Segunda Caida

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

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

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. Rey Cometa/Pegasso/Freelance vs Los Oficiales IWRG 10/17
10. Bull Pain/Todd Morton v. Jerry Lawler/Chris Michaels XCW-Midwest 8/9
11. Mystico De La Juarez/Silver King/Rubi Gardenia v. Cassandro/Magno/El Hijo Del Santo Lucha Libre London 12/9
12. Necro Butcher v. Predator IGF 6/23
13. Necro Butcher v. 2 Cold Scorpio IWA-MS 8//17
14. Low-Ki v. Chris Hero PWG 11/2
15. Blue Panther v. Atlantis CMLL 7/11
16. Blue Panther v. Villano V CMLL 9/29
17. Meiko Satomura v. Aja Kong SENDAI 10/26
18. Yuki Ishikawa v. Alexander Otsuka RJPW 6/18
19. Mitsuhara Misawa v. Takeshi Morishima NOAH 3/2
20. Bryan Danielson v. Nigel McGuiness ROH 2/23
21. Erick Stevens v. Roderick Strong FIP 2/8
22. Trik Davis v. Sami Callihan IWA-MS 8/17
23. Hayato Jr. Fujita v. Yoshitune MPRO 12/12
24. Evan Bourne v. Chavo Guererro WWE 10/14
25. Finlay v. Chuck Palumbo WWE 5/20



(In addition to adding Ki v. Hero, I moved around some things)

Previously on the List

Nigel McGuiness v. Austin Aries ROH 3/28
Shawn Michaels v. Ric Flair WWE 3/30
Finlay v. JBL WWE 3/30
El Valiente + El Hijo Del Fantasma + La Mascara v. La Sombra + Volador Jr. + Sagrado CMLL 4/30
Blue Panther v. Averno CMLL 11/4

14. Low-Ki v. Chris Hero PWG 11/2

I was live at the 2001 ECWA Super 8, which was the birth of current indy wrestling. The thing about most Northern Indies prior to 2001 is that they were even looser then the WWF, which looks really bad when you are 10 feet away from the action. It got to the point when you would get excited when Tom Brandi threw a noisy knife edge chop. So here come Dragon and Ki delivering brutal back and forth shots and what they are doing is so different then everyone else it was just captivating. Now you can show up to any indy show and the guys in the first match are shoot kicking each other in the face, stiffness, like head drops and crazy bumps and dives are something which have lost pretty much all of their value in and of themselves.

Ki is on his way to the WWE, so this was his swan song in the style he created. It was a catchy little song, Hero and Ki start with some nice tight matwork early and Ki opens it up with a brutal soccer kick to Hero’s face busting his nose. Undaunted Hero fires back with a brutal forearm, that either rung Ki’s bell or Ki sold his ass off (I actually think it was selling, as he didn’t blow anything later.) You get Hero working him over for a while, Ki has a big comeback and you have a really great finish, All you could possibly want out of a Low-Ki match. PWG isn’t a promotion I normally care for, most of the pimped PWG matches really feel like bloated Directors Cuts of good matches. They are in LA, if they hired a film student to cut three minutes here, take the selling here and put it someplace else, then move around the finish, they would be in better shape. This match however didn’t feel like Cimino got carte blanche, someone cut 10 minutes from the roller skating scene and it really worked.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

IWA-MS Out With the Old In With the New 1/3/09

PAS: In the age of youtube and megaupload, wrestling fans mostly watch wrestling as a series of individual matches, you don’t see people really watching whole shows. Wrestling nerdom has become a singles phenomenon, no one is listening to whole albums, they are just buying the one Itunes song (I think that makes youtube highlight videos the equivalent of ringtones), I was kind of the DJ Whoo Kid of wrestling back in the 90's, but there is still something to be said for seeing how a promotion puts together a show, so in 2009, we will be taking the only interesting current promotions (IWA-MS, Battlarts, IWRG, XCW-Midwest, LDN) and reviewing their entire shows

IWA-MS Out With the Old In With the New 1/3/09

Juice Robison v. Jason Dukes

TKG: Juice Robinson is a Truth Martini trainee. Jason Dukes is an MAW regular who I’ve always liked as big guy who bumps well. I mean indy big, he’s lost a lot of weight but still stocky, The announcers put Dukes over as a veteran and this is worked like a Buddy Rose walks Jammin Mitch Snow through his first match type match. Dukes does this nasty back splash that was like a Slaughter bump as an offensive move.

PAS: I really don’t get why Jason Dukes isn’t a bigger star, even on this level. He takes really great in ring comedy bumps and has really cool looking well executed offense. He really feels like a guy who should main eventing these shows instead of working the undercard

Ricochet vs. Jonathan Davis v. TD

PAS: It seems weird that weeks before the inaugural of our first African American President IWA-MS was still running segregated wrestling cards, I guess that is Southern Indiana for you. This was a perfectly fine “guys who drove with other guys” three way dance. Jonathan Davis is perfectly fine midget black guy, better then Sabian, not as good as Tommy Smallz

TKG: I was kind of amused by them actually working hierarchy stuff in this type of undercard meaningless three way. IWA regular Ricochet worked as the man with the other two slotted lower going after him. Jonathan Davis ate things well and I liked his forearms. I think he attempted an under the bottom rope 619 into leg scissors. TD’s capoera offense didn’t do a ton for me. Maybe I’ve seen too man capoeara rodas performing on the streets. He seemed better than the fat white girl in the roda but not as good as the fat Lebanese girl. There was some blown stuff but this never fell apart.

Tag Team Battle Royal

PAS: IWA is clearly booking way too many people, there is no reason for any indy to be running an 8 team undercard battle royal. If Ian was actually paying anyone his budget would be busted. This was pretty bad up until the point that we got down to the final three teams, where it got sort of fun. I didn’t get much of a sense of the Hooliganz but they were perfectly willing to be hit really hard by Ian and Sami Callahan.

TKG: This was a mess for a while. One of the guys on the first Michigan team makes amusing faces when he gets hit. The Baba chops to the neck exchange between the guy working a Matt Clasicish old school wrestler and Ian were fun. But this was a mess till it got down to the final three.

Bill The Butcher v Necro Butcher

TKG: Bill The Butcher doesn’t appear to be working a Gangs of New York gimmick. Instead he’s a long haired guy with a chain. Impressive Necro show, as this is all about two guys going toe to toe until one guy goes down. All Bill the Butcher really needed to do was provide lots of movement, volume punches. Necro does neat stuff working points where he can no longer throw and needs to back down, and points where he fights back off the ropes. Bill the Butcher’s lots of long hair worked headbutts (both standing and from the mount) were nice looking. But this was a Necro match.

PAS: This is pretty much exactly how to work a match like this. This is the two craziest looking guys in a small town finally matching up, People had been having drunken arguments over who would win for years, and you finally get to see it. Necro is really great at working hierarchy in matches, this is the kind of match where Bill The Butcher isn’t on Necro’s level, but you come out impressed by him.

Soul Shooters v. Soul Touchers

PAS: This is sort of a bizarre show built all around the battle for semantic identity. I could see a Descriptivist writing a thesis on the sense v. reference inherent in the Soul Shooters anger at the Soul Touchaz for stealing their gimmick of black people with Soul. It is theoretically more interesting then aesthetically enjoyable, as the Soul Touchers kind of suck. They really should have saved Jason Hades v. Jason Quick loser is no longer Jason match for this show, keep it thematic.

TKG: The Soul Shooters are guys I’ve liked for awhile. I haven’t seen them in ages. Apollo Starr (now known as Q Skilz) didn’t get to do to much as this was mostly built around Drew Johnson (Drue Skillz?) big man throws. Still this was fine stuff when they were in control and I enjoyed it up to the blown finish.

Roderick Strong v. Michael Elgin

TKG: So I wasn’t expecting to dig this but it was surprisingly good. Elgin is good at selling winded big guy who can still hit hard. And that was really the key to this working. When Elgin threw stuff it always looked like there was force behind it and you buy him as a guy who any second will punch himself out.

PAS: All of Elgins strikes move Strong, they really thud. This almost had a Julio Ceasar Chavez v. Meldrick Taylor feel to it, as the faster sharper guy landed more shots, but the stronger guy was doing the damage. Finish didn’t really play into that idea which takes the match down a peg, but this was pretty surprising, I have found myself enjoying Elgin.

Egotistico Fantastico & Chuck Taylor v. Prince Mustafa Ali & Trik Davis

TKG: Trik Davis gets on the mic before the match and announces that they have fired Joey Eastman and hired Chuck E Smooth. CHUCK E SMOOTH BAYBEE!!!! You all owe it to yourselves to get on youtube and watch as much Chuck E Smooth mic work as possible. Smooth gets on the mic and he’s the one guy in indy wrestling who seems to know how o hold a mic properly, and you hear everything he says. He explains his interest in managing his team, runs down the opponent, insults people in the audience, tells folks that heroin was his drug of choice, threatens to walk out, gets his hat stolen has Davis steal an audience members jacket,etc. Trik Davis deliberately blows Tracy Smothers rant and Chuck E Smooth goes on another rant. The team of Egotistico Fantastico and Taylor aren’t much but Ali and Davis are fun and all the Smooth interactions with the match and the audience are fun. This is a show with a ton of managers/seconds and you forget them all when faced with Smooth. Cm Punk and Cabana went on to the WWE, Dave Prazak went on to book a midwest girl fed, Pierce went on to book ROH and the star of the Gold Bond Mafia seemingly dissapeared. But now he's back baby. Hide your children; Chuck E Smooth is back!!!!

PAS: Taylor and Fantastico are pretty much Exhibit A of everything I hate in Indy wrestling. Skinny white dork pretending to be Mexican teamed with skinny white hipster dork who spends the entire match winking at the audience, also everything Taylor does looks clumsy and awkward. I like Davis and Ali and love Chuck E Smooth, but they really couldn’t save this match.

Sami Callihan v. Jimmy Jacobs

PAS: These are two of my favorite guys on the indies right now, and this match pretty much delivers. I loved how the opening couple of minutes were really worked in a phone booth, both guys kept each other very close, grabbing for holds and counters, tight hard punches and kicks. Callahan takes his normal big sized beating and does his normally great job of selling, you have one huge bump with Callahan getting sliced bread on an open chair, and I loved how he kept grabbing the back of his head even while he was putting on moves. There were moments that got a little back and forthy, which keeps it from being as good as the best Callahan stuff, but it was damn fun.

TKG:The neat thing about the early section that Phil describes as being in a phone booth was that it was so different than what we normally get in indy wrestling. You normally get mat work built on wearing a guy down leading to (or forgotten after they move into) strikes aimed at putting opponent away. Here the early “in a phone booth” stuff was largely mat work aimed at finishing off the opponent. I mean both guys going for finishers early, going for pinfalls early and just fighting to keep their opponent down. I thought the sliced bread on the chair was kind of unnecessary for this type of match.

Jason Hades v. Dingo

PAS: Weird little match, the in-ring part were pretty mediocre, I think Hades is the least of the IWA-MS Jasons, and there were some real crappy back and forth juniory stuff. However when they take it to the floor it was ridiculously awesome, Dingo goes flying through chairs and the just kill each other with big moves on the hardwood. Unfortunately they went back in the ring, I need to see more Dingo street fights, because that dude is awesome out of the ring.

TKG: It’s not unusual for guys to be better on the floor than in the ring. Happens a lot. Guys working too cooperative, intricate and loose in the ring while they work more stiff and reckless on the floor. But that’s not quite what happens here. What’s neat about the floor brawling stuff is the elaborate intricate reversals. Dingo goes to suplex opponent from ring to floor, Hades reverses this into two spectacular posting bumps, Dingo goes for perfectplex on the floor which is reversed into a rana on the floor which leaves Dingo winded laying accross a chair where he gets double stomped from stage to a chair. Moves on the floor are strung together really well and in interesting ways. Its not like Dingo doesn’t eat stuff well in ring. But the moves in ring aren’t strung together as well can be overly elaborate and the reversals just aren’t as interesting. The creative in ring stuff cames across really cheesy while the creative out of ring stuff came across actually neat.


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Thursday, January 22, 2009

XCW Midwest Legends of the Garden 3/4/08

ER: EricR
PAS: Phil Schneider

ER:Phil was in town visiting his parents, and we were able to get together to watch some wrestling. Phil recently sent "good faith" money to a wrestler, which is as bold a move as I've ever heard. However, Mitch Ryder turned out to be a good egg and sent him some XCW-Midwest shows, currently one of the most consistently entertaining indies around. This was a Legends of the Louisville Garden reunion-style card.

PAS: Eric is always a good dude to watch wrestling with, and his way out of his league girlfriend always brings tasty home made bread. Still shocked that my money wasn’t just stolen, and I am so amped that I can follow XCW-Midwest regularly, cause damn are they awesome.

Bunkhouse Buck vs. Cowboy Budd Ellis

ER: First off, Buck looked EXACTLY as you remember him from a WCW Saturday Night episode from 10 years ago. Cowboy Budd Ellis had more baby oil on his body than anybody I've ever seen working a Cowboy gimmick. Not sure if they meant the graphic to read "Midnight Cowboy" Budd Ellis, but it should have. The match itself was fun, with Buck looking really great. Ellis tried for awhile to do some legwork, which basically looked like Budd cuddling Buck's leg. Buck's offense was really great, with a fist drop from a kneeling position and some nasty stomps to the face. Cowboy takes some rad untrained Vince McMahon-esque bumps, not quite mastering the flat back bump but instead approximating a "base of spine bump". His over the top bumps to the floor are truly a marvel. Inexplicably, Budd goes over here.

PAS: Those over the top bumps were really something, the best bumps are often referred to as “reckless.” Ellis’s bumps were the most cautious I have ever seen, he bumped to the floor like he was navigating his way down a steep hill. I am not sure why Buck was working as Bunkhouse Buck on a Legends of the Garden show, clearly Jimmy Golden was the Garden Legend. Bill Dundee wasn’t working as Sir William. Buck did look really great though, it is really bizarre how little he has aged, he is 58 years old and has been wrestling since the 60’s, but easily could show up on TV today working as Bunkhouse Buck and no one would bat an eye.

2 Tuff Tony vs. Andy Douglas

ER: Not sure what association they have with the Garden, but....this match wasn't very good. Andy Douglas was quite content to do minutes of arm work on the arm that Tony had no interest in using anyway, so Tony did some OK punches with his normal arm and this went like 10 minutes. Ending was actually quite spectacular, with Tony hitting a painfully accurate somersault guillotine legdrop off the top rope.....but then Douglas no sells and they go right into a botched powder to the eyes finish.

PAS: I am not sure why XCW only books one Natural at a time, and always as singles wrestlers, it just doesn’t seem like a good use of what they can deliver. This was pretty disappointing, I like both guys a bunch, but they never got it together here. There are ways to use both guys well, Naturals v. Eaton/Smothers, or Morton/Pain would be great, as would Tony as a tag partner for a face Bull Pain, but random throwaway undercard singles was sort of useless.

Bobby Eaton & Tracy Smothers vs. Ricky Morton & LT Falk

ER: This was really really good. Morton has gotten extremely nutty in his old age. He hit a great hurracanrana here and a punch of great punches and was just flying around the ring. Smothers really put on a show with awesome stooging, some great slip on a banana peel bumps, and cool matwork. Eaton threw some not-shockingly great punches. His shots to the body were especially awesome. Really laying in some great combos. Falk was a nice surprise, too. He really was the perfect spunky babyface to play off Smothers/Eaton.

PAS: I remember Eaton looking pretty done in 2005. During your nostalgia MX reunion tour he would look like the least guy in every match. Well something changed as he looked like Bobby Eaton here, wasn’t a huge bump freak, but all of his small stuff looked great. Morton is as ageless as Buck, Smothers was a blast too, I loved the baseball slide through the corner to break the ten count, great stoogey spot. LT Falk is apparently the son of Tony Falk which is one of the more awesome conceptual second generation guys. I would love to see JC Ice as Orton mike worker of a Legacy stable of J.T. Falk, Dylan Eaton and “3G” Eric Wayne.

Doug Gilbert vs. Mitch Ryder

ER: I actually don't remember much about this. Dougie riled up the crowd beforehand and Ryder is always good on the stick. Both had a perfectly fine match....but I remember little...

PAS: Mike work was the best part of this, Dougie was very chinklocky

Todd Morton, Bull Pain, & Chris Michaels vs. Bill Dundee & PG-13

ER: This match was pretty great and held up even better upon rewatch. Morton is one of the best workers in the world. He gets amazing height on dropkicks and backdrops, throws incredible punches, plays to the crowd in a great subtle way, works great from the apron, eats hot tag offense great....basically does everything great. Bull Pain is one of the most physically intimidating dudes in wrestling, and Michaels has become quite the high quality worker since his WWE developmental days. This was the best Jaime Dundee has looked (wrestling-wise) in the last few years, Wolfie D looked about as good as you would expect the best guy in TNA 6 years ago to look, and Bill is not quite as good as Lawler in XCW, but good nonetheless. Morton needs to be signed by NJPW, thrown under a mask, and then they can watch him revitalize juniors wrestling, and wrestling in general.

PAS: Yeah this was a load of fun. There is this great spot where Jamie Dundee taunts Bull Pain into an arm wrestling contest with Bill, and of course when Bill drops down, Superstar kicks him, while Jamie looks on with pride . It was a really heartwarming moment, Tomk started singing Cats in the Cradle. I completely second everything Eric had to say about Todd Morton, he really is incredible, he takes maybe the best spinning clothesline bump I have ever seen. Even with Morton’s awesomeness, this was the Jamie Dundee show, taunting, shticking, bumping, he really came off like a total superstar, this the best non Springer performance by Jamie in years.

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Thursday, January 08, 2009

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. Rey Cometa/Pegasso/Freelance vs Los Oficiales IWRG 10/17
10. Bull Pain/Todd Morton v. Jerry Lawler/Chris Michaels XCW-Midwest 8/9
11. Necro Butcher v. Predator IGF 6/23
12. Blue Panther v. Atlantis CMLL 7/11
13. Mystico De La Juarez/Silver King/Rubi Gardenia v. Cassandro/Magno/El Hijo Del Santo Lucha Libre London 12/9
14. Necro Butcher v. 2 Cold Scorpio IWA-MS 8//17
15. Blue Panther v. Villano V CMLL 9/29
16. Meiko Satomura v. Aja Kong SENDAI 10/26
17. Yuki Ishikawa v. Alexander Otsuka RJPW 6/18
18. Mitsuhara Misawa v. Takeshi Morishima NOAH 3/2
19. Bryan Danielson v. Nigel McGuiness ROH 2/23
20. Erick Stevens v. Roderick Strong FIP 2/8
21. Trik Davis v. Sami Callihan IWA-MS 8/17
22. Hayato Jr. Fujita v. Yoshitune MPRO 12/12
23. Nigel McGuiness v. Austin Aries ROH 3/28
24. Evan Bourne v. Chavo Guererro WWE 10/14
25. Finlay v. Chuck Palumbo WWE 5/20



Previously on the List

Shawn Michaels v. Ric Flair WWE 3/30
Finlay v. JBL WWE 3/30
El Valiente + El Hijo Del Fantasma + La Mascara v. La Sombra + Volador Jr. + Sagrado CMLL 4/30
Blue Panther v. Averno CMLL 11/4

13. Mystico De La Juarez/Silver King/Rubi Gardenia v. Cassandro/Magno/El Hijo Del Santo Lucha Libre London 12/9

This was the main event of the final Lucha Libre London show, and is pretty much everything you could ask for in a lucha libre trios match. Santo is a guy who only shows up on tape once or twice a year, and you really have to search high and low for it. Santo is still Santo and hits all of his signature awesome stuff here, but this match was really made by the performances of everyone else. Cassandro was completely amazing here, crisp, spectacular and really charismatic, by the end of this match he was the most over guy on the show. Mystico De La Juarez and Magno are Juraez guys who clearly work each other a ton, and they have some very cool exchanges, Mystico is a total bump freak as he takes an awesome reverse rana and a nasty looking Code Red from Santo. This was really a traditional formula lucha match, mat work and quick exchanges in the first fall, violent rudo brawling in the second and wild dives and near falls in the third. It is a great formula, and much like the Southern tag formula, pretty rare in 2009. So when you see it done so well like this it is a real pleasure.

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