Segunda Caida

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

Monday, October 28, 2013

Uprising: Lucha Libre Workrate Report 10/13/13

Looks like we're back to 2009 matches this week. I'm not sure why nothing from 2010-2012 is being shown here, as some of the matches they've shown from 2009 have been pretty uninspiring (the Mr. Wrestling IV match especially standing out as a poor use of air time). I mean, they have 5 years of shows to cherry pick from, you'd think that would mean some pretty strong material

1. Cheerleader Melissa vs. Christina Von Eerie

First few minutes are mostly Melissa domination which is fun. Von Eerie gets some counter roll-ups but mostly it's a Melissa stomping. She grabs Von Eerie in a wheelbarrow lock and walks around the ring, swinging her into the guard rail on every side of the ring numerous times. Awesome. Melissa also bends her in half with a neat modified Texas Cloverleaf. Ladies always make submissions look cool with how flexible they can be, really getting contorted while in a move. Melissa hits a hardway pump handle slam, looking like Von Eerie sandbagged her the whole time. Von Eerie is tiny but Melissa still looked like she had some Backlund strength there. I dig Von Eerie struggling out of a DVD attempt by Melissa and planting her with a DDT (Melissa really took it great, too). CVE sets up a chair in the ring to vault off of into the corner, but Melissa catches her and plants her on the chair with an Air Raid Crash. Melissa looked really great here, but it was pretty clear she was holding CVE's hand through this, even having to do moves to herself.

2. Vaquero Fantasma vs. Hijo de Rey Misterio

Again, they have 5 years of matches to cull from, so not sure why they seem to be showcasing fake Rey Misterio. I fully understand having fake Rey Misterio on your live shows, but don't understand the purpose of showcasing his 4 year old matches on their valuable air time. Is their goal to trick new viewers into thinking they're watching a Rey Mysterio match? Or is their goal to bring new viewers to their live shows. The former seems odd, as it won't bring them new business. I'm pretty sure the fake Misterio no longer even works. The latter would make more sense, except this match is showcasing a guy who no longer works, and I've yet to see the TV show advertise any upcoming events. They advertise the training academy, and I believe Fantasma is the trainer...but they don't specifically mention that in the ads. So...I'm really wondering what the goal of this TV show is supposed to be. I'm trying to remember if they even advertise the website, and I'm drawing the blank. All I remember seeing ads for each episode is the training academy, and the Killers-meets-Dashboard Confessional theme song.

This match is basically all Misterio, with Vaquero Fantasma tasked with getting into proper position for Misterio's random move generator offense, and attempt to put it into some sort of structure. It's not much use though. Fantasma bumps around nicely, and Misterio's moves look mostly fine, but they're all fairly meaningless. It's the type of moveset that works really well when making a 3 minute youtube music video, but doesn't do a whole lot for me watching it in full. Every time I see a Hijo de Rey Misterio match he's added one or two "hey that move looks cool I want that!" This time it was the Code Red. His aresenal really is a greatest hits of the last few years of indy lucha. I was stunned he never went for a Backcracker. Hats off to Fantasma for making one of the more contrived spots look killer, as Misterio took a while setting up Fantasma seated on the apron, holding a chair in front of his face (similar to that old Scoot Andrews spot where a guy has to balance himself on the ropes as if he's stuck, so Scoot could do a legdrop from the middle rope), so Misterio could do a baseball slide into him. Well Fantasma leans all the way into it and take an incredible Hamrick-esque bump from the apron back-first onto the floor. Awesome bump, above and beyond what he needed to do (and for that, we thank him). In summary, Misterio getting the pin was never in question, match was worked as Misterio moves exhibition, Fantasma gets full point for trying to string it all together.

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Monday, October 21, 2013

My Favorite Wrestling! WCW Saturday Night 3/11/00, Part 1

1. Harris Brothers vs. Disorderly Conduct

Pretty fun squash as Mean Mike and Tough Tom are game enough to bump around for these two. The teams pair off and one combo rolls to the floor and the other stays in the ring. I can tell that Mean Mike is on the floor and Tough Tom is in the ring, but I won't be able to tell the Harris Bros. apart. Whichever one is in the ring actually looks pretty decent, throwing a cool uppercut and tossing Tom around nicely. The H Bomb works real well as a finisher, and both members of DO have to take it (with both getting great height). This was a fun enough squash, but is there such thing as an actual good Harris Bros. match? There are 12+ years of these guys on tape, certainly there has to be something good?

2. Norman Smiley vs. Scotty Zappa

Wow, Scotty Zappa. I saw Dweezil's Zappa Plays Zappa show a few years back and it was really awesome. Not sure what Ahmet or Moon Unit are up to these days. I feel bad for Scotty as he got little of the family talent, didn't get to marry Lisa Loeb or Selma Blair, clearly rebelled against his father by not even attempting a career in music. I imagine if he ever worked ECW that Joey Styles gave his finisher some name like "Weasels Ripped My Flesh" or "Chunga's Revenge". This was a weird period for Smiley as he's still billed as "Screamin" Norman Smiley, except he doesn't scream anymore. And he still dresses like he's the hardcore legend, with football pants and minor league hockey jersey, but he wrestles like his weird hybrid World of Sport/UWFi self. Match is not helped much by Zappa, who stinks. Norman still does his awesome scoop and twist bodyslam and has some slick leg kicks. It always stuns me how over the Big Wiggle was. People just jump out of their seats screaming whenever he does it.

3. 3 Count vs. El Dandy, Silver King and Jeremy Lopez

Apparently 3 Count are the collective hardcore champs here but this was probably taped a few months before the title change and there are no hardcore elements (which enrages Scott Hudson!). The match starts out the best way it could possibly start, with Dandy punching Karagias before the bell, then Helms and Moore each running into Dandy punches of their own. 12 stars. This match really is a WCW cruiserweight classic. Outside of one botch from King/Moore (and even that was doing a really ambitious electric chair type roll-up spot) this was 6 minutes of constant spots and cool showcases from everybody. Moore and Helms were such bump freaks at this point (though I haven't watched much pre-WWE Helms in awhile and seeing the size difference between him here and him in WWE was quite jarring) and both guys flew all over for King and Dandy. Los Fabulosos had cool double team offense (loved Silver King hip tossing Dandy into a senton) and this was just exactly what you hoped for when you saw this on paper. Jeremy Lopez was quite the unheralded early 00s junior as random Villano and Fabulosos partner.

4. Barry Horowitz vs. Allan Funk

Cool little 6 minute match that's a really good reference point if you want to throw somebody towards some high end Horowitz. Funk was one of my favorite Power Plant guys but here he had a lot of trouble stringing together moves and transitioning from offense to defense. Horowitz seems to really thrive in these types of matches, though, and he comes off as almost a Fit Finlay "let's let him train the Divas/let's put him with Bobby Lashley" type guy making the young and inexperience looked good by one parts selling big for them and one parts taking advantage of them. Horowitz does cool Finlay stuff he doesn't normally do, like stomp fingers, wrench ears on side headlocks, headbutts, elbow to the throat on the apron, even breaking out a nasty palm strike to Funk's right eye. Jesus (Moses?), Barry! This honestly may have been the best Horowitz has ever looked in a match, and I'm a pretty big Barry fan. Barry controlled for almost 6 straight minutes and Funk won by reversing a cradle and holding the trunks. This match was really awesome. It might have been better with more of a competitive pace, but an extended Barry squash with tiny Funk comebacks peppered in worked great for me.

5. Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. Frankie Lancaster

I can't believe it took me so long to realize that '99/'00 Frankie Lancaster was just Bob Holly. I bet I could convince somebody that was true. These discs are burned from some pretty deep generation VHS tapes, so they're kinda fuzzy with muffled sound. I'm trying to think of a more selfish worker than Duggan during the syndicated years and the only guy I can think of is Sullivan. Konnan definitely has to get his moves in, but occasionally sells for other guys in between. Sullivan rarely lets other guys have offense, but Duggan is almost worse because he usually lets guys get a couple moves in and never even acts like anything touched him. It makes guys look fucking ridiculous. Lancaster threw a few shockingly nice punches and Duggan doesn't move his head one inch to even give off the impression somebody is doing offense to him. I want a Duggan vs. Sullivan match that is just a 4 minute test of strength with neither gaining an advantage, and then each just choosing to get counted out so nobody has to show any ass.

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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Uprising: Lucha Libre Workrate Report, 10/6/13

This is from that same 5/11/13 Turlock show as last week's matches (they really love showing Turlock cards apparently) that had Santo in the main event. We'll see if we ever get the Santo match. I have been to Turlock exactly one time, for one weekend. My girlfriend-at-the time Hillary had a friend getting married on a Sunday (come on, people, do you know how inconvenient that is?) and it was 88 degrees and all the girls' hair was melting and they had a horrible loooooong service that had every bullshit wedding thing you can think of (lord knows we needed a candle lighting ceremony while "My Heart Will Go On" played). And the rehearsal dinner was at a really bad pizza place. Turlock, everybody! Catch it!

1. Fantasma De la Opera vs. Willie Mack vs. Ultimo Panda vs. Zokre (Phoenix Star?) vs. Vaquero Fantasma

Website lists this as being Zokre, onscreen graphic lists it as Phoenix Star. I've seen both live a couple times, but that was long enough ago that I couldn't tell you which was which in this match. I also know one Uso has a small tattoo on his pec and the other doesn't, but since I regularly forget if Jon or Jey or Jimmy has the tattoo it doesn't do me much good. Announcers refer to him as Phoenix Star so we'll go with that. Mac is a chubby black guy who moves real well. I've seen him live a bunch, at PWG and Lucha Va Voom and I'm always really impressed by his agility. He's got great leaping skills for a big man and throws some power moves with some oomph, stiff shoulderbocks and some decent comedy as well. This is an elimination match and it's pretty hot. Mac gets eliminated first which is a shame but he gets tons of cool stuff in before taking the fall. His standing moonsault is super impressive as he hits it really fast. It would be impressive if he were 100 lb. less, but as a man of size it looks pretty incredible (his kip-up also is pretty stunning). Match kinda goes lame right after the Mac elimination as two guys get eliminated almost immediately. Fantasma looked good but we only got to see a little bit of him before he was gone. Vaquero Fantasma also seems fairly solid, and he's perfected the "take lucha arm drag while sliding under the bottom rope to the floor" bump. Ultimo Panda is a fat guy in a Kung Fu Panda suit who doesn't seem that good, so naturally he goes over with some sort of dangerous looking torture rack piledriver thing. Match would have been worlds better if it hadn't been elimination style, as a 10 minute match where 4 people have to be eliminated just does not work. Guys start getting pinned after taking next to no offense the entire match. The work WITHIN the match was real good, but the match format and pacing just gave it no chance.

2. "La Migra" Brian Cage vs. El Mariachi

I'm sure I've seen Cage before in PWG, but here he is like 25+ pounds larger than I remember. Dude has been hitting the gas HARD. He's been hanging out with Jon Anderson too much. Mariachi is pretty so-so. They work a lot of reversal spots where timing is pretty important, and he's just a split second off which makes everything look confusing. For example, a spot where both guys are supposed to throw forearms, but Mariachi is supposed to be quicker on the draw, ended with Mariachi being late, so both guys hitting each other at the exact same time. Only Cage was supposed to be hit, but both guys took a shot, but they went with the end result anyway which means Cage bumped for the shot, while Mariachi didn't and just kinda stood there. Stuff like this happened a few times. For a guy named "La Migra" I expected a little bit of crowd work from Cage, but there was none. The crowd appeared to be 90% hispanic (if not more) and you're playing a Border Patrol guard. And there's not the least bit pointing to the crowd bullshit. This did not work for me. 

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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Uprising: Lucha Libre Workrate Report 9/29/13

So this was from a fairly recent show, happening in May 2013. Which means we jumped from airing 4+ year old matches on up to present day. We're never going to see those missing 4 years of matches, are we? Still that actually gives me hope that Santo's 2013 appearance from the same show eventually turns up on this show.

1. Persian Prince vs. Pistolero

I know Pistolero is a PWR trainee (there's a cringe-y statement from him on the Pro Wrestling Revolution site that seems written by the owner of PWR, talking about how they were a great place to train, but with a bunch of petty thinly-veiled digs thrown in at APW, who I think started training him before he moved on to be trained at PWR. He even calls them "that school up north" which tickles me to no end) and I know nothing about Persian Prince (I could not locate any internet flame war letters that he wrote). Match seemed kind of built to showcase Pistolero, and I dug what I saw. Nothing flashy but I don't believe he's been working for long. He had nice elbows and forearm strikes, took a big bump off a reversed bulldog, and did a cool deadlifty German suplex. Couldn't get much of a read on Prince, but he did ragdoll and fold up nicely for the German suplex. Match ends suddenly and flatly on Prince's first offensive move, a flying shoulderblock with some wonky timing. Something seemed off and Pistolero landed funny taking it, then they just went to the pin. Crowd seemed confused. I seemed confused. Rewound to see what happened, still couldn't really tell. Prince threw a shoulder block, Pistolero bumped kinda fast and awkwardly, match ended.

2. Pequeno Halloween vs. Octagoncito

On paper this was one of the more exciting matches I've seen on a PWR card. And the match delivered and would have been killer live. We get 4 minutes of cool matwork stuff that is kind of exhibition-y, not so much mat struggle as "here's some cool stuff we can do" but that doesn't really matter here. Halloween busts out plenty of cool intricate twisty submissions where he has 3 limbs tied up all at once with all of them doing different things, and Octagoncito has some cool roll ups to get out of them. It builds really nicely to maximize the crowd getting into it, leaping into a couple of really hot dives and big bumps from both guys. Cool spot where Octagoncito tries something from the apron but Halloween hits a drop toe hold, then dropkicks him to the floor and follows up with the Halloween face first slide bump but does this one as a splash on Octagoncito. The match was as good as I hoped it would be. Aside from a couple flubbed headscissor spots everything looked cool, and Pequeno Halloween still looks just as good as he did when he was making tape more regularly in 2007-2009 (when I thought he and Pequeno Damien and Bam Bam were three of the best workers in the world). Pretty impressive that he's kept his work up to that level while working as a freelancer. I just wish he showed up more often.

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Monday, October 14, 2013

Watch This Lucha!

Rey Escorpion/Dragon Rojo Jr./Polvora vs. Super Porky/Stuka Jr./Maximo, 10/4/13

Phil left me a voice mail at work telling me that this trios match was 10 minutes long, and there weren't many better uses of 10 minutes than this. He was right. I've been a fan of Porky since I watched lucha and probably overrate most of his 2000s stuff because of my Brazos fandom and my overall love of fatties in wrestling (this blog could probably be called "Fatties in Wrestling" and 60% of the posts would fit with the title). Porky's been involved in good stuff over the last decade, but this was easily the best work he's done since the March 2003 miracle 8 man which saw him and Gran Markus Jr. clearly winning some sort of bet by showing everybody backstage that they could still outshine everybody (with Porky running all over the place and even hitting that weird leg flip/arm drag thing that guys Juventud size usually hit, and Markus hitting an unreal unassisted rana).

This match starts off with Escorpion (who's quietly turned the corner from really good to excellent worker over the last year) ambushing Porky, grabbing Porky's crotch-wiping towel and wrapping it around Porky's head and throat, then throwing nasty potato shots through the towel. It looked like something Vic Mackey would do to force a confession while also trying to prevent visible bruising. The beating continues to almost uncomfortable levels with Escorpion dishing out nasty punches to the face and body, biting him, and then when Porky finally drops Escorpion starts dealing some furious knees to Porky's head, all while Porky's head is trapped between ring barrier and knee. With his build and height and mustache it looked like a criminal finally caught up to Hercule Poirot and dealt him some street justice.

Porky's sympathy is great here as usually when he's on the mat his teammates need to lift him back to his feet due to his fatness. Here when he reached out his arms to be lifted up his face looked like it was because he was unsure whether or not he could stay standing. The other four guys are all in their as background noise but all serve their roles well. Maximo continues being his underrated self and the dive he hits at the end to take out Rojo was beautiful. Polvora's high speed Cassandro bump to take himself out was lunacy. And it all built to Escorpion being left alone in the ring for a very pissed off Porky, who immediately starts dealing the nastiest left hands he's thrown in years, punching Escorpion silly until he just plants him with a belly to belly (I don't remember the last time I even remember him throwing a suplex) for the win. But it doesn't stop there as Porky exacts revenge by punching a prone-on-the-mat Escorpion over and over to the face and throat, having to be pulled off by teammates, and then kicking him in the ribs while Escorpion is still down.

This was short, got over all the story it needed to, and I cannot wait to see all the follow-up matches.

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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Uprising: Lucha Libre Workrate Report, 9/22/13

Another week of Paid Programming late Saturday night lucha libre that apparently even Cubsfan was not aware of. I'd be pretty stunned if it had been on his radar, as these matches also appear to be from a 6/26/09 show and are now airing on a local paid time slot. Neither of the matches on this show even have a hint of actual lucha, soooo...

1. Rain vs. Cheerleader Melissa

I vaguely remember Rain from her cup of coffee with AAA (which was probably right around the time this show actually took place) and I've always been a big Cheerleader Melissa fan (and pretty sure I saw most of her earliest matches live). Both women seem pretty familiar with each other so it's possible they worked each other a few times in Shimmer. Rain works a decent heel schtick for the crowd, making Kevin McCallister faces whenever Melissa would kick out of a pin. Rain also brings a real 2010 indy lucha feel to things when she breaks out a lungblower. Crowd was way into Melissa here, especially her rapid fire pump kicks in the corner. This was a perfectly fine womens match. Not much drama as things were somewhat rushed through, but comparable to something like Mona vs. Little Jeanie from Worldwide.

2. Gangrel vs. Mr. Wrestling IV

I...can't imagine a crowd that appears to be 90% hispanic and attending a show billed as lucha libre getting too into MW4's butt wiggling move escapes, but then again I can't see most crowds being too into it. This match is particularly anal-centric with 4 wiggling his butt constantly at the crowd, patting his butt after move breaks, really obnoxious stuff. He's the tecnico here but he presents ass here more often than any exotico rudo I've ever seen, so his desired reaction falls pretty flat. Once we get past the interminable 7 minute long feeling out process we only have a couple minutes of actual match beyond that, which was plenty good. I am not a man opposed to bullshit feeling out processes in matches. Fucking John Tatum is one of my favorite workers for gods sake! But it has to be a brand of bullshit that I actually am amused by. Mr. Wrestling IV's bullshit is really hacky and obnoxious and counter-productive.

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Monday, October 07, 2013

Uprising: Lucha Libre Workrate Report, 9/15/13

So again, living in a heavily hispanic area I tend to get random lucha shows popping up for 6 weeks on Mexican channels I didn't even realize I get ( this is on Azteca America). It appears to be affiliated with the Bay Area's Pro Wrestling Revolution, but I have no clue what dates the matches orginally happened. It's odd that no channels I get show CMLL anymore, but I can see Willie Mac lucha matches at midnight on a Saturday.

1. Vaquero Fantasma/Incognito/Rockero Del Diablo vs. El Amante/Ulysses/Magno

Okay these matches may be up to 4 years old, if they're still using Incognito. The announcer mentions Santa Maria, CA. A (not very ) quick internet search shows me that holy lord this match was from 6/26/09! That's right, some local channel is showing high school gymnasium lucha from over 4 years ago at midnight on a Saturday night. I am unsure if this is the IWRG Rockero, but it actually appears to be. Amante and Ulysses are small tecnicos and Incognito and Fantasma are good at tossing them around with powerbombs and backdrops. We get a pretty great dive sequence into the entrance way with stereo topes and all 6 guys spilling out dangerously. Magno is pretty slick and with his height it's surprising he wasn't also signed by WWE when they took Incognito. Match goes a little under 10 minutes and was fine. They try and end it on a triple rana, but the timing is all off and a couple guys have to get their faces grinded on for a really long time while the third group completes their rana.

2. Felino/El Chupacabra vs. Hijo de Rey Misterio/Hijo del Rayo de Jalisco Jr.

This match is even older as it's from 3/28/09 (pretty sure the fake Misterio doesn't even work anymore, but not positive about that). I have no clue who the Rayo son is, but I assume he is one of a dozen guys who pay Rayo Jr. money to wear a Rayo mask. Chupacabra is still a bay area guy though this is when he still wore a full green bodysuit with spikes down his spine. Now he just wears tights and face paint (with some fangs). Match starts and the announcer actually does drop "Rayman" so maybe this really is Rayo's son. I loved me some Hombre Sin Nombre back in the day. Now I'm thinking it actually is Rayman as he and Felino pair off and he doesn't look lost in the least and it's not Felino just working stiff matwork against a rook (though Felino's matwork is killer here). Chupacabra is awesome from the apron, sneaking in kicks on Rayman, until Rayman gets sick of it and hits a running forearm, with Chupacabra taking an admirable bump from the apron into the guardrail. I went to a PWR show once and they are clearly very shady about pretending this Mysterio cousin is actually Rey Mysterio. Most of the kids don't know the difference so I suppose there's really no harm in it; gives them a thrill and the parents don't pay an arm and a leg to drag them to a WWE show. When I was a kid my dad took me to see the Harlem Clowns performing in my home town of Healdsburg against some combo of the Healdsburg Fire Dept. and Police Dept. Clearly it wasn't the Globetrotters, but it had former Globetrotter "Showboat" Robinson and they did old Globetrotter routines as well as some new schtick. It was $10 and a 5 minute drive and it was a blast. I can't imagine 10 year old me having more fun seeing the Globetrotters at the Oakland Arena than I did seeing the Clowns in the Healdsburg High gymnasium. So fake Rey does a (bad) 619 and a decent dive to the floor, and a bunch of kids are stoked. Match ends not too long after that with Rayman hitting a majistral on Felino. So, not much of a match at 7 minutes, but pleasantly weird to find it on TV on a Saturday night after Svengoolie.

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Sunday, October 06, 2013

My Favorite Wrestling! WCW WorldWide 2/20/99

1. Steve Armstrong vs. Erik Watts

This is a rare treat as you get to hear Steve Armstrong's "singles match" theme music, which is apparently different than his Armstrong Bros. theme music. It's a guitar instrumental, that kinda sounds like a softer ballad Steve Vai may have recorded during his stint with David Lee Roth.  I assume this will be worked as a throwback to the Watts/Bullet Bob feud in Georgia, only with Jnco Jeans. Armstrong is wearing his awesome Southern Boys trunks with the crossed-barrelled pistols. Watts always has that goofy Edge trait where he's 6'5" but works matches like he's an undersize cruiserweight  making comebacks, peppering in arm drags and sunset flips and roll-ups. But then he powerbombs Armstrong into the turnbuckles and makes me shut my fucking mouth. Armstrong looks great here with  big punches and a killer front suplex. Match format was wonky with Watts gassing and wanting to go home early. This was apparently Watts return to WCW.

So many collect call ads.

2. Super Calo vs. Disco Inferno

This had so much potential as Calo blindsides Disco with a dropkick to start, hits a crossbody to roll Disco to the floor and then hits a super fast tope. 1 minute in and Disco is bumping all over the ring for Calo offense. Back in and it continues with Calo running up the ropes and hitting a sweet dropkick and following up with a spinning heel kick. But then Disco takes over, hits his nice diving elbow off the middle rope, and finishes with the stunner. Wah wah. It goes about 2:15 and really could have been special with just a couple more minutes. Instead it was fun while it lasted and, oddly, one of the best Calo "moves" showcases in his whole WCW career.

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Saturday, October 05, 2013

My Favorite Wrestling! WCW Worldwide 2/13/99

By this point Worldwide the WorldWide format left a lot to be desired, as the first 45 minutes were recap, with a couple short matches at the end. You think it would have been more successful to have the matches scattered throughout the show, but lets be honest they did not care about the WorldWide format at this point. So most of it is Shiavone and Larry Z recapping events, with occasional exclusive promos and interviews.

Vincent cuts an awesome promo with Gene about how Hollywood left him in charge of the nWo because Stevie Ray was a little slow. Before starting this project I would not have predicted that '99 Vincent would be one of the guys I most look forward to.

1. Kenny Kaos vs. Bobby Eaton

When did this tag team superpower break up!? As you (likely don't) recall, after Rage got hurt Kaos asked Eaton to be his tag partner, because who has more tag team experience in WCW than Bobby Eaton (in kayfabe that storyline actually makes sense) but clearly it was a short-lived partnership (or this match was taped 16 months in advance of air date). And Tenay and Hudson are awesome as they sell total shock that these partners are now fighting ("I'm gonna get to the bottom of this in the locker room!"). Eaton looks really great here, not just his punches (which Kaos really sells like bombs), but in the way he covers up Kaos' botches with big snap bumps. Kaos goes for a press slam at one point but clearly can't get Eaton up, so Eaton wisely starts struggling to make it look like he escaped from the slam (as opposed to getting dropped, which is what happened). To his credit Tenay picks up on it and sells it as such. Match could have actually been really good as Eaton was on fire and Kaos was at least trying, but it goes barely 2 minutes, ending with Kaos' (always cool) springboard clothesline.

2. Konnan vs. Chad Fortune

Boy, when you get two matches on a show and one of them has Konnan vs. the less famous member of the WCW Pit Crew, you know you're deep in the shit. But you know? I kinda dug Konnan vs. Chad Fortune. There were flaws in execution, and there were general weaknesses that both guys have, but the match was laid out way better than I or anybody could have expected and in 4 minute matches the layout is really important. You have a limited time to work, but a bad layout can really make a 4 minute match drag. If you have one guy control for 3 minutes and the other guy make his comeback and win in the last minute, then not only does the match stink because the winner brushed off all the loser's offense because it was his turn, but more often than not we get some lying around and chinlocks because the eventual loser can't logically fill 3 straight minutes of time.

So in Konnan vs. Fortune we have a back-and-forth 4 minutes, but it wasn't worked your move-my move, it was actually worked super smart. Fortune ambushed Konnan to get an early advantage, Konnan made a comeback by craftily reversing a Fortune move, Fortune himself made a comeback by doing the same, and Konnan won when Fortune got too cocky. So in 4 minutes they were able to tell numerous stories, have multiple control shifts, have believable and logical transitions, and end with a satisfying, competitive match. That's more than you can say about 80+% of WCW syndicated matches.

They have a lot working against them: Konnan is a candidate for worst worker of the WCW syndicated era. I believe he could be better than he normally came off, but was usually too focused on getting his shit in instead of making things interesting for the viewer. His syndicated matches are usually short, selfishly worked, with his moves usually done in the exact same order with the only thing changing from match to match is how smoothly or awkwardly his opponent gets into position for those same moves. Fortune is a tall guy with a shaved head wearing horrible baggy pants (think Kevin Nash pants, but not leather/pleather) and an anal bead necklace.

Match starts great with Fortune doing an awesome running dropkick while Konnan is fiddling with his pants or something (how do those things stay up during his matches?). Konnan transitions back by reversing an irish whip, but eventually Fortune rakes the eyes to go back on offense, and hits an awesome Dibiase-style fist drop. He goes up top and Konnan gets up, but in a nice twist Konnan doesn't run over to catch him (avoiding that annoying thing where a guy only does top rope offense when he gets caught and thrown off), nor does Fortune still try to do the move he was originally going to do when it's obvious to everybody but the guy on the top rope that the move is going to miss. Instead Fortune just jumps down and runs at Konnan with a clothesline. It naturally misses, but I appreciate them mixing things up. From here Konnan hits a nice bulldog (none of that silly hand on the back of a guy's head garbage, but an actual headlock driving a guy's dome into the mat) and locks on the Tequila Sunrise.

Was the match epic? No. Were all the moves super smooth? No. Did Fortune ever look like he had an actual chance of winning? No. But did I enjoy it? Yes, way way more than I could have anticipated. One of the better miracle matches I've seen in awhile.

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