Segunda Caida

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

Friday, August 27, 2010



Yuji Yasuraoka vs. Ultimo Dragon

Fun competitive squash. Yasuroka gets in some stuff, but it is mostly Ultimo running through his spots. Everything was hit cleanly, and he nukes him with a cross arm powerbomb which looked nasty.

Hiroshi Inomata vs. El Samurai

No idea if Inomata ever did anything after this. Kind of an odd match as Inomata gets a bunch of pretty basic juniors offense, and really dominates the opening part of this match. Then it is was like a switch flipped, and Samurai kicked him in the face a couple times, German suplexed him and pinned him. It felt like Samurai was getting paid either way, and wasn't going to exert himself more then necessary.

Haku vs. Yoshiro Ito

Ito is one of the most roided Japanese guys I have ever seen. He looks 1992 WWF Scott Casey level juiced. He and Haku just stand nose to nose and just crack each other. If you aren't good, at least be stiff, and Ito seems to have that down. This is right in Haku's wheel house as he just whales away at Puroresu Ted Arcidi, and I dug it. Not good or anything, but very WAR.

John Tenta vs. Rio Lord of The Jungle

Very similar to their other match. Tenta is a pretty good wrestler, and every once in a while Renegade will do something physically impressive (he gets crazy ups on a leapfrog). Still there were other moments where Renegade would do something embarrassing, and this match was a little longer so it had more of them, he threw one of the worst clotheslines I have ever seen and he couldn't come back from that.

Masashi Aoyagi/Kuniaki Kobayashi vs. Koki Kitahara/Nobukazu Hirai

Fun match that got really good whenever the kickers were kicking people. Aoyagi was great he laid in a bunch of cool kick variations, including some really nasty shots to the ribs of Hirai when Kobayashi had him in a abdominal stretch. Kikihara was also coming in and laying into people. He kicked Kobyashi's brain out of his nose with an enzigiri. Most of the match was focused on Hirai v. Kobayashi which was much less exciting, although I did like their finishing run. Match had a bunch of heat too, as the interpromotional deal really fired up the crowd.

Takashi Ishikawa/Kodo Fuyuki vs. Shinya Hashimoto/Michiyoshi Ohara

Man was this good. Hashimoto is tremendous in this setting, he is a total berserker in this match. He spits in Ishikawa's face, and chops Fuyuki and Takashi into oblivion every time he tags in, he also makes some brutal saves. However the WAR team smartly focuses on Ohara, busting him open and painting the mat with his blood. Ohara does a real good job of being beaten and bleeding, and Ishikawa is really good at beating the shit out of someone. Hashimoto is kept away, outside of explosions of violent frustration. We don't get the Hashimoto we want, which really makes you want to see him unleashed.

Genichiro Tenryu/Ashura Hara/Masao Orihara vs. Great Kabuki/Shiro Koshinaka/Kengo Kimura

This match was structured a lot like the previous match, with Tenryu being the guy bottled up and frustrated. The HI team isolates Orihara and kicks and stomps the fuck out of his belly. Koshinaka got some grief from folks during the NJ 80's set, but I think he is pretty unimpeachable as a douchebag fucking someone up. This was another great Kabuki performance, as he unload some nice Kabuki uppercuts and a couple of beautiful superkicks. Orihara is at his best getting beaten up, and he gets beaten up here. Still hard to be too high on a Tenryu match with this little Tenryu.

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Accentuate the Positive

Wrestling in 2010 is at a pretty low point. It might be slightly better then 2009, but it is still pretty darn low for quality stuff in my lifetime. It kind of sucks that now is the time that everything has become super available. Can you imagine how awesome say 1994 would have been if weekly CMLL and AAA TV was uploaded days after it happened, NJ and AJ had full matches available the next day and the indies we could get were USWA and SMW not Chikara and DGUSA, or 1986, or 1980. Oh Well enough bellyaching, there are some things I am excited about coming up in wrestling so I am going to ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE.

-Demus 3:16 v. Pierrothito winner gets to be a big boy TONIGHT!! I loved the graduation Cibernetico which Virus won back in 1998, and it is even cooler that this is a singles match. Both these guys are really great wrestlers, and having great years (both qualifying Ciberneticos are worth checking out, especially the one that Pierrothito won.) CMLL tv seems to be giving things more time lately, so we can hope these guys get the time to stretch out a bit.

-William Regal v. Goldust SUPERSTARS. I just watched the Dustin v. Regal match from 1994 on Will's spectacular Dustin Rhodes set, and there is no reason that 15 years later this won't even be better. After long periods in the wrestling wilderness, both guys have come back working a level close to their primes. Superstars isn't afraid to have 10+ matches, and major league wrestling is always better when no one is paying attention.

-Muenenori Sawa v. Bryan Danielson on Sept 11th. Sawa is pretty low on the list of BattlArts guys I want to see Danielson against (not sure if he would make a top 10 actually) but if he reigns in his stupidity, he can be good. Pretty excited to see what Danielson does working that style, and I figure he will want to go out with something memorable.

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Monday, August 23, 2010


Roddy Piper v. Buddy Rose 5/21/85

Crazy bloody brawl from a little know historic card. This was from the Portland Wrestling Extravaganza 60th Anniversary celebration for Don Owen. The card had Flair defending the NWA title, Martel defending the AWA title and Piper fresh off of Wrestlemania fighting Rose. Mychal Thompson from the Trail Blazers was the special timekeeper, so all the stars were out. It isn't a very long match, but pretty energetic with Piper going after Rose at a million miles an hour, busting him open very early. Rose takes an advantage with Piper taking some pretty big bumps, cool reversal finish. Not their best match against each other, but a pretty crazy atmosphere, and certainly worth checking out.

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Saturday, August 21, 2010



This is the day after the debut show, and after digging that so much, I checked out what the same crew would look like with different matchups

Yuji Yasuraoka v. Nobukazu Hirai

PAS: This is the only rematch from night one and was worked pretty differently. The night one match was a potato fest, while was more of a wrestling match. Still pretty good stuff with both guys breaking out some neat moves. Yasuraoka does some very cool legwork including a nifty rolling kneebar Hirai does the Manami Toyota rolling cradles, which he actually used as a pinning combination. I am a fan of this match up, and wouldn't mind seeing a rubber match.

Ponzona v. Masao Orihara

PAS: I have not been a huge fan of Orihara in juniors match so far, but this was pretty good. Ponzona was there to be a rudo, and was pretty much just eating offense and catching Orihara. Masao wanted to make the most out of his showcase and he hits three crazy dives, including two trademark moonsaults. Nice German suplex ends the match, and it would get the full Worldwide point.

Kodo Fuyuki v. Kerry Von Erich

PAS: This was better then the previous Kerry match, as Fuyuki is a guy who is really good at working smoke and mirrors around a stoned corpse. It was amusing as Kerry worked virtually same match, same bumps, same finish as he did the night before. It was a little shorter, and a little less chinlocky so it was better. Fuyuki's win was dimmed a bit by Kerry previously losing to Haku. They probably should have had him only lose once, as it would have meant more.

La Fiera v. Ultimo Dragon

PAS: We have been killing Ultimo in these reviews, but this was good stuff. It was a Japanese Juniors match and had some of the flaws of that style (Fiera tombstoning Ultimo on the concrete led Fiera to have a nice run of offense, rather then leading to a career threatening neck injury), but if you can get past that, it really was that style done well. Ultimo looked very crisp, hitting all of his signature stuff well, and breaking out some cool shit I haven't seen before (including an awesome kappo kick). He also took some big bumps, including getting thrown into the crowd. Fiera was a beast, bumping around crazily, laying in a nasty beating and hitting a beautiful over the top tope which crushed Ultimo. Perfect rudo combination of sadism and masochism. I need to get Will to do a bulk mid 1990's CMLL buy because Fiera is just off the charts.

Takashi Ishikawa v. Koki Kitihara

PAS: Takashi Ishikawa continues his violent journey into my heart. Kitihara comes into the match with his eye bandaged from last night's Tenryuism, and after some initial grappling Ishikawa paints a bullseye in blood right there. He starts by landing two right hands full force right on the eye. There was nothing wrestling about the punches at all, full force, he twisted at the waste and followed through right on the eye. After that it is just a vicious attack, toe kicking the eye, stomping the eye, kneedropping the eye. Kikihara has his moments, as he realizes this crazy fuck is trying to blind him, so when he fires back he throws his kicks as hard as he can in attempt to slow the attack. Finally Ishikawa has knocked Kitihara down and is just stomping him brutally in the eye, the ref finally gets him off and stops the match. Second match in a row that Ishikawa has forced a ref stoppage, in both cases you really buy the ref stopping the match, I can almost hear Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas screaming that Kitihara has had enough. He is working that gimmick in FUCKING WAR of all places, can you imagine the beatings you need to lay down to have a ref stoppage gimmick be plausible in WAR?

Haku/Great Kabuki v. Genichiro Tenryu/Ashura Hara

PAS: This isn't at the level of the true high end WAR tags, which isn't really a slur, that is a ridiculously high level. My main critique is that the Haku and Kabuki team controlled a ton of the match and it tended to drag in parts. Still this had lots of the face kicking and shoot headbutting you want from a WAR tag. Kabuki was especially on fire, as he was sneaking in some perfectly timed awesome superkicks. For example Tenryu backdrops Haku and as he is standing up Kabuki just obliterates him with a kick. I also love all of the Hara v. Haku interactions, as you can just tell they love beating on each other. Still ending fell a bit flat, and it never kicked into the awesome gear that your best of this style has. The kind of match which is comfortably great, but a step below something truly otherworldly.

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Friday, August 20, 2010


The Texas Hangmen v. Gypsy Joe/Dragon Master W*ING 10/12/91

After listening to Colt Cabana's awesome podcast with Bull Pain, I wanted to track down some old school Texas Hangmen. Not much available from their Puerto Rican run, but I did find this amusing match from everyones third favorite early 90's Japanese garbage wrestling promotion W*ING. I assumed when I saw this title that the Dragon Master was Kendo Nagasaki, but it is actually a gigantic skinny guy in a weird mask. He had to be around 7 feet tall, but wasn't proportioned like anyone I recognized, I am pretty sure Baba wasn't doing spot show W*ING work in 91. He did what you need to do in W*ING recklessly hurl a chair and take a bump or two. Gypsy Joe chopped hard, and the Hangmen clubbered. This was clipped up, so it was hard to get a sense of how good it was, but it is definitely weird enough to want to check out, and Gypsy Joe's top rope knee was uncalled for and nasty.


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Thursday, August 19, 2010



Eric and Phil take a run at the DEBUT SHOW!! They brought both the Wrestling and the Romance right from the start

Yuji Yasuraoka v. Nobukazu Hirai

ER: This was the greatest style NJ Young Lions match possible, as these two just beat the shit out of each other (it's like they're in fucking WAR or something!). Tons of great knee drops, swing for the fence forearm shots, big elbow off the top to finish it. If you gotta watch a couple nondescript dudes with mushroom haircuts work a basic match, WAR's young guy way is winner.

PAS: This was really nasty, I have been underwhelmed with the Hirai I have watched recently, and I never thought of Yasuroaka as a stiff worker, but this was a pair of guys killing each other. Hirai especially was throwing huge bombs, I want to see more of this Hirai, as opposed to the duller Motegi he has been in other matches.

Ultimo Dragon/Kodo Fuyuki v. La Fiera/Ponzona

ER: Well La Fiera just completely owns this, making all of Ultimo's shitty offense look really good and just being a total nut. Ponzona is Americo Rocca, Kodo Fuyuki is YOUR fired up babyface, and Ultimo is the HOF worker who clearly looks like the worst guy in the match.

Fiera brought the Fuerza bump and there was a little girl in the front row wearing a jealousy-inducing WAR trucker hat. Fiera somehow makes an Ultimo springboard elbow look like the stiffest shot ever, holding his face like a tooth got knocked loose. The crowd got CRAZY hot for Ultimo at that point and were chanting his name like crazy! He gets up from the elbow, crowd going nuts, women wanting to have his children...and slaps on a long chinlock, followed by a long headscissors spot. You see, the crowd was just getting TOO into it, he being the grizzled future HOF vet, he had to drag them back down, they were peaking too early. You learn these things. Ultimo does bust out the great Santo "past the turnbuckle" tope and I can't stay angry at him. La Fiera was still the king in all of this.

PAS: This was the total Fiera show and he looked amazing, but I am not as hard on Ultimo as Eric is. I have watched enough WAR Ultimo where he has dragged down a match, here he looked like a perfectly competent Multifacitico to Fiera's Black Terry. I thought some of his lucha exchanges were really pretty, and his tope was choice. I enjoyed Ponzona (especially his swank mask) and Fuyuki, but they were kind of along for the ride. Fiera had the look of a guy who needs a Complete and Accurate done on him. Holy fuck was he great.

Takashi Ishikawa v. Ashura Hara

ER: YEAH! Two fat former sumos and former 80s AJ guys just smacking each other in the face and leaning HARD into shoulderblocks and pretty much everything. Hara was one of my fave 80s AJ guys (as of like one month ago) and here he's fatter, but with no mullet and a classier mustache. He's like Fujiwara +100 lb.

All the old sumo guys "collide" spots are great. None of them puss out on shoulderblocks or clotheslines or chops or forearms. They're always game and they always hurt each other something fierce. They smack each other around and then Hara bails to the floor, and Ishikawa teases a pescada. Hara runs out of the way, but Ishikawa fakes him out and blindsides him with one anyway. The OH SHIT look on Hara's face as tubby Ishikawa is crashing down on him was classic.

Hara has no problem taking a bunch of crazy suplex bumps in this one, taking a few back suplexes on his shoulders and neck. This is just totally great. I can see a bunch of you guys not liking it, though. The only people I could see liking this are people that like two fat dudes giving each other tons of great clotheslines and kicks to the face and chest and spine and just stomping the shit out of each other. It's not for everybody, admittedly.

PAS: Man alive did this rule, Ishikawa has been the total discovery of this WAR project, I honestly had zero memory of his existence before this and he has been a total superstar. Both guys come off as total bad asses, they both level epic beatings on each other to start up the match, but Ishikawa gets the upper hand. The finish run of the match was so great, Ishikawa is relentless, crushing with suplexes and kicks to back, Hara keeps getting up but Ishikawa keeps knocking him down. Finally Ishikawa just starts punting him in the kidneys until the ref just calls the match. Ishikawa then just chucks Hara out of the ring throws him into a table and slaps the fuck out of Fuyuki for no reason. Totally awesome, Ishikawa comes off as a wrecking machine and Hara comes off as a tough motherfucker for being able to withstand the beating.

Haku v. Kerry Von Erich

ER: Believe it or not, Kerry couldn't do that much in the ring 6 months before his death. Kerry controlled this for like 35 minutes with some chinlocks and general lying about, doing a bunch of decent claw teases, but I'm not sure where Tongans rank compared to black people on the "head toughness" scale in wrestling. Business picks up for 3 seconds as Kerry misses the discus punch and nails the ringpost, which should finally allow Haku to go on offense. Buuuuuut Kerry just instantly tries to clamp on the claw with the freshly-posted hand. Haku gets a flash roll up and then sprints to the corner to celebrate 123 Kid style. That spry underdog Haku barely pulled off that win.

PAS: I think I liked this slightly more then Eric. I didn't get as much of a squash vibe from this. Kerry is a former World Champion, so I kind of expected him to dominate. It was definitely chinlocky, although Haku was also the chinlocker, not just the chinlockee. It did feel like a pretty big deal for Haku to get the win, even over a corpsish Kerry.

Great Kabuki/Koki Kitihara v. Genichiro Tenryu/Masao Orihara

ER: Awesome punch/chop/uppercut exchange to start with Tenryu/Kabuki (is Kabuki going to be the new overlooked 80s/90s worker we profile here?) and we are on a fucking roll. Orihara leans WAAAAAY into knees and clotheslines, getting absolutely OBLITERATED by a Kabuki clothesline, and Kikihara just Kawada kicking him right in the face. Orihara is a kickpads wearing junior here and does not look like a guy that sliced off somebody's face in a Takashi Miike film yet.

My god they are just beating the shit out of this guy. Every move done by Kabuki/Kikihara is the stiffest version of that move possible. Kabuki just SNAPS his neck into the mat with a neckbreaker. My lord that was awful. Tenryu comes in and Kabuki blasts him with a forearm and now there are just clotheslines and kicks flying everywhere.

Orihara comes in and hits some nice kicks and some nice dives, but naturally it's just a matter of time before he takes a boot toe right to the face. Tenryu making the pinfall saves was too amazing as it's just a flurry of kicks to the face and spine and the next 8 minutes is a whirlwind of some hard ass clotheslines and face kicks.

I don't even give a shit how these matches end or what kind of story these things tell (although this story of a rookie getting the piss beat out of him and his pro sticking up for him with badassery is a great one, especially with violence like this), but this WAR main event tag style seems like the greatest possible match type EVER. Just a bunch of guys trying to outstiff the other while still keeping selling intact and everybody having great facials and telling an awesome story. This kind of match is just perfect to me. This match would have likely finished top 10 (at least top 20) in the NJPW 80s ballot, and this is likely not even the best WAR tag of 1992. This is just some high end amazing tag wrestling and you need every second of it.

PAS: Totally boss match. I liked so much of what Orihara does, that his sort of crappy juniors matches hurt me personally. Here though he is in with the heavyweights and is perfect as the underdog taking a beating. Kabuki and Kitihara kill him with death early, with Tenryu mainly coming in to make his patented saves. Man it must totally suck to pin Tenryu's partner in a tag match, you just know he is coming in to hurl the toe of his boot into your eye and there is nothing you can do about it. At one point he just splits open Kitahara's eyebrow with a kick, and Koki spends the rest of the match crying blood tears. Your finish run was so great, guys are just laying each other out with huge shots. Kabuki nearly beheads Tenryu with two super kicks, Tenryu is throwing his unnecessary lariat, Orihara is flying around, Kitihara is winging kicks. It builds to such an awesome frenzy. God WAR tags are the best thing in wrestling, this was the first all WAR tag I have watched and it feels on the level of the amazing inter-promotional stuff.

What an awesome debut this was. Thank you Japanese handheld guy from 18 years ago (imagine the size of that camera he must've had to sneak in!).

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

New Japan 80s Top 30 Countdown! Match #21

Match #21: Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Riki Choshu, 7/7/83

The style of any given wrestling match can be defined by any number of factors: the country, the promotion, the rules, the roles the wrestlers play, the offense they use, their placement on the card, the psychology of the match....Very rare is the style of match that is defined by the wrestlers themselves. The Fujinami/Choshu match-up is truly one of those unique gems in the wrestling world. Two guys who worked a style of wrestling against one another that they never would duplicate with any other opponent, nor would any other pairing of wrestlers be able to duplicate. It's a hard-nosed style seamlessly blending together brawling, matwork, submission wrestling, and big throws, but it is all tied together with a steady stream of bitter rage that flows throughout each match. There's elements of it still present in the New Japan vs. UWF feud, and BattlArts feels like something of a spiritual successor, but in it's purest form, you're only going to find it here with these two.

This is for Choshu's WWF International Heavyweight Title, which Choshu mockingly dangles in front of Fujinami while the ref tries to restrain him. Fujinami responds by whipping one of his towels across the ring at him. The rage has kicked in full force, and these guys are ready to go. The bell rings, and Fujinami charges out of his corner...but Choshu does not. Choshu stays put for a moment, sizing up the situation as a frantic Fujinami tries to coax him into the middle of the ring. But Choshu wants to control the tempo and make Fujinami play his game.

Once he steps out, they lock up, jockeying for position, and ending up in a test of strength. But Fujinami says "hey, you know that whole 'controlling the pace' thing you were going for...yeah, fuck you, that ain't happening." He steps over one set of interlocked hands to break the grip, smacks Choshu in the face with his free hand, slams him to the mat, and sinks in a jujigatame. Choshu manages to work his way off of his back, so that he's crouching in front of Fujinami, and then slaps him in the face to break the hold. And once they return to their feet, Choshu quickly grabs a bodyslam and locks on his own jujigatame. "Hey, you know how you were going to work a different pace than the one I was setting up? I fucking invented working at that pace."

Early in this match, it really becomes clear that there's something special about these two. I mean, they're just working really simple stuff so far. Fujinami grabs a sleeperhold from an Irish whip. He turns it into a side headlock while blocking Choshu's attempts at a backdrop. Very basic stuff. But it feels so fast and so intense that I find myself rewinding these normally routine spots to make sure I'm not missing anything. They're constantly on the move, constantly looking for escapes or counters, and constantly trying to prevent escapes and counters by the other man. Basic chain wrestling has never been so hard to write about, but it's also never been so fun to watch. Choshu manages to throw Fujinami into the ropes, but Fujinami hits a shoulderblock, a sweet dropkick, and then a single-leg to set up a figure-four leglock. Choshu turns it over a few times, but Fujinami won't break, and eventually, Choshu is forced to roll to the ropes. Fujinami seems to have taken enough punishment to his own legs from the counters that he doffs his kneepads to alleviate the pressure.

They fight over some matwork for a bit before Choshu manages to roll to the ropes to break it. He pulls himself to his feet and stomps Fujinami right in the face. He pulls up Fujinami, whips him into the ropes, hits a mean-looking back elbow, slams him to the mat, and grabs his legs for a sasorigatame. Fujinami scrambles to the ropes before it can get locked on, so Choshu just kicks him in the head and sends him outside to think it over.

Back in the ring, they tie up again and once more find themselves back on the mat, this time with Choshu in charge (of our days, and our nights....). He grabs a figure-four armlock, and maneuvers Fujinami into just such a position where can shoot the half, but Fujinami isn't going over, so Choshu gets up and stomps him in the head again. "Look, you can lose gracefully, or I can cave your fucking skull in with my foot. I think I'm being pretty clear about this." He snapmares him over and locks on a figure-four headscissors....

You know what? Doing a write-up of this match really is futile. To cover all the good stuff here, I have to resort to rote, Scott Keith-style play-by-play, which I don't really like to do, but which this match really calls for. But even that doesn't really do this justice. Sure, most match write-ups aren't going to be as interesting as actually watching the matches themselves, but here, describing the action gives such an incomplete picture of what's happening. I mean, look at what I've written so far. Doesn't sound like anything really special, does it? Well, this match is special in ways the written word has limited means of communicating. This might read like a cop-out on my part, and on a certain level, I guess it is. But it's only because what Fujinami and Choshu do so thoroughly trumps my ability to write about it that I feel like a doofus for even trying. The rest of the match is awesome matwork and crazy fluid chain wrestling, brutal striking (on their feet and on the mat), some big throws like Fujinami's awesome superplex and Choshu's great backdrop, and it's all capped off with Fujinami dropping Choshu with his own Rikilariato, sinking in his own sasorigatame, and getting DQ'd when Choshu grabs the ropes and he refuses to break. Then Masa Saito starts elbowing Fujinami in the head and tossing young lions around. All these elements flow together perfectly, and they are all informed by fact that Fujinami and Choshu hate each others guts. This was #13 on my ballot, and as usual, I kinda regretted a lot of my decisions as soon as I sent it in. This should have been a top ten match for me, and it probably should have been my highest ranked Fujinami/Choshu match. But fuck the world, this thing ruled no matter where you rank it.

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Black Terry Asks Me to Enter, But Then He Makes Me Crawl

Black Terry/Dr. Cerebro/Cerebro Negro v. Trauma I/II/Negro Navarro IWRG 4/4/09- GREAT

PAS: This was your Xochmilco revancha match, and worked as a brawl. They pretty much went after each other head on the entire match. Navarro was amazing here, just brutalizing everyone he was in the ring with. There was a point where he had Terry in the corner and he just unloaded with combos and finished up with a nasty headbutt, great stuff. I liked the rudo trickery, with Black Terry faking a foul to win a fall, and Navarro coming back to rip off the mask of his own son to DQ the rudos. Pretty great brawling by everyone else too, as Trauma II is starting to develop the asskicker which he is unleashing in 2010. I think we only get the last two falls here, which is a shame, but what we get is damn great.

TKG: This is JIP but I still counted three falls. This is an absolute blast. One of the things I picked up rewatching these four matches is that Cerbro Negro really contributes a bunch more in these Xochimilco matches then he did in the Naucalpan series. In Naucalpan he really felt like the third wheel. In Xochimilco he is a blast working almost a Dougie Gilbert type role. He isn’t as tough as Dr Cerebro, or Black Terry but he is a dick who will run in to sneak his shots in, then run away. He bumps around a bunch stoogeing constantly getting caught in the wrong place.

Black Terry/Cerebro Negro/Dr. Cerebro v. Oficial 911/Oficial AK47/Oficial Fierro IWRG 11/9/09- GREAT

TKG: This was a really huge Black Terry performance and a pretty great match. First fall starts with some extended mat work (Terry matching up with 911 and Dr Cerebro matching up with Fierro) and then goes right into brawling with long section of the Oficiales isolating an opponent and triple teaming them that continues into second fall.Second fall has Dr Cerebro eventually force the Terribles Cerebros comeback and a long section of them roughing up the Oficiales by isolating and beating them down. They do a neat booking where after a double team powerbomb into knee and a nasty shoulderbreaker, 911 runs to ringside doctor as other two Oficiales try to protect him, and then Oficiales are left man down. Cerebros exploit that and absolutely abuse the other two Oficiales during the power play, until bandaged 911 comes out to make the save only to have Terry rip off the bandage and force him to submit. Terry was a huge star throughout this thing. We don't get to a ton of chances to see Terry work the type of slick dominant matwork that he worked in the first fall (Fierro also surprised me in how good his opening exchange opposite the Dr looked). Terry was also an absolute star during the Oficiales triple team section. As he is great at selling a beating while daring his opponents to come after him harder. The type of long triple teams that the Oficiales do require that opponents sell that they are too beat up to interfere for a while. And Terry is really great at selling while partners are taking a beating. A guy like Cerebro Negro is super great at being fired up and attacking only to get beat, but will stand around lazily looking distracted when his teamates are being beaten. Terry is always doing something. Terry also came off really sadistic and vicious when his team was on the attack. There was one point where he was just kicking the inside of an Oficial's leg on the floor and it looked like the Oficial was going to be Uriah Fabered. There were a bunch of awkward and blown things in this match. But Terry and 911 delivered such a huge performances that it didn't matter.

PAS: This was right on the cusp of being an epic match, the performances by Black Terry and 911 here are as good as any IWRG performances I have seen. The booking is really weird, this is a rudo v. rudo matchup and it is pretty strange to have the real Ricky Morton performance by 911 in this kind of match. Especially because the crowd seemed to be more behind the Cerebros, still 911 and Terry were so great they overcame the weirdness of the booking. Terry ripping off the bandage and twisting the fuck out of his shoulder was spectacular. Unfortunately the other four guys in this match seemed a bit off and that kept this out of truly rarefied air, well worth picking up the show

Black Terry/Dr Cerebro/Hijo Del Signo v. Negro Navarro/Trauma II/Barba Roja IWRG 3/11/10-GREAT

TKG: The first time I saw this match I remember being very happy with it. Your Thursday show Traumas,911 v tecnicos set up a Traumas v Oficiales rudo v rudo feud for the Sunday shows (after 911 disappointed the Traumas and they attacked him post match). And this Trauma, Navarro, Barba Roja v Terry, Cerebro, Hijo del Signo one set up a Traumas v Piratas feud for the Thursday shows in a similar but very different way. Neither of those feuds ever really materialized beyond one or two matches and so it’s kind of harder to talk about a match that I originally dug as cool slow build to feud when the feud never took off. But basic premise here is that this is a rudo v rudo match built on sportsmanship and guys trying to prove their skills to each other. It starts with a first fall built around the two veteran anchors trading technical moves: matching complex armdrag variation with complex arm drag variation, monkey flip variation to monkey flip variation, rolling arm take down, to rolling arm take down, etc. Second fall has Cerebro and Trauma II matching up exchanging technical holds and escapes with Terry and Navarro loudly coaching their protégé’s “Hey he’s in the ropes”, “bah that’s cheap, etc.” Then Navarro matches up with Signo and Terry matches up with Barba Roja doing technical exchanges with the veterans challenging their opponents “show me what you got kid”. The fall ends with Barba Roja laying down rather than eating a Terry punch. Barba Roja’s pussy move changes everything. Navarro and Terry are blown “What the fuck was that shit”. Terry challenges Barba Roja “ok wait you don’t want to be hit…can you hit someone? C’mon and hit me” while Navarro is disgusted and refuses to tag with Roja. Barba Roja ads further insult with a couple of miscommunication spots where he hits his own partner and eventually says “fuck it, if you’re pissed at me, let me give you a reason to be pissed at me” and deliberately hits own partners. It is an amusing angle and for it to work all the other rudo v rudo stuff has to be pretty heatless (no one else’s feelings can be hurt—there isn’t the usual build from friendly exchange to anger). While I'm normally not the biggest fan of this kind of horseshit angle which often distracts from a as a result of the horseshit we get a fun Navarro v Terry technical match up, a neat lil Navarro v Hijo del Signo one and a tough Navarro v Dr Cerebro set of exchanges that I can’t imagine us getting in any other context.

PAS: I liked this match a bunch, Tom didn't even mention the spectacular Cerebro v. Trauma II mat exchanges which were tricky, elaborate and nasty looking. I really get the sense those two have an amazing singles match in them if that ever gets lined up. When the match got a little out of control it was great to see these guys lay into each other. Navarro just cracks Barba Roja with a right hand, Navarro brawling isn't very common, and you kind of forget what a beast he is when he starts throwing hands. The angle stuff takes the actually match down a bit, you aren't going to have a classic when the focus of the match is partners turning on each other, but this was about as good as something like this can be.


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Monday, August 16, 2010



Jado/Gedo v. Nobukazu Hirai/Masanobu Kurisu

Both Jado and Gedo had really weird hair. Gedo had the sides of his head shaved with a long black half mullet half ponytail, while Jado had hair like the guy from One Tree Hill who is directing Atlas Shrugged. This was pretty JIP, but I enjoyed what we got. Kurisu leveled one of the nastiest beatings I have ever seen against Jado on one of the early FMW shows, so I was hoping for that match up to pop more. Pretty exciting finish run, I am looking forward to some good Jado and Gedo during this project. This wasn't it, but it wet my whistle.

Koki Kitahara v. Kim Duk

This is definitely a JIP match I would have liked to see in full. Duk is such a nasty fucker, he throws these short little punches to the kidneys and throat which look like they totally suck. Kitihara throws a couple of sweet kicks too. Still we don't get enough of this to get much of a sense of the match.

Riki Fuyuki v. Arashi

Another pretty clipped up match I would have enjoyed seeing in full. This was a rounds match and Arashi is in a yellow mask and sumo gear. Fuyuki has the kind of weird charisma that can make this kind of thing work, and from the clips we got this was chaotic, heated and fun.

Ultimo Dragon/Masao Orihara v. The Great Sasuke/SATO

This had some really strong moments and good performances, but I just don't think these kind of matches are doing a ton for me in 2010. It went too long, even with a clip in the middle, and didn't feel like it had much of a structure. Just a lot of guys doing a bunch of things, some of the things are really cool, but it didn't build much of a coherent tale. I really like Orihara as either an underdog fighting through a beating, or a dickish asshole stiffing people. He can do both in one match and make it work, but here it felt a little like he was shifting back at forth randomly. Also Sasuke brutally blew the Sasuke Special #2 which ruined what had been an awesome dive train. Otherwise Sasuke was pretty great, as he really has a awesome overall shtick, graceful and crazy, as adept at quick lucha exchanges as lunatic bumping. Man is SATO (aka Dick Togo for yall that don't know) stellar too, such crazy agility for a stocky dude, he had the best dive in a match with Orihara, Ultimo and Great fucking Sasuke which is really something. Ultimo had some nice moments, I loved him dickishly breaking up a pin by kicking Sasuke in the eye Tenryu style, but he is still consistently the least guy in almost every match I see him in. I think folks will enjoy this, but I wanted it to be better.

We now get about 90 seconds each of Chris Jericho v. Super Strong Machine and Haku v. Mr. Hughes. From the clips I wouldn't have minded seeing more. Haku was just chucking Mr. Hughes around. DAMN YOU WAR EDITORS

Koji Ishinriki vs. Koji Kitao

Have no idea who Ishinriki is, I would assume some sort of shoot style guy by his boots and manner, but the name doesn't ring a bell. No matter as this is basically a Kitao sqaush, Ishinriki gets a takedown and works an armbar for a bit, but Kitao kicks him in the face and steamrolls him for a KO. Nothing to see here, keep it moving.

Genichiru Tenryu/Ashura Hara v. Atsushi Onita/Tarzan Goto

This match won the Tokyo Sports MOTY for 1994, that is 1994, the year of Misawa v. Kawada, Vader v. Takada and the Super J Cup. Still you watch this match and think "Yeah fuck a Misawa v. Kawada, this is it right here." Epic match with everyone playing their parts perfectly. Both Goto and Hara are awesome as the bruiser tag partners whose job is to beat on the opposing teams big hitter. Hara brutalizes Onita early with headbutts busting him open, while Goto cracked Tenryu with lariats, superfly splashes and a a face first piledriver on the table. Then they clear out and let the two megastars match up. The finishing run may not have been the smoothest wrestling I have seen, but holy shit are Tenryu and Onita pair of charismatic motherfuckers who know how to draw you in a match. Tenryu's selling was brilliant here, at about the ten minute mark of the match he gets caught with a big DDT from Onita, and he is never able to shake off that shot. He goes back on offense, hits some big moves, but he has this awesome thousand yard stare even when he is firing back. When he finally goes down, it is a huge monster deal, but I buy Onita getting the win, even without explosions. The main event interpromotional WAR tag is one of the greatest thing in wrestling history.

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

The G1 Climax is a Concept by Which I Measure My Pain: Day 1

-AM, "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream"

Oh, for fuck's sake. Today was going to be the day. I've been slacking off, as I have the tendency to do, but my desktop dropped dead, and my funk has been drawn out longer than I'd like to think it would be otherwise. Still, I've got a flashdisk with pretty much all of my important stuff on it, including a half-finished write-up for the Fujinami/Choshu match deemed the 21st best bout of 80's New Japan, and a half-finished third part of my "More Wrestling Than Wrestling" Judy Garland retrospective, and today was going to be the day that I snapped myself out of whatever the hell it's been that's been holding me back and write about the motherfuckin' professional wrestling.

Except now I can't find my flashdisk. The world can kindly go fuck itself.

Oh, but I had another project that I had just started considering doing. Of course, it's a project that involves inflicting even more mental anguish upon myself, but today is gonna be the day for writing about wrestling one way or another. Phil already took the bullet by covering the BOSJ tournament. I may as well take another with a New Japan tournament that actually has the sheer contempt for it's audience to book Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Strongman. Is it a good idea to go ahead with this in my fragile mental state? I don't know. Maybe I'll find some diamonds in the rough like Phil did with the performances of Liger and Gedo. Or maybe this will just be primal scream therapy as a wrestling review. I suppose being the guy who writes the wrestling criticism equivalent of "Plastic Ono Band" isn't the worst thing in the world.

Block B: Wataru Inoue vs. Giant Bernard

Well, they didn't waste any time bringing the suck, did they? Wataru Inoue is a guy who I've thought got a bad rap from certain corners of the internet going back almost to his rookie year, but damn, he really lived down to his reputation here. It's not just that he was fucking up stuff. It's that he was fucking up stuff that you almost forgot could be fucked up before you see this. He fucks up starting a strike exchange. He fucks up getting his knees up to block a splash. He fucks up holding on to Bernard's arm while applying an armbar. Inoue has been wrestling for ten years now. How does he fuck up low-level stuff like that? This wasn't Bernard's best showing, either, although he basically looked fine. He delivered a good beating, although Bernard's real strength is as sort of a lesser, taller Arn Anderson. Best as a guy who comes off as an asskicker, but also does a lot of great comedy stooging. And well, his beating was good, but he didn't do much comedy stooging, so I was left wanting. Also, him slapping Inoue on the back while Inoue was delivering the gentlest shoulderblocks in the corner ever to try and make them sound more impactful than they were was really embarrassing. But yeah, this was a "worst in the world" type performance from Inoue. Just the kind of thing you want to open with.

Block A: Manabu Nakanishi vs. Toru Yano

Hey remember when Nakanishi was really good for about two seconds? Man, that sure was a long time ago. Nakanishi rolls up and drops Yano with a standing dropkick which was pretty cool. Him undershooting a pescado shortly afterwords despite making Yano stand stone still for something like a year while he got it lined up killed the good will pretty fast. Thankfully, he pretty much landed on his feet, since Yano couldn't be bothered to take the one step forward necessary to catch him. He did still sell getting knocked over by the wind of a large Asian man falling down from a great height in front of him. In fairness, Yano is mostly inoffensive here. Yano is a guy who I remember being a big favorite of mine (as he was with everyone else who was posting at Happy Wrestling Land) when he started doing his heel shtick back in '04/'05. He wasn't actually a good wrestler, but the shtick was amusing, and natives in big league Japanese promotions doing American-style heel stuff was still pretty novel at that point. But it's 2010, that gimmick is commonplace, and Yano still isn't a good wrestler. The fact that I can accurately describe a guy whose stuff I once kinda liked as a poor man's Togi Makabe is really sad. Nakanishi does some good clubbering at points, but he is really nowhere as good of a clubbering big man as Iron Mike Sharpe was in his match on the Texas set. Yano runs the ropes and bounces off backwards so that Nakanishi can catch him with a German suplex for the win, I guess because catching him from the front and then doing a go-behind into the German would've been too much to ask.

Block A: Prince Devitt vs. Strongman

Strongman is on that elite level with Gronda and Paul Ellering of guys who look like they are going to have a massive heart attack anytime they do anything. It really looks like it is physically painful just being him. I am not as down on Devitt as most people whose pro graps opinions I take seriously are, but he didn't give me much to make that case with in this match. This was worked like a Rey Mysterio/Mark Henry match, as Devitt bounces off of Strongman and Strongman stands around looking huge before eventually getting worn down and falling to his smaller opponent. Unfortunately, running the formula really just illustrates just how shitty Strongman is compared to someone like Henry. Guys bouncing off of Henry works because Henry is genuinely imposing, and as a heel, could be downright scary. Strongman is just plain goofy. I mean, he really comes off like a 21st century Ellering. You can totally see him doing vignettes in CMLL where he teaches little kids to get in shape while joking about being addicted to "World of Warcraft" or something. His vocalizing doesn't help his case. "YEAH! HERE WE GO, BABY! YEAH!" And his opponent is a guy who actually yells "DANGEROUS!" before doing his top-rope double stomp, which is some weird Western fetishization of puro coming full circle shit. Strongman really struggles with timing and being in position for stuff, though that seems to be partially Devitt's fault as well. The finish is a good example. Devitt "grabs" a prawn hold from his back, but his legs don't ever really hook Strongman's arms, and Strongman flails about (to the extent that someone of his build is capable of flailing, anyway) unsuccessfully trying to get his arms hooked right until the ref counts three. Where does one botch end and the other begin?

Block B: Yujiro Takahashi vs. Go Shiozaki

Hey, a good match! I didn't know they still had those. Yujiro was a perfectly fine - if unremarkable - wrestler working as the cocksure youngster getting a few lucky shots in on the established guy early before getting his ass beat for most of the rest of the match. Kind of a semi-odd role considering they've been around for about the same length of time, but Yujiro was a junior until fairly recently, so I guess it still works on that level. He ate some real nasty shit here, including a release gourdbuster onto the apron and a slingshot into the ringpost, so I'll give him props for that. Go continues to reward me for the faith I started to put into him last year. He has forgone being a sad parody of late 90's/early 00's Kobashi for being a lesser version of 00's Akiyama, the arrogant established guy who mauls lower-ranked dudes trying to make a name for themselves at his expense. The main difference, other than Akiyama being all-around better than Go, is that Akiyama would usually completely no-sell the lower guy's offense at the start of the match, only to get worn down later on and start showing weakness, whereas Go is a little more willing to sell for Takahashi, most notably taking a nice bump off of the apron into the guardrail and then eating a big tope. Still, he's selling it as irritation that Takahashi is getting one over on him. He's actually shooting him a dirty look as Takahashi hits the tope. Not a great match by any means, but I'll take it over the dreck I've been given so far. Still, looking over what I've written, pretty clear that "Wrestler X is like a lesser Wrestler Y" is already a recurring theme in this tournament, and that's a pretty sad statement.

Block A: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Karl Anderson

If you want a good look into my mindset here, this is the first match of the tournament that really struck me as a great match, and yet the big thought that comes to my mind is "poor Karl Anderson". He delivers a great performance here, and yet, something is always threatening to undercut his efforts. He is awesome heeling it up early on, trying to start chants for Tanahashi after taking him down and mocking his posing, including miming flipping around his long, lustrous hair. The crowd cheers him for this. How do you say "this is awesome" in Japanese? I'm going to need to keep an ear out for it. Anderson rips the shit out of Tanahashi's knee, dropping some nasty kneedrops to the knee and twisting it up like Tyson Kidd, no, Karl deserves better than to fall into that trap. And Tanahashi definitely doesn't deserve to be compared to Finlay, but he does do a really good job of selling the knee. They do a great job building heat on him, to the point that you actually get psyched up when Tanahashi starts to make his comeback in spite of the Downy-soft offense he's sure to deliver. In fact, his offense on the comeback doesn't even look that bad. It won't blow you away, but he's putting just enough weight behind it and Anderson is eating it well enough that I can dig it. He's still staggering and limping as he makes his way to the corner, pulls himself to the second rope with his upper body alone...and then does a somersault senton without a second thought. And then his knee is hurt again! And then he's running and jumping around like nothing's wrong. I'll give Tanahashi this much, he does basically just forget that his knee is hurt at this point. That's not good, but I'll take it over KENTA or CIMA's "My knee is hurt! Wait, no it isn't! Wait, yes it is! Wait...." bullshit where they are just rubbing how bad they are in my face any day. I'd much rather that story just be dropped if you're not going to follow through on it so I can move on to other things. And there are other things to move on to, as Anderson continues fucking Tanahashi's shit up in spectacular fashion, wisely forgoing limbwork for nasty boots and lariats. And wouldn't you know, he's even rewarded for his efforts with a win! Maybe the world isn't as cruel as it seems.

Block A: Togi Makabe vs. Tetsuya Naito

Damn it, G1 Climax! You're screwing up my bad mood with good matches! This match had some weirdness to it, and it won't be to everyone's taste, but I'd be lying if I didn't say I got a kick out of it. It opens with a bunch of perfunctory chain wrestling, which seems odd to me. But it breaks down, and Naito ends up dropkicking Makabe in the stomach, and Makabe starts selling like he's just ruptured his spleen. It seems really strange at first, but it's apparently part of the story, as Naito spends the body of the match going after Makabe's abdomen. He looks great doing it, too. Both members of No Limit always struck me as natural power brawling heavies stuck in junior bodies. Now that he's actually bulked up to heavyweight status, Naito seems right at home overpowering Makabe and working over whatever the hell internal injury he's supposed to have. Come to think of it, Makabe does kinda look like a shorter, bulkier Japanese Diamond Dallas Page. Will he start taping his ribs after this match? Makabe makes his comeback, and it's semi-problematic. He doesn't drop the injury storyline like Tanahashi did, and he doesn't quite fall into KENTA/CIMA-style fluctuating selling, either. For the most part, he does come off as a guy who is fighting through an injury, rather than a guy who is alternately fighting and injured. But considering the severity of his earlier selling, I'm not sure if holding his stomach in between rope-running, powerbombs, and a bridging northern lights suplex cuts it. Still, it could have been worse, and Naito came up big, and like Anderson in the previous match, he was justly rewarded with a win. So good on him. No, no limits, reach for the sky! No valley too deep, no mountain too high!

Block B: Yuji Nagata vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

This was the one match on the card that looked genuinely good to me on paper, so naturally, they didn't deliver. It's not so much that the match was bad. It wasn't, at least not significantly so. But it was very much these guys going through the motions. Boring opening matwork that leads nowhere, strike exchanges that are fine but not particularly heated, Nakamura throwing a lot of Boma Yes that look pretty good, some mild overselling by Nagata that looks more jarring than it should next to the cool and indifferent (and possibly bored) Nakamura, and an uninspiring run to the finish. It's very paint-by-numbers, and while I'm all for a good formula, there still needs to be effort behind it. I wasn't getting that here. Day 1 of the G1 Climax measured my pain as being not as bad as I had feared, but it ends on a flat note.

Oh, hey, there's my flashdisk!

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Saturday, August 14, 2010

XCW Midwest Legends of the Garden Night 2 3/4/09


Buddy Landell v. Crippler Jeff Daniels

TKG: Budro comes out looking as big as AWA era Adonis. He doesn’t bump like AWA era Adonis. He comes out in a v cut sweatshirt no knee pads and no hair dye. Daniels beats on him for a bit, Budro intercepts the brass knucks thrown in by Daniels valet and knocks Daniels out.

PAS: I have seen no kneepads Buddy Landell not take any bumps in matches that entertain me, this wasn't one of them. I think he really needs to work heel to pull that off, a face who exerts no effort just feels like a ripoff. Daniels initial rush of Budro looked good, but we are only talking a 90 second match

Tracy Smothers v Mitch Ryder (Taped Fist Match)

TKG: On night one, Smothers beat Ryder by using the wrist tape so we have the rematch as tape fist match. Fun booking. Both guys really lay it into each other and have a nasty ringside brawl. Lots of both guys trying to post the other guy only to end up posting themselves. Just a string of postings one after the other: Smothers torches his shoulder into post trying to lariat Ryder, Ryder blasts his own fist into post missing Tracy with a punch, etc. Really rewarding streetfight.

PAS: This is probably best Tracy match I have seen in years, there is some early Tracy shtick, but for the most of the match they are just laying into each other. Tracy's taped backfist is nasty looking, and I loved Ryder's Lawler style fired up punch combos. After the nastiest of postings Ryder gets busted open and really bleeds a ton which isn't very common in XCW so it felt special.

Bill Dundee v. Todd Morton

TKG: This just puts a big smile on my face and I “OOH!!” along with both guys stuff. No real toe to toe sections. You get the sense that that will come later in the series. Instead you have face moving forward heel moving back. Though a neat variation on that as you get sense that Morton wants to be on offense. Lots of really fun goofy Dundee outwitting Morton and cutting him off before Morton can get any kind of momentum. Morton is great at selling the burn from not being able to get his stuff off. Morton eventually of course does find a way to cheat to offense and has a nasty little run. I demand the rematch.

PAS: Watch all of the Memphis TV for the 80's Memphis set, Bill Dundee really came off like the king of the studio match. He was really great at work a simple entertaining match full of awesome shtick. Here he controls Morton early using all kinds of nifty little tricks, popping him in the knee on the break, holding the rope for him only to bang it into his nuts, just a ton of clever horseshit which Morton sold like a champ. When Morton finally gets the advantage his offensive run looked awesome. Totally fun studio match which would make you buy a ticket to see the Mid-South Coliseum rematch.

Shawn Cook/Cody Hawk v. Rock and Roll Express v. Tommy Rich/Doug Gilbert

TKG: So I go into this dissapointed that it isn't a straight Rich/Gilbert v RnR match. I am really digging the booking of the show where the XCW regulars go over the veterans on all of the night two matches. and you couldn't really do that without the XCW regular team. Still I don't like three way dances. Plus it's the three way tag dance where you can tag in anyone. So on paper lots of reasons to think this won't work. But they absolutely make this work. This isn’t TNA so instead of embracing the foolishness, they do lots of spots mocking the inherent stupidity of the three way structure. At some point or other each team gets one section where they are forced to work against their own partner. Each team works a comedy spot around it…Plus you get the Rock n Rolls cooperating to attack guys on apron, veteran heel team slightly not trusting each other, and the young heel team full on willing to battle against themselves. Partner forced to work against his own partner in multiperson tag is one of the goofier things in wrestling today and I really enjoyed it here as these guys really knew how to play up the spots goofiness. Ricky Morton and Doug Gilbert work a bunch of sections with each other and both look really solid. Gibson does a rolling across ring tag (rolling tag to other team on opposite side of ring) which is a really visually neat spot. For the most part though Robert Gibson and Tommy Rich are placed in role of powerhouses (the Neidharts of their teams) which isn’t really a role I associate with either guy.

PAS: Man did Dougie Gilbert look great in this match, nasty looking offense, great shitck, solid bumping. Really looked like a guy they should have brung in as a regular guy. Gilbert v. Flash and Gilbert v. Ryder would have been great. Cook and Hawk are a really solid tag team and the held down the athletic part of the match really well. Robert Gibson had a shirt on, and kind of wrestled like a guy in a shirt (although the somersault tag was great), but Ricky continues to defy father time, as he still seems to have an impressive amount of his athleticism.

Flash Flanagan v. Bull Pain

TKG: Bull Pain comes in with a limp form yesterdays beatdown and Flannigan does some heel mic work about how they should cancel the match. And then it's on. Powerhouse babyface with bad wheel is something we've all seen before. Still Bull is really great at being both a monster and vulnerable at same time. He isn't a guy who switches back and forth "Now I'm a monster" and " Now I'm vulnerable" but instead gets them both accross at same time. They do this spot midway in the match where Flannigan repeatedly distracts ref so that he can hit Bull with cruitch. Flannigan tosses his belt and ref is distracted by going to retrieve and remove, Flannigan tosses chair in ring, etc. Efectively gets over the idea of using an outside weapoin being something that needs to be hidden from ref without any real tough guy ref talking down a wrestler spots. Finish to this is a little disappointing especially since I've liked their finishes against each other before. I mean I'm not a guy who needs a long finish train but I kind of wanted one more kick out or something.

PAS: Man is Bull Pain an impressive baby face worker. For a role that he has hardly worked in his career, he is just tremendous as a tough guy gutting through an injury. Flanagan is nasty in this taking him apart, and his bumping was great, he eats a suplex and a DDT on the floor and make both look brutal. I liked the finish more then Tom did, Bull's frog splash was great looking and after his spectacular sell of the knee, it came off totally reckless, in a way that should have cost him the match. Morton running in with the baseball bat did seem a little unnecessary, but it felt like it ended about when it should have. Really good match between a pair of really good wrestlers.

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Thursday, August 12, 2010


Reg Trood v. Clay Thomson 12/30/72

I am not a huge Twitter guy, but the technology has totally justified itself with William Regal recommending obscure World of Sport matches on youtube. This is from 1972 and is contested between two guys I had never heard of. Thomson is the veteran from Scotland with kind of gray pompadour which made him look like a TV presenter who might be a flummoxed by The Clash. Trood is British with a brown bowl cut which makes him look like a put upon dockworker in East Enders. This is a true World of Sport style match which is very much it's own unique thing. Story of the match is pretty cool, Trood gets Thomson in a headscissors which he sells by coughing and choking like the Silk Cuts have finally caught up to him. The next couple of round are all about Thomson the veteran champion being off his game and damaged, and how he works his way back into control. The whole match was worked around tight holds with minimal flourishes like you might see in a Johnny Saint match. Probably not for everyone, but I really enjoyed it and fans of grappling would enjoy it. Big ups to Lord Regal for the recommendation.

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

IWRG 3/11/10


Watch it all on Black Terry Jr.'s Youtube account

Epidemia/Heavy Boy/Comando Negro v Alan Extreme/Dinamic Black/Heros

TKG: They work from a pretty basic template here. First fall is one tecnico and one rudo match up do some technical exchanges and mat work where other two rudos interfere to break up pins which leads to all out brawl… rudos isolate and double team triple team tecnicos. Second fall is more streetfight and triple teaming tecnicos until rudo blows something and tecnicos mount a comeback. Third fall is each tecnico getting one on one opportunity against all three rudos with tecnicos winning all the exchange, which leads to two tecnicos do dive train and one tecnico is left in ring with one rudo. One of the real frustrations in writing about lucha is that we don’t have vocabulary/short hand for any of these sections of a match or for any of these roles within those sections. Applying southern tag shorthand to describe those sections misses the point. We have terms for every type of dive and dive variation but for those of us who enjoy lucha structure we have no short hand. This lack of shorthand handicaps the ability to write something more nuanced. "Rudos brawl on floor leading to isolating one tecnico and beating on him two or three on one, than throwing him out before the next tecnico recovers and is able to get in ring" is a staple that I don’t have a term for (or for any of the roles in that structure). No general term for that ”King of the Hill” section, which means I can’t really compare particular versions to Bruno Sammartino “controlling center of ring” matches, can’t say much on variations (when one rudo stays on floor to continue beating down and keeping other two tecnicos out), can't say much about how a rudo or tecnico is fucking up that section, etc . Can’t explain when it is done well and the beat downs and toss outs are done in such a way that no technico is left to look like an idiot standing on the floor with his thumb in his ass not breaking up stuff. When rudo ref has to interfere to keep tecnicos out, when heavyweight or just overweight tecnico sells wind on floor longer than his more junior partners. Don’t have a term for the face eating the beating. FIP is a term that was invented for Southern tag. Does FIP accurately describe the lucha tecnico role. As guy being beat down he’s half FIP/half ring apron guy interfering as it’s all about guy trying to regroup and start some offense and not pulling it off since the numbers are against him. The tecnico mounting a comeback section is often done like a hockey power play. Here (and in every Heavy Boy match) Heavy Boy torches his shoulder on a corner charge and (even beaten down) the faces when man up can take advantage and finally regroup. Sometimes the comeback is set up by tossing a tecnico highflyer into ropes where he can hit his stuff, sometimes the tecnicos just fight back to offense, finally recover their strength, or (like last weeks Ultraman dive on Truama II) take out a rudo with a dive setting up a two on two. The lack of voacabulary/shorthand makes it difficult to point out when it is done well/poorly or any of the neat idiosyncratic things that make one version different than other. Black Terry Jr has been more erratic in the last couple of weeks and I kind of think developing a vocabulary would be a useful project for Segunda Caida readers/IWRG message board posters, while we still have this resource. Anyways, Eros is fun as usual, and it was neat to see him get to work someone different in his technical exchange section (Comando Negro) and his submission finisher on Epidemia in the third fall was awesome. But while Heavy Boy is a guy who I can take by himself, I really don’t care for the Pareja Toxico. I’m not a big fan of “Innovative Offense” type wrestlers to begin with. But even within that genre they manage to make their Rube Goldberg offense come off as dull.

PAS: I thought all of the technicos looked pretty good, although they mostly looked good in their exchanges with Commando Negro. I am with Tom on Pareja Toxico, they are like the Maximos at their laziest, and their section really drag on the rest of the match. Dull is right, all of their double teams come off completely perfunctory, nothing they do has any spark or energy, which is in marked comparison to the technicos in this match who have some really jazzy stuff. One of the things I have missed the most about the sparseness of IWRG updates lately is watching these young guys work out the kinks.

Black Terry/Dr Cerebro/Hijo Del Signo v. Negro Navarro/Trauma II/Barba Roja

TKG: The first time I saw this match I remember being very happy with it. Your Thursday show Traumas,911 v tecnicos set up a Traumas v Oficiales rudo v rudo feud for the Sunday shows (after 911 disappointed the Traumas and they attacked him post match). And this Trauma, Navarro, Barba Roja v Terry, Cerebro, Hijo del Signo one set up a Traumas v Piratas feud for the Thursday shows in a similar but very different way. Neither of those feuds ever really materialized beyond one or two matches and so it’s kind of harder to talk about a match that I originally dug as cool slow build to feud when the feud never took off. But basic premise here is that this is a rudo v rudo match built on sportsmanship and guys trying to prove their skills to each other. It starts with a first fall built around the two veteran anchors trading technical moves: matching complex armdrag variation with complex arm drag variation, monkey flip variation to monkey flip variation, rolling arm take down, to rolling arm take down, etc. Second fall has Cerebro and Trauma II matching up exchanging technical holds and escapes with Terry and Navarro loudly coaching their protégé’s “Hey he’s in the ropes”, “bah that’s cheap, etc.” Then Navarro matches up with Signo and Terry matches up with Barba Roja doing technical exchanges with the veterans challenging their opponents “show me what you got kid”. The fall ends with Barba Roja laying down rather than eating a Terry punch. Barba Roja’s pussy move changes everything. Navarro and Terry are blown “What the fuck was that shit”. Terry challenges Barba Roja “ok wait you don’t want to be hit…can you hit someone? C’mon and hit me” while Navarro is disgusted and refuses to tag with Roja. Barba Roja ads further insult with a couple of miscommunication spots where he hits his own partner and eventually says “fuck it, if you’re pissed at me, let me give you a reason to be pissed at me” and deliberately hits own partners. It is an amusing angle and for it to work all the other rudo v rudo stuff has to be pretty heatless (no one else’s feelings can be hurt—there isn’t the usual build from friendly exchange to anger). While I'm normally not the biggest fan of this kind of horseshit angle which often distracts from a as a result of the horseshit we get a fun Navarro v Terry technical match up, a neat lil Navarro v Hijo del Signo one and a tough Navarro v Dr Cerebro set of exchanges that I can’t imagine us getting in any other context.

PAS: I liked this match a bunch, Tom didn't even mention the spectacular Cerebro v. Trauma II mat exchanges which were tricky, elaborate and nasty looking. I really get the sense those two have an amazing singles match in them if that ever gets lined up. When the match got a little out of control it was great to see these guys lay into each other. Navarro just cracks Barba Roja with a right hand, Navarro brawling isn't very common, and you kind of forget what a beast he is when he starts throwing hands. The angle stuff takes the actually match down a bit, you aren't going to have a classic when the focus of the match is partners turning on each other, but this was about as good as something like this can be.

Trauma I v Angelico (Americas Lightheavyweight Championship)

TKG:So this is the miracle match with the only argument being does this make Trauma I a superworker or is this two guys who trained together having the perfect match laid out. And while Angelico is not the best possible opponent for Trauma I, Trauma I is definitely the best possible opponent for Angelico. They do a bunch of standing World Of Sport elaborate arm exchanges to start and holy shit does Trauma I do a great job of selling for this. He lays in his own arm wringers really tight and manages to sell for Angelico’s shitty artful dodger in a way that makes it work in a lucha (or just in a general wrestling) context. They continue in a really tit for tat manner up into the second fall where Trauma starts laying in the stiffness and Angelico answers. Trauma I does a nice job selling for a bunch of Angelico’s weaker stuff but also the match structure where they are still feeling each other out through the beginning of the strike exchange section helps. The neat thing about Terry v Navarro armdrag/judo throw exchanges from the last match is if you’re going to do tit for tat feeling out, the real balance of “oh you have an arm drag, let me show you my arm drag” works better than just guys doing a more general “oh you have a technical move, I can do a technical move too”. Doing that as a feeling out keeps it from ever getting “Austin does a rock bottom, Rock does a stunner” finish run cutesy. And so the strike exchange here had these moments of “hey I can leap frog you/kick you from behind and then crank a submission too” where instead of feeling even it felt like guys feeling each other out to see who could actually do these things better. Trauma I eats a Sano kick and then a draped over top rope thing where he sells it all like he’s busted a rib. He sells for that rib for the whole rest of the match Sano v Akiyama (04) or Sano v Misawa style. I mean Angelico is sloppy, it might not actually be selling but it really makes the match. The balance of the match being built on Trauma’s selling is super smart. It means there is a reson for even Angelico’s weakest stuff to have meaning, and also keeps us from having any real BS Angelico selling sections. The final busted shin selling from Angelico so quickly leads to the finish that you buy the over the topness of initial hurt…in a way that you wouldn’t if he continually sold “Oh my leg!my leg! Oh what will I do without a leg!” for any more exchanges.

PAS: I absolutely loved this match the first time I saw it. I was coming into to it blind, not knowing who won, and thinking there was a decent chance that Angelico would seriously injure Trauma I. So when I watched it initially, I was on the edge of my seat waiting for everything to go to hell, so each exchange that ended without disaster built me up more. When we got to the legitimately awesome finish I was totally engaged, to the point where I remember yelling "TAP MOTHERFUCKER" when Trauma I slapped on his awesome spinning ankle lock. Re-watching it months later when I know nothing goes horribly wrong, and I know the right guy goes over, I can see the cracks of the match more. Angelico is still Angelico and some of his stuff still looks shitty. Still despite that is a damn good match on rewatch and an absolute gem of performance by Trauma I, his intensity, nasty offense, timing and selling really carried Angelico to a better match then he had any right to have.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

ECW Hardcore Justice!! Report

When I first got back into wrestling around 1997, I became a huge fan of ECW. Because of ECW I started tape trading, and it opened my wrestling world up to puro and lucha and helped turn wrestling into an obsession for me. I didn't have too much nostalgia for it at the end, but thought the One Night Stand show a few years after was a fun idea that provided a good atmosphere (and I really dug the Funk tag from the 2nd one). But there wasn't anything when the ppv ended that made me think "Man, I wish we could relive these days more often." But damn if I didn't start getting really excited when this TNA version came about.

Now, in fairness to you dear reader, I'm not really sure WHY I got so excited for this ppv. I know a large portion of my glee was because TNA was devoting one of its 12 yearly ppvs to a promotion that is entirely owned by its competition, and I am still endlessly tickled by that. This was entirely a commercial for something that they cannot profit off of! They paid their own money, to hopefully turn people onto a wrestling product that WWE is currently making money off of! "If you liked these matches, you should consider subscribing to WWE 24/7, or picking up one of the many ECW DVDs they've released." I cannot wrap my head around ANY of that, no matter how hard I try. Owl City didn't come out with an album under the name "Fed Ex" and take breaks between songs to say things like "If you dug that track, you should consider giving money to Ben Gibbard, and Sub Pop, and dating a girl with S.A.D., and taking a trip to Seattle." Nope, he just made an album that sounded like really bad Postal Service, presented it to people that had never heard Postal Service, and made a good deal of money.

But bands cover other bands all the time. Small acts cover legendary acts, legendary acts cover obscure acts, and they'd probably be tickled if fans then went out and discovered those covered acts. But a cover and a blatant rip-off are two different things. Kurt Cobain would probably be elated to see the Vaselines make a 2009 comeback (were they ever even here?) when most people only knew they existed because of "Molly's Lips". He would probably be less excited to see Sponge make a comeback (since they were essentially a Bush cover band, who were a Nirvana cover band). But they were all able to exist and they were all able to make money and fans of Sponge didn't care that they were a really bad Nirvana, they just really liked "Plowed". But TNA isn't merely ripping off a rip off.

TNA's scenario would be more if Nirvana and Sponge were the only two bands in existence, and Nirvana owned the Vaselines back cataloge, and Nirvana was gobbling up 95% of the music industry money, and Sponge had a really rough 10 years, losing a bunch of money, but then decided to do a small club tour doing nothing but Vaselines songs, but they couldn't record any of the shows, and they couldn't promote the tour as them playing Vaselines songs since they didn't own them, and it wasn't a sold tour, so they had to pay for everything themselves....then....

What the fuck am I even talking about!? It should be obvious to everyone involved that this ppv was a collossally shitty idea, with minimal chance to make money short term, and zero chance to make money long term for them, all while positioning their own company as a #2 to a fed that lasted about as long as they have and has been dead for years.

They wanted Jerry Lynn to headline the ppv, which makes no sense as he was in TNA longer than he was in ECW, and they never felt he was a headliner while he was IN TNA, and they could have signed him back at any point over the last 3 years, but had no interest in him! And suddenly they want him to headline!

I just don't get it. Nobody was clamoring for this, and they appeared to not even be sure what the fans wanted. As far as reunions go, the 1997 Dukes of Hazzard reunion was booked far better. They knew what the fans wanted, and presented the characters with satisfying backstories: Bo was a race car driver, Luke was a fucking parachuting forest fireman!, Daisy was divorced and getting her PhD (meaning she was both smart AND sexually available), Jesse was the Grand Marshal for the reunion, Enos was with the LAPD, Cooter's a Congressman, etc. If something was different, they addressed it directly: No Boar's Nest? It burned down. Sorrell Booke died years earlier? Well, Boss Hogg done passed away from stress, but he wrote a book about grifting before he went! No Waylon Jennings? Have Bo and Luke make a new song detailing all the fine memories they created. Denver Pyle has lung cancer? Throw a wig and a beard and a fucking fat suit on him and pretend he's still the same ol' Uncle Jesse!

In the end, CBS presented these characters in ways that fans would fondly remember them. They didn't bring out fucking Coy and Vance and poke fun at what a shitty idea this was. CBS didn't call attention to how disappointing it was to not have Boss Hogg. TNA would've been far better off pretending Paul Heyman was dead, instead of Dixie tweeting about the contract negotiations between them and the fat, excitable, bald man in a suit who runs the town. She should've just written Boss Hogg out of it. CBS knew that Tom Wopat and John Schneider still looked good, and the fans were happy that Catherine Bach still looked great in shorts. TNA didn't even bother to have people get in something resembling shape.

I.. just...don't...get this ppv!

But I was excited for it (mostly for all the wrong reasons, essentially to laugh and laugh at TNA and their continual blunders), as excited as I would be for ANYthing featuring Tracy Smothers, Scorpio, or CW. So here we go. I'll keep the rest of this short.

1. Tracey Smothers/Little Guido/Tony Luke w/ Big Sal vs. Kid Kash/Simon Diamond/Johnny Swinger

Smothers is like James Woods, I'll pretty much watch him in anything. Guido looks good and so does Mamaluke. Kash looks the same as last time I saw him, and Diamond is so fat that Tazz tells him to invest in a singlet. When you're so fat that Tazzzz is calling you out, time to take a good long look in the mirror. No Mitch, Muskateer, Dick Hurtz. Diamond threw some nice punches and Smothers did his awesome Smothers-Fu, Mamaluke took a big bump to the floor and a nasty bump into the corner, Kash got crazy distance on his springboard dive, Mamaluke hit a great missile dropkick that the camera mostly missed (since TNA cameramen still don't actually know how to film wrestling) and Guido actually gets the pin! Fun stuff.

We do some video promo/memories segments that are all really strange.

Gary Wolfe is apparently still alive. I figured him for dead years ago. And he apparently has prior commitments. So he couldn't be there. And his titties are more on display than Francine's. Good lord his gynecomastia is out of control and in our face.

Blue Meanie treats his promo as if he's doing a "good luck to the bride and groom" video at a wedding, or a video yearbook on the last day of school.

Then TNA guys talk really unconvincingly about what "that promotion" meant to them.

2. CW Anderson vs. 2 Cold Scorpio

This was actually a match I had hoped would happen and we're pretty much through all the announced names I was excited about at this point. This match was legitimately awesome, though. I'm not sure how these two have not found themselves in a regular promotion. The punch exchanges looked great and were capped off by CW's AWESOME left hand that Scorpio sold perfectly. His thousand yard stare afterwards was the best. Scorpio is one of my favorite workers of all time, as his flying offense ALWAYS looks super impactful and hits the mark most of the time. Here, the tumbleweed looked great, the missed moonsault was nice, and the moonsault legdrop was awesome. CW was totally game here and this was just constant fun. Alvarez said the fans were trying hard to be polite during this one and I am completely puzzled as this was EASILY the best TNA match I have seen since JJ/Angle from 1/09. This easily smoked TNA's last 18 months.

RVD really coulda put on some shorts or something during his promo while he iced his sac.

3. PJ Polaco vs. Stevie Richards

This was pretty decent, but it was kinda poor booking. Both are wrestlers with little offense who were really good bumpers, so not too shocking to me that there wasn't a lot of offense here. Stevie took PJ's DDT nicely, and the end superkick was cleverly hit during the middle of PJ spouting his catchphrase, acting as Jerry McDevitt slapping a C&D right under TNA's chin.

4. Brother Runt vs. Al Snow vs. Rhyno

Boy...I just don't remember much of this. Huh. I mean, there is just nothing that sticks with me here. I remember Spike taking the Gore really nicely at the end...nope, I got nothing on this one.

Francine looked really nice. The further away she gets from wrestling, the better she looks. "I was gonna be there to relive the days of me getting piledriven while fans chant something about my cunt. But I guess I'm doing OK here with my family and my flattering age-appropriate hair cut. I really miss those days, guys, seriously!"

Cut to TNA workers having a really fucking boring Nitro Party during the show.

5. Dudleys vs. Kahoneys/Axl Rotten

Axl Rotten looks like Frank Mir after a twinkie-assisted depression-addled post-Brock/Carwin loss bender, and he can't move very much, but his punches still somehow suck less dick than Mick Foley's later in the show. Balls was the correct answer for "Who has the worst meth teeth from ECW". I know many of you had a lot of money riding on Bill Alphonso. I'm sorry. Balls is winner. Brother Ray's super face plants ruled and most of this sucked and then New Jack came out to hit people and then hug them and then talk about raping other people. I thought Bubba sold the lightsaber stabbing really well. The camera shot it really nicely from the opposite side, really looked like that thing went right through him.

6. Raven vs. Tommy Dreamer

Wow, this felt really really long. Raven hit a really nice kick while they were brawling in front of 4 year olds. Those daughters faces really said "Fuck is our dad a loser. We wore our nice matching summer dresses for this!?" They both looked alright taking the drop toe hold onto stuff and I actually enjoyed the ending story of "Raven gets the win, but Tommy has a nice wife and family". I'm not sure if Taz picked up on that, he was fucking terrible tonight. Buuuuuut not as terrible as Mick Foley's punches. I think it is beyond safe to say that Mick Foley now has the shittiest punches in wrestling, even shittier than Abyss. I mean, Abyss' punches are insanely, impossibly bad, looking like a cross between a confused teen doing a sieg heil and a girl weakly throwing a baseball. But Foley's 2010 punches? Holy shit, I have zero idea what he's even going for with these things. He appears to be aiming his wrist at the space 6" above his opponent's forehead, throwing it horizontally and with no clear intention to come close to the person's head. I'm just dumbfounded at what those things could possibly be. He can't be miming punches. He cannot be doing any sort of approximation of fist-based violence towards his opponent. So somebody PLEASE help me. What was Mick Foley doing? What were those supposed to be? And while you're at it, please explain to me what Kofi Kingston is doing what he's supposed to be doing 10 count corner punches. I have no idea what the fuck those are supposed to be either.

7. RVD vs. Sabu

Ah, I missed the days of RVD setting people up in precarious spots and then making them awkwardly hold their position while he posed and chatted with fans while setting up the spot, then eventually hit the spot. Sabu was awesome because he would sit in awkward positions while RVD hit his shit, then he would just get up and punch back to offense. Sabu hits a great dive into the crowd, RVD takes years to set up spots, Sabu gets monkeyflipped onto the edge of a chair and somehow Taz fucks that up! "He was aiming for the center of the chair, and he kinda sorta hit his elbow on the side of it, but not really what they were going for." Fuck, really!? That's the guy getting over your talent? This shit doesn't really hurt! Teacher, you forgot to give us homework! You usually give us homework, and class is almost over and you haven't given it to us yet! What a doofus.

Post show Dixie looks like THEE biggest money mark in the history of wrestling. Bubba motorboats her and carries her around the ring, and she is sooooooo stoked to be one of the boys in the back. I was praying for the show to end with her getting 3Dd and then piledriven through a table by Rhyno. ECW wasn't about being thankful for women!

Man. This show. Why? Why!?

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Monday, August 09, 2010

New Japan 80s Top 30 Countdown! Match #22

Match #22: Antonio Inoki vs. Masa Saito, 4/27/87

This was quite the spectacle, and unlike few things I've seen in wrestling.

We start with Riki Choshu in the crowd wearing a v-neck sweater and a ponytail and awesome shades, like he's one of James Spader's cronies in Pretty in Pink (released almost a full year before. Hmmmm) and you know this has to foreshadow some shit going down.

None of us viewers at home expect this Inoki matwork to go anywhere, but we do expect Saito to look like a fucking king on the mat and he totally does. He has a real nice flow to it, not rehearsed at all. The takedowns look really awkward in a good way(grabbing Inoki's leg and just deadweighting him to the mat) and the work on the mat itself is nice and gritty. Saito kneels on Inoki's knee while wrenching back on his ankle, and Inoki scrapes his free boot across Saito's face.

Saito locks on a weird and awesome kneeling figure 4 and Inoki sells it like he has somewhere to be and he's stuck waiting for some guy to finish shining his shoes.

Masa Saito looks like the most solidly built motherfucker on earth. When he locks on the scorpion deathlock he looks like he's made out of concrete. His stomach hardly goes in and out when he breathes. His beard is the same consistency as his hair. He is the only man who has ever pulled off capri pants.

When Saito starts firing off low kicks Inoki takes them really great, selling each one more than the last, hopping backwards trying to maintain his footing, backing into a corner until Saito just yanks him outta the corner and onto the mat again.

Inoki's mat transitions can really flip off the viewer at home sometimes. Saito has a real snug kneebar hooked on, really clamped on tight, really putting across that he's sweating bullets and doing his best to keep it tight. Inoki - instead of giving off any indication of struggle - just kinda goes "Yeah, I want to put my hold on now though, soooo....I'm just gonna do that."

Inoki pussies out of a lariat by turning around and ducking which was mighty amusing, so Saito just chucks him with a gnarly Saito suplex (knowing it's way more badass to have a suplex named after you than a progressive disease of the central nervous system) and decides to throw a couple more at him for good measure. Saito begins using the ropes as a weapon with assorted hotshots and crotchings and Inoki rolls to the floor, selling like a man who is really tired of being dropped neck or crotch first on ropes.

Saito brings Inoki into the ring just to throw him out the other side, then just kinda stomps around all smug. This doesn't sit well with Inoki who casually gets back into the ring and blindsides Saito with a great rolling kick. Tired of the ropes attacking his throat and groin, he ORDERS the ropes be taken down! That is fucking GREAT! These ropes have been a huge pain in my ass, let's take 'em down! It's good to be the king. If Inoki had been fighting HHH, this strategy would've instantly removed all offensive threat.

With his nemesis "the ropes" taken out of action, he begins punching Saito in the head, posts him a couple times (with Saito hitting a mean gusher and the crowd getting all bloodlusty) and then hits a couple enziguiris to the face!

Saito gets some handcuffs (Whaaaaaat!?) from Hiroshi Hase and decks Inoki with them. Inoki starts to come back with a haymaker, so Saito uppercuts him and brings him down to his knees with a kick right to the balls. He then kneels down and handcuffs himself to Inoki, making it the manliest possible version of the knife fight from Beat It. The punch each other at close range until Saito can take no more, just lying prone on his back with Inoki raining down heavy blows. Saito fights up and you can't even see he has a beard due to all the blood! Inoki punches him back down and looks insane covered in all of Saito's blood.

Hase throws in his white shirt and tries to pry Inoki off Saito, who is lying motionless on the mat.

Choshu takes off the v-neck and looks pissed, with the other members of Steff's posse (Kimura in a dress shirt and skinny tie, Hiro Saito in a plaid dress coat and v-neck white tee, some other dude in a blazing pink polo) holding him back. And Super Strong Machine is wearing a suit and looks amazing. Saito's hair is soaking up his blood puddle that he's lying in. Riki lunges at Fujinami and gets drug out as Fujinami shouts him down on the house mic.

What a strange, awesome turn of events, filled with a bunch of memorable moments. Saito was absolutely badass in this, and the crowd is always at another level for big Inoki matches.

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Sunday, August 08, 2010


Chase Burnett v. Malcom Sunshine BTE 9/2/09

This is a pair of indy guys working a falls count anywhere match in the parking lot of a Metal festival. Burnett is a guy who worked as a member of Team Beyond Wrestling in EVOLVE and is a tiny guy with some fun moves and some crazy bumps, I had never seen Sunshine before, he is a fat guy with an dirty looking Afro and tie-die shirt. He gets announced and almost sheepishly yells to the crowd "smoke weed every fucking day." He worked pretty stiff, but looked like he had the cardio of someone who smokes weed every fucking day. Burnett is a complete lunatic bump freak, he takes the Chris Hamrick/Fuerza bump on asphalt as well as getting giant swung head first into the guard rail. Half way through the match Cannibal Corpse starts their set, and the rest of match is worked to a death metal soundtrack, which really works with the headrops and elbows to the face. This isn't a great match by any means, but if you can't enjoy two dudes winging chairs at each others faces and doing dives onto asphalt while metal heads curse at them, and Cannibal Corpse is playing, then stop watching wrestling.

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Saturday, August 07, 2010


Bill Dundee v. Tony Charles CWA 6/11/79

Total hidden gem arriving on youtube, there were highlights of this match in a bunch of Bill Dundee music videos on the Memphis set, although I always thought Tony Charles was Bob Armstrong. This is a technical wrestling match from Jackson TN, between Dundee and the Welshman Tony Charles (who Texas DVDVR set fans know as Checkmate). I love these kind of maestro contra maestro matches, and they did a bunch of nifty mat stuff. I especially dug the way Charles countered Dundee's boston crab attempts, and the cool ways they worked around the monkey flip. The crazy fast rollup finish was awesome too. The coolest thing about this match was how much Lance Russell was marking out on commentary, you could tell he was having a total blast calling this kind of scientific contest.


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Friday, August 06, 2010



Mikiko Futagami/Mizuki Endo v. Jen Yukari/Michiko Oumaki

Pretty pedestrian Joshi match. I think these ladies may be from LLPW , which is the most average wrestling in the world. There were a couple of nice suplexes at the end of the match, but otherwise it was all bridges and shrieking.

Masao Orihara v. Yuji Yasuraoka

This is a battle of really great hair, Yasuraoka doesn't have the full died tip mullet yet, but it is on the way. Orihara is rocking a blonde high spiked double mohawk, he looks like the tour bus coke dealer for the Germs. I really liked large parts of this match, Yuji was game and brought a lot of energy, and Orihara was in full asskicker mode, spin kicking Yasuroka in the eye, slapping him the ear and stomping him in the head. We had a really great dive where Orihara flips over the ref and annihilates Yuji with a somersault plancha. Match fell off at the end, as both guys start no selling piledrivers which is something which really pisses me off. Orihara has a great piledriver and there is no need for that horseshit in an undercard juniors match.

Ultimo Dragon/Ultimocito Dragon v. Pirata Morgan/Piratita Morgan

Man is Ultimo short, he looked like he had maybe 2 inches on his mini. This was totally fun, pretty much a straight 90's AAA style lucha tag, with a bunch of nifty ranas and armdrags leading into some off the charts crazy dives. Ultimocito is a fucking lunatic in this match, he gets bodyslammed into the seats, does a wild plancha, a somersault tope into the third row, and finishes it off with a top rope over the ring post moonsault which looked like it might have ended his tiny career. Both Pirata and Piratita were rudoing the fuck out of the match, bumping great and eating all of the fancy technico offense great. Ultimo had some moments, but he also really blew a couple of rana's badly and completely botched the finish, it looked like he was going for a running shooting star, but flubbed it. Still really enjoyable spotfest.

Ryuma Go/Animal Hamaguchi vs. Masanobu Kurisu/Nobukazu Hirai

This is your old man potato fest of the show. I am always down for these kind of matches although this wasn't a high end version. Animal v. Kurisu was the higlight as they landed coconut headbutts and on each other and chopped each other really hard. Hirai was kind of the odd man out, as he was too young and not surly enough to really fit in. Go seemed really over as a comedy guy, but didn't bring the violence as much as Animal and Kurisu, his final run with Hirai was actually kind of bad, luckily they tag out and let Kurisu and Hamiguchi smash their heads together some more.

The Eliminators vs. Vampiro/Hiroshi Itakura

As big a train wreck as it looks on paper. Close your eyes and visualize a karate standoff between Vampiro and John Kronus, now take how much that vision sucked and add thirty percent more sucking. Eliminators hit Total Elimination in the first move which is pretty much the only thing you want to see them do, then it goes another ten minutes. I have actually enjoyed other WAR Eliminators, however this was reprehensible.

Jado/Gedo v. Aka Ono/Ai Ono

The Ono's were Kim Duk and Don Muraco under devil masks, and they did an amusing job of awkwardly stiffing and crowbaring Jado and Gedo. It had the feel of one of those particularly surly APA matches. Muraco especially was too fat and lazy to protect his opponents at all, as he just murdered Jado with a poorly executed piledriver. My favorite bit of Muraco bullshit was during a double suplex when Duk goes down, but Muraco just throws his opponent down unwilling to even take a single back bump. Duk also powerbombed Gedo kidneys first on one of those unbreakable Japaneese tables. Jado and Gedo actually get the flash pin, but that doesn't stop them from getting wrecked even more. Not anything approaching a good match, but I enjoyed it.

Genichiro Tenryu v. Tatsumi Kitahara

This is exactly what we thought it was, the two stiffest nastiest fuckers in WAR, kicking and chopping each other unnecessarily hard. Kitihara comes out firing, backing Tenryu in the corner with kicks, and Tenryu stops conversation with a thunderous chop to the throat. That is pretty much the story of the match, not a ton of moves, mostly both guys cracking each other. Tenryu is very good at working near falls against lesser guys. He gets drilled with a couple of head kicks just barely beating the count, and really puts Kithara over as a dangerous guy. Of course he mutilates him with stuff, nothing I love more then reckless Tenryu clotheslines and he delivers a couple of corkers. Nothing complicated about this match at all just a batch of violence.

Ricky Fuyuki v. Kendo Nagasaki

I wasn't expecting much out of this match, but it was a total blast. Crazy late 90's WWF main event style lumberjack match, with constant brawling with lumberjacks, blood, chairshots and mayhem. Nagasaki was shockingly good in this, he bleeds a ton, takes a couple of nice sized bumps to the floor and had good looking brawling. Fuyuki is taylor made for this kind of crazy, as he was the director of all the luncacy. We got Tenryu brawling with Nagasaki, Jado and Gedo throwing chairs and tables around, some Ai Ono and Fuyuki brawling, Nagasaki undoing a ring bolt and chocking Fuyuki with the rope. Just all kinds of fun mayhem. Well worth checking out

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