Sunday, October 31, 2010

Battle of the Belts 1 v. Battle of the Belts 2

Hey everyone, back with another article for all you sick, deplorable wrestling fans enjoyment as the blog continues to run strong. And Happy Halloween, hope all you freaks and sickos are full on Nestle candy and hard orange peanuts; I also hope none of you were caught dead in a Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp version, the DC Comics version would be swank) costume last night and hope your women didn't get impregnanted sporting any sort of Twilight themed outfit, for that's a shame they may never be able to live down, especially if it's filmed for online consumption by the masses. I'm going to borrow a gimmick from Brian that I really enjoyed, he pitted 2 shows of the same namesake against each other to see which one was better in terms of wrestling content and enjoyment. And we time travel back to Florida in the mid 80's to do so.

Battle of the Belts 1
1) Hector & Chavo Guerrero v. Rip Oliver & The Grappler- 5
2) Cocoa Samoa v. Rip Rogers- 2
3) Jack Hart v. Kendall Windham- 3
4) Rick Rude v. Billy Jack Haynes- 6
5) Road Warriors v. Harley Race & Stan Hansen- 7
6) Nick Bockwinkel v. Frankie Lane- 4
7) Ric Flair v. Wahoo McDaniel (2/3 Falls Match)- 5

Overall Score: 46% (rounding up)

Analysis: The opener was everything you could hope for to open a show, the Guerreros were a hot enough act and performed such cool moves, you really only needed competent workers to pit against them, which their opposition was merely that. Cocoa I feared would be a dumpy old Samoan getting by on stereotypical tricks and while he was more mobile than I had predicted, he wasn't much better. Rogers is the dregs and I actually was more horrified of both men's "mirror image" female versions of themselves than recently screened Paranormal Activity 2. Windham was a gross 80's denim baby who showed nothing more than any female on NXT in the selling department, as Heart relentlessly pounded his head for far too long. Rude v. Haynes was drenched in physicality, both men sporting the same afro and thick beard look and both displaying more talent in the selling department than everyone else on the show thus far. This wild tag bout was everything I hoped for, 4 of the toughest dudes to ever put on trunks just potatoeing the hell out of each other for a good 10 minutes, with Hansen being the most violent. Bock made short work out of future WCW Saturday Night jobber Lane, after pinning him with a punch to the throat he used to block a crossbody, I shit you not. Our main event featured a lot of similar big match Flair-isms, but McDaniel, pudgy appearance aside, was pretty repetitive in his offense, chop, chop, rest hold, chop, rinse, repeat. How Flair got 40+ minutes out of him is one of the reasons he's the greatest of all time. How the falls ended up played into the pysch of the finish which ended iton a good note, but there wasn't enough real substance to warrant this kind of long battle.

Battle of the Belts 2
1) Tyree Pride v. Ron Slinker - 2
2) Kendall Windham v. Rocky Ieakeau - 3
3) Denny Brown v. White Ninja - 5
4) Jesse Barr v. Lex Luger - 4
5) Bruiser Brody v. Wahoo McDaniel -4
6) Road Warriors & Blackjack Mulligan v. Kevin Sullivan, Mark Lewin & Maya Singh- 5
7) Ric Flair v. Barry Windham - 9

Overall Score: 46% (rounding up)
Analysis: Thankfully this opening piece of torture didn't go long. Slinker looked like "Superfoot" Wallace's older slimy brother. He took bumps like a kindergardener learning to tumble for the first time. Pride's match winning cross body was as graceful as a yak trying to Soap. Ieakeau was fun to watch, really goofy mannerisms but seemed to make a hobby of bumping. Windham controlled this match though, surprisingly, and was kind of run like a squash, which you got the feeling Rocky could have schooled young Kendy. Nice bulldog finish though. Why was the White Ninja wearing all black? This was actively good, Ninja was actually a young Muto, who looked as crisp here as in his prime. Brown was simple, but they built up to a really good nearfall with the moonsault, i won't comment on the stuipd finish, only to say that Muto had earned his first geisha with this performance. Next match was unnecessarily long, seemed like a chance for Luger to get ring time because at this point he was greener than Poison Ivy's labia. He kind of plodded through rest holds then performing an "Oklahoma Stampede" that would surely make Dr. Death vomit on himself were he to still have functioning body parts. Finish was as insulting as Glenn Beck having his own show to spew off rhetoric. Our next match didn't offer much, the most intense moments were a wild chase around ringside with Wahoo chopping and bleeding and Brody running for cover. The pretext of the opening matwork almost feels insulting, like they should have been fighting like that the whole time. Another Chicago street fight special, Mulligan played good cowboy in pain, the heels looked like a group of male prostitutes getting ready for a Halloween Monster Mash. Warriors were just insanely over and destroyed and bashed everything in their way, like the monster from the Host, and were just as ugly. A fun way to kill 12 minutes for sure. Now, our main event, after starting watching it, I realized I had already seen this and reviewed it before because I was hearing a lot of pimping Brian was giving me from a lot of Internet people in the know. Overall, they were right. After re-reading it from 2008 as part of my Barry Windham love fest, there's not a lot i would disagree with after reading what I wrote. I guess the major obstacle is how I'm not as down on the finish, execution wise, they pulled it off, but you would like something a little more substantial than a double countout, but I guess Flair with his feet on the ropes would be equally as bad, so there's no right answer. But, the work stands for itself, if you want to know why I've loved Barry or how anyone is a fan of his, this is the perfect match to show you, it's a long affair and it's not just another brilliant Flair carry job, Windham is on his level in every aspect of the game. Another breath of fresh air here is you don't seem submissions worked this well, where you think they are ending the match; they have this audience literally in the palm of their hand.

Final comments:
It seems I liked both of these shows about on equal terms, both had good and bad, the Windham match far excelled anything on either show, and made the Wahoo match seem like a dinner of tofu compared to a 16 oz. porterhouse. See the Road Warriors v. Race/ Hansen off the first show to see 4 legitimate "Bad Dudes" beat the snot out of each other. Most of the other stuff, isn't required viewing so if you're online and have the choice of the undercards of these 2 shows or the latest Conan viral video, watch the funniest man on TV.

BJW Chandelier Death Match Fun! 9-30-96

Happy Halloween! Since this is my favorite holiday, I figured I'd review my favorite company in Japan: BJW! Get ready for some horrors of horrors with a unique deathmatch main event!

Since clipping and jipping are the way of Japan, a lot of the scores of the clipped matches appear low. I'm sure they would've garnered a higher score if they'd have been shown in their entirety, but we take what we can get.

Clipped Matches
____________

1. Yosuke Kobayashi VS. Eagle -2
02. Ichiro Yaguchi VS. Gennosuke Kobayashi -1
03. Yuichi Taniguchi VS. Satoru Shiga - 2
04. Seiji Yamakawa VS. Black Warrior - 3
05. Yoshiro Tajiri VS. Dr. Wagner Jr. - 5
06. Kendo Nagasaki / Bruiser Okamoto VS. Ina Rotten / Dances with Dudleys - 1

Eagle had some high offense maneuvers. Started off with some decent chain wrestling, but there was probably less than two minutes of the match shown, so it was hard to rate fairly.

No substance whatsoever. I felt like Gennosuke's selling really left something to be desired and Yaguchi basically took shit the entire match. No thanks.

The highlight of this match was a Randy Orton - Esque DDT from the top rope. Shiga took it hard and it looked pretty good. The rest of the match was unintelligible.

Black Warrior busted out some insane dives... repeatedly. While this match was definitely the spot-fest match, it had some substance because Yamakawa really knew how to each Warrior's offensive moves.

Tajiri is awesome. You knew this. His chain wrestling and light-footedness was amazing. Just a really solid M-Pro style match here that worked really well. I really liked the mat-based offense moving into a more aerial based offense. Wags looked good, as well. He served as a great base for Tajiri to work off of and sold Tajiri's offense well.

This was fucking stupd. The two odious and vile ECW 'humans' looked shitty. I'm a Nagasaki fan, I have to admit, but this was a shitty match that featured a few chair shots and a roll up victory in the amount of time it takes Ian to reach orgasm.

The Main Event
____________

07. Mitsuhiro Matsunaga VS. Shoji Nakamki (No Rope Barbed Wire Chandelier Baseball Bat Deathmatch!) - 4

Not a bad DM. Masty took a sick bump through the strung-together light bulbs, face-first. There was a crowd brawl, but since the lights in the arena were off, I was unable to see what was going on. They teased going into the bulbs a few times, so when Matsunaga went into the bulbs it made it that much more sick. I would've liked to have seen more baseball bat use, but for what it was it was good. Also, I wish the match would've gone more than 12 minutes. Nakami was able to emote his selling well in the match despite the poor lighting, which is commendable.

Friday, October 29, 2010

WWE SmackDown! 10/29/10

1. Daniel Bryan vs. Dolph Ziggler - 6
2. Kaval vs. Jack Swagger - 5
3. Kelly Kelly, Bella Twins, and Melina vs. Alicia Fox, Rosa Mendes, Layla, and Michelle McCool - 1
4. Big Show and Kofi Kingston vs. Cody Rhodes and Drew McIntyre - 5
5. Edge vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Alberto Del Rio - 7

The opener was just great, the third in their terrific series together (for the record, I rated it above their Raw bout, but slightly beneath their initial PPV match), and had a real sense of urgency about it that lent to a feeling of legitimacy. I got pulled into it and relished the intensity. Seeing Kaval was like an early Halloween treat, although his performance didn't leave me with the empty feeling a belly full of candy does. This match really followed in the footsteps of the one that proceeded it and really goes a long way in showing how different SmackDown! feels from Raw as this also came of like an authentic athletic competition. The clash of styles, unorthodox striker versus amateur wrestling dynamo, felt lifted right out of MMA (i.e. Hatsu Hioki vs Masanori Kanehara from Sengoku 9). Kaval's Rolling Koppou Kick landed devastatingly, Jack ate it right in the kisser, which sprung to mind Lyger's sole MMA fight, where he awkwardly tried to use the same kick only to find himself mounted and smashed in Pancrase.

The women's match saw all the females decked out in Halloween outfits, some of them surprisingly cool, I was preferable to Melina's Spider-Woman (the '79 cartoon is transcendent but rare) and McCool's Lady Gaga was impressive. This was sloppier than Kristi Myst's vagina after a gangbang. I felt like Mendes was selling in the vein of Buck Zumhofe but maybe that's just a reflection of myself and watching far too much AWA on ESPN Classic over the last couple years. I'm intrigued by the McIntyre/Rhodes team, they remind me of Dostoyevsky's Brothers Karamazov, with Cody being Dmitri, but Drew not sullen enough to really pull off Ivan. Still, there's some interesting chemistry there, and it's neat watching them evolve as a team and looking at their collective work and culling the deeper layers of story therein. McIntyre sells with agonized facials I usually reserve for more fiery bowel movements. Show's an extremely hot or cold performer. Was it me or did Cody just rip a spot from his step-brother Dustin? The Dashing Ones (their new name -- I'm digging it) targeted Kofi's leg, reminding me again of Dostoevsky, this time his short story The Crocodile, and while Kofi wasn't swallowed whole a la Ivan Matveich, he was consumed hungrily by his opposition. Cody sold the chokeslam with the requisite lifelessness that helps protect one of the key finishers in the company.

The main event was a lot of fun, just great stuff, three-way matches tend to have major faults structurally and a good antidote to that is having great, believable nearfalls that the crowd really buys into which this had in droves. Rey's quickness was utilized in key moments, they clearly carefully laid out the bout beforehand, as it flowed seamlessly including some tricker segments. I didn't think WWE would be able to top the Primo vs. Chris Masters vs. Chavo Guerrero (Superstars 1/28) three-way from earlier this year but arguably this was better overall. The finish was clever plus it saves Mysterio from having to wrestle Kane at another PPV which is a fate even the best performer in the business has been unable to prevail in previously.

Monday, October 25, 2010

WWE Bragging Rights '10

Daniel Bryan vs.  Dolph Ziggler
Physical, got plenty of time, Bryan's one of the best at counter-wrestling today, etc. so this just owned and overshadowed everything else.
Recommendation: See It

Cody Rhodes & Drew McIntyre vs. John Cena & David Otunga
I'll boot it into the recommended category due to sheer shock factor of an unannounced match turning into a title change for the Nexus duo of Cena/Otunga. That aside, I enjoyed the combination of Rhodes' methodical offense coupled with Cena's methodical selling, but the work alone wasn't enough to carry this.
Recommendation: See It

Goldust vs. Ted DiBiase
I'm digging seeing Goldust's '10 resurgence but this was duller than a dead Komodo dragon's dick.
Recommendation: Skip It

Layla vs. Natalya
Crowd blew all night and may have never been deader. This was flatter than Natalya pre-op.
Recommendation: Skip It

Kane vs. Undertaker - Buried Alive Match
Tepid brawling and achy bodies doesn't a good match make. They didn't even tease the burial plot for Tsurata sake. Why'd Nexus get involved again? Just dumb. For a blood feud these guys should have been on each other like a giant mythological monster on a camera crew on an episode of Lost Tapes.
Recommendation: Skip It

Miz & C.M. Punk & John Morrison & Ezekiel Jackson & Santino Marella & R-Truth & Sheamus vs. Big Show & Rey Mysterio & Edge & Kofi Kingston & Jack Swagger & Tyler Reks & Alberto Del Rio - Elimination Match
Wrestling in t-shirts should be left for fat weekend warriors in Northeastern indy feds. A few moments of inspired stuff but this went long and had plenty of botches, miscues, and predictable booking. Hated seeing my boy Del Rio pinned so summarily. Big Show looked like an idiot as team captain getting counted out. I liked Rey's comeback (although I called it 10 min. early).
Recommendation: Skip It

Wade Barrett vs. Randy Orton
Orton's selling was great (real surprise) throughout but that's not enough to get into the worth seeing category, and Barrett's offense was about as limited and uninteresting as a Forge Toro autobiography.
Recommendation: Skip It

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Dragon Gate Infinity #176 (May 15, 2010)

1) Yasushi Kanda/ Takuya Sugawara/ Kzy v. CIMA/ Gamma/ Genki Horiguchi- 4
2) Shingo Takagi & Cyber Kong v. Susumu Yokosuka & K-Ness- 7

The opening six man featured a variety of strange characters, the most absurd was Kzy, sporting a Coolio haircut with a orange prison Jump suit on with a dinosaur painted on the back that looked like a Daniel Johnston original. Everyone was out there having fun, with fast paced action and halfway decent dive spot that you can usually only find in 90's Lucha Libre. Genki i've never been enamored with and he didn't do anything to catch my eye here either. Cima is a smooth worker, always has been and is the glue to this one. The finish involved the heels trying to make a bunt cake on Genki's head and I'll leave you with that.

Shingo was a guy an old NHO contributor used to blow up to us all the time during that ROH/ Dragon Gate cyclone that whirled around in 05/07/07; but I never saw it. He would always do move after move and never sold any of it. Here, I warm up to him. He's learned a few things and while he still doesn't acknowledge a series of strikes from K-Ness at one point (even though it is a small portion of what leads to the really kickass ending) he has learned how to pace himself out and timing. Kong and he make a good team, a faux-Powers of Pain for the smaller DG roster but here they not only display some nice powerhouse double team stuff but they also sell and put over the challengers really nicely. Some damn good nearfalls really push this match into something I don't think most people even know about but is certainly worth finding, like that Marilyn Monroe blowjob tape or the scene with the guy hanging himself in the Wizard of Oz.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mitsuharu Misawa v. Satoshi Kojima (All Japan 07/16/2004)- 8

Wow, the man in emerald green is sorely missed. He brought such a tireless work effort to his matches and they felt so big. I'm thinking this was Misawa's return to All Japan after leaving them high and dry like a one night stand with no cab fare on the dresser. He obviously went on to create Pro Wrestling NOAH to continue in the King's Road style. Kojima is more than game here, as the opening salvo of rest holds doesn't last long before Kojima starts using Misawa's own moves on him. One thing you have to respect is how eager Misawa is to hurting himself for the match. He takes a running Koji Cutter off the apron to the floor, logistically would be a nightmare to make look painful or legit, but Misawa does a complete front flip on his head to get this spot right.
Later on he pulls off a hurricanrana that throws Kojima into the guard rail like a tornado grabbed his orange ass and chucked him into the side of a decaying barn. Really crazy as this is the only match I can think of off hand where Misawa was cheered against, guessing from that defection I mentioned earlier. Misawa isn't near as limber as he used to be and looks foolish a couple times trying something high risk that would be more akin to Great Sasuke's moveset and Misawa just can't pull it off. Kojima's nose looks lacerated but hard to tell with the Breath Right strip on his nose, as usual. Both men worked really hard here, stiff strikes and elbows, all of Kojima's big moves are awkward as fuck to sell but Misawa does a bang up job making them look legit.

I always compare Misawa to Clint Eastwood in his younger days, in all the Westerns, the strong, silent type that always seems to come out on top, so for him to display the emotion he gives after Kojima kicks out of freakin Tiger Driver off the apron is quite epic. Yep, this match is going up a point,the ending was sick as probably most aything Ryan Dunn will attempt in the new jackass film. they brought it hard at the end and didn't go overboard on the nearfalls but this match really makes Kojima in my eyes as a big player.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pro Wrestling NOAH First Navigation- 01/09/2010

1) Taiji Ishimori v. Claudio Castagnoli- 3
2) Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Genba Hirayanagi v. Yoshinari Ogawa & Kento Miyahara- 3
3) Go Shiozaki & Akitoshi Saito v. Akira Taue & Ricky Marvin - 5
4) Takeshi Rikio, Mohammed Yone & Shuhei Taniguchi v. Jun Akiyama, Noamichi Marufuji & Atsushi Aoki - 4
5) Chris Hero v. Takashi Suguira - 6
6) Bison Smith & Keith Walker v. Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma - 3
7) Kensuke Sasaki & Takeshi Morishima v. Yoshihiro Takayama & Takuma Sano- 6
Bonus:
8) Akira Taue v. Jun Akiyama (All Japan, 01/20/1997)- 6

There's def. not enough NOAH on the blog these days and I wanted to remedy that. Talking about the opener, they blew a tilt a whirl hurricanrana right off the bat and never seemed to get back on track. Claudio was throwing Taiji around like he was a circus performer and they were flubbing things left and right. Funny there was one fan (in a Japanese accent of course) calling out the "Riiiicccollllaaaaaa!" every time Claudio tried it.

Tag match pretty much put me to sleep, like Star Trek Deep Space Nine did on school nights. I liked Kento's energy, he was like Mario with the Star power, he was all over the place as if invincible, but sometimes he just didn't know what to do. His opposition gave him as boring a beatdown you could find, but he sold it all admirably. Ogawa was caught staring into the crowd looking wistful several times, perhaps trying to remember if he put Community back on his DVR this season, and when called for it, still threw a nice left hand.

This match was the first to move out of 1st gear. Marvin has always been a guilty pleasure of mine to watch, he botches the same exact spot Taiji did in the opener early on, but keeps things going. Go is having a blast in there, slow clapping like in a John Huges film and generally enjoying competing. Taue looks much fresher than he did in 2009, maybe it was that New Years Eve he spent in a Hyperbolic Chamber he bought in the Neverland Ranch ebay Auction. Go and Marvin pretty much worked the bulk of the match and for the better, I really dug how just simple strikes played such a big factor in the closing moments of this one.

Akiyama is always fun to watch when he's pissed off. Taniguchi seemed to target him throughout the match and they engaged in a brutal forearm exchange that lasted several moments in the match's highlight. Rikio looked ridiculous selling Aoki's stuff, as did Yone, neither man emitting a reaction for anything they sold. Jun followed suit later after each move he took, his first action was to adjust his famous white trunks. Boo. Marufuji looked spry and pulled off some nifty tricks for his little ring time, but overall, especially at the finish, this became a typical NOAH tag where someone's being held down at ringside so they can't break the fin.

This was an interesting match, Hero worked harder than anyone else on the show up to this point, but the crowd could have cared less. You'd get a louder reaction to a backyard show with just the neighborhood kids watching. It was kind of sad, he was hitting all his really nasty KO stuff, the elbows and kicks and give Suguira credit for taking them, but it didn't seem to matter. Hero pulled out a lot of crazy shit, jumping moonsault off the top to the outside using no hands, took a German to the corner, but the flat finish left this marginally recommendable.

I said a while back after watching a Keith Walker match in ROH, I'd like to see more of him. I retract that statement. Without seeming uncreative for lack of a better analogy, he felt like a less talented Bison Smith, who also didn't have his finest day earlier in the match when doing a suicide dive into the ring from the ramp but ended up looking like Superman about to take flight but catching his feet on a windowsill and falling face first. The heel-face dynamic was all off here as the NJ guys were playing heels, really bad ones but wiped the floor with unsympathetic selling NOAH monsters Smith and Walker.

While the main event wasn't the high level puro stuff you may have been accustomed to it did have hard forearms and kicks as well as painful but bowling shoe ugly suplexes by the dozens. 3 of the guys looked weary, beaten and battle tested while Morishima just looked scary and full of sugar and butter. He gave the best, and took the best, eating multiple strikes (incl. the very cool but rare finish) and one of Takayama's unhealthy Everest Germans.Nobody really let it all hang out but guarantee at least one of those guys will be in a Soma Coma after the show with all the potatoes doled out.

The Bonus match wasn't long but it had a great story, Taue was just in murdering mode and wanted Jun dead by way of splattered on concrete. Their brawling was more violent than most major city riots. Both men worked with great speed and accuracy too, and after watching their 2010 output you sort of forget how capable and awesome they both were, crazy surprise finish leads this to being something to check out should you stumble across it online.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

WWE SmackDown! 10/15/10

Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes - 5
Jack Swagger vs. MVP - 2
Alberto Del Rio (~!) vs. Chris Masters - 4
Edge vs. Dolph Ziggler - 5
Kaval vs. Big Show - 2
Kaval vs. Tyler Reks - 2
Drew McIntyre vs. Kofi Kingston - 4

I really like Cody Rhodes. He's come out into a buy-able character and has sharpened his offense. His Beautiful Disaster (rope-assisted kick) is delish. Rhodes also proved to be a good base for Rey's offense. Rhode's clutched in a really tight choke that I dug. There was a great roll-thru nearfall I liked. Rey's exhaustive selling was on great display when he kicked Rhodes in the head and then basically collapsed on top of him for the pin.

I'm really sick of the Swags/MVP feud, but MVP's aggression was up. The mascot took a sick bump over the announce table, but that was about it.

The left arm psych started early and I loved it. Master's grimacing was awesome. Masters also displayed his power and selling ability by powerslamming Del Rio with one arm (holding the injured arm). The arm psych worked into Del Rio's finisher which is awesome. Should've gotten more time.

Zig's intensity comes through while he was choking Edge on the ropes. Zig's just a really intense worker in general and I dig it. Edge, however, looked gassed in 4 mins. Dolph took a really nice bump off the top rope to the floor. While on the floor, Edge got zig-zagged onto the steps! I loved it! Match got the most time of the show. One of the better Edge matches, despite him being tired. Fin was awesome: spear on Zigs after he dove from the top rope.

Kaval vs. Show was to see if Kaval could last 5 mins with 'Show. He did. There was rejoicing.

Tyler Reks came out with awful looking dreadlocks. He has a good presence in the ring. Reks took Kaval's spot on team SD after he hit something that looked Burning Hammer-esque. Ok. That was bullshit.

The absolute sickest kick I've seen happened in this match. I really hope you watch it. Kofi ran toward the corner (with Drew in it), dove, and Drew fucking shoved his boot right in Kof's face~!~! Drew sold the Trouble in Paradise kick really awesomely by basically crumbling into a Scottish pile. Too short, but I dug it.

All Day NHO: 24-hr. wrestling marathon

So, as this message is posted here on the blog, the members of Never Hand Over, as well as former staffer Adam, are meeting up for breakfast and getting ready to undergo a tremendous undertaking -- a twenty-four hour wrestling marathon! We're all excited to study our beloved combat sport in the most extreme way imaginable. We were going to do live video updates throughout the course of the day, but due to some server issues, we're going to bypass that concept for an overall cooler one, and that's filming periodically throughout the event and then later posting the footage in a series of documentary-like shorts, detailing the day's festivities from waking up, to grabbing grub, and watchings lots and lots of professional wrestling.

Here's a look at the itinerary -- we have other footage on-hand if necessary, including some '50's Wilbur Snyder, some AJW joshi action, etc.:

6AM - Breakfast at Cracker Barrel
7AM - 9:30AM AAA Triplemania XVI
9:30AM - 12PM WCW Great American Bash '92
12PM - 1PM TNA Bound for Glory '10
1PM - 1:45PM Lunch at Jimmy John's
1:45PM - 3PM TNA Bound for Glory '10 cont.
3PM - 5:30PM DGUSA (Mercury Rising or Open the Ultimate Gate)
5:30PM - 8PM JAPW 12th Ann. show
8PM - 9:30PM Dinner (not yet decided -- possibly Chinese takeout)
9:30PM - 10PM JAPW 12th Ann. show cont.
10PM - 12AM AJPW Crossover 2010 (7/4/10)
12AM - 2AM WWE Judgment Day '04
2AM - 3:30AM Late-night meal at Waffle House
3:30AM - 6AM wXw: The Vision

Friday, October 15, 2010

WWE Superstars 10/7/10

1. Vance Archer vs. Chris Masters - 5
2. William Regal vs. Darren Young - 4
3. Usos vs. Hart Dynasty - 5

What I Liked:
- Masters has been the MVP of this show in 2010, which on the surface may not sound like a lot, but given that it's consistently had the best wrestling on it almost on a weekly basis shows the real impact of that compliment. Chris' matches have largely been built upon his improved selling, here what really stood out was his intensity on offense, including a nasty lariat clothesline that almost decapitated Archer.
- Knee trembler finish! And it wasn't just that -- Regal getting a legitimate squash is something I'll rarely put in the bottom column of one of these reviews. I love to watch the guy work, the way he eats stuff, sells wildly, etc. makes matches infinitely more watchable.
- The tag match was good, it likely benefitted (in terms of score) from the severe lack of tag team bouts given any significant time in recent years in the WWE, but this went through two entire segments and had good back-and-forth, Kidd has a certain je ne sais quoi about him I find fascinating, and I dug the finish.

What I Disliked:
- Nothing this week! After a string of disappointing episodes, which has been rare for this program in '10, this one was flat-out fun from start to finish and entertaining wrestling on free TV is something I never tire of.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

TNA Victory Road 2008

1) X Division Elimination Match: Team Japan (Masato Yoshino, Milano Collection AT, & Puma) vs. Team Mexico (Averno, Rey Bucanero & Ultimo Guerrero) v. Team International (Doug Williams, Alex Koslov, & Tyson Dux) v. Team USA (Curry Man & Motor City Machine Guns)- 7
2) Angelina Love v. Gail Kim- 4
3) Sonjay Dutt v. Jay Lethal- 5
4) Beer Money v. LAX (Fans Lumberjack w/ Straps Match)- 3
5) Taylor Wilde v. Awesome Kong - 5
6) Volador jr v. Naruki Doi v. Shawn Daivari v. Kazarian (Ultimate X Match)- 6
7) Kurt Angle & Team 3D v. AJ Styles, Christian Cage & Rhino (Full Metal Mayhem)- 4
8) Samoa Joe v. Booker T -6


The Opening match was a reminder of why TNA was a breath of fresh air instead of the same old same old, bringing in top talent from all over the world, and using young guys who were willing to push the limits in what was called the X Division. This was probably the last time it was really pushed. There was a lot of really awesome work here, I thought all the talent that was brought in really showcased their skills and the beginning and end of the match was quite good. Middle of the match had some rough spots, Bucanero was trying to set up some stuff that didn't come off very well but even though I usually detest Yoshino, he played a great role here. Still did his gimmick of kicking out of every guy's finisher but it all concluded nicely.

Gail was a good leader here, the thing that was nice to watch about this is there was no hesitation between either woman, they knew exactly what they were supposed to do. Love threw a nice Savio Vega kick that impressed me, and a headache inducing superplex didn't make me hate this either. Even Velet outside played her role well.

Another match that I wasn't sure about, given the hokey angle right out of WWE's 1991 scripts but Dutt especially sold his ass off on all of Lethal's crazy offense, even if the crowd was pretty lackluster during it. That was the one element that hurt this, crowd wasn't into it. Dutt also tops the balls out hurricanrana Sabin used in the opener by doing a springboard into his. the brawl outside was as useless as a William Hung Autobiography, but it showed Lethal was able to turn up the intensity. This was merely a place setting for the later meal they would have to end this feud in a crazy chain match.

This gimmick is all fine and good for the local yokles who took time out of their busy World of Warcraft marathon to submit a contest video to get picked by TNA to be here with straps but it doesn't do a damn thing for the viewer. I wouldn't even give some of these freaks a dirty look, nonetheless a leather belt. Beer Money was having more fun joking around with it than anyone was watching it. Nothing really came together to make this into a decent match, even the finish was flat and it was a crazy move off the top, like when people take a nice steak and stuff it with gorgonzola or something, just ruins it.

The formula here worked as well as a Squared + b Squared= c Squared, plucky babyface, small odds, but holds out and somehow seems to counter everything her monstrous opponent throws at her. I guess for this to work more effectively, you don't want it to linger on for a long time, but I wanted to see more of this. Kong is a nasty beast and knows the secret to being a successful monster: (no not wearing Xena's outfit) but knowing how to get so much out of doing so little. Even her camel clutch looked damn near crippling and you really felt Taylor's agony.

I actually just upped my score because as I've said many times, a good or great ending, just like in film, can leave you with a positive point of view after it's over. I thought some of the guys looked as lost as a zebra in a public swimming pool, even though I think Volador v. Doi would be pretty neat as a 6 minute sprint from their chemistry late in the match. The lame part was when all 3 guys were standing around in line waiting to take a shot at Kazarian's injured arm. It looked like lunchtime at Panera Bread waiting for your name to be called, really pointless. But Kazarian's flying legdrop off the grid was pretty nuts, one of the craziest spots I've seen in a while, and reminded me a little of TNA's more reckless stuff from the early days.

This match felt as choreographed as the new Broadway hit "Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark." No Peter Parkers here though, just ugly, juiced up slobs. Bubba's a prick, I don't mean that in a good way. It almost seems criminal AJ has to deal with him not bumping and taking liberties with him during 2 spots. Christian takes his token gnarly bump on the ladder and even though it was just used in the last match, pretty swank dive from the top of the steel girder. Frank Trigg wasn't the only one laughing after Rhino took a really protected table bump and D-Von blew out his ankle at the same time. His MMA career's in the toilet, but he was pulling off cocky heel better than most in the company. Finish was only to stroke Trigg's shriveled sack even though Kurt and AJ worked some cool nearfalls. God, TNA does way too many of these multi-man garabage matches.

First off, the Booker videos they played were great material; his "Cribs" episode, and him running that shady bar were as good as any of his goofiest WWE stuff. Match wise, these guys matched up pretty well. Joe wasn't pulling any punches, slapping Book's chest with chops and kicks like Rocky Balboa punching a slab of meat. Joe got some blood too and kind of helped sell his rising anger as the match proceeded. The ending was god awful though and really long and drawn out. Joe's "ole" kick missed by a mile outside and Book bladed majorly for the end where it was barely seen by the cameras. Would have liked to seen the ending go in a different directon and Sting isn't intimidating anyone with that Robert Langdon haircut and Columbine jacket on.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

PWG Battle of Los Angeles '05 - Night 1

1. Hook Bomberry, Topgun Talwar & Human Tornado vs. Exacalibur, Disco Machine, Chris Sabin - 3

Liked portions of this more than expected, but overall score really brought down by Excalibur's work. It's not like his commentary is any better but he should have stayed away from the ring.

2. Rocky Romero vs. Frankie Kazarian (Round 1) - 3

They tried lots of slick grappling spots and counters and much of it was flubbed. They didn't mix particularly well.

3. Quicksilver vs. Davey Richards (Round 1) - 5

Davey doing his own unique brand of masochism before it'd rub everyone the wrong way. A nice dose of stiffness and big bumps that felt fresh after the last bouts.

4. James Gibson vs. Joey Ryan (Round 1) - 4

Ryan had insane heat but showcased the shoddiest selling so far. Gibson was a maestro selling the arm damage as Ryan targeted it.

5. Chris Bosh vs. El Generico (Round 1) - 4

Generico was pretty fantastic here, big, cartoonish bumping and great animated selling. Bosh failed to impress much, but hopefully the other Chris Bosh will do better for the Miami Heat this year.

6. American Dragon vs. Ricky Reyes (Round 1) - 5

Methodical, slow-builder, but quite physical. A lot of textbook Danielson but that's still better than most. Reyes looked better than usual eating stuff and sort of makes me semi-interested in seeing him live in a couple weeks.

7. Christopher Daniels vs. Scott Lost (Round 1) - 5

Most out Lost's output I've seen I find troublesome but he wasn't objectionable here. Both guys' move-based selling was good but Daniels didn't take it seriously enough (a lot of "walking penis" and "dick head" chants and even Lost scribbling a phallus on Daniels' skull with a pen) for it to break into the recommended category.

8. AJ Styles vs. Jack Evans (Round 1) - 4

I would have scored this one higher but it had a few too many botched parts. Still, I liked it better than the usual Evans vs. someone who'll beat him up (i.e. the Roderick Strong series, etc.) as Styles was all no-nonsense and silent bitterness to Evans' horse shit and surprisingly made a lot of Evans' acrobatic stuff look dangerous by how he ate it. Crazy, scary botch where Evans tried to do a moonsault off of the top where he'd (in theory) land on Styles' shoulders then go into a hurricanrana, instead, it ended up being Jack flipping backwards and smashing AJ's head and spine with his ass. Another scary slip later saw both men on the top and Styles falling off to the floor awkwardly.

9. Kevin Steen vs. Super Dragon (Round 1) - 6

This was good, but for a show long enough as was, there was no reason to go nearly 40 minutes. Lots of real gnarly, cringe-worthy bumps and shots, match made up of grotesque bumps and painful things which were all a treat but a lot of nothing in-between (save for Steen's homophobic slurs at audience members).

Friday, October 8, 2010

WWF Superstars '96 Project results


Top 10 Matches Video Discussion #1


Top 10 Matches Video Discussion #2

Top 25

1. Justin Bradshaw v. Freddie Joe Floyd (07/13)- 64 pts., 3 votes

2. Davey Boy Smith & Owen Hart v. Duke Droese & Bob Holly (05/11)- 63 pts, 3 votes

3. Bart Gunn & Freddie Joe Floyd v. Billy Gunn & TL Hopper (11/10)- 53 pts, 3 votes

4. Owen Hart v. Aldo Montoya (02/10)- 52 pts, 3 votes

5. Jake Roberts v. Justin Bradshaw (06/15)- 50 pts., 3 votes

6. Savio Vega v. Justin Bradshaw (05/18)- 39 pts., 2 votes

7. Marc Mero v. Hunter Hearst Helmsley (07/20)- 38 pts., 3 votes

8. Razor Ramon v. Jeff Jarrett (02/03)- 33 pts, 3 votes

9. Shawn Michaels v. Salvatore Sincere (11/10)- 33 pts., 2 votes

10. Owen Hart & Davey Boy Smith v. Jesse Jammes & Savio Vega (12/22)- 31 pts., 2 votes

11. Freddie Joe Floyd & Savio Vega v. Justin Bradshaw & Uncle Zebekiah (08/17)- 29 pts, 3 votes

12. Pierroth v. Matt Hardy (12/29)- 26 pts, 2 votes

13. Vader v. Savio Vega (09/22)- 26 pts., 2 votes

14. Shawn Michaels v. 1-2-3 Kid (04/27)- 25 pts., 2 votes

15. Crush, Owen Hart & Davey Boy Smith v. Savio Vega, Marc Mero & Jake Roberts (12/01)- 25 pts., 2 votes

16. Steve Austin v. Fatu (02/10)- 24 pts.

17. Shawn Michaels v. Justin Bradshaw (09/29)- 22 pts, 2 votes

18. Davey Boy Smith v. Bob Holly (04/20)- 22 pts.

19. Doug Furnas & Phil LaFon v. Headbangers (12/08)- 21 pts.

20. Savio Vega v. Tatanka (03/30)- 21 pts.

21. Davey Boy Smith v. Savio Vega (08/03)- 20 pts.

22. Shawn Michaels v. Shinobi (02/24)- 19 pts.

23. Razor Ramon & Savio Vega v. Tatanka & 1-2-3 Kid (03/09)- 18 pts.

24. Savio Vega v. Crush (12/15)- 18 pts.

25. Steve Austin v. Bart Gunn (11/24)- 16 pts., 2 votes

-----------------------------

Other Matches With Votes:

Salvatore Sincere v. Aldo Montoya (09/01)- 16 pts.

Savio Vega v. Hunter Hearst Helmsley (09/08)- 16 pts.

The Godwinns v. Davey Boy Smith & Owen Hart (10/13)- 14 pts.

Marc Mero v. Steve Austin (08/17)- 13 pts.

Owen Hart v. Barry Horowitz (03/02)- 12 pts.

Aldo Montoya v. Jerry Lawler (07/27)- 12 pts.


Savio Vega v. Vader (12/29)- 11 pts.

Faarooq v. Freddie Joe Floyd (12/15)- 11 pts.

Hunter Hearst Helmsley v. Barry Horowitz (02/17)- 10 pts.

TL Hopper v. Barry Horowitz (08/03)- 10 pts.

Marc Mero v. Leif Cassidy (10/06)- 9 pts.

Barry Horowitz v. Owen Hart (06/15)- 9 pts.

Goldust v. Hakushi (03/02)- 7 pts.

Body Donnas v. New Rockers (05/18)- 6 pts.

Steve Austin v. Fatu (05/25)- 5 pts.

The Godwinns v. Davey Boy Smith & Owen Hart (03/30)- 5 pts.

The Carribbean Kid v. Steve Austin (04/13)- 4 pts.

Freddie Joe Floyd v. Justin Bradshaw (06/29)- 4 pts.

Headbangers v. Alex Porteau/ Aldo Montoya (11/24)- 3 pts.

Skip v. Rad Radford (01/06)- 3 pts.

Alex Porteau v. Barry Horowitz (07/13)- 2 pts.

Barry Windham v. The Goon (09/22)- 2 pts.

Ahmed Johnson v. Gary Lee (04/20)- 1 pt.

Flash Funk v. Brian Walsh (11/24)- 1 pt.

Justin Bradshaw v. Bob Holly (01/27)- 1 pt.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

DVDVR's Best of Texas in the 80's Disc 3

1) The Fabulous Freebirds v. The Von Erichs (August 12th, 1983)- 6
I'm way more keen on the Von Erich brothers offense in this one, not only are the Freebirds bumping like they have Colossus' skin, but all the moves are flowing and look great, unlike a lot of flops and misses we might usually see. God, Gordy was such a monster; there's a whole section where he mercilessly pounds David like it's a snuff film. Kevin puts his whole body into everything he does; so much fun watching him work, Roberts gets the knees up on a splash and you can literally see some "juice" spittle from Kevin's mouth. Seriously, he and Kevin are both built like Hercules and David is this lanky, human piece of taffy. Guess it's from all those steaks! (inside joke). This started really hot and and was weaving a tale as old and successful as any in wrestling but it cooled off considerably towards the end.

2) Jimmy Garvin & Terry Gordy v. David & Kevin Von Erich 2/3 Falls (August 15th, 1983)- 4
Hilarious moment when Gordy takes a spill over the top rope, a really reckless bump for a house show and really shitty video footage and catches his foot in a steel chair and kicks it around before almost falling on his face. Lots of leg scissors here, as if I don't feel strange enough about watching men in their underwear, here's a really long spot where both guys heads are between the Von Erich Fucksicle. Gordy's a bumpaholic, even on this show, just in his nature, haven't seen a shred of that talent in his son though. First 2 falls were both kind of basic falls with nothing special as far as pinfalls, really take this as a lower ranked show now. 3rd fall was a schmoze with sloppy brawling this side of a Tomko hardcore match.

3) Jimmy Garvin v. Chris Adams (August 28th, 1983)- 3
Not a lot going on here, a really hot crowd (go figure in Texas at this time) Adams worked a tad quicker than Garvin who struggled to keep up, but luckily a lot of headlocks and hiptosses were utilized. when Garvin took over, he just heeled it up with lame spots of throwing him outside and primping for the crowd. Terrible finish too, surprised this made it on.

4) David Von Erich v. Terry Gordy 2/3 Falls (September 5th, 1983)- 4
As basic a match as you could imagine, the 3 finishes used for each fall were a dropkick, a headbutt and a rollup. Gordy still throws a mean haymaker and takes one nasty spill but other than that, lots of restholds here. David starts garnering symphathy with a good sympathetic portrayal but in the end, he just lays around too much. Best moment was Buddy Roberts walking up behind Chris Adams (who was doing commentary) and pulling out his chair like he was on Silent Library and the nasty brawl that ensued.

5) Michael Hayes v. Kerry Von Erich, Country Whipping Match (September 5th, 1983)- 4
Not as heated as the tag version, Hayes was prancing around taking his licks like he might script Cody Rhodes to do on an upcoming ep of Smackdown. Kerry totally bonered this sweep spot he was trying as Hayes bounced around like near sighted kangaroo. My main hope was that Brody and Gordy would get into a skirmish and get this thing started.

6) The Fabulous Freebirds v. The Von Erich Brothers (September 5th, 1983)- 5
This is where the real meat and potatoes of this rivalry is contested, I don't think it all comes together unless its in a multi-man match. The only thing going against what happens here is it feels ultimately identical to the previous match on this disc in structure, and even a lot of the same spots. But the majority of them all work, Freebirds weren't the bumping machines they usually are and using Kerry as the beating post isn't near as good as Kevin or Dave.

7) Jimmy Garvin v. Chris Adams (September 12th, 1983)- 3
Another bland offering, I know these guys feuded for a while but this didn't make me want to seem them wrestle again. Adams hadn't quite become the fired up babyface he would later on, all the basic stuff felt like stalling, Garvin's act was retread from most everything else he's done so far. Still has a good right hand, both guys can strike actually.

8) Chris Adams/ Iceman King Parsons/ David Von Erich v. Michael Hayes/ Kamala/ The Mongol (October 3rd, 1983)- 6
Here Adams really shines and just becomes Stallone in "Cobra" during the opening scene and just rules everyone in sight. I really enjoyed this one; there was so much going on it was like a Guillermo Arrigla script. Kamala was just a great character to watch because you never knew what he could do. I don't care how many soap operas you've worked on, you couldn't script shit like this on your Monday night wrestling show. Hayes was great at playing off of it, Mongol had bitch tits that would bust most bras, but bless him he worked hard to keep up with Adams and David. Finish was blown but that didn't ruin the match as a whole.

9) Harley Race v. Iceman King Parsons (October 7th, 1983)- 5
Race is a man that has fought and beaten the biggest stars and the toughest men in the industry through the 70's-80's, and what he does in this match is make Iceman look like he's among that group. The crowd is just incensed at Iceman getting the pinfall and the belt which gives the match crazy heat. My problem with it is it's worked like Iceman is a terrible worker, Race kind of goes from heat spot to heat spot with no real sequences at all building up Iceman's chances, then at the end of it we get a Dusty finish. But, watch for Harley's ridiculously great brainbuster on the floor; it'll make you wish you didn't watch ANOTHER CSI rerun.

10) Buddy Roberts & Terry Gordy v. Kerry Von Erich & Johnny Mantell (October 17th, 1983)- 7
I can be sure Olivia Newton John didn't have this match in mind when she wrote "Let's Get Physical" but the above would apply as the theme song for it. It wasn't pretty but it was damn sure stiff. Roberts took a beating, I mean he was getting blasted left and right, incl. a nasty knee Kerry must have learned from Race after getting his skull split one night at the Sporatorium to which Kerry used some perkisets and the family hunting dog's mouth to cure. Yikes. Gordy was bumping like Flair, literally and he was a good 80 pounds more, he was a damn god in his time. Mantell I wasn't sure about; all he did in the first half was armwringers so he was either more old school than battle axes or greener than Oscar the Grouch's asshole; after seeing the conclusion of the match and his selling, it's clear he was a competent journeyman who seemed a little perplexed by the violent nature of the match but fit right in.

11) Terry Gordy v. Kevin Von Erich (October 21st, 1983)- 4
I don't know, i wasn't feeling this one as much as I thought I would, usually both guys bring the mean-ness like an ex wife with a prenub but a lot of this revolved around a dick measuring submission contest, where Kevin used his Jungle feet to control Gordy; they were working it as if his feet had their own brains, just really strange. They started to turn it up towards the end but the finish didn't blow my skirt up so onto the next bout.

12) Jimmy Garvin v. Chris Adams (October 24th, 1983)- 3
This had the feeling of a big time match, the ground work where they exchanged camel clutches I thought was really building up to something, but a lot like the rest of their matches together, just as they get to the heated section, a few strikes are exchanged and that's it. Garvin's DDT looked as good as wet bread tastes.

13) Jimmy Garvin v. Johnny Mantell (October 31st, 1983)- 5
Mantell was described as a rookie, these days you'd never see a guy who's already 38 yeard old and has a receding hairline just breaking in, haha. Regular Garvin formula, although Mantell does a few things that make this more worthwhile, his exuberance in quickening his dependence on pain killers by taking a nasty back body drop, then later on throwing a very Tanaka esque forearm shiver. The finish was fun, invovled the ladies at ringside (which the extras disc, if you watch them in the right order by date makes it more digestible) and is a fun surprise.

14) Michael Hayes & Jimmy Garvin v. Kerry Von Erich & Chris Adams (October 31st, 1983)- 4
There really wasn't enough in this match that kept me intrigued, Adams and Garvin i'm just not a fan of their work together, and they still failed to excite here. Kerry looked sort of sharp, liked a lot of his strikes and fire especially against Hayes. Kind of a nothing match that didn't elevate anyone or the ongoing feuds.

15) Terry Gordy & Michael Hayes v. Kerry & Kevin Von Erich (Country Whipping Match, November 4th, 1983)- 7
This was one of the damndest strap matches I've seen, just an insane atmosphere throughout this whole thing, I mean when you talk wrestling heat, this is the match to watch. Everyone had a leather strap in their hands the whole match and weren't relenting on it, every shot, ever slap had to sting like a SOB. This ended up being the next stage in an ongoing angle where the Von Erichs were trying to run the Freebirds out of town but it was a dogfight like i've never seen, just insanely violent and brutal. Loved every second of it, I couldn't imagine all the pain pills passed around in the back after this one.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

AJPW B-Banquet #273

Aug., 8, 2010 Hakata Star Lane
1,800 Fans

#1: Jr. Heavyweight League - Semi Final: KAI vs. Hiroshi Yamato - 5
#2: Jr. Heavyweight League - Semi Final: Jimmy Yang vs. Minoru - 4
#3: Jr. Heavyweight League - Final: KAI vs. Jimmy Yang - 6

KAI's the guy I honestly expected the least from in this tournament but has continually impressed (although I still haven't watched him versus TAKA Michinoku yet), he did some great vocal selling throughout this. KAI borrowed Low Ki's "Ghetto Stomp" and it looked ill. Yamato (who's in phenomenal shape these days) sold an armdrag from the top like BrĂ¼no strutting around Victoria's Secret picking out lingerie. Hiroshi got bloodied after eating a really sick springboard enzurguri kick, followed shortly after by a frog splash giving KAI the victory. A nice semi-final match, an agreeable dose of fighting spirit (your commonplace strike exchanges, etc.) and athleticism.

The physiques of guys like Yamoto and Minoru make Yang look doughy in comparison, I guess post-WWE he's gave into those late-night Taco Ball urges. Yang got whipped over the guardrail onto a table but took the most dainty bump, it was remedied soon after as Minoru picked him up and dropped him knees-first onto the table. Minoru is viciously going after the legs out on the floor, using chairs, etc. but Yang is too busy pulling up his vinyl pants. Jimmy's leg selling comes and goes, some nice grimaces between spots, but doesn't acknowledge it while on offense. Yang took an insane bump, while standing on the top rope preparing to do a moonsault he got shoved off, bouncing off the top buckle, then the apron, before finally crashing on the ground in a real nasty fall. The crowd got into some nearfalls. Yang won with the "Yang Time"; I remember watching him in-front of 40 people at HWA shows and me yelling "Yang Time!" at him every match, but in this case, I think the wrong man won.

The finals (spoilers ahead -- although this happened two months ago so chances are if you didn't want the tournament spoiled you'd have already seen it) were pretty good, bordering on average, felt appropriate enough for the size/prestige of this tournament but would have felt like a disappointment in NJPW's tourney. KAI hit an excellent tope suicida. There was a lot of leg work, stemming off of Yang's last match, but KAI didn't act it as psychotically as Minoru had. Jimmy looked gassed, especially with no Shannon Moore to tag to. KAI had some great exhaustion/surprise facials after Yang kicked out of his patented frog splash. There was a callback to Yang's last match as he again got caught on the top rope, this time however, he was able to fight KAI off and then pulled off the "Yang Time" to win the match and tournament. A satisfying finish that was believable but hampered by the match's lack of depth and aura.

Oz Academy 6/13/10

Hiren vs. Tomoka Nogawa - 4

I really dug Nogawa. She was taking chair shots to the head and selling them great by clutching her head and kicking her feet on the mat. Hiren showed some really great aggressive behaviors in the ring, like her stomps in the corner. All the while during said stomps she was screaming. Nice. I really feel like Nogawa was the better of the two, though. She threw some great kicks and had a unique personality in the the ring.

Chikayo Nagashima & Nao Kumatsu vs. Mayumi Ozaki & Yumi Ohka - 5

Ok, first off, Ozaki looks like a total badass terminatrix. She seems like she can stare a hole right through you. I'd hate to see that facing me on the other side of the ring. Ozaki's selling, however, leaves something to be desired. I like Kumatsu's vocally selling. I feel that by selling vocally, you can really paint the canvas with your aggression. I know that actions are more important, but the grunting and yelling and screaming add a nice touch. Her vocals were especially impressive when she delivered forearm shots. Back to Ozaki, she looked like she got a sick high off of dismembering the face of Kumatsu - in a weird masochistic way, I can dig it. I feel that Nagishima's transitions are stellar. Her transitions between power maneuvers and kicks were awesome, just really fluid. Fun back and forth match.

Ayumi Kurihara, Dynamite Kansai & Sonoko Kato vs. AKINO, Hiroyo Matsumoto & Ran YuYu - 2

To say this match was structured is like calling Triple H and honest businessman. Sweet God I seriously got a headache after this match. As far as the in ring, it was stiff like usual, but the girls all kept getting in the ring at the same time, there was no control, I had no idea who the legal woman was, and my eyes starting crossing. There's fun sprints where the rules temporarily fly out the window, then there's clusterfucks. This, sadly, is the latter.

Kaoru vs. Takako Inoue - 3

I'm really noticing a trend here: It's totally okay if you want to come into the ring and help someone out. There seems to be no disqualifications in this company. We had multiple run-ins, boards being used, etc. I'll just look the other way. Both of these girls brought the hate, yet again. That's my favorite thing about Joshi: The hate etched upon the girls' faces and illuminated through their vocal and facial selling. In this match, both of the girls appeared to literally want to remove the other girl's head by force. The blatant run-ins right in front of the referee are what held this match back for me.

Aja Kong & Kaoru Ito vs. Manami Toyota & Carlos Amano - 5

Aja Kong is the female Vader. She will fuck up your face and not feel any remorse for doing so. The real story here is Manami. She's not missed a beat after all these years. Her offense still looks crisp and fluid, and her selling is right up there with the rest of the girls. I enjoyed the whole "Joshi legends and modern workers" feel to the match, too. Ito looked damn good, really stiff and not willing to take shit. I enjoyed her desperation selling and exhaustiveness after being hit with a move. Amano looked decent -- she was the real punching bag of the match. Fun bout.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

October's NHO Hall of Fame pick

This is all you need to know:

Friday, October 1, 2010

Geo's Superstars 1996 Ballot

1.) Marc Mero vs. HHH (7-18-96)

Best match so far. Loved the energy and crowd heat and how much offense both guys go it in. I loved HHH selling of the knee lift and Irish whip. Mero’s frankensteiner looked great too. Surprised if this isn’t my #1.

2.) Justin ‘Hawk’ Bradshaw vs. Savio Vega (5-18-96)

Good bumping plus selling by Vega. Great bump by Vega after the failed monkey flip. Solid armwork by Bradshaw on Vega that continued throughout the match. Good intensity shown by both. Finish not show.

3.) Davy Boy Smith & Owen Hart vs. Duke Drosey & Bob Holly (5-11-96)

Fun sprint in the beginning to get the fans into it. Davy and Owen have insane heat pulling out all kinds of heel tactics. Good nearfalls and technically sound. Match got good time as well. Finish not shown.

4.) 123 Kid vs. Shawn Michaels (4-27-96)

Great bump on the back body drop by Kid. Loved the back breaker and how uniquely Kid was set up into it. Both guys weren’t afraid to bump around a lot. Sean went for a swanton and completely missed flat on his back. These guys are nuts. Crazy spiked piledriver as well~! Marked out when Shawn threw Sean into the post upside down!!

5.) Savio Vega vs. Tatanka (3-30-96)

Fun match that went back and forth. Vega is really solid in the ring and has a good confidence about him. Tatanka is big but can move pretty well. Vega hit a great spinning heel kick to end the match.

6.) Davey Boy Smith vs. Savio Vega (8-3-96)

Crisp, clean, good match. Really enjoyed the back-and-forth opening sequencing and the monkey flip on the part of Vega.

7.) Shawn Michaels vs. Shinobi (Al Snow) (2-24-96)

Surprised that Shawn bumped around for Al Snow so much. Snow looked pretty sound in this match and hit a nice tope onto Shawn. Good job of getting the fans behind Shawn by keeping him down on the part of Snow and Cornette. Snow is a pretty sound aerialist as well.

8.) Razor Ramon & Savio Vega vs. Tatanka & 123 Kid (3-9-96)

I really like Kid’s heel tactics in this match (like refusing to tag in when Hall is in the ring). Savio’s spinning heel kick is one to rival Owen’s. Great crowd heat for the hot tag. Loved the finish with Tatanka posing on the ropes with his arms in the air, then Hall grabbing the arms for the Razor’s Edge.

9.) Justin ‘Hawk’ Bradshaw vs. Freddie Joy Floyd (7-11-96)

Surprised at how much of a rub Floyd got. Bradshaw ended up taking his head off with two lariats.

10.) HHH vs. Savio Vega (9-8-96)

Fun match with great transitions and fluidity between moves. Great heel kick by Vega after Perfect steals HHH’s girl.

11.) Justin ‘Hawk’ Bradshaw vs. Jake Roberts (6-15-96)

The sob story of the WWF, the 41 year old Roberts takes on the intense Bradshaw in a match where Bradshaw dominated Roberts. Good ‘exhaustive’ selling by Roberts. Good success story.

12.) Aldo Montoya vs. Owen Hart (2-10-96)

Really loved the cruiser weight style of the match. Montoya looked solid and Owen was awesome as always. Liked Owen head-drag suplex.

13.) Steve Austin vs. Marc Mero (8-17-96)

Glad to see Austin taking on non-jobbers. Liked the solid chain wrestling in the middle of the match. Also loved Austin’s near oversell of the jaw breaker. Mero’s headscissors = awesome.

14.) TL Hopper & Billy Gunn vs. Bart Gunn & Freddie Joe Floyd (11-10-96)

Surprisingly good match. Great bumping by all guys and a good sprint near the end. Billy has good facials.

15.) Vader vs. Savio Vega (12-29-96)

Liked Vader’s punche sin the corner and his domination setting up for Sav’s fiery comeback. Great see Sav pull off power moves on Vader.

16.) Owen & Davey Boy Smith vs. Savio Vega & Jesse James (12-20-96)

Loved Savs heel kick on Owen in the corner. Enjoyed the double shoulder block with Owen and James. JJ’s selling was decent. Also liked Owen’s back spinning heel kick on Savio.

17.) Shawn Michaels vs. Justin ‘Hawk’ Bradshaw (9-29-96)

Good, fast paced match with Bradshaw showing some awesome bumping. Loved it when. Michaels was in the tree of woe and ‘Shaw pulled Mikes back by his neck. Good rollup nearfall by ‘sHaw.

18.) Bart Gunn vs. Steve Austin (11-24-96)

Really nice chain wrestling to start. Really liked Austin’s elbow drop onto Bart’s throat on the apron and and Bart’s sell.

19.) Goldust vs. Hakushi (3-2-96)

Some great technical aspects in this match. Both guys got a lot of offense in. Hakushi really gets the Japnese style over in America. Good nearfalls and good selling by Goldust.

20.) The New Rockers vs. Skip & Zip (5-18-96)

Nice suplex by Leif and nice spike rana. Good pacing in the match although looked sloppy in some spots.

21.) Razor Ramon vs. Jeff Jarrett (2-3-96)

Really liked the transitions and quick pace of the matchup. Really great tease for the Razor’s edge near the beginning of the match. Also liked the rope-assisted back suplex by JJ.

22.) Steve Austin vs. The Caribbean Kid (4-13-96)

Really loved how everyone knew that TCK was Savio Vega and how frustrated Austin was because he knew it was him, but couldn’t get the mask off and getting more and more pissed as the match progressed. Good action.

23.) Rad Radford vs. Skip (1-6-96)

Fun match. Radford had some really nice power manuevers -- especially the bridged exploder suplex. Skip bumped around a bunch. Match had a really nice friends-turned-enemies feel.

24.) Justin ‘Hawk’ Bradshaw & Uncle Zebekiah vs. Savio Vega & Freddie Joe Floyd (8-17-96)

Really loved how intense this match started and how intense Savio was after the hot tag. Really dug FJF’s bicycle-like kick maneuver and Savio’s kick.

25.) Justin ‘Hawk’ Bradshaw vs. Bob Holly (1-27-96)

Again expecting a squash, there seemed to be some hope for Holly to finally pull one out as he was started to rock Bradshaw, but would eventually get his head taken off with a clothesline.