Segunda Caida

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

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

SEGUNDA CAIDA RADIO

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

IWRG 9/10/09

More Slambamjam IWRG and a skippable show if you are being frugal

Gringo Loco/Carta Brava Jr./Heavy Boy v. Exodia/Bushi/Turbo

TKG: First fall has Carta Brava and Bushi do some real basic matwork, Heavy Boy and Exodia doing some forgettable exchanges and Gringo Loco flying around for Turbo. Uninteresting during the one on one sections and just a mess during any of the other parts. I think Carta Brava Jr is a guy who regularly works shows with Skyade students. But I got the real sense that Turbo may need Black Thuder.

PAS: At one point Turbo appears to hit a crazy dive which the cameraman completely misses, another point Loco apparently takes a crazy Psicosis ringpost bump which is missed again. It is like the cameraman was conspiring to make the match look worse then it was.

Avisman v Freelance

TKG: This is a non title match and super disappointing. I normally like some of Avisman’s big throws even the ones which get Kanyonesque. But he normally pulls them out in short second fall. Here he starts with them and just throws a million of them. The more he does the more hit and miss they start to look. He also decides to mix them in with a ton of really shitty elbow drops. Freelance is a good face in peril worker and his little bits of comeback stuff are nice but this is a rudo dominated fall and a bad one. Avisman wins with a foreign object busting Freelance open, And the ref finds the fallen object and reverses the finish. Second fall has a nice posting and some ok working the cut stuff although the cut never seems to open up any worse, and a lot more ugly Avisman throws and brawling. Frelance hits one insane dive which Avisman catches really poorly and there is an ok end run for Freelance to win two straight but Holy shit did Avisman look bad.

PAS: I was really bummed after realizing we didn’t have their title match available, but after watching this I am less upset. One of the worst matches between two good wrestlers I have seen in a while. Avisman looked awful, he is guy who usually catches things well, but he was off on all of Freelances big complicated moves, and looked like crap on offense. His corner clothesline was Arik Cannonish, and his chops looked bad too. Not to mention his stinky elbow drops.

Nosawa/Blasfemia v. Bobby Lee Jr./Mikey Segura

TKG: I think Bobby Lee Jr and Nosawa may have feuded in the past but I really couldn’t pay attention to the mic work as I was distracted by hw much Mikey Segura looked like Rich Voss and the bloodshot high as a kite eyes of Blasfemia. Super fast first fall with Blasfemia taking out Lee Jr and Nosawa taking out Segura. Second fall was loner with them switching partners and the rudos brawling till the technicos brawled back to offense, third fall is more of the same. Blasfemia is a guy who does a bunch of high guy tripping over the ropes and deliberately blowing stuff, so it’s hard to tell when he blows stuff if it is intentional or not. Unfortunately, when Bobby Lee Lee Jr blows a spot it is obvious.

PAS: Nosawa has ICP tattooed on his neck and wears Hatchet man trunks. Of all the weird pieces of Americana for a Japanese guy to fetishize. It feels like Craig Seger should do long Esquire profile on his personal history and evolution. Blasfemia is the real discovery of this set, it takes a lot to work a tag team with a Japanese juggalo with eye makeup and be by far the scummier looking tag partner.

Angelico/Scorpio Jr. v. Masada/Pirata Morgan

PAS: Man if you think Angelico’s fake WOS shit stinks against Trauma I or Negro Navarro try watching him work it against a disinterested Masada. I enjoyed some of Scorpio Jr. working Masada and Pirata, but Angelico is so awful that he just drags this into the muck.

TKG: In Navarro family matches opposite Angelico they will work mat exchanges where at minimum you get to see cool Navarro family mat spots. Instead of exchanging mat stuff, Masada just ate Angelico’s crappy spots and then did Zybisko stalling. Masada and Scorpio Jr apparently had a hair match in 2008, and they are amusing opposite each other. This match made me want to see the hair match. Scorpio Jr v Pirata was hit and miss with a lot of comedy including some pretty impressive Rusher spit takes by Pirata. It was a pretty empty arena, Pirata looked to have both good distance and accuracy. But for the most part this was dull match n a really bad show.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

WWE Road Report, 3/14/10, San Francisco

As usual, since Vince is a big fan of IWRG write-ups, he floated a couple free tickets our way (he is a shockingly huge Arlequin fan, go figure). I've had some pretty fond memories of wrestling at the Cow Palace, from Eddy winning the title from Brock at No Way Out, to an awesome Rey/Eddy house show match, to that spectacular disaster that was the '07 wrestling convention that ROH came out for. Good times. One thing that I'll always cherish about that No Way Out event, is that it drew 11,000 people...and the Cow Palace didn't start letting people into the building until about 15 minutes before show time. Ah, memories. The line wrapped alllll the way around the very large parking lot and was probably the most impressive line I've ever waited in. So imagine my surprise and glee when we walk up to the Cow Palace...only to find the exact same line greeting us!! There weren't 11,000 people at this show, yet somehow the line started at just about the same place. We were cutting it pretty close and got in line with about 15 minutes to show time, and I was getting really panicky that we would miss the Goldust match. But hey, things worked out, we got to our lovely seats halfway through the first match, and we were surrounded by a whole bunch of kids who love the professional wrestling. There is no better people to be surrounded by at a wrestling show than kids. They're way into the product, their excitement is contagious, and they don't make smart mark comments. I was able to record a few of the matches for YOU the loyal reader, so enjoy!

1. Hart Dynasty vs. R-Truth/John Morrison

We were walking in during the last 3 minutes of this one, so I don't have too much to report on it. Morrison, to the shock of nobody, overshot Kidd with the Starship Pain for the finish. If I was Morrison, and I overshot my finisher for the 55th straight time, I'd like to think by time #56 I would move my opponent like ONE FOOT farther away from the corner before doing it again. But I have a lot of growing up to do I suppose.

2. Goldust vs. Dolph Ziggler

Now THIS is what I was banking on. The Goldust resurgence it really quite spectacular. The guy is in ridiculously good shape, looking in better shape in his early 40s than in he was in his early 20s. The kid behind me gets my brain working towards the idea that children of my own might not be such a bad thing, as before the match starts he's disappointed that there haven't been "any big stars yet", to which his dad says, "What do you mean? We got to see John Morrison!" to which the kid replies, "Yeah...I guess."

But onto the match, it was everything I had hoped it would be on the drive to the Cow Palace. It got almost 10 minutes and was just a real great show. Tons of peaks and valleys, with Goldust gettings tons of mini comebacks that Ziggler kept cutting off. Goldust starts off in control and hits a great butt bump followed by a nasty uppercut, then sets up the Shattered Dreams. Ziggler takes a powder and Dust follows to the floor and hits a great punch. Ziggler foils him getting back into the ring and takes over for a while, hitting a nice punch of his own to a prone Goldust. A great sequence follows of Goldust making a comeback from his knees, hitting two great uppercuts until Dolph cuts him off by raking his boot laces across Dust's face. That move needs to be done more. I remember Arn Anderson regularly using it, but it doesn't seem like it gets used much anymore. Shame.

Goldust gets the crowd into another comeback like few in wrestling can, and breaks free from a headlock and starts throwing bombs, just backing Dolph into the corner with an awesome flurry of punches. He threw Ziggler into the corner to set up the running bulldog but Ziggler ducked it and countered with the famouser. Goldust sells the Curt Hennig running neck snap better than anybody I've ever seen, really put over nicely a move that usually doesn't look that good. Goldust gets worked over and then makes another comeback, getting the crowd into it again. He does his awesome drop to the knees uppercut followed by his bulldog, which Ziggler does a ridiculous-but-great 360 spinning bump off of. Great finishing sequence follows as Ziggler flips out of the Curtain Call, into a sleeper, which Goldust reverses into a snapmare. Ziggler rolls through and charges straight into Dust's awesome snap powerslam. Ziggler kicks out, retreats to the corner where Goldust misses a corner charge and gets rolled up! I completely thought the roll up was the finish as Dolph really had it locked in, but Goldust barely kicks out and hits the awesome spinning vertical suplex for the win. I don't know what it's called, but it was a cross between a vertical suplex and a spinning neckbreaker and Dolph went totally ragdoll on it and really put it over.

THIS was a great fucking match.

Goldust vs. Dolph Ziggler


Goldust v. Dolph Ziggler
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3. Matt Hardy vs. Ezekial Jackson

Ezekiel clubs and mauls his way through the victorious Goldust and that brings out Matt Hardy. If there's one thing kids love, it's the Hardy Boys. I don't know why, as they regularly look like the uncoolest dudes on any given show, but the kids love them. This match was real fun. A couple adults in the section were playing devil's advocate for the kids who were way into Hardy. "I don't know, I just don't see how Hardy can beat a guy this big." "That would have gotten the 3 count, but Zeke probably let Hardy kick out at 2." It got the kids real riled up and even more into Hardy...but I think the guy was doing it because he assumed Hardy was going over. When Zeke went over clean I think it made the kids grow up a little, realize that their heroes were always going to fail them, that dreams fade. Or something.

Hardy gets to control the first few minutes, always staying one step ahead of big Zeke. Finally Hardy misses a elbow and Zeke transitions to offense with a nice bearhug. Hardy breaks free with some nice punches, then gets too greedy and tries a slam. His back is just too damn weak from the bearhug though, and Zeke takes over again. Zeke keeps working the back with all sorts of holds and forearms, and the kids are frothing for a comeback at this point. The adults keep egging on the kids whenever Hardy only gets a two count ("Nope, not good enough!") and one kid finally just says, "You like Ezekiel? But...Hardy is WAY better..." It's a testament to either Hardy being smarter than he looks, or kids being dumber than they look, that the Side Effect still is totally bought as a match finisher. The last time the Side Effect finished a match was probably on a 2004 episode of Sunday Night Heat, but the whole arena just comes unglued when Hardy hits it. Hardy gets a roll up that I AGAIN think is going to be the finish, but Zeke kicks out. The finishing reversal sequence is really well done. Hardy hits the twist of fate, but Zeke pushes off, GRABS Hardy's hair as he's pushing him away, throws him into the turnbuckles, then nails the Rock Bottom. Kids all over the arena no longer dream of being pro wrestlers or astronauts or video game testers or baseball players. They all realize that they're going to settler for a factory job, marry the girlfriend they don't love, raise children they didn't want to have, and likely die of heart disease. Big Zeke: Crusher of Dreams.

Matt Hardy v. Ezekial Jackson


Matt Hardy v. Ezekial Jackson
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4. Jimmy Wang Yang vs. Tyler Reks

Wasn't expecting much out of this one. You might remember Reks for being arguably the worst member of the ECW roster last year. You might be surprised to know that he is still a member of the active roster. Speaking of people you're surprised to see on the active roster, Jimmy Yang has been on the roster for almost 4 straight years now. I know he and Jesse had some fun tags at the end of '09 vs. the Hart Dynasty, but with recent roster cuts I just kinda assumed he was gone.

And this match was actually real fun. Yang looks to be in real good shape, and he was just the perfect babyface here. Reks got the biggest "Who!?" reaction of the night when he came out, and really held onto that reaction the whole match, laying in a devastating variety of chinlocks and headlocks and abdominal stretches and crummy punches. Yang held it all together though, hitting some real nice highspots and somehow keeping the fans engaged during their first and hopefully only Reksperience. Yang deserves some real credit for this one.

5. Kane vs. Drew McIntyre

OK, if you thought little kids loved the Hardy Boys, then you ain't seen nothin'. Kane merely walking to the ring was making every kid squeal with glee. This match was also way better than it looked on paper. Kane threw a bunch of the one thing he does well, his uppercut, and McIntyre had a smart plan by working over Kane's hand to prevent the chokeslam (hitting it against the turnbuckle, ring steps, stomping on it, etc.). It ends in a double count out, and a few of the kids are pissed as EVERY one of them was convinced Kane was walking away with the IC title here. One kid was even explaining why to his father, who wasn't totally convinced a title would change hands without cameras recording it. He even pointed out to his son, "Look, there are no cameras here at all. If they thought someone had a chance to win a title, they would want it taped." And the son explained, "Well, if Kane wins the title, they would just re-do the match on this week's Smackdown, and Kane would just show that he could beat him again." Fuck, makes sense to me! Count out finish said differently though, and the kids were piiiiissed. It didn't help when one of the adults tried explained what a smart strategy by McIntyre it was to keep Kane out of the ring. What McIntyre didn't realize though, was that Kane has the ability to no sell a whole matches' worth of hand work, and he can still hit a chokeslam after the match. Kane didn't even use a different hand! If McIntyre knew that, he probably would've come up with a different strategy.

6. Mike Knox vs. Shad Gaspard

This one was the only disappointment on the whole card. Mike Knox has improved leaps and bounds since his run on the initial ECW broadcasts, generally getting better and better as his beard and belly get bigger and bigger. Shad Gaspard is no longer the worst worker in the promotion, so that counts for something. All I know is that there was a black guy and his girlfriend sitting next to me, and they could not have cared less about Cryme Tyme. If they can't connect with the brothers, then why do I have to sit through Cryme Tyme matches!? Knox threw some bad punches, and Shad threw one of the better ones he's ever thrown (he used to be sub-Diva in his punches), and they just did a whole lotta nothing. Knox did hit his glorious crossbody, but this stank.

7. Michelle McCool vs. Beth Phoenix

Michelle came out working the STICK and it was awesome. I'm admittedly kind of a McCool mark, but she was great here. On TV she has a really bad voice, but it worked in the live setting. She was getting into it with fans, coming up with quick comebacks, shoved Tiffany the ring announcer, swung at a kid that reached out and hit her during her entrance, just awesome stuff. No Layla which is a shame, as I think she's the real money of the team. But McCool got the crowd right hot for Phoenix and played perfect cowardly heel. Finish came out of nowhere but was much better than the normal spontaneous roll-up business. Phoenix was getting back into the ring and McCool just kicked her right in the face. It drew a big reaction from the crowd, and it got the pin. Nobody expected it, but most seemed to go, "Well, it was a kick right to the face, soo...makes sense."

8. CM Punk/Luke Gallows/Chris Jericho vs. Rey Mysterio/Undertaker/Edge

And now the main. After reading the Stockton report which said the match only went 10 minutes, I wasn't expecting too much. The day after this show whomever sent in the report to Meltzer said this match only went seven minutes...so you can see for yourself that it went a nice 18 minutes.

Punk came out with the S.E.S. and cut a great promo, with great back-up from Gallows and Serena. Fans were throwing tons of trash into the ring, which is something I've never seen before at a WWE show. This isn't Nitro for goodness sakes! Punk was just gleefully trotting around the ring, egging people on, catching stuff they threw and throwing it back, pointing out people for security to throw out, soooooo awesome. Jericho came out and continued egging people on, encouraging people NOT to do something which of course will get the opposite response. Jericho was hilarious on the stick, "If ONE MORE THING gets..." *cue something immdiately getting thrown* *cue Jericho slamming the mic down instantly and bailing. Just played an old gag to perfection.

Fans were jacked to see Undertaker and Rey, and to a lesser extent Edge. Match itself was hot and awesome from bell to bell (except for the moments when Edge was on offense, where everything just....kinda....died....a little...inside). I'm not going to bore you with all the gory details, as the full 18 minutes of awesomeness was recorded by yours truly and available to view right here, so you can see for yourself how great it was. But some of my favorite moments were:

~Undertaker doing the greatest apron work I've ever had the pleasure of seeing. Taker was always reaching out as faaaaar as he could, and then the moment when Rey is about to get the hot tag, Taker douses himself with a bottle of water, runs up the length of the apron, and then makes it back in time for the hot tag. So. Fucking. Amazing.
~Luke Gallows throwing some great haymakers
~Jericho tripping over his own feet when Taker came into the match and Jericho hadn't seen him tag in
~Punk tripping Rey and immediately hopping up to the apron to do the "Who, ME!?" routine
~Rey's gigantic hot tag where he does the springboard Thesz press into a springboard crossbody
~Rey getting nastily dumped upside down in the corner and getting choked by Serena while hung up
~All the little kids around me getting a "Si Se Puede" chant started in the whole arena, and all the white kids chanting it and just knowing that while they had no clue what they were saying, they at least knew they were helping Rey

The match was an absolute blast and this really was the best overall house show I've ever been to, and better than most of the TV tapings I've been to. We'll be going to the giant Raw/NXT/Superstars/Smackdown super taping in San Jose this coming Monday, 3/22, so if there's anything worth writing about there, I'll likely do it.

CM Punk/Luke Gallows/Chris Jericho vs. Rey Mysterio/Undertaker/Edge


Undertaker/Mysterio/Edge v. Punk/Jericho/Gallows WWE 3/14
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Monday, March 15, 2010

IWRG 9/3/09

Blasfemia/Vampiro Metálico vs. Exodia/Miss Gaviota

TKG: Exodia makes it all the way through this match without injuring himself. Instead Miss Gaviota tweaks her neck on a dive. Vampiro Metalico and Blasfemia are both guys with really amusing facial expressions. They are a fun heel RPMs always loosing exchanges and mugging concern about possibly being touched by Gaviota.

PAS: Before this match Tomk asked me what fall I thought Exodia would injure himself, Gaviota getting crippled instead was a real Russo twist. Blasfemia is such a scumbag looking dude there is no way he hasn’t sucked a cock or two for drugs. I do still buy him being freaked out by Miss Gaviota though, because public is public.

Bushi/Chico Che/Freelance vs. Avisman/Brandon (IWRG)/Gringo Loco

TKG: I have no idea who Brandon is but he is a fine guy to eat some brawling from Chico Che. Freelance matches up early opposite Avisman and they are guys who will do shit you’ve never seen before when paired up. At one point Avisman throws Freelance into essentially the Chris Hamrick caught in ropes corner bump. At an other Avisman tosees Freelance over his head for Freelance to land outside the ring on the middle rope and then essentially 2nd rope moonsault his way back in. Gringo Loco is a guy who has spent a chunk of his career working as a mini heel and he is really great at bumping around for Freelance’s stuff. The third fall is absolutely nuttball as everyone just goes for bigger and bigger crazy dives.

PAS: I thought the first two falls were a little underwhelming, but holy shit was the third fall crazy. When Chico Che gets on a roll he is one of the most spectacular wrestlers in the world, and I loved his in ring tope here. Freelance is fucking nuts and we keep saying it, he breaks out a springboard flip dive which ends with him in the third row of seats. Rudos didn’t do anything super spectaular but they were all pretty good at being at the right place when folks went flying.

Head Hunter I & Tóxico DF vs. Bobby Lee Jr. & Scorpio Jr.

TKG: Toxico is a big guy with a really cool elaborate outfit. He comes in with an elaborate metal mask jet pack and flare shooting guns. But he stinks in the ring. Bobby Lee Jr is a guy who can do some fine rope running exchanges but instead is stuck doing embarrassing HBKesque strike exchanges with Toxico. Headhunter and Scorpio make each other bleed and bleed and bleed. Headhunter probably can’t do a moonsault anymore but he takes a big bump to the floor and his standing splashes, butt drops (or spots where he grinds his body into opponent) all really look like they would hurt.

PAS: I have no idea why you would run a grim bloody spectacle like this as a semi main, when your main is Sangre Chicana and V3 Still Scorpio and Headhunter I can bleed and they do. Scorpio looks like he has melted cherry Slurpee coming out of his head, and Headhunter punches him in the wound. We have seen a bunch of shitty luchadores while going through the IWRG for 2009, but I think Toxico is the worst, very cool mask, very very bad wrestler.

Sangre Chicana vs. Villano III

TKG: Yep this is everything you wanted it to be. Sangre Chicana comes in seconded by his son carrying a bag with a rusty cheese grater. They also had a heel ref but the heel ref never got too involved or central to the match. In the tag match I said that I was disappointed with Villano III’s face comebacks. Here he delivered. throwing some cool combos, headbutts some reckless stuff to the back of Chicana’s head, a bunch of DDTs and chairshots. Chicana also takes some nice looking bumps into chairs. They do the spot where Chicana holds Villano III for his son to tope only for VIII to move out of the way. Chicana Jr’s tope is a really huge Black Warrior bullet tope, and Chicana eats the bump against the ramp steps.

PAS: Chicana just oozes charisma in this match, he is not in the physical shape he was in the 1980’s, but I get the sense he could get way more broken down and still have an amazing match. He just knows how to move and strut and demonstrate. Villano III did look kind of shot in the tag last week, but he can still step up big for a main event mano y mano. Of course he bleeds, but he brings the offense too, I loved his rabbit punches and combos. Finish was totally great too, Villano is being double teamed by the Chicanas so he says “fuck it” and kicks him right in the balls. Great finish, to a great match.

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IWRG 8/27/09

More Slambamjam IWRG, god love Alfredo

Miss Gaviota/Star Boy vs. Carta Brava Jr./Vampiro Metálico

TKG: I dug the first two falls of this a bunch. Carta Brava and Star Boy match up really well as did Gaviota and Metalico. The crotching of StarBoy into heel offense was a fun transition spot. These opener tags sometimes fall apart either during the heel double team section or when the faces comeback from those double teams. It didn’t here as Metalico/Brava team have some nice heel double team stuff and both of he faces are guys who can do comebacks well. Unfortunately, it did fall apart during the third face dominated fall as a lot of stuff felt off.

PAS: This was the best I have seen Miss Gaviota look, I am not sure she is much of a wrestler, but this had a ton of really amusing well worked exotico spots. I loved the octopus which forced her opponent to wave effeminately, and all of the showing of ass and kissing was timed really well. I am with Tom on the first couple of falls being good, and the third fall not being good, although in the second fall Star Boy does blow a kip up about as badly as I have seen. It looked like if I was taking a Pilates class and tried to kip up to impress a divorcee.

Bushi/Chico Che/Freelance vs. Avisman/Fantasma de la Ópera/Gringo Loco

TKG: The announcer describing all the participants in the match says that Gringo Loco reminds him of the great touring artist of the seventies Kris Kristopherson. I didn’t know Kristopherson was a country icon in Mexico. And really never really associated him with Gringo Loco. But now I can’t separate them in my head. He mostly does a bunch of Alice Doesn’t Live Here any More heel shtick here although he and Avisman have a bunch of neat double teams including The Sunday Morning Coming Down double leg drop. Somewhere in the long first fall Freelance absolutely concusses himself performing a top rope leap into a rana. Fantasma does a swanton type headbutt to Freelance prone head. And the whole thing is absolutely scary. Freelance looks completely loopy and you expect the whole match to fall apart. Instead he gets back in for another two falls takes every bump for a chop on the back of his head and does a ton of crazy suicidal dives. I mean I think this was a good match but I really couldn’t pay attention to anything but Freelance’s toughness and insanity.

PAS: Yeah this was really hard to judge as a match, as the second and third falls are completely judged through the lens of Freelance being the badest motherfucker on earth. Minutes after spiking himself on the top rope diving rana on the mat, he decided to do the same move to the floor. He also does an Asai moonsault which landed really nastily into the crowd. Chico Che looked really great too, as he has some really great moments of graceful flying. Freelance wins the match and does some post match mike work which I assume was something like “I want to thank the fans of El Salvador for the welcome, Pineapple, Wheelbarrow, Turkey Sandwich”

Black Terry, Cerebro Negro, Dr. Cerebro vs. Barba Roja, Hijo de Pirata Morgan, Pirata Morgan Jr. [EdM Trios]

TKG: The Piratas really felt out of their league here. First fall has Dr Cerebro matched up opposite Jr, ,Black Terry matched up opposite Barba Roja and Cerebro Negro opposite Hijo. Black Terry strained his arm on an armdrag had a doctor check it out and then had Barba Roja work over his arm. Terry is really good at the wounded tough warrior stuff and that may have been the best first fall interaction. The other Piratas looked completely lost working technical mat based offense. Second fall was rope running move fall where everyone switched up partners and third fall was all about the big moves where member of team runs in to prevent the fall. Piratas were way more comfortable in those settings. The second fall where they were most comfortable was short, and the third fall felt kind of mechanical.

PAS: Black Terry cuts a post match promo basically saying “It is good for young guys like that to get experience against wrestlers like us.” The match really felt worked like that, with Cerebros being polished professionals, carrying some green rookies through a match. There was individual moments of competence from the Piratas, but this match was 90% Cerebros

Head Hunter I & Sangre Chicana vs. Scorpio Jr. & Villano III

TKG: This is a bunch of old guys stabbing each other and bleeding. Head Hunter I is a guy with a lot of Japanese experience and really plays to the ring side cameras, there were moments where he really delivered a great Pro Wrestling Gold Abby v Austin Idol cover shot opposite Scorpio. The Villano III comebacks didn’t involve any DDTs and really weren’t as energetic as his comeback run in the trios match. Heels win two straight falls which is kind of an odd booking for a show built around celebrating 25th anniversary of Scorpio Jr in wrestling. All four do mic work post match and all four are really good on the mic and make me want to see the matches this set up.

PAS: Scorpio Jr. spent most of those 25 years as a rudo, so it is appropriate to have the rudos dominate. Chicana was truly the standout here, as he was pretty energetically running around stabbing dudes in the head. He really has an expressive forking. Lots of gory headwounds from old dudes, which is what you want from this match.

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

XCW Midwest 2nd Anniversary Show 6/9/09

Big Texan Marc Houston v. 2 Tuff Tony

PAS: Marc Houston is a big young guy who works sort of a Stan Hansen gimmick. He isn’t Hansen, but he is pretty good with really nice clubbing forearms and power moves. Tony has been pretty hit or miss in XCW, and he was pretty hit or miss in this match as some of his stuff looked great, but some was really off. His flipping leg drop is still spectacular though.

TKG: I’ve seen Houston once before and have thus far dug what I’ve seen, His strikes look good, he has a real nice powerslam and spinebuster, and he eats stuff really well. This was an odd match in that Houston really dominated with Tony working almost charismatic Dusty calling on crowd support to fight from below.

Bull Pain v. Vito Andretti

PAS: This is set up by Bull Pain coming out on his birthday to challenge Todd Morton to a chain match, Morton then says he has to beat Vito Andretti before he gets his match. It is fine way to build a match, but it just makes me pissed off that I am not watching Bull Pain v. Todd Morton in a chain match. This was a pretty spectacular one man show, as Bull beats on Andretti with some super nasty offense, and then takes a couple of spectacular bumps, and then brutalizes him some more. Man is Bull Pain a superstar.

TKG: I think Andretti maybe a Thatcher guy but yeah this was really a one-man show. Andretti mostly is guy moving backward here constantly retreating. And you don’t blame him. Everything Pain does here looks incredible. His big bumps really are huge bumps. Pain has some amazingly nasty looking offense where you go “Holy Shit” for an amazing looking vertical suplex.

Todd Morton v Bill Dundee

TKG: I’ve seen these guys match up a bunch of times over the last year and its always a blast. Dundee tosses a chain back and forth with the audience and nails Morton in the liver with a chain shot. Morton sells getting punched in the liver with a chain like a guy who was punched in the liver with a chain. And that’s the thing, where it’s not just that both of these guys have great looking punches, and amusing ways to set up those punches. But also both of these guys are really great at selling stuff, Bill Dundee is in his late sixties and doesn’t bump as much as he once did, but he can still sell really well. And instead of adjusting to this by flopping even more, Morton sells standing. The toe to toe stuff almost comes across tougher as both sell struggling to stand instead of flying down for every punch.

PAS: Morton is a tremendous athletic bumper, but I really dug the choice he made in this match. Both guys are just cracking each other with shots and each guy is awesome at looking like they got their bell rung. Going through the Memphis set, Dundee's versatility was really at the forefront. He obviously had a huge arsenal of shitck and spots that he could run through, I loved the audience catch spot when he did it vs. the Assassin in 1982 and it was pretty sweet to see him break it out in 2009. I thought the ending did a nice job setting up the Bull Pain v. Morton chain match, but I would have liked to see this feud get a final chapter. This is an anniversery show so you expect to see some closure, but instead it felt like a Clash of Champions or a RAW setting up a PPV.

Mitch Ryder v. Chris Micheals

TKG: This starts witth a really great arena tour brawl with guys getting knocked down all over the place. For a guy who was supposedly going to retire this year due to back problems, Chris Michaels takes some insane bumps on his back. Mitch Ryder looked super sharp here as well.

PAS: This was pretty great, Chris Micheals is pretty nuts as he was the biggest bumper on the whole show, with that apparently bad back. This may have been the best I have seen Ryder's punches look as he was laying in some sweet combos. There were points of this match that looked like the end of Memphis TX death match. Ryder is really great at the all around the arena brawl too, all the slams into the doors and tables were pretty safe, but looked super nasty. Just a fun match, although this feels like a feud with legs, and they seemed to move on too quickly to other things.

Bull Pain/Jake Crist v. Sexy Shawn Cook/Cody Hawk

TKG: This is a fans get to be lumberjacks with straps match which is always an insane stipulation. I think the fans won the honor through a raffle which is helping to pay for a sick child's medical expenses. It's hard to follow mic work on hand helds. Crist's brother can't mae it so we get Bull Pain as last minute surprise partner. Cook and Hawk are really growing on me and are really great here at constantly teasing that they are going to fall out of ring. Crist as FIP does a couple of spots built around avoiding going to ground which kind of makes no sense..they eventually do the super amusing heels throw Christ to the floor only to be upset when the fan lumberjacks gently pick him back up and rol him back into ring. And really this match is made by the sheer enthusiasm and mugging of the fan lumberjacks. I am voting skinny bearded XCW fan lumberjack as my 2009 WON best non-wrestler performer. I can't think of a better second in wrestling. They actually book a heels win a fan lumberjack with straps match and the finish is just incredibly nasty and clever.

PAS: Man it still amazes me how great Bull Pain is as a charismatic babyface, here is a guy who was a terrifying heel for decades, and he turns face and he is Stone Cold Steve Austin. This was a really great match Jake Crist isn't much, but he is a perfectly fine guy getting doubled teamed by Cook and Hawk, they worked the lumberjack strap tease great and the finish was nasty. I want to second the love for the skinny fan lumberjack, he is the world best methed out Jackie Fargo.

Jamie Dundee v. Flash Flanagan

TKG: This is a fun little match that positions Flanagan as the bruiser vs. JC Ice’s quickness. Flanagan is having a pretty great run with the title. Schneider has complained about the problem with closure and finishes in XCW feuds. The thing with Flanagan is that his matches always finish in really cool ways. Not necessarily new innovative finishes. But he executes BS Mid Atlantic heel steals win finishes better than anyone else. And it’s not just the execution but also the set up. There are times where you watch a Tully match and the roll up with the tights feels like something tacked on in the end. With Flanagan the finish never feels tacked on and is always set up well. His set up and execution on these classic finishes makes them come off really fresh.

PAS: JC Ice was also really great in this match. He does a tremendous job turning his heel shtick into face shtick. His fake karate works was always such a douchebag move, I loved seeing it firing up a crowd. I did feel like this was a match missing a middle. They had excellent opening horseshit, and a cool finish, I would have liked to see more middle stuff to really make this a stand out match.

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Friday, March 12, 2010

IWRG 8/13/09

Just when we thought we were done with all of the 2009 IWRG Alfredo releases a deluge of previously unseen shows. Too much IWRG is a heck of a problem to have.

Eragon/Star Boy v. Heavy Boy/Blasfemia

TKG: Blasfemia and Eragon have a nice long opening technical section. I don’t think I’ve seen Blasfemia before but he had a bunch of really nice takedowns. Nothing worth watching after that. They move into heel double teams and brawling for most of the rest of the match and it is really stinky.

PAS: I really enjoyed Blasfemia, he had a really great sleazeball look. He looked like the kind of guy who hangs outside of Naculpan dance clubs offering you 14 year olds to fuck. That is a really great look for a luchador.

Gringo Loco/Avisman v. Los Gemelos Fantasticos

TKG: This was just bad. The first fall starts with a long section of Avisman working the mat while Gringo Loco teases but doesn’t enter ring. He eventually gets in and the fall just keeps going. The first fall just goes on and on and on forever. Second fall isn’t much of anything and leads to a ref decision.

PAS: Usually your long Avisman mat sections are the highlights of underwhelming IWRG undercard matches, but he really couldn’t do anything with the shitty Gemelos. Gringo Loco didn’t do much, and the Gemelos stand up was worse then their mat work. I also didn’t like the Gemelos ripping up the American flag. Fuck you assholes these colors don’t run.

Pirata Morgan Jr./Barba Roja Jr./El Hijo Del Pirata Morgan v. Black Terry/Dr. Cerebro/Cerebro Negro

TKG: The Cerebros get attacked backstage during an interview and they brawl pre-bell into past the bell. Terry and Cerebro Negro bleed (with Cerebro Negro bleeding streams of tears), while the Piratas work over Dr Cerebro in the ring. They do a absolutely nasty spike double DDT on Dr Cerebro but weirdly that isn’t the finisher, it’s positioned early in a run of triple teams (where the others are far less spectacular). They end up pinning Dr Cerebro with a moonsault. In general the Piratas were kind of hit and miss with their offense and didn’t really seem to order their stuff in a way that made a ton of sense, The point where the Cerebros start their comeback is really awesome, and their whole angry revenge offense is a blast. Challenges are laid out after the match, with Black Terry coming off awesome on the mic.

PAS: I thought this was pretty disappointing, maybe I have been spoiled by all of the awesome 2010 Black Terry brawls, but outside of some individual moments this did very little for me. Piratas have some nice looking triple teams (and some not so nice ones) but for large parts of their offense they just seemed to be pulling out random triple teams out of a bag. I did like the Cerebros on offense and Negro’s bloody tears was totally metal, but overall not much.

Oficiales v. Dinastia De La Muerte

TKG: First fall starts with the two big bruisers (AK-47 and Truama I) working the mat with Trauma getting the better part. This is followed by a good ten minutes of Navarro v 911 mat work with Navarro getting the win. Second fall is our first appearance of Trauma II and Fierro. They start working technical exchanges again with the Trauma looking to win.the Officiales say screw all this shit and go for the triple teams. Third fall starts with a neat AK –47 v Trauma II section where Ak-47 tries to take advantage of his size but is still eliminated by the Trauma’s superior technical skills. This comes off like a big turning point. Officiales nonetheless steal the finish with an elaborate BS finish where Trauma II and Navarro collide, a ref needs to go check on Truama II, leaving only one ref to see the wrong pin. Post match Navarro gets on the mic and does a Bruno speech about “This kind of bullshit is why the public doesn’t like wrestling anymore”.

PAS: Just a tremendous match, up there in the top 10 IWRG matches of 2009. 10+ minutes of Negro Navarro working the mat will always hit my wrestling sweet spot. 911 was hanging with Navarro fine, and the Oficiales were way more comfortable working the llave style then they were the week before. I loved the structure of this with the Navarro family winning the technical battle, and the Oficiales breaking out the cheating and triple teams to take the advantage and the win. I loved the grumpy Navarro on the mike too, it is too bad we didn’t get a bloody brawl revancha because I felt these teams really started to click.

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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Lucha VaVoom 2/12 Main Event

Cassandro/Lil' Chicken v. Hector Garza/Lil' Kissing Bandit


Cassando/Lil Chicken v. Hector Garza/Lil Kissing Bandit
Uploaded by DVDVR_Phil. - More professional, college and classic sports videos.

Videography by EricR

Road Report

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Sunday, March 07, 2010

Lucha Va Voom Road Report, 2/12/10

This show was a little bit different than the first show I went to. The first one ran right on time, no intermissions, no delays, and had 5 wrestling matches with a burlesque in between every match. This one started about 30 minutes late, had WAY more burlesque performances (usually 2-3 in a row!), and then had an intermission after just the first match (only 30 minutes into the show). So that was a little disappointing. I am used to wrestling shows starting late, and having pointless intermissions. But this felt worse just because the prior show ran so damn smoothly. Wrestling-Dancing-Wrestling-Dancing-Comedian-Dancing-Wrestling. But this show was just so much more disjointed. Dancing-Dancing-Wrestling-30 min. Intermission-Dancing-Dancing-Wrestling, etc.

The last show was about 45 minutes longer, and that's including the intermission. Intermissions should not come after only 30 minutes of action, I'm sorry. Not when the tickets cost $36. I mean, the dancing is all well and good, but last time it just fit so much better with the wrestling. this time they went wayyyyyy overboard with the VaVoom. The wrestling felt like a back drop to the VaVoom, which was definitely not the case last time.

So we got a lot of VaVoom. Lots of it. Girls and guys. Guys disguised as girls. Girls solo. Guy solo on a pogo stick horse. A lot of almost naked bodies doing things that are often unappealing to the eyes. I like naked women. But there are certain things that just don't look good naked. Naked bending over? Sure! Naked violent shaking? Not nearly as hot. For some reason though, the climax of most burlesque revues (now that I've witnessed approximately 15 different performances, I think it's fairly safe to say that I'm an official "burlesque virtuoso") appears to be violent, epileptic shaking. I love how women's asses look in thongs...but I can now safely say that violent-shaking ass just looks like violently shaken jello. All that sexy sleek smoothness of a woman's bottom.....just VIOLENTLY shaking back and forth with horrible purpose. And I love boobs! But violently shaking boobs is just not something I would wish against boobs. I love still boobs. They look great in person or in photo. But this looked like they were being tortured.

So there was all that. Allllll that.

But you know what? The wrestling was really fucking fun. And in the end, I paid to see me some professional wrestling. So how much can I really complain if the thing I paid for delivered? I'm griping about tumultuous ass shaking and standing around waiting for shit to happen, and I loved the wrestling!! So let's just get to that and I'll remember to edit out all of my ranting about ass movement.


1. Lil' Cholo/Dirty Sanchez vs. El Bombero/El Jimador

Lil' Cholo is a chubby cholo that I've seen a whole mess of times working L.A. area flea markets, and Sanchez is a guy with a belly that somehow regularly makes me laugh with spots built around defecating and pie-facing people with his defecated drawers. Bombero is TJ Perkins and Jimador is an awesome tequila-sponsored tie-in gimmick (still not as cool as AAA worker formerly known as Televisa Deportes or American indie worker "MLB Network's MLB Tonight Correspondent 'Wildman' Mitch Williams") that seemed to be Scorpio Sky. The match was real fun and everybody worked in and around each other very nicely. Bombero is a sexy fireman that every lady wants. There was a fun spot where he threw Cholo into the ropes only to hold out his hand to stop Cholo...then express just how sexy he was to the ladies while the action was stopped. Later on, Cholo did the same spot to him. The crowd ate it up and we all laughed...but it really makes no sense to do the "Stop in the name of love while I be ultra sexy" spot TWICE on the same show that Hector Garza is main eventing. Hector does that spot better than anybody (with pants removal!). I mean there are only three matches on the whole card, can two people go without doing the signature spot of the main eventer? Jimador and Sanchez didn't try and kiss the referee. Still, fun times.

2. Chocolate Caliente/Joey Ryan vs. Los Crazy Chickens

Joey Ryan used gobs of baby oil to get the ladies worked up into a frenzy, and the Crazy Chickens are over like mad. The awesome, throbbing, clucking chicken music that plays throughout their matches is incredibly catchy, and their dancing and butt scooting is just too much fun. Chocolate was the real star in this one though. On the last show he was a big chubby guy who did an awesome tope...but here he was just awesome at everything. Great punches, big spin kick, crazy flying knee, and still with the huge tope. Everybody brawls into the crowd, and the Chickens do a tope from the balcony right next to me. Everybody sprawls, Caliente gets too much of his body on me as he pushes his way back to the ring, and this was really awesome.

3. Cassandro/Lil' Chicken vs. Hector Garza/Mini Kissing Bandit
No idea who Kissing Bandit was, but he was neither here nor there. I came to see Cassandro and Garza and they did not disappoint. Cassandro was wearing his playboy bunny outfit and ws over like crazy with the VaVoom crowd, and when you got more charisma than most wrestlers in the world, you're going to get over crazy no matter where you go. Garza is one of my favorite workers in the world when he is a rudo. I love his rudo schtick. His facials are amongst the best in the business when he's playing coy, or mugging to the crowd after doing something dastardly. There were no old ladies at this show (kinda skews a tad younger) so my dream of a rudo Garza getting into it with front row old lady regulars was dashed, but he was still awesome. I'm a giant fan of the Garza clothing removal spots, as the faces he makes as he's doing the reveal are hilarious. Here he was wearing tear-away pants and a wetsuit top, so you KNEW those were both getting removed.

They went right at it with a few great spots, one of the best being an awesome hurracanrana off the top by Cassandro. The Garza clothing removal spot was given new life by Cassandro's selling, as Cassandro gets thrown into the ropes before being stopped by Garza....then the shirt comes off! Well naturally Cassandro can't help himself and tries to get on Garza's business. Well, he is thwarted, but moments later he is tossed into the ropes, stopped, and then the pants come off! Well Cassandro will just not be restrained this time and pounced all over all over Hector.

The action spills to the floor and there was an awesome dive train sequence right in front of me, and my favorite spot of the match comes when the action makes it back to the ring. You can see the spot coming miles away, and it's just totally even better with all the anticipation. Lil Chicken and Bandit and doing some sequences, and every time Chicken comes anywhere near Garza, he starts creeping a little closer, little closer.....before eventually just nailing Chicken with a kick as he's rope running. The look Garza gives to the crowd after obliterating Chicken was absolutely amazing. When Garza works as a rudo, he really exaggerates all of his thigh slaps, and it makes them all so much greater. One way to go with the thigh slap kick is to disguise it as best as possible, and make it look nice and discreet so the rubes are tricked into thinking you just blasted some dude with a nasty shot. Garza takes it in the complete opposite direction, and shows no discretion whatsoever in doing them. He raises his hand nice and high into the air, and then whips it down right into his thigh, the complete opposite goal of everybody doing a thigh slap. It totally turns the concept on its head and makes it into great, theatrical, dickish comedy. It's so perfect, and just perfectly captures his character.

The match itself was awesome as can be expected. As a little treat I recorded it with my camera for all to see. I asked permission from Cassandro before the match, and he told me that if security tried to stop me, to just tell them the Cassandro gave me permission. So we're gonna try and figure out how to upload that thing for you (I still own three VCRs, so I'm not really very good at this type of thing at all, soo....) so you all get to see how much damn fun it was. It was the first match I ever recorded, and it was interesting recording it from a fan perspective, and I won't say that I'm the Scorcese of bootleg lucha wrestling, but I think it's safe to say that I'm at least the Roland Joffe (post 1992 career) of the pirated lucha handheld community.

This show was another fun time, and they'll be back in May, so if Funemployment isn't kicking my ass at that point, then I imagine I'll do another one of those in a couple months.

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Thursday, March 04, 2010

I Whet My Glittering Sword and Mine Take Hold of Yoshiaki Fujiwara

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Akira Maeda NJ 1/10/86 - EPIC

This was at the beginning of the UWF invasion of New Japan and served as an into to the style, and what an intro it was. They start out with some really nasty tight grappling on the mat, with Maeda looking more comfortable and active then he ever does against anyone else. Maeda was presented very strongly here, he absolutely lays into Fujiwara with nasty brutal kicks. Fujiwara does the awesome spot where he attempt to catch Maeda's kicks, but still gets cracked. No one in wrestling history is better at taking a beating then Yoshiaki Fujiwara, his selling, facial expressions and body movements can total engage you in even a one sided match. The finish was tremendous, with Fujiwara surviving a big beating but in classic fashion he was able to grab the back elbow flash Fujiwara armbar for the tap. I just love when he pulls out these miracle finishes, and this is one of the best.

Yoshiaki Fujiwara/Osamu Kido/Akira Maeda/Kazuo Yamazaki/Nobohiko Takada v. Seiji Sakaguchi/Tatsumi Fujinami/Keiichi Yamada/Kengo Kimura/Shiro Koshinaka NJ 5/1/86 -EPIC

This is a 5 v. 5 gauntlet challenge, following the spectacular 5 v. 5 elimination tag the previous month. Truly a classic match, with only a couple of down spots keeping it from reaching the heights of the 1984 gauntlet. The match starts out with Takada and Yamada and I enjoyed this juniors shootstyle more then I can ever remember enjoying the more heralded Takada v. Yamazaki match up. Yamada is super fast on the mat and worked around Takada well. We then get three really fun Sakaguchi matches with him chucking around Takada and Yamazaki and getting caught by Kido. Kido showed some great fire in his Sakaguchi match landing a nasty kick to the face, the other two matches left a bit to be desired, even for a Kido fanboy like me.

Of course the match picks the fuck up when Fujiwara hits town, Kimura jumps him at the bell and they have a great little toe to toe brawl with Kimura busting him open and working the cut. There was a great escape with Fujiwara using a headstand while blood dripped onto the mat. Fujiwara sinks in a super nasty armbar for the win. He is cranking it about as badly as he can. Then we get Fujiwara v. Fujinami which is the closest we ever got to an epic singles match between the two. Fujinami is really working a choke sleeper here, cranking it and pulling at Fujiwara's neck. You rarely see Fujiwara dominated on the mat, but Fujinami's strength and Fujiwara's blood loss gave Tatsumi the advantage. So Fujiwara says fuck it, and takes Fujinami to the floor smacking his head into the ringpost and spiking him with a piledriver. Fujinami is leaking now, and Fujiwara switches into killer mode. I loved how he didn't even give a fuck when Fujinami got the flash backslide. He just got up and punched him in the head. Maeda comes in and finishes off Fujinami who ends up losing on a perfectly reasonable blood stoppage. Blood stoppages are one of my favorite wrestling finishes as long as the bleeder is bleeding, and Fujinami has a face full of Heinz.

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Murakami PWFG 11/15/95- SKIPPABLE

PAS: Murakami is a Karate guy who mauled Usuda on an earlier show to set this up. This is joined in progress too, which sucks, because one of the things that makes these kind of matches great is the slow build to blow up, and this was joined mid blow up. There is a DQ finish with Fujiwara jumping Murakami at the start of the round and getting a mount and raining down punches which is apparently illegal in this style. They have kind of a fun pull apart between dojo's, but this match felt like a missed opportunity.

TKG: Yeah I was stoked at the potential for this match up and really you fuck it up by having it jip'd. Post pull apart Fujiwara throws his own students out of ring so he can be a man and shake his opponents hand while still pissed at himself for fucking up. He's bitter but he needs to shake and then raise his opponents arm to be true to himself and the sport. ROH! ROH!

COMPLETE AND ACCURATE FUJIWARA

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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Vampire Diaries Pt 5 IWA KOTDM Night 1

Juice Robinson v. EZ-E

TKG: This is a non tourney opener. Kind of neat that there is someone winning a match with a high crossbody in 2009. Kind of neat that there is a guy winning with a high crossbody on the underneath of a death match tourney. EZ E will not be mentoring a wrestling Bone Thugs and Harmony trio.

PAS: EZ-E took a nice high backdrop, and one of Juice Robinson punches looked good. This was a fine match between rookies, although I don’t know why they bother with matches like this on marathon shows.

Ego Fantanstico v. Jimmy Jacobs

PAS: This was a indy juniors match which doesn’t really work to Jimmy Jacobs strengths. I would have liked to see Jacobs actually in the tournament, as I imagine he could have a great match with Corporal Robinson. There was some really nice reversals by Jacobs, including some great ways to sneak in the bodyscissors choke. Egotistoco Fantastico stinks.

TKG: Yeah this had moments were Jimmy Jacobs tried to turn this into a match but long parts of this were stretched out in really indy schowcase ways. I like Tojo Yammamoto Jr, El Mongol, El Oriental, Yoshi Kwan and PY Chui but Egotistico Fantastico really feels like a gimmick that should only work in front of Jolson conventions.

OMG v. Devon Moore

TKG: Devon Moore comes in to Kenny Rogers and the Fifth Edition, and may be working a happy go lucky Lebowski gimmick. No bath mat or White Russian spots. He had some fun Bob Backlundesque dancing and horseshit selling. Thankfully his punches and bumping were nothing like Backlund. I liked the beginning of this match and the finish but it felt like they were stretching for time in the middle.

PAS: Yeah this had its moments but it was way too long, had a real PWG feel, like a good film editor could put together a good match. I liked the soda pop can bat, although I thought it was used a little early. Ian touching tribute to the returning Iraq war veteran was a touching tribute.

Elkview Adam v. Danny Havok

TKG: Elkview Adam isn’t a guy who is known for his wrestling. He’s a guy who has become semi famous as the guy who constructs your deathmatch objects and deathmatch gimmicks: barbwire trampolines, spinning lightbulb tubes etc. His objects are well constructed and his design aesthetic is pretty clean. I don’t know if I want to call him the Jeff Koons of the deathmatch, but there is absolutely no reason he shouldn’t be in next Whitney Biennal. At minimum there should be an Appalshop documentary. At one point in the match he does use a trowel as a weapon. I don’t know if he has built any masonry based weaponry, but I like that his gimmick matches the weaponry. Thumbtack Jack isn’t smart enough to actually work a yoga instructor/ acupuncturist gimmick.

PAS: Elkview Adam is a truly fascinating figure, if I ever become a This American Life radio producer, my first segment is going to be an Ira Glass interview with him. His strengths aren’t really in ring. There were some amusing uses of the barefoot stipulations, I liked Havok DDTing Adam’s foot into the broken Christmas Ornaments and I liked Havok stepping on the chair before hitting the Northern Lights bomb.

Dingo v Michael Elgin

TKG: This is a face v face title match. Dingo announces that he wants it old school anything goes IWA-MS rules. In the past Dingo is a guy who I’ve enjoyed in his streetfighting sections but less in his in ring technical wrestling sections. Here this stayed mostly in the ring and I enjoyed his in ring stuff. Basic premise is Elgin is the harder hitter and tossing Dingo around with Dingo trying to use weapons ( first the title belt, then a chair, then a chain). Elgin really is good at the hard hitting and Dingo is really good at big bumping and it works out well. Elgn hits a great quebradora, Dingo does a nasty quebradora bump. Elgin throws a massive irish whip and Dingo eats a huge irish whip bump, etc. It was a match that could’ve really used a face/heel structure for more of a rooting interest.

PAS: I didn’t like this as much as Tom did, it had a bunch of cool individual moments, but never felt like it came together as a match. Dingo felt a little off in his timing, he had moments where he seemed to be waiting and anticipating moves and spots. I also felt like they didn’t build well to the finish. Too many crazy moves which didn’t get a pin, for a chain choke to win it. Although I suppose the perfect way to counter rolling german suplexes and a crossface is strangling with a chain.

Viper v. Dysfunction

PAS: I was expecting this to be super backyardy, but it might have been the best match so far. Only about six minutes, but that really is a perfect amount of time for a match like this. I liked this because it was a match of extended offensive runs, rather then back and forth. Dysfunctions final set of offense was really nasty looking too, and it was violent without overdoing the bumps and gore. This is how a first round death match tourney match should be worked.

TKG: Yeah this wasn’t back and forthy at all, had a bunch of nice spots (Viper’s lungblower while choking Dysfunction with a chair is a spot Black Terry should steal), a gimmick that didn’t get in the way too much (the barbed wire/lighttube mat prevented rope running and made the tope a little difficult but there really wasn’t much running here) and the transitions/reversals were well done.

Mad Man Pondo v. Nate Webb

PAS: One of my major complaints about IWA-MS deathmatches is that often they don't look like fights, they look like two guys putting on a gruesome bit of performance art. This match really was the apex of that problem. They start the match by clowning around, and there are multiple moments in the match where they visibly assist their opponent setting up a spot, or just stand their and wait to get hit. It is hard to really hate a match between two guys this charismatic and charming, and there were some nice individual moments, but I want something different from wrestling.

TKG: This match bothered Phil more than it bothered me. Normally I'm not a big fan of the gregarious death match but this almost felt lesss like that and closer to a sporting match between friends who dropped some ketast in the locker room. The stuff felt less telegraphed and more like the actual pacing of a fight between two guys on ketamine.

DJ Hyde v. Corporal Robinson

PAS: This felt like a fight, DJ Hyde may not be very good but he is perfectly willing to have Corporal Robinson punch him square in the mouth a bunch of times. This was a thumbtack wiffle ball bat match, but was basically worked as a street fight. No elaborate set up of spots, no crazy suplexes, just a bar brawl.

TKG: I've enjoyed the whole build of this show as there has been a vertical movement of gimmicks (moving from barb wire on tables and ladders to mousetraps and hooks on the ring to actual barb wire on the ring to beds of nails all over the ring), Moving from a match built around beds of nails and nail boards to one built around thumbtacks and thumbtack based weapons seems like a backward movement. Liked the actual match, just the card placement felt weird.

Tank v. Masada

PAS: This is definitely a match between two guys who look like wrestlers. Masada kind of looks like a guy who would be a really great brawler, but he really isn't. He is a guy with some insane spots including a Super Astro senton to the floor through a barbed wire ladder. Tank is a guy who really can't bump which is kind of necessity in death matches, he looked like he couldn't take a snap mare. Taipai Death is fine match for a scary looking guy who can't bump, as all he does is get hit in the face with glass and chairs.

TKG: I'm not a big fan of the acupuncture/phlebotomy sticking things in someone spots but really liked the finish where Masada sticks several needles in Tank's head and then goes to chairshot them through his brain.

Thumbtack Jack v Nick Gage:

TKG: This is a barbed wire/fishhook match where the top and bottom ropes are replaced with chains with barbed wire woven between the chains with fishhooks draped from the chains as well. This starts off with some entertaining headlock exchanges as both guys try to avoid rope running/barb wire. Nick Gage takes control early and tosses Jack into the wire. The ref supplies both guys with wire cutters and scissors whenever they need to in order to detangle either a hook or wire. Jack is a guy who takes some absolutely insane bumps and does a bunch of ill advised amusing things (he attempts a tope through the barbedwire and ends up leaving a chunk of hair on a fish hook) but really isn't a guy you want to see on offense. Jack is also a guy who seems real careful in his stabbing spots where it feels like he's carefully tapping out a telegraph message and not repeatedly jabbing opponent with a spike. Still his bumps were huge and this was suitably grizzly.

PAS: Despite myself I really like Nick Gage, he isn't really good, but he has some real Jersey scumbag charisma. Something about his summer teeth and lack of a chromosome which works in a setting like this. Jack takes some absolutely uncalled for bumps in this match, like he was trying to put in a star making performance. That kind of makes sense if you are Jeff Hardy at Wrestlemania, but kind of goofy in a armory in Southern Indiana.

Necro Butcher v. Bull Pain

TKG:This was great. In theory this is a no rope Carribean spider web with box with broken glass and barbedwire death match. But none of that matters since this is Bull Pain and Necro Bucher so they're going to just stat beating each other up and working a street fight long before they get to the ring. The two just beat each other up taking real awkward looking chair rides, And the crowd parts, not in an ironic way but in a "we need to get out of these guys" way. Both guys manage to turn what are normally comedy spot "fans bring the weapons" (thumbtack wiffle ball bat/ barbed wire tennis racket) into really violent weapons. Then there is the stuff that would look violent no matter what (heavy rusty bike chain). They finally get into the ring and just brawl into the contaptions, They do a deathmatch version of a Hughes/Newton finish as Bull throws Necro into the barbed wire broken glass, but Necro lands while clinching on the oriental spike.

PAS: This was tremendous, the death match of the year, mainly because it didn't feel like a death match. This was a brutal Memphis streetfight, which happened to have thumbtack bats in addition to chairs. Bull Pain was unbelievable in this, he so menacing and brutal, it is like trying to fight a rabid dog. Necro is really great as a underdog fighting back, and his performance here was as good as the Samoa Joe match. I loved the ending, Bull Pain seems unstoppable, but Necro catches him. I love the Oriental Spike as a Necro move and it was cool to see it again.

TKG: I don't know if I could handle watching Night One live as I think the semimain started at 1:30 AM. But on tape where you don't have to wait through the ring set ups this was a really fun night one of a death tourney as there was this vertical build to the gimmicks that I talked about earlier and there wasn't the kind of desensitizing too many kickout end runs that you can sometimes get in death match tourneys. Most of these matches had pretty satisfying finishes that ended where it felt they should end. I have been watching U.S. garbage wrestling for a number of years now and the other thing that was interesting to me was that it used to be that death match workers all came in to aggressive metal and now they all seem to enter into sad country and pop. In 2010 simulating death isn't about the futurist macho aggression, it is about longing/ nostalgia for an imagined simpler lost past. Death match wrestling has gone from extremism to Roger Miller asking where have the average people gone.

PAS: I liked the pacing of this, which is a weird thing to say about such a long show. The only match worked as an epic was Jack v. Gage which kind of needed to be worked like an epic. There was some stuff that was a little long, but nothing killed me, and Pain v. Necro was a hell of a main event, and different enough from Gage v. Jack that it worked right after it.


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