Sunday, August 19, 2007

Burger Kang #1

Much akin to Jessie’s No Prom Date pieces, and Adam’s appropriately titled, well, Never Been Laid, I now present my own take on compiling reviews of stuff I’ve watched recently. The majority of this stuff I downloaded off the Internet for free, so if you’re curious, dig deep enough and you’ll find wrestling gems.

The title Burger Kang is a play on words – crossing the name of nefarious Marvel villain Kang the Conqueror with fast food franchise Burger King. I like to think, as the series’ logo suggests, somewhere Kang recently had Burger King for the first time, and posed briefly for this moment to be immortalized forever.

Taka Michinoku, Shocker, and Negro Casas vs. Arkangel, Black Warrior, and Violencia – (EMLL 9/19/99) – 6

The beloved good guys, who were just quicker, more efficient, better looking, and all-around superior to the bumbling baddies won the first caida, rather effortlessly. The second caida went to the rudos, and got notably sloppier. All hell broke loose, of course, in the the third and final caida, with Negro Casas out on the floor getting double teamed and repeatedly punched like a tranny Tijuana hooker gone good, Taka goes springboard crazy, etc. Violencia sells like a baby having their bottle taken, extremely animated kicking and squirming, and I truly dig it in an uncanny way. The story was rather simple and straightforward, and the wrestling, while not groundbreaking, was definitely on the enjoyable side.

Takeshi Morishima vs. BJ Whitmer – (ROH Respect is Earned 5/12/07) – 2

This was Ring of Honor’s first match on their debut show, and was a little bit lax. The crowd was hot, and likely would have been for anything, but we all know Morishima could have murdered him much worse, and Whitmer, to his credit, would have graciously ate all of Takeshi’s ferocious offense. Granted, Morishima would go on to main event the show later, but I’d have loved to seen him really punish BJ. Speaking of BJs, I was in a public restroom in Philly the other day and I saw this crudely scrawled message: “Are you a youngish boy? Want to empty the contents of your baby batter in my throat? Call Rob Feinstein”, well, I won’t list the number, but what’s wrong with the world? Wait, you’re telling me that former ROH head honcho is also named Rob Feinstein? Small world.

Patriot and Kobashi vs. Abdullah the Butcher and Kamala – (AJPW ’92) – 3

This isn’t your daddy’s Kamala, that’s to say, it’s not the WWF-variety, as this version throws a pretty mean dropkick. What’s with the heels working all these nerve holds? I know Abdullah isn’t accustomed to actually wrestling, just brawling and stabbing, but surely he knows at least one other move besides a neck pinch? Patriot’s “suplex” on Kamala looks akin to someone tossing a bag of sand, as Patriot doesn’t even try to properly execute or follow through. Oh wait, Kamala is dazed and Kobashi and Patriot both go up top… Kobashi hits a missile dropkick, and Patriot, wait, well, what the fuck was that he just did? Good idea to let the less credible guy get pinned, that being Kamala, as this was essentially a squash, and there was no reason to further diminish Abby here.

Ishii vs. Black Tiger – (clipped – NJPW 3/11/06) – 2

I would like to see this complete, to get a fuller idea of what they were attempting to construct. If anything, I doubt it’s the blatant bastardizing of his name that has Eddy frowning up in heaven, nor the usage of his wife in the industry that drove him to drugs, I think what brings him to tears is someone donning his former guise of Black Tiger, and not doing it justice whatsoever. Besides an attempted, but missed, DiBiase falling back elbow from the buckles, Tiger didn’t do a lot to neither impress nor interest me here. Ishii looks like the equivalent of an all-grown up Japanese jock, and I definitely didn’t buy his brainbuster as a finish, cause it came off as child’s first suplex on Macho Man wrestling doll circa ’88.

Naomichi Marufuji vs. Rocky Romero – (ROH Respect is Earned 5/12/07) – 5

A good, athletic, but not marvelously mind-blowing match. Story was, from my impression, Romero trying to prove that he could hang with Japanese journeyman and former GHC champion Marufuji. And, to that effect, Romero worked hard, and looked like a competent opponent. I saw him wrestle KENTA, also from NOAH, in Dayton, OH awhile back and that match smoked this one, both matches are pretty similar, but the intensity was less here. Romero’s kicks were crucially crisp, and Marufuji’s win came off believable, and didn’t hurt Romero to boot.

Greg “The Hammer” Valentine vs. Hisakatsu Ooya – (BattleARTS 10/5/98) – 4

Hold on a minute – the Hammer in Japan? No way! I saw Valentine looking exceptionally crusty wrestling at the local fair a couple summers back. Little did I know, in the fall of ’98, he was beating the holy hell out of Ooya. Valentine has the style partially down, I mean, he’s stiffer than all hell, just relentlessly chopping Ooya and dropping devastating elbows on his skull; but his methodical offense doesn’t really ever differ. Ooya, out of the blue, gets the win with a roll-up, making Valentine look like some monster who lost by a fluke. McMahon never booked him that strong, leaving me to wonder what could have been had he pushed Valentine a little more, and say, George “The Animal” Steele a little less.

Great Sasuke vs. La Pantera – (EMLL 6/04/95) – 4

This is all kinds of awesome… it’s balls, it’s tits, or whichever body part you prefer to substitute for the word awesome – I guess it depends largely on your sexual predilection. Sasuke was taking a break from Japan, hanging out drinking cervazas and eating pork tacos, enjoying a change of pace and scenery. Gone were quaint diminutive women in kimonos, replaced by young and cheap Mexican prostitutes. He was springboard moonsaulting them in fits of passion in smelly hotel rooms all night. Sasuke won the first fall with an unbelievable powerbomb that blew my mind. La Pantera then stole two straight, saying in essence, “you may be world-renowned, but this is my house.” EMLL is love.

Giant Bernard vs. Tenzan – (NJPW 8/13/06 G-1 Semi-Final) - 4

Bernard plays the big bully, and does so extremely well. The story behind this match is that Tenzan refuses to shake Bernard’s hand pre-match, so Bernard basically annihilates him. The finish comes out of the blue, as Tenzan hits a moonsault (not bad for such a big guy) and then locks Bernard (sounds like a science teacher’s name, not a tattooed behemoth) in a submission for the tap-out.

Brutus Beefcake vs. Black Cat – (NJPW 9/23/93) - 1

Oh, goodness no! This was horrific. Their styles blended together about as seamlessly as fresh tomato and gravel. Beefcake was wearing that stupid fucking yellow facemask he was donning around WrestleMania 9. He looked so clueless. At one point, he tried to go for a really clumsily American lock-up and Cat just punched him directly in the jaw – hilarious! Cat pretty much controlled him, until Beefcake randomly gets the win with a sequence of poorly delivered headbutts, which were supposedly enhanced, since he used his VR Troopers facemask instead of his head when executing them. This is easily the worst match I’ve seen in 5 years.

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