Segunda Caida

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

Saturday, November 18, 2006

PRO WRESTLING FUJIWARA-GUMI SHOW #12 5/15/92

Yuki Ishikawa v. Dussel Batt

TKG: PWFG added a rope break/KO's scoring system about a show ago. It really is unclear what the system consists of exactly. No one has won or lost do to the scoring system. And sometimes they put up a number for rope breaks sometimes not. And they seem to be scoring knock outs separately. I can't figure it out. This is another opening match that went too long. As this is a thirty minute draw. Ishikawa comes in with a pressure bandage or tape wrapped around his head covering one of his ears like he was playing rugby earlier in the day. Batt does no real amateur rolls in this and instead of doing superkicks he does a bunch of Karate Kid style crane kicks as every kick he throws involves him leaving his feet and waving his arms like a bird. He also makes a bunch of amusing noises. Every time he throws a kick he makes a high pitched squeal. When he's in a submission he says "Cha cha cha cha" like Jimmy Durante.

PAS: Yuki Ishikawa is one of my favorite wrestlers of all time, but he really shouldn't be working 30 minute draws in his second match ever. This actually would have been a fine 15 minute match, and I am looking forward to watching all of the rematches. It is kind of weird to see Ishikawa throwing slaps, instead of the best punches in the history of knuckles.

Ryushi Yanigasawa v. Jerry Flynn

TKG: Jerry Flynn has ridiculous eighties stand up comic hair. He should come into the ring with a skinny tie and suit jacket rolled up to his sleeve. Jerry Flynn matches are normally built around his opponent having advantage on the mat while he has advantage standing. Here the works as guy better on the mat. Flynn's defensive stuff is a ton of fun here. As he does some nice defensive stuff in the kickboxing stand up section. Neat deflecting stuff. Flynn's always been very defensive on the mat...this is the most fun his mat offense has been, and the combo of his mat offense and his defense preventing Yanigasawa completely eliminating Yanigasawa from being able to do anything on the mat was alot of fun here. Flynn also throws amazingly great worked knees.

PAS: Yanigasawa completely blew when he came into New Japan ten years later, but he is fun as a rookie kicking hard. I was looking forward to seeing alot of nasty kick exchanges, but this was based around matwork. It really kind of works against both guys strengths, but was still pretty good

Minoru Suzuki v. Kazuo Takahashi

TKG: Suzuki works pretty heelish in this refusing to break, fishhooking etc. Takahashi is just a fucking great jobber selling frustration at all of this stuff.

PAS: We have talked allot about how great Takahashi is at selling strikes, but this match was all about him selling chokes and submissions. Early the in the match Suzuki gets a front neck crank, and Takahashi is choking and spitting like he just swallowed a wasp. After he loses to choke his whole face is red and he is gasping like he has a peanut allergy.

Masakatsu Funaki v. Yusuke Fuke

PAS: This was basically a squash too, with both guys doing alot of throwing hands. Funaki pretty much controlled, including kicking Fuke right in his wrapped knee. He also does a nasty thing where he grinds his elbow right into Fuke's eye. Still basically one sided.

TKG: Fuke does full on Ricky steamboat busted leg selling and is fun as underdog while Funaki is pretty boring outside of the elbow grinding. Standup was real fun and liked the face heelish behavior. Like the match before it, this ended with a handshake after one guy was a dick to the other.

Ken Shamrock v. Bart Vale

PAS: This was pretty fun, although at this point Shamrock has done really distracting things to his body. His pectoral muscles are rectangular and he doesn't appear to have nipples anymore, he kind of looks like a He-Man action figure. I really like how Bart Vale sells the knock down, he kind of crumples with his head in his hands like his wife just told him that his daughter wasn't really his.

TKG: Shamrock's body is really weird. Also Shamrock decides to debut lots of head and shoulder movement. Lots of juking stuff and well he isn't good at the head movement at all. Like a Def Jam comedian parody of a white guy dancing. You expect Vale to figure out the timing and just nail Shamrock. This was better than I expected. It ends really weird as Shamrock throws some tiff knees and then Vale has this look on his face like "Oh we're no longer working" and throws the stiffest stuff he's ever thrown and Shamrock eats a KO. Vale just throws a nasty palm strike followed by a couple kicks. First time I've seen someone eat a KO from Vale where I actually bought that it should knock someone out. And it wasn't because of the selling.

PAS: My favorite part of this whole match is that after UFC debuted, Vale used his "victory" over Ken Shamrock to advertise his MMA dojo. Amusing carny shit, I imagine Funaki trying to get a WBO middleweight title fight because of his Duran win.

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Don "Nakayana" Neilson

PAS: Not much, as about a minute into it, Neilson catches Fujiwara with a kick and takes a thumb sized chunk of flesh out of his eye. So they have to stop the match. Real shame, as I imagine Fujiwara could have done something really fun with this guy if he had a chance.

TKG: Yeah nothing to see here.


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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

PRO WRESTLING FUJIWARA-GUMI SHOW #11 3/20/92 NO MAS

Yuki Ishikawa v. Kauzo Takahashi

TKG: Isikawa is young. Young. Young. He looks 10. Looks younger than 1999 Red. Isikawa is already really smooth and fun trying to go for escapes on the mat. Takahashi does a couple of neat pieces of torture style working over rookie things. Of course I'm kind of jaded. I've seen Ishikawa and I've seen him take same nasty beatings so you really need to beat him in his rookie match for it to mean much to me. Even if I wasn't jaded this was too long and too competitive for it to work.

PAS: Ishikawa is also wearing these green leopard print trunks, which are amazing. Really looked like something Chaz might wear. Takahashi is really great as a jobber, but he isn't much in the Fuchi role.

Yusuke Fuke v. Ryushi Yanigasawa

TKG: Fuke does nice job dominating Yanigasawa on the mat with Yanigasawa needing constant rope breaks but again this went too long and too competitive for a what was essentially rookie trying to prove himself type match.

PAS: This did go too long, but I think I liked it a little more then Tom. This definitely was about roles, as Yanigasawa has some of the hardest kicks in this promotion, but Fuke can kind of take him down at will. This could have used more near falls, and it got a little repetitive.

Bart Vale v. Lato Kiraware

TKG: Weird. Styles make matches and all that and sometimes too mediocre guys match up well. Part of the problem with Vale and Kiraware matches is that obviously better wrestlers have to sell for their offense. Here these two guys work even and you buy it. Nothing that Kiraware does looks that much better than what Vale does and vice versa. Feel like guys who should be working evenly. The Vale throw on Kiraware is especially impressive and this was fun short match up.

PAS: Yeah this was shockingly good. I really like the way Kiraware's fat jiggles with the body kicks. Makes the normal weak Vale kicks look a lot better.

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Jerry Flynn

TKG: This was disappointing. Most of the Flynn stuff I've seen thus far has been built around Flynn being stronger guy standing and opponent being sharper on the mat. Flynn takes this to the ground in the beginning and they trade positions on the ground. They stand up and Fujiwara shrugs of his first couple of kicks. Flynn seems to work even looser after the comedy no selling. Disappointing.

PAS: This had some nice stuff, as all Fujiwara matches do. Still Flynn had been so good that I was expecting much more. I don't think this was even as good as Fujiwara v. Kiraware.

Minoru Suzuki v. Ken Shamrock

PAS: This was really fun. Clearly your main eventers made some friends in Miami as they have all come back with 15 pounds of muscle. Shamrock is especially preposterous looking as he looks like Popye with crazy outsized upper body and slim waste. Actually hard to concentrate on the match. Lots of nice exchanges from both guys, and an amazing finish as Shamrock tries to lift Suzuki for a big throw, and Suzuki locks on a choke in midair for the win.

TKG: Aww man. They just spent a lot of time working out with Gotch's equipment. A lot of time. It's Florida in the earl nineties. Yeah it was the early nineties they were in Florida, of course they bought drugs. Who wouldn't. If you're in NYC you buy a foam Statue of Liberty head piece, if you're in Hawaii you go to a Luau, you're in Thailand you fuck a 12 year old, you're in Florida in the early nineties you buy drugs. I imagine Bart Vale set up the meet. Shamrock was all nervous as Funaki started singing along to the Freak Nasty on the dealers boom box. It was distracting watching kung fu billy Graham with hair. Still really fun match. Shamrock was all about throws with Suzuki scrambling around on the mat after taking them..and finish ruled. Post match Suzuki jumps up and down and runs around the ring like a BJ Penn.


Masakatsu Funaki v. Roberto Duran

PAS: This was alot better then I expected it to be. Meltzer described this match in the Funaki bio as Duran refusing to do anything, but that really wasn't true at all. In fact I can't imagine what else he possibly could have done, he threw alot of punches, jabs and nice bodywork, and he ate a couple of big throws. Funaki actually seemed unwilling to eat any punches to his pretty face, as Duran would connect to the body, but Funaki would dodge or deflected any punches to the face. In fact Duran only landed one punch to the face, a nice hook which he followed with two shots to the body. It would have been the perfectly place for Funaki to drop for a dramatic 8 count, but instead he shoots and gets a neck crank for the tap. It really felt like he wanted no more of Duran, pussy, no wonder he didn't allow punches to the face in Pancrase.

TKG: Yeah this was way more fun than I expected it to be. Duran takes a bunch of bumps and sells desperation by grabbing ropes when Funaki goes for clinch. Duran works first two rounds with his shirt on and then before the third round takes the shirt off and it's "oh shit he dropped the strap". Match ended too abruptly. I would have liked to see Duran vs. a better worker. Duran has to job and pretty much has to job to a "no mas " submission. Did 2 Cold have a submission move? Too Cold is flashy enough but really isn't pretty enough to play Sugar Ray Leonard.


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Thursday, November 09, 2006

TNA IMPACT WORKRATE REPORT 11/2/06

WHAT WORKED:

Hey they found a good use for Christie Hemme. She was really great as the girlfriend of two metrosexuals starting to fight at a frat party. “Cuu, cut it out. C’mon. I mean it. Cut it out. Stop you guys” Hemme was shockingly great in that role. The match this lead to was pretty fun too. I don’t think Sabin is good enough or smart enough to pull off disrespectful heel in ring. But AJ is really great at working as contemptuous guy. AJ worked really contemptuous with Sabin as guy trying to prove self. It’s an odd way to work a match with contemptuous face vs. upstart heel but it worked nicely. And the roll up finish was pretty fun.

ECCLESIASTES~!!! ECCLESIASTES~!! Holy shit am I enjoying Christian Russo. I mea Christian morality plays are the stuff that wrestling is built on. Stories of fallings. Stories of redemption. Tests of loyalties and faith. Those are the things that Russo never seemed to understand. And so you get this thing where in 2006 TNA I think I’m going to get to watch two Russo’s: the really shitty Russo who is all about surprises and shoots and the new, and the Christian Russo who understands that the important tales are those of humble struggle. Lust and Greed vs. honor, respect, dignity and THE TRUTH. The TRUTH which is credit to the MAKER. How will the Russo raised on the WWE reconcile with the Chiristian who understands that you can’t have Passion plays with WWF style weak heels? Anyways fuck I’ve hated all the shitty TNA over the top fake horror movie video packages….but 700 Club Ecclesiastes Sting video package gets a thumbs up. Is Sting going to fall prey to the temptations that come with the gold or will he remain humble knowing that without Him he is nothing.

WHAT DIDN’T WORK:

So while I dig the Christian Russo, there is also the Russo not concerned with the TRUTH of the Maker…the Truth of the everlasting, the only truth that should matter. There is the Russo who cares only for the false truths of the earth..There is the Russo of the shoot and the meaningless run in and the matches that aren’t about tests of faith but instead are about retrieving silly objects from poles. I’m not sure if the main event would have been better if the poles held the Spear of Longinus, the Chain of Job, the Arc of the Covenant, and the Straight Jacket of Ezekiel. But still.

Really if you’re going with that kind of Dungeons and Dragons match to “retrieve objects that you will bring into the next battle”, you cant’ have the face win the first two of the four objects. I guess if there were five poles (and five objects) then you could do that but having the face win first two objects kind of kills the match. What the face is going to come into next match with advantage having three of four objects? I’m not sure if I fully understand the concept anyway. Will Christian get DQed if he uses one of his opponent’s objects? I don’t mind Esau being booked as face opposite Jacob but this thing was both goofy and poorly put together.

“And the men of Sodom were very wicked, and sinners before the face of the Lord” What the fuck was that dance that Lance Hoyt did as part of his entrance? I mean what the fuck was that? Suddenly it’s a match between the top dancer on Chocolate Tuesdays and the top dancer on White Guy Wednesdays. Winner gets more filthy bills from Borash? Match itself wasn't very rhythmic or enticing. Truth is a two time champion why is he struggling so much to figure out the riddle of his own tag partner? yikes! The Battle for Borash match was bad. Entrance dance was un-Christian. Is fatback grissy? Is Lot's wife salty? What's up?

Wallstreet Robert Roode vs.Chris Daniels wasn't as good as Michael Wallstreet vs.Starblazer. In 1990 female corporate power carried a computer/word processor. She used that computer to taunt the low income blue collar men around her. In 2006 the evil that is female corporate power comes from the "creative class" and wields a pencil. The pencil taunts the low income men who work in cubicles stuck to their computers. So let me get this straight...Chris Daniels is "frustrated" because AJ Styles is so "focused" on the X division title that he wasn't paying proper attention to the match....a match that AJ Styles wasn't in...!!! Does that make any sense? You know the Bible is filled with stories of jealousy and disputes between friends and brothers. Stories that have been read for centuries because the motivations and behaviors make sense. People can identify with these stories. I don't know how you can read the Bible and be completely incapable of writing a "dispute between brothers" storyline that makes sense.


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TNA IMPACT WORKRATE REPORT 10/26/06

WHAT WORKED:

Wait, so the big Bobby Roode “hottest free agent” angle ends up with him becoming Robert Roode, referred to as “one man enterprise”, and paired with Traci Brooks (wearing glasses and dressed like a flight attendant)???!!!! HOLY SHIT!!! The big Bobby Roode push consists of giving him Mike Rotundo’s old WCW gimmick!!! That rules. WWE just released Tim Horner, put him in an alien costume and run Roode vs. Planetblazer Horner and you have a match worthy of a Clash. Fuck! Franklyn Kazarian and Christopher Harris need to join Robert Roode Enterprises. Jeremiah Lynn? Nah. Sibling Raymond? Maybe. Head of Security Curtis Hughes still works indies. The Taylor Made Man is backstage. Is Terry Runnels still taking bookings through Race? Christopher Harris, Franklyn Richards, Robert Roode vs. Thomas Rich, Richard Morton, Terrence Taylor would make for some fun TV. I mean it’s Russo so he’s all about playing to the internet. So instead of Roode Enterprises vs. York Foundation we’ll be stuck with Roode Enterprises vs. Impacfull Players (Polaco, Storm and Jason). Aw man…The Polaco shoot promos where he talks about how he has struggled against corporate culture of Wallmart, so Roode Enterprises will be a cakewalk. Fuck Christopher Harris. Have it be Robert Roode, Franklyn Richards and Terrence Taylor on Brooks team with Taylor playing the Shelley Levine character. Taylor constantly worrying that he might get replaced by youngster Jason would be great. Didn’t have lot of faith in blue chipper Robert Roode promos…but this has endless possibilities.

Like the Jarrett backstage interview. Jeff did a great job pulling off sincere babyface promo. He really came off like Jerry Jarrett at his best. Which is not something I thought Jeff really had in him. Not sure how that type of Jerry Jarrett sincerety plays in this day and age. And really the mood music in the background almost killed it. Let the mic work carry the segment don’t give me ambient sound to try to tell me what to think. Kind of ridiculous to have Jarrett turn face when Sting is on the top of the card. Face on the top with title means you need heel challengers. On the TNA roster who are the guys who are most skilled at working heel? Jarrett, Homicide, AJ Styles, Christian,…and uh… maybe Bubba? maybe Douglas? BG James? O’Reilly perhaps? If they were smart and had Angle do “shoots” about how pills are stronger than the power of Christ? Sting is the guy you just put in the anchor position. Fed needs more heel challengers, not more guys turning face.

WHAT DIDN'T WORK:

I kind of liked the three minutes of Abyss vs. Hoyt. I’ve been told that it is rare for a US match to be worked based on hierarchy..and thought this did a nice job of being built around hierarchy with Hoyt as guy way in over his head who needed to throw out everything to compete with Abyss. Both guys stink but match was short enough not to completely expose them and got that story across. There has been a lot written lately about TNA having to compete with UFC..but fuck that shit. IMPACT is on the same station as UFC. Thats not competition. TNA is on opposite Real World/Road Rules Challenge. For amount of time spent doing video packages, interview vs. amount doing physical challenges, tonights Impact was similar ratio to this weeks “Duel”. Think Jarret was a more interesting interview than anyone on this weeks Duel. Sting and everyone else, not so much. As to the actual physical challenge the “duel”provided more visually interesting and violent action. For competitive match not leading to title Brad vs. CT was more heated than LAX vs. Naturals. The rollerderby was highly edited but told its stories in a clearer fashion than the reverse battle royale. Several stories layed out in the opening womens heats. The final women’s heat was pretty anticlimactic is it was worked totally competitive. I’d say final women’s heat and the actual over the top battle royale sections of Fight For Right would be about a draw. But that’s not why I mention the “Duel”. I mention the Duel because while I liked the story of Abyss vs. Hoyt, Aneesa vs. Paula told the same story in a much more compelling fashion and was more athletic and violent. Abyss vs. Hoyt was absolutely smoked by Aneesa vs. Paula. Oh yeah for over the top mugging Snidely Whiplash evil, Beth smokes James Mitchell too.

This show sucked ass…Again a bunch of incite into serial story telling available here:

http://www.worldandi.com/public/1998/november/crawford.cfm

“Why does serialization attract us so strongly, and why did the serial novel so capture the imagination of Victorian readers?... Linda K. Hughes and Michael Lund point out in The Victorian Serial that installment novels tapped into the very philosophy of Victorian life. Personal development became something of an obsession for Victorians, and serials mirrored the belief that personal and cultural progress was gradual, positive, and inevitable. As Hughes and Lund demonstrate, the reader has to believe in slow, positive growth for the serial to really work. Victorians saw society as heading toward ever greater perfection and achievement; serials played out that theme in microcosm…. The real temptation of the cliff-hanger for the author dwelt in the enticement to put action over characters. The masters of the serial, Dickens, Thackeray, Collins, always understood that the reader had to care about not what was happening, but who it was happening to. Jeffrey Walker, associate professor of colonial and nineteenth-century American literature at Oklahoma State University, sees the serial form as an "emphasis on the psychological." Characterization, not action, drives the great serials with "so much more detail, so much more of a thorough investigation of how people related and talked." The reader wants to discover the ultimate destiny of the characters, how they change and develop over the course of the story. Cliff-hanger endings might produce anticipation from installment to installment, but powerful characters kept readers coming back again and again to the same authors. Plot-driven serials, according to Walker, become "flat, underdeveloped, ultimately uninteresting."

Impact was all about lots of stuff happening at the expense of any character development. What I wrote last time: “The endless action/ “stuff happening” in this TNA episode just felt obviously hack and overwritten but I think it also hurts any possibility for character motivated story telling.. This much meaningless stuff actually kills anticipation for next episode in serial. “This was even more magnified today. You get the sense that bookers don’t trust the workers when they need to throw around this much extraneous shit.

And well then there was the Fight for the Right… Reverse battle royale was just awful. I mean all battle royals are going to be hurt by the problem of people standing around doing nothing. But point of battle royals is normally to stay standing. Here point was to go over the rope…so standing around doing nothing even sillier. Then you add on the idea that there where a million sub plots. Why is James Storm just watching but not participating? Why is Brother Ray watching but not participating? Apparently BG James is not only not participating but he isn’t there? Rhino cares so much about his match with Christian that he isn’t participating but is interfering? Are Shane Douglas and Bubba really debating something? Robert Roode is a one man enterprise? Matt Bentley is going to be in the new Flock? Or is he going to be the Pentagon to Raven’s Octagon? Is that Konnan? Why wasn’t he in this? The goal with the Pat Patterson style battle royals is you build to certain big spots but you try to keep the multiple storylines simple and you give time for each one. Here everything happened at same time, couldn’t keep track of any of it…thus none of it matters. The actual battle royale part was even quicker and thus even more formless. The whole thing up to the final Abyss vs. Hoyt section was flat, underdeveloped and ultimately uninteresting.


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TNA IMPACT WORKRATE REPORT 10/12/06

I really feel that I’ve exhausted the workrate report format for writing about Impact at this point. I did it for a year. No real belief that I’ll be able to say anything new within that format. This is an episode where the format makes show look better than it was. But until I come up with new format for writing about Impact…I watch, and so I write.

WHAT WORKED:

-No Chrissie Hemme doing the TNA bumpers? I assume that means she's getting ready for the angle where she turns out to be Petey Williams' cousin.

-THE GRIOT RETURNS---"HIS HEAD AND HAIR WERE WHITE AS WOOD"---"HIS HEAD AND HAIR WERE WHITE AS WOOD"---"HIS HEAD AND HAIR WERE WHITE AS WOOD"--"HIS HEAD AND HAIR WERE WHITE AS WOOD" "OKADOWA KWENZA JANI" she's a rich girl, she don't try to hide it she's got diamonds on the souls of her shoes---"HIS HEAD AND HAIR WERE WHITE AS WOOD"

-It's a fucking stupid stupid stupid angle but I thought Samoa Joe did nice job with his opening mic work. Teasing dissention between James Gang is also dumb as fuck but thought BG James did a nice job with his mic work too.

-AJ Styles has some really great punches. As did Homicide. Konnan not so much.

-Hoyt/Killings vs. Diamonds in the Rough was better than it had any right to be. Hoyt stinks, but was kept from doing anything as he just ate David Young's offense. David Young and Killings are ex-Wildside guys and felt really comfortable with each other. Match was at max four minutes long and doing dissention angle is really stupid. does anyone actually want to see the Skipper v Young feud? Does anyone want to see Billy Gunn vs. BG James? I do have sick desire to see Buh Buh vs. DeVon but I'm guessing I'll have to wait a month before they run that split. Oh yeah Christian vs. Joe was fun for large chunks too. The booking of match was stupid, the clusterfuck finish was horrendously embarrasing, and they go to commercial after two minutes of action with Joe dominating and come back to find Christian completely in control with no explanation. Christian is so much better as big bumping heel working bottom than he is as strong face or heel top. And Joe is guy meant to work top. And Yeah the booking and finish were so bad this really should be on bottom but I'm leaving it topside on a week where the show struggled to have anything on the top side.

WHAT DIDN"T WORK:

Sabin/Shark Boy/Dutt/Lethal v. Senshi/Williams/Debine/Shelley

YIKES~!! this was bad. Eight man setting up Williams vs. Senshi. Most over face is Shark Boy. Shelley does nothing but heel shtick. Shark Boy has a fun face run. Devine does a nasty snapmare into downed knees. Dutt did the bulk of the work for the face team with Shelley doing the bulk for the heel team. Why those two? Who fucking knows neither are in the match they're building to. And whole thing was just a fucking mess. Mike Tenay announces that this match is dedicated to the late Antonio Pena. Match really needed multiple runins, an ex-Mascara Sagrada working as el SPIKE Televisa Deportivas, Pena on a motorcycle, heel and face refs, an ambulance chase, fake low blows, and some guy spitting out a fireball to cover for the shitty work.

GOD this show was full of BOOKING ~!! How many teams are breaking up? Rhino doesn’t care about Sting…isn’t Sting the reason he started questioning and eventually going after Christian? The main event was just a giant cluster fuck of different motivations and just meaninglessness. Why didn’t Tenay say the ladder match was dedicated to the memory of Pena? That would of at least given it some pathos. So back when I was writing these things regularly one of the only things that consistently worked was the Jim Cornette as matchmaker role. Pretty simple role, guy not really involved in the angles so much as guy who watches the angles play out and decides to resolve them through matchmaking. Sting wants to resolve issue with Jarrett, he goes to matchmakers and proposes a match. Basic stuff Cornette in role of saying “these actions merit these matches”. Tonight was all about wrestlers making matches. Samoa Joe has stolen belt which he will return if he is first in line as challenger after PPV. Abyss wants to take belt from Joe to make himself first in line. Christian challenges Joe to unsanctioned match which Joe accepts. Nash pops up and issues challenge for an invitational. Can anyone make matches? Why isn’t SharkBoy challenging Senshi for a deep sea battle? What the fuck. This was just a mess. The whole Joe with belt angle is pretty ridiculous as the entire promotion has been building toward Sting vs. Jarrett retirement vs. belt for the last ten months. It kind of hurts your major match stip when the belt isn’t there.. For whatever its worth, interesting article on the serial in Victorian society can be found here: http://www.worldandi.com/public/1998/november/crawford.cfm.. Lots of interesting points but the thing that I want to highlight is the idea of characterization driving story instead of action. The endless action/ “stuff happening” in this TNA episode just felt obviously hack and overwritten but I think it also hurts any possibility for character motivated story telling.. This much meaningless stuff actually kills anticipation for next episode in serial.

Unlike alot of other people on the net I am happy about Angle going to TNA.. I was really worried about Angle going to MMA. MMA has yet to have a big death. Eventually they will of course, but they haven't yet. Former Olympic gold medalist dieing while training for MMA would just set the sport back a ton. The neat thing about the way WWE has successfully branded itself as equaling pro-wrestling in the US, is that if drugged up Olympic gold medalist dies while working for TNA, AWA, PWFG , etc...WWE will still be tarred. So happy that he isn't in MMA. For drugged out of his gourd guys who throw alot of suplexes, he'll eat more stuff than Steiner. Unfortunately I don't think he is as good at drugged out of his gourd mic work. He was pretty good tonight but really there was no menace to it.


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PRO WRESTLING FUJIWARA-GUMI SHOW #10 3/20/92 MIAMI~!

MIA-YAYO

PAS: This is a show in Miami booked around a Shootfighting v. PWFG feud, and is clearly being promoted as legit. The O-Jays are in the arena the next night. It is really too bad it isn't a double bill

TKG: Not sure if isn't a double bill. Like a sold show at a fair with a pig race, a PWFG vs. Shootfighting (which is I think Bart Vale's local promotion) show and a O Jays show in the evening. They do a PWFG on the road video with the PWFG guys (Fuke, Funaki, and Suzuki) going to Karl Gotch's house. Karl Gotch shows off all his old style training equipment. As he's clearly back from when people didn't believe in weight lifting and instead just believed in attaching a rope to a weight over a swing set. Suzuki shows off his ability with Iranian clubs. Funaki does all sorts of ridiculous variations on push ups on Gotch's equipment. For some reason Suzuki decides to do all this in a pair of speedos. I imagine their were lots of calls to police from the neighbors in the Florida seniors village. "Old man Karl is in his underwear with a bunch of hairless Japanese boys and a video-camera, again"... "Don't uh huh me sonny, he doesn't have a license to do that, I want an officer over here immediately". At the end of the day the PWFG guys are desperate to leave, while Gotch tries to keep his guests entertained by singing in Russian. "No, no we really must leave" "all the things she said all the things she said running through my head".. "No no serious Mr Gotch we have to go."

Jerry Flynn v. Kazuo Takahashi

PAS: Takahashi is the perfect guy to open a show, as he does his usual amazing job of selling for Flynn's kicks. Including even doing the Red Bastien bump where he slides down the ring ropes bumping his head on all of them.

TKG: Yeah I am now totally sold on Takahashi as he is greatest shoot style jobber ever. Not sure how being really great at selling kicks translated when he went to Pancrase...but he could have made Ric Blade look like a K-1 fighter if he went to CZW. the US crowd chanting along with all the ten counts, chanting "Go Jerry Go" and counting along for the downed palm strikes as though they were punches in the corner was fucking great.

Yusuke Fuke v. Dussel Batt

PAS: Dussel Batt is a black guy who really looks like a ton like Brickhouse Brown. He kind of works like you would expect Brickhouse Brown to work if he was thrown into a worked shoot promotion. Using a superkick as his main strike. I loved the finish, as Fuke puts on a kneebar, and Batt sells it like Shaska Whatley in a figure four, before finally tapping.

TKG: Batt also does a couple of fun amateur style twists. But it was pretty much his savate kicks which Fuke sells all shoot styleish. Fuke eventually catches a savate kick to be caught a enziguri. Fuke sells the enziguri as shoot shot to back of head. Fun.

Mark Rush v. Masakatsu Funaki

PAS: This had Roberto Duran at ringside to set up the Funaki v. Duran match, and was a Funaki showcase. Not very good, as Rush didn't even get in any of his fun throws. Funaki through a couple of nice kicks, but this wasn't much

TKG: Rush got enough in that this got a bunch of USA heat. But really nothing memorable.

Minoru Suzuki v. Ken Shamrock

TKG: This was fun. Shamrock has a bunch of throws and really a neat showcase for all he can do. took a while to get the crowd into it and this was before Suzuki really developed any of his heel shtick but once they had the crowd this was a fun good lil match.

PAS: I liked this alot, the couple of Shamrock v. Funaki matches which proceeded this were really hurt by going too long. They were full of dead spots and time killing matwork. Here Shamrock comes out and works a 10 minute sprint with Suzuki that dispensed with the stuff that held back the later match. This was a Shamrock focused match, and Suzuki was sort of along for the ride, still it was great.


Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Bart Vale

TKG: Bart Vale comes in to a huge local pop. I mean fucking huge pop. Fujiwara comes in with a trophy. Fujiwara taunts Vale offers to shake his hand then pulls away to comb his hair and fuck its Fujiwara as touring Japanese guy vs. your top regional star. Vale and Fujiwara pretty much keep this standing.Mostly Fujiwara bumping around eating kicks and then throwing tight headbutts in the clinch. Headbutts knock Vale down and get the crowd to boo. Fujiwara walks around with great taunting expressions. Vale eventually retaliates for the headbutts by hitting short headbutts while the two are ted up on the ground. Fujiwara goes to the ref to complain about the headbutts. It rules. Crowd is fucking great. Disappointed that there was no rice thrown but outside of that this is what you wanted out of this.

PAS: This owned, Fujiwara is the worlds best Toru Tanaka. It was really fun to watch him work a completely different style, then he works in a normal PWFG show. He isn't the legend that the young guys have to get past, he is the dirty foreigner cheap shotting your local hero. No real Fujiwara matwork or reversals, no cool moves to speak of, but it was great.


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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

PRO WRESTLING FUJIWARA-GUMI SHOW #9 2/24/92

Lato Kirawarik v. Wellington Wilkins Jr.

TKG: Lato Kirawarik facially looks like Invader 1's fat cousin and isn't very good. I imagine Invader 1 vs. Wellington Wilkins would have been alot better than this. Wilkins does alot of things well but throwing kicks isn't one of them.

PAS: There was one nice spot where Kirawarik counters a northern lights suplex with a choke, and both guys had nice headbutts, but this wasn't exactly good.

Bart Vale v. Kazuo Takahashi

TKG: Last time I saw Takahashi he kind of bored me as guy beating Wellington Wilkins. Here Takahashi is working as more of the jobber role that Phil pimped him for. And damn is he a really great jobber just making all of Vales kicks and stuff look good. Takahashi is just great at selling the accumulated damage he takes, so each kick is sold differently than the last. I think my favorite sell was one where he eats a kick catches Vales leg and then slowly starts to loose his own legs and has to drop the caught leg. Awesome. this was fun stuff.

PAS: Yeah Takahashi is amazing as Lee Scott, making the shitty shootstyle mustachoed Sid look great. I am assuming Takahashi made the jump to Pancrase and I really don't know how being really great at selling bad kicks, transfers to shootfighting.

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Yusuke Fuke

TKG: WOW. Ok this here is the match. Fujiwara goes with an early kick to the shin that just takes Fuke down in the first moments. Fuke clutches his ankle. Fujiwara makes a couple attempts at throws with Fuke reversing to the mat, and here you have this match all about Fuke being a guy with multiple cool ways to sprawl for stuff on the ground. When they stand back up Fujiwara is going to go right back at the ankle. Just a ton of different things going on in this. Fujiwara is caught in a triangle that has to be broken because they''re in the ropes... but post triangle Fujiwara just sells grogginess that leaves him open for one thing after another. This match just rules.

PAS: This was really great, and may have been the best Fujiwara, Fujiwara-Gumi match. The matwork was super here, as both guys were breaking out multiple counters to counters. My favorite is when Fuke was attempting a Boston Crab, Fujiwara tries to break out his signature crab counter, and Fuke counters it, then he tries it again and Fuke goes right for a cross armbreaker. I also loved all the fighting for holds, Fujiwara was going for the ankle and Fuke is just laying in bodyshots and headbutts, but Fujiwara refuses to let go. The shots to the knee were brutal, and I loved Fujiwara's viciousness.

Minoru Suzuki v. Jerry Flynn

TKG: This was odd as Flynn dominates the standup and is really defensive when being worked on the mat. Defensive enough that when they go to the mat, Suzuki really isn't able to do much. In the end Flynn puts up his arms in defense on his back only to have Suzuki hook the back of them in this neat inverted full nelson. I enjoyed this but wanted better.

PAS: This was pretty good, but not a blow away match. Flynn's hair is absolutely ridiculous, he has a fluffy mullet with a part in the middle. It looked like the front of Scott Baio's hair with the back of David Brenner's hair.

Wayne Shamrock v. Masakatsu Funaki

TKG: So last time they went to thirty minute draw. This time they were booked to go over thirty. I get the impression that these two might have a good twenty minute match. this had more interesting mat stuff then there last one. They go to standup earlier (about at the fifteen minute point). and then at 35 minute start teasing finishes. with a pretty great final five minutes. For some reason they decide to do a spot where Shamrock headbutts the back of Funakis head with Funaki trying to reverse headbutt in retaliation. just an absolutely nasty sequence that they go for a couple times in the match. I'd like to see these two go under twenty minutes.

PAS: Shamrock also punches Funaki in the back of the head a couple of times which is really nasty. Alot of the matwork is really fun, but alot of it is kind of dull too. I did love the finish as Funaki is moving into a bunch of different submissions, Shamrock fighting hard, until finally get caught in a really nasty triangle. Shamrock does a great job post match selling too, as he looks like he is going to puke.


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Monday, November 06, 2006

PRO WRESTLING FUJIWARA-GUMI SHOW #8 1/15/92

Kazuo Takahashi v. Wellington Wilkins Jr.

TKG: This was my second time seeing Takahashi in PWFG. First time was getting shoot KOd by Shamrock. Second time is this. Phil's write ups made me expect him to be a fun jobber, then he ends up winning this. He had a couple neat sequences but he didn't do a lot that interested me. Wellington Wilkins on the other hand continues to be awesome. Do I need to rewatch his series against Yone Genjin? My favorite Wilkins spot are his short headbutts from the mount.

PAS: Takahashi does take kind of big beating here. Wilkins is really great at working rough, and kind of smacks around Takahashi. Takahashi had a lot more offense in this then he normally does, and he isn't as good at controlling as he is at taking a beating. Wilkins is great everytime out, and I would love to see him show up in some random indy again.

Naoki Sano v. Jerry Flynn

TKG: This was my second time seeing Flyn in PWFG. And fuck do I need to rewatch his series against Goldberg. Flynn's selling of Sano's KOs was surprisingly great and well Sano was just amazing. Flynn has the harder strikes and is taller but Sano can either get inside of Flyn's reach to hit his stuff or gets outside of Flynn's range, neutralizing Flyn's height. If Flyn's at the wrong distance and tries for a kick, Sano can just take him down with ease. Flynn makes a bunch of attempts at takedowns of his own but Sano can block those. The finish was fucking spectacular.

PAS: If Teddy Atlas was calling this match he would talk about the difference in how the guys can win. Sano has multiple ways to win, he can use his hand speed to win exchanges, and he can take Flynn down and submit him. Flynn only has one way to win, he has big power and can knock Sano out with big shots. Sano can either be too close for Flynn to land his big kicks, or he can use his speed to dodge them on the outside. Where Sano can't be, is in that no-man's land, neither all the way out, or all the way in. When he is in that no-man's land, at the end of Flynn's shots where he can't counter, then he gets drilled. Sano outthinks Flynn at the end, as Flynn had gotten a near KO with a brutal enzugiri earlier in the match, Flynn goes for it again, but Sano ducks and immediatly slaps on a knee bar for the finish. Really fun match, and Sano really looks like the best wrestler in the world at this point.

Minoru Suzuki v. Yusuke Fuke

TKG: This was really one sided with Suzuki just going for one thing after another to score the submission. Everything he did was cool enough to have me popping for whole thing.

PAS: The finish was great as he gets a crossarmbreaker which Fuke tries to roll out of, but Suzuki traps the leg to keep him from rolling. Not much of a match but what was there was fun.

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Bart Vale

TKG: Fujiwara kept this on the ground for the most part. Fujiwara would control, Vale would escape but pretty much kept on the ground. Really really fun for the most part. I liked Fujiwara's sell of the Vale kicks during standup but crowd I think took them as comedy...not really sure. I liked alot of the stuff where Vale tried to avoid getting his arms locked.

PAS: Fujiwara really felt to me almost Fuchish here as he seemed to be almost torturing Vale, grinding his arm across Vale's eyes, and really twisting his bodyparts. Vale's shitty kicks really hurt this, as most of it was very good, but the dramatic finish fell flat, as Vale's kicks just didn't hit hard. It almost felt like Fujiwara just took him down and tapped him right after the crowd laughed. Like he might have called an audible.

Wayne Shamrock v. Masakatsu Funaki

TKG: Was the Japanese Jeff Amdur calling this match. first ten minutes was Shamrock riding and Funaki unable to make any real escape. They make the "ten minutes have past" announcement and suddenly Funaki is able to escape and take a bit of control. Fifteen more minutes in and I was thinking they're building to an hour draw...they make the "25 minutes have past" announcement and suddenly they go for the hot finish section with quick stand up exchanges. I'm convinced every other momentum shift after that was precipitated by time announcements. some cool spots but nothing that made me want to watch these two main event again.

PAS: I really liked their match from show #4, which I described as workrate shootstyle. This was worked way slower then that, and it felt like they needed to be working more of a juniors sprint style. The opening 10 minutes really went nowhere, and while they did have flashes of what made their first match so entertaining, they didn't kick it into gear until the last five minutes. The ending really felt abrupt, which isn't how you want to work a draw.


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