This is my final month of college and we're expecting our first child, too; I may be a bit elusive on the blog for awhile, but rest assured, I'll be popping in when time allows, watching footage whenever I get a spare minute, and, as always, never handing over!
Hermie Sadler's UWF 8/4/07
1. Caleb Konley vs. Scott Steiner - 2
It's interesting seeing a six-sided ring inside a school gymnasium, it's not quite Dali's dripping clock, but visually arresting none the less. Konley's open challenge is accepted by the Big Booty Daddy. Caleb sells a belly-to-belly suplex like he just got shot with a civil war canon. Steiner throws a referee's shirt (with the Dick's Sporting Goods tag still attached) onto a security guard that looks like Uncle Fester, the inept, elderly man counts Scott's pushups a la a pin to the befuddlement of everyone. A squash that lasts a couple minutes, fun for Caleb's enthusiastic selling and Scott's genuine craziness.
2. Jake Manning vs. Human Tornado vs. TJ Mack - 3
The next match starts with a bad dance-based comedy routine. Manning does a powerbomb variation where he sticks his knee out and drops Mack on it in a gnarly spot. TJ, not to be outdone, innovates with a series of three consecutive rolling Northern Lights suplexes on Tornado, the last seeing him tossed into the turnbuckles. Manning, working an Eagle Scout gimmick, does a good job of generating crowd heat, earning some "Girl Scout" chants and bringing the crowd into an otherwise by-the-numbers independent three-way collection of spots. Tornado moonsaults off of the apron on the other two on the floor, Mack stops punching Manning to stand there and watch blankly as Tornado flies towards him. The ending is a mess of ill conceived stuff ending with an embarrassing swanton attempt by Tornado.
3. AJ Styles and Joey Silvia vs. D-Lo Brown and Ron Killings - 3
I'd never seen Silvia before but in appearance he's similar to a more rotund and chunky AJ Styles with David Flair's facial features. AJ plays the pussy role early for heat tagging out quickly. There's lots of stuff on the microphone early as well and general stalling, fine for the Carolina crowd, but doesn't translate very well on DVD. Another strike against Silvia, he's got a lower-back tattoo, I'm sure Vance Archer would approve. D-Lo's work on the apron is pretty rote, looking unmotivated working in a sleeveless t-shirt over a singlet. The storytelling in this one is about as deep as what you'd find in child's pop-up book. Brown does an ode to Mutoh after a lousy moonsault and I choke on my turkey pastrami sandwich. The match finally breaks down and gets active near the end, unfortunately I'd seen better selling earlier that day by guys in monster suits in Gamera vs. Guiron so wasn't impressed.
4. Sonjay Dutt vs. Chris Sabin - 3
Sabin's eschews telling a story to the whole crowd, his body language and facials would only be effectives for those at ringside as he doesn't emote particularly well. I think the alien face he used to have on his trunks often was more expressive than him. The alien? I want his backstory. Sabin? I want to know why he isn't installing my cable. Chris' stomps are also problematic, real light, not doing the match any favors. Sabin does a Rick Rude impersonation -- didn't know he was a fan. They could have shaved a few minutes off of this, picked up the pace, built with some believable near-falls, and it would have worked much better. The commentator calls it "innovate and hard-hitting" but I call it a poor facsimile of a Devon Storm vs. Ace Darling bout.
5. Triple X vs. The Naturals and David Young - 4
Chase Stevens trying to exchange strikes with Low Ki as about as big a faux pas as Matt Lindland's wearing of the wrong gear. Skipper sells a David Young dropkick like a Slime in Dragon Warrior. Elix jawing with the crowd is reminiscent of Reggie Miller inciting a Knicks crowd. Why didn't anybody ever tell David Young it wasn't a good idea to pattern his offense off of APW highlight videos? He's trying to call to mind Morgan, Quance, and O'Grady yet most resembles Roland Alexander. Daniels' face in peril section leaves much to be desired, but I'm always a sucker for the Space Tornado Ogawa, and not many people pull it off any better. The ending is all three of Triple X executing their trademark flying finishers in sequence, unfortunately Skipper's first, and terribly botches his spot, he's supposed to walk across the top rope like Philippe Petit in Man on Wire, but falls awkwardly for a real hoot.
6. Steve Corino vs. Dustin Rhodes vs. Sabu - Monster's Ball Match - 3
Corino drug Dusty Rhodes into one of the worst Dusty matches I've seen, so I had low expectations that he'd do much better with his son. We get some real uninspired WWE hardcore division-style brawling to start, with foreign objects ranging from barbecue tongs, to cookie sheets, to Allison Danger. Corino wraps a chain around Dustin's bloody head in a cool visual. I haven't seen someone so at home with a garbage can since Valerie Vomit in '87's cinematic masterpiece The Garbage Pail Kids Movie. Sabu runs out halfway through and starts running through his usual routine of hackneyed spots. Dustin's the only one with interesting histrionics, taking a pratfall on the floor that would make Shemp blush. Sabu's idea of selling is making a profit off of a dime bag he acquiesced from a native teen. I don't know how Corino's made a career out of shitty punching and shoddy selling, if he's a good brawler than Uwe Boll is a brilliant filmmaker. My wife comes into the room and I tell her that's Goldust, her response: "Why's he so fat?" I wish I had an answer. Sabu throws a ladder across the ring that Corino hoists his shoulder up to take the impact on, sort of pussy, but gives it the same loopy sell he's given everything else. There wasn't anything redeeming here, in fact, trading in fifteen prize tickets at Chuck E. Cheese's would be more so, at least you'd get a stupid bracelet and Tootsie Roll.