Segunda Caida

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

Monday, January 31, 2011

SAW Tribute To The Fairgrounds ROAD REPORT 1/28/11

PAS: Phil Schneider
TKG: Tom Karro-Gassner

TKG: They are planning to tear down the fairgrounds in Nashville so we decide to head out to see what may be the last wrestling show at the Nashville Sports Arena. Phil is from Oakland and currently lives in DC. I am from DC and currently live in New Orleans. Nashville is kind of a new experience for both of us as we have never seen white nightlife. Arena crowd is mostly family crowd, young and old. Lots of middle aged women taking their moms in walkers, bunch of Korean War vets, lots of young families, and groups of 20 something guys and gals. There are folks in overalls with straw cowboy hats and no shirt, and there are indy rock geeks who look like EricR with (I'm assuming ironic) Michael Nesmith hair cuts. Not a cross-section of Nashville so much as some really disparate threads. The set up to get into arena is as disorganized as most set ups to get into a wrestling show. There are about 900+ folks trying to get in at once and it takes a while to get them all in. They bring in a lady to sing the national anthem and we start the pre-show before everyone is able to get in.

PAS: We walk all around Nashville during the day on Saturday. Including a Nashville dinner theatre running the Odd Couple starring Richard Moll of Night Court. Somehow that ends up with us fantasy booking an Odd Couple with Bull Connor and Bayard Rustin. Downtown Nashville looks like hillbilly Vegas, and for a second I felt bummed that everything seemed so inauthentic and shiny, until I realized I was in Nashville. Really not the town to complain about things being overproduced.

THE WILDBOYZ v, The WEATHERBY BROS

TKG: The Wildboyz wear black T-Shirts and woodland camouflage pants. They kind of look like if Richard Karn and Bill Engval were playing middle age white supremacist meth dealers. The Weatherby Bros are skinny tatted shirtless guys in orange and yellow fatigues who look like if DJ Qualls were playing twin teenage white supremacist meth dealers. I really enjoyed the heels as kind of indy Pandilleros working with green Tijuana rookies. Wildboys bumped really well, made the bros armdrags look good, and covered for awkward or blown stuff well. Their stomp/kick double team and suplex based heel offense was good and they had amusing collision spots and fed the face comebacks nicely.

PAS: The Weatherby Brothers were a methed out fake Hardys, who somehow ended up looking even more methed out then the actual Hardys. Weatherby's appear to be sons of the promoter, but look way more J.C. Bailey then Greg Gagne. The crowd is clearly supposed to be behind them, and I think all credit goes to the Wildboyz for drawing any sympathy for such unlikeable looking babyfaces.

"Luscious" David Mathews v Tony Falk

TKG: Luscious David Mathews is working an ugly fat homosexual sissy from San Francisco gimmick and this is worked almost spot for spot the way Jackie Fargo would work Boy Tony. Tony Falk is fun as a poor mans Jackie Fargo and David Mathews isn't very good as a poor man's Tony Falk. But it is a formula and a bunch of spots that work.

PAS: You would think this would be worked more as an older gay guy angry about the dismissive attitude of the younger generation. "They were beating people in Stonewall; I had 9 friends die of AIDS in a year, now it’s all Logo network and poppers, NO RESPECT." Instead Falk works like Eddie Marlin. Falk looks exactly like Tony Korniheiser, I kept expecting Rocky Johnson to get up from the gimmick table to argue whether Kobe is the best crunch time shooter in the league.

TKG: There still is a logjam at the door and even people around the block and he promoter has the ring announcer kill time on the mic for maybe 45 minutes until everyone can get into arena. It is a pretty spectacular announcer performance, as he just does non stop patter talking about the history of the fairgrounds, putting over crowd, the talent on the show, getting different parts of the audience to cheer to see who has the most enthusiasm, talking about what Nashville means to wrestling and what wrestling means to Nashville,etc. I have seen lots and lots of ring announcers but killing of 45 minutes without ever appearing to be filibustering, looking panicked or breaking a sweat or ever hinting that "hey we need to wait till everyone can get in" was kind of amazing. He had endless time killing patter to draw on, never repeating the same spot twice. Once everyone is in he introduces the "Vegas" ring girl and has the National Anthem sung again for those who missed it the first time. The announcer is then interrupted by heel Arrick"The Dragon" Andrews who has issued an open challenge. You really can't do the heel rudely interrupts the announcer for heat spot when the announcer has just talked for 45 minutes straight.

ARRICK ANDREWS OPEN CHALLENGE

TKG: Andrew issues an open challenge which is originally met by someone with a name like Mustard Molloy and once Molloy is dispatched it is met by Eric Young. Young v Andrews goes long and wasn't very good. Andrews has a neat ride into bulldog spot.

PAS: Eric Young is a pretty crappy surprise opponent. Was Reggie B. Fine busy? Couldn't you have just stuck Tony Falk under a Freddy mask?


DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH (David Young and Sigmon) with Athena v MADDOX BROTHERS

TKG: The Maddox Brothers are unfortunately not working a Western Swing band gimmick. And outside of their dives, I couldn't get much of a sense of them. They might have had a better showing with the Wildboyz. But The Diamonds in the Rough were no Wildboyz. Sigmon appears to have no forearms. Mini Frank Parker would be an awesome gimmick, and David Young looks to have gassed himself into looking like that. Unfortunately, Young doesn’t appear to have the wrestling chops to pull it off. Frank Parker deserves better than to have this guy working as his mini. I mean I remember once really liking the team of Bad Attitude, I remember liking David Young. For a guy working "Messiah of the Spinebuster" he didn't have a particularly good spinebuster.

PAS: Of all the guys on this show who were past their primes, David Young looked the most out of shape and washed up. Shit Bill Dundee's prime was 1979, David Young’s was 2003. This is a Nashville show, guys don't have to be tall to main event Memphis, but Sigmon wasn't Memphis short, he was EVOLVE undercard short, Arena Puebla short, WON rookie of the year short.

KID KASH v CHRIS MICHAELS

TKG: Kid Kash is a heat magnet and he tries to start one fight after another with every old lady or teenage kid in the front row. The security guy is amazing diving in the way of each and every confrontation, "holding" Kash back as he tries to jump the guard rail and start fights. Kash spends 15 minutes or more just milking this and milking it. Chris Michaels comes to the ring and Kash is still rolling out to get in fans faces and rile them up some more. The poor security guy has to sprint from one side of the ring to the other to keep up with Kash. Kash then does a bunch of in ring stalling, constantly breaking up whatever momentum Michaels can get by complaining to the ref about Michaels being greased up, cheating someway or other and then it's right back out to rile the crowd up some more. They do a bunch of superfast mat exchanges and rides and then it is back to calling out an old lady. Michaels at one point sells that he has busted up his leg and works the rest of match from below selling the busted wheel. I really liked the way the match moved from the earlier stalling into the body into the story of the leg up into the finish. Sometime when you see these things it just goes BS to finish and misses the midpart. That said the BS may have gone too long and so at one point one of the old ladies that Kash had been goading decides to take an arena tour. Kash had so successfully turned a random old lady into a face that when she decides to walk over to her family or concession stand, the crowd followed her like she was Steve Austin ("ooh she's going over to buy a soda what do you think she'll do?"). Crowd was so interested in where the new face was going that they were distracted from the match in the ring. Post match Kash does more fight starting and we wonder how anyone is going to follow that.

PAS: Kid Kash is the best guy I have ever seen at being held back by security. Really throws himself into the security guard and you buy he is going to start a fist fight. There may have been some bathtub boogie smoked by members of the crowd (and possibly by Kash) and that shit can fry the decision making synapses in your brain so he is lucky he didn't get stabbed with a screwdriver. It was spectacular, but I agree with Tom that it overshadowed the match a bit. Chris Michaels is a really great wrestler, but he felt like the fourth or fifth most important person in the match behind Kash, two old ladies and a kid who got his baseball cap stolen.

BRIAN CHRISTOPHER/KEVIN WHITE v "TEEN EXCITEMENT" DREW HASKINS/ DERRICK KING

TKG: I mean you can't do a ton of heel staling and BS after that, so instead you do a bunch of face stalling and shtick to get the crowd back in. And Brian Christopher comes out and grabs folks from the audience and him and Kevin White get kids into the ring and teach them essentially how to do interactive T-shirt gun spots with his sunglasses. I really liked Kevin White the last time I saw him, but here he looked like William H Macy playing a Morning Zoo radio DJ. I have seen plenty of wrestling tags with Morning Zoo wrestling DJs and I have seen better working Morning Zoo DJs. What happened to White? That said Brian Christopher is super polished and did the bulk of the work for his team and HOLY SHIT Derrick King/Drew Haskins is a great heel act. Haskins is working a teen idol Justin Beiber gimmick in too small tights and Beiberish scarves, while King is I guess the Usher/Maurice Starr brains behind the teen phenom. King is awesome in ring, really eats stuff well (including taking the signature Lawler apron bump), nice offense, and sets up and directs traffic, etc. All of Haskin's "teen idol" shtick, movements and reactions are perfectly executed for the gimmick. His punches have gotten a ton better since last I saw them as he really throws his arm behind them. Really feels like there is no reason that the Haskins/King team isn't in TNA, WWE, AAA, NOAH, SNL or having a Wayans brother build a movie around them. This is an act that belongs on a bigger stage.

PAS: Yeah this was three quarters of an amazing match. Christopher looked lucid, polished and fit which is not a prop bet I would have taken before this show. King may have been the overall most impressive performer all night, just had his shtick down gold, bumped huge, had awesome looking offense, Just shined. Haskins is just great; if they could turn this show into something more substantive down the road I could see him being a star. His promos are already the highlight of SAW TV, and he looked twice as comfortable then the last time I saw him in the ring. The post match kids dance off was also some quality professional wrestling. They bring in 6 kids and well endowed young lady. Christopher does a great pull into guard takedown on the rat and ends up with a face full of nipples. They also have the first four kids jump around a bit, and then the fifth kid does a perfect worm and a backflip. Must have been a plant, and you have to admire the carnieness of putting a plant in a little kids dance off.

LONESTAR v HAMMERJACK

TKG: The announcer tells me "From Baltimore, MD: Hammrejack" and I loose it. In the 80s, Hammerjacks was THE glam/hair rock nightclub in Baltimore. And Hammerjack appeared to be a wrestler who was working a gimmick celebrating that trashy “Wet T -Shirt contest and hair metal” Baltimore 80s-early90s scene. This match stank but I amused myself by singing Kix songs. DONT CLOSE YOUR EYES, DONT CLOSE YOUR EYE-EYES,,,OOH COLD COLD SHOWER. Eventually I ran out of Kix tunes and just gave up on the match completely.

PAS: These two guys basically work a Balls Mahoney v. Axl ECW street fight with two fat guys throwing awkward chair shots and doing ugly table spots. I would say 8% of the audience was loudly into the match, and I get these are the guys SAW are going to try to draw with when the legends go away, but still it is kind of bullshit. No reason the match before intermission should have all this color and shortcuts. This kind of backyard recklessness makes it harder for the chairshots and brawling in the main event to mean as much.

TRACY SMOTHERS TRIBUTE TO LEGENDS

TKG: Tracy Smothers comes out to talk about the legend only to be attacked by Derrick McNeal and the Wildboyz. The Moondog and Josephus (who appears to be working a Brody gimmick--what the fuck? It is Nashville and you have wrestlers called Josephus and Maddox Bros who aren't working country music gimmicks???) make the save. The Smothers parts of this quick brawl were cool...but moving on.

PAS: I get when Jimmy Jacobs at 5'7 does a Brody tribute gimmick, that makes sense. I really don't get the point of a 6'1 guy doing it. Would have liked to see Tracey do something more on the show, and this angle felt way too much like the opening angle.


WOLFIE D v DOUGIE GILBERT

TKG: So Chris Michaels/Kid Kash had worked an epic match built around stalling and crowd heat, Brian Christopher and Derrick King Enterprises gave a lesson in comedy spots and building in and around them, and Lonestar/Hammerjack had worked a badly done bloody streetfight. So Wolfie D and Doug Gilbert aren't going to do stalling/milking the crowd for heat, or lots of comedy spots, or blood and plunder. Instead they essentially do a workrate sprint match. Both guys have fun highspots and take big bumps (Gilbert gets ridiculous height on a backdrop). And while I enjoyed this a ton, I wish they had more access to their other tools. Gilbert works as heel Bill Dauterive who once was a local hero and doesn't understand why he isn't anymore.

PAS: Yeah I think it would have made more sense for Kash v. Michaels to work your spots match and have Dougie and Wolfie do stalling and crowd taunting, or had Lonestar and Hammerjack set up the ring and let Wolfie and Dougie bleed and brawl. Still these guys are pro and the will take what you leave them. Dougie was great, when I came into the arena he was sitting behind his gimmick table wearing sunglasses and a white towel tucked into his baseball cap. Just a hateable fuck, he makes you want to jump the rail, just walking to the ring.

PAS: The ring announcer announces the promoter, who had been walking around with a K-Mart knockoff Ed Hardy vest with a big cross on it. He comes out to fucking entrance music (and waits until the crescendo to walk through the curtain) and then seems totally perplexed why people are booing. He puts over Make a Wish, with a bunch of inappropriate cursing, and gets booed some more and starts getting really butthurt. God bless him for putting this show together, but he came off like a giant douchebag. When he brought out a cake for the longtime promoter, I assumed this was all a preamble for a heel turn, but the cake becomes the first cake in wrestling history to be enjoyed by the recipient, and apparently the promoter is shoot unlikable.

JERRY LAWLER v BILL DUNDEE

PAS: This is what we came to see and it didn't disappoint. Both guys seem totally jazzed up by the huge crowd and Dundee was especially frisky. Early in the match Mantell forces clean breaks in the corner, but he eventually gives up and lets them fight. Dundee gets an advantage and lays in a nasty looking beating on Lawler. His punches are as good as ever, and Lawler takes a couple of his signature eating of posts. The whole thing was violent enough that I thought Lawler was going to end up calling the Royal Rumble with a pressure bandage We of course get the strap drop and big time Lawler comeback and it always great to see, although Dundee fires back and doesn't go down easy. I have to rewatch this and the other, but this feels like the best of the 21st century Dundee v. Lawler matches.

TKG: All three guys get face pops coming out so Dundee makes sure to heel himself by doing a Zbysco stall to back and getting into it with some ringside fan. Lawler puts Dundee over on the mic but wants to make quick work of him so he won’t come into Rumble damaged, and hilariously warns Mantell to watch for Dundee’s closed fist. Dundee is in his late 60s and takes a lucha style rolling back bump, but will take big back drops and goes full force into all of his other bumps. This includes taking a superfast and nasty looking Flair flop off a comedy spot (Lawler uses a closed fist-Mantell gets upset and Dundee raises his hand for the DQ win only to have Mantell shove arm down with such force that Dundee does a face splat). I think this had a longer Dundee eats stuff opening then the Ward family show and the Lawler eats stuff section was a more vicious Dundee then the kind of less vicious more dickish Dundee that we saw in Waynesboro. Both guys take big ring to floor bumps and there is a lot more weapons based brawling then there was in the Ward family show. Dundee is first to throw chair into ring only to get hit by it. And Dundee just wails on Lawler with chair on the floor. They do a Mantell in ring bump which allows the Superstar to get a hold of Shoo Baby and whip Lawler’s back. But it still comes down to two men trading punches and the big piledriver in the end.

PAS: Post match Lawler puts over the fans and promoters, and Dundee gets on the mike and buries Jeff Jarrett, talking about screwing Dixie Carter and how they only drew 600 people. I almost expected him to book himself in a challenge against Jeff with 1500 dollars going to Cerebral Palsy kids if he loses. Just a great show and a really fun road trip.

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ROH TV Workrate Report: 1/24/11

ROH HDNet Death Throes Tour continues!

We start with recap of the Jim Cornette vs. Homicide feud from 2006, which only kinda made me wish that ROH had TV in 2006 as everything they showed pretty much looked better than the stuff I've been reviewing. As we go to a sit down interview with Adam Cole and Kyle O'Reilly where they blandly talk about how they're going to wrestle other teams in ROH. BUT the interview with the Bravado Brothers was GREAT as they talk about what it honor it was to face Haas and Benjamin ("I mean after all, they're the World's Greatest Tag Team from 8 years ago!") and talking about how their grandma builds up their confidence while she makes them breakfast. Then they had a great Sears portrait studio portrait of them looking off to the left inset in a needlepoint like on Family Feud. Yes. That promo photo is infinitely better than the growling sneering pointing grimacing Davey Richards one.

1. Bravados vs. Cole/O'Reilly starts us off with a nice shoulderblock from Lance and then a rolling and tumbling sequence and then the others tag in and O'Reilly locks on an armbar!! Lock it on! SHOOT ON HIM! Harlem Bravado has such a nice smile that it's always rewarding to see him do offense, as he always gives a nice grin. Adam Cole is your future Hall of Fame WON Rookie of the Year, like Steve Austin and KAI and Rey Mysterio and Sean O'Haire and Dustin Rhodes and Petey Williams. But Lance Bravado throws nicer elbows and throw some decent shoulders in the corner. Cole looks like Ziggy Sobotka and the faces he makes as he's struggling to make a hot tag are amongst the worst you'll see. O'Reilly's rolling float-over butterfly suplexes look pretty cool but look like he's a minor slip away from braining himself at an awkward and uncomfortable angle some day. Kyle hits a nice clothesline and the camera missed what could have been a nasty bump off the top and the Bravados get a roll up to END the winning streak of Cole/O'Reilly! Bravados are goofy but they do it well, and they're more entertaining to watch than Cole and O'Reilly's thigh slappy intensity.

MsChif does a really growly promo where it sounds like she's talking in a "wrestler voice" and it's really bad and makes me hope my girlfriend doesn't walk into the room.

Homicide and Cornette have a really lame confrontation where Homicide's accent comes and goes like a half-Hispanic traffic reporter. Cornette puts differences aside and Homicide spends the whole time answering questions that nobody asked and responding to things Cornette didn't say. He wants to be champion and man he was uninteresting here.

2. Homicide vs. O'ryan Bishop. Man that name. Maybe it's O. Ryan Bishop like M. Emmett Walsh...but probably not. Bishop is a heavyish weight and wears a singlet and kickpads. He looks uninteresting but runs out of the corner with a nice clothesline. Homicide proceeds to bite him and gouge his nostrils and throw a couple nice uppercut rights that I don't remember Homicide ever throwing. Ace Crusher finish looks silly against an opponent that much larger than him and we're out.

I am jacked for another week of Benjamin/Haas promos. Shelton is in trouble since Haas sounded more compelling than him on the stick. Titus and King cut a promo and Titus is just awful. His eyes were wandering all over the room as he cut his rehearsed promo, down to the ground, off to the peripheral, hardly ever looking at the camera. Just eyes lazily darting around the room, looking like an autistic Edge, saying "We're hungry athletes. We're going to bring our knife. And our fork. And we are going to devour our opponents." You think that looks stupid written out? Fucker, you shoulda been there!

Oh rad and we get a Christopher Daniels promo, too!! Even though he may be old, he's in the best shape of his life and he's doing this! Then he starts comparing himself to Randy Couture ("Look at the high level he competes at his age!") and then oddly compares himself to Cal Ripken Jr., which is an odd comparison since Ripken was out of baseball by the time he was Daniels' age and didn't put up a season over 3 WAR past his 36th birthday, and Daniels is 40 by now. Just because Ripken lost a lot of his defensive range at 36 doesn't mean he spent his whole career overshooting his finisher, Chris.

Oh and Eddie Edwards does a promo saying he is "on the hunt" and Mike Bennett interrupts and makes fun of him for always pretending he's a wolf and I now love Mike Bennett.

3. Main event is Haas/Benjamin vs. Rhett Titus/Kenny King. King and Benjamin are basically the same guy right here. I wonder if they've ever worked each other before...We spend a few minutes working some headlock and wristlock sequences, and King does a real odd Stepin Fetchit high-steppin' knees taunt whenever he works out of something. Titus tags in and goes into control with various moves in between hair whips. They both go to work on Benjamin's arm for the next 8 minutes. Oh, brother, as Prazak says, "Haas and Benjamin left the Entertainment business because they wanted to get in the Wrestling business." I love how Benjamin was in the WWE for EIGHT YEARS, and the whole time you always heard assorted internet mumblings of "Man, once he leaves WWE and there's no glass ceiling, he's going to be having constant **** classics." and then he comes to ROH and all the restholds people complained about him doing in WWE have now just tripled because he has to fill 15 minute matches. He still does the exact same highspots, the matches are just longer. I'd love to hear him state what exactly he is able to do differently now that WWE isn't holding him back. Haas comes in with some nice hot tag offense and King hits the wimpiest springboard clothesline you've seen since babyface C.M. Punk. Shelton's leapfrog double axe handle is very unimpressive, but that combined with a German get the win. Huh.

So if you're into Shelton getting his arm worked over for awhile, but know in your heart that none of this arm work is going to affect his offense, this might have been up your alley. Haas looked clearly like the worker of the team here. Whatever that means.

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Sunday, January 30, 2011

There Were Few at The Scene But They All Agreed, The Slayer Who Ran Looked A Lot Like Black Terry

Black Terry v. Solar v. Negro Navarro v. Villano IV v. Rey Mendoza Jr.v. Ultraman v. El Dandy v. Fuerza Guerrera 1/29/11- GREAT

This is a Maestros Toreno match worked as a four team tag tourney with the winners wrestling each other. Your opening tag is Terry/Solar v. Navarro/VIV and is really the only match worked Maestros style. Villano IV v. Black Terry is a match up I hadn't seen before and they do some really slick matwork with very fast countering, there is a really cool moment with Terry countering an armbar into an indian deathlock which VIV flips into a headscissors. Navarro and Solar tag in and do their thing. Always great to watch and there was some especially neat standing submissions and counters.

Your next match is Ultraman/Rey Mendoza Jr. v. Fuerza/Dandy and this is a brawl. These are four guys who can throw hands, and they rail on each other. I love watching Ultraman throw combos and he unloads some pretty ones. Dandy looks like Dandy and he is a guy I am super happy to see resurface. He has some nice head movement and landed his hooking slapping right.

Your final is Navarro/IV v. Fuerza/Dandy and is also a slugfest. Navarro v. Dandy had a great feud in IWRG 10 years ago (holy shit that was 10 years ago? I am old.) and they start it right back up here. There is some nice arm drags and fast exchanges too. Our final is Navarro v. Villano IV it starts out as a brawl, but they take it to the mat at the end, and it is great to watch, with both guys wrenching in some cool kneebars. All of these guys seemed really inspired and were working hard, and while there are some matchups I wanted to see, which we didn't get (Dandy v. Terry for example) every thing we did get was a blast.

COMPLETE AND ACCURATE BLACK TERRY

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Friday, January 28, 2011

ON GUARD I'LL LET YOU TRY MY FUTEN STYLE- Futen 7/25/10

You can pick this up from

damian1488@hotmail.com

This is the best overall of the three shows, even with missing Ikeda

Manabu Suruga vs Kazuki Okubo

Fun match with Okubo in his traditional role of fired up youngster. Suruga was great in the veteran role, he dominates early establishing his role, and when Okubo does get a run of offense, he sells his ass off and you really buy into the possibility of a big upset. The cross armbreaker he wins with really feels like a desperation hold, like Suruga thought to himself "fuck I am in real trouble I had better take this kid out."

Taro Nohashi vs Peace Man

Peace man is one of those weird Japanese comedy gimmicks which I am not culturally able to understand. Match itself had some nice moments, their is a baseline with Futen matches. The work is usually going to be stiff enough and make enough sense, that it won't fall below a certain point.

Koichiro Kimura vs Makoto Hashi

Another good Hashi match, as he seems to beat Kimura into giving a shit. Hashi plays underdog here as well as he played overdog in his Hiugaji match. Kimura is really violent here, laying in some vicious stomps in the corner and unleashing a zit poppingly tight neck crank. Short match but intense and fun.

Takahiro Oba/Brahman Shu/Brahman Kei vs Tamon Honda/Kengo Mashimo/Ryuichi Sekine

My favorite of the Brahman matches and they are starting to grow on me. It is pretty cool how Oba's shtick works just as well as dickish heel stuff as it works as babyface spots. He and Mashimo work a lot of the same spots they worked in their singles matches, with the face/heel switched and it still was good shit. Sekine takes the beating again and the heels are great at kicking his ass, and he gets his ass kicked. Honda is great when he is in, but isn't in enough, I did love the duel German suplexes with Mashimo. Fun finish run and this is a match I could see non-shoot fans digging a bunch too.

Takeshi Ono vs Mitsuya Nagai

Great singles match, and another amazing performance by Ono, who really cemented himself in my eyes as one of the best wrestlers in the world. Nagai is a flawed wrestler, but he is a great crowbar and he is brutal here, just beating the hell out of the smaller guy. Ono has brought a knife to a gunfight and just great taking a beating and selling absolute desperation. He starts out trying to go toe to toe with Nagai but gets overwhelmed, and by the end all he is left with is desperately diving for submissions, only to see Nagai shrug them off and lay in a bigger beating. Some of the elbows from the top Nagai was landing looked as violent as Wanderlei Silva elbows, nothing is pulled in Futen. Ono somehow grabbing the octopus felt like watching a real amazing sports comeback. I think this is a little behind the May tag, but is another killer Futen drop. Man someone has to get their back catalogue, I need to see ever match they have ever run.

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

MAKE WAY FOR THE MERGE OF TRAFFIC, FUTEN COMING THROUGH WITH FULL METAL JACKET-Futen 6/27/10

You can pick this up from

damian1488@hotmail.com

Daisuke Ikeda vs Hajime Moriyama

This might be or only chance to see 2010 Futen Ikeda and he is who we thought he was. Ikeda comes in with a tightly wrapped forearm which Moriyama's saw as his one chance to get past the boss. Ikeda shows his dominance early by taking Moriyama to the mat and applying the single nastiest overhand wristlock I have ever seen. It looks early like a blowout until Moriyama starts whipping kicks to the arm. The match continues on that path, with Ikeda unloading with his stuff, while Moriyama kept working over his injury, which lead Ikeda to drop his hands and created other openings. It could have used a little more dramatic final act, but a fun match.

Koichiro Kimura vs Kazuki Okubo

This was structurally similar to the previous match, with Kimura in the role of the grizzled veteran. Okubo was aggressive and the match was stiff, but Kimura seemed not to give a fuck. Even when he was getting hit, he looked like he was about to check his watch. It kind of reminded of the dull Inoki v. random gajin matches I watched while picking stuff for the 80's NJ set. The couple of moments where Kimura actually sold and cared were pretty good, but those were few and far between.

Brahman Shu/Brahman Kei vs Takeshi Ono/Ryuichi Sekine

I enjoyed the Brahmans in this match a lot more then in the previous show (or really ever before.) They were playing the role of nasty veterans working over a rookie and they nastily worked over said rookie. The kicks and punches were flying and landing, and they bust up Sekine's mouth and spit on him while kicking his ass. We get pissed off Ono getting his revenge and he looks great doing it, there is still too much Takeshi on the apron for my tastes. Still the match had some nice drama and Sekine showed some grit, and I no longer dread the Brahman's dragging down a card.

Makoto Hashi vs Manabu Suruga

I enjoyed this although it was the least of three big singles matches on the show. They do some nice grappling early, but everything is pretty much a preface to the end run which has two minutes of both guys just smashing their heads into each other ram style. It is pretty nasty stuff with Hashi splitting himself open. The final KO headbutt felt like a KO headbutt, weird finish, violent, but not the kind of back and forth story some of the other matches told.

Kengo Mashimo vs Takahiro Oba

Really good singles match, Mashimo continues to impress me. He is really great as a violent bully, and while Oba does some goofy things he has great charisma and for some reason his goofy shit doesn't bother me the way Sawa's shtick does. We had some solid grappling early with Mashimo really wrenching in some holds. Oba then tries his running windmill punches, and I like how Mashimo just steps to the side and blasts him with kicks, knocks him down, and then does this great asshole stroll around the ring. They also nicely work around Oba's airplane spin, as it gets countered early and then when he hits it, there is an actual dramatic double KO near fall off an airplane spin of all things. Finish was great with both guys throwing bombs and Oba earning Mashimo's respect before getting caught and finished.

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

FUTEN KILLER BEES, WE ON A SWARM- Futen 5/30/10

Max Lanicault got in 3 COUNT THEM 3 Futen shows and I got them all, bizarrely we only get one Ikeda match in the batch, but there is plenty other good looking stuff. Max is cheap so email him at

damian1488@hotmail.com

if you want it, and you want it.

Shoichi Uchida vs Kazuki Okubo

Pretty basic undercard singles match except with the stiffness dialed up to 11 Futen style. So slaps and kicks, with all the slaps and kicks landing with bad intentions. These shows are filmed in almost a Black Terry Jr. super close up handheld style which really accentuates the violence. Finish was really great with Uchida hitting almost an Oklahoma Stampede Northern Lights bomb, top rope dropkick to the next and then a crossface choke. Okubo fights to the ropes almost gets the break, before Uchida torques back on the neck for the tap. I really liked the way they teased a near fall, but ended up just ending the match.

Makoto Hashi vs Rui Hiugaji

I have never seen Hiugaji before (and he doesn't show up again) but he is a guy who knows he is in Futen. Just a disgusting violent match, they have some breathtakingly stiff and fast exchanges in this match. At one point Hiugaji rears back and lands an overhand right full force into Hashi's throat, another time Hashi hits a spinning back fist to the back of Hiugaji's head. Hashi was doing a lot of countering and absorbing, as Hiugaji would go on these flurries and Hashi would kick back in the pocket, block, dodge and counter. It was a really great Fujiwaraish/Bernard Hopkinish performance by Hashi. Hiugaji is so aggressive he ends up punching himself out and Hashi ends up sinking in the choke. Great match

Brahman Shu/Brahman Kei vs Tamon Honda/Hajime Moriyama

The Brahmans are ex-Toryuman and don't really feel like they belong in this fed, working a kind of generic juniors tag style. There was some nice scrambling between a Brahman and Moriyama early, but that was the only thing either Brahman did which impressed me. Honda is always great although there really wasn't enough of him. He works like kind of a monster as he dominates the action when we get to see him. The Brahman's win with a KO kick on Moriyama which was preposterously weak compared to most of the kicks in this fed. This is Futen son, if you are going to win with a kick, you had better win with a kick.

Mitsuya Nagai vs Taro Nohashi

A squash with Nagai working as Big John Studd. Nohashi tries to bodyslam him and fails, ect. Nothing to see here.

Takahiro Oba/Takeshi Ono vs Kengo Mashimo/Manabu Suruga

Tremendous match which may even be better then the great 2009 Futen tag. Right up there with PARK v. Mesias and the best IWRG matches from 2010. Mashimo and Surgura are bad asses in this laying in big time beatings on Oba and Ono who are both great at selling nasty shots, and are super charismatic fighting back. Ono is really well known for being a smirking douchebag, and it is shocking how great he is as a guy on an apron ralling his partner, or a guy taking a big beting. I really enjoyed Mashimo in this as he would exchange and then get sick of it, and just grab his opponent and hurl them to the side, he also laid in with some really thudding kicks. Some of the coolest selling of the year from Ono and Oba there are multiple moments of facial selling which I actually verbally marked out for. There is a great moment where Ono takes a German suplex into the turnbuckle and his eyes rolls up in his head and he slightly shakes, while trying to punch his legs to get feeling in them. Finish run is just Ono and Suruga in your traditional Ikeda v. Ishikawa role, where their partners clear out and they just go after each other, 15th round in Manilla style. Ono lands some of the best uppercuts I have ever seen in wrestling, and the finish is a fucking finish.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

It's Been a Minute So They Ask Dick Togo Where The Fire Went, Kitchen Clean But He Still Got The Pilot Lit

Dick Togo/Men's Teioh/ Shoichi Funaki/Shiryu v. Great Sasuke/ Gran Hamada/Gran Naniwa/ Masato Yakushiji MPRO 12/20/96-GREAT

One of the odder structured of this killer run of matches. Funaki comes in with a wrapped knee and the technicos go after it violently, making him a non entity early, eventually he gets taken to the back by his team mates. You don't usually see the rudo team gutting out a man down advantage, and the match isn't really worked any different because of that. The structural weirdness is the only thing keeping this out of the epic camp, as the actual work was amazing. We get big gobs of Togo v. Yakushiji and Togo v. Hamada which are two of the greatest match ups in history. Hamada hits the single greatest spinning DDT I have ever seen, and Yakushiji almost trumps him with an awesome swan dive Mysterio rana, of course Dick Togo is on the receiving end of both. Men't Teiho is throwing bombs too, splattering Naniwa with a rolling elbow and a Saito suplex, and Sasuke delivers another reckless Sabuish "dead by 30" performance. Finish is the traditional wild adrenaline ride, everyone of these matches is the car chase scene from To Live and Die In LA if it was in a ring in a high school gym in Northeast Japan.

Dick Togo/Yoji Anjo v. Tomohiro Ishii/Koichiro Kimura WJ 6/29/03-FUN

Really awesome looking match on paper, as the team of Togo and Anjo is a dream I didn't know I had. It didn't really live up to it's promise as it was more of an undercard tag with some nice moments, then a legendary match. Togo was wrestling more of a heavyweight style as the match was lots of clubbering elbows and such. Yoji was the standout as he was kicking folks in the throat and ended the match with an awesome running european uppercut. I might have to seek out more World Japan Togo/Anjo, I could see them against the SAT's being perversely entertaining.

Dick Togo v. Billy Ken Kid 2/11/10-EPIC

One of the best individual performances of Togo's career. I don't get much of a sense of BKK at all, he takes a beating, has a couple of nice highspots, but I get the sense you could grab a guy out of a CZW undercard juniors scramble, slot him in this match and it would have been as good. This was Togo's show, he violently demolishes his opponent early, strutting and smirking as he beats the piss out of the kid. It really reminded of the best of 2010 LA PARK, the way he made an extended one sided beating compelling. He takes a crazy modified Slaughter ringpost bump to put Ken on offense and takes about three other lunatic bumps at other points to transfer momentum. They build the interference spots nicely, so when BKK clears Togo's gang out you really get a sense of catharsis. Normally juniors matches with this many nearfalls lose me, but they built enough goodwill and drama with the first 20 minutes, that they earned the ending they had. Excellent match, one folks should check out if they haven't seen.

COMPLETE AND ACCURATE DICK TOGO

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

ROH TV Workrate Report: 1/17/11

Well this show will be off the air within the next few weeks or months, so even though I haven't been digging the most recent episodes anywhere near as much as the earlier ones with Necro matches, we might as well finish it out at this point.

1. Briscoes vs. The Elite (Ted McNaylor & Adam Revolver?) starts us off. I think one or both of these guys were in Ohio Valley at one point. Jay Briscoe always plows right into guys with his shoulderblocks which is a little thing I always appreciate. He also decapitates McNaylor with a boss lariat. AND the great STO into the turnbuckle that McNaylor flies into chin first. Man that looks nasty. OVW team is fairly inoffensive and served their purpose here, showcasing the Briscoes offense.

I wish I could to sceen caps because seriously, the slimy/sweaty Christopher Daniels Vs. photo is just awful, reminding me of Jon Hamm's Sergio character being birthed, but with less charisma.

2. Daizee Haze' abdomen is downright freaky. And we got her vs. MsChif now. I dig MsChif's back elbows while in a waistlock. Seems like those don't happen as often as they should for some reason. MsChif starts wrenching Haze' neck and leg, almost making Haze' heel touch her own head and it looks awesome. They work a headscissor sequence I assume for da ratings, but it likely won't affect the breakdown as there was enough screaming. MsChif uses her PBS-approved science smarts to block a rana, then stomps all over Haze. MsChif bumps a missle dropkick real nicely, but they go through a finisher reversal sequence afterwards that seems real sluggish. But they win my heart back when MsChif awesomely back elbows out of the heart punch and spikes Haze with some DDT type thing for the win. Haze took it great and I was shocked she lost here. BUT MSCHIF DISRESPECTS HER AFTER THE MATCH BY NOT FOLLOWING THE CODE!!! And then MISTS Haze!! Yeah! It makes me wistful for Virtual Pro Wrestling 2 where Muta had 5 different mist types you could use on your opponent as his finisher.

Hogewood puts over the mist GREAT by seeming genuinely pissed about it. "There is NO place in ROH for that! No place! She had already won the match!"

Oh sweet a Haas AND Benjamin interview!? They knew it was my birthday!! They're going after da BELTS! Briscoes interrupt and I always like Jay Briscoe promos. Dude always seems honest and doesn't try any "we were in a war brahs" kinda talk, just has fuckin crazy eyes and talks about beating peoples' asses. And I always believe he will. Those neck tattoos and crazy eyes say so. Then Benjamin loses me by fumbling through a sentence telling the Briscoes to pull their pants up so we can decide who the men are...I know some people think this guy was being held down and not pushed properly in WWE, but at this point everyone probably admits that WWE were right.

3. Hero vs. Daniels is our main event and Hero always makes locking on a cravate look nice. Hero looks great getting out of a wristlock by stepping down on the back of Daniels' knee and just kicking him in the head. Daniels' bald head makes the cravate look even better as you can see all these veins bulging as Hero tightens it up. Daniels is working over Hero's arm pretty well but it won't go anywhere because it's Hero's non-elbowing arm STUPID! Hero dumps him to the floor where Hagadorn gets in a cheap shot then hides behind Del Ray, allowing Hero to do a Fuerza bump yakuza kick which looked fucking awwwwesome.

Back in for a hammerlock/cravate, but Daniels fights out and gets a German suplex on Hero and MAN did Hero launch himself into it. Rolling elbow sends Daniels to the floor. Hero gets thrown into the guard rail but jumps up on it and launches back with a great elbow that Daniels plowed right into. Daniels comes back in the ring with some Suicidesque offense but Hero levels him with a rolling yakuza kick that shouldn't have worked but it totally did. Running powerbomb only gets two. Daniels locks on a really hard submission from a standing submission that is really hard to describe but looked awesome and totally plausible. Kind of a cravate but with a leg applying more pressure to the neck. Hero sells it great by slowly getting brought down to his knees and makes the ropes. Hagadorn gets knocked off the ropes and Hogewood is awesome here as he is clearly filled with glee that Hagadorn got what was coming to him. Hero uses this to BLAST Daniels with a great rolling elbow though but Daniels kicks out. Now we get the loaded elbow pad, but that allows Daniels to hit a uranage and actually NOT overshoot the BME for the win. I did not see that coming.

So now KOW have both lost their last singles matches...does this make them WEAKER or will their team be strong enough to beat a really shitty team like Titus/King!?!? My guess will be that Rhett Titus will not look good while wrestling.

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ROH TV Workrate Report: 1/10/11

So I watched the 1/3 episode of ROH TV, but it was about the least offensive but also least interesting episode I have seen and I just had no idea what to write about it. Here are my notes from the episode:

We start off the new year with:
~Eddie Edwards with tape on his shoulder but according to Prazak HE DOESN'T CARE because he's here to compete.
~Eddie and Briscoe do stuff like legbars and superkicks...
~The best part of Switzerland is that they don't have a bunch of Puerto Ricans with dumb names like Homicide! YES! Claudio is starting a fire!
~Grizzly Redwood is wearing jeggings
~Mondo amusingly gets into position for Grizzly's bulldog, and takes a tornado DDT at a cool angle.
~Haas & Benjamin vs. The Bravado Brothers happened
~Claudio vs. Homicide was fun

So that was the show. I don't think I could have written any more about it.

Soooooo let's just movie into the 1/10 episode

Opening package with Cornette and Silkin was awesome. They had all these still photos of Mike Bennett training and they talked about how no prospect had this much raw talent before, and how Brutal Bob Evans was an old vet who went nuts and had sketchy training methods, then showed awesome photos of Bob stretching dudes while making crazy faces. They should've had him stepping on a fake eyeball or something.

1. And we get to start with the debut of Mike Bennett, taking on Nick Dinsmore. Oh. They start with some headlock and wristlock sequences, including a nice wristlock into a kimura by Bennett. Bennett stomps right on Dinsmore's hair tuft and sometimes Dinsmore's faces look more retarded than when he was pretending to be a retarded guy. Wimpy shoulderblock by Nick and they run the ropes a bit. Bennett complains of a hair pull and hits a nice punch on Dinsmore. Dinsmore misses a charge and gets tangled up in the ropes real nicely, getting his ankle stuck, allowing Bennett to hit a decent spinebuster for the win. Not a bad debut, but the dude really does look like a slightly bigger version of a lot of other dudes.

Rhett Titus and Kenny King are the next challengers for the KOW, and Titus is just awful on the stick. "This is serious business!" Claudio looks fucking awesome, with his button up and scarf. Dude can rock a scarf and latte. Hero awesomely puts Titus in his place and Titus is just impossible to get behind here, with his Edge looks and his jeans with back-pocket flaps.

2. Adam Cole & Kyle O'Reilly talk about how ROH is innovative, and they will work at being more innovative in the ring, which clearly means they will have the shittiest and most awful matches possible. Tonight they face Mike Posey and Corey Hollins (?). Some armdrags to start and Hollis rocks O'Reilly with a nice forearm and shakes his whole arm out afterwards, like when you would take a pitch funny and the bat would make your hands and forearms hurt. Posey and Hawliss do a bunch of moves where the bumps they take after doing the moves look a lot more painful than the moves they were doing to their opponent. Kyle O'Riley looks like Will Sheff from Okkervil River and thank god he answered my prayers for another guy working with kickpads and doing kick sequences. They do some topes and then finish with a double team chestbreaker into a backstabber. I am really excited to see KOW destroy these guys at some point.

Daniels vs. Hero is gonna happen at some point, and the still photo of Daniels when they did the rundown screen was just awful. He was all grimacy and sweaty and slimy, like he had just been birthed. He really needs to drop the eyeliner. It looks just awful. He looks like a boring version of Kizarny at this point.

3. Colt Cabana vs. Roderick Strong (in a non-title match) is our main. I always get a kick out of Colt's rolling and tumbling matwork and they start with that. It's showy, but he always does things like bend wrists awkwardly or squeeze heads in headscissors to at least give it some worth. Colt lands some nice forearms and Roddy is getting really skinny. He still throws nice elbows though and I think I like Roderick Strong more than most people. I really cannot stand Truth Martini. I really really hate his hair, like a lot. It looks like one of Tyra's really bad weaves. Cabana fights out of a bodyscissors in a cool way but Strong dropkicks him in the face.

It gets a little chinlocky but Strong at least makes it look like his forearm is pressing down on Colt's throat. Strong misses a jump to nothing off the middle rope. Colt does a fun tornado vertical suplex and gets some 2 counts. Strong hits a bunch of elbow variations and then a sideslam. Colt drops Strong stomach first on the turnbuckle in a real painful way, but it doesn't matter much since Strong just kinda pops up and hits some nice superkicks, then his running kick to finish. Fun match.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

UWC Toys For Tots '10 Workrate Report

I'm not Johnny Mantel. If you give me a free DVD and ask for my advice, I will provide consultation to your entire promotion for FREE, homeboy. The United Wrestling Coalition has, through unlikely circumstances, become my pet no-budget indy fed. This was their big year-end show to raise money for Toys For Tots, and was apparently an astounding success in that regard. As far as being a good show goes...well, that's why we do this thing.

WHAT WORKED:

-Peter Cross made a really good showing for himself in the first match. I liked his promo a lot. He was tag partners with a masked guy named Shizo, who turned on him a few months back with a vengeance to join his masked brethren in The Secret Society. Unfortunately, he hasn't shown since then. Fortunately, this was the first show where they've really tried to take advantage of the YouTube/DVD format by running a lot of backstage interview segments to hype up matches. So this really felt like Cross was getting some good mileage out of Shizo's inability to make the shows regularly. Up to now, I just thought of Shizo not being at shows as...well...Shizo not being at shows. Now it's an effective part the angle. Cross is pissed that Shizo not only turned on him, but now isn't even man enough to face him, and you get psyched up again to see the eventual Cross vs. Shizo match that you were kinda starting to forget about. Mighty Mo's promo was good, too. Got a few laughs his interactions with Shizo's stand-in, CHIKARA trainee who has yet to actually debut for CHIKARA, Mori Guana. Speaking of Guana, this was a great match, but definitely a step down from last month's tag that I put up here, and it was pretty much down to him. Everyone else looked sharp, especially the faces, with the Unholies laying a beatdown on people and Cross being a strong FIP, and later breaking out a big enzuigiri that may have been the spot of the night. Guana ate stuff well and took his beating - including some nasty chops from The Ripper and a brutal headbutt from Lassiter - like a man, but everything else he did looked like...well, it looked like the first match of a CHIKARA trainee. That frog splah he won with may have been the shittiest frog splash I've ever seen. But everyone else delivered. Oh, and not that I'm really touchy about it myself, but now the The Unholy Alliance are faces, they might want to get that swastika off of Lassiter's forehead. I know it's supposed to be a Manson swastika rather than a Hitler swastika, but still. Although, it did make for an amusing moment in the pre-match interview when Ripper made a Mexican joke, and the guy with the swastika on his head had a "dude, not cool" response.

-Joe Rules fought his wife Taylor Rules in a lumberjack match that was 100% shtick, and that is EXACTLY what that match needed to be given that Joe is the lesser worker, and Taylor ain't exactly Jaguar Yokota. It probably went a little too long, Taylor driving off Devastation LLC by herself near the end wasn't the best idea, and the actual offense was about what you'd expect (read: really bad), but the comedy antics were good, and the lumberjack gimmick - which can be tough to pull off in a meaningful way - was used really well here. They did what they needed to do with this match.

-The 500 lbs. Legion smacks some army men around to demonstrate what he's going to do to Sgt. Slaughter expy Warhead. Then he cuts a promo, and only now do I realize that Legion's gimmick is that he is the actual Biblical Legion. That is a really great gimmick for a fat guy. Unfortunately, the match itself goes below.

-Newly crowned tag champs Blackhearted Justice defended against The Big Unit, a somewhat unlikely tandem of casually-dressed psuedo-intellectual "Textbook" Philly Madison and Ken Patera impersonator Dave Patera. BHJ are a team that have shown me varying degrees of potential in the past, but this was excellent, and definitely the best performance I've seen from them yet. My favorite spot from their two matches against former champs CB4 was Blackheart's belly-to-belly on his larger opponents, and was a little concerned they weren't going to look as good without a big guy to throw. Not the case, as Blackheart got to toss Patera around a lot more and looked good doing it, and in general, they both came off as total pros. They are also crazy over right now, and in a company that doesn't have a lot of main event-level heel singles acts, I feel like they might be able to get away with these guys doing tag title defenses in the main event while Geoffrey Bravo or someone like that gets built up. Big Unit were good foils here, though Madison sometimes comes off like he's trying too hard with his gimmick.

-The Battle Royale and the Title match - the two DVD exclusive parts of the show - were surrounded by some really strong promo work. One of the things I've come to like about Twiggy is that he is great as the local hero at the end of each show talking the crowd into coming to the next one, and Biggie looks really comfortable taking on that role. I'm also a sucker for guys fresh off of a face turn cutting promos where they're actively repentant for past heelishness, so he gave me that, too. Silly Billy and Rudo the Heel making further use of the army men went over very well with me. Billy works a retard gimmick, but plays it as more "childlike" than "retarded", and I think it's a fine performance choice, and Rudo the Heel (who is a face, naturally) probably makes better use of the "white guy pretending to be Mexican" gimmick than El Generico. Joe Rules was great on the stick all night. But the real winner here was Tom Carter. I loved the whole idea that he was trying to "channel" Reckless Youth, but just couldn't make it happen, and his post-match promo was solid gold. In 2011, Raven is still an angry young grunge rocker. He's still a "reckless youth", and it's completely fucking ridiculous. But Carter gets on the mic and says "I'm a 38 year old man with three kids and two mortgages", and it makes me stand up and take notice.

WHAT DIDN'T WORK:

-For the second show in a row, Legion - who can be quite awful - actually did OK for himself in the ring. He throws some good clotheslines and clubbering blows, and it does look impressive when he's toppled over. Unfortunately, this still wasn't a good match. Warhead - who is the promoter of this fed, by the way - looked a lot better eating offense on the last show than he did dishing it out here, and really, cutting a promo where you say "I don't care about your belt" and then beating the champ clean in a non-title match is just shitty.

-I really hate to say this about a DVD that someone sent me for free because they respect my opinions on the pro wrestling, but the battle royale and the UWC Title match - the two DVD exclusive parts of the show - were a disappointment. Neither were terrible, but I couldn't really recommend the DVD to anyone on the strength of those matches. The battle royale started strong with Geoffrey Bravo and Peter Cross - two of the better working guys on the roster - opening up the Royal Rumble-style match, but as more guys entered without any eliminations and the ring started to really fill up, it started to get kinda meandering and dull. Silly Billy and Rudo the Heel - collectively the Short Bus Express - did provide some good comedy antics. Billy's various hats and Rudo going onto the apron expecting to be tagged in were pretty amusing. Also, Billy was crazy over with the audience, and felt like the right guy to win this. But the bulk of the match wasn't terribly interesting.

-Main event was a No DQ three-way with Twiggy Ramirez defending against Biggie Biggs and a back for one night only Reckless Youth. And well, UWC is a family friendly promotion that doesn't do blood or even big foreign object shots, so one kind of wonders how they're going to work a No DQ match. The answer: poorly. And that's a real shame, because I got the sense that without that stip, this would have gone topside. Reckless' "Bently-riding jet-setter who forgot his roots" gimmick was really fun at first, but by now, he kinda comes off as a guy trying too hard to play that role (although his post-match promo definitely redeemed him). But when the bell rings, he's good old Reckless Youth again, and you probably wouldn't notice he's a guy who's been out of commission for the last seven years. I've talked about how much I liked the previous Twiggy/Biggie encounters, and they bring the goods to this match, too (though the porcine Biggie does struggle to take a Reckless Youth monkey flip). But any good the guys in the match did was overwhelmed by the Russo-level overbooking. If you can't bleed, and you can't do big weapon spots, how do you use a No DQ stip? With endless run-ins, apparently. The Twiggy/Biggie/Reckless feud was hot enough to draw a crowd that was pretty damn big for this fed's standards, but they still didn't have enough faith in it to let Twiggy, Biggie, and Reckless handle it themselves, and I think that was a big mistake that pushed what was shaping up to be a quality match into the background. And considering the match wasn't that long, it really didn't even get that far out of the starting gate before run-inpalooza get underway, basically taking the actual competitors out of the second act altogether. It's just frustrating, and while I'm not much of a three-way fan in general, this is one that at least had potential before the mountain of booking collapsed on top of it, and that stinks. So given that the two DVD exclusive parts of the show didn't live up to expectations, and the tag title match, for some reason, had no sound on the DVD version, I just can't recommend this. It's obvious now that UWC trying to go DVD was definitely jumping the gun, a fact that they seem to realize as well. It was a noble experiment, but hopefully they learned a lesson about not putting the cart before the horse from it.


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Sunday, January 16, 2011

ROH TV Workrate Report: 12/20/10

Holiday Gauntlet!!!!! This could be really fun. $10,000 is on the line, baby! 16 names are entered, 8 will be drawn!!

1. Jay Briscoe vs. Steve Corino starts us off and this is about as good a way to start it off as I can think of and they start with about a million shoulderblocks that hit hard and look great. Corino hits a running chop into the corner and Briscoe no sells and Corino begs off and we are fully into this. Corino just plants Jay with a great STO, then locks on an abdominal stretch and I'm pretty sure he tried to thumb Jay's asshole and Jay was like "Nuh Uh" and then Jay reverses and tries to do the same to Corino and Todd Sinclair tells them to knock off the assplay. Jay goes on a run of offense including a nice big boot, Corino goes for a lariat and gets it blocked, then gets rolled up. Would've liked more out of this, but this is a gauntlet so you kinda know each match is gonna go 5-6 minutes.

2. Now we got Briscoe vs. Christopher Daniels which is infinitely less interesting. Daniels is like an old luchador where the older he gets, the higher the tights get. He's like Villano III now with a more hygienic forehead, but really really boring. Briscoe hits a nice rana but Daniels takes over with a chest breaker. He keeps holding Jay down and Briscoe transitions back to control with a superkick! Jay goes on a run of nice looking offense with a big lariat and a death valley driver, then hits a real cool STO into the turnbuckles but only gets two. Then Daniels just kinda gets the Angels Wings for the win. Lame. This is headed on a collision course for Davey vs. Daniels which sounds like the worst possible match up.

3. Rhett Titus vs. Daniels is next and they are losing me fast. Daniels is awesome selling Titus' music "Aw fuck!" he says, completely concerned about his chances. He sold it like the Undertaker was coming out, which is great so Daniels deserves some credit for that. Titus is a lot like Edge in that he looks like Edge facially, and has a whole different set of problematic offense. Both these guys are real bland to me, but they both try and masquerade as being interesting by doing overdone "whoooaaaa" facials. Rhett does a backrake to try and win me over, but for all the trying to be over-the-top, he just comes off so vanilla. Boring dropkicks and weak powerslam and rote heeling. And Daniels himself knows a thing or two about mechanically going through the motions. He wins with the Best Moonsault Ever which he still overshoots after all these years. Dominos realized it's pizza was shitty and changed it. What will it take to get Daniels to move his opponent 6" farther from the corner?

4. Oh fuck me we get Davey Richards vs. Daniels. Good lord. Davey comes out and he looks super pensive, not intense in the least. I know a thing about being pensive and this guy is pensive. We start with a super shitty shoulderblock and Davey howls afterwards. Oh jeez. Daniels and Davey are having a "Who can do a shittier side headlock" contest. Davey hits a ridiculous handspring enziguiri that Daniels deserves some credit for not making look incredibly retarded. This is a whole bunch of "fast action" with no real rhyme or reason, with tons of reversals that don't mean too much, just there to have a bunch of back-and-forth. Of course Davey wins this.

Todd Sinclair is STILL working every match of the gauntlet and he is starting to look like Chris Farley when he would do a bunch of cartwheels and his face would get all red and you would be like "Oh man he might die" and then he did.

5. Davey is probably going to go all the way through this now, isn't he. Good grief. Davey vs. Claudio is up and next and Davey starts with a nice tope and a missile dropkick, Claudio kicks out and gets a nice clothesline. He gets a rad press slam on Davey, followed with a gut wrench suplex and a big powerslam. Davey is already selling every fucking move like he's breathing his last breath, making those shitty John McClane faces that make way more sense when you have to walk barefoot over glass and you're trying to spend the holidays with your deteriorating family. It also makes it look beyond stupid whenever he sells death, then pops up to get a superplex, or sells death only to do a handspring enziguiri. Just using....eveeerrrry.....last breath....to struggle....to..your feet.....only to bouncy bounce handspring off the ropes wheeeee!!! Was the result ever in doubt?

6. Chris Hero vs. Davey could be alright, right? I love Hero, so fingers crossed. Hero starts with some awesome yakuza kicks but it doesn't matter because Davey is still alternating between deathbed impaled on a stake selling, and running-and-bouncing. The Davey kickouts get ridiculous the longer this goes on, as Hero nails every possible cool elbow smash and Davey keeps laughably and goofily fighting back, making tons of angry faces and is just impossible to take seriously. I get suckered in as I think the rolling elbow into the corner followed by a sitout powerbomb might win it for Hero, but of course it doesn't as Davey throws some more 2.9s into the match (I hope we get more next match!!!!) and wins with an inside cradle.

7. BUT Hero had loaded his elbow pad and blasts Davey in the back of the head with an elbow, so Davey does all this hilarious concussion selling that is not quite as good as Matt Mitrione's and pretty much just means bugged out eyes and thousand yard stares with an open mouth. Roderick Strong vs. Davey is our last match and we get a few silly Davey conquers all odds with overblown offense (I know if I had no strength and was seeing double and was near death, I would do a flapjack into a kick and try to lock on a ankle lock). Roddy chops the shit out of him and does a nice fireman's carry gutbuster and gets the running flying kick to finish.

I really don't mind guys coming back from unbeatable odds and using every last ounce of strength angles, but Davey was doing that from the Daniels match on through the whole show and it was just way too silly by the end. I really don't even mind superman characters, as I can get behind John Cena's selling. Davey just comes off too desperate at times, not in a "desperation move" kind of way, but a "I wish people liked me" kind of way. There were many many moments where the crowd could not be bothered to care during this gauntlet, but Davey seems so set in his ways during his matches that he can't respond to genuine emotion from fans. Sometimes fans want someone to fight the odds, sometimes they don't. They only decent responses were when he was playing off a legit good heel like Hero, and even then the reactions seemed to be entirely due to Hero.

I just got less and less interested in this show the longer it went on. Individual spots worked for me, but the overarching story didn't interest me since it was made painfully obvious what was going to happen - which is not necessarily a bad thing - just poorly done with the main man Davey involved.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

APW TV Workrate Report: 12/18/10

1. "The Russian Wolf" Alexis Derevko vs. Dylan Drake starts us off and I had NO idea APW had a Russian hammer n' sickle worker!! YES!! He's fat and carries a chain and I am fully invested in this. Alexis has nice punches and throws a solid missed clothesline, really making Drake duck. Drake starts picking apart the Russian's knee and it's kinda weird to see a face taking the knee apart of the heel, since that would likely mean the evil Russian is going to comeback against adversity, fighting against all odds. That being said Derevko sells a knee really nicely. Derevko also does a lot of cool stuff like shake out his fist and this guy is awesome. Buuuuut...

Derevko goes for a side Russian leg sweep (duh) and Drake holds onto the ropes to block it. Sanders wins with a sharpshooter.

Derek Sanders is in the ring scolding his African American charge again. Scolding. The black guy (Will Rood) makes frowny sad faces but his BOSS Derek makes some good points. Rood was brought in to take out Dylan Drake and he didn't do his job. When I was using Yahoo Internet Messenger at work and my boss found out, I got told that I can't do that anymore or I'll get reprimanded. Made sense to me. It was distracting me from work, I wasn't being paid to IM with friends. Derek brought Rood in to do a specific job. He hired him to do ONE task...and Rood didn't do it. How is Sanders the bad guy here? Rood is very bland and has a very slight build, so maybe Derek learned his lesson and will hire someone more dynamic and imposing next time. Is Derek being a dick? Probably, but he hired Rood to do ONE TASK and he failed. Who can get behind Rood in this situation? All I know about him is that he can't do the work he was hired to do. I don't know if he nailed the employee interview or what, but he got the job and now is all frowny because he's being told he didn't do the job.

When I was 10 and would spend summer vacations sitting around the house, swimming, and playing video games, my mom would be furious if she came home and found that I didn't do some of the chores she had given me. And that happened. There were some days where playing Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past seemed waaaay more fun than weeding the front flower beds. And then I would get in trouble when she got home. And I deserved it. I knew I had fucked around all day, so of course I deserved punishment. Derek Sanders hasn't even HIT Will Rood yet, and within the confines of professional wrestling, if you hire someone to do a task and they go 0 for 1 in accomplishing that task, you should be allowed to hit that guy. My mom would smack me, shoot, sometimes throw her shoe at me. And I deserved it. Smacking someone makes even MORE sense within a pro wrestling context. I hope Derek at least gets some money back or something, or some grant from the government for taking pity and hiring an ineffective worker.

They do a really weird music video hyping up Jody Kristofferson vs. Derek Sanders that goes on for like 7 minutes, and it's basically slo motion clips of their previous match, interspersed with shots of cutscenes from a helicopter video game. This all went way over my head. This was horrible. They showed practically the whole match, and then would just cut to shots of choppers blowing up villages. I have no idea what they were going for with this. I don't think I'm doing a very good job explaining why this was terrible. Slo mo wrestling match ---> video game helicopters ---> wrestling ---> helicopters. For like 6 minutes.

2. Derek Sanders vs. Jody Kristofferson FOR THE TITLE is our main, and Sanders is stalling like crazy. Sanders takes regular breathers on the floor, and I really would have liked to see some Call of Duty cutscenes during some of these breathers. This goes on for awhile, until Sanders rolls in and gets nailed by the spear from Kristofferson, but then Rood attempts to redeem himself by distracting Jody from the apron. Sanders recovers and runs Jody into Rood, then rolls him up for the win. So Rood at least served as some sort of purpose so that Sanders could get a return on his investment. I guess they want me to really get behind Rood but shit man. The economy is rough. There has to be dozens of unemployed people that would want his job. "So all I gotta do is interfere for you and maybe throw some guy out of a battle royal now and again? Yeah, sure. I also have experience in plumbing, some septic, took a welding class at the JC...but if you just need me to run distractions for you, sure..."

And they see this guy on TV, regularly fucking up, and his boss naturally getting pissed. Rood is eventually gonna snap back and vanquish his evil boss, but fuck that man. Running your own business is tough. Sanders hires one fucking guy to help with his business, and it's clearly giving him more headaches than if he would've just hired nobody. He constantly has to be on his ass and if that's the case it would likely be easier to do the job himself. He gave Rood a chance, shoot numerous chances, and he's not really seeing a return on his investment. Now if Rood starts just annihilating people and really making sure that Boss's belt is gonna be around that waist for a while, and THEN Sanders starts yelling at him...well hey, that's how shit works out sometimes. Do your fucking job Rood, and stop bitching about it.

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Sunday, January 02, 2011

Flesh and Blood Needs Flesh and Blood and Black Terry is What We Need

Black Terry/Negro Navarro/Mascara Ano Dos Mil Jr. v. Ultimo Dragon/Ultraman/Solar 1/1/11-FUN

Happy New Year, and watching Solar and Negro Navarro do the thing they do. That match up is always going to be worth watching, although this was more of a greatest hits collection, then anything super new. I did really like how they worked in and out of a tapitia, and the rolling hammerlock is one of my favorite wrestling moves ever. The match didn't really have any stand out stuff outside of Solar v. Navarro though. 2010 Ultraman doesn't bring a ton to the table outside of his awesome punch combos, and we got no punch combos. Terry looks good although he is matched up with Ultraman and Dragon, and there is a limit to what he can do with them. We do get a Ultimo v. Terry mat section which was fun, although very similar to Terry working a mat section with a trainee and Ultimo has been wrestling for years.


COMPLETE AND ACCURATE BLACK TERRY

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