Segunda Caida

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

Saturday, July 21, 2012

My Favorite Wrestling: WCW Saturday Night 12/19/98

1. Glacier vs. Mike Sullivan

Glacier's back! And he's still not that good, but kinda better than I remembered him being. Mike Sullivan is also back, and he is even worse than I remember him being. And I don't remember Mike Sullivan at all. Glacier was weird as he really didn't bump much, and sometimes his offense looked good and stiff, and other times his kicks looked about as good as Eric Bischoff's. Here he threw some really cool jabs in the corner on Sullivan, really odd southpaw shots to the temple that looked really cool. And then Sullivan charged out of the corner with some of the WORST babyface-on-fire punches I have EVER seen. His fist was soaring right past Glacier's head, thrown at a 3/4 slot, so that his wrist was kinda grazing the side of Glacier's neck. Bleeecccch. But he bumped real big for Glacier's kicks and stuff, so...something.

2. Kaz Hayashi vs. Hole in One Darsow

Kaz has been one of the brightest spots of these shows, looking downright top 20 in the world in everything. But here he gets to do nothing. There isn't really a match. Darsow works the stick and looks awesome in his gold gear, and is pretty funny teasing the crowd. "Who's having fun to-NIGHT!?" *tepid response* "Yeah, I wouldn't like living here that much either." Golf challenge breaks down, Darsow is DQ'd.

3. Al Green vs. Wrath

Green did...not get much offense here. Wrath looks like the best possible version of Rocky Mountain Thunder. Wrestles like him, and looks like a really juiced version of him. Same haircut, too.

4. Chris Jericho vs. Booker T

Booker T was a guy that I liked in 1998, but it's pretty shocking in retrospect how bad and sloppy he looked most of the time. He has been one of the worst things about going back and watching this stuff. It's not just that he looks lousy most of the time, it's also that he was usually one of the bigger names on any given syndicated show, so his matches would get way more time. So guys like Kaz Hayashi would get 3 minutes, while Booker would get 8. Jericho looked really great in the first half of this, really getting into position nicely for Booker, and just having an insane amount of body charisma. Jericho was me and my sister's favorite wrestler in 1998. He just slayed us and this was dead smack in the middle of the top knot/kimono/Ralphus era. He was totally killing it here until Booker gassed and Jericho locked on a chinlock. AND LORDY was it a bad chinlock. Not one part of his arm was touching one part of Booker's neck. It looked like a guy posing for a picture with his arm around his mother. That happens for awhile and then Stevie Ray runs in for the DQ. Gross.

5. Barry Horowitz vs. Kanyon

Kanyon on the stick was so money. Like a bank full of money. Crowd was way into him here, and they were way into this battle of Jewish Faith vs. Homosinuality.

6. Kaos vs. Prince Iaukea

I weirdly enjoy both of these guys, probably more than most people. Iaukea seemed like a who would get good. There was always a moment in each Iaukea match where he would have a giant bump and you'd be like "This guy is going to be awesome" but then you realized you were saying that for like 5 years. High Voltage is a guilty pleasure of mine. I admit to always marking out for their springboard moves. And that's really the best part of this match, right at the end: Kaos hits a big springboard clothesline and Iaukea leans way into it and sprawls out all nasty from it. We rewound many times. I think this Iaukea guy is going to be awesome.

7. Chris Benoit/Dean Malenko vs. Vincent/Bryan Adams

Well this match was fucking awesome. People are going to pull out the "pretending to like a shitty wrestler to sound kewl" card, but holy shit is Vincent one of the best things about this rewatch project. Dude makes total throwaway matches watchable, and he really steps up his game in bigger matches like this. He is responsible for holding this one together, actually. Benoit looked good and dished a beating, but the beating was made way more fun by Vincent stooging around the ring for him. He was really weird, in that he always seemed like he was playing a guy that wasn't really a wrestler. He's probably most similar to Stevie Richards, I guess. Neither guy really has any offense, but what they do they do really well. Vincent is such an anomaly in that I don't remember him being any good at ALL in WWF. I don't know when exactly he got good, but he is flat out awesome in '98 WCW. His control segments are great, as he dishes out tons of backrakes and clubbing blows. His clubbing blows are awesome as they aren't quite punches, aren't quite clubbering, but they land somewhere around the dudes neck/throat and look awesome. He bumps great, and always makes tagging in Adams a big deal, either by desperately scrambling to him or by cockily strutting over to take him in like "Yeah you know I was just beating your ass, now here's the big man." Match gets tons of time, gets some good nearfalls, and is a great Vincent showcase. Great stuff.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wednesday Night Bootleg- Cactus v. Rude

Cactus Jack v. Rick Rude Ireland 3/17/93

Cactus Jack vs. Rick Rude by Stinger1981

This a match I never knew happened and was pretty excited to see. Some dull spots with Rude laying in a chinlock, but we get two insane Cactus bumps, including Rude grabbing him by the head and driving him backwards to the floor. The finish run is pretty exciting and moves this match into the worth watching file.


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Sunday, July 08, 2012

My Favorite Wrestling: WCW Pro 3/30/96

1. State Patrol vs. Harlem Heat

Awwwww yeah this is what I'm talking about! Harlem Heat have aged pretty horribly in retrospect, but State Patrol are one of the great lost teams of the 90s. Buddy Lee will take and deliver a beating and Harlem Heat will deliver an awkward 1996 beating. Both guys in HH were really sloppy around this time, and while that can derail other matches it kind of added to it here. At one point Stevie Ray gives Buddy Lee an accidental shoot brainbuster. It was supposed to be a suplex that Parker reverses into a crossbody, but Ray just drops him straight down. Ouch. How much of State Patrol's AJPW tours made tape? Also why did they make James Earl Wright's name so close to a famous murderer's name? Was Joe Wilkes Boothe tossed around, too?

2. Giant vs. Southern Posse

Always get stoked for some Southern Posse, or as I assume they were known backstage, "Sonny Trout and the ugly one". I always get unrealistically excited for a Southern Posse match, but I'm not sure if they're actually any good. They both look scuzzy, the announcers never know their names so they always just call each guy "southern posse" ("The Giant with a big slam on southern posse!"), one of them got a HJ at a Molly Hatchett concert*, just something about them I always get excited about. Rachel was stunned at how slim the Giant was.

3. Mark Starr vs. Ric Flair

I miss these kind of syndicated matches, where Flair would show tons of ass and give guys like Mark Starr 70/30, and then cheat to beat fucking Mark Starr. All the fanny-packed women in the crowd get all riled up and it's always an enjoyable 4 minutes. It's also odd thinking that current Mark Starr probably is living better than current Ric Flair from a quality-of-life perspective. Starr is likely at a nearby lake having some beers and doing some wakeboarding as I type this, whereas Flair is a sad, melty mess not being able to cover his tab at Q104's Summerfest.

4. Lifeguard Steve Collins vs. Bunkhouse Buck

I'll level with you, I have never heard of Lifeguard Steve Collins. You know who else hasn't heard of him? Bunkhouse Buck, so he proceeds to kick the shit out of Lifeguard Steve Collins for getting into his ring. Collins is some sort of Baywatch gimmick, wearing real awkward red swim shorts that are loose and pulled up real high. Fuller and Buck cheat like assholes and Buck was a beast here, with great punches and stomps. Great moment when Buck steps aside from a Collins dropkick, then bounces off the ropes and just lambasts with an amazing dropkick. And then, he gets the pin fall after just stomping on Collins' face. Collins was on his back, Buck bounced off the ropes, slowed down and just stomped his face --> pinfall. Then after the match Buck and Parker beat Collins with his red floatation device and choked him some more. It was all I wanted and more.

5. Hugh Morrus vs. Scott Armstrong

These Hugh Morrus squashes just aren't that good. Armstrong is going to be one of the unsung heroes of syndicated WCW. But there's not much to do to make Morrus matches fun. If you would have asked for a 8 word guess on how the match went, it would have been "Armstrong bumps big, Morrus misses moonsault, pins anyway." It would have been right.

6. Robert Eaton/Dave Taylor vs. American Males

Not the ideal opponents, but you can put Eaton and Taylor into the ring with two sacks of leaves and I'd still be entertained by Eaton's punches and Taylor's throws. And those things ruled here. Taylor had a powerslam that might have been one of the most amazing things I've seen in a ring. It was a powerslam that went straight up overhead from a dead lift and ended with a float over. It was downright Karelinesque. I don't think there was anything Riggs could have done to prevent it, either. If he was fighting it with every fiber of his being, he was getting slammed. Also, I'm going to say it: Bobby Eaton knows how to fake punch a man better than almost any other man. You heard it here first.


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Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Wednesday Night Bootleg: Bret v. Vader

Bret Hart v. Vader Stockton 1/4/97

Bret Hart vs. Vader by Stinger1981

PAS: This is another one of those missed opportunity match ups. These guys had really great chemistry with each other, although they never really had much of a one on one feud. This is a really fun brawl, which kept a brisker pace then many of Hart's matches. Vader was flying all over the ring, including a second rope shoulder tackle which I don't remember him doing before. Hart also catches a flying bodypress into a powerslam. Vader also took a couple of chairshots and slams into the rail and stairs. Finish was fun as Austin came barreling out of nowhere to clip Bret in the knee and he and Vader stomp him up a bit. Cool discovery.

ER: I really liked heel Bret, and loved the moment of him just kicking Vader right in the balls. A real great equalizer that wouldn't have made sense in any other Bret matches. Vader was so awesome here, just mauling Bret with his cool bear paw attacks. Vader punching dudes in ring corners is one of my favorite things ever. Phil's right about the shoulder tackle: I remember seeing him hit a 2nd rope tackle before, but he always landed much more vertical with it. Here he just launches himself as the world's biggest torpedo. Him taking that same move and bumping off a powerslam was insane, and he also goes up for an awesome back suplex. 14 minutes flies by, and then Austin goes and one-ups everybody with the greatest leg tackle ever. Vader and Bret are brawling and Austin just barrels in and blasts through Bret's knee from behind. Bret bumped it huge like he didn't even know it was coming. I love this match-up.

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Sunday, July 01, 2012

CMLL on Galavision Workrate Report, 6/9/12

1. Atlantis/La Mascara/Shocker vs. Volador Jr./Mephisto/Yujiro:

Well this is an odd collection of rudos in a match. I'm just happy to finally not get a Black Warrior match. I don't even totally mind Black Warrior, but it seems like fucking Rush and Black Warrior are featured every damn week on Galavision and they are not exactly in my top 50 favorite CMLL workers. But Volador is pretty much one of my top 5 CMLL faves, and finally I get some Volador back on my TV. Volador is awesome (and oddly dressed like Sin Cara here) and throws the best superkick in the biz. His standing superkick looks great, but I really love his running one into the corner. Always looks super rad. Shocker looks pretty motivated in this one, which is nice because he can still go when he wants to (he...often does not want to). Here he leaned into stuff, worked a fun little mat sequence with Yujiro, and bumped around for Volador. Mascara always goes on fun runs during matches and Volador/Mephisto are great working sequences in and around him, getting into position nicely for everything without making it look silly. Volador hits a brutal missle dropkick to the back of Shocker's head and it was glorious. Fun match that delivered about what I wanted from it.

2. Hair vs. Hair: Rey Escorpion vs. Black Warrior:

And just exactly what the doctor ordered, a modern CMLL style main event. Ohhhhhh, yeah. It's all here, baby! You want the first two falls to take one minute apiece? Well you're in luck, mister! You want the 3rd fall to go way too long, but only because the two guys spend tons of time lying on the mat breathing heavily and overselling roll-ups? Well hold on to your fucking hats! Rey goes for a roll up, Baby Richard takes 16 seconds to reach the 2 count, Warrior kicks out. Both men lie there selling total exhaustion. But then Warrior rolls up Escorpion!!!! And Richard counts super slowllllyyyy....1.....2.......but Rey kicks out!!! But then Rey rolls up Warrior!!!! Fucccccckkkk youuuuuuuuuu. 4 minutes of action crammed into 18 minutes. Brutal. Rey takes a nice spill into the crowd off a BW dive, and at least Rey won so BW's greasy thinning mess of a mop can get lopped off. But man this was the pits.

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