Thursday, October 29, 2009

Nous observons chaque seconde #6


okay ECW: Tiffany on the Washington show as bland as ever, but loved Regal's lion like roar while destroying the furniture, Sheamus against Benjamin was slow and didn't really showcase either guy but a solid effort. Christian v. Tatsu was really good though, i think better than Jericho v. Kofi because the finish made sense, the near falls made sense and I loved how Christian prefaced the match by saying Tatsu will come close, but it's not his time, he told the whole story of the match and laid it out. One note of Christian: some of his moves (like that flipping sunset flip) don';t really work as just a move, it should be more of a counter move, but that's a small squabble.

Also saw some more FIP, Spanky v. Kozina was well worked and Kozina was sucking wind big time as Spanky was fine, and it was a very normal match for him, but no charisma during it at all. MVP/ Ring Crew v. Heartbreaks & Don Juan was entertaining, Banks fit well in the role of team leader and threw some nasty kicks, but also had some really showy indy offense that didn't make sense. That fat Heartbreaker Sean Davis is so totally 80's it makes my head spin but his partner is overshadowed because he looks just like a normal indy guy in pink tights. Love the Don Juan sleazy Mexican dude looking to bang any chick, it's very true to life there's a maintenance guy here at Financial identical to that guy. 3 way with Mamaluke, Fury & Rinauro was totally vanilla, Fury looked dumb trying to do London's Drop -Sault, Mamaluke had some fire and a nice array of suplexes, but his and Rinauro's submission work on the ground was so amateurish and boring. okay that's it for now.


Sounds like you had a decent night of viewing, Jess. Too bad no Black Tiger got screened. I didn't get as much watched as I'd anticipated, had two papers to write consecutively, and re-watched the Rua vs. Machida fight from UFC 104 and got halfway through Land of the Lost. I also got some Chinese takeout--lemon chicken is the shit! Anyway, wrestling? I started Royal Rumble '90. They're in Orlando and Jesse Ventura is wearing a fucking ungodly ugly Mickey Mouse sweater and Mickey Ears. The crowd seemed super hot, though. The Fabulous Rougeaus vs. The Bushwhackers opened--now, if you recall, Adam bashed The Bushwhackers vehemently awhile ago, I quickly came to their defense, but I think most people just wrote it off as me being contentious as the dialogue went no further. Well, watch this match, and let's talk. Luke's face in peril segment is splendidly done, his selling, while unorthodox, is fucking fantastic. When did Jacques grow a beard? I don't remember that. Anyway, I loved all this. There's really great promos throughout the show, too; Mean Gene will be in the back interviews participants in the Royal Rumble and thus far the arguing Heenan Family interview has been the most rad. The next match is The Genius vs. Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake. This is also quite good. Please, tell me, is there a Beefcake compilation out there I can get? I thought his selling was really good, too; reminded me a lot of Hogan's, no surprise, as he sort of tries to power through the pain and shake it off, etc. Genius looked awesome selling an atomic drop by tucking into a ball and rolling around the ring. What I really liked is the aftermath. Perfect runs out and Genius holds Beefcake while Perfect works Brutus' ribs with a steel chair. Beefcake's selling is beyond epic here, just rolling around like he'd just ate a ton of rat poison, squirming uncontrollably and really putting the attack over. Up next is Valentine vs. Garvin in an "I Quit" match I believe and you don't need me to tell you how amazing that sounds on paper.

I also started FIP Unfinished Business. The opener was Heatbreak Express vs. Kahagis and Scott "Black Nature Boy" Andrews. This wasn't bad, but not real good, either. I liked the Express' selling, especially big Sean, wincing and babying as he waddled around. The biggest problem I had is that Kahagis needed to slow down. He brought some welcomed intensity to the match, laying in some pretty stiff strikes to Phil, but its not a sprint, slow down and take time to let things sink in. I'd planned on watching some more of Best of Necro Butcher in Japan but I had to tap out at 2:00AM due to class this morning. In the cafeteria now, only have three fights left on DREAM 11, may try to finish one in-between watching NBA highlights before my next class.


Maybe next time for BT....
okay i'll have to watch that because the Mania match where they wrestled Rougeaus was beyond awful:

"Extraordinarily sloppy match with no direction, in a lot of ways, capsulates most Mania matches. Many are brief, devoid of much action and unsatisfactory, like a frozen Hershey's candy bar, or jerking off to old Sable photos from 98 Raw magazines. Jimmy Hart pulls out his pre=requisite comedy spot and the match became a complete mess 2 minutes in. Luke took a cool bump into the corner in the highlight for me, as this one wound up with bad refing, legal man issues abound and a putrid double clothesline that was sold badly and executed even worse."

maybe that match had more time and care......i am a self professed Genuis follower so am intrigued to see that as well. That submission match sounds tits, to say the least.

Agreed on Big Sean, being 400 pounds with decent mike skills and some good facials, sets him apart in my eyes, something his partner is sorely lacking. Kahagas didn't do shit in the match I saw him against Steve Madison, who I was relishing in his really old school pace of building up to bigger moves, chinlock to a series of well placed kneedrops to back body drop and so forth.....What I was trying to figure out with Kahagas is what he was supposed to be? He was doing these karate thrusts against Madison, but his comeback near the end was total 90's power wrestling, and done sloppily at that.


My professor just told a Dick the Bruiser story in class while I'm sitting here reading UFC news. The 12/12 show sounds phenomenal. Not only do we get Sanchez vs. Penn, but now, Guida vs. Florian? I'm sold. Maybe in my burgeoning old age I'm getting soft, but, I genuinely did enjoy the Bushwhackers match. I've also being watching differently lately, and in doing so, have found myself largely enjoying everything I've seen to varying degrees. After the first contact in a match, to the bell, everything is selling; used to, we'd point out a real colorful sell, i.e. D-Von wriggling on the mat, etc. but I'm now completely engaged watching as everything, including the absence of movement, is selling. Every reaction is a sell, or a performance, and what I often used to wrongly mislabel as not selling, is often times accurate selling. You can wince, grab a hurt area, get vocal, or even lay flat regaining your wits, etc. I don't think I can fully explore it verbally here, now, but its drastically changed the way I've watched this week but as a result I've enjoyed what I've seen exponentially more than I would have otherwise. Tonight I'm getting together with Adam and a guy we've befriended from the DVDVR board to watch some YAMATO.


Guida v. Florian? as Mike Myers i.e. washed up comedian, would say "Yes, please!"

I enjoy going over the finer points of performances in these emails and such, it's an element of the sport that's all but been forgotten by the many thousands upon thousands of current fans. It's basically the thing that deep down, if you eliminate the element of surprise, rooting for certain guys, getting togther with friends and all that stuff, that still draws us in. Watching a show at my house at night with no noise or anything getting to hone in on performances, match pace, facials everything is just as captivating as it ever was. BUT, sometimes I think, "Are we seeing things that the wrestlers themselves aren't even aware of?" which you could count in either 2 directions:

1) Most guys competing, the act of being "in character" as well as in tune with the match and performance, is so inherently instilled in them, they don't even realize it, or
2) We're seeing things they are not even thinking of, like if we see this really interesting facial, were they hurt, pissed, or what have you and we think it's this really interesting way to sell something, but if they were to watch the match themselves, they'd be like " i wasn't selling! I was fucking annoyed with my opponent's refusal to give up some heat for me," or something like that.

I say this stuff because sometimes when I think about like the DVDVR board, or the other blogs you send me, even our own, there's so much fine tooth combing over of all kinds of unique footage, it begs the question. Something I find funny, although it would be near impossible to know. In the meantime, all we can do is find ways to keep ourselves intrigued with the performances and such, and I think you've really grasped onto a unique way of looking at stuff, more so like in films, which I believe you've stated before

Creepier by the Dozen #12

Halloween Havoc 2000
Jeff Jarrett vs. Sting - 0

(NOTE: This review is copied and pasted from my gigantic review of Halloween Havoc 2000 I did about two years ago when we first opened the blog. I would've gone back and reviewed it again but I realized that I pretty much covered this from top to bottom the first time. So enjoy!)

Sting comes in and beats the piss out of Jarrett. A fake 80’s Sting comes out and the real Sting bails to destroy him. A death drop on the stage diposes of the fake Sting and Jarrett runs up from behind to commence a crowd brawl. Another fake Sting comes through the crowd and attacks the real one. This one looks stupid and is disposed of the same way the other fake Sting was from the real Sting. Confused yet? I sure am. Jarrett takes a hiatus while Sting beats up the impostors. Sting goes back to whip up on Jarrett and a Wolfpac Sting comes out. Another death drop on the stage and a third one is sent packing. There must be something magical about doing a death drop on the stage. Jarrett finally gets some offense via the bat that Wolfpac Sting brought with him. Sting makes a comeback and then another fake Sting comes out from under the ring to pull the real Sting under the ring. One bad blade job later and this fourth fake Sting is disposed of over the top. Moments later, another Sting comes from the ceiling and his fucking wig falls off whilst getting destroyed. Real Sting puts shitty fake Sting through the table and damn near takes out Schiavone. Great, take out the one announcer who’s actually worth a damn. Sting comes back to beat up Jarrett some more and then gets taken out by a guitar shot from the Sting that came out from under the ring. Real Sting is pissed and death drops fake Sting and Jarrett wins after a guitar shot. THIS WAS ONE OF THE WORST MATCHES IN HISTORY!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Creepier by the Dozen #11

Halloween Havoc 1999
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Ric Flair - Strap Match - 2

Looking through the Havoc ’99 card, this sounded like the most formidable match to review from that show. Well, I was wrong. Page was playing heel here, not sure why. Lame brawling down the aisleway into the stands. Even worse when they start fighting up the bleachers and such. The only people in the entire arena who are even remotely vocal are the people that are in the area of the brawl. Back to the ring area and Flair gets busted open taking a header into the guardrail. Then they do some pointless stuff on the announce table and get back in the ring. Remainder of the match is Flair and Page, looking old and worn, not doing a damn thing except sucking wind. Flair teases a win with the figure four but to no avail. Page hits a Diamond Cutter and the referee screws up the count. He counts two, stops, and then signals for the bell. What the fuck? Afterwards, Page gives the ref a Diamond Cutter, Kimberly steals David Flair’s crowbar, DDP whacks Ric in the nuts with it and give David a Diamond Cutter. Ric does a stretcher job only to be attacked by the Filthy Animals in the back. I have no idea what the hell is going on. Awful, just awful.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Wrestling Observer MMA Fight of the Year Collection

I noticed this on a bulk order about a half year ago, made by Keith _h (you're guess is as good as mine) so def. wanted to catch all of this. It ranges from 1996 to 2006. If you're not familiar with Wrestling Observer, it's run by Yahoo reporter and aging hipster Dave Meltzer, who not only covers pro wrestling but has a great affinity for MMA, so his yearly awards issue has included the grand sport in the last 10 years or so. This should be the cream of the crop of MMA, let's see:

Maurice Smith v. Mark Coleman- 4
UFC Showdown- Heavyweight Title
Birmingham, AL July 27

This was fought under old school UFC rules of a 15 minute match time and then using 3 min. OT's if necessary. Coleman looked gigantic in the first 10 minutes, just outwrestling Smith and using tremendous power to hold him in place. Smith made a short comeback after a controversial kick but Coleman's exertion and carrying so much weight took it's toll and by the time the overtime periods came into effect, Coleman was spent and done. Smith was also hurting, suffering some arm damage, so basically he just shuffled in, took a shot and backed off. Coleman answered nothing that was thrown at him the last 8 minutes or so and gave up the fight and his title. UFC was a different creature at this time but both guys came off as out of shape by the time it was over.

Jerry Bohlander v. Kevin Jackson- 5
UFC 16
New Orleans, LA March 13

This was a fun fight, also fought under the old style rules of one long period before Overtime's kicked in. Jackson was aggressive and coming off a 20 second knockout loss right before this. His striking looked superior and he was swinging with confidence. Bohlander on the ground was displaying some really fluid BJJ, transitioning from hold to hold but Jackson had a lot of strength in him. He controlled Bohlander successfully for quite a while on the ground, but doing literally no damage. They weren't so fast to stand up competitors at this point either, with Big John threatening to do it for like 6 minutes. Jackson wore himself down trying to keep Bohlander grounded and eventually got caught in a picture perfect armbar, that he never tapped to, Big John ended the fight of his own accord, telling Jackson "didn't want you to get your arm broke." Jackson was pissed with the result.

Frank Shamrock v. Tito Ortiz - 6
UFC 22- Middleweight Title
Lake Charles, LA Sept 23

Big Time grudge match taking place here. Ortiz was a different man at this point, didn't say a whole lot just looked really focused on the task at hand. Right from the gate he connects with a right and catches Frank's kick sending him sprawling to the ground. He lets Frank up, and the crowd loves it. He controls the first round handily with two takedowns and constant work on the ground, although doesn't attempt any submissions or position advancement, just strikes. Tito 10-9. 2nd round is quite nearly a draw, Tito agains with takedowns and ground work but Frank fights out of a couple attempts and rocks Tito standing, as well as tries for a late front headlock. 9-9. 3rd round is more of the same, with Frank looking hurt, getting busted open and frustrated with Tito's dominant ground game. They trade a few shots standing here where Frank looks like he has a chance, but Ortiz fights a smart game and keeps him grounded, even standing in between rounds where Frank is sitting, sucking wind. Ortiz 10-9. 4th round is another close round but the fight ends here, Frank is more mobile, not content with trying his luck against Titos' dominant ground position, even though he does score a take down. Frank manuevers out of one and tries another choke, but as they fight for position, he gets back to his feet and swings on Tito, with several lethal blows to the back of his down opponent (obviously still legal at this point) to KO the Huntington Beach Bad Boy. Smart Fight by Tito and a fun comeback from Frank even though he was really beat up, just embarrassed by Tito's superior wrestling.

Kazushi Sakuraba v. Royce Gracie- 4
PRIDE Grand Prix 2000
Saitama, Japan June 23

Where to begin with this epic? First off the ringside was littered with dignitaries galore, ranging from ancient MMA pioneer Helio Gracie, famed pro wrestler/ trainer Nobuhiko Takada, the MAN Antonio Inoki and Slowhand himself, Eric Clapton. That's not a typo. This fight was under Gracie's own special rules, since he's so important where there is no time limit or round limit all with 15 minute rounds and no break ups on the ground. The first round Gracie had Sakuraba through the ropes looking outside, as he tried to hang onto a kimura that Gracie finally did escape from while giving him a good pounding from behind (that didn't sound good), I meant with his fists (okay, i'll just stop there.) Gracie wins 1st. 2nd round was all stalling, literally. Gracie backed Sak into the corner and held him there for the whole round, except one flurry where he came out and boxed him quite successfully. Sak was patient and calm and keep the crowd entertained when he started pulling Gracie's gi over his head then tried to take his pants down. Gracie wins 2nd. 3rd round started with more of the same, but Sak got some distance between them and scored with some punches, although Gracie dropped to the ground every time he threw and some leg kicks. Sak wins 3rd. The announcers at this point, while impressed with Gracie showing more skills than known for (leg kicks, some boxing) dogged him for his "special rules", with Bas stating the point that if you can't beat a man within an hour, or two hours then you shouldn't be fighting. Sak fought the whole bout to Gracie's standards, never cheap shotting him while fixing his gi, never pushing the pace at all really. 4th round Sak scored with more standing punches, but was also transfixed in the corner for a good amount of time but he certainly did more damage than Gracie. Sak wins 4th. 5th round saw them immediately go to guard position on the ground, where Gracie was really busy setting up positions, but he never tried any submissions, Sak was content with fighting off Gracie's attempts, feeling confident after taking the master practicioner down earlier in the fight several times. Sak did stand up and try to swing or powerbomb him twice but Gracie clung to his legs like a leech. Sak wins 5th. Okay 6th and final round, again, down in the guard, Sak still trying to score from the top, while Gracie hung tightly to him. The ref did finally stand them up here, and Gracie looked terrible on his feet, stiff arms and legs, no head movement, hands down, but suprisingly kept aggressing towards Sak, who measured Gracie several times and jacked his jaw, prompting the legendary fighter to fall back to the ground and start leg kicking like Inoki did against Ali. Sak's brutal leg kicks started taking their toll and Gracie was limping, in addition to having a busted lip and eye. 6th round ends and after 90 minutes of combat, Gracie denotes to his corner he's done. This had some interesting tactical warfare in it, but definitley long in the tooth for even the most insatiable MMA fan. I felt it was a glowing example of Gracie's lack of evolving past one style, as Sak mostly toyed with him the whole fight, never once near trouble of being beaten. In the end, Gracie looked as passe as slap bracelets and Trolls by the time this one ended.

Randy Couture v. Pedro Rizzo- 7
UFC 32 - UFC Heavyweight Title
Atlantic City, NJ May 4

This was a 5 round war and heavily competitive. Couture looked younger, but more like a meathead with terrible balding hair. 1st round was all Randy though, they tied up in the clinch right off the bat and traded blows but then Couture took over with a serious takedown and one severe beating, alternating fists as he bludgeoned Rizzo and made red plasma pour from his head. It was a near finish on two occasions. Couture 10-9. In the 2nd, Rizzo made a crazy comeback and just had Couture's number, stuffing all takedowns, outboxing him easily and nearly dropping him twice for a finish. Rizzo 10-9. 3rd round was slow, as at the end of the 2nd, both men looked absolutely spent. Couture pulled a takedown and mounted Rizzo doing little to no damage as Rizzo had no answer for Randy's ground attack. Couture 10-9. 4th round was a little more competitive, with both men slowly throwing hands, from fatigue, but Couture scored a slick behind the back wheelbarrow move and then mounted and worked Rizzo over. Couture 10-9. 5th and final round, both guys knew this was make or break and both seemed to be re-engergized, both throwing hands, with Rizzo outboxing Couture again and busting his nose open into a bloody faucet. Stuffing more takedowns and scoring a frenzy of punches in the last 10 seconds gave "the Rock" the round. Rizzo 10-9. A fast paced fight with two really capable fighters, loved the contrast of styles and heart both men showed. I wo'nt ruin the ending, all these scores i'm giving out are my own opinion and not the accurate scores from the judges.

Don Frye v. Yoshihiro Takayama- 8
Tokyo, Japan June 23

Drop the bombs! You may have seen highlights of this fight on SportsCenter or other sports related lists for craziest fight of the century. The fight starts with both men grabbing the backs of each other's heads and just hauling off on each other, a good 20 to 30 times. It's one of the most intense scenes in combat history you'll see. Takayama comes out the worse, with a huge mouse under his eye, which the commentator notes "has become a rat and soon to be an elephant!" Frye strikes with confidence and backs Takayama in the corner, just pounding his face until it's a mushy bloody mess. Tak gets one takedown and scores with some knees before Frye asserts himself again and beats Tak's face raw. Docs check on his eye and actually let the guy continue, why I have no idea. Takayama screws up a takedown and Frye winds up on top and continues the vicious assault until the ref has seen enough. One of the undisputed kings of brutal fights of all MMA, well worth your while to find it.

Wanderlei Silva v. Hidehiko Yoshida- 6
PRIDE Middleweight Grand Prix
Tokyo, Japan March 29

The crowd was so amped for this and my first inclination was this was a huge underdog fight with Silva being Silva and Yoshida being a nobody that didn't have a chance. He takes Wandy down immediately, who fights in the ropes for a triangle choke but never quite gets it. They have to reposition and nothing happens so we get a standup. Now Wanderlei takes control and puts Yoshida on his back but he has no luck either, another reposition and Wandy lights Yoshida up some, but nowhere near level of his usual obliteration. 2nd round starts and I have to give the 1st to Yoshida for more control but I think the judges see his bloody mouth and give it to Wandy. 2nd round is Silva at his best throwing bombs, which Yoshida absorbs quite a few of them, throws some of his own but little to no effect. Wandy gets another take down and controls from the top but not able to do a lot but throw strikes, the crowd is incensed and pops huge every time Yoshida tries to escape, ending with the last few seconds where he switches momentum and ends up on top in half guard. The crowd made what would probably have been an otherwise boring fight into something dramatic and exciting.

Quinton Jackson v. Wanderlei Silva- 7
Saitama, Japan Oct 31

Man this was a fun slugfest. Wanderlei was getting the better of the strike exchanges, he was just always in the pocket connecting with Rampage playing second fiddle, but a quick turnaround and heated exchange with Rampage scoring a knockdown, then set Rampage up really well for a side takedown. From there he was in the mount not doing much of anything except avoiding triangle attempts. He hit a few bodyblows while on top and effectively won the 1st round. 2nd round starts out with some tentativeness then explosion. Both guys didn't want to leave it in the ring and Wanderlei was throwing deadly strikes all over the place. Wandy's muy thai clinch was the nail in the coffin though and he bludgeoned Rampage's face until he was hanging over the ropes like a drunk teenager praying to the porcelain god at a frat party.

Forrest Griffin v. Stephan Bonnar- 8
UFC Fight Night 1
Las Vegas, NV April 9

This was every bit the slugfest war that I remember it being. 1st round shows some hesitation from either guy to pull the trigger in first minute or so but then they come together like two horny rams wanting to mount the same sheep during mating season. Forrest stays on top in the first enough to win the round, scoring takedowns and keeping Bonnar where he wanted him, even though both men scored some significant punches. Forrest also excelled with his knees in the clinch. Forrest 10-9. 2nd round was as close as they come, with neither man scoring more than the other and both continually letting their fists fly. Big exchanges landed over and over again, Bonnar seemed to assert himself more here but his whole face got busted open from crazy punches Forrest was throwing. The striking got a bit reckless here and both men were worn out. 9-9. 3rd round was another nailbiter with both men extremely gassed but still throwing everything they could muster. Forrest attemtped some takedowns but was unsuccessful but kept scoring with those knees in the clinch. In the highlight of the round, Bonnar scored with a spinning hook kick that came all the way across the cage and blasted the side of Forrest's head. Bonnar 10-9. So I had this as a draw, but as Joe Rogan said, there were no losers here, just two winners.

Diego Sanchez v. Karo Parisyan- 7
UFC Fight Night 4
Las Vegas, NV Aug 17

Another war that was as exciting in the 1st round as any fight you'll see. Diego comes in focused as always and breezes through a takedown that had Parisyan struggling to get up. But, get up he did, and scored not one, but two amazing judo throws that dunked Diego on his noggin. Karo controlled both short ground sections there. Parisyan 10-9. 2nd round is more of the same with Diego not wanting to go down but did fall victim to 2 more smaller takedowns but scored better on the feet. Some really impressive grappling up against the cage with both men fighting hard for position in a stalemate. Still, Parisyan scored more with his ground game, so again Karo 10-9. 3rd round Parisyan's gas tank was empty and was kind of just accepting Diego's short hard punches for most of the 5 minutes. A well developed bulge of blood and puss formed under his eye, Diego also got him down on the ground and pulverized him pretty well for a few minutes all the way up until the bell. Conceivably could be a 10-8 round here which would make this a draw, but I was pretty stunned by the judge's decision for Diego unanimous. This wasn't a travesty as much as Machida- Shogun but still quite surprising

Creepier by the Dozen #10

Halloween Havoc 1998
Chris Jericho vs. Raven - 6

I had to fire up the trusty ol’ VCR for this one. Raven did a pre-match promo about how he wasn’t going to wrestle and at the end sounded like a spoiled child. Once Jericho insulted Raven enough to lure him back to the ring, the fun started. Jericho took a crazy front layout suplex on the steps and Raven took and upside down bump into the railing. Crowd was really into the nearfalls, especially when Jericho kicked out of the Evenflow DDT. Jericho took a corner bump into an exposed turnbuckle. Not much selling here to speak of. Just guys bumping and the getting right back up. Kanyon interefered in the finish by climbing on the ring apron and colliding with Jericho when Raven reversed an Irish whip. The announcers kept asking questions about why Raven always tapped out immediately in submission holds. Don’t ask me. That played into the finish well because Raven tapped out to the Lion Tamer. Good 8-minute sprint to open up the show with and get the crowd into it.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Creepier by the Dozen #9

Halloween Havoc 1997
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Randy "Macho Man" Savage - Las Vegas Sudden Death Match - 6

Next to Hogan and Sting, this was the most heated rivalry in WCW in 1997. It stretched from March all the way up to this event, culminating in this match. Lots of brawling inside and outside of the ring to start but things really get good when Savage hit a double-axe handle from the top rope on Page who was on the floor. They brawled through the crowd, stopping in a mass of fans where some nimrod decided to take his shirt off to show off his flabby physique. I was Savage would’ve knocked him cold for doing something stupid like that. Eventually, they end up in front of the Halloween Havoc set where there is a mess of tombstones laying about. DDP throws Savage hard into the fake tombstones and slams him through a wooden box of somekind. I was led to believe that it was supposed to be a coffin. Dusty Rhodes in just hilarious on commentary. After Page broke a tray over Savage’s head, he remarked in a high-pitched squeal, “Brotha! He wobble-legged heeem whit dat waitress tray” (you’ll have to excuse me, I’m not that great at typing Dusty-speak). Back to the ring where a camera gets destroyed and the crowd gets all fired up. This was like a last man standing match where you had to answer a ten count to win. The teases where both men where trying to get to their feet were great and really had the crowd on the edge of their seat. Elizabeth interferes and breaks a tray over the referee’s head. She is then literally dragged by her hair backstage by Kimberly. Savage hit a nice top-rope elbow onto Page’s injured ribs. A low blow sent DDP to the outside where a Sting impostor came down and hit DDP with a bat to give Savage the win. Not as good as their match from the 1997 Great American Bash, but still worth a watch.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

TNA Bound for Glory 2009

1) Amazing Red vs. Homicide vs. Suicide vs. Daniels vs. Chris Sabin vs. Alex Shelley – Ultimate X Match – 5
2) Taylor Wilde & Sarita vs. Madison Rayne & Velvet Sky – 1
3) Kevin Nash vs. Eric Young vs. Hernandez – 3
4) Booker T & Scott Steiner vs. The British Invasion vs. Team 3-D vs. Beer Money – Full Metal Mayhem Match – 5
5) Awesome Kong vs. Tara vs. O.D.B. – 3
6) Samoa Joe vs. Bobby Lashley – Submission Match – 4
7) Abyss vs. Mick Foley – Monster’s Ball Match (Special ref: Dr. Stevie) – 5
8) Kurt Angle vs. Matt Morgan – 5
9) Sting vs. A.J. Styles – 4

Unlike last month’s TNA pay-per-view, I wasn’t too thrilled with this show. While it looked good on paper, the marquee matches didn’t really deliver on a number of issues that I will discuss later on. Right out of the gate we get the Ultimate X Match. This seemed pretty much like every other Ultimate X Match that there’s been, lots of jumpy and flippy spots without really and rhyme or reason to them. Red did deliver a hurracanrana to the outside but cracked his head against Suicide’s shin on the landing. Homicide also attempted a very dangerous Koji Cutter type move off the cables on Suicide which ended with Homicide taking an ass first bump and Suicide taking a face plant. Daniels looked the best out of all the participants. When he wasn’t participating in a spot, he was selling the moves in the corner or on the floor, unlike the others who seemed like they just laid on the mat not doing anything while a spot was happening. Did I mention the fact that Red had to call Daniels over for a spot at one point? Sabin and Shelley did their usual double team offense but ended up being an afterthough as the match progressed. End saw Daniels, Suicide, and Red climbing on the giant truss when Suicide and Daniels had a serious crash and burn while standing on the cables which left Red open to grab the title. The women’s tag match was beyond terrible. It started off fine but took a serious nosedive when Rayne tagged in and the first move she delivered was a shitty dropkick. Velvet was very vocal in the ring but the Beautiful People tandem is still suffering from the loss of Angelina Love. Sarita delivered a terrible tornado DDT and tagged out. Taylor came in, threw some forearms, and Sarita perched herself on the top rope and had to motion for Velvet to come over so she could do her spot. Sarita accidentally kicked Taylor in the face on the fin. Terrible, just terrible. Thus far, the women’s tag titles are an awful idea.

Eric Young still takes wild bumps, as evidenced in the first 90 seconds of the three way match with Nash and Hernandez. Hernandez bull rushed him and he took and crazy ass bump over the top rope and all the way to the foot of the ramp, which ended up cutting the back of his head open. Nash looked in pretty rough shape and was barely mobile but still managed to throw some decent punches. Hernandez took a wild dive over the top rope onto Young while Nash just stood in the ring and gazed on. Young dropped a really crisp elbow from the top and pulled Nash’s straps down to tease the powerbomb. Young double crossed Nash by using Hernandez’s head as a nut-busting battering ram and then pinning him. Nash really had no business being in the match to begin with but I suppose he just had to get that pay-per-view payday. Before the full metal mayhem match, Doug Williams was talking backstage to all the other teams during a brawl and mentioned that Team 3-D competed in a full metal mayhem match at WrestleMania. Wait, what? I don’t remember one of these at a ‘Mania. Oh, wait, I think it was a TLC match he was referencing. Anyway, Booker did a stretcher job early on after Beer Money gave him the DWI and Storm stuffed him on the follow-up. See you on Smackdown, Book! After that Steiner goes on a crazy suplex barrage just throwing people around the ring without any care. Damn, he even busted out a frankensteiner on poor Doug Williams. Team 3-D was doing their usual stuff … you know, the “WAZZZUP” headbutt and the standard table spots but took some wild chair shots from Steiner. Steiner blatantly set up a table spot that even Stevie Wonder could’ve seen. Beer Money hit a nice double suplex spot and then Storm his a sunset flip off a ladder. The ladders were way too short to reach the belts as the Brits had to have help from their accomplice Rob Terry to retrieve the belts that were hanging off the Ultimate X structure. It should be noted here that by this point it was halfway through the show and TNA was forced to cram five matches into the remaining 90 minutes.

The women’s three way match was going at a good clip until the totally random bullshit with Tara and MMA fighter Kim Couture. Basically, the showed a quick clip of the brawl and then showed Tara walking to the back while Kong and O.D.B. just stood in the ring completely clueless as to what was happening. Once Tara returned, Kong knocked the shit out of her with a punch to the temple and a stiff powerbomb. O.D.B. showed some strength and actually lifted Kong for a samoan drop. Raisha Saieed came out and slid a chair into Kong who slid it back. This continued until O.D.B. dropped Kong face first on the chair. Good match until the Tara/Couture junk and the fin with Raisha. Now getting into the so-called “feature” bouts, where, because the show was running so late, each one of them was handcuffed by the time restraints that were mentioned above. Joe and Lashley meshed really well, even though the crowd was the complete opposite of what TNA tried to present. I’m not really sure as to why this was changed to a submission match the week before the show. I guess to coincide with the TNA vs. MMA theme they were trying to promote with the match. Joe had to wait on an elbow suicida since Lashley’s timing was way off as Joe was ready to bound off the far ropes. The match ended rather abruptly with the referee calling the match without even checking Joe, who was locked in a submission hold. Decent match and Joe seemed motivated in front of his hometown crowd. Lashley didn’t look too bad either.

Ton of issues with the monster’s ball. First, why do the giant bump through the stage during the first 90 seconds? Shouldn’t you work up to that spot? Next, Mike Tenay didn’t know the stipulations of the match on commentary because when Foley poured the thumbtacks out Tenay thought they were banned from the match. Taz had to correct him by saying that only Abyss was banned from using the tacks. Daffney ran down and there was a stupid tazer spot that failed because the tazer didn’t go off at the exact second Foley put it on Abyss. Taz quipped from ringside about the tazer being a pair of clippers. Huh? That doesn’t make any sense. Stevie takes a ref bump and a second ref runs down. Major screw-up here where Abyss was supposed to kick out but didn’t so the ref counted three and he kicked out anyway. Foley was taking barbed wire bumps that he really shouldn’t take anymore. The interference from Daffney continued until she was tossed off the top rop through a barbed wire board in a very sick bump. The finish was trademark Russo as Stevie took a tack bump courtesy of Abyss, who then dragged him over and made the count himself with Stevie’s hand. I enjoyed this match because of the chaotic nature and the barbed wire bumps but this wasn’t either man’s best match. Foley should stick to doing bad comedy on interviews and writing children’s books. Abyss should never speak again. And to think, this whole match was because Abyss messed up Foley’s prized cartoon drawing of him and Borash. That’s almost as dumb as Edge and Booker fighting over who got a shampoo commercial deal at WrestleMania 18.

Last two bouts were decent but nowhere really enough to recommend seeing. Angle and Morgan had a really good match with Angle bumping all around to make Morgan look good. Despite how much TNA has been pushing Morgan, I’m still note sold on him. He’s just a generic looking big dude with generic moveset. Plus, why is he called “the blueprint”? Is somebody building something based off of how he looks? Angle attempted a throw off the top but it ended up being all Morgan on the bump. These two worked really well together, much like Joe and Lashley, but didn’t take the match up to the recommendable level, even though it was the best match on the show. Crowd was totally pro-Angle, even though he was built up as the heel on television. Angle hit a really bad frogsplash off the top. Cool victory roll for Angle to take surprise win. Again, this was constrained by time because once this ended, there were only twenty minutes left in the show. Sting and A.J. had a main event feel during the ring intros but once the match got going, it lost its luster. Both guys hit their usual offense with A.J. taking a hard corner bump on a whip. Sting dented the guardrail when he went chest first into it. A.J.’s selling of the scorpion death lock was one of the best things of the whole match. His facials and vocals alone in the hold were great. Finish was very flat with a pele kick and a springboard splash? Wait, isn’t A.J.’s finished the springboard 450? If so, why wouldn’t he do it on TNA’s biggest show of the year? Overall, TNA promoted this as the biggest show in company history. Yes, you read that right … company history! Looking at it from that aspect, it failed miserably. Not too much memorable stuff from this year’s editiion, so you’d be safe to take a pass on this.

Creepier by the Dozen #8

Halloween Havoc 1996
Chris Benoit & Steve McMichael vs. The Barbarian & Meng - 5

Very physical match. All four guys were just pounding on each other. McMichael and Meng had and exchange to start with where McMichael tried to knock down Meng with shoulder blocks. Barbarian and Meng were very vocal on offense, especially Meng. Barbarian and Benoit did a spot off the top where Benoit got thrown damn near all they way across the ring. The super sick thing about that was the height that Benoit got on a simple toss off the turnbuckle. Double team moves were good from Barbarian and Meng, especially the double powerbomb and the suplex/splash combo. McMichael came across as the worst one of the four, just out there doing nothing really great to watch and resting on his laurels. End came when McMichael hit Meng with a briefcase that the announcers oversold on commentary. What followed was wild beat down of Benoit and McMichael by Kevin Sullivan’s Dungeon of Doom group to further that angle. Good mid-card match but nothing to really recommend.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Burger Kang #9: Would You Like Gagne With That?

Manabu Nakanishi vs. Wataru Inoue - NJPW 8/30/09 - 3

Wataru starts with a spear then chucks Nakanishi outside. Inoue hits an awesome flying knee off the apron then attempts to crossbody Nakanishi over the guardrail unsuccessfully. I wasn't expecting this to start off with such a bang. An exchange of chops and forearms follows. Inoue hits a sick German suplex but Manabu sits straight up afterward like a zombie. Nakanishi later returns the favor and Inoue has this fantastic crestfallen look on his face after getting crumpled. Manabu picks him up and does a bridging German for the win. It was short but sometimes brevity is a good thing.

Tsuyoshi Kikuchi vs. RG - HUSTLE 9/26/09 - 2

RG plays to the crowd beforehand and Kikuchi isn't impressed. RG tries to exchange strikes but gets mauled. Kikuchi often has this sneering facial expression that makes him resemble a Madball. Out on the floor, after about a half-dozen reversals, Tsuyoshi takes a wild, sloppy spill into the guardrail. RG sells an atomic drop by jumping about four-foot into the air holding his ass--hilarious! RG does the Shinzaki praying rope walk until Kikuchi grows bored and crotches him. Kikuchi wins with a flying headbutt from the top, it lands directly on RG's shoulder and looks kind of lame. Aftermath sees RG tell some jokes until Kikuchi does a flying leg lariat right into his face.

Damien and Halloween vs. Ultimo Guerrero and Rey Bucanero - CMLL - 5

I've always loved the character Halloween but it's been a long time since I've seen his work. After some basic mat work that doesn't lead anywhere Ultimo and Halloween have a mid-ring face-off and give each other some slaps in the face as if to say, "alright, motherfucker". After a spinning leg lariat Halloween does some Muta-like hand gestures. Ultimo is lying flat on his back on the apron, Rey charges at him and is lifted by Guerrero's feet catapulting him over the ringpost, somersaulting onto Halloween in a cool double-team maneuver. Guerrero gets sick air on a missile dropkick onto Damien. Damien gets the first fall victory with a Muscle Buster on Ultimo.

Halloween and Damien make a creepy, effective heel team--wish they could have gotten booked as such in WWE. They do some sort of double-team on the ramp where they attempt toss Bucanero face-first but it looks like shit. Both rudos get chucked back into the ring by Guerrero. Rey and Ultimo hit simultaneous somersault planchas onto the rudos on the floor. The technicos are awarded the second fall? I guess via countout. This is beginning to resemble one of the murder scenes from Sunshine Cleaning--too bad Amy Adams isn't around to scrub up Damien from the floor.

The rudos decided they've had enough and try to ditch but get caught on the ramp and manhandled. The rudos have a valet, a Spanish version of Lita with a singapore cane and dyed cherry red hair--wonder if the curtains match the drapes? Guerrero hits a powerbomb off the top onto Damien in a "holy shit" moment. The rudos hit simultaneous suicide dives on the floor and Halloween looks like he almost kills himself barely making it through the ropes. Ultimo tosses a charging Damien up onto the ropes but Damien doesn't get his footing and botches the spot. Bucanero hits Faarooq's Dominator and he and Ultimo pile onto Damien for what I believed was the finish. No, it continues, and almost as if to rectify the earlier one, Halloween does a suicide dive onto Guerrero. Rey trips Halloween leading to a distraction and roll-up by Guerrero for the finish. The crowd pops as Rey and Ultimo stumble around, falling on top of each other, celebrating like drunken college girls doing shots and looking for their missing friends.

Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou vs. Bob Sapp - DREAM 11 - 1

I'm looking forward to this. Sapp charges out of the corner which is an intimidating visual. Sapp throws some giant shots but nothing connects and Rameau single-legs him. Sokoudjou works some ground and pound, placing a knee on Bob's chest to keep him down while he mercilessly landed punch after punch onto Sapp's large cranium. The referee calls it but Thierry throws a couple extra shots in anyway. This didn't even last two minutes. Somebody take this horse (Sapp) behind the barn and put him out of his misery.

Yumi Ohka vs. Shu Shibutani - BJW 4/06/09 - 4

Some BJW house shows popped up online so you know I downloaded every last file. Starts off with a test of strength and Yumi proves she's strongest, chucking little Shu in the corner where she digs her heel into her throat. Ohka has a great look and would be ideal in TNA. Shu delivers some elbows to the top of the head while applying a sleeper which I dig. Yumi gets caught by a drop toe hold and goes face-first into the buckles, she ran slowly into it though exposing the spot. Shibutani hits a back senton that'd make Dick Togo blush. Ohka does a Vader Bomb out of the corner into an elbow drop in a cool spot. Shu has used several DDTs throughout. Shibutani hits an absolutely stunning missile dropkick. I love joshi. Shu hits another ill back senton this time from the top turnbuckle. Yumi does a good job selling in-between moves, even on offense, clutching her side, head, etc. This was surprisingly good and the 350 fans at Takaoka Techno Dome got their money's worth.

Creepier by the Dozen #7

Halloween Havoc 1995
Sabu vs. Mr. J.L. - 3

Since this is in Detroit, Sabu is accompanied by The Sheik. An asai moonsault takes out both J.L. and Sheik, who spends the rest of the match recovering. Sabu take a sick rail bump and J.L. flies off the top turnbuckle to follow up. This match goes about three minutes but there is no story and just spot after spot. Wild spot where Sabu crawls on J.L.’s shoulders on the top turnbuckle and flips him to the mat for a nearfall. Afterwards, Sabu hits a springboard moonsault for the win and Sheik, who was a non-factor after getting taken out early on by the moonsault, throws a fireball in J.L.’s face for good measure. Fun match but it was basically a competitive squash.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Creepier by the Dozen #6

Halloween Havoc 1994
Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair - Steel Cage Match - 7

For some reason, Mr. T is the referee for this match. Don’t ask me why because I have no friggin’ idea. Hogan totally surprised me with his intensity in this match by going after Flair right off the bat. Flair just bumps around like a pinball when getting thrown into the cage. Flair tries to work over Hogan’s knee in his opening barrage. I really liked the chop exchange in the first few minutes. These two are really pounding each other. Hogan bouncing Flair’s head off the side of the cage like a basketball was tremendous. The crowd was electric for each move that Hogan did and really helped the enjoyability of the match. Loved Flair’s reversal of the chinlock into a shinbreaker that led to the figure four being applied. This was non-stop action with the figure four as the only real rest hold. We get a ref bump that KO’s Mr. T for about five minutes. Time out! Logic flaw alert! If Mr. T competed at the first two WrestleManias, then why was he so easily knocked out by a simple shoulder block? Chaos as Sherri interferes and gives Hogan double-axe from the top of the cage that he totally no-sells. Sting comes out from the crowd and then gets beaten down by a masked man from under the ring. This is getting ridiculous. Hogan overcomes all of this chicanery to get the pin all while Mr. T is handcuffed to the ropes. Huh? When did that happen? All the crap at the end kept this from achieving a higher score but still probably the best Hogan/Flair match I’ve seen in a good while.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Creepier by the Dozen #5

Halloween Havoc 1993
Cactus Jack vs. Vader - Texas Death Match - 6

I love a good hardcore match and this definitely delivered. One thing to note here, after a fall there is a 30-second rest period. After the rest period, then the person who got pinned has to answer a ten count. Got it? They started right as the opening bell rang and brawled all over the ringside area. Cactus whacked Vader with a chair and they finally get to the ring. If the first few minutes of this is any indication of how wild this will be, then this is going to be tremendous. Vader busts Cactus open with a nasty shot. Great visual where a bloody, maskless Vader crawls out of his own grave in the fog after they fight down into it. This is wild. Vader gets hit with a cardboard cactus from Cactus and then nails a flying elbow off the rampway. Cactus is just bumping his ass off. Vader is holding up his end of the bargain as well. Vader goes face-first into a table and you can clearly tell that Tony Schiavone is loving this on commentary. Odd spot where Cactus dives into the crowd but hits Vader and ends up powerbombing himself. Late in the match Vader hits an ultra-ill moonsault. More brawling on the rampway leads to Jack piggybacking Vader but Vader says “oh hell no” and drops back and crushes Cactus. Finish was a bit odd where the ref is counting both men and Harley Race, who was Vader’s manager, tazes Cactus in the thigh and gives Vader the win. Fantastic hardcore brawl, and probably one of the top five WCW matches of 1993, but the finish was a little awkward. Also, once the match started heating up it seemed like the end came really fast.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

CHIKARA King of Trios 2009 Night 1 - 3/27/09

1) Austin Aries, Tony Kozina, & Ryan Drago vs. Arik Cannon, Darin Corbin, & Ryan Cruz – 4
2) The Osirian Portal & Escorpion Egipcio vs. The Young Bucks & El Generico – 5
3) Bryan Danielson, Dave Taylor, & Claudio Castagnoli vs. Brodie Lee, Eddie Kingston, & Grizzly Redwood – 8
4) Pinkie Sanchez, Greg Excellent, & Beef Wellington vs. Da Soul Touchaz – 4
5) Necro Butcher, Toby Klein, & Brain Damage vs. Gran Akuma, Icarus, & Chuck Taylor – 6
6) Lince Dorado, Equinox, & Helios vs. Kota Ibushi, Michael Nakazawa, & KUDO – 6
7) Mike Quackenbush, Johnny Saint, & Jorge Rivera vs. Hallowicked, Delirious, & Frightmare – 6
8) D-Lo Brown, Al Snow, & Glacier vs. Vin Gerard, Colin Delaney, & STIGMA – 2

This is my first foray into the world of CHIKARA. I’ve heard much about this company and figured that I should probably check it out. We open up with Aries’ team cutting a promo. It should be noted about the difference between the ROH version of Aries and the CHIKARA version of Aries. The CHIKARA version is super cheesy and way over the top as a face as opposed to the ROH version which is an uber-prick. Corbin and Cruz hit a nice double dropkick on Aries. Kozina, who I’ve seen on a few ROH DVDs and recently in Dayton, halfway screwed up a hurracanrana when he took one of the opponents over the top to the floor (I forgot to note down who took the move, oops). Drago keeps tagging himself in for some reason, probably because he’s not happy with what Kozina and Aries are doing. Aries hit a sick clothesline and Kozina hit a really nice springboard bulldog. Aries did a nice triple chop spot that made the crowd pop. Corbin and Cruz hit a nice double team manuever for the finish. An enjoyable match mainly due to Aries’ performance but Kozina was good as well since he was bumping around quite nicely. I’m quickly becoming a fan of the Osirian Portal, especially Ophidian. He’s very smooth around the ring and pretty much moves like the character he portrays with the mask, that being a cobra. The Young Bucks hit a lot of double team moves, especially a lot of high-flying moves to the outside. Escorpion seemed like the weak link for his team by waiting for spots and slighty messing up a move or two. Generico took a sick back drop that he should’ve gotten frequent flyer miles with. The end had a lot of legal man issues and just seemed like a random amalgation of moves put together for no reason. The stereo 450’s were a nice touch to finish. Really fun match and this made me salivate for a Young Bucks/Osirian Portal match.

Next up, my favorite match of the entire show. Kingston showed great personality in the backstage promo beforehand, joking about having Grizz as a partner and how they’ll win the tournament. Danielson’s team has the crowd in the palm of their hands even before the opening bell. Kingston’s team was really awesome as the heels. Grizz and Eddie were bumping like crazy. The spots where Danielson’s team was trying to one-up each other with uppercuts was great. Did I mention that Dave Taylor was just great at hamming it up? He teased he was going to do a jump off the top rope but the fans and his teammates talked him out of it. Danielson was great at selling the knee after getting trapped and worked over by the heels for an extended period of time. Taylor came in after the tag and just knocked the shit out of everybody. Claudio gets involved and executes a 100-revolution giant swing. The thing that made that great was Ultramantis Black on commentary yelling things like “Stop this madness!” and “Smart Mark Video will run out of tape! Betamax doesn’t come cheap!” This had the perfect amount of ham and cheese sandwiched between slices of wrestling. Yum! Up next we have Da Soul Touchaz (consisting of Marshe Rockett, Willie “Da Bomb” Richardson, and Trauma) going up against the CZW Team. Ok, so CZW had all their roster to choose from and they picked these ridiculous fuckers? Beef sucked on the Tournament of Death show I reviewed and he wasn’t any better here. Greg was not excellent and Pinkie … well Pinkie looked like he just portrayed the character “Angel” from a stage production of Rent. Beef does a ridiculous rap and it’s followed by a dance-off? Please somebody kill me. I liked Mitch Ryder on commentary talking about how Pinkie was the only one on his team who really wanted to win the match. They asked him about Beef’s ass punch finisher and he stated “we don’t have that in Memphis”. For the Soul Touchaz, Rockett and Richardson really impressed. Richardson, mind you, is about three bills and did a dive over the top rope as the culmination to a dive sequence. He also managed to score the pinfall with a pretty cool top rope legdrop. Would’ve gotten a better score had team CZW not been so terrible.

My boy Necro and his wild ass team started off the second half in grand style by beating the piss out of Akuma, Icarus, and Taylor. The referee had no control of the match as people were just brawling all over the place and coming in and out of the ring as they pleased. Necro is always a blast to watch, especially with the reckless abandon he throws his punches with. Of course, the spot had to be worked in where Necro and another person (in this case, Akuma) were sitting in chairs across from each other and punching each other as hard as they can. Klein hit a wild spinning heel kick on Akuma at one point. There was a five-person submission spot that Brain Damage broke up by hitting Icarus in the face as hard as he could. Speaking of Icarus, the few matches of his online I have seen, I haven’t enjoyed. Probably because he reminds me too much about this moron I used to work with at a run-down movie theatre back in ’03. However, he redeemed himself by trying a hurracanrana from the apron and almost pulling it off. Kudos to you, but you still suck. Taylor hits Klein with a sick reverse Tombstone-esque move from the top rope for the pin. A stiff little match that was pretty fun, aside from the obvious legal man issues. I’ve seen Kota Ibushi from some puro stuff I’ve downloaded and he’s a lot of fun to watch, even though he’s stuck in a comedy fed like DDT. Nakazawa is obsessed with baby oil and KUDO is a martial arts expert. And their up against three of CHIKARA’s high flyers so this should be some fun. Ibushi and Dorado worked well together, exchanging strikes and the like. Helios is super, super fast and probably is the best high flyer of all six of these. Once the action gets going, it’s honestly too hard to keep up with so I was left with some really short notes aside from the horribly botched finish. Basically, Nakazawa drank some baby oil and then Equinox hit him in the throat, causing him to swallow it. So the ref waves like they need help and the timekeeper rings the bell. Huh? Equinox steps on Nakazawa who spews up the oil like a geyser and afterwards locks him in to a move dubbed the CHIKARA Special for the win. It was going along good until the finish which cost it a point.

Final two matches were just total polar opposites of each other. First up, Quack’s team takes on Delirious’ team in what looks like a really odd match on paper but it worked well. Frightmare was very energetic but for some reason, he was not existent in the second half of the match. Hallowicked didn’t impress me and I’m still not sold of Delirious. As for Quack’s team, I’m not really familiar with either Rivera or Saint. It was mentioned on commentary that Saint has been wrestling for 50 years. Wow, guess I better study up then. Rivera worked a nice quick style, Saint worked the European based style, and Quack molded both together. Despite being old enough to collect Social Security, Saint was in very good shape. Rivera and Quack took dives to the outside, with neither man having a pleasant landing leaving Saint and Delirious in the ring. Saint pulls off some trickery and rolls up Delirous for the pin. A real fun match to watch and a totally different pace from the insanity of the previous match. I’m surprised at how well Delirious’ team worked with Quack’s team. A dude named Iceberg was supposed to be on Glacier’s team but since he never made the show, a replacement partner was drawn from a hat. This led to some hilarity where they drew names like Avatar, Leif Cassidy, and Shinobi just to mess with Al. Finally, they drew legit names like Amazing Red and Green Ant but everytime the referee would run to the back he would look and then proclaim “not here!”. Finally, D-Lo’s name was drawn. The pre-match stuff was where the fun ended as this was just an awful match to close the show with. Delaney and STIGMA were just awful and Gerard wasn’t that much better. Snow and D-Lo worked the majority of the match. STIGMA screwed up a shining wizard and then gets knocked on his ass by D-Lo after he did one. The match went way too long, as in they could’ve shaved 15 minutes off this thing and been fine. We’re talking 26 minutes here and the longer it dragged on, it felt like torture. Delaney, after getting the crap kicked out of him by D-Lo, got a surprise backslide for the pin? What? The post-match beatdown by the faces was cool but that and the pre-match stuff were the only thing of value. Overall, a really fun show that makes me want to watch as much CHIKARA as possible. This is definitely a DVD you could justify dropping twenty on and not feel like you’ve wasted your money.

Creepier by the Dozen #4

Halloween Havoc 1992
Ron Simmons vs. The Barbarian - 3

Wait a sec, Barbarian gets a WCW World Title match? The pre-match training video from Barbarian shows Cactus Jack breaking blocks with a sledgehammer over Barbarian’s back. Strange. Hold up, why is Simmons coming out with Goldberg-esque security? These questions were never answered. This was a slow, prodding power match and it clearly showed that Barbarian belonged nowhere near the World Title scene. There was some brawling on the outside with Simmons taking a rail bump and then Barbarian ramming Simmons into the ringpost. Then they go back in and Barbarian applies a cobra clutch? Huh? JR and Ventura kill time on commentary by debating about the authenticity of the word “shin-a-no-maki”, which is what JR called the hold that Barbarian applied. Simmons breaks out and a few minutes later gets a win with a powerslam. Nothing of value here and probably one of the worst WCW World Title matches I’ve seen in a long, long time.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Creepier by the Dozen #3

Halloween Havoc 1991
Terry Taylor vs. Bobby Eaton - No DQ Match - 6

These two feel each other out to start with some basic work and then spill to the outside where Eaton takes an Irish whip into the railing. A side note, 1991 was probably the biggest year that Eaton had as a singles, peaking with his only singles title win, a brief run with the TV title from May-June. Eaton gains control and throws Taylor onto the elevated rampway. Man, I loved that thing. I wish more companies would use it nowadays. Anyway, Eaton drops a sick knee from the top turnbuckle on to Taylor who’s laying on said rampway. That was pretty wild. The wildness for Eaton continues as he takes a chest-first bump into the railing and then eats a Taylor clothesline for good measure. Taylor was playing the cowardly heel here since he was part of the York Foundation stable. Back on the rampway, Taylor hits a gutwrench powerbomb. Eaton does a nice job of selling the back and barely makes it back in. Some hard gut shots follow and then Eaton whips off nice neckbreaker. Good stuff here by both guys although the crowd seemed asleep for much of it. Eaton hits his trademark top-rope legdrop for the win and a crowd pop. Nice little match from both guys with a couple wild spots on the rampway. Seek this out if you can find it.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Creepier by the Dozen #2

Halloween Havoc 1990
Ric Flair & Arn Anderson vs. Doom - 5

Strange to see Flair stuck on the undercard of a major pay-per-view during this period. Crowd had a miniscule “We want Flair” chant going during the opening minutes that Arn worked with Simmons. Reed and Flair tag in and Reed gets a nice punch combo off on Flair. Look out Glass Joe, I hear Reed’s left hook is deadly. Punch-Out references aside, this match failed to get out of second gear. I think mostly because the crowd seemed confused about who to cheer for. They would pop for Flair & Arn at odd sections and then later on, do the same for Doom. Nice section where Simmons chases Flair up the ramp after no-selling some chops. Flair & Arn were doing their heel work, such as when Arn was giving Flair extra leverage in a figure four. I wasn’t buying Simmons as the face in peril. Hot tag to Reed fires up the crowd and he gets a few moves in. Finish became sloppy with all four guys brawling in and out of the ring. Couple nice nearfall segments though, including Reed almost killing himself on a shoulder tackle from the top rope. Arn hooked a nice DDT for a really close nearfall but ultimately all four started fighting outside the ring and through the crowd for a double count-out. The end was a little hotter than the rest of the match but the double count-out killed it. Also, why did Flair and Arn immediately stop throwing punches and go to the back when the bell rang?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Creepier by the Dozen #1

Since Halloween Havoc has always been one of my favorite pay-per-views, what better way to look at it than selecting a random match from each show, similar to what I did in the WrestleMania Matches of the Day from March, ending a few days before Halloween. Here's hoping kids come to your door dressed as their favorite lucha stars!

PS: Please be sure to check out the 3rd annual Review the World Halloween Special that will premiere October 23rd on Brian's site,

Now, onto the countdown ...

Halloween Havoc 1989
The Midnight Express & Steve "Dr. Death" Williams vs. The Samoan Swat Team & The Samoan Savage - 5

It’s weird to see the Express and Doc working face here, as I’m used to the Express working heel. It gets a little crazy early with a standoff on the floor but settles down rather quickly. The Express worked the majority of the match, making good tags while they were on the offense and selling well while the Samoans were on offense. Two of the Samoans were in white and one was in black but it was never said who was who and to be quite honest, I couldn’t tell because all three had shoulder-length stringy hair. Eaton takes a crazy bump on the concrete that was proceeded by a double crotching, courtesy of the Samoans, on the metal guardrail. The crowd was hot for most of this but went into a frenetic frenzy when Doc was tagged in and cleaned house. He muscled up a Samoan who landed in an awkward position and just thoroughly abused the other two opponents. After messing up a simple neckbreaker, Lane went for a karate kick but, in a weird moment, I clearly saw Fatu (I think) completely bail on the move. Finish was a bit sloppy with all six guys brawling as Cornette, who I met in Indianapolis at a recent ROH show, whacked Humperdink with the racket. Lane gets thrown into Cornette and pinned as the Samoans get the win. If Lane’s spots at the end had come off a bit cleaner, this would’ve gotten a better score.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

TNA No Surrender 2009

1) Madison Rayne & Velvet Sky vs. Taylor Wilde & Sarita – 3
2) Hernandez vs. Eric Young – 1
3) Samoa Joe vs. Daniels – 4
4) Pope D’Angelo Dinero vs. Suicide – Falls Count Anywhere Match – 6
5) ODB vs. Cody Deaner – 4
6) Kevin Nash vs. Abyss – 2
7) Team 3-D vs. Booker T & Scott Steiner vs. The British Invasion vs. Beer Money – Lethal Lockdown Match - 5
8) Bobby Lashley vs. Rhino – 3
9) Kurt Angle vs. A.J. Styles vs. Sting vs. Matt Morgan vs. Hernandez – 4

I ordered this show on a whim and was very pleased with the outcome, probably because I wasn’t expecting too much out of it to begin with. The opener was short with Taylor and Sarita going over in about five minutes. Rayne was filling in for Angelina Love, who was recently dismissed because of Canadian work visa issues. Because of this, the Beautiful People team was severely lacking in both ring talent and charisma, as Velvet Sky can only carry you so far. Sarita and Taylor carried the match they best they could under the circumstances and put the titles over as important in their victory speech but I’m already beginning to think that these title are a bad idea. Hernandez and Young was quick, and by quick I mean all of 45 seconds. If it’s going to be a squash, then it needs to be stiff, which is exactly what this was. Young got great mileage on his sell of a Border Toss, all in a suit mind you. This got a point just for Young’s bumping. Joe and Daniels was satisfying but I know that these two are capable of much better (see: early 2006 TNA). Joe clipped Daniels leg on the apron and Daniels sold it well the remainder of the match. I was like “no way” when Daniels tried to lift Joe for the Angel’s Wings. Joe sunk in a nasty Kokina Clutch for the win. This felt more like an Impact main event than a pay-per-view title match. Still not a big fan of today’s neutered version of either man. I liked Joe better when he was an unstoppable monster.

The falls count anywhere match was a special bonus match that delivered in spades. Dinero did a fabulous promo before the match that saw him get all worked up and drink a TNA-sponsored Stacker 6 Hour Power energy shot, in the middle of which Suicide dove at him from behind. We then get brawling all over the backstage area which featured Dinero just killing himself. He dropped an elbow from a ledge, got back dropped into a recycling cart the wrong way, tried to run over Suicide with a golf cart, and got pulled off a fence onto some wooden pallates. The match briefly made it to the ring only just to spill out up the entrance ramp where Dinero set up a table that never got used. Up on the stage, Suicide gave Dinero a snap suplex. He put Dinero on a table, scaled the set, and jumped off. Upon landing, he broke the table with his ass and Dinero covered him for the win. Fun little match that reminded me of the wild Cactus Jack/Van Hammer brawls in WCW. Deaner and ODB was more entertaining than I thought it would’ve been. I’m not a big fan of either person so I wasn’t really excited about this. Deaner is entertaining and can bump around but that seems to be just about all that he’s good for. ODB got in all her typical shit with Deaner selling it all good. ODB applying the testicular claw, or as Taz called it on commentary “the yambag clutch” was a highlight. ODB got the victory and put over the Knockout’s title on the mic afterwards. This just had a Jerry Springer deadbeat, white trash vibe to it but it worked.

Nash and Abyss was shit. Nash is totally immobile and Abyss was just big and clumsy. They walked around, hit each other, walked around some more, hit each other some more, rinse and repeat. All of this while Foley and Taz were making inside cracks at Vince on commentary. Stevie took a seat on the stage mid-match and factored into the finish. Daffney ran in from the crowd with a tazer but took a sick black hole slam for her troubles. Abyss asked Foley for his barbed wire bat, which was a dumb thing to do since it was in plain sight of the referee who stood there arguing with Foley and Abyss about the the bat. Nash grabbed the aforementioned tazer and zapped Abyss’ nuts for the win. Nash tried to collect the money from Stevie but Stevie recanted and took a God-awful powerbomb. Lethal Lockdown should be saved for the Lockdown PPV because all of these matches are the same. The six-sided ring is too small for eight guys to comfortably work spots without falling on top of each other. Brother Ray comes down as the last person to enter and is looking to his right the entire time he’s running down the ramp? I guess he wanted to check to make sure Rob Terry was in position for the spot in which he bowled over Ray. Steiner pulls off a Frankensteiner that he had no room for. Beer Money double teams Magnus on top of the cage and do a pointless double suplex spot. Did I mention Brother Ray’s weak ass weapon shots?

Lashley and Rhino had a decent match. Rhino cut a really good promo beforehand, probably one of the best promos I’ve seen Rhino cut in ages. Speaking of ages, when was the last time Rhino had a worthwhile match on pay-per-view? Lashley didn’t look too bad from his long in-ring layoff. We get an unnecessary ref bump and Rhino hits a gore for a nearfall. Rhino tries another gore but gets stopped by a sloppy punch and Lashley gets the win. It should be noted that when they showed the replay of the punch, it showed Lashley almost slipping on the downed referee. Just before the main event started, Hernandez came out and cashed in his briefcase from the Feast or Fired match that took place last December. Wouldn’t it make more sense for him to cash in at the end of the match rather than in a four-way? Anyway, he picks up Angle for a delayed vertical that he held for what seemed like forever while the other three participants just stood around and watched. Hernandez and Angle fight up the ramp where Eric Young runs out and clips Hernandez’s knee and takes him out of the match. For the remainder of the bout it seemed like none of the four got out of second gear. The end was odd when Angle ate a boot from Morgan and laid in the middle of the ring motionless while Sting and A.J. debated on who should get the pin. Sting eventually gave A.J. the window to get the pin which he did after a springboard 450 splash. A.J., Daniels, and the fans celebrated to end the show. A.J.’s win didn’t have the same “WOW!” factor it would have if he would’ve beaten Angle clean but it’s still nice to see A.J. get a run with the belt. Good show that if you watched it, you wouldn’t feel cheated out of three hours.

Friday, October 16, 2009

WrestleMania 18

1) William Regal v. Rob Van Dam (IC Title)- 3
2) DDP v. Christian (European Title)- 3
3) Maven v. Goldust (Hardcore Title)- 1
4) Kurt Angle v. Kane- 3
5) Undertaker v. Ric Flair (No DQ)- 7
6) Edge v. Booker T- 5
7) Steve Austin v. Scott Hall- 3
8) Billy & Chuck v. APA v. Dudley Boyz v. Hardys (Tag Title)- 4
9) Hollywood Hogan v. The Rock- 6
10) Jazz v. Lita v. Trish Stratus (Women's Title)- 3
11) Chris Jericho v. HHH (Undisputed Title)- 5

First flurry in the opener was a blur of human body appendages, followed by RVD staring up at the hideous construction site-like structure at the entrance ramp while waiting for a knucks spot. This was all of RVD's signature spots mashed into a 6 minutes affair: hard kicks and nasty bumps on his neck. Regal's suplex was spot on as well, although as he sets himself up for RVD's planned spots it just looks forced. Finish was an add on and hurt the match.

Page looks dastardly in his middle-aged-ness, but pulls off a gutbuster sure to have Christian barfing up his egg roll lunch. Silly and pointless spill outside, hate when guys leave the ring for no purpose, just to kill a minute or two. They have some nifty sequences together and doesn't feel like they're following a foot map of the Boot Scoot Boogie like the previous match. Page has a nice writhing on the ground sell. Ending was mistimed and as flat as Mischa Barton.

Liked Goldy roughing up the rook with punches, crazy Bulldog sell outside and I was genuinely surprised. Dropkick with garbage can was botched beyond belief and the crowd was ravenous in their "You fucked up" chant. No, they weren't referring to that stupid cougar head tatt on Maven's right shoulder either, although would fit. He flails all over on his bumps and clearly could have used 6 months more training on indy shows before making it to Mania. Hardcore nonsense ensues.

Wow, a hit with the ring bell to start? Where do you go from there? Kane's normal punches look like he's trying to get some snot off his hand. Liked how Kurt held onto the ropes before a chokeslam, shows common sense. His suplexes look really impressive on Kane, who's doing the lion's share of bumps. Hate those obvious suplexes from the top rope just to do it, match has only been going 4 minutes. No story here just a collection of moves, speaking of, Why did Kane kick out of the Angle slam if Kurt wins anyways? Just because it's Mania? dumb. Kane shows some aftersell from the ankle pick though, finish blew, a theme in Toronto.

Wild brawl starts here, potatoes left and right, should give Idaho their own football team now, Boise Bladejobs in honor of this match. Flair has to redo his turnbuckle flip and eats a nasty boot to follow. Bulk of beginning is punches, but at least they all look like they hurt. Flair's face is a plasmic mess, as expected. Both guys know how to run a blood feud, nasty chops, nasty lariats, Taker breaks out a superplex that's the highlight of this evening as far as bumps. Taker is just relishing his heel persona here and as Brian has pointed out in the past, gives him far more range to play with and is sometimes more engaging than the Dead Man character. Flair gives best facial of the night as well, when Taker sits up from Figure Four leglock, crowd heat is blowing the roof off the place, An Arn Anderson cameo is never a bad thing, but why blade? Flair can't hit a money chair shot nor does he get his flabby body up for the Last Ride. Hatred done right for a change.

Lot of tight work and snug punches but they start going for broke early. Everyone looks back on this period of Edge fondly, but all I think of is PA early 90's indy, full of Reckless Youth spots and 8 moves strung together with no destination. Damn stiff spinebuster by the Book. Top rope hurricanrana was a little rusty and could have hurt someone. Edge's leg attacks (heel kick, dropkick, spin kick) all are as pansy as Bobby Fisher, but his arm strikes have been solid. Leap frog spot near end worked. The offense heavy match with close calls works better for Edge than Booker, but the vet adapts.

Why has every match started with a brawl before the bell? Typical Austin tenacity drives heart of this match even if his isn't in it, chops are working, very un-Stone Cold like. Hall still has great punches and stomps too. They give Nash several spots, but he does nothing noteworthy with them. Lack of dynamic offense from either man makes this feel like less than 100% effort. Austin is never really in trouble here, so it just doesn't work like his '98 run. 2 Stunner for the win but Hall sells like he's drunk on a trampoline, which i'm sure he was at some point that weekend.

It's clear Chuck had no idea what his character was supposed to be, he's completely lost, jauntily pointing his fingers in the air in a dance no one has ever done in a nightclub. Billy has it down though. Bradshaw continues his rep as a bully, delivering a completely unnecessary neackbreaking suplex to Chuck within the 1st minute. After only 4 60 second intervals, the badasses are out in a complete mess of work during elimination. Palumbo sells a Hardy double DDT like a kid in 1st grade learning how to tumble. Stacy gets her ass spanked hard, then shown rubbing it 3 minutes later in a good bit of aftersell having nothing to do with this match but I just wanted to arbitrarily bring up Stacy's ass. Bubba does that foot on crotch spot in the corner, which is dumb, because he gets knocked out of the ring, then has to either choose to sell it or not and if you sell it, you kill momentum you had in the ring because Jeff's incapacitated too, but if you don't, you ignore a huge bump outside. He did both. Nobody has tagged another team except twice, with 4 teams it's supposed to be a chance to mix it up, but nothing of the sort has happened. Matt does nearfalls well, fin is convaluted as hell but Jeff's nearfall after the Fam-asser is righteous.

This has to be one of the most vocal crowds in Mania History. Basically the premise is Hulk instantly turns face after getting a huge reaction from the crowd because of his greediness to still matter. Rock is booed from the building basically but doesn't let it bother him. First Hulk goof up is trying to go over the ropes but only give a 1/4 effort so he just flops to the mat and rolls out. Rock is bumping BIG ( tom hanks BIG) for Hulk, including a massive chokeslam that was really cool and new to Hulk's moveset. While the match begins to meander with several brawls outside, the crowd is ridiculously behind Hogan, like if instead of McCain running against Obama, it would have been OJ Simpson, that's the ratio of cheering he's getting. Rock protects Hulk on spinebuster. I dug Hulk's crazy eyes when he brought out the weight belt and the Hulk up was a great spot, took the crowd to it's apex, Rock got them back with People's Elbow, basically worth seeing for crowd reaction alone, as the work is nothing special.

Jazz has nice snap on her punches and a better legdrop than the Yellow and Red fool from the previous match. Trish takes a gnarly bump outside, Lita's offense makes as much sense to me as Cottage Cheese with Porkchops, which is to say I don't get it at all. Another nasty bump through the buckle from Trish as she's clearly working her ass off, even though she could use some more ring time at this point. With a more seasoned Trish and a replacement for Lita, this could have been really good.

Of all that is holy in this world......HHH is at his most bulky and most deep fried: he resembles a fucking fritter from the carnival. High back drop starts out on high note, along with 2 really hard clotheslines from Trips, which is unusual. Jericho takes a bump into the crowd that hurt way more than how good it looked. Like how the leg became the focal point of match and Trip's selling of it after each move is accurate. Steph takes a huge tackle from the ropes and I'm surprised she was game. Annoying as she is, she's effective here, but also marking one of few times I'm praying a female second's breasts DON'T pop out of her loose top. Nod to Bret with Figure Four around post, although only slightly better than Cody's. There's a really dumb spot in the heated part of the match where Jericho just runs at HHH and falls down, they then do a spinebuster right after which I guess they missed. Trips takes a car crash bump outside and grabs the leg again.....(applause.) What's with the finisher copying? 3 matches it's happened in now. Finish is a pedigree not even out of a reversal, clean as Canada's sidewalks but out of nowhere. Match had more heat in beginning than end, possibly cheered themselves out so for a main event needed more support from the fans but was a well executed match for the most part.

XIII= 49%
XIV= 44%
VIII= 43%
II= 43%
XII= 43%
XVII= 43%
X= 42%
III= 39%
XVIII= 39%
VII= 34%
V= 34%
XI= 34%
IV= 34%
IX= 33%
I= 32%
VI= 32%
XVI= 30%
XV= 29%

Monday, October 12, 2009

G1 Climax 2009

G1 Climax 2009 Selected Matches

Brian has so graciously downloaded as much of the epic G1 as possible, at my request, and I'm looking forward to digging into all of it and watching another installment into this grand series.

1) A Block: Giant Bernard v. Tajiri- 3
2) B Block: Manabu Nakanishi v. Takashi Iizuka- 2
3) A Blck: Togi Makabe v. Takao Omori- 3
4) A Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi v. Giant Bernard- 4
5) B Block: Hirooki Goto v. Manabu Nakanishi- 4
6) B Block: Yuji Nagata v. Takashi Suguira- 6
7) A Block: Masato Tanaka v. Tajiri- 3
8) B Block: Yuji Nagata v. Hiroyoshi Tenzan- 5
9) A Block: Toru Yano v. Takao Omori- 4
10) B Block: Hiroyoshi Tenzan v. Hirooki Goto - 4
11) B Block: Takashi Iizuka v. Takashi Suguira - 3
12) A Block: Masato Tanaka v. Hiroshi Tanahashi - 6
13) Semi-Finals: Shinsuke Nakamura v. Hiroshi Tanahashi - 7
14) Semi-Finals: Togi Makabe v. Takashi Suguira - 5
15) Finals: Togi Makabe v. Shinsuke Nakamura - 7

First bout felt really Smackdown 03-ish, as I'm sure these two collided many times. Bernard's slow offense felt like a cop out, you believed he could win anytime and was purposely dragging the match on, helped by Tajiri's really enthusiastic selling. Ending came together nicely though and saved this from being a total dud. Iizuka has the apperance of one of those old Japanese masters with the long ass beard; unfortunately he didn't have much to provide here. 2 lame crowd forays didn't help matters and his strange Metal hand felt like a prop from a Flash Gordon serial. Nakanishi has lost mobility in recent years and his clotheslines felt 2nd rate after watching any random NOAH show. I wasn' t bowled over with this one, felt like they were just doing it to get through it, not a lot of emotion. Makabe frustrates me, he wants to play this big tough monster, but his offense isn't particularly strong here and he stays on the defense a lot of this match. Omori whipped him up pretty good but didn't even look his best, as he was a violent prick later against Tanaka. Surprising finish though. Here's another match I wasn't overly impressed with, Tanahashi has his character down for sure, but seemed to be playing plucky babyface using pescados and flying clotheslines but all in a laze fare way. Bernard is a gargantuan to these guys, and he knows how to get a lot of mileage out of his size. Bernard ramming Hiroshi into post outside was egg-smelling lame. Best part of match for me was Tanahashi selling a back shot he'd taken from a Bernard forearm, he had a very Stallone-esque look of agony on his face, and I mean that in a good way.

Goto is a very enjoyable watch for me, he's intense, brings the hurt on all his moves and can hang with nearly everyone in the promotion. Here Nak is slow moving as a sloth but everything he does looks good except his knockoff clotheslines. Goto can bring the fire out of any dying match and has to at points. Nothing to write home about. Nagata gets pure enjoyment out of kicking people really hard, and Suguira is up for the challenge. The strikes alone here were enough to make you shiver, but both guys utilized head dropping suplexes and submissions really well too and it all flowed really well into a nice big frappe of action. From what I've seen, Yuji is one of the workhorses of this tournament. The two Japanese stalwarts from the ECW days put together a nice little match with some interesting reversals and I loved, loved, loved Tajiri's animated sell of the Diamond Dust. Tanaka splinters a table underneath Tajiri for good measure and this felt like it aired on TNN in 1999. Other than that, this is pretty forgettable. And please get Jado and Gedo off my screen. Tenzan is the injured old veteran desperately trying to hang on in these matches, as he merely tries to survive Nagata's onslaught which is furious. He has no qualms about brutalizing the injured shoulder with kicks that could break down the Great Wall as well as shoulder locks and armbars. Tenzan's comeback gets them off their chairs but it's apparent his best days are behind him as he can't compete with Nagata's furious attack.

This wasn't Omori's best showing, whose as Hot and Cold as that childhood game. Yano comprises one of the 3 fucker-arounders during this tourney (others being Iizuka and TAJIRI) where he's constantly dragging matches outside for a brawl or using an object. Omori didn't have the fire to fight back on him much so Yano used his size accordingly. It's obvious Tenzan's using the magic shoulder tape to keep himself together so much that his comeback before the finish makes you feel sorry for him that he has to perform it. Goto's game and hits hard and sells hard but there's some awkward transitions between these two, not sure if they've worked a lot in the past. Suguira has transformed himself into a brutal ass kicker through most of this and Iizuka continues to use weird gimmicks, including a steel grill that he gnashes into people's foreheads with. His matches all follow same formula of him throwing them around in the crowd, then using strange weapons, then getting his ass handed to him back, followed by prompt DQ or weapon backfire, same story here. Tanahashi and Tanaka both worked hard here, but there was an element missing to turn this into a classic; Tanahashi is good at bringing matches into deeper waters w/o putting crowd to sleep but he has a real lackadasical attitude

in spots. Tanaka plays tough warrior who comes close to winning well and pours on the elbows, which still look sad compared to Misawa's even in 2009. Some good near falls provide the backdrop for the last seven minutes or so, but there's no one spot that will make this stick out in several years.

Now our Semi's, the chemistry between Nakamura and Tanahashi is enough to blow up a science lab, he makes Tanahashi feel like he's in a fight for his life so you don't see the laziness when they work. Nak's subdued violent outbursts are wonderfully pulled off and feel like the Japanese version of the psycho Orton role. They blow through the matwork stuff and the slaps to get to the meat of the match which is big moves done in big ways to help win the match. Nak's armbar is one of the niftiest submissions you'll see in the ring these days and it's so quick, always dazzling. Tanahashi needs to add some color to his moveset, wonderful finish and hurty bump from the top with the Death Valley Driver, Hiroshi's best tourney match. You know this one will leave chests redder than hamburger meat. But once you get past the couple really heated exchanges there's not a lot more to sink your teeth into. I think both men work better with more experience opponents, so it feels like they're trying to do a famous match they saw once instead of working the match. Makabe's sick bloody face has highlighted this whole tourney and finally he's getting babyface sympathy for it. Suguira is no Kawada, even though he hits hard he can't pull off the emotional part his role is here. And our finals, another Nak showcase, brutal kicks, surgeon like knees, all around top notch stuff. He roars like a lion at one point, his hair tousled and dripping, you think he may actually bite Makabe's jugular. Makabe is actually accomplished on the ground and their mat exchange, not sure whether it's the crowd reaction or what, but has precision and they're trying to win early with holds. Nak's arm bar before the 5 minute mark is fucking beautiful stuff and I loved when he kicks Makabe's hand to sink it in. Finish showed that Togi Makabe had arrived, showing passion and enthusiasm, but his kneedrop needs some pow! Over all this was a great tournament and to see it only months after it happened is a rare treat.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Burger Kang #8

REY Ohara vs. KG - HUSTLE 6/25/09 - 3

KG is an adorable girl in blue vinyl and REY looks like KENTA's stoned older cousin. REY eats a few KG dropkicks and bumps like a fish out of water accordingly. KG's flurry of kicks in the corner aren't bad for a girl that weighs as much as the pile Meltzer's phone-sex bills. Ohara returns the favor stomping the shit out of KG's face in the corner. KG whips REY into the corner then does the Scooby Doo-like "running in place" before charging him in the corner. REY hits a hard bodyslam than goes for a pin by grinding a knee into KG's throat to a nice crowd reaction of disdain. REY grabs her by the hair and slaps her like a pimp to his prostitute. REY serves up some chops in the corner and makes a goofy face at the camera in a fun moment. Ohara gets KG in mid-hurricanrana and drops her into a boston crab. KG's screaming wouldn't draw attention as its per norm in joshi but makes this seem more brutal in comparison. Against most men Ohara would look about as intimidating as seconds at the desert bar, but does a good job generating heat beating on a tiny girl. KG does the "Unprettier" better than Christian got it off during his entire TNA run. They botch a spot where KG rebounded off the ropes into REY's arms and tried to do some roll-up shit and they just fell over together. REY hoists her up on this shoulder, traps all four of her limbs, waves like a prick to the crowd, then drops down crushing her. After the match REY sits on KG's beaten body, then stands on her like a real jerk, before finally posing with his belt for photographers while resting a knee on her cranium.

Petey Williams and Delirious vs. Nate Webb and Matt Sydal - IWA: M-S 11/19/04 - 1

There appears to be about thirty spectators in an armory for this. Sydal rides on Webb's back around ringside after Nate steals the TNA X Division title and then they bust out some dance moves. Hell, Dixie Carter probably wouldn't even let Nate wash her car let alone work for her company. Prazak does ring introductions with a flannel shirt tucked into white pants with a black belt--someone call the Fashion Police and tell them to bring the pepper spray and batons. Early on Webb starts doing show tune jigs and dips Petey like it's homecoming. Petey walks across the auditorium, picks up two mops, tosses one to Nate and they start having a lightsaber duel with mops--seriously. Now it looks like all four guys are playing a game of tag. We're a few minutes in and thus far absolutely no wrestling to speak of. Matt has a blue bandana on, his chances of getting into the Crips are about as good as Nate Webb's getting on the cover of GQ. Sydal does a good job selling Delirious' "Panic Attack" in the corner. Delirious goes for a German suplex on Matt, Sydal lands on his feet, but then eats a lariat by the lizard man. Sydal is easiest the best at selling and thankfully he's done the bulk of the work his team. Why is there a huge Atlanta 1996 Olympics banner on the wall of a seedy armory in Indiana? All four guys are in the ring during the finish continuing the trend of really poor officiating. Weird moment post-match, out on the floor, Sydal walks up the Webb and says completely out of character something about hurting his hand and laughs nervously, the camera completely picks it up and you hear a ringside fan chuckling at the awkward unveiling.

Jun Akiyama and Akihiko Ito vs. Takeshi Rikioh and Mohammed Yone - NOAH 7/12/09 - 4

Jun decided to start and Rikioh is wearing JC Ice's jean shorts. It takes Jun seven shoulderblocks before he takes Rikioh off his feet but some things are worth the wait. Akiyama and Yone trade forearms and elbows for awhile and I never tire of faces being smashed in. Ito comes in and tries to pick up where Jun left off, his forearms aren't getting the job done so he does a barrage of slaps which only piss Yone off. Takeshi slams Akihiko on the floor and rolls him back into Yone. Jun's bald spot is slightly more obvious than Shawn Michaels'. Rikioh hits a superplex on Jun. Jun's high knee looks reckless which I dig. Jun and Takeshi brawl on the floor. Mohammed takes Ito's head off with a huge lariat. Yone gets the win with a "Muscle Buster" on Ito. This was only about ten minutes but physical and liked Ito struggling to fit in with the big boys.

Shinjiro Otani vs. Yuki Ishikawa - Pro Wrestling ZERO1 4/27/02 - 5

We see some backstory at an airport or shopping mall. Yuki is in his wrestling gear which is disturbing in public, Otani blows him off, then turns around and kicks Ishikawa once in the gut in a strange piece of business. Otani was one of my favorites in the late-'90's when I got into Japanese wrestling in a big way, and nowadays, Ishikawa is one of the guys I look most forward to watching in his own company Battlarts. Shinjiro starts off with a barrage, backing Yuki into the corner and just beating the hell out of him with punches and kicks. Otani springs off the ropes and does a flying kick into a downed Ishikawa's face nearly knocking him out. Yuki, on the feet, finally gets some shots in, then mounts Otanhi who covers up in the guard as Ishikawa looks to land some damage. Otani hits meaty slaps while Yuki fires back forearms. Out on the floor Otani whips Yuki into the railing then follows up with a running kick to the mouth. Shinjiro blasts Yuki with a chair then tosses him into the ringpost. This is a real ugly fight with Otani landing the bulk of the grossest shots thus far. Ishikawa eats the ringpost several more times--could he at least get a condiment? They trade hard chops that would make Ric Flair's skin lose its plasticine texture and revert back to normal human flesh. Back in the ring, Yuki is bleeding from the head, tries some work on the arm and when that fails dumps Otani on his head with a back suplex. Strike exchange yet again and Otani's open-hand slaps are so loud. Shinjiro absolutely kills Yuki with two consecutive dragon suplexes that are some of the nastiest executions of that move I've ever seen. Otani takes the dazed Ishikawa and sinks in a chokehold, by the time they drop to the mat Yuki is out and Shinjiro is declared the winner. A really fun war with loads of brutality largely dished out by Otani.