE 9/5
19. Yuki Ishikawa v. Hiroyuki Ito Big Mouth Loud 5/4
20. El Hijo Del Santo/Negro Casas/Mistico v. Atlantis/Black Warrior/Ultimo Guerrerro CMLL 8/4



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
- Rey Mysterio/Bobby Lashley/Chris Benoit v. JBL/Finlay/Randy Orton WWE 2/23
-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
-Low-Ki v. Necro Butcher IWA-MS 4/1
-Finlay v. Bobby Lashley WWE 5/8

11. Mistico/Negro Casas v. Averno/Memphisto CMLL 4/15

This has been a pretty rough year for CMLL, with their main events being cut really short, and nothing really delivering like it should. This however got close to 30 minutes and was actually worked sort of like a title match. Mistico usually breaks it out for big matches, but he was sort of subdued here, he and Averno ran through their fast exchanges, but the focus of the technicos was on Negro Casas as it should be. Casas was the conductor and is still one of the best wrestlers in the world. Just his opening standing switch section with Memphisto was beautiful. Then when he kicks it into gear he was great. The first two falls were on the short side (although not by 2006 CMLL standards) and then they had a super hot third fall full of big moves.

I don't really care for Ulitmo Guerrerro style "big spot" rudos, all I need from my rudos is good catching, some big bumps, nice punches and some shtick. Averno and Memphisto are not that kind of rudo, they break out a half a dozen powerbomb variations in the third fall, which is really five too many. It isn't my kind of lucha, but everything was hit really well, and the near falls were very cool. I hope CMLL delivers better this year, but so far this is the best I have seen


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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. Rey Mysterio v. Finlay WWE 9/5
18. Yuki Ishikawa v. Hiroyuki Ito Big Mouth Loud 5/4
19. El Hijo Del Santo/Negro Casas/Mistico v. Atlantis/Black Warrior/Ultimo Guerrerro CMLL 8/4
20. Low-Ki v. Necro Butcher IWA-MS 4/1


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
- Rey Mysterio/Bobby Lashley/Chris Benoit v. JBL/Finlay/Randy Orton WWE 2/23
-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


17. Rey Mysterio v. Finlay 9/5

We get another TV match between the best babyface in wrestling and the best heel, and the Finlay love continues. This match was hurt a little bit by the storyline, which was Rey being "off his game" although most Rey matches, on game or off, have him selling as much as he did here. I don't think Finlay ever worked lucha, but he was the lost great rudo in this match. I loved the little opening mat work which had Finlay reverse the headscissors using a indian deathlock, his headscissors counter into a quebradora was amazing, and he took all of Rey's offense perfectly. The bump on the satellite head-scissors was especially gorgeous. As much as I was in love with January/February Finlay he may even be better now.


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