Segunda Caida

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

Sunday, July 16, 2017

CWF Mid-Atlantic Wrestling: Saturday Night's CWF

Saturday Night's CWF

Just like the Superstars show that preceded it, this was another 80s throwback show, with the old Saturday Nights Main Event logo and 80s commercials spliced in between matches. It's a good gimmick.

1. C.W. Anderson vs. Ric Converse

PAS: I loved this, talk about an 80s style match (although way more NWA 80s the WWF 80s). Anderson opens the match by catching Converse with a superkick at the bell and he takes over early. I always like when matches deviate from the feeling out process which begins most matches. Anderson was nasty in this, ripping at the arm, jamming his thumb into the tendons, throwing great elbows, hitting his awesome left hand. Anderson also kept taunting the ref, refusing to break the count and daring him to DQ him. Converse is a big rawbone guy who throws big shots and he was really fun as a tough guy fighting from behind. Finish was clever as CW is going down to a crossface he reaches out and punches the ref in the face to get DQed. Fun BS ending which I assume is setting up a no DQ fight.

ER: Man, CW is so damn good. He was one of my favorites 17 years ago, never really considered at the time that he'd still be one of my favorites this much later (though teenage me also probably thought he was in his 40s in ECW, but 58 yr old CW is still going to be someone I want to watch). Did any of his WWECW house show matches make fancam? All of them sound interesting, the Rene Dupree and Stevie ones especially. But this kind of match is my bread and butter right here. I wasn't really expecting Converse to be working so behind the whole match, but it totally worked as CW cracks him with the superkick to start things and Converse is playing catch up from there. Phil makes a great point about matches that deviate from the typical feeling out process. This starts like a gunshot and it makes things more frantic. All of CW's shots look great as he picks Converse apart, but Converse is a big dude so always has a few big blows to land. Loved CW genuinely not caring if he gets DQ'd, just throwing it back in Redd's face whenever threatened with it. Converse came up with some cool stuff, like his spinebuster block, and this is a match up I cannot wait to see get no DQ treatment. Timing on the big left hand is off a bit, but Stutts does a nice job covering up what might have happened. These are the kinds of matches that keep me tuning into CWF.

2. Alex Daniels vs. Trevor Lee

ER: A fun match that I think tried to do a bit too much. I was really getting into the slow burn from Daniels and liked where it was going, looking forward to that moment where he first tried to catch Lee napping (which ended up being great, with Daniels leaping high for an elbow drop while Lee got back into the ring, except it was so high and enthusiastic that Lee just moved). The slow burn was real fun, methodical knuckle locks, bent wrists, and I liked when both guys would toss out occasional nasty slaps (loved the short 3/4 arm slot slaps both men utilized all match). The match breaks open nicely when Lee rolls out of a sunset flip and eats a sliding kick from Daniels. Daniels starts slowly picking Lee apart but Lee locks on a great octopus, and Daniels takes a super high flapjack. We get another nice breakout as Lee gets knocked off the apron into the short ramp (not sure why the section joining the ramp to the ring was missing, but I'm happy Lee utilized it as a dangerous "under construction" area, felt like something Finlay would do). Daniels has a nice habit of taking potentially overthought indy offense and making it look plausible, and vicious: Trapping Lee in the ropes, hopping to the apron and coming back in with a blockbuster could have looked way too silly, but it looked nasty. And from there we go into the long home stretch, which was executed flawlessly, but I think did too much. The moves looked great, but it got almost too inside itself. Once it gets to the point of guys pushing their opponents out of their own rollup to get into position for the next move, my brain starts making distance. I didn't love the strike exchange portion, which had more of that "take a strike in a way that gets you in position to do another strike" style. It's not my thing and I wish it was cut. But the very end is straight fire, with Lee getting that STF at all costs, eating a high amount of slaps and boots to get there. The struggle over the STF and Lee selling the strikes was awesome. I wish this could have been trimmed a bit, but overall this was another high end CWF title match.

PAS: I agree with Eric, this had lots of stuff to really like, but had a bit too much at the end. I also really dug Daniels Larry Z style stalling as he kept bailing out on Lee to look for an opening. The two big momentum shifts were great, the sliding kick was brutal looking and a real surprise, and the bump by Lee was nasty stuff and really put him in plausible danger. I also think the home stretch overdid it, they went to the "Daniels hits killshot, gets a two count and grabs his head" note a couple too many times, and no way should Lee being going back on offense that soon after that brainbuster in the corner (honestly that move should have put him in a neckbrace for two months, with Stuttsy updating his progress in a somber voice week after week). I did really love the battle for the STF, and this match succeeded in making Daniels in the area which was it's goal. It just got a little too 2017 for me to love it unconditionally.

3. Aric Andrews vs. Chet Sterling

ER: The Aric Andrews showcase match I've been waiting for! Phil has been more bearish on Sterling than me in the past, but this was the first time I think he looked actually bad. At worst before this he was "generic cross-fit guy" according to Phil. I always thought his basics looked good, nice headlocks, nice big spots like his snap half nelson suplex; here he looked bad, throwing tons of bad punches that never threatened to look damaging. His punches are better than someone like Abyss, as at least he was aiming them in the right spot, but the landings were poor, the body shots fell short, the speed was slow, just no good. But again, this was an Andrews showcase, and Andrews looked good. I dig his simple things, like a fast missed clothesline or a sunk in Boston crab. He's got long limbs and I like the way he whips them into dudes. So this wasn't a great match, but it was good to see more of what Andrews can do.

PAS: Chet Sterling's gimmick is "I'm Different" except he is very much "the same."  I mean he came into Living on a Prayer what utter basic shit that is. I liked his big dive at the opening, but the rest did not look good. I did like Andrews in this, but I am still waiting for him to have a good match.

4. Roy Wilkins vs. Mecha Mercenary

ER: It's weird to have a match where each man's partner is not allowed at ringside, but both of Wilkins' seconds are allowed. I'm not really sure why they needed the stip if Coach could still run interference for him. This had plenty of fine moments, though I thought Wilkins' strikes looked off in spots. Still, he flew into a nice Mecha lariat, and I like how Mecha commits the same on hits as he does on misses; his missed leaping elbow drop always looks great, just a big chunk of glacier falling into the Arctic. If a match was going to have a bunch of interference, I liked how this interference worked, with the ref selling GREAT in the corner after getting accidentally squished (someone get me the name of this Woody Strode-esque referee, who sells getting his head whipped into the buckle the same way Tenryu masterfully sells a piledriver. This guy is a flat out keeper!), Mecha getting clonked in the back of the head by a nice belt shot, and then Wilkins locking on his sleeper on an unconscious Mecha. It's much more satisfying than the hell just pinning his opponent, instead making it look like he choked him out and making the ref go through the process of raising Mecha's arm.

PAS: I really enjoyed this, Mecha is a guy who will get hit hard and hit hard back. I loved Wilkins trying his body press and bouncing off Mecha like Wile E. Coyote running into a brick wall. That was a nice ref bump and I loved how all of the second jumped on Mecha like ants on a sugar spill.

5. Dominic Garrini vs. Cain Justice

ER: Hey, you want to see a couple guys have a completely original match that feels like it was inspired by no other match? Watch these two match up. These two fight like they've never seen another wrestling match and just construct it all from scratch. Their movements are weird and the matches don't build with any traditional structure, feels like the first guy who combined chocolate and potato chips on a lark. Garrini throws these weird and cool hammer strikes, using them to attack Cain's torso and also using them to effectively block strikes. Both guys do weird crane kick attacks to limbs, and again, they just move differently, awesomely. Garrini is on the attack from go, blocking a Cain cheapshot that he had scouted coming and grabbing that arm. Garrini kept coming and coming and Justice would only get a break if he was able to dodge and counterattack. I loved Cain getting leveled and falling to the floor, love that spot where a heel gets put down with a match winning shot but by sheer luck lands under the ropes or falls outside the ring. This spot was handled here more naturally than normal, with Cain taking a sprawling bump across the middle rope before falling to the outside. Still, Garrini taps him which I didn't see coming. I was expecting a count out after Cain fell out. This was a blast, just a weird, unique, wholly original 7 minutes of fire.

PAS: This was worked more like a brawl then their first match, and while it wasn't at the level of that out of nowhere classic, it was still a total blast. I loved Garrinni's hammer punches, they really look like a thing a ju-jitsu guy who never trained kickboxing might throw to get closer. Garrinni also threw a nasty delayed german suplex, which was almost Otsukaesque. Cain was more Anderson then Carl Greco here, and had some nasty arm work, including trying to hyperextend it against the rope. I loved the finish with Justice setting up his arm submission, but he stopped briefly to taunt Cecil Scott and got reversed and tapped. Great bit of comeuppance, and I desperately want to see the rubber match.

ER: I don't think the "throwback format" worked anywhere near as well as it did for the Superstars episode. Superstars seemed like a full committment to the presentation, this just had guys coming out to 80s songs and a couple commercials. The wrestling was better on this one, so I can't complain when I get a long CW match, and the whole show was quality wrestling. In fact, we added THREE matches from this show to our 2017 Ongoing MOTY List, no small feat.


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2 Comments:

Blogger Matt D said...

Oh hey, I saw this one. Let me cross post:

I caught Daniels/Lee on the Saturday Night episode. I think it was worked earlier on to play into the parody theme with the over the top stalling, etc. and because of that, it's remarkable that they shifted gears just enough (while not REALLY leaving the theme until the very end) to really get Daniels over as a commodity. At the end of the day, that's going to be the most important thing. As with most Lee matches I've seen, there were a lot of smart call backs and bits of foreshadowing all based around his usual moves and inclinations, which is all appreciated. There were two clear bits of heat and I thought the transition out of the first was hugely unique (I've never seen an Octopus as a transition spot and it worked really well). Likewise, the transition to comeback in the second, being Lee basically hulking up worked really well, fit the match and the theme, and frankly, the promotion. Lots of really good stuff.

The last five minutes were downright horrific though. I mean that in a literal sense. It was the pro wrestling equivalent of a Tales from the Crypt story. There was a moment where everything changed. I could feel it coming too. After Lee got cut off after his second comeback, there was one lone woman in the crowd clapping to trying to get him going again (and he's very good at playing into that in a way most babyfaces in 2017 aren't), but no one else was clapping along at a point of the match where it should have been the most organic thing and should have really carried him up into a last comeback and the finish, whatever reversal driven thing it might be. Instead, they went right into this ridiculous strike exchange, the sort where one strike builds the momentum to flip the wrestler around so he can hit his spin kick or whatever, and that knocks a guy against the rope so he can hit his big boot and no one sells any of it for a minute or so. And then, as they brought this twisted bit of ridiculous Japan-inspired rigmarole into a perfectly enjoyable southern-style indy, the crowd, as if stricken by a profane curse started chanting "This is Awesome!" It was a fucking "Indian, surrounded by trash, cries a tear" moment. They spent another four minutes or so trading bombs until the match ended with a belabored STF set up.

1:15 PM  
Blogger EricR said...

I did not hate the finish run as much as you, though did bring up a few of your points (in shorter form), like that annoying trend of doing a strike primarily to get into position for the strike you're taking. It's that stuff like rolling a guy out of your own pinfall to get into position to take his move. It really takes me out of a match. I did not bring up that lone fan cheering for the comeback at the point where everybody should have been cheering, but it stood out in a huge, weird way, and a lot of these "This is Awesome" chants sound like they're being performed at gunpoint these days. Still, I thought the match overall was really good, finish run just knocked it down from what would have been a high peak.

2:54 AM  

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