Segunda Caida

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

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dick Togo is Clearing out the Pipes, Draino Brothers, The Whole Game Got Rollies in Rainbow Colors

SATO/Kendo/Pilota Suicida v. Super Delfin/Superboy/Gran Naniwa MPRO-7/94-FUN

This had about 10 minutes clipped, so it was hard to get a huge handle on what was going on. All six of these guys are really smooth wrestlers, and Superboy especially is an athletic marvel, as crazy agile as Dick Togo with 80 more pounds. Hadn't seen much of Piloto Suicida recently and all of his stuff looked great, as did Kendo. The stuff we saw was focused more on the comedy spots then a usual MPRO six-man. That maybe a side effect of the clipping, it may not have dominated as much in a longer match. For what I saw though, it overwhelmed the cool lucha. Finish run was sweet though especially the dive train, and Delfin murdering Pilota with his tornado DDT

Dick Togo/Tigers Mask/Black Buffalo v. Tsubasa/Asian Cougar/Billy Ken Kid Osaka Pro-4/29/09-FUN

Worked like a traditional MPRO six man, although 2009 Osaka doesn't have the horses that 1996 MPRO had. Tsubasa, Cougar and Kid have nice spots, but their in between stuff didn't look great. This maybe the slimmest I have ever seen Togo, and while he doesn't have the fat boy heft anymore, he was getting freaky height and speed on everything he does. The rotation on his flips, the height on the senton just crazy looking. Asian Cougar isn't afraid to die on a senton on chairs to the floor, and Togo plants BKK with a Pepsi plunge which was pretty sweet.

Dick Sato v. Hip Hop Man 100% Lucha-3/9/08-GREAT

Totally awesome 7 minute TV match from Argentina of all places (THE MOTHERFUCKING INTERNET!!). They kick out the jams and go at a crazy pace the whole time. Hip Hop Man is a game dude, he had really pretty ranas and hits a crazy run the ropes flip dive. Togo is clearly trying to impress a new crowd, he breaks out all of his athletic stuff, and even hits a rolling senton off the apron to the floor, which I have never seen before. Pretty much a textbook debut in a new territory. I can totally see the crowd wanting to see more of this invader. This is the kind of thing which would have made an episode of Worldwide.



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Friday, October 15, 2010

Since Yeah Tall, Dick Togo was MJG With That 8-Ball

Dick Togo/Men's Teiho/Shiryu v. Great Sasuke/Masato Yakushiji/Gran Hamada MRPO 10/19/96-EPIC

Fuck it, Masato Yakushiji is the lost great junior of the 1990's. He is so great in this match as the whipping boy for the dastardly heels, taking a big beating and firing back with cool looking slickly executed offense. He and Togo are probably the best married opponents in MPRO, with Togo and Hamada right behind them, and we get big chunks of both here. Hamada's sky high rana eaten by Dick Togo is maybe the best looking paired offensive move in wrestling history, Hamada looks like a cartoon character getting shot out of a rocket and when he lands he whips Togo around like a tilt a whirl. Finish run was really exciting with the really cool MPRO thing of offensive moves coming out of weird corners. We even got a little crowd brawling to start the match with Sasuke taking awkward bumps through swinging doors. Though Shiryu was a little subdued, but otherwise this was as good as it gets.

Dick Togo/Ikuto Hidaka v. Low-Ki/Spanky Z1 2/19/04- GREAT

Four guys with really cool spots, doing a bunch of really cool spots. For a guy who was so inspired by Japan, Ki never had a Puro match anywhere near the level of his best US Indy stuff, this didn't have much substance but was a pretty sweet junior sprint. Ki and Togo have a couple of early standoffs which were really great looking, I especially dug how Ki worked in the Santo headscissors. That felt like a singles match ROH should have run in 2004. Ki was a little over the top with his mugging and posing, which is something that he a did in Japan. Spanky is a guy who does everything well, nothing spectacularly. The big run finish was a big run finish, with everyone hitting their signature big spots, and finishing with a sweet firebird splash/frog splash one two punch.

Dick Togo v. Hideyoshi Osaka Pro 6/28/09-EPIC

This is the first real out of nowhere hidden gem I have unearthed for this project. I don't know much about Osaka Pro, and have never seen Hideyoshi before and really know nothing about him, but this was a damn good singles match. Hideyoshi is a bigger dude (for Japanese indy wrestling, he is probably 5'9 180) and he takes large parts of this match with nice power moves including a sweet looking powerslam, and nice jackhammer. Togo is great as a guy fighting from below. There is a part where he does these awesome wild missed swings, while Hideyoshi cockishly moves out of the way of. Finish run was pretty crazy with lots of interference from seconds, Hideyoshi's finisher is a crossface cobra clutch, and he gets some big near falls with it, especially after lifting his knees on a senton which was brutal. Togo uses a Billy Ken Kid chairshot to hit a tornado pedigree and the senton for the big win. which really felt like he came through a war.



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Mr. Argentina v. Aquiles o Sanguinario - Brazil 1980's?

This is a chain match from Brazil and is a gritty, violent, blood drenched masterpiece. This has the really great Taxi Driver feel that the best late 70's/early 80's matches have, dark and grimy with two guys trying to murder each other. The match actually begins with some cool leglock based mat wrestling, before devolving into both guys punching and biting each other in open wounds. Aquiles is a really stiff worker and there are points where he is justing tearing Mr. Argentina's leg up with chain shots. He also does a Pirata Morgan level blade job at the end of this match where it looks like parts of his scalp were falling off. By the end they need to be separated by the cops, and it felt like a match that required a police stoppage. Awesome, I need to watch more Brazilian wrestling.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

CLASSIC TOMK- 1994 War Games

PAS: I watched this match tonight off of Will's awesome Dustin Rhodes Set, so I figured I would repost Tomk's review.

Dusty Rhodes, Dustin Rhodes, Nasty Boys vs. Arn Anderson, Bunkhouse Buck, Terry Funk, Colonel Parker 9/18/94

Hey it’s my weekly contribution to your daily dose of Dustin. And its time to whip out a WARGAMES!!!

Not just any WARGAMES but one of the most slept on Wargames out there and easily one of my favorites.

The set up to this Wargames is fantastic. Dustin Rhodes is feuding with Col Rob Parker and his charges. Dustin and Jimmy Golden (working as Bunkhouse Buck) have had a series of nasty brawls ( a bunch of which will eventually get reviewed).Parker brings in Terry Funk…Dustin goes to Arn Anderson to ask him to tag with him against Funk and Buck. Arn agrees but the turns on Dustin leading to Dusty coming out of retirement:

“I wanna ask you a favor in front of God and the whole world….at Clash of the Champions I don’t want you to look for another partner. I don’t want you to go find another man. I don’t want you to go get on your knees and beg another scum sucking pig to be your partner….I’m asking you, if you can carry this old, out of shape…old bitty…old spindly legged man. I WANT TO BE YOUR PARTNER.”

The crowd goes apeshit. Men cry.

Dusty puts hand out to quiet crowd.

“I don’t need no handshake, because out there right now there people with their borthers and their sisters and their wives. They are BLOOD. The Kennedy’s were Blood. The Earps were blood. The Rhodes are blood. I don’t need no handshake…all’s I need from you, son is just a hug and a kiss to seal the deal, babey.”

Dusty and Dustin work a tag match which ends with Meng doing an awesome job at getting over the Big Bubba gets hit with a chair angle. And Dusty and Dustin clearly are outnumbered and need to find two more guys “some bad bucks” to fill out a Wargames team. So Dusty goes to the Nasty Boys hangout to recruit them of all people. The Nasty Boys hang out is really great as instead of being in a bar surrounded by toughs they’re in a bar surrounded by the junkie graffiti artists who make the Nastys’ custom shirts. Guys are discussing the relative merits of Keith Harring and Basquait and how it applies to airbrush, while other guys are heating up spoons. Fucking great. There is this one airbrush artist with homemade tattoos and a beret who looks like he could be the dead member of Milly Vanilli, three months post death. He is completely stoked by the idea of the Dusty, Nasties team. You can watch his mind wirrr as he plans out a Jaspar Johnsish “Nasty Americans” motif. Unfortunately he ODs before Fall Brawl and his little gutter rat girlfriend steals the shirts so Dusty is left with a Rauschenberg inspired NASTY DREAMS T-shirt. Its pretty great in its own right. But still….

It’s Fallbrawl 94 WARGAMES with Robert Fuller’s Studs Stable (Arn Anderson, Bunkhouse Buck, Terry Funk, and Fuller as Col Rob Parker) vs. the Nasty Dreams (Dustin Rohodes, the Nasty Boys, and Dusty).. That’s two teams of four and the Jew in me is disappointed as he feels that you really can’t have a Wargames without a full Minion…But fuck that, even if it violates Talmudic Law this may be one of the best Wargames ever.

So I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “Aw screw Tom…such a fucking rube wrestling vampire fan…Nasty Boys both Rhodes, Robert Fuller, Jimmy Golden, Terry Funk and Arn…this was probably a bloody mess…well blood doesn’t equal good wrestling. Any idiot can blade….I’m never gonna read another thing he writes”.

We’ll you’d probably be right when you describe me as a vampire fan…but you’d be wrong about the match. Way wrong. Because this is a Wargames with NO BLOOD. Yes, that’s right. It’s a bloodless Wargames. And not just a bloodless wargames but a bloodless wargames starring such bleeders as two members of the Fuller/Golden clan, the Nasty Boys, Arn, 94 era Terry Funk, Dustin Rhodes and 94 era Dusty (Dusty in 94 what else can he do but bleed?). Where is the blood????

So it’s a bloodless cage match.

So recently, I’ve been bitching about the WWE booking style where feud’s are blown off in TV spotfest cage matches. In WWE a feud doesn’t end on PPV it ends on TV…and it ends in a cage. That in and of itself isn’t too much of a problem. But the cage matches are used for TV bloodless spotfests. Now this has two huge problems…1) I don’t like spotfest cage matches, and 2) a spotfest as a feud blowoff is just weird booking.

But Wargames 94 isn’t a spotfest cage match. they don't work bloodless spot fest war games but rather bloodless violent wargames. I like my cage matches violent. This is a violent cage match.

Really is a classic Wargames structure: workers who can actually work a good five minute brawl sent in for first period, the rest of the periods are built around the man-up/man-down structure, last two guys sent in are the “weak-link heel” and the over hot-tagish face who doesn’t have a lot of offense or a lot of cardio. The classic structure on some level assumes blood. I’m sure the lack of blood is why this match isn’t pimped as heavily as it should be. You might think the lack of blood in that classic structure would be a fatal flaw. But you’d be wrong.

First period starts of course starts with Arn and Dustin. Dustin is the worker of his team and the guy who can go the longest while Arn is working Wargames veteran. Since Phil has already pimped the greatness of the Arn points to head spot, I should point out that early in the match Arn gets tossed at cage, blocks hitting the cage…looks to the audience knowingly and points to his head “I’m too smart for that”…he then turns around and eats a right.

First period is worked as brawl with two both exploring just the sheer size of working in the double ring structure. Arn does a bunch of bailing from one ring to another, to heel it up and slow Dustin’s momentum. Arn crawls back and forth between the rings to lure Dustin into following. Think about every WWF Saturday Nights main event ever…where heel lures face to chase around ring only for face to get stomped when crawling back in. Dustin smartens up pretty quickly and realizes that in the double ring you give chase by go over the turnbuckles and entering each ring with top rope dive move. From there Dustin moves to using a ceiling assisted seated drop kick and eventually in the biggest spot of first period does a spectacular double ring tope style flying lariat where he covers the entire size of both rings.

Arn does the head caught between the two rings spot which is a classic wargames spot. Its odd to role that spot out in the first period but it really works well here as Dustin grabs Arn by his legs and really works Arns head into the gap. It really feels like Dustin is trying to tear Arn apart. This is a theme I probably should come back to a bunch in this review. Normally first period of a Wargames is built around who gets color first, built around working toward blood…the cage spots are built around blood, a lot of work is built around biting and working cuts. Wargames 94 is a bloodless Wargames and so the cage spots aren’t worked around blood….instead the spots are worked around guys trying to hurt their opponents. In most Wargames at one point or other Arn is going to put a face into a half crab which will eventually lead to Arn and a partner doubleing up each taking a leg putting face into two halfcrabs. Normally that spot doesn’t mean a lot within context of Wargames…it’s a nice point for announcer to remind audience that there is no DQ in the match. When they go for that spot in 94 its a lot more meaningfull than it normally is because it fits more within the context of the match where all the work is built on hurting, wearing down and tearing apart your opponent. This match has no biting…the biting is replaced by body part work.

The first period ends with Arn getting his DDT off to go on offense and then hitting a clothesline which Dustin does his great spinning clothesline sell for and then Bunckhouse Buck is in for the two on one. And at this point the whole match is built on the who is man up, who is man down structure. Arn was in control at end of first period and Buck and Arn just abuse Dustin for this period with Dustin taking a bunch of cage bumps and the two just working him over while he tries for a couple hot hope spots..

It’s the third period and the heels are in control when Jerry Saggs comes in house of fire. This is the most I think I’ve ever enjoyed Saggs in a match. Saggs comes in double lariating the heels giving Dustin time to recover. Saggs hits a really great piledriver, Oklahoma stampedes Bunkhouse Buck into wall of cage and then grabs Buck by neck and throws buck into the cage ceiling. By the end of period Dustin has recovered somewhat although still sells “guy in here longest” and the match is more back and forth between the two even teams.

Fourth period and its time for Funk. It’s 1994 so this isn’t 1970s Terry Funk or 1989 Terry Funk…this is 1994 Terry Funk. So Terry Funk mostly doesn’t do a lot of brawling so much as Terry Funk does a bunch of Crazy Funk schtick. Although it should be said that he takes what may be the craziest bump in Wargames history. Funk comes in with his boot off and hits everyone with the boot then goes after Dustin allowing Buck and Arn to double team the fresher Saggs. Dustin sells really well here as there is a bunch of boot back and forth schtick plus Dustin’s desperation attempts to save Saggs from the double teaming only to be stopped by the Funkster. Funk rubs Dustins face into the cage in front of Dusty (on the outside) and you get the only “We want Blood!” chants of the match.

I should point out that Arn is really good it getting over the bloodless face getting scraped against fence really well including kind of reverse Race bumping into ring after taking it. This doesn’t get a demand for blood.

Fourth period its Knobbs a fire to even things out and the Nasties get a hold of Terry Funks boot. Of yeah that nasty bump by Terry Funk. I should mention that. Jerry Saggs goes to piledrive Funk in the gap between the rings and somehow or other looks to gonzobomb Funk on the ring edge. Terry Funks back and neck land all nasty.

So its fifth period and its time for Colonel Rob Parker to be forced into the match. Parker had wanted Meng to be fourth member of his team but WCW was forcing him to participate. Robert Fuller is really great at playing a pussy guy who doesn’t want to be working in a match. I mean this is Robert Fuller. Robert Fuller was a great wrestler plus he is a tall motherfucker. I never understood the booking that had Fuller managing Sid. The only thing Sid had going for himself is height…you have a tall guy manage him and that hurts his only strength. I joked a bunch when they had Coach managing Lance Cade since Coach is one of the tallest people on the roster using him as manager makes everyone else look smaller. Here, somehow or other Parker really pulls off pussy despite his size. Not sure how he did it but he manages to work up a full sweat before entering ring. Dustin wants to get Parker and so waits by the door for Parker to enter only to be jumped from behind by Bunkhouse. Buck holds Dustin back while Parker goes to punch Dustin..and then Parker sells hurting his hand on a punch. If you haven’t watched that much Fuller this might not be impressive but it really impresses me.

And the match gets to be all about belt shots. Dustin and Funk trade belt shots, while Arn holds Knobbs for Parkr to whip with a belt. Fuck is Fuller great at whipping people with belt. Just really great belt shots. You watch Parker whip people with belt and you get why Sid thought his angle for Parker and the Ebony Experience was so good.

The crowd is going apeshit at this point and the countdown till the last entrant begins. Crowd just chanting for Dusty, while Terry Funk stands in front of face door dancing around taunting the Dream. The Dream bionic elbows his way past the other heels and goes straight for Parker. Parker bails to the second ring only to be met by the Nasties. Dusty smiles and then grabs his own nuts. I should point out that before the match Dusty had done mic work about how he was “going to make Parker SQUE—EAL like a pig”. And I guess that would be a submission and well it would make a lot of sense not to have any blood in a match that was building to an anal bleeding finish…and so the grabbing own balls is scary threat. Thank God for Ted Turners standards and practices folks as Dusty instead puts Fuller in a figure-four.

Dustin fights off the other heels as the Nastys splash and drop elbows on Parker while he’s caught in the figure four. Parker submits and the crowd POPS. The crowd pop is great and really reinforces the idea that the lack of blood isn’t fatal flaw in this match. Crowd demanded it during one section but really gets so caught up in the momentum that they no longer needed it…and I really think this match may be better for its lack of blood.

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

If They Gave Gold Statuettes For Tears and Regrets, Black Terry would be a Legend in his Time

Black Terry/Cerebro Negro/Yamato v. Fantasma de la Ópera/Freelance/Multifacético IWRG 12/1/07-GREAT

Really a perfect little sampler match for all that is awesome about Black Terry. We start the match with a longish Terry v. Freelance mat section which is pretty great. I especially loved all of Terry's arm manipulations, and his nasty leg grapevine tapitia. The match breaks down into a brawling section, and Multifacético and Fantasma are two of Terry's favorite punching bags. This was an outdoor show, so we got to see Terry recklessly flinging lawn furniture at folks heads, in addition to a Freelance quebrada onto sand. Yamato really wasn't much as he blew some stuff and look tentative brawling, he really felt like the Angelico of 2007. This was lacking the crazy finish run, or insane moment to push it into epic territory, but it is a damn good example of why this project exists.

Black Terry/Trauma 1/Trauma 2/Hajime Ohara v. Solar/El Hijo De Solar/Brazo De Oro/Brazo De Platino Toryuman 10/10/10-FUN

Another nifty little obscure gem from our boy Black Terry Jr.. The match opens up with a great 2 minute Black Terry v. Solar maestro section, and I got really excited, but that wasn't the kind of match we got. This was traditional house show lucha, the kind of thing being done hundreds of times all around Mexico, but done with super talented workers here. It was built around Brazo De Oro bickering with the ref, El Hijo De Solar with some fancy young technico stuff, and Brazo De Platino doing Super Porky spots. Terry and the Traumas are really good as stooging rudos which isn't normally what they do. Terry makes this great face of disgust and fear right before Platino splatters him in the corner. If this was stretched out to three falls, with a little more substance, I could see this being a great match, but as is, it is pretty much a definition of a FUN lucha match.


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Saturday, October 09, 2010

Invisible Set, The Rolex is Faceless, Dick Togo is Young Rich and Tasteless

Dick Togo/Men's Teiho v. Great Sasuke/Solar 1 MPRO 12/7/97-GREAT

This was the period right before Sasuke was going out for knee surgery, where every match had his opponents viciously destroying his knee, you got the sense Sasuke really wanted his moneys worth out of that surgery. Togo and Teiho are a pair of guys who can viciously rip up a knee, and they are nasty fuckers in this match. Teiho brakes out the figure four around the ringpost, which was a really hot new move in 1997, and Togo hits a couple of sentons directly on the side of the knee. Brawling Solar isn't really the Solar you want to see, but he was fun as a fired up babyface, whipping out the quebradoras and hitting a nice tope. This probably could have used one more big Sasuke comeback, but I enjoyed the hell out of Togo and Teiho as the Andersons taking out a bodypart.

Dick Togo/Ikuto Hidaka/TAKA Michinoku v. Jody Fleish/Curry Man/Jinsei Shinzaki MPRO 3/2/03-EPIC

Man this was awesome. In some ways it was more impressive then the 90's MPRO six man tags, because this had a more random cast of characters. Togo and Fleish match up early and Dick was amazing working with all of Jody's flashy shit. It really made me want to see Togo do a US Indy tour of all the current indy mulatto spotfest dudes (Togo v. Flip Kendrick, Togo v. Ricochet, Togo v. AR Fox.) This is also the perfect kind of match for Chris Daniels as he can come in, hit his athletically impressive stuff and get out without having to construct a match. The WWE run clearly took a physical toll on TAKA, as he doesn't have the same kind of jaw dropping athleticism as he had in the 90's. Here he is kind of like Wizards era Jordan, using timing and guile to still score 50. His sections with Shinzaki were great. The match started at 8 and cranked to 11 by the end, the last 6 minutes were nuts, with crazy dives (Fliesh's top rope shooting star press is stupendous), saves, nearfalls. Pretty much everything current indy wrestling tries to do but fails. It ends just when it should, and all of your high difficulty stuff was hit on point. Felt like a longer crisper version of a WCWSN lucha match, which is about as high a praise as I can give something like this.

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

This was the KDX reunion match, the first time they had teamed in about 9 years. Pretty much an opportunity for Kaientai to run through their signature stuff, which they did well. The technico team was an odd group, but they all got to run through some stuff. I thought Kudo was probably the standout, as he laid in some nasty kicks. We got a cool dive train, TAKA acting like a douchebag and a great looking Togo senton to finish it off. A better more credible set of opponents would have pushed this to the next level, but this was an enjoyable showcase.



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Tuesday, October 05, 2010

SEGUNDA CAIDA DECLARES WAR!!! NJ 11/23/92+12/14/92


As part of our overarching WAR project, we are going to review some of the WAR v. NJ feud that happened in NJ. Guest starring Tomk visiting from the Big Easy.

Shiro Koshinaka/Kengo Kimura/Masashi Aoyagi v. Genichiro Tenryu/Takashi Ishikawa/Koki Kitahara NJ 11/23/92

TKG: This is kind of oddly constructed. Kengo Kimura is treated as the powerhouse of the New Japan team while Koshinaka is treated as guy in over his head who just gets wrecked by Tenryu. But their are large sections of the match where it really feels like Koshinaka is the captain( to borrow from lucha trios of his team). Koshinaka has a ton of awesome moments of selling, and comes off really sneaky and sadistic when he gets opportunities to take advantage of his opponents. Kimura looks like a powerhouse in everything he does, his flying knee kick which is a pretty weak looking move in the NJ80s set, here is superfast and violent looking. Kimura gets caught with an Ishikawa knee and then the three War guys take turns stomping his head in...essentially eliminating him from a large section of the match where Koshinaka has to take over for the NJ team. there is an awesome moment where Kohinaka gets Kitahara in the NJ corner and invites Kimura (still selling) to come in and give his receipts. And fuck I want to see Aoyagi v Kitahara as a singles match.

PAS: This was really a ton of fun. Tenryu takes a bit of a back seat as he often does in these trios match, and it was focused mainly on Ishikawa and Kitahara beating on the HI guys, and they are a pair of guys who can beat on someone. Kithara is the face in peril and he is way better at it then Orihara who usually plays that role. Koshinaka is awesome when he tees off on someones nose and he cracks Kitahara right on the bridge. Every Tenryu moment in the match was spectacular though and he is such a fucking superstar even standing on the apron. The NJ team was hurt by not having someone of his aura to play off of.

Tatsumi Fujinami/Akira Nogami vs. Takashi Ishikawa/Koki Kitahara NJ 12/14/92

TKG: The last match had Inoki in the audience and Tenryu. And well this doesn't and isn't as heated as a big interpromotional match. Fujinami eats a lariat from Ishikawa early in the match and you realize that Fujinami is a guy who has made a career of eating lariats. And his bump and sell is just super. Lots of cool Fujinami with the crowd getting excited about a dragon sleeper near fall and when Ishikawa taunts Fujinami by putting Nogami in a dragon sleeper.

PAS: Yeah this didn't have the heat or intensity something like this needs. It felt like an undercard heavyweight tag with some cool moments, but otherwise uneventful. Ishikawa v. Fujinami was a fun match up, Ishikawa works over Fujinami with some really nasty stomps to the shoulder, and wrecks him with some lariats. It got me excited to see their 1993 singles match, but outside of that this didn't do a ton for me.

Genichiro Tenryu vs. Shiro Koshinaka NJ 12/14/92

TKG: Tenryu is really amazing at selling for guys ranked way lower than him. Koshinaka does a big section of working the lariat arm. Nothing particularly memorable but Tenryu makes you totally buy it and buy Koshinaka. When Tenryu isn't making you believe in Koshinaka's runs of offense, he is beating the ever living shit out of him. Every chop lands right on the adams apple, his kicks look to bust Koshinaka's lip and nose open as well as opening up a cut above the eye. Koshinaka comes off realy tough for just taking the damage and then still getting in bits of comebacks, including an amazing top tope dropkick that may have opened up a cut on Tenryu.

PAS: I have talked about it before, but Tenryu's ability to have competitive matches with non-stars may be one of the most impressive things about him. Even when guys like Flair would do it, it was still all about the greatness of Flair's performance. Here Tenryu is really making Shiro Koshinaka a star, he isn't "guy carried by Flair" he is "guy who is hanging and banging with Tenryu". Brutal match, when Tenryu lays in a beating, he lays in a beating. Still Koshinaka looks less like an overwhelmed guy out of his league, then Rocky Balboa battling back and taking it to Apollo Creed. When Koshinaka hits that jaw jacking dropkick the places comes unglued. Great, great match and another piece of evidence for the Tenryu as GOAT case.

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Monday, October 04, 2010

The G1 Climax is a Concept by Which I Measure My Pain: Day 3

The tournament that has been a measurement of my pain actually hasn't been all that painful thus far, but not for a lack of trying. Let's see how they fare as my lazy ass drags the August Classic into October.

Block A: Manabu Nakanishi vs. Karl Anderson

Karl Anderson has been the MVP of the tournament so far. Nakanishi, not so much. But I'm not sure Nakanishi is an appreciably worse worker than Tanahashi, and Anderson did alright with him, so this might have a chance. I'm amused that Manabu Nakanishi and Daisuke Sekimoto are basically the same wrestler at this point. Anderson extends his hand, but Nakanishi slaps it away, so I guess Anderson is the face here for some reason. Although Anderson then does the "initiate a test of strength and then kick his opponent in the gut" bit, which is always a good heel spot. And well, I gotta give it up to Anderson once more. This quickly turns into a pretty swank match, and Anderson making me care about Nakanishi matches in the 2010 is really damn impressive. Anderson running the ropes trying to shoulderblock Manabu down, and selling his shoulder after each failed attempt was great, and then faking him out by looking to go for it a third time, only to turn back around and kick him in the shin totally ruled it (although it wasn't any more effective than the shoulderblocks). He also eats Nakanishi's forearms really well. One of them looked like it was gonna take his head off. Credit where it's due, Nakanishi has thrown two dropkicks in this tourney so far, and they both looked great. He's also done two pescados so far in this tourney, and they both looked like shit. At least this time, Karl got to move out of the way, so he didn't have to pretend it hurt, although Nakanishi still landed very daintily while selling it like he got splatted. But Goddamn, is Anderson winning me over. Anderson controls for a while, but Nakanishi makes his comeback, as symbolized by making the Sylvester Stallone in "Over the Top" face. We get a pretty solid finishing stretch, and Anderson goes 3-for-3 in having good matches in this tournament. Interestingly, Nakanishi held up his end of the bargain the best of any of his three opponents, and the result is the best match of the tournament so far. Didn't see that coming.

Block A: Toru Yano vs. Strongman

From the MVP of the tournament to the LVP...or so it seemed going into this. I was all ready to claw my eyes out while watching this, as you might imagine. Strongman continues to be more ridiculous than intimidating. He looks like Steve Martin in that one Hans and Franz sketch where he played the guy so perfectly pumped that he couldn't move under his own power. But Steve Martin hasn't done anything in the last decade funnier than Strongman's match with Tanahashi last night. But then Yano hits the ring, and playing a bit more fast and loose with the sake than he usually does. Since that's the only thing he ever really had going for him, I'm glad to see it. He angers Strongman by tossing some his way, and I start to think that Yano might make a more interesting foil for Strongman than Tanahashi. I mean, a box turtle would make a more interesting foil for any wrestler than Tanahashi. But sure enough, they open with the same "challenging Strongman to a posedown" spot, except Yano does it about a million times better than Tanahashi. And then he offers his hand to Strongman, and Strongman accepts, crushing his hand in the process. Yano desperately tries to escape the hold, trying to use both hands to crush Strongman's hand, but Strongman just waves a finger in his face and reapplies the pressure while yelling, since he basically is Strong Mad made flesh. And you know what? Fuck the world. This is a damn good wrestling match. God bless you, you 21st century Paul Ellering, you! Yano escapes to the outside, and Strongman follows, but ends up eating the post. Yano removes the turnbuckle padding as Strongman struggles to beat the count on account of having zero mobility due to his impossibly roided-up physique. He does make it, but takes an Irish whip into the exposed steel corner. Strongman makes his comeback, but Yano is able to escape a rack because Strongman's back is hurting from the Irish whip into the corner. Yeah, that's right, Strongman is doing body part selling. But he recovers from that quickly enough to give Yano a taste of his own medicine by throwing Yano into the exposed steel corner, weakening him enough to hit the torture rack drop for two. Strongman throws him back into the corner, but Yano dodges a charge and Strongman shoulderblocks the steel, buying Yano time to wedge a chair into the opposite corner. Strongman recovers and charges from behind, but Yano dodges again. This time, Strongman is able to stop short, but Yano low blows him from behind, boots him into the chair, and grabs a schoolboy for the win. And holy fuck, Toru Yano vs. Strongman was a legit good match. Not so bad it was good. Actually, genuinely awesome. I'm stunned. This is why it pays to keep an open mind, folks. Yano actually did the heel shtick well for a change, and Strongman was really fun as the powerhouse getting outmaneuvered by the sneaky heel. Who woulda thunk it?

Block B: Hirooki Goto vs. Wataru Inoue

Not really sure what to make of this match going into it. Inoue gave a really shitty performance on Night 1, and a better performance on Night 2, but one that still crashed and burned in the end. So at least he's trending upwards. Goto made his first appearance last night in an awesome match with Nakamura, but typically sucks, and Inoue ain't exactly Nakamura. I didn't set my hopes too high, which turned out to be a smart move. Match opens with token chain wrestling leading to a stand-off and applause. Always a good sign a match will suck. Match goes to the outside, where Inoue rides the rails, and Goto charges in with a spinng heel kick that maybe kinda grazes him a little. Here's a phrase you're not going to hear me say very often - this is kind of a letdown after the Yano/Strongman match. Goto's selling of his gut comes off as less awkward than Makabe's exploded spleen from Night 1, but the work around it isn't as compelling. Really, the match is just kinda dull, and I don't have a whole lot to say about it other than that.

Block B: Go Shiozaki vs. Satoshi Kojima

Even the ring announcer in New Japan has a fruity-looking haircut these days. Kojima gets in the ring and flings his jacket around like he thinks it's attacking him. Go has done an OK job working as higher-ranked guy whooping on lower-ranked guys, which obviously wasn't going to come into play here. Outside his comfort zone with an opponent who brought as little to the table as Kojima, not surprised this sucked. And hey, this also had obligatory chain wresting leading to a stand-off and applause! Thanks, New Japan. Really needed two of these things back-to-back. Again, Kojima's selling is pretty good (he gets his lariat arm worked over, so he has to use the other arm instead), but it's a bit of a lost cause, as neither of these guys bring much else to the table. At one point, there's a weird camera angle that makes it look like Go is doing a shooting star press when it was really just a moonsault. That's about it in terms of highlights. This thing sucked and just went on forever. Dopey finishing stretch where Go idiotically keeps trying to lariat Kojima's lariat arm, only for Kojima to lariat Go's arm first with his good arm. A few more lariats later, and the worst match of the tournament so far finally ends. Go and his mussed up hair sadly walk to the back as Kojima's Sega Genesis theme music plays triumphantly in the background.

Block B: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Giant Bernard

These are two guys who can go, but sometimes don't. Wasn't really sure if Nakamura's shitkicking heel style and Bernard's taller Arn Anderson style would gel, but this came out really good. Bernard is a guy who throws kicks now, which is very funny to me. Obligatory opening matwork is actually a good, competitive-looking exchange rather than the 90's indy mirror-sequencey stuff we've seen elsewhere in the tournament. They end up going for a more of a big bruiser vs. scrappy smaller guy dynamic, and while Bernard isn't as good in the big bruiser role as Takayama was earlier in the year, he still delivers. Bernard knocks Nakamura around for a while before Nakamura dodges a corner charge, sets him up lying along the top rope, and hits a big Boma Ye that sends him to the apron, and a dropkick that puts him on the floor. Bernard regains control, and I am not gonna mince words: he ain't the brawler he used to be. He is strictly a guy you call on to do comedy now. It kinda pains me to say it, as I was an early adopter of his back in the WWF, but that's the way it is. Nakamura, by contrast, is kneeing the fuck out of Bernard, and Bernard still eats and sells stuff really well. He also breaks out that Rocker Dropper to the arm thing that he did last night again. That's a pretty sweet looking move. Glad to see it's a regular spot for him. We get a good example of Bernard as "guy who does comedy shtick" as he catches a kick, taunts Nakamura, but wastes too much time and eats an enzuigiri. Then we get a good example of Bernard as "not the brawler he used to be" when he charges out of the corner with a weak looking clothesline to regain control. What happened? I did like Bernard landing on his feet after Nakamura moved out of the way of a Big Van Crush. And Bernard just sorta throwing tossing him off of his back when he tried to grab a sleeper. But generally, the match isn't as awesome when Bernard is on offense. I also notice that Bernard is growing out his back hair again, for whatever that's worth. Nakamura makes his comeback and re-does the "kick out the back of the guy's knees -> Boma Ye to the back of the head" spot from last night, only Bernard sells the set-up better than Goto did, so it was even more awesome here. Nakamura is a total asskicker on offense. Throws a nasty kick to the chest to escape a Derailer attempt, and even floors him with a punch as Bernard tries to get back to his feet at one point, which looks way more convincing than you would think. A running Boma Ye seals it for Nakamura, and both guys get back-to-back good matches.

Block A: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tetsuya Naito

I tried to remain optimistic, but I still went out on a limb and predicted this wouldn't be as good as Yano/Strongman. Figured that was a safe bet, and boy, was I right. I really don't have a whole lot to write about in a match where nothing happens. I guess I can point out that it's a match where nothing happens for 30 minutes. Actually, at least one thing happens down the stretch, as Naito puts Tanahashi in a Texas Cloverleaf variant that has Tanahashi positioned kinda on his head in such a way that the move puts no pressure on him whatsoever. He is good enough to correct this by basically just putting himself into proper position. Have I mentioned that Tanahashi blows? This comfortably out-sucked Shiozaki/Kojima. Clearly, this shit merited a time-limit draw. Even worse than Go/Kojima

Block A: Togi Makabe vs. Prince Devitt

Well, after that soul-crushing experience, we close out the evening with a match that isn't a whole lot better. Odd to see a Makabe match opening with a friendly handshake. Makabe overpowers Devitt early on, while Devitt tries to use quickness to try and counteract it, but it's not terribly interesting. "DANGEROUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I like Devitt way more than most of my interwebs contemporaries do, but seriously, what a tool. Devitt also busts out the shitty Ghetto Stomp variant where Makabe is in the Tree of Woe and has to pull himself up like an idiot to get stomped. Makabe does uncork a nifty-looking kneeling powerbomb, so there is that. He follows it with a Polish Hammer that Devitt hilariously sells like death, and a great top-rope kneedrop for the win. Makabe was game down the stretch trying to save this thing, but it was too little too late. Makabe gives Devitt another handshake after the match, giving the kid his seal of approval. Would have been nice he got it after a good match, but whatever. We had three really good-to-great matches tonight. Everything else was utter shit. I suppose that one can't feel pain without having pleasure as a frame of reference. Tonight, they gave me pleasure, and they took it away, and they gave me pain, and boy, did I ever feel it.

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Dick Togo's Heating Up Like They Wrapped Him In Flannel, Selling Kilos From Your IPOD Nano

Sato/Great Sasuke/Shiryu v. Super Delfin/Gran Naniwa/Jinsei Shinzaki MPRO 2/4/94-EPIC

Pretty much a perfectly executed MPRO formula six man. It has everything you expect, the intricate lucha armdrags and ranas, the signature comedy spots, the crazy dive train. When these guys get on this kind of roll, it really is something special. Man 1994 Sato (Togo) is one of the most athletic impressive wrestlers in history, the speed and agility he executes his stuff is incredible. He and Delfin match up to start the match, and their exchanges are at Gods Must Be Crazy speed. Sato also wins the dive train which is pretty impressive considering the company he keeps. We get Shiryu and Naniwa next, and they have a more mat based match up, with Shiryu ripping off some really quick amateur rides. It had been a long time since I have seen the Naniwa/Delfin MX arm wringer spot, but man do those guys execute it perfectly. Delfin is great as a cocky douche really getting into working over the arm, and Naniwa is also great as a guy sad and angry at always being a schlemiel. Outside of one awkward Shinzaki spot (and honestly he didn't bring a ton to this) this was textbook stuff, and exactly the kind of thing I fell in love with when I first saw it.

Dick Togo/Great Sasuke/Nobutaka Moribe v. Ikuto Hidaka/Minoru Fujita/Macho Pump MPRO 8/22/04-GREAT

Elimination cage match which was relatively uneventful except for a couple of huge moments. Your non FEC team was pretty vanilla and dull, Macho Pump especially is a guy who has never contributed positively to any wrestling match I have seen him in. Most of the action in the match was punch and kick stuff, and not done particularly well. The huge moments were pretty huge though. Fujita hits a nice looking Superfly splash off the cage, Sasuke is battling with Fujita on the top of the cage and basically takes a Shawn Micheals style HIC bump backwards off the cage, and Togo ends the match with a top of the cage senton which is a top five in wrestling history cage dive. Just amazing looking. Feels like what was memorable was memorable enough to recommend the match relatively highly.

Dick Togo/Ikuto Hidaka v. Gedo/Jado Riki Pro 1/17/10-FUN

2010 Gedo and Jado both have weirdly oiled up muscled bodies and dark tans, they should find Chapparita Asari, have her grow a poof and work Jersey Shore gimmicks. Good stuff in this, both Gedo and Togo looked great. Togo did a couple of really tremendous moves, I love how he floats mid air with his in ring somersault senton. Gedo does all of the small things really well, punches, bumping and superkicks. Hidaka and Jado didn't bring much at all though, outside of a minute or so of solid Hidaka matwork. Crowd was completely dead, and parts of this fell flat, had a real undercard house show feel, like they were going through the motions. Worth watching for Togo and Gedo, but falls short of a strong recommendation.



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Sunday, October 03, 2010

Dick Togo Conversates a bit about your DNA, and his Salmon Suit From the VMAs

Dick Togo/Shoichi Funaki/Danny Collins/Shiryu v. Gran Hamada/Super Astro/Alexander Otsuka/Super Delfin MPRO-9/23/96-GREAT

What an awesome weirdo lineup, it was like someone took a bag of my favorite wrestlers, shook it up, and drew eight out at random. Your MPRO regulars were as great as usual, Shiryu was just blindingly fast at this point, his flip out of the german suplex looks like it is in 8X fast forward. Hamada wasn't featured, but man is his signature stuff beautiful, that high rana he hits is just crazy, how he can get such ups off of such stumpy legs is a mystery. Your special guest stars were all awesome. Collins is a stubby little pissed off British guy, he wrestle similar to Dynamite Kid at his best, all nasty knees to the face, uppercuts, suplexes and scowls. Otsuka is a little out of his element, but we got to him rock some sweet mat wrestling with Shiryu and chuck some folks with suplexes. If anyone is tailor made to be thrown into a 96 MPRO 8 man it is Super Astro, he is such a breathtaking wrestler, and watching him and Togo match up is a portly dream match. Two tiny pot bellied men moving with a totally unexpected grace and beauty. Stunning stuff.

Dick Togo/Men's Teiho v. El Hijo Del Santo/Super Delfin MPRO-11/10/96-FUN

Perfectly enjoyable professional wrestling, although ultimately disappointing. Santo v. Togo is such a tremendous on paper match up, but it never really kicked into the next gear. This was worked much more like a Puro tag, rather then the awesome lucha tag it should have been. There were a couple of nifty moments where Santo and Togo do some rope running and we get to see Santo rip off a headscissors and see Togo fly for them. Still Santo felt like a bit of an afterthought, and the match was mostly Delfin being worked over by KDX. Again I want to judge the match on what it was, not what it should have been, but it is hard considering how good it should have been.

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

Lots to like in this match, but enough to hate to drop it below great status. This is a TLC match and those are what they are. Match starts out looking like the weird bifurcated Santo/Onita matches from LA with Togo and Tanaka doing some nasty brawling on the floor, with Togo sprinklering blood out of his head, meanwhile in the ring Dutt and Shelly are running through their horseshit. Match gets better when Tanaka and Shelly double team Dutt smashing him through tables and such. Togo makes an awesome hot tag, with a bloody white towel wrapped around his head like zombie Lawrence of Arabia. He just explodes with an awesome run of offense ending with a phenomenal tope con hilo That was the high point of the match, as the rest is a bunch of prop bumps, some of them cool, some of them awkward. Hard to avoid getting drawn in at points, also hard to be drawn out.



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Friday, October 01, 2010

Everything Black Terry Does is Done with a Southern Accent, Where He Comes From

Black Terry/Jose Luis Feliciano/Shu El Guerrero v. El Signo/Negro Navarro/Black Power Lucha Lucha 2000 9/28/02-GREAT

One fall bloody brawl which was a ton of fun. No preface as all six guys go right after each other punching, stomping and biting at foreheads. Shu's mask gets ripped to shreds and he is just pouring blood. I haven't seen much of Black Power before, but he was an impressive tank of dude, really thick chested and could brawl. We got some great Navarro v. Terry as they had a couple of toe to toe exchanges which were really impressive. Terry was brilliant here, looked like the best guy in the ring, he had real impressive hand speed, and would throw some very cool combinations. Finish felt a bit flat for such a crazy brawl, as it just kind of ended, and I would have liked more a crescendo. Still a totally awesome discovery, good looking out to Rob for digging this up.

Black Terry/El Signo/Negro Navarro v. Solar/Super Astro/Ultraman Monterey 3/2/10-EPIC

One of the better maestro exhibitions they have done in recent years. Focus was on our traditional Navarro v. Solar match up which is always great. This one had some especially sweet leglocks. Navarro puts on this awesome tapitia Indian Deathlock combo which I had never seen before. The build from that matwork to some really intense throws and slams. Super Astro is one of my all time favorite wrestlers, and he still has some freaky agility and speed for a fat old man. He matches up with Signo who has had a bit of a resurgent 2010. Black Terry and Ultraman are paired and their stuff looks good, but it is probably the least of the match ups, Ultraman is the least of the six at this point, and doesn't bring a ton to the table if he isn't throwing hands. FInish had a really fun breakdown with Super Astro and Ultraman throwing sick topes, and Solar getting the submission with a very cool rolling keylock.


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