Segunda Caida

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

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Bad News Berzerker Goes to Japan: Part 5, Brian Costello Edition

John Nord/Stan Hansen/Brian Costello vs. Steve Williams/Richard Slinger/Johnny Gunn (AJPW 1/20/94)

ER: It's kind of weird seeing six big white dudes wrestling in an All Japan ring. This will be a future post in our "Complete & Accurate Whitest Matches in Japanese Wrestling History". But, I mean, this match right here might be it. This match right here has a Johnny, a John, a Dick, a Stan, a Brian, and a Steve. Now I am doing zero research on this, BUT...I guarantee you that over the course of the smash television series Friends, among Rachel, Monica and Phoebe, they had to have dated a couple  Johnnys, a Richard, a Stan, a Brian and a Steve. Imagine the total number of cargo shorts that have ever been purchased in America. Now, what percentage of those shorts do you think were bought by or for somebody named Johnny, Richard, Stan, Brian or Steve. I'm putting the over/under at...3.5%. Brian Costello alone looks like the whitest guy to ever get an All Japan tour. And after these six white men deal with their collective gluten allergies and/or commit arbitrage, they have a really fun match! It starts with Doc trying to rough up Nord but getting caught with a nasty dropkick under the chin...and then 2/3 of the match is Doc playing FIP. Didn't see that one coming, did you? Nord tosses Doc to the floor and Hansen beats the shit out of him, slams him into the railing, throws a freaking table on him, kicks his arm, and continues wrecking that arm back in the ring (I love when Hansen drops his body weight onto someone's limb...basically every single way Hansen moves is pro wrestling). Costello even gets in on the fun, getting Doc in a Fujiwara armbar and yelling "ask him, ref!" I was rooting for the most shocking submission in AJPW history, myself. Slinger makes a nice hot tag and has a nice run against Nord. Slinger isn't a guy who gets talked about much but he was a real impressive athlete, always had super high kicks that landed hard, and a cool mix of offense. Here he comes in, lands a bunch of great kicks on Nord, and in an amusing moment kicks Nord so hard that it sends him stumbling backwards into a Hansen hot tag, who sprints in and flattens Slinger with a shoulderblock. Hansen really works Slinger like he has some sort of mean grudge, the best sequence seeing him catch a spin kick and just slam him backwards on his head, then stomp him right in the same spot on the back of his head. When Death tags back in he's all ablaze, wisely targeting Costello. Berzerker gets dispatched and takes a nice bump over the top (shock!) and also makes a great save, getting fully horizontal with a diving axe handle. But eventually Costello is left alone with Doc and eats the doctor bomb (but avoids getting dumped on his head, so, you know, small victories).

John Nord/Stan Hansen/Brian Costello vs. Akira Taue/Toshiaki Kawada/Takao Omori (AJPW 1/25/94)

ER: This is JIP, skipping the first 6 minutes, right into Taue locking in an abdominal stretch on Costello, pushing down on his head so Costello touches his knee with his own ear. This match has some longer stretches of both Costello and young cocky Takao Omori, which are two things that nobody has ever requested from a wrestling match. Omori dropkicks Nord a few times, and I would say Nord is generous for selling them. But Omori definitely has a cockiness to him here, which makes me excited for Hansen eventually coming in and beating the piss out of him, Hansen style. Hansen doesn't even wait until he's tagged in, instead rescuing Costello from a pinfall, throwing Omori to the floor, then beating him with a chair. Omori has an annoying habit - twice - of shying away from Nord's big boot, so Nord doesn't allow him to shy away from chops, a big legdrop, nice kneedrop and some boots to the back of the head. Omori hits what we'll call an axe bomber on Hansen, but Omori wimps out on it and Hansen bumps weird for it. Later, Hansen opts to not wimp out and instead opts to smash Omori's jaw with a match ending western lariat. Before that Omori gets a surprisingly effective nearfall off a roll up as Costello clumsily jumps in to cut off Kawada. Nord was plenty fun here, but this match was made by Hansen being Hansen.


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Anonymous bucky said...

Eric you are the best wrestling writer on the internet if only for the first few sentences of that first match review. Incredible.

9:48 PM  
Blogger EricR said...

Wow, thank you! That means a lot.

7:46 PM  

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