Segunda Caida

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

Monday, February 28, 2011

Dick Togo is Up and Down With The Price, The Corner's Playing Pogo

Dick Togo v. Gangrel WWF 9/6/98-FUN

Short semi competitive squash, but a nifty one. Togo gets a couple of moves early including a nice spin kick, but the Gangrel takes over, and just chucks Togo around the ring with suplexes. I had no memory of the period where Gangrel worked as Taz, but he was a fun Taz and Togo is an awesome Pablo Marquez.

Dick Togo v. Rui Hiugaji MPRO 12/16/10-EPIC

Another excellent 2010 Togo singles match, and one worked dramatically different from either the Billy Ken Kid or Hikaru Sato matches. This really reminded me of a 80's Lawler v. Austin Idol match. The first part of the match is all about Hugaji trying to stall and avoid a punch and Togo finally landing it. Then Hiugaji takes him to the floor and busts him up with a chair shot, and then works a really simple effective beatdown based around opening up a cut. Hiugaji doesn't do anything flashy, but he is a nasty fucker, and his bumping when Togo punches his way to a comeback is great. They also exchange some really solid haymakers. Togo has been unleashing a great superkick lately and he obliterates Hiugaji with one here, and I loved the rolling around for the crossface finish. No Togo dive (outside of a flip off the apron) and no big senton, this was a match built on selling and timing not athleticism. It's a match Togo could work into his 60's, so Dick, if you are reading this, no need to retire.



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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Aero Dynamic, Roof Panoramic, My Credit Score let Dick Togo Take Full Advantage

Dick Togo v. Masato Yakushiji MPRO 3/1/97-FUN

This is one of my favorite match ups in any MPRO trios match, but it doesn't deliver at that level as a singles match. Part of it was just expectations, Yakushiji hits some ranas and headscissors really fast, but not at the 4x FF level you will see in other matches. There is also one really blown spot, which is kind of strange because these two usually have their stuff down so well. Plenty to like, Togo hits a great looking Buzz Sawyer x2 powerslam, and the finishing Senton looks great, but this wasn't transcendent like I was hoping for.

Dick Togo v. Hikaru Sato DDT 11/28/10-EPIC

Just a tremendous match the best Togo singles I have seen so far and one of the best matches of 2010. Sato isn't someone I have thought much of in the past. The cat maid cosplay is everything that grosses me out about Japan, and here is rocking a nasty herp on his lip which doesn't help me get comfortable. He is however, a guy who will deliver enough violent offense to really put Togo in danger. The work on the leg was really nasty including some very nasty kicks to the kneecap and thigh. He also wasn't afraid to loosen fillings with punches and slaps. I liked a lot of the early scrambling for holds, with Togo pulling out some really Fujiwarish counters into crossfaces, and Sato putting in some nice submission attempts too. The finish of this match really brings it over the top. Sato rolls into a super nasty looking figure four ankle lock, and Togo does a great job of desperately going to the rope. Then Dick hits this amazing desperation one leg super kick, flips Sato to the floor, pedigrees him on said floor, and then lands a rolling senton which is one of the prettiest highspots you will ever see. Just breathtaking, leading into in ring pedigree and Senton. Spectacular final run, capping off a classic match. If you ever liked a Dick Togo match, you will dig the fuck out of this.



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Saturday, February 26, 2011

APW TV Workrate Report: 1/15/11

Got a few episode of APW clogging up my DVR, so I figured I would get back in the swing of things.

We start with a brief shot of Jeckels THE JESTER lying UNCONSCIOUS in the parking lot!!

1. Alexis Derevko/Sheik Khan Abadi (America's Most Hated) vs. The Suburban Commandos (T-Rent and D-Unit). Derevko is an awesome fat Russian worker with nice punches and solid work, Abadi is a skinny greasy A-RAB with awesome 1992 Pauly Shore hair, and Commandos I have never seen but they're two fat guys with neon yellow clothing and manicured beards and this is not looking too bad at all.

But we cut away to see Jeckels lying unconscious in the parking lot again!! And then the camera turns away for a bit....and when it comes back......JECKELS IS GONE!!! He was RIGHT THERE, and he VANISHED!! There were numerous witnesses, and nobody could explain a thing!! He's just gone!!! Oh man, where is this going!?!? Odds are, WWE saw his recent work, and while the camera cut away John Laurinaitis swooped in and booked him right into Wrestlemania. Or maybe he's going to be the mystery 2/21/11 wrestler....STAY TUNED!!!!

Match is back on and Abadi gets chucked hard by a Commando and the announcers are talking about Jeckels disappearing and comparing it to an episode of Lost. Oh, jeez. Abadi blows a rana and T-Rent points at his head because he outsmarted Abadi. I love head pointing in wrestling. And now D-Unit press slams Abadi into T-Rent's knee and the Commandos are awesome. Double wheelbarrow suplex! Abadi is good at being ragdolled by these two fat dudes so he should stick to that and cut out the whole "trying offense" thing. But Abadi does a goofily fun double rotation headscissors that T-Rent bumps huge for and rolls to the floor, and Abadi follows with a dive through the corner, banging his own hip on the ring post as he goes out!! Then instantly rolls into the ring and hits a somersault tope on the other Commando and this is fucking awesome!!

Abadi and Derevko start picking apart D-Unit and Derevko throws a nice fat elbowdrop and they begin working over Unit's knee. Leg drop off the top onto D-Unit's knee and Abadi hooks a cool Regal Stretch and then just boots D-Unit in the face. Abadi foolishly tries to sunset flip a man 100 lb. larger than he, and Unit pulls him to his fett, throws him in the air and hits a diamond cutter in one fluid move. Hot tag to T-Rent and Derevko bumps all around for him. Abadi hits a dropkick to allow AMH to take back control, and Derevko puts T-Rent in a tree of woe, allowing Abadi to hit an awesome crossbody to his trapped opponent. Tag team miscommunication allows the Commandos to take control, and the throw Abadi over the length of the ring with a huge hip toss, and the Commandos finish it with a big powerbomb/neckbreaker combo. This was a real fun 12 minute match and one of the better APW matches I've seen since starting these reports. Derevko is a real good big guy and Abadi can bump and take a great beating. Commandos are big and fat and some times they can get a little indie-offensey, but at their heart they're fat asskickers and who can't love that!?

Post-match Derevko and Abadi break up, even though I had never seen them team before. Derevko chokes him out with his chain while kicking referees in the head, then drags him to the entrance stage, and throws Abadi from the stage to the ringpost and wraps him around it. Awesome.

Jeckels mysteriously disappeared earlier, so now our 6 man tag for the evening is a handicap match, leaving Mr. Wrestling IV and Vennis DeMarco without a partner.

2. Blackwell, Corvus, and OMEGA vs. Mr. Wrestling IV/Vennis DeMarco is the main event and I am loving Blackwell making TV every week. OMEGA and 4 startwith 4 working some misdirection, giving a butt butt on the apron to Blackwell, then dodging a corner charge from OMEGA (with OMEGA taking a big bump over the top to the floor). Corvus in with Vennis, and Vennis throws some capable if not silly overhand rights. 4 is really good at working pinfalls, always hooking the leg and bridging into it with his legs for more leverage. Blackwell in and looks nasty choking out Vennis in the corner. Corvus in with some nice kicks and tags Blackwell back in and he shows the world exactly how people that are super fat should throw an elbow drop. Shit those were a couple nice elbow drops. He also makes Vennis' back elbow look great by running face first into it. Blackwell wrecks both 4 and Vennis' shoulders with stiff shoulderblocks, then just PLANTS Vennis with an over-the-shoulder sit out piledriver that gets replayed numerous times and earns it (for the record Vennis looked totally protected, but the move looked nasty and Vennis sold it awesome by stiffening up his body).

Double superkick by Corvus and OMEGA on 4 and Corvus works a cravate. Corvus with an enziguiri but the Jeckels runs in...and he turns on his partners and hits the (sigh) Jokeslam. The goth stable turns on Matthew Theall (Blackwell's Cornette-aping manager) who doesn't really know how to bump. OMEGA hits a nice knee drop off the top. The crowd is in "stunned silence" and sitting with their arms folded.

Good show this week. Opening tag was real fun and the main was decent until the run-in and heel turn. Jeckels might actually work out better as a heel since his tard clapping and awful facials were really unbearable as a babyface. He'll still make awful faces, but this should be a change for the better.


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Friday, February 25, 2011

ROH TV Workrate Report: 2/14/11

So I really didn't get too much out of the 2/7 episode. Usually I come away with a ridiculously long page of notes, and here were my notes from 2/7:

~Highlight package of last week's main event and Hogewood is still putting over Eddie Edwards ankle injury that never happened last week, even pointing out the ankles-first moonsault on the guardrail
~Christopher Daniels
~Mike Bennett vs. Grizzly Redwood is up and my girlfriend loves Grizzly's jeggings and suspenders look. She wishes he would go the next logical step: joveralls. Bennett throws himself into a turnbuckle super fast, making Grizzly's rana look more devastating than it would have.
~KOW/All Night Express vs. Briscoes/WGTT
~Match goes 20 minutes and I don't remember anything about it. Guys broke up pins
~Rachel was confused by the All Night Express name, since "All Night" sounds really long, but "Express" implies quick in, quick out. It's like jumbo shrimp. Or Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding Jr.

That was it. So I just threw my notes into the 2/14 Valentine's Day Edition, smack dab in the middle of the death march. What will await us at the end? Another camp? Trains? More marching? More Christopher Daniels title defenses? *Sigh* All prospects look grim.

We get a recap of the 8 man tag match last week, filled with people pulling others off others for the pin and miscommunications and Shelton Benjamin looking like a not-very-great pro wrestler.

Top Prospect Tournament actually gets me excited. It will be nice to get some fresh talent working match-ups that I haven't seen. Is Bobby Dempsey any good? He's fat, so that's a start. Future Legend Adam Cole is in it. A black guy who is just as tiny as Grizzly Redwood and is named John Grisham? Did I hear that right? An indie John Grisham. I can hear Prazak yelling "He hits the Runaway Jury" after John hits a facewash. His backcracker or roll the dice can be The Rainmaker. Every one of his matches can be basically the exact same thing and they will be enjoyed by millions of middle age women nationwide.

I tried looking up Grizzly Redwood on wikipedia just to see what they hilariously exaggerate his height/weight as, and is he really 38 years old? That can't be right...And would make the jeggings more inexcusable.

1. Mark Briscoe vs. Homicide is our first match, and Homicide has been pretty crummy this year (sans the Necro match that was alllll about Necro dying and sadly never coming back). It's like Homicide started off his 2010 getting stuck upside down in a giant mousetrap and the next 14 months just haven't been good for him. They start with a pretty decent punch exchange and it ends with Mark doing his karate uppercuts which don't look as good as Kane's, but Mark makes funnier faces while doing them. Homicide rolls to the floor and Mark his a nice somersault plancha. They meet in the middle of the ring in some sort of odd pancake or back drop or lock up or something that doesn't actually happen, time just kinda sorta stands still for a we rope run!! Homicide will always boot you right in the side of the head on a facewash and he really plants that boot in Mark's ear. Mark catches him up top with some meh forearms and Homicide AWESOMELY just grabs and tears at Mark's nose to get him down.

Homicide hits a really fast somersault tope through the ropes, and back in Mark Briscoe flies 3 feet past Homicide with a sunset flip off the top, but Homicide is a bro and scoots back 3 feet to help Mark out. A powerbomb and a couple suplexes don't faze Homicide as he just stands up and hits an Ace Crusher. Hogewood points out how the match has been 50/50 the whole time which is certainly true since this is the definition of "I just did a move, now it's your turn, ooooooo me again!!" Mark returns Homicide's earlier sunset flip generosity by hooking Homicide's arms as Homicide is trying to hook him for the Cop Killa. Briscoe does some stuff and Homicide kicks out! Homicide does stuff and Briscoe kicks out! But then Homicide does a really big version of an earlier move for the win! This wasn't bad, but both guys went back and forth between looking good and looking really not good, sometimes within the same minute.


2. Kyle O'Reilly vs. John Grisham. Grisham is making his ROH debut. Grisham looks a lot like a super tiny Jay Lethal and jumps REAL high to start. They do some perfectly fine indie rope running and arm drag sequence (spoiler alert, they both threw a dropkick at the same time and then faced off!!!), and Grisham goes for a Lady in the Lake spot (The Street Lawyer) but O'Reilly kicks his legs and we go into a chop exchange. Grisham throws a really decent right chop, but gets flashy and thinks he's a switch chopper and jeez did his lefty chops look bad. O'Reilly's chest at least gets all red from them, but Kyle comes back with kicks (learned from Davey Richards!!). Sometimes O'Reilly seems like he's moving in slow motion through all of his spots. Grisham hits a cool hip toss into a kick, knocking Kyle to his knees, and then delivers a nasty standing spin kick right to still-kneeling Kyle's jaw (A Time to Kill!!!). Ouch. O'Reilly does a awkward sell on an enziguiri that probably sounded better on paper and dumps Grisham with a suplex. Grisham really throws himself into O'Reillys dragon screw leg whips and O'Reilly transitions into really shitty MMA offense that looks like he was making fun of people who compare MMA and pro wrestling. He threw some really bad palm strikes from mount, then rolled into a triangle and delivered some really listless elbows from triangle for the tap. Boy. A lot of people shouldn't do MMA offense. All said and done, fun match and Grisham had some fun ways of transitioning into stuff. I look forward to seeing him more.

**Phille Shneyeder informed me after the match that his name is John Gresham. Not Grisham. I'm not going back and removing any of the shitty jokes.

Homicide storms the ring sounding more drunk than "loco". He wants to be "campion" again. ROH screwed him because he lost his belt to some fatty from Japon and never got a rematch! (wasn't that like just a couple of months before TNA pulled him or something?). Roddy comes out and oohhhhh brother. "When you were in that company down in Orlando..." Man that sounds dumb. Strong wants an apology and Homicide acts like he's going to apologize but then swerves us by punching Strong! With a punch that looked really awful in HD! When you do the "look we're just talking right now and everything is totally cool and *PUNCH*" spot, you gotta really make that punch count. You gotta Dick Murdoch-punching-Ted Dibiase that shit. Homicide whiffed so badly on this punch it was like he was aiming over a foot behind Roddy's head.

That's how the show ends. I think it was supposed to be really wild and violent, but Homicide just threw less-than-stellar punches and took Roderick Strong's pants off. Yup.

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

JAPW 13th Anniversary Night One 12/10/10

JAPW put on two pretty big shows back to back in December, and the DVD's are out. JAPW anniversary shows tend to be good shit, so I have been looking forward to these

Devon Moore v. Jon Moxley

This kind of workrate undercard match isn't going to be the best showcase for Moxley, although I enjoyed him here. I really like the way he takes in ring bumps, very expressive, great pained facial expression. He also can be a real Ginoish sneering bastard on offense. Even in New Jersey I can't really see Devon Moore as a face so he seems like a weird opponent. Moore has some athletic offense, but the way he carries himself really makes impressive things look less impressive. I did love the bump he took on the second rope chicken wing faceplant, although I question Moxley breaking out a super version of his finisher on an opening match like this.

Nick Gage v. Rhyno

Terrible match, Rhyno was fully in cash the check mode, as this was all slow motion side headlock reversals and chinlocks. They blatantly kill some time until the Brodie Lee run in, Lee accidentally kicks Gage which sets up a sub Kelly Kelly spear by Rhyno. If this was a crazy brawl I imagine Gage would have bumped enough to make it semi entertaining, but as far as technical stuff Nick Gage is to Jack Briscoe as Nick Gage is to D.B. Cooper.

Joe Hardway v. Corvis Fear

I like Corvis Fear a bunch, he has some cool looking offense and works stiff, but Hardway is all entrance and they seemed to be on different pages a bunch in this match. I do enjoy the joie de vivre which Johnny D brings to his strip club manager gimmick, I just wish the South SIde Playaz Clube were better wrestlers.

LuFisto v. Kalamity

Surprisingly entertaining womens match, a real potato fest with both ladies cracking each other really hard in mouth and head with kicks and elbows. There was a pretty nasty exchange where both ladies are sitting on the mat kicking each other hard in the teeth. Kalamity who I have never heard of before has some really nice looking offense, including a great spinebuster. About as violent as one might imagine a drunken Comic Con fight between a horse faced girl in an anime costume and a portly goth chick would be.

Necro Butcher v. Eddie Kingston

I like both of these wrestlers a lot, I have really liked this matchup a bunch in the past, and for the most part I liked this. It did fall short of what I was hoping for though. I think part of it might have been card placement, they followed the women's match which was pull of face punching which is going to be a big part of what these guys do, and that dampened the heat a bit. When these guys are at their best they create this frantic intensity, it feels ragged and crazy and even when it isn't currently exploding it feels like it is going to explode. It was just missing here, I felt like I was watching these guys work their touring match, instead of some lunatic fist fight between a fat drunk Puerto Rican and some homeless psychopath. There was some cool shit here though, both guys take sick bumps on chairs, Necro has some of the most violent eye rakes in wrestling history and I love a match which ends on a KO punch. It is a thumbs up for sure, I just wanted more.

Brodie Lee v. Pinkie Sanchez

20 second squash leading to a pull apart with Rhyno. Pull apart sucked Rhyno was just a huge failure, I can't imagine how sucky the title match is going to be.

United States Death Machine v. Da Hit Squad

Wild JAPW tag brawls are one of my favorite things in wrestling. This was one of the lesser versions of that, but I still enjoyed the hell out of it. I didn't hate Dickinson in this as much as I normally do, I kind of enjoyed his Jersey shit talking, and both of his big spots, were big fucking spots. He does a leaping kick from the top of the bleachers down to the middle on Monsta Mack, and takes a burning hammer through a wooden door. Callihan is great in this setting as he is such a rabid dog, that he is always in someones face slapping them or spitting on them. DHS were fun too, Monsta takes a bunch of big bumps for a fat guy, and Maff has a similar kind of frothing anger to Callihan. THe match had some problems, it went too long as downtime really hurts matches like this, and this had some moments where nothing was happening, when it needs to feel like a riot the whole time. Also they clearly built the wall throw (which was an old DHS spot from Bayonne) as a huge moment. In Bayonne they could dart someone from the ring headfirst into a wall, this is a much bigger place and the spot just doesn't look good as a regular press slam throw into a wall. Still the finish was a finish and I wouldn't mind seeing this feud run back.

Jushin Liger v. Bandido Jr. v. Kenny Omega v. Azreal v. El Generico v. B-Boy

For folks that hadn't heard about this card before, that isn't a typo. Outside of the pure weirdness of Liger working rope running exchanges with Bandido Jr., this was pretty average. The BOLH matches in the past have been crazy spotfests, but this didn't have those kind of workers. I thought Omega's three cool spots were hit well, and Liger running in an shotaying everyone was a bunch of fun, but the elimination part of the match didn't have a ton else to it. I actually really liked the final Azreal v. Liger showdown. Liger is historically great at putting over random dudes and he leaned into all of Azreals stuff and made him look like a killer, before crushing him with a top rope brainbuster. Post match Liger was the best as he is so fucking amped to win the JAPW LIght Heavyweight Title, he was on his knees hugging the belt like Rocky at the end of Rocky 2.

A bit of a disappointing show, the on paper great stuff was just good, and some stuff was bad. I am hoping for more from night 2.

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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Folks Rush In, 3 Letters try to Stop It. D-I-C-K-T-O-G-O, One Letter Short but Motherfuck the D.A.

Dick Togo/GENTARO v. Takashi Sasaki/Masashi Takeda FREEDOMS 10/28/10-GREAT

This was a workrate tag match, kind of the indy Japan version of a ROH Briscoes tag. That isn't my type of wrestling at all, but Dick Togo is the great style equalizer. This kind of match is normally judged on the coolness of moves and the amount of overkill, however Togo's little spots were cool enough that he added and extra dimension. It did well on the two normally criteria though. I thought the end of this match felt like the end, with GENTARO hitting a sweet looking bridged Saito suplex while Togo slapped on a crossface. There was a bunch of cool moves too, Sasaki countered a flying clothesline with a kick to the stomach, Takeda hitting a top rope northern lights suplex. Could have used a dive train, and maybe some cool double teams. Also there was one spot where GENTARO was on the top rope and Sasaki kept spanking his ass, I guess he was trying to knock him off the top but it was weird. Wouldn't be the best match on a PWG show, but would probably be in the top 3.

Dick Togo v. Antonio Honda DDT 1/30/11-EPIC

The Dick Togo singles match train continues. Gem after gem, his last six months have been incredible. Honda is a comedy guy an used to be Togo's partner in the DDT Italian Horseman. This is clearly the match of his life, and I give him a ton of credit for stepping up and bringing it to Togo like he did. Early part of the match had Honda working over Togo's arm. Togo did a really nice job selling, and it makes total sense to give him a ding to make Honda's offense credible, still Honda's attack was a little pedestrian. Match really kicks it into gear when Honda hits a nice tope and comes up bloody. After that, the match morphs into a Mid South Coliseum main event, with Togo working over the bloody babyface and Honda making awesome valiant comebacks. Togo has him in the corner, smashing his head into the turnbuckle and punching him, and Honda does a full on Lawler 1986 TX Death Match comeback, dropped strap, 17 punch combo ending in a huge uppercut for a near fall. Such a neat moment, which Togo sold perfectly. We get a big near fall run, which is really something that Dick Togo does better then anyone in the world, and then take a trip back to TN with an awesome punch Lawler v. Mantel style toe to toe punch exchange. Hell of match, the kind of thing only Dick Togo can deliver in 2011. If he really retires in June it will be at the height of his game, like Jordan leaving in 93, lets hope Togo does a season of minor league baseball and returns to the game

Dick Togo/Great Sasuke/Jinsei Shinzaki v. Mike Quakenbush/Jigsaw/Manami Toyota CHIKARA 4/16/11-FUN

The Chikara trios matches continue to be disappointing. Everyone in this match it as least a solid wrestler, but it never felt like they got on the same page. Togo was the best guy in the match, although it may have been the least spectacular Togo match I have seen in this project. He was a bunch of fun smacking around Toyota, making great asshole faces. I enjoyed Jigsaw here too, as he hit a pretty tope and moved around well. Everyone else was pretty MIA. You kept wanting this match to explode in a crazy run, and it never really did. The finish especially felt really flat. This didn't have as many things to hate as the opening round match, but it didn't have a ton to love either.


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Saturday, February 05, 2011

It's Yoshiaki Fujiwara's to Avenge, He Will Repay

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Osamu Kido NJ 6/14/93-EPIC

These two have a really spectacular Solar/Navarro style matwork charisma, I am always going to want to watch them attempt to twist each other limbs off. Kido has this really great understated charisma, he feels like the owner of the gas station in a Zombie movie, who it turns out was a Navy Seal and leads the survivors to safety. That competence he exudes really makes me buy that he can match and parry each hold Fujiwara throws at him. I also loved Kido deciding he needed to rough it up a bit, throwing some really nasty short forearms. Fujiwara is of course Fujiwara, brings the whole package, great facial expressions, slick awesome matwork and one of his spectacular out of nowhere finishes. Kido lost his temper and Fujiwara will make you pay. Great match.

Yoshiaki Fujiwara/Riki Choshu/Genichiro Tenryu v. Tiger Mask/Tatsumi Fujinami/Gran Hamada RJPW 8/9/10-GREAT

So much fun to watch all of these great jazz masters play their instruments. Most of the match is focused around the juniors team working over Tenryu's knee and they are all guys who can work a knee. I am constantly amazed how much I enjoy fat Sayama, considering how much I hated skinny Sayama, but he ruled here. Fujiwara basically plays the hot tag and is great getting fired up, he takes everyone down and goes over and slaps Tenryu to say "Let's go partner, lets fuck these guys up." I can't see anyone being a fan of these guys and not have a smile on their face watching this match.


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Friday, February 04, 2011


A mysterious benefactor delivered the April show. It was a great fucking show too.

Mitsuya Nagai v. Shoichi Uchida

This is a competitive squash with Uchida showing some piss and vinegar, but he basically gets overwhelmed. Nagai does twist him in some impressively nasty submissions. There are parts of the match where Uchida looks like a Cirque De Solie contortionist.

Koichi Kimura v. Rui Hiugaji

This is pretty much a squash too, with Kimura taking about 80% of the match and winning. Kimura is a guy who will nastily squash someone, but he did some pretty disinterested selling, and Hiugaji didn't do any of the things which made him compelling in the May match against Hashi. His little drips of offense here were pretty underwhelming, including an Edgeish spear.

Tamon Honda v. Takahiro Oba

Great, great match. Really intense grappling early with Oba looking like he belonged on the mat with the Olympian. There is a great moment where we see every step of Honda setting up an Olympic Hell, from the standing wrist control, the use of that control to take him down, shifting his weight, keylocking the arm, clasping his arms and then the wrench. Sometimes fast is awesome, but slow can be great too. Oba has a great rear naked choke as well, where he really looks like he is going to pop Honda's head off his shoulders. One of my favorite near falls in recent memory with Oba winding up for a big lariat which Honda checks, catches and spins into Hell, just beautiful counter wrestling. Right up there with the best of 2010, and the best of Futen.

Makoto Hashi v. Taro Nohashi

One of the better under five minutes matches I can remember. Nohashi jumps him before the bell and they pretty much go balls to the wall the entire match. Hashi is a guy who throws rotten cantaloupe sounding headbutts as a regular spot, but man alive was there some nasty hollow echoes going on here from both guys. Finish was sick as they both place their hands behind their back and just smash their heads into each other over and over, with Hashi just streaming blood. Nohashi buckles and Hashi chokes him out. Really short, really fun.

Brahman Shu/Brahman Kei/Daisuke Ikeda v. Takeshi Ono/Manabu Suruga/White Moriyama

Hell of a main event. Here is the Daisuke Ikeda we know and love. Brahmans continue to grow on me as they were delivering an appropriate level of violence. There were really kicking the shit out of Moriyama in really unsafe places, back of the neck, the throat, the temple, and their water bottle spot looked less like a comedy spot and more like a waterboarding.I loved Surgura coming in and wasting everyone with lariats. Of course the highlight of this match was Ono v. Ikeda and it delivered what you wanted it to. Ono was unloading, multiple punch combinations, rights, lefts, bodyshots, leaving it all out there, and Ikeda does some very cool selling, and rolling with the punches and when he fires back he does it with impact. The finishing run with Moriyama v. Ikeda was awesome too, with Moriyama also throwing the kitchen sink at Ikeda desperately trying to slay the dragon, but he falls to that thudding right hand. Great match to end a great card. Futen is the best.

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Wednesday, February 02, 2011

ROH TV Workrate Report: 1/31/11

Apparently Eddie Edwards vs. Christopher Daniels is on tap for the TV title tonight, as ROH TV is starting a tough battle to get me to give up doing these reports before the show is canceled. I've given up on greater projects than this before completing them. Will they get me to quit? Will I back down? Maybe if they bring in Jerry Lynn to work 1999 spots with Christopher Daniels and have a battle of whose sequences have aged the worst, I might. At this time there are more workers that I don't like than workers that I like on this show. I like Cabana. I like Briscoes half the time. I like Hero & Claudio. Aries is gone. Necro is gone. Corino hasn't showed up in well over a month.

1. Mike Mondo vs. Colt Cabana starts us off as Mondo cuts a (purposely?) really cheesy growly promo and Cabana starts the match essentially working like Santino crossed with Jackie Fargo. Cabana does a great wristlock fakeout into a crossface and Mondo does some really bad stomps to the back. And then you forget about the stomps as he whiffs on two straight clubbing blows to the back...then falls about 6" short on a diving headbutt....and then locks on a chinlock. Wow. Chinlock is probably a good idea to maybe collect your thoughts and consider maybe connecting with any of your offense. Nope, as he then does a ridiculous roll through Russian leg sweep into a seated dropkick. Good lord. This is why WWE reins guys in. A lot of wrestlers cannot and should not be left to their own devices. Cabana gets sick of things and hits some nice punches, then Mondo blows snot on him and hits even worse clubbing blows. But Cabana hits the butt butt and I'm happy again. Cabana goes up top, Mondo goes for a superplex but Cabana counters with a GREAT GREAT gutbuster, dropping Mondo in spectacular fashion over the top rope and Mondo bounces really high off it and it looks so awesome. Billy Goat's Curse gets the tap and man did Mondo bring nothing to this match. That gusbuster was phenomenal and I always dig Cabana...but man Mondo loked bad.

Truth Martini is out and I hate his hair so fucking much. I assume he just had the biggest jew fro on the planet and then relaxed the fuck out of it and it just looks like the shittiest over-straightened neglected horse mane ever. I cannot stand this guy. BUT he introduces Roddy's new tag partner, MICHAEL ELGIN!! YEAH! I haven't seen this guy in a year or so but he was a guy I always looked forward to in IWA-MS a year ago and it looks like he's gotten into real decent shape. He was really fat and jammed into a singlet back then, and now the singlet fits him a lot better and he looks pretty solid.

2. Michael Elgin & Roderick Strong vs. Alex Silva & Crisjen (yeah. I know.) Hayme looks like an opportunity for Elgin to destroy these guys. Hayme's chest gets nice and red within 1 minute, which seems a fitting punishment for someone that spells his name that way. Feels like he should have been teaming with a J-Synn or a Shayne (my overspelled indie name would be Araq Rhittzz btw. Phil would actually go for brevity and be Fil Snyda). And as I type that Elgin gets a sit out powerbomb to win. Elgin did not really work as stiff as I remember him working in IWA-MS.

HDNet has a lot of ads that basically say "A lot of our late night shows show tits, guys!" which I have to commend them on. Would guys rather watch Manswers, or girls being bullied into showing their ass crack?

3. Tehylhorr Hayndrixx (I forget how she actually misspelled it so I made an educated guess) vs. Sara Del Ray doesn't seem very promising for Taillor. Del Ray boots her right in the tummy three times to start and then kicks her in the head. Tayylor has red hair and some good underdog babyface charisma, like Amy Adams in Sunshine Cleaning. I want her to succeed. Sara's bangs are growing in again which is good. She cut them way too short last time and it left her with more of an unfashionable Alabama failure mullet and now she's getting more of a 2003 Karen O indie mullet which works for her. And holy fuck does she stretch Tailher the fuck out with literally the nastiest Gori Special I have ever seen. She locked it on normally, then reached back and cranked Henndhrix's head back in a headlock and pretty much bent her in half. Good lord.

Buncha tag team interviews. Briscoe interviews are always spectacular, as they have that Diaz brothers charisma where they just tell it like it is but they aren't all high and mighty about it like Lenny Bruce. They just say how things actually are without trying to make any social commentary.

Jay: So, we like already beat all those other teams.
Mark: Yeah, we beat 'em.
Jay: So....

While all the other teams are saying lame shit like "We are determined. We are serious. This is professional wrestling and we have to remain focused!"

4. Main event is up. Christopher Daniels vs. Eddie Edwards. 30 minutes left to go in the broadcast. Make me believe, Eddie. This is your shot to get on my good side. He's wearing really literal tights. They have an American flag on them, with a wolf tearing through them. That reminds me of all those literal videos from the 80s where all the stuff happening was being sung. Like "Down Under" by Men at Work. Hey, that guy is literally 6'4" and full of muscles! He's offering me a Vegemite sandwich! Or "Abracadabra" by Steve Miller Band. Abra Abracadabra (cue magic)/I'm gonna reach out and grab ya (cue guy grabbing for somebody). But Edwards has some cool arm work to start, especially cool was him catching Daniels arm while Daniels was doing a pointless cartwheel. More arm work and eventually Daniels gets a nice Death Valley Driver which planted Edwards pretty good.

Daniels arm seems to be aces as he goes into a decent control section, working a deep crossface, a crossface chickenwing, and some other decent stuff. They both go up top and Eddie hits about 15 headbutts which seems like a crummy plan for someone who the announcers keep telling me has a bad neck, really just putting over what agony he must be in due to his neck. Maybe it was a pre-existing injury? Because he hasn't really done anything to lead me to believe he has a bad neck in the match.

Edwards goes for a poorly planned moonsault off the apron with about 3 feet betwwen the apron and guard rail, and predictably lands ankles first across the guardrail. Back in he pretends his ankles didn't just shatter 30 seconds before and hits a nice rana, and Prazak will not let this mystery neck problem go. Any move Daniels does to Edwards, Prazak says "Daniels goes back to work on the neck!!" Three minutes to go and now they aren't just wrestling each other, they're wrestling the CLOCK! Holy shit moment as they go to the apron and long story short Edwards hits a double stomp off the top rope onto Daniels' back, and Hog and Prazak really need to stop putting over injuries that Edwards is not selling. "He did that stomp with a sprained ankle!" They do a emotionless submission exchange as the time limit runs out.....but Eddie wants more time! He's a fighting champion!!

And Hogewood still puts over Edwards' non-injuries, yelling about his bad ankle as Edwards is jumping up and down repeatedly on his ankles. Eddie Edwards has asthma!! He shouldn't be asking for extra time in the match! Eddie's allergic to pet dander! He shouldn't be around wolves! Eddie has hypertension, he shouldn't be this intense! "Man his ankle is hurting him!" literally right as he is jumping up to deliver a kick to Daniels on the top rope, then climbs the ropes with ease to do a rana.

So yeah, real shitty finish as Edwards kicks Daniels hard to the face and gets a nice rana off the top, but Daniels just stands up and does the Angels Wings for the finish. Man that's stupid. Not even paying attention to the fact that Daniels will now be defending this belt on TV a lot, just as an isolated finish it was awful. He could have just reversed the rana or blocked the kick to the face. Where's the suspense in taking a few moves in a row, then simply standing up and doing a move like nothing happened?

This match had potential, but any of the things that could have made things interesting were instantly ignored almost immediately after being hinted at. Edwards starts working over Daniels' arm for the first 3 minutes, this could have lead to Daniels having difficulty hitting the Angels Wings...but the arm work gets ignored and never factors in to anything. Edwards smashes his ankles on the guardrail on a midguided moonsault, Daniels could have done some leg work, slow Eddie down to make him more susceptible to being finished...but Eddie never acted like his ankles were any worse for wear and Daniels did nothing to capitalize. Announcers constantly put over how injured Edwards was, talking up his bad neck, his bum shoulder, his bad ankle...but that must have been news to Eddie and Daniels, as Daniels didn't work over any of those things and Eddie sure wasn't letting on that any of those parts were even sore.

Instead we got a robotic exchange of moves. Sometimes Eddie did two moves. Then Daniels would do two moves. Then Eddie would do one, and then Daniels would do one. Sometimes they would lie on the mat afterwards. Sometimes a move would get kicked out of. Submissions were applied, they were broken, then more moves. There were no transitions. One would simply transition from taking offense, to doing offense. There was no capitalizing on mistakes, just one guy doing his thing while another took the thing, then getting up and returning the favor. It was a pointless 20 minutes. Nothing either guy did looked very bad. A lot of the things they did looked good. There were nice superplexes, nice powerbombs, a nice death valley driver, nice submissions, etc. Most things looked like they were performed well. Moves looked good, moves were taken well. But who cares?

They never built anywhere. Eddie hit a superplex! Daniels is in trouble! Oh, no he wasn't. He kicked out at 2 and then gave Eddie a move. Neither guy ever seemed to have an advantage over the other, the match just ended eventually. No using ones advantage against another's disadvantage, just doing some moves until one of them holds another guy's shoulders down for an extra second.

The crowd was into it. They chanted "This is Awesome", maybe even twice. But I'm pretty positive I could have cut this match into 30 second intervals, shuffled the intervals around, and replayed the match and it would have been about the same. It didn't matter that Eddie got dumped on his head with a DVD, because he just hit about 12 headbutts in a row less than 2 minutes later. So it really wouldn't make much difference if those headbutts came before or after the DVD. When the 15 minutes were up and it was ruled a draw, Eddie was slumped in the corner, breathing hard, barely making it to his feet...but then when the match is restarted he is fine, running around and exchanging moves.

Maybe a good match exists here. Maybe if I took each individual move and each moment, and re-edited the order, I could make it a good match that logically built and ended satisfactorily. Or maybe it just wasn't that good.


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