Segunda Caida

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

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

It's Suicide the King Knows, He Tried it Twice

Jerry Lawler/Brian Christopher vs. Doug Gilbert/Reggie B. Fine, USWA 12/6/93 - FUN

ER: Fun match that if it had happened on Worldwide or Saturday Night I probably would have thought was one of the best matches in their run. This was a short 5 minute brawl worked Texas Tornado style, with interference and brawling through the crowd and all sorts of bullshit. I like how Lawler looked the same from 1979-1987, and then suddenly from 1988-1993 all the fashions and trends caught up with him so suddenly he's got neon green tights or a pink shirt under a white jacket with stubble beard. Christopher brawling around with Doug was a hoot and Doug levels Christopher with maybe the best punch of the match, then gets into it (a little too convincingly) with a black fan at ringside. Dougie can dog it sometimes but this was a real good Doug performance. Christopher tends to shine in matches with his dad, seems like he turns it up to try and outdo his dad. Memphis also shows how ahead of the times they were when it came to mid-to-late 90s wrestling misogyny when Christopher piledrives Toni Adams to a big pop.

PAS: Yeah this was a wild little brawl, the kind of thing Memphis excels at.  Dougie v. Christopher was the focus and really nasty. Reggie B. Fine looked borderline untrained, and not in a fun Moondogs way. That and the short length was what kept this from being anything more then a nifty curiosity. That piledriver on Toni Adams was especially vicious looking, he really planted her and the glee of the crowd was a little off putting.

Jerry Lawler/Brian Christopher vs. Doug Gilbert/Eddie Gilbert, USWA 12/13/93 - FUN

PAS: Another short arena tag, although this was a tease of Memphis bullshit rather then a tease of Memphis brawling. For a ten minute match they don't lock up for the first four. Lawler has a cameo more then anything else as most of the match is the Gilbert boys playing hide the rope and working over Christopher. Lawler just shows up for the finish. Some fun shtick, but you really want more from an arena match

ER: This is an 8 minute tag built around the Gilberts using the tag rope to choke Christopher. First punch gets thrown like 5 minutes in (although Eddie and Doug throw some doozies here), Lawler is on the apron until the last 30 seconds, the Gilberts always seem to go out of their way to get into it with the one black fan at ringside, an old man in a cowboy hat takes a swing at Eddie, Dougie looks, moves and wrestles the way I imagine Jimmy Wichard would wrestle (but man is Doug's DDT maybe the greatest DDT ever). This would be a fun and funny TV match, but kind of a downer this happened as an arena main event.


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Monday, December 23, 2013

Lucha Azteca Workrate Report, 12/14/13

These matches took place on the 11/29 Arena Mexico show.

1. Atlantis, Diamante Azul & Shocker vs. Ultimo Guerrero, Euforia & Tama Tonga

Match starts out as a pretty slow-paced nothing type affair, and sometime around the middle of the 2nd picks up a bit, before having a hot as hell tercera caida. Ultimo and Atlantis stood out early with both guys working fast (Atlantis can often slowly go through the motions, so it was noticeable here that UG was forcing him to pick up the pace on their sequences). This is probably the best I've seen Shocker look in months as he's moving as fast as early decade slim(mer) Shocker as he breaks out a cool headscissors and starts working circles around Euforia, to the point that Euforia appears to gas out! Yes, modern Shocker caused somebody else to blow up. Third fall is awesome as everybody starts working up a notch, with Azul doing his crazy somersault senton into the corner and a crazy flip dive off the ramp way, Atlantis working fast and throwing spinning backbreakers at everyone who comes near, UG bumping around big and cutting low on lariats, just tons of fun in the 3rd. I was seriously ready to write this off after the first and I'm glad I didn't.

2. Torneo Cibernetico: Kraneo, Psyco Ripper, Volador Jr., Morphosis & Mr. Aguila vs. Blue Panther, Mascara Dorada, Valiente, Mistico & La Mascara

These ciberneticos are like lucha junk food. Depending on the participants they can be really good, or they can be like a lot of so-so lightning matches stacked on top of each other. Thanks to the internet we can at least see all the opening matwork (which was almost always edited off Galavision broadcasts). Panther and Morphosis tear it up for the first couple minutes, with Morphosis (the former Histeria) really impressing me with not only keeping up with BP but tossing off some cool armbar transitions and leglocks. Kraneo gets paired up with Dorada which is hilarious since Dorada is probably the fastest guy on the tecnicos side. Kraneo squashes him with a nice leg drop and then catches a cool rana from Dorada. Eliminations start early (which always happens in these which is disappointing as these matches could really go twice as long as they normally do) which robs us of some potentially awesome pairings. The brief Panther/Volador pairing was a treat as I don't remember these two matching up before and it's only 20 seconds but made me want to see a bunch more. Bunch of wild dives happen, people gang up awesomely on Kraneo with him taking a headscissors to the floor from Valiente and then eating two dives in a row (with Dorada's being completely reckless and has him ricocheting off Kraneo on the floor). Kraneo towers over everybody here, with he and Valiente looking like Batman coming face to face with Killer Croc. Kraneo uses his size well, knowing when to cut off tiny little tecnicos by just running into them. Shame that Aguila is one of the final two rudos with Psyco Ripper and Volador. Aguila is clearly the worst guy in this cibernetico (watch him hit the worst standing moonsault I've ever seen, then not call an audible and still end an elimination with it!). Overall the match was fun as hell and got plenty of time. Dorada is a lunatic, Kraneo is my new fattie obsession, Volador still gots the goods even though I liked him more when he worked full rudo instead of this tweener mess he's in now.

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Lucha Azteca Workrate Report 12/7/13

These matches were from the 11/22 Arena Mexico show. Also, I should be thanking cubsfan a lot more than I do, not only for uploading all these matches, but for sending a lot of you our way whenever we do lucha reviews. The guy is awesome. You knew that.

1. Blue Panther, Atlantis & La Mascara vs. Kraneo, Psyco Ripper & Vangellys

This was really fun and what's funny is the TV version cut out the coolest minute of the match. At the 17:30-18:45 part, Panther hits a sweet rana off the top, Kraneo bumps huge to the floor and takes a dangerous looking backdrop into the ropes, and then Psyco Ripper takes some sort of maniacal hybrid Cassandro/Hamrick bump by flying out the corner and around the ringpost, then landing on his back. Pretty sure Kraneo and Psyco Ripper are my new favorite guys. Kraneo is the former Alebrije, whose body is now 35% Golden Corral Chocolate Wonderfall. Psyco is the former Psicosis II who was always much better than most people assumed. Kraneo is just the coolest as he's gigantic both in height and in width, but he busts his ass harder the fatter he gets. I can just picture him at dinner with other workers saying "Yeah, I'm gonna eat this second entree. And then I'll get in the ring and work harder than all of you!" He's super fat now and he's working harder than I've ever seen him work. Everybody needs to get on the Kraneo bus (it makes frequent stops for snacks).

2. Negro Casas vs. Rush

Well this was a match I assume a lot of internet lucha fans were looking forward to. But I could not tell you why it was so damn short. I'm not sure why it wasn't the main event, and I'm not sure why it was only a una caida. I would assume there are going to be more singles between these two, hopefully including a hair match with blood! For a 10 minute match, this was really good. I wanted a 25 minute epic, but for the 10 minute match I got, it was really good. Both guys have great chemistry with the other and holy lord do they have no problem dishing out seated dropkicks to each others' face. So many nasty kicks, with one on the outside against the barricade being especially gross. I liked the end with Casas cheating to win with leg wrapped around the ropes. I liked seeing Casas on the defense for the bulk of this after taking an early nasty kick from Rush. It gave it a Fujiwara type "looking for a way to sneak a comeback" element. I was pretty bummed when I realized the one pinfall was the end, as I was thinking "Oh man, if the first fall was THAT hot then this is shaping up to be LEGENDARY!" but for what we got it was a real good roll in the hay.

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Monday, December 16, 2013

Uprising Lucha Libre Workrate Report 12/1/13

These matches were from the 5/31/10 show at the Sacramento County fair. Outdoor show, probably blazing hot. And also, next week Blue Demon Jr. will have a big announcement! I'll give them credit for advertising a big name the week before.

1. Vinny Massaro & Rik Luxury vs. The Polyester Express (Matt Carlos & Dave Dutra)

This match was okay, something you may be mildly entertained by if you were there live. But when you think about it within the context of "we are paying money to air this match" then I wouldn't make sense to most people to have this representing your company. The Polyester Express is one of the lamest duds of a gimmick you could possibly saddle a couple guys with. It appears to be a disco gimmick, and both guys wear white bell-bottomish pants. That's the joke. But what's the point? There aren't any disco puns, they don't wrestle as if they were kooky disco dancers, they just have names and wear the pants. Matt Carlos is super bland, and wrestles the same no matter what the gimmick, so why have a gimmick? Disco Matt Carlos worked the same as Out of Control Matt Carlos who worked the same as heel Matt Carlos. It's just a lazy, irrelevant gimmick. It's like a shitty, easy Halloween costume. "Oh I'll just throw on some old pants and a zany shirt and be disco guy!" "Look, I'm a luchador because I wear this mask and sometimes I throw a dropkick! It's disco portrayed by somebody who not only has not heard of disco, but isn't a huge music fan. If their entrance music was some cool Arthur Russell track or a Moroder b-side I'd shut my mouth. It's completely irrelevent to dress these guys in white pants and just go "Hey...Disco! Right!?" How is that pertinent at all to any sort of audience? Unless they are looking at working up to a bunch of long term music type gimmicks where we can build up to some sort of Disco Demolition match with a Dead Kennedys team against our Disco Defenders. There, look what I just shot out! Disco Defenders. My brain just spat out a better name for the team, as long as they're insisting on shoehorning them into a braindead do-nothing disco gimmick. Within the name Disco Defenders it already is implying how passe and irrelevant it is for two guys in their 20s to be working a disco gimmick in this decade, but at least gives them some sort of vague justification of them defending disco from the badmouthing it's (mostly wrongly) received since before they were born. But nope. We get Matt Carlos in white pants, working the same spots with the same mannerisms that Matt Carlos in black tights works.

2. Octagoncito vs. Pequeno Pierroth

We get a lot of stalling at first as Pierroth is super proud of his Puerto Rican flag. But Octagoncito is super proud of Mexico. So we have some capture the flag shenanigans, and I'm not sure why a war between PR and Mexico in front of a bunch of white people at a fair seemed like something that needed to happen. They work their standard match, although something seems a bit off and I'll probably just chalk that up to a couple of guys in masks working outside on a 90 degree day. Still they hit a cool dive sequence which looked extra nutty due to no mats around the ring, just the dirt.

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Yoshiaki Fujiwara is Near to the Brokenhearted and Saves the Crushed in Spirit

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Yankee Rionne WNC 10/31/13-FUN

Hey remember Fujiwara, you love Fujiwara and he is back on the internet. Yankee Rionne is an Australian Karate champion who make martial arts movies in Japan. He kind of wrestles a green indy kicker fake Davey Richards style. However as you can imagine Fujiwara is really fun wrestling a kind of crappy fake Davey Richards. We get a lot of nasty Fujiwara mat couters, including him ankle picking Rionne with his legs to counter an armbar, and catching Rionne in a crucifix when he got too aggressive with a charge. Rionne's kicks didn't look very good, but Fujiwara is a master at selling a kick combo. If Rionne was say Chris Dickenson level this would have been a great match, but he isn't there yet and there was some pretty bad stuff by him including a Lisa Simpson like punch combo in the chairs and some really comical facial selling. He does seem like he has some athleticism and he was apparently adopted and renamed Rionne Fujiwara after this match, and Fujiwara is a pretty fucking amazing trainer, so maybe this guy saves Puro in three years.



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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Lucha Azteca Workrate Report 11/30/13

These matches were from the 11/15 Arena Mexico show, so we're back to being just 2 weeks behind. Remember when Galavision was like 6-8 months behind?

1. Lightning Match: Titan vs. Bobby Zavala

Titan is pretty goofy but I guess a lightning match is about the best place to hide him. I'd rather have him doing bad matwork and "hold my hand while I walk on ropes" and handstand flippy spots in a match like this then muck up a decent trios with it. Bobby Zavala is also a goofball but in a different way. He was still able to standout by showing up his douchebag...charm? Charm doesn't seem like a good word for it. He's a rudo, and he's a complete douche. He wears his full body suit and comes out with a dorky spiky mask because I assume he thinks he looks cool but instead he kinda looks like some sort reptilian leather daddy. He's one of those new breed of luchadors who watch a lot of bad indy wrestling and then mimic it, so while Titan is doing goofy headstand backflip head scissors, Zavala is doing crappy things like death valley drivers into turnbuckles, or vertical suplex into turnbuckles. Basically, most moves into turnbuckles looks dangerous, stupid, and less impactful than just doing the move normally. It works better for him since he does act like a total douche, so he may as well have douchey offense. Zavala did do some cool things as well, like Titan leaping over the top to the floor (like the Silver King dive from the middle rope to the floor) and Zavala blasts him with a dropkick on the way down. This was mostly goofy, but still sorta fun.

2. Blue Panther, Atlantis & Diamante Azul vs. Felino, Mr. Niebla & Comandante Pierroth

Wow, this stunk.The first two falls were among the worst I can remember seeing from a match with competent workers. I've seen fairly recent Felino involved in a good match, but when he dogs it I don't think there's anybody who dogs it harder. Here he just gets in the way and can hardly be bothered to do anything when he's in the ring. Panther tries to work mat stuff with him and he just kinda lies there. Niebla was amusing in this but seemed to be more invested in yukking it up with the crowd instead of working the match. Azul seems pretty awful, too. Just because they dress him up like Blue Demon Jr. doesn't mean he has to wrestle down to that level. Comandante had some cool left uppercuts. That was about the best thing that happened here.

3. Negro Casas, Terrible & Tama Tonga vs. Rush, La Sombra & La Mascara

Who cares about that lousy Felino match when you get something like this!? This match is awesome and Rush/Casas completely ramp up the intensity and beat the shit out of each other the whole match. Arena Mexico loves Casas and Rush soaks up the hate, as he taunts them with fake soccer kicks and boots Casas in the balls. Both guys take turns dishing a beating, Rush kicks in Casas chest while he's slumped into the corner, Casas cashes his receipt on Rush's chin later on. Casas throws all his kicks really violently here, Rush had to have been hurting after. Casas throws all those awesome full extension kicks, catching Rush with knees, tons of great stuff. The other guys know their place and do fine complementary stuff. But they knew you were here to see Rush and Casas tear things down, and hung back. Go out of your way to watch this. It will have you salivating for the Rush/Casas singles.

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Monday, December 09, 2013

Lucha Azteca Workrate Report 11/23/13

This show both remained behind, and skipped ahead. The first match is from the 10/18/13 Arena Mexico show, the Casas match is from the 11/8/13 card.

1. Rush & La Mascara vs. Terrible & Tama Tonga

This gets tons of time, but doesn't really add up to anything great. Some nice individual stuff but they didn't make anything special out of the tag format, they just worked it like a CMLL main event trios (short two falls, longer third) but with 4 guys instead of 6. So it was just like a trios, but with two less guys doing cool things. Rush looked good against the two rudos, hit a couple big time dives. Tonga had some cool stuff like a neat missed cross body. Ending was a lame fake ball shot, but I do love that it came after Rush tried and failed to kick Terrible in the balls. Are the ever going to do a full rudo turn with Rush, or do they just like him as a pretty boy who can act like a total dick?

2. Negro Casas, Ultimo Guerrero & Euforia vs. Atlantis, La Sombra & Shocker

Fun match that was notable for being the insane bump show for Ultimo Guerrero. He started with his super high arcing Jerry bump which you can usually expect at a minimum, but then he kept going, taking a couple other big bumps to the floor, bumping a couple times on the floor, getting tossing over the barricade and landing nasty onto his shoulder, taking a really great looking Cassandro bump around the ringpost, tumbling spectacularly over the top to the floor on Atlantis's rolling surfboard spot (Rachel always gets a kick out of that). I don't know what made this match so important to act like a freak, but he did and it was awesome and I commend him for it. Casas looked like Casas and I loved a chop exchange he had with Shocker when instead of risking a hand injury on those mammoth moobs of Shocker he just opted for an eye poke. Remember when Shocker was the guy you'd buy CMLL shows to see? La Sombra's added bulk doesn't stop him from hitting a crazy dive over the turnbuckle to the floor, and Atlantis looked decent. Not a match you'll remember in a couple months, but well worth going out of your way to see UG bump around like he lost a bet.

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Saturday, December 07, 2013

Lawler Thinks He's a Mystery to All

Jerry Lawler vs. Jackie Fargo CWA 7/2/74-GREAT

PAS: This is a Southern Championship match with the ring surrounded by a mesh barbed wire fence with the ringposts wrapped in barbed wire. I am pretty sure we get the vast majority of this and it is a true treat. Lawler is full on heel champ with Sam Bass at ringside passing in a foreign object and choking Fargo against the wire when the ref was distracted. This was a match of pretty much nothing but punches, wire shots and chokes, but man these are a pair of guys who can work a chokes, wire shots and punches match. Fargo may be the only wrestler in the world who can out perform Lawler in a punch off, and he was awesome here, the finish run is pretty much a wild exciting boxing match with both guys using combos, feints and head movement, just electric stuff. I didn't love the end as it felt like we were building to a classic crescendo and we didn't really get it, but man I am happy this surfaced.

ER: Is there any other wrestler other than Lawler who can boast really great matches 38 years apart? I guess probably Funk, but we don't really have a fair amount of mid 1960s Funk to judge. This is a barbed wire match worked in a way I prefer these type of matches worked: No time wasted on "I'm struggling to push your face into the wire while you're struggling to avoid having your face pushed into the wire". This is just two guys fighting and punching each other hard while leaving the barbed wire to the seconds or to gravity. Lawler punches Fargo and he falls into the wire ropes? Awesome. Gives more of a focus to actual face punching with the wire as more of a stimulus to get back out there and fight. Lawler looks like such a rough ass here, with his shaggy hair, sideburns and mustache. He looks like a guy who kicked the shit out of the drummer from Molly Hatchet at a backyard barbeque. People in attendance still talk about that BBQ! Lawler's punches are so perfect here that it made me wonder if there was ever any stage where he had weaker strikes and had to refine them. I wish I knew what they looked like on his first day of training. A great thing about Lawler is how he sells a punch the way he'd expect a punch to be sold for him. His falls for some of Jackie's blows were tremendous. At one point toward the end when he's just hammering Fargo with jabs, Jackie swings wild and connects, and Lawler goes down like Nate Quarry. I didn't actually see Jackie's punch coming at that point, and the way Lawler sold it made it look so great and genuine. *I* didn't see it coming, but Lawler was flawless in conveying that *he* didn't see it coming either. This match was such a treat.

Jerry Lawler vs. Kamala IWC 12/3/05 - FUN

ER: This was a shorter, lesser version of the awesome match these two had a couple years prior in Jersey All Pro. This still has its moments, just way less of them. Previous match had Lawler bumping big all over for a bunch of different Kamala strikes, this one has a much shorter Kamala control segment and much less big bumps. The cat and mouse stuff and comedy from the beginning of the last match is cut down to practically nothing as we get the foot stomp spot but none of the early Lawler stick and move spots. This felt like much more of a touring house show match that they could have in their sleep, as opposed to the other one feeling like a major Memphis arena main event. Throw in tons of unbearable open-mic-at-Yukz Larry Sweeney commentary and that probably doesn't help things.

PAS: It probably isn't fair to judge this in comparison to the JAPW match, but it is difficult to avoid. If we hadn't seen that match I imagine I would have been impressed Lawler could work a match around an old Kamala, but after seeing that match I am much more aware of what isn't there then what is. Lawler takes over after a missed avalanche rather then a missed big splash, Lawler with a second rope fistdrop rather then a top rope one. I imagine the crowd enjoyed this, and Kamala was older at this point, but this was more of a tease of something then something substantial.


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Friday, December 06, 2013

Uprising: Lucha Libre Workrate Report 11/24/13

The main event of the 5/30/09 Milpitas show. This one actually looks really fun on paper.

1. Super Crazy & Hijo de Rey Misterio vs. Incognito & Vaquero Fantasma

A bunch of kids in the crowd are chanting "619" as this starts, which again, what they don't know can't hurt them. When I was young my friend Brigit's dad worked as a mall santa around the holidays for extra cash. He was a supervisor at the Sears auto department by day, and did some Santa stuff by night and weekend. I did not know this. So when my parents took me to see Santa, Santa knew my name and  all the stuff I wanted before I even began to speak. My mind was blown. I'm pretty sure I believed in Santa longer than any of my friends because of that. So you know, the kids here think they're seeing Rey Mysterio at their older brother's high school gym, and it's completely awesome for them. But I bet some guy in the crowd that night just had to tell some of them "you know that's not even the real guy".

I thought this match really delivered, maybe the best PWR match I've seen. I dug the Mascarita Dorada/Pequeno Pierroth and Mini Halloween matches, but I've seen matches very similar from those workers elsewhere. This match felt more unique to this specific fed, and was absolutely crazy. Super Crazy is super chubby (Super Carby?) here but it doesn't slow him down much and god bless him for doing a bunch of nutty spots in a high school gym. Misterio isn't really great, but Incognito and Fantasma are two good guys to base him, as they whip around ultra fast SUWA style on his ranas, and catch him on a couple lunatic spots that are wilder than anything else I've seen him do (including a legdrop to a prone Incognito, from the top rope to the guardrail on the outside!). Crazy hits a mammoth flip dive over the ref to the floor, sending guys flying dangerously into the front entrance ramp. Incognito looks really great here, tying up Misterio with a couple really cool mat sequences, and leaning way into stiff shots from Crazy. This is the first "all lucha" match I've seen Vaquero Fantasma (one of PWR's trainers) in, as usually the matches have some non-luchadors, and he really shines in this setting. Bunch of big bumps (which look fantastic with all the fringe on his gear). Again, big props to Crazy for working up a sweat on a tiny show like this, but really everybody was going balls out. This is the kind of wild main event type stuff they need to be showing on the reg, not their 12 for 10 cents opening card stuff. This stuff actually sets them apart from most other feds and presents a unique feel. I need more.

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Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Lucha Azteca Workrate Report 11/16/13

This is cool as we jump back a couple weeks to the 10/11/13 Arena Mexico show, meaning we get another chapter in the Porky/Escorpion saga.

1. Valiente, Maximo & Super Porky vs. Comandante Pierroth, Ephesto & Rey Escorpion

Follow up to the first Porky potato fest (Porky's Revenge!) is just as fun as the first, with Escorpion hitting some nasty shots on Porky until Porky snaps with a single leg takedown and just wails on him like when Ralphie finally snapped and made Scut Farkus cry. The addition of Valiente here is nice and even though the match is clearly about Porky/Escorpion, Valiente still hits a boss tope (which was preceded by a fast Jerry bump by Ephesto) and Comandante Pierroth hits a mammoth senton. Maximo's brawling and punches from the mount took away from this a bit as he was whiffing by like 3 feet, but Porky is basically the most sympathetic babyface ever in this as he looks completely helpless. Escorpion throws so many huge bombs that it just made me want that Porky comeback even more. Judging by all the loud Porky chants, the crowd wanted it bad too. I'm loving this feud!

2. Lightning Match: Averno vs. Titan

All you can usually ask out of lightning matches is that the cool spots are cool, and this one had some cool big spots. Titan took some pretty nutty bumps here, including getting splattered on the floor after getting pulled off the apron by Averno, getting crotched in such a way that it looked like he damaged his knee and his balls, and then the coup de grace: Averno sidestepping a crazy fast suicide dive, throwing Titan right into the ring barrier. Averno gets the countout win and Titan may have died. Crazy spot.

3. Rush, Marco Corleone & La Sombra vs. Terrible, Rey Bucanero & Tama Tonga

Quick couple falls and a really fun third fall. Rush gets a nice extended run with Tonga and those two match up nicely, ending with Tonga getting blasted by a Rush seated dropkick in the corner. Terrible bumps all around for Corleone who does a lot of show off stuff with the abs. La Sombra is all bulky now and whiffs on a big flip dive that sees him faceplant the barricade. This is another one for the Rush fans, without tons else to recommend, but Rush is such a dynamic worker now that even seeing so-so matches with his involvement are fairly worthwhile.

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Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Don't Cross Lawler, Babe

Jerry Lawler v. Shane Douglas v. Dan Maff, JAPW 12/13/03 - GREAT

ER: Wow, did not expect to like this one as much as I did. First you have the annoying concept of the 3 Way Dance, which always ends up proving that you'd rather see almost any combo of the participants in a singles match instead. Then you get the focus of a 3 Way Dance, which always means a lot of time spent by announcers talking about "alliances", and alliance scheming is always the most boring part of any reality programming, and even more boring in a solitary pro wrestling match. 3 Way Dances also give a bunch of focus to "pulling guys out of pinfalls by grabbing their leg" which takes away from ass beating. So less ass beating, more leg tugging, alliances with zero drama, guys disappearing from the match for minutes at a time, over and under-selling (depending on when you gotta come in to hit your shit).....they're basically almost always a mess.

And yeah this was kind of a mess, but a really really fun mess. First few minutes are Lawler fighting off both Maff and Douglas, and it's seriously some of Lawler's best work ever. Evading both guys, ducking in and out of failed double team attempts, and just blasting both with incredible punches. He mixes in a bunch of body shots here which is something he doesn't really do often, and it looks really cool. KC Blade and EC Negro bump huge off the apron for Lawler haymakers, and Lawler gets to hit piledrivers on both Douglas and Maff. Match gets a little clunky for a bit as due to the structure of the match both guys really don't sell the piledrivers as long as they should have, and Lawler's Austin-aping double middle finger Stunners are about as cheap as a heel saying "Don't you boo me!" But Lawler flies around for the double team spots really nicely and it all builds to Lawler backed into a corner and removing the strap, with Douglas and Maff both cowering away in fear. Maff and Douglas held their own here and ramped up their own shots . Lawler really looked like he took some hard knuckles to the brow at some points. I was expecting this to be a complete cluster and it ended up being a total blast. I may be deep in the bubble at this point.

PAS: I liked this a bunch too, so Eric isn't completely crazy. Always been a Maff fan, and this kind of thing works better for him then the Super Indy finisher exchange stuff that he can fall into sometimes. You know he totally got a kick out of cowering and stooging for Lawler. I was also surprised how much I liked Douglas, I wouldn't expect 2003 Shane Douglas to look even mildly competent, but he was fine in a super poor man's Wayne Ferris kind of way. This actually felt like a fun Memphis studio match, where Jimmy Hart somehow gets Don Bass and Ferris in a handicap match because Bill Dundee's car broke down. I do hate the Stunner though, really the only truly garbage in ring thing I can ever remember Lawler doing, comes off so bush league and unnecessary.


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Sunday, December 01, 2013

Uprising: Lucha Libre Workrate Report 11/17/13

More matches from the 5/30/09 show from Milpitas. Milpitas is the land of endless strip malls and a seemingly constant ass smell thanks to a large landfill. You *gotta* brag about running a show in Milpitas, so I totally get unearthing every match from that card, no matter how old. I actually emailed the owner of PWR asking him why they are showing old matches and hardly any new matches, while not actively pushing upcoming live events or any sort of merchandise. I was very polite, saying that I was very interested in seeing the two recent Santo matches that took place and wondering if they would ever be shown. I got a response fairly quickly that just said "Glad you watch our show. We air our library, sorry you don't agree." You see, they have a library that they have to show off, outside of any sort of context. What if some Joey Ryan completists were watching local paid-for programming on a Saturday and happened to catch this match, presented without any sort of date or purpose? Made that kids night. More than anything, that response told me that they don't actually have any idea why they air what they air, and have given minimal thought into why they air it.

1. Joey Ryan & Rik Luxury vs. Golden Lion & Chimaera

Fun tag that threatened to be ruined by lousy editing (cut to commercial right when the hot tag happens, back from commercials and the rudos are in control with no explanation of what happened). Luxury is one of the best Bay Area workers  and is kinda like a more modern Arn Anderson. Works cool spots that should be used more (like raking eyes with boot eyelets) and can build heat. Not sure who Golden Lion is but he had some nice headscissors (including a real cool one where he got vaulted over someone's shoulders and then hit a rana). Chimaera is the WWE's Ricardo Rodriguez (though hilariously I don't think they ever brought that up. Gotta keep that kayfabe alive!) and I've never actually seen him in a serious wrestling setting. Dude looked good and took some nice bumps. This was some perfectly fine wrestling, bizarre editing aside.

2. Derek Sanders & Zack Reeb vs. Human Tornado & El Amante

Short decent match. Derek Sanders was in both 2013 PWR matches opposite Santo, but I guess it's probably a better idea to show a 5 yr. old match against two guys who haven't worked the promotion since 2010. That should make your fed seem like a bigger deal. They also regularly talk about Amante's normal tag partner Ulysses a lot during the match, who again hasn't worked the fed since 2010. Sanders looks pretty meh here, normally looks better. Here he leaned way out of spin kicks and stuttered on some bumps. For some reason they keep calling Human Tornado "El Snowflake" here, despite him just dressing and wrestling like Human Tornado. Makes sense. There were fun spots here if you turned your brain off. But good lord this show makes my brain hurt.

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