Saturday, March 19, 2016

Lucha Underground 3/16/16 (S02E08)

Lucha Underground 3/16/16 (S02E08)

1. Disciples of Death vs. Son of Havoc, Ivelisse, & Angelico - ★★¼
2. Texano vs. Chavo Guerrero, Jr. - Texas Bullrope Match - ★¾
3. Mil Muertes vs. Fenix - ★★★½

Friday, March 18, 2016

WWE Superstars 3/18/16

WWE Superstars 3/18/16

1. Summer Rae vs. Natalya - ★¾
2. Tyler Breeze vs. Zack Ryder - ★★★

WWE SmackDown! 3/17/16

WWE SmackDown! 3/17/16

1. Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz - ★★¾
2. Goldust vs. Bubba Ray Dudley - ★
3. King Barrett vs. Kofi Kingston - ★½
4. Kevin Owens vs. AJ Styles - ★★★

Friday, March 11, 2016

The Miz vs. Zack Ryder

The Miz vs. Zack Ryder - WWE Superstars 3/11/16 - 4

Ryder growing out the beard. His recent series with Stardust over on the “C” shows has been applaudable. He still didn’t sniff my ballot over on the PWO Greatest Wrestler Ever poll. On second thought guessing he didn’t even earn a nomination. Miz has been more handy lately helping get guys like Styles and Zayn introduced en masse to the bigger mainstream audiences. Still I think I’d rather be stuck in a cellar with a psychotic John Goodman than the Miz. I like that Miz takes time to rile the crowd although his stomps shortly after were Eli Drake bad. I shouldn’t be placing anything in my queue ahead of the near two-hour Trevor Lee match out of CWF Mid-Atlantic that everyone is going bonkers over but I like to stay current. Zack hits the “ElBro” drop which I sort of dug it’s like a tucked-in elbow off the top a la Eric Young but in mid-air before the tuck he taps his kneepads. It’s superfluous like some NBA Slam Dunk completion bullshit but I’m game for adding new twists on old staples. Miz gets the clean victory with the Skull-Crushing Finale in a short but spirited affair. Now I’m just waiting for Miz to rip his wife’s French TKO reverse roundhouse kick.

Friday, March 4, 2016

RIP Hayabusa

Woke up to news of Hayabusa’s passing. Since his career-ending injury he’d been largely wheelchair-bound until last year surfacing at a show and being able to rise to his feet amongst his peers. Growing up my brother was never more than a fringe fan but Hayabusa captured his imagination with his colorful characterization and fluid athleticism. He ordered both the black and red versions of Hayabusa’s mask and we’d take to doing springboard moonsaults in our backyard off a rickety chain-link fence onto a mattress we used for drafting our own $15,000 Body Slam Challenges. We trekked to ECW Heat Wave ’98 to see his own major US appearance live.

Hayabusa vs. Sabu - FMW 8/28/94 - N/A

Unfortunately this is clipped so I can’t fairly rate it. I believe the date is accurate. The thrust and precision of Hayabusa’s spinning kicks would leave even high-level MMA fighters in awe. Maybe it would end Anthony Pettis’ losing streak if he started wearing Hayabusa’s mask. These guys were compared to each other constantly and yes they’ve both got lots of bodily scars and baggy parachute pants but Hayabusa is such a smoother more seamless practitioner of the pro wres arts. Kudos to Sabu for innovative spots seen here somersaulting over a hunched referee out to the floor and later doing a crossbody out onto Hayabusa who was sitting in a chair. A 450° to the floor through a table is dodged by Hayabusa leaving Sabu to crash into the splintered furniture. It’s a move you rarely see Sabu do, here paying homage to the combatant he was at war with, and it’s the very same move (dubbed the Firebird Splash) Hayabusa later uses to secure that night’s victory. RIP Hayabusa. I’m sure he’s in the heavens now performing Falcon Arrows on the other legends.

Friday, January 8, 2016

New Jack vs. Rhino

ECW World Television Championship Match: Rhino (c) vs. New Jack - ECW November to Remember 2000 - 4

When first logging into the WWE Network with the veritable treasure trove of material to sift through one area I wanted to revisit was ECW pay-per-view hidden gems. Now I saw all of the ECW PPVs live back then but most if not all I only saw during their initial broadcast and not since. Browsing the listings on Wikipedia there's a dozen Tajiri and Mikey Whipwreck vs. Full Blooded Italians bouts and other familiar pairings done to death but I wanted something I'd completely forgotten happened. Boom. Rhino versus New Jack? I had no clue that transpired. And via tech or alien plot I could watch this match on my cellular phone on the city bus.

Now, the score is pretty low, and it wasn't easy as I did like this but it's woefully short and sort of a mess but definitely a guilty pleasure for its brief duration but objectively I couldn't grade it higher. First bad mark is right out the gates as Rhino looks dumb leaning forward arching his neck out like a giraffe at the zoo just waiting for New Jack to slam an object against his cranium. What I dug so much is this is mostly just Rhino feeding himself to New Jack's weapon-based offense but I'll be damned if this isn't one of the better overlooked Rhino performances as does great as a base for Jack's garbage. Here Rhino is leaning into shots, bumping and writhing, and makes a great anguished facial after having a cane snapped over his back. New Jack is notably not so good at eating shots as his version of selling is akin to a drunken elderly man getting mugged outside a dive bar, stumbling and staring off into the distance. I also disliked the finish as it was supposed to be explosive but wasn't much. They claimed Rhino hit the "Gore" through a table that was leaning against the turnbuckles but in reality it appeared more like Rhino just carried Jack a few feet and dropped him like a gym bag full of Methandrostenolone.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Joey Janela vs. Lio Rush

This is from the recent CZW Cage of Death XVII. There was a patently awkward military tribute to start the show with a bunch of legit servicemen mid-ring while this terrible mall metal Star Spangled Banner rendition played. Never been a bigger endorsement to go AWOL.

1. CZW Wired Championship Match: Joey Janela (c) vs. Lio Rush - 6

Lio looks like Shameik Moore cosplaying as Manik. Joey has a bad Brian Kendrick hair-bun and is trying hard to make weird faces gesticulating and writhing like someone having a bad mushroom trip. I hope Janela gets a neck brace for Christmas as he took a hellacious bump on a reverse hurricanrana on the ring apron. Joey's moonsault off the top to the floor looked more like someone escaping a burning building. You know that spot where a guy on the apron acts like he's going to suplex his opponent who's in the ring out to the floor? But it never happens and gets reversed? Well, here it happened, but not only did Rush take Janella over the top and out wildly to the floor in mid-air it seemed he (whether intentional or not it's difficult to say) transitioned it into a Michinoku Driver but didn't have a proper landing assignment by the TSA running out of concrete to hurtle themselves towards and crashing into the steel guardrail. They both narrowly make it in before the 10 count to a legit huge crowd pop. Something I've never seen happen before: Janela plants Lio in a chair then scales to the top and does a Swanton, Lio nimbly dodges, and Janela lands on the chair completely bending the back of it in half! Now it's a stool! Speaking of stool I think Devon Moore left a specimen in someone's ratty gym bag in the back. Post-match Rush's Cheshire Cat grin make-up is more worn than one of my old back issues of Cahiers du CinĂ©ma.