oh the white death rains down from the sky and alas, here I am sitting in my cubicle while all I want to do is go home and try and get my daughter to play in the snow, i'll keep my fingers crossed. meanwhile, thinking back to what I saw this weekend: TNA Impact, didn't mind it so bad on this episode, AJ's strong heel persona really stuck out to me and enjoyed he and Joe's exchange a lot, they both had a good handle on their characters and I love guys doing promos as themselves, not scripted, it's so easy to tell between the two. Matchwise, nothing tickled me silly although Pope v. OJ had some cool exchanges and I saw a confidence in Pope that he desperately needed in WWE and Jordan was competing with a looseness he didn't have before, he used to wrestle like a dude with a plunger up his ass (and for those of you who haven't watched WWE in the last 10 years, no that wasn't his actual gimmick). Thougt the Hogan stuff was idiotic as the norm, why go to great lengths and waste TV time telling Eric Young that Hall & Pac can't come in, then you open the door for them to come in against Angle, are they fucking hobos, how does he know they've been waiting outside during the whole 2 hours? my brain froze trying to rationalize it.
ROH Proving Ground proved that 2009 was a low mark in their history, Night one was an epic disaster from the overwrought Black v. Richards main event to the joke of Albright kicking out of like 4 NIgel fins in a very boring match. Steen/ Generico v. Dark City was good but i felt like they were subbing them out for the same worked match they do with the Briscoes. Aries got more out of the comedy match with Necro than most would but I still wasn't entertained. Night 2 however was a lot more satisfying. I'm a Lynn fan from way back, kind of fun trying to see him keep up with young dude Osborne, who's not fully ready. YRR match served it's purpose but Rinauro is a joke. The Dark City six man v. Strong/Stevens/Albright was an abomination of my time, it never ended and so many things went wrong, I was about to drop my head in my deep fryer. 2nd half was quite good though, Aries did a tremendous job with Brad Attitude, classic NWA title match formula where you make the nobody look like he could be world champion, lots of praise there. Danielson v. Generico always put out great work (loved their PWG World Title match from a few years back) and the comedy before hand was lighthearted and very endearing, loved how Generico was totally in character during the whole thing and actually made me want to see Danielson v. Bison. Finish was killer. Overall I didn't love the main event but thought DLo and Nigel both brought the heat with their strikes and big bumps.
I thought the Springer segment on Raw was absolutely terrible. It just came off as useless and pointless when they could've used that time to build the pay-per-view. Plus, the whole thing with Lawler at the end of it with him trying to cover it up as a rib just made me scratch my head. The Bret thing was lame. Some random blonde backs into Bret's limo? Wouldn't any smart driver check their mirror before backing out? Michael Cole selling the injury as "the worst day of Bret's" life was absolutely ludicrous.
I'm looking forward to watching the final ECW. I think Goldust/Yoshi vs. Miz/Show should be fun. Plus we have Christian/Jackson in an extreme rules match.
I wanted to see some of the horryifying bird creature Shibaten so I watched him (vs. Rei, vs. Quackenbush) on YouTube. The bout versus Rei is barely two minutes, but quite fun, with Shibaten establishing a knack for quality selling and being fully into his character (i.e. Ophidian from Osirian Portal). It was fun watching puro nerd Quackenbush in one of his first tours of Japan, but didn’t seem particularly at home in Michinoku Pro, his elaborate arm work seemed ultimately futile and derivative.
I finished TNA Against All Odds ’10, at the library now printing out schoolwork, so can’t be bothered to comment in any great detail. Overall, a forgettable show, per the norm with the rest of TNA’s recent pay-per-view output. I’m going to watch last night’s ROH on HDNet when I get home and some ’09 BattlArts.
I also caught some of that bird freak, like one of Rodan's illegimate children, but he had great movement inside the ring and added a unique quality to the Quack match which would have been pretty boring with all his technical prowess on display. Also caught most of the Feb. NOAH Differ in Navigation show, Masao Inoue's comeback match was nothing to be proud of, just jovial joke spots and a strange likeness to a plumper younger Chono. Enjoyed Morishima's performance in his tag encounter, it went to a 30 minute draw and totally felt like it because it lost direction several times, but there was some hard work done and fun dynamic to see former partners Mori and Sasaki do battle. Also watched a few pimped Lucha matches, one featuring Black Terry who is older than The Nile River, but it was such a change of pace from normal pro wrestling and even Lucha with his technical stuff, you could tell it was so natural to him how to perform all those moves and make them work within the context of the match he was doing. Also decided to see who this Negro Navarro guy is I hear mentioned on the Segunda Radio show but only found a quick 3 minute clip on "You Tube XL" the version on Wii online in between playing the Ice level in the new Mario, some fun armdrags but not enough to form a real opinion. Will be watching final ECW and TNA's Against All Odds at some point this week too.
I just finished iMPACT! Quite a baffling, befuddling show. Samoa Joe losing clean to Orlando Jordan? Subsequently, Joe later abducted in a white van? Hogan passing the torch... to fucking Abyss? I did like the Young Bucks/Red/Kaz vs. Kendrick/Williams/Machine Guns sprint -- quite fun. Angle vs. Daniels was about as good as a one minute match you'll see. Also watched Superstars, and damn, that Knox vs. Mysterio main was a lot of fun, quite developed with defined acts, some believable nearfalls, etc. I'll definitely be finding time over the weekend to watch a few DVDs.
Over the weekend I began the WM project....again, with 20, review forthcoming. Also saw a few matches for download including Marufuji v. Devitt and Tanahashi v. Okada both from New Japan. Brian alerted me to some rube online who had the first one rated at 1/2 star, which tells me he seriously needs to dig himself out of the large hole he currently lives in that's called "Internet Trend follower" and give the match it's due. The inherent flaw of the match is all the obvious setups to moves, it happens again and again, and if that's the argument could see a case for someone not enjoying it, but the crowd loves it that's for sure. I liked their rope stuff, where they both used bouncing off the ropes and momentum to duel each other on who hits first, and it's not overdone stuff like in Dragon Gate, really nasty bumps through out incl. Marufuji's sidewalk slam bomb and Devitt wiping out Richards style except more hurty. Didn't care much for the Okada match, has a good look and physique but need to pull something out of him performance wise, match was way too long for what it wanted to accomplish and Marufuji would be best served working with higher talent. my impression is he may sink instead of swim in the states.
Also caught some of the ballyhooed Hulk Hogan DVD unreleased set, Bob Backlund carried Hulk to a very well done match that nearly hit the 30 min. mark, some good old fashioned "out move the big brute" stuff, then selling his ass off in a armlock that he basically maneuvered Hogan in for, JR & King both comment on Hulk being green but his enthusiasm is certainly there. Loved the Mr. T & Hulk skit in the health food store as well, Hogan was trying to hold back laughter as T threw carrot juice, wheat grass and other assorted stuff in his basket.
I've been simultaneously watching ROH End of An Age and WWE Insurrextion '03. So far on the ROH end of things, Kenny King vs. Petey Williams was a touch longer then needed to be, I feel like Petey often has a lost expression on his face, goes through the motions, etc. Williams' movement is good, but his storytelling ability is rather poor; King, on the other hand, has a big upside and lots of potential. Erick Stevens vs. Rasche Brown was also forgettable, save for some big, explosive offensive bits courtesy of Stevens. We hadn't seen Brown really bump yet in ROH, nice to see him get stuffed and tossed on his bald head a couple times. Lastly, saw KENTA vs. Tyler Black; this will be contested by arguing fans, some will love it, others loathe it. I was rather indifferent. Some crazy, athletic spots, big superplex, dazzling kicks, flying, etc. Selling, as one may guess, wasn't the strong suit, each guy would temporarily sell things, but nothing extended, i.e. Black rallying back from near death far too many times for my tastes.
Insurrextion '03 has been an odd little show, kind of underwhelming, all things considered. Jazz vs. Trish Stratus was surprisingly good; much better than the majority of Diva output the last four years. Trish was good at sympathetic selling, while getting wrenched in holds, etc. Booker T vs. Christian wasn't up to my expectations. Booker seemed a bit selfish, something I've heard of him as a worker, not particularly going out of his way much at all for Christian. The Canadian looked decent, though, although lacked the spark and confidence that made him shine in 2009. I turned off the TV midway through RVD/Kane vs. La Resistance last night, will finish it later. Dupree has loads of personality, strutting around like a peacock, etc. I think he belonged in the WWE. I'd rank him up there with Palumbo (and maybe Grimes) as guys that they dropped the ball on. RVD's move set was the same as any other of his matches you could randomly pick, cartwheeling and sommersaulting without any rhyme or reason.
Finished disc 1 of the Hulk Hogan Secret set.
Hulk/ JYD v. King Kong Bundy/ BJ Studd- I think i enjoyed the visual of two iconic competitors acting like two kids hopped up on Pixie Sticks and Lollipop Rings than most of what transpired in the match. Hulk v. Bundy sections worked, the big man bumped for him, and had good movement but Studd was as lackadasical as a T Rex with imsomnia.
Hulk visits the Snake Pit- pretty pedestrian interview where Roberts basically shoved the fact Andre will win down our throats and showed off the belt he could win which was pretty damn long, Hulk took posession of it for a few moments before abritrarily throwing it into a water-less pool where some giant pythons were slithering.
Hulk v. Kamala- I've enjoyed the point of view from Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler on these matches, Lawler seems a lot more relaxed and isn't worried about one liners and JR loves to give history. Match was nothing basically, Hulk preening around acting as if those weenie chops were giving him problems. Makes you appreciate where wrestling has come from and where it is now because Kamala got by on very little skill or talent.
Hulk v. Killer Khan- both men were more unsightly than moldy mushrooms in your "crisper" box in the fridge but this was enjoyable. Think they tangled in New Japan years before. Hulk took some huge bumps from Khan's chops, and he worked over Hulk with a nasty nerve pinch, he was up for selling but not apt for it, bumbling awkwardly around the ring as Hulk ran through his move set, so far probably the most digestible thing off this disc, wrestling wise for the average fan.
I watched Steve Corino/Kevin Steen vs. Alex Payne/Bobby Dempsey from ROH on HDNet 2/08/10. Corino seemed sluggish, only real good facial he gave while selling was after a big Bobby splash. Payne botched two things real badly, surprised it made air, as they should have edited his amateurishness out. He flubbed a leapfrog then botched a hurricanrana. Dempsey had some fire, yelling at Corino to hit him again, but this was mostly about the heels roughing up Payne. I also checked out Rico vs. Goldust from Insurrextion '03. I cracked up at one point, while selling punches Goldie started doing his tourettes routine, stuttering and spasming. Rico bumped around, but would pop up far too quickly after each bump, no prolonged selling which made him look like a superhero not a fashion designer. All in a all, a kind of fun, throwaway bout.
Watched the first NXT. You just have to laugh at the concept, in a way, Miz talking to the live TV audience, even addressing them, Danielson flubbed a line or two but came off as real, and unscripted which is more than refreshing, but let's not forget the "pro" Miz's flub either: dry as the Mojave Devert? Didn't see a lot I liked in the tag, Christian and Carlito working the same spots they did Monday, but I loved how Tarver sold the flying uppercut and Killswitch. One thing i don't get: if you're a boxer/MMA guy why are you doing all those wrestling punches and moves? he didn't go for a Knockout punch once. Otunga's match was a huge squash and one of them burnt the finishing move, so that was a dud. Then Danielson v. Jericho- seriously, we seriously get this on free TV? Awesome! It was a good little tv match too, besides Danielson falling backwards when taking a enzugiri, and the table spot was just brutal, but how come Danielson got up first? Liked his leg lock and Jericho always uses the old version of the Liontamer against younger guys. Fun first episode has me intrigued to see the upcoming weeks.
Also watched the All Japan six man main event with the pornstars- Muto/ Funaki/ Hama against the Voodoo Murderers, or what's left of them. Strange they chose Hama to do the heel beatdown on, wasn't truly as effective as it could have been because you're having to seriously disbelieve reality to watch it, Hama is easily 550, jelly rolls popping out of his trunks everywhere so for him to be hurt by Hate's weak leg kicks is a hard pill to swallow. Muto looked springy hitting his moves but the Wizard becomes more tame by the day. I did chuckle at his super hero comeback after getting frenched by the hot Asian hoe with the large boobies bouncing everywhere. This wasn't offensive nor will it stick in my crawl for very long. Also sort of watced Marufuji v. Nakajima, Savannah was unusually unruly during it so hard to get into the match, but long submission sections i didn't expect; the kicking sections were fun, but how many superkicks can one guy take to the face before we start asking ourselves, how is he standing? Marufuji is in top athletic form, but he totally waits for every single move and is a very spotty wrestling, maybe ROH rubbed off on him. Nakajima still needs seasoning but is progressing, aggresiveness he has no problem with, taking the time to sell properly and craft a coherent story every match out is something he'll have to learn over the long haul.
Adam said he was going to chime in tonight, but, since he hasn't, I'm going to jump back into the mix. Tonight I watched Sachie Abe, KAZUKI & Megumi Yabushita vs. Kaori Yoneyama, Emi Sakura & Aoi Kizuki -- far too short to be anything, but, for the brief time it lasted, it was full of adorable but not expertly executed triple-teams. We also watched what was supposed to be the last-ever IWA Mid-South show in Kings of the Crimson Mask 2. Only 6 matches, guess Ian couldn't pay anybody else to show up. Jimmy Jacobs randomly working one up from the bottom of the show, doing an uninspired dog collar chain match with Michael Elgin (replacing the absent Corp. Robinson). World champ Dingo worked second from the bottom -- who booked this? Oh, the crackhead with the Grinch tatt, I got it. There was a really ludicrous hardcore four-way of Chris Havius vs. Mephisto vs. Dixieland Destroyer vs. Joey Grunge. Never heard of any of those guys before? Don't worry. You're not alone. I'd never seen any of these guys, but good lord, looks like they just rounded up four slobs from the local truck stop and gave them some weapons to bludgeon each other with. Dixie Destroyer was a 500lbs. beast wearing overalls and a confederate flag lucha mask. Semi-main of Mickie Knuckles/Jon Moxley/Sami Callihan vs. The Hooligans was an extended beatdown, as the crowd favorites beat and bloodied the Hooligans, especially their requisite Spike Dudley in Neil Diamond Cutter who earned his $15 of pay taking the ass-whooping of the century. Main event was No Rope Barbwire, Electrified Light Tubes, Fans Bring The Weapons Match: Mad Man Pondo & Ian Rotten vs. Viper & Elkview Adam. A big pile of shit it was. Pondo's gut is larger than ever, a clean-shaven Ian makes him look even more like a molester, Viper looked like a gargantuan Justin Credible (sold better, though) and Elkview Adam, albeit post-match Rotten blew on the mic, didn't impress me a lick. So that's your fed's finale after 13 years? Bwahahaa!!!11!!.1 fucking idiots -- Oh wait, William Regal is on Superstars I'm going to go watch that now..
Picked up a few new DVDs at Half Price Books last night, including one called "AAW Taste of Violence" which features some real terrible wrestlers and lots of phantom selling. There was one match that was a hardcore match between Venom, a scrawny kid who looks about 17 and is wrestling wearing a Spiderman Venom t-shirt, stone washed jeans, and skater shoes, and a wrestler named Wolverine, who goes about 275 with a goatee and is probably the 2,657th low-level independent wrestler to use that name. The match was full of comedic errors including Wolverine bumping on a piece of plywood and Venom doing a balcony dive and crashing through a table. There was another match which had Hannibal, a complete rip-off of the Anthony Hopkins movie character, against two dudes who are blatantly ripping off the Mean Street Posse. Hannibal did some type of shit spinning kick that I rewound multiple time and laughed really hard at. There are no notable names on the show but I got it out of curiosity. A thorough review of this awful crap will be forthcoming.
Also, got together with Brian and Geo and watched IWA-MS King of the Crimson Mask 2009, which was touted as the final IWA-MS show at the time. Highlights of this comedy masterpiece included a 450 pound hillbilly in overalls and a conferdate flag mask getting his back lashed open with a crap ton of light tubes and Ian Rotten stumbling around, sticking his ancient face in wherever he can, and cutting promos about the company and putting people over. The main was awful and featured Rotten and Mad Man Pondo teaming up to "wrestle" Elkview Adam & Viper in what can only be described as a complete clusterfuck. Afterwards, Ian and Pondo worked the stick and bored the shit out of everyone. I do want to see some more IWA-MS though, just to see if there's even anything from the past few years in that shit company worth watching. Brian, pass that along to me as I would like to take some notes on it.
Finally, watched a random and brief bout from a DVD called "Grand Masters of Wrestling" (which can be found in the $1 bin at your local Wal-Mart) which featured a bloated Iron Mike Sharpe and King Kong Bundy. The match was terrible, probably one of the worst matches I've watched in a long time with Sharpe and Bundy just stalling and trying to spots they did 20 years ago to no avail. The biggest annoyance was that the crowd noise was dubbed in in what seemed like a five minute loop. Bundy was randomly counted out. The crowd was in such a zombie state that even if they were forced to give a shit, they probably wouldn't have.
Nothing from iMPACT! was too notable, Kaz v. Kendrick was fun, but in PWG they would have gotten triple the time. Finishing off ROH End of An Age this morning. D-Lo Brown vs. Roderick Strong, first D-Lo ROH bout I've actively enjoyed. Basically them just pounding the hell of each other, lots of great chops, but cheap fin. I surprisingly enjoyed the Brent Albright/Colt Cabana vs. Claudio Castagnoli/Joey Ryan Street Fight. Pretty chaotic and at times sloppy, but fun 'till the end. One of Ryan's better ROH performances, pretty game to eat stuff, but nowhere near the level of his '09 PWG stuff (see v. Chris Hero). I really like one spot: the heels were seated in chairs in the front row, and Colt did a backflip off of the guardrail and just crushed Claudio. Hey!! Ryan gave Cabana a Mustache Ride off of the top onto a pile of chairs -- Cabana sold it like he was sharing a bed with his brother and felt a boner poke him in the back. Ending was a (flying) Butt Butt through a table, but Iceman Parsons did a spit take on that one!!!