I'm stoked to bring you a new edition of No Prom Date and what was better than going stag to that social snorefest that's only memorable if you banged someone who had a great looking senior picture? Going with friends who equally didn't care about the event. I've stated many times how fun and enjoyabe tag team wrestling is and how it's quickly becoming a lost art form. So I'm going to do my part in preserving this awesome match. So remember, Do it in Pairs!!!
1) The Brisco Brothers v. Ricky Steamboat/ Jay Youngblood (NWA Tag Titles, Starrcade 1983)- 6
Match eminates from the first Starrcade, a huge supercard that would continue on for nearly 2 decades. It was fun seeing the Briscos as heels, especially stoic Jack. Their face opposition was poised and highly atheltic, a great mix of styles to watch. Jack's awkward movements always make me wince but there's no doubt he knows what he's doing, i was thrilled to see some fun rope action between he and Dragon. Gerald was scoring big time with his lifters and had so much emotion in his selling it was damn near comical. Steamboat made some great faces too, after going down to a butterfly suplex he looked as if he had just been stabbed with Kryptonite. I was digging Jerry's really over the top bumps on everything but realized he was cushioning his fall with his elbow every time, then I despised it. Youngblood was fine as fuctioning babyface to Steamboat's deeply loved one. The ending was as lame as Jay Leno's new show though, so docked a point.
2) The Outsiders v. Lex Luger/ The Giant (WCW Tag Titles, Saturday Nitro, 06/28/1997)- 4
I watched with curiousity and close Owl-like eyes here. It's a house show but they taped it for TV, match nearly stalled the whole time with Luger in for 90% of the bout. His selling was just a trifle better than terrible, stutter steps after every punch, over dramatic falling to his knees. Nash came in and had to take several deep breaths before starting his offense sequence on Luger, but I liked that he took time with each strike he threw and they all looked subsequently effective. A huge brawl ended this in a DQ, but it never left 2nd gear anyways.
3) Rob Van Dam/ Sabu v. Balls Mahoney/ Axl Rotten (ECW Tag Titles, House Party 1999)- 3
A major clash of styles, I loathed Balls & Axl on defense, both playing the role of giant goon who takes a lot of back shots and barely responds. Axl during the last 3 minutes of the match lies on the ground like freshly bleached roadkill. He executed two good clotheslines and Balls had a fresh superkick but that was it. The match's major high spots were all misdirection, which had me puzzled, like RVD was in the ring with Axl and instead of attacking him, he jumps up on the turnbuckle and somersaults through the crowd on Balls. The ECW faithful were eating it up, like the overpriced chili dogs they got from concession. This was pretty short for a title match and completely unstructured.
4) Jimmy Rave/ Eddie Vegas v. Roderick Strong/ Jerelle Clark (FIP Tag Title- FIP Payback)- 4
This match got some time, which I liked. Vegas and Rave both have that shitheel appeal where they can get under your skin but they toned it down here. Clark was a real shitty excuse for Ricky Morton during his beatdown. Real emotionless but did hold his ribs a few minutes after it was over. Strong's comeback was firing on all cylinders, but explain why you would tag the hurt guy right back in? Legal man issues riddled this afterwards and Clark was completely recovered enough to hit a spree of high risk moves to lead to the finish.
5) The Godwinns v. The Quebecers (WWF No Way Out of Texas 1998)- 4
This wasn't pretty, but neither are sauteed mushrooms and I love those. Is Jacques Rougeau a long lost great worker? His vocal selling and screams of pain showed some seasoning and provided a good emotional factor to go along with this. I was digging Henry and Pierre's spirited arm lock exchange as well. The Godwinns offense again, was as sloppy as what they carry in their buckets, but they had their character down. The finish was uncoordinated as Jacques instead of leaving the ring decided to do a plancha outside, which worked for me. Fun little brawling bout.
5) Ran Yu-Yu & AKINO v. Mayumi Ozaki/ Manami Toyota (OZ Academy 04/12/2009)- 3
Wow, where to begin, first off it's great seeing one of the arguably most gifted wrestlers of the last century (and NHO Hall of Famer) Toyota but looks like she's inevitably aged, wearing designer jeans, a tube top and multi colored hair. Looks more like she's going to a club where glowsticks and lubrication are encouraged. She is still throwing suicide dropkicks off the top too, but you can tell she's lost a step and by the end of this she tires of shenanigans and physically checks out. Ozaki is a poor hardcore wrestler who looks like Annie Lennox, but I love her spinning chop signature move. AKINO looks capable but still green. Yu-Yu is kind of a Latino looking brute, who works best with both women on opposition. It's almost like a half assed lumberjack match because random people are running in the ring constantly. They all do nearfalls really well though, even at times when it shouldn't warrant one. Overall this was a big mess, albeit with a few bright spots, still doesn't add up to much.
6) CIMA/ Sumo Fuji v. Masaachi Mochizuki/ Chocoball Kube (Toryumon TV #7)- 5
This was fun and is all about Crazy Max, the heel group that dominated Toryumon in it's infancy. Fuji is utility here, terrible on defense, but is a fun brawler to watch. CIMA exudes confidence and owns the ring. Dude was so lightning fast, he hits a tope over the rope quicker than Eddie ever dreamed. Mochizuki is a kick man and lays in some lethal ones and Chocoball is just there. Match has a really cool feel ,like a Fan Cam show and the arena is well lit and intimate; the crowd is right at the edge of the ring. Not a terrible match but never really develops into anything more than a show off fest for C-Max.
7) Hayabusa/ Masato Tanaka v. Terry Funk/ Mr. Pogo (Timebomb Death Match)- 5
This is that classic style Death Match with no ropes around the ring, and two sides are covered in electrified barb wire and there are barb wire pits around the ring, set to blow. There's also a timer set to 15:00 that will explode. I know this sounds like an epsiode of "24" but there were actually wrestlers working psych around this. First few minutes is eternally slow build those silly Wile E Coyote "whoa i'm falling into the canyon, no i'm fine" moments. Tanaka pieces Pogo over and over for enjoyment but he ends up being the first guy in the wire, in true Dangan style, chest first going 100 miles an hour. Funk is next, belly first and the explosion resembles a sparkler gone wrong. Pogo carves Tanaka up like the Grinch did the roast beast. How did he get the Abby gimmick taken to the extreme? All he ever had to do was a DDT and sell like King Hippo. Funk has looked old and useless here. Hayabusa sacrifices himself before Pogo douses Tanaka in flames in a ugly bump outside to set off a bomb, which visually looked cool. The crowd and announcers are really hyped too. Sirens go off at the 5 minute mark like someone escaped from prison in a 1950's movie. Hayabusa gets a nearfall with a brutal Falcon's arrow that Pogo wanted no part of but they continue fighting for the payoff. Tanaka being the sick dude he is takes a monster chokeslam into the barb wire and bombs, and Funk's decrepit old ass falls in face first after him in a scary moment. Hayabusa eventually gets beaten after a number of double team powerbombs and even though this was insanely sloppy, the crazy factor was so high. But match like this wears off after 1st viewing.
8) Brian Kendrick/ Paul London v. William Regal/ Dave Taylor (Smackdown Nov 2006)- 4
Fast and furious beginning into a slow middle and slower ending. Opening sequence with brawl outside was refreshing, into methodical beating of London, who didn't offer a lot emotionally. Regal worked the bulk of the match, both on offense and defense, but Taylor looked a lot crisper, on sells and a stellar dropkick. Hated Kendricks' hot tag, just throwing flying kicks with no regards of how they land or look. Finish involved Ashley jealousy angle, but there were plenty of big chested broads with no morals and large bank accounts at that time for Kendrick to pine over. Cool bridging suplex by the Squire for the win.
9) World's Greatest Tag Team v. Billy Kidman/ Rey Mysterio (WWE Tag Titles, Vengeance 03) -7
wow, just wow, wish we could get matches like this every week. More or less an elongated sprint that worked on a lot of levels. First off, the crowd was totally buying everything that happened and riding on every near fall and big spot. The match was worked as old school as horse and buggies. Legal man was always in ring and ref would only count at that point. The misdirected hot tag to Rey with ref ordering him back to the corner was tits, plus Rey got to show that he is the single most redifining wrestler of the last decade or so. Haas with snap jabs that scintillated, Kidman's back bump into the post (although didn't care for his protected bumps) and Rey just completely ruling the world at every moment, the assisted hurricanrana near fall made me change my will and testament and leave everything to Dominic Mysterio, haha. Seek this out.
10) El Hijo del Santo/ Negro Casas v. Taka Michinoku/ Papi Chulo (WWF Super Astros, 04/11/1999)- 5
This was pretty short but a complete dive fest that was so awesome, so it's worth seeing, especially Santo's fluid ring work, even for the bulkiest guy in the ring. Another sprint but another enjoyable one that didn't take itself too seriously, it was almost like a high wire circus act, merely for entertainment and it worked.
11) Kenta Kobashi/ Jun Akiyama v. Mitsuharu Misawa/ Yoshinari Ogawa (All Japan TV, 12/13/1998)- 7
A true knock down drag out affair, everyone played their roles to a tee, with Misawa as the total hero of Japan, kicking out of absolutely everything and still displaying how little he had left to fight with. Ogawa impressed me a lot, showed tons of fire, mobility and a great move set (despite the constant jawbreakers, which kill momentum and pace when everyone else is throwing suplexes and heavy strikes) Misawa's suicidio was a thing of beauty and I wish i could have it play on a small screen on a loop with a golden frame around it in my living room in his honor. Akiyama was just there, they gave him big spots, but I wasn't real thrilled with his role in all this. Kobashi's chops were truly something to be feared when he could actually rotate his elbow 90 degrees, ah the good old days.