Monday, January 25, 2010
Our first match of this epic round robin was a quick one, Hansen surprisingly giving up a lot of offense to Omori, who immediately went to work on Hansen's arm presumably to negate the lariat, but Hansen fights out of every attempt. Couple ill convceived dropkicks and the lariat still works, and puts down our Liu Kang lookalike and we're off!
2) Doug Furnas v. Mitsuharu Misawa- 4
This was a cool matchup, Misawa was just as devilish with his elbows in his young days as he was till his final match. Actually this match was more about strikes than anything, with Furnas kind of using his power advantage for much of it, suplexes, slams and such but everytime he went to his brutal chops, that was Misawa's opening, he'd always fire back. Furnas didn't make many covers though, which bothered me since he was on offense so much. He also blew a couple spots, once at the beginning of his control then leading towards the finish. The ending though was completely mind boggling as Misawa hit some big elbows, then took Furnas down and wrenched on a very loose leglock that got him the submission, maybe Mits wanted his new leglock to be over so he figured he'd win with it, i don't know, but it didn't make any sense in the match.
3) Jun Akiyama v. Toshiaki Kawada- 7
I really dug this matchup, can't say as I've seen these two going singles before, except at that Speed Dating mixer in Kyoto back in '91. This had the classics story of underdog up and comer fighting his heart out against tough badass top star. Both guys played the role perfectly, Kawada delivering some serious face breaking kicks and Akiyama just absorbing loads and loads of sweet punishment. He was like a Japanese Wall-E in this, getting slammed, kicked, and wrenched (Kawada's submission from a Camel Clutch position where he instead takes the arms out full stretch then bends them down past Jun's head was Vietnam prison type torture) Some people might think this goes too short for it's story, but it actually was perfectly timed at around 17 mins, with Jun sufficiently evading mutliple big moves and hurty locks to finally succumb to the stretch plum after several times. Awesome exploders here too and Kawada, not known for his thespian chops, was playing surprise very well.
4) Akira Taue v. Kenta Kobashi- 6
This was All Japan at it's finest, it alleviates the soul to go back to this time period and re-watch what has made most of these guys legends for all time, the hard hitting style here was just unbelievable, nothing really can compare to it in the States. The whole first 15 minutes or so was just a dogfight that would even scare Michael Vick shitless. Just sickening chops and elbows from both guys, it had a real untrained look to it with sloppy moves and them brawling on the ground like the scene from Christmas Story. I also loved both guys really hard bumps and shoves they utilized throughout, like a spot to get a breather and create space between them. It kind of hindered the plot of the match but it became how tough Taue was where he actually just took over and really brutalized Kobashi to the point of sympathy. Fantastic ending, long in the tooth like most 90's AJW fare, but certainly worth tuning up on your laptop for instead of rewatching a Lady Gaga Youtube clip for a nipple slip.
5) Dan Kroffat v. Doug Furnas- 4
This was conceptually kind of cool, long time partners that were playing off that they knew every move the other was going to do. Furnas totally playing the strange looking powerhouse who just left the circus circuit with Kroffat throwing really mean kicks to his ribs and grinding him on the mat. This ended with a flash pin on a not so spectacular move so wasn't impressed with that but for what happened leading up to it, pleasantly surprised. Has breathed far better than some of their ECW work but not as well as a bottle of Conde de Suibraits Brut Cava circa 1927.
6) Jun Akiyama v. Takao Omori- 5
This was a fun match with the youngsters of the tournament, both felt anxious and energetic, probably sweating palms, shortness of breath and slight rise in trunks but they kept the fast paced. One thing that stuck out i was bothered by is Omori basing a lot of his transition and offense around lariats, when he was like the 9th best guy doing lariats in the fed, so it was really illogical. You could see they would be able to have a much better match in the future from the potential shown.
7) Dan Spivey v. Johnny Ace- 1 (clipped)
Damn thing was clipped way down, but even here I could see Spivey still hadn't advanced that far in the game. Really slow sluggish slamming and he took bumps like an elephant working the late shift coming down off an Amped Energy Drink high. Finish sucked balls too.
8) Giant Baba/ Toshiaki Kawada/ Akira Taue v. Mitsuharu Misawa/ Kenta Kobashi/ Stan Hansen- 6
I struggled with a 5 or a 6, the score between recommending this and not, but I def. probably have to recommend purely for the sheer number of face smashing shots from various elbows, knees, and kicks, some awful kicks, esp. one where Misawa tried to stand up after Kawada did a hook kick to his face and it sounded like someone dropped a bowling ball from an airplane, but he just withered. One thing you'll notice (probably in a lot of AJW stuff during this time) is the easiness of attacks on Baba when he's in the ring, except Kobashi, Hansen was the worse culprit. But other than that, he didn't slow the pace down terribly or stink up the match. My big complaint with it is the match went (SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!!) to a 1 hour draw and it really didn't need to, 25- 35 mins. would have been fine, but this was more or less a giant exhibition where everyone just went out there and wrestled for fun. No coherent story was really formed, two long beatdown sections and some individual matters were implemented but the last 15 minutes there was some ugly blown spots even from the accurate Misawa, who really needs to be seen in his hey day to be believed how great he was and how vicious. Still this is 6 of the top guys in the world at the time and who wouldn't want to see them fuck around busting each other's noses up for an hour? Much better than catching a double shot of Everybody Loves Raymond on TBS(which they certainly do not! Anyone notice he had 3 blonde kids on that show? His wife was def. fucking the mailman)
Peace- back with Part 2 soon!
1. Scott Steiner and Petey Williams vs. Kaz and Eric Young - 2
This starts off with Petey running into armdrags like a man fleeing a burning building -- looks stupider than his perpetually wet hair. Steiner sells leg kicks by Kaz like a guy who woke up in the middle of the night to take a piss only to walk barefoot on his son's Hot Wheels. Kaz reversed a "Canadian Destroyer" attempt with, well, Wikipedia was no thanks, but according to their database an "back to belly piledriver", which looked devastating. Black Reign mumbles some non-sequitor distracting Young, leading to Steiner climbing up and hitting a "Samoan drop" from the top for the win.
2. Tomko vs. Rhino - 2
AJ Styles interference lead to a shitty clothesline (as called by Don West although it appeared more like running forearm) by Tomko to finish Rhino. Afterwards, Styles hides like a child underneath his bed beneath the ring. Bad match, lots of pointless punching and "power" stuff with no emphasis on story progression.
There's a bad vignette with Jay Lethal and So Cal Val at an expensive seafood restaurant. I'm guessing later that night at the hotel if fish was also on the menu Jay had a heaping helping of "red snapper". Zing!
3. Sonjay Dutt vs. Homicide - 1
Within the first minute Dutt severely botches a springboard and lands on his face. Much to my chagrin it was scripted, as Homicide stands around looking confused, more so than normally, leading to Dutt getting the cheap roll-up victory. Post-match Hernandez killed Dutt with a sick "Border Toss" that helped erase the memory of the shitty match that preceded it.
4. AJ Styles vs. Booker T - 4
AJ was selling good early, lots of wobbly leg curtsying around, etc. Styles went for a splash in the corner but Booker escaped, leading to AJ selling it like a marionette dangling around precociously like the guy controlling it had all the strings tied to his erect phallus. This was Booker before his histrionics became too over the top for his own good, later resembling a character guffawing through a Benny Hill sketch, here he seemed moderately focused. Styles was, for some reason, distracted by Sharmell spanking Payton Banks at ringside, although he had no vested storyline interest in either, leading to a terribly sloppy roll-up by Booker to end it.
5. Velvet Sky and Angelina Love vs. ODB and Gail Kim - 2
Love and ODB did a double kip-up that was only slightly less self-indulgent than Rob Van Dam and Jerry Lynn's old mutual appreciation trope. The Beautiful People did not yet have their heel roles mastered, as they later would, wearing mostly all-black and not playing up their perceived superiority enough. Things started falling apart quickly towards the end, with ODB winning with a rather bland powerslam on Sky.
Next, Kurt Angle did an in-ring sparring session where he worked over four dudes. This was done in a fashion similar to MMA, but, anybody who knows anything about the sport would find that assertion laughable. Of note, however, is the second guy Angle schooled was Jon Davis of the Dark City Fight Club, and lastly, the fourth guy, was DCFC member Kory Chavis, who got the worst beating of all by eating a bunch of unanswered Angle forearms smashes on the ground right in the fucking face.
6. Team 3-D vs. Christian Cage and Rhino - 3
What have I done to deserve a second Rhino match on one show? That's just cruel you bastards. Brother Devon sells better than this match deserved as Rhino was on auto-pilot and Cage's offense stirred little to no emotion from the passive audience. Why did Rhino hardly leave the ground when goring Brother Ray? "Man, I want to tackle you so badly that I'm going to -- well, shit, nevermind!" Then the diarrhea starts dripping down on us, the viewers, like a waterfall spouting venom not entirely unlike the viscous liquid the boys in the locker room covered Christy Hemme in while she kneeled in the showers. You're probably thinking, "Damn, Brian, where is your sick mind taking us?" But worry not, pals, what I've refrained from telling us is this ended up as a big, fucking brouhaha with interference from Styles, Tomko, Nash, Shark Boy, Curry Man, and the Motor City Machine Guns.
So, maybe I shouldn't have built a raft out of bamboo to stay afloat? Maybe I should have closed my eyes. But, what's been seen cannot be unseen. I'll live to tell the tale. Now leave this old survivor alone, you damn kids, get off my lawn, and take your DX Army memorabilia with you!
Thursday, January 21, 2010
1) The Steiner Brothers vs. The Beverly Brothers - 4
This started off really sloppy and never really recovered. The Steiners throwing the Beverlys around the ring without any cause or care. Head drops were abound late in the bout with Rick nearly breaking Blake’s neck and Scott stuffing Beau headfirst on the mat with a Frankensteiner. This was hard hitting but messier than Lawler’s crown after Skinner shit all over it.
2) Shawn Michaels vs. Marty Jannetty - 3
Jannetty started off on fire but quickly fizzled out. Weird moment outside where Michaels rams Jannetty shoulder first into the ringpost and one of two things happened … either Shawn rammed the wrong shoulder into the post or Jannetty sold the wrong shoulder. I think the first option is probably the most likely. Jannetty’s weak ass selling of the shoulder by lightly putting his hand on it and making faces wasn’t cutting for me. On his comeback, Jannetty stopped selling completely. Jannetty tried to a move from the top rope but after he jumped he realized Shawn was too far away and just landed on his feet in a really awkward moment. There was a ref bump and Sherri interference which led to the ref sliding over like he was a pile of ooze and counting the pin. Afterwards, a weak-ass pull apart brawl backstage. I wasn’t buying the hatred either as both guys just coasted through an easy match and then did some lines together backstage.
3) Bam Bam Bigelow vs. The Big Bossman - 3
Bigelow worked an amateur ride for what seemed like forever, squeezing the life out of Bossman and the match. Bossman got a few good licks in but nothing out of the ordinary. Compared to the recent Bossman I’ve seen from 1993 All Japan, this sucked. They put forth the effort though so it counts for something.
4) Bret Hart vs. Razor Ramon - 5
Heenan was making jokes against Bret’s dad during the opening portion of the match. Razor’s main offense was working over Bret’s ribs and back after ramming him into the ringpost. Bret worked over the legs of Razor to set him up for the sharpshooter. The main question of the match was “would Bret be able to apply the sharpshooter to Razor?” Bret hit a nice dive through the ropes and a back drop suplex that almost snapped Razor’s neck. The nearfall sequence near the end was nice. I thought the finish was a bit flat with Bret slapping on the sharpshooter while laying on the mat. Decent little match but nothing too spectacular. The selling by Bret was solid and Razor looked good for it only being his second big pay-per-view match.
5) Royal Rumble Match - 4
This featured probably the most random assortment of talent of any Rumble match with such names as Papa Shango, Max Moon, Koko B. Ware, Skinner, Damien Demento, Terry Taylor, Rick Martel, Owen Hart, and Carlos Colon. Of course, it also featured the main players at the time including Ric Flair, Yokozuna, Randy Savage, Bob Backlund, Mr. Perfect, and Undertaker. The crowd was pretty flat for most of the match, only popping for major moments such as Perfect eliminating Flair, the entrance of Savage, and Yokozuna and Earthquake squaring off. Flair and Tenryu had a nice chop exchange. Backlund also ahd a hell of a run, lasting roughly 62:00 until the he was the next to last man eliminated after entering the match at #2. The match hit a dead stop when Giant Gonzalez interfered and beat up Undertaker for about five minutes. The finish was super long and super dumb. It consisted of Yokozuna beating on Savage for about 9 minutes and Savage returning the favor for about one minute. Yoko missed a splash in the corner, Savage dropped an elbow, and pinned him. Huh? Why the fuck would he do that? Yoko pushes him straight up and it’s obvious that he jumped over the top rope. Bad finish to a bad Rumble.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
2. Chris Hero vs. Eddie Kingston - 6
3. Jimmy Jacobs and Tyler Black vs. The Young Bucks - 5
4. Roderick Strong vs. Jack Evans - 3
5. Human Tornado vs. Candice LeRae - 3
6. Necro Butcher vs. Claudio Castagnoli - 3
7. El Generico vs. Susumu Yokosuka - 4
8. Joey Ryan and Scott Lost vs. Masato Yoshino and Naruki Doi - 3
9. Super Dragon vs. TARO - 2
10. Bryan Danielson vs. CIMA - 5
Overall a fairly flaccid effort, as PWG struggles to find its own identity, taking snippets of stuff from elsewhere and not presenting it in any sort of new or exciting fashion. I liked the opener (sort of a NJPW vs. AAA bout). Kozlov got off his comedy stuff, it didn’t go too long, Anderson brought some physicality, etc. Only thing I disliked offhand was Karl cracking wise with the fans at ringside, referring to some of his offense as his “new shit”. Sort of breaks that wall between fans/performers when you’re referring to your offensive tools like they’re new tricks you learned on a video game. Hero and Kingston have a longstanding feud, compiling a list of brutal matches in several different companies, the theme of stiffness running through them all. This had a slower pace, but worked, as each guy methodically dished out big servings of nasty strikes. One awesome moment was Kingston dishing out Kobashi-like chops in the corner, only for Hero to laugh, so Eddie just head-butted him right in the fucking face. They traded shots in the center of the ring, more meaty strikes than I could count, and I loved it. Finish was stupid, though, not sure if Hero really hurt his leg or not, but they went to a roll-up out of the blue, a sloppy one at that, which made Kingston look like a bitch.
I had fears about the following tag. Thankfully, the Age of the Fall boys lead, so the Bucks never got too out of control and it didn’t devolve into overkill. Tyler showed moments of fire and aggression that were welcomed, like laying in some particularly nasty shots to Matt Jackson’s back. Jacobs didn’t look as good, appearing kind of goofy in spots trying to get into position. I’ve seen Evans and Strong wrestle each other in multiple companies, too; but, unlike Hero/Kingston, they’re shit together is stale beyond belief and they showed no signs of changing anything. I’d dig Jack as a rag doll more if he could actually sell. Plus, when Evans gets in any desperation strikes, he should be kicking with all of his might, but his offense (including the tired, flippy shit) looked weak as hell. Why did Jack scream “Hayabusa!” before attempting a move off of the top he never did?
I almost tossed the next match a bonus point for being something completely different, but I can’t deny it was largely shit soufflé. There was a weird molestation vibe throughout it. Tornado laid in some of his stuff, which was fine, but I think he had a chubby so not sure how I feel about it in retrospect. He stands over her and screams, “I’m going to piss on you, bitch!” What sort of fucked up childhood did he have? I’m sure his father’s proud. There was no finish. Then, ala ECW, the bullshit fed into our next match, one I found patently dull. I didn’t feel like Necro and Claudio had much chemistry together. Castagnoli sold a spot into a chair by giving a goofy, dazed stare into the horizon; the only thing that could have made it funnier was if he’d done it wearing a Groucho Marx mask. I dug Claudio doing a giant swing to Butcher on the floor, spinning him in circles knocking all the ringside seats away like picket fences during a tornado.
The second-half of the show left even less of an impression on me. It could be because it really did stink, or, maybe it was my friend Geo and my discussion taking a decidedly more interesting turn that helped me spurn this show. You watch it and let me know. I was surprised how strangely quiet the crowd was for most of Yokosuka and Generico. Susuma blocked a superplex with spanks? Generico is at his best coming from behind, but I never bought Yokosuka as his tormentor, so this fizzled out faster than a sparkler in Steve-O’s anus. The following tag match was even more painful to watch. Doi appeared to have fallen asleep while in a long and tedious Lost bodylock. Parts felt downright stupid, like a sequence between Yoshino and Lost were it was painfully obvious them getting into place for each other, so each guy could get their dreary shit off. Joey Ryan’s hot tag sequence featured some of the weakest clothesline I’ve ever seen. These things were limper than Droz’s dick post-op.
Man, Super Dragon got fat as fuck. Dude looked like a black hole. TARO played the role of his whipping boy. Something about the scenario seemed incestuous and insulting. Like, Super Dragon can just show up, about 150lbs overweight, and just take liberties with a guy because he’s Super Dragon? No thanks. My buddy Geo said Dragon had ballooned so much he looked like slob wrestler Brain Damage. I said he looked like a guy that actually had brain damage. The finish, where TARO went for a hurricanrana from the top and Dragon just dropped him on his head was a nice, painful sendoff.
The main event ended up a thirty-minute draw. I decided to watch it a second time. The first time I watched without commentary (recommended) and since I was going to watch it again, I decided to try it with the commentary track the second time around. Bad idea. The guy announcing was just awful, plus, he kept continually saying that, since they’d previously had a thirty-minute draw, this time they had a sixty-minute time-limit, which clearly wasn’t the case, as I had already watched the damn match and it was a half-hour! CIMA showed nice frustration facially early after a monkey toss. CIMA did the coast-to-coast springboard dropkick, but what’s the point when it landed squarely on Danielson’s shoulder with roughly no impact? Why did Bryan spend the entire match working over CIMA’s shoulder and arm when he’s a high flier that relies on his legs? CIMA’s tope suicida doesn’t quite “pop” like it did back in the Toryumon days. As stated above, we don’t get an actual finish, although there was some horse shit with a ref bump, a second ref, etc. After the match, lost in translation, CIMA starts chanting that he wants “5 more days! 5 more days!” That’d be the longest 120 hours of any wrestling fan’s life.
Monday, January 18, 2010
1) Amazing Red vs. Brian Kendrick - 5
Kendrick came out to some “Inglorious Basterds”-esque classical music. Red took a couple crazy risks including a wild somersault off the top turnbuckle to the outside which resulted in him twisting his knee. Why are all the high risk moves taking place directly in front of Brooke Hogan and Hulk’s butterface girlfriend? Kendrick looked good despite not having wrestled much since he was shown the door in WWE. The match started to fall apart at the end (ex: them losing a simple Irish whip from the start) but nothing that really hasn’t happened in any X-Division bout before. Red’s flipping Code Red finisher was cool. As I’ve said before, these X-Division guys are going nowhere fast. It’ll be especially interesting to see how this all goes down during Hogan’s reign.
2) Sean Morley vs. Daniels - 4
Odd dynamic here with Morley working face and getting booed by the TNA faithful and Daniels working heel and getting cheered. Both guys did some promo work beforehand, with Daniels trying to get heat on Brooke Hogan (again, why is she at ringside?). Morley is doing a new version of his old Val Venis routine. Daniels was his usual self here, hitting all his standard moves and doing his best to make his opponent look good. He worked the triangle choke and a Koji clutch submission on Morley for a nice touch. I like Morley’s selling of the effects of Daniels’ constant choking. Morley hasn’t been seen on TV in ages and probably the last time he was on screen was jobbing to some poor schmuck on Raw. Money shot got the win for Morley and the crowd in the pit turned their back. Well, I guess we know who Hulk’s gonna push? Nothing to really note here, just a standard undercard match that would’ve been a good fit on TV.
3) Best of Three Falls Match: Tara vs. O.D.B. - 3
First fall was over fast with a roll-up. Only notable thing was a hard knee to ODB’s face. I did notice Tara jumping right into an ODB fall-away slam. Second fall featured an extended body lock sequence from ODB and not much else. Finish was flat with Tara stopping in mid-run to hit the Widow’s Peak finisher. Not sure why three falls were necessary when one would’ve done just fine.
4) Matt Morgan & Hernandez vs. The British Invasion - 4
Since the Brits weren’t on TV for the past two weeks, it was inevitable that there would be a title change here. Again, like most of the undercard stuff on this show, it was kept basic. Williams was working really light. Come on dog, you’ve worked in NOAH, lay that shit in. Magnus was awful, blatantly jumping into a chokeslam attempt during the first part and falling too early on the finish, like he was blown over in a windstorm. Morgan and Hernandez work well as a team. Them working together makes up for any shortcomings they may have individually. At least Brooke Hogan wasn’t directly involved in this.
5) Desmond Wolfe vs. Pope D’Angelo Dinero - 5
Wolfe has a new yet-to-be-named valet and new silver ring gear with generic purple wolf heads and generic writing on the back that simply says “WOLFE”. Dinero did a spot to the outside early on and sold the landing as if he tweaked his knee, which Wolfe worked over for the majority of the match. I really dug his innovative submissions, especially the one where he hooked Dinero’s foot under the bottom rope and wrapped him around the ringpost. Dinero’s selling was great, especially when Wolfe had him in the STF and he was fighting to get to the ropes and acting like he was getting choked out. A fisherman’s DDT from Dinero hit flush. Dinero wasn’t selling the knee during his comeback that culminated with an Alabama Slam, which bugged me a bit. Good finishing sequence with Dinero limping going for the knees in the corner and getting killed with a lariat.
6) Kevin Nash & Syxx-Pac vs. Robert Roode & James Storm - 4
This was supposed to be Hall and Nash teaming up, but word around the campfire is that when Hall went to get dressed for the match, he realized that he was “not in ring shape” so Syxx-Pac replaced him. Pac took a hard shot while standing on the apron and did a wild sell for it. Nash seemed to have trouble keeping up with Beer Money and the pace of the match. Pac used his usual moveset and is still reliant on stuff that made him popular in ‘98. Beer Money, despite their opponents, worked well as usual and Roode took a hard bump on the new rampway. Hall stumbled out to ringside for no reason, beat up a plant, and caused Nash to take the fall on which the crack TNA production staff missed the finisher! I guess some things never change.
7) Abyss vs. Mr. Anderson – 2
Anderson is the former Mr. Kennedy doing the same schtick but under a new name. You may be noticing a trend with the old WWE guys. I was having flashbacks to Hugo Weaving in The Matrix saying “Mr. Anderson, suprised to see me?” Anderson worked over Abyss’ arm to begin with then just totally forgot about it, just like Abyss sold it once on offense and forgot about it. Abyss hit a nasty version of the Shock Treatment manuever and got a close near-fall. The bums in the Impact Zone turned on Anderson mid-way through this and lost all interest. Bad finish with Anderson grabbing brass knux from his tights and KO’ing Abyss with them. After all the stuff Abyss had been through (barbed wire, fire, thumbtacks, etc.) we’re supposed to think a dainty shot with brass knux will knock him out for good? Not buying it.
8) Kurt Angle vs. A.J. Styles - 6
Starting off, this was kept in low gear with mat work and very little else. The pace picked up a bit at the half-way point with A.J. busting out a flip dive over the top in the very little outside room they have to work with now. Second half was more high-risk and up tempo. Notable spots being both guys using each other’s finishers to try to get the win, A.J. taking suplex into a turnbuckle, a top-rope Angle slam, A.J. missing the springboard 450, and Angle missing a moonsault. By this point I was thinking that these two work really, really well with each other. Great tease with A.J. almost tapping out in the ankle lock until Flair pulled the ref out. Angle chased Flair, got hit with a hard clothesline from A.J., and Flair tossed the belt into A.J who effectively turned heel by using it to get the win. Another good match from these two but I liked the 1/4 Impact match better since it had a clean fin. Not bad though for a 29:00 match.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
2) Jerry Bundy v. Kamala- 3
3) Masked Invader v. Jimmy Valiant- 2
4) Eddie Sullivan/ Zulu v. Fabulous Ones- 2
5) Dennis Stann/ Billy Robinson v. Baron Von Raschke/ Jerry Blackwell- 3
6) Rick Martel v. Jimmy Garvin (AWA Title)- 4
Our opener was typical jobber fare, Zenk didn't show much at all except a little boy's haircut and clumsy selling. Superstar gave a nice downed boot but I doubt anyone of quality was behind the mask.
Bundy looked like your local Waffle House cook, complete with greasy moustache, but he sold death like it was coming fast and hard for him. Kamala was a lot more offensive minded than usual, finishing each chop and kick instead of just flailing his arms out like thwarting off a swarm of bees. It wasn't long but effective in getting over Kamala as an ass beater.
Our 3rd match takes place in a different arena, seemingly in a different time and universe. Valiant strolls in the ring as if an iPod is plugged into his soul, juking and jiving all over the ring while completing his offense. It was one of the damndest things I've seen in a wrestling match. He never stopped his rhythm, he beat Masked Jerkoff to the beat of a song, finishing with a strong elbowdrop then beboped back out into the crowd.
First tag match of the show and the Fabulous boys were cheered loudly and proudly. Liked the snap on Lane's headlock takedowns right from rip. Keirn sold a few moves from the opposition but then just ended it while the heels were still working their control section. What a shitty way to end the match, complete lack of storytelling by Keirn there. Also, i hope this doesn't sound prejudice, but how many dudes named Zulu do you know that look like Louie Anderson?
Our next tag features the outstanding Billy Robinson, but I hardly recognized him because he must have entered a Harley Race look-alike contest, complete with whole face beard and moustache combo and large beer gut. He can still move though and I love his vaunted punches. Baron is just a walking corpse here, astounding that he's still alive 25 years later. Blackwell is usually quite stiff but couldn't do much with Robinson's style. Stann was there as the Star Trek ensign, to take the fall.
Our main event is a World Title match and both guys had cemented their particular roles here, Garvin was fussing and tassling his hair, while stalling at all possible opportunities, and Martel was a fiery babyface. He actually broke out a hurricanra within the first few minutes. I liked both guys punches too, Martel's were over the top good guy style but Garvin sold them well, and his short jabs were perfect heel compliments. Finish was too muddled for my taste, esp, with a heel Dusty fin with the belt, it left this match feeling less than it's potential, but the sum of the parts just didn't add up to a wholly satisfying experience, sort of like the Kill Bill films.
Monday, January 4, 2010
Everything an opening match should be, Hulk has the charisma, he def. has the girls, and the ring movement to succeed. Both guys showed tons of heart here, Hulk has the sympathetic side of selling hurt down but can't convey it with anything but simple selling and some body language, but it will come. Could have shaved a few minutes off of this but nothing wrong with what they accomplished here.
2) 2 Cold Scorpio v. Ken Doane- 3
An interesting match, 2 Cold is getting older but apparently a diet of weed, cocaine and energy drinks makes up the elixir of life because he can still do all the high flying stuff he did in his 20's/30's. He put on a show of high risk moves that were impressive, but the match lacked any kind of direction. Doane still doesn't get it, he moves from spot to spot with the same blank look on his face for the duration of this match. He didn't give the fans anything to connect to except his over-hyped legdrop.
3) Mike Quackenbush/ Jigsaw/ Fire Ant/ Soldier Ant v. Hallowicked/ Icarus/ Gran Akuma/ Amassis- 5
The CHIKARA boys show off what they got and for diff. sections, this worked. No denying the fun factor here, as obviously these guys are well versed with each other, each guy working off the last in the ring with the fluidity of a Corvette engine. Their Lucha style looks good, even more polished than most true Mexican luchadores, but it's all practiced and coveted to look as such. A few guys weren't up to snuff though, Akuma was the bald Davey Richards, sick kicks and just walking the ring from spot to spot, kicking out of everything thrown at him, the Ants were fun to watch though. All in all, not on the level of older Dragon Gate multi-man matches (or for that matter, old Toryumon stuff) but the finish really was as exciting as touching your first boob.
4) Dragon Kid v. Masato Yoshino- 6
I used to be the biggest Yoshino hater in the modern world, dude's a buck & 1/2, and he was the Man of Steel, would commonly be in 30+ min. matches, kick out of every finisher known to man, and still looked like he could go to the club after the match. His selling is still pretty unbelievable (almost like he always gets something in his eyes) but he's improving from that style. Kid has always been more grounded and the element i most liked about this was the unrehearsed look it had, reversals not coming off clean, knees coming up at the last second from splashes, strikes used well (and not only as transitions) it had all the trappings of looking like a real fight. Kid also amazed with some downright awesome hurricanranas too.
5) Young Bucks v. CIMA/ Susumu Yokosuka- 4
Matches like these are my biggest pet peeve. Just in this match alone, the Bucks put together a tag team highlight reel that may never be matched, i mean just a litany of cool tandem stuff they pulled off here was downright impressive but all the basics were thrown out of the window due to the excess, legal man problems, terribly long 2.9 kickout sessions, but the thing that gets me most is the complete lack of professionalism of wrestling, what they are doing there, was thrown out of the window. At no point did this feel like two teams that were trying to win, it was 100% performed like a ballet, an entertainment piece with heavily rehearsed and choreographed spots for the fans' enjoyment, which to the modest 23 year old fan with no concept of ring psychology (and probably no dating prospects) this is the cat's pajamas, the balls and the cock of what they love, but it doesn't fly with me, i've been watching too long, have seen too much to claim this was a great "wrestling" match. Moments that annoyed me were Yokosuka constantly taking water breaks after moves (esp. a Bucks double team dive move outside), CIMA motioning the crowd to cheer louder instead of selling the crazy move he just took and the long speech after the match where everyone is friends again because they put on a great show. I don't think these guys have ever seen an Arn Anderson match (my latest HOF inductee) because if you do, you won't disbelieve he wants to maim his opponent for one second. 'Nuff said.
6) SHINGO v. Naruki Doi- 6
I nearly went with a 7 here, but not quite. It was probably still the best thing on the show though. SHINGO showed me a lot, he kept up with his hurt knee selling for a good portion of this, and not overtly done, just little spurts, like right before the big superplex, he grabs it for a second as if he was fighting through the pain but it clutched him just for a moment. Doi is dynamic, his legwork left some to be desired though and none of his finishers (which people don't care about anymore) don't look like they could beat anyone. A Flapjack? a running kick? but this was paced just like a Heavyweight Japanese title match, even though no belt was on the line, the announcers did a good job making it still feel important. I liked how SHINGO kept countering that absurdly difficult finish Doi kept trying because realistically, it would be hard to hit that move. The near falls at the end kept building and building and the match ended when it peaked, nearly, so it was a main event they could be proud of.
Overall, i like Dragon Gate, but it's like a perfect ROH replica in that it only offers one thing and that will wear on people after a while so just like Wasabi, a little i can take but too much of it and i'll be on the floor heaving and gasping for air, never wanting it to darken my mouth again.
Friday, January 1, 2010
From those deadly serious promos to the legendary arm work and scare heel tactics to epic Horsemen beatdowns and tag encounters, to strange alliances, to blood soaked feuds, Arn has done it all.....well except win a World Title, but why should he suffer for the crimes and sins of stupid promoters and bookers? Congrats, AA, you've earned it.