Sunday, July 29, 2007

Japanese Hardcore Wrestling Vol. 8 DVD

1. Ozaki and Takako vs. Dump Matsumoto and Shark Tsuchiya – Weapons Match – 2
2. Matsunaga vs. Mr. Pogo – Glassboard, Fire, and Barbed Wire Death Match – 4
3. Hero and Kudo vs. Morohashi and Toba – 7
4. Daisuke Sekimoto vs. Mad Man Pondo – 100 Florescent Light Bulbs Death Match – 6
5. Akino vs. Haruyama – 6
6. Ito, Abdullah the Kobayashi, Numasawa, and Gosaku vs. Kanemura, Yamakawa, Shadow WX, and Bad Boy Hido – Super Hardcore Match – 4

The first match was a terrifyingly bad women’s hardcore nightmare. Although it was supposed to feature four combatants, the ring and nearby area was constantly cluttered with sloppy brawling from all sorts of strange individuals, including a dumpy middle-aged man in a police uniform. If your first name is “Dump” then that likely should tell you something, and her partner Tsuchiya resembles a punk rock monster truck. Madman Matsunaga and forever-fatigued fatty Mr. Pogo had a lamentable match. It’s notable and somewhat significant for being unfathomably insane, seeing how they were surrounded by flames throughout it, and the ending, seeing Matsunaga stuffed into a casket which is then lit afire is worth the price of admission alone. I absolutely loved the following tag match. I’d never really heard of any of these guys, but found their enthusiasm refreshing, and efforts worthy of applause. Hero looked like a Kamen Rider spin-off, and was the least impressive; his opponents, Morohashi and Toba (who occasionally donned boxing gloves) brought the hurt in abundance.

I hated giving the next match such a good grade, because Pondo really sucked in it, but Sekimoto’s fearless performance can’t be denied. Sekimoto, who looks like a Japanese Bobby Lashley, while wearing little more than some tiny black spandex shorts and boots, wrestled without scruples covered in glass and his own blood. This was about as satisfying as careless garbage wrestling gets. The following women’s match seemed out of place, as it featured nothing hardcore whatsoever, except I suppose work ethic. It was just a straightforward battle, with believable sequences and a top-notch finish. In our final match, we got a giant mess of misery. All eight competitors wandered around the arena, going from one poorly executed and contrived set-up to the next, punching and pawing their way through a decidedly unremarkable match. It featured a few decently grotesque garbage spots, but was largely mild. I must also remark on Shadow WX’s new hairstyle – he went from rocking a pretty legitimate mullet to something resembling Garfield sitting on his head? I’m ashamed WX, I really thought you were better than that, but truth be told, you were never anything more than Mr. Pogo’s little stooge, and couldn’t never be as surreally sick as Tomoaki Honma.

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