Part of a balanced breakfast! Eat up kids!
Taka Michinoku vs. Pantera (WWF In Your House: No Way Out – 2/15/98) – 5
The popcorn fart known as Brian Christopher is on guest commentary. Him and Lawler are just burying the competitors, by calling high-risk moves “Taco Twisters” and “Burrito Busters”, and JR’s play-by-play. At one point, Christopher even called Taka a “slant-eye”. Please get this annoying fucker off the mic … NOW!! Anyway, despite the bullshit going on at the commentary table, Taka and Pantera have a decent little match. Pantera hit some nice high-flying moves, with a nice suicide dive through a corner of the ring, right past the ring post. Taka’s back was worked over during the first part of the bout and he did well selling it. He even sold it while trying to do a Michinoku Driver, which goes a long way in my book. The commentary got in the way of any enjoyment I could’ve gotten out of this.
The Nasty Boys & Earthquake vs. The Bushwhackers & Tugboat (WWF Superstars – 6/15/91) – 3
It was pretty obvious from the start that Tugboat was going to turn on the Bushwhackers, with him constantly turning his back to the action and doing the “toot, toot” sign to the crowd. The action in the match mainly focused on the Bushwhackers and the Nasty Boys with Earthquake getting in here and there. There was a spot where it was teased that Tugboat and Earthquake would battle each other, but Tugboat quickly tagged out and gave away the fact that he was going to turn. Aside from the Tugboat heel turn, there was nothing much to this one.
Dan Hansen vs. The Royal Battler – Over the Top Rope Challenge (Dynamic Wrestling – 6/6/09) – 1
This Dan Hansen character is a co-worker of a friend of mine and was given his ring name because he supposedly works like the legendary Stan Hansen. That would be accurate if Stan was a large dude with no fluid motion whatsoever. Now, about this Royal Battler fella. I don’t know why he has that character, all I know is that all he competes in is over-the-top-rope challenges and wins them because he hasn’t learned to bump over the top yet. Excuse me for a moment while a laugh really, really hard … *laughs really, really hard* … ahem, that’s better. These two mesh just like Jell-O and motor oil. This is only four minutes and it’s awful. Hansen tries charging Battler, who’s on the apron, with a giant clothesline but does a stutter step, starts the move over. Battler pulls down the top rope and Hansen’s tubby ass lands on the floor. A match like this makes you wonder why these two don’t make it to the big time. Oh, wait, it’s because they both suck.
Eddie Gilbert and Ricky Morton brawl with Atsushi Onita, Masa Fuchi, and Tojo Yamamoto in the concession stand (Tupelo, MS – Early 1980s) – 6
This is the aftermath of a best of three falls match between Gilbert & Morton and Onita & Fuchi that breaks down into a giant brawl right inside the concession stand! The fight starts in the ring with Morton swinging a kendo stick at the evil foreigners and then it cuts to the concession stand. What a fight this was! There was blood and mustard everywhere. Hey Gilbert, I’ll take two dogs, no blood, and a large Coke! Onita gets thrown into the ice machine and Morton and Fuchi brawl over near the kitchen area. The two teams are forced apart with Gilbert and Morton being shoved back to the locker room. Then some middle-aged lady who runs the concession stand comes in and tries to pick a fight with Yamamoto. Gilbert and Morton reappear and start swinging broomsticks all over the place. Finally, everyone gets separated from each other and pushed back to the locker room. Just a wild, unmitigated brawl that’s tons of fun. It’s wild stuff like this that put “hardcore” wrestling on the map and still holds up today.
Go Shiozaki & KENTA vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima & Kensuke Sasaki (NOAH – 6/22/09) – 9
First, let me explain why I didn’t give this a “10”. I definitely played with the idea of giving this match the ultra-rare top score but the fact that it’s pimped heavily now doesn’t mean that six months from now it will still be talked about as heavily. Granted, it will no doubt be a finalist in this year’s Match of the Year voting, but is it going to be legendary? I don’t think so, especially since something equally as spectacular will no doubt come along in the months and years to come. Now, all of that having been said, it’s time to get down to the analysis. These four are no doubt the best that Japanese wrestling has to offer right now and the fact that they spent 35 minutes pummeling each other solidifies that fact. The exchanges of kicks between Nakajima and KENTA are just brutal and are the most vicious kicks I’ve ever seen. The chop exchange between Shiozaki and Sasaki reminded me of the exchange between Sasaki and Kobashi from the July 2005 NOAH Tokyo Dome show. The chops sounded like gunshots, or firecrackers since it’s Fourth of July weekend here in the states, going off. Each slam and high impact manuever had a point and either led to a pinfall or set up a high risk move that was a pinfall. And the superkicks … oh, the superkicks. They were absolutely sickening. Sasaki folded Go in half with a sick clothesline, Nakajima reversed a GTS into a an ankle lock submission. Let me say that again … Nakajima reversed a GTS into a FUCKING ANKLE LOCK!!!! The tease of whether or not KENTA would tap to the ill manuever was heart-pounding as watching it, you don’t want the match to end. Eventually, KENTA made the ropes and the hold was broken. Holy shit, I’ve never ever seen this much bell-to-bell action in my life. It’s one cringing kick, chop, or slap after another. The Go Flasher to finish it wasn’t very fluid but I won’t fault Shiozaki too much. By far the best NOAH match of the year and after watching it, it is now my current match of the year, surpassing the Shawn Michaels/Undertaker match by a wide margin. Find this match and watch it … NOW!!
Raven & Daffney vs. Abyss & Taylor Wilde – Monster’s Ball Match (TNA Slammiversary 2009 – 6/21/09) – 4
This match had a lot of good and a lot of bad. Daffney was doing her best Benoit impression and just killing herself. Abyss gave her a giant military press from the ring onto the floor, where she was caught by Taylor, Stevie, and others. All four combatants brawled through the crowd where a table was set up. Taylor put Daffney on the table, climbed the speakers, and hit a splash that put Daffney through the table. Damn, she’s hardcore! Weapons shots are all around in this with the women suprisingly throwing the hardest shots. Abyss spreads tacks on the mat and, uh oh, Daffney’s caught between the tacks and Abyss. She jumps over the tacks, gets caught by Taylor, and recieves and Arn Anderson-esque spinebuster into the tacks. I knew goth girls were crazy but I didn’t know they were this crazy. Abyss slams Raven into the aforementioned tacks for the win. This was fun but I felt like I’ve seen this before numerous times, kind of like all of those teen horror films that are coming out. Same plot, same result. Good stuff from the ladies but the guys didn’t hold up their end of the bargain.
Iron Man Survivor Battle Royal (AWA TV – 7/22/90) – 3
Well this was interesting. This was part of the ill-fated and very confusing Team Challenge Series in the dying days of the AWA and featured members of all three teams battling with the winner getting points for his team. Three men start it out and every thirty seconds a new person would hit the ring. This featured the likes of The Texas Hangmen, Mike Enos, Larry Zbyszko, Scott Norton, The Trooper, and Yukon John Nord to name a few. The intervals were too quick for anybody to actually work any decent spots and the most memorable thing was Trooper fighting out of a 4-on-1 situation. The final three were Norton, Trooper, and one of the Hangmen. After eliminating the Hangman, the match is called and Norton and Trooper are declared co-winners. Wait, what? Nobody mentioned that. Apparently since their on the same team, then they can win the points. Was this unique, not really, and it’s fairly obvious it’s a rip-off of the Royal Rumble match.