Segunda Caida

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

Saturday, August 24, 2013

My Favorite Wrestling! WCW Worldwide 5/11/97

1. Alex Wright vs. Bobby Eaton

Short match that could have been really good, but was more of a Wright moves showcase. The whole thing goes only a couple minutes. Eaton's offense was one great looking punch, and then a missed punch that led to the finishing German suplex.

2. Kevin Sullivan vs. Doc Dean

This was during that period where 75% of the match was Sullivan throwing his opponent to the floor so Jacqueline could do her sequence of snap mare-body slam-duplex while the announcers flipped their shit. "She's a woman! But she's doing these moves to a MAN!" It's main purpose was to turn 1 minute Sullivan matches into 3 minute Sullivan matches, so I'd call that a fail.

Good lord there are so many ads for vacationing in Myrtle Beach. Every commercial break, Myrtle Beach ad. I've never seen these before on any other WCW episode. It's like they had an ad budget and just blew it all on one Saturday night. The ads show a lot of golfing and old people having a good time having dinner together. Sounds nice.

3. Mark Starr vs. Ice Train

Segunda Caida: Now with more stuff written about Mark Starr than ANY other website!! Because Mark Starr is actually really good, and ends up losing to Ice Train on these type of shows pretty often. Schiavone says Ice Train will be a "big star" in this business in a few years, which even without the benefit of hindsight seems like a bad projection. I mean, did Tony really think a 35 year old juiced up guy with a high top fade was really gonna break through and it was only experience that was holding him back? Starr looks great here bumping around for all of Ice Trains powerslams and shoulder blocks. Ice Train looks like a guy who wouldn't look very good without Starr bumping around for him.

4. Konnan vs. Johnny Swinger

God so much Konnan on these '96/'97 shows. Here he busts out a nice octopus hold on the mat (that takes him like 20 seconds to put on). Swinger has nice kicks to the stomach. And then Konnan drops Swinger right on his head with the 187. I mean good lord there has to be some vertebrae damaged there. Was there just some company directive to shoot injure Swinger whenever he was your opponent?  I'm glad he eventually got some WWE paydays.

5. La Parka vs. Robbie Brookside

I was not actually aware that Parka got any singles matches against non-lucha guys, but here he was totally dominating Brookside. So that means he was getting a minor push as early as '97, yet somehow they never pushed him any further than this, or being the guy who cleans the ring in lucha 6 mans. Obviously one of WCW's many screw-ups was not giving more of a push to Parka. A chubby, dancing skeleton who did corkscrew moonsaults and hit people with chairs. He does kip-ups, he kicks people in the face, and he would have sold tons of merchandise. I'm not saying he should have been World Champ (although really, it would have worked) but the fans loved cheering Park.

6. Jim Powers & Bobby Walker vs. Public Enemy

I know most of you are with me on this, but there are few combinations of 1997 WCW wrestlers that I would rather see show up as the main event of an episode that still has 12 minutes remaining. And you know? This isn't totally terrible. Powers is actually alright as a heel, which is a shame that he works face 95% of the time. I'm a fairly easy man to please. I know how to judge things on scale. Every match doesn't have to be Dundee/Lawler. And this match really didn't need much to exceed expectations. Walker hit a nice elbow drop, Grunge hit a nice elbow drop, Rocco tossed out an ugly asai moonsault, I fell asleep for the final two minutes...

maybe this wasn't actually that good.

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Monday, August 19, 2013

My Favorite Wrestling! WCW Worldwide 5/4/97

1. Buddy Lee Parker vs. JL

Fun little match. I wish there was more singles work (or work in general) as he always works stiff and bumps big. Lynn had a couple sloppy headscissors here that BLP made look better than they were. Also took a crazy fast bump to the floor and ended the match by taking a DDT off the top rope. I actually didn't realize JL was a guy they were pushing, but Schiavone/Heenan put him over the whole time.

2. Scott & Steve Armstrong vs. Public Enemy

I love when Armstrongs work heel! They can work babyface comebacks but they really seem to thrive in cheating behind the ref's back and taunting opponents on the apron. Plus neither guy really has much offense so the minimalist heel stuff plays to their strengths. Plus that also means that PE gets their offense shut down until the end comeback and less PE offense can only be a good thing. Since the PE offense was kept to a minimum the end run actually felt hot, with Grunge slyly ducking out of the way of a corner clothesline leading to a fun double sunset flip spot. Steve also found a way to believably stumble into a Rocco Rock moonsault press.

3. Super Calo vs. Konnan

Yay!! A one minute Konnan match! It's bittersweet because I would have liked Calo to get SOME offense, but it also meant only having to see Konnan for 70 seconds. I'll call it a win.

4. Bunkhouse Buck vs. Johnny Swinger

Swinger matches are usually furious beatdowns, and this eventually got there but had a surprising control section from Swinger to start. Swinger used scrappiness to avoid big shots from Buck, and did one of my favorite spots where he grabs a side headlock and keeps holding on whenever Buck tries to throw him into the ropes. He gets got going for a crossbody and Buck plants him with a nasty hotshot and then begins the shitkicking. Big time stomps, massive big boot, and get this: Buck wins with a running punch. A fucking awesome running punch. It was glorious. Afterwards he whips his belt off and starts threatening the camera. YES!

5. High Voltage vs. Joe Gomez & Renegade

One thing you can say about this, is that it was High Voltage in the ring with Joe Gomez and Renegade for 8 minutes. I have no idea what Gomez and Renegade were. They towered over High Voltage here, but because they were the faces they chose to play it up as Fantastics style babyfaces, so just did a bunch of armdrags and sunset flips. Good grief.

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

My Favorite Wrestling! WCW Saturday Night 9/25/99

1. El Dandy vs. Lenny Lane

This is arguably the biggest "Dandy showcase" match that Dandy ever had in WCW. It was 4 minutes, but almost the whole thing was controlled by Dandy. He had more offense in this one match than probably all his matches in '98 put together. Lenny wasn't very good, but it was really fun seeing Dandy dominate a match and repeatedly cut ANYbody off. There were a bunch of nearfalls that actually looked like Dandy would be getting the pinfall (which shows what a rube I am since Lane was  Cruiser Champ at this time). But Dandy had all sorts of cool leverage roll-ups that looked really impossible to kick out of, and he got to work in his awesome punches into a few (never had the chance to be) "trademark" spots. The best was when Lane was "punching" him in the corner (man did Lane have bad punches) and Dandy calmly told him to stop, then when Lane went "Huh?" Dandy belted him. Tenay tried his damndest to put over Dandy but it just wasn't ever going to work. Still nice to see him getting this kind of match.

2. Alan Funk vs. Kid Romeo

It's cool that WCWSN was around back then to give guys like this time to have actual matches. The matches usually weren't very good as most of the Power Plant guys had no idea how to build matches or transition or string together moves properly, but it at least gave them 6-7 minutes in front of live bodies. All the matches always end up your move my move kinda stuff, but the moves usually look pretty crisp. Funk was always a guy I dug more than most as his stuff usually had a good snap, he would break out a couple cool gutbuster suplexes and he knew how to work hell better than the others. Finish was a total abortion with Funk rolling up Romeo and Romeo being too much of a goon to keep his shoulders down. Literally had both of them up. Tenay and Hudson are wondering why the ref is even counting and then when that wins the match both of them try and act like they must have been down from another camera angle.

3. Bobby Eaton vs. Jim Duggan

USA wages a war on Huntsville, Alabama!! This...wasn't that good. Duggan could not give less of a shit here, walking around the ring slowly and missing shots by a mile. Eaton tried but this was a couple old guys moving slow for 3 minutes before Duggan wins with the slowest loosest clothesline you've seen.

Scott, Steve and Brad Armstrong come out for a quick interview calling out the Faces of Fear. Sounds like a fun six man. Madusa led the interview and looked horrific. Gross fake tits, way too much body glitter for someone on the wrong side of 30, poorly done extensions. I mean they're based out of Atlanta. You'd think there would be SOMEbody in the company that could rattle off ten places that do decent extension and weave work in the greater ATL area. Shoot there is probably a weave competition going on RIGHT NOW at an ATL mall. Unacceptable.

4. Erik Watts vs. Steve Regal

This was actually really fucking awesome as Regal works a whole bunch of mat slickness all over Watts and Watts breaks out his fun and goofy big guy offense, like his step up rana. But damn did Regal look insanely good. All the mat stuff is blatant show off stuff, but it's the kind of thing I could rewind and watch over and over. Cool leg trips and arm drags and flashy leverage moves. Dave Taylor was with him at ringside looming over things like a background extra in Long Good Friday. Taylor starts cheating to win and Duggan comes out to even the odds. Duggan's 2x4 shots looks horrible but if anybody has the facials to put over bad strikes, it's Regal and Taylor. I assume this sets up a tag team match at some point. 

5. Disco Inferno vs. Spyder

That's right! You KNOW you were all clamoring for the one or two Spyder matches that exist. Spyder is kind of a great guy to point to if you're arguing that WCW had too many guys on the payroll. The Latino World Order disbanded in JANUARY! And the guy who was the non-wrestling guy in the faction is still around working random matches 8 months later. How many shows before this was he flown into? Match went like 90 seconds and Spyder looked pretty not good. Threw a clothesline at Disco's lower chest, couldn't throw a punch. Glad they kept this guy around.

6. Norman Smiley vs. Scotty Riggs

Fun match between two underrated guys. Rachel thinks Smiley looks like the worlds most ripped History teacher. I liked all these pre-Screamin Norman matches where he would bust out weird clotheslines or just front kick somebody in the nose. He really knew how to put over offense, too, making Riggs' elbow strikes look nice. 

7. Chris Benoit vs. Lash Leroux

Benoit looks like he is going to murder this guy. I do not know what Leroux did, but Benoit dealt him a furious fucking beating right here. Leroux got one piece of offense in: Benoit charged him in the corner and Lash got the boots up. That was it. Right after that Lash charged out of the corner into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. The rest of the match was Benoit punching him, chopping him, suplexing him insanely fast, grabbing him by the nose and slapping his face, and locking in the crossface with Leroux's back bent backwards into a gross angle. Afterwards the rest of the Revolution comes out and Douglas and Saturn are wearing above-the-knee jean shorts with their Revolution shirts tucked in and looking like the Revolution was about to have an "End of Summer BBQ Bash".

8. Little Jeanie vs. Mona

Mona's gown singlet is one of the coolest wrestling looks ever. This was a real go go go 4 minutes with neither girl coming up for air. Mona was real great at building sympathy (wish I could hear the crowd's actual reaction, but the Stars of the Lid ambient noise machine was working in full effect this whole episode, just constant whirr of sounds approximating "Yay" and "boo") and she was good at running her offense together. Her finishing run was really great with a lightning fast handspring elbow into the corner followed by a bulldog to plant Jeanie, and finishing her off with an awesome surfboard cradle that has me and Scott Hudson marking out.

9. Scott, Steve and Brad Armstrong vs. First Family (Barbarian, Jerry Flynn, Hugh Morrus)

We get 7-8 minutes of this and it's all at worst decent wrestling. For whatever reason I was hoping for a bit more as most of it felt like time filling as opposed to building to something. Flynn looked really good here with a couple nice spin kick variations and big presence. Morrus (aside from his obnoxious ayuk yuk mannerisms) threw some nice elbow drops, including a big one off the top. Armstrongs were as dependable as usual, with Steve having a cool mat takedown/punches from mount segment with Flynn. And the Armstrongs fucking WIN! I'm sure all of you were expecting that result.

So many Surge commercials.

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Daisuke Ikeda is Getting Restless, And Once Again a Nation

Daisuke Ikeda/Takeshi Ono v. Hikari Sato/Kengo Mashimo FUTEN 1/22/12-EPIC

PAS: FUTEN tags may be my single favorite form of entertainment, I get really excited when The Mountain Goats drop a new single, or there is a new Breaking Bad or George Pelecanos Novel, but nothing like how jazzed I get to see a brand new Ikeda and Ono kick the fuck out of some dudes event.

This is right up there with the classics of this genre. Sato hasn't done much for me outside of FUTEN and Mashimo is similarly hit and miss, but they are right there ready to roll in this setting. The opening sections of this are really good, with Ono breaking out some very cool mat reversals and Ikeda wandering in and cracking people,. Most of the FUTEN tags build to one longish almost singles match finish run, here we get two of them. First Sato and Ikeda deliver a B+ version of the brain injury headbutt exchange from the Hashi tag. Then we get an amazing Ono v. Mashimo section with Ono cementing himself as the best guy in the world who wrestles three times a year. There is a headscissors, knee to the back of the head, uppercut combo which is jump out of your seat amazing. Mashimo is throwing bombs and unloading with some great suplexes. Right up there with the best matches in the world in 2012.

ER: WHEN will guys in FUTEN main event tags stop trying to put each other in submission holds!? How many times do guys need to be kicked behind their ear or have their shoulder blade kicked by somebody's boot toe to convince them that it's just not worth it? Truthfully, I don't care, because as long as it keeps happening then 1-2 times a year Phil and I get to sync up and squeal and laugh at the misfortune and overall badassery of these guys. Phil's first sentence is dead-on as FUTEN main event tags are one of life's great joys. It's a perfect formula done by men who are perfect within the formula. Ikeda somehow hasn't changed a bit in 15+ years, Mashimo is a guy who looks really great when he's on (and he is certainly on in this one) and Ono is just scary good. The fact that there are probably less than 50 Ono matches since 2000 is a shame, like Tom Waits scaling back his live gigs. What's happened more since 2000: Waits gigs or Ono matches? 15 years from now Ono is going to be working matches against Katsumi Usuda in front of 40 people in an abandoned dance studio, and on the same night Tom Waits will be performing a one-off show in a Vienna museum. Also, by then humans will have heat vision.

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