Segunda Caida

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

Monday, October 20, 2008

UWF 2/27/90

Minoru Suzuki v. Tatsuo Nakano:

TKG: So Nakano is back to doing shoot versions of GCW technical Tony Zane v Mike Jackson opening match draws. But this is a lot more exciting than the Miyato v Nakano series. The opening establishing stuff was just there with a couple neat spots. They build to a cool shoot variation of “guy tries to run ropes to get out of headlock without it getting released” with Nakano cranking on a choke while Suzuki tries escapes. Suzuki’s big down is pretty nasty, and Nakano’s out on his feet comeback strike to set up the double knock down is a neat “OH SHIT” moment.

PAS: This took a while to get going, but they really cranked it up near the end. Suzuki hits a piledriver and follows it up with vicious stomps and knees to the back of the head, which is exactly how to follow up a piledriver. Tom is right about the finish, as it is normally hard to do a double KO and make it work, but that really felt like a double KO.

Shiego Miyato v. Yoji Anjo

PAS: Anjo at one points bust Miyato in the nose and it is a pretty good visual to watch blood and snot spray out of his nose as he strained in holds, I also liked how he hit headlock takeovers into the ring ropes, he did it a couple of times and it looked really nasty. Still this was relatively pedestrian, as Miyato is the least expressive of all of the UWF undercarders and Anjo is the best when he has someone to work off of.

TKG: I also liked the takeovers in the ropes but think my favorite section was Anjoh’s almost theatric sell for Miyato’s Ringo Mendoza style kick. “Ooh I’ve been hit!!”

Akira Maeda v. Kazuo Yamazaki

TKG: Maeda and Yamazaki lethargically walk through the early portions of this. Everytime Yamazaki tries for a jumping knee, Maeda catches him and turns it into a suplex. I never got any sense that it would be some sort of game changer if he actually hit the jumping knee cleanly. Yamazaki looks to have shoot twisted his ankle on one kick and the match actually picks up as there is suddenly selling. Yamazaki struggles to walk and do shit on his ankle and the match becomes the story of how long he can fend off the loss as opposed to the earlier story of how many different suplexes Maeda can throw if you leap into his arms.

PAS: Both guys in this match are susceptible to sleepwalking through a match, and I got no sense of urgency or energy for the first seven minutes of this. When Yamazaki torches his ankle the match gets some purpose behind it, but this wasn’t good

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Nobuhiko Takada

PAS: Incredible match, ranks up with the great virtuoso Fujiwara performances. Fujiwara worked this match as a wily veteran who is going to need to use style and guile in the face of a physically stronger, more athletic younger opponent. In the early part of this match, Fujiwara was completely defensive, subtly moving and blocking Takada’s shots so they never landed flush, he really reminded me of how James Toney would roll his shoulders and catch punches on his arms. Takada however eventually began to overwhelm his opponent with his activity and power. Fujiwara was still catching his body kicks, but they was more impact as he caught them, he was still blocking the head kicks, but just a second slower. It really looked like that despite all of his skill, he wasn’t going to be able to win this one. As the shots started landing, Fujiwara started dancing and taunting, the way a fighter will smile when he gets hit with a good shot. He knew his time was running short, and he needed to taunt Takada into making a mistake. Finish was awesome, Takada is chasing him around the ring, landing big shots, and he grabs a kneebar, Fujiwara kind of lies in the ring defeated, and then you can see him muster his final reserves, negotiate to his feet and reverse the kneebar wrenching it with all of his might and getting the submission. The crowd goes completely insane, chanting FUJIWARA, FUJIWARA, and Fujiwara celebrates with tears in his eyes. Really a one man show, but goddamn what a one man show.

TKG: Phil has really covered this whole thing and yah it was a really fun story. He forgot to mention that Fujiwara grabs and hugs the picture of some kid (I assume some trainee who died in he UWF dojo) on the way out. This kind of counterpuncher story needs an actual puncher, and well Takada was always active swinging, and when he did finally catch Fujiwara he hit him hard. His revenge headbutt was a really rough one to the cheekbone. Its kind of ridiculous to say “Takada held up his side” in this kind of one man show, still he did what was necessary to help this along.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Phil's Ongoing 2008 MOTY List

1. Yuki Ishikawa + Alexander Otsuka + Munenori Sawa v Daisuke Ikeda + Katsumi Usuda + Super Tiger II BattlArts 7/26
2. Jimmy Jacobs v. B.J. Whitmer IWA-MS 3/1
3. Floyd Mayweather v. Big Show WWE 3/30
4. Mike Quakenbush v. Johnny Saint WXW 3/8
5. Teddy Hart v. Eddie Kingston v. Homicide JAPW 1/19
6. Yuki Ishikawa v. Carl Greco BattlArts 6/1
7. Necro Butcher v. Predator IGF 6/23
8. Blue Panther v. Atlantis EMLL 7/11
9. Necro Butcher v. 2 Cold Scorpio IWA-MS 8//17
10. Yuki Ishikawa v. Alexander Otsuka RJPW 6/18
11. Mitsuhara Misawa v. Takeshi Morishima NOAH 3/2
12. Bryan Danielson v. Nigel McGuiness ROH 2/23
13. Erick Stevens v. Roderick Strong FIP 2/8
14. Trik Davis v. Sami Callihan IWA-MS 8/17
15. Nigel McGuiness v. Austin Aries ROH 3/28
16. Evan Bourne v. Chavo Guererro WWE 10/14
17. Finlay v. JBL WWE 3/30
18. Shawn Michaels v. Ric Flair WWE 3/30
19. El Valiente + El Hijo Del Fantasma + La Mascara v. La Sombra + Volador Jr. + Sagrado CMLL 4/30

10. Yuki Ishikawa v. Alexander Otsuka RJPW 6/18

This is basically the Velocity version of their match up, but these two guys for six minutes is about as good a six minutes as you are going to get. No suplexes from Otsuka or punches from Ishikawa, but we do get a nasty coconut but, and some awesome mat wrestling. Otsuka has really turned into the the best mat wrestler in the world, just Volk Hanish in his countering into weird submissions and taking over position. Ishikawa is pretty sick on the mat too, and I especially loved the chicken wing counter of the delayed German. More of snack then a meal, but a tasty snack.

16. Evan Bourne v. Chavo Guererro WWE 10/14

Man was this a lot of fun, I thought Sydal had gotten really good near the end of his ROH run, but he was a dude who was short in ROH s I am pretty surprised that he has been such a success in the WWE. Chavo is the grandson of one the legendary rudos in lucha history so he can base a highflyer, and I loved all of the little touches he added to the match, like the rolling kappo kick and the double knee counter. Bourne’s rana bump was awesome, and I loved how he got the rana at the end of the match, after missing it before. I need to start TiVoing ECW.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Phil's Ongoing 2007 MOTY List

1. Nigel McGuinness v. Austin Aries ROH 12/29
2. Nigel McGuinness v. Bryan Danielson ROH 6/23
3. Nigel McGuinness v. Samoa Joe ROH 3/3
4. John Cena v. Umaga WWE 1/28
5. Eddie Kingston v. Chris Hero IWA-MS 9/29
6. Bryan Danielson v. Takeshi Morishima ROH 8/25
7. Nigel McGuinness v. Takeshi Morishima ROH 4/14
8. Chris Harris v. James Storm TNA 5/13
9. Jimmy Jacobs v. B.J. Whitmer ROH 3/4
10. Samoa Joe v. Takeshi Morishima ROH 2/16
11. Matt Hardy v. Finlay WWE 6/19
12. Briscoes v. Necro Butcher/Mad Man Pondo FIP 4/21
13. Shawn Micheals v. John Cena WWE 4/23
14. Jimmy Jacobs v. B.J. Whitmer ROH 3/31
15. Solar 1/Mano Negra v. Negro Navarro/Black Terry Lucha Libre VIP 3/10
16. MNM v. Hardy Boyz WWE 1/28
17. Briscoes v. Ricky Marvin/Kontaro Suzuki NOAH 1/21
18. Bryan Danielson/Takeshi Morishima v. KENTA/Nigel McGuiness ROH 5/12
19. John Cena v. Great Khali 5/20
20. Mitsuhara Misawa v. Bison Smith NOAH 6/3
21. John Cena v. King Booker v. Bobby Lashley v. Mick Foley v. Randy Orton WWE 6/24
22. Necro Butcher v. Jay Briscoe ROH 10/5
23. Briscoes v. Murder City Machine Guns ROH 4/28
24. Finlay v. Undertaker WWE 3/6
25. Briscoes v. Kevin Steen/El Generico ROH 4/14

Previously on the list

Necro Butcher v. Toby Klien CZW 1/13
Chris Benoit v. Chavo Guerrero WWE 1/16
Shinjiro Ohtani/Takao Omori/Kazunari Murakami v. Kohei Sato/Hirotaka Yokoi/Yoshiro Takayama Zero 1 1/19
BJ Whitmer v. Jimmy Jacobs ROH 1/27
Colt Cabana v. Jimmy Jacobs ROH 2/24
Nigel McGuiness v. Jimmy Rave ROH 3/4
Matt Sydal v. The Man Gravity Forgot PAC ROH 3/4
Matt Hardy v. Ken Kennedy WWE 3/13
Takeshi Sasaki v. Yuki Miyamoto BJW 3/14
Samoa Joe v. Eddie Kingston FSM 3/17
Takeshi Morishima/Mohammed Yone v. Jun Akiyama/Takeshi Rikio NOAH 4/1
Undertaker v. Batista WWE 4/1
John Cena v. Shawn Michaels WWE 4/1
Chris Benoit v. MVP 4/10
Yuji Nagata v. Hiroshi Tanahashi NJ 4/13
Davey Richards/Roderick Strong v. Jack Evans/Delirious ROH 4/14
Mitsuhara Misawa v. Takuma Sano NOAH 4/28
John Cena v. Great Khali v. Umaga WWE 6/4

1. Nigel McGuinness v. Austin Aries ROH 12/29

No arguing with Nigel anymore, in 2007 he had four of my top ten matches, with four different opponents. This match is sitting at the top spot. Aries is a hell of an athlete, and put in a match with good pace, can be spectacular. Here he was amazing, taking enormous bumps, moving with tremendous speed, and hitting with real impact. This was Nigel's show though, as he has become really good at working a big main event style match. One of the things Nigel does during his big matches, is little restarts. Here Aries hits him with a tope to the back driving his head into the guardrail, and Nigel spend the next couple of minutes backpedaling avoiding Aries offense, it is a set of very cool counters and nice slowing down on a show which is all moving forward. Finish run is pretty great too, as there are just the right number of two counts, and it never gets into ROH overkill territory even with the huge moves. Just great wrestling.

12. Briscoes v. Necro Butcher/Mad Man Pondo FIP 4/21

This is about as good a garbage wrestling match as I have seen in a while. They built the match around 5 or 6 crazy spots, and they were all nuts and executed nicely. Pondo going headfirst into the garbage can of lightbulb tubes was especially crazy, as was Necro getting DVD through a table on the floor. There are two major flaws in most death matches, one flaw is that the in between stuff often looks bad, you sometimes get the sense that they are moving from spot to spot and everything else is just killing time, and the other problem is finish overkill, where the final spot doesn’t seem final, like the match could have ended at any point. This match avoided both of those, the regular brawling here was darn good (which is one of the reasons Necro is a class above other people working this style) and the crazy Mark Briscoe U-Haul dive felt like a finish to a match.

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

RANDOM IWRG SHOW #1

So a buddy of mine sent me some DVD's of IWRG which aires on a local San Francisco UWF station, this aired a month ago, but I think is from mid 2007, we love IWRG so we are going to review it.


Akumma v. Tortuga Ninja Primero

TKG: It’s IWRG opener and tribute to late 80s Japanophile nerdery. For a guy working a tribute to a streetfighter charcter v a guy working tribute to a tribute to anime thankfully this isn’t worked as a tribute to Japanese wrestling. Instead we get dull opening IWRG mat work, a couple awkward brawling spots to the floor and a neat finisher. Akuma sets the Turtle up as though he’s going to put him in La Campana and instead just squats on his legs. Too many clubbing blows to the back of the shell for my taste. Mabe if Akuma set them up by breaking boards or something.

PAS; I really liked evil Ninja turtles v. face Ninja turtles which was worked as more of a brawl (it is also possible that those were six completely different turtles), however Tortuga Ninja primero doesn’t really have a singles match in him. It is possible with a better rudo this could passed into mediocrity, instead it fell short.

Star Boy/Ave Fenix/Kid Tiger v. Black Terry/Assesino Negro/Dr. Mortus

PAS: Total blast, really classic wrestling story, young highflying juniors v. bruiser heels. This could have Perez and Rocco v. Jerry + Eddie Graham, Rock and Rolls v. Russians or Youth Gone Wild v. Hit Squad. Assessino Negro is a Guadalajara guy I had enjoyed in the past, and he was awesome here, brutal looking splashes and legdrops, really graceful eating of armdrags, I have no idea why he isn’t a huge star. Terry is always a pleasure as well, and Fenix and Kid Tiger were fine bumping flying juniors.

TKG: Yeah this was fun. The Assesino/Mortus tam have a bunch of neat big guy double teams and you spend the match waiting for the moment when the face will move out of the way forcing them to crash into each other. Hijo del Assesino also has a bunch of fun was to sell big guy getting disoriented/knocked about. First fall is bruisers abusing faces, second fall is faces getting their comeback, Last fall is more even with two younger highflyers doing dives to take out the Guadalajara team leaving Star Boy and Black Terry alone to end it.

Fantasma Del Opera/Kai/Yamato v. Ultraman Jr./Cerebro Negro/Tony Rivera


TKG: It’s one IWRG veteran rudo and two All Japan rookies v two veteran IWRG guys and one rookieish guy. Pretty fun match and I would like to see the technico team from this match v the rudo team from the last one. Cerebro Negro and Yamamato have a really neat little mat section and the first fall. In the third fall Cerebro negro kicks both Japanese guys to bend them over and throws one into the other, Kai accidentally DDTs his own partner when Cerebro Negro gives him an neckbreaker. It is the kind of absolutely preposterous thing you’d expect out of Tommy Dreamer but it is done so fast and executed so well that it turns out to be really fun comedy spot. Rivera has a really great frog splash too. Black Terry comes in at the end to attack Fantasma del Opera. Leading to faces scoring the win.

PAS: I was hoping this was going to be the old Ultraman with the awesome punch combos, but this was a young guy who was pretty fun. Cerbero Negro absolutely kills Kai with a butterly suplex DDT thing which looks like something he saw on tape and just decided to try. Fun undercard lucha which gets plenty of time to turn into something worth watching.

Negro Navarro/Negro Casas/Mascara Sagrado/Anibal Jr. v. El Hijo De Cien Caras/Enfermero Jr./Cien Caras Jr./Mascara Ano 2000 Jr.

TKG: So whatever station airs IWRG in San Francisco is just throwing on the tape with no care as to what airs. The first match they showed the first fall twice in a row. In the second match they interrupted a fall with a commercial and then came back from the commercial, rewound about four minutes and showed fall in full. Frustratingly, they showed the first fall of the main event twice and then the show ends. Given some of the folks in the main event you’d think this wouldn’t be that disappointing. But this was an actively good first fall where Anibal did nothing but get beat on and bleed, and Mascara Sagrado was kept on the floor constantly being prevented from entering the ring. Fun brawling first fall.

PAS: Yeah I would have liked to see more of this, as we never really got any focus on the Negroes and those are a pair of guys who are pretty great usually. I am going to need to see more IWRG to rank the junior Dinamitas.

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Monday, October 06, 2008

UWF 2/9/90

Tatsuo Nakano v. Johnny Barrett

PAS: Started off a little awkward, but by the end they were really clicking. Barrett would have been really awesome in BattlArts, as he really flows pro style stuff into a shootstyle atmosphere excellently. I loved his enziguri and sick lariet, and Nakano gets fired up at the finish. Fun, fun opener.

TKG: It picks up around the point where they start the shootsyle ode to Guerrero/Malenko roll ups. Barretta’s lariat, and dropkicks are all really nasty and don’t feel out of place.

Shigeo Miyato v. Minoru Suzuki:

TKG: Again with the neat pro-style stuff thrown in here. This starts with a double knock down spot. After that Suzuki controls with Miyato getting several hope spots. Suzuki does a bunch of pro-style stuff to set up downs or rope breaks (fireman’s carry slam into drop kick, etc.). Miyato is on his last down and throws off a flurry of kicks giving Suzuki his second down. Suzuki goes in for sleeper with body lock and its all over. Except Miyato with nothing left picks Suzuki’s ankle forcing him to release the choke and tap. Really neat structure.

PAS: I didn’t think Suzuki was as good at seamless integrating the pro stuff as Barrett was, but that was kind of the point of the match. This really resembled a mixed match, with Suzuki working as a pro-wrestler and Miyato as a shooter, that is why the finish was so cool, as the shooter counters the pro style sleeper with a shoot counter.

Yoji Anjoh v. Wellington Wilkins Jr.

TKG: This is odd little match. Wilkins throws realy neat suplexes, and Anjoh counters with tricked out matwork. Kind of like a rich man’s Taz versus a poor man’s Solar. Feels like if they have a rematch for either a title or hair it could be really epic, but this was just third from bottom.

PAS: Anjoh’s brutal opening kick to the thigh seemed really unnecessary. Kind of got me excited for a match that didn’t really happen. The match they had was fun, but I was expecting more violence.

Nobuhiko Takada v. Kazuo Yamazaki

PAS: This may be my single least favorite recurring match up in wrestling history. They seem to always devolve into the worked shoot version of a AJ Style v. Jerry Lynn match. This didn’t really do that, and there were points were it was actually pretty good. The big spot had Yamazaki throwing kicks while Takada was on the ropes, and Takada pivoting away and just waylaying him with a high kick. Either Yamazaki was legit drilled or he learned how to sell, as he was on queer street for the rest of the match. Yamazaki fired back with some nasty leg kicks, and the match seemed to be a race to see who would get the KO first, Takada to the head or Yamazaki to the body. They shit away the story by having Takada win with a boston crab of all things, but it was almost a good match.

TKG: Yeah I think Yamazaki was legit KOed. The shot that does it comes as part of a neat reckless exchange where both guys are kicking each other while tangled in ring ropes. Before that exchange into knock down this match wasn’t doing much for me. After the knock down the whole thing picked up a ton, but on some level I think the should have called an audible and just ended it early. Instead you have Takada being almost tentative after the knock down and Yamazaki looking physically through but dominating with nasty stiffness. Normally part of the problem with this match up is the selling. This one was all about the selling. I don’t know if they were ever able to recreate that.

Akira Maeda v. Yoshiaki Fujiwara

PAS: We go from one of my least favorite matches in wrestling history, to one of my favorites. This was less of a brawl then their matches usually are, as they seemed more interested in really hitting the mat hard. Of course being Maeda and Fujiwara they interspersed the counter wrestling with some violence. Meada counters an ankle pick with a WOS leg stretch and Fujiwara responds with a diving headbut right into Maeda’s mouth, and Maeda counters a leg grapevine by drilling Fujiwara in the mouth and then the back of the head. Fujiwara is truly the master of the wrestling finish, as they basically switch the awesome finish of the Miyato v. Suzuki match, with Maeda using the choke to counter the ankle pick. This wasn’t their best match against each other, but fuck that is such a high bar.

TKG: I don’t think I’m as big a Maeda fan as Phil and sometimes find his mat stuff to be uninteresting But here the mat work was all neat without ever being tricked out. There was hardly any stand up in this. Just mat work into strikes to break up the matwork, without ever going into a striking exchange. The Fujiwara sell of getting drilled in the face with a kick was realy neat. He tries to hold onto the bared leg but just slowly turns only to eat another kick to back of head and has to release. I think Fujiwara worked the same finish opposite Inoki once, but this felt very organic. Not a call back spot, but just a finish that was there to grab.

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