Segunda Caida

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

Friday, January 10, 2020

New Footage Friday: TOGO! CAN-AMS! KIKUCHI! BRAZOS! EDDIE!

Los Brazos vs. Eddie Guerrero/Lizmark/Rocky Star  Juraez 1988

MD: There are a hundred reasons that I wish Eddy was still with us, but this match made me think of another. Imagine the ground he could have covered with a podcast. Dives clear the way for finishing encounters and here he could have recounted Brazo de Plata flying off the apron at him to clear the stage for El Brazo vs Rocky Star and the foul that ended this.

That was the focus of the match and well it should have been. Off the top of my head, I can't think of too many matches where El Brazo got to shine as opposed to his more colorful brethren, but he did here, from the cheapshot (with Porky as charismatic bait) to the bloody beatdown on Star (who came off as a star to the crowd) to the initial comeback, begging off and delaying the real satisfaction, to the full on bloody revenge and the toe-to-toe standoff and foul at the end. The Brazos excel at giving you almost everything in every match, and while the early beatdown meant that we got a bit less of the rope running and comedy (though we got some and it was good when we did get it), I'll happily take a balance that leans more on blood and hate anyday.

PAS: When you look at this match on paper, the least exciting feature matchup is El Brazo vs. Rocky Star, but the Brazos can basically do no wrong and El Brazo vs. Rocky Star was a serum soaked war. It was interesting how the match structure was inverted a bit, starting with wild brawling and beatdowns and then having roping running and exchanges in the Segunda, even some Porky comedy. All of the Brazo's were incredible in this match, vicious and buffonish, they are as good as anyone in wrestling history in flipping the switch from clown to killer. Eddie and Lizmark were cameo guys in this, but Eddie flashed some of his genius and we did get to see Lizmark's incredible cliff dive plancha. Every scrap of footage of these guys is a total mitzvah.

Toshiaki Kawada/Tsuyoshi Kikuchi vs. Dan Kroffat/Doug Furnas AJPW 8/27/92


MD: As best as I can tell, only 6:14 of this aired on TV. They had a match earlier in the year as well. If given the choice, I'd watch a Can-Am Express tag over mostly anything else from All Japan in the era. Kroffat's a joy, more of a classic jerk heel wrapped in agility and athleticism (stepping on faces and punctuating it with a spit, dropping knees on Kikuchi's skull while he's in stuck an elevated crab). Furnas is as explosive as they come (the way he hits the frankensteiner out of nowhere, the way he drops to his knees to get crazy torque on the powerslam, the cool waistlock into a side slam).

This builds with heat on Kikuchi and a hot tag to Kawada but the crowd never gets close to the level of the Kobashi/Kikuchi matches. It all builds to a great finishing stretch full of cutting off saves and escalation that feels meaningful and earned but never too over the top to be believable.

PAS: Goddamn is Dan Kroffat a fucking machine in this match. Nasty prickish brutality with just explosive athletic execution. He just brutalizes Kikuchi in this match, and Kikuchi is the greatest tackling dummy in the history of professional wrestling. It is fun to watch Kawada in the Kikuchi tag partner role, and how different he is from Kobashi, instead of an explosion of enthusiasm, it is like Kikuchi tagged in Anton Chigurh. He saunters in and kicks Kroffat in the orbital bone harder then anyone should be kicked in a cooperative performance. Finish run was fun, although it didn't elevate to the heights of the famous Can-Ams tags. Still this ruled, and I am with Matt on Can-Ams tags being one of the coolest things in this period.

ER: Prime Can-Ams are such a treasure, two hyper athletic killers who feel like they would be the machine precise evil European tag team had The Mighty Ducks been about pro wrestling. You think the vibe is going to be different for the first few minutes, as Kikuchi is throwing stiff elbows and landing kicks, and I being to wonder if they sometimes let Kikuchi play the aggressor and not the Ricky on house shows. But then I wake up and Kroffat is stepping all over Kikuchi's face, kicking him in the chest, and Furnas throws Kikuchi's helpless body straight into the air. It was the most vertical German suplex you've seen, and Kikuchi lands folded right on his neck, looking like when Wile E. Coyote would accordion into desert after cutting a cliff side out from under his feet. Furnas works a backbreaking Boston crab and Kroffat drops knees to the back of Kikuchi's head, just coming off like the biggest jerks the whole match. Kawada's big hot tag is fun and he really aims to pay back Kikuchi's beating by mugging Kroffat. This could have benefitted from even more time. I'm not typically one to ask for matches to go past 20, but I think they still could have worked interesting stretches that went untapped. I liked Kikuchi's last burst of a run and the way Kroffat dispatched him (after Furnas separated them by kneeing Kawada through the ropes to the floor), but I think the ever increasing fervor of the infamous Kobashi tag made me think of the ways they could have gone longer. But make no mistake, this left me wanting more in the best way. It feels like I suddenly started typing inadvertant sexual things about this match, so I'm going to stop.

Dick Togo vs. Asykal Singapore Night Festival 8/24/17

MD: Togo as far afield, grizzled and aged local gym master punishing the insolence of youth is wrestling perfection. I liked how the setting meant that Asykal couldn't get distance. I like how hard he had to struggle and struggle for a slam, how it (just a bodyslam) felt like a big, meaningful win, and how thoroughly he paid for the hubris of bowing to the crowd after it.
Short and sweet, pure and satisfying.

PAS: I love wandering monk Dick Togo traveling the wrestling backwaters and delivering a show. This was on a mat on a stage, no ropes, no real elevation, and the restrictions didn't stop Togo from delivering the hits. Asykal didn't look tremendously trained, and it didn't really matter. Togo made him look credible in moments, and then crushed him outside of those moments. That running Senton was nearly as brutal looking as his flying one. Feels like we need to review all of the Singapore Togo. 

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