Segunda Caida

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

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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Blogger Gordi Whitelaw said...

Not super important in the overall scheme of things,, but Hara was a rugby guy, not a sumo guy.

I am loving these WAR write-ups.

2:42 AM  

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