Segunda Caida

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

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Phil's Ongoing 2008 MOTY List

1. Blue Panther v. Villano V CMLL 9/19
2. Yuki Ishikawa + Alexander Otsuka + Munenori Sawa v Daisuke Ikeda + Katsumi Usuda + Super Tiger II BattlArts 7/26
3. Jimmy Jacobs v. B.J. Whitmer IWA-MS 3/1
4. Floyd Mayweather v. Big Show WWE 3/30
5. Mike Quakenbush v. Johnny Saint WXW 3/8
6. Teddy Hart v. Eddie Kingston v. Homicide JAPW 1/19
7. Yuki Ishikawa v. Carl Greco BattlArts 6/1
8. Necro Butcher v. Sami Callihan IWA-MS 10/4
9. Necro Butcher v. Predator IGF 6/23
10. Blue Panther v. Atlantis EMLL 7/11
11. Necro Butcher v. 2 Cold Scorpio IWA-MS 8//17
12. B lue Panther v. Villano V CMLL 9/29
13. Yuki Ishikawa v. Alexander Otsuka RJPW 6/18
14. Mitsuhara Misawa v. Takeshi Morishima NOAH 3/2
15. Bryan Danielson v. Nigel McGuiness ROH 2/23
16. Erick Stevens v. Roderick Strong FIP 2/8
17. Trik Davis v. Sami Callihan IWA-MS 8/17
18. Nigel McGuiness v. Austin Aries ROH 3/28
19. Evan Bourne v. Chavo Guererro WWE 10/14
20. Finlay v. JBL WWE 3/30
21. Shawn Michaels v. Ric Flair WWE 3/30
23. Blue Panther v. Averno CMLL 11/4
24. El Valiente + El Hijo Del Fantasma + La Mascara v. La Sombra + Volador Jr. + Sagrado CMLL 4/30

(After thinking some more about it, and rewatching Panther v. Villano V, I have switched 1 and 2, the BattlArts six man is totally awesome, but nothing is better then an emotional mascara contra mascara match when it is done well)

8. Necro Butcher v. Sami Callihan IWA-MS 10/4

In most of your famous Necro matches he is a guy working from below, the crazy lunatic who takes a huge beating but is impossible to kill, and always has a punchers chance. Kind of dirty barefoot hillbilly Arturo Gatti. So it’s a cool reversal to see Necro as the unstoppable force and Callahan in the Necro Butcher role as the crazy brawler coming out like a buzzsaw and taking a huge beating. This is the equivalent of a short toe to toe boxing brawl, as both guys just go at each other with nasty shots, neither taking a backwards step. Callihan also did some cool counter wrestling, as he was working as almost a protégé v. mentor thing, guy who studied the master and knew his every move. Finish was perfect, as Callihan survived a lot, avoided a lot, but fell to the KO punch. Shockingly awesome match, and IWA-MS has delivered some great great stuff this year.

12. Blue Panther v. Villano V CMLL 9/29

This is the revanche match in Arena Puebla 10 days after Panther lost his mask, and he comes out battling. There are a lot of spots from the mask match, including Panther impaling Villano in chairs with a tope, and Villano hitting his awesome superplex (although when he goes for multiple superplexes ala the mask match, Panther counters). One thing that really changed in this match, is that Villano took Panther mask, and is no longer the underdog, the roles have reversed and he has Panthers number .He really overwhelms Panther during the brawling, pounding him, and Panther has to crawl for the ropes mutiple times, and is forced grab a armbar out of nowhere to take control. Villanos 3 and 4 come in to break that up and they really deliver a nasty postmach beatdown, 3 was really throwing some nasty punches and headbutts. Another great match, and I need to see all of this feud.

23. Blue Panther v. Averno CMLL 11/4

Panther has been in some big time brawls this year, but this his anniversary match and is much more Maestro style. Lots of nifty grabbing of holds, including the keylock lift spot which is my all time favorite Panther spot. Averno is clearly along for the ride though which stops this from being as great as matches with two Maestros against each other. It is still really fun to watch Panther basically work counters with himself.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

UWF 5/4/90

Dick Leon Vrij v. Yoji Anjo

PAS: Vrij looks like Prototype era John Cena with even stupider hair. I remember him being semi-carryable in RINGS, and he was semi-carried here. Not a great match, but it did have some fun stuff, including Vrij breaking a cross armbreaker attempt by elbowing Anjo in the nuts. Also I dug Anjo’s seizure drool sell of the knee to the stomach.

TKG: I remember him less as semi-carryable RINGS then barely carryable, Vrij shrugs off all of Anjoh’s kicks and quickly gets in the ropes whenever Anjoh even starts to control on the ground. Vrij occasionally will power from bottom to top and roll Anjo but then not do much. This went really long with a couple cool moments. The stupid Vrij hair was really amusing as remember lots of kids with similar high top fades with Batman shape shaved into back in 89. Vrij’s hair dye is even dumber.

Kazuo Yamazaki v. Tatsuo Nakano

TKG: Nakano finally wakes Yamazaki out of his slumber. This match like most Nakano matches is all about Nakano on offense neglecting defense. Yamazaki spends large parts of this not on offense just guy on defense trying to hold Nakano’s head away from slamming into his own etc picking his spots. I think my favorite spot is Nakano headbutting Yamazaki in the back of the head to set up a German. At one point Nakano suplexes Yamazaki and then slaps him in the face. After two downs Yamazaki realizes he has to pick it up and for the first time in the nineties shakes off his lethargy and goes after Nakano like he actually cares.

PAS: Yeah it is too bad Nakano is so short, because he really shows the most charisma of all the young guys., and really should have been a bigger star He really wrestles like Henrey Hawk (the cartoon character, not RF) constantly getting in Yamazaki’s face and daring him to knock the chip off of his shoulder. All of the short headbutts were awesome, and I loved how Yamazaki ripped at Nakano’s leg at the finish as he clearly felt some desperation to take this little fucker out.

Akira Maeda v. Masakatsu Funaki

PAS: This match was pretty strange, as it had a super hot beginning with both guys exchanging awesome body shots, and a super hot finish with Funaki unloading a ridiculously fast combo to knock down Maeda, and Maeda firing back with hard kicks, and a nasty German. Then it had 10 minutes in the middle, where both guys laid around on the mat at didn’t do shit. Really felt like the match needed a commercial break.

TKG: That’s really accurate description. Match starts with a bit of shadow boxing that gets crowd hyped, some early good looking standing exchanges then they move to mat, they actually did a bout three minutes of hot leg lock exchanges and a couple punches from mount then it ground to a halt. They stood up and it picked back up. And over. The hot parts are really really great. And I think I liked this overall more than Phil. Both guys are in new tiny tights (Funaki in tiny silver Elegido trunks) and often had to stop selling submissions in order to pick out their wedgies. Kind of kills the fight in and out of submissions if your top priority is modesty. I’m thankful for the modesty but it kills the submissions.

Nobuhiko Takada v. Minoru Suzuki

PAS: Man was this dull, it was like watching two jujitsu brown belts in a light sparring session. Just a nothing match.

TKG: First eight minutes is just two guys tentatively jockey for position. After that Suzuki gets a leg bar, Takada reverses leg bar. Then they tentatively jockey for position for another four minutes with Suzuki getting a suplex in at some point. This felt like it was booked as a concession stand match. Last chance to get some souvenirs and drinks before main event.

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Fred Hamaker

PAS: Hamaker is a Dutch amateur wrestler with Curt Henning’s perm, he had enthusiasm although I didn’t get a real sense that he knew what he was doing. This was of course the Fujiwara show, and it is a show I never tire of watching. Fujiwara approached this like someone solving a corporate desk toy logic puzzle. He would try one approach, it would fail, he would regroup, try something different, adjust, until he finally found the road to success. He wasn’t getting frustrated exactly, he would try an attack, it would fail and he would brush himself off and go again.

TKG: Like the opening match with a member of Team Netherlands, Hamaker would go for the ropes as son as it looked like Fujiwara was going for anything but before he seemed anywhere near actually putting something on. In the first match this was distracting as never get a sense of what Anjo was going for. Here Fujiwara really makes a big deal of all the breaks, slow to release, taunts seconds while the two are in ropes, gets Soronaka to separate, gets up and smiles etc.


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

2. Blue Panther v. Villano V CMLL 9/19

For some reason in current lucha libre most masks are lost in multi person cage matches or four ways, I can’t remember the last time we have seen this kind of mano a mano mascara contra mascara. Luckily for us Panther wasn’t going out in some bullshit cage and we got a taste of how it is supposed to be done.

We start out with a fun brawl with Panther eating a nasty post shot and Villano throwing some nice looking chops and punches (including a sweet left hook). The first big spot of the match, ( and one of the spots of the year) has Panther nuking Villano with a tope into the seats, either Villano busts the back of his head legit, or the crazy fuck bladed the back of his head as he wrestles the rest of the match with a blood smear growing out of the back of his mask. The first fall ends with Panther getting his masked ripped off, and the second fall ends with Villano getting a receipt, really went with the crazy atmosphere of the whole thing.

Third fall was close to perfect, Panther hits three great looking topes, one after another, smashing Villano further into the seats on each of them. Panther pescadas his face into Villanos feet, and then Villano takes control, getting some big near falls with multiple superplexes. Finish was awesome, as first Panther counters with the Fujiwara armbar for a really insane near fall (at this point the roof is about to blow off Arena Mexico) and when he goes for it again, Villano counters with a crucifix and the place erupts. You had fans in Villano masks going berserk and fans in Panther masks crying. Really couldn’t ask for more from either guy, and a truly awesome way for Panther to lose his mask.

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

UWF 4/15/90

Bart Vale v. Shiego Miyato

PAS: Surprisingly good, Vale who really has a great pre Neiman Marcus Todd Palin look to him, didn’t really get good until 1992, and I haven’t found a time period in which I like Miyato. Still they kind of worked well together, Vale whiffed on some kicks, but some landed and his punches looked good and they had some really great fast exchanges. Plus you have to love any shoot match which ends in a Razor’s Edge into a Camel Clutch and have it look reasonable.

TKG: The three knock downs were all neat and the whole finish run with Vale reversing the arm drag into a choke reversed into an ankle pick was really hot. Vale who is normally super protected was working pretty even with Miyato. Miyato is usually a really dull undercarder working really basic heatless stuff but here he is in a hot match with the crowd was popping for him like this was Kikuchi in his home town.

Masakatsu Funaki v. Minoru Suzuki

TKG: This was odd but really neat. Gary Shaw told these guys to keep it on the mat and there was no stand up. Just lots and lots of leg laces and leg holds. Leg scissor takedown variations, body scissors variations, figure four attempts, leg lace reversal attempts, defensive leg laces, leg laces used to roll opponent over etc. Another two minutes of this and it would have gotten too exhibitiony.

PAS: I could have sworn that we saw this match up a bunch in PWFG, although we didn’t. In PWFG these guys were positioned in the Takada/Yamazaki role of young pretty up and comers, and I was expecting them to work a Takada v. Yamazaki match, so I was pleasantly surprised to see them work all leg locks. Not very substantial, but I enjoyed it more then the match ups I had false memories of.

Akira Maeda v. Tatsuo Nakano

PAS: Nakano was totally awesome in this match, the crowd is going apeshit chanting his name and he is cheap shotting the fuck out of Meada, hedbutting him on the break, constantly kicking and kneeing him in the back of his head, totally leaving it in the ring against the king of the mountain. But man fuck a Maeda, he completely sleepwalks through this, Nakano is working his ass off, but Maeda never really sold, never really seemed to get angry when he got cheap shotted, never seemed to worry when he was knocked down. Totally sandbagged the match, which is two shows in a row, he worked Funaki and Suzuki in the next two shows, those are going to be tough to swallow unless Maeda woke up.

TKG: The crazy hot crowd really covered for Maeda’s indifference. Weird ass crowd popping huge for Miyato in the opener, girls screaming for Suzuki, and going battshit for everything Nakano does. Crowd totally is into the Nakano as underdog chanting his name every time Maeda indifferently picks him up for throw or puts him in holds and then getting into Nakano’s badassedness. Crowd was totally into the underdog almost disrespectfully stepping up story, even if Maeda wasn’t interested in participating.

Nobohiko Takada v Yoji Anjoh

TKG: This went too long and was pretty dull. Their were some neat ideas during the body of the match. Lots of stuff working off the ropes: Anjoh goes for throws with Takada avoiding them by holding onto the ropes and then dropping down to put Anjoh into submissions up against the ropes taunting Anjoh into the rope escape, Anjoh goes for flurry of strikes with Takada’s back against the ropes with Takada holding onto the ropes to avoid downs into Takada dragging submission into middle of ring, yadda yadda. Neat ideas but never really deliver on them in way that made me care. The finish run has some nasty kick exchanges but whole thin felt real by the numbers. “This is the body of a worked shoot match, now we are moving into the end run”. It would do well in a SIM.

PAS: It has been kind of a chore to get through these undercard UWF matches, I am hoping the Fujiwara sundae makes up for the overcooked Takada boiled chicken. Some nice kicks here and there, and some moments of fire by Anjoh, but this wasn’t good.

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Kazou Yamazaki

PAS: Not a Fujiwara classic, but match of the show for sure. This is Yamazaki’s big win, so Fujiwara worked from the top more. This also had a lot of dueling leg work, with Fujiwara really struggling and cranking for each submission. Yamazaki was landing a lot of body blows which Fujiwara sold with some of his awesome drooling sells. Still this was a match with a similar story to Nakano v. Maeda and Nakano was way more demonstrative and energetic then Yamazaki. I liked the post match show of emotion by Yamazaki, but it felt like I needed more of that in the match.

TKG: The vibe I got from this was oddly different than the one Phil got. This was worked the opposite of Takada v Fujiwara from the last show. There Takada is the younger guy who is stronger and faster and Fujiwara needs to be defensive. This match was all about Fujiwara being fast and relentless on attack with Yamazaki placed in position of guy who wants to slow it down and work more deliberate. Yamazaki comes off as heavier hitter but not the more active fighter. The more deliberate young fighter beating the fast and relentless veteran is an odd story.


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