Segunda Caida

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

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Dick Togo's Kilos Came, Gave You Bobby Brown Jaw

Dick Togo/Men's Teiho/Shiryu/Shoichi Funaki/TAKA Michinoku v. Great Sasuke/Gran Hamada/Naohiro Hoshikawa/Masato Yakushiji/Super Delfin Inoki Produce 12/1/96- EPIC

This is one of the lesser know MPRO 10 man tags, but it was right there with all of them quality wise. The match took a bit to get rolling, as they worked more strikes then fast rope running exchanges. It gots kicking though when Togo and Yakushiji match up. They are really one of the most breathtaking pairings in wrestling history, the speed and precision with which they execute their ranas, armdrags and headscissors are without peer. Sasuke and Funaki have a couple of really fun shootstylish face offs too, which was unexpected, and Gran Hamada is Gran Hamada. The finish run was amazing, it reminded me of the last 25 minutes of Children of Men with mayhem and insanity exploding when you least expect it. Guys were hitting crazy dives with minimal set up, some thing insane would come out of the corner of your eye. Yakushiji won the death race with a tope over the ringside table, where he ended up completely vertical. You also had pretty perfectly timed pin break ups, as guys would be swooping in at the absolute last moment. Our man Dick gets the win with his unparalleled senton as he is suspended in air like a parade float only to land like boulder.

Dick Togo v. Steve Regal WWF 11/28/98-FUN

An entertaining competitive squash which would have been perfect on a WCW Worldwide. Regal is vicious here really working over Togo's leg with a variety of nasty leg locks. He really had a Fuchish torturer vibe about him. I remember the Real Man's Man Regal as the pilled up nadir of his career, but looked pretty awesome, I have to see what else from that era is floating around the internet. Offense was suitably nasty, and bumped well for Togo's comebacks. Dick felt a little constricted here (man it is going to be tough to write these reviews without resorting to cheap jokes), he got a couple of runs, but I would have liked to see him go toe to toe with Regal a little more, they way someone like Psicosis or Villano IV would on the Pro, still he is an awesome Mario Mancini.

Dick Togo/TAKA Michinoku v. Madoka/Kota Ibushi K-Dojo 12/1/07-GREAT

21st century juniors tag wrestling is very much not my thing, but this is about as good as this style gets. Togo and TAKA are in full on MX mode in the first part of this match. Working over the ladyboy Fantastics, cutting off the ring, poking them in the eyes, smirking and kicking ass. The really work over Madoka, and Togo is especially great at kicking the shit out of a guy in an entertaining way. Ibushi and Madoka take a beating well, and kick hard, so they were fine here. TAKA seems to have lost a little off his athletic fastball by 2007, but Togo is as fast, crisp and fluid as ever. The last ten minutes or so was the near fall fest that you would expect, it lacked the egregious kick outs which often kill a match like this for me , and they did some pretty cool shit. I especially liked the part of the match where TAKA tied up Madoka in a crossfaces and kept switching arms when he went for the ropes. Finish run could have used two minutes shaved off in the middle, and a bigger close, but it never lost me and I stayed entertained throughout.

COMPLETE AND ACCURATE DICK TOGO

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Complete and Accurate Dick Togo






The first thing I ever did on the internet was create a Michinoku Pro fan page and mid 90's MPRO was the first type of international wrestling I truly went nuts for. Current Japanese wrestling, and especially current Japanese lucharesu is pretty much a sewer, but the great Dick Togo still stands out, and I am looking forward to discovering some pearls amongst the swine. Matches will be broken down into Epic, Great, Fun and Skippable, and we will attempt to catalogue it all.

1994

SATO/Great Sasuke/Shiryu v. Super Delfin/Gran Naniwa/Jinsei Shinzaki MPRO 2/4/94-EPIC
SATO/Great Sasuke v. Ultimo Dragon/Masao Orihara WAR 3/2/94-FUN
SATO/Shiryu/Great Sasuke/TAKA Michinoku v. Jushin Liger/El Samurai/Shinjiro Ohtani/Tokimitsu Ishizawa NJ 6/15/94-EPIC
SATO/Kendo/Pilota Suicida v. Super Delfin/Superboy/Gran Naniwa MPRO-7/94-FUN
SATO/Shiryu v. TAKA Michinoku/Super Delfin MPRO 9/20/94-GREAT
Sato/Shiryu/Great Sasuke v. Gran Naniwa/Super Delfin/Jinsei Shinzaki AJW 11/20/94- GREAT

1996

Dick Togo/Shoichi Funaki/Danny Collins/Shiryu v. Gran Hamada/Super Astro/Alexander Otsuka/Super Delfin MPRO-9/23/96-GREAT
Dick Togo/Men's Teioh/Shoichi Funaki/Shiryu/TAKA Michinoku v. Gran Hamada/Masato Yakushiji/Super Delfin/Gran Naniwa/Tiger Mask 4 MPRO 10/10/96 -EPIC
Dick Togo/Men's Teiho/Shiryu/Shoichi Funaki/TAKA Michinoku v. Great Sasuke/Gran Hamada/Naohiro Hoshikawa/Masato Yakushiji/Super Delfin Inoki Produce 12/1/96- EPIC
Dick Togo/Men's Teioh/ Shoichi Funaki/Shiryu v. Great Sasuke/ Gran Hamada/Gran Naniwa/ Masato Yakushiji MPRO 12/20/96-GREAT

1997

Dick Togo/Men's Teiho/Shiryu v. Gran Hamada/Super Delfin/Great Sasuke MPRO 1/14/97-EPIC
Dick Togo v. Masato Yakushiji MPRO 3/1/97-FUN
Dick Togo/Hanzo Nakajima/Koji Kanemoto/MEN's Teiho/Shinjiro Ohtani v. Norio Honaga/El Samurai/Great Sasuke/Super Delfin/Gran Hamada NJ 3/5/97-GREAT
Dick Togo v. Super Delfin MPRO 6/22/97-FUN
Dick Togo/Men's Teiho v. Great Sasuke/Solar 1 MPRO 12/7/97-GREAT


1998

Dick Togo v. TAKA Michinoku WWF 5/25/98-FUN
Dick Togo/Sho Funaki/Men's Teiho v. TAKA Michinoku/Bradshaw WWF 5/31/98-FUN
Dick Togo/Sho Funaki v. Christopher Daniels/Steve Boz WWF 6/1/98-FUN
Dick Togo v. Gangrel WWF 9/6/98-FUN
Dick Togo v. Steve Regal WWF 11/28/98-FUN

1999

Dick Togo/Satanico/Pirata Morgan/Pierroth Jr. v. Ricky Marvin/Negro Casas/Ultimo Guerrero/Super Parka CMLL Japan 11/5/99-EPIC

2000

Dick Togo/QUALLIT/Black Buffalo v. Naohiro Hoshikawa/Masato Yakushiji/Tsubasa Osaka Pro 11/6/00-EPIC

2002

Dick Togo/Ikuto Hidaka v. Christopher Daniels/Donovan Morgan ROH 9/21/02-FUN

2003

Dick Togo/Ikuto Hidaka/TAKA Michinoku v. Jody Fleish/Curry Man/Jinsei Shinzaki MPRO 3/2/03-EPIC
Dick Togo/Yoji Anjo v. Tomohiro Ishii/Koichiro Kimura WJ 6/29/03-FUN
Dick Togo/Jado/Gedo/Katsushi Takemura v. Jushin Thunder Liger/El Samurai/Wataru Inoue/American Dragon NJ 11/30/03-GREAT

2004

Dick Togo/Ikuto Hidaka v. Low-Ki/Spanky Z1 2/19/04- GREAT
Dick Togo/Katsushi Takemura v. Kaz Hayashi/American Dragon NJ 8/17/04-EPIC
Dick Togo/Great Sasuke/Nobutaka Moribe v. Ikuto Hidaka/Minoru Fujita/Macho Pump MPRO 8/22/04-GREAT

2005

Dick Togo/Sonjay Dutt v. Alex Shelly/Masato Tanaka Z1-3/15/05-FUN

2006

Dick Togo v. Chris Hero IWA-EC 4/5/06-EPIC
Dick Togo/Shoichi Funaki/Men’s Teioh/Shiryu/TAKA Michinoku v. Katsuya Kishi/KUDO/Milanito Collection AT/Shinji Nohashi/Makoto Oish Indy Summit 12/3/06-FUN

2007

Dick Togo/Masao Orihara v. Rasse/Great Sasuke MPRO 3/17/07-FUN
Dick Togo/TAKA Michinoku v. Madoka/Kota Ibushi K-Dojo 12/1/07-GREAT
Dick Togo/"Brother" YASSHI/Jumping Kid Okimoto v. Takuya Sugawara/Brahman Shu/Brahman Kei El Dorado 12/29/07-GREAT

2008

Dick Sato v. Hip Hop Man 100% Lucha-3/9/08-GREAT
Dick Togo v. Sanshiro Takagi DDT 9/28/08-EPIC
Dick Togo/Scott Norton/Don Frye v. Masahiro Chono/Kohei Sato/Eric Young PWE 10/25/08-SKIPPABLE

2009

Dick Togo/Tigers Mask/Black Buffalo v. Tsubasa/Asian Cougar/Billy Ken Kid Osaka Pro-4/29/09-FUN
Dick Togo v. Shinya Ishikawa BJW 5/3/09-EPIC
Dick Togo v. Hideyoshi Osaka Pro 6/28/09-EPIC

2010

Dick Togo/Ikuto Hidaka v. Gedo/Jado Riki Pro 1/17/10-FUN
Dick Togo v. Billy Ken Kid Osaka Pro 2/11/10-EPIC
Dick Togo v. Michael Nakazawa DDT 10/24/10-SKIPPABLE
Dick Togo/Yasu Urano v. Extreme Tiger/Jack Evans NOAH 10/26/10-FUN
Dick Togo/GENTARO v. Takashi Sasaki/Masashi Takeda FREEDOMS 10/28/10-GREAT
Dick Togo v. Hikaru Sato DDT 11/28/10-EPIC
Dick Togo v. Rui Hiugaji MPRO 12/16/10-EPIC

2011

Dick Togo v. Antonio Honda DDT 1/30/11-EPIC
Dick Togo v. HARISHIMA DDT 2/27/11-GREAT
Dick Togo/Great Sasuke/Jinsei Shinzaki v. Arik Cannon/1-2-3 Kid/Darin Corbin CHIKARA 4/15/11-SKIPPABLE
Dick Togo/Great Sasuke/Jinsei Shinzaki v. Mike Quakenbush/Jigsaw/Manami Toyota CHIKARA 4/16/11-FUN
Dick Togo v. Gedo DDT 6/30/11-GREAT
Dick Togo v. James Mason ASW 8/2/11-GREAT
Dick Togo v. Kristian Kurki Fight Club Finland 9/17/11-GREAT
Dick Togo v. Finlay EWP 10/17/11 -GREAT
Dick Togo v. Red Devil ICW 11/11/11-FUN
Dick Togo v. Masahiro Takanashi v. Kudo Indie Summit 12/3/11-FUN

2012

Dick Togo/Kraken Energy/Arkangel Destroyer/Crovax v. Chico Draker/Corto Circuito /Trox /Halcon Guerrero FULL 5/19/12-EPIC
The Great Chile/Hellspawn v. XL/Limite XNL 6/3/12-GREAT

2015

Extreme Saigon/Guerrero Saigon v. Mighty Mighty/Black Arrow v.  Gavyyn G/Ladykiller SPW 12/5/15- FUN

2016

Dick Togo/Antonio Honda v. Yasu Urano/Guanchulo DDT 7/3/16-GREAT
Dick Togo/Yasu Urano v. Kazusada Higuchi/Kouki Iwasaki DDT 7/17/16-FUN
Dick Togo/Kaz Hayashi/Great Sasuke v. Shuji Kondo/Toru Owashi/YASSHI Wrestle 1 8/11/16-FUN
Dick Togo/Speedball Mike Bailey v. Daisuke Sasaki/Tetsuya Endo DDT 8/28/16-GREAT
Dick Togo/Douke v. Dr. Cerebro/Hanaoka Coleseo Coacalaco 6/4/17 - FUN

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

New Japan 80s Top 30 Countdown! Match #20

Tatsumi Fujinami & Antonio Inoki vs. Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch (12/7/84)

I have been a big fan of the Adonis-Murdoch team since I saw them on WWF TV in the early 1980s, fighting the Briscoes and Rocky Johnson & Tony Atlas. I think the North-South nickname is especially inspirational these days. Just think, if two people from different parts of the country with such constrasting backgrounds and worldviews can cooperate to beat up tag teams so well, can't our divided country come together as well to, um, beat people up also?

I had this match as #6 in my NJ 80s rankings, and I was happy the match made the top 20 (just barely) in light of the antipathy expressed toward the team in comments on the DVDVR board. The lengthy heel control segment beginning in the opening seconds is epic and so smooth. Highlights include:

  • Clubberin' of Fujinami outside the ring,
  • Rapid tags in and out every time Fujinami tries to gain the upper hand,
  • Murdoch's abuse of Fujinami's arm, and
  • Fujinami's futile attempts to slam Murdoch.

When Inoki finally gets the hot tag, Murdoch sells Inoki's legwork like death. Things really heat up as Murdoch assaults Fujinami with a chair from outside the ring and North-South unload their arsenal on Fujinami, including a bulldog, cattle-brander, and top-rope elbow. Inoki gets another hot tag and wraps up Adonis, forcing Murdoch to go crazy with a chair again. North-South again goes on the offense with a brainbuster to Inoki and doomsday device to Fujinami. You gotta love the bite exchange toward the end between exhausted Murdoch and Fujinami. Things fall apart following a botched doomsday device to Inoki, and Inoki gets the submission on Adonis as Fujinami ties up Murdoch outside the ring.

The little touches by North-South are just super in this match, like Adonis sucking in his gut to pose for a ringside photographer when he had Fujinami in an armbar early in the match, Murdoch lying down on the apron after tagging out to sell the legwork from Inoki, and the priceless expressions of frustration as Fujinami keeps kicking out at the end. And Adonis's flying bump into the corner post at the end looked sick.

My final thoughts on this match are mostly awe regarding the abuse taken by Fujinami and Inoki, especially Fujinami, throughout this match, and the exhaustion in the faces and bodies of these four men at the end of the match. I'm surprised and disappointed this match didn't end up higher than #20, because it was most excellent.


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Monday, September 13, 2010

Like Black Terry Getting Over His Lawless Days

COMPLETE AND ACCURATE BLACK TERRY

Black Terry v. Multifacetico IWRG 2/28/08-GREAT

Terry comes in with a great looking latin lothario mustache, he looks like Tyrone Power. Multifacetico is Black Terry's son (at least according to luchawiki) and their matches against each other may be some of the best father v. son matches in wrestling history. Multifacetico was pretty green, and was really led by Terry through their series, Terry is a guy who can lead someone through a series. The match begins with some pretty slick matwork with Terry really playing the nasty torturing rudo, with Multifacetico doing a nice job escaping and countering. Second and third falls were much more of a brawl, and Terry is great at throwing someone around. I especially loved Terry sidestepping a dive and throwing Multifacetico into the barrier, seems like an especially mean thing to do to your kid, I mean if you jump off a slide, you expect your dad to catch you and not sidestep you and throw you to the ground. That is some Great Santini shit right there. This was about as good a match Multifacetico could have had at this point of his career (although their apuestas match is on a even higher level), and is a truly excellent Terry performance.

Black Terry/Negro Navarro v. Solar/Mano Negra 9/12/10- GREAT

I am always excited to see maestro lucha show up on the internet. Had no idea this even happened, so this totally made my day showing up this morning. These match happened in 2007 and was one of my favorite matches of that year. This wasn't at the level of that, but it was damn good. Terry has a new grey streaked goatee and it is awesome looking, he looks like an evil wizard. We get the expected match ups as Terry is married to Negra and Solar and Navarro do their thing. Terry and Negra's stuff is great, lots of nifty wrist work and cranking of holds. Navarro and Solar do their beautiful dance, with both a fast standing and mat section. The minute or so we got of Terry v. Solar was good enough that it makes me bummed anew that their 2009 lucha libre expo singles match never showed up. Match was built to set up a Solar v. Mano Negra feud, and their break up stuff was a little awkward looking (especially compared to how beautiful everything else was), also the booking was weird with Solar and Negra winning in straight falls even in the midst of breaking up. Those are the only two things that kept this out of the rarified air of the other small show lucha handhelds BTJr. has blessed us with this year. Still this is definitely something everyone should check out.

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

The G1 Climax is a Concept by Which I Measure My Pain: Day 2

Block A: Karl Anderson vs. Prince Devitt

Hey, this was pretty fun. Remember my review of the Anderson/Tanahashi match? Well, go back to that, replace Tanahashi's name with Devitt's, and have Anderson lose, and you've basically got my review of this match. The structure is pretty much identical, though Devitt brings more to the table in terms of nifty-looking offense than Tanahashi does, giving this match a slight edge over it's predecessor. And that's all I've got to say about that.

Block B: Yuji Nagata vs. Giant Bernard

These are two guys I like who underwhelmed me on Night 1. Tonight, they did a pretty good job of redeeming themselves, though things definitely were falling apart near the end. Match is set up as an "anything you can do, I can do better" sort of story, opening with Bernard doing a rolling sobat off of a rope break (yes, really...it wasn't the best you'll ever see, but I was amused by him doing it) and Nagata responding in kind. From there, it's all about armwork. Nagata looks good kicking the shit out of Bernard's arm, but when Bernard takes over, he is just king-sized. His Rocker Dropper to the arm ruled it, as did his headbutts to the arm. His headbutts in general are really good, which I haven't noticed before. Probably his best striking move. For a guy who was always talked up on commentary in the WWF as having a really big head, you'd think he'd have taken advantage of that more. Bernard ends up lariating a ringpost on the outside, which was appropriately nasty, and control bounces back and forth for a while. At some point, the arm work is largely dropped. Bernard gets Nagata in a Nagata Lock II, but Nagata counters into an ankle lock, and I have a Vietnam flashback. This is about where things started going awry, unsurprisingly, as it reverts to kind of a standard NJ heavyweight match. Bernard goes for a piledriver, and Nagata gets all the way up for it before Bernard has to let go because his arm hurts too much. Nagata tries to take the advantage with a high kick, but Bernard ducks it, and suddenly his arm doesn't hurt anymore, as he hits the Baldo Bomb without any problem. Nagata kicks out and into a jujigatame, which was pretty cool. There are some strike exchanges, and Bernard hits a crappy-looking Bernard Driver for the win, ending things before I totally lose interest in the match. Contrast it with....

Block B: Wataru Inoue vs. Go Shiozaki

....this match, which also starts out strong - stronger, in fact - but ends up wearing out it's welcome down the stretch. It's a real heartbreaker. I was all ready to tell you guys that the G1 actually had a match you needed to go out of your way to see, and then it up and dies at about the half-way mark. Like Anderson/Devitt, it retained the formula of one of the previous night's matches - in this case, Go's faux Akiyama "higher ranked dude whups on lower ranked dude who wants to show him up" match. The difference is that while Yujiro Takahashi was just kinda good as the lower-ranked guy, Inoue decides he's going to completely redeem himself after his shittacular performance against Giant Bernard by totally ruling it in that role. The bell rings, and Inoue just runs up and blasts Go with an elbowsmash. Go isn't taking that shit, and they have a brief strike exchange, but Inoue ends up winning that and sending Go outside. There, we get the awesome moment of Go briefly retaking control and trying to chop Inoue against the ringpost, but Inoue dodges and Go smashes his hand into the steel. Inoue takes full advantage of this as you might imagine. I dug him engaging in chop battles with Go, knowing that even with an injured hand, he wouldn't be able to resist throwing chops after Inoue chopped him. Go sells the injured hand after each chop, while Inoue does the great Ode to Tenryu selling the pain of the chop but smirking and brushing off his chest like it was nothing. Of course, Go gets the upper-hand in time. The injured hand story gets dropped, but not in a particularly jarring or unnatural way, and I'm too busy focusing on Go's beatdown to be bothered by it. Go tries to tear him in half with a series of abdominal stretch variations, drops him throat-first on the guardrail, and hits a nasty second-rope kneedrop, all while carrying himself as a total arrogant dick. Inoue starts to make a comeback, ducking a chop while running the ropes and coming back with an elbow that floors Go. And now things start to fall apart. Inoue gets Go in an octopus hold, grabbing one of his own feet to...ummm...alleviate pressure on Go's neck? And hey, strike exchanges! Not very good ones, either! Like the previous match, it builds me up with great implementation of one formula, only to fall back on weakly implemented generic NJ heavyweight STRONG STYLE in the end. Unfortunately, these guys have a bit more time to fill than those guys did, which makes it all weigh a bit heavier on me. Inoue performs the least likely takedown into a strangle hold alpha ever. On his back, he grabs Go's arm, pulls him down a bit, and then hooks his ankle over Go's neck to flip him over into the strangle hold. This might work in wrestling physics were it not for the fact that Inoue's ankle slips off of Go's neck before he flips over, Go stumbles a bit and fails to flip over when he's supposed to, or both, depending on how you look at it. However you do, it kinda exposed how silly a spot that Solar I and Negro Navarro could have done in their sleep was. Anyway, more strike exchanges, Go Flasher, next.

Block B: Yujiro Takahashi vs. Satoshi Kojima

Wait, did I say next? I was just kidding. Seriously. Please, go back to Go and Inoue noodling around some more.

No? Oh, alright. This match was ass. Like Wataru in the previous match, Yujiro wastes no time taking advantage of his higher-ranked opponent, rushing the ring and very gently placing the toe of his boot against Kojima's stomach. This proves a surprisingly effective strategy, giving Yujiro the upper hand. Kojima eats his mild beatdown well enough, I suppose. He works over the lariat arm and acts like a dick, but I've already seen enough people work body parts and act like dicks WELL in this tournament that Yujiro can't just appeal to novelty here. He cranked in the figure-four armlock well enough, I suppose. All of his strikes looked like shit, though. Speaking of shitty striking, Kojima goes on offense, and I think we may have to put him into the discussion of guys with the worst punches in wrestling today. He's definitely not the worst. He's not aiming six inches above his opponent's head like Abyss. But he is aiming just over, resulting in less of a punch and more of a very broad-stroked noogie. Other than that, he basically looks OK, but it's nothing to write home about. In fact, shitty noogie punches aside, I don't really have anything to say about the match once Kojima goes on offense. So let's cut to the finishing stretch. Yujiro no-sells a DDT for some reason. It doesn't quite work out for him, though. Then we get the one actual cool segment of the match, as Kojima goes to pull off his elbowpad for the lariat, but Yujiro leaps in from off-camera and spears him, and then hits a boss looking deadlift German suplex for a two-count. Then it's back to sucking for a little bit longer before Kojima hits the inevitable lariat (after struggling to pull off his elbowpad...I'm surprised Yujiro didn't manage to spear him again) for the win. Next.

Block A: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Strongman

NO! NO! I DIDN'T MEAN IT! I SWEAR I DIDN'T MEAN IT! LET ME OUT! LET ME OUT! I WANNNA GO HOME!

*seven hours of open weeping and six minutes of watching this match later*

You know what's weird about wrestling as a medium? You know, besides "everything"? It's a medium that doesn't lend itself well to the whole "so bad it's good" phenomenon. It's probably because it's such a low artform (indeed, you may consider wrestling in it's entirety to be "so bad it's good") that to make it any worse than it's baseline level of quality inevitably makes it unbearable. But there are a few exceptions, and I would dare say this match is actually one of them. The match is structured alright. It's basically worked like the first Cena/Khali match. Unfortunately, Tanahashi makes for a really shitty Cena stand-in. He stops Strongman at the beginning of the match to challenge Strongman to a brief pose-off. It's a good stock spot that should be funny, but I get no laughs from Tanahashi's delivery. But then Strongman gives his own pose in response, and I laugh, and laugh, and laugh, and come to the horrible realization that my enjoyment of this match is going to be entirely in his hands. Seriously, Tanahashi contributes nothing but a warm body here. He really falls flat playing Cena. But Strongman as Khali? Well, he's more mobile, and he has better looking offense (at least in this match), but whereas Khali still can come off as imposing and scary, Strongman is just absurd. Usually, that absurdity drags his matches down, but here, it actually elevated it to "guilty pleasure" status. The match is mostly just Tanahashi bouncing off of Strongman while Strongman yells things and makes funny faces. The action is pretty bad, of course. Everything about this match is pretty bad. But Strongman's badness is spectacular. I love how the first part of the match is just him pushing Tanahashi and sending him flying across the ring everytime he charges him. I love his ludicrous wobbly selling for Tanahashi when he starts to gain an advantage, made all the better as Tanahashi takes his sweet time following up, forcing Strongman to just keep doing it forever as he tries to figure out his next move. I love his expression of severe constipation while he's being pinned after the High Fly Flow. None of this is any good at all, but I would rather watch Strongman's nonsense here than Tanahashi against a lot of other shitty workers or dragging down better ones. Strongman as the Torgo of professional wrestling is something I can get behind.

Block A: Togi Makabe vs. Toru Yano

Now here's a match that was so bad it was just really, really bad. In the previous show, I called Yano a poor man's Togi Makabe, but he may have actually outworked the real deal here. Well, "outworked" is probably the wrong term. Yano was better than average, which is still pretty bad. Makabe just happened to be worse than that. This is the third match of the night that started with one guy rushing the other at or before the bell. It's a good way to open a match, but three times in one night? Yano did a better rushing job than Yujiro, but Makabe was a really shitty rushee. Posing on the second rope, he gets elbowed in the back, carefully climbs down, and then slumps over. I guess he's all healed up from last night's internal injuries. Then absolutely nothing of interest happens pretty much until the end of the match. There is a cute spot where Makabe is going for a German suplex, and Yano grabs the ref by the belt, but the ref slaps him in the face to break it. Of course, Yano already had the ropes before that. Not sure why he thought the belt would more likely get him the break, but there you go. The ref gets knocked out near the end, and Yano tries to bonk Makabe with a chair, but Makabe blocks it by lariating the chair over Yano's head, which still puts him down somehow. The ref gets back up too late to count the three, so Makabe hits a few more lariats - ones which actually do connect - before Yano ducks one and grabs some kind of cradle for the fluke win. Yay.

Block B: Hirooki Goto vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

By this point, the show had a lot to make up for, but they totally did. For whatever else you might say about the man, Goto's robe is pretty choice. Nakamura looks like he's strung out on something, but unlike last night, he didn't wrestle like it. Perfunctory opening matwork was perfunctory, but at least it looked good. Looked like guys actually fighting to gain an advantage instead of dispassionate chain wrestling for the sake of chain wrestling. But then they start brawling on the outside, and the fight begins in earnest. Also beginning in earnest: Nakamura kneeing the fuck out of Goto. Nakamura proved in the Nagata match that the Boma Ye can look good even when he's working on auto-pilot. Here, he's actually into the match, and he is just killing Goto with these things. Goto makes his comeback, and we eventually get a token strike exchange. It's not bad, though it's about as unremarkable as most New Japan strike exchanges, but the way they get out of it was actually really cool and made it worthwhile. Goto comes out on top after a big lariat, then tries for another one, but Nakamura boots his arm and tries for a rolling jujigatame. They fight over it, but Goto pulls a Michael Hayes and stomps Nakamura in the face to keep him from locking it in, which was awesome. The match is basically a great back-and-forth fight from this point out. After some of the previous matches, I was kinda waiting for this to just break down into a mess, but it never really happened. I think the closest it came was a spot where Nakamura escaped a suplex, booted Goto in the back of the knee to hobble him, and then Boma Ye'd him in the back of the head. Goto sold the hit to the knee pretty well, but once he was on his knees, he had this sort of unremarkable look on his face, like he felt fine and was probably aware enough of his surroundings to not just stay there on his knees while his opponent was right behind him, poised to strike. But that's a bit of a nitpick, and the Boma Ye to the back of his head did look really nasty. And I'd be remiss not to mention the finish: Goto tries to suplex Nakamura, Nak knees him in the head to escape, throws a high kick, Goto catches it, and then debuts his newest finisher, taking him down into a cross-legged stepover toehold, rolling it over like Charly Manson's finisher, and then rolling it over again into a pinning combination to score an unexpectedly luchariffic win. And well, "unexpected" kinda sums up this whole match. I'm not really a big Goto fan, Nakamura totally dogged it the previous night against Nagata, and every other half-decent match tonight died on the vine or at least started dying before it was over. But this was a legit great match, and a great way to close a show that was all over the map pain-wise.


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Friday, September 10, 2010

SEGUNDA CAIDA DECLARES WAR!!! 2/10/93

WE DECLARE WAR

Yuji Yasuraoka v. Chavo Guerrero

Fun match. Chavo really felt like Negro Navarro plus cool suplexes. He broke out some really cool looking llave matwork, including an awesome headstand leg stretch. He also layed in some nasty punches and uppercut, and ended the match with pair of sweet looking throws. Yuji was pretty much luggage, but he didn't screw anything up, and had a nice pescada. This really made me want to track down all of the 90's Chavo, as he really had the nasty veteran feel that I love so much in current IWRG dudes.

Hiroshi Inomata v.El Samurai

This is the second time I have seen this match up, and much like their March match it was perfectly acceptable undercard juniors wrestling. Inomata has 90's undercarder offense, lots of drop kicks and such. Samurai gives him some moments, and then finishes him off. El Samurai stuff looked slick, I especially liked his chicken wing, but this kind of faded from memory moments after ending.

Koki Kikahara v. Nobukazu Hirai

Kitihara is a consistent winner on these shows, but this is the best Hirai has looked. Started a bit slow, but kicked into a nice gear. Kitihara has some of the nastier kicks around, and was flashy then usual hitting a hellacious spin kick to the mush and a great wheel kick too. I also loved Kikihara breaking up a Hirai near fall, by just punching him hard in the jaw. Besides taking a beating, Hirai delivered some shots. He had a nasty spinning DDT and some big elbow drops. It is pretty fun to watch undercard guys like this try to steal the show, Kitihara really deserved a bigger career, and Hirai probably did too.

Ultimo Dragon v. Bestia Salvaje

Many years ago I somehow wrangled my way into a job doing play by play announcing for a lucha libre pilot taped in Monterey Mexico. Out of all the awesome guys who worked the show (Satanico, Tajiri, Blue Panther, Solar, Lizmark ect.) Bestia may have been the most badass. He beat the piss out Pancho Tequila, scared the shit out of me by shoving the announce desk, and booked his own angle by picking a fight with Cham Pain who was doing Color (in an alternate universe that feud should have been the Buzz Sawyer v. Tommy Rich of the 2000's). He was one of those guys who you truly appreciate by seeing him do his thing live. Ultimo has been pretty underwhelming during this project, but you put him in with an excellent CMLL rudo he can hold his own. We get all the parts of lucha match in one fall, cool opening matwork, including Ultimo jacking Santo's headstand headscissors, big throws, big bumps and big dives. Bestia is a grubby looking ugly dude, who really doesn't look like an athlete, but has some spectacular speed and height on his stuff. He does look like a guy who will kick the shit out of you, and he does that in spades as well. Great stuff, I saw a ton of Tiger Mask matches for the 80's project where he would drag amazing luchadores into crap sandwiches. Whatever I say about Ultimo, he lets guys like Bestia do their thing.

Haku/Curtis Iaukea v. John Tenta/Yoshiro Ito

This was pretty much a textbook midcard WAR heavyweight tag. Some barrell chested dudes are going to chop and kick each other 20% harder then they would do if this wasn't in WAR. Those types of matches are always going to be at a minimum entertaining, but this one didn't go much past that. Ito and Haku were especially nasty, but Iaukea (who isn't Prince Iaukea, but King Curtis's legit son, why the fuck was there a worked Curtis Iaukea son anyway? WCW was weird) was pretty awkward and the match kind of fell apart at the end.

Ashura Hara vs. Takashi Ishikawa

These guys had an awesome brutal battle on the debut show, and their rematch lives up to it. This starts a little slower, as both guys work holds for a bit at the beginning. These are guys who can put on a headlock, as they look like they are fresh squeezing grapefruit juice. When they start pounding each other it is as violent and awesome as you expect. Ishikawa's stomps to the head and Hara's headbutts were the highlights, and both guys threw cringing lariats. Ishikawa has some pretty impressive agility for a tubby dude, he gets wasted off the apron by a Hara lariat and takes a big bump to the floor. In addition he hits a really pretty pescada. 2010 Puro has a bunch of really stiff wrestling, the thing that makes this so much better is that these guys are really great at selling fatigue and brutality. This isn't two guys exchanging shots with no long term impact, every shot takes the kind of toll you would expect it to, and at the end they look like they crawled through land mines.

Great Kabuki/Masao Aoyagi/Akitoshi Saito v. Genichiro Tenryu/Kodo Fuyuki/Masao Orihara

The structure of this match was very similar to other WAR six man from this time period. Orihara gets beat on, with the higher ranked guys coming in to make really violent saves, and deliver some shots. I liked this one more then other similar six man's because your HI team is a team that can lay in a beating. Saito, Aoyagi and Kabuki will fuck you up, and they really do WAR proud in their stomping of Orihara. Tenryu of course gets his shots in, including splitting open Saito with short kicks. Tenryu and Kabuki have great chemistry, and I always love when they square off. Kabuki is so good at timing his superkicks, and he just obliterates Orihara at the perfect moment. I did think this rewound itself a bit, we could have used one less section of Orihara in peril, as that was a beat they returned to multiple times, but this was a great match to close a great show.

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Monday, September 06, 2010

Accentuate the Negative!

Phil Schneider is soooooo fucking positive, always praising his CMLL tournaments (that fucker has a soft spot for tourament lucha like Japanese men love average looking American women...or is that the other way...) and TNA cage matches and hairless boy rope running and 2.9999999 he got him no he didn't whattamanoooover high angle rydeeen super mega Konami Mega Man 2 code Dr. Wily contra Symphony of the Night Metroid Prime Bomb!!!!11!!eleven!

The point is that Phil Schneider loves everything. There isn't a New Japan 3rd match house show duddd that he doesn't toast a load all over, and it sickens me to fucking death. This man watches TNA Knockout matches and hails them as the second coming of heel Tori Wilson (who as we all know had the 29th best punches in 2003 WWE syndicated matchez). Phil loves him some Ryan Reynolds-style indie wrestling, all *winkwinknudgenudge* smile into the hard camera-ima-heel-doncha-know-Sarah-Palin-3-invisible-dicks RDRR wraaaaasssslin!!!! Superkick/rolll da dice/lung blower.

Phil Schneider is an intolerable asshole who loves everything. It makes me sick. Phil loved the David Bowie/Mick Jagger "Dancin in the Streets" video. He loved Bowie soiling himself wearing pastel sports coats with big shoulder pads and dancing like Carlton from Fresh Prince. Bowie made Station to Station!!!! He made Low!!!! Always crashing the same car!!!! And Phil loved that fucking awful cover song!!! Phil Schneider loved Lou Reed from 1986-1992 when he had that fucking horrible mullet and still pretends Metal Machine Music is "a masterpiece...right up there with Bob Dylan's early 80s religious period or that time he played with the Grateful Dead. Dylan & the Dead is an all-time legendary piece of ART".

Phil Schneider is completely unbearable. He is incorrigable. This man trickz us!!! He pretends wrestling is AMAZING and LIFE AFFIRMING, when it isn't even 1 STAR!! He thought Scorpio vs. CW Anderson wuz good because CW was selling incredibly and Scorpio was pacing his offense, but realistically CW's knees were so shot that he couldn't get up for spotspotspotspot and Scorpio was lucky just to get his old man ass up to the top rope and the crowd was just being polite to these old fuckers that tried to use SY CALL OH GEE and U KANT RESSLE clapclapclapclapclap.

I hate Phil Schneider.

I hate him championing every flash-in-the-pan in dee werkur to grace my TV set or Mac Book monituuur. "This guy throws a great spine buster, he's better the Owen Hart evur wuz. Chris Masters never fell 80 feet to his death during a live event! What a choke artist! Chris Masters is good at playing his role! Owen Hart was washed up in 1986 after his 3rd match with Makhan Singh. I woulda killed John Cassavetes after he made "Faces" because who gives a flying fuck about the gloriousness that is "Love Streams"!?!?!?!

Well GUESS WHAT SCHNEIDER!?!?! Love Streams is fucking amazing! And The Killing of a Chinese Bookie? Fucking Amaaaazing!!! a Woman Under the Influence!? You KNOW that is awesome!!!

We don't need to listen to the Phil Schneiders of the world, always being positive and loving every single minute of the PRO grappz that is put in front of him! That dude loves EVRYthing!!! That guy was just gushing about that new Julia Roberts flick the other day "Oh mah gawd you guys, she is just a real woman who was so fed up with life and she just needed to go find herself! She had needz that weren't being met and she was going on a spiritual journey until she found wut she was looking for."

Man. Fuck that guy! amirite!

Fit Finlay is the greatest fucking wrestler that this planet has ever seen, and you know it! This man did not wrestle from his 42nd birthday until his 48th birthday, and somehow he returned better than he had ever been in HIS WHOLE CAREER!!! And for that, he has been kept off TV almost all of 2010. JTG has had PPV matches in 2010, and Finlay has to beg for table scraps, just to get occasional house show gigs opening cards in Scotland.

Dustin Rhodes is the skinniest he's been since Sophomore year in high school, hitting the greatest atomic drops the business has ever seen, taking wild missed crossbody bumps psychotically into the ropes, and somehow the best he can do is jobbing to one of the OOOSSSOOHHHs with their "shittiest-Samoan-evar" offense.

Chris Masters has abs and knows how to work better than all but one or two of the active WWE roster, and the best he can do is get billed 2nd from the top on the lowest rated WWE show of the week, all because he lost 30 lb. when he went off da joooos and his hair was thinning at one point in 2007. This dude will take a flat back bump from the apron to concrete like he was Nicho El Milonario working a Tijuana house show and a chick with a .8 Kardashian ass was sitting front row and he had a wide open passenger seat for his long overnight car trip to Ensenada.

I'm sick on Jon Fitch, I'm sick of Gray Maynard, I'm sick of GSP, all I want is to be able to show my girlfriend punches in wrestling that look like a dude is actually punching another dude, and all I get is Kofi Kingston giving me facial expressions that tell me "Fuck. Everybody knows. Everybody knows that I have no clue what the fuck I'm doing. I'm a complete phony and I don't even know what a punch is. I have never seen a human being punch another human being before. The closest I have seen is Matt Bentley punching RVD in a Create-A-Wretsler match on Smackdown vs. Raw 2008, and I GUESS those were suppozed ta be punchez but I justdontknow! Goddamit I justdontnoooooo!"

Phil Schneider. How perfectly goddamn delightful it all is, to be sure. I hope you enjoy your 2.9999999 counts.


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Sunday, September 05, 2010

The Sharpest Sword is a Word Spoken By Yoshiaki Fujiwara

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Wellington Wilkins Jr. PWFG 5/19/91-GREAT

Damn was this a blast. This was worked as a mat brawl, both guys were exchanging really nasty shots mostly on the mat. Short punches to the temple by Wilkins, almost JYDish seated headbutts by Fujiwara, Wilkins kind of leaping from a lying position into a knee on Fujiwara's throat. Fujiwara was almost working heel here, as he slaps on a kneebar and lays out in a supine lounging position with his head resting on his elbow, he almost looks like he is stifling a yawn. Wilkins is great, he has nice deadlift suplexes and takes Fujiwara's signature boston crab reversal as a dangerous neck bump. Is their any other shoot Wilkins out there? Did he work Kingdom or something?

Yoshiaki Fujiwara/Shinya Hashimoto v. Predator/Tom Howard Zero One 7/30/02-GREAT

Man this was a ton of fun, your gaijin team are two guys with some amusing signature spots who work stiff. That is totally enough for legends like Hashimoto and Fujiwara to have a great match with. Hashimoto blisters these two guys, I have to give Predator some credit, he may not be very good, but I bet Brody wouldn't be willing to stand in there and exchange shots with Hashimoto. Howard has a spot where he puts his hands behind his back and dares his opponents to hit him, and Hash and Fujiwara are a pair of guys up for that challenge. Fujiwara wasn't in the match a ton, but he did have a couple of nice exchanges with each opponent. I really liked how he used his speed and guile to maneuver Predator into the armbar, you don't see a lot of Fujiwara working as Rey Jr. v. Undertaker but he is really good at it.

Yoshiaki Fujiwara/Katsumi Usuda v. Shoichi Funaki/Ikuto Hidaka HUSTLE 5/30/10-GREAT

Funaki makes his return to his BattlArts/PWFG roots in this neat tag. This is a project dedicated to Fujiwara and the match was focused on Funaki, both guys were pretty fun. Fujiwara rips it up on the mat some, does his signature comedy spot, and gets a really great almost Southern hot tag moment, where he bumps around both of his opponents, before locking in a speedy submission. Funaki didn't look completely out of place as he hung on the mat, and took a nice bump or two. Despite that stuff, this match was really all about Hidaka and Usuda just ruling it, kicking the shit out each other, rolling through some breathtaking mat exchanges, looking like two guys made for each other. Their sections with each other was some of the best wrestling in 2010. I really want to see an epic singles match, or a match up in a more meaningful main event tag.

COMPLETE AND ACCURATE YOSHIAKI FUJIWARA

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