Segunda Caida

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

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

JAPW Notorious Thunder Road Report 5/22/10

PAS: JAPW is pretty much the only Northeast indy wrestling left which I care about at all. It had been a while since the newly betrothed Tomk and I have made a road trip and this was about the most on paper stacked card I can remember. So we head off via Megabus and train to Rahway NJ for our first JAPW show since Homicide v. Dixie in 2001. Somehow a pair of tubby dudes like us don't grab lunch before we go, so we basically spend the bus ride up with our bellies rumbling,

TKG: The big criticism I had of the “Wrestler” was that I have been to Jersey/ Pennsylvania wrestling shows, I know that scene and “The Wrestler” really cleaned it up and romanticized it. They laid out the world of wrestling vis a vis the world of stripping: where young Jersey douchebags mocked and belittled an elderly stripper, while Jersey fans gave an elderly wrestling fan nothing but love and appreciation. This is B.S. Jersey douchebags are Jersey douchebags no matter what the setting. There is a charm to that scene but it is still far more unpleasant than Aronofsky’s romanticized vision. Not a lot has changed since I last went to one of these shows. Lots of guys in Affliction shirts, where I’m guessing the affliction is type two diabetes.

DJ Hyde v. Rhett Titus

PAS: Hyde feels like a guy booked in the Rocking Rebel memorial guy with the wrestling license opening match spot. I have no idea why Titus was booked, maybe he owns the lighting rig. This was really bad, large parts of it looked like a 2/3rds speed prematch run through. Nice clothesline at the end but this stunk.

TKG: I was really hungry and went to the food stand during this match. I purchased Italian sausage, which turned out to be a bun filled with four hot dogs covered with onions and peppers. This was a day of bad food decisions: not eating before the bus ride, wrestling show “Italian sausage sandwich”, etc.

Bandido Jr. v. Devon Moore

TKG:I missed the beginning of this. Came in right when Bandido Jr got busted open. Devon Moore has some amusing Popeye facial selling.

PAS: Bandido Jr. hit a nice tope early, and nothing about the match was particularly objectionable. Moore had a couple of nice punches, Bandido Jr. had some energy, match has a clean finish. Pretty much the median point of all juniors wrestling.

Sara Del Ray v. Annie Social

TKG: This was amusing. Annie Social comes out in tight red jeans and an overflowing bra, Sara Del Rey gives here “the what the fuck is this shit” look and dismisses her.And we get a fun dominant champ underestimates opponent match; Vader v Sam Houston booked as spank material.

PAS: The finish of this was pretty amusing, as Annie Social puts on a triangle choke of all fucking things, and Del Ray does the Newton / Hughes spot although instead of a power bomb she turns the triangle into a butterfly DDT. Really feels like booking that finish was a rib on Meltzer or something.

Garden State Gods v. Sami Callihan/Chris Dickinson

TKG: They play a long video package which no one can hear followed by doing mic work that no one can hear and then do a Sami Calahan injury where he gets sent to the back thing followed by an endless two on one match of blown spots where I never got the sense that Chris Dickenson was working face in peril, then they do the Sami Callihan comes back out against doctors orders for the hot tag to no response. The prematch stuff killed the crowd. This was a heel v heel match where I think Dickenson and Callihan are supposed to be heels with dissention so the whole RnR Xpress story isn’t going to mean jack shit even if well executed. Plus Dickenson never sold that he was face in peril, instead working even in the handicap sections. And just a million things got botched. No one came out of this looking good.

PAS: This was one of the matches I was most looking forward too and it was a total shit show. Davey Richards is bad enough, but Dickenson working Chad Collyer to Richards Malenko is just awful. Match had two strikes against it from the jump, with the complete cow's ass they made of video package and angle. I like the Gods, but they were Maximos on meth here, trying out every preposterous double team they ever thought of, the hate being brought down on this match clearly had them off their game, and Dickenson being the total shits didn't help. Real shame, as this felt like the kind of thing that would get them unbooked on future shows.

Eddie Kingston v. Steve Corino

TKG: They bring out this really cut ref and suddenly it was an IWE match with two flabby guys reffed by a professional arm wrestler. And it’s the second heel v heel match in a row where both guys do mic work about how they can’t stand these fans. Corino does amusing mic work about how he didn’t bring any merch cause even though he knows he was the major draw for the show all he cares about is doing this match and leaving. It is an amusing stiff heel v heel comedy brawl with lots of crowd baiting. I would rather see these guys get to do a face v heel match in PR or something. But this entertained me. And we go to intermission.

PAS: This was both guys quarter-assing it and just doing shtick. I liked both guys a bunch, and Corino is really amusing mailing it in. Still this had a ton of potential and fulfilled none of it

South Side Players Club v. Heavy Hitters

TKG: And we are back from intermission with Heavy Hitters putting out an open challenge, which is answered by the South Side Players Club. Not enough can be said about the South Side Players Club entrance with stripper pole and popping champaign bottles. But live you’re really struck by how great Johnny D is as manager ring leader of the whole nonsense. I mean this is the scummiest ring entrance in wrestling and Johnny D is the high king and priest of that scum. The SSP club in ring are nowhere near as great as their entrance. I thought Mo Sexton(?) looked better live than on tape and feels like a guy with some upside. He eats stuff with amusing selling and his offense looked ok. But this went long and I miss the Charity Hall wall.

PAS: Structure of this was completely off. SSPC are the heels who just came out with five strippers so there is no way they are going to be booed. Instead of the Hitters just chucking them around, they work a long Monsta as face in peril section, and the SSPC have no offense I buy putting either Hitter in peril. Also it was probably a mistake to have such tall strippers, having a pair of strippers tower over your monster tag team really kind of exposes them.

Kevin Steen v. Egotistico Fantastico v. El Generico v. Nick Gage

TKG: This was a gauntlet match. I have no idea why you run a gauntlet match. I am a guy who has never said "I'd rather see a four way dance" before but I would rather have seen a four way dance. these are guys who might be better off hidden in a four way. This was four matches in a row with no one lasting more than one match. El Generico apparantly is a guy who slaps his thigh for mafia kicks. That's a weird kick to slap your thigh for to begin with. But his timing is also really bad with his thigh slaps as he either slaps too early or too late.

PAS: I thought Steen's shtick was funny, and I could see myself enjoying Steen v. Gage, but we didn't get that. Generico v. Fantastico in the worlds shittiest Octagon v. Pentagon was stinky. Fantastico is one of the more awkward highflyers I have seen, it was weird that Generico broke out his turnbuckle brainbuster for a random undercard gauntlet, it is a nasty fucking move though. Gage is sort of a guilty pleasure. For some reason he was wearing a white belt, which is a completely bizzare hipster touch for such a scumbag. I assume a house DJ traded it to him for a zip of crystal.

Danny Maff/Charlie Haas v. Necro Butcher/Brodie Lee

PAS: Crazy around the arena Hillbilly Wrecking Crew matches are about my favorite thing in wrestling, and they are even more awesome live when you have to scatter to avoid having Necro Butcher suplexed on you. Lots of nasty shit by all four guys, with Necro looking like the best guy on a card with Jushin Liger on it. I have to give a bunch of credit to Charlie Haas, for a guy who has been doing 5 minute matches for the last half decade he absolutely takes a thumping here, taking and delivering the kind of beating that you need to get this match over. HWC are so good at having these kind of matches feel chaotic, there is a point where Brodie body slams Haas through Nuclear Jackalope's merch table, and his wife flips the fuck out, their shit fit really added to the out of control feeling. Match slowed down a bit when they got into the ring, but Necro's bodypart selling was totally awesome. I am not sure I have much interest in the Haas v. Maff match this sets up, but man was this match great.

TKG: Yeah was really surprised by Haas’ performance as he came off as guy both willing to eat a beating and sadistic in delivering one. He bulldogged an opponent on the floor driving his neck through the ring barrier. And man those ring barriers kept on getting knocked down, used as weapons, put back up and knocked down again. Maff is really great and charismatic in these settings too. Just dropping guys and getting dropped all over the place. And in an out of control brawl you don’t want to ever take your eyes off Necro as he just recklessly pushes the action around the arena. Overbooked finish didn’t do much for me but folks were still talking about it on way out of arena.

Homicide v. Jushin Liger

PAS: I am not sure how this match will hold up on tape, but it was a really great experience live. You could tell this match meant a ton to Homicide, and I am glad he ended up with the opportunity. No individually huge spots or moments, but both guys worked hard, and are both tremendously charismatic. There was a great spot where Homicide hits his tope con hilo and runs into the bleacher in almost a Lambeau Leap. I am pretty surprised Liger put him over, but the finish definitely felt like a finish, with Cide catching Liger with a huge cutter. The locker room emptied and Cide gave an awesome emotional Puerto Rican promo, putting over Liger.

TKG: I think this match may hold up better on tape than it did live as live your just super caught up in the charisma of both guys and miss some of the stuff happening. Liger being such a hero to your indy wrestling fans means will never get to see a rudo Liger in black tour of the US indies. But there were a bunch of neat moments where he goes subtle rudo taking liberties. Homicide being JAPW homegrown superstar would make it difficult for him to really work heel but there are bunch of moments where he seemed to answer Liger’s rudoism in kind. You wouldn’t think Liger v Homicide would be a match with neat moments of ringside brawling but there they are. I’ve seen Homicide’s out of control tope con hilo a ton of times but never seen anyone catch it on the back as well as Liger. Homicide came to the ring in this awesome Tupac shirt, and I super marked out for the “drop the strap moment” where Cide takes off the Tupac shirt to reveal his Wu-Tang/Homicide singlet. To beat Liger, Homicide had to ditch the west coast and call on the strength of his East Coast roots. I'm a cynical wrestling fan who has seen a million Tommy Dreameresque, we do these things for the love and the fans, yadda yadda speaches. But I totally got caught up in heartwarming post-match Homicide mic work where he asks them to turn off the cameras so he can bring out his crew and speak from heart.

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