Segunda Caida

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

Friday, March 30, 2007

PHIL'S UPDATED 2007 MOTY LIST

1. John Cena v. Umaga WWE 1/28
2. MNM v. Hardy Boyz WWE 1/28
3. Briscoes v. Ricky Marvin/Kontaro Suzuki NOAH 1/21
4. Takeshi Sasaki v. Yuki Miyamoto BJW 3/14
5. Shinjiro Ohtani/Takao Omori/Kazunari Murakami v. Kohei Sato/Hirotaka Yokoi/Yoshiro Takayama Zero 1 1/19
5. Necro Butcher v. Toby Klein CZW 1/13
6. Chris Benoit v. Chavo Guerrero WWE 1/16


5. Necro Butcher v. Toby Klein CZW 1/13

This is one of those match ups in wrestling, much like Santo v. Blue Panther, Steamboat v. Flair, Ishikawa v. Ikeda, which is consistently great every time it happens. This is one of the lesser works in their oeuvre. You have the real CZW booking, where CZW Coachman comes out and tells Necro and Klein that Toby has to prove his worth, so this match is worked sort of genially for something this brutal. Now like most Necro matches this had some absolutely insane bumps, Necro eats a powerbomb off a ramp, Klein gets back suplexed on set up chairs, Necro eats a DVD on a chair, but it isn’t the bumps that really make the match. Both guys are really great at filling space between the bumps. Either by recklessly chucking chairs or exchanging haymakers, the middle stuff is better then the crazy shit. Still the amiability of it really hurts the match, I want to see these guys in a blood feud, that is when they will truly break out a transcendent match.

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

HAMADA UWF #2 3/2/90

Shoji Akiyoshi v. Masonari Murakawa

PAS: Young Sasuke is basically getting squashed at this point, as young Jado stiffs and beats him quickly. I think the story with Sasuke is that he was trust fund rich kid, and he is getting beaten on like a trust fund kid trying to break into wrestling.

TKG: I thought Sasuke bought a gold statue of himself. That’s a kind of tacky Tony Montana move…not really the type of thing you do if you’re actually born to wealth. Really Sasuke is a pretty tacky guy lots of ways. It’s possible that over the course of his career he concussed the class out of himself. No concussion here but did feel like Jado was taking him to the grocery store: “Learn to loose like common people”.

Monkey Magic Watika v. Black Aidoman

PAS: This wasn’t as good as baby Gedo v. baby Jado from the previous show, as baby Delfin just isn’t as good at this point. There is some fun bumping by Aidoman, and his offense looked good. Seems weird because I don’t remember Gedo being this good 3 years later.

TKG: This had feeling like they were given too much time and they tried too much but yeah Gedo surprises. The early section with Delfin throwing non contact dropkicks which Gedo bumped huge for was kind of ugly. But I had a real sense of Gedo as guy controling and putting a match together.

Bison Kimura v. Xochi Hamada

TKG: Is it really a joshi match if there are no neckbridges and no screaming? I mean there may have been one pin where Hamada neck bridged out, and Hamada did scream when Kimura bit her foot. But essentially this was worked like Leilani Kai vs. Starla Sexton at the state fair. They wouldn’t be given this much time at the state fair. Promoter might tell them to go long while he waits for Austin Idol to show up. This was given too much time and Hamada started blowing lots of stuff.

PAS: The ropes were really loose and I think Hamada blowing stuff can partly be attributed to the shitty ropes. Kimura was fun beating on Hamada, I especially liked her stomps. Still this wasn’t much of a match and was a thousand minutes long.

Shu El Guererro/Black Terry v. Kendo/Blackman

PAS: This was exactly what you want from a fourth from the top tag. Kendo and Blackman have some really fun spots, and both rudos bump and stooge like champs. Kendo is a guy with out a ton of substance, but has some serious flash. Black Terry is such an asskicker, there is a section where they trap Blackman in the corner and you have some black on black violence so bad that someone should call Bill Cosby.

TKG: Kendo is super super fast here. He isn’t as good as guy eating opponent’s offense as he is as guy running through his own spots. But majority of match was spent with the rudos eating stuff and getting outwitted, so not much of a problem. Kendo does a spectacular dropkick where he spreads his legs and simultaneously knocks both Terry and Shu out of ring. It looks like no one has tightened the ropes and Shu does a nice job protecting Blackman from dieing on his top rope arm drag. Shu grabs at Blackman’s legs and makes it look like he’s trying to prevent Blackman from hitting his spot, while actually holding Blackman up.

Super Astro/Lizmark v. Jose Luis Feliciano/Espanto Jr.

TKG: Aw fuck Super Astro is the most spectacular wrestler in the world. This starts with some Super Astro going through his signature stuff with Espanto Jr while Lizmark matches up with Feliciano. They switch up half way into match and Super Astro matches up with Feliciano while Lizmark gets paired with Espanto Jr. When they switch pairings you really don’t want to see the Lizmark/Espanto Jr sections as they are a mess. But this is all about Super Astro. They still haven’t tightened the ropes which are sub foxy boxing loose at this point and you realize the degree to which Super Astro can just launch himself from standing position and doesn’t need the ropes to do most of his big spots. Lizmark is really handicapped. Super Astro doesn’t do his fake (the 619 inspiration) but just hits one beautiful back tope and flip after another.

PAS: Lizmark still hits all of his spots, they just look super dangerous because he looks like he is going to land wrong, but they all come off. Espanto Jr. isn’t very good, there is a point where he breaks out an insane looking tombstone, which was completely out of place in this match, and which Lizmark doesn’t really sell. Tom is right about Super Astro. He is incredible and he does a tope rope dive into a tope which is breathtaking. Feliciano was pretty great too, as he took everything really well, and had amazing clotheslines for a luchadore.

Negro Casas v. Yoshihiro Asai

PAS: Casas is a complete pleasure to watch in everything he does. At this point Asai was an over green babyface with some nice spots, kind of like a paunchier Mistico. Casas does a better job carrying Asai here, then anyone ever has carrying Mistico. The opening matwork was especially impressive considering that really isn’t what Casas is known for, or really what Asai is either. The finish felt a little abrupt, and they definitely want to make me see the hair match they challenged for.

TKG: This wasn’t nearly as heated as their sections in the trios match from the last show. Still pretty fun. Negro keeps getting taken to the floor and then bailing before Asai can dive. Eventually he gets stuck and Asai hits this nutty over the top rope flying forearm. Casas hits a top turnbuckle dive too. But this is mostly kept in ring and on the mat.

Gran Hamada v. Perro Aguayo

PAS: Man alive was this fun, Aguayo just exudes asskicker more then anyone else his size in wrestling history. He totally beats the shit out of Hamada here, throwing rows of chairs on him, hitting him with bottles, busting him open. Meanwhile Hamada is getting in some really great babyface comebacks. Aguayo goes over super strong winning two straight falls and just destroying Hamada in the second fall. His double stomp off the top is the end all be all of double stomps.

TKG: The brawling in the crowd was just awesome. I mean I have seen enough joshi that I should be immune to “wrestler gets tossed headfirst into row of chairs” spots. But Hamada gets tossed headfirst into row of chairs and the force of the toss flips him over that row and he takes another bump on the next row. Aguayo then just picks up the chairs wallops Hamada with the row and then tosses the row of chairs at the fans. Hamada leans into everything and there really is no need to lean into Aguayo’s boots to the face. He doesn’t need help making it look like he’s knocking his opponents face off.

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PHIL'S UPDATED 2007 MOTY LIST

1. John Cena v. Umaga WWE 1/28
2. MNM v. Hardy Boyz WWE 1/28
3. Briscoes v. Ricky Marvin/Kontaro Suzuki NOAH 1/21
4. Takeshi Sasaki v. Yuki Miyamoto BJW 3/14
5. Shinjiro Ohtani/Takao Omori/Kazunari Murakami v. Kohei Sato/Hirotaka Yokoi/Yoshiro Takayama Zero 1 1/19
6. Chris Benoit v. Chavo Guerrero WWE 1/16

4.Takeshi Sasaki v. Yuki Miyamoto BJW 3/14

Boy Ultimo Dragon is really some kind of twisted genius. Listen to the girls scream for Miyamoto and you realize that even deathmatch promotions are relying on blow-job wrestlers. Of course in deathmatch promotions pretty doesn’t stay pretty. Look at Sasaki he was a good looking guy at one point and now he has scars all over his face and is starting to get that death match belly. Miyamoto is a guy I haven’t seen much of before, but he was pretty great here. He is amazing underdog babyface, spunky underdog is a pretty standard role in Japanese wrestling, but Miyamoto does it as well as anyone I have seen in a while.

A lot of the Big Japan matches tend to get into overkill, where you are watching for nothing but crazy shit and not the match. Miyamoto really kept the match together, you got the sense this was his big shot and he was going to die on his shield. This really made me buy kickouts that would normally take me out of a match. The crazy move through the scaffold, should normally end a match, but since Miyamoto never did anything but bleed after it, it didn’t kill me. There also was pretty good selling throughout although there was a couple time where a guy would go back on offense a little too quick. Also the double stomp off the scaffold felt like a throw away move, and took some steam away from the big spots off the scaffold at the end. Still the best Japanese death match I have seen in quite a while, and I want to see way more of Miyamoto.


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Saturday, March 24, 2007

TNA iMPACT wORKRATE rEPORT 3/9/07

WHAT WORKED:

-Hey its Hector Guerrero. Cool. I’ve recently watched his Mid South stuff where the Guerreros represent Spanish aristocracy and Hector throws hot sauce in the eye of working class Hispanic Jose Lothario. Dundee/Lothario/Brickhouse Brown vs. Landel/Guerreros is pretty sweet. Chavo and Hector buy Jim Cornette off with golden pesos to help them against the RnR Xpress. Somewhere I have a tape of the Robert Fuller/Gordon Solie post Continental fed where Hector turns on Todd Morton by throwing hot chile in his eye. The whole period of WCW Worlwide when they brought in Hector to work against their green US juniors is pretty sweet. Hector rules. It’s ridiculous that this fed has Bob Backlund and Hector Guerrero available and isn’t running Bob Backlund vs. Hector Guerrero. This whole show was built around trios matches. Not well worked trios matches but trios matches. Those trios could have used veteran anchors. The only two things that draw in America independents are nostalgia feds and lucha. Vince Russo is an idiot and doesn’t realize that it’s MidAtlantic/Memphis nostalgia that draws. Instead Russo’s brought in Backlund and Johnny Rodz. I don’t think 70s WWWF nostalgia is a draw anywhere. If it was a draw it would be in the old WWWF territory and not Florida/Detroit/St.Louis TNA locations. I remember when WCW was in I think either the Omni or Charlotte and Russo brought out wrestling “legends” Tito Santana, and George Steele to no pop. Russo is an idiot. Still Hector is a guy who actually worked both St Louis and Florida.My guess is we won’t get Hector wrestling and only get this one bit of mic work. But still: Hector Guerrero on the mic~! I’ve always liked Hector Guerrero on the mic. He’s going to be added to the Spanish announce team. His little bit in Spanish hypeing the show was pretty solid and he’s going to be a nice addition. I wonder if they’ll ever have him turn heel on Moody Jack by throwing hot sauce in Jack’s eye. TNA’s Hispanic Legacy Foundation maybe the most carny bullshit charity ever. I was disappointed that they didn’t put up a PO Box for donations.

WHAT DIDN’T WORK:

-Hey remember when Cornette explaining the booking and match making of the main events used to be one of the show highlights? He’d come out in front of the live audience and act as this surrogate giving the fans the matches “that they want”. Now he’s filmed in a backstage skit filling out the undercard with one stupid gimmick match after another.

-Hey remember when I used to write about how TNA should go to an all trios format? TNA was consistently putting out good trios matches on free TV. 6-Man tag is a good way to hide weak wrestlers. There are a ton of 6 man tag formulas. Formulas that allow for clean finishes without hurting anyone. Well this week they ran an all trios show and all of the 6 man matches were bad…none of them helped any of the participants. All of these felt like joined in progress segunda caidas. Roode, Young, Storm v. Lethal, Dutt, and Williams was just a mess where they couldn’t figure out how to pace the thing to move back and forth between the stalling and the work..and it just felt all over the place. The main event was built around a goofy bait and switch, which never made any sense either. Why run the bait and switch? Was that supposed to add drama? Main event again just collection of stuff happening a ridiculous run in by AJ Styles, and then a really shitty “Please Don’t Stop” everyone does big moves finish leading to a Abyss DQ ending. Watching that match made me not want to see any of the possible singles matchups ever. I guess in defense of these matches, 6 man format feels like it keeps guys from completely exposing themselves the way they would in a three, four, five way etc. But still… And well really not much to say about VKM vs. Serotonin. I mean that was just a squash. Even in a squash there is no reason to have Billy Gunn do the bulk of work in a match. So Raven has decided to give all these guys gimmick names based on 90s New Jersey indy workers? Tenay: “Win, loose or draw they get post match caning.” Win?? When have they won? And draw???

-“Abyss is Crazy” “He’s Snapped!!!”---you can’t have your crazy character snap. His gimmick is that he’s crazy. He’s been snapped for three years now. It’s no longer shocking. “Oh no the guy who was institutionalized and wears a mask is acting nutty.” Man this show was all about exposing the problems with the Abyss character. Exposing the stupidity of his moves, the poor quality of his acting and the poor quality of the writing of his character.

Socal Val takes a nice bump on the Black Hole slam…but seeing her take it just served to remind you that it’s essentially a swing dance move. She’s pretty tanned for a swing dance revivalist, as those girls tend to be paler than the palest rockabilly goth. But still that green dress and that color of red hair and watch Abyss lift her and swing her. Abyss is too small to be believable as Vince Vaughan but yeah he might make a fine John Favreu. Repackaging Abyss as swing dance revivalist might not be a bad move. It would also explain his little Charleston shuffle across the ring thing. I don’t know if you could explain away his arm crossing as jazz hands. He would need a better tailored vest, too.

Chirstian really captured the right tone talking to Abyss about the loss of a father figure but watching Abyss try to do his mime of various stages of grief, reflection and anger exposed both the shittyness of Abyss and the stupidity of the writing. So around 92-93 I took a class on 18th/19th century melodrama. I don’t remember a ton about the class and I think I probably failed it. I do remember that there was a piece of critical writing built on “a physical handicap theory of theatre” where every theatric genre is built on a handicap.. Tragedy is represented by blindness, comedy by deafness, melodrama by muteness and I forgot what form of theatre dealt with cripples. I do remember that the theory was taken seriously enough that people wrote about how the interest in mental handicaps in the 20th Century changed the nature of the stories at the center of theater/cinema. Really I’ve seen Gilligan get hit with a coconut far too many times to be able to read serious scholarship on 20th Century social breakdowns manifested by fears of amnesia as represented in popular culture. So I remember that and I remember the stuff about how early melodrama was built around hiring pantomimes and acrobats to avoid actors unions (similar to development of reality programming to avoid writers unions). Melodrama historically developed from pantomime and the issues that melodrama does and does not address can be traced to issues that can and cannot be addressed in mime. Mime is concerned with verbs, not adjectives, adverbs or nouns or some such. . And so I read a bunch on the issues that mime cannot deal with. Mime of course deals with the physical not the psychological. Mime is about things in the present tense not reflections on the past. Deals in the concrete not abstract, etc. The reason I remember this point is because I spent the entire semester filling my notebooks up with doodles of Red Skelton and Marcel Marceau being tortured in Hell as S Clay Wilson style demons demanded that they mime things that are impossible to mime. Elaborate drawings of demons demanding “Mime ‘I used to be virtuous’, mime ‘” Drawings of Skelton crying at his inability to perform task of performing “art is difficult” in mime. Demon “Mime “formerly my father was an ambitious man but now he’s resigned to life of toil’” …”Mime ‘ My mother gave me an example of devotion and self sacrifice’ “ . These are things that are impossible to express though mime. Concepts such as virtue, or complexity of art…backstories about relatives or characters reflections on the lot of relatives really can’t be pulled off.

Abyss isn’t a good mime. He’s a shitty mime. Every show he crosses his hands in front of his face and pushes against the invisible box that is holding him captured. Not once do I believe that either he’s stuck in a box or that his character believes himself to be stuck in a box. He’s an awful mime. He’s such an awful mime that I think it has saved Russo from some of the criticism that Russo deserves. Russo has written a story built around Abyss’ having to be reflective about his past experiences with his father and his current loss of surrogate father. Even a good mime couldn’t pull off the material Russo has given him.


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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

TNA iMPACT wORKRATE rEPORT 3/2/07

WHAT WORKED:

-Sometimes Don West’s clothing choice is really ridiculously Vegasy and ugly. Other times he dresses like the worlds greatest fashion conscious black deacon. Tonight he was in full on deacon territory with the reddish orange silk shirt with white cuffs and collar and full on matching tie.

-I liked Tomko v Joe. Tomko’s offense has gotten better looking and he still eats stuff well. The neck vice in match this short is full on RAW level silly and wow Samoa Joe is loosing a lot since the end of his undefeated streak. I thought loosing to Angle was supposed to have made him “tempered and forged”…instead it just leads to more meaningless throw away losses. Really get the sense that a one shot Tomko appearance in NYC ROH match v Joe would have been really good. An FIP match would have been really great too. Maybe they’ll be given time to do a long match in UWF or whatever touring TNA promotion they get running.

-OK so I really loved the Homicide beat down and attack on Johnny Rodz. Homicide when given the mic in this context is pretty great and violent. There is this story I’ve heard a couple times told by ex-SNCC folks about when Bayard Rusten was trying to recruit among a group of young militant blacks. The militant guys called out Rusten and argued for the need for revolution. Rusten, the organizer, carefully started to sketch out a plan for how one would accomplish a violent revolution; how you would need to keep the planning secret, how you would need to develop fronts for revolution, how you would need to carefully police your secret society, weed out snitches and possible informants, etc. Basic gist was that violent revolution would require you to kill a whole lot of your own people before you even started getting anything off the ground. I don’t know if it’s an apocryphal story or not but still neat story about nature of non-violent resistance (there’s also a really neat story about Rusten supposedly knowing that the civil rights movement was being infiltrated by FBI and saying something along the lines of “yeah those guys were really efficient workers. We put those agents in charge of stuff no one else would do”). So Homicide attacking fellow Puerto Rican Johnny Rodz was kind of poignant. In order to enact a revolution you have to take down a lot of your own, you can stop a revolutionary but can’t stop a revolution, to live and die in LAX. Sad and poignant. I mean having your comedy videographer film a serious violent beat down is incredibly stupid. Other people own cameras. Homicide referred to Channel 5150 and not Paparazzi Productions. The idea that Shelley is only guy in promotion with access to video camera is stupid. At least this time there was a lot of arty editing in the video of attack. The attack on BuhBuh’s Italian Uncle was filmed security footage style, here there was a lot of MTV style editing because “filmmaking is a passion”of Alex’s. Also the introduction of mentor of D-Von who has never been mentioned before in same episode the mentor gets attacked is stupid. Rodz is a father figure for D-Von? I didn’t know that? I’m supposed to feel for Devon because of an attack on a relationship of his that I had never known anything about? This relationship that has never been mentioned before. What happened to Samoa Joe’s girlfriend anyway? She might have been Rodz trained too for all I know. Is Samoa Joe also angry? So lots of reasons that this angle is stupid. But Homicide’s mic work combined with the violence and the subtext behind an attack on Puerto Rican in the name of a revolution built on Hispanic unity…all made this work for me.

-I kind of liked Joe’s mic work setting up his match with Christian and his mic work telling Abyss to man up. I kind of liked Buh-Buh/Alex Shelley interaction. Amusing version of Serch v. Dasit. Maybe was pedantic KRS-1. Maybe it was Buh Buh as Bill Cosby lecturing these young hip hoppers about the evils of their materialistic druggy existence? "Not like when I was growing up and we were respectful and I hung out with Ray Charles and jazz heads at the Playboy mansion, there was no misogyny or drugs there." Ehh, I can't come up with the right analogy. I don’t know what the right comparison is but Buh-Buh as pedantic KRS-1 is better than Buh-Buh as angry Italian Glen Reynolds. Alex Shelley as obnoxious chicken shit heel begging off “Filmmaking is my passion, see I went through art school” was also pretty amusing.

WHAT DIDN’T WORK:

-Ok so having your comedy midcard gimmick filming your serious violent angle is stupid but it worked for me. But having Buh Buh no sell and pinball Homicide and Hernandez around the ring and only sell for the comedy midcard guy is absolutely idiotic. Homicide and Hernandez are involved in a “serious” blood feud with team 3D. Nash is a character who provides comic relief and Alex Shelley is working a comedy heel gimmick. Buh-Buh sells nothing for the people who he’s engaged in a serious blood feud with. Instead he sells fear of Nash and a low blow from Alex Shelley. This is backassward, and embarrassing.

-I think part of the reason that Joe’s mic work came off well was that he didn’t have mood music played behind it. I mean the “Massacre in New York” video had all kinds of editing and that made sense because Alex Shelly went to art school and all. Sting does a promo where the strings and mood music completely drowned and distracted from anything he was saying. Chris Harris did a promo where some rejected ER/House type medical show’s theme song was getting played louder and louder. And I missed half of what he said because someone was flat lining. Someone (but not Shelly…are they going to bring in Mareck Brave as Shelly’s film school rival?) was filming the humiliation of Eric Young with Benny Hill theme on calliope playing endlessly. Am I supposed to laugh at Young’s humiliation or feel sympathy? At least Joe got to do his backstage mic work without being drowned out by music. I will also point out that Abyss miming reflection and contemplation really shat on the Joe mic work. And was tempted to put the whole thing on the bottom. If you thought Abyss crossing his arms and bugging out his eyes to sell “I’m crazy” was shitty, wait till you see Abyss cocking his head, squinting and rolling his eyes back to sell “I’m pensive”.

-For a guy who is all about working 50-50 matches Angle sure isn’t doing anything to put Steiner over in their brawls. The formula with Steiner v Joe was that two would stand toe to toe exchanging blows while security would come and they’d do lots of pull aparts to build up heat for the actual match. The first Samoa Joe v Angle PPV match (the one that actually drew) was built up the same way. I like pull aparts. Liked Don Frye and UFO in New Japan, liked the pull aparts that would end every Zero-One show in their first year of existence. They build heat. Angle and Steiner aren’t having pull aparts. Angle is beating up and manhandling Steiner. Steiner gets his buddies to come over and they “play the numbers game” so Steiner and them can take advantage. Or this week Steiner just has security pull Angle off him. Steiner talks shit about Angle Angle comes in takes Steiner down and beats on him until security pulls Angle off. Steiner stiffed the hell out of one of the guys working security but he gets no shots in on Angle. Angle wants to get at Steiner and pretty much the story they are telling is that if only Angle can get Steiner alone Angle would have his way with him. Are they building to a cage match? Before they build to their first actual normal match? They’ve done absolutely nothing to make me believe that Steiner can stand toe to toe opposite Angle. Nothing. No reason to want to see this match. I mean they are doing stuff stolen straight from both guys’ series with Joe : Steiner wasting a Natural, Angle snapping and attacking authority (although it should be said again that the Angle snaps stuff didn’t draw last time). But it’s pretty clear that they have no idea of what worked previously. Pull apart brawls only work when BOTH guys are going at it.

-This was a weird episode of TNA in that normally I have no idea how the audience entertains themselves. I mean they have to spend 80% of the show watching backstage stuff taking place on monitors. They have to wait through that to get a couple of shitty three minute matches. What’s the advantage of watching that live as opposed to on TV? This week my sense is that the X division 6 man might have been actively good live. Pretty much had two good teams. I mean Sabin isn’t much but he’s pretty much kept to jabs and heeling at this point and well Jerry Lynn was kept out of ring for most part. So most of this was Senshi/Lehtal v Shelly/Starr. It looked like Shelly and Starr had a nice section working Lethal over as face in peril and it looked like they had a nice build to finish and endrun through the finish section. And I love a "This is Awesome "match that ends with a roll up. Match looked to be about ten to twelve minutes long and like it might have been good if we actually saw it. Unfortunately we didn’t see it as they go to commercial after first minute, come back four minutes later and then the camera keeps on going to the announcers table for a good chunk of match. I could almost make the match out. But I felt like a teenager watching Playboy channel on scramble-vision. Every three minutes maybe I’ll get to see a 20-30 second shot of actual action. Ki/Backlund v Starr/Rodz could be really great parejas increibles.

-There is no way to realistically gore someone off a scaffold. Why advertise something that you can’t possibly do?


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tNA iMPACT wORKRATE rEPORT 2/22/07

So cleaning up desktop and realized that in moving last workrate report from notepad to the website the line"Sojourner Truth flashing guys at Freaknik "Ain't I a woman"" was left out. Don't remember if that was deliberate ( I mean at this point Freaknik is about as dated a joke as you can make) or just an accident in cutting and pasteing.

WHAT WORKED:

None of the matches were actively good. But I’m using the Russo in TNA standard where I point out that all of them where functional and none made you want to vomit. The Kip James, BG James, Lance Hoyt v Eric Young, Robert Roode, James Storm match was way too short to be considered a match but they kept the worker on the face team (BG James) in for the bulk of it, with Hoyt getting a couple seconds in and I don’t think Kip ever got in ring. BG works a LA Park comedy segment with Eric Young and works a wrestling section with James Storm good enough that I kind of want to see them in a singles match. The main event ladder match wasn’t as messy as you’d expect, nothing really memorable but nothing awful either. It was really worked to protect Lynn and portray him on a higher level than the rest of the participants. It’s ridiculous but if that’s the booking, than the match made sense within the booking. TNA is bringing in a bunch of veteran U.S. junior heavyweights and watching this I got the impression that Lynn may have enough stuff that he can probably be controlled and carried to something good by Hector or Rodz. I don’t get why you repackage Dudleys as Italians. I mean if you’re doing a “New York City Style Latino v. Italain Gang Warfare” angle LAX v. Marco Corleone/Johnny Stamboli could be really great. Fuck Itallion Stallion/Angel Armani vs. LAX would also be really good and way better than LAX v 3D. I don’t ever want to see Team 3D v. LAX again. One could point out that you shouldn’t run a match where Devon works face in peril and Buh-Buh works hot tag. But honestly Devon wasn’t working “face in peril” as being “face in peril”would require selling. Hence “in peril”. Devon never sold for LAX and well this was as much a one sided squash as all the other TV matches in this series. But the strap match format saved it as Devon laid down for the straps…and it’s the old “when match in ring isn’t good distract with a lot of extraneous stuff outside of ring” formula. That formula worked here.

-I liked the Andre Rison stuff but you really can't do two special celbrity involvement angles on one show. I want to make a Rison should be feuding with Chris Harris joke. On the one hand the joke is too easy and obvious, on the other it would be ridiculous not to make it. So just mentioning it here, you make it yourself.

WHAT DIDN'T WORK:

The rest of the stuff on the show stank. They are trying to build four big matches for the PPV: AJ Styles v Rhino, Abyss v Sting, Samoa Joe v. Christian and Angle v Steiner. They manage to fuck up the promotion of all of them.

AJ Styles comes out to introduce his new innovation the elevation X match. Huh? Why is the chickenshit heel coming out to announce that he’s invented a really dangerous match and issuing an open challenge to anyone who wants to answer? Rhino comes out to answer challenge and AJ runs. Why is chickenshit heel debuting a dangerous match and giving open challenges? Stupid. Tenay and West were particularly annoying during this whole opening segment as they seemed to be working in some sort of call and response cadence around AJ’s mic work. AJ would say “I’m on top of the world”, Tenay would say “He may be on top of the world, now”. Why are they doing call and response? It was annoying. I guess it’s impressive that AJ was able to time his pauses right but it was just annoying. Let the guy talk without commenting. The Tenay/West call and response stuff felt very scripted so I’m blaming the writers and not Tenay/West here.

Samoa Joe is challenging Christian for the world title and a chunk of his mic work is dedicated to talking about how he’s been "tempered and forged" by loosing his series with Angle. Umm when did Angle become Dusty. Samoa Joe is challenging for the title, why mention the series that he came out loosing on the way to the title challenge? “Loosing in the program against Angle has gotten me really ready to challenge for the title”??? That’s dumb.

I think they were trying for something serious and somber with the mesh "death bed" but all I could think of was the nightclub scene at the begining of "The Hunger". Why is Demolition Ax feuding with Abyss? Filming Sting laying down really makes his face look rounder and emphasizes his widows peak. Laying down in a jacket also makes him look fat. That all combined with his current one side up other side down makeup really had me thinking it was Ax. I’ve said a lot of positive things about Sting’s mic work over last couple months. But his mic work introducing the death bed match was just shitty. Really felt like the type of embarrassing goth mic work I expect out of Raven. Goth Demolition might be amusing. This wasn’t. Abyss acting crazy is really hokey and you’d think Abyss choking Borash wouldn’t be as dull. How much would it cost to get Peter Murphy to sing “Here comes the ax, here comes the smasher, demolition is a walking disaster”?

I love me some contract signing. Love Dusty signing a contract with the Assassin. All the clichés: the challenges, the shit talking, the briefcase, the signing, the upturned table-- I dig all that shit. And they hit most of the spots here. But they fucked up with the “shit talking”.

They fucked up the “shit talking”! How do you fuck up the “shit talking”? Shit talking should be the easiest thing in the world. Ideally you drop a grand on some blow have both guys pull some lines and then Steiner yells shit incomprehensibly and then Angle mumbles shit incomprehensibly and you bleep out the cursing and pray that neither guy’s heart explodes. But you don’t need to do that. You really don’t need much for successful contract signing shit talking: “I’m gonna beat your ass”; “Screw You!”; “Screw You Harder!”; “You suck!”; “Well you suck harder “ ; table gets flipped. It’s that easy. Nothing fancy just needs to convey two guys who want to rip at each other.

Instead they had Angle and Steiner exchange insida shoot comments. Their mic work managed to emasculate both of them.I’ve written before about how “shoot”comments need to be extensions of character and not just insider stuff thrown out for color.

People seem to forget that Brian Pillman’s gimmick wasn’t “guy who shares backstage gossip”. No. That’s the Mean Gene hotline’s gimmick. Pillman’s gimmick was out of “control crazy unpredictable guy”. His “talking out of turn”/shooting was a way of demonstrating his unpredictability. Shane Douglas’ gimmick wasn’t guy who “shared insider gossip” either. Shane Douglas gimmick was guy obsessed with his own self importance. Part of the way he demonstrated that was through shoots where he placed himself at the center of wrestling history. Steiner’s gimmick is similar to Pillman’s. Uncontrollable drugged up crazy. You kill that sense of uncontrolableness by giving him the kind of really scripted insider coffee line that Russo gave him. His gimmick is guy who will say anything…not guy slipping in carefully worded witty insider comments. The shooting is part of the “you can’t predict what he’s going to say or do” gimmick. Overly scripting him as guy who shares insider information really is regimicking him as Mean Gene’s hotline. Mean Gene isn’t threatening to anyone. Scripted Steiner really was Mean Gene trying to impress Harold Ross at the Algonquin Round table. That’s about as emasculated as you can get.

So Steiner does a really overly insida shoot scripted line about gold medals and a cup of coffee, which incenses Angle so much that he does a insida shoot line about how the “business no longer needs money hungry egotistical whiny bitches”. Not that Angle hates “whiny bitches” or that “whiny bitches” affect him in any way. Instead that Angle is emasculated frustrated middle manager who worries about how other people’s workplace attitudes affect the “business” at large.

So instead of getting across two guys who want to rip ate each they managed to do mic work that conveyed two completely emasculated guys.

So who are the insider shoot comments aimed at?

Some time ago WWE moved Shane Helms to Smackdown and gave him the gimmick of being guy disliked backstage. I don’t know if it was a rib on Batista or what the idea was, but Helms’ heel gimmick was guy who didn’t show proper respect to other people in the locker room. Nobody cares about that shit other than the folks in the locker room. About a month into gimmick Shane Helms started heeling himself on the crowd and on his in ring opponents. That gets some response. Guy who thinks he’s better than/disrespectful toward audience or toward opponent gets a heel response. Why should the audience care one way or another about the guy who is disrespectful to folks backstage? Is there a reason I should be upset that Shane Helms kayfabed Scotty 2 Hotty? “Damn him he should have shaken Scotty’s hand”

I’m a fan; I’m not in the biz. Why should I care if someone’s whiny backstage? I’ve written a ton of critical things about Shawn Michaels. I’ve never criticized him for thinking it was funny to force Sunny to eat his feces. Nope I criticize him for boring me in his matches. How he acts backstage doesn’t affect that. I have heard lots of stories about the hazing Kawada put Omori through. Kawada is a great wrestler who entertains me. Why should the audience care that someone is whiny or a douchebag to their colleagues? The audience is made up of audience members. The audience is not made up of road agents. They don’t need to worry about backstage interpersonal squabbles.

Lots of times when I say that stuff doesn’t work for me, people answer that I’m not the “average fan”…and what I think doesn’t matter. "What matters is what does the average fan think”. And I’m not the average fan. I subscribe to the Observer, can watch upwards of twenty hours of wrestling in a week, and spend a lot of time thinking about professional wrestling. In today’s society that’s outcast freakish behavior. There was a point back in the DVDVR500 days where I balanced career, education , social life, and maybe 45 hours of wrestling a week. At the time I was obsessing about lots of stuff, collected 78s, first edition books, world war two era toys made out of paper due to metal rationing, various ephemera, etc. Post Hurricane Katrina I bought myself an Ipod and haven’t been tempted to go to estate sales looking for 78s or even purchased an Lp or 45. Even though I’ve changed my lifestyle so that in case of evacuation I won’t be left like the jazzmen mourning their sheet music…I still will regularly pick up wrestling dvds. So the point I’m making is that I’m crazy. And I don’t care about what wrestlers are like backstage or what Vince thinks of the Olympics. Why am I supposed to believe that the vast majority of fans who’s interest in wrestling is only casual are going to care about the minutae of backstage politics?

It also should be pointed out that if you are a fan who cares about the minutae of backstage politics, you’re probably following the “biz” closely enough to laugh at the idea that Angle is giving a speech on the evils of selfish ego driven performers creating a toxic back stage environment.

AJ Styles v Rhino in a gimmick match, Steiner v Angle, Christian v Joe in a title match, and Sting v Abyss in a gimmick match is a decent PPV card. But they managed to fill the show with stuff that managed to drain heat from all of them.


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Hamada UWF #1 3/1/90

Shoju Akiyoshi v. Black Aidoman

PAS: Akiyoshi is future Jado and I am going to guess that Aidoman is future Gedo, and this is way better then rookie Jado v. rookie Gedo should be. Really stiff which is kind of strange for a lucha promotion. Aidoman looked especially great, bumping around big and having an awesome looking five arm.

TKG: I'm not sure how Phil has decided who is who here? And I don't know about them actually being Jado and Gedo as I don't remember Jado and Gedo looking this crisp two years later. The thin guy did look like Jado and was slick on the mat and had a really pretty powerslam. The fatter guy wore green tights that said Japanese Sensation across the crotch and had the great five arm and nice strikes. The match ends with a reversal into a roll up with a comedy heel ref quick count. Followed by ref mugging claiming he was counting slow. Weird way to end an opener.

Monkey Magic Watika v. Masa Michinoku

PAS: This is Delfin (Watika) v. Sasuke (Masa) but at this point Watika is clearly above Michinoku as he just totally squashes him. Kind of lays in a beating, including a really nasty camel clutch. I kind of understand why Sasuke fucked him out of money years later, I would hold a grudge too.

TKG: This was a complete squash.

Xochi Hamada/Micka Takahashi v Bison Kimura/Grizzly Iwamato

TKG: And it is your undercard joshi match and it has all you need in a early nineties undercard joshi match: faces with dives and neck bridging out of your finishes, punk rock heels beating the shit out of the faces, kendo sticking faces while refs back is turned and then faces finally stealing the kendo sticks and going after the faces. This also had the added benefit of faces frustrated with heel cheating also kendo sticking the ref in the balls alot. The real manhandling of the ref gave this an almost US midget feel at points. Weird watching this and realizing how much our society has changed as in 2007 the punk rock girls would be faces and heels would either be the fashion conscious girly girls or goths. Bison is really fun here just absolutely stomping elbowing and beating the shit out of the faces. When she's on the apron and Grizzly is beating the faces, Bison does the distracted blowing on her nails pose which rules. Also I really liked the opening where Bison wearing singlet looked around the ring and put on a T-shirt like a self conscious chunky girl at the local pool. When girls fight at the pool, safe to bet on the girl wearing the shirt over her suit.

PAS: Yeah Bison was queensized in this, as she was beating the shit out of her opponents in a really reckless way, just throwing awkward elbows to the back of Xochi's neck, and stomping on faces. We also had a young Aja Kong at ring side looking punked out and sexy.

Blackman v Black Terry

TKG: This was really short but fun. Black Terry absolutely rules and was surprised by the degree it felt like Blackman was deferring to Black Terry and really letting Terry lay out match. Match builds in odd but really neat way. They start off kind of exchanging slams, arm drags eaten as slams, monkey flip as a throw/slam. Just everything eaten as a slam until Blackman eventually is able to monkey flip and project Terry out of ring. Terry avoids the countout gets back in and they start doing all spots that throw each other big distances. Its like a match built on building up trajectory of throws. Spots that project your opponent across ring section also ends with Terry getting monkey flipped and projected out of ring. This time Blackman follows it up with a great dive and Terry is counted out.

PAS: I kind of have trouble adjusting to these kind of singles matches. Lucha singles matches are usually either title matches or Super Libre brawls. This kind of syndie TV one fall match really isn't done much outside of tourneys. This was longer then a tourney match, but not worked like either a Super Libre brawl or a title match, so it just seemed odd. I imagine I will get used to this kind of stuff the more I watch H-UWF. Black Terry looked really great, he is a guy I always like when I see, but haven't seen enough of.

Super Astro/Kendo/Yoshinari Asai v. Negro Casas/Shu El Guerrero/ Espanto Jr.

PAS: This was what you bought the ticket for. Casas may be the best wrestler of all time, and he looks it here. He has a Eddie x2 monkey flip take, where it looks like he hovers in mid air, they are setting up Casas v. Asai and they look amazing in there interactions with each other, both the wrestling exchanges and the balls out brawling. Astro looked really great as usual, as really everyone did. I really liked the finish of a double countout after the spectacular dive train, the restart part of the match just felt off, and didn't add much to the point of the match which was to get over the Casas v. Asai match.

TKG: Match was paced really nicely with opening matish/ technical exchanges Negro Casas matching up awesomely with Super Astro, Kendo matching up with Espanto Jr and Asai matching up with Shu. Super Astro threw alot more suplexes than I was expecting and really good looking suplexes at that. You don't get as much Shu mat work as you'd want as Shu section is mostly about him trying stuff and Asai always landing on his feet. This builds up into your guys match up put opponents in submissions only to have their partners break the submissions with strikes which builds to your strke section which builds to the toss opponent out of ring and dive section. Everything really nice and moved along well. I haven't seen much Espanto Jr before this and he was fine here. I have seen alot of Shu before this and thought he underperformed but yeah this is all about Negro and Super Astro. The restart did fuck it up.

Perro Aguayo/Jose Luis Feliciano v. Gran Hamada/Lizmark

PAS:Perro Aguayo was amazing here, just a nutcase brawler, kicking people in the face, slamming chairs on folks head, punching people in grills. His mafia kicks were incredible fast and stiff, and both technicos took huge bumps on them. Seriously , fuck a Brody, Aguyao is how you play that role. Hamada was a bump fiend and had some beautiful comebacks too. Lizmark and Feleciano had their moments, but this was the Aguayo v. Hamada show. Hamada may take a posting better then anyone in wrestling history. The finish with the rudos destroying the technicos and challenging the entire crowd was totally awesome. It actually felt like something might break out.

TKG: Lizmark looked like he blew a couple of exchanges but they moved right through that. And well Hamada and Perro remind you why they are superstars. Phil wrote about how good Hamada is at eating stuff and he's really great at that but his offense is also just supergreat. there is this section where Hamada wastes Feliciano with a lariat follows it up with a nasty slam and then does one of the greatest elbow drops I've ever seen as he gets huge height, hangtime and then drops with what looked like the point of his elbow full force into Feliciano's trachia. I was totally expecting Feliciano to come up spitting blood.


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Friday, March 02, 2007

TNA iMPACT wORKRATE rEPORT 2/15/07

All Thanks should be directed to Thunder Down Under for providing me with the show.

WHAT WORKED:

-Perfectly acceptable battle royale. Nothing actively good. But nothing that made you want to vomit on your shoes. They kept people paired off for the most part so not too much guy wandering around with nothing to do. There was one mistimed sequence between Angle and Storm that left Storm wandering purposely. Is Abyss officially a tweener at this point? He faces off with other heels (AJ) eliminates heels (Sabin etc.) all the while still fighting face (Sting). There was more face eliminates face, and heel eliminates heel stuff in this then you would want if goal of battle royale is to set up future match ups/programs. I don’t really get the Eric Young doesn’t want to be a partner of the guy who was his tag partner 5 months ago thing and all the broad in ring acting in that story only made it appear stupider. They were trying to do some kind of Samoa Joe fights off the odds thing in the end with Steiner and Tomko fighting to show who was better at beating up Joe. I like the “you call that beating someone up? Let me show you how it’s done stuff" normally but this was really listless. According to Cornette, battle royale is supposed to end with final two participants in a singles match. Tomko and Joe are the final two and work a match that goes under a minute. I mean Hoyt v Abyss at end of Fight for Right battle royale episode was allowed to go three minutes and tell a story. This was a one minute of nothing. Really a waste of Tomko. Tomko otherwise had a nice strike section with Kip James, nice knee strikes in the clinch opposite Angle and eats an Angle suplex about as well as one can. His performance in the rest of battle royale really made the waste of him at the end seem even sillier. Still for battle royale, not too much meaningless wandering and Eric Young took a big bump. That’s enough to be acceptable battle royale.

-The sadness in Borash’s voice as he asks Robert Roode why he has to be so harsh on Eric Young. ‘Shut up JB he’s my bitch now.” It was moving.

WHAT DIDN’T WORK:

-ROCKY BLACKBOA~!!!: Aw so much to criticize.

One could criticize the racism and misogyny involved the portrait of the fat gold digging chickenheaded black woman with stanky whiting sandwich breath. But FUCK, it’s Russo. I’m not sure if the minstrel jiggaboo caricature might be more progressive than any of his other female caricatures. One could criticize the stupidity of running a comedy segment that mocks the poor writing, acting and production of a black B-Movie, on a show that’s this poorly written, acted and produced. I mean the joke here is supposed to be “HA HA look at how bad and stupid this segment is”. On a show that also has a poorly written fake B-level American Idol spoof where Jay Lethal does a B-level spoof of an actually famous wrestler. Show with a poorly acted, poorly written sketch where Chris Sabin impersonates a senior, etc. Show this poorly done can’t really run a segment built on concept “this is deliberately bad” when there is nothing on the rest of the show written as well as Camron’s “Killa Season” movie. It’s just stupid.

But lets ignore all that for a second. Racism, misogyny and stupidity is Russo’s bread and butter. So I’m going to ignore all that and instead focus on the point that Russo is really shitty at telling race based jokes. I mean ethnic comedy is one of Russo’s specialties but he stinks at it. “Rocky Blackboa”? “”Rocky Blackboa”? It’s an old hack joke that Russo is trying to tell. Racist jokes built on black man presumptious enough to claim the cultural trappings of whites goes back over a century. Been told by millions of wannabe comedians black and white. I want to ignore the racism and talk about the joke structure. Real issue isn't the racism of the joke but how poorly Russo tells it. “Rocky Blackboa”? How poorly does that joke read? Scan it a couple times; try to say it out loud. It’s incredibly awkward. “ A Few Good Black Men”? Read it. It’s cumbersome. He’s added an extra word which throws the rhythm off. This is easy hack joke. But the secret is to keep the original meter. You don’t just add the word black.” A Few Good Bros”, “A few Good Homies”. Neither of those are funny but at least they aren’t unfunny and cumbersome. “I dream of Black Jeanie” won’t ever register a chuckle, “I Dream of Jea-Nay-Nay” will. “RamBlackO” doesn’t work when RamBro does. You read “Bill and Ted’s Black Bogus Journey “and it’s clunky and awkward. You read “Bilal and Ty’s Crunk Journey” and instantly your head is filled with pictures of Marcus Garvey getting fit for a grill, Scott Joplin scratching out ragtime beats in front of awe struck turntablists, and George Washington Carver getting addicted to internet porn "You can do that with peanut butter?". Try to read “Rocky Blackboa” outloud. It kills the joke. “’Darkie’ Balboa” is right there… If you’re going to do an unfunny race based joke at least do it right. I mean shit there must be at least thirty unfunny fake Def Comedy Jam stand-ups with aspirations to one day be the next Shucky Ducky trolling the Orlando Funny Bones. None of them would have written a joke as cumbersome as “Rocky Blackboa”.

-I am not expecting that the Angle v Steiner matches will be any good. But I had high hopes for their verbal confrontations. I’ve read the transcripts of Angle radio interviews and was actually looking forward to crazy angry mic work between two delusional druggies. Two nut-jobs yelling nonsensical stuff at each other should rule. The Angle v Steiner confrontation was just really disappointing. Scott Steiner’s stuff doesn’t make a ton of sense but his cadence and delivery are really great and he projects heel character well. He talks a bunch about contracts and stuff, about how he wasn’t able to negotiate his contract because the promotion was so busy signing Angle and how Angle isn’t “special”..Angle hasn’t done anything Steiner hasn’t done..and that in fact Angle’s wife is regularly calling Steiner looking for sexual favors. Tenay and West are disgusted “How much can a man take?””No need to drag family into this”. And Angle comes out all incensed and I’m stoked. Was sitting their anticipating Angle coming out “Not special? I defeated Lou Thesz and Danny Hodge in an impromptu three way dance backstage at the Olympics. And when I defeat you, I’m gonna make my wife come into the ring and take a shit on your face”. Instead Angle comes out and isn’t incensed about Steiner claiming that he cuckolded him. NO. Upset about being told that he isn’t special? No. No, the thing that makes Angle upset is the insinuation that Angle came to TNA for the big money contract. “I didn’t come here for the money…I came here for the company”. Steiner just talked shit about Angle’s wife and Angle responds by talking about the nature of contract negotiating and backstage egos. Man that’s the shittyest game of dozens ever, can you picture Angle in middle school: someone tells him “Your moms a whore” and he responds”Well you’re not a good team player”.

And then they end the verbal confrontation with Angle suplexing and manhandling Steiner “with ease” until Christian and Tomko come out to make the save. Not a pull apart confrontation but rather Steiner gets manhandled and has to be saved by other heels. They ran a successful program where Angle and Samoa Joe did lots of pull aparts that led to a PPV that did big numbers. Angle really can’t deliver in ring and so once people actually saw the match up they had no desire to see it again and their next match didn’t draw. And now no one wants to see Angle v Joe again. Angle tells Joe that in order to get title match in tonight’s gauntlet “you have to go through me” and it gets no pop. No one cares anymore. I mean that’s a simple formula that you can use with Angle: Introduce new opponent--run pull apart confrontations-- which leads to PPV match—PPV match kills any desire to see more matches. Instead they have Angle toss Steiner and put him in ankle lock. Why should anyone want to see the match? This whole segment was put together by idiots. Man they really need to fire their writers and find the most hack hacks at the local black talent night at Funny Bones. Lazy Lamont, Platinum, Lewis Lewis, Hollaback, and Peanutbutter Pryor all would be smart enough to understand that all the money is in the posturing and jone’ing. Once a guy gets knocked down and his boys have to come over to rescue him, it’s over and no one cares anymore.

-There has to be a cultural studies major writing a paper “Imagining the Evil Latino” that follows all the ridiculous permutations that the LAX stable has gone through. When Canadian Scott Dámore was on the booking team, Latinos where portrayed as Quebec style separatists. Russo comes in and made a couple of completely failed attempts to do jingoism and then went with what he knows: not conflicts based on nationality but conflicts based on ethnicity. And so we have the “New York Style” Latino v. Italian feud. Honestly this is far more relevant than Damore’s booking as conflicts between old and new immigrants are very real. Of course Russo doesn’t have anything interesting to say about those conflicts. Nothing to say at all. Pretty much just his old playground power fantasies of being a “tough” New York Italian. Fantasies one assumes he formulated while pissing his pants after getting beaten up by Irish girls. Everytime the priest would come visiting, Russo would clench close his eyes and say to himself "This isn't happening. I'm a ganster. Tough New Yawk Gangster.".So while not as idiotic as Damore, still not really relevant or good. Unique Jones and Earl Earl would have one hack “Italians drive their cars like this, while Latinos drive their cars like this” routine that would be deeper than the writing here. So Italian Brother Ray brings in his actor “cousin Steve Shirpa” who threatens to get his family to whack LAX. Umm?!? This is like Sting bringing in his friend actor Peter Weller to watch his back.

Peter Weller: Sid, Ole, Arn, Flair…Dead or Alive, you’re coming with me.

-Christian isn’t as good as Jarrett at playing role of comic heel stable leader trying to keep Steiner in line. And they’re already working a dissention in Christian’s stable angle? Wasn’t AJ Styles in this stable two weeks ago? Where is he? Idiots. I tend to like arm wrestling angles. These are easy enough to do. Face dominates, heel cheats and attacks. Simple formula. Here they have face win the match cleanly and then immediately attack heel after winning…this heats up what? This was just poorly written and a big waste of time. Unique and Earl Earl probably couldn’t have saved this..as I don’t know if they could write heel black vs face Korean.
Jaquelin Moore: I feel sorry fo yo mama.
Gail Kim: What you say? You say you solly for my mother? You say you solly for my mother? Nah. It doesn’t work.


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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. Negro Navarro/Villano 4/Villano 5 v. Dos Caras Jr./Heavy Metal/Solar 1 AULL 11/2
4. Rey Mysterio v. Randy Orton WWE 4/4
5. Chris Benoit v. William Regal WWE 10/8
6. Necro Butcher v. Super Dragon PWG 9/2
7. American Dragon Brian Danielson/Samoa Joe/B.J. Whitmer/Adam Pearce/Ace Steele/Homicide v. Nate Webb/Chris Hero/Claudio Castognoli/Necro Butcher/Eddie Kingston ROH 7/15
8. KENTA v. American Dragon Bryan Danielson ROH 9/16
9. Chris Benoit v. Finlay WWE 11/21
10. Briscoes v. Austin Aries/Roderick Strong ROH 8/12
11. Chris Benoit v. Finlay WWE 5/3
12. Finlay v. Rey Mysterio WWE 3/20
13. Chris Benoit v. JBL WWE 4/11
14 American Dragon Brian Danielson v. Nigel McGuiness ROH 8/12
15. Meiko Satomura v. Kyoko Kimura Sendai 12/3
16. Homicide v. Necro Butcher ROH 5/13
17. Chris Benoit v. William Regal WWE 5/8
18. KENTA v. Matt Sydal ROH 11/4
19. American Dragon Brian Danielson v. Samoa Joe ROH 8/6
20. Ric Flair v. Mick Foley WWE 8/20

Previously on the list
- La Mascara/El Hijo Del Santo v. Blue Panther/Tarzan Boy CMLL GDL 1/1
- 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
- Rey Mysterio v. Mark Henry WWE 1/15
- 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
-Mistico/Negro Casas v. Averno/Memphisto CMLL 4/15
-Chris Hero/Necro Butcher/Super Dragon v. Samoa Joe/B.J. Whitmer/Adam Pearce ROH 4/22 -American Dragon Brian Danielson v. Nigel McGuiness ROH 4/29
-Yuki Ishikawa v. Hiroyuki Ito Big Mouth Loud 5/4
- Damien Wayne v. Sean Denny NWA-VA 5/6
-Finlay v. Bobby Lashley WWE 5/8
-L.A. Park/Marco Corleone/Johnny Stamboli v. Dr. Wagner Jr./Dos Caras Jr./Lizmark Jr. CMLL 5/19
-Meiko Satomura v. Aja Kong Sendai Pro Wrestling 7/9
-El Hijo Del Santo/Negro Casas/Mistico v. Atlantis/Black Warrior/Ultimo Guerrerro CMLL 8/4 -El Hijo Del Santo v. Perro Aguyao Jr. EMLL 8/25
-Rey Mysterio v. Finlay WWE 9/5
-Sadico v. Terry 2000 AULL 9/13

15. Meiko Satomura v. Kyoko Kimura Sendai 12/3

Joshi is pretty much a dead artform at this point. There are a couple of promotions still running tiny shows, and there are some dedicated perverts who still focus on the scraps. Luckily some of those perverts upload matches, and so I can catch Meiko Satomura singles matches. Satomura was one of my favorites back in the days when GAEA was the third best promotion in the world, and she still is amazing at your main event wrestling. I had never seen Kimura before, she is a Big Japan worker with a wacky racist Rastafarian gimmick, and a huge afro. She has really nice headbutts, which is important, if you are going to be a minstrel, be a minstrel.

This was a basically worked main event, with both women doing a bunch of really cool armwork, and cool arm selling. There is a section where they exchange armbreakers (the over the shoulder move, that usually sets up a MX comedy spot), Meiko's armbreakers are the best I have ever seen, she actually looks like she is breaking Kimura's arm. Kimura did a bunch of nice near falls based around an Octopus hold, including grounding it into almost a crossarmbreaker. After they did all of the duel armwork, they did an elbow exchange, but it came off less like no-selling and more like Arturo Gatti gutting it out and throwing the broken right hand. Often I find myself watching current Japanese wrestling with a "just wait" approach. I am really liking this, but just wait, "Man is this Kaz v. Kondo match good, wait did he just go back on offense 20 seconds after a top rope piledriver...man fuck this match." So as much as I enjoyed this, I was waiting for it to fall apart, but it never did, there never was a "fuck this" moment. It was really great, then it ended.


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