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

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.

1 Comments:

Blogger EricR said...

Sometimes we get some lame duck comments on this blog, but other times a reader just nails it. I live for these times. Makes it all feel worth it.

5:25 PM  

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