Segunda Caida

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

Sunday, April 28, 2013

CMLL on Fox Deportes Workrate Report, 3/1/13

These were the other matches from the 2/15 Arena Mexico show. And like almost every lucha show that I've randomly discovered on my cable, this channel stopped showing CMLL like a couple weeks after this. I don't know why Mexican cable teases me so, but whenever a channel other than Galavision starts showing lucha, it usually just disappears after a couple months. This time it continued to appear on the schedule, and it would record as "Lucha Libre CMLL", but then I'd watch it and it would be an old UFC show from 5 years ago.

1. Amapola/La Comandante/La Seductora vs. Estrellita/Dalis/Silueta

Boy when Silueta is making TV you know you're really digging deep on some women's matches. Amapola blindsides Estrellita during her ring entrance to at least save us all from that sadness. And that's kinda the story of the match. Amapola and Estrellita match up well and work pretty violently with each other but good lord this felt pretty long for what it was. Dalis and Silueta are what they are, Comandante is usually fine as the 3rd best ruda in a trios, and Seductora doesn't do much for me (although I admittedly have hardly ever seen her).  The dive/plancha spot was OK but pretty sloppy, and Estrellita's finisher Indian death lock/armbar was really cool, but took longer than Undertaker's triangle to set up.

2013 Reyes Del Aire Final! 

2. Volador Jr. vs. La Sombra

Holllllllly shit that match was AWESOME! I was excited for it and this was WAY better than I thought it would be. Volador has been one of my favorite wrestlers period over the last couple years and he did not disappoint here. La Sombra was MORE than game and this was an absolutely insane match with some crazy spots. I loved it. You like headscissor hurricanranas? Well I sure do, motherfucker, and there were tons of them on display here. Each of them gorgeous, each of them in a different part of the building: in the ring, on the floor, on the ramp way, into the barricade, tons of ranas and all of them awesome. Volador sending Sombra upside down into the ring barrier. The dives were plentiful and also nuts, with Sombra doing a hands-free flip dive over the ring post and Volador returning the favor with a nutso swanton to the floor. And when you had so many ranas, you know you're gonna get guys getting caught in ranas and planted with powerbombs and motherfucker we had some of that too and it was glorious! Sombra had a couple ridiculous suplex spots, with him going for a schoolboy, rolling through and doing a Backlund-esque one arm dead lift overhead suplex. Later in the match he goes for a wheelbarrow suplex with Volador grabbing his mini sidekick to prevent it, so Sombra ends up heaving both of them overhead and they all sprawl out fantastically across the ring. Everything about this was fucking awesome with Volador stiffing Sombra with kicks, Volador flying all over the place at fast speeds making Sombra shine, a double mask pull-off finish, shit even Tirantes bumps big after getting a dropkick run into his face. I loved it all and this was just truly great. DEFINITELY go out of your way to watch this. You will not regret spending 20 minutes of your life on this. 

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wednesday Night Bootleg: Eddie and the Taker

Undertaker/Eddie Guerrero v. JBL/Orlando Jordan France 10/9/04

So happy to see a new Eddie Guerrerro match show up, this is a long Southern tag with both Taker and Eddie working Face In Peril and Hot tag, both guys are really awesome at both. The JBL v. Taker big man stuff was really good and this built to a super satisfying finish. Just a fun match which I am really glad I watched

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

CMLL on Galavision Workrate Report 2/23/13

These matches were from the 2/15/13 Arena Mexico show.

1. Lightning Match: Dragon Rojo Jr. vs. El Hijo del Fantasma

Lightning matches are pretty hard to judge as I don't believe I've ever seen one with much structure, unless "offense exhibition" counts as a type of structure. Judging selling and build and pace in a lightning match seems like a fool's errand, as none of the wrestlers are trying to do any of those things. They're just trying to do their coolest looking moves in as short amount of time as possible. The absolute best luchadors all try and work a show-off style in these matches, so they're kind of odd in that really great workers like Virus essentially work like Delta. So with all that in mind, this was one of the better lightning matches I've seen. The big spots were big, the other spots were hit cleanly. Rojo seemed a little selfish in this one as he very clearly had a Kurt Angle "waiting to get my shit in" look on his face (well...what's visible of his face). Fantasma hit a great tope that smashes Rojo into the barrier, but he sells it by fixing his hair. Oooookay. But then he hits an insane running dropkick from the rampway to the floor and who gives a shit how he sold a tope. Finish looks awesome as Fantasma goes for a rana, Rojo catches him, bounces him super high off the top rope and into a massive powerbomb.

2. Namajague/Averno/Mephisto vs. Valiente/Stuka Jr./Angel de Oro

1st fall is an extended rudo beatdown, as Okumura comes out dressed up as Namajague so that the REAL Namajague can ambush those sucker tecnicos. Namajague beats down Stuka the whole time, ripping at his mask and throwing stiff clotheslines while Averno is awesome on the ring apron riling up all the Arena fans. Oro wants to throw a beating on Averno but Averno stands with his head down and hands behind his back and Oro is too honorable and then Mephisto just blindsides him. Mephisto finishes this with an absolutely brutal Pepsi Plunge, with him holding Valiente up on the middle rope for a crazy amount of time before planting him. Rudo beatdown continues most of the way through the 2nd, making the tecnico comeback all the more satisfying. It was also satisfying because all three rudos are guys who know how to fly around for tecnico offense. Stuka hits a nice tope that sends Namajague flying into the barrier, Oro hits a nice moonsault from the 2nd rope, and Valiente hits his insane Valiente Special at crazy speeds, nailing that moonsault from the top to the floor. Back in and Namajague gets a kick caught and Stuka throws him down into the splits, misses the running knee and Namajague punches him in the balls to get a straight falls rudo win. Match wasn't much as it was all about setting up the mask/hair match, but it was fine for what it was and SOME indy dude needs to steal the "catch kick->pull opponent into doing splits->knee opponent in the face" move chain. Seems like something that would have already been done in Beyond Wrestling.

3. Ultimo Guerrero/Niebla Roja/Euforia vs. Atlantis/La Mascara/Super Porky

Again more of an angle than an actual match, setting up the Atlantis/UG mask match which should be amazing. It feels like I haven't seen Porky on TV in months, maybe over a year. He seems more immobile than the last time I saw him, but still manages to do his trademark spots (headlock/headscissor takeover, big splash off the top with assist from his team, giant running butt splash to all three rudos), it just takes him way longer to get to his feet afterwards. Roja looks really good here, being a total shit disturber while UG bumps around like a lunatic. Nothing stands out as being spectacular, but it passed the time.

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Monday, April 15, 2013

WWECW Workrate Report, 8/4/09

Show starts with a 13 minute (!) Abraham Washington show where we get to hear a whole bunch of the comedic chops of Shelton Benjamin. He calls Wash a low rent Byron Allen which works, and Zach Ryder is also here because they're in Long Island or somewhere close and boy Ryder is boring. They eventually do ECW Idol and Shelton does a fairly accurate Darius Rucker which - as far as celebrity impressions go - has to have one of the lowest pussy attainability ratios possible. It would be like a girl at a party trying to thrill you with her really good Bonnie Hunt impression.

1. Ezekiel Jackson vs. Dangerous Danny Danger

Pretty sure I've seen Danger on some Beyond Wrestling shows so this already gets a win. Zeke does two of the nastiest backbreakers you've ever seen and hits the nastiest urunage you've ever seen and this is 30 seconds but he doesn't care about his opponent's safety or well-being at all and good lord now Kozlov is coming out and I LOOOOOVE their jobber squash-offs. Koz hits his rad spinebuster urunage and then Zeke gets pissed and hits his urunage AGAIN. Backstage Danny Danger receives a handshake and the new superpower of "peeing blood".

2. Sheamus vs. Goldust

God Stryker is garbage. "Last week Goldust was able to counter Sheamus using fundamental offense tactics." Whatever. Sheamus works over Goldust's arm in all sorts of cool ways, with single arm DDTs and a weirdo bulldog to his arm. GREAT spot early where Goldust pushes Sheamus into the turnbuckles to reverse a powerslam, gets a schoolboy with the good arm, and when Sheamus kicks out it leaves Goldust prone which leads to Sheamus locking on the old Rings of Saturn, which is just a fucking KILLER chain of moves. Goldust gets to the ropes and goes on a freaking great tear, hitting all sorts of great punches, his great bulldog, great clotheslines, THAT powerslam, and you love all of it. Finish is quick and clever, with Goldust going to the 2nd rope to hit a bulldog, but Sheamus sweeps his leg and gets the flash pin. Logical and totally acceptable. Afterwards Sheamus starts to cut a promo on the floor and 'Dust levels him with a clothesline to the back of the head. Pretty much a flawless 5 minutes of pro wrestling. I am LOVING this feud.

3. Extreme Rules Match: Tommy Dreamer vs. Christian

This starts out as one of those late 90s plunder matches, but works pretty well because Christian has much more creativity in setting up garbage spots than all those guys. It's not just dudes brainlessly hitting each other with cookie sheets, Christian finds some interesting ways to fly into garbage. They had rolled out a hot dog cart and I had no idea how they'd use it, as it was far too small to do moves on, but too heavy to be picked up. Well Christian runs at Dreamer at one point and takes a drop toe hold into the cart, sending buns and condiments flying. Another great spot had Dreamer whip Christian into the ring steps, but Christian baseball slid to stop his momentum and then charged at Dreamer, only to take a nasty backdrop on the floor. Christian also sets up a bunch of cool counter/reversal spots to put neat twists on getting hit in the face with a trash can. At one point Christian gets clotheslined over the barrier into the crowd, and while Dreamer finds a trash can Christian recovers, Dreamer misses the can shot, Christian punches him, then does a massive missile dropkick off the ring barrier. Finish is really cool as Christian had come out with a car door which I had totally forgot about. He brings it into the ring, Dreamer bashes him with a can hilariously through the window (Christian clearly forgot he had the windows down). Then they work some fun reversal spots around Dreamer trying to hit a piledriver on the car door until Christian nailed the Killswitch on the door, and then pinned Dreamer underneath said door. Really good match. Christian brought a bunch of cool elements to a garbage match and it felt like Dreamer had a real chance at winning. Even though I wouldn't care about Dreamer being champ again, I was getting real excited at the prospect of a piledriver on a car door. So now I want somebody to make that happen.


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Sunday, April 14, 2013

2013 Lucha Roundup

Chico Che/Saruman/Freelance v. Eita/Tomahawk/Imposible IWRG 3/21

Pretty mediocre match. The DG guys didn't do anything as bad as they have in previous matches, but this was a really subdued Freelance and Che performance. No real crazy dives, Che threw some nice headbutts but didn't fly around or anything. More forgettable then bad, but pretty forgettable.

El Hijo Del Santo v. Oliver John TXT 4/7

Great to see a Santo singles match show up. Haven't had much of an opinion of John before but he definitely worked hard here, he took some big bumps including doing a diving headbutt directly into Santo's feet and flying to the floor. I also really liked his piledriver counter. Santo did cool Santo things, headscissors, headbutts, mat counters, topes. Built to a pretty exciting finish run and a satisfying finish. Very good match better then I was expecting

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Monday, April 08, 2013

My Favorite Wrestling! WCW Saturday Night 10/17/98

1. Lenny Lane vs. Kidman

If you had come up to me and asked "Is 8 minutes a long time", my snap judgment answer would probably be "No, not really". But it really does depend on what that 8 minutes is spent doing. 8 minutes waiting for your food to arrive? Not bad at all as long as the conversation is pleasant. 8 minutes waiting at a traffic light? Very long. 8 minutes of your lunch break? Well that goes by super fast. 8 minutes of Lenny Lane vs. Kidman? Well good lord this is a long 8 minutes. I'm not totally sure we needed a 6 minute Lenny Lane control segment, but brother we got it. Again, 6 minutes doesn't really sound like whole lot of time, but when filtered through the context of "Lenny Lane doing offense" then it becomes clear very quickly that Lane does not have 6 minutes of material. Lane has among the worst punches I've ever seen in a major fed. Sub Chris Chetti. Sub Shad Gaspard. Just punching a foot past Kidman's head. At one point he's clearly just making up stuff as he does some sort of people's elbow type legdrop, coming off the ropes and strutting and then kinda standing there before hitting a legdrop. He and Kidman get brutally crossed up on a bulldog spot which sees them running the same direction, side by side, with neither holding onto the other one, until Kidman just stops and falls onto his face. But luckily for us they redo the spot immediately so we know what it should have looked like. For those scoring at home on the "How badly did Kidman injure his opponent on the Shooting Star Press", his knees landed on Lane's thighs/knees, so Lane likely had some sharp pain and bruising, but is also thankful he didn't catch Kidman's knees squarely in the balls.

2. Barry Horowitz vs. Vincent

Man, I really really like late 90s Vincent. What the fuck? He has no offense whatsoever, but does little things that just work. He's like what Stevie Richards added to late 00's Sunday Night Heat. Here he does some cool hot shots on Barry, then chokes him in the ropes while hitting these awesome body blows. Horowitz does cool things too and I love him stomping both of Vincent's hands while he's on the mat. Vincent does really hilarious "ohhhhhh my hand...OHHHHH MY OTHER HAND!" selling. Some cool spots in this that you don't ever see. Vincent has Barry in a headlock and ran up the turnbuckles with it and when he went to flip it into a bulldog (like Kidman would do) Horowitz just planted him with a back suplex. At another point Vincent had Barry draped over the top rope, and climbed to the top to do a guillotine leg drop! But Barry moved an Vince crotched himself and it was awesome. I loved Vincent's finisher in WCW, too, the single arm DDT rolled into a Fujiwara armbar. I REALLY want to see Vincent against Finlay, Taylor or Regal.

3. Rex King vs. Wrath

Would have rather seen an old Memphis guy against Kidman or Vincent or Horowitz but whatever. King hits a nice dropkick and a really cool spinkick in the corner (that Wrath pusses out on). Wrath...does stuff...until the match ends. Guy just isn't very memorable in squash matches.

4. Meng vs. Hardbody Harrison

An actual fun Meng squash!! I kinda gotta give Harrison some credit on this one as he leaned all in on Meng's offense and took some pretty nutty things. Meng planted him with a powerbomb and hit a brutal piledriver. He also hit two different big boot variations and numerous stiff strikes. He also kept pulling up Harrison on 2 counts which is great. We all KNOW Harrison is a total sleaze bag, but it has to be said that he really LOOKED like a total sleaze bag here. And he had to be pissed that the cameras never focused on the image OF HIMSELF he had shaved into the back of his head. That shit don't come cheap.

5. Bret Hanmer vs. "Hole in One" Barry Darsow

Match sadly never starts as Darsow says he needs to work on his swing and get back into golf shape, so he leaves the ring and Hanmer gets the count out win. Hanmer was a large gassed up guy with a nipple ring (ew) who later got to be Simon Diamond's bodyguard Dick Hurtz in ECW.

6. Fit Finlay vs. Chris Jericho

If you heard Finlay/Jericho were given 12 minutes then on paper you'd think that would be a really good match, right? Well, it turns out it was pretty disappointing. Most matches on WCWSN don't get this much time, but these two didn't really seem like they had a gameplan to fill that much time. There were plenty of fine individual moments: Jericho hits a cool running shoulderblock on the floor, vaulting off a chair. Jericho does a cool tombstone reversal by doing a reverse rana, planting Finlay vertically. The coolest and weirdest moment sees Jericho go up top for an axehandle, and Finlay catches him in the breadbasket, like ya do. But what makes it super cool is Finlay sells the arm like a 220 pound human just came crashing through it from the top rope. Well, obviously that makes 100% logical sense, but I have never seen anybody do it before. Of course that would destroy your shoulder if you hit somebody while they fell from above. So Jericho instantly pounces on the arm, stomping on it getting to bust out one of his hundreds of armbar variations. But then the weird kicks in, as after a couple minutes of getting his arm worked over, both of them just kind of stand up and Finlay transitions back to offense, doesn't sell his arm again and Jericho never goes back to the arm. And that's really the story of the match, as both guys do things, they hit moves clean, but nothing went anywhere. It was a pretty solid waste of 12 minutes, but a waste indeed as it just never evolved past "just filling some time".

7. The Gambler vs. Saturn

Boy Saturn has some boring transitions back to offense. He just waits for Gambler to do his stuff, then just immediately does stuff back. Gambler does some cool things though, like hitting stomps with one foot while standing on Saturn's hand with the other. That's a real nice touch. He hits a go behind at one point that Finlay should have stolen. Saturn has him in a waistlock, Gambler grapevines a leg to attempt a trip takedown, Saturn braces to avoid being taken down, and Gambler dupes him by hitting the go behind. Saturn stinks bad in this though and it only goes 90 seconds.

8. Lodi vs. Konnan

Well shit. Those are not really the two names I'd be looking forward to getting this show back on track. And this match is not good. Konnan has the shittiest way of getting guys into position to take his trademark moves. It reminds me of old Eliminators matches where they'd just walk there opponents into position as if they were placing mannequins. Okay, just stand riiiiiight there. Don't move.

9. Scott Hall vs. Disorderly Conduct

Well Hall comes out - to the surprise of everybody - just looking multiple sheets to the wind, and then gives a super rambling drunk promo on Kevin Nash, saying he's giving Nash the night off because he can beat these two "JAY-brones" by himself. He also throws his toothpick at the camera, misses, shrugs it off, then pulls out another toothpick from behind his ear and nails the camera. Well okay that's fucking awesome. Match actually starts out fun with Hall being cocky and then D.O. taking over with double teams. Hall fighting back is cool as he was throwing some nice rights, but D.O. cheating to transition was better with them always throwing Hall into the ropes so the one on the apron could sneak attack. At one point Hall just kinda wants to go home though so D.O. stop doing offense so Hall can hit a couple Outsiders Edge.

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Sunday, April 07, 2013

My Favorite Wrestling! WCW Main Event 5/24 & 5/31/97

1. Pat Tanaka vs. Yuji Nagata

The Main Event was pretty much the D-List WCW syndicated show, as it was 50+ minutes of recap and had one exclusive match. This was a kick in the dick as Tanaka/Nagata is joined in progress. Soooo many minutes of Bobby and Tony hanging out in the studio talking about feuds and doing "analysis" and I can't see how the one exclusive match started?! But either way, the match was cool as hell and Tanaka still appeared to be a great worker in '97, even as a tubbo. Match went only 3 minutes but Tanaka had a GODLY fist drop, flying halfway across the ring with it. Nagata threw a bunch of nice kicks, tons of different varieties, which ended with Tanaka catching a leg and hitting one of the more brutal dragon screws I've ever seen. I can't believe Nagata's leg didn't snap. Nagata's comeback is really good as he had a few great suplexes with his exploder and awesome overhead belly to belly. Tanaka was aces here leaning into all of Nagata's kicks, flying chest first into turnbuckles, eye gouging and fish hooking and dishing fine offense of his own. These guys could have an epic if given 8-10.

2. Super Calo vs. Lizmark Jr.

Decent rushed lucha match. Lizmark goes over I guess because of his size, although the announcers seemed to be putting over Calo the whole match. I actually had assumed Calo would go over, just because I know he ended up in some ppv singles matches and I don't recall Lizmark getting the same. Lizmark was in a pretty tough spot in WCW as he was a luchador, but used a lot of power offense like lariats and powerbombs so didn't really "match up" for lucha singles matches the way WCW wanted to present them (fast action, lots of flips and spins) and was bigger than all the other luchadors (save Parka), but wasn't big enough (or white enough) to be pushed with other WCW heavyweights. He and Calo work about the most basic 3 minute lucha match you can work, with Lizmark hitting a cool spin kick and Calo hitting an awesome tope en reversa/back elbow after running up the turnbuckles. Finish was nice with Calo going for a rana off the top and Lizmark planting him with a powerbomb.

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Saturday, April 06, 2013

My Favorite Wrestling! WCW Worldwide 11/16/97

1. Los Villanos vs. Barry Houston/Doc Dean

Oh hell yes. I don't even need to watch. This is 8 stars. But of course I watch and it's awesome. I wanted more but was happy with the 4 minutes it went. It was cool to see Villanos as the guys squashing jobbers. I don't think it happened very often as I've seen them eke out wins, but never seen them in WCW as "well these guys are clearly going over" guys before the bell. Tony and Bobby put them over huge the whole time, with Tony actually being able to tell them apart and Brain going on about how crafty they are and how they'd be challenging for the tag titles. It's great seeing them jaw with the crowd and sneak in cheap shots from the apron. Houston you know as the lost superworker of the 90s, able to adapt to any style. It's a shame he had that chubby face and Napoleon Dynamite mouth so never got a national shot. Damn I wish some of his sessions in the WWF "Funkin Dojo" made tape. We need to make a definitive Barry Houston comp, with his WCW work, any IWA Japan work and whatever Memphis work exists. Who wants the Complete & Accurate Barry Houston?? After the win the Villanos do a bunch of stooging with the crowd, shadowboxing with each other and doing a bunch of cocky lucha tumbling post match. V4 does the worm into a headstand into a bridge and the fans are hating it. So awesome to see these guys actually treated as something important.

2. Mike Anthony vs. Steve Regal

Oh my god this was amazing! I don't think I've ever heard this match mentioned but although just 4 minutes long it's one of the most awesome Regal performances ever. If anybody needed a 5-minutes-or-less primer on why Regal is incredible this would be a perfect "greatest hits" to show them. He works a whole bunch of trippy British matwork into it and does a bunch of cool standing wristlock reversals and does all sorts of neat things like grabbing a wristlock, kicking Anthony (you've maybe seen him from his ECW run as Mike Lozansky) with yakuza kick variations, stomping his fingers, throwing brutal knees from the clinch, etc. He was just dishing all sorts of cool things and then strutting around and flexing and stooging. Anthony threw some Lance Storm-level soft offense and deserved to be clowned.

3. Jim Powers vs. Dave Taylor

Before the match they have a Dave Taylor promo/highlight package that includes a genial sit down interview that shows what a nice cool guy he is and how excited he is to be in WCW, makes a joke about how he's accomplished a lot because he's so damn old. And then we cut to his entrance where he's jawing with fans about being a better human being than them because he's British. What? Match was weird as Taylor put over Powers a bunch. Probably put over Jim Powers a bit too much, as he was Dave Taylor and he was wrestling Jim Powers. But Taylor still got to be Taylor and that's something I will always greatly love. He threw some great duplexes, and his floatover butterfly suplex finisher was epic. Also of note, Tony called him "Regal" twice in the match, and Powers threw possibly the greatest punch of his career here. I mean, I think he accidentally punched Taylor in the face, and rightfully got the shit kicked out of him for it, but it was still likely the best Jim Powers punch ever.

Yeah we got a commercial for Valtrex! You know that they should have gotten wrestlers themselves to be spokesmen for a herpes medication, but I suppose just advertising during wrestling works well enough. But seriously, what WCW contracted wrestler during this time do you think MOST needed a Valtrex prescription? I'm gonna go with Bobby Blaze, just for reasons. Dude looked like he with the rattiest ring rats.

4. Bobby Eaton vs. Kevin Northcutt

I used to think Northcutt was all sorts of cool because he was an indy guy with size (my 15 year old opinions may have been affected by his PWI 500 placement). Turns out, he was just a tall tubby dude with soft offense wearing latex overalls like Willem Dafoe in Streets of Fire. This works because it's just Northcutt missing offense, followed by Eaton doing an awesome punch, followed by Bobby and Tony talking about how great Eaton's punches are. Eaton also hits his awesome knee drop from the top to end it.

5. Syxx vs. Chris Benoit

Now this was awesome. I loved Waltman when he was fast and reckless and here he bumps all over for Benoit and then Benoit returns the favor. Waltman at his lunatic best, bumping crazy through the ropes to the studio floor and then splatting again on the floor from a Benoit baseball slide (Benoit returns the favor later on Waltman's baseball slide). Hall cheats to Waltman transition by clotheslining Benoit's legs out from under him on the top rope, leading to Benoit hanging in a tree of woe while Syxx hits a nasty but non-anus busting Bronco Buster. I don't think I've ever seen him hit it that way and it looked killer. Syxx actually gets the win with his cool modified rear naked choke/crossface chickenwing. This was all so much damn fun. Everything you want in 5 minutes of pro wrestling.

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Tuesday, April 02, 2013

My Favorite Wrestling! WCW Worldwide 11/9/97

1. Mark Starr vs. Goldberg

Wow, the fans are booing Goldberg as he comes out. Old ladies are giving him the thumbs down. That means that they were giving Mark Starr the thumbs up right before this. How bizarre is that taken out of context? Look into the future just a couple months and see where Goldberg is. But here he is on Worldwide getting booed by old ladies. The match isn't much but it's really fun seeing a huge era in its infancy, maybe the last time that WCW got something right. You can tell that they knew what they were doing here. They couldn't have known just how big he was going to be, but it's really satisfying knowing that they at least had a plan and were seeing it through. Brain and Tony were talking big things for Goldberg the whole match, saying how he was gonna win WW3 and fight for the title. He was already using the "Who's Next?" catchphrase after the match. They were already putting over the spear and jackhammer finish. Goldberg has a nice powerslam here, and shows some major power by deadlifting Starr a couple times...and also awkwardly stands around for large amounts of time, just waiting for...stuff to happen. But again, it's really fun to see such a major part of wrestling history in its infancy.

2. Mike Rapada vs. Scott Hall

Damn, it's kind of crazy that guys like Hall were still appearing on Worldwide at this point (and in the 2nd match of the show!). I'd bet serious money that nobody anywhere near as big as Hall appeared on Worldwide from '98 to the end. And by the way this squash was really fun. Rapada got absolutely zero offense, but bumped HUGE for Hall, and Hall and Syxx stiffed the bejesus out of him. Hall threw some of the nastiest punches of his career, threw a corner clothesline so stiff that Tony and Bobby couldn't stop talking about it, Syxx cheated constantly and played it up to the crowd great (punching Rapada and then blowing on his fist, elbowing him on the apron and then hamming it up by shaking out his elbow). This is what a jobber squash should be.

3. Scott & Steve Armstrong vs. Harlem Heat

It's been kind of eye opening how bad Harlem Heat were in retrospect. It's no revelation that Stevie Ray looks bad in the ring, but I had really fond views on Booker before starting this. I remembered the Benoit matches, the Saturn and Martel matches, and generally liked his WWE run. But boy has he looked pretty lousy upon rewatch. I don't think I could name 5 sloppier guys in the promotion. He must have just had a really great Jan/Feb '98 and that's where my brain froze. All that being said, the match was alright. HH looked bleh, but they worked stiff so it kind of made up for it. Armstrongs are always game but really they weren't given tons here.

4. Shiima Nobunaga/Sumo Fuji vs. Meng/Barbarian

Well this was fun. The FoF squash the Toryumon boys for 4+ minutes, and while they no sold their offense the whole way through, they still allowed the boys do at least do stuff. CIMA hits a bunch of slick dropkicks, Fuji gets to actually work shoulder block sequences with Barbarian (and holds his own!) and the FoF throw tons of big boots to the face, big chops and big slams.

5. Renegade vs. Steve McMichael

Yeah, yeah. You see those two names up there and you know it's not going to be very good, right? Renegade walks out first and you go "Oh. Renegade is in the main event. Huh." And then Mongo comes out and you just kinda know what you're in for. And you know? It wasn't very good. But really this wasn't *that* bad. This was probably the best match these two are capable of, and that has to be worth something. It's almost 5 minutes, and the main thing that stood out to me was that they didn't rest at all. No chin locks. I've gotten so used to 4 minute WWE matches that no matter what have to include a chinlock transition to comeback, that it was kind of jarring seeing two big guys work a 5 minute sprint. Yeah, some of the moves didn't look good. Renegade looks like he couldn't punch through paper. But for what it was, an actual fast paced match between a couple of lugs, this worked for me.

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Monday, April 01, 2013

CMLL on Fox Deportes Workrate Report 2/17/13

1. Sensei/Oro Jr. vs. Super Comando/Artillero

I always get stoked when Sensei makes TV, and I don't believe I've ever seen Oro Jr. before. Artillero and Comando easily go under the radar as they only work openers, but usually they look pretty decent. HERE,  however, they look downright AWESOME. This was probably my absolute favorite performance by the two brothers. They were just shit kicking, smack talking jerks here. They also got to shine offensively more than usual. Comando hit a beastly missile dropkick that sent Oro sprawling, and Arti got to work a bunch of real cool wrist/arm work on Oro that likely wouldn't have been shown on Galavision. Sensei gets to do cool stuff (love his triangle rana) and love this as the coming out party for Comando/Arti. They are now officially guys I look forward to.

2. The OTHER Reyes Del Aire semifinal!!

Volador Jr vs. Virus vs. Valiente vs. Psicosis vs. Mascara Dorada vs. Guerrero Maya Jr. vs. Maximo vs. Sangre Azteca vs. Mephisto vs. Rey Escorpion vs. Angel de Oro vs. Diamante vs. Niebla Roja vs. Puma vs. Triton vs. Fuego

Yeahhhhh buddy. Really looking forward to this as I think my boys Volador and Virus and Valiente can shine in this type of setting. I think on paper this Cibernetico looks stronger than the other one. And there is some awesome shit at the start of this. Psicosis takes a nutty Fuerza bump, Valiente hits an amazing bullet tope that sends Escorpion into the crowd, Maximo hits a gorgeous rana on Virus, and this is just a blast. Sangre Azteca is a guy who more people should talk about as being awesome, because he is. He doesn't get a long run here but he shines BRIGHT. You know that spot where guys drop to their tummy when an opponent is running the ropes to trip him up, but usually it just looks like going through spots as the guy drops down immediately? Well Sangre actually slides into Angel de Oro  , MAKING Oro jump over him or else he actually would have tripped. It's that extra mile. He gets eliminated by Valiente but goes out looking killer, taking two massive monkey flips into the ropes (like Eddy used to!) and shit that guy is good. But then holy shit Guerrero Maya does a flip tope that sends him flying into the 2nd row and YES that guy is awesome. I'm loving this.

Eliminations start flying fast and Maximo hits a wicked tope with no wussy hands to shield the blow, just face into face, arms at his side. Brutal. Volador and Valiente have a hot segment like you knew they would. And okay why is everybody doing a goofy "powerbomb a guy onto my own knees" spot. Three different guys have now done this same spot in the last 2 minutes. Admittedly Volador may be the guy who brought backcracker offense into Mexico and he seems to be amongst the biggest offenders, but fuck it. He does all that stuff with such speed and snap that I don't give a damn if it's all played out. As with all these matches, they do their thing until the finishes start happening, and then there's a pinfall every 45 seconds. But this was consistently awesome and I would highly recommend checking it out. All the guys seemed to be treating it like a really big deal and this was definitely better than the other one. Tons of awesome stuff.

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