It is my priviledge and pleasure to review this mix disc Brian has created with his ultra sweet Apple laptop and the quality is pristine to say the least (not to mention the kick ass menu screen!) It's always fun to watch a compilation of matches from someone to see what they include or not, and I haven't seen one Brian's made in some years so I was amped, plus all of this footage was brand new to me, so let's get started.
1) Koji Kanemoto v. Prince Devitt (Top of the Super Juniors Finals '09)- 6
2) Chris Hero v. Eddie Kingston (Last Man Standing, IWA Mid-South '07)- 7
3) Kyoko Inoue/ Etsuko Mita/ Hiroyo Matsumoto v. Kyoko Kimura/ Atsuko Emoto/ Tomoka Nakagawa (05/05/09)- 2
4) Erick Stevens v. Roderick Strong (FIP Redefined)- 5
5) Yuki Ishikawa v. Alexander Otsuka (BattlArts 09/11/05)- 4
We have the battle tested veteran taking on the young up and comer in our first match and it was pertty damn fun! Devitt still needs some fine tuning in his game, he ignored his hurt leg halfway through the match, he would stand around waiting to eat moves throughout the match but he's got balls. He pulls off 2 Swanton bombs to the outside and misses both times! Koji played it safe, didn't take any chances, except for the slap contest they engaged in. Worth seeing though. 2nd match was the big surprise for me, never been a big Hero fan but I've figured out I like him better in IWA than anywhere else. He hunts dudes in IWA, uses his height factor and bony limbs to completely disarm them. The crowd brawl had it's lulls but Hero brought the realness to it, just throwing chairs and guard rails at Kingston's face. Still not convined Edward has the goods or not, he used some nice "Japan" style strikes and suplexes, but in a Indy world swarmed with tape-mongers that use the same moves, didn't see anything that set him apart. I loved Hero's slow dissection here, stomping fingers, throat jabs, just beating Eddie into defeat and relishing it. Finish was "out of sight" as they may say in the 50's. The women's match was a scary hardcore gathering of painted nails and hair dyed freaks. Not a lot good to speak of, match may have also been clipped during slow points. Chains, ladders, bats, almost like a Home Depot got bombed with gas and made all the house wives go nutso or something.
Stevens v. Strong was a clear candidate (and arguably winner) of best feud in '08, not sure where this match falls in their body of work though. It's wrestled as an old school title match, with a long time limit, heavy mat work and mixed with some brutal strikes and a little blood. Overall, the match, technically was perfectly fine, hard working performances, but it didn't have the overall impact of their other matches. Plus the finish was a cop out, so it was graded accordingly. If you love seeing these two together, go ahead and seek this out, or possibly some embarrassing pictures of them on their FaceBook accounts. Our final match is an acquired taste, coming from BattlArts a long running promotion that mixes our pro wrestling fantasy world with the ever popular MMA world for sometimes lavish results. This match felt more like two friends getting into a friendly scuffle that turns serious when both of their egos won't allow them to look foolish more so than an athletic contest. One reason I say that is it takes a lot for someone to sell a move. Most of the bulk of this plays out on the ground, trying different locks and variations, but there is a scentillating slap contest that reminds you of those terrible "Real Fight" videos where drunk and idiotic rubes were filmed punching each other for a measly 5 bucks and a bucket of chicken. I've heard great things about Ishikawa but I haven't gotten to see any yet.
Overall, I enjoyed watching this video and look forward to bringing several more of Brian's creations to the blog for YOUR enjoyment.