Segunda Caida

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

Friday, September 07, 2018

New Footage Fridays: Wahoo, Valentine, Death and Destruction, Ricky Morton, Daisuke Ikeda, Yuki Ishikawa

Wahoo McDaniel vs. Greg Valentine NWA Charlotte 6/11/94

PAS: This is an all time legendary feud, which dates back to the wars Wahoo had with Greg Valentine's dad. This is end of the road Wahoo, but he would still throw a welting chop and take a walloping. This starts a bit slow, but soon kicks into gear, with both guys lacing each other. Valentine was especially vicious with an elbow to the back of the neck and a chop right to the throat. Finish was a bit wonky with special ref Swede Hansen (of all fucking people) punching Valentine and quick counting him. No idea why in a match with two actual legends you needed to get the heat on Swede Hansen, but outside of that, this was everything you would want from a pair of aging prizefighters slugging it out.

ER: A week after they no doubt bootlegged and watched Misawa/Kawada, Valentine and Wahoo decide to have their own match of the decade, on their terms. And it's pro fucking wrestling. There are semi truck trailers with advertising parked around the ring, a fan in the crowd who looks like Steve Keirn paces and smokes, two men high five, our camera is planted directly on the cheek of a man with a Vince Gill mullet and a stars and stripes coaches jacket like he was an South Carolinian Bela Karolyi, and it basically feels like we're in a first person shooter and this guy is our avatar, going out and seeing wrestling on a Saturday night. Valentine bumps around great for all of Wahoo's big booming strikes, which hit just as hard as 1978 Wahoo. Valentine does several great spills into the ropes, selling the impact. He also drops a nice elbow to the back of Wahoo's neck, and has no problem trading some chops that would stop my heart. This was completely the match this crowd wanted to see, every one of them was going nuts, I wish I got that chance to see more wrestling with a crowd like this.

MD: You pretty much know what you're going to get with a mid-90s indy match between mid-50s Wahoo and mid-40s Valentine. If you're reading this site and this feature, you're probably totally okay with that. These two knew exactly what they were doing, hit hard, got the crowd to buy into things and interact with them, and made everyone happy. As I said, you know what you're getting here, so you can only be so critical. I'd have liked a couple of minutes of legwork after Valentine slammed Wahoo's leg on the apron on the outside before the Wahoo strike-based comeback. I would have liked a couple of foreshadowing spots before the ref-driven finish. This stuff is timeless though.

Death and Destruction vs. Ricky Morton/Dan Cooley SSW 7/5/96

MD: Ultimately, this was a fun Morton showcase, a very straightforward southern tag. It's always a joy to see a Morton close enough to a prime drawing a heel into the corner by shadowboxing. Death and Destruction were Frank Parker and Roger Anderson. Anderson had a couple of years more experience best I can tell and it showed. Parker seemed a bit awkward feeding out of the corner or eating Cooley's armdrags. There were times where it seemed like Morton was doing the work for both himself and Parker. Anderson had more than solid timing and jawing for his role. The transition out of the shine could have been a bit more interesting (eyerake followed by a nice over the top bump by Morton; the eyerake is what I'm iffy on). Cooley was pretty green here but put in a lot of effort. I was surprised (though I shouldn't have been) by the fact Morton was the one to play face-in-peril. The comeback and the finishing stretch were by the numbers but fine. This whole thing was about half of a really good match.

ER: I was excited to hear we got some uncovered Death and Destruction, a team that easily could have had a long TV career like Disorderly Conduct. Hell, I'm sure a D&D vs. DC feud would have been the stuff of syndicated 90s legend. Depending on what time you got into pro wrestling on the internet, you either know D&D from their heavily pimped (in our circles) OMEGA match against the Serial Thrillaz, or you know Frank Parker as being the guy who was in one of the more infamous matches in TNA history, as he was the opponent of Cheex. And I agree with Matt that this was basically half of a really good tag. I don't agree with his assessment that Parker looked outclassed, I thought he took all of Cooley's slo-mo Tim Horner armdrags fine, and his punch exchange with Morton was my favorite part of the match. His punches looked great and heavy, and Morton had this cool short quick shots to the forehead to back up the larger man. Morton took a nice post shot, Cooley was on offense a bit too much, and it had a finish which is just about one of my least favorite finishes in wrestling: Cooley hits Anderson with a crossbody, Anderson bumps it, then just flips over and pins Cooley. Man I hate that finish. It never looks like a guy smoothly rolling through and surprising his opponent, it always looks like a guy just takes a move, then decides to ignore it. Still, loved Morton here, and I'd love for more D&D to show up.

PAS: My thoughts on this match line up with Eric and Matt. Unsurprisingly I loved Morton in this, his early match jiving was great as was his eponymous face in peril work. He is just such a professional at this whole thing. Death and Destruction were good stuff, I especially liked Anderson's straight punches to Morton's nose. I thought Cooley looked bad, his armdrags were really sloppy looking and his hot tag was performative in a way that came off goofy, I think I would have really liked this if Morton had a less try-hard partner. Lots of Death and Destruction in SSW and I am looking forward to finding some class stuff.

Yuki Ishikawa vs. Daisuke Ikeda PWFG 8/12/95

PAS: A newly unearthed PWFG show (I'll be reviewing the whole show soon) gives us a very early look at this all time great rivalry. This already had a ton of spice, as the tumble out of the ring at the bell and Ikeda hits a great spin kick to Ishikawa's stomach sending him into the chairs. It is a great start to a match which delivers on what it promises. Ikeda spends a lot of this match trying to destroy Ishikawa's internal organs, he hits him with brutal spinkicks, straight body kicks and Chavezian body shots. Ishikawa puts on some great looking holds, squeezing Ikeda's head like a zit, twisting his ankles into odd and painful directions, and throwing some big shots of his own including a big knee lift which glassed up Ikeda's eyes. Finish was great, each guy gets a big knockdown and the come up and both guys are just unload their arsenals, not exchanging elbows to show their toughness, but franticly throwing everything they have at each other. Ikeda catches Ishikawa with a slap to the ear which drops him, he pops back up, but it is the third knockdown and he loses by TKO. Ishikawa wants to keep fighting and they have to be separated. It is interesting to watch this legendary rivalry in it's incubatory form, while there later matches were often brutal wars of attrition, this was more of a frantic pedal to the medal fight, the kind of thing you might see from two MMA fighters trying to get on a UFC main card, fun to watch them expend that kind of energy.

MD: Definitely another gem. These two are the perfect cross section of unmitigated violence and astonishingly slick grappling. When you've seen enough wrestling, not much can surprise you, but the more I see this pairing (and I haven't seen them quite as much as Phil and Eric so I'm still allowed to be in awe), the more I remain blown away by just how they manage it. They're pure struggle with nothing given and the consistent illusion that if one makes the tiniest misstep, allows for an opening, drops a guard, leaves the smallest hole in his defense, he will pay dearly. This could be with vicious stomps to cement a hold or with a spin kick out of nowhere or with leverage gained for a devastating belly-to-belly. The selling feels just as abrupt. It becomes more about momentum shifts and advantage than a long-running narrative, but you end up left wondering, two thirds through the match how a comeback might even be possible. The level of skill involved in all of this consistently blows me away.

ER: How cool is it to see two guys who have matched up probably over 100 times in their career, in what might be their earliest singles match? I know I have a BattlArts singles match between them from a year later, not sure there's another one this young. I love the charm and violence of their more experienced matches, with Ishikawa playing more of a Fujiwara "hang back, minimize the beating, look for your opening" with Ikeda as the always advancing bully. Here they're both punks in their 20s and Ishikawa is super aggressive with offense and kicks. Ishikawa didn't use a ton of kicks even by '98, so it's a trip seeing kickpads Ishikawa fly at Ikeda with high kicks and knees. Ikeda is still a bully, still comes off more icewater veins than Ishikawa, kinda letting Ishikawa tire himself out on flurries before pouncing, or backpedaling until Ishikawa slips and then diving into him viciously. Aggression is really the cause of many of the momentum shifts here, and I loved seeing these two tumble to the floor a couple of times because they were too busy kicking each other's asses to pay much attention to their ring placement. We get a lot of nastiness shining through, look at them grabbing at each other's hair while Ikeda works for mount. Kick-y Ishikawa is fun, but Ikeda always has those lethal feet, and his mulekicks to Ishikawa's gut look absolutely match ending. He drops him fairly early with one and either Ishikawa is among the great salesmen in the history of this great sport (which, he is), or that's a man who had the wind kicked out of him through his stomach. All the twisting looked really great throughout, and the knockdown drama at the end was really exciting. I've watched enough Ishikawa to know that he can't be counted out, and I loved the ending of him popping up right after getting TKO, showing that he wasn't down and that Ikeda only won because of a fucking rulebook. These two guys.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should review Wahoo vs Valentine from Mid Atlantic in 1977 in the TV Studio !
It's on Youtube now.

12:26 AM  

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