Segunda Caida

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

Friday, September 24, 2021

New Footage Friday: Faulkner~! McMichael~! DUSTY~! MX~! CHOSHU~! RED BULL ARMY~! FUJINAMI~!

Vic Faulkner vs. Mick McMichael WOS 7/1/72

MD: It's not every day we get a new UK match from 72, though, of course, we know there's a lot out there locked in a vault. This was six rounds and generally worked blue eye vs blue eye, with Faulkner more the trickster and McMichael more grounded and dogged. Faulkner had all of his tricks: elaborate escape attempts, "look up" spots, not letting go of the handshake between rounds, and so on, but he let himself get clowned and countered and kept in holds a lot too which made this balanced and even and made those times when one of his tricks did work mean even more. McMichael was a great foil (I don't think base is quite the word here but it's in the right genus of words), patient, steadfast, solid, but also able to take it up not just one but many gears when it was time to. One of the most unique elements of this style of wrestling is that draws can be satisfying and even preferred; Walton indicated at such at the end, that it would have been a shame if either of these wrestlers had to be the loser and you sort of have to agree with him.

Dusty Rhodes/Magnum TA vs. Midnight Express NWA 9/11/86

PAS: This hits every beat you would want out this match. Dusty doing a chicken dance with a rubber chicken stuck in his pants, Cornette taking a big Baby Doll assisted pratfall, Bobby Eaton dinging his awesome punches off of Dusty's skull, Big Bubba standing around looking mean. Just a pitch perfect shtick heavy 80s wrestling match, Dusty is so great in these matches, rock star charisma, pitch perfect timing, signature spots, awesome selling, so awesome. Dusty was past his athletic prime at this point, but man did he know how to squeeze every drop out of the orange. MX are tremendous foils, especially Eaton, lays it in when they need to, but feed and bump their ass off when the time comes. This kind of tag is a perfect bit of business, and these guys did it so well. 

MD: Everything you'd want out of ten minutes of these guys. I loved the opening with the chicken flapping, Bobby's awesome cheapshot punch in the corner and his subsequent flapping, and Magnum trailing right behind him, nailing him, and doing the flapping again to a big pop. There are a few different ways to achieve perfection in wrestling but that's definitely one of them. It was followed immediately by Dusty elbow dropping the rubber chicken which was more transcendent than perfect? Once they rolled over to heat (and given how the fans were going nuts for every bit of stooging BS before it, I wasn't convinced it was going to happen in the first place) with Cornette sneaking in a racket shot on Dusty on the outside, the fans just went nuts. It was southern as it could be with Magnum emotionally drawing the ref and the MX laying in cheapshots not to keep the damage up but to keep Dusty down. His selling was amazingly sympathetic, at one point clinging to the ropes prone and in agony after a racket shot as the Dusty chants rang on neverending. The place became absolutely unglued with the hot tag with everyone on their feet. To be fair, they were popping for everything they should have been the whole match from Dusty elbow dropping a chicken to Magnum taking guys out with the racket at the end. What a show.

Riki Choshu/Tatsumi Fujinami/Kengo Kimura/Osamu Kido/Masa Saito vs. Timur Zalasov/Wahka Evloev/Victor Zangiev/Vladimir Berkovich/Salman Hashimikov NJPW 5/22/89 - GREAT

MD: If I'm figuring this right, this was three days before the big Vader vs. Hashimikov title change and it absolutely served its purpose of heating Hashimikov up for the run. In general, it's 35 minutes of guys grappling, getting positioning for suplexes, hitting those suplexes, and then using said suplexes to lock in holds. That was true with Fujinami and Zalasov who started out, with the two of them setting a good, believable pace until Fujinami broke the code by hitting his suplexes one after another instead of immediately going into a hold with them which wore Zalasov down enough for the dragon sleeper. Kimura felt like the weak link on the Japanese side. There were moments where you thought he might be able to start getting strikes in, but Eveloev caught his leg before he could get momentum going and he was just fighting to get to the ropes again for the last minute or two of their match. Kido and Zangiev came off as very evenly matched until the end when Zangiev got momentum with a series of suplexes in a row (much like Fujinami's in the first bout). Zangiev just got pro wrestling and theatrics a little more than his countrymen.

With the (2-1) stage set, the last two bouts really did the heavy lifting for what they were trying to accomplish. Berkovich targeted Choshu's arm and Choshu sold accordingly, but one thunderous lariat off the ropes and the Scorpion took him down quickly. Then, after back and forth and a struggle that matched the Fujinami and Kido bouts, Saito hit the same pattern on Hashimikov only for him to survive the Scorpion. Saito leveraged that advantage into two Saito suplexes however, but kept going for more instead of pinning him and Hashimikov got under him and dumped him on his head for the win. It felt like a big, triumphant moment, one punctuated with Vader coming out to cut a promo on him before the trophy ceremony. If I was in that crowd, I'd wonder how even Vader might be able to put Hashimikov down.

PAS: Red Bull Army are great, hairy pasty Russian dudes who will just grab and throw anyone they are wrestling. Zalasov, Evolev and Berkovich are the lesser know members of the group and all looked good although didn't leap out the way Zangiev and Hashimikov did. I did really like Evolev's quick fireman's carry into an armbar which took out Kimura. 

Zangiev is a treat to watch, his signature headscissors escape is so cool and such a smart bit of business for a guy who was clearly new to wrestling. Kido is a UWF alumnus and seemed very into working hard grappling with Zangiev. Man when Zangiev puts you away, you go away, some really great looking belly to belly throws which landed Kido awkwardly, and a cradling scissors kick takedown into a kneebar for the tap. Choshu really brought the Choshu in his fight, landing a right hand to the temple, and some big supelexes and a lariat before the tap, he seemed the least willing to play along with Red Bull, and just did him. I love Choshu and it worked. Final match felt like a final match. This was a series of matches with a lot of Saito Suplexes,, but man you can see why the move was named after him, such torque and force. Hashimikov feels like a beast and really can get explosion on his shot, he is at Saito's legs with such speed. Very excited that our friend Loss has dug out so much of the stuff and I am excited to dig in. 

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Blogger Paulsosn said...

I'm not sure what the correct date is on that Midnight Express match is. But I am almost 100% certain that it is not 9/11/86

11:40 AM  

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