Thursday, December 29, 2011

Jushin " Thunder" Liger in WCW - Part 3

Final part y'll, have a safe and happy new year!

1) v. Chris Benoit (Starrcade 1995)- 5
Realize watching this that Liger had some stuff he always used in America, the deep armdrags, the somersault plancha outside. Tony mentions Liger has a Saturday Morning cartoon in Japan; and to think we had to sit through Eek the Cat just to get to X-Men. This has been more aggressive than I remembered; to be fair it's been probably 6 years since i've seen this match. The Benoit superplex, damn, ageless like Shakespeare. Really sloppy Ligerbomb near the end; this match felt like it had a great beginning, no middle and a lackluster ending. Funny hearing Dusty as he normally can't even call a hurricanrana spot on commentary; forget about it since this one was botched. Bad booking since this was for company pride and a WCW guy (Taskmaster) cost it for him.

2) v. Dean Malenko (WCW Nitro 05/06/96)- 5
Here's an interesting match; going to give it a second chance. when we did the Nitro project it finished in the 50-100 range but I had it at 120 on my list, me being the lowest on it. Well 3 minutes in and we haven't gotten past the opening ground work, which has been solid, but a lot of the time we're staring at Ric Flair at a dinner complete with candleabras. Liger selling the hell out of a really cool MMA type leglock and the aftersell too; nicely done. And the leg is fine 30 seconds later. CARTWHEEL SOMPA! Just fun to say sort of like "Ass-tastic" Take notes peeps; that's how you complete a plancha. The finish was real strong though, some big moves from Dean.

3) v. Steve Doll (WCW Saturday Night 05/18/96)- 2
If Steve's a doll, you can call him Bloated Armstrong. Tony just mentioned the Cruiserweight Title changed hands on Worldwide; scary. Doll is looking motivated and strangely Liger only completes 2 moves here; a superplex and a flying headbutt. This was quick but fun; Dusty made a weird comment saying "Steve Doll looking for a little relief" while Doll was in control?

4) v. Konnan (WCW Slamboree 1996)- 5
This was all about counters; the crowd wasn't really into much of it, but i found myself just digging them countering each other for 12 minutes; them going to finishers and power moves almost feels false actually. And I think the ending came off flat due to a complete 180 in the story of the match. Check it out if you've never seen Konnan pre-NWO.

5) w/ Kensuke Sasaki v. Scott & Steve Armstrong (WCW Worldwide 05/26/96)- 3
Scott wasn't a bad hand, despite having the physical appearance of a wet mop. Dropkick is better than anything Steve does here. Liger gets in and gets off his token 5 spots; Kensuke just kind of bulls them around and the Hokuto Bomb changed Steve's personality, dear god.

6) v. Eddie Guerrero (WCW Pro 06/15/96)- 4
This was 4 minutes of Liger v. Eddie just going for it; Pretty damn good.

7) v. Billy Kidman (WCW Pro 06/26/96)- 5
Kidman is so tiny here, looks like he should be wrestling for a junior high school instead of a million dollar conglomerate. There's a really cool face push for him here, the Florida fans are digging him and Liger eats it up giving Kidman way more offense than he was going to pre-match, guaranteed. Would have loved to have seen a rematch years later once Kidman figured stuff out

8) v. Shinjiro Ohtani (WCW Prime 07/22/96)- 4
It's a damn crime against humanity this only gets 4 minutes. Ohtani starts feeling it and this is back when his springboards were the prettiest thing in the biz besides a topless Sytch

9) v. Steve Armstrong (WCW Prime 08/05/96)- 2
This has nothing to do with the match but the video quality is pure shit. Armstrong just looked lost, or possibly blitzed, who knows what was going in his personal life. Liger still gives him some spots but they're all pretty mundane

10) v. Rey Mysterio jr (WCW Starrcade 1996)- 6
Think I've reviewed this before, saw this show live on PPV, happened on my birthday so I got it and while it's probably not what a lot of people would expect, still a good watch. Liger is particularly nasty, sort of like a career torturer here, just prolonging the violence as this gets a lot of time. Neither man takes a huge chance here just doing what they do so great. Interesting finish where Rey tries to kick out right at the 3 count.

11) v. Ultimo Dragon (WCW Nitro 12/30/96)- 4
Again, a damn shame this only garners 5 minutes. The Asai here is just too sweet. Tony mentions both men will wrestle at the Dom show just days from now, wish that was on here.

12) v. Juventud Guerrera (WCW Nitro 11/29/99)- 3
Juvi badly injures his arm about 2 minutes in on a shitty dive and it's useless. But, give him credit for really pushing himself as it goes on. This has a lot against it, "Buzzkill" or Roadkill as Heenan calls him is spouting off some ridiculous peace talk and a tequila bottle is the finish. Pass.

13) v. Chris Benoit (WCW Thunder 12/02/99)- 5
Benoit's a roided out monster here. Their chemistry is still there after all these years, the best sequence is a back and forth ending with Benoit eating a Coppo kick in the mouth like a Whopper sandwhich. Juvi was on commentary ripping Liger (which was all true, via his RF shoot we watched years back where he said Liger was unprofessional) but how stupid to be saying Liger didn't cooperate on a dive on national TV. Just idiotic. Really uncreative finish to this killed recommending it unless you're a completist and need to view to finish their epic rivalry.

14) v. Psicosis (WCW Nitro 12/06/99)- 4
Pace just was not there but there were some damn good spots in this, Psychosis just killing himself on big bumps. Magistral cradle finish? Okay, why not

15) v. Silver King (WCW Worldwide 12/25/99)- 5
Kind of a hidden gem. Like how SK comes right out and blasts Liger with a superkick in the face. These guys worked a lot of reversals and were trying to get a Lucha-lite style going. If you can find it watch it.

Bonus v. Great Sasuke (world Wrestling Peace Festival 06/01/96)- 7
I've not seen this show but I could tell it was in front of an American crowd as the first 6 minutes is all technical stuff the crowd hates. It's kind of placecard anyways. You can tell Liger studied because he is in the perfect place for every single Sasuke signature spot. The running senton bomb melts your heart. A good Ligerbomb is a Christmas present for the ocular cavity.

Friday, December 23, 2011

ROH TV 12/18/11

This is the go home show for Final Battle 2011, whcih takes place tonight.

1) Eddie Edwards v. Andy Ridge- 3
They're pushing this as Edwards first match back since training with Dan Severn. If so, Ridge is getting waaaaay too much offense then. Truth shows up on commentary wearing a brown vest that looks like my grandmoter's wallpaper. I guess he's the modern day Bishop Waleran. Edwards work is just as smooth as always; think it would be a fun gimmick to have Jimmy Jacobs go to the Berzerker to train him for a big match.

2) Davey Richards v. "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin- 6
This was a match that's worth watching. Sure, they do their opening stuff but it's more to show how freakin powerful Elgin is. But they go to the big stuff fairly soon. Truth looks ridiculous; like Bootsy Collins albinic cousin. Elgin's running fisherman buster outside was a fresh spot that leaves fresh blood. Man, the strike battle between these two is just what I imagined the Superman-Zod fight would have been in Superman Returns....except it didn't happen. ROH TV consistently delivers these big main events; they're not all winners but this one was.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

IWA East Coast Masters of Pain '06

1. Crazy Monkey" Jun Kasai vs. "Mr. Insanity" Toby Klein - No Ropes Barbed-Wire Lobster Pit Match - 1
2. Mad Man Pondo vs. "The Deranged One" Coke Hane - Fantastic Four Match - 6

Wait, they just dumped live lobsters into a kiddie pool? WTF!? Where is PETA at when you need them? Not much happened here, the typical rake your opponent's face with a strand of wire spot, etc. Kasai dumps the lobsters out onto the mat and gives Klein a German suplex onto them for the finish. What a waste of a plane ticket. Post-match Jun tossed a lobster across the gym to its death. This is really tasteless. I don't even want to comment on the backstage footage and what 2 Tuff Tony did to a lobster.

What's a Fantastic Four match? No superheroes just different types of fans in each corner of the ring, including your favorites like oscillating, box fan, etc. Hane is a big dude wearing the old outfit of Nailz. Pretty fun crowd brawl with some nice shots (they pulled off one of the handrails from the bleachers and bludgeoned each other) and Pondo wheeling a handicapped man in a wheelchair over and backing it up over Hane's throat. Some of the fan bumps were nice visuals, too; Coke getting his head pushed into a moving blade and it slicing him open, Coke swinging a damned home run swing (any MLB scouts see this?) with a tall fan and nearly decapitating Pondo, and Pondo DDT'ing Hane off the buckles onto four box fans with no fronts lying on four steel chairs, etc. I've seen so many of these low-rent death match tournaments and it's so rare the gimmickry, violence, innovation, and actual competitiveness can actually come across and meld together, you're usually lucky to get one, maybe two of those attributes on display, but I felt these guys exceeded my expectations and helped wipe away the memory of that first repulsive match. Definitely check out the Fantastic Four match just make sure Franklin Richards is already in bed before you turn it on.

3. Corporal Robinson vs. "Psycho Shooter" Drake Younger - Garden of Eden Match - 4
4. JC Bailey vs. 2 Tuff Tony - Fans Bring The Weapons Match - 5

Next up a good bloodletting with all sorts of gardening equipment, garden shears, a weed eater (no, not JC Bailey's homemade pot brownies) that took Robinson 5 min. to get started, a rose bush, and a gigantic cactus. Younger ate a chair shot that surely made him forget his little league baseball team's name. Pretty fun and didn't wear out its welcome although disappointed Younger didn't advance. I liked the post-match promos by both men too.

I'll give the West Virginia fans credit -- they made some outrageous homemade weapons. Tony turns Bailey's forehead into beef jerky than douses it with salt and lemon juice. I heard JC did really good on his test later that week, you know, the hepatitis test? He got two A's, a B, and a C. Announcer sounds like he's on meth and calls 2 Tuff "Toby Klein". All sorts of vile and painful bumps that I won't bother listing but suffice to say if you're into that sort of brutality there's lots on display here. Props to JC, kid deserved better, RIP man, but back then this guy was game for whatever and Tony obliged. Bailey got to kickout of the 2 Tuff Driver onto some light tubes. Pretty creative finish, enough for me to toss it an extra point: they had this huge structure of 20+ chairs outside the ring and were teasing a superplex off of the top onto it, but they fooled us all (and Tony's chiropractor) when Bailey reversed it and superlexed Tony off of the top to the other side onto the concrete! Holy shit, indeed! What a fucking bump. Stay for the post-match replays, too, as the closest camera shot of that bump captures audio that sounds like a whale being tossed off the Eiffel Tower.

5. Semiinal: Mad Man Pondo vs. Jun Kasai - Electrified Lighttubes Match - 5
6. Semifinal: Corporal Robinson vs. JC Bailey - Ghetto Shoes Barefoot Thumbtack Match - 2

Pondo and Kasai started off with some trite lightbulb stuff but Kasai would go on to do one of the damnedest things I've seen in recent years. Kasai did a balcony dive from about 30ft. in the air onto Pondo who was on a table and covered with a whole bundle of electrified lightbulb tubes that were lit up. I must have replayed that damn spot 20+ times. So awesome. Lots of times in these gnarly matches it's hard to correlate and tell exactly what damage came from what bump as everyone ends up so bloody but as soon as Kasai arose from that unreal spot you could see glass shrapnel all over his chest like a supreme pizza overflowing with toppings. Pondo, being the booker of this company, booked himself very strong, he survived that, and later, kicked out of an elaborate spot that should have ended the match, a superplex through an electrified glass log cabin. This had some outrageous moments and I won't soon forget that epic balcony dive.

Next match was sort of middling, it's hard to do much when you're barefoot in a bunch of thumbtacks. The gimmick was you had to climb a ladder to retrieve some tennis shoes that were hung-up "inner-city ghetto" style. The finish was atrocious as Robinson finally gets the shoes then immediately gets beat by a... Russian leg sweep into the 'tacks? Well, post-match he put over JC stealing "my move" and after looking it up the Boot Camp is a Cobra clutch legsweep he does but that still doesn't mean I'll buy it as a believable finish.

7. Da Fucking finals: Jun Kasai vs. JC Bailey - Barbed-Wire Cage/Bed of Nails Match - 4

The Bed of Nails sure didn't look like fun to bump in. At this point both guys were dead and as a result this wasn't much of a match. Some real sloppy stuff, Kasai half-assed it on a few things including a backdrop into the nails and a basic German supelx later. The feel good story would have been Bailey winning it all but Kasai won and never returned to defend his crown although several other BJW guys have competed in later MoP tournaments. Post-match Pondo screams "this is our WrestleMania!". Just let that soak in for a minute...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Queue Slayer #5


1. Krotch/ MsChif v. The Northstar Express Berwyn Street Fight – AAW Scars and Stripes 07/10/10 (B: #2 J: #2)- 132 pts
2. The American Wolves v. Bryan Danielson/ Tyler Black ROH Tag Title Classic (B: #1 J: #4)- 131 pts
3. Minoru Suzuki v. Yuji Nagata - NJPW Wrestle Kingdom in Tokyo Dome 01/04/07 (B: #5 J: 1)- 130 pts
4. Yoshinobu Kanemaru v. KENTA NOAH 09/26/10 (B: #4 J: 3) – 129 pts
5. Hiroshi Tanahashi v. Taiyo Kea - NJPW Wrestle Kingdom in Tokyo Dome 01/04/07 (B: #3 J: 7)- 126 pts
6. Jimmy Jacobs v. Deliroius Markham Street Fight – ROH Tag Title Classic (B: #8 J: #6)- 122 pts
7. Hiroyoshi Tenzan v. Yoshihiro Takayama ) NJPW G1 Climax 2003 Semi Final (B: #11 J: #5) – 120 pts
8. Tyler Black v. Jimmy Jacobs ROH The Hunt Begins 04/17/09 (B: #12 J: #11) – 113 pts
9. “Brother” Yasshi/ Shuji Kondo/ Jushin Liger/ Minoru/ Milano Collection AT v. Koji Kanemoto/ Wataru inoue/ Kaz hayashi/ Taka Michinoku/ Tiger Mask IV - NJPW Wrestle Kingdom in Tokyo Dome 01/04/07 (B: #9 J: # 17) – 110 pts
10. Roderick Strong v. Jay Briscoe - ROH Tag Title Classic 04/18/09 (B: #19 J: #8) – 109 pts
11. Kensuke Sasaki v. Great Muta - - Wrestle 1 Grand Prix 10/02/05 (B: #18 J: #12)- 106 pts
12. Tito Santana/ Ricky Steamboat v. Greg Valentine/ Brutus Beefcake WWF Toronto 04/21/85 (B: #21 J: #9) – 106 pts
13. Toshiaki Kawada v. Shinsuke Nakamura - - NJPW Wrestle Kingdom in Tokyo Dome 01/04/07 (B: #13 J: #18)- 105 pts
14. Chuck Liddell v. Vernon White UFC 49 (B: #16 J: #16)- 104 pts
15. Mitsuharu Misawa/ Yoshinari Ogawa v. Akebono/ 2 Cold Scorpio - Wrestle 1 Grand Prix 10/02/05 (B: #14 J: #20) – 102 pts
16. Eddie Kingston/ Grizzly Redwood/ Brodie Lee v. Incoherance - - Chikara “The Bobliographan 04/26/09 ( B: #23 J: #14) – 99 pts
17. Strike Force v. Hart Foundation WWF Superstars 11/07/87 (B: #17 J: #23)- 96 pts
18. Tito Santana v. Greg Valentine Steel Cage WWF Baltimore July 1985- (B: #10 J: #30)- 96 pts
19. Yves Edwards v. Josh Thomson – UFC 49 (B: #31 J: #10)- 95 pts
20. Evan Tanner v. Robbie Lawler UFC 50 (B: #6 J: #35)- 95 pts
21. Terry Funk/ Jumbo Tsuruta/ Genichiro Tenryu v. The Destroyer/ Jerry Blackwell/ Ron Bass – AJPW 09/14/82 (B; #15 J: #29)- 92 pts
22. Matt Hughes v. Georges St.-Pierre UFC 50 (B: #24 J: #22)- 90 pts
23. Karo Parisyan v. Nick Diaz UFC 49 (B: #26 J: #25)- 85 pts
24. Osirian Portal v. The Future is Now - Chikara “The Bobliographan 04/26/09 (B: #7 J: #45)- 84 pts
25. Bob Sapp v. Jun Akiyama - Wrestle 1 Grand Prix 10/02/05 (B: #28 J: #24) – 84 pts
26. Cheech & Cloudy v. 2.0 v. Super Smash Brothers v. The Unstable - Chikara “The Bobliographan 04/26/09 (B: #20 J: #33)- 83 pts
27. Strike Force v. Hart Foundation WWF MSG 11/24/87 (B: #42 J: #13) – 81 pts
28. Austin Aries v. Roderick Strong v. Jay Briscoe v. Kenny Omega - ROH The Hunt Begins 04/17/09 (B: #30 J: #27)- 79 pts
29. Frank Trigg v. Renato Verissimo UFC 50 (B: #43 J: #15) – 78 pts
30. Abdullah the Butcher/ Giant Kimala v. Dory Funk jr/ Katsuhiko Nakajima - Wrestle 1 Grand Prix 10/02/05 (B: #32 J: #26)- 78 pts
31. Austin Aries/ All Night Express v. Kevin Steen/ Player Dos/ Kenny Omega – ROH Tag Title Classic 04/18/09 (B: #27 J: #32) – 77 pts
32. Keiji Muto/ Masahiro Chono v. Satoshi Kojima/ Hiroyoshi Tenzan - NJPW Wrestle Kingdom in Tokyo Dome 01/04/07 (B: #22 J: #38) – 76 pts
33. Randy Couture v. Vitor Belfort UFC 49 (B: #29 J: #34) – 73 pts
34. Team 3 D v. Chuck Palumbo/ Johnny Stamboli - Wrestle 1 Grand Prix 10/02/05 (B: #25 J: #39)- 72 pts
35. Tito Santana v. Don Muraco WWF MSG 02/20/84 (B: #44 J: #21)- 71 pts
36. David Terrell v. Matt Lindland UFC 49 – (B: #35 J: #31) – 7 0 pts
37. Tito Santana v. Greg Valentine WWF Philly Spectrum 03/31/84 (B: #39 J: #28) – 69 pts
38. Tyler Black/ Dan Lawrence v. House of Truth v. Zero Gravity - AAW Scars and Stripes 07/10/10 (B: #33 J: #36) – 67 pts
39. Tito Santana v. Rick Rude – WWF Boston Garden 02/11/89 (B#51 J:#19)- 66 pts
40. Riki Choshu/ Manabu Nakanishi/ Takashi Iizuka/ Naofumi Yamamoto v. Giant Bernard/ TARU/ Suwama/ Ro’Z - - NJPW Wrestle Kingdom in Tokyo Dome 01/04/07 (B: # 36 J: #37) – 63 pts
41. Danny Daniels v. Trik Davis - AAW Scars and Stripes 07/10/10 (B: #34 J: #43) – 59 pts
42. Rich Franklin v. Jorge Rivera UFC 50 (B: #38 J: #40) – 58 pts
43. Suwama v. Minoru Suzuki - Wrestle 1 Grand Prix 10/02/05 (B; #37 J: #44) – 55 pts
44. American Wolves/ Sylvan Grenier v. Bryan Danielson/ Kevin Steen/ El Generico – ROH The Hunt Begins 04/17/09 (B: #41 J: # 41)- 54 pts
45. Ivan Salaverry v. Tony Fryklund UFC 50 (B: #40 J:# 47)- 49 pts
46. Joe Riggs v. Joe Doerkson – UFC 49 (B: #48 J:#46) – 42 pts
47. Togi Makabe/ Toru Yano/ Tomohiro Ishii v. D’Lo Brown/ Tomko/ Bull Buchanan- - NJPW Wrestle Kingdom in Tokyo Dome 01/04/07 (B: #45 J:#50 )- 41 pts
48. Chris Lytle v. Ron Jhun – UFC 49 (B#55 J:#42)- 39 pts
49. Louis Lyndon v. Mason Beck - AAW Scars and Stripes 07/10/10 (B: #47 J: #52) – 37 pts
50. Don Frye v. Jamal – Wrestle 1 Grand Prix 10/02/05 (B:#50 J:#51)- 35 pts
51. Justin Eilers v. Mike Kyle – UFC 49 (B#52 J: #53)- 31 pts
52. Jimmy Rave/ Claudio Castagnoli v. Colt Cabana/ Brent Albright – ROH The Hunt Begins 04/17/09 (B: #49 J:#56) – 31 pts
53. F.I.S.T & Buck Hawke v. The Colony/ Mike Quackenbush/ Jigsaw - Chikara “The Bobliographan 04/26/09 (B#60 J#49) – 27 pts
54. Vin Gerard v. Glacier - Chikara “The Bobliographan 04/26/09 (B: #46 J:#64)- 26 pts
55. Marvin Eastman v. Travis Lutter – UFC 50 (B: #54 J:#57)- 25 pts
56. Colt Cabana v. Claudio Castagnoli – ROH Tag Title Classic 04/18/09 (B: #65 J:#48)- 23 pts
57. Tito Santana v. Randy Savage No DQ Match – WWF MSG 04/22/86 (B:#59 J:#55) – 22 pts
58. Shadow Phoenix v. Claudio Castagnoli - Chikara “The Bobliographan 04/26/09 (B: #61 J:#54)- 21 pts
59. Jado/Gedo v. Nosawa/ Mazada - NJPW Wrestle Kingdom in Tokyo Dome 01/04/07 (B:#53 J:#62)- 21 pts
60. Masa Fuchi/ El Samurai/ Ryusuke Taguchi v. Kikutaro/ Nobutaka Araya/ Akira Raijin – NJPW Wrestle Kingdom in Tokyo Dome 01/04/07 (B#58 J:#58)- 20 pts
61. Chandler McClure/ Knight Wagner v. Colt Cabana/ Derek St. Holmes - AAW Scars and Stripes 07/10/10 (B#57 J#60)- 19 pts
62. Eric Young v. Robbie E – TNA Xplosion 12/03/10 (B#56 J#61)- 19 pts
63. Shark Girl v. Sara Del Ray - Chikara “The Bobliographan 04/26/09 (B#62 J:#59)- 15 pts
64. Arik Cannon v. Flip Kendrick - AAW Scars and Stripes 07/10/10 (B#63 J:#63) – 10 pts
65. Samuray Del Sol v. Jordan McEntyre – AAW Scars and Stripes 07/10/10 (B#64 J:#65)- 7 pts
66. UltranMantis Black v. Create-A- Wrestler – Chikara “The Bobliographan 04/26/09 (B: #66 J:#66)- 4 pts
67. Tito Ortiz v. Patrick Cote – UFC 50 (B: #67 J:#67)- 2 pts



After watching countless hours of footage, both diverse and unique to my eyes, going to share my thoughts on the top 5 or so matches and the bottom 5.

Nagata v. Suzuki was just crazy, both guys are masters of in match psychology and facial expressions to get over the story they’re telling. They had a really fun fight on this year’s Wrestle Kingdom, I believe, but this bout was a title match, feeling more important and was a bloody fight to the end. Violent suplexes, bone breaking locks and just so much fun to be had. The Berwyn Street Fight was insane, MsChif is quickly becoming my favorite female performer, she’s really rough, and sells great, this bout went outside in front of the arena, where people were moonsaulting and hitting northern Lights suplexes on the grassy knoll.

The Noah Junior title match was all that you would expect of this talent pool, NOAH has been on the decline in the eyes of the Japanese (and most wrestling forum trolls) but this had every nuance of a big title match and Kanemaru again shows he’s possibly the most underestimated worker in the Land of the Rising Sun. The ROH Tag Title bout was a marathon of epic proportions, 45 minutes total and showed why all 4 men are destined for greatness, at least in work rate. Black was kind of the black eye though, as he worked this one the same as every other match I’ve ever seen him in. The way they broke it up into different sections plus the crazy way it finished up really put it over the top for me.

Tenzan v. Takayama could have been really mediocre, but both guys really pushed themselves and this was a fight that easily could have been the Finals of the G1 and Tenzan especially showed his singles wares. The Markham Street Fight (seeing a pattern here?) had so much story already built into it all they had to do was give a spirited brawl and this would have been great; but they went over the mark, especially the in ring stuff was among the best on this show which featured so much good wrestling.

As for the bottom of the barrel, Tito v. Cote was the main of this centennial MMA card and it stunk the joint out. Cote just never tried to pull the trigger despite the shit he talked and hype he had and Tito showed while he was dominant during his big title run, he was a total lay and pray fighter. God this hurt my soul. Ultramantis Black does not a damn thing for me, even though most of the Chikara-ites adore him. He was fighting, I guess, the representative of the plain dude you can make on pro wrestling games? Could you think of a more stupid gimmick ever? And god that match dragged. AAW proved they could compete with the worst of the worst in Indy while providing a great street fight later on in the card. Samuray just blew, trying to pretend to be a Japanese ninja while obviously being a lazy pockmarked dude who was tired of working the movie ticket counter and started wrestling. Arik Cannon can be good in certain situations but this was not one of them. And Glacier’s big return to Chikara I wanted to like but was just too underwhelming, had the pace of the Tortoise racing the Hare and Gerard who has charisma really couldn’t do too much worthy of watching here.


Hey everyone! Wow. Another Queue Slayer in the history books. I actually finished all this footage a few weeks back so I'm not as fresh on it as Jessie. It was a diverse lot.

We saw something like 7-8 selections for this one. The Tito Santana "Hall of Fame" stuff from WWE 24/7 was fun with some grizzly Valentine work always a plus. Think my favorite was their cage match from Baltimore '85 as I just loved the finish. Tito kicking that cage door in Valentine's snout. Chikara show wasn't that great, I tend to enjoy their stuff in the quirky, weird little venues they tour, but this show was in the old ECW Arena, and while that works for CZW, it doesn't really fit with their image. AAW, I've seen some pretty strong shows of theirs, this wasn't one of them, although it ended up with the surprise #1 of the whole project, a really wild, totally fun, Berwyn Street Fight! I loved it.

ROH we did two shows that were actually packaged on one massive DVD titled Double Feature II featuring (supposedly) the best matches off of two Canadian events. I actually liked the bulk of it. 4+ hours of ROH can seem like a haul to some but I've always enjoyed spinning their dense discs when I get a spare hour and this provided a few "must see" selections, namely the epic American Wolves vs. Danielson/Black 45+ min. tag masterpiece (might be slightly overstating it but it was a tasty ride), Jacobs and Delirious' Markham Street Fight, etc. Let's see -- what else? WRESTLE 1 was an outlandish short-lived co. but this was a riot. Then there's the '07 Tokyo Dome which featured a great second-half and of all the big bouts I really liked Tanahashi and Kea throwing bombs. The two UFC events were decent with some quick finishes which is always a treat, a Couture fight that wouldn't appease the bar crowd but I liked, and a few outright stinkers. Overall, a ton of fun, and Queue Slayer #6 is shaping up to be the biggest and best ever.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Complete WCW run of Jushin Liger: Disc 2

1) v. Brad Armstrong (WCW Saturday Night 07/18/92)- 4
This felt like playing the 1st stage of a video game over and over again. So you would think, both guys knowing they are going to a 10 minute draw you wouldn't just do meaningless leg work for the whole bout right? Brad doesn't do much for the gerricurl look nor for making a case about being a legend. I mean the ground work, the armdrags the timing of both men, great, but Brad is as dynamic as plastic wrap.

2) v. Chris Sullivan (WCW Power Hour 08/08/92)- 2
Sullivan throws punches like Punky Brewster and he's balding worse than Hogan. Liger powerbombs him for no good reason about 3 minutes in and doesn't even cover. Sullivan should have watched less Hill Street Blues reruns and more Liger tapes so he would know how to actually sell some of Liger's marquee shit.

3) v. Jimmy Garvin (WCW Main Event 08/16/92)- 1
This barely went 4 minutes and nothing happened. Garvin came out and primped for a few seconds but he did pull off a pretty stiff slam. Liger kind of went for the finish out of nowhere in what was a really bizarre turn of events.

4) Liger & Erik Watts v. Sting & Dr. Death (WCW Starrcade)- 5
I've watched and reviewed this once before, the Liger v. Sting stuff is some really fun work, there's a lot of combos in this strange match but each one feels like it goes exactly as it should.

5) Liger & Kensuke Sasaki v. Ricky Steamboat/ Shane Douglas (WCW House Show Philadelphia, PA 12/29/92)- 6
This was a pretty cool match, went about 20 minutes and is that rare face v. face match at this point in history. The cool thing is this crowd turned on the champs (Dragon & Douglas) and just loved the Japanese team, Liger was really playing it up too. Everything basic in this looked really great, kicked off by a slam from kensuke that rattled the whole ring and gave Steamboat a look on his face like he just bounced off a trampoline onto an elephant tusk. There was some great nearfalls close to the end of the bout too where you thought a title change could happen. Video quality wasn't the best unfortunately but never where you couldn't see the action.

6) v. Ultimo Dragon (WCW/NJP SuperShow 3)- 7
Tell me you've seen this match. This sport is all about presentation a lot of times and Liger in his purple outfit and Dragon in the gold made these guys look like superstars. Love the table spot later on, it's not botched because it doesn't break, it's more painful and unexpected from a juniors match. Both guys are breaking out all their faves here, powerbombs, brainbusters and was treated like a huge puro main event. Dragon's look of disbelief after the bout was a little silly considering he was pinned but seemed fine after it was over though.

7) v. Brad Armstrong (WCW Worldwide 05/18/95)- 3
they broke out the quick armdrags again and this was probably the first time Brad had been relevant in quite some time. Tony mentions Armstrong's been wrestling a long time but that's about all he could say about his career. The coppo kick looked like a blast from a .90 magnum. Finish was shocking to say the least but can't give it too much originality because they used the same spot 3 years earlier.

8) v. Brian Pillman (WCW Nitro 09/04/95)- 5
This match is pretty historic, and finished pretty well in our Best of Nitro project last year. It seemed to be a polarizing match among readers but I still enjoyed this. Liger was coming off a year layoff and his timing is really off. But both guys have enough chemistry together that they pull something entertaining out of this. The announcers seem to be oblivious to any moves these guys have done because the hurricanrana spot made Bischoff blow a gasket.

9) v. Eddie Guerrero (WCW Main Event 10/01/95)- 5
I liked this as it got more time than the Pillman Nitro match and seemed more like both men just feeling each other out for about 12 minutes. One thing that stuck in my crawl was everything here seemed really low impact, even powerbombs which should never be. Their timing seemed much more natural than he and Pillmans did and that helped make this feel effortless, and apparently this was Eddie's debut here. An interesting caveat is Liger is way less protected during this run than in '92.

10) v. Barry Houston (WCW Pro 11/18/95)- 3
Who the hell is Barry Houston and why did he try a plancha and hit a Northern Light suplex on Liger on the floor?! This was a fun quick ride and Houston took some rough falls too. Liger started playing up his heel persona and I loved the Gene Simmons closeup after match

11) v. Bobby Starr (WCW Pro 12/16/95)- 1
Starr is grosser than Oscar the Grouch's pubic hair. And he's a ginger. Liger doesn't waste much time with him but does give him a bodyslam spot.

12) v. Skip Brown (WCW Worldwide 12/17/95)- 2
Skip's nickname is apparently "Sugar" I can't imagine anyone wanting a lick of that. Why do all these guys working Liger try crossbodys on him? I don't know or care but I love seeing it. Liger's headbutt looks like a moose being thrown from a commercial airliner.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Swedish Chet and Chef Jablonski

WWE Tribute for the Troops 12/13/11

1. Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett - 4
2. Zack Ryder vs. Jack Swagger – 2
3. Maria Menounos/Eve Torres/Kelly Kelly/Alicia Fox vs. Bella Twins/Natalya/Beth Phoenix – 3

4. Daniel Bryan vs. Cody Rhodes – 4

5. Epico/Primo vs. Air Boom – 4

6. Sheamus vs. Drew McIntyre – 3

7. John Cena/CM Punk/Big Show vs. Alberto Del Rio/The Miz/Mark Henry – 4

Liked the physicality of the opener even if it had a "fuck finish" to set up their PPV match later that week. Ryder gets another squash and former champ Swagger looks like a jackass. Women's match kept short and Menounous comes off bigger than the Divas. Surprised champ Phoenix had to take the fall, though. Bryan sold his rib damage well but not as good as their past work and finish was a lame roll-up due to Booker T interference (although Booker and Cody's little skirmish post-match looked good and gave me hope for their match at TLC '11). Nice to see the heels go over clean, especially on a Tribute to the Troops show, since heels rarely win here, either Bourne being further punished for smoking fake pot or creative is actually behind the new duo. Either way I'm happy. Quick Sheamus squash but stiff -- need more McIntyre on my TV. Main event was fun, you could tell those guys were enjoying themselves, which in part, helps you enjoy it more. Finish run was hot with a bunch of big moves but disappointed to see Henry, who's been booked so strong and never pinned, beat twice in the span of 8 days on TV. This was the first year I fast-forwarded over all the patriotic pandering -- does that make me a bad American?

TNA Impact Wrestling 12/15/11

1. Bobby Roode vs. AJ Styles - 4
2. Bobby Roode vs. AJ Styles - 2
3. Scott Steiner/Abyss vs. Rob Terry/Hernandez –3
4. Zema Ion vs. Anthony Nese – 3
5. Jesse Neal vs. Gunner - 1
6. Samoa Joe/Magnus vs. Douglas Williams/Robbie E – 3
7. Madison Rayne vs. Traci Brooks – 2
8. Jeff Hardy vs. Bully Ray – 3

Opener was the five-minute restart we should have gotten on the PPV after their time-limit draw. It was actually a really damn good 5 min. with the highlight being AJ somehow hitting the Pelé kick from out on the floor on Roode while he was standing in the ring. Second "match" was really just a restart after nobody won but Bobby just took out Styles' leg from behind and made him tap. Not much as a standalone segment but in portraying Roode as despicable creep great. Next was the first of a new "Wild Card" tag tournament -- think a neutered Lethal Lottery. Steiner continues quietly being one of the best things about watching TNA. Nice to see Ion and Nese get a little TV time too bad the match blew. Zema going heel seems rushed and forced.

Neal's final TNA appearance as he got canned and they don't even let Gunner get a pin? Gunner gets a DQ but does DDT Jesse on the concrete floor which brought back memories of Roberts and Steamboat. Nice seeing Joe booked somewhat strong as he was a monster here, and I liked Magnus showing some backbone pre-match backstage telling Joe he didn't need friendship either. Rayne finally gets a win after losing all her credibility post-championship run. Brooks looks like a nightmarish evil scientist creation. Main event didn't even break 5 min. and didn't resonate at all. As soon as banged up Hardy returned all of Ray's push sizzled out. It took two Twist of Fates to finish him but he was still squashed here. My favorite segment was easily Eric Young finding out his partner in the Wild Card tournament was ODB backstage and their banter together, ODB flapping her own tits, "You like these?", etc. just comedic gold.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Complete WCW run of Jushin "Thunder" Liger: Disc 1

This is another part in the ongoing love saga I've had with Liger for years. I watched and reviewed most of his 8 disc Japanese stuff and now am on the WCW years. I'm a huge WCW mark, miss the promotion immensely so this is going to be a lot of fun. Hope you enjoy the ride and Merry Christmas

Disc 1

1) v. Akira Nogami (WCW/NJPW Supershow 1991)- 3
This is like a time machine for me; this match was the first I'd ever seen of Liger, albeit this looks clipped as I've seen this several times since. One nice touch is Jim Ross doing commentary and giving some backstory. Nogami shoots Spidey webs at the beginning for no apparent reason. I remember the music he used here, loud thumping Japanese gong beat, so classic. Not much here but in this small time Liger goes high risk, begins a story of selling his leg and pulls off a crazy DDT from the top rope

2) v. Chris Benoit (WCW Saturday Night 12/07/91)- 7
This aired on Sat. Night but took place in Japan, may have even been on the original Liger review. Was Benoit nuts already? Perez Hilton may think so with those eyesore tights. This has a real measured pace, and again, the added bonus of JR calling the action. Loved how he always called matches "contests" gave it that authentic feel. Some really mean submissions that would look rough in Stu hart's dungeon and they just trade them like kids did those Pokemon cards back in the late 90's. Damn, late match back suplex added to Benoit's ruptured psychosis. Both guys are so dynamic and there's a reason I and I think most fans would rather watch these guys bouts over and over again as opposed to more pimped Dynamite Kid-TM stuff. Man the way it built up to the end was a thing of beauty, like those Torrie Playboy nudes.

3) v. Brian Pillman (WCW The Omni, 12/25/91)- 2
We got the last 2.5 minutes of a 16 minute match, which unfortunately wasn't a lot to get a feel of. I didn't care for the heatless ending to what looked like a pretty exciting bout, funny thing about the business where this was Liger's big WCW debut and it wasn't even on tv.

4) v. Brian Pillman (WCW Event East Rutherford, NJ 12/27/91)- 5
I could recommend this on oddity alone; first off sounds like Paulie D and some other Jersey Shore jerkoff are doing commentary, dropping references to wrestling Observer newsletter and such. This feels like a feeling out match for these two as they play on the mat for a good part then they start working out timing spots. The crowd is pretty responsive to a lot of it too. Finish was a cop out but Liger actually broke out the Asai which was pretty nuts

5) w/ Bill Kazmaier v. Mike Graham/ DDP (WCW Starrcade 1991)- 3
6) Double Ring Battle Royal (WCW Starrcade 1991)- N/C
I've reviewed both of these matches before; the Battlebowl tag was just an oddity, and I really don't know who was driving this train; Liger i guess? Graham seemed to have filled his quota of pay per view time but sucking up nearly the whole match; what a gross looking human. The battle royal was clipped until Liger was eliminated and you can't really grade that

7) v. Brian Pillman (WCW Superbrawl 2)- 7
We've all reviewed this show back in the early NHO days and i think 1992 Jushin Liger is one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time; Pillman of 92 wasn't far behind. There wasn't really any feeling out here, they just went at it. It felt like a recording at the Dudesons house because both guys just kept trying to one-up each other and it made this a classic. Seek it out, fuck, watch that whole Super Brawl 2 show and bask in it.

8) w/ Brian Pillman v. Chris Benoit/ Beef Wellington (WCW Clash of the Champions 19)- 7
9) w/ Brian Pillman v. Ricky Steamboat/ Nikita Koloff (WCW Great American Bash 1992)- 8

This Clash match was a great matchup, which Ross acknowledges. Benoit and Liger we know of their history but Pillman and Wellington knew each other from Stampede and it all shines. Liger and Benoit hit each other hard, a lariat from Benoit sounded like it made Jim Ross choke on his brisquet sandwhich. Wellington bumped like he was from Stu hart's dungeon. Ventura almost like product placement repeats over and over there are no mats on the outside because both teams repeatedly dive out but as it's done, it builds up and is better each time. Beef went limp on Liger on few setups but take a good look near the end of the bout when Pillman and Benoit go outside and chop the living flesh out of each other; god damn it was brutal.

Our next bout we all screened at our attempt at watching 24 hours of wrestling last year in full and I remember the bout being a standout among a tremendous show in GAB 1992. This match really blew most of my expectations out of the water. Looking at this match, you would think Koloff would be the weak link but he fits very well in amongst all these legendary workers; in fact I would argue Nikita is the most expressive of everyone in this bout, playing up his hurt arm, surprise at their opponents overcoming them, etc. Liger goes on an offensive flurry of great nearfalls on steamboat that was one of the most exciting of this bout. Everyone holds their own here and the crowd keeps wetting their pants over and over. see this now.

Monday, December 5, 2011

PWG Battle of Los Angeles '07 Night 3

1. Roderick Strong vs. Joey Ryan (Block A Quarterfinal) - B: 4 J: 4

Brian: I had the same reaction to this as I did reading Sasha Grey had retired from porn to be an "actress". Kind of a nothing opener although they did keep the intensity up during its short duration. With that ridiculous hair Ryan looks like a '70's stoner older brother who "lives" in the garage behind his parents' house. Fairly unobjectionable for 7 min. but forgettable.

Jess: Speaking of Sasha, hear she got into some trouble reading to a class of 3rd graders last week. I liked the pop on a lot of the moves, gave it something more than a nothing opener and I liked Roddy’s finishing stretch but god damn Ryan looks like a complete freak.

2. Alex Shelley vs. Matt Sydal (Block A Quarterfinal) J: 5 B: 5

Jess: Surprised how much ground work this match had, as we know Shelly is a mat- adore, follows all styles but even Sydal got into the mix, like a mom caught up in her daughter’s Twilight obsession. This is one of those smartly paired bouts where both guys are small, so you don’t notice it against each other. One spot near the end had a superkick that actually stood out nowadays, as on a PWG show you roughly see 15-20 of them any given night.

Brian: Shelley had a great little facial at one point where he sat-up and looked like a kid in bed that was just forced to get up in the morning. Wonder what Gotch and Thesz would think about these guys' goofy trunks as Shelley looks like an extra from Cyborg. Alex catching Bourne mid-rotation with an Ace Crusher looked much better than when Randy Orton did it on Raw.

3. PAC vs. Claudio Castagnoli (Block B Quarterfinal) - B: 2 J: 2

Brian: Claudio tossed PAC higher than Luigi can jump. Not sure why Mario got the princess when Luigi was taller, thinner, and more skilled. Didn't really get a sense either of these guys cared a ton about moving forward in the BoLA. Match came off flatter than January Jones' performance in X-Men: First Class. PAC got the victory with British Airways after a convoluted set-up.

Jess: Mario= Confidence. Haha, good question. Claudio was going through the motions like he did working the Auntie Anne’s counter at his part time job. I thought seeing you give this a “2” I would like it much more but this was just vapid.

4. CIMA vs. SHINGO (Block B Quarterfinal) - J: 4 B: 5

Jess: You would think this goes into DG overkill, but no, not at all. There’s something about this crowd, not sure if they’re trying to pretend to be a Japanese one but it’s deader than Jason Todd. Liked some of the submission stuff thrown in, but I didn’t buy Cima as Shingo’s equal in strength (see shoulderblock spot) Nothing real memorable but solid

Brian: I liked this better. The student and the teacher. Well, in that CIMA teaches, and SHINGO was inevitably taught at some point. How's that for the old curveball, eh? With the NBA on lockout I've got to get my sports itch scratched somehow. I did dig the story here though. CIMA targets SHINGO's injured arm, trying to eliminate SHINGO's advantage, that being the power game. SHINGO eventually fights through the pain and goes on a nice offensive stretch and it looks like CIMA is on the verge of losing only to pull of an ultra-slick roll-up to survive and move forward.

5. Nigel McGuinness vs. Necro Butcher (Block C Quarterfinal) - B: 6 J: 5

Brian: Going into this I wasn't expecting to recommend it but for an under 10 min. match this was exactly what you wanted it to be. Unlike Steen the previous night Nigel had no problem mauling Butcher. McGuinness took all Butcher doled out then reciprocated by kicking a chair into Butcher's shins, giving him a a snapmare into the guardrail (love the innovation), etc. Then in the ring we got a concussion party which is always lovely. Liked the psychology of the ending where Butcher's leg was too damaged that he couldn't get the Choose Death off onto the chairs so ended up falling prey to Nigel who suplexed him right onto the steel concoction. Nigel hit Necro so hard with a lariat the first few rows got a contact high.

Jess: I wasn’t either, but this was a concept match where everything laid out is going to make sense, not a usual PWG bout where guys get 15 mins to just fuck around with any kind of layout they want. Nigel was brutal in that cold way, not where he’s playing it up with the crowd, he’s just doing the damn thing. Necro shows here he has a Foley-esque sympathetic quality he should use more. This was violent and fast paced, good bout.

6. El Generico vs. Dragon Kid (Block C Quarterfinal) - J: 6 B: 4

Jess: Generico has been on a streak of fighting all these great masked guys from Japan, add another to the list. This is what you expect but without the vomit feeling in your throat when they won’t end it. Dragon’s series of nearfalls is some of the most believable pinfalls of the tourney, where you know he wants to win this damn thing. The energy was palpable, like a Childish Gambino performance. And Generico liked being the bigger dude, his somewhat questionable offense made perfect sense finally.

Brian: Generico's histrionics bring to mind a Daniel Johnston superhero doodling. This only went 8 min. so it's tough to recommend given that it felt like a pretty good first one-third of a match. Generico's size did play a factor as he was busting out some mean stuff he usually doesn't get to utilize including some nasty backbreakers, etc. Kid tried to counter a top rope brainbuster into a stunner in mid-air but caught the back of his legs on the top rope on the way down and nearly got paralyzed -- really scary bump. Jessie was mentioning Kid's nearfalls, but he only got two, both in the last 90 seconds of the match, and when you've seen guys in ROH spend 40+ min. trying unsuccessfully to put Generico away I never really bought into him being in any kind of trouble.

7. Roderick Strong vs. Alex Shelley (Block A Semifinal) - B: 5 J: 6

Brian: I'm very excited about this. Two former Generation Next stablemates squaring off? Fucking forget about it. Instant classic. Alright, well, let me cool it down and actually watch the damn thing. Really nice sequence early with lots of countering of each guy's trademarked convoluted shit. I can buy Alex as a guy who studies ROH on his cell phone while riding public transit. Shelley eats one chop in the corner and gives a cantankerous expression like Mr. Wilson after eyeing Dennis the Menace pissing through the fence onto his garden. Bad camera shot on the finish as Shelley had a apathetic blank stare on his face like I did while sitting in the theater watching Resident Evil: Afterlife.

Jess: Yeah had the same feeling and both guys start this thing really confident, like the way they moved into sequence back to back just felt on a higher level than anything else so far. Shelly shoots off submission attempts like most guys do highspots these days, or for a more universal description, like Miley Cyrus drinks bongwater. Shelly is a perfect foil for those chops and even though Roderick has a face like he’s waiting for his popcorn to pop in the microwave, the brutality he dishes out is just nuts. I had a lot of fun watching this and I think since they weren’t in ROH they didn’t care about overkill at the end. Someone douse this crowd with huge water hoses, and wake them up.

8. CIMA vs. PAC (Block B Semifinal) - J: 5 B: 6

Jess: I saw this match years back on the huge best of PWG put out and it’s not the best match on this show. This is Cima at his finest. Experience is still worth something as you can see him orchestrating the music they are playing here. Pac is a great foil for him though because he can fly and twist any way you want him to. Some really good near falls (not as good as Elgin-O’Reilly from ROH Survival of the Fittest 2011) but still intense. He played every scene right here, when he was on offense, went for the win, on defense, struggling and frustrated, just dug the hell out of him here; he’s become one of my few highlights watching a DG show these days.

Brian: CIMA is a genuine maestro -- seeing him live this year at a DGUSA show was a real treat for me. Nowadays PAC is one of Dragon Gate's big stars and you'd have to assume working him here CIMA was certainly impressed. PAC going for lots of quick covers made sense. A big difference between PAC and say a guy like Jack Evans is PAC has a way of making stuff like corkscrewy splashes look impactful and not just flashy. I love the staggering selling of CIMA -- looks like a drunken hobo stumbling around San Francisco. Finish was pretty sick too. One of the first matches to really pull me in as a fan into the drama of the tournament setting.

9. El Generico vs. Nigel McGuinness (Block C Semifinal) - B: 5 J: 5

Brian: Some perfunctory arm work to begin. A male fan in the crowd literally fans Nigel as he takes a breather until it takes a turn for the creepy when McGuinness begins pulling open his trunks and scares the poor guy away. Generico does a flip off of the top that called to mind Bryan Fox and myself somersaulting over fences from one backyard to the next halfway down my block one raucous New Year's Eve. These guys had some hard-fought classics in ROH but this is the neutered version. Still had some sweet moments, Generico selling the arm damage late was gritty and realistic, like a Batman graphic novel, and Nigel kicking out after a brainbuster was a killer nearfall.

Jess: These two have had some awesome title matches in ROH and they kind of work that here, except with none of the drama. I’m sure that guy asked for Nigel’s number later after the show. I thought all that arm work would have led somewhere but Generico seemed just fine. I thought the brainbuster was a little ugly though, and when Nigel can’t get the bounce out of the ropes on the rebound lariat you wonder what you’re watching. Still, these two have enough spots between them to work a functional and entertaining match; one of the more over with the crowd too.

10. Chris Hero, Kevin Steen, Tyler Black, Doug Williams, Susumu Yokosuka & Jack Evans vs. Austin Aries, Jimmy Rave, The Human Tornado, Scott Lost, Davey Richards & Karl Anderson - J: 4 B: 4

Jess: (sigh) you know this was just for fun as soon as it started. But the fun wears out after the 15 minute mark and they just kept right on going like the Road Runner avoiding a dynamite patch set by that Coyote. When you see Evans and Lost trading spin flip kicks, you think you just turned on the latest in the Step Up movie series. If Hero’s the knockout Kid, how come he can’t knock anyone out without throwing 70 shots at their face? The crowd was sooo different from most indy crowds as they didn’t even shit on Machine Gun botching his flip over the top rope. Smartly, they work over Evans for a good chunk and while it’s hard to stand out in this, Richards did, as a guy who’s actually trying to win. He locked in on several targets like a missile and just destroyed them. I always enjoy a good multi man dive spot, just to see who plays the Danny Doring in the scene (first it was Aries, then Black) There’s so much talent here but this kind of match plays much better when you’re there live to experience it than to rewatch on DVD as it has no substantial value or meaning.

Brian: Lost sold everything like he just pulled his groin on his first attempt at snowboarding. I liked the Aries and Yokosuka sequence; it helped get Austin booked in Japan a few dates. Evans' work looked rougher than singer Seal's face. I wish we would have gotten more Jimmy Rave being a bastard (i.e. him posing on Evans during a pin like he was Billy Graham). Anderson was half-bald here surely there's an obscure fetish for that. Four of the twelve guys are working in t-shirts. Stay classy Reseda.

11. CIMA vs. Roderick Strong vs. El Generico (Finals - Triple Threat Elimination) - B: 6 J: 6

Brian: In PWG we've seen a lot of three-way matches, including people being plugged into them (RVD comes to mind) mindlessly, but this felt freshly organic. Chaos is usually germane to this sort of match but given the circumstances it seemed even more fitting. I liked that CIMA had some of his crew with him at ringside similar to cornermen at a UFC fight. Some blatant "ring talk" by CIMA to Roderick after the Mad Splash was unfortunate. Generico fucking killed Strong with a brainbuster on the apron! What a landing. Then CIMA hit Generico with the Schwein on the apron. This is getting ballsy. Generico's eating heaping helpings of offense like Adam Richman eats a 5 lbs. omelette. CIMA beat Strong with the Crossfire to win. The finish run wasn't overdone and while they could have tried to push it further the crowd was on the fringe of overkill and reacted well to CIMA's big win. CIMA certainly came off as an ace and one of the stronger competitors throughout the tournament so him winning is a decision I support.

Jess: Two great things about this, first all 3 dudes were tired as hell, with bloodshot eyes and looked physically worn down like they spent the afternoon inside Room 23 by the Others. 2nd, this was done like a 4 minute 3 way you may find on Raw where everyone is just going for broke hitting all their top shelf stuff because they don’t have much time except here they had like 14 minutes so it all stretched out really well. The series of apron bumps midway through were the sickest of the tournament, esp. Roddy’s; he bounced like a Four Square ball after I Cherry Bombed it in grade school. Generico got some heat back by taking multiple finishers and the ending, as brian stated never got ridiculous; I just didn’t care for the weak ass power bomb that won it but I’m totally cool with the outsider win, nice bit of booking.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

ECWA 15th Anniversary Super 8 4/30/11

1. ECWA & TWA OPEN INVITATIONAL Over the Top Rope BATTLE ROYAL!!! feat. "Hitman" Tony Stetson, Kid America, "Heavyweights" Dan Eckos & Sean Royal, Black Panther, AHTO, JJ Crew Guy, "Pitbull" Timothy Richards, Mozart Fontaine, CUJO the Hellhound, Mr. Ooh La La, Russian Assassin, "Living Legend" Larry Winters - 4

I've always had a soft spot for a battle royal and while typically not a place to spotlight in-ring talent (usually it's a lot of punching and not much else) they're usually fun. The average independent wrestler in 2011 looks a lot different than one, from say, 1993 and a lot of the guys in this looked like they'd be right at home on a grainy VHS bootleg of a '95 show in a school gym. Wait, is that Stetson from the original Eastern Championship Wrestling? Wow. Even with the older, less athletic guys being in the majority, I was still surprisingly entertained by this, if you can't bring compelling drama, at least let us, in some way, know that you (the performers) are having fun and I sensed it here. Mr. Ooh La La was ludicrous and I thank him for it.

Tammy Sytch comes out looking like one of those "teachers" from the porno where a student screws the professor for a grade (don't act like you haven't downloaded one of those before). Sunny crowns each sociopath entrant into the Super 8 with an Olympic-looking red, white, and blue lanyard with a crummy coin dangling off of it as they shake her hand and admire her sex hair. I wouldn't mind seeing her oil SHOCKWAVE the Robot's joints. I love this venue -- looks like that hangar level from Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 (but with better lighting). So, who's going to win this year? It's really hard to say offhand but I'm guessing not Bobby Shields.

2. "New Horror" Sami Callihan vs. Adam Cole - 7

I loved this. Great way to start with two of the upcoming stars of the scene. Guys who have both got seasoning in CZW, ROH, EVOLVE, etc. Just outstanding selling by both men throughout. I really bought into Cole after suffering a manhandling rallying with everything he had to try to put away his insane opponent. One bad botch I'd be remiss not to mention was Cole cutting off a suicide dive with a jumping kick that whiffed more than Sunny when she found that turd Scott Hall left in her travel bag. Still, overall, this was a damn fine way to start off the tournament and I'll be interested as I go back through all of these Super 8's to see if one ever kicked off so juicy.

3. Bobby Shields vs Austin Aries - 5

Sheilds looks like Ryan Howe from Tough Enough. Commentary spends large chunk of time whining about how Aries can't break through the "glass ceiling" and get into the WWE. Maybe if he was six years younger and 18 inches taller. And not an asshole. Bobby slips hopping up on the ropes, looked like he was attempting a Sliced Bread #2, bigger mistake than Jessie incorrectly calling a Genghis Frog action figure in my bathroom "Mondo Gecko". I don't think Eaton would take too kindly to this Bobby using the "Beautiful" moniker. They did a good job of playing up arguably the #1 vs. #8 seed dynamic with Austin being the assumed favorite -- gave some added drama whenever Sheilds would get a near-fall.

4. Rich Swann vs. Tommaso Ciampa - 5

I got to hang out with Swann a months ago in my hometown and he was really cool. I'm a full-on fan now. Ciampa needs a better look (looks like a tiny Horshu now) but definitely has some skills. Rich takes a nasty front-layout suplex bump on the wooden ringsteps. Swann's moonsault off of the apron ended up looking more like the Pelé Kick as he drilled Tommaso in the face. Tommaso's Project Ciampa II finisher looked ill. Another good match.

5. SHOCKWAVE the Robot vs. Shiima Xion - 4

SHOCKWAVE comes out looking like a VR Trooper. If Robot can allegedly download the style of any wrestler into his mainframe I wish he'd get more Buddy Rose or Butch Reed and less Mike Sydal. Kind of a flat match, mostly due to Xion, who didn't really bust out a lot of his top-shelf flying stuff. Shiima won with a 450° splash but I would have preferred he busted out one of his more high-impact finishers like Bible Black or From Lust to Dust.

6. 8-MAN TAG TEAM MATCH: ECWA vs. TWA: ECWA Champion "Greek God" Papadon, ECWA Mid-Atlantic Champion Chris Wylde and "Team MackTion" TJ & Kirby Mack vs. TWA Tag Team Champions Damian Dragon & Matt Saigon and "True Professional" Josh Daniels - Handicap Match - 4

TWA Champion Breaker Morant was supposed to be in this but he's not here. The hair, the outfits, etc. are all so indy. You wouldn't want it any other way. Sort of weird ECWA has an advantage which in essence would render their win questionable. No overarching storyline, just snippets of action, some decent selling, Kirby Mack face-planted coming off the top looking like one of those teen idiots in skateboarding gone wrong video clips. Finish was an anti-climatic roll-up.

7. Adam Cole vs. Austin Aries - 4
8. Shiima Xion vs. Tommaso Ciampa - 4

Aries seemed less driven here and thus this felt more lukewarm. Cole never really had a fiery comeback or anything to propel this either. Match crept along with Aries mostly on offense, he did allow Cole to survive some of his prized stuff, so a nice little rub there for Adam, but as a standalone match pretty basic. Xion looks like Ari Tenenbaum all grown up. Ciampa dished out some nasty elbows. Xion got to kick out of Project Ciampa II but fell prey to a modified Texas Cloverleaf. Given that Tommasso was going to go on to work a third time they kept this short and as a result it felt a little flat as the match never developed any ebb and flow although what we got certainly wasn't bad.

1997 Super 8 Champion ACE DARLING vs. 2008 Super 8 Champion ADEN CHAMBERS - 4

I've never seen Aden before but after getting a look at him he looks like your bi-sexual cousin that works at Pacific Sun at the mall. Ace Darling comes out looking like Ron Livingston's character Marty Sachs from the movie Two Ninas (unsure to this day while my punk rock friend Eddie bought that and suggested we watch it on a "movie night") but not in the film itself instead how he'd look in the 12 years that have passed since it was released in '99. Darling does a have a pretty decent resume as I recall a handful of really good performances of his from a decade ago that still hold up. Some basic chain wrestling early which I was into. Aden takes a pretty big bump over the ropes to the floor -- I popped for that like Gene Siskal for Chicago Mix popcorn. Chambers throws some weak shots to the lower-back. Darling looks sore -- saw better athleticism on display the last time I went to play laser tag. So, Ace Darling created the Super 8? Guess I owe him a beer (or an appetizer). I'd be curious to see the Super 8 that Chambers won as he looked like maybe 1/10th a pro wrestler here.

10. ECWA Super 8 Finals: Adam Cole vs. Tommaso Ciampa - 7

Forearm exchange early that fails to resurrect Misawa. The back of Cole's trunks look like a beach scene as depicted by a fourth grader's crayon drawing. Ciampa targets the lower-back and would probably return to that strategy later in the night in a crummy motel room with Tammy Sytch. "Hey! What the hell? There's a Post-It note here that reads 'Bret Was Here!'". SHOCKWAVE should march back to ringside and shoot missiles from his shoulders and blow the ring up. Adam dumps Tommaso hard on the apron outside the ring in moment of transcendence. You get a sense Cole's watching some Graham Bros. footage. What the hell just happened!? Man, that was weird. Both men fighting it out on the apron, Cole hooks in a German suplex, launches it, we have no idea where Ciampa is going to land, he grazes a table but takes most of the impact on the floor. Cole hits a Canadian Destroyer to wake the crowd up. Maybe they were up all-night watching Kelly Reichardt films like me. I just now noticed that facially Ciampa resembles Gray Maynard a bit. The crowd just erupts as Ciampa hits repeated hard running knees into Cole's face in the corner. The finish? Holy shit. It was tits y'all. Ciampa hooked Cole up, climbed to the top, and did a Kryptonite Crunch off the top for the win, Super 8 trophy, and hot wings and anal with Sytch. What a night.