Segunda Caida

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

Thursday, April 28, 2011

My Favorite Wrestling: WCW Worldwide 8/1/98 & 8/9/98

My buddy Charlie was down from Portland and we had picked up several Simpler Times 6-packs earlier in the day and had been putting them to good use all afternoon. At some point around midnight he wanted to watch wrestling, which was odd as he hadn't watched wrestling since the boom period of '97-'00. So I threw in some '98 WCW which is the greatest wrestling to watch drunk, sober, happy, depressed, neutral, angry, melancholy, etc. If you are feeling complete and utter ennui in life, I think it's fair to say that a couple episodes of WCW syndicated television are a nice cure-all. These shows are infinitely rewatchable, and they're pretty much the greatest possible wrestling you could ask for. Everything is a surprise, as WCW had about 600 people under contract and taped things 3 years in advance, so you never knew who was gonna show up. "Didn't Billy Joe Travis die 2 years ago? John Nord was getting a TV push in '99?" Those kinda questions get asked every episode. The wrestling is booked in a vacuum and at times you feel like a kid again because you don't know who will win. When you get match ups like Silver King vs. Super Calo, that's a push right there. No way I know who's winning. Armstrongs vs. Disorderly Conduct? Jeez, I've never seen those teams beat anybody, so no clue who goes over when both sides meet. This is only a few of the reasons why WCW syndicated TV is, was, and will always be my favorite wrestling. You get it all. Lucha, tassles, fat guys, face punching, hillbillys, awesome fans, relaxed commentary, and the sweet, sweet wrestling. So enjoy the new feature: My Favorite Wrestling!

WorldWide 8/1/98

1. Ultimo Dragon vs. Saito

SAITO either wrestles now (or recently) as Ryo Saito or Super Shisa I think, and this was good fun as a teacher/student match should be. Saito looked real good here eating Ultimo's offense. Saito got to do a ton of moves and the crowd was way into it. Ultimo threw a spin kick that caught Saito right under the chin and it was great. For a guy who hates stiffness, Ultimo sure popped him there. I can't think of any other situation where two Japanese guys working in a vacuum would get the crowd this excited.

2. Sick Boy vs. Julio Sanchez

Sick Boy was not a good wrestler. Time has told us that. And I will forever hate Sanchez since ECW used him regularly as a wrestler while employing Chris Hamrick as a manager. Travesty. These guys looked like mirror images of each other here, one in cutoff shorts, one in tights. These guys weren't great. Although Sick Boy's pedigree really plants guys painfully. He doesn't let go of the arms like HHH. And Sick Boy did a fist drop, so what more could you really ask for?

3. Kendall Windham vs. Disco Inferno

This might sound like hyperbole to some, but Kendall vs. Disco might be the best WCW match I've seen in ages. Not sure how much influence the Simpler Times are having at this point. The only syndicated matches (off the top of my head) that could compete with it are Benoit vs. Big Train Bart (Necro's trainer) from '95, Kendall/Barry vs. B.A./Swoll from '99, Hak vs. Bull Pain from '99, and Raven vs. Kaz Hayashi from '99. Kendall vs. Disco was just too completely awesome and -- no joke -- made Kendall look like one of the best in the world. Kendall's left hand is arguably the greatest punch in wrestling...EVER. Seriously. It looked like a million bucks in this match. Kendall punched Disco the whole time, stomped him in the corner, kicked him hard in the stomach, and MAN did Disco sell it all well. He sold each of Kendall's punches perfectly, whipping his head back, writhing on the ground holding his face. Disco's comebacks were peppered in perfectly as well with a great swinging neckbreaker and a piledriver that Kendall took and sold GREAT! This match was awesome and Kendall just looked like a monster, completely badass. Disco helped that out to a big degree. These guys made each other look great and this was just a killer match that gets a bunch of time, like 7-8 minutes. I would rate this 8 stars.

4. Juventud Guerrera/Psychosis vs. Villano IV/V

For those of us who got big into lucha, I assume WCW syndicated TV had some hand in that, and stuff like Villanos IV & V vs. Psychosis/Juvy gave us a short fun sprint with some big dives, a big springboard dropkick, Psychosis dumping himself on his own head, and good times had by all. If all lucha was like this, but longer and with even more guys, then of course we were going to start buying tapes.

WorldWide 8/9/98

1. The Gambler vs. Hugh Morrus

Morrus really stinks here but THE GAMBLER is a guy I've always dug, and he gets even better the more I see him. Morrus is always really selfish in his squash matches, taking like 95% of them with so-so offense. Gambler had a nasty back elbow and not much else, which is a shame as whenever he gets the chance he always has great offense. It's funny that Gambler was a jobber back then, but somebody like Karl Anderson gets regular Japan bookings these days with the same look and less talent. Anderson doesn't even have a jacket with playing cards on it. Idiot.

2. Vincent vs. Frankie Lancaster

This was a real nice Vince showcase and he really made the most of it. Just stiffs up Lancaster the whole match, takes a big bump for him, and ends it with one of the nastiest arm bars I've seen. He did a single-arm DDT and looked like he just posted Frankie's wrist right into the mat and then wrenched it into a great Fujiwara armbar, but working it from his back. Just awesome. Vincent/Curly Bill could really work, and it would only come through in small flashes of brilliance like this. You know Frankie Lancaster today from his debilitating kidney disease (I assume).

3. SUWA vs. Jerry Flynn

SUWA match! SUWA at one point was my favorite wrestler in the world, and with Finlay is the man I most wish would return to wrestling matches. SUWA was my favorite in the workd like 5 years after this match. I'm not even sure Toryumon had started at this point. Flynn's matches are always best when his opponent doesn't mind being a punching bag (erm...kicking bag). When he's in with a bigger star, usually that guy won't take any of his stiff kicks. But lower card guys and foreigners? Yeah. You're getting kicked. SUWA was not the biggest dick in wrestling as he would become a few years later, but he still was doing stuff like eyepokes and snarling at all the wide eyes in the crowd. Flynn kicks him a bunch and this was awesome.

4. Sick Boy vs. Hardbody Harrison

To the surprise of everybody, this wasn't that good. The only thing Harrison was worse at than wrestling, was defending himself in court.

5. British Bulldog/Jim Neidhart vs. Steve & Scott Armstrong*

This was a perfectly fine little tag to main event the start of My Favorite Wrestling, with Armstrongs getting plenty of offense and heeling it up. Bulldog has looked pretty lousy at other points in WCW, but he looked alright here. But these kinds of matches are almost always the Armstrong show, and an Armstrongs tag that gets 6+ minutes is almost always going to be good.

And that's kinda the best thing about WCW syndicated TV. For some reason (atmosphere, sense of surprise, beer) even the crummy matches have worth and are fun. It's the ultimate pro wrestling comfort food. And it's why it will always be My Favorite Wrestling.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

APW TV Workrate Report: 2/19/11

Nice, Drake vs. Sanders rematch this week! Submissions match! Oh man, the promo photo for it is hilarious, as the utterly worthless Will Rood is pictures next to Sanders, since he is Sanders' enforcer. But man, Rood is such a goober in his photo. Instead of trying to look at all tough, or intimidating, or anything, he goes in a different direction: His picture looks like a guy who sat in jury duty all day, got out around 3 P.M., then figured his day was already fucked so he might as well go to the DMV and renew his license. THIS was the picture that they took of him at 4:45 P.M. that day. When will he do something right?

We get promos from Timothy Thatcher and Jody Kristofferson, and Thatcher has a good, smarmy attitude that comes off well in a promo. Jody is pretty bland and sounds like he doesn't believe the promises that he is promising me.

1. Timothy Thatcher vs. Jody Kristofferson REMATCH! from a couple weeks back, where Jody reversed Thatcher's crossface to win. Thatcher has good size and a real good build, and nice snarly British teeth. Thatcher throws an awesome Saito suplex to start, really chucking Kristofferson. Jody follows with one of his own and it's on! Thatcher does cool follow-through on things, like grinding his forearm over Jody's face while he goes for a pin. Jody's working on a shoulder that was injured by Thatcher in their earlier match, but body part selling seems a little bit much for Kristofferson to attempt this early in his career. Thatcher still has a bunch of cool ways to take apart an arm, and we get tons of knees, bridging hammerlocks, wrenching it over ropes, etc. I really liked the struggle between the two as Thatcher tried to lock on a Fujiwara armbar, Thatcher trying to keep it in the center of the ring and Jody fighting to get to the ropes. Match kinda falls apart by the end though, as an "injured" Jody Kristofferson got WAY more offense in this match than in the previous match when he was 100%. In fact, he busted out more offense in this match than any one of his matches I'd ever seen. Usually he's a clotheslines/slams/shoulderblock/Spear kinda guy, but in the match where he's "working on one arm" he's breaking out with all kinds of indie moves like a sit-out torture rack and a armbreaker (done like a backcracker, but to Thatcher's arm instead), and using a bunch of submissions that he's never used before. This match seemed like a real strange time to try out a bunch of new moves he's been working on. Thatcher wins with the feet on the ropes after Jody looked more competitive againt him with one arm, and postmatch Jody wants another rematch. So Thatcher challenges him to a WOS rules match, which can be fun. From the WOS I've seen I think that means no moves to a grounded opponent, official warnings issued before DQs, and possibly 2/3 falls. I think that's right. Either way, Thatcher looked really good in this match, but Jody was working a different style match than he should've been.

2. Derek Sanders vs. Dylan Drake in a Submission Match is the main, coming off Sanders losing the title a couple weeks ago. Crowd chants for Will Rood, which seems odd to chant for a guy failing at his job. Nobody chanted for me when I hit a parked car in my Alhambra truck. Although if some guy had chanted "You Fucked Up" I really couldn't have done anything but shrug. Drake throws some armdrags and then hits a dropkick and Sanders takes a nice bump to the floor from it. Killer J wonders if Rood might get involved in this match. Not really sure why else he would be out there, Jay. Sanders takes a really high backdrop bump to the floor, wiping out Rood. So I guess he at least broke his boss' fall, which counts for something. Sanders shakes his fist out after punches, which is one of my favorite things in wrestling. You can have really lousy punch, but if you shake your fist out afterwards it may salvage it. Sanders punches are fine, though.

We go to commercial and there is an ad for a medical Pelvic Mesh Bladder Sling, which seems like the name of a band that would play at a Gathering of the Juggalos.

Back in and Sanders is working Drake's neck with awesome cravates (John Roberts on pbp awesomely says that Sanders is "doing some cravating", which I LOVED. Hey, what are you up to today? Aw, just doing some cravating.), and Sanders knows how to work a neck, nicely shoving Drake's face one way while wrenching his arm the other way. Sanders with a big time superplex and then locks on a Sharpshooter. Drake can't last through much more of this, I imagine. Drake fights out and misses a pretty spectacular crossbody, really leaning into that miss, making it look like he whipped his head into the mat on the way down. Drake goes on an unfortunate run of offense that kinda acts like he hasn't gotten whooped for the last 12 minutes, and then ref Sparky Ballard gets smooshed by a missed corner charge. While down, Will Rood attempts to interfere, but it backfires and Sanders ends up taking a chairshot, then gets tapped out by Drake. Good lord. I feel so bad for Sanders, here. He clearly would have had the match and the title won...but his incompetent lackey Rood screws up again. Rood never even gets yelled at by Sanders!

Is there a reason he can't fire this guy? I'm genuinely confused by this situation.


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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

THE FINAL! ROH TV Workrate Report: 4/4/11

Think I'll spend eternity in the city
Let the carbon and monoxide choke my thoughts away
And pretty bodies help dissolve the memories
But they can never be what ROH was to me

So this is it. I made it. We watched a lot of Christopher Daniels matches together. We saw a lot of unfortunate eye-liner. Especially in the Daniels/Devon Storm match. We saw some white males, with short brown hair, do a lot of moves to each other. Sometimes those moves finished matches. Sometimes those moves inspired another white male with short brown hair to pop to his feet, unleashing his own move. That move probably got a 2.9 count. We didn't have to see a lot of Davey Richards, and for that we are thankful. And we got a couple Necro matches. If anything, we got Necro matches. We'll always have those.

We get a bunch of highlight packages, and ROH is pretty damn good at making wrestlers that I don't like look pretty decent in highlight form. Davey and Generico making stupid scowly angry faces will never look cool though, no matter the context.

1. Looks like just one match on the last show, and it is Kings of Wrestling/Roderick Strong vs. Briscoes/Davey Richards. They've allotted about 35 minutes for it, so this could be epic. Castagnoli and Mark roll around for awhile, and no man gains an advantage!! Hero and Davey also roll around for awhile, and Hero is really good at rolling around. His rolling looks better than Davey's. Jay and Strong in now and the rolling is over as they hit each other! With elbows! Jay has a really nice flying headscissors and Strong SUWA's himself over. Strong has nice chops and then stands on Jay's neck while mockingly kicking his head with his free foot.

Claudio in and everybody goes wild with offense on him, with the Briscoes doing a double suplex and Davey taking a week to lock on a kneebar. Mark back in and hits a great headbutt. When did he lose his teeth, anyway? I know he's been missing them for awhile, but were they gone in the early 2000s as well? I don't remember.

Davey's handspring always looks ridiculously out of place in matches, so it warms my heart that Claudio catches him in a massive airplane spin to punish him for his ridiculous handspring. Claudio does a suplex and Davey reverses into an ankle lock. I hope Angle doesn't get pilled up and see this, as Meltzer might report his tweets as news. I mean, Claudio is balding and did a suplex. Davey did an ankle lock. Why else would Twitter exist in Angle's mind?

Sara Del Ray looks awesome kicking the shit out of Davey on the floor. I will genuinely miss seeing her on TV. Back in the ring and Claudio does a big falling clothesline and Davey bumps it awesomely on his shoulder. He couldn't be too beaten up though, as he handsprings and does a preposterous knee. Man that move looks dorky. Briscoes in and get a bunch of cool double team offense like stiff clotheslines and shoulderblocks, then a DVD/flying elbow drop combo. Hero hits a dangerous looking Asai moonsault (because he almost went splat) and then his rolling thrust kick. That move really shouldn't work but damn if he doesn't make it look good. Davey tags in and starts howling and doing a bunch of thigh slappy offense. Claudio is awesome trying to leap and grab Hero's leg to block a superplex. Hero shows Davey how to be a bad motherfucker by just blasting him with an elbow, and in a great spot, blasting him again during a Davey dive sequence, stopping the dive dead in its tracks and killing Davey (until Davey jumped up like 3 seconds later).

Match goes crazy at this point with everybody in and no tagging, just nuts. Nutty somersault dive (with the guard rail like 3 feet from the ring) by Jay, then Mark follows with one into the crowd. Del Ray accidentally eats a Claudio thrust kick, and Strong helps out Davey big time by bumping violently for his clothesline. Strong submits to the ankle lock and we're out.

Match had a real hot finishing run and was a blast. Good way to go out and I will miss seei...Oh, shit TREMORS is on after ROH on HDNet!!! Fuck, can't stay nostalgic forever. THEY'RE UNDER THE GODDAMNED GROUND!! THAT'S HOW THEY GET YOU!!! Fuck you ROH.


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Monday, April 25, 2011

Dick Togo Drive You Crazy, He Done Drove Shyne Jew. Mazaltov, Now He's Hotter Then A Molotov

Dick Togo v. TAKA Michinoku WWF 5/25/98-FUN

This was a RAW match for TAKA's WWF Light Heavyweight belt, and the kind of fun sprint you would expect these guys to do in five minutes. Later in his run Togo was pretty much the worlds greatest Joel Hartgood, but here he was in the middle of an undercard feud, so we got to see more of his stuff. They saved the senton bomb for the post match beatdown, but Dick did hit a beautiful Buzz powerslam and a rolling senton off the ring apron. It is fun watching these guys rip off spot after spot, it wasn't huge stuff, so there wasn't no-selling, but they wanted to show off in their nickel. TAKA was so quick and charismatic you could totally see why he ended up with the contract, still clear that they dropped the ball with him. No reason he couldn't have been Rey Jr.

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

This was a classic mid 90s MPRO six man, everything we love about that style match was present here in spades. One of the impressive things about this match was how they pulled that off even with some lesser replacements. Tsubasa, Buffalo and QUALLIT are no Sasuke, TAKA and Teiho but they are in the mix and hit all of their stuff well, Tsubaba for example did his best Sasuke impression by flying into the seats with a quebrada. Your MPRO veterans were your stand outs, Togo v. Yakushiji is one of my favorite match ups in wrestling history and it was great here too, but Yakushiji was shining with everyone. Just such a spectacular wrestler, he hits all of his crazy headscissors variations at a million miles an hour and takes one of the cooler, crazier out of the ring clothesline bumps I have seen in years. This kind of match is a little hard to review, without just cursing and listing cool spots, it is basically the wrestling equivalent of doing two lines of bathtub crank and stealing a car, it is everything that people who talk up Dragons Gate claim that is, even though it isn't. Great stuff, and discovering things like this is why I wanted to do a Togo project.

Dick Togo/"Brother" YASSHI/Jumping Kid Okimoto v. Takuya Sugawara/Brahman Shu/Brahman Kei El Dorado 12/29/07-GREAT

One of the more preposterous enjoyable train wreck matches I have seen in a while. This was a ladder match for some El Dorado title, and pulled off what all of the overbooked TNA spotfests fail at. I have been really digging the Brahman's in FUTEN and they are pretty great in this context too, Togo isn't the focus of this match, but he looks good. There was an especially insane looking spot where he leaps off the top rope onto a ladder while a Brahman is climbing, and the whole thing explodes. There is also this giant barrell, which they do some random cool spots with, including Okimoto taking a nasty bump on the side. The finish is totally lunatic with one of the Braham's climbing to the balcony and hooking up a carabiner to the cable holding the belt and shimmying down the cable, Okimoto starts climbing the cable too, and headbutts the Brahman, before getting knocked off. So then end of the match has everyone hitting spots with one Brahman hanging above the ring like a scarecrow. He eventually regains his barrings and grabs the belt. Not a match that makes a ton of sense if you think about much, but turn your brain off and you will dig it.



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Wrestling For Charity Road Report, Santa Rosa, 4/9/11

We don't get too many wrestling shows up in my neck of the woods. There aren't even that many shows that get run in the Bay Area period, especially compared to the rest of the country's metropolitan areas. So a nice early show on a Saturday night, $10, with proceeds going to the Boys and Girls Club was something I could get behind. Live local wrestling is the best, as you get a real good crowd mixture of a bunch of kids, and some hicks. No douchey chanting, nobody trying to get themselves over, just people watching wrestling and getting into it.

1. Battle Royal

A Battle Royal is a Battle Royal is a Battle Royal. You know? What's REALLY the quality ceiling for a Battle Royal? It all kinda depends on your mood. If this was the last thing on the card, the odds are pretty good that I woulda just called it an early night. But at the beginning of a card, I kinda like them. You're in a good mood, you're about to see some live wrestling, why not see a bunch of guys get chopped and eyepoked while crammed into a ring with 14 other dudes? My pick to win was some guy wearing indie wrestling trash bag shorts, but they were bright green and had the face of Michaelangelo from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the butt, so why not? If he got thrown out, I could at least yell "Shell Shocked!!" I kinda hate indie wrestling trash bag shorts, but at least these were lime green. There were three other guys in this Battle Royal alone that were wearing the standard black ones. In 1999 we had boatloads of guys wearing jean shorts and black t-shirts. Now we have trash bag shorts and kickpads. These are the times we live in. Rachel picked some skinny waxed twerp named Kryptonite, because he had the most expensive looking kickpads. Can't really argue with her logic there. This was definitely a Battle Royal, which I always find amusing live (as long as they're kept around 10 minutes). Plenty of people getting almost tossed out but making it back in, plenty of idiots running at another guy and getting matador'd over the top rope (that's like Battle Royals 101, guys), plenty of eyepokes. That twerpy Kryptonite won. And he looked really horrible. So naturally Hurricane comes out and says he wants to team with the guy in the main event. Of course he does.

2. Mothertrucking Otis/Buggy Nova vs. Ryan Von Cool/Davina Rose

Von Cool and Rose are known as the "Hottie Boom Bodies". They have matching tarheel blue velvet shorts (that look much better on Davina, but I appreciate their dedication to looking like a team). Otis is a big tall fat guy wearing overalls, getting cheap pops by pulling out his American flag bandana and waving it around (a little late to the party since we didn't have a flag to look at earlier, while they played a CD recording of the National Anthem) and Buggy is a Hot Topic-y looking girl. This was the shortest match of the night, and they did about all I could ask of them. The girls matched up nicely and wouldn't have looked out of place in comparison to current TV women matches. Davina/Cool took some nice bumps attacking the big and tall Otis while using their Wesley-fighting-Fezzik offense. Otis was about as good as a smaller Plowboy Frazier is going to be, but took a GREAT bump on the floor after getting rammed into the ring post. He really just flew right into the post. It was the best spot of the match and enough to make it enjoyable.

At this point it became apparent that the ring announcer was coming to the ring more and more disheveled before every match. Like he was on a 5 day bender crammed into 3 hours. At this point the top button of his shirt was unbuttoned and his tie was loosened up.

3. Kimo vs. Aaron Solow vs. Perry Von Vicious vs. Matt Carlos vs. Rik Luxury

Not sure why we needed a FIVE WAY DANCE, but at least it was elimination style (so we didn't get a match full of guys breaking up pinfalls). Match was all action and pretty fun. With 5 different guys working, you're going to have a sliding scale of quality worker. Kimo and Solow I kept getting mixed up, as they were ambiguously brown dudes who seemed fine in the ring. Perry Von Vicious is a newish APW wrestler who is very pale and plays a rich snob. His manager is Matthew Theall, a poorly done Cornette rip-off who often clutters up APW TV with horrible color commentary. Rik Luxury is one of my Bay Area favorites. He's pudgy, with a missing tooth, wears a lot of pink, has ridiculous sunglasses, knows how to stooge, has a nice punch, and eats offense really well. His manager Markus Mac has really grown on me, too. He's a stocky white guy with long hair who wears a long fur coat and dress shoes that appear to be about 4 sizes too big for him, acts like a wigger thug, and talks in a real gruff, raspy tone. He can talk a mile a minute and rarely gets tripped up on words.

Now on to "Out of Control" Matt Carlos. He is a small flyer who does absolutely nothing out of control. Nothing about him is out of control (except spending money on becoming a professional wrestler...that's pretty much one of the most out of control things you can do with your life). He seems very polite and works a very safe style in the ring. He cuts promos that are very rehearsed and sound like he's reading off cue cards (but not in a crazy Christopher Walken way, just in a boring way). He did kind of a funny little brief jig on the apron before he got into the ring, but that seemed like he kinda practiced it, very controlled. I was really hoping he'd come out and grab a middle-aged woman's boob, or run full speed into a kid, or throw a chair at a basketball hoop, or not cooperate on spots in the ring, or key somebody's car, or leave in the middle of a match, or eat unrefrigerated meat. Anything. You know what the most out of control thing he did was? Wear different-colored shoelaces. That was what we got. We paid money to see some insane, out of control maniac, and we get different colored shoelaces. The thing is, they were perfectly laced. I mean, you've never seen a finer boot-lacing in your life! And these boots had at least 16 eyelets, which means he had to be very careful lacing them up, smoothing out the laces, tying them properly. The most out of control thing about him is he may be colorblind. That could make him a semi-out of control driver, if he doesn't pay attention at traffic lights...but I think that's about it. So, at WORST, Matt Carlos is a man who I would be hesitant about carpooling with.

All that aside the match was real fun, ending in one of those runs that some people hate (but I actually kinda like) where one guy hits a finisher, then gets hit with somebody's finisher, then that guy gets hit with another guys finisher! Is it silly? I couldn't care less. Something satisfying about a dude hitting a spinebuster, getting into it with a fan, then turning around into a superkick that everybody saw coming but him. I love it.

4. Vennis DeMarco/OMEGA vs. Chicano Flame/G.I. Jose

Vennis' team was managed by Alexis Derevko, which is frustrating in the same way ECW was frustrating when they would have Chris Hamrick managing Julio Dinero. This match wasn't much but it wasn't long, either. Jose was working an army luchador gimmick, with camo mask and cargo pants. He got crazy height on a dropkick and a backdrop bump, which is really all I can ask for. I have seen OMEGA look better on APW TV, and Vennis doesn't do too much for me, for someone who's been at this the better part of the decade. Chicano Flame has been around Bay Area indies for as long as I've been aware of Bay Area indies, and I'm not sure I've ever seen a great performance out of him. My favorite part of this match came when Alexis Derevko was taunting the crowd with his chain, and some 9 yr. old kid sitting in front of me flippantly said, "Lose the chain!" It was so odd. Like, 9 yr. olds usually don't speak in such a dismissive way, especially when some fat Russian dude is yelling. Just a wave of the hand, lose the chain, bud.

By now the ring announcer was really falling apart. Necktie still loosened and crooked, sweaty upper lip, brow covered in flop sweat. He was looking as if somebody called him before belltime and told him his family would be just fine, as long as he did the ring announcing as planned. Everything will be just...fine.

5. Jody Kristofferson vs. El Chupacabra

This was worked in a way that really confused the fans, as both were working babyface. But one guy is a country boy who doesn't have a heel bone in his body, whose father is a beloved singer and actor...while the other is a man with facepaint and fangs, who comes out wearing a cape with back spikes, crawling and snarling at kids...So the fans were confused when Chupacabra would work babyface armdrag spots, like a sheep-and-cattle-mutilating Ricky Steamboat. Kristofferson hasn't been working long (like less than 2 years) and really seems like he improves every time I see him. He's a big guy who crowds seem to like, and he looked good here hitting nice shoulderblocks, and looking like he has a lot of natural strength when it comes to throwing guys around. But crowd was too quiet here since they weren't really sure who to get behind.

6. Adam Thornstowe vs. Dave Dutra

This was completely awesome. Great, great match. Thornstowe is part of the tag team Reno Scum who work one of the only punk rock gimmicks I've ever seen that doesn't seem forced and phony. He's got a great look and is probably the best worker in the Bay Area. Dutra always seems game, had a cool springboard dropkick and did a neat feint (where they were both on the floor, Thornstowe tried to throw him in the ring, and Dutra just bounced off the ropes back to the floor and elbowed him) and they just clicked too well here. Both took big bumps to the hard floor, Thornstowe took his head off with a superkick, threw great punches, got dumped on his head and this was just really fun. Thornstowe a guy who I think would get talked about a lot if he worked anywhere other than the Bay Area. He has a nice set of offense with solid basics mixed in with occasional flashy indy moves (stomach stomp transition to senton looks real nice) and bumps great. At one point where both go up top, Thornstowe practically ruptures Dutra's eardrums with two of the harder slaps you'll ever see. Rarely do you see guys work stiff on the top rope, as they're more concerned with keeping their balance, so that stood out even more. Whole match was just awesome and I hope somebody was recording it.

7. Jack Brinx vs. Dana Lee vs. Shannon Ballard

Brinx is a guy who wrestes in jeans and a workshirt, who I remember stinking up the joint last year when APW came to Santa Rosa. Dana Lee looks like an extra from Gran Torino and works a generic 2001 Minoru Tanaka tribute gimmick. He looked real lousy on that same SR card last year. My brain remembers a clunky match filled with awkward kick combos and random legbar roll-ups and mistimed thigh slaps. I have not seen either of the Ballards in years, and instead of a Hansen gimmick Shannon now appeared to be slightly gothy, with eyeliner and a heartogram on his trunks. I hate 3 ways by design, and didn't have fond memories of two of the guys in the match, so my hopes were low for this. But it ended up being real fun. Yeah it had the awkward 3 way problem of one guy disappearing for long stretches of time, but it was good for what it was. Brinx threw some insanely loud and painful chops, Lee threw some decent kicks and except for one awkward kick combo against Brinx looked at least as good as present day Minoru. Shannon deserves all the credit for holding this thing together though. He took all the big bumps and ran all the miscommunications really nicely. Made me want to see some 2011 Ballard tags.

Ring announcer was on his deathbed at this point. Shirt partially untucked, his balding, thinning hair was now resembling Bill Murray during the final battle in Kingpin, sweating profusely, clearing his throat into the microphone. It was as if ring announcing was slowly killing him, and he was soldiering through it, mispronouncing as many names as he possibly could and botching the date of the return engagement (then getting incredulous when a fan corrected him on the date). I guess this is what drunken Santas do when Christmas is over.

8. Shane Helms/Kryptonite vs. Billy Blade/Kadin Anthony

This was for the tag titles, and before the match Markus Mac came out and got into it with a bunch of kids, saying when the Rock of Love wins that they'll also be taking all the money away from the Boys and Girls Club.

Blade/Anthony used to work a vampire team gimmick, but have been working a Sunset Strip rock gimmick as Rock of Love for awhile now, and I think they even got to go on that Hogan Australia tour. Hurricane looked a lot like X-Pac physically and facially, and I was worried whether or not he was going to "show up" for this random small show in front of 200 people. His partner was the aforementioned Kryptonite, who wore kickpads and was horrible. Just cheesy and wimpy and like the worst indy CAW you've ever seen. Also, nobody seemed to make mention that Hurricane was teaming with a guy named Kryptonite. I'm not sure what Helms' superhero weakness is (Twitter?), but seems like a joke somebody should have made. Haven't seen Blade/Anthony work in a long time, and they have gotten really good, especially Blade. They always came off really cheesy when they worked the vampire gimmick, but the Rock of Love thing fits them nicely. Plus Poison is a way better band than people give them credit for. Blade has really nice offense, some cool sliding kicks, easily the loudest and most painful looking chops of the night, and sets up and eats opponents' offense well. Anthony also eats offense really nicely and really fed into Hurricane nicely. Hurricane really showed up to work, crashing into dudes with nice shoulderblocks, throwing nice elbows, and the crowd was way into him. Kryptonite was horrible. One of the worst workers of the night. He had a bunch of flimsy flyer offense and he seemed really desperate to get cheers. His playing to the crowd was lousy. Match would die slow death with him in, but it made the crowd want the Hurricane hot tag even more. They really seemed desperate to give Kryptonite the rub, but what a twerp. Overall a good match as Rock of Love were awesome, and Hurricane put on a good show. Seemed odd to put the tag titles on Hurricane, since I'm not sure how often he'll be in.

But hey, good night of pro wrestling, and it was for charity so no complaints there. They said they'd be coming back June 18, and as far as I know I'll be there.

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Some People Read Idea Books, And Some People Are Kings

Jerry Lawler v. Toru Tanaka CWA 5/19/79 - FUN

Really enjoyable short studio match, with the slim trim 70's Lawler. Tanaka is very much a 70s/80s Japanese heel, lots of nerve holds and judo chops, he did put on a cool submission hold where he drove the top of his head into the back of Lawlers neck. Lawler squirms in and out of the holds and unloads with really pretty rapid fire rights and lefts. Finish has Tanaka try to throw ceremonial salt, hit the ref, which leads to Gorgeous George Jr. and Mongolian Stomper run ins. Basic heel vs. face stuff and neat to see just to get a sense of the era.

Jerry Lawler/Bill Dundee v. Eric Embry/Tom Prichard USWA 7/27/91- GREAT

This is a studio match, so it isn't very long, but man did I enjoy every minute of it. Embry is just a heel whirlwind. Constantly in motion, whether it is on the apron talking shit to the fans, diving into the ring with a flying headbut for a save, unloading punches and stomps to Dundee, bumping around for Lawler, making faces. Just a tremendous workrate southern heel performance. Mostly Dundee in the match, with the Texas bunch working him over. He gets a great fired up comeback, before going for a rolling tag, and rolling right into Lawler in an amusing botched spot. The match spills to the floor and they brawl around the studio a bit. Not much of a Lawler showcase, but he was good when he was in, and everyone else ruled.

Jerry Lawler v. Bret Hart 11/5/93 - GREAT

This is a cage match handheld from a WWF house show pre-Survivor Series. Lawler is one of the most logically consistent wrestlers ever. This is the first time I have seen him work an escape the cage match, and he does what makes sense. Immediately try to bail out of the door, during the whole match Lawler would take the opportunity to skip town. There wasn't huge spots here, lots of nice looking punches from both guys, and Hart unloading a piledriver, but the match was consistently exciting. Lawler works the chain and really unloads on Bret. We get interference from a masked guy (I am assuming he is one of Lawlers Knights) and the masked guy takes the biggest bump of the match flying off the side of the cage to the floor (did they bring in Foley to work house shows?) We get a Bret win and big Lawler post match beat down. Cool opportunity to see what a touring cage match between the two looks likes. Good shit


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Wrestle With the Work Dick Togo's Like the Four Horseman, Ric Flair With The Flame He's Motherfucking Gorgeous

Sato/Shiryu/Great Sasuke/TAKA Michinoku v. Jushin Liger/El Samurai/Shinjiro Ohtani/Tokimitsu Ishizawa NJ 6/15/94-EPIC

A hell of match. I was a little hesitant about the NJ Juniors being able to hang in this kind of MPRO sprint, but they totally brought it. Ohtani especially was great, springboarding all over the ring and having a dickhead smirkoff with TAKA. Man alive, the MPRO team were sick athletes, just watching the speed they run the ropes, and the height they get on every move, when Sasuke somersaults through on the dropdown he just floats in the air forever. Of course our boy SATO is at his chubbiest and his fastest, he may have had the prettiest dive of the train with his double jump flip plancha. Liger is also just tailor made for this style, he captains his team so well, he is calling the plays like Jason Kidd. The finish was awesome as we get a triple flying headbutt on Shiryu, before Liger brings him to the top rope and spikes him through the mat with a brainbuster. I don't understand why this style is so bad now, why can't there be guys still doing this?

Dick Togo v. Chris Hero IWA-EC 4/5/06-EPIC

It is weird that this match even exists. Togo comes over to US for one show to work Chris Hero in a ladder match for Mad Man Pondo's West Virginia garbage fed, which is just bizarre. It is a hell of match though and the weirdness of it just adds to it. The match starts out with both guys doing some really nice matwork, don't really know the point of putting on submissions in a ladder match, but it was cool. Togo was really working hard, hitting a flip dive onto Hero and a ladder, eating a ladder shot to the mouth and taking a huge backdrop on said ladder. Hero was really good too, bleeding and taking big bumps. This was a before the young KO kid gimmick, but he was unloading with punches and elbows. Finish was pretty cool with Hero springboarding, landing on a ladder and knocking Togo off the other. Easily the best match ever with a Warpig match on the undercard

Dick Togo v. Michael Nakazawa DDT 10/24/10-SKIPPABLE

Nakazawa is one of the culturally odd Japanese gimmicks that I do not and don't want to understand. He has facepaint, fishnets and a thong and mostly wanders around the ring into the crowd. Most of the match is Togo chasing him and hitting him. He does get a bit of offense after kicking the rope into Togo's balls, and proceeds to hit him with a cat o nine tails. Togo does hit a nice senton, but he does that a lot, nothing to see here.



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Yoshiaki Fujiwara Sustains the Humble, But Casts the Wicked To The Ground

Yoshiaki Fujiawara v. Joe Malenko PWFG 6/1/93-EPIC

PAS: This was so much fun, just a pair of true maestros pulling pushing and twisting each other until someone gives. This wasn't an exchange of holds, it was a constant battle by both men to find some advantage or defense. This was really a Malenko show, as he controlled with great takedowns, and constant attacking, with Fujiwara really focused on defense. Of course Fujiwara is the greatest defensive pro-wrestler of all time, so the defense stuff ruled.

TKG: This was a Malenko show. My favorite thing that he did was use his knee and shin as simple machine, constantly pushing it against stuff to act as a lever, inclined plane or wedge to force Fujiwara to move one body part or another, worlds most violent physics demonstration.

Yoshiaki Fujiwara/Daisuke Ikeda v. Ricky Fuji/Hitsakatsu Ooya FMW 5/5/95-FUN

This is for the FMW tag belts, and was on the undercard of one of the big FMW 5/5 shows. There was a bunch of stuff I enjoyed here, Fujiwara and Ikeda are both bleeding and do a good job of getting the crowd behind them. We get to see Ikeda kick some folks really hard, including a spin kick right to Fuji's face which looked like it chicleted his teeth. The finish had Fujiwara whipping out flash armbars, including catching Fuji off the top. Still lots of the match had the FMW team beating on Fujiwara and Ikeda, and there was nothing compelling about it. Lots of weak forearms and stomps, you are going to have to hit both guys way harder then that to have me buy into it.

Yoshiaki Fujiwara/Shinya Hashimoto/Naoya Ogawa v. Tom Howard/The Predator/Steve Corino Zero-One 5/19/02-GREAT

A match which ends up on the low side of great, but had enough stuff I enjoyed to push it over the top. This is part of the big UPW/NWA v. Zero One feud which lots of times came off as a giant money mark fantasy for Fred Rubenstien and Rick Bassman. This did have heel ref shit and a post match brawl with Mr. Fred throwing powder, but for the most part it was focused in the ring. Fujiwara had some cool flash submissions and got in his ring bolt comedy spot, but the star of this match was Hashimoto. The gaijin team is pretty limited, but Hash had some excellent battle of the titans spots with all of them. I especially love his work with Howard, who is someone I am really starting to dig while watching all of this Zero One. I loved how he wasted Hashimoto with a superkick after suckering him in with his hands behind the back gimmick. Finish had some cool OH Gun combo moves including a nasty STO/German Suplex. Cool stuff.


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Black Terry Restless By Day and at Night Rants and Rages At The Stars

Black Terry v. El Hijo Del Santo UWF 3/10/91-GREAT

All the work in this match was excellent, and this would be a good match to show folks why these guys are great wrestlers. All the early matwork was very cool. Santo especially back in the 90's was a crazy quick matworker, he would move into holds and counters suddenly. Terry looked very good hanging right with him. We also got some pretty Santo dives and even a rare Terry tope. However 11 minutes just isn't long enough to have a truly excellent lucha title match. They pretty much condensed a 25 minute match into 11 and I really felt the loss. This would have been an amazing first fall, but it left me wanting to see what they could do with some real time and three falls the way lucha is supposed to be.

Black Terry/Villano IV/Rey Mendoza Jr. v. Oriental/El Pantera/Solar UWE 4/23/11-GREAT

This is from a benefit show for Villano 3, and all six guys are working their asses off. We get a long opening caida with some cool relatively unique match ups. V IV and Oriental have a really cool mat exchange with some especially nice amateur reversals. It isn't the complicated stuff you see with Navarro, but hard intense simple work done well. I also really liked the flashier exchanges between Terry and Pantera, with Terry bumping really well for the headscissors, handstands and armdrags. Rey Mendoza Jr. and Solar is the most brawly of the three match ups, with Mendoza being especially nasty, landing cool shots to the ribs and belly. Second fall has the rudos work over Solar, including some very cool finger breaking by Black Terry. Oriental and Pantera finish the fall by breaking out a couple of big dives. Third fall was a little flatter then the previous two, which keeps this out of legendary territory, but this was another Black Terry Jr. Handheld gem, and quite an Easter present for all of the goyim lucha fans out there.



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Friday, April 22, 2011

SEGUNDA CAIDA DECLARES WAR!!! NJ 2/5 + 2/16 + 6/14/93


Genichiro Tenryu/Ashura Hara/Takashi Ishikawa v. Kenji Mutoh/Akira Nogami/Shinya Hashimoto NJ 2/5/93

Pretty much exactly what you want out of this match up on paper. Hashimoto and Tenryu have a couple of nasty little scuffles building up their big singles matches, while the lumpy pissed off duo of Hara and Ishikawa mug the fuck out of Nogami. One thing we definitely got out of the 80's New Japan set is that Akira Nogami will take as big an asswhipping as anyone in wrestling history. After we go back and forth for a while, the WAR team kick his ass up and down the ring. Hashimoto isn't in this match a ton, but after Nogami gets pinned he attacks Tenryu and looks like he tries to take his eye out. More of a teaser then a great match, but a nice teaser.

Genichiro Tenryu/Ashura Hara/Takashi Ishikawa/Koki Kitahara/Ricky Fuyuki vs. Riki Choshu/Tatsumi Fujinami/Osamu Kido/Hiro Hase/Takashi Iizuka 2/16/93

These kind of Puro gang fight 10 man are one my favorite types of wrestling matches. This is 2/3 falls rather then elimination style and goes nice and long so each guy gets to stretch out a bit. We know what the WAR guys bring to the table, they are going to try to kick, stomp and punch divots in your skull. Tenryu is probably the greatest all time at throwing cheap shots, and he is constantly cracking folks from behind.The NJ guys really shine here as well. Fujinami and Iizuka probably take the biggest beating and both are masterful at receiving and firing back. Kido isn't in as much, but he pulls off some awesome flash armbars, really putting over his suddeness. Hase has a weird cool way of eating offense, I loved his sell of Fuyuki's clotheslines, and is great at catching people in sudden suplexes. Choshu is the BMOC, and he is as good an Ace as there has ever been. He gets the pins in both falls, as is so great at coming in and cleaning house.

Genichiro Tenryu/Takashi Ishikawa v. Shinya Hashimoto/Michiyoshi Ohara 6/14/93

Unlikely but true, in a match with Hashimoto, Tenryu and Takashi Ishikawa the star was Michiyoshi Ohara. He start out by spitting at both WAR guys and is totally great as the firery underdog getting the shit smashed out of him. There is a great moment early in the match where Hashimoto is getting worked over, and Ohara reaches out, gets the hot tag, comes in like a house of fire, only to get obliterated by an Ishikawa elbow. We get some more tastes of nasty Tenryu v. Hashimoto, inlcuding a great fight for a brainbuster, which includes Hashimoto just popping Tenryu with a Cro Cop high kick. Ishikawa and Tenryu are guys who will beat on someone, Hashimoto is a great hot tag, and Ohara is very good here taking a beating. We have all of the elements for an excellent traditional tag wrestling match, add the additional juice of interpromotional distaste, and you get something truly excellent.

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Thursday, April 21, 2011


Manabu Suruga vs Brahman Kei

Really good midcard FUTEN match. I am all the way on board with the Brahman's at this point. They initially irritated me a bit, but the FUTENish aspects in their game are strong enough, that the goofy shit can be forgiven. Here Kei hangs all the way with Suruga in striking and grappling. There are nice submissions and reversals by both guys here, and Kei kicks hard. The finish was very cool with Kei fighting desperately to avoid being J-Drillered, which allows Suruga to use that leverage to lock on the Rings of Saturn instead.

Koichiro Kimura vs Kazuki Okubo

This was more competitive then your normal Kimura match and thus a little more compelling. I especially liked the brutal kicks to the temple Kimura landed on a prone Okuba. Still neither of these guys are particularly charismatic, and Kimura can't really sell. So watchable, but it wasn't good.

Tamon Honda vs Brahman Shu

Another good Brahman's singles match. Shu worked over Honda's leg with nasty kicks, which Honda sold well. This allowed Shu to get some nice nearfalls on submissions before getting wasted by Honda's cool offense. There was a couple of especially nifty counters, Shu lands a nasty triangle out of a powerbomb attempt, which almost puts Honda to sleep. There is also a point where Shut tries to roll into a kneebar and instead get hurled with a german. The delivering of Shu into the eternal torment of Olympic Hell was great too. I love watching Honda do his thing.

Takeshi Ono vs Ryuji Hijikata

This is another entry in Takeshi Ono's best in the world reel. Hijikata has some selling issues, he was kind of bland faced throughout, and there was points were he shrugged off what Ono was throwing at him. Still when it came to throw shots, he threw them, including a nasty big knee, and he did stand right in front of Takeshi Ono and get cracked in the mouth. Ono unloaded the arsenal here, nasty awesome looking submissions including a beautiful Calf Slicer, and an awesome Octopus which he turned to an armbar. His selling was great too, as he really got over Hijikata's offense, as there was some cool KO near falls all about Ono selling desperation. I wouldn't mind Hijikata sticking around for a while to see if he could wash some of the All Japan juniors stench off of him, it isn't off yet though.

Daisuke Ikeda/Takahiro Oba vs Kengo Mashimo/Makoto Hashi

A truly transcendent piece of wrestling violence. This match was as good anything done in this style since the 2008 BattlArts elimination match, and right up there with PARK v. Mesias and Gringos v. Terry/Cerebro/Che for the best thing done this year. The match starts with a little jiving and taunting, especially by Ikeda and Obo, although in true FUTEN fashion that includes a teeth loosening Ikeda kick to Mashimo's face. I also really liked how Oba used his taunt as a way to feint out Hashi and get a takedown. The middle section of this match was pretty damn great too, with each pairing getting a chance to stretch out a bit and show some things. Oba had some truly impressive grappling exchanges with Hashi as they were grabbing limbs and throats and twisting and cracking. We also got to see Ikeda and Mashimo kick each other in the face, thighs and ribs, Mashimo and Oba do their thing and some teases of the Ikeda v. Hashi hellstorm yet to come.

Then like most of these matches, it comes down to two guys battling it out, and sweet Christ on the Cross dying for our sins, do they battle it out. Hashi and Ikeda just rip into each other with about the most brutal exchanges I have ever seen. The final showdown is basically Lawler v. Dutch with withering headbutts instead of punches. It was truly vile. They have a very cool mini story here, unlike most back and forth strike exchanges in Puro, this wasn't a battle of equals. Ikeda is the big bad killer, he has been for a long time, still when he is cracking skulls with Hashi he is being outpunched. He is like a boxer who has finally run into someone with heavier hands. He can't go toe to toe, but never learned to do anything else. Early in this showdown he takes a sickening headbutt and stumbles to his corner, Oba slaps him hard in the face to say "Your are Daisuke By God Ikeda, this is your house, there no tagging out, go beat that motherfuckers ass." By the end of the showdown, we see Oba in the corner cringing, you can see him thinking "He is going to die in that ring, I should have let him tag out." The FUTEN camerawork was great here, we get some amazing closeups of the bruised and bloody foreheads of both guys, it was pretty spectacular. When Chris Nowitski autopsies their brains, they are going to look like spoiled bananas. The ending of this was epic, Hashi hits a big slap, and one final headbutt dropping Ikeda. They go for a ten count, and as Ikeda raises at 9, you get this great shot of an exhausted Hashi. He has this terrified look on his face, he unloaded it all and the monster didn't stay down. It didn't matter what followed, Ikeda walked through hell and mentally broke him. Professional wrestling at it's absolute best.

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Friday, April 15, 2011

Doing A Cool Jerk, I Want You Like a King A Roo

Jerry Lawler vs. Jimmy Hart CWA 6/29/81 - GREAT

It is too bad Dean Malenko did watch this youtube video before Wrestlemania, because this is how you work this kind of match. The other big Memphis faces (Mantell, Dundee, Keirn and Roy Rogers) are at ringside as lumberjacks. Jimmy Hart has his moments, he gets some offense from a face full of powder, and a wrapped chain, but neither last long as Lawler drops his strap and his right hands. Hart is the best ever at both frenzied desperate attack, and wild crazy manager bumping. Lawler flies him all over the ring with punches, before breaking his leg with a spinning toe hold. It is amazing how well this came off considering Lawler had the deck stacked for him, and comes off like kind of a dick for snapping Harts' leg.

Jerry Lawler/Brian Christopher vs. Bill Dundee/Jamie Dundee 3/2/11 - EPIC

Man alive was this great. The best of your 2011 Lawler indy run. Everyone looked great, especially Jamie Dundee who was completely off the charts here. His offense looked great, he was taking big in ring bumps and he is still awesome at being a skeezy dirtbag. There is a point where Bill is working with Christopher and Jamie is on the outside doing jumping jacks and deep knee bends, I wanted to leap through my computer and punch him in the face. Lawler looked great too, he didn't take the bumps he has been taking in other matches, as most of the heat was on Christopher, but his offense was Jerry Lawler offense. Nothing I enjoy more then watching Bill Dundee and Jerry Lawler slug it out, they do kind of a quick exchange of punches early, then have another awesome exchange later in the match, where each guy was dropping the other with bigger shots. Christopher was fine as the face in peril, and I really enjoyed the goofball finish ending in a Dutch Mantel run in to count the pin. Lawler did have to hold Jamie down for a long time, Dutch can't run as fast as he used to. If you are on this blog, reading this review, you will enjoy this match.

Jerry Lawler vs. Jack Swagger WWE 4/11/11 - FUN

Entertaining TV match. Both guys looked good, I loved Lawler doing the running airplane taunt (which is something I loved when Bischoff and Ogawa did, props for Swagger bringing that back). I also really enjoyed the no commentary with both Ross and Cole yelling encouragement from the floor, it actually kind of felt like an Ultimate Fighter fight. Lawler's dropkick to the back was awesome, as was his selling. I am not sure how the tag match is going to work, but I continue to love the weekly Jerry Lawler TV matches.


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Thursday, April 14, 2011

And As We Talked of Many Things, Fools and Kings

Jerry Lawler vs. Eric Embry USWA 4/26/91 - EPIC

This is a Texas title v. Unified title cage match. The face/heel structure has flipped from the 1989 match, as Embry is a full blown heel managed by Mr. Tojo Yammamoto. Lawler is on the mike early talking about how he has a neck injury but is fighting through it to beat on Embry. He bumps Embry around early, but stops to grab the microphone to try to get the crowd to chant Erica, Embry jumps him mid sentence and they go at it with a great back and forth punches. Embry gets the best of it, and starts brutalizing Lawler, nasty DDT, punches and elbows to the back of the neck, and even a couple of piledrivers. He would pause the beating to grab the mike and shit talk the crowd. We get an awesome Lawler strap drop comeback, before a ref bump and booking ensues. These are really two guys who work great against each other, I loved the heel Lawler v. face Embry 89 match, and this was just as good. Embry has great brutal looking offense, and such sleazy charisma, and his style fits the Lawler template perfectly.

Jerry Lawler vs. Bill Dundee USWA 12/14/96 - GREAT

This is the cliff notes version of a Lawler v. Dundee classic. It is a studio match, No DQ, for the Unified title. I really liked the way they used the No DQ stip, as both guys would use chokes and thumbs to the eye, Lawler even breaks out his illegal in TN piledriver. Downtown Bruno did a great job telling the wrestlers what they could and couldn't do. Of course it is Lawler v. Dundee, so you get everything you would expect from that match up, awesome sneaky punches by both guys, big bumps by Lawler (he takes his through the ropes side bump to the floor and a posting), Dundee's running clips to the knee, the strap drop. I always love how Dundee deals with the Lawler strap, he never begs off or freaks out, he just doubles his effort, like he is thinking "If I hit this fuck hard enough he will put that strap back up." Finish comes with blown hubcap interference from the Nation of Domination. Such a nifty short match, I really wish we had MSC footage from this period, because I imagine their arena matches were class.

Jerry Lawler vs. Jack Swagger WWE 4/4/11 - FUN

Short match, but everything in it looked good. I liked how Lawler was dipping and diving avoided Swagger, and his punches looked like Jerry Lawler was throwing punches. He has really started cracking people with the dropkick. I am not sure whether Cole v. Lawler has more legs, but Cole was a fine Jimmy Hart, although he doesn't have Hart's foot speed.


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Monday, April 11, 2011

ROH TV Workrate Report: 3/14/11

So this might be it. I went to DVR next week's ROH TV and it was not scheduled. Maybe it's taking a short break for March Madness? Maybe this is done. I'll write this report as if it were the last time I was watching ROH on my TV.

Bravado Brothers promo to start!!'s the same promo from like 2 months ago.

1. Bravado Brothers vs. Grizzly Redwood/Bobby Dempsey to start! We don't get to see these guys that often, so I'd rather have this on my TV than one last Chris Daniels match. Dempsey has the most unfortunate fat face. He looks like a bad present-day Artie Lange. Dempsey hits a great headbutt and tags in Grizzly. I'm not sure which Bravado is which. I think Harlem has the straight hair, and Lance has the curly hair. Grizzly gets thrown around really nicely, and Lance has a nice forearm shot. Harlem works a bearhug on Grizzly, and it's a little disappointing that Grizzly doesn't have a bearhug in his arsenal. Call it the Haggerty Hold. I dig Dempsey's one-armed singlet. His hair is a disappointment to fatties everywhere. It would work if he was a heel. Bravados pull out their San Diego Chicken offense and do a crossbody to Dempsey while the other is on all fours behind him, sending Bobby tumbling to defeat. Well that was fun and at 5 minutes didn't have time to lag. I'm gonna miss you guys.

TPT Finals tonight!

2. Pancration Rules Match! KO, subs only, no closed fists to the head, no hitting the back of the head, no knees on the ground, ropes in play.....Davey Richards vs. Tony Kozina! OK, for someone who has not liked a Davey match in 3+ years, this match sounds kinda cool on paper. I dig Kozina, and the confined rules might keep Davey from getting too shitty. It starts with them circling each other like RINGS fighters, open hand slaps and leg kicks. Davey knocks Tony down with a high kick and maneuvers into a guillotine, but Tony rolls out and both get back to their feet. Tony takes 2 kicks to the elbow and sells it real nice. Both throw knees from the clinch and the struggle within the clinch looks good. Tony gets leverage and dumps Davey on his head. Davey up and goes for a desperation takedown, and runs right into a knee from Tony. Davey turtles up and Tony blasts him with strikes on the ground before getting a rear naked choke. Davey fights up and reverses into mount and then foolishly goes for an ankle lock. What is this Davey, 1992? Tony gets the ropes and Davey kicks him in the same elbow again, then kicks him in the face. Kozina gets hit with a running knee and after some palm strikes on the ground, the ref calls it off. Best Davey match you will see. It was 5 minutes, cool action, and it took away all his stupid handsprings and fighting spirit. Davey doing faux-MMA is so much better than Davey doing pro wrestling.

Embassy is out, with no Necro. He has Princess Mia, Ernesto Osiris, and a guy in a green blazer/turtleneck combo (like Carl Sagan!!). I always like Nana on the stick. Nana introduces the newest Embassy member and it is......

Tomasso Ciampa? Cannot say I'm familiar. He is ambiguously brown and has a mohawk.

3. Tomasso Ciampa vs. Mike Sydal. Sydal you know because he has maybe the worst tattoos in wrestling, and you know the ground that covers? Mia gets shots in on Sydal and throws a nice superkick, especially for someone wearing a dress. Sydal has really lousy kicks and elbows. They are so light and fluffy and painless. Ciampa agrees as he is not hurt and blasts Sydal with a clothesline. Then does a completely preposterous but fun powerbomb into backcracker. You can't do it on an opponent over 130 lb., but it looks cool so who cares.

4. And now we got the finals of the TPT'11, Kyle O'Reilly vs. Mike Bennett. Crowd is amped for Kyle. They SMELL the upset. I am nervous as there are still 25 minutes left in the episode and that seems like a looooong time for them. We start the match as 80% of ROH matches start: headlock takeovers, rope running, some shoulderblocks...then we cut to Corino impressed with the match, talking to nobody in particular. "Yeah. Good, good. Wow, that was nice." Bennett gets knocked to the floor and then gets thrown into the rail. He plows into that rail as if he were applying for a gig in NOAH. O'Reilly again does his awesome dropkick from the apron through his opponent, and it looks even more impressive here as the guardrail comes unlatched and it looks like he kicked Bennett so hard that he flew into the rail and broke the rail apart. Stuff happens as I type that, and Bennett gains control with a DDT on the entrance ramp, which O'Reilly takes at a real awkward angle. Kyle gets back into the ring at the 19 count, doing an admirable stumble sell to make it back in. Bennett, instead of capitalizing on his stumbling opponent, goes for a resthold, which O'Reilly eventually backdrops out of. Bennett is selling major fatigue for some reason. I predict Kyle will take the next 6 minutes, and Bennett will hit his finisher to win. Nevermind, Bennett hits a decent spinebuster. O'Reilly gets some kicks, and a missle dropkick gets two. Ewwwwww then we go into a real ugly "MMA" sequence where O'Reilly takes a month and fumbles around before getting Bennett into a sloppy triangle that would impress NO one. O'Reilly transitions into a guillotine and Bennett powers up and hits his finisher. Well this match peaked during the big dropkick and DDT on the floor. O'Reilly did a real good stumble back to the ring and acted concussed, but back in the ring it was business as usual and it didn't have too much heat from there.

Bennett has words with Corino afterwards, making fun of all his crummy advice he gave to the losers of the tournament. It takes approximately 30 slow minutes to build to Bennett punching Corino, and when it finally happens it's just not worth it at all. Murdoch punching Dibiase this was not.

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Sunday, April 10, 2011


Takahiro Oba vs Ryuichi Sekine

Oba is basically the 2010s FUTEN Alexander Otsuka. He isn't going to get into a slugfest if he can avoid it, he will grapple the ever living fuck out of you, and he is maybe a little goofy. This was the most serious I have seen Oba, as this match was basically shenanigansless. Sekine plays the role of the firery rookie and while he may be a bit bland, he brought the goods here. Oba dominates early throwing Sekine around and twisting his limbs in painfully looking ways. Sekine gets a great comeback as he is able to get to his feet and throw some nasty kicks which Oba sold great. They have a really exciting end run to the match which ends with Oba escaping a near KO and grabbing a takedown and putting on a vicious kneebar. Excellent match, and a really great performance by Oba who is really becoming a favorite of mine.

Tamon Honda vs Kazuki Okubo

This match was structurally very similar to the first match, with Honda playing the roll of the veteran grappler and Okubo being the younger kicker. Honda had some nice tight holds and throws, his finishing guillotine was especially slick, and he sold his leg well. Still Okubo didn't contribute a ton, and the match never really built to much. Honda is always worth watching but the match was forgettable overall

Koichiro Kimura vs Brahman Shu/Brahman Kei

Kimura is the one FUTEN act I normally don't care for. He has had exclusively lethargic squash matches. He works stiff, but it's FUTEN, you are going to have to bring more to the table. This was by far the best of the Kimura matches however. The two on one aspect amped up the pace of the match, and the Brahman's were great as planes flying around King Kong. They actually got some pretty exiting near falls, and hit some cool double teams. It also seems like they kick harder every month which is something I appreciate.

Makoto Hashi/Manabu Suruga vs Kengo Mashimo/Madoka

This match had 3/4ths awesome FUTEN guys and when those guys matched up with each other it was good stuff. Mashimo vs. Hashi was basically a poor man's precursor to the Hashi vs. Ikeda stuff, full of hairline splitting headbutts and nasty kicks to the legs kidneys and face. Suruga is the blandest of the high end FUTEN guys, but he is a really solid wrestler and especially great at this style. His grappling, kicks, selling is all top notch. Unfortunately the hairless DDT junior with the Beiber hair brought his 4Liiean juniors workrate horseshit into my FUTEN match. Hashi beats him up some, but doesn't beat him up nearly enough. If he is going to do his rope running and flipping, I wan't Hashi to headbutt the algebra out of him. The good was good, but I don't think it outweighed the bad.

Daisuke Ikeda vs Takeshi Ono

Pretty much the wrestling version of Hagler v. Hearns round 1. The bell rings and Ikeda runs right into an Ono right hand and it goes from there. The story of this match is that Ono is the lower ranked member of their tag team (Apparently called Team Taco, Japan is weird) and he is going to throw the kitchen sink to take out Ikeda. Ono is a buzzsaw, throwing vicious punches in bunches square into Ikeda face and body. Ikeda absorbs these shots and fires back with big punches and kicks of his own. The finish is amazing wrestling, they both quickly counte multiple submission attempts, with Ono slipping out and landing a hellacious knee to the back of Ikeda's head, I expected cerebral fluid to fly out of his nostrils. Ono gets mount and starts pounding out Ikeda but gets caught in an awesome armbar from the bottom and is forced to tap. The best under five minute match I have ever seen, even though it was short it was a complete satisfying. Everything I love about FUTEN in one intense blast, the wrestling equivalent of a Bad Brains song.

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Friday, April 08, 2011


New Schneider Comp has dropped with a bunch of great digging in the crates rare matches. All Killer No Filler, as always contact

Goodhelmet at

Goodwill Wrestling Podcast discussing the set here

If there is a longer review I will link it, so click on the title


Asturiano, Centella de Oro & Milenium vs. Centauro de Fuego, Fuerza Chicana & Toro Bill Sr. (CMLL Puebla 5/10/10)

The Puebla undercard crew get a chance to shine. A chance to see Toro Bill who is a totally awesome old guy luchadore. Balls to the wall lucha match cool armdrags, neat dives, crazy bumps. Kind of a longer version of a WCWSN lucha match.

Jerry Lawler vs. Dream Machine (Coward’s Way Out Match) (USWA 4/25/94)

Classic nasty Memphis brawl. 94 Dream Machine has a great seedy look and both guys just blast each other with punches, boards and piledrivers. Great finish too.

Tamon Honda vs. Takeshi Morishima (NOAH 8/28/01)
Daisuke Ikeda vs. Takeshi Rikio (NOAH 8/31/01)
Tamon Honda vs. Daisuke Ikeda (NOAH 9/1/01)
Tamon Honda & Masao Inoue vs. Jun Akiyama & Akitoshi Saito (NOAH 9/2/01)
Tamon Honda vs. Jun Akiyama (NOAH 9/5/01)

This is a mini tournament for a GHC title shot, and the title match. Amazing Honda performances here which are as good as his more well known 2003 run. Ikeda v. Honda is as good as it looks on paper, and the Akiyama match is as good as any Akiyama match I can remember.

The Gangstas vs. The Thugz (Street Fight) (SMW 5/20/95)

Dylan described this a wrestling as a race war and that is a great description. The HH camera really adds to it, as it makes it look like a youtube video of a brawl in a strip club parking lot.

Demus 3:16 vs. Pierrothito (CMLL 8/24/10)

The winner of this match is no longer a midget. It gets as violent as you might expect a battle for adulthood to get. Rare Arena Mexico blood, tiny Frye v. Takayama exchanges, just a war.

Bill Dundee vs. Tony Charles (CWA 6/16/79)

Slick mat wrestling battle between the Superstar and Checkmate. Just unearthed, totally fun to listen to Lance Russell mark out on commentary.

Avisman, Gringo Loco & El Hijo Del Diablo vs. Bushi, Chico Che & Suicida (IWRG 10/29/09)

A real showcase for the awesome Chico Che. He is one of my favorite wrestlers to watch, and in this match he does it all. Cool fat man flying, bleeding, brawling, quick lucha exchanges. You will add him to your list after seeing this match.

Dustin Rhodes vs. Blacktop Bully (King of the Road) (Uncensored 3/19/95)

This match has a bad rep and it is totally undeserved. It is a nasty brawl between two good brawlers in a completely insane standing. Bully is constantly hanging over the side of the cage where it looks like he is about to bump onto a freeway off a speeding truck. The kind of lunatic thing you will only see in WCW

Dick Togo vs. Hikaru Sato (DDT 11/28/10)
Dick Togo vs. Rui Hiugaji (M-Pro 12/16/10)

Dick Togo is going out on top. Two spectacular singles match within a month, both worked very differently. Sato is a stiff match built around awesome bodypart selling, and the Hiugaji match is a Memphis main event.

Dick Togo, Ikuto Hidaka & TAKA Michinoku vs. Jody Fleish, Curry Man & Jinsei Shinzaki (M-Pro 3/2/03)

Great highflying MPRO match which is on the level of the best MPRO stuff of the 90's. This is as good as this style has ever been.

L.A. Park vs. Mesias (AAA 12/5/10)

The straight up MOTY and probably the best AAA match, insane wild brawl with LA Park putting in a brawling performance which matches any in wrestling history, and my god the blood.

Black Terry vs. Cerebro Negro (Hair vs. Hair) (IWRG 11/22/07)

Another classic lucha brawl which might have been the 2007 MOTY. If you are wondering why folks are talking about Black Terry, this is why.

Shinya Hashimoto vs. Yoshiaki Fujiwara (NJ 6/1/94)

Two of my three favorite Puro wrestlers in an amazing title fight. I think this is as good as the best AJPW matches from this year, although it is very different. I doubt I will ever release another Schneider Comp without at least one match from both of these guys.

Big Van Vader vs. El Gigante (NJ 1/4/92)

I showed this to Tomk, and he mentioned "I don't think this is as good as Hansen v. Andre." True statement, but it is way better then it should be. I like this kind of King Kong v. Godzilla match, and Gigante actually looks dangerous. Great finish too.

Wahoo McDaniel vs. Greg Valentine (Mid Atlantic 6/11/77)

Remember the "I Broke Wahoo's leg" T-Shirt? Here is the aforementioned leg breaking. Everything leading up to it is as sickeningly violent as Wahoo v. Valentine promises. If Wahoo hit me that hard I would try to break his leg too.

Pierrotito, El Fierito & Damiancito El Guerrero vs. Cicloncito Ramirez, Bracito de Oro & Mascarita Magica (CMLL 10/3/97)

A perfect lucha trios match. Really no way it could be better.

Yoji Anjoh vs. Naoki Sano (UWFi 8/13/93)

UWFI isn't me favorite shootstyle promotion, but Sano and Anjoh are great and this is a hidden classic.

Bobby Eaton vs. Dean Malenko (Pro 4/27/97)

Nifty discovery from the WCW B-Sides project. Malenko is a really great syndie show wrestler and this was shockingly awesome for a 1997 Bobby Eaton match

Riki Choshu & Shinya Hashimoto vs. Genichiro Tenryu & Takashi Ishikawa (WAR 4/2/93)

WAR v. NJ is all that a wrestling WAR should be. This is an explosive violent brawl with all four guys fighting like rabid dogs over the last piece of steak. Tenryu v. Hashimoto is all that you would hope that would be, Choshu is who we think he is and Takashi Ishikawa is a guy we don't know but should love.

Gilbert Cesca vs. Billy Catanzarro (France 1960s)

The single greatest wrestling discovery I have ever made. Two random French guys from the 1960's having a match on the level of anything in the history of wrestling. This is Steamboat v. Flair as directed by Jean-Luc Godard.

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Sunday, April 03, 2011

The King Shine's Like Ice, and Glares His Eyes

Jerry Lawler v. Tommy Rich SPW 10/2/88-EPIC

This is an AWA title match in Southern Championship Wrestling in GA. Tommy Rich has turned heel and is accompanied by Mr. Donnie a hollow eyed junky biker, who clearly is Rich's IRL black tar dealer. He is such an amazing scummy second, he sits there at ringside half into a nod, but it still feels like he could pull out a sharpened screwdriver at any minute and shank Lawler in the kidneys. The match is a true hidden Lawler gem, it feels like something which would have finished top 10 in a Memphis set if it was in Mid South Coliseum. Rich is a guy who doesn't have nearly the footage available of his peer, but every big match we have is great. I imagine if more GA arena footage was available, or if more of his big Memphis matches were available he would be considered one of the top workers of the 80's. The match has a cool Lawler title match feel with both guys starting slow and finding ways to sneak in right hands around lock ups and headlocks. Rich gets the advantage choking Lawler with tape and unloading a really pretty suplex, a neckbreaker and a bulldog. Rich is such a great heel, he can cheat and cheap shot with the best, but deliver some really nasty offense if he needs to, all with a totally sleazy smile on his face and a goateed tweaker sitting at ringside ready to snap. Lawler counters a second bulldog by throwing Rich into the cameraman who gets wiped out in an awesome visual. They move into a super hot finish run with some very big near moves including Rich planting Lawler with a piledriver, Rich cracking his hand on the ringpost and Lawler dropping the strap and being The King. Finish is excellent, Lawler missed his second rope fist drop, Rich cracks him with a chain. Lawler gets his foot on the ropes just to have it thrown off by Mr. Donnie. Rich gets awarded the AWA title and the crowd goes batshit. They surround the ring screaming at the ref and Rich. The promoter reverses the decision, and Rich snaps and starts kicking everyones ass, I really expected Mr. Donnie to pull out a straight razor. The crowd is smacking the ring mat and it really feels like a riot. Spectacular discovery, and a hell of a spectacle.

Jerry Lawler v. Mark Henry 9/22/96-GREAT

This is Herny's debut match and it is fun to watch Lawler work around basically a non-wrestler. We get some classic Lawler shit talking (suggesting Henry go back to the Olympics for javelin catching), we also get to see him pretend to clock Henry with a chain (I love imaginary chain Lawler, even more then actual chain Lawler). Mostly though it's Lawler bumping huge for all of Henry's power spots, including taking an enormous flying bump to the floor after a sidestepped shoulder tackle. Finish is amusing too as Henry squashes the New Rockers and Hunter Hearst Helmsley. Nice demonstration on how to get someone over.

Jerry Lawler v. Michael Cole WWE 4/3/11-FUN

Hard not to at least enjoy a big time Jerry Lawler match, and Cole's orange outfit with headgear was amazingly douchy. I really enjoyed the beginning of the match with Lawler bumping Cole around the Cole Mine, but the match died with Cole on offense. There was really no reason for this match to go on as long as it did. I was amused at Cole's Swagger bomb, but it felt like there was endless stomping of the ankle. You never saw Jimmy Hart v. Lawler or Kaufman v. Lawler go this long, and there was a reason for that. Lawler unloading on Cole was fine, although the ankle lock finish was kind of dumb. This needed a piledriver and that would have brought the crowd back. Post match Austin stuff, was post match Austin stuff, although I did dig Straight Edge Lawler playing with his beer and not drinking it. He was like a college freshman trying to moderate his first bender. Should have been better, but ultimately fine.



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Saturday, April 02, 2011

APW TV Workrate Report: 2/5/11

We start with a video recap of last week's good Dylan Drake/Derek Sanders match. For some reason the highlight film is shown in small picture-in-picture. It's taking up only about 1/3 of the screen, and there ain't anything going on in the other part of the screen. Odd choice. Video goes a bit long, as it's 4 minutes, and then right into a sit down interview with Dylan Drake. Then a commercial. Shit this show is dragging. We're at like the 8 minute mark and nothing is happening.

And another video!

But this one is pretty awesome, as it's a recap of the awesome fat Russian Alexis Derevko turning on Sheik Khan Abadi. The video is black and white and has Russian folk music blaring during Derevko's beatdown, and it really fits nicely. Derevko is fat and carries a chain and has nice punches. Abadi is greasy and has hair like Pauly Shore in Encino Man, or Dweezil Zappa. He has questionable offense at times but can always take a nice beating and bump huge.

1. Alexs Derevko vs. Sheik Khan Abadi. This is a GRUDGE match! Derevko takes a rana nicely and Abadi does a somersault dive to the floor. Abadi takes a big springy bump off a hotshot that looks good. Derevko lifts him up really high and does a big atomic drop, and Abadi sells his tailbone really well. But then Derevko hits a low blow and the match ends in DQ, so that's short and disappointing. Match was picking up and then it ended.

GOTH INTERVIEW! Corvus and the newly heel Jeckels are in a BLACK room wearing black clothing and talking about DARK stuff, and they're holding CANDLES! Evil, red, apple cinnamon candle. Like maybe one of those Glade 2-in-1s that has two different scent levels. You'll get a little apples n' cream up top, but the longer it burns you break into the bottom layer which will be berry or something tasty like that. They're really a great deal. I got a bunch at Target for like $3 so our place doesn't smell like garbage. I bet the GOTH interview cellar smells like failure and cinnamon. They could have also gone to Walgreens and gotten one of those black candles in a Jesus or Mary glass. I'm not sure if they have ones with Jesus or Mary in a lowrider, but they probably do by now. Jeckels works better as a heel but we're not talking about a big jump up in watchability here. He is embarrassing. But when he was a face and would do his awful little laugh, it made him come off developmentally disabled. As a heel it just comes off misguided.

2. Corvus, BLACKWELL, OMEGA, and Jeckels vs. Mr. Wrestling IV, Vennis DeMarco, Sheik Khan Abadi, and Chicano Flame. Man Chicano Flame has been around for awhile. This kind of match is pretty much guaranteed to be good as long as a couple participants are decent, as you can hide a bunch of weaknesses and have constant action. NOAH multi-mans are one of my favorite types of wrestling, so I can get behind a good 8 man. This had a few guys I like, and it delivered for a nice long main event. Blackwell and Abadi were the stars here, with Abadi really shining on the face team. Corvus and OMEGA looked good here, and OMEGA really needs to shift up his look or haircut or something. He actually is one of the better workers in APW, but looks like a total goof in his Matrix jacket and computer programmer haircut. He and Corvus do a bunch of awesome miscommunication spots in this, including both missing a charge and plowing into each other. They really made it look great, like they genuinely didn't know they were going to run into each other. Best segments were when Blackwell was in with Abadi, as Abadi bumps bigger than anybody else in APW, and Blackwell hits harder than anybody else, so it was a match made in heaven. Blackwell would do shoulderblocks that would sent Abadi careening in all sorts of painful ways. Jeckels stays out of most of this, and that helped the match. Mr. Wrestling IV is frustrating to me, as he seems like a guy that can go on the mat, but he hardly ever does and instead works as a goofy face. I'd much rather see him as Nick Bockwinkel than Bugsy McGraw. DeMarco does occasional things well, like a nice elbowdrop, but then he does a lot of stuff bad like lousy punches. But you know? This match was fun and all action, just as 8 mans should be. It's simple formula that's hard to mess up, and easy to get right, and they got it right. Now I want a Blackwell/Abadi singles match.


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Friday, April 01, 2011

APW TV Workrate Report: 1/29/11

We jump straight to the ring this week, no introductions.

1. Timothy Thatcher vs. Jody Kristofferson is up first. Referee Toby gets his own pre-match graphic, making me again suspicious that the dopey, mild-mannered Toby has some longterm evil plan. APW does a pretty good job at giving people basic mat training. A lot of their workers have decent matwork. They do a good job at making it look a little stiffer, a little rougher, not as rehearsed. Jody has a nice single leg into a cool Indian deathlock to start. The opening 30 seconds of APW matwork is much more entertaining than the opening 30 seconds of ROH wristlocks and headlock reversals. Jody hits a nice powerslam, but Thatcher starts working the arm with some cool takedowns, uppercuts to the arm, etc. Jody kinda spends the match selling the arm when it's convenient, but still hitting all his moves with no trouble (delayed front suplex, spear). They go into a real limp Frye/Takayama spot that has become to modern indies what the superkick was to 1997 indies, or the Roll the Dice was to 2002 indies. Once Jimmy Jacobs started doing that with a spike, it should have buried it for everybody else. Finish was nice, with Thatcher locking on a Fujiwara armbar/crossface, and Jody leveraging it into a pin. Thatcher looked good here and Jody is pretty new to this, but looked fine. OK stuff.

Recap of Derek Sanders/Dylan Drake feud, and Sanders would not look out of place in ROH. He is caucasian, has short brown hair, his eyes are kinda close together, he likes working out, he talks like he's reading cue cards...he could really make an impact there.

There was an amusing Markus Mac/Rik Luxury interview from the beach in San Diego, with Mac asking how the hell the camera man found them, to which the camera man responds, "You've been Twittering where you're at." That's pretty good. They built up a match 2 weeks from now with Luxury against some goofy lost Bravado brother.

2. Dylan Drake vs. Derek Sanders (w/ Will Rood). Rood really needs to work on his eye contact. He's the muscle for Sanders, yet he just shuffles along, looking at his shoes. How the hell did this guy ace the interview? He doesn't even tuck in his shirt. He probably wears his slacks without a belt. Does he go out looking for jobs like that? Rood needs to work on his confidence. Just needs to spend 5 minutes every morning thinking positive, conscious thoughts about himself. Also, get your fucking slacks tailored, Rood. Tell the tailor you want a slight "break" at the ankle. Baggy slacks make you look like a derelict, or a child wearing daddy's pants. And Jesus, Rood gets caught with a weapon before the match even starts. Wow. What does this guy even bring to the table!?!? He hid the weapon in his SOCK! Of COURSE the ref will check there!! Learn to hide a weapon, rookie! Wear tight briefs, ball up the chain, and hide it under your balls. It's not going to be comfortable, but there's no way ref Toby will check your taint for a chain. Get your head in the fucking game, Rood. You're a liability at this point.

Match starts and Sanders has pretty decent punches and elbows. Drake works over Sander's leg for the first few minutes, but Sanders takes over with an awesome rope-draped DDT that Drake took really well. Sanders sells the leg pretty well, limping around and extending the leg, rubbing it out. These two match up really nicely with each other. Drake bumps big for Sanders stuff, and Sanders does simple things like back elbows really well. I cannot put into words how annoying the announcer is calling a "vertical suplay". That just really rubs me the wrong way. Like the word "preggers". I don't really care if it's the correct or incorrect pronunciation, but good lord does it sound dumb. We get it, Gordon Solie said it that way, good for him. Gordon Solie can't hold a candle to Lance Russell buddy, and Solie was born in the roaring 20s! APW announcer Jon Roberts can't be over 30. I hate it. Finishing run to the match was good, with Drake getting Sanders in the sharpshooter and them doing some engaging reversals leading to Drake winning the title. I gotta blame that title loss squarely on Rood's shoulders here. I hope we eventually get to see the Sanders/Rood match so that worthless Rood finally gets what's coming to him. Good match here, went about 15 minutes. Both guys are a little whitebread, but both are in the top half of APW talent. Worth taking the time to check this one out.


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