Segunda Caida

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

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Uprising: Lucha Libre Workrate Report 11/10/13

Journey with us further back into 2009 (5/30/09! They're somehow airing even older stuff!) West Coast indy wrestling, during another installment of Pro Wrestling Revolution's "paying to air matches from last decade". These matches are so old that if you had mentioned the black president during this card I'd assume you were talking to me about Fela Kuti.

1. Raesha Saeed vs. Christina Von Eerie

I liked Von Eerie's look but at this point she was still really green and tentative in the ring, and just didn't have enough presence to be a very engaging babyface. I mean, weren't we were all green 5 years ago. I was a young man in my 20s! I had a flip phone when this match originally happened! You want to talk dated look no further than right here when promotions still thought it was relevant to have a pretty, talented, charismatic worker use a Taliban gimmick. Saeed gave a good effort here and tried to lead Von Eerie through some stuff, but again she was not good at engaging the crowd at this point and the match was pretty flat. I was amused by Saeed messing up Von Eerie's mohawk and then spitting, just disgusted by our Americans and our luxurious hairstyles.

2. Mascarita Dorada vs. Pequeno Pierroth

Alright, if they're going to show ancient irrelevant matches then I really have no problem seeing guys like Dorada. That's a guy I can genuinely see being used as a draw to your live events (even though they don't mention their live events during the TV show), and this is exactly the type of "classic" match they should be showing if they stubbornly insist on showing old footage. The match itself was awesome as these guys have their touring match down at this point and it's a formula that is impossible to fail in front of a high school crowd. Watching Dorada do his thing is pure joy and Pequeno Pierroth is great at getting things from A to B to C. Both guys are great at expressing a lot of personality through the mask and Dorada seems to go hard no matter where he works. Here he's in a high school gym and does an insane moonsault into the front row and a couple lunatic dives into the entrance way. Match pacing was really great with fun matwork at the beginning into some teaser arm drags, back into their fun reversal-heavy matwork and then into the hot end run of crazy spots. When two guys like this are matched up you know you're going to get 10 really fun minutes that will almost always steal the show.

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Lawler's Eyes Are Almost Dead, Can't Get Out of Bed

Jerry Lawler vs. Curt Hennig, 3PW 10/19/02 - GREAT

ER: This was right after Curt's improbable WWE run where he was having good matches with Tommy Dreamer and RVD. Here he's awesome as the bloated, smug, super tan heel. Hennig can still bump and Lawler is really great at working in and around guys' signature offense/bumps, and here he finds smart ways to let Curt work them all in. He does the cool Goldust off-the-ropes uppercut to let Hennig do a flip bump, throws a big haymaker in the corner so Curt can take an awesome mammoth bump over the top onto a table, and starts working over Curt's knee at some point so it made sense later on when he kicked out Curt's leg and he did his rope flip onto his head. They both kinda play up and subtly mirror the strengths of the other, with Lawler matching Hennig with some big bumps (Lawler is always a big bumper but here he seems to ramp up some height on things like backdrops) and Hennig tightens up his strikes a lot (which you really should do when working opposite Lawler's punches) and even breaks out a Lawler style piledriver (showing how awesome Lawler can make a piledriver look when on the receiving end, too). Curt threw some bombs in the corner that made me cringe, and the punches were really put over by some great Lawler facials. Sadly this made me notice that since the eye job this hasn't been as effective a part of Lawler matches. Here his eyes told a big story while taking those shots as he still had warmth in them. Now his face is kinda stuck in some sort of permanent lustful perv shock. I thought this was a great match, although odd seeing them in the ECW Arena on a Rocco Rock tribute card. I assume this was the last really good Hennig match, since I don't remember anything he did in TNA.

PAS: This was a pleasant surprise. I wasn't expecting much from late era Hennig, but he was good to great in this match. All of the things I didn't like in his WWE run were downplayed or absent. There were a couple of flippy bumps but they were in the flow of the match, and he flashed back and started throwing 1988 AWA Punches. Lawler was really great as usual, and I am giving most of the credit for Perfect's performance to him. Finish was pretty bad though as it is really hard to get the vociferous audience response needed to pull off a ref reversal from a post-ECW Philly indy audience. Also the Lawler stunner is such a bush league spot, save that shit for hacks like Al Snow.

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Lawler Don't Want to See You Now

Jerry Lawler vs. Gregory Helms WWE New Years Revolution 1/8/06 - GREAT

ER: Man I do not remember this happening. Lawler and a heel Helms getting 10 minutes on a PPV? Huh? I think this might be the only other Lawler WWE match to get 10 minutes (the other being the awesome Miz title match). Every other match of his seems to get cut to around the 5 minute mark so this was a treat. I don't know any of the build to this since I have no memory the match. I know Helms was the cruiserweight champ through a lot of 2006, so maybe this was him transitioning to facing heavyweights? Either way, give Lawler 10 minutes with a capable opponent and it's gonna work. Helms is a good foil for Lawler and he gets a long control segment. I love Lawler's fistdrop to Helms' nose here as I remember Helms had that broken nose face mask for awhile around this time. What's cool is a that spot is used as a throwback throughout the match as Lawler has Helms prone on his back early and hits the fistdrop, and later throughout Helms gets Lawler in similar positions, hitting a nice leg drop, knee drop and stomping his face. Lawler takes a gigantic bump to the floor that overshines even his own ring post bump, and if someone told you in 1999 that Lawler would be outbumping an OMEGA guy in 2006 you'd probably be pretty incredulous. Lawler going over clean sure wasn't what I expected, and I'm sure Helms didn't want to hear that either. Real fun hidden gem (that's oddly totally skipped over in each guy's Wiki page).

PS: I didn't remember heel Helms or this feud, but I think Lawler going over clean was a sign that the rocket train to the top might have sputtered. I loved heel Helms in OMEGA, but I though he was a little bland on offense here, could have used a little variety. Lawler clearly was amped to be going long on PPV as he was working and bumping hard. It is weird to find hidden gems on WWE PPV's but this was a match that seemed truly unremarked upon before now.

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Lucha Azteca Workrate Report, 11/9/13

New CMLL show popped up on that same channel that's been showing the Uprising: Lucha Libre shows. I'm game. Any channel that delivers Blue Panther to my TV on a Saturday afternoon is a friend of mine. These matches were from the 10/25 Arena Mexico show.

1. Blue Panther, Maximo, & Mistico vs. Ultimo Guerrero, Euforia, & Gran Guerrero

By the numbers six man that is fun for what it is, but doesn't get to the next level. Panther has some nice moments including a mammoth dive. Euforia does the lord's work by bumping around huge for Mistico and catching his beautiful rana off the top rope to the floor. Maximo is always underrated and flows throws his sequences more naturally than most (also threw a nice headbutt on his tope). Enough fun spots to make it worth your time.

2. Lightning Match: Mascara Dorada vs. Niebla Roja

Lightning matches are almost always disappointing, but Dorada works them better than most as he has enough spectacular offense to work through to override the rushed pace of the format. He he gets to rattle off a rope walk rana, big Asai moonsault, beautiful running rana off the rampway to the floor. Both guys scare the hell out of me as Roja does the Pepsi Plunge and Dorada almost takes it the way Cham Pain took that Pedigree from HHH. Good lord. Naturally that doesn't end the lightning match even though it's the most dangerous lucha spot I've seen in the last couple months. Match ends with a Dorada roll-up, for reasons.

3. Rush, La Sombra, & Thunder vs. Terrible, Vangelis, & Tama Tonga

This is my first time seeing Thunder, and he sure seems like a muscled up dud. Really slow, stiff and clumsy. La Sombra seems like he's really bulked up too. He seemed a lot slower than normal. Tama Tonga looks like either Drago from Game of Thrones or like the most badass Rafi from The League. Terrible is a total goofball but it kinda works when against a stiff like Thunder. This match is watchable of course because of Rush. All of his segments are great, the way he taunts the crowd is great, and jesus his headbutts are awesome. I've never seen anybody throw a headbutt like him, it's like he's tossing out an uppercut with his head. So great. So, match is kinda weak but worth watching if you're a Rush fan (Fly By Night, Moving Pictures, etc.)

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Lawler Saw You Breathing, Saw You Staring Out in Space

Jerry Lawler v. Steven Richards WWF 2/25/01 - GREAT

ER: This was during Stevie's Right To Censor stint, and I'm pretty sure he feuded with the King because The Kat wanted to get naked all the time, or something like that. I know it shouldn't be shocking that people were juicing in 2001 WWF, but jeez when Stevie Richards is looking bulky then we have a problem. Both sides look great as Stevie in his short sleeves and tie/Ivory in her ankle length skirt look like Jehovah's Witnesses who knocked on the wrong neighborhood house and got creepy swinger couple Lawler and Kat in their leopard print bodysuit and silk robe. Lawler gets derided by people who don't know what they're talking about as having no offense, but Stevie is one of my all time favorite wrestlers with no offense. And predictably this is all Lawler and it's great, with him throwing all sorts of great punches that most wrestlers can't make look good (kneeling from the mount, standing 10 punches in the corner), as well as one of the nastier fistdrops I've seen him hit. Stevie bumps all over the place and is really good as a guy going into impotent rages every time he gets one-upped. Lawler even gets to throw a real bulldog (I thought WWF guys could only do those wimpy hand on back of head ones) and some nice DDTs. Ending is clunky as Lawler tried to get at Ivory for what seemed like WAY too long, allowing Stevie to recover, but then Lawler just ends up losing from a missed belt shot by Kat. Still, Stevie is a guy who feels like he would have fit real well into 80s Memphis, so this worked for me.

PAS: I really liked this, it wasn't long or anything but it was a very Memphis match. Stevie bumped around crazily as did Lawler, including one of his legendary post shots. All of the nonsense was really well timed, Ivory made a fine Nate the Rat, running in and interfering and the Kat's revenge spots always came exactly when they should. We always talk about Lawler's punches but he may be the greatest mounted punches in the corner puncher of all time. That is a spot that is almost always bad looking, but Lawler looks like he is killing people.  Also don't remember Lawler as the master of the DDT, but man did his DDT's look nasty. The kind of thing which would get built up for a couple of weeks on WMC and blown off on a Mid-South Coliseum card with a really strong Fabs match to really sell the tickets.

Jerry Lawler vs. Kamala, JAPW 1/18/03 - EPIC

ER: Kamala was one of my favorites as a kid, but that was mainly because I always got suckered into freakshow wrestlers. I genuinely thought that Kamala was the toughest guy in his cannibalistic Ugandan village, and WWF had shipped him here in some sort of crate to compete with the world's best. And to this day I still like fatties and giants and freakshow workers, and there's nobody that works better matches against fatties and giants and freakshows (although Cena is in the conversation). What's crazy is this may be the best Kamala singles match ever. There was a really great Hogan match, and a Coliseum Video Bret Hart match that I remember digging, but this was notable for not only being a really awesome Kamala singles match, but a really awesome singles match with Kamala in his 50s! The opening cat and mouse stuff is fun with Lawler hitting his nice dropkick and Kamala flipping out. But it's when we go into the Kamala control segment that this gets really good, as we don't get the 5 minute nerve hold that grinds most Kamala singles matches to a halt, instead it's him breaking out a bunch of different cool strikes that Lawler flies around for. Lawler gives a master class in selling and bumping here, from stumbling and dropping onto his butt after a mule kick, to dangerously flying over the top rope to the rampway after a big Kamala chop. Lawler really makes Kamala feel dangerous here and Kamala mixing up his strikes gave him a new dimension. The Lawler comeback is as good as you knew it would be, with Kamala missing Air Africa (with Lawler timing it great as he really sits up at the last second), the strap comes down, he fakes Kamala out with punches (distracts with right, lands with great left jabs). The end is epic as he's about to land the 2nd rop fist drop, hesitates...and then goes to the top to land a top rope fist drop! I probably say this like every Lawler match, but the top rope fist drop here may have been his greatest fist drop of all time. Such an awesome match.

PAS: This was incredible. This was a nostalgia match in front of an audience who wouldn't be nostalgic for this match, this wasn't in Tupelo, this was a Jersey Indy crowd the worst of all the people and they were still able to captivate them. Kamala is a really fun character who rarely ever got it together for a great match, but this makes me want to see ever time he faced Lawler, because the King had this match formula down pat. This is Kamala in his 50's and his blood sugar was so high his sweat must have tasted like cake frosting, how is possible for this to be this good.The early comedy was great, Lawler took some insane bumps for an old man to get over the killer and the end was an awesome Lawler ending. Man why didn't I go to this match?


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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

All Night Long the King was Howling

Jerry Lawler v. Tazz WWF 9/24/00- GREAT

ER: We already reviewed the first match between these two and that was an awesome brawl with great build-up. This is the follow-up strap match and starts out just as awesome. Tazz ambushes Lawler right when Lawler's strap is secure, trips him up, dumps him with a cool suplex, chokes him in ways that look legitimae enough that it makes me tug my shirt collar away from my throat. Out to the floor and Tazz starts berating JR, just like in the last match. And just like that match it allows Lawler to take over and start whipping Tazz. The shots land great, all over Tazz' back and head, and I'm way into the match at this point. Back in and Lawler teases the piledriver and I'm sure it will get reversed, but he nails it...and Tazz no sells it. Just pops right back up. Another piledriver, Tazz pops back up. A third piledriver and Tazz pops back up. I'm pretty far into "fuck off" territority at this point, even when Tazz eventually sells the third one by doing a delayed faceplant. Raven debuts after that and DDTs Lawler ("That's Raven! He doesn't have a contract here!"). I guess if somebody had to no sell a bunch of piledrivers it might as well be a guy who has no neck. Match ends with the Tazmission which is confusing as I thought it was "touch the corners" strap rules. Great first 4 with a flat final 90 seconds. Like if Breaking Bad had ended with a resurrected Mike killing Walt.

PAS: This is a surprisingly great feud, might be the best in ring stuff of Tazz's career. Tazz was a viscous fuck early, just choking the hell of Lawler, and his shit talking was pretty great. I like how the bully let his mouth run and it cost him as Lawler times a comeback better then anyone in wrestling history. I actually didn't have a problem with the piledriver no-sell which is usual a spot I hate. Tazz never went back on offense and it looked less like a Hawk no sell then a stubborn guy not knowing when to stay down, if there isn't a faceplant it would kill the match, but I kind of liked the spot with it. Finish was Raveny which is always worse then Ravenless. First match was better because of the satisfying finish, but this was really worth watching.

Jerry Lawler/Chris Jericho v. Tazz/Raven, WWF 9/26/00 -FUN

ER: Pretty typical 99-01 TV match. All the guys work hard for 2 minutes, Lawler and Tazz roll to the floor causing everybody in the crowd to look up the ramp, X-Pac runs in confirming their run-in suspicions, whiffs his first kick so much that Jericho doesn't realize he was supposed to sell a kick, Raven wins after the interference. Lawler got to blast Tazz with a great middle rope fist drop, Raven had a surprisingly cool roaring elbow, and an even cooler roaring back elbow. Harmless, fine, not memorable.

PS: I liked this more then Eric, sure it was a throwaway 4 minute TV tag, but it had a fair amount of energy and I liked all four guys in this, and Lawler is the only guy I normally like. Really felt more like a short Nitro match then a short Smackdown match as they really went a workrate go-go style. Raven's Misawa tribute was pretty weird (and how the fuck is Raven alive and Misawa dead?) and I liked how he snuck in a DDT at the end. Lawler is a guy who knows how to work a short TV match and make it compelling and he brought the energy.


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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Uprising Lucha Libre Workrate Report 11/3/13

Blue Demon Jr., Mascara Sagrada & Strongman Jon Andersen vs. La Migra (Oliver John, Derek Sanders & Zack Reeb)

Wow, I can see why they took the time to unearth this 4 year old match. What a pile. You know that Blue Demon Jr.'s side is going to go over, but there are plenty of interesting ways to get to your destination. This was not one of them. The tecnicos get - I kid you not - 98% of the offense. The only offense that La Migra got would be when one of them was in a submission, and one of the others would come in a break up the submission. That was it! Oliver John got a couple chops in on Demon, also hit that Jeff Jarrett move where your opponent is draped over the ropes and you run at him and end up draping your leg over him.

The match was almost 16 minutes long! That is so much time to have an awesome match. But the tecnicos did not show ass for two seconds in this whole match. The first 7 minutes were spent with one of the tecnicos (Demon or Strongman, as Sagrada sat on the aprong until the final minute of the match) standing in the middle of the ring, then a member of La Migra would come in, get chopped by Demon, flat back bump and roll to the floor, then repeat with the next member. Strongman would get in the ring, a member of La Migra would come in, lock up with him, and Strongman would shove him down. Usually each guy got shoved down a couple times. This literally happened for the first 8 minutes of the match.

The rest of the match were members of La Migra getting put into submission holds, coming in to break up submission holds, and then getting put back into submission holds. It just would not end. Demon would slowly lock on a submission, it would get broken up, and then he'd just put on another submission. Eventually all three of them came in and awkwardly all got into position to be put into submissions by the tecnicos, including Sanders doing the hilarious "I'm gonna jump at you legs first like we're at a picnic and the wheelbarrow races are starting!" as Demon left him no good option of getting into position. Then the match mercifully ended with a clunky triple submission.

So I'm still dying to know, what the hell is the point of this show? They pay to air it, so they must have a goal in mind. They air mostly matches from 4+ years ago, featuring mostly wrestlers who no longer work for them. A lot of the matches they air aren't very good (with this one being arguably the worst one they've aired so far). They don't advertise upcoming live events. They don't try and sell merchandise. They don't even mention Pro Wrestling Revolution, their own brand name. For some reason they chose to re-brand their TV property as "Uprising", which doesn't make tons of sense in building their PWR brand. They just seem to exist to show old matches, but they PAY to show these old matches.

The best case scenario is that people find the show, and tune in the next week...but since they don't get advertising dollars this really doesn't benefit them at all. Please, anybody, tell me why you think this show exists?

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Uprising: Lucha Libre Workrate Report 10/27/13

Come journey back in time with me to 7/25/09, thanks to a promotion inexplicably willing to use paid programming to show 4+ year old matches at midnight on a local Spanish-speaking network.

1. Strongman Jon Andersen vs. Oliver John

It's kind of shocking how poorly edited this show is, as the bell for the match doesn't even hit until 10 minutes into the show. It is a half hour show. Literally the first 10 minutes of the program were ring entrances. You are paying money to show guys walking to the ring, jawing with fans, slowly wandering around ringside, and standing in the ring for A THIRD OF THE SHOW THAT YOU PAY MONEY TO AIR! They easily could have fit two matches onto this show if they had just started with Andersen and John in the ring. But I guess we needed to see La Migra revolutionize the art of getting heat by throwing tortillas at Mexicans for 8 minutes. Hilariously, when the bell finally rings, THAT'S when we go to our first commercial break. Amazing. That means that halfway through the show there has been zero wrestling, zero promos, zero ads for upcoming shows, nothing whatsoever that could benefit the promotion or viewers at home in any way. I would LOVE to hear any sort of justification from the people that paid for this to represent their company.

And why did we sit through 10+ minutes of ring entrances? Why, so we could get a 2.5 minute match that ends with John getting counted out by walking to the back, of course! Once the bell rang, John tried to avoid locking up with Strongman, rolling to the floor a couple times. Eventually Andersen caught him and clotheslined him to the floor. Then the other two guys in La Migra got on the apron, and got clotheslined off. Then John snuck in with a chair, hit Strongman with it, and bailed to the floor again, followed by all of La Migra walking to the back and getting counted out.

Yep, couple clotheslines, a chairshot. That's why we needed more than 10 minutes of ring entrances. You see, we wouldn't have been able to figure out that we need to boo one of the guys, and cheer the large roided up guy who kept asking for the crowd to cheer. This match set up a tag match later on in the show, so I assume we get that in a coming week, because lord knows we need to take up a few weeks of programming to set up a tag match that took place last decade.

I have no clue what the point of this program is.

2. El Amante & Ulysses (The Latin Explosion) vs. Derek Sanders & Zack Reeb (La Migra)

Ironically this match is joined right when the bell rings and both teams are in the ring. So...they DO know how to edit filler...which means that they just genuinely felt that showing 10 minutes of ring entrances was the best possible use of their paid programming. Wow.

This is a fun match, a solid 8 minutes of wrestling. Ulysses is a smaller guy who is good when sticking to his size, and stumbles when working bigger. Here his armdrags and headscissors look real good, but then he starts working as if he's much bigger and tries a powerslam and backdrop and it becomes clear that Sanders is working with a Real Doll. Amante is the better of the two and is real fluid in his ranas and dropkicks. Sanders and Reeb are a good team, know how to stooge, and know how to give logical comebacks. Match ends with Reeb hitting an accidental clothesline on the ref, then Latin Explosion getting the pinfall when another ref runs in. Naturally the ruling is reversed and La Migra are still the tag champs. Obviously this was such a devastating moment for Latin Explosion that they felt it would still be relevant 4 years later. Also, 3 of the guys in this match are no longer with the promotion. Jon Andersen hasn't working here in over 3 years. Only Oliver John and Derek Sanders remain in the promotion, so they paid money to promote a guy who hasn't worked there in 3 years, and a heartbreaking moment of an underdog tag team (who also hasn't worked there in 3 years) almost winning the tag titles.

This is a promotion that runs practically monthly, and has been doing so for 5 years. What could possibly be gained from showing matches this old?

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Monday, November 04, 2013

Catching Up On 2013 AAA

Gran Apache, Lucky Boy and Nino de Ebano vs. Atomic Boy, Flamita, and Jinzo, 4/13/13

I don't know much about anybody in this match not named Apache, although I thought (and was correct) that I've seen Atomic Boy before as a mini. The others are either Apache, Navarro, or Arkangel trainees. These kinds of spotfests aren't for everybody, but if they have minimal botches and don't act like wrestling is super serious business I'm kind of a sucker for them.

This one is a real hoot and everybody in it gets a chance to do their thing. Lucky Boy and Nino de Ebano take some big bumps and bust out a couple dangerous dives (one does a springboard swanton and barely rotates before landing). Jinzo looks like a throwback Pena young boy but works like a pretty convincing bully. They all get to do all sorts of goofy 5 man submissions, which is when the awesome glue of the match - Gran Apache - does everything you want him to do: punch slap and kick pretty boys and skinny masked weenies. All the spots were fun  but all of them were capped off great by an old man interrupting them to slap them senseless. From kicking Jinzo in the temple with the toe of his boot, to his great running punch in the corner, to watching all the goofy submissions, mugging to the crowd before smacking everybody in said goofy submissions, and then even bleeding, Apache was the (not at all shocking) star in this. Real fun way to kill 15 minutes.

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Sunday, November 03, 2013

Catching Up On 2013 AAA

Canek vs. El Mesias vs. LA Park, 3/17/13

So I used to be more in tune with AAA when it was shown on Galavision, but have fallen out of it more in the last year plus. I figured it would do me some good to go through some recommended matches from the promotion's past year. Park vs. Mesias was probably my favorite match anywhere in 2011, so those two turning up in a match instantly makes me interested. So I'm going into this one wanting more craziness from those two, while also hoping Canek stays out of the way. But I mean the guy is as old as my dad so even if he just takes an inside cradle bump normally I'll still be fairly impressed.

Park really admirably bumps around for Canek arm drags and kicks and "throws", which must be the same kind of difficulty that actors go through when working in front of a green screen. Park bumping for a non-existent arm drag and then rolling himself into a gogolplata seems at least as difficult as expressing genuine fear for a tennis ball on a stick that will eventually be a snarling monster. But Canek is gone fairly early into this, with Park and Mesias stiffing each other up in between. Park makes some chair shots to Canek's neck look really great.

And the moment Canek is gone we go right to the crazy Park/Mesias singles match we all wanted, and holy shit is it awesome. Mesias hits a gorgeous headscissors off the top, Park misses a charge into the corner and practically goes the full Cassandro with it, and after rolling to the floor Mesias hits one of the most insane dives I have ever seen. He gets tons of speed and flies into Park while totally vertical while almost flying into the 3rd row neck first. Good lord. Back in and Mesias takes a reckless Park spin kick off the top, and after rolling to the floor Park blasts him with the Daniel Bryan flying knee off the apron. Each guy tries to out stupid bump the other, with Park possibly one-upping Mesias' dive by taking some sort of top rope chestbreaker, only taking it head first. Both guys end up standing on the top rope dueling for control, and it ends up in some sort of lunatic Spanish Fly with both guys flying off the top and landing in the ring in ways neither intended to land.

This match was a sloppy glorious mess. Not an all time classic like their first match, but both guys did and took so much nutty stuff in it that it rose above the slop and came off like two guys putting everything on the line.

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Saturday, November 02, 2013

My Favorite Wrestling! WCW Saturday Night 3/11/00, Part 2

1. Todd Perri vs. Tommy Rogers

Damn this is like a WAR six man in its randomness. A Tommy Rogers singles match in 2000? An AWA jobber from 10 years prior, versus a WCW tag champ from 12 years prior. Why the hell not!? And this is a real oddball of a gem right here. After years of seeing Tommy Rogers getting beat down in tag matches, here he's the old vet punishing a pretty boy. They get crossed up a couple times (Denucci doesn't sell a clothesline, but Rogers covers nicely with a fantastic knee lift). Rogers was working pretty stiff here, stiffer than any Fanastics match I've seen. Rogers threw a running back elbow that knocked Denucci through the ropes and it was one of the nastiest spots I've seen on syndicated WCW. It gets even better as Denucci recovers on the floor and charges Rogers, missing a flying shoulder tackle directly into the turnbuckle. It looked fucking killer. I remember Denucci from death throes AWA, but don't remember him being such a bump freak. I dug both guys here, and I'd be really hard-pressed to find a weirder match-up on these shows (god I hope there's a weirder match-up on these shows).

Baby, Chiquita, who are these new generation Nitro Girls advertising I remember Spice (my personal fave!!) and Tigress, and apparently Stacy Keibler was "Skye". Where are most of these ladies now? I imagined many of them married rich, and/or teach CrossFit classes at suburban strip malls. Chiquita was probably in a Mystikal video or something. Also I looked up and good news everybody!! The domain name is alllll freed up! If you were looking to do a Fyre tribute site, nows your chance to make it look even more official!

2. Mona vs. Little Jeanie

Scott Hudson is flipping his lid for this one. This is a long running WCW syndie feud, and clearly Hudson's personal favorite. Even Larry is rolling his eyes saying he hasn't shut up about this match. This is probably the lesser of their three (so far) matches, but only because it was only given 2 minutes. The other two matches of theirs got 4 minutes, so this was kind of a "greatest hits played faster" version of those matches. Wrestling barefoot is so nutty so Mona always gets bonus points for that. Her armdrags and snapmare takeover look beautiful, and Jeanie planting her with a German was boss. Jeanie throws a couple reckless leaping elbows, with the second going right across the throat. About as good as you can get for two minutes, but disappointing they didn't budget enough time for more.

3. Mamalukes (Vito/Johnny the Bull) vs. Scott & Steve Armstrong vs. PG-13

Armstrongs and PG-13 were both paid off by the Harris Boys to take out the Mamalukes, and there is zero chance Jaime Dundee used that money sensibly. Armstrongs are both wrestling in jeans (Scott has a spectacular pair of white jeans here), and I'm pretty sure Larry just called them the "Marmadukes" but wasn't actually attempting to be funny. Armstrongs working as co-heels with PG-13 is glorious as both teams bully Johnny the Bull while they all take turns taunting Vito. To the shock of everybody that partnership quickly and suddenly breaks down, Vito hits the spinning DDT on Dundee, and Johnny hits a super impressive springboard legdrop for the win. Really wish they had gone home more naturally, as you could tell they were just filling time until getting the signal, as the switch hit and everybody bumped to the floor within a few seconds, leaving Dundee alone in the ring.

So next week they advertise the return of Shark Boy to WCW Saturday Night. That's weird, right? I didn't realize he was ever more than a jobber with a recognizable gimmick in WCW, let alone a "Shark Boy is BACK next week!!! Be there!!!" type character.

4. Billy Kidman vs. The Artist

I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would. Iaukea stops and stares silently at a fat guy in a camo hat at ringside during his entrance. The fat guy is mouthing of the whole time but Iaukea just stares at him. I really liked how Artist worked in this gimmick. He threw a couple cool elbowdrop variations, vicious snap suplex and even a neat palm strike. He even outbumps Kidman (although Kidman did have a great bump to the floor) by getting crazy height on a backdrop and Kidman's Rydeen bomb. Kidman goes for a sunset flip and Artist catches him midway and does a Northern Lights Suplex and it looks fucking killer. This match was all Artist and now I really want to see more.

5. Jeff Jarrett vs. The Demon

I've been racking my brain trying to figure out if there is a worker on a regular WCW contract that I know less about than Dale Torborg. I know I've seen him in several matches, but I can't for the life of me remember him doing anything whatsoever in those matches. No signature moves, nothing. So now in the main event (yeesh) I'll finally have my answer! And the answer is....he pretty much doesn't do anything. He punches, sometimes okay, oftentimes poorly. He threw a bad kick to the stomach. He took a nice bump to the floor, but it was nice in one of those "I don't totally know how to do this so I'm going over way faster than I planned and a part of my body may get hung up on the ropes" kinda ways. Like whenever Vince had to bump over the top and he would manage to catch his neck on the bottom rope. Jarrett also throws punches, many of them good. And the Harris Boys interfere. And then The Stroke. And that's it. Punches, punches in the corner, more punches, Stroke.

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Uprising: Lucha Libre Workrate Report, 10/20/13

Alright, so with this episode (with more matches from the 5/11/13 show in Turlock), literally EVERY match on that card EXCEPT for the Santo match has now been aired. Does the match exist on tape? Did the match actually even happen?

1. Pantera/Famous B vs. Kafu/Dinamita

I realize fairly early that this is not the real Pantera, just some guy. Kafu and Dinamita are two Brody-ish clones (But look more like El Terrible a few weeks after losing a hair match). Match is structured really weird as Kafu is billed at 6'4" and 240, and Dinamita looks to be the same size or larger. But they're both working FIP to Famous B and Pantera who each look about 70 lbs smaller. None of the heel control segments worked well, as neither Pantera or Famous B seemed believable enough to control two significantly larger dudes. There was a real ugly Total Elimination where Pantera's weak leg sweep and Famous B's whiffed spin kick left Kafu just kinda windmilling his arms around before just softly bumping. Kafu is a guy who started in APW over a decade ago, and still does not look good at all in the ring. He had a WWE developmental deal at one point, but still looks tentative and soft in the ring. Real light clotheslines thrown at half speed, slow big boots, okayish knee drop. Leaves a LOT to be desired. Dinamita on the other hand looked like somebody I would want to see again. Everything Kafu did lousy, Dinamita made look good. Plus he busted out a real nice rana, big slingshot somersault senton, squashed Pantera with a back senton, etc. His offense didn't fit his look at all, as he's decked out like Brody but then does moves like a 170 lb indy undercarder (I'm gonna catch your bodypress off the top with a Diamondcutter!!!). Face-dominating tag matches are pretty pointless, especially when your two faces tower over the two "heels" (who didn't really attempt to be heels). Still, goofiness aside, I'd like to see more Dinamita. Preferably not with the other three. Also Sparky Ballard now appears to be working a heel ref gimmick but completely half-assed, as the only times you would notice it would be when he'd slow count Kafu or Dinamita, and then after the match he was pissed that they won. Other than that he was totally normal. I don't get it.

2. Cheerleader Melissa vs. Ivelisse Velez

Short match, just a few minutes. Ivelisse didn't really look that good. I have almost zero memory of her on Tough Enough, but she apparently hasn't learned tons since then. There really just isn't much that happens here. Melissa carries her through some sequences, Velez throws a weak kick to the stomach, Melissa ends up winning after a nasty curbstomp and a cool surfboard variation. Too short to be much of anything.

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