Segunda Caida

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

Sunday, July 31, 2011

IWL Extreme Reinforcements 7/31/11

Never got an IPPV before, but I love lucha and I love Necro Butcher and I occasionally make rash Goyimish financial decisions so here we go.

We start with a tag gauntlet where I recognize no one. The opening section had a couple of nice sections between Ninja Del Fuego and some one who might be named Guerrero Arlaquin. Mulusco Jr. had a in ring quebrada which smashed his opponent square in the mouth. Match falls apart after it gets turned into a gauntlet by the ubiquitous Valerie who was all over the first part of the show. One of the worst cases of Dinero Marco I have seen in quite a while. Gauntlet is basically Big Mama and Juan Ranchero squashing rudos. I like fat luchadores, but these two couldn't even pull off fake Super Porky spots competently.

Freelance/Turbo/Naruto vs Kensuke/Tribal/Samurai Del Sol

This was more like it. Freelance has been hit and miss on the 2011 IWRG I have seen, but PPV Freelance is solid gold. We got some really solid fast matwork with Kensuke before all hell broke loose and guys started flying all over the ring. Everybody hit there stuff cleanly and lots of it was spectacular. The dive train was one of the crazier I have seen in a while, topped off with a nutso flip springboard plancha by Freelance. Had never heard of Kensuke before but he was impressive, as was really everyone. Terrible booking though, they call a time limit draw in the middle of the action just so Valerie can come out to add five more minutes. Just killed the match dead and they blow the initial attempt at the superbomb finish. Hell of match which was shit on by the bookers and promoters. They seemed to set up a revanche, which assuming they don't screw it up, will be enough to get my $10.

Zumbido v. Tony Rivera

Zumbido is not a good person, but a good wrestler, and he and Rivera have worked each other a bunch. This was a fun bloody brawl, with Zumbido breaking out some of his big bumps to the floor. His Estrada style floating over the top rope bump is still beautiful. Rivera worked hard too, and this built into a really exciting match. The booker couldn't resist though as we get a run in from Setimental and Mortiz who attack both guys. Valerie comes to the rescue and has her security run them off with ranas and topes. At this point I am getting really exasperated by this show. The luchadores were working hard and just being killed by the booking.

Cerebro Negro/Cerebro Maligno/Epitafia/Heavy Boy v. Kung Fu Jr./El Hijo Del Fishman/Medico Assesino Jr./Epidemia

Kind of a dull match which really dragged. Medico Assessino Jr. was really tall for and indy luchadore and was pretty impressive, I also always like seeing Cerebro Negro although he didn't do a ton to stand out here. Match was booked to set up Kung Fu Jr. and Fishman Jr. turning on each other. This show was dragging a bit at this point and they could have achieved the purpose quicker.

Daga v. Mickey Suicida Segura

These guys turned the show completely around. A hell of match, up there with the best stuff anywhere in the world and justified the purchase on its own. This was for the internet title and worked as a hybrid of a lucha title match and a indy juniors match. We got a long very well executed mat section early. Both guys looked very comfortable locking in holds and countering them, and it came off as a struggle not a exhibition. They moved seamlessly into a long, very cool finishing run. Lots of awesome big moves, including a great Sucida tope, a nasty back suplex on the apron by Daga, Daga hitting an Alantida into a headrop and and top rope German, while Segura hit a crazy top rope rana and a moonsault. Finish comes after a big Daga superplex, with Segura hooking his legs for a double pin. No problem with that finish, as it felt like a match that neither guy should have lost. They may have kicked out of a little too much, but that was a small complaint. The crowd was going bonkers as I imagine everyone watching IPPV was as well. Great stuff, I think it would be a good idea for IWL to throw this match on youtube, I could see it convincing folks to pick up the next IPPV.

Super Crazy/Heddi Karroui v. Craig Classic/Oriental

Oriental and Crazy have a very cool opening section with each other, fast intricate and cool. When Karroui and Classic tag in unfortunately it falls apart. I have no idea what Heddi's deal is, he appears to be a Turkish kickboxer from France and performs lucha as well as one might guess a Parisian Turk MMA guy would perform if thrown in a lucha match. Just a mess anytime he is the ring. I have no idea what he is doing in this fed, and I felt bad for the other three guys. Classic is pretty inoffensive, although he seems like a waste of a plane ticket too. Crazy seemed more lively then I have seen him in recent years and I would like to see him and Oriental match up without the millstone around there necks

Los Porros vs. Low Rider/Mad Man Pondo/Balls Mahoney/Fantasma de la Opera

Necro no-shows much to my chagrin. Balls Mahoney is the replacement, which is like being promised a Porterhouse steak and instead having someone shit in your mouth. Balls and Pondo didn't do much but the Mexcians in this match bumped pretty big, getting thrown through barbedwire tables and going face first into light tubes. Most lucha garbage matches are awful and backyardy, but this felt like less of an exhibition and more of a fight. There was some awkward stuff, but I was entertained. Necro would have actually been pretty awesome in this context, bummer about the no show.

Certainly some frustrations, but a definite thumbs up. Two entertaining matches, part of a third, and one absolute classic is enough for me. It did go too long, the show could have used some tightening. Plus this is an indy lucha show, they are doing a nice job of having a little bit of everything, give me some Maestros. Navarro, Solar, Terry, Super Astro. It doesn't feel like an indy lucha show without those guys doing their thing.

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Saturday, July 30, 2011

APW TV Workrate Report: 3/19/11

We start with some heavy breathing Jeckels promos that are just embarrassing. It's Blackwell, Jeckels, and DARKNESS, who is just an unfortunate character. She's like 5'2" 220 lb. gal who doesn't actually seem to wrestle, just kinda hunch over and glower. I mean, if somebody wants to give their money to a wrestling school, a wrestling school will never turn them down. But really, what could Roland think when she walked in the door? He knows what the current landscape is for women's wrestling in America. I'm really curious about her goals, what she hopes to accomplish in the wrestling business.

1. Levi Shapiro (the Unorthodox Jew) vs. Dave Dutra starts us off. I've seen Shapiro in a battle royal before, but nothing other than that. They start with matwork, but Shapiro is really loose on hammerlocks and headlocks. Dutra has a cool leg trip takedown but that doesn't go anywhere. Shapiro starts winning me over by following up an eyerake with raking Dutra's face across his boot laces. The announcers point out that former APW manager Betty Beefcake is in the crowd. Speaking of low-talent females who gave APW their money...

Shapiro controls for awhile with stomps and boot chokes, but Dutra slides through his legs to transition to offense. Nice atomic drop, and then does that running flying knee that it seems a bunch of guys are doing these days. I think Evan Bourne and Trent Barretta are doing it, and I've seen it in ROH, too. Could this move take some 2011 indy thunder away from the backcracker? Dutra goes over here, pretty nothing match. One guy controlled to start, other guy took over to win. Sand through hourglass.

I'm starting to really like Timothy Thatcher. I think with his size and scuzzy British look and soundhe has maybe the best chance of anybody in APW

2. Blackwell & Jeckles the Jester vs. Mr. Wrestling IV & Vennis DeMarco is our main and looks like they're giving it plenty of time. Blackwell doesn't really fit into the goth stable (aside from being obese and pasty white), as the only thing he really does differently now is wear a tiny amount of black face paint. He does bump huge off a double dropkick, though. IV does way too much comedy for me to take him seriously as a main eventer, and it can come off really obnoxious. Vennis will often do 3 things I don't like for every one move I like, such as throwing some problematic punches before hitting a real nice clothesline, and then doing a weak elbowdrop...but then locking on a real nasty wristlock/cravate combo...then doing a real weak crossbody.Dammit Vennis! I'm torn. TORN. OK, Vennis takes a real big bump to the floor, and then does Jeckles a huge favor by bumping huge, backwards into a table off of a horrendous dropkick by Jeckles. Jeckles went to kick him through the ropes, but his legs don't get high enough and the kick just putters out. Point: Vennis.

Blackwell in and throws a great elbow. I love his elbows. Then he does a great combo of corner splash/belly to belly/elbowdrop. If there is a better huge fat guy currently wrestling today, I sure don't know it. Jeckles comes in and throws some nice short elbows and before he does much more Blackwell tags back in, this time throwing Mr. Wrestling IV around. Blackwell misses a butt splash allowing IV to tag out, and Vennis comes in with a nice seated dropkick but then a crummy somersault legdrop. It has to be this way. Match ends with interference and a blind tag, kind of a weak finish.

Match was OK but didn't really warrant enough to fill the 18 minutes it went. Blackwell looked great as always, but the other guys went wildly back and forth from adding to the match to taking away from the match. Next week's line-up doesn't look too promising, but I guess you never know.


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Friday, July 29, 2011

EVOLVE 9 Road Report

One of the advantages of making your own work schedule is that you can do crazy shit like take a bus to NYC for a Tuesday wrestling show. Didn't want to miss Finlay back in the ring especially against a guy like Sami who will take a Finlay sized beating and fire back. Met my buddy Anthony at Penn Station and headed down to the show. BB Kings is a weird venue for wrestling, maybe the only wrestling arena in the world with bathroom attendants. Those guys were lucky to walk with $10 this night

Stockade/Apollyon v. Ryan Rush/MC Kenny Royal

Man was the heel team pretty awesome. They have the goofy wrestling name of "The Order of the Black" and are pro-wrestling as fuck. Two big fat guys with sloppy face paint who smash people with forearms and crowbarish clotheslines. Apollyon had a nice rolling senton and top rope splash, but I may have liked Stockade kicks to the face and forearm to the back even better. Ryan Rush took some big bumps, and the little guys stuck and moved before they got smushed. I would much rather watch indy guys try to approximate Rockers v. Twin Towers then Kobashi v. Misawa. My second favorite match of the night.

Greek God Papadon v. Alex Reynolds v. Kieran

I realized I have way too much background information about Greek God Papadon, I was able to list half a dozen facts about him to Anthony, I need to go to grad school. This was an indy three way, they have a low ceiling on how good they can be, and this didn't scrape that ceiling.

Eric Ryan v. Bobby Beverly

These guys are EVOLVEish guys having an EVOLVish match. 5'6 jacked guys doing indy reversal sections. One guy had a nice tope. Suplexes appear not to hurt them. This goes about five minutes before Kevin Steen comes in and hits a bunch of headrops. For some reason they didn't jump right up and scream when Steen hit them with suplexes. Steen shakes their unconscious hands and tells them "great match" which did make me laugh. He shoots for a bit, threatening to mouth rape Rob Naylor if he interrupts. Bobby Fish comes out and tells him that EVOLVE has rules, and he had better learn to color in the lines. Problem with running this angle, is that EVOLVE runs so sporadically, and is so goofily booked that am not sure they have any actual fans. People go to the show to watch wrestlers they like, but I can't imagine there are actual EVOLVE fans, the way ROH has fans or CZW has fans. When Steen talked about how stupid EVOLVE is, and how he is going to destroy it, folks seemed totally on board with that.

Super Smash Brothers v. Facade/Jason Gory

I usually judge these kind of tag spotfest with an almost Tim Noel mathematical formula. You have to have twice as many cool spots to stupid spots for me to tolerate it. This was right on the cusp of that, but I think it just cleared that bar. I liked Facade and Gory's hug each other quebrada, and Player Dos is pretty athletic and amazingly Canadian looking.

Sugar Dunkington v. Silas Young

One thing I noticed while watching all of the indy wrestling TV a couple of weeks ago, is that there is a guy working 2011 Pez Whatley in pretty much every promotion out there. I am not sure if Sugar Dunkington is better then the Alabama Ebony Diamond or the Nevada Ebony Diamond, and I know he isn't as good as Dinamic Black, but I enjoy that gimmick. Silas Young is a seedy looking guy with Metal hair and there is a bunch of amusing shit talking in the match. Young worked him over and yelled "This is wrestling not the stupid shit you do." I am not sure if Young is working a "Chikara is retarded" gimmick, but if he is, he will finish way too high on the Segunda Caida 500. Post match Young calls out Johnny Gargano. Gargano comes out and apologizes for pressuring Silas to have a drink, thus causing him to fall off the wagon and go on a bender. Gargano then says he has never drunk alcohol so he doesn't know how it effects you. I am not sure in what world "Straight Edge asshole taunts a recovering addict into relapse" is a babyface gimmick. My attempts to start the Serenity Prayer as a wrestling chant fail. "ACCEPT THE THINGS I CAN NOT CHANGE, CHANGE THE THINGS I CAN"

Pinkie Sanchez v. Lince Dorado

Dorado has a couple of nice armdrags early, but the match really fell apart. Both guys were really dainty with their stuff. EVOLVE is a fed were folks stiff each other, it makes stuff like Sanchez and Dorado were throwing look even worse. Lince tries a shooting star press with the low ceiling and I get worried. Sanchez has been wrestling for a while, but I bet he can't improv as well as Mitch Ryder.

Larry Dallas comes out wearing the same shiny shirt as Lenny Leonard. If your gimmick is a rich guy throwing money around, it looks really bad to be wearing the same Express teal dress shirt as the schlubby T-Rex armed announcer. Also Dallas is way too tall to work as a manager in a fed like EVOLVE. Although to be fair Jimmy Hart would probably be too tall to work as a manager in EVOLVE. Dallas is two inches taller then his bodyguard and five inches taller then his new tag team. He introduces his new team, The Scene, Scott Reed and Caleb Konley. If you are going to have a tag team named "The Scene" they have to look like they belong to the same scene. Doesn't matter what the scene is. Konley and Reed look like they would never hang out if they weren't shoehorned into a makeshit tag team. Reed had a topknot, shitty dojo queen tats and roid belly, Konley looked like a Mormon Missionary.

The Scene v. Up in Smoke

Cheech and Cloudy are always solid, but the Scene were really bland and didn't bring a ton to the match. Cloudy did take some big bumps and a really nice dive. Not much of a match though.

Post match Leonard asks Cheech about the loss and he turns on Cloudy and hits his finisher on him. Now Cheech and Cloudy have been teaming together for like 8 years, they are one of the longest running tag teams in the last two decades. If you are going to break them up shouldn't it mean something? Cheech hitting a goofy GTS variation after a throw away mid card tag to utter crowd indifference is Russo terrible. Is anyone in the world excited about Cheech v. Cloudy? Especially after that wet fart of an angle?

Jon Davis v. Bobby Fish

Steen had been at ringside doing commentary for the last couple of matches. 30 seconds into this match he runs in and forearms Fish causing a DQ. We get a bunch of back and forth on the mike setting up a 3-way. Davis obliterates the ref with a great lariat and says he wants to fight both guys.

Jon Davis v. Bobby Fish v. Kevin Steen

Steen was supposedly at EVOLVE to cut a promo not wrestle, and he kind of wrestled like a guy who didn't show up planning to wrestle. I have liked Fish before, but didn't think he looked good here, his kicks were more flash then substance and he didn't convey the anger he was supposed to have for Steen. I did like Davis, although he wasn't the focus of the match (although he did get the win). Felt like any combination of these guys in a singles match would have been way better.

John Silver v. Tony Neese

I just hated this match. Pretty much a microcosm of all that is wrong with 2011 professional wrestling. One of the things that the death of territories mean is that there aren't way fewer guys making their living on professional wrestling. I am sure most people on this card are wrestling as a hobby. No one wants to play the bit part in community theatre, everyone wants to be Henry Hill. This was the match after intermission, we still had two main events to go, there was no reason for these two guys to go out and try to do some amalgamation of Beniot v. Sasuke and Misawa v. Kobashi. This was about the most bog standard indy showcase match you can imagine, two guys who trained with each other checking off every box on the "This is Awesome" checklist. Missed moves, armdrags, double dropkick, kip up, wait for applause CHECK. Forearm exchange while making intense faces at each other CHECK!! Taking a headrop selling like you are unconscious for a second, only to get up and start hitting moves like nothing happened CHECK, CHECK CHECK CHECK!!! It's like Gabe watched some dreck like Davey Richards v. Eddie Edwards and thought, I could do that with two guys even shorter, that the crowd doesn't know, and stick it in the midcard.This was the Boehner Plan as a wrestling match, it is News of the World hacking dead soldiers cellphones, Amy Winehouse's last shot of dope, the wrestling match Andrers Brevik dreams of when he goes to sleep.

Sami Callihan v. Fit Finlay

This is why I took a bus to NYC and it delivered everything I wanted it to. Finlay was rocking orange and white gear, I am not sure whether that means he has converted to Protestantism, but I would really be into Apostate Finlay vs. soon to be released Mistico. Man does Finlay look like the baddest fucker in the world live, Barrel chest, thick forearms. He looks like a guy who owns a Belfast bar and once split a mouthy British soldiers head open with a pool cue. Sami comes right at him at the bell and he runs directly into the hardest forearm I have ever seen live. I thought that Finlay knocked him out cold, I would have been a little bummed to take a four hour bus ride for a seven second match, but it might have been worth it. The match goes from there with Sami getting in Finlay's face and paying for it. There is a great moment early when he slaps Finlay and Fit responds with a no hands bar fight headbutt. Sami fired back the best he could, he just blistered Finlay with chops to the throat, and hit a couple of big running kicks and his running forearm. Really cool story here with Callihan trying to earn Finlay's respect and Finlay making him earn it by kicking the shit out of him. There was this point where Callihan has Finlay in the corner, Finlay calls for the break and as the ref gets between them Fit kick Sami in the kneecap. Callihan responds by screaming something like "forget the cheapshots, lets go strike for strike and see who is toughest." Finlay responds by cheap shotting him in the knee again which was such a great "fuck your fake puro fighting spirit" moment. Finlay is here to kick ass and cash a check, he doesn't have shit to prove to anyone.

Finish run was perfect, Sami gets him to the floor and goes for his tope, Finlay dismissively walks away leaving Sami to fly throat first into the guard rail. He is fucked, but still sharp enough to trip Finlay when he was trying to get into the ring. Sami goes to the top, but gets swept off taking a big fall into the ring. Finlay hits a Celtic Cross, which Sami kicks out of. He is beaten but still flips Fit off, Finlay hits him with another Celtic Cross for two again. Sami can barely lift his body off the mat, but still flips the double bird to Finlay. At this point Sami looks like Patricia Arquette at the motel room in True Romance. Finlay finally lifts him up and absolutely plants Callihan with his awesome jumping tombstone for the three count. Fuck I had forgotten how beautiful Finlay's tombstone was. Just a great match, which I can't wait to watch again. Callihan has spent much of this year having good matches with chumps, I am glad he got to get in with someone above his level. Finlay is fucking back, which is the most exciting thing in wrestling in 2011, I want to watch every time he steps into a ring.

Post match Finlay gets on the mike and puts over Callihan as one of the toughest guys he has been in the ring with, with a raspy Lawrence Tierney voice which he attributes to Callihan's chops. Anthony and I decide to bail on Chuck Taylor v. Johnny Gargano and go eat some Bon Chon Chicken. It was a one match show for me, and that match totally delivered so no complaints for me. If EVOLVE books a rematch, they sell a ticket to me.

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Top 30 Thursday - Mid-South #25. Ric Flair vs. Terry Taylor, 4/28/85

"What time did you make it in last night? You didn't come to bed."

He had made it in late. Or early. Some of the boys had taken him out after the card to try and cheer him up. Drink, girls, he didn't really feel like it at the time. Oh, he wanted a drink. And he wanted a couple of the girls. But he didn't much feel like being cheered up. He wanted to drink alone. He didn't even feel like fucking one of the girls, just wanted around one of them. Just be around some girl who didn't see him lose, didn't see him come *this* close to the title, just wanted...he didn't know.

He was standing in his kitchen, drinking. He wasn't sure what time he got dropped off. It wasn't light outside, but it wasn't dark. It felt like he had been standing at the chopping block island for hours, but it could have only been a half hour for all he knew. He was just drinking his bourbon and soda.

One of the girls at the bar earlier had actually made fun of him for drinking it! Who makes fun of somebody for drinking bourbon and soda? "You drink like my dad," she had said. Yeah, I bet I do. How old could she even have been? She was drinking a fucking wine cooler. His half-hearted joke about a B&J was met with a vacant stare.

His wife noticed the half empty bottle of club soda on the counter. She noticed his knee, wrapped bulkier than normal. She had been here before, she knew this wasn't good. She knew what he was challenging for last night, knew how important it was to him.

"What number is this one?" she asked.

"Third." It had to be at least the fourth.

"Jesus, Terry, it's not even 10:00 A.M.!"

"Is it that late?"

He chuckled, but she didn't look amused. She wasn't amused, but what could she do? How mad could she really be? He was a good father, he rarely let his drinking get out of control, and she loved him. She was just happy he was home.

"How was your match last night?" she asked hesitantly. She knew it couldn't have gone well. It was obvious by the mood what had happened, and she didn't want to pick at wounds.

"I fucking had him, Trudy. Fucking HAD him."

"Oh, god, what did he do this time? Feet on the ropes? Kick you low? Jesus, when the hell is Fergie going to just WATCH him, just watch what he does in a..."

"No," he interrupted. "Nothing like that. Wasn't Ric, wasn't Karl, neither of their fault. I fucking HAD HIM."

She partly regretted asking. It was still early. He had been drinking. She just hated seeing him this way.

"I was real aggressive, Trude. WAY more than normal. I went AFTER that knee. I mean...I went AFTER it. Played his game without playing dirty, you know? Went after the leg, went after the arm...thought he was going to fucking stop breathing after I locked on a sleeper. I just...that aggression bit me in the ass, you know? He bailed out of the ring, I went after him, rushed things too much, and my boot got stuck in the ropes. The more I struggled the tighter those fucking ropes got. It was over from there. He beat me clean."

"Terry." She didn't know what to say. Not much was coming to her. She knew how important this title was to him, how BADLY he wanted it.

"Terry, you'll get another shot. Sooner than you think. The fans love you, and that's what matters. As long as the fans love you and want to see you, you'll still get your shot. I've heard them, Terry. You don't know how PROUD it makes me when I see you, and I hear how much the fans love you! Not just the women, either. Everybody in that arena loves you. You'll get more shots at the belt, and win or lose they will still love you. *I* will still love you, Terry. I love you."

Trudy was a good woman. She was trying to help, and as much as he didn't want to be helped, it was working.

"This just felt different, Trude. I mean, I've fought Ric plenty, and sometimes he beats me fair, sometimes he cheats...but this time I beat myself. I HAD him. I just PUSHED myself. I had it. I fucking had it. I got excited, WANTED that belt. And to get stuck in the ropes? That's just...."

"Terry, go sit down. Let me make you breakfast. I just picked up some beef bacon at the butcher's. I'll make you some French toast."

"Trudy..." he sighed. "I love you."

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wednesday Night Bootleg- Drew v. Kane

Drew McIntyre v. Kane Aberdeen Scotland 10/9/10

Fun match with McIntyre working as a local babyface trying to win the title from a touring champion. Kane isn't a very good touring champion, and the execution wasn't great, but Drew was bumping huge and they built to all of the big moments really well. The near fall after the Implant DDT was very cool, and Drew took the chokeslam great. Would love to see what Drew would do as a babyface against a better champion next time they go to Scotland.


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My Favorite Wrestling: WCW Main Event 7/14/96 & 7/21/96

The Main Event was probably the weakest of your WCW syndicated shows. It aired on Sunday afternoons in my neck of the woods, which were always filled with dread for me since in my house we always got to goof around on Saturdays, but Sundays were when we did yardwork and chores and before you knew it another week of school was here. So you had Sunday afternoon wrestling, sometimes used as a PPV lead-in (the Konnan/One Man Gang U.S. Title change was actually shown on The Main Event!), but usually the matches were really short and nobody good ever wrestled on there. I've yet to come across a match from The Main Event that I'd give the full two thumbs up to.

But you know? It still has its charm. The crowd is always excited and almost too quick with a jingoistic chant if there is a foreigner wrestling, you get sit down studio bullshit sessions with Bobby Heenan, you get Dusty in full-on hilarious "Even I don't know what I'm saying" commentary, and you get highlights from Saturday Night and Nitro. So you get a pretty decent package, bookended with some matches that are rarely awful. It's WCW syndicated wrestling, so it at least has its charms.

This was also a neat random pick out of the stacks because it originally aired almost exactly 15 years ago. Remember how full of dreams you were 15 years ago, as you watched Konnan and Joe Gomez matches?


Ruckus vs. Joe Gomez

Ruckus is Robbie Rage, and they even bill him as being part of High Voltage. Never knew he went under a different name in WCW. Gomez is not very good, but he's not very good in a really entertaining way. Rage has a waistlock and does a takedown, Gomez tries to get his hands out to block his face, somehow goes forehead first into the mat. Rage does a REALLY cool armbar/headscissors takedown (that somebody today should steal), Gomez takes the bump right onto the top of his head. So he looks really lost out there, but when he's match against a powerhouse like Rage fun things happen. I'm sure there is a Gomez/Jerry Flynn match out there, and that Gomez somehow manages to take a boot to the eyeball in it. Match only goes 90 seconds, Ruckus takes the whole match until Gomez wins with a sunset flip. Forgettable, but Rage always breaks out moves I don't expect from him, and therefore Rage is starting to be someone I genuinely look forward to seeing on these shows.

Konnan vs. Alex Wright

Man, was Konnan on every single fucking episode of Main Event in '96? Jesus, I have seen soooo many Konnan matches already, and this was a real odd one, and I'll be honest...I was really getting into it, until Konnan. Starting to get into it, match was building nicely, and then Konnan. Konnan. The match starts with 14 minutes left in the show and I am filled with dread at the prospect of a long Konnan match, but also excited to see what Wright could do. Will Wright get the title of superest superworker ever, by having the great 10+ minute Konnan match?

Well, the first 3 minutes are all on the mat and while Konnan doesn't look great, he doesn't look bad at all. Wright bends himself into some painful looking holds, pulls out some nice reversals, twists Konnan around by the wrist, Konnan jams his knee in Wright's back, neither guy gets an advantage, some cool stuff. Then they stand up, and Konnan rolls him up for the win, immediately. What. The. Fuck. But to add to that, Wright was not only under the ropes, but had both arms wrapped around the bottom rope. So Wright is looking to get the count broken, but the ref just counts three. This is literally the 2nd time a '96 Konnan match on Main Event has ended this same way, that I've seen. It's as if only Konnan and the ref know when the match is finishing, and it makes everybody look bad. Wright was in the ropes, HOLDING the ropes, looking right at the ref, and the ref just slowly counts three, while making awkward eye contact with Wright. "I know this looks bad Alex. I can clearly see you making love to those ropes. I know it's now taken me 7 seconds just to count to 2...but....I'm counting 3."


VK Wallstreet vs. Jim Powers

I always had a soft spot for Wallstreet/IRS/Rotundo, as I thought he looked like Will Clark when I was a kid, and Will Clark was my favorite thing in the world when I was 9. I still think he kinda looks like Will Clark as an adult, and Will Clark is still one of my favorite things in the world. I was wearing a Will Clark t-shirt yesterday. Wallstreet actually looked really good here, but good lord was Jim Powers not very good at pro wrestling. Wallstreet had a couple nice clotheslines, and GREAT short elbowdrop (boy but he really shoehorns that abdominal stretch while holding the ropes into every match, huh? What's great is the camera pans to the crowd during the payoff of the ref finally catching him cheating, so Powers doesn't even get his comeuppance shown) and the Stock Market Crash is a great name for his Samoan drop finisher.

Bobby Eaton/Dave Taylor vs. Jim Duggan/Craig Pittman

This was only 3 minutes but very fun. Not tons of offense aside from punches, but Eaton can obviously punch, Taylor can throw some blows, Duggan can throw alternately great and horrendous punches, so 3 minutes of punches isn't really an awful thing with these guys. But it was Pittman's punches that were the star here. They had the look of someone who didn't actually know how to throw any kind of punch, worked or real, so was just kind of moving his fist towards Eaton's face...but they looked brutal! Not sure how much of it was Eaton putting them over big, but it looked like he was not so much selling them as he was trying to get out of the way of them. Regal runs distraction on the floor, making a bunch of funny Don Knotts mannerisms to get the crowd hyped and put over Teddy Long as some sort of threat. Duggan gets the win with a nice taped fist punch.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Black Terry Will Buy You Anything In Town, If You Leave That Junk Alone

Black Terry/Eterno/Hijo del Pantera v. Daga/Hormiga/Paranoiko v. Judas el Traidor/Onita Santana/Sadico v. Black Mamba/Silencio/Silver Tiger DTU 7/24/11-FUN

This was apparently originally a triangle tag that got turned into a 4 way trios with the addition of a Promotion Cantu Nuevo Laredo trios, that was probably to the matches detriment as the Cantu team (Mamba/Silencio/Tiger) was not at the level of the other guys in the match. There was an especially awkward exchange between Pantera and Tiger. Lots of stuff to like in this match, Paranoiko and Santana start out with some cool matwork, and Daga and Terry worked some nice rope running stuff. There was also a cool dive train with an especially gnarly assisted flip plancha by Eterno. I still think Judas el Traidor should end every match by turning on his partners.



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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Dick Togo Behind the Scene Pull Strings Like Geppetto, The Gun Blow Steam Whistle Like a Tea Kettle

Dick Togo/Scott Norton/Don Frye v. Masahiro Chono/Kohei Sato/Eric Young PWE 10/25/08-SKIPPABLE

On paper this looks like an awesome random WAR six man, but it didn't like up to any of that promise. Chono and Norton start out and neither guy looks like he should be in the ring at this point. Young and Togo run through a wrestling school juniors section, Togo and Sato have some fun stuff, and Eric Young does a great convulsion sell on a Frye punch, but outside of that we had nothing. Frye is usually ridiculously charismatic, but he was bland here. Don't ruin the match in your head by watching the match on the computer.

Dick Togo v. Shinya Ishikawa BJW 5/3/09-EPIC

I can't remember seeing Togo work this kind of violent potato fest match before, and he is great at it. You get the sense that Togo could slot right into a FUTEN show and fit like a glove. The main problems I have with most Strong BJ wrestling is the lack of selling, emotion and structure. At its worst it is just two guys standing in front of each other throwing forearms. Of course there isn't anyone in wrestling better and inserting selling, emotion and structure into a match then Dick Togo. So we get all the violence without any of the problems. Togo really works over the kid, especially his ribs, smashing them with knees and an especially nasty double stomp. Ishikawa gets a couple of big comebacks, including a really stiff dropkick which Togo just flies on. Not particularly long, but really fun to watch and very cool to see Togo do something different so well.

Dick Togo v. Gedo DDT 6/30/11-GREAT

The curtain goes down on a great career with a great match. Togo is walking away at the height of his prowess, arguably the best wrestler in the world, on the best run of his career. Gedo is currently the best wrestler he has faced during this singles run, although this isn't the best match. Execution in this match is great, both guys hit what they do very well. The match starts with some solid as a rock basic mat wrestling. Gedo gets out wrestled and decides to brawl, smashing Togo in the ribs with a chair and ring bell hammer. Togo takes a huge bump ribs first into the ring post. We get a great Memphis punch exchanges, some exciting near falls, and a beautiful Togo tope and floating senton. Despite the brawling which looked great, I never thought this took the extra step into a grasping violent war, like the best of this Togo series. In a way that is fine, maybe a retirement match should be a guy running through his greatest hits with a good dance partner, and this was a great version of that, really enjoyed it, but Togo raised the EPIC bar in 2010-11 and this didn't clear it.



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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saturday Night's Alright for SLL's All-Request

Domingo Robles vs. Jay Youngblood (WWC, early 80's)
Requested by Tim Evans

This was a fun four-minute aside. Domingo Robles' gimmick is that he's what every clueless dope who read the WKO 100 without actually knowing what they were talking about thinks Black Terry is. He's this aged, broken down, clumsy, ambiguously drunken rudo who feebly attempts to brawl with Youngblood, but inevitably ends up getting knocked on his ass and begging off. And it rules. Robles' shtick is great. He has a million different ways to comically oversell Jay's offense. I think my favorite was when Youngblood hit him so hard that he got "stuck". This is compounded by Rip Rogers' solo commentary, as he is in awe at Robles' ludicrousness, and is actively cracking up at several points. "If at first you don't succeed...give up, Domingo."

Chris Jericho vs. Mike Enos (WCW, 9/23/1996)
Requested by DylanWaco

Enos' theme music epicness-to-push ratio is one of the mostly weirdly disproportionate I've ever seen. Dylan said this was his favorite Nitro match ever, and it's not hard to see the appeal. They do a really fun big man vs. little man match, and communicate the idea really well considering the size difference isn't that big and Enos has a lot of athletic offense for a biggish guy. Enos also comes across as a real challenge for Jericho despite the fact that I don't remember him getting one meaningful win in this entire run with the company and I'm watching from an age where Jericho is a multiple-time world champion (though he had only actually been in WCW a month at this point). Again, not hard to see why. Having not watched his stuff for a while, I had forgotten what a brute Enos could be. He opens this match by slapping Jericho hard across the mouth - seemingly because Jericho had an insufficiently firm handshake - and then cracks him with a headbutt. Jericho fires back with a nice spinwheel kick, but Enos hangs tight and catches Jericho with a slingshot shoulderblock and pins him down with the topes de Jalisco of all things. He spends the next little while beating Jericho up and powering him around. There's a particularly cool run outside the ring where Enos hits an apron dive clothesline and then turns the ringsteps on their side and suplexes Jericho onto them. After that, he turns his focus to Jericho's back. At one point, he breaks out a Boston crab that Larry Zbyszko completely shits on on commentary. Admittedly, it's not a very good Boston crab, but that's not the kind of thing you draw attention to in the booth. God, I hated Larry's commentary. Jericho escapes an Argentine backbreaker and hits a Michaels-style superkick followed by an Adams-style superkick to make a comeback, but it gets cut short in spectacular fashion when Enos turns a top-rope hurricanrana into a superbomb for a nearfall. When that doesn't work, he makes one last run at putting Jericho away, but Jericho over-rotates him on a powerslam attempt and lands on top for the pin. Offhand, I don't know what my favorite Nitro match ever is (Eddy/Malenko from the Saturday Nitro? I haven't watched it in a while. Hmmmm....). It's probably not this, but this was definitely one of the good ones, and a fine example of what used to make that show fun.

Kengo Mashimo & Madoka vs. Daisuke Sekimoto & Yoshihito Sasaki (Z-1, 3/2/2008)
Requested by Brandon-E

BJW guys vs. K-Dojo guys in Zero-One? OK. It's not like Zero-One has an identity of it's own anymore. These are three guys who I currently like, plus Madoka, who I don't really have anything against, back in a time when I either didn't like them or didn't care about them. Actually, weren't those fun MEN's Club multi-mans happening around this time? I probably liked Madoka the most when this happened. Either way, a lot has changed since then, but I guess the more things change, the more they stay the same, because these guys' performances in this match ranks roughly the same as how much I like them currently: Mashimo gives the best showing, then Sasaki, then Sekimoto, then Madoka. And that's not good, because Sekimoto vs. Madoka seems to be the main focus of much of the match, and Mashimo doesn't really even show up until the half-way point. The result is that we have the tale of two matches. The first half, dominated by Sekimoto/Madoka exchanges, is really listless and sloppy. At one point, in rapid succession, Sekimoto backdrops Madoka over the top rope onto the apron (which is blown completely), Madoka Rocker Drops him when he tries a shoulderblock through the ropes (which Sekimoto didn't even seem to be trying to connect), and then takes him out on the outside with an Asai moonsault (which takes too long to set up and leaves Sekimoto standing there like a dope waiting to catch it). It's not good, but at least it was bad in an active way. Most of the rest of their stuff was dull and generic in the way you kind of expect a match like this to be dull and generic. Please, bring on the suck. At least that's interesting. But all of a sudden, Mashimo finally gets in the match, and he gets paired up with Sasaki, and it's like night and day. Structurally, they're not mixing it up too much, but there's just so much more life behind their exchanges. Mashimo looks especially dynamic, having a lot of really crisp offense, and shows some hints of things to come. FUTEN was definitely good for this guy, but honestly, he looked like he was already most of the way there in this match. Their enthusiasm seems to rub off on the others, too, and overall, the second half of the match is a lot more fun than the first, including Sekimoto pulling Madoka off the apron and over the top rope for one of the best German suplexes of his very German suplex-heavy career. The finish is also really great, with Mashimo grabbing a crucifix on Sasaki and rolling it over into the Rings of Saturn, cranking Sasaki's arm over his shoulder to make him tap. The bad first really drags down the good second half of this, but it did make me want to see a Mashimo/Sasaki singles match, so that probably counts for something.

Toshiaki Kawada vs. Minoru Suzuki (NJPW, 8/11/2005)
Requested by Curt McGirt

I have mixed feelings about this. Overall, if I had to call it one way or the other, I'd say this was a good match. Both guys brought enough fire to the proceedings to keep my interest throughout, and that's pretty much the minimum of what I could ask for from a match. They hit each other hard and Suzuki made his funny faces and it was generally structured well. That said, I wanted to like this way more than I did, and while I did like it, I'm not really that enthusiastic about it. Kawada was all over the map here. He was pretty deep into his HUSTLE "not giving a shit" phase, and while there were glimmers of his past greatness (he will still chop and kick the shit out of you, if nothing else), he honestly looked bored a lot of the time. At one point, Suzuki locks him in the sleeper, and I could've sworn I saw Kawada roll his eyes. I mean, we are talking Samoa Joe in TNA "great wrestler just not caring at all anymore" levels of boredom here. OK, maybe that's excessive, but there are some low moments here. Meanwhile, we've got Suzuki. He's kind of a divisive figure in wrestling fandom: either you think he's a really fun superdick heel, or you think he's an irritating Villain Sue. I understand both views, but personally, I've always leaned towards the former. I think the main tipping point is that his no-selling tendencies have always struck me as a bit like Kevin Von Erich's no-selling tendencies. When a guy wails on them, I don't believe either guy isn't in pain (usually), I just get the sense that they respond to pain differently than most wrestlers. He's not the Ultimate Warrior is what I'm saying. But I'm not dumb. I do recognize he's a guy with limitations. He works better in tags than in singles, he works better against lower-ranked opponents than equal or higher-ranked ones, and he works better in short sprints than longer, slower-paced matches. This is a singles match where he's wrestling a higher-ranked opponent, and it goes 17 minutes, which isn't an epic or anything, but is about 7 minutes longer than a Suzuki singles match should go. It's not a sprint, which really hurts the matches main appeal: watching two tough bomb-throwing bastards lay waste to each other. I mean, I guess you can do that for 17 minutes, but they really don't. When they're throwing bombs, it's great, and they throw enough of them to keep the match fun overall, but the match as a whole is still worked at a surprisingly and frustratingly deliberate pace. I don't know. Maybe I just set the bar too high for this one.

The Road Warriors & Paul Ellering vs. The Varsity Club (NWA, 2/11/1989)
Requested by Victator

By contrast, I didn't know what to expect from this. The Varsity Club has been revisited a bit lately, and people with opinions I take seriously are saying that they were a really fun act around this time. Watching this match definitely bore that out. This is worked as a brawlers vs. technicians style clash, and the Varsity Club hold up their end of the bargain, with really aggressive looking amateur takedowns early on, and some great work over Animal's arm later. But the real surprise was the Roadies. I never thought much of them in the ring, but they hold nothing back in this match, clobbering the hell out of the Varisty Club every chance they get. Hawk looks extra vicious, laying in his shots really hard, but Animal really proves his worth as the face in peril. Yes, this is a match where the Warriors are actually fighting from underneath, and they look really comfortable doing it. I mean, I think I vaguely remember Animal and Heidenreich being shockingly good working that style, but couldn't think of the Roadies at the peak of their popularity ever doing it. Well, here they are, and it's fantastic. Hell, even Ellering looks good the brief time he's in, hitting a nice dropkick, and Sullivan doesn't hold this back at all. The finish does, unfortunately. After completely dominating the body of the match, Hawk gets chucked over the top rope after only the slightest of comebacks for the DQ. He takes a nice bump there, but I was hoping for an actual third act to this, so I'm let down. Still, what's there was great fun while it lasted.

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

And They Call Him Pirata Morgan...He's the Master of the Salmon Salts

Pirata Morgan & Brian Christopher vs. TAKA Michinoku & Aguila WWF 2/16/1998 - FUN

Hey, remember the Light Heavyweight division? Yeah, me neither, but it did give us the novelty of Pirata Morgan on WWF TV. According to Graham Cawthon's site, he had a pair of matches with them - this and an Aguila singles match from Shotgun Saturday Night that I'm a little curious about. This won't blow you away, and Morgan isn't even really featured that heavily in it, but when he is, he looks good. He rushes Aguila at the bell with a big clothesline, punches him hard in the dome, and then drops him with a tilt-a-whirl powerbomb to start things on a strong note. Aguila has a top rope hurricanrana that takes too long to set up and leaves Pirata standing around like a tool waiting for it, but he hits a nice corkscrew plancha onto both rudos right afterwords to make up for it. Christopher and TAKA get tagged in, and from there on out, it's mostly about them, with Pirata coming back in to lay some nice shots into TAKA before eating the comeback and the pin, and Aguila assisting in taking out Christopher. More of a neat aside than anything, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Pirata Morgan vs. Brazo de Oro EMLL 11/18/1989 - EPIC

In the super-secret DVDVR 80's Project forum, Phil said that this was "not really what you would expect from these two guys". And well, I kinda agree and disagree with that. On one hand, you see those two names in a singles match, you expect some serious violence to go down. On the other hand, this is a title match, and it's 1989, so lucha title matches are still being worked like lucha title matches. So, yeah, it's kinda not what you'd normally expect from them, but I don't really know what you should expect when you put these two guys against each other in a lucha title match setting. Ultimately, the beauty of the match is that it takes this "what happens when you put a pirate in the ring with a comedy relief guy and force them to have a fair fight?" concept and runs with it, with both guys playing it to perfection. Pirata offers a handshake to open the match, and Brazo is understandably leery, as it is Pirata. But it's also a title bout, so he may as well be sporting...but, his first instinct was right, and it's a trap for Pirata to sink in an armbar, and then a hammerlock. After watching him do it in a match from this year as a broken down old man, it's interesting to see young Pirata working stooge heel stuff, using (legal) trickery to take the advantage in this unusual setting and frequently scrambling out of the ring when Oro gets the upper hand. Oro looks good on the mat here, too, especially his Indian deathlock where he does the Eddy Guerrero shimmy to apply more pressure. Eventually, Pirata's blood gets angried up too much, and he says "fuck this polite shit" and blasts Oro in the teeth with a clothesline. But his attempt to follow up gets countered, and Oro grabs a nifty looking roll-up to win the first fall. Segunda caida takes us back to the mat for some more fun, before an Oro attempt and a monkey flip goes awry and Pirata falls back, dropping him face first on the top turnbuckle. Pirata forces a submission with a figure-four leglock, but initially refuses to break, and even after he does, he follows it with a big kneedrop onto Oro's leg, screwing it up even further. It should be noted that Oro's cornerman for this match is Shadito Cruz - patriarch of the entire Brazo clan - and he is trying to the best of his elderly abilities to get between his injured son and this mad dog of the seven seas, to little avail. Tercera caida has Pirata going right back to the leg, including locking on the figure-four again, but Oro guts it out and manages a comeback, even working over Pirata's leg and leaving both men hobbling around the ring. Unfortunately, he makes the critical error of doing a quebradora onto his injured knee. Both men are down, but Pirata comes to first, and takes the opportunity to sink in a cobra clutch for the win. Post-match, Oro puts the belt around Pirata's waist, and there's some legit handshaking, and that normally works in lucha title matches, but felt out of place given the tone of this one. Still, I can't complain about the body of the match at all. I know I painted a very specific picture of who Pirata Morgan was and what he did at the start of this project, but matches like this make me realize that there was more to him as a worker than even I give him credit for, and I want to see every Pirata title match after watching this.

Pirata Morgan, Verdugo, & Hombre Bala vs. Fabuloso Blondy, Brazo de Plata, & El Brazo EMLL 12/1/1989 - GREAT

Bucaneros vs. Brazos is an unqualified good in professional wrestling. Oro worked another match on the card, so we get the odd sight of Ken Timbs working as de facto babyface in Mexico. This is a lot more what you would expect from a Pirata vs. Brazo match, as the Bucaneros jump the Brazos plus Blondy at the bell and just beat the shit out of them for the entire first fall. It is kind of amusing to see the crowd rallying behind the Brazos when they're the focus of the beatdown, only to swing to the Bucaneros' side when they set their sights on Timbs. Then the technicos make their comeback in the second fall, and Timbs flips the switch from Georgia heel to Georgia babyface, which is really cool to see. He has some great brawling exchanges with Pirata throughout this match, but I thought they especially stood out here. Fall open with Timbs taking a great posting by Pirata (which he blades off of...only one guy in the match bleeds, oddly, but at least it's the one blonde guy), before slugging it out with Pirata later and closing the fall by sending Pirata into the post (which he also eats really well) while the Brazos take out Verdugo and Bala. Third fall is really fun back-and-forth stuff. The final exchange between Pirata and Timbs is great. Pirata misdirects Timbs with the left hand to pop him in the mouth with the right and throws him into the corner, but Timbs charges out with a great-looking Hart Attack-style clothesline. He spends too much time celebrating, though, and Pirata cracks him from behind with an ezuigiri before locking on the figure-four for the win. I don't know if this will make the 80's Lucha set. Phil wasn't crazy about it, and thought that Timbs made a poor substitute for Oro. He's certainly not Brazo de Oro's equal, but I thought he worked really well here, and the fact that Pirata Morgan vs. Fabuloso Blondy is a match-up that we're probably not going to see a whole lot of is too bad, because they were great against each other in this.

Pirata Morgan, Hombre Bala, & Bestia Salvaje vs. Solomon Grundy, Mogur, & Cachorro Mendoza EMLL 5/?/1993 - FUN

I remember during the making of the Texas set, when I watched a great Grundy/Fantastics vs. Tatum/Victory/Real Thing match, and was stunned at the realization that I had become a legitimate Solomon Grundy fan. I mean, he is not one of the all-time greats or anything, and his body of work won't blow you away, but he is the kind of wrestling oddity that you - the smart fan on the internet - don't necessarily expect to like, and who doesn't have the best of reputations, so when you watch his matches and see that he was actually a capable big man who sold well, had simple but solid offense, had lots of fun hillbilly shtick, and generally was entertaining more often than not, you kinda get behind the guy. So I was intrigued by the prospect of Grundy as a Pirata dance partner, and for the most part, they didn't let me down. Fun bit before the whistle with Grundy backing Pirata down in between signing autographs and holding babies, but the second the intros are done, Morgan blindsides him and starts laying waste to him, Pirata style. The tecnicos eat the opening beatdown from the Bucaneros plus Bestia really well before Grundy rallies the team (including a big avalanche to all three rudos and even teasing a dive at one point) and leads them to take the first fall. Second fall is a bit more orderly, but still really good. We get a great Pirata/Grundy exchange. It starts off with Pirata punching Grundy in the face - as most good things in wrestling do - but it is more about Pirata being a great stooge for Grundy's fun babyface act. He runs the ropes, but Grundy drops down, and catches him on the rebound with a savage butt-butt (Grundy's post-butt-butt jig was like a 0.7 or 0.8 Andre). Then Grundy runs the ropes, and Pirata drops down, only for Grundy to stop short and drop a big elbow on him. He drops another, and Pirata sells them both with the Wilhelm Scream, and the second one also has him pop up from the impact afterwords and stumble backwards through the ropes and straight to the floor, which is probably the most painful-looking comedy bump I've ever seen. Still, he makes his comeback, sending Grundy out of the ring and keeping him occupied while Bala and Bestia take out Mendoza. Third fall starts out kinda hot with the technicos firing back, but it's maybe three minutes long, the pacing is uneven (the other falls were six-seven minutes apiece, but they kept things lively throughout), and the finish feels slightly abrupt and pretty anti-climactic. It's frustrating. There was a lot of good brawling and shtick in this match, but it really fell flat at the end. Two GREAT falls and one SKIPPABLE fall feels like it should round up to GREAT, but I'm a big structure guy, and fumbling the tercera caida is a pretty big problem for me, so I'm dropping it down to FUN.



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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wednesday Night Bootleg- Rey v. Jericho

Rey Mysterio v. Chris Jerico - Costa Rica 2/13

I thought Jericho's execution was pretty bad in this match, but outside of that it was pretty fun. The crowd is rabid, Jericho apparently calls them Mexicans and the totally lose it. Rey was great as always, he did his somersault counter of the Halloween bump and hit a bunch of nifty flips and ranas. Jericho did hit his excellent Alantida and the finish was very good.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Weeping May Remain For a Night, But Yoshiaki Fujiwara Comes in the Morning

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Riki Choshu NJ 8/6/94-GREAT

These two guys have just magically charisma with each other. Their June 1987 match is one of my favorite matches of all time, this doesn't live up to that, but it is a worthy entry in the cannon. Fujiwara knows exactly where he is going to win this match, he needs to get Choshu to the ground and submit him, while Choshu wants to keep the match on the feet and smash Fujiwara. It is worked very similar to a striker v. ju jitsu artist MMA match, although way more exciting then those matches usually are. Choshu ends up cutting Fujiwara on the temple and both guys are awesome at losing their temper and talking shit. Unusually for a Fujiwara match this wasn't about the arm, as Fujiwara is constantly moving Choshu into the corners and dragging him down and attacking his leg. FInish was pretty surprising as Fujiwara has a ankle lock variation and Choshu is pulling himself to the ropes to break, he gets almost their but can't take it and gives up. Seemed really abrupt, and that probably kept this from being an EPIC match, still excellent stuff, and Fujiwara really had a hell of a 1994

Yoshiaki Fujiwara/Minoru v. Daichi Hashimoto/Shinjiro Otani IGF 4/28/11-GREAT

If you are looking for someone to work a compelling exciting match against a green but super over kicker, Yoshiaki Fujiwara would lead every list. One of the better Fujiwara performances in the last decade, he takes Hashimoto drags him to the mat, roughs him up in the corners, while still giving the kid chances to flash what he will become. Hashimoto is a mirror at this point, anything you get out of him will reflect what you put in. The finish here was a classic Fujiwara finish. Minoru is working over Hashimoto and tags in Fujiwara, Fujiwara rushes in only to be met by a Daichi flurry which knocks him to the ground. The overzealous youngster rushes in, only to almost get caught in the Fujiwara armbar. He rolls out, gets back to his feet to throw again, this time Fujiwara yanks the arm down and cranks it for the tap out. Such cool stuff. Ohtani and Minoru were fun too, but baby Hash should work with Fujiwara every night and in six months he will be great.


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Segunda Caida in Fighting Spirit Magazine

I have a 4 page article overview of lucha libre in the new issue of Fighting Spirit Magazine. If you are in the UK pick it up at a newstand. If you have an IPAD you can grab an app at

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Monday, July 18, 2011

My Favorite Wrestling: WCW Saturday Night 11/27/99

Chris Adams vs. Saturn

This was short but fun, with Adams getting nice comebacks spots until Shane Douglas shoves Adams off the top, allowing the Rings of Saturn to get locked on. Adams looked really great in this, taking a nasty bump running full speed into the ropes, getting tangled up and falling hard to the floor. He also used a Stunner as a move to transition into hitting the superkick (with the superkick looking great to the shock of nobody). Saturn didn't look bad, but threw some real loose forearms and punches. Douglas was wearing this awful unbuttoned glittery red shirt, like something a "fun dad" would wear to embarrass his teenage daughter during her slumber party.

Villano IV vs. Juventud Guerrera

Villano vs. Juvy was spot after spot after spot, no cares to selling, but who cares? They take it to the mat for a bit, do a bunch of cool headscissor rolls, neat ranas, Villano comPLETEly no sells a huge suicide dive (Juvy hit the dive over the top rope to the floor, Villano just took it, didn't budge at all, slapped Juvy, then threw him head first into the floor. WTF?), Juvy going for a headscissors out of the corner, but V4 tossing the headscissors onto the ref, who tossed it back onto V4 who then took the scissors, Juvy doing the People's Elbow (Scott Hudson: "Is that supposed to hurt!?"), with Juvy winning with the Juvy Driver. buncha spots crammed into 4 minutes, most of them looking cool. What's not to love?

Curly Bill vs. Lash LeRoux

Curly Bill/Vincent has been a real treat in rewatch. Somewhere between Virgil and here he got good. Here he carries Lash to a real fun match, missing a giant fistdrop off the middle (and selling it great), bumping big from the apron to the floor (almost smacking the back of his head on the guardrail), stomping on Lash's face after a failed sunset flip, scraping his boots on Lash's face, and wearing baggy Tommy Hilfiger jeans while portraying a redneck. Lash was along for the ride, and of course won, but this was Curly Bill's match.

Adrian Byrd vs. Jeff Jarrett

The constant hum of piped in ambient white noise and fake boos during syndicated WCW makes any episode of Saturday Night sound like I'm watching Eraserhead. Creative Control does a run-in to help JJ handle Byrd (::groooooaannn:: I forgot their names were Patrick and Gerald. Bleccch), and this was a basic squash until Byrd got a couple nice hope roll-ups at the end. One of the schoolboys was actually really close, and briefly fooled me. Whatta sucker I am.

Elix Skipper vs. Allan Funk

Funk LEVELS Skipper with a shoulderblock to start, like when Albert Belle mowed down Fernando Vina. Match wasn't much, just a couple rookies. Funk gets his spots in the first half, Skipper gets the 2nd half. Funk hit mostly power offense (big powerslam, nice German) and looked better than Skipper (whose offense was bunch of light as air crossbodies and a big springboard dropkick that was also light and floaty and looked like it would not hurt a man).

Sonny Siaki vs. Rick Cornell

Man were Siaki and Cornell on the gas. Cornell does a couple cool leg sweep takedowns that I never remember him doing when he later became Reno. Siaki chokes Cornell with his own ponytail, which is a pretty great use for a stupid looking ponytail. But man these Power Plant matches aren't that good. Every one of them is worked with one guy taking the 1st half, and the winner taking the 2nd half, and none of the guys really have their own personality at this point. This match might mark the moment when the "Roll the Dice" took the indies by storm!

Johnny Attitude vs. Meng

Meng/Attitude was real odd, with Meng eschewing an ass-beating, and instead doing normal pro wrestling moves (vertical suplex, snap mare, body slam), and then just hitting the Tongan Death Grip. Even Larry seemed perplexed. "Why is he doing all these wrestling moves? Why isn't he just beating this guy?" For a guy I don't remember at all, I have now seen 3 Johnny Attitude matches.

Berlyn vs. Frankie Lancaster

Wow Lancaster really was the Bob Holly of WCW, just without ever getting pushed. Same balding bleacher hair, same juiced up physique (their body shape is also almost identical), both throw a nice dropkick. Berlyn was a gimmick I actually liked, and I thought Alex Wright actually looked cool and pulled the whole thing off. But I can see why Berlyn never went anywhere after that Duggan PPV match, and matches like this where he works 50/50 with fucking Frankie Lancaster.

Texas Outlaws vs. Creative Control

This went 2 minutes, CC won with a sideslam. I don't think one of the guys even tagged in. Creative Control, everybody. The Powers That Be. For dudes that were as large as the Harris Bros. were, they sure had a way about them that didn't make them feel very dangerous or tough or scary. They were 6'8" tall guys that looked odd with no facial hair, threw the punches that whiffed, weak big boots, slams with no impact. I mean, just not threatening for guys that took up so much space in a ring. Outlaws masks were totally badass, btw.

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

NWA Wildside- Throwback Review Episode 43


Wildside reviews return

AJ Styles is in the ring and Jeff G. Bailey is discussing his prowress, he mentions his lucha skills, his Japanese style and the fact that he is more hardcore then European porno. That brings out White Trash and we have an impromptu match.

White Trash v. AJ Styles

White Trash is the Wildside Axl Rotten, and he may not be a great wrestler, but he will take a stop sign to the mouth and get punched in the temple. Fun brawl, Styles has always had great looking punches, and he pops Trash hard, including a straight right into the nuts. FInish is a DVD through a piece of broken table. One of the better matches I have seen in Wildside

Rock and Roll interview. Morton is always worth hearing spit his rap

Total Destruction (Rusty Riddle/Sean Royal) v. Scar Stevens /Pretty Boy Harris

TD just kick the shit out of these guys until the ref DQ's them. Their slingshot tope rope clothesline finish is nasty looking

Terry Knight v. Marky Mark

Another squash, Knight has really good execution, nice dropkick, athletic bumps and a cool backward DDT finish.

Terry Knight accuses Christian athlete Christopher Sampson of stealing his title belt. Sampson comes out and tells us he believes "Thou Shall Not Steal," When he rears back to smite Knight with the hand of God, Candy, Knight's valet fakes like she was hit by his elbow. When Sampson turns to minister to her, Knight wears him out with a steel chair. I continue to love this feud.

Gemini v. Jason Cross

Gemini is your RVD running buddy and fake Muta, and Cross is a future star, but current non entity. Mediocre juniors match with a bunch of spin kicks. Gemini wins with a firemans carry. Nothing to see here

Eddie Golden v. JC Dazz

Fun match with a clip in the middle. Dazz is starting to grow on me, he took a monster over the top rope bump and missed a crazy 720 dive from the top. Golden is always solid. We get a ref bump and Jeff G. Bailey hits a Van Damninator which is lunatic. Match gets thrown out with Golden smashing Dazz with a chair.

Internet controversy starter Stone Mountian is cutting a promo in the parking lot and gets jumped by Scotty Wrenn, they do some crappy brawling.

Bad Attitude wants to beat the New South

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Indy TV Sampler- Showtime All-Star Wrestling

This is the indy that actually shows up on my TV, the episodes are a little sporadic and out of order sometimes, but is a consistently fun show out of Nashville

They show us highlights of last week and inform us Hammerjack was severely injured by a mystery assailant and Crippler Jeff Daniels. It felt like they were writing Hammerjack out of the promotion which is fine with me, Hammerjack always struck me as a poor mans Balls Mahoney.

Crippler Jeff Daniels v. Chris Kane

Daniels is an awesome veteran who has worked the Southern indies for years. He was coming off a brawling feud with Hammerjack, but the start of this match was Southern scientific, with Kane working an armbar and Daniels trying a bunch of reversals. Daniels kicks him low and lays in a nasty beating, great looking punches, nasty elbow drops and a great finish where he hit a Russian leg sweep flowed into a fishermans buster. Daniels is great.

Daniels cuts a great promo denies having an accomplice in his beating of Hammerjack but mellentions the Brotherhood coming in and tells us he would rather go to his mama's funeral then his own. Daniels is great

A country singer talks about a benefit she is throwing for a child with Autism. Manager Paul Adams interrupts her and talks trash, but he gets dragged away by the bounty hunters employed by Grumpy Bail Bonds. Amusing bit and a funny way to promote a sponsor.

Picture Perfect (John Michael Worthington/Christian Jacobs) v. Mike Cobb/Chris Lex

Picture Perfect are pretty big guys and this was basically a squash with Picture Perfect throwing around Cobb and Lex with power moves. No one got injured, so that was good

Leah the Bond girl gives us pictures of Grumpy's Bail Bonds most wanted bail jumpers. If anyone has seen Levar Five Daly call 1-877-GRUMPYS. Leah has enormous fake tits. Leah interviews her investigator who tells us more about Levar.

Sean Williams cuts a promo on Arrick Andrews. Williams is working a gimmick where he thinks he is Jerry Lawler. He doesn't actually do much of a Lawler impression, although he has some funny lines, talking about his 534 Southern Title reigns. Mike Davis as fake Dusty was better.

Teen Excitement Drew Haskins v. Arrick The Dragon Andrews

Haskins is one of my favorite acts in SAW, he works sort of a Justin Beiber gimmick and is a great bumper and has nice offense. He is accompanied by Derrick King, Johnny Bandanna and Sister Ophelia. Cody Melton who was injured the previous week tries to attack Derrick King. I hadn't particularly cared for Andrews before, but he was working really stiff here and took some big bumps, including falling face first off the apron to the floor. Haskins was great as always, excellent shtick, big bumps and really crisp offense. Match ends with Melton running out again and attacking King, distracting Haskins which leaves him vulnerable to Andrews head drop finisher. Man alive does Haskins take a headrop well. He feels like an indy guy who really should be huge in a couple of years, it is nuts that King and Haskins aren't TNA tag champs.

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Friday, July 15, 2011

SLL's All-Request Last Friday Night, Phaze Three

Wow, I genuinely was not expecting the Frank Zappa joke to play to it's conclusion. Hopefully, you'll find these were worth waiting for.

Virus vs. Guerrero Maya Jr. (CMLL, 6/7/2011)
Requested by Wrestling_KO Mike

The list of guys who have been as consistently great as Virus or greater over the last couple of years can probably be counted on one hand (Black Terry, Navarro, Rey, Danielson, Ishikawa...yep, that's one hand). Guerrero Maya Jr.? Well, the only thing I know is that he's the son of Guerrero Maya, AKA the aforementioned wrestling God Black Terry. He also was the original Multifacetico, and had a neat match with his dad a few years back. What he's been doing lately, I don't know. But all I need to know is that he's in there with Virus, and I feel we're in good hands, as well we should, because this match rocks. Earlier this year, I dropped by Daniel the Katakana Man's forum to talk about the WKO 100. Daniel is a guy who hasn't been exposed to a lot of lucha (I think) and seems to have a slight aversion to the stuff, but I promised him that if I found some 2011 lucha that I thought might have some crossover appeal, I'd let him know. Well, this match seems to have inadvertently taken dead aim at the lucha neophytes. As much as I don't believe in the need for "lucha eyes", I do realize most people can't be thrown cold into Navarro vs. Solar and be expected to get it immediately. I mean, that kind of match is as alien as E.T. landing in your backyard. You have to be eased into that shit (though once you are, you will look down your nose at everyone else who doesn't get it, but I digress). But this seems like it has real potential as a lucha gateway drug. There is a ton of matwork here, and while it isn't as technically elaborate as your IWRG maestro stuff, the execution is really tight, and I think that makes up for it, and it can hook people who might otherwise be turned off by elaborate lucha matwork. And it's not like the matwork here is dumbed down or anything. It's done in a way that I think would be more accessible to the lucha novice, but it's still very rewarding for long-time fans like myself. We also get some really nifty highspots mixed in, including an awesome Maya tope and a Virus slingshot somersault senton to the floor which has to rank high on the "Dives of the Year" list so far. Top it all off with a luchafied 90's All Japan finishing stretch (Maya busts out what could be called an Air Raid Crash onto his knee...if Go Shiozaki started using that tomorrow, I would not be surprised to see it), and you have a real winner of a match. I don't think I need to sell anyone on Virus. Maya more than proved his worth here, looking great on the mat, in the air, and eating all of Virus' offense really well. I was a little bugged by the reffing here, which surprised me, as I tend to be pretty tolerant of idiosyncratic lucha referees. The super-slo-mo counting felt wrong, and there is one spot where Maya has Virus in a rana-style pin, and they are literally bouncing across the mat while the ref counts. Virus is actually forcing his entire body off of the mat and across the ring in order to get Maya off of him, but the ref thinks his shoulders never leave the mat? Phil and Mike are talking about this as a legit, high-end MOTYC. I am not quite so gung ho about this. It didn't really hit me as strongly as the Terry/Navarro vs. Apache/Mortal stuff, this year's Navarro/Solar match, Panther/Casas, Miz/Morrison, Miz/Lawler, Lawler/Linder vs. Dundee/McCarver, Moxley/Jacobs, the Cena/Punk matches, Ki/Callihan, Cerebro/Comando, and a bunch of other stuff, but it was still a blast and something I would highly recommend to everyone.

Franz Schlederer vs. Gil Breihöder Cabanas (CWA I'm guessing?, 8/12/1986)
Requested by Jetlag

Well, it's German, and it's the 80's, and CWA was a German promotion in the 80's. It seems like a safe enough guess. I don't really have a lot of context for this match, which makes reviewing it a little difficult, so I have to try my best to pick things up as I go along. The one thing I know for sure from poking around this guy's YouTube channel is that Schlederer is the babyface who looks like a lankier Magnum T.A., and Cabanas is the Marc Rocco-looking heel. I also conclude that while it's a safe guess to say this is the CWA, it's not a lock. I mean, I've seen a fairly limited amount of CWA in my time. I'm no expert. There are knockouts, and the ref is carding wrestlers. There seems to be a round break at the end of the second of the three videos this spans, but that's the only one shown. On the other hand, there is some degree of clipping going on. I'm not sure how much, but let's be honest: I have very little idea of what is going on. The filming appears at first glance appears to be fancam footage. But over time, we get shots from multiple angles, and even some crowd shots peppered in. The editing isn't frequent or professional enough to suggest this is pro-shot (keep an ear out for the bit where the audio is suddenly replaced by what sounds like a German commercial break, and the video cutting out altogether at one point followed by brief, flashing blue screen accompanied by some weird sci-fi sound effect). All in all, I feel like the picture I'm getting of this match is a strange and incomplete one.

That said, it's also a really good one. I don't totally understand the circumstances behind the match, the rules, how much I'm being shown, or even how the match ends (it really feels like a coin toss between a time-limit draw and Schlederer getting DQ'd). But I do know what I like, and I like this. Cabanas is rudo-riffic, yelling at the crowd, pasting Schlederer with forearms and kicks, and cheating like crazy. Then Schlederer comes back with this great offensive run, popping Cabanas with these half-forearms/half-European uppercuts, some groovy uppercuts including one where he actually drags Cabanas backwards, and what I'm inclined to describe as an inverted powerslam bomb (basically, envision the powerslam Samoa Joe did to Necro Butcher, but with Necro's back facing Joe's body). That's the initial feeling out section of the match, and yeah, I could bitch about them throwing out too much, too soon, but they keep delivering at a pretty steady pace throughout this thing. Cabanas takes control and mauls Schlederer with hard forearms, punches, kicks, and stomps, all while constantly choking him and gouging at his eyes. Schlederer fights back, and not only does he look like a lanky Magnum T.A., he kinda works like one, too, all fired-up, pissed off brawling, and not taking shit from anyone who gets in the way. That includes the ref, who's armed with a whistle and isn't afraid to use it. He gets in Schlederer's grill a little too much while he's standing on Cabanas' throat, and Schlederer pushes him back a little. This leads to Schlederer getting shown the yellow card, which would be totally understandable had it not been for Cabanas' rampant cheating in full view of the ref for the entire match up to this point. But don't worry, there's a method to the madness that we'll see soon enough. Well, at least I saw it. Anyway, Schlederer doesn't let this keep him down, as he chucks Cabanas to the outside and pounds on him with forearms before they end up back in the ring and work a really fun not-quite-jujigatame segment (you know, it's the one they always did in the 80's where your feet are pushing against the guy's body like you're trying to pull his arm clean off of his torso) before the one clear round ends (I guess). When we come back, there's a funny test of strength bit. Cabanas is great stooging here when Schlederer overpowers. Schlederer powers Cabanas' hands to the mat and stomps on them, but when Cabanas locks up again and powers Schlederer's hands to the mat, Schlederer pulls them away when Cabanas tries to stomp them and floors him with a dropkick to the face. Cabanas works his way back via extensive cheating, but when Schlederer tries to turn the tables by gouging Cabanas' eyes, he gets another yellow card from the ref, despite Cabanas having done the exact same thing moments earlier (and throughout much of the rest of the match for that matter) to the referee's disinterest. At this point, I can only conclude we're dealing with a heel ref, and apparently Schlederer does, too, giving the ref a public warning of his own when he rips the cards out of his hands and chucks them out of the ring. Schlederer resumes chucking Cabanas around - and occasionally out of - the ring, culminating in an awesome spot where he ties Cabanas up in the ropes and then dives head-first into him with an in-ring tope. The match ends immediately after that, and as mentioned it's not clear how (the ref was clearly trying to untie Cabanas when Schlederer charged him, and Schlederer backed him into the corner when he tried to lecture him afterwords, but I don't know that I actually saw a DQ signalled...any German speaking readers who could help me out with this one?). This wasn't quite as big of a revelation as the last time someone on Segunda Caida watched an old match from continental Europe between two guys no one had ever heard of, but it was still awesome. It was a really intense brawl. If I had to guess, I'd think these two were feuding with each other at the time. Not only was it really heated, but I don't think there was a single pin attempt in the whole thing. Both guys were going for a knockout, though considering how many times each guy pulled the other one up when they were down, they were really just trying to punish one another, and I can always get behind that. Also, as a guy who is really down on modern German wrestling crowds, I wanted to note how much I liked the atmosphere for this match. It appears to be held in a tent at a carnival, with rides visible through the entrance in the background, and a lot of people seated at tables eating and drinking beer, and they were all really hot in the organic way that I like my wrestling crowds to be, rather than the nauseating way wXw crowds tend to be. Granted, this was a crowd of families and working class schmoes, which tends to help, but maybe it would help if you sat the wXw fans down and put something in their mouths.

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Indy TV Sampler- New England Championship Wrestling

By request of Dean, we take a look at NECW one of the longer running indies out there

NECW on Vimeo

The show starts with DC Dillenger cutting a promo and introducing his manager Sean Gorman who he was reuniting with. Both guys were above average interviews. Nothing special, but they got their point across solidly

DC Dillenger v. Matt Taven

This really felt like an indy match from 1998, the kind of thing which would be underneath Metal Master v. Jimmy Snuka in an armory in Sheboygan, PA. DC is a classic indy heel, pleather pants, stringy receeding hair. Taven has Sean Simpson hair and rock and roll tights (using the MTV logo to spell out his name), Lots of dropkicks, armdrags, choking on the ropes, 10 punches in the corner kind of stuff. FInish has Dillenger grabbing the ropes for the pin. The ref reversing the decision at the crowds bequest. Taven saying he didn't want to win by DQ, asking for five more minutes. The crowd chants five more minutes, the heel manager rubs his fingers together demanding more money. Dillenger tries to sneak attack, and quickly gets rolled up for the pin. It was pro wrestling as fuck

This isn't the kind of thing I would go out of my way to watch on a regular basis, but the crowd seemed into the whole thing and they clearly know how to put on a show.

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Indy TV Sampler- Global Championship Wrestling

From the great state of Alabama we bring you Global Championship Wrestling

Episode 224

Fancy opening graphics, by far the most professional looking opening, although it is matched to awful Gabe Sapolsky style scream metal.

Alabama Attitude (Mike Posey/Corey Hollis) v. High Definition (Cody O'Conner/Jody Foster)

This is pretty much the definition of not my thing. Four guys in shiny pants doing 45 combo moves all ending in a lungblower variation, but nobody can throw a punch or a kick that doesn't look like crap. Hollis looked the best, but I hate this Young Bucksish Cole and O'Reilyian garbage.

Tracey Taylor v. Pandora

Pandora looks like she took a wrong turn on her way to the Birmingham scenester Roller Derby league. This is barely above fetish video level stuff. Although the announcers do mention that Lola Gonzalzes is coming into the women's division soon. Does that mean Fishman is going to be working in their workrate tag division? Since when did Alabama indies fly in 50 year old luchadoras? Am I going to have to keep watching this show to see if they bring in Martha Villalobos?

Spiral v. Inhuman Fly

Spiral is kind of working a Jesse Pinkman gimmick. Weird structure for this match, the Fly has the TV title but Spiral takes 80% of the match, mostly working the arm in fancy ways, some of which work, a lot of which do not. The Fly does very little, but reverses him into an Unprittier for the win.

Outside of checking for old lucha ladies, I don't think I am going to revist GCW. They seem to want to be Alabama EVOLVE, and I don't even dig regular EVOLVE

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wednesday Night Bootleg- Regal v. Yoshi Tatsu

William Regal v. Yoshi Tatsu 11/7/09 Dusseldorf Germany

Anytime you get to see Regal stretch it out on a house show it is worth it. Tatsu isn't the most dynamic wrestler in the world, but the New Japan guys are well trained and all of the early arm work and knuckle lock stuff is solid. They work early part of this match around a full nelson, with Tatsu trying to escape and Regal locking it on. Tatsu even tries the Johnny Saint reversal and Regal responds with a forearm to the back of his head. Regal sold the fuck out of all of Tatsu's dicey looking offense. The finish run of this match was a blast, Tatsu misses a dive from the top, Regal hits a exploder, misses a running knee and gets wasted with a high kick. I love Regal's sell of the high kick with a 3 stooges spin which was awesome. Fun stuff.

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Indy TV Sampler- NWA Anarchy

NWA Anarchy is the successor to our beloved NWA Wildside, it is in the same Cornelia arena, and has some of the same guys. So lets check in with our old friends in Georgia

Episode 283

Skirra Corvis v. Jacob Ashworth

Corvis kind of looks like Charly Manson, and works an unorthodox gimmick. Ashworth is kind of a big guy who does lots of throws many of them looking awkward and landing weird. I liked some of Corvis's stuff, including a crazy looking bridging submission, but Ashworth was kind of a crowbar.

Andrew Pendelton III/Brian Casey v. Armed and Dangerous

Fun tag match. Armed and Dangerous are a neat team. Johnny Dangerous is a really neat flyer, bumps around the ring big and pulls off headscissors and armdrags nicely. His partner Lane Vasser is another in the line of legitimately big muscled guys which Wildside/Anarchy seems to grow. He is pretty green, but works nicely with his partner, including a couple of really impressive double team throws, their finisher is Vasser hiptossing his partner into a standing 450. Pendelton and Casey were more serviceable then super impressive, but I really want to see more Armed and Dangerous.

Jeff G. Bailey leads the monster 7 out to lay waste to the guys in the previous match. 7 is a big black guy who has some nasty looking power moves taken well by Dangerous, Pendelton and Casey. He just spikes Casey with a powerbomb. JT Talent the GM gets in 7 face and gets shoved down, and then Shadow Jackson runs out to make the save, all setting up 7 v. Jackson. I am always happy to see the great Jeff G. Bailey but he didn't get to do much

Bro Newsome small package challenge. Bro Newsomes Situationesque manager offers 25 dollars for someone to break Bro Newsome's small package. Amusing although it ran a little long

Hate Junkies v. Andrew Alexander/Billy Buck

This was a falls count anywhere no DQ match and had a nice out of control feeling. Everything these guys tried didn't come off, but large parts of it felt like a fight. The part of the match where they brawled into the back looked especially violent. Both Hate Junkies bled, and the blood in Danny Only's gnarly beard was a nice look. Alexander took a big backwards bump to the floor, and Buck had a nice superkick. Post match saw the Hate Junkies smash Buck's throat with a chair. I liked Rev. Dan Wilson's Satanic look better then his current Raven Mack look, but I like Dan Wilson a lot still.

Fun show, not sure how many good wrestlers this fed has, but it definitely has the feel of Wildside down. I am going to need to hear some more regular WIlson and Bailey promos to watch this regularly, but when I catch up with the Wildside they have up, I could see skimming through the Anarchy.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

All-Request Friday Night Phaze 2

Bryan Danielson vs. Teddy Hart (MLW, 1/9/2004)
Requested by Jingus

The commentary here is a little less notable. Color commentator Julius is severely undermiced, which seems like a hard production mistake to make, and the play-by-play guy makes reference to Teddy Hart using a "waKEEtaGAMee", which irritates me more than it realistically should. The match is basically fine, if underwhelming. It goes a little over eight minutes, and I have seen guys do a lot with eight minutes. This had a lot of stuff in it, but still ended up feeling short and sparse compared to, say, some of your more pimped sub-10 minute Superstars matches. Also, Danielson really looked like he was just along for the ride on this one. Didn't look bad by any means, but it is weird to see Danielson in a match where he is not actively excelling or trying to excel. He is a guy I have developed abnormally high standards for, and he didn't really meet them here. But again, he didn't look bad. Teddy Hart was both the best and worst thing about the match. All of his big, spectacular offense looked big and spectacular, particularly his springboard into a hurricanrana position which he rolled off into the...*sigh*..."waKEEtaGAMee". Then there's the matter of his pants. There's a noticeable rip in the seat from the beginning, and I wonder if he just tore it, or if that was by design. And then at about the half-way point of the match, I think I get my answer, as Danielson rips Teddy's pants off, which would be strange to begin with, but gets even stranger when you realize it's being played completely straight. It's not even a comedy moment. The announcer is going on about what a serious insult that was to Teddy's pride. It's kinda weird. The main problem with the match, though, was the finish. Teddy comes off the top rope with the Open Hart Surgery, but appears to fuck up his arm on the landing, with the announcer suggesting that he may have separated his shoulder. I've already reviewed Savage/Tenryu, where we saw how the last-minute tweaking of a body part can lead to a kick-ass finish. This is how not to do that. Teddy sells it to the back of...wherever it was MLW was shooting on it's deathbed. I wouldn't have been surprised if he starting shouting "heavens to Murgatroid" at some point. But then he guts it back up to the too rope, but guts his way through...his pre-move taunt where he raises his arms to to the side. Two seconds prior, he was clutching his arm to his chest in agony. Now it's instantly healed to the point that he can do his pre-move taunt. I mean, it was a less dynamic taunt, but come on, man. Priorites. He goes for the Hart Attack (shooting star press...not the double team move, obviously), but Danielson moves and locks on the Cattle Mutilation...which horrifically injured Teddy can somehow hang on to long enough to not only escape, but procure another "waKEEtaGAMee" - which required the use of his possibly separated shoulder - to make Danielson instatap. Well, what the fuck was the point of that? Still, this was a basically enjoyable little match, with Teddy bringing the fun highspots and Danielson being solid if unspecatcular.

Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Terry Gordy (AJPW, 6/1/1991)
Requested by TimLivingston

Looking at Misawa vs. Gordy on paper, you get a certain image of what it might be. And well, this match is exactly that, and by extension, it's the probably the best match I've reviewed on All-Request to date. This is two bomb throwing guys throwing bombs, and every shot is super nasty looking. Gordy is a lot less bump happy here than he was in the States, but I think that works to the match's favor. He basically approaches this like he did his matches with Brody, where he is all about toe-to-toe brawling with his opponent. But Brody was a really big guy who didn't bump or sell a whole lot. Going toe-to-toe with him was almost a necessity for a good match (though Brody's final World Class run was probably the least shitty run of his massively overrated career, but that's neither here nor there). This is Misawa we're talking about. Specifically, this is Misawa in '91, still one year away from his first Triple Crown win, two years away from establishing himself as "The Man" in All Japan, and three years away from achieving wrestling immortality. He's still the scrappy youngster chasing after Jumbo at this point, but uh-oh, here's a big-ass Georgian roadblock that he's about to run headfirst into. So whereas Gordy vs. Brody is compelling because neither man will give an inch, Gordy vs. Misawa is compelling because Gordy won't give an inch, and Misawa will repeatedly be knocked down, but will keep coming back giving as good as he gets. The punches, elbows, kicks, and lariats thrown by both men are absolutely brutal. The tide turns when Misawa lucks into an enzuigiri that busts Gordy open, and they both end up spilling to the outside soon after. Misawa goes for a Tiger Driver on the floor, but Gordy back body drops him and goes for a Powerbomb on the floor, a sore point for Misawa stemming from a prior tag with Kawada against the Miracle Violence Connection. Misawa won't go up for it, so Gordy lets him go and then knocks him out of his boots with a lariat instead. From there, the second half of the match is Gordy trying to hit the Powerbomb vs. Misawa trying to hit the Tiger Driver (back when the plain old Tiger Driver could actually win Misawa a match), and both of them are unafraid to punish the other for not going along with their plans, including Gordy dropping Misawa with a nasty DDT when he blocks the Powerbomb. Gordy eventually manages to stuff him with it, but Misawa grabs the rope, so Gordy returns to lariating the fuck out of him before Misawa turns it around and drops him with the Tiger Driver for two. He then procures that odd facelock thing that he's used as a resthold in a billion matches, but in '91, it constitutes a legitimate nearfall (What was the timeline on All Japan taking submission holds seriously, anyway? Gordy breaks out the scorpion deathlock a couple times in this match, too.). The final stretch is actually Misawa's facelock vs. Gordy's lariat of all things, but it works quite well. Gordy looks like he's trying to decapitate Misawa 18 years early, and Misawa is just doing the best he can he wear the monster down. He actually gets a really big nearfall after trapping him in the facelock for a while. Gordy kicks him in the face from his back, sending Misawa tumbling into the corner, but as he makes it back to his feet, Misawa comes roaring out with a huge "fuck you, whitey" elbowsmash that puts Gordy down just long enough for Misawa to score the pin. Gordy recovers pretty quickly after that, and the ring crew rushes in to hold him back, while Misawa is still splayed out exhausted on the canvas and Fukuzawa starts going hoarse screaming on commentary. It really comes off as a big win for our new hero, which I'm guessing was the entire point. The match itself really feels like a lost classic. I got my copy from Ditch's site, so if you're in the know, you definitely want to track this down.

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APW TV Workrate Report: 3/12/11

1. Rik Luxury vs. THE DEBUTING Mikey Jay starts us off. Luxury is one of my favorite Bay Area guys, and his manager Markus Mac is actually really good. He's a thick guy wearing a fur coat working a kind of wigger/thug/Suge Knight and he rarely fumbles over words, has some fun goofy slang and invests fully in what he's doing.

Backstage interview with Mikey Jay, and Matt Carlos interrupts!! And does nothing but compliment him! That dude is out of control!

Luxury starts with some headlock work and breaks it with a club to the neck. Crowd is way behind Jay in his debut. Jay is skinny and wears emerald green garbage bag pants with silly lightning bolts on them. This is actually one of the bigger reactions I've ever seen a crowd give to an APW wrestler. On his way to the ring is is hugging girls and he grabs and shakes some poor kid who was just looking for a high 5. Jay is bumped and the crowd is loudly chanting "Mikey Jay". This was a pretty basic "veteran controls debuting rookie" match. Luxury controls with nice punches and forearms, and dumps him with a nasty Saito suplex at one point. Luxury worked real stiff in this one. Jay got some hope spots, hit some nice clubbing forearms, through a nice butterfly suplex, and eventually Matt Carlos comes out and distracts and Jay gets the roll-up upset win. I couldn't really get much of a read on Jay, but he sure seems to have a lot of fans there live, and gets a lot of creepy youtube posts on episodes that he's on (e.g. "mikey j has nice abs" written all skeezed out, clearly typed by a weird old man with one hand, since he didn't use any capitalization. Ewwwww.).

2. Timothy Thatcher vs. Jody Kristofferson with World Of Sport Rules!! They start off with a bunch of forearm exchanges and Thatcher throws really nice forearms and European uppercuts. Jody's weren't shabby either, and he throws a REAL mean knife edge chop. No closed fists so both guys are hitting each other with palm strikes and it looks pretty cool. Nice sequence with Thatcher reversing a backslide into the Thatcher Stretch, with Jody reversing that into a really nice high cradle. First round ends in a draw. 2nd round starts with some cool body scissors matwork reversals, struggling in and out of them, and then Thatcher starts working over the arm, which is something he does really nicely. Has a lot of different arm takedowns and does cool stuff like dropping knees on the arm. Thatcher also escapes a pin by kneeing Kristofferson in the head from the bottom and that rules. Round 2 also ends in a draw.

Round 3 starts with Jody just hitting some arm drags and hip tosses, but eventually hits a spear to win the round. Jody really dives WAY into his spear and it looks pretty awesome, really looks like a good way to end a match. Round 4 is controlled mostly by Jody. Thatcher gets yellow carded trying to gain a cheating advantage, but it doesn't get him very far. Jody throws him around a bit, but he's eventually able to muscle Jody to the ground with a Fujiwara armbar, then deliver elbows to the head before forcing him into an AWESOME looking full nelson pin to win Round 4. Round 5 has a kinda silly German suplex trade off where each guy hits a nasty suplex and screams and then we doing it again. The suplexes looked great, but the shitty Japanese Juniors-ness of it all felt out of place in what had been really awesome stuff so far. Though right after that Thatcher misses a running headbutt and gets German'd into the turnbuckles which looks nasty. Thatcher makes it up at 9 and eventually locks on a REAL tight sleeper, then does a sweet sleeper takeover into the Thatcher Stretch and gets the win.

I wasn't sure the match would work, but it actually worked really great. Jody is starting to get actively good and has come a long way since his debut, and Thatcher is one of my favorite APW guys. They worked real stiff in this and had some cool stuff on the mat, and made the concept work nicely. One of the best APW TV matches I've seen, for sure. Worth checking out.


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