Friday, May 30, 2008

New Japan Tokyo Dome Show- 01/04/08

This was a co-promoted show with Total Nonstop Action and the disc i watched only had the final four matches on the card. This is generally regarded as New Japan's biggest show of the year.

1) Hiroyochi Goto v. The Great Muta- 3

Muta returns! I was hoping the opening spot wasn't indicative of his condition at this time because he took that famous New Japan spot of running down the entire length of the ramp and get hit with a clothesline which Muta subsequently sold as if he was falling down on his couch to watch some TV. He definitley looked old in this one, but he still hit all of his signature spots with snap and impact, ex. the elbow, moonsault and Wizard. I could also see some water dripping from behind Goto's ears so Muta had a lot to work with. Funny seeing him resort to Abby standards and just maul opponent with large bladed object.

2) Travis Tomko/ Giant Bernard v. Steiner Brothers- 3

This was supposed to be The Team of the 90's versus New Japan's new Dominant team but neither squad looked particularly good. The worst was Rick, who was tripping over himself throughout the match, including after doing the Steiner double team bulldog, he started running forward trying to catch his balance but instead hit the ref. Not a lot of heat in the match either. I thought Tomko still looked pretty green, missing a few cues and Bernard seemed to be leading the match, although he wasn't as stiff as I would have liked. Jeff Jarrett interefered in some Mr. Rogers garb and Scott Steiner had the best offense in the match.

3) Yuji Nagata v. Kurt Angle- 7

The story of this match was counters- both men countering the next move and then finding a counter for that. Great chain wrestling by both guys. Nagata's face was scrunchy like it was a flesh colored Slinky, which concerned me for his health. Neither guy was particularly explosive but they knew how to build a good story. Angle tried to get stiff with some slaps later on, but Nagata proved the expert. There were a few communication problems, but both guys did a good job covering for it. The final submission sequence that led to Angle's half crab ankelock finish was really sweet and that lock looked down right deadly. I think it's the most devastating version of his anklelock we've seen yet. Really enjoyed this one.

4) Shinsuke Nakamura v. Hiroshi Tanahashi- 6

Tanahashi looks like a Final Fantasy character with his bi-curious large hair. Nakamura, physically, was nothing much to look at and the match really wasn't all that exciting but as it went on, I thought it got better. Nakamura's leg was being worked over and he did some really good Steamboat body part selling on it. These guys really let the Strong Style seep into their match instead of over-using it right from the bell, like some matches in the recent Wrestle JAM tape I saw. Shinsuke's comeback was really on fire, like Eddie Murphy's dick in the 80's and his finishing move looks extremely painful, especially when he folds you up like a cheap roadmap from the 2nd buckle backwards. These guys sold big moves the right way, not standing right up after a top rope superplex and going into an extended "Nothing hurts me until you hit another shitty clothesline" spot like I saw Aries on aforementioned show. I think both of these guys will be pretty good in another year or two.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

WWE Raw 8/16/04

Rhyno vs. Sylvain Grenier – 2

Grenier does a decent flapjack/kip-up combination, but later, his kneedrop completely whiffs. Rhyno took a nasty Irish whip into the buckles, hitting awkwardly and violently. Rhyno was selling more than I’m used to from him, a lot of it being strange convulsions like he was imitating a Jason Vorhees victim. Slyvain doesn’t look like much fun to work—he’s preoccupied with his own shit and doesn’t seem to give a lot. Grenier does a really odd delayed back suplex that looked crappy. Tajiri sprays green mist in the Frenchman’s face and he gets hit with a gore to secure a Rhyno victory.

Victoria vs. Gail Kim – 4

Victoria hits her patented Jigglesault as I’m now officially naming it. I love it when Gail kicks chicks right in the stomach, here, two hard shots to the gut sends Victoria spilling out to the floor. You can tell at this point Kim had the moves but not the method. There was one moment where she got whipped into the ropes and you could get a clear look at her face, scrutinizing it showed she was obviously performing and not fighting. Victoria, bless her, was working her ass off for Kim though. Victoria did a crossbody off the second buckle out of the corner that got botched. Victoria hits a sickening Widow’s Peak for the finish. Afterward, Trish and Tomko get involved until a “mystery woman” chased them off, which was completely preposterous as it was Stevie Richards in a bright red wig and dressed like a 1950’s school librarian.

Kane vs. Edge – 5

Edge starts off doing sloppy legwork on Kane, which Kane sells like a Hanna Barbara cartoon character. Kane pushes Edge off the top turnbuckle out onto the barricade. Jim Ross says Kane and Lita have a wedding registry at Satan ‘R Us. Coming back from commercial break Kane’s got a real loose “chinlock” on Edge, and I use the term lightly, because it looked hideous. Edge sells a hotshot on the ropes armpit first—that was stupid. Kane cajoles Edge into a swinging neckbreaker like he cajoled his babysitter to play with his phallus. Edge later return the favor from earlier, shoulderblocking Kane off the apron and out onto the barricade. Edge hits a swank missile dropkick that he should bust out more often. Then there’s a ref bump, Matt Hardy runs down and gives Kane a Twist of Fate, followed by a spear by Edge for the win. The match rested on Edge’s work, he didn’t yet show signs of laziness like he would a couple years later, and it felt like he was maybe giving about 65% effort here and yet still made this watchable.

Chris Jericho vs. Batista – 3

Jericho started off with some leg kicks. Its weird seeing Dave with hair. Ax handle off the top by Jericho. Batista is still pretty stiff and rigid at this point, including a couple particularly nasty shots to the back of Jericho’s head. Batista fights off a Lion Tamer, but soon after he eats a tasty dropkick. You can tell Chris gets fired up working against such a big, dangerous, greenhorn neophyte and lays in some of his stuff, too. Orton at ringside trips Jericho while attempting a Lionsault leading to the DQ. Aftermath sees Edge come, presumably to make the save, but then he just leaves Jericho to the wolves, which results in Chris taking a real hard spinebuster and sitdown powerbomb.

Randy Orton vs. Chris Benoit –7

This is a rematch from their Summerslam ’04 main event the night prior. Benoit fast, aggressive to start. Orton just gets annihilated for a while, really selling his ass off, although his sells while good aren’t up to par with his more recent stuff. An Orton European uppercut is countered by a backslide. Nobody pulls off a superplex more suddenly and intensely than Benoit. Soon after, Benoit hits a Northern Lights suplex, then starts working for submissions that Orton valiantly fights off. Orton gets out to the floor, only to get drilled with an awesome flying dropkick by Benoit off the apron that was Pegasus Kid reborn. Then, Benoit drops Orton knee-first on the steel ringsteps like a complete asshole. Back from commercial break and Orton is in trouble in a Boston Crab. Afterward, Randy does a good job of selling the damage of the leg. An Orton dropkick sends Benoit off the apron and crashing into the barricade. Randy works a deep side headlock sequence for a while. They exchange shots until Chris brutalizes Orton with a knee to the gut. Benoit does a real nasty front layout suplex on Randy. Going into the finishing sequence, Chris hits a diving headbutt, then three German suplexes directly into a Crippler Crossface. Evolution interferes leading to an RKO on Benoit, but this is the night where they turn on Orton, so we’re privy to a big beatdown as Batista, Triple H, and Flair all take turns mounting Randy and punching the hell out of his head. Immediately after a shot to the face with the belt Orton blades, then a bloodied Randy takes all their finishers to end it. Even though they worked their asses off the night prior on pay-per-view, both guys brought it here, Benoit looking immaculate as always, and Orton feeding himself to tons of chops and other assorted punishment.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Dragon Gate #69: 2nd Season Wrestle JAM

1) El Generico/ Jack Evans/ SHINGO/ Cyber Kong v. CIMA/ Dragon Kid/ Susumu Yokosuka/ PAC (07/15/07)- 6

Dragon's Gate is a stylistic artform that is fast paced, high impact and features outstanding athleticism. It's a departure from many different styles and ROH in America is the only thing that comes close to it. This show truly did deliver the feel of hard hitting Japanese action combined with the wildness of Luchadore tag teaming and the outlandish characters and sleazy indy workers of the US. Having said all of that, I dont' think this show represented the best of all of these 3 different styles instead of basically making the whole show about Dragon's Gate style. This was my favorite match of the show because you had the heel team comprised of 4 completely different characters against Dragon's Gate faves CIMA & Kid and the young Yokosuka and the Man that Gravity Forgo, PAC. The pace was frenetic and for anyone to stand out amongst these 7 other men is pretty extraordinary but PAC was outstanding. He was really crisp, hard hitting, and completely off the charts as far as his highflying. He can do everything Jack Evans can do, plus his strikes look realistic so Evans has no need to ever wrestle again. The finish of this match was like out of a movie it looked so unreal but he pulled it off and made it look easy.

2) Gamma/ Turbo-Muscle/ Black Thunder v. Turbo-Ness/Turboyan/ Lupin Matsu-Turbo (07/19/07)- 3

This was your token comedy match with several strange characters. I'm guessing all the Turbo guys are or were part of the same group but apparently there was trouble in grown men in cutoff Power Ranger costumes paradise. For some reason the guys they get to fill these roles are always chubby and several were here. There was some good dives to the outside and some other high flying hijinx but overall this didn't work as a fight and I didn't get into it.

3) Ryo Saito & PAC v. Super Shenron & Delirious (07/19/07)- 3

Saito is an old Toryumon veteran and he and PAC work well together. Delirious isn't really concerned with any kind of storytelling in this match but Saito does come in wearing one of his old masks and they do some comedy spots with that where they mirror each other. PAC brings the serious quotient up and gets real fired up on into the finish which doesn't compare with the first match but still pretty sweet. This may have been clipped.

4) SHINGO v. Austin Aries (07/19/07)- 4

SHINGO matches Aries hold for hold all through this match which is pretty impressive; speaking of impressive, Aries' dive outside is pretty titties (makes me think of Eva Mendes) anyways; SHINGO isn't that much bigger than Aries but works a lot of big man spots with him. Okay, they killed both of Aries finishers in one match: the brainbuster and the 450- SHINGO kicks out of both of them and still wins the match. They both kept taking move after move on their heads, the worst being a superplex that Aries got right back up from. Hated that.

5) Jorge Rivera v. Yasushi Kanda (07/22/07)- 3

Rivera looks like a very thin Anthony Quinn with his really sunburnt tan but he can work on the ground pretty decently. This is definitley clipped but Kanda seems to be having fun trying to tussle on the ground with an older man.

6) Magnitude Kishiwada/ Naruki Doi/ Masato Yoshino v. SHINGO/ Cyber Kong/ Jack Evans (07/22/07)- 3

Cyber Kong looks like something a Geisha girl shat out 9 months after getting injected by Giant Gonzalez beef missle. I swear Magnitude is Masato Tanaka under a mask. He has the same stocky figure. I think Yoshino is the fastest worker I've ever seen; I mean he makes Rey Mysterio look like Marvel's the Blob aka Frederick Dukes in his hey day. Can't say I"m a fan of his work though; all his offense is really fancy but it's so low impact you'd think he'd be better off putting on a headlock. He's thin as a wire and he doesn't make me believe; That was the crux of the issue back in the early 90's when people like Hogan and Nash said no one would belive a small guy could beat them- well, yes we would, you just had to make us believe and it took two people but Yoshino isn't making me buy it. This match was just a big wash; so many moves, tons and tons of moves, so many moves that none of them meant anything and you couldn't even recall half of what was done so I know damn good and well the performers weren't taking the time to properly sell any of them.

7) Wrestle JAM Cup Elimination Match: CIMA/ Susumu Yokosuka/ Dragon Kid/ Matt Sydal v. Naruki Doi/ Masato Yoshino/ Jimmy Rave/ Muscle Gang v. SHINGO/ Cyber Kong/ Jack Evans/ El Generico- 5

This was a long- ass main event. It started out as a Royal Rumble type match with timed intervals and people would come to the ring, but I found it funny that no one was getting eliminated. Then, once everyone was in they kind of milled to their corners like herded sheep and this 3 way tag became an elimination match. They worked for a good while, i'd say 15 minutes with everyone coming and getting a piece of everyone else, then back to back i'd say over half of the match's participants went out, one after the next, like sweaty, pathetic dillweeds waiting in line at the Houston 500 (and I don't mean a NASCAR race.) The teams actually got confusing after a while because so many guys were in and out; luckily i had my trusted pen and pad which clearly defined who the teams were. Again, tons of great athleticism, tons of moves, except when they hit a finishing move in this match, a guy was out and actually took the fall where as in the last match, tons of finishing moves were hit and no one could be pinned. But the finishes were pretty creative for the most part with Sydal, surprisingly, being the sole survivor in a pretty exhausting but satisfying main event.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Contents of Tully’s Pockets #2

Tully Blanchard vs. Ultimate Warrior – Survivor Series Showdown ’89 – 3

This was presumably a Saturday morning show built around nudging unsuspecting consumers to order the upcoming Survivor Series ’89 pay-per-view. It’s right around the time of Tully’s second failed drug test, which is obvious, as during Warrior’s intro Blanchard is rubbing his cocaine-crusted nose like he’s rubbing a genie’s lamp looking for three wishes, or, three hits of heroin. The pathos of Blanchard’s performance is truly spectacular, however, very much like most of his in-ring outings. The match is under ten minutes, but tells a complete, if not storybook tale, as at first Tully is confused and bewildered about how to go about fighting this hulking behemoth in fluorescent green trunks and boots that look like they were originally bare white until Warrior covered them in glue and danced in a vat of piƱatas, but later, Blanchard starts operating his strategy and getting an advantage. There’s one classic moment where Tully tries to shake Warrior’s hand, but the face-painted oaf squeezes Blanchard’s demure hand and Tully lets out something akin to a “Wilhelm scream” (check the link for background info on that reference) and I was laughing like I was watching Tommy and Beulah’s homemade sex video. Warrior starts rallying, though, but Arn Anderson comes down to bail out Tully, then Haku joins the fun, too; the heels lay waste to an uncooperative Warrior, until the odd tandom of The Rockers and Jim Neidhart make the save.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Royal Rumble 2005

This is my favorite event of the year; it's so unique and usually action packed. There's a good formula to do the match right and a formula to do it poorly. It's a unique match to grade as well for several reasons: 1) it is so long, 2) it has so many different perfomers in it, and 3)You probably aren't going to see much psych involved, but the Rumble match itself can still be awesome. Let's see how '05 went down.

1 Shawn Michaels v. Edge- 5
2 Undertaker v. Heidenreich (Casket Match)- 3
3 JBL v. Kurt Angle v. Big Show- 4
4 HHH v. Randy Orton- 6
5 30 man Royal Rumble Match- 7

So, the Rumble was in Fresno, CA and the crowd was really hot. This opener went about 15 minutes or so and was pretty tame, like you could tell they were saving themselves for the Rumble match itself later on. Their pace kept picking up and dying and there were several miscues from both men; their chemistry was really off. Michaels punches looked as real as the Blair Witch; really telegraphed. Edge hit a couple of moves onto Michaels on the outside and JR made a point to say "those mats aren't very thick, King." Edge was using some of the ugliest rest holds I've ever seen; just laying on the mat and grabbing Shawn's chin anyway he could. The psych of this was way off; Michaels was face in peril for most of it, but no specific body part was worked or anything. Edge countering Sweet Chin into an electric chair drop was the spot of the match and the build towards the end was pretty hot except for the botched rollup with tights that capped this one off. Heidenreich is a complete joke; I mean, he does nothing well. His fake MMA gimmick is a joke; his punches look like he's using some dandelioins as punching bags. Taker did his best to sell them but it was quite useless. Snitsky and Kane interfered and it was applauded? Heidenreich messed up the 'Taker grabs your throat spot' in the casket so they did it over again minutes later; looked really bad. The one crazy spot in the match was when Heidenreich's top half of his body was in the casket and Taker shut the lid and dropped a massive legdrop on the whole thing. Usual tombstone finish and this feud is buried.

The 3 way was dominated by Big Show off the bat, throwing some really slow punches but, as always, some effective chops. Show's sells are so hard to fathom because he sells too much. This match was non-stop action throughout (I know, I was surprised too) with little to no psychology and no one really acting as if they had taken any damage except the 3 big spots: Show getting hit with a monitor and falling s----l-----o-----w------l----y through the announce table; Show tackling JBL through the ringside ring barrier and Angle passing out from steroid overusage, no he just took a sloppy Big show powerbomb or something that was supposed to resemble it. This was definitley not the route I expected them to take as the match never slowed down, it went from spot to spot but with no meaning behind it. Trips and Orton work a pretty well done match for the World Title. Orton comes in like a ball of fire and hits a dropkick with so much elevation Kareem would be jealous. He hits HHH with tons of offensive moves that the Game sells really well, especially the after-effects. Trips takes control and puts a raspberry on Orton's forehead then works his leg for most of the match with Orton selling everything exactly as it needed to be. They ended up playing a concussion angle where Orton took this really brutal clothesline and was never the same after it. Well done.

Now, the Rumble itself. We start out with Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit (sidenote: we had the usual skits in the back with guys drawing numbers; some pretty entertaining ones with Eddie getting #1 and Flair getting #30, so he steals his number...and his wallet, plus Cena battleraps Christian and embarrasses him). The rookie, Dan Puder, you know the guy who schooled Kurt Angle in wrestling, comes in and tries to get heel heat on the mic, then proceeds to get chopped TO DEATH. The next few guys come in and the whole match for the first 10 minutes is everyone exchanging chops. It's pretty fun to watch. Eddie is super over and Benoit is being so excruciatingly stiff in his run. Tons of names are involved in this one but you had several guys that are always really lazy. Rey Mysterio and Edge come to mind; after their initial entrance Edge lays around like he has heat exhaustion and Rey only appears when he's in a spot. Coach was in this too and garnered really no heat at all and simply got his face kicked in by Benoit late in the match. Michaels was pretty lackadasical as well, except for his really hot run with Kurt Angle, who lasted all of 30 seconds after destroying everyone. HBK prances around and throws really weak punches until Angle comes back in and they start the build for their Wrestlemania program.

Scotty 2 Hotty and Nunzio are two guys who never make it in the Rumble due to being bullied out of it or just plain beaten up. But, let's talk about eliminations: a very important part because they are so many, they are usually just relegated to falling out as simply as you can, but I think the eliminations are the funnest part. 3rd place goes to Booker T, who Harlem sidekicked all the way over the top. 2nd place to the Hurricane who landed ass first from way up high. And 1st place, and is the greatest elimination in Royal Rumble history goes to Paul London, who got clotheslined on the apron, did a shooting star press onto the outside arena floor. There have been plane crashes with less impact than that spill. Our Final 4 are our 2 lazy asses, Edge and Mysterio, then Cena and Batista who end up as the final two and they do the Bret-Luger spot of hitting at the same time but the way they go out had me losing it: Batista tries his Batista Bomb and they flip over the rope backwards catapulting both guys real high and falling really fucking hard on the outside. Great enjoyment out of that one. This also prompted another one of WWE's finest moments when Vince comes down to ringside to prove he's the big dick and blows out his knee trying to get in the ring! Beautiful, really hoped that was the end of his wrestling career. The actual end is pretty lame as they take turns throwing each other out until Vince "officially" says they can then Batista takes it home. Pretty entertaining Rumble, it's probably in the middle to high range of all time.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

WCW Quickies

WCW Nitro- 12/20/99
1 Madusa v. Brad Armstrong- 2

2 Hugh Morrus v. Curt Henning- 2
3 Tank Abbott v. Jerry Flynn- 0
4 Norman Smiley/ Meng v. Brian Knobs/ Finlay (Hardcore)- 0
5 Evan Karagias v. The Maestro- 2
6 Chris "Champagne" Kanyon v. Bam Bam Bigelow v. DDP- 1
7 Chris Benoit v. Jeff Jarrett (Ladder Match)- 2
8 Sid Vicious v. The Wall- 1
9 Varsity Club v. Harlem Heat- 3
10 Bret Hart v. Goldberg- 1

Russo era.....God help us all. This gets 2 measly points because Madusa was stiffing Armstrong badly with multiple suicide dropkicks and a killer German suplex. Armstrong tried to hold some fake cornrows on his head in the headscratcher of the first 5 minutes. Morrus and Henning threw a lot of forearms until Morrus' father (who apparently escaped from an old folks home and somehow made it past arena security onto the aisleway) meandered his way out. Abbott and Flynn had a psuedo-"shoot" that rivals any body part on Pam Anderson in fakeness. The hardcore match was desperation by all 4 men involved and featured nothing fun at all even when they tried to redo the women's bathroom spot from Benoit-Sullivan in '96. Kargias and Maestro tried to work a match with some decent moves in it ( Evan's cross body, Maestro's neckbreaker) but Symphony got involved within the first 90 seconds, making me wish i had masturbated for that time instead. The "Reunion" of the Jersey Triad really could have done w/o Kanyon's fake Lionel Richie Jerrycurls. Page tried to hit a Diamond Cutter at one point but lost his grip because of Kanyon's SoulGlo. No, just kidding, this sucked balls though. The most low impact ladder match of all time where the ladder was never used. Benoit missing moves left and right and then to quote Gene Okerlund moments after the match "The ladder was gimmicked!" Benoit goes to climb it but the rungs are supposed to break away but only after he stomps down on every step up like he's trying to break through the Earth's crust. Looked so ridiculous. Sid was so stiff moving he reminded me of the Tin Man sans oil. Berlyn got involved and hit a swank Missle dropkick- which sadly, was the best thing in the match. Steiner and Rotundo revamped their old gimmick of bagging on the other guy's school on commentary and we even got to see Sullivan get involved. At this time, Stevie Ray was barely plodding along with Booker carrying his dead ass (that line was for you, Didge!) Midnight made an appearance- wish the lights wouldn't have come back on. Goldberg just smacked Bret around for 4 minutes until the Silver and Black NWO debuted by giving him a really lazy beatdown. Bret had no energy and put nothing forth in this slow stinker.

WCW Thunder- 12/23/99
1 PG-13 v. Varsity Club- 3
2 Tank Abbott v. La Parka- 1
3 Norman Smiley v. Finlay (Hardcore)- 2
4 Curt Henning v. The Harris Boys- 0
5 The Maestro v. Bam Bam Bigelow- 1
6 Konnan/ Billy Kidman/ Hacksaw Duggan v. Dean Malenko/ Perry Saturn/ Asya- 2
7 Kevin Nash v. The Wall- 2
8 Chris Benoit v. Bret Hart- 5

This is 3 days after the Nitro above: This gets points, 3 to be exact, purely for Steiner's complete manhandling of the two Tennesse-trained scrubs who for some reason were carrying around garbage can lids. He bouned them around like bouncing balls in a game of Four Square. Abbott gives La Parka a brutal punch to the face on the outside and Parka takes a back bump against the guardrail. Hella Ouch! The hardcore match is exactly what you expect; another backstage brawl and for some reason Knobs was hiding in the kitchen pantry. I know he's a tubby douschebag but how did he know Smiley would walk right next to it? Anyways, Meng came out and made Finlay and Knobs his bitches in a fun, short spot. 3 people interfering in a Bammer-Maestro match that was less then 3 minutes long total is way too many! These two were stiffining each other too, Maestro has a great uppercut. Henning was supposed to team with Jarrett but he was brutalized backstage so he got his ass handed to him by these two bald human representations of a dildough ; they botched their own finishing power bomb move as one guy went down and the other just stood there like he has can't remember his PIN # at the ATM. Konnan worked in some Karl Kani sweats and Duggan was in a janitor's outfit. Malenko was losing steam at this point in his career and wasn't selling as usual. Too much going on with 4 people on the outside for anyone to properly sell anything. The Wall was getting mean with Papa Nash, who was bumping whether he wanted to or not. He threw some mean elbows to try and even the score but cue the new Silver and Black NWO and throw the sandbags on this one. They spray-painted the back of his head. Bret was re-energized in this match as he and Benoit traded stiff chops, punches and backbreakers. Benoit had on a particularly nasty crossface that I really thought Bret was about to tap to. Funny that we had interference in almost every match with no DQ's but the one that's going well we have interference with a DQ. Shitty, shitty booking. Nash came in looking like the Cowardly Lion and Hall like his drunk brother.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

WWF House Show- MSG (12/17/79)

1 Larry Zybyzsko v. "Bulldog" Dick Brower- 3
Okay, let's rip on Larry to start this out; he's got the Eric McCormack from That 70's Show hair going and actually isn't pudgy for once in his career. Both guys start out throwing fist-a-cuffs and Bulldog is a mean snot. Really gouging, angle punches into Larry's ribs. The match goes in the direction of Larry trying to throw Bulldog and outwrestle him while he just wants to fight. This was a quick opener and the crowd seemed into it.

2 Seiji Sakaguchi/ Riki Choshu v. "Bad News" Allen Coage/ JoJo Andrews- 3
A really young Bad News Brown and a really young Choshu- this should be interesting. Choshu is fast and really stiff, throwing body slams with a little extra emphasis on both guys. Vince( who's commentating solo) brings up Bad New's judo experience without really being specific, which we see a little of. He and Choshu have several brief skirmishes where they are testing each other. Seiji is too old to give a shit and only throws a few worthy forearms and JoJo, not much sticks out except him being pummeled by Choshu. You could see his star potential in this match.

3 Johnny Rodz v. Mike Graham- 2
Another brawler v. wrestler match with Graham really looking coked out. His singlet is worn and dirty as if he just went through a collegiate meet using it before he got to his match at the Garden. Rodz is one of the most out of shape guys and looks like a Puerto Rican. His brawling is slower and less stiff than Bulldog so already he's looking like crap. His heel antics are super over though so it's surprising that Graham gets the win with a really sloppy Figure four.

4 "The Fabulous" Hulk Hogan v. Ted Dibiase- 4
The heel's some food for thought: His daughter Brooke and the want to put his sausage in her was far from Hulk's mind here because Dibiase was working him pretty well. You could see they wanted Hogan to be a big deal with Blassie as his manager and the robe. He works some normal scientific stuff with Dibiase including armdrags and such and while he manages to get it done, he looks so odd doing it because he's quite a large dude (Linda is contesting that point in the divorce). They give this some time and as plain Jane as he is here, you can see Dibiase has talent. The match ends in lackluster fashion after a long build so pretty blase and by the numbers. They would have a much better series later on in their careers.

5 Bob Backlund v. Bobby Duncum (Texas Death Match)- 4
Duncum is an ornery looking outlaw who doesn't measure up in the annals of big, brawny Texan brawlers. He doesn't posess that wildness because Backlund tames him over and over again in this one. They have a good chemistry but this match really drags on too long, even during the last section they go outside where Backlund gets the best of him in a quick melee; seems like they were just doing that to extend this for another 6 minutes. The finish went really well though and this seemed like a feud ender. Backlund delivers quite a nasty piledriver somewhere near the middle that almost made me spit out my grilled cheese.

6 The Great Hosseuin (Iron Sheik) v. Antonio Inoki- 5
This was a fun one. I've been digging a lot of Inoki's stuff recently and this one was somewhere in the middle. His chops were on target and sounded like dead mackerel thrown down on concrete. Sheik was fighting him tooth and nail and not letting him get over for too long of a time. Both guys were fun to watch throw some suplexes on the other's eyesore body. Vince is such a prick in this one (and the whole show for that matter) as any time there's a potato or a stiff shot, he bursts out laughing and tries to contain it. It's the only time you get a real emotion during the broadcast portion of this show. Needless to say there were quite a few of them here. This loses steam towards the end as both men look worn out and dog tired. A DQ finish doesn't help it either.

7 Harley Race v. Dusty Rhodes- 5
Not sure if this was already reviewed on the Dusty package, but we'll go for it anyways. Vince liked Dusty and MSG was chanting his name during this. Race's offense was dead on with bludgeoning impact; every telegraphed punch and bone chipping kneedrop. Both men were at the top of their game at this time, but they didn't flow as well as Dusty and Flair did. Race's style is completely different and he doesn't speed up for anybody even though he and Dusty work some great rope stuff like Race's flying knee to the face. Non-finish; seems strange this was in the middle of the show.

8 Pat Patterson v. Dominic DeNucci- 3
Patterson had a lot of heat and McMahon tried to elude since he's from San Fran town and wearing a light colored jacket that he liked dude's parts more than women's parts. DeNucci looked like Bela Lugosi (today) and everything Patterson did looked strange from his tie ups to his back bumps. I swear he slicked his hair back with cum. He threw a bomb ass dropkick though.

9 Tatsumi Fujinami v. Johnny Rivera- 6
Best match of the show. This was straight from New Japan Juniors division circa 1980's. Both guys were rolling around the mat like baby monkeys at the zoo, going from hold to hold, and switching and transitions. Both men were exceedingly fast too. This was a fun way to kill 12 minutes or so and the match ended with a German suplex Hitler would have been proud of.

10 Tito Santana/ Ivan Putski v. Swede Hanson/ Victor Rivera- 4
The heel team consisted of Victor "what nationality am I?" Rivera and Swede "I just boned my sister" Hanson. Vince mentions the heel team has never teamed before yet this was a World Tag Title match main eventing at MSG?
OH FUCK! Putski's stiffer than all hell and is so fucking roided up, he looks like Abobo. He decks Hanson in the mouth and drops him, one shot. Then just kicks his head repeatedly into the mat like he's literally trying to kill him. They can't get him up to do anything. Putski tags out to Tito; this should be some nice clean DAMN! He's ramming his face into the mat, over and over again. I think they're trying to give him brain damage. Maybe he boned their sisters. They eventually finish the makeshift combo off after a few minutes after Tito played the damsel in distress role. Putski's a murderer.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

XVW @ Middletown, OH - 5/10/08

XVW is a local, low-grade, indy promotion that runs out of a dilapidated opera house in the middle of a dying city still trying to recover from a year long lockout of the local steel industry. Let me see what gold, if any, can be dug out of this pile of festering poo or will I end up covered in manure.

Before I look at the matches and give you the scores, let me set the scene. First off, they have the ring set up in the middle of the orchestra pit in front of maybe 70 people (and that's being somewhat generous). Secondly, they've made up videos for their wrestlers which helps the first time viewer of their show (a.k.a. me!) recognize the characters. Two immediate downsides to that though: #1: They've obviously hooked their computer to a projector and they are using Windows Media Player to play the videos and #2: You figure out who's coming out before they click on the video because they hover over the icon for fifteen f***ing seconds! Third, you have commentary over the in-house mic, which, for those of you who read the reviews that Brian, Jessie, and I did for that deplorable Ring of Glory show a few years back, you know how annoying that is. However, the commentary here is two-fold but I will touch on that in a moment. Lastly, the booker has made himself the star of the show. You'll know him, he's the fat fuck who doesn't wrestle but yet has the most ridiculous gimmick and is the most over. In this case, he's known in these parts as Double P (don't ask me what it stands for because I can't f***ing remember). He's the one that puts himself and his angles over on the in-house commentary at the expense of the workers in the ring. Remember what I said about the commentary being two-fold? Good! Because during the second half, this fat fuck is virtually non-existent and the commentary helps you follow along with the bout. Whew, now that that's done with, please take a moment to catch a breath before you read my comments on the matches.

Moment over. Let's look at the matches.

1) The Belfast Brawlers vs. Assault & Battery - 2
2) Brandon Biggz vs. Pauli Jr. vs. Okiri Tanaka - 2
3) C-Jack Jr., Allen Jefferson Moore, & Waikiki Kid vs. Black Dragon, Chris "The Kid" McGraw, & Dreez - 3
4) The Bounty Hunters vs. Leo & Lenny Spicolli vs. Acid Inc. vs. The True Thugz - 1
5) Kliff Hanger vs. Clutch McAllister - 3
6) The Highspot Kings vs. Psycho & Korrupt Jones - 4
7) Tommy "T-Dogg" Foreman vs. Loco - Dog Collar Match - 3
8) Ricochet vs. Kannibas - 3
9) Matt Shock vs. "Nightmare" Jimmie Lee - Last Man Standing Match - 4

The Brawlers looked like your standard indy team with an Irish gimmick. They came to the ring drinking cognac instead of pints of Guinness. Assault & Battery was basically another standard indy team with a hardcore gimmick. This was full of sloppy spots and bad brawling. One of the members of Assault and Battery (not sure if it was Assault or Battery) got busted open for no good reason in this slopfest of an opener. The three way was pretty good, for low-level indy standards. Biggz couldn't be of legal age to wrestle. He looks like he's about 14 years old! Tanaka hit a nice coast-to-coast dropkick for the highspot of the match. Pauli Jr was virtually non-existent for the duration of the bout but came from behind to win with a sneaky roll-up. The six man tag was a pilfering pile of dog shit. Black Dragon, McGraw, and Waikiki Kid seemed halfway decent while the rest just decided the day before that wrestling a shitty six-man was a quick way to make some extra bucks on the weekend. I remember fondly a vertical suplex that was botched beyond all fuck by Dragon but he recovered mid-move into a float over cover, to which he earned some decency points. A final word about the six-man, Dreez was touted as a monster but his strikes were noticeably lacking. Perhaps he could take some striking lessons before he hides in little kids' closets.

I've never seen a bigger clusterfuck than the four-way match. The Bounty Hunters were so fat that I'm suprised they didn't need to take a hit of oxygen on their way to the ring and didn't do a damn thing in the match. The Spicollis were, well, just there and were pretty bland. Acid Inc looked like a rehash of Assault & Battery but didn't assault anyone nor did they change any car batteries. Finally, the Thugz were accompanied by local wrestling star (and I'm using that term loosely) Brock Guffman which, when I think of thugs, I think of large black men accompanied by a white guy wearing shorts and argyle socks. The match was ridiculous. Not one clean move was executed and the Thugz walked out in the middle of the match to start an angle with the aforementioned Double P. The remanining competitors finished off the match quickly with a looks of utter confusion on their faces. Kliff Hanger and Clutch had the most technically sound match of the night, mainly because it seemed like they were the only ones who were actually able to work. They worked a pretty standard match with Kliff Hanger playing a black redneck. The end saw intereference by and ICP rip-off and a goofy looking guy in a Cincinnati Reds jersey. Afterwards, we were handed an intermission that saw a photo session and bad rap music blasted over the loudspeakers. After the intermission, I'd estimate half of the original crowd left the building to pursue other ventures.

The second half began with a tag title match. The Highspot Kings were exactly that and were over extremely big. The two teams worked well together although Korrupt missed a basic moonsault by a mile. The Kings need to learn some holds and they might be able to get to the next level of area indy shows. I would've liked to see more ground work in the match as it was mostly flashy moves and highspots but I won't complain too much as it stole the show thus far. Dog collar matches are good when they have a good story and the chain is used properly (ie: Piper vs. Valentine - Starrcade 83) and this collar match failed in that respect. The chain broke twice in the first five minutes and after the second break, the competitors worked into a hardcore match complete with bad brawling and insensitive blading. T-Dogg looked like a kid who just graduated from high school and I'm not exactly sure what Loco was supposed to represent ... a convict perhaps? I hear there's an escapee on the loose. Afterwards, we get a reunion of sorts and the remaining people go apeshit for some unknown reason. Kannabis and Ricochet was for the heavyweight title and they worked a very bland match that couldn't have gone longer than ten minutes. The finish came out of nowhere and saw Kannabis grab a brick loaded purse (and I'm talking about actual building bricks, not the other bricks) and passively hit Ricochet to win the title and I'm unimpressed. The main event (and I'm using that term loosely) was a decent bout. Shock had an impressive physique and took punishment quite well including numerous unprotected chair shots that echoed throughout the tiny opera house. Lee looked like a gothic version of the Undertaker and even did a cool variation of the old-school rope walk but instead of jumping off with a chop, he jumped off with a spin kick. One big complaint I had about the match was that Shock took three hard chair shots that didn't phase him but was knocked senseless when he was hit in the back of the head with a Bible from Lee's manager priest dude. Once the show ended, everyone left so they could set up for the midnight screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. When I say "they", I mean the venue staff, not the wrestlers, although that would've been interesting to see.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


There are 2 kinds of people in the world: Those who think it's cool to play Metallica hits from the 80's at prom and those who think it's redneck.

1) Jackie Moore v. Gail Kim (Steel Cage Match; TNA Lockdown '07)- 4 Chicks fighting behind steel bars; sounds like something out of a Lifetime movie except this actually kept my interest and didn't involve Meredith Baxter-Birney. They had a little brawl outside before stepping into the cage which involved Mike Tenay's first involvement with a woman in at least 14 years when Gail got thrown on top of him. Inside Jackie controlled the pace, not as stiff as she used to be, but knows how to run a decent wrestling match. Gail hit a huge splash from near the top of the cage for the finish.

2) "Iron" Mike Sharpe v. Cheetah Kid (House show) - 2 Brian is the one responsible for unearthing such a unique and unabashed show which contained this rare gem: a Mike Sharpe match not from the 80's. Check out Brian's review if you want to fully realize the ambiance and location of this very odd show and know that Sharpe's hair was sticking out a good 6 inches from his forehead. He was still wearing his black arm brace and used it to his advantage often. His constant grumbling and yelling was reminiscent of Archie Bunker screaming profanities at a door to door salesman. Cheetah Kid was not the one I remembered from the PA indy scene in the late 90's and his costume reminded me of when I was in grade school and we made turkey hats for Thanksgiving out of paper mache and glue sticks. The match was slow, like drudging through a swamp and nothing of real note happened. Kid tried some fancy armdrags but Sharpe is way too boxy to effectively sell them. He laid a few forearms down but that was about it. I swear Mike Valley was videotaping the match because we got the skate video fish-eye look during it.

3) DDP v. Mike Awesome (Ambulance Match; WCW Great American Bash '00) - 2 Lazy. Perfect word to describe this match. Both workers, in the right setting, can put forth a decent effort but not here. Awesome pretty much just did power move after power move to Page, who was as active as a dead fish. We had Kanyon feigning paralysis on the ramp only to Diamond cut his pal off the stage onto a huge plaster set to the side, which we barely saw. This was awful.

4) Voodoo Murderers v. Kaz Hayashi/ Joe Doering/ Taiyo Kea/ Kensuke Sasaki/ Keiji Muto (Best 2 out of 3 Falls Match; All Japan Battle Banquet #171)- 4
The Voodoo Murderers all looked like discarded ideas for Slipknot members while the face team all were older, wider, or flabbier than they used to be. But, that being said, the first round went fairly well. Sasaki and Hayashi did most of the leg work for their team, with Hayashi playing a great Robert Gibson in trouble. Kea could still kick really hard and string together some good moves. Doering was intense and pieced several of the Voodoos when he was in ring. The Voodoos had maybe two decent workers in there so they were working from the bottom up. One thing that surprised me was the lack of heat and crowd reaction; either the faces have lost their luster over the years or the heels weren't that hated. couldn't tell. The 2nd and 3rd rounds went under 5 minutes combined in a really disappointing finish. DQ in the 2nd and the faces cornered one guy while the rest retreated and all hit fins on him. Muto disappeared after the 1st.

5) Rocky King v. Arn Anderson (NWA Championship Wrestling, Nov. '85) - 3 I need stats on this one: Rocky King absolutely must be the father of Jay Lethal! The appearances are too similar. Arn was all over the arm in this match. Just grinding it into the mat, dropping some really nasty knees onto it. Great stuff. His brown striped boots were most definitley a fashion fauxpa, but who am I to argue with one of the greats. His gordbuster finish was timeless.

6) El Mosco de la Merced v. Super Nova (WWF Raw, 03/31/97) - 3 This was fast paced and both Luchadores had on bulky costumes. The announcers were more concerend with Sunny who was bouncing around ringside, proving to everyone she knew some Spanish words. Congrats, whore. Mosco did a CRAZY- psychosis like front flip through the middle ropes out to the middle of the aisleway that only Sunny popped for. Nice call, whore. They had a few minutes more of time than I expected and they kept the pace up throughout so that was cool. Sunny = whore.

7) Bret Hart v. Rocky Maivia(WWF Raw, 03/31/97)- 4 I reviewed this match just for the pure fact that I never knew these two legends faced off. Of course, Rock was greener than a witch's pubic hair but Bret still carried him through. Bret seemed a little less physical and kind of let Rock dictate the pace. He worked over the leg a little and played against the crowd effectively. They had some good near falls near the end, and Rock bungled his float over DDT, that when hit right, is really sweet. This ended with Austin interference (what match didn't in '97?).

8) DDT Battle Royal( Into the Fight 2008)- 6 DDT, in the mid 90's was known as the scummy hardcore fed where anything was legal and the more blood and more sleaze, the better. This version of DDT was a young, neo-punk rock indy fest with tons of comedy gimmicks and wild hair dos. This was a Royal Rumble-type match where people came out at timed intervals. I know not who any of the competitors were but the action spoke for itself. You had Kaientai-DX type posing, two dudes in thongs humping each other's butts like they were doing chop spots like in a Kobashi match, a female referee joining in the action, dudes rubbing body oil on them so no one can DDT them and the strangest move I"ve ever seen; head in trunks piledriver. The ludicrous behaviors rivaled that of the best Frat House parties you've ever been to or seen on celluloid. There were some stiff dudes too; the finish was well paced and had some great heat, along with some bonecrunching moves. The overall quality of the "actual" wrestling wasn't considerably high, but the fun factor was way up there. In fact if this was shorter, I think I could have given it a higher grade.....actually, nah.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

ROH Time to Man Up – Long Island, NY 8/04/06

1. Bryan Danielson vs. Jack Evans - 4
2. Christopher Daniels and Matt Sydal vs. Irish Airborne - 3
3. Colt Cabana vs. Claudio Castagnoli - 2
4. Austin Aries and Roderick Strong vs. BJ Whitmer and Adam Pearce vs. Homicide and Ricky Reyes vs. Jimmy Rave and Sal Rinuaro - Ultimate Endurance Match - 4
5. Nigel McGuinness vs. Delirious - 5
6. Briscoe Bros. vs. KENTA and Davey Richards - 7
7. Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles - 6

Danielson stretches and pummels Evans, which I was delighted by. Bryan as bully is a lot of fun. Once, Jessie and I were watching a Kane versus Finlay match, he made a remark about how Kane sucks, and I said, “Well, if I’ve got to watch him wrestle anybody, I’d want it to be Finlay.” That’s the art of the counterbalance, if you’ve got to watch a shitty worker, if he (or she) is at least pared up with a real talent, then it’ll be as painless as possible. That’s how I felt about the opener, as Evans is one-dimensional and if you’ve seen his act once, you’ve seen it a trillion times; but if I’ve got to watch Jack work, I can only hope it’s against as credible an opponent as Danielson. Sydal and Daniels and the local boys (they’re from nearby Dayton, OH) had a decent tag bout. It marked the beginning of the Matt and Christopher team; I thought they worked well together, both with smooth styles that complimented the other. This match doesn’t deliver a lot, though, as the Airbourne boys look as nervous as ROH creator Rob Feinstein at a pedophile court hearing. Cabana and Claudio had a crap fest, doing some sub par British-inspired mat-work, with Castagnoli eventually showing his true colors and leaving sportsmanship behind. I don’t have a problem with technical stuff, but, if you’re going to do it, make it look fucking believable. I mean, wrench that damn headlock, act like you’re actually trying to hurt the other guy, etc.

The four-team match is moderately good, any hope of storytelling is shattered, as with this many guys involved seemingly randomly, everyone’s just worried about short bursts and getting their own stuff off. It’s fun enough, however, as they keep it moving and there’s flashes off stiffness peppered throughout as most of the guys are laying some of their stuff in. Steve Corino returns, looking like a disgruntled video store clerk, interfering and ruining any chance of a conclusive finish we’d invested thirty minutes into. Nigel and Delirious wasn’t bad, taking the angle that Delirious couldn’t comprehend the Pure Title rules, thus McGuinness used it to his advantage to get an upper hand. There was one section where Delirious had Nigel in the corner and delivered 50 short clotheslines consecutively, but, he paused after the 49th one, as he was rearing up for the final shot Nigel crumpled to his knees and when Delirious swung, it drilled Nigel right in the face instead of its intended target. The second-half of the match showcases Nigel’s meaner side, which is enjoyable, as he really starts beating the hell out of Delirious.

I loved the tag match; Kenta steals the show, just being ridiculously stiff, delivering crippling kicks and some of the nastiest openhanded slaps I’ve ever seen. Richards tries to keep up, but Kenta outshines him thoroughly. There’s sections where its obvious the Briscoes are standing there waiting for one of the guys to get off one of their offensive spots, and with the audio up you can audibly here a few spots being called, but even those cons aside, this is still a whole hell of a lot of fun. The Briscoes try to match Kenta in sheer stiffness, and they do deliver some hard shots, so this boils down to a potato fest for our viewing pleasure. The brother dynamic works for Mark and Jay here, too, as one brother will get annihilated, and you can connect with the sense of urgency that the other is feeling to try to get in there and get retribution.

The main event is AJ Styles’ last ROH match (or, at least it was billed as that at the time, not sure if its correct). He and Joe work a physical match, which is such a breath of fresh air compared to the relatively sterile and lifeless TNA product they’re currently recognized with. I know it’s harder on the athletes themselves, but damn, does it make a world of difference, as when its physical like this it’s so much easier as a viewer and fan to dispend belief and be genuinely wowed. They don’t go real long, nor try for an epic, but there’s excitement and adoration shown via the crowd’s energy. Another thing that bumped this up for me was a completely unexpected and anticlimactic finish. Now, you may be asking, anticlimactic, wouldn’t that be a bad thing? No, the word may carry a connotation that’s negative in other contexts, but in wrestling, it can be very good. In Japanese wrestling, you don’t always see guys relying strictly on “finishing maneuvers” the way its marketed here in America by WWE, but, they’ll often win with any number of moves, whatever is fitting to the story of the individual match. This is another big helper in lending credibility and believability to matches. Here, after a barrage of stiff slaps, Joe locks in a “Cobra Clutch” then tosses AJ in a suplex. He goes for the cover, and to my surprise, AJ doesn’t get up—it happened without any particular build, the crowd didn’t see it coming, and I thought it an excellent way to end a match and ROH career.

After the show there are some promos, one that I’ll remember for a long time, as Samoa Joe cuts a serious piece on Danielson, then leaves through the backdoor. The cameraman follows Joe outside where we see, in-between two semi trucks, the back of a guy who’s making out with someone. Joe acts offended, and says, “hey Cabana, hey, man!” but the dude doesn’t respond, so Joe yells “hey douchebag!” and throws his towel at the guy. Then the couple shimmy away awkwardly, the guy never turning around to reveal his face, and that’s the end of the program… pure unintentional hilarity. Anyway, this show made me feel affection for ROH that I haven’t felt in a couple years. The product, for several reasons, has taken a nosedive. But, this is a reminder of a simpler, and stiffer, time. Top to bottom it’s not a great show, but there are a handful of really good moments on it, and it’s worthy of a watch.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

ROH Showdown in Motown- 11/04/05

1 BJ Whitmer v. Delirious- 4

This was a perfectly acceptable opener. The pace was good, it didn't stretch out too long and had a clean finish. This was the best BJ performance I've seen in a while. He controlled the whole tempo while displaying real power over his freakish opponent. His forearms were really solid and his lariat late in the match was pretty devastating. Delirious still looked green (literally and figuratively) but kept up fine enough.

2 Derek Dempsey v. Davey Andrews v. Shane Hagadorn (clipped)- 2

This was their Top of Class Trophy belt that really sucks ass and needs to go away. Dempsey looked like he just got down filming a pornographic version of Tarzan. He pinned Hagadorn rather quickly but Andrews is really intense and brought the only fire in the match. He was definitley the deserving winner, who eclipsed BJ's clotheslines by a mile. Where is this guy now?

3 Nigel McGuiness v. Claudio Castangoli (Pure Title Rules)- 5

I'm not sure what I think of the Pure Title rules, I mean, I give them credit for doing something different and it would take a special kind of crowd to accept them, which I think ROH fans have done. It's a niche style, one that eventually faded off into obscurity. But, what we have here are two guys who love to uppercut and they were looking really mean. They were folding each other and wrapping up body parts in so many odd ways, I almost thought there was an invisible Twister mat around the ring that I couldn't see. It was a visually fun match but it didn't pan out, shorter than most of either man's encounters and I give Nigel credit for doing an Eddie Guerrero finish.

4 Chad Collyer/ Sal Rinauro v. Roderick Strong/ Jack Evans- 4

Collyer steps in for Mamaluke who is injured. This is a pretty basic by the numbers tag match. The heels keep Evans grounded for most of the match while Rinauro tries to show how much he can fly but comes off looking really sad, like those Hallmark commercials. Strong comes in at the end for a big save but Collyer nor Rinauro really seem in his league during those moments. It's kind of a hard match to buy for the most part, but is saved by the spectacular double team finish at the end.

5 Samoa Joe v. Christopher Daniels v. Jimmy Jacobs v. Adam Pearce- 4

Pearce and Jacobs were last minute replacements for Cabana and Homicide who were the first two guys out for the match but instead of participating they engaged in a wondering, sick, mutilating brawl that breathed some life back into this show. Let me take back my comments saying this feud was lackluster because this was just nuts. Chair spot after chair spot in the crowd, throwing chairs wherever they could, hitting fans, then to top it off, they did a superplex from the bleachers in the crowd through a table. Extrememly crazy bump and I give them both credit although the lighting was shittier than that of a Funeral Parlor, and I"m not talking about that innovative interview platform on WWF Superstars in '91.

Onto the match, which was basically about Joe vs.Daniels. They both ran the ring when they were in, and exchanged some good sequences, but nothing like their singles bouts. Jacobs did nothing offensively and Pearce was everybody's bitch during the match. Joe selling for him was a complete eyesore; much like Amy Winehouse's latest mugshot. Daniels and Jacobs were moving at a fast pace and the crowd was seriously loving Daniels and pretty indifferent towards the replacement guys. You would have expected this match to fit better, but it was one of least memorable of the show.

6 Allison Danger v. Daizee Haze- 3

The girls mix it up here and while they had down some good hiptoss reverals and such, it seemed strange seeing them pull off the typical ROH scientific stuff. No good punching going on at all but a little aftersell from Danger, although she was the bull dike here and ran the match. It was short but a change of pace.

7 Alex Shelly v. Austin Aries- 6

This was the best match of the night. They're styles mixed well together, like red wine and fresh salmon and my palete for wrestling action was just as cleansed. Shelly was in full heel mode, utilizing Nana on the outside and dirty tricks inside. He's not as flashy as Aries was, who did a lot more high risk stuff than usual but Shelly's ground attack was a good balance for it. This was supposed to be "Relaxed Rules" but it didn't really come into play other than Nana's persistent attempt to get his turban knocked off. Aries pulled through in the end, but I really love watching Shelly; his short strikes and unusual submission holds, combined with his oddball charisma are a great mix and with the right opponent, it goes a long way.

8 Jimmy Rave/ Abyss v. AJ Styles/ Matt Sydal- 5

The face team here is uber-athletic and just takes crazy chances during the middle section of the match. Rave actually looked competent here keeping up with both men and taking stiff forearms from AJ and stiff kicks from Sydal. Also, both guys match up well with Abyss, who will bump them all over the place and also sell their stuff realistically, even if he sells like a schizo. This was a fun, fast paced tag encounter that didn't take itself too seriously and even with AJ in it, he didn't go balls to the wall and didn't need to this time.

9 Bryan Danielson v. Chris Sabin- 5

This was a letdown, Sabin (before alien head trunks) was a dynamic performer and could work with anyone but he settles on getting worked over like a piece of frozen beef (a la Rocky Balboa) by Dragon. Sabin has a sweeeeet tornado ddt that he hits during the closing of the match and it feels like all of Dragon's arm work was a waste. While there really are no problems with their chemistry, I wouldn't advise them to take one of those compatibility tests in the mall (mostly because people don't wash their hands.) Sabin's strikes are really indy, now that I look at them, and Danielson's "I have till 5" schtick is worn out. The finish is real weak too; he uses "the Stronghold", Sir Roderick's submission fin only because he's feuding with him. That's right out of WWE's playbook and it just leaves a bad taste in your mouth like after you drink a diet cola.

This was a middle of the road show, with nothing being gruesomely ugly but nothing going out of it's way to make you remember the show. Shelly- Aries definitley could have a better match somewhere down the road.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

UWF Blackjack Brawl - 9/23/94

The sister show to the 1991 Beach Brawl pay-per-view. It couldn't be that bad ... could it?

1) Johnny Ace vs. Dan Spivey - 2
2) The Killer Bees vs. The Warlord & The Power Warrior - 2
3) Cactus Jack vs. Superfly Jimmy Snuka - Lumberjack Match - 3
4) Steve "Dr. Death" Williams vs. Sid Vicious - 4

This is the edited down version of the show that was aired as part of the "Classic Wrestling" series on ESPN Classic Canada. The actual show contains 11 matches that look really bad. Gene Okerlund introduces the show from the studio and we're off and jogging. It should be noted that Okerlund never worked for the UWF, but he was the host of the "Classic Wrestling" series.

First up is what totally could've been a decent match between Spivey and Ace. However, Spivey kept trying to work an abdominal stretch that looked that he was trying to hump Ace. I'm sure Johnny Ace has taken hits for the company before but damn! Missy Hyatt (ew ... hives! hives! ... I'm itching!!) throws in the towel to swerve Ace and join up with Spivey. Umm ... okay. Not exactly sure what happened but yeah ... next!

Next we get the infamous Warlord of WWF fame teaming up with a ridiculous bum who's pumping gas at Swifty for a living now up against the Killer Bees. Everyone showed their age in this one. Warlord and his partner did nothing but pound on the Bees' backs and pose randomly. The Bees win after 11 agonizing minutes to become the first and only UWF Tag champs.

The lumberjack match between Cactus and Snuka was the match I was looking forward to the most. I read about Foley's dealings with UWF promoter Herb Abrams in his first book in which he said that he "got to live out a dream" in this match. Well, it may have been a dream for Foley to compete with Snuka but it was hardly a dream watching it. The lumberjacks around ringside looked as if they didn't want to be there, John Tolos was over-hyping it on commentary, and there was no finish. It ended in a no contest and Cactus and Snuka brawled in about 20 rows of completely empty seats.

The main event was Sid and Dr. Death and they seemed to be the only ones who put for any effort. Doc was working hard and laying some hard shots in. Sid was throwing his standard offense but they seemed to work pretty well together. Doc won to keep the UWF Title, which didn't mean a thing and this abysmal abomination of a show ends mercifully.