Segunda Caida

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

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Big Time Wrestling TV 8/12/16

1. Short Sleeve Sampson vs. Robbie the Giant (5/13/16)

Hank Renner Jr. informs us, as he often does, that this is a "main event anywhere in the world" and also says these two worked the Tokyo Dome which....well I don't think either of those things is true. And a couple minutes in I was already getting the urge to fast forward. You know that first midget match you saw, 10? 20? 30 years ago? That was this, same spots, same order. Ref does a pre-match pat down, Sampson pats him back. You know that spot where a midget kicks out, and the other leaps into the ref's arms, and the ref throws him back, and it repeats? We did three different run throughs of that spot, meaning we saw Sampson thrown into the ref's arms about 10 different times in the first few minutes of the match. This was unbearable. The crowd naturally ate it up. They always do. These spots always work, they've worked for as long as I've seen midget wrestling. Maybe I wouldn't be too keen on changing up my game if I knew just how easy it would be to get fans eating out of my hand. I'm stunned nobody bit the ref's butt. And then, something happened. Robbie the Giant (who I had never seen before) took over, and suddenly things got good. Suddenly it wasn't the same midget match you've seen your entire life, suddenly we had a heel midget doing nasty chokes in the ropes, dropping great elbows, and generally working as a good heel against Sampson's fired up face. We start getting cool spots like Robbie locking in a nice camel clutch and Sampson powering up all the way out of it to an electric chair. We get Sampson going for a crossbody and Robbie just burying him with a world's strongest slam. We get a great tope from Sampson. Robbie hits a massive cannonball in the corner, and it gets paid off towards the end of the match where Sampson makes a comeback after Robbie misses another and takes a nice Psicosis bump. The whole thing went from being every midget match trope you've ever been sick of seeing, to two guys who happen to be undersized just working a match. Yes, the match ended with Sampson's apparently "world famous" worm, one of the most "dynamic moves in wrestling" according to Hank Renner Jr. (I have zero idea what that even means). But after the first 4 awful minutes, if you had told me it was going 15 total minutes I would have magically skipped ahead. But Robbie the Giants made me glad I didn't.

2. Frankie Kazarian vs. L'Empereur (10/20/06)

L'Empereur is a longtime BTW comedy guy who probably could have done more in his career if he wanted to. As far as I know he only worked BTW, but he had good comedic timing a a solid hold on the basics: He knew how to bump and knew how to take a comedy pratfall, threw a nice back elbow, sturdy chop, nice clubbering forearms, and cut low on missed clotheslines. He was a pretty complete worker and the gimmick with his ability would have played great in almost any indy. And this match was plenty of fun with he and Kazarian having a nice rapport, dug the spot with L'Empereur locking a nice sleeper on Kazarian, who the drops to his knees in a jawbreaker, leaving L'Emp to do a great face flop. The only thing bad about the match was Hank Renner Jr.'s affected laughter during the WHOLE match. We don't need a laugh track, we don't need to be told that L'Empereur is funny, we don't need our hand held through basic comedy spots. "Oh my, L'Empereur keeps me constantly entertained." Yeesh. It's so phony. Just let the guy's spots land.

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