Segunda Caida

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

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Eric and Phil will be rocking out the debut episode of Segunda Caida radio this Tuesday at 11pm

Rumored Dean Rassmussen participation along with who knows what else. Everyone should listen and/or call in


Show is up now for Download

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Fab Five WWE Matches of the Week 9/21-9/27

1. Christian v. Zach Ryder ECW 9/22

Another in the long line of really good Christian matches. He has a formula which he can plug guys into. Opening back and forth wrestling, leading to a big Christian bump, heel working over the bodypart injured in the bump, and then a near fall exchange with lots of reversals. When you are working with a greenish roster it is a good formula. The big bump here was pretty nasty, flying ribs first into the stairs, and I liked the way Ryder worked over those ribs. Near fall section was fun too, the rollup by Ryder did really feel like a possibly title change. Ryder really has his gimmick down, and works the Jersey Shore club douchebag about as well as Punk works sanctimonious straight edger.

2. C.M. Punk v. The Undertaker Smackdown 9/22

Say what you will about the Undertaker, for a guy who's gimmick is that he is an indestructible zombie he can really put over an opponent. Punk came out of this match looking pretty strong, he was able to go toe to toe with the Undertaker and still have some real moments of advantage. I can't imagine his inevitable DX feud will work out as well. Although Helmsley/Lemmy v. Punk/MacKye would be an awesome celebrity Wrestlemania match. Punk really gets chucked around at the beginning, which he sells really well, he does pretty good "I saw a ghost" eye bugging reactions. I did like how he fought back though, the constant little elbow shots he is throwing in his matches now are pretty cool. I was also impressed with how quickly Undertaker threw on the gogoplata, that shit took forever when he first started using it, here he was Diaz brother quick. FInish was fun too, Punk goes over semi clean, but stuck in a cage his strategy wouldn't work. Heck of a TV main event, and everything the PPV should have been.

3. Goldust v. William Regal Superstars 9/22

These are certainly two of the four best wrestlers in the WWE, and on paper this pretty much looks like a dream match. We didn't get what you might hope for, as the match was pretty truncated, but what we did get was pretty good. Regal's early armwork didn't mean much, but it was really well applied, I loved the grinding of the knee. The punch exchange was great too, short but nifty. Still just a taste of what these guys could do against each other, but a great taste.

4. Miz v. Evan Bourne RAW 9/21

This was basically an indy wrestling style exchange of cool moves. For this kind of match to work the moves have to be pretty cool and they really were here. I dug the apron knee lift and chicken wing camel clutch by Miz, and the John Woo kick by Bourne was pretty sweet. Also both guys bumped well, I especially liked the way Bourne eat the corner clothesline Miz stole from him, very professional. Cool finish with Bourne missing the shooting star, landing on his feet and getting hit by the stroke thing Miz is using as a finisher. RAW would be a lot more watchable if they had more fun 6 minute matches like this

5. Finlay/John Morrison v. Dolph Ziggler/Mike Knox Smackdown 9/22

Whoever laid this match out, did the really smart thing of parking Morrison on the apron for 90% of it. Finlay is a fun face in peril and Knox and Ziggler have some pretty good teamwork. Something seemed to click for Ziggler in the last couple of weeks and his offense no longer looks so dainty. Morrison's hot tag though was pretty embarrassing, those were some girl slap punches on both guys. Still enough Finlay to squeeze this ahead of Batista v. Show.

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

No Segunda Caida Radio Tonight!!

Well, we blew it. Phil and I didn't realize that 6:30-10:30 Eastern was their premium time, so we are RESCHEDULING!! The debut of the show will be THIS TUESDAY, 9/29/09, at 11:00 P.M. Eastern, 8:00 P.M. Pacific.

Tonight's show was going to be really bad anyway. Phil was going to talk for an hour about joshi workers getting bloody mouths and Mackenzie Phillips and matches that nobody else has ever seen. We were also going to fantasy book the ultimate Heaven One Night Title Tournament, and with time permitting we were going to fantasy book the 7 months leading up to Kota Ibushi main eventing next years Wrestlemania!!!

That time will be much better served tonight watching another amazing new episode of Mad Men, or watching the 39th Season Premier of The Simpsons.

Talk to loved ones, tell them of the time change, tune in then. It might be worth it*.

*won't be worth it

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

IWRG 3/19/09

PAS: Alfredo got in a batch of IWRG including some shows that didn’t show up on youtube, this show was earlier in the year then any of the other stuff we have reviewed.

Black Thunder, Mr. Condor, Muerte Roja vs. Turbo, Bushi, Pendulo

TKG: Mr Condor was pretty bad ass here. And you wanted to watch whatever he did but this was a mess. Black Thunder is the rudo who specializes in eating Turbo’s stuff better than anyone else (Averno to Turbo’s Mistico), but he looked like a mess eating either Bushi or Pendulo’s offense. Surprisingly, he didn’t look that great opposite Turbo either. Where is Marabunta? The Bestias Metalicos? Mr Condor deserves better Nuevo Diabolicos.

PAS: Turbo has some nice looking armdrags, but they were only occasionally eaten nicely. This was the first time I had seen Muerte Roja and he really wasn’t doing it for me, really a poor mans Hysteria. This was all about Mr. Condor as he was in the role Black Terry often plays in IWRG, legendary rudo carrying five other guys.

Black Terry, Pierroth II, Arlequin vs. Chico Che, Fantastik, Multifacetico

TKG: Aw man this was an awful mess. What the fuck? IWRG shelled out the money for Dr Wagner Jr and didn’t pay anyone else? These guys looked like unpaid trainees. Maybe Dr Wagner Jr has access to the good drugs and partied with the roster preshow. I haven’t seen Fantastik in ages and he looked barely trained. No one but Black Terry and Multifacetico looked like they knew how to run the ropes. Arlequin looked like Jim Belushi disinterestedly brawling in a fight scene in a shitty direct to video action movie. There is a point where Arlequin and Fantastik try to do fighting spirit chop exchanges…I don’t know if Arlequin was doing a Kawada sell, but he sells the pain and then goes to fighting spirit sell by doing push ups but is in too much pain and does girl push ups instead.

PAS: The thing you love about IWRG is that they will give great matches enough time to really be great, the flip side is when you get an abortion like this, it will be a long drawn out abortion. Tom talked a lot about how bad Arlequin was, and he was really bad, but man alive did Chico Che and Pierroth II look like crap. They kept matching up with each other in long rope running sections, where neither guy looked like they had run ropes before. I thought Condor kind of kept that last match together, but Black Terry wasn’t able to do anything with this.

Hijo del Pierroth, Oficial 911, Máscara Año 2000 Jr. vs. Zatura, Fuerza Guerrera, Dr. Wagner Jr.

TKG: This wasn't really much until the third fall. House show Dr Wagner working mailed in brawl through crowd and running through his charisma posing spots. Wagner does have a ton of charisma and him tearing off 911's police hat and posing with it was amusing. Official 911 looked really amusing without the hat,as he still had the visor and looked like a highschool football coach or retiree golfer. I was surprised by how well Mascara Ano dos Mill Jr looked doing the half assed brawl through the crowd. Third fall was the IWRG regulars getiing all their stuff in, the fall in the Wagner touring match thats built on locals showcasing their stuff and they all delivered.

PAS: This was the best match of this sub par episode. Like Tom mentioned it was a big batch of nothing up until the third fall, but the third fall was really good. Zatura was all over the ring, in a show with some impressive flyers (Turbo, Fantastik) underwhelming, Zatura busted it out. My favorite move was his rana to the floor which sent 911 somersaullting into the crowd where he totally wipes out a fan. This dude was flipped head over heels. Fuerza had some fun interactions with 911 too. For a guy with shtick, Wagner doesn't really have shtick I love, but I don't hate it either.

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Friday, September 25, 2009

#6: Cassandro

by Eric

I'll be honest. Before 2008 I had only seen two Cassandro matches. I've always been a big fan of Pimpinela Escarlata, mainly because as long as I've been watching lucha (2000), AAA was always so bad that the few good regulars there over the last decade (Pimpi, Apaches, Garza, Perro) always stood out. Well starting in 2006/2007 Cassandro started working pretty regularly for AAA and therefore started making tape more often than before (i.e. never). And we are all better for it. Cassandro is really the complete package. His charisma is through the roof. He works great in front of small indie crowds, large hipster Lucha Va Voom crowds, British crowds, large lucha crowds, everything. He knows when to play to the back row and when to play to the front row. His bumping is unreal. He may have one of the most insane regular bumps in wrestling today, where he flies through the middle ropes and wraps himself around the ringpost, and every match he finds cool ways to work it in. His sequences always look great and he really gets the most out of the exotico style. Where I get the feeling some exotico workers just throw on makeup as a cheap way to get heat, he knows how to get the most out of it. He might be the best at building to a unwanted kiss spot or an unwanted butt bump of any exotico I've seen. The one tragic thing is that all his best matches are not being taped. What we've seen is merely grazing the surface of Cassandro. No doubt AAA made the right choice in not airing the hair match against Lady Apache earlier this decade. No, no, we needed to see a Black Family trios. Who would want to see any of the Cassandro/Santo singles matches, or Cassandro working opposite Negro Navarro in London? This is a travesty that so many Kurt Angle TNA house show main events get recorded every year, but none of this amazing Cassandro stuff is being documented. Something needs to be done. In the meantime we'll just cross our fingers that Lucha Va Voom has a bunch of his stuff in the can, or some mystery fan with handheld footage emerges. Until then we'll enjoy what we have of him.

Recommended 2008 Matches:

~w/ Billy Boy/Mascara Divina/Pimpinela Escarlata vs. Jesse/Nygma/Polvo de Estrellas/Yuriko (AAA, 1/19/08)
~w/ Pimpinela Escarlata/Pasion Cristal vs. Nygma/Polvo de Estrellas/Yuriko (AAA, 4/10/08)
~w/ Hijo del Cien Caras vs. Incognito/Mascara Ano Dos Mil (Promociones Wagner, 9/6/08)
~vs. Sara Del Ray (IWA-MS, 9/27/08)
~w/ El Hijo del Santo/Magno vs. Mystico de la Juarez/Silver King/Ruby Gardenia (Lucha Libre London, 12/9/08)

Recommended Career Matches:

~w/ Zumbido/Antifaz vs. Pimpinela Escarlata/Sangre Chicana/Casanova (Monterey, 1/8/06)
~w/ Picudo/Nygma vs. Ozz/Cuervo/Scoria (AAA, 3/4/06)
~w/ Gran Apache/Mini Chessman/Tiffany vs. Fabi Apache/Billy Boy/La Parkita/Pimpinela Escarlata (AAA, 5/15/06)
~vs. Pimpinela Escarlata (AAA, 5/18/06)
~w/ Alan/Billy Boy/Decnnis vs. Gran Apache/May Flowers/Pimpinela Escarlata/Polvo de Estrellas (AAA, 5/20/06)
~w/ Faby Apache/Takashi Suguira vs. Pimpinela Escarlata/Oriental/Chikayo Nagashima (AAA, 9/3/07)

2009 Outlook:

I'm sure he would place high if we actually got to see more of his matches. I have seen one Cassandro match that took place in 2009. Lucha Va Voom does his San Francisco a couple times a year, but I am admittedly worried to go check it out (what if the rest of the wrestling stinks? what if the comedy is really unfunny? what if the burlesque bores me to tears? would it be worth my $30 for the one Cassandro match!?). So, let's keep those fingers crossed that we be blessed with more Cassandro!


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#7: Alexander Otsuka

by Phil

BattlArts is one of the last vestiges of the old UWF style left in wrestling. While most of the BattlArts guys focus on the brutal asskicking part of the style, Otsuka is the heir to the Fujiwara, Tamura and Volk Han crazy matwork throne. Along with all of his other strengths you can count on him to bust out at least one rewind mat hold or counter every couple of minutes. He somehow makes almost lucha maestro style matwork work in a shoot setting. Add that to the super violent suplexes and willingness to absorb a hellacious asskicking, you get a total package. Lots of singles matches in 2008 including some pretty big time carry jobs of flawed guys (Tiger II, Sawa and the feculent Keita Yano), plus his part in the classic six man really made him a top 10 guy.

Recommended 2008 Matches:

~vs. Munenori Sawa (BattlArts, 6/8/08)
~vs. Yuki Ishikawa (Real Japan, 6/18/08)
~w/ Yuki Ishikawa/Munenori Sawa vs. Daisuke Ikeda/Super Tiger II/Katsumi Usuda (BattlArts, 7/26/08)
~vs. Super Tiger II (BattlArts, 8/31/08)
~vs. Keita Yano (BattlArts, 12/21/08)

Recommended Career Matches:

~w/ Yuki Ishikawa vs. Daisuke Ikeda/Mohammed Yone (BattlArts, 1/12/99)
~vs. Daisuke Ikeda (BattlArts, 4/26/99)
~vs. Mitsuya Nagai (BattlArts, 9/7/00)
~w/ Yuki Ishikawa vs. Daisuke Ikeda/Mitsuya Nagai (BattlArts, 2/13/00)
~vs. Takeshi Suguira (Zero-One, 4/18/01)
~vs. Yuki Ishikawa (Big Mouth Loud, 9/11/05)

2009 Outlook:

Had a good start with a carry job of the useless Sekimoto and a nice B-Rules match with Ishikawa but then has kind of vanished. He had some tags during the B-1 Climax, but probably not enough production to keep him in the top 10.


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Thursday, September 24, 2009


Eric and Phil will be rocking out the debut episode of Segunda Caida radio this Sunday at 10pm

Rumored Tomk participation along with who knows what else. Everyone should listen and/or call in

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#8: The Necro Butcher

by EricR

It seems kinda cool to hate the Necro Butcher now, just because his '08 wasn't as good as his '07. He's been all around the indies and gotten all the indie dream matches out of the way, and some people think he's now just a meth dealing Hillbilly Jim. Yeah, some of his ROH work stinks, but so what!? There were a bunch of rad Necro matches in '08. He still looks awesome and has presence like few, like the lead singer of Spin Doctors gone crazy awesome. He punches people in the face and gets punched even more, he throws chairs around with pinpoint accuracy and will take at least two stupid bumps in a match. He takes insane beatings, but showed against Sami Callihan that he can also be great beating a guy down. Necro is one of those wrestlers who looks appealing opposite anybody, just because of what he brings to the table. Fantasy book anybody opposite Necro, and it sounds awesome. Necro vs. New Jack? Yes. Necro vs. a 400 lb. Samoan guy? Yes. Necro vs. a flippy guy in vinyl pants? Yes. You want to see any movie Willem Dafoe is in because he's Willem Dafoe. And I want to see any Necro match because he's The Necro Butcher.

Recommended 2008 Matches:

~w/ Chris Hero/Candice LeRae vs. Eddie Kingston/Human Tornado/Claudio Castagnoli (PWG, 1/5/08)
~w/ Joey Matthews vs. Briscoe Bros. (ROH, 3/16/08)
~vs. The Predator (IGF, 6/23/08)
~vs. Roderick Strong (ROH, 8/1/08)
~vs. Too Cold Scorpio (IWA-MS, 8/17/08)
~vs. Sami Callihan (IWA-MS, 10/4/08)
~w/ Toby Klein vs. Deranged/Brain Damage (IWA-MS, 10/18/08)
~vs. Chris Hero (PWG, 11/1/08)

Recommended Career Matches:

~vs. Toby Klein (IWA-MS, 8/1/03)
~vs. Samoa Joe (IWA-MS, 6/11/05)
~w/ Toby Klein vs. H8 Club (CZW, 7/9/05)
~vs. Super Dragon (PWG, 9/2/06)
~vs. Homicide vs. Teddy Hart vs. Low-Ki (JAPW, 10/28/06)
~w/ Mad Man Pondo vs. Briscoe Bros. (FIP, 4/21/07)

2009 Outlook:

He won't finish top 10, but he'll make the 100. He's already had good matches against Hernandez, Bull Pain, Alofa the Samoan Tank, an IGF rookie, and a bunch of fun tag matches. Sadly, he likely won't be mentioned by name at this year's Academy Awards, as word has it that his scenes in the newest Lars von Trier film have been cut.

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#9: Katsumi Usuda

by Phil

Usuda is the least flashy of the BattlArts big four, but much like Taue he has always been consistently excellent. The big punt he added this year was maybe the single nastiest move in all of wresting. He was in and out of BattlArts in 2008, but had two of the best matches of the year. He was a big part of the epic six man tag, but his performance against Keita Yano in November really solidified his top 10 spot. Yano is maybe the single worst wrestler making tape in the world, and Usuda beat him into a hell of match, made his shitty comebacks look threatening and then kicked him into oblivion. Really one of the greatest carry jobs I have ever seen, and a true example of his greatness.

Recommended 2008 Matches:

~w/ Daisuke Ikeda/Super Tiger II vs. Yuki Ishikawa/Alexander Otsuka/Munenori Sawa (BattlArts, 7/26/08)
~vs. Keito Yano (BattlArts, 11/16/08)
~w/ Daisuke Sekimoto vs. Yuki Ishikawa/Yuta Yoshikawa (BattlArts, 12/21/08)

Recommended Career Matches:

~vs. Carl Greco (PWFG, 10/29/93)
~vs. Yuki Ishikawa (PWFG, 8/13/94)
~w/ Daisuke Ikeda vs. Yuki Ishikawa/Shoichi Funaki (PWFG, 5/19/95)
~vs. Ikuto Hidaka (BattlArts, 3/12/00)
~vs. Yuki Ishikawa (BattlArts, 6/9/02)

2009 Outlook:

He has looked good in all of his 2009 BattlArts work including a good match with Yoshikawa, still hasn’t had the blow away top 10 performances that he had in 2008, but I have hope for the B1 footage.


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Yoshiaki Fujiwara is a Great Force, If You Can Control Him He Can Be Transmuted Into A Power Which Can Move The Whole World

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Akira Maeda UWF 4/17/84- GREAT

This is probably the first singles match between these two, and is main eventing the final show of the first UWF tour. This is one of my all time favorite match ups, although this match was nothing like any of the other ones. At this point UWF hadn't figured out what they were going to be, so this was a totally pro style match. You had a knuckle lock/monkey flip sequence which led into a series of almost Jerry Lynnish roll ups and counters, Maeda did a high knee of the ropes, they brawled outside and threw each other into the guard rails, nothing about this was what you would expect.

The match started with some awesome matwork, Maeda has never particularly impressed me on the mat but his stuff looked sweet here. Fujiwara is of course Fujiwara. All hell eventually breaks loose and the brawl to the floor and Fujiwara gets busted open. He then makes one his big fired up comebacks. The match then had a restart with both guys were counted out, the locker room emptied and they had to be separated before the ref started it again. The finish was both guys exchanging big moves, until the are both laid out on the mat and counted down for the ten. Both guys are pretty awesome at this kind of big time NJ style main event, but it is super weird to watch them work it against each other.

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Nobuhiko Takada UWF 2/27/90- EPIC

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.

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Naoya Ogawa Zero-One 6/14/01- GREAT

Ogawa is so awesome at these kind of intense short matches. Fujiwara is definitely down too. He starts out by throwing a big overhand right as the ref was giving the instructions. It goes from there, Ogawa uses his big punches and throws, and Fujiwara tries to catch him in submissions. Crowd was super into this and the finish was awesome, Ogawa is spiking Fujiwara with STO's and he is crawling to his feet after each throw, after eating a couple he is able to get a desperate Fujiwara armbar, which Ogawa barely escapes. A couple more huge STO's and he drops. Only about six minutes, but super intense and a pleasure to watch.



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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

#10: Rey Mysterio

by EricR

Rey was really only active for 5 months (2 at the beginning, 2 at the end), as his knees are made of putty and his muscles tear as often as 40 yr. old Filipino bodybuilders, but damn if he isn't great at making adjustments to cover up his injuries. His selling is great, he works nice and stiff, and he's the greatest underdog babyface I've ever seen in my life. Earlier in the year he worked a match against Chavo, and the story of the match was Rey getting his arm worked over as he had a biceps tear and his arm was just hanging by a thread. Well, he went down injured not too long after, so either he insanely worked a match with one arm, or his selling was so spectacular that my rube ass got tricked into going "Shit, why is he working this match with only one good arm?" Rey is also really great at covering up size differences, and is one of the only people (maybe the ONLY?) in wrestling that looks cool in vinyl indy pants. That has to be worth something.

~Recommended 2008 Matches:

~vs. Chavo Guerrero (WWE Smackdown, 1/11/08)
~vs. Edge, (WWE Royal Rumble, 1/27/08)
~w/ CM Punk vs. Chavo Guerrero/Edge (WWE Smackdown, 2/1/08)
~vs. Chavo Guerrero (WWE Smackdown, 2/22/08)
~w/ Evan Bourne vs. John Morrison/The Miz (WWE Raw, 9/8/08)
~w/ Finlay/Batista/Jeff Hardy vs. JBL/The Brian Kendrick/Kane/MVP (WWE Smackdown, 10/3/08)
~vs. Evan Bourne (WWE Raw, 10/27/08)
~vs. CM Punk (WWE Armageddon, 12/14/08)

~Recommended Career Matches:

~vs. Eddy Guerrero (WWE Smackdown, 11/14/02)
~vs. Matt Hardy (WWE Smackdown, 6/5/03)
~vs. Eddy Guerrero (WWE Smackdown, 3/18/04)
~vs. Chavo Guerrero (WWE Great American Bash, 6/27/04)
~vs. Chavo Guerrero (WWE Smackdown, 5/5/05)
~vs. Eddy Guerrero (WWE Smackdown, 6/23/05)
~w/ Batista vs. MNM (WWE Smackdown, 12/16/05)
~vs. Mark Henry (WWE Smackdown, 1/20/06)
~vs. Fit Finlay (WWE Smackdown, 3/24/06)
~vs. Randy Orton (WWE Smackdown, 4/7/06)
~vs. King Booker (WWE Smackdown, 7/23/06)
~vs. Fit Finlay (WWE Smackdown, 9/5/06)
~vs. Fit Finlay (WWE Smackdown, 11/9/07)

~2009 Outlook: I can easily see him going up. Right now he seems like a top 3 pick, possibly #1. He's been healthy a long stretch of the year and has continued his trend of having good to great matches with every size opponent. As long as he doesn't get caught with a lapsed pain pill subscription, he'll go up. If he doesn't work the rest of the year, finishing higher is still not out of the question.

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XCW Midwest 5/5/09

Rob Fury v. Chris Michaels

TKG: I don’t know who Rob Fury is, but I think there is a guy wrestling as “Rob Fury” in every state in the country. Really had he feel of a guy who would be wrestling in ECWA tagged with Inferno Kid. He has good height on his dropkick and is able to do energetic foot stomping to get crowd behind him. But this is the kind of really impressive heel performance where you leave with no impression of the face at all.

PAS: Fury has short hair and blue trunks and really looks like a random John Paul tag partner in late 80’s Memphis. Michaels ruled in this taking a bunch of really great signature bumps, including a backflip over the top and the Waltman corner bump. Finishing super kick was awesome looking too. Fun but ultimately forgettable match.

Sexy Shawn Casey v. Mitch Ryder

TKG: Shawn Casey is a really generic heel in the same way that Fury was a really generic babyface. They may both be trainees. I don’t know if Ryder was working as guy working opponent below him (in wrestling hierarchy) or if that’s just what it feels like when you match up a good babyface v. generic heel. This felt like inverted version of the heel underestimates opponent type match.

PAS: I have no idea why you bring in Sexy Shawn Casey when your show is being semi mained by Sexy Shawn Cook. They either have to feud, or Casey has to change his gimmick. This seemed to set up a Ryder v Michaels match, and in that sense the matches did their job. You watch Ryder work a generic heel and Michaels work a generic face, and you really want to see them against each other

Bull Pain v. Lash Gibson/Convict

TKG: I can’t make out any of the mic work which is a pain considering this is a fed filled with guys who are good on the mic. The impression I get is that Todd Morton is claiming injury so Bull Pain gets these two guys instead. Lash Gibson is a XCW trainee who I’ve seen twice before and liked. This whole show may be XCW regulars v trainees. I need to start watching the all trainee shows. I expected this to be a total disgusting ass beating. Instead it was Bull Pain beating on the trainees, followed by moments of Bull Pain being distracted by Morton or Flash Flannigan and the trainees getting in little bits of stuff. This disappointed as you kind of want it to be either more competitive or more non-competitive. This was in some in-between place and just there.

PAS: I was expecting this to be a brutal Bull Pain beating and there were moments of that, but I wanted more moments.

Shawn Cook/Cody Hawk v Irish Airborne

TKG: This went really long, maybe too long. First ten minutes of this were flashy face stuff and heel stooging, followed by Shawn Cook pulling down the top rope while one of Irish Airborne was running the ropes leading to a big bump and a FIP section. I liked the first FIP section, and then second member of Irish Airborne tagged in and got his stuff stopped for second FIP section. Heels are really good at stopping the faces from getting stuff in and have lots of nasty ways to knock a guy in his head, but second Irish Airborne guy was sloppier as FIP then first one, They go for a really cool variation of the standard Fantastics lose a match finish (Rogers has opponent in roll up and gets hit with clothesline/DDT etc). Here instead Shawn Cook goes for the clothesline only to have it ducked and fly out the ring. A couple neat spots and variations on a basic formula, neat things that I hadn’t seen before…but this got lost a couple times in it’s length.

PAS: I liked some of the flashy Irish Airborne stuff, the springboard headlock takeover was cool and I liked some of the Cook and Hawk stooging, the face catapulting the heels head into his partners nuts. However it didn’t feel like either guy had enough cool stuff for the length of the match. This was a 20+ minute match that would have been a really great 14 minute match.

L.T. Falk v. Flash Flanagan

PAS: This is a whole show kind of based around higher ranked guys wrestling lower ranked guys and this was the best of those matches. Falk is the son of Cowboy Tony Faulk and is better then anyone in Legacy. This had Flanagan rip apart Faulks leg with some really nastily applied basic offense, and Falk firing back with nice enthusiastic babyface offense. I especially liked his punch, chop combo. Falk did a bunch of really cool sells of the leg, including flipping out of a headlock and his leg collapsing under him. Pretty much a touring Ric Flair match done really well, which is always cool to see in the 21st century.

TKG: Yah a lot of this show felt like an 80s WWF Superstars episode. I got the sense that I would enjoy the battle of the underdogs between all the trainees but here for the most part I didn’t by the underdogs as being competitive. Here this really did feel like underdog hugely stepping up and you bought his enthusiasm at having this opportunity. He wasn’t going to let it go to waste. Flannigan’s leg work all looked really good and was paced well. Flannigan’s had a pretty nice year in the ring and always manages to have neat original finishes to his matches.


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Monday, September 21, 2009

There is One Pain I Often Feel, Which You Will Never Know It is Caused By Yoshiaki Fujiwara

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Ken Shamrock PWFG 12/5/92- GREAT

PAS: Very cool match, Shamrock is really athletic and has great spots, you get a guy like Fujiwara or Sano to put that into a match it will be really great. The first part of the match has Shamrock using that athleticism to take Fujiwara down and get him into submissions, but Fujiwara has an answer for everything, and keeps doing awesome reversals into submissions. I really think Fujiwara is the greatest counter wrestler ever. Shamrock finally gets fed up with taking him down, and starts kickboxing. He gets a quick down, and then knocks him out with an enziguri to Fujiwara's face. The match feels a little truncated, especially considering how rarely Fujiwara loses. The standup section really should have gone a little longer, as Fujiwara kind of got squashed as soon as they stood.

TKG: I don't have much to add to what Phil says here other than I really liked the process of Fujiwara getting escapes. As he goes from guy caught to guy struggling to guy coming up with something in a visually exciting way When Fujiwara is beat you can tell he's beat as he seems just completely unprepared for the change in tactics.

Yoshiaki Fujiwara/Tatsumi Fujinami/Riki Choshu v. Shinya Hashimoto/Power Warrior/Masa Chono NJ 7/8/94-FUN

Pretty nifty legends of the 80's vs. stars of the 90's match. Focus was on Choshu v. Hash, as the match begins with Choshu kicking the middle rope into Hashimoto's junk, so he spends the first couple of minutes on the floor grabbing his man tonsils. When Hashimoto comes back he laid in the kicks something fierce. Fujiwara was a bit player here, although he did have an awesome karate showdown with Hashimoto, which included a great little asshole Fujiwara dance after the stand off. Fun finish with Choshu lariating everyone, but Chono catching Fujiwara with a yakuza and Power Warrior hitting a big powerslam.

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Toshiaki Kawada AJPW 3/21/01- SKIPPABLE

This is a match I a have watched several times. The first time I saw it was in 2001 and it ruined Fujiwara for me for years. I rewatched after getting into the Other Japan Fujiwara stuff, and then rewatched a third time for this project. It may be the most inexplicably bad match I have ever seen. I mean on paper this seems like it should rule, two of the greatest Japanese wrestlers ever, seemingly compatible styles, Kawada isn't a guy who did much shootstyle, but you always figured he would be great in it, and it isn't like Fujiwara can only work one way. Sure Fujiwara is past his prime a bit by 2001, and you knew this wouldn't be as good as it would have been in 1994, but this wasn't just a little disappointing, it was down right shitty.

As much as it pains me to say it, the blame goes pretty squarely on Fujiwara's shoulders. I have run across other bad Fujiwara matches in my travels, but no other match where he is the reason it is bad. He eats Kawada alive here. It is 2001 AJPW, Kawada is clearly the top guy in the promotion, and Fujiwara treats him like shit. He basically no sells almost all of Kawada's offense, Kawada will kick him in the face and he will just look at him, this isn't the Fujiwara tough it out sell, he just waves it off. At one point he gets German Suplexed, rolls out of it and goes on offense. There wasn't even a shitty Takiawa Fighting Spirt yell. He also takes a ton of the match, not really with cool mat holds or nifty punches, but mostly with JYD headbutt stuff. Even when he loses, he kicks out at the three count in a crappy keep his heat kind of way. Kawada seems to be trying pretty hard here, but Fujiwara just doesn't give a fuck. I don't know if this was a NJ v. AJ thing, or Kawada tried to fuck Thundercrack, but this was a total stinker.


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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Fab Five WWE Matches of the Week 9/14-9/20

1. Finlay v. Dolph Ziggler Superstars 9/15

The only really good match of the week. I think this is the best Ziggler has looked, he always bumps well, but most of the time his offense doesn't look ready for prime time. Here he actually had a nice straight right hand and hard elbow smash, and his weird neck lock was by far the coolest looking thing I have seen him do. Finlay is always a total pleasure, I loved the unlace the boots spot, and chasing Ziggler into the crowd, plus he broke out the Santo headscissors which is one of my favorite moves in wrestling history. You also have to dig him coming up with new ways to use the ring skirt, crotching Ziggler on a dive. I would love to see these guys have a PPV match if Ziggler wins the IC title.

2. John Morrison v. Mike Knox Smackdown 9/15

Morrison hate is pretty deep amongst the internet roads I travel on, but he isn't a guy I have a huge problem with. Here he broke out a couple of nice spots, including a very pretty Asai, and took a nice mid level beating from Knox. The jumping kick to the back of the head by Knox was the spot of the week, and I still totally mark out for the body press. Fun TV match

3. Christian v. Paul Burchill Superstars 9/15

Christian has gotten pretty great at working these solid TV matches will limited greenish guys. This wasn't as good as the Swagger matches or the Zach Ryder match, but I enjoyed it. Christian didn't take any huge bumps to the floor, although eating a fisherman buster from the top is pretty damn crazy, Burchill using that as a set up to attempt a stroke variation is pretty dumb. Still don't have much of an opinion of Burchill, but this was probably the best he has looked.

4. Chris Jericho v. Batista Smackdown 9/15

Shortish big star main event which was perfectly fine. This kind of thing is pretty formula, kill some time with some body part work, go into a finisher counter section. I do still really like Batista's spinebuster, and while I think the codebreaker is kind of a dumb move, I liked Batista catching it and countering it into the powerbomb. Still this need five more minutes to be something memorable.

5. ECW Battle Royal ECW 9/15

First part of this was legitimately dull, with lots of guys wandering around throwing clubbing forearms. Still when it narrowed down it got pretty good, as I love to see the crowd getting behind Goldust. I am amused by Ryder's shtick, but I am not sold on him as a #1 contender and am hoping they move back to Regal soon.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Fab Five WWE Matches of the Week 9/7-9/13

1. William Regal v. Christian Breaking Point 9/13

Just a tremendous match, really one of the best things I have seen all year. The match between these two a couple of weeks ago was damn good, but I thought it felt a bit like a Regal one man show. Not this match though as Christian was right there along for the ride. I especially dug how he was constantly firing back with body punches, that is something which isn't used much in wrestling (although a lot on this card) and it looked great here. Regal was truly awesome here, he is a guy with some really big strengths. He is a great seller of impact and pain, a combination of facial expressions and body movement. We had a couple of really nice moments here of agony. He is one of the better mat wrestlers in the world, and this had some great points, where Regal would hit a move and wrench in a hold, Christian showed some nice countering here too, and ended up not looking smoked on the mat. Regal also is one of the hardest hitting wrestlers in the world, there were some shots in this match that looked like they belonged in BattlArts not the WWE, his forearm smash where he exploded out of the blocks like a linebacker was especially nasty, as was all of his short knee strikes. Your constant countering of finishers is a pretty tired match trope especially in the WWE, but I loved all of the ways Regal avoided and countered the Killswitch here, when Christian finally hit it, it deservedly felt like curtains. Man I am loving this Regal run.

2. John Cena v. Randy Orton Breaking Point 9/13

I really enjoy these kind of spectacle main events. This was a match based around individual moments rather then a coherent wrestling match. You could tell this was a match put together in the back, still great performances by both guys. All of the big moments were pretty awesome, some people may have found both Cena and Orton a little hammy, but I bought Cena as a beaten man and Orton as a crazed nut. I loved the section with Cena hanging on the turnbuckle while Orton slammed him with brutal body shots like Rocky working a slab of beef. I also really dug Orton hanging the handcuff key around his neck to taunt Cena. Finish with the tug of war leading to the handcuff assisted STF was great too. This is pretty much the definition of a match that could have used blood though, Inoki and Saito did something similar in New Japan and the spectacle of it was really helped by the spigot coming out of Saito's head. Still those ropey red bruises on Cena's ribs were a nice conciliation prize.

3. Finlay v. Mike Knox Smackdown 9/8

This is another nasty little installment from the most violent feud in wrestling. Both guys were great in this, I loved the way Finlay kept trying to get to his feet only to be knocked down by another garbage can shot, the garbage can shots are something that doesn't normally look good, here they looked really nasty and violent. Knox was also taking some big bumps for such a bulky dude. Finish might have been the finish of the year with Knox going for the bodypress and getting shot out of the air like a plane hit by a missile.

4. Matt Hardy v. C.M. Punk Smackdown 9/8

Pretty solid match which did what it was designed to do, get over the Anaconda Vice before the PPV. Hardy looked good, he was winging that right hand, and his butterfly body vice submission was awesome looking. This was another really solid Punk performance, he was doing a lot of nifty little things, punching Hardy in the back of his neck, rubbing his knee and limping a little after knee strikes, putting on his little cockish smirk after a good blow. Still I thought the finish was a bit abrupt, it got the move over, but I thought it made Hardy look kind of weak. Punk's post match celebration ruled though, what an amazing douchebag he is turning out to be.

5. Undertaker v. C.M. Punk Breaking Point 9/13

Dogshit ending aside, the actually work in this was pretty good. For a pair of guys who work "dangerous striker" gimmicks neither Punk or Undertaker normally have good looking strikes. Here both guys seemed to be laying it in a little more then usual. Punk's high kick counter of the chokeslam was especially nice looking. I also thought he did a nice job bumping around for the Undertakers stuff. Still this fucking finish again. Talk about diminishing returns. We are going to get another couple of weeks of promos for Punk and he should really portray Undertaker as a lamer metal guy who isn't really Punk Rock. Feels like Undertaker would make a fine Glen Danzig in the indy rockifying of Smackdown.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

He Who Bravely Fails Must Risk Yoshiaki Fujiwara

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Minoru Suzuki PWFG 11/3/91-EPIC

PAS: Fujiwara had been mostly working undercards up to this point, but man does he deliver in a main event spot. Suzuki is your young guy desperate to overtake the veteran ace of the company, and he dominates here, although he is never able to put Fujiwara away. This is really all about Fujiwara as a defensive wrestler, he blocks and eludes and counters and while Suzuki would easily win a decision, there are no judges in PWFG. There are a ton of nifty little things in this match, but I especially loved the way Fujiwara used hand and wrist control. Suzuki is rarely ever able to lock anything in solid, as he is always getting his wrists and hands grabbed and twisted. I am not a big fan of the draw booking, but the finish here was great, Suzuki is getting more and more frustrated, and he and Fujiwara start shit talking at each other, and then at the end they both are working on ankle locks as the bell rings, and Suzuki refuse to let go. Then when he does he is punching the mat in anguish and frustration. Just great stuff.

TKG: Both guys were working defensively as you had sense that Suzuki was fighting to block headbutts before they were unleashed. Fujiwara tries to establish distance to headbutt and Suzuki pulls him in. Really Phil’s covered the whole story here so pretty much all left to talk about are the cool little pieces like that, the multiple ways Fujiwara fights out of a choke (my favorite being this thing where he uses his feet to push his way out). Cameraman did a pretty great job here getting really expressive shots during long sleeper segment where Fujiwara spouts different types of bubbles till getting to the ropes. For a show that really had only two matches,,,this was a fucking great match.

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Jushin Liger NJ 9/23/94- GREAT

This was kind of the 90's version of the Fujiwara v. Tiger Mask matchup. Liger is the striker flurrying with palm strikes and slipping in sneaky kappo kicks, while Fujiwara is trying to take him down and slow him down. Some very cool stuff here, including Fujiwara being pretty punishing, landing a big right hand in the corner, and really laying in a beating on Liger when he had the mount, including some nasty bodyshots. Finish run was pretty nifty with Liger having Fujiwara on the ropes with a big kappo kick and a nasty dropkick to the knee, Fujiwara however reverses an irish whip and when Liger dives off the ropes, he side steps him and slaps on the Fujiwara armbar for the finish, it is the kind of counter wrestling finish which Fujiwara is the master of.

Yoshiaki Fujiwara/Tatsumi Fujinami v. Nobuhiko Takada/Masahito Kakihara UWFI 6/26/96-GREAT

This was a main event of a UWFI show during the UWFI v. NJ feud, with Fujiwara and Fujinami representing NJ. Pretty cool match with the frisson between the styles providing a bunch of neat moments. Of course Fujiwara is a master at shootstyle wrestling, but it was cool to see Fujinami throw in stuff like top rope diving knees and clotheslines off of the ropes. The crowd reacted big whenever Fujinami used pro moves, and it nicely demonstrated the battle of styles. I haven't watched any UWFI in years, and I was impressed in Takada here, he was still a little bland, but he was laying in the kicks and he projects a big star aura in a way he didn't in the 80's. Kakihara has impressively fast hands, and I loved the little story that he and Fujiwara were telling throughout the match. In the early part of the match you could tell that Kakihara's hand speed was bothering Fujiwara, he was getting caught with flurries and kicks and got knocked down several times. By the end of the match though he had started to time Kakihara and was able to block and avoid most of his shots. The finish was awesome with Fujiwara dancing away from an increasingly desperate and reckless Kakihara until he catches a leg on a kick and sinks in a kneebar for the tap. Totally cool story, reminded me of the Juan Manuel Marquez v. Juan Diaz fight, with the wily veteran initially overwhelmed by the athletic freak, but able to use his guile to adjust.

Yoshiaki Fujiwara/TARU v. Minoru Suzuki/Yoshihiro Takayama RING SOUL 4/19/07-SKIPPABLE

This is from a TARU vanity fed, and the concept behind this match is TARU wanting to work a UWF style match. TARU is a guy who is fun in a pro-style brawl, but is really out of his element here. Takayama and Suzuki are kind of walking through this as you might expect them to, with Takayama looking especially shot. Fujiwara and Suzuki have a couple of fun exchanges, including kind of a nifty knuckle lock where Suzuki keeps parrying the Fujiwara headbutt. Still this is a 20 minute match, and 17 minutes or so were pretty dull.



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XCW Midwest 8/4/09

2 Tough Tony v. Marc Houston

TKG: This is the best Two Tuff Tony has looked in XCW. Last time these two matched up Two Tuff worked like a Dustyish babyface. Here he works more like a highflying face, getting leg worked over and struggling to knock down the brawler by catching him with highspots. Houston is really good at working powerhouse stopping a highflyers comebacks. I especially liked the section where Tony was selling the leg during an Irish whip attempt which Houston reversed into a leg sweep.

PAS: This has some highs and some lows, Tony has been inconsistent in XCW but he was at his best here, he hits two big highspots, his flipping lariat and a quebrada and has impressively fast rotation on both. They also do a great out of the ring brawl with Tony holding Houston so he can be chopped by the fans, there was one old dude in the crowd who might have been a pompadoured Ron Garvin because he chopped the fuck out of Houston. Houston is a guy who I think is going to be really good, but is probably a year away. He had some great individual moves including a beautiful powerslam, and a rake to the back of Tony’s bald head. However there was a couple of moments where he looked out of place or awkward including seemingly having no idea how to eat Tony’s finisher. Still pretty good match for a rookie and I am looking forward to watching him progress.

Manbeast v. Cody Hawk

PAS: Manbeast is one half of the Mobile Homers and Hawk is one half of the XCW tag champs, so this is setting up a future tag match I assume. Hawk is a guy with a ton of amusing horseshit to fill a match, but I got no sense of Manbeast at all, he took one nice bump, but he was mostly just a guy standing around while Hawk stooged.

TKG: Hawk has added a more douchey mime spots, mimeing taking guns out and spinning them, mimeing looking for opponents head after a lariat etc. He also had an absolutely nasty double knee to opponents face and a reverse calf branding. When Manbeast did get his end run of offense it wasn’t something you wanted to see.

Revolver v. Sexy Shawn Cook

TKG: This was super short and mostly Shawn Cook flying around eating stuff. Cook is good at eating stuff and Revolver looks to be the Mobile Homer with the better execution, as he has a nice punch, a pretty dropkick and a fine suplex.

PAS: Manbeast was better as a second then in the ring, but this was basically just setting up the tag

Mobile Homers v. Cody Hawk/Sexy Shawn Cook
TKG: In theory you want your better face wrestler to work face in peril and have your lesser guy working as hot tag. But Manbeast is a guy who can eat stuff while Revolver has nice offense. Using Manbeast as hot tag just messed this up. I did like all the leg work on Revolver and Manbeast did have amusing overacting begging to get into ring. But yeah…

PAS: I think I liked this more then Tom, Hawk and Cook are good enough at heel shtick that they can work an entertaining match with pretty much any face tag team. Still after the long Irish Airborne series and now this series I really want to see the level they could get against a really good pair of faces. PG-13 v. Hawk and Cook could be awesome.

Chris Michaels v. Mitch Ryder

PAS: Ryder is having a hell of year. This is another in the line of great 2009 Mitch Ryder brawls. Both guys really had a toe to toe fight, not a lot of fancy moves, but great looking punches and kicks. Michaels is a guy who was supposed to have retired because of a bad back, but he was flying around the ring here. The mikework was hard to hear, but it appeared they had a really hot angle with Morton, Cook, Hawk and Michaels beating Ryder while the screamed and intimidated his mother and son. Very cool shit and got me excited to see Ryder get his revenge.

TKG: Yeah there were points where I thought the stressof promoting was going to prematurely age Ryder. But he looked especially sharp and youthful here. His opening floor brawling really made this feel like a fight. Ryder controlled a lot of this match and for a guy who has been working second from the top type feuds this year looked like a guy you want to see in title contention.

Wolfie D v. Chase Stevens

TKG: Wolfie D looks to be off the roids since TNA, while Stevens looks even more gassed up XCW keeps on brining in Chase Stevens and Andy Douglas to work singles matches and watching this made me really want to see PG-13 v Naturals or Stevens/Cassidey O Reilly. Stevens works heel here and does lots of jawing with the crowd and stalling to begin…backing Wolfie D into corner punching him and then running out of ring. Wolfie D takes pretty big bumps and the payoffs for all the stalling are really rewarding.

PAS: This match goes maybe 10 minutes before anything really happens, however I would rather watch someone stall well then watch people do stuff poorly. Wolfie just flies out of the ring with his bumps, and the crowd was pretty hot by the end mainly because Stevens enraged the crowd.

Bull Pain v. Todd Morton

TKG: This was awesome. This was a chain match worked dog collar style (instead of touching corner they are guys just tied together by chain). The two just beat on each other with Morton unable to escape. The two brawl in the ring and then go to the floor where Morton takes a huge bump where he gets thrown into a garage door. They brawl on the floor till Morton ties Pain to the post and beats on him. Morton takes a huge piledriver on top of the chain and then the booking comes in.

PAS: This was the culmination of this feud and was the closet we have gotten to a match that lived up to the potential of the match up. The brawling in the crowd was pretty amazing, Morton was taking some nutty bumps, including flying into the garage door. Bull Pain threw on of the nastiest snap suplexes I have ever seen right on the floor. Morton has done a lot of really great stooging matches this year, but he is deadly serious and violent here. The match was a finish away from being a real match of the year candidate. . It is a booking problem I have noticed before in XCW. Sometimes they seem so intent on setting up the next show, that the matches on the current show seem to be backdrops. They have been running the Pain v. Morton feud off and on for almost a year, but we got no closure to it, they just moved right into the next feud. I don’t see any reason why this couldn’t have had another 10 minutes and a finish and then run the angle. Still well worth watching and a hell of a match.


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Thursday, September 10, 2009

BattlArts 7/5/09

Katsumi Usuda & Kyosuke Sasaki vs. Keita Yano & Satoshi Kajiwara

TKG: Sasaki is a guy who was getting a big push in U style and haven’t seen for years. He looked fine here in this more pro style environment. It’s hard to really gauge as he didn’t do a ton of matwork and tagged with Usuda he’s going to look secondary. Kajiwara may have some potential and Yano is still awful. Yano is a guy who clearly watches a bunch of US indy tapes and poorly imitates it.

PAS: US Indy wrestling used to be dudes poorly imitating Japanese puroresu, and now we have puro guys poorly imitating ROH guys, the World is truly Flat. I don’t know what was worse Yano’s Nigel rebound lariat or his Danieslon MMA elbows, but Yano is the single shittiest wrestler showing up on tape. This is the real problem with current BattlArts v. 90’s BattlArts, pretty much everyone in the 90’s was at least carryable, current BattlArts still has awesome guys, but some of the younger guys can just drag a match into the toilet. Usuda looked good in his sections, but he got this completely ridiculous tan, it looked like he was working a Khmer Rouge gimmick.

B-1 Climax - Block B: Yujiro Yamamoto vs. Baisen TAGAI

TKG: Yamamoto is pretty awesome, does a really awesome job selling for TAGAI’s shitty offense. Sells arm well early on, eats an awful corner lariat and makes it work, etc. He’s also got really frantic nice comeback offense where even when stuff missed it came off reckless. Unfortunately he works the match from below and TAGAI is a guy who needs to stick to tags.

PAS: Yamamoto is great, and it is a pleasure to watch him work anyone, but TAGAI really is a load. I haven’t minded him in some of the tag matches I have seen him in, but he looked pretty untrained here. I like that they are using Sasaki, but they need to grab so more ex U-Style guys to fill out these undercards.

B-1 Climax - Block A: Yuta Yoshikawa vs. Tiger Shark

PAS: This was perfectly okay although I didn’t really get much of a BattlArts feel from it. Felt like the third best match on a DDT show. Both guys did some okay kick exchanges, but this isn’t a trained monkey show, lay it in.

TKG: This was an indy match. Tiger Shark hits a really nice diving headbutt. And all the mat work and strikes in this felt like the kind of indy matwork and strikes that is used as filler to build up to dive train. Are Johnny Storm and Jody Fleish still showing up in So Cal indies once a year? They could steal this match as filler before dive train and people would dig it. But this was indy match filler.

B-1 Climax - Block A: Yuki Ishikawa vs. Ryuji Walter

TKG: Ryuji Walter is an entertaining crowbar. As powerhouse guy opposite Ishikawa he sells more than Sekimoto. But I see a guy who is going to punch Ishikawa in the face I want to see Ishikawa punch back. I love toe to toe Ishikawa. Ishikawa as underdog valiantly and smartly fighting back against powerhouse is fun but isn’t as awesome as toe to toe Ishikawa. Still Walter is nasty as fuck and Ishikawa looks tough eating and fighting off his stuff. Feels like a match I’ll dig a lot more on rewatch.

PAS: Ishikawa is a guy who grew up idolizing Inoki and this is the most Inokish performance I have ever seen out of him. Walter was in the Hansen/Brody/Vader mode of dominating monster, and Ishikawa was the veteran legend who was going to take a beating, but was going to use his guile and toughness to pull out the victory. I still don't have much of a sense of Walter as a wrestler, but fuck is he stiff, during the first flurry out of the ring he slams Ishikawa with a straight right hand which landed right on the upper part of the jaw. By the way Ishikawa's mouth was swelling it wouldn't shock me if he broke his cheekbone. There was also an in ring right hand for a near fall which had both of us yelling "Holy fuck." Still I loved how Ishikawa weathered the storm and had Walter on the ropes, with a bell saving him from tapping.

B-1 Climax - Block B: Super Tiger II vs. Munenori Sawa

PAS: This was shockingly good, I think it might have been better then previous match, which is never something I would have guessed before hand. This is by far the best STII has looked, he had been carried to some good stuff previously, but it looked like he had it figured it out here. The matwork at the beginning was solid stuff, but it really got good when they stood up. Lots of really nice exchanges, there was one section where both guys stood in front of each other exchanging sick body shots, it is a drill I used to do in boxing and it brought back some painful memories. Finish was awesome with Tiger landing some really pretty athletic kicks and Sawa doing an awesome half KO sell.

TKG: These guys have signature crowd popping spots and they really didn’t do them here. Instead they just went at each other. Really impressive performance by guys who I didn’t think had this in them. In the past Super Tiger II has been a guy who when his stuff looks polished it doesn’t work as well as his stuff that looks sloppy. Here he came across as a polished wrestler in control of his stuff and it all looked good. The match also built from sections to sections really well. I didn’t really think either guy was capable of that. In this kind of match often times the finishing KO will feel really arbitrary, like the wrestlers realized how long the match had gone on and decided “well I guess this will be the strike that ends it”. Here the selling and the set up for the final kO made it clear that it was the finish.

PAS: First part of this show was a bit rough, but the last two matches got me pretty excited for the rest of this tournament.

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Monday, September 07, 2009

R.I.P. IWA-MS, 2/8/03

PAS: To memorialize IWA-MS, a promotion which has provided entertaining shows for over a decade, we are going to review some random shows over the next couple of weeks, after which I imagine the promotion will be back in business.

Shark Boy v. Vortex

PAS: Vortex was accompanied by American Kickboxer who trained him. This match was mostly built around an apparent Shark Boy v. the ref feud, and ended with a restart fast count bullshit finish. Vortex had some impressive athletic spots for an unathletic looking dude, but definitely looked a little rookieish in his other stuff. It was good to see the crazy old dude smoking a pipe though.

ER: Vortex had some pretty OK looking stuff here, and I was fully expecting sub pretty OK. Good to see American Kickboxer coming out and talking shit while wearing a full-on all over print button up Gundam shirt. If you can still sound credible starting shit while supporting Mobile Suit Gundam then more power to you. And that old man's pipe was full on Hans Landa size, just puffing away in the front row.

In between matches saw Todd Morton work the STICK and it was great. He cut a genuinely threatening promo, really intense and hate-filled. What doesn't this guy do? Dave Prazak tries his best to make lame jokes over it man I hate that guy.

Mark Wolf v. KO

PAS: KO was a legit Scottish Games competitor who was green as grass but probably a better athlete then pretty much anyone who ever worked IWA-MS. There were moments where both guys seemed to be visible calling spots. KO looked good on offense, and not so good on defense, dropping early on a bulldog ect. Wolf was solid too, although he kind of had one good looking move, one weak looking move.

ER: I liked KO here, and Phil is overstating how bad the bulldog looked. Most people wouldn't have even noticed it. Plus, I hate when it looks like dudes leap into a perfectly positioned front flop. This dude made the bulldog look REAL, but stumbling and falling way more painfully than if he had taken the bulldog as planned. If you're gonna stumble during a spot, might as well do it when you're supposed to land on your face anyway. Wolf was wearing some classicly torn Balls Mahoney shorts. I can just picture these guys sitting at home, carefully tearing their pants JUST so, just so they'll be PERFECT when they throw shitty forearms to some guy's chest.

Adam Gooch v. Drake Younger

PAS: This was pretty great, Adam Gooch was totally awesome in 2003, great height on his bumps, great looking execution on his moves and a legit sleazeball heat machine. He had this great run for a couple of years and then totally disappeared. He was accompanied by Michael Todd Stratton (AKA Todd Morton), and he is always awesome to watch, even when he is the apron. This was Younger's IWA debut and he looked pretty good, a bunch of energy and some cool spots. It got a little two county for my taste at the finish, but this was blast.

ER: Man, I forgot how great Gooch was earlier this decade. Pre-match heat garnering with Stratton was awesome. They turned an old bit into a forgotten classic, something that easily could've been botched in most others' hands. Fan gives Gooch a wifebeater as a gift, wifebeater says "Gooch is da MAN!" on the front, Stratton urges him to put it on and then poses Gooch to all sides of the crowd, which naturally reveals the back of it says "Who takes it in the ASS!" and Stratton does the slow reveal then reacts in all sorts of awesome "Boss Hogg getting worked by the Dukes" mannerisms. Stratton was the ultimate second in this match.

Steve Stone/Ballz v. Devon Fury/Cornbread

PAS: This was a Pro-Am match, the concept being that a professional was teaming with an amateur. I assume what that means on an IWA show, is that the pros were working for free and the amateurs were paying to work the show. Cornbread was the better of the two backyarders, as Ballz was there mostly there so the announcers can make dozens of puns. Still I never thought I would appreciate the polish and professionalism of Devon Fury.

ER: You can also tell the pros are the ones with new jean shorts and a non-faded black t-shirt. Steve Stone had some good offense including a real nice kneedrop and some good spunk on the ring apron. Cornbread was a pretty enjoyable backyarder, but I'm kind of a chubby chaser as far as wrestling is concerned. If a fat guy does a nice leg drop I'll think he's the best guy in the match. Ballz is my new least favorite wrestler, as Fannin/Prazak with their fucking awful "balls" puns were just constant. Not a one of them funny. Fury slammed balls! Fury punches balls! Fuck you guys.

Danny Daniels v. Spider Nate Webb

PAS: Daniels is a guy I have never particularly cared for, I love Nate Webb but wasn't expecting much. I was plesantly surprised at the beginning of this match as they had some really nice sequences, including Webb climbing Daniels body while in a knucklelock and ripping off a sweet rana. Match fell apart though about six minutes in and never really recovered. Nice moonsault by Nate though.

ER: Nate Webb's pedo-stache always looked so funny with the rest of his vinyl/mesh Hot Topic look. Really came off as a guy who had a friend that worked there and would regularly steal stock, so Nate just gets a bunch of free clothes. There is always a bunch of cool stuff in Webb matches, and Daniels really SUWA's the aforementioned hurracanrana. But that really was the highlight of the first 10+ minute match of the night, and it came in the first minute.

Ian Rotten v. Brad Bradley

PAS: Man was this great. Classic Ian Meth Cook Battlarts. Bradley is a big dude who got a WWE deal at one point. Apparently he was coming off of a MAW victory over Ian, so Ian was coming at him hard. Bradley wasn't really firing back hard enough for this kind of match, although Ian did a great job selling the shots. Ian just goes after Bradley's leg, slapping on some nasty looking leg locks, and even pounding at his thigh with punches. Finish was great with a bloody Ian grabbing a steel chair and decimating his leg with chair shots and then putting on an STF for a submission.

ER: I was a big supporter of Brad Bradley/Ryan Braddock in WWE. I really loved all 9 total minutes he got on Smackdown. Loved the Festus match, loved the tag he had opposite Festus, thought he had good heavyweight offense and a nice dropkick. Anything he had in 2008, he did not have here. Steen-esque bod and a bland face/haircut, this was the Ian show. Ian sells a stomp to the face better than anybody. Bradley was throwing some really wimpy stomps to the face and Ian really made it look like his skull was getting caved in. Those chair shots to the leg were so damn nasty.

Shaq Daddy v. Rollin Hard

PAS: This is another Pro-Am match, with Rollin Hard in the traditional Ian roll of guy potatoing a backyarder. No John Calvin with a kendo stick here, and Rollin actually sells for this guy a bit which kind of kills the gimmick. Shaq Daddy seemed kind of over with the crowd and this feels like the kind of thing that can't be understood out of context.

ER: Shaq Daddy didn't just seem kind of over, he was practically the most over guy on the whole show. Maybe he was a popular local tattoo artist? I have no explanation for this match. It gets like 11 minutes, Shaq gets a lot of bad looking offense, Rollin' really doesn't actually stiff him at all, puts him over afterwards like they had just gone through an epic war, crowd goes apeshit. I have no fucking clue what happened. Rollin' took a real nice spill through some chairs at ringside, but....I just guess you had to be there?

Bull Pain v. Corporal Robinson

PAS: Pain comes out with Mickie Knuckles as his valet, which is an angle that I didn't remember happening. This started out a little underwhelming, but man did it kick in gear. Both these guys really convey "tough guy" well and there were large parts of this that felt like the two craziest guys in a small town clearing out a bar. At one point Bull does a frog splash off the bleachers to the floor, which is a totally insane spot for a veteran to do, I could see Nate Webb or Vortex doing it, but Bull Pain worked in the AWA for fuck sake.

ER: Mickie rocking the little black dress and stylish bob! Cut to 6 years later and she has tangly long hair and a scarred up forehead. Bull is one of the most intimidating guys in wrestling, and Cpl. can do a real nice brawl. Their brawl through the crowd was a lot more impressive than most. Really had a cool fight atmosphere. Bull's bat shots are so awesome. They always look so nasty. They should've used him as an advisor to Ox Baker on "Escape from New York".

Chris Hero v. Michael Todd Stratton

PAS: I had seen this match years ago and I remember it fondly, and man does it hold up well. Stratton (aka Todd Morton) is just amazing at drawing heat, this is the day after Hero and Punk went 90+ minutes, so Hero is coming into this with a disadvantage. Lots of cool shit here, this building has a support poll off to the side of the ring and Stratton takes a huge flying bump into that poll, which looked just brutal. Stratton also breaks out a ladder and they do some cool spots with that, including Stratton pinning him in the corner with the ladder and blasting him with a perfect dropkick. Finish looked to be super overbooked, with a ref bump and Bull Pain and Adam Gooch run in, they get cut off by KO and Mark Wolf and Wolf smashes Stratton. That felt like the finish, but instead Stratton kicks out at two, and they do an amazing kneeling punch exchange, leading to Hero sweeping his legs and getting the Hangman's clutch. Awesome, awesome match, really one of my favorite Chris Hero matches ever, and another spectacular Todd Morton performance.

ER: I am usually not a huge fan of 30 minute matches, as more often than not it seems like the guys could've accomplished just as much in 16-18. But this 30 minutes flies right on by. Everything here was great. Phil mentioned all the cool spots. Hero dropkicking Morton off the apron into the support pole was a real rewind moment. Hero started the match out with real bad punches, but by the time they got to the kneeling exchange he was finally opening up and belting Morton. Of course Morton's punches started great and by the time the exchange rolled around they were just perfect. The size difference was really noticeable here, too, as Morton is a short guy, but they worked the match really believably around that, as even a big guy can get hit in the face. This whole show was a really great showcase for Todd Morton. This would be a real good place to start if you've been wanting to get into him.

Say, we should do some sort of Complete & Accurate Todd Morton list after the Fujiwara one...

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Sunday, September 06, 2009

NWA Fusion Episode 4.5

This was a special match which they placed here, it falls in between Episode 4 and 5 thus the title of the post

Preston Quinn/Grail/Sean Denny v. Jefferson Early/Mark Bravura/Mike Booth

This was the best match of this particular run of internet TV. Really enjoyed the opening with the PQ team beating on the heels and your heel team doing some pretty amusing stooging. I didn't really get much of sense of Early, but I did enjoy Preston Quinn beating on him, the Hart Attack Clothesline/Spine Buster combo is especially awesome looking. Mike Booth wasn't in this match much, but he has a real redneck Negro Casas vibe to him, where you would rather watch him react on the apron then watch the guys wrestle in the ring. The match was based around Bravura v. Denny and while I did enjoy Bravura running away from him earlier in the match, the match fell apart a bit when they had their wrestling exchange. I am really not sold on either guy at this point. I do have to give Bravura points for the Fuller toehold though, it wasn't super smoothly executed, but that is a badass move.

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Fear Not For the Future, Weep Not for Yoshiaki Fujiwara

Yoshiaki Fujiwara/Antonio Inoki v. Dick Murdoch/Masked Superstar NJ 11/24/86- FUN

This was from the 1986 tag league. It is a fine little match which really has some excellent Fujiwara v. Murdoch exchanges. Both guys are such expressive wrestlers, that it is a treat to watch them work simple stuff. There is about 2 minutes of really nice brawling, Fujiwara backs Murdoch into a corner and unloads with one of his super fast combos, leading Murdoch to do a big spit take and a great bite a lemon face. Murdoch fires back with a couple of headlock punches right to Fujiwara's nose, which leads Fujiwara to grimace and adjust his nose to see if it is broken. Really simple stuff elevated to greatness by amazing performers. Match itself isn't much, Inoki had a tendency to take some punishment in a match, just to shrug it off and pin the guy. It isn't even like he Hulks up, he just decides he has had enough and perfunctorily finishes someone, he does that here and it hurts the match.

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Johnny Barrett PWFG 3/4/91-GREAT

Barrett is an early 90's Florida indy worker who was an early DDP tag partner and feuded with the Nasty Boys. Somehow he ended up in UWF2 working as a Greco guy. All of his earliest UWF matches are filled with 3 Stooges style selling and dropkicks, so of course I loved them. Fujiwara of course is fucking Yoshiaki Fujiwara. This was as great as I was hoping it would be, although for different reasons. By 1991 Barrett had gotten the hang of working the style and is actually a really great shootstyle monster, kind of like Gary Albright with takedowns instead of suplexes.

Fujiwara really puts him over great here, as they exchange big shots, including Fujiwara's awesome shootstyle headbutt, which is completely different from his pro-style headbutt . His Pro-style headbutt has him grab the hair and really rare back, the kind of showy headbutt that plays to the back row. The shootstyle headbutt is more like a ram, he bends his knees and drives the top of his head right into either the jaw or the temple of his opponent. It is so different from his pro-style headbutt, that it always looks reckless and potatoey. It really looked like he broke Barrett's jaw. The finish was awesome, Barrett is on top, and tries to maneuver for a cross armbreaker, he slips while trying to apply it, and Fujiwara pounces, grabbing his ankle and sinking in a deep ankle lock for the tap. It actual looked like Barrett blew the spot and Fujiwara just went with, although it might have been intentional. Fujiwara is an amazing defensive wrestler, and this was just a brilliant reaction spot.

Yoshiaki Fujiwara/Shinya Hashimoto v. Daisuke Ikeda/Takashu Sugiara Zero-One 9/15/01-FUN
Slightly disappointing, as on paper I was totally amped to see Daisuke Ikeda match up with both Fujiwara and Hash. There was a nice exchange or two, but this match was focused on Sugiara. They basic story was pretty cool, Sugiara is this beast of an athlete who is still pretty green at pro wrestling. So he has his moments of explosiveness and domination, but he goes to the well a little too often and leaves himself open to counters from the two Maestros. There is this great spot where he hits a big takedown on Hashimoto and ground and pounds him. When they get back to their feet he tries again and Hash drills him with a nasty kick, which I though may have dislocated his shoulder. Fujiwara is able to catch him sleeping a couple of times too, countering a mount with a kneebar, and a front face lock with a Fujiwara armbar. Definitely some cool shit, but it was very frustrating watching Daisuke Ikeda hang out on the ring apron while Sugiara is in the ring.


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Saturday, September 05, 2009

Fab Five WWE Matches of the Week 8/31-9/6

1. Goldust v. Sheamus ECW 9/1

This has been such a great mini feud, and this was a hell of a final act. Watching the resurgence of Dustin Rhodes has been one of true wrestling highlights of 2009. He was tremendous here again, taking some very big bumps, great back selling and a big time babyface comeback. For an undercard feud on a 3rd tier show the crowd was pretty damn hot, "Let's Go Goldust chants, Yeah and Boo chants during the punches, this is really a testament to how great Dustin is at putting a match together. This was also by far the best Sheamus performance of this feud , he was really laying in all of his shots, and his attack on Dustin's back was really violent. I loved how he countered Goldusts drop down slam with a nasty kick to the kidneys. Finish run was great with ringpost bumps by both, really great exchanges and counters, and Sheamus hitting a brutal back breaker for this win. Really great TV week, and this was the highlight

2. Rey Mysterio v. John Morrison Smackdown 9/1

This reminded me a fair amount of the Rey v. Kidman matches in WCW, as Rey did a pretty spectacular job carrying an athletically impressive but otherwise underwhelming wrestler to a damn good match. Morrison brings some nice offense to the table, I especially loved his flipping mule kick. Finish was sweet too, as the missed reverse rana bump was nasty and it lead perfectly to Morrison's twisting senton. This kind of juniors wrestling really isn't my thing anymore, and I didn't like this as much as your other high end 2009 Rey, but it was still an excellent performance. Rey is neck and neck with Negro Navarro for my wrestler of the year, and it is too bad that we are going to miss a month from him.

3. Matt Hardy v. C.M. Punk Smackdown 9/1

I still can't get over how much they are letting Punk do his thing. He is main eventing Summerslam and Quoting Project X in his promos for fucks sake. I understood that his shtick would work in ROH I mean it is indy rock shtick in an indy promotion, but you wouldn't think he could still keep it indy now that he has signed with a major. Bob Mould booked WCW he isn't booking WWE. If they are booking for fanzines they should just go whole hog, I could see Nigel as an old school British first wave punk who doesn't appreciate preachy new school punks telling him he shouldn't slam dance or do drugs. Bryan Danielson is from Washington he could come in with a Calvin Johnson gimmick, can you imagine the heat he would get wearing atight t-shirt with a kitty cat on in, doing a little douchebag dance with his belly poking out.

This was another very solid match, I loved how they turned Hardy's gross injury into a storyline. Punk was great as a total bastard smashing his fat stomach, and Hardy did a great job selling like he was about to puke. I especially dug Hardy making a big babyface comeback and getting cut off with a Sano kick to the gut. I think with an actual finish this would have ended up above Rey v. Morrison as I much prefer stiff brawls to fancy junior wrestling.

4. Evan Bourne v. Chris Masters Superstars 8/31

Masters still isn't much (although I liked one of his punches), but this was a nice little big man v. little man match. Bourne bumped around big and had some pretty nice counters. I especially dug him flipping out of the Masterlock and landing a kick. Finish was pretty nice too as it was a believable way for a guy to beat someone so much bigger then him. I have no idea why Bourne is on RAW though, complete waste of a guy who could be at least carrying Morrison through workrate indy matches.

5. Big Show v. Mark Henry RAW 8/31

I always dig Godzilla v. King Kong match ups like this and both guy really convey a sense of mass and force. I really loved parts of this, the early shoulder blocks, the ridiculous truck collision spear and the nasty headbutt battle. FInish was pretty good too, as it did a nice job of putting over the right hand. Still this was only about a five minute match, and half of it was spent in a not very good headlock. Henry has a nice headlock and you buy that a guy that strong could squeeze the fuck out you head, but he didn't have great leverage and it just didn't look good. Still that was my only problem and I am amped to see these guys square off at the PPV tag.

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

IWRG 8/20/09

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TKG:It’s the annual IWRG Festival De Mascaras, where veteran wrestlers come out of retirement and everyone re-dons there lost masks for one night only. Show honored El Matematico and there was a brief interview and award ceremony with him. No real great matches, but fun show with a bunch of neat performances. I’m not sure if this show had lots of clips in it or just that’s the way WarriorsX removed the commercials but there are a bunch of distracting jump cuts throughout show.

Cerebro Negro/Dr. Cerebro v. Orito/Panterita

TKG: Orito would be Mickey Segura and Panterita would be Freelance. I have been pimping the greatness of Dr. Cerebro this year for a while but jeeze he looked awful here. I don’t know if it was the mask or if he was hung over, or concussed but he looked completely awkward, tentative and struggled to get into place for spots. Cerebro Negro had a bunch of nice stuff with both tecnicos and him and Freelance match up especially well. The Freelance eat of the powerbomb in first fall felt tribute to Misawa nasty and it looked like Cerebro Negro tried to one up it in his attempt to eat a rana as a dangerous powerbomb in the second fall. Freelance still rules. I hope he start's showing up again regularly.

PAS: I really liked your opening Orito v. Dr. Cerebro mat section, and his tope looked nice, but otherwise he was pretty off. I was hoping this would be the blowaway Freelance performance that I have been waiting for all year, he looked good, but this was a fun match not a great one. I did dig the fuck out of the double Orihara moonsaults, although IWRG needs to get a zoom out on their cameras, as they only ever focus on one dive at a time.

El Signo/Negro Navarro v. Black Terry/Shu el Guerrero

TKG: This is Temerarios v Missioneros. Signo looked a bunch of steps off but if there is anyone who can walk a guy through a good looking brawl it’s Black Terry. I will also never tire of Shu’s signature mat stuff. They need to find two young guys to put in trio with Shu, cause I enjoy him way too much to only get to see him once a year. The finish to the third fall had both Signo and Shu eliminated and Terry and Navarro facing off and fuck these are guys I enjoy facing off.

PAS: I think I enjoyed this more then Tom, we are clearly spoiled in 2009, as this kind of thing showing up two years ago would have blown us away. The Navarro v. Terry sections were so amazing, the punch exchanges felt like Lawler v. Mantel awesome, and I loved how the matwork moved from competitive one upsmanship, to really violent cranking. At one point Navarro has this neck strecth submission while fishooking a bloody Black Terry, if I ever get a tattoo, it will be that. Shu and Signo were fine, Signo has a cool looking mask, and I liked the punches on Terry's cut a bunch, but damn Terry and Navarro need to grow their hair back so I can see the epic hair match already.

El Pantera/Ricky Cruz/Scorpio Jr. v. Kraneo/Rambo/Veneno

TKG: Rambo is a guy who always looked far older with mask on then without. In his youth he was a big bumping rudo but now a days does more midlevel veteran matwork and brawling. Since loosing the mask El Pantera has looked pretty shitty, just lost in the ring, like he doesn’t know how to bump or run the ropes. But here both guys decided that they were going to fly around. In his late 50s, Rambo decides to bring back all his goofy big bumps, he’s older and slower on the execution so you can actually see the exact mechanics of each bump but still it’s nutty. Meanwhile El Pantera hits all of his big highspots beautifully. Weird. Kraneo is el Alebrije’s former gimmick and he continues to be a guy I oddly enjoy in IWRG. There may have been no point in Sorpio Jr.s career where I would have felt comfortable saying “That guy is going to make it to 45. But at 43 post death scare, he looks off the gas and like a guy who will make it to 45. Veneno is a charismatic guy who I’ve never cared for and Ricky Cruz really is a budget Apollo but for some reason those two guys have their stuff together opposite each other. I mean these are guys who aren’t much opposite anyone else but really have a touring match down with each other, where at times it has a Briscoe v Briscoe feel of two guys who’ve been working this shit out in their backyard for years. Cruz and Scorpio have the tag title and if they haven’t dropped the Super X invasion angle, I got the impression that I might actively enjoy a Veneno/Alebrije Super X v Scorpio/Cruz IWRG tag feud. Mediocre match but something I enjoyed.

PAS: Yeah Pantera had the real Super Astro 2008 time machine feel to him, as all of sudden in the 2nd fall he is flying around like 1993. If the coach didn't turn into a pumpkin I would love to see him thrown in against the Oficales, Terrible Cerebros or Jr. Piratas. I thought there were some nice exchanges between him and Kraneo, and the Kraneo mask is way better then the Alebrije mask.

Kahoz/Máscara Año 2000/Sangre Chicana v. El Fantasma/Mano Negra/Villano III

TKG: Mano Negra decides “I lost this mask fair and square I ain’t putting it back on” and you got to respect that, especially given that his is the coolest mask on the show. I think they advertised Fishman for this match. I don’t know which if these guys would have been the replacement. Really Fishman could have replaced almost anyone other than Sangre Chicana and it wouldn’t have made a difference. This is Sangre Chicana’s match and everyone else is just along for the ride. Chicana is a guy who had a pretty pushed role in a major fed within last two years. But he really took a backseat to El Brazo and the Consagrados. Here he’s fully in the driver seat as “The King of Scandal” brining this real feel of anarchy to the brawling on the floor. Attacking his opponent with a glass bottle before the match starts, challenging old ladies in the crowd, beating folks, recklessly tossing chairs, looking for his bottle, etc.. It’s not just that the brawling is awesome but also he just carries himself in this real charismatic way where even if he isn’t doing anything he comes across nuts. Villano III is the victim of most of Chicana’s violence. While I knew he could still bleed sell and struggle from below, I was pleasantly surprised by how great III still is in role of fired up baby face fighting back in second fall. While Chichana was brawling on the floor, Mascara Ano Dos Mil worked role of in ring rudo doing actual wrestling exchanges tieing guys up waiting for double teams, nothing really is neat as the wrestling exchanges between El Audaz and Cien last year but that was a different type of match. Fantasma fell into chairs and had a nice high crossbody, Kahoz didn’t do much of anything and Mano Negra was underwhelming but none of that mattered. This was the Sangre Chicana show.

PAS: Yeah christ was Chicana awesome, I probably haven't seem him wrestling in about six years but he was right up there with Terry and Navarro on this show, and man would I love to see him in that mix with those guys. He was throwing this incredible looking sweeping right hook, which was both expressive and powerful looking. Tom was right about the action, Chicana was always moving, his workrate was nuts. Villano III did a great job of bleeding disgustingly, and when he fired back it looked great, I know these guys are working singles matches against each other and lets prey those show up. Because, fuck man.

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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Fab Five WWE Matches of the Week 8/24-8/30

1. CM Punk v. Jeff Hardy Smackdown 8/25

I am pretty surprised that in 2009 the WWE can get a crowd that emotionally invested in a feud and a match. Really that kind of thing has never been something they have been particularly good at, but the end of this match had fans in tears. This wasn't the spotfest televised feud ending cage match we are used to. The cage wasn't used as a platform for spots, but a way to aggravate the violence. The fact that both guys were so busted up coming in really made every bump meaningful, the superplex really felt as brutal as any of the bumps in the TLC, and that was mainly because of the great job both guys did selling the damage. I don't love escape the cage matches, but I really enjoyed all of the struggling for escapes, parts felt like Cary Grant fighting on Mount Rushmore in North by Northwest. Finishing tying everything back to eye was clever and the post match promo and attack were awesome. Feud of the year for sure, and you have to give both guys a ton of credit

2. William Regal v. Christian ECW 8/25

This was the match I should have gotten for my 40 bucks on Sunday. God bless ECW for finally giving me the 15 minute Regal matches I have been waiting for ever since he came to the WWE. Lots of good stuff here, I especially loved Regal's armwhip off the ring apron to the floor. The finish was great too, Regal cheated to win, but it was kind of Christian's fault for losing his temper. That running knee to the temple is a hell of a brutal finisher. Christian has had a great in ring year so far, but here he looked like a guy in a great match with Regal, rather then a great wrestler on his own. Some nice bumps, but outside of the first collar and elbow tie up, he didn't look like he could hang with Regal on holds or stiffness. I am hoping we get a better individual performance the next time they hook up.

3. Finlay v. Mike Knox v. Dolph Ziggler Superstars 8/25

This was a really well worked three way. Finlay and Knox were really pounding the crap out of each other. I can't remember a Finlay dance partner who has brought it with him this much since Benoit. Ziggler's kind of ginger offense stood out really here, you really need to bring it more when you are in with those two guys I did like his bumping though, as he was flying around the ring and took a couple of really nice looking bumps to the floor. He was playing this kid of sneaky pussy, the kind of guy who will stand on the perimeter of a bar fight and throw a cheap punch when someone's back is turned. Getting caught in the ring skirt and smacked around really worked with the role he was playing, as did the finish. Still you watch this match to see Finlay and Knox beat on each other, which is something I could watch forever and will keep finishing high on this list.

4. Rey Mysterio v. Kane Smackdown 8/25

Rey is making a run at WOTY and this is another notch on his belt. This wasn't anything super memorable, but the fact that Rey could have a match this good with Kane of all people is damn impressive. Pretty much a classic Rey cat and mouse match, with a bunch of cool little evasions and counters. I really liked Rey diving into Kane's uppercut and the rana counter of the chokeslam. I see no reason why Rey didn't go over, and I can't imagine anyone wants to see the Kane v. Khali feud continue, still if I had to pick one wrestler in the world to carry someone useless to something good, it would have to be Rey Mysterio

5. Goldust v. Sheamus ECW 8/25

This was only about four minutes but was damn intense. Dustin is just amazing now, really one of the best comebacks I have ever seen. This reminded me of his 1993 series with Foley as it had the same out of control brawling and bumping on the floor. It is hard for a under five minute match to place on a list like this, now that the WWE is running 15 minute+ matches on every show, but if you are going to place, four minutes of crazy bumping and brawling will do it.

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