Friday, February 26, 2010

Wrestlemania 20

"Where it all begins.....Again"*
*what does that mean.....again?

1) The Big Show v. John Cena- 4
The shocking thing here was even 6 years ago when Cena was still starting out, his selling carried a pretty slow drab affair into something I liked watching because of his performance. Story of the match was mindless caveman beating from Show with Cena expressively showing his pain then hitting a big finish out of nowhere. Loved him repping the 1-Up wristbands.

2) Booker T/ Rob Van Dam v. La Resistance v. Dudley Boys v. Garrison Cade/ Mark Jindrak- 3
Book and Rob were wasted here as neither got significant ring time to showcase their talents, but at least they got a pay check to pay their rent for another further month on both of their specialty stores they own. Bubba was stiffing people but his short shorts were an eyesore, mainly due to his knobby knees. Resistance were the beating dummies here and when it broke down, whatever thread of a storyline they were trying to build went right out the window. Did any of the failed Hollywood writers know what Garrison meant before they saddled him with that moniker?

3) Christian v. Chris Jericho- 5
Two of my definite faves in the sports entertainment landscape did battle here to mixed results. They got some time for sure, and for once, I liked Jericho's punches, balled up looping Fred Flintstone shots that told you he was pissed. They totally flopped on the buckle trying to set up for a superplex, so they worked together to get back up in a strange scene. Loved the Impact DDT Christian crushed Jericho's skull with near the end, and the Trish turn was done pretty well, save for Jericho's sloppy sell of the Unprettier after match.

4) Evolution v. The Rock & Sock Connection - 4
Before this match took place, Orton (standing next to partners Flair and Batista) delivered a long winded wooden promo in front of the stairs that they threw Foley down months prior to start the angle. Even more obvious cue card reading than on Jay Leno's faltering mishap of a show.

Foley was super over with the crowd but his performance sadly didn't warrant that adolation. Crowd heat was actually quite good here and everyone was filling in their roles nicely, everything flowed together well, but my glaring problem with this match is was completely made up of punches and clotheslines, i'm talking about to a ridiculous degree. It felt much like what Tiger Woods went through, when all that money and fame and carte blanche got to him, how else was he supposed to blow off steam but have sex with low grade strippers and partime model/cocksuckers? It wasn't his fault, as was the case here, even when a moment would happen where the pace picked up and guys were thinking on their feet, half assed clotheslines or punches like some unseen force was causing them to do it. Inconceivable!

5) Sable/ Torrie Wilson v. Miss Jackie/ Stacy- 1
Not sure what agent's job it was to put this together, but looked like they just watched some WCW Nitro 98 cruiserweight stuff because they had them doing rollup reversals and sunset flip reversals. Dear God I miss Stacy's lower half.

6) Cruiserweight Open (involving Shannon Moore, Ultimo Dragon, Jamie Knoble, Funaki, Nunzio, Billy Kidman, Rey Mysterio, Tajiri, Chavo Guerrero)- 3

If this had gotten some decent time involved could have been something. Dragon finally made it to WrestleMania and MSG and he totally eats it on the way to the ring in a sad but funny moment. Funaki and Akio both neither got one move off before being eliminated which is a shame. Kidman (w/ Dr. Pepper gut) looked like a jumping Marlin trying to execute his Shooting Star splash outside. Rey was on as usual busting out some great shit for his 3 mintues of work, just piss poor how little anyone in the company was behind this match.

7) Bill Goldberg v. Brock Lesnar- 2
One of the greatest examples of two guys shitting all over the fans, people were really keen on watching two of the most dangerous men in the sport (for hurting guys un/or intentionally) do the same to each other but they tried to work a 1981 power man match that had MSG booing out the building. Goldberg hit one cool spinebuster but other than that this was a woesome 17 minutes I spent in front of the TV while Super Mario Brothers Wii was staring me in the face saying " You know you wanna?" " I wanna, Mario, I wanna."

8) Rikishi/ Scotty 2 Hotty v. World's Greatest Tag Team v. APA v. Basham Brothers- 3
Another hodge podge 4 way which saw Faarooq and Rikishi work for about 20 seconds a piece. Felt identical to the one that took place before hand. WGTT pulled off a couple nice sequences but other than that, this was as convoluted and pointless as 10 picks for Best Film Oscar.

9) Victoria v. Molly Holly - 4
I was actually digging this for the most part but again, no time to develop it fully. Molly and Victoria were good on the ground and always enjoy a Northern Lights suplex thrown in there for some Hase love. Neither girl had really good strikes though and the finish was hackneyed at best, Molly selling her haircut while some schmuck dressed like a barber from the 60's complete with candycane pole stood idly by, wondering if his paycheck would cover this months' rent, child support and menthol cigarettes.

10) Eddie Guerrero v. Kurt Angle- 6
Kind of a cool match that never fully reached it's potential. Lots of time devoted to Angle just grinding away on Eddie on the mat, the fast sections were much better becuase Angle can keep up, love how he sells a DDT, probably speaks for why he has such a useless body these days. Both guys execute stuff with a snap and I loved Angle's reaction to the finish afterwards.

11) Undertaker v. Kane- 4
This was kept short, like any kind of government apology and it was for the better. Kane was completely inside his character's mind, despite how requistely screwed up it is (guess i'll have to read that paperback novel to fully find out) Taker wasn't at his peak but much faster than he is these days. Lot of the same recycled spots they used throughout their whole 10 year feud together, watch this match eating some delicious Silician pizza from Bravo's and it will go down even smoother I bet.

12) HHH v. Shawn Michaels v. Chris Benoit - 9
I am shocked myself how great this was, first time I saw this show was in my buddy's sweltering apartment after having wrestled a backyard match myself earlier in the day where I received a nice goose-egg over my eye which had grown to the size of a Reese's Easter Egg cup, so it was hard to gauge it. People might also be turned off by the emotional factor invoved here as this was Benoit's culmination to an 18 year journey of becoming the true top dog in the world of wrestling, so to glorify a psychotic murderous bastard by giving acclaim to this match isn't my point, only to judge on what the match itself consisted of.

I think the thing that most worked in this match's favor is with it being a 3 way, which more often than not, are hurried and obviously ran like 3 seperate singles matches and while this had elements of this, timing was crucial because it helped them never lose their way and keep the 3 men invovled at most times, like it wouldn't just be a clothesline that had someone knocked out for 10 minutes, it would be significant like a table bump. Benoit was pouring on the punishment, chops and headbutts and violent kicks, Trips was selling submission attempts like scorpions were in his underwear or Steph's lawyer just served him with divorce papers and Shawn was kind of the glue that did his usual stuff but didn't take away from the match. Funny how crazy MSG was for Benoit and hated that Shawn could take the belt home instead of the Canadian. Cool moment when Shawn tries the triple German, but he's so largely booed he gives Benoit the reversal to take over and they pop huge. Messy bloody scalp of Shawn was a sight to behold, felt like a German torture flick and was pouring from his balding head like the green goo from Troll 2 and one of his better moments was calling Trips out in the center of the ring. The finish could have been badly executed but another piece of business that worked really well and i def. have to give kudos to all three for pulling it off so well. Still love Eddie coming out to share the spotlight with him at the end, despite either man's pharmaceutical problems or lounge chairs reserved in Satan's den in Hell.

XIX= 54%
XIII= 49%
XIV= 44%
VIII= 43%
II= 43%
XVII= 43%
X= 42%
XX= 40%
XII= 40%
III= 39%
XVIII= 39%
VII= 34%
IV= 34%
XI= 34%
IX= 33%
I= 32%
VI= 32%
XVI= 30%
XV= 29%

Nous observons chaque seconde #9


oh the white death rains down from the sky and alas, here I am sitting in my cubicle while all I want to do is go home and try and get my daughter to play in the snow, i'll keep my fingers crossed. meanwhile, thinking back to what I saw this weekend: TNA Impact, didn't mind it so bad on this episode, AJ's strong heel persona really stuck out to me and enjoyed he and Joe's exchange a lot, they both had a good handle on their characters and I love guys doing promos as themselves, not scripted, it's so easy to tell between the two. Matchwise, nothing tickled me silly although Pope v. OJ had some cool exchanges and I saw a confidence in Pope that he desperately needed in WWE and Jordan was competing with a looseness he didn't have before, he used to wrestle like a dude with a plunger up his ass (and for those of you who haven't watched WWE in the last 10 years, no that wasn't his actual gimmick). Thougt the Hogan stuff was idiotic as the norm, why go to great lengths and waste TV time telling Eric Young that Hall & Pac can't come in, then you open the door for them to come in against Angle, are they fucking hobos, how does he know they've been waiting outside during the whole 2 hours? my brain froze trying to rationalize it.

ROH Proving Ground proved that 2009 was a low mark in their history, Night one was an epic disaster from the overwrought Black v. Richards main event to the joke of Albright kicking out of like 4 NIgel fins in a very boring match. Steen/ Generico v. Dark City was good but i felt like they were subbing them out for the same worked match they do with the Briscoes. Aries got more out of the comedy match with Necro than most would but I still wasn't entertained. Night 2 however was a lot more satisfying. I'm a Lynn fan from way back, kind of fun trying to see him keep up with young dude Osborne, who's not fully ready. YRR match served it's purpose but Rinauro is a joke. The Dark City six man v. Strong/Stevens/Albright was an abomination of my time, it never ended and so many things went wrong, I was about to drop my head in my deep fryer. 2nd half was quite good though, Aries did a tremendous job with Brad Attitude, classic NWA title match formula where you make the nobody look like he could be world champion, lots of praise there. Danielson v. Generico always put out great work (loved their PWG World Title match from a few years back) and the comedy before hand was lighthearted and very endearing, loved how Generico was totally in character during the whole thing and actually made me want to see Danielson v. Bison. Finish was killer. Overall I didn't love the main event but thought DLo and Nigel both brought the heat with their strikes and big bumps.


I thought the Springer segment on Raw was absolutely terrible. It just came off as useless and pointless when they could've used that time to build the pay-per-view. Plus, the whole thing with Lawler at the end of it with him trying to cover it up as a rib just made me scratch my head. The Bret thing was lame. Some random blonde backs into Bret's limo? Wouldn't any smart driver check their mirror before backing out? Michael Cole selling the injury as "the worst day of Bret's" life was absolutely ludicrous.

I'm looking forward to watching the final ECW. I think Goldust/Yoshi vs. Miz/Show should be fun. Plus we have Christian/Jackson in an extreme rules match.


I wanted to see some of the horryifying bird creature Shibaten so I watched him (vs. Rei, vs. Quackenbush) on YouTube. The bout versus Rei is barely two minutes, but quite fun, with Shibaten establishing a knack for quality selling and being fully into his character (i.e. Ophidian from Osirian Portal). It was fun watching puro nerd Quackenbush in one of his first tours of Japan, but didn’t seem particularly at home in Michinoku Pro, his elaborate arm work seemed ultimately futile and derivative.

I finished TNA Against All Odds ’10, at the library now printing out schoolwork, so can’t be bothered to comment in any great detail. Overall, a forgettable show, per the norm with the rest of TNA’s recent pay-per-view output. I’m going to watch last night’s ROH on HDNet when I get home and some ’09 BattlArts.


I also caught some of that bird freak, like one of Rodan's illegimate children, but he had great movement inside the ring and added a unique quality to the Quack match which would have been pretty boring with all his technical prowess on display. Also caught most of the Feb. NOAH Differ in Navigation show, Masao Inoue's comeback match was nothing to be proud of, just jovial joke spots and a strange likeness to a plumper younger Chono. Enjoyed Morishima's performance in his tag encounter, it went to a 30 minute draw and totally felt like it because it lost direction several times, but there was some hard work done and fun dynamic to see former partners Mori and Sasaki do battle. Also watched a few pimped Lucha matches, one featuring Black Terry who is older than The Nile River, but it was such a change of pace from normal pro wrestling and even Lucha with his technical stuff, you could tell it was so natural to him how to perform all those moves and make them work within the context of the match he was doing. Also decided to see who this Negro Navarro guy is I hear mentioned on the Segunda Radio show but only found a quick 3 minute clip on "You Tube XL" the version on Wii online in between playing the Ice level in the new Mario, some fun armdrags but not enough to form a real opinion. Will be watching final ECW and TNA's Against All Odds at some point this week too.


I just finished iMPACT! Quite a baffling, befuddling show. Samoa Joe losing clean to Orlando Jordan? Subsequently, Joe later abducted in a white van? Hogan passing the torch... to fucking Abyss? I did like the Young Bucks/Red/Kaz vs. Kendrick/Williams/Machine Guns sprint -- quite fun. Angle vs. Daniels was about as good as a one minute match you'll see. Also watched Superstars, and damn, that Knox vs. Mysterio main was a lot of fun, quite developed with defined acts, some believable nearfalls, etc. I'll definitely be finding time over the weekend to watch a few DVDs.


Over the weekend I began the WM project....again, with 20, review forthcoming. Also saw a few matches for download including Marufuji v. Devitt and Tanahashi v. Okada both from New Japan. Brian alerted me to some rube online who had the first one rated at 1/2 star, which tells me he seriously needs to dig himself out of the large hole he currently lives in that's called "Internet Trend follower" and give the match it's due. The inherent flaw of the match is all the obvious setups to moves, it happens again and again, and if that's the argument could see a case for someone not enjoying it, but the crowd loves it that's for sure. I liked their rope stuff, where they both used bouncing off the ropes and momentum to duel each other on who hits first, and it's not overdone stuff like in Dragon Gate, really nasty bumps through out incl. Marufuji's sidewalk slam bomb and Devitt wiping out Richards style except more hurty. Didn't care much for the Okada match, has a good look and physique but need to pull something out of him performance wise, match was way too long for what it wanted to accomplish and Marufuji would be best served working with higher talent. my impression is he may sink instead of swim in the states.

Also caught some of the ballyhooed Hulk Hogan DVD unreleased set, Bob Backlund carried Hulk to a very well done match that nearly hit the 30 min. mark, some good old fashioned "out move the big brute" stuff, then selling his ass off in a armlock that he basically maneuvered Hogan in for, JR & King both comment on Hulk being green but his enthusiasm is certainly there. Loved the Mr. T & Hulk skit in the health food store as well, Hogan was trying to hold back laughter as T threw carrot juice, wheat grass and other assorted stuff in his basket.


I've been simultaneously watching ROH End of An Age and WWE Insurrextion '03. So far on the ROH end of things, Kenny King vs. Petey Williams was a touch longer then needed to be, I feel like Petey often has a lost expression on his face, goes through the motions, etc. Williams' movement is good, but his storytelling ability is rather poor; King, on the other hand, has a big upside and lots of potential. Erick Stevens vs. Rasche Brown was also forgettable, save for some big, explosive offensive bits courtesy of Stevens. We hadn't seen Brown really bump yet in ROH, nice to see him get stuffed and tossed on his bald head a couple times. Lastly, saw KENTA vs. Tyler Black; this will be contested by arguing fans, some will love it, others loathe it. I was rather indifferent. Some crazy, athletic spots, big superplex, dazzling kicks, flying, etc. Selling, as one may guess, wasn't the strong suit, each guy would temporarily sell things, but nothing extended, i.e. Black rallying back from near death far too many times for my tastes.

Insurrextion '03 has been an odd little show, kind of underwhelming, all things considered. Jazz vs. Trish Stratus was surprisingly good; much better than the majority of Diva output the last four years. Trish was good at sympathetic selling, while getting wrenched in holds, etc. Booker T vs. Christian wasn't up to my expectations. Booker seemed a bit selfish, something I've heard of him as a worker, not particularly going out of his way much at all for Christian. The Canadian looked decent, though, although lacked the spark and confidence that made him shine in 2009. I turned off the TV midway through RVD/Kane vs. La Resistance last night, will finish it later. Dupree has loads of personality, strutting around like a peacock, etc. I think he belonged in the WWE. I'd rank him up there with Palumbo (and maybe Grimes) as guys that they dropped the ball on. RVD's move set was the same as any other of his matches you could randomly pick, cartwheeling and sommersaulting without any rhyme or reason.


Finished disc 1 of the Hulk Hogan Secret set.
Hulk/ JYD v. King Kong Bundy/ BJ Studd- I think i enjoyed the visual of two iconic competitors acting like two kids hopped up on Pixie Sticks and Lollipop Rings than most of what transpired in the match. Hulk v. Bundy sections worked, the big man bumped for him, and had good movement but Studd was as lackadasical as a T Rex with imsomnia.

Hulk visits the Snake Pit- pretty pedestrian interview where Roberts basically shoved the fact Andre will win down our throats and showed off the belt he could win which was pretty damn long, Hulk took posession of it for a few moments before abritrarily throwing it into a water-less pool where some giant pythons were slithering.

Hulk v. Kamala- I've enjoyed the point of view from Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler on these matches, Lawler seems a lot more relaxed and isn't worried about one liners and JR loves to give history. Match was nothing basically, Hulk preening around acting as if those weenie chops were giving him problems. Makes you appreciate where wrestling has come from and where it is now because Kamala got by on very little skill or talent.

Hulk v. Killer Khan- both men were more unsightly than moldy mushrooms in your "crisper" box in the fridge but this was enjoyable. Think they tangled in New Japan years before. Hulk took some huge bumps from Khan's chops, and he worked over Hulk with a nasty nerve pinch, he was up for selling but not apt for it, bumbling awkwardly around the ring as Hulk ran through his move set, so far probably the most digestible thing off this disc, wrestling wise for the average fan.


I watched Steve Corino/Kevin Steen vs. Alex Payne/Bobby Dempsey from ROH on HDNet 2/08/10. Corino seemed sluggish, only real good facial he gave while selling was after a big Bobby splash. Payne botched two things real badly, surprised it made air, as they should have edited his amateurishness out. He flubbed a leapfrog then botched a hurricanrana. Dempsey had some fire, yelling at Corino to hit him again, but this was mostly about the heels roughing up Payne. I also checked out Rico vs. Goldust from Insurrextion '03. I cracked up at one point, while selling punches Goldie started doing his tourettes routine, stuttering and spasming. Rico bumped around, but would pop up far too quickly after each bump, no prolonged selling which made him look like a superhero not a fashion designer. All in a all, a kind of fun, throwaway bout.


Watched the first NXT. You just have to laugh at the concept, in a way, Miz talking to the live TV audience, even addressing them, Danielson flubbed a line or two but came off as real, and unscripted which is more than refreshing, but let's not forget the "pro" Miz's flub either: dry as the Mojave Devert? Didn't see a lot I liked in the tag, Christian and Carlito working the same spots they did Monday, but I loved how Tarver sold the flying uppercut and Killswitch. One thing i don't get: if you're a boxer/MMA guy why are you doing all those wrestling punches and moves? he didn't go for a Knockout punch once. Otunga's match was a huge squash and one of them burnt the finishing move, so that was a dud. Then Danielson v. Jericho- seriously, we seriously get this on free TV? Awesome! It was a good little tv match too, besides Danielson falling backwards when taking a enzugiri, and the table spot was just brutal, but how come Danielson got up first? Liked his leg lock and Jericho always uses the old version of the Liontamer against younger guys. Fun first episode has me intrigued to see the upcoming weeks.

Also watched the All Japan six man main event with the pornstars- Muto/ Funaki/ Hama against the Voodoo Murderers, or what's left of them. Strange they chose Hama to do the heel beatdown on, wasn't truly as effective as it could have been because you're having to seriously disbelieve reality to watch it, Hama is easily 550, jelly rolls popping out of his trunks everywhere so for him to be hurt by Hate's weak leg kicks is a hard pill to swallow. Muto looked springy hitting his moves but the Wizard becomes more tame by the day. I did chuckle at his super hero comeback after getting frenched by the hot Asian hoe with the large boobies bouncing everywhere. This wasn't offensive nor will it stick in my crawl for very long. Also sort of watced Marufuji v. Nakajima, Savannah was unusually unruly during it so hard to get into the match, but long submission sections i didn't expect; the kicking sections were fun, but how many superkicks can one guy take to the face before we start asking ourselves, how is he standing? Marufuji is in top athletic form, but he totally waits for every single move and is a very spotty wrestling, maybe ROH rubbed off on him. Nakajima still needs seasoning but is progressing, aggresiveness he has no problem with, taking the time to sell properly and craft a coherent story every match out is something he'll have to learn over the long haul.


Adam said he was going to chime in tonight, but, since he hasn't, I'm going to jump back into the mix. Tonight I watched Sachie Abe, KAZUKI & Megumi Yabushita vs. Kaori Yoneyama, Emi Sakura & Aoi Kizuki -- far too short to be anything, but, for the brief time it lasted, it was full of adorable but not expertly executed triple-teams. We also watched what was supposed to be the last-ever IWA Mid-South show in Kings of the Crimson Mask 2. Only 6 matches, guess Ian couldn't pay anybody else to show up. Jimmy Jacobs randomly working one up from the bottom of the show, doing an uninspired dog collar chain match with Michael Elgin (replacing the absent Corp. Robinson). World champ Dingo worked second from the bottom -- who booked this? Oh, the crackhead with the Grinch tatt, I got it. There was a really ludicrous hardcore four-way of Chris Havius vs. Mephisto vs. Dixieland Destroyer vs. Joey Grunge. Never heard of any of those guys before? Don't worry. You're not alone. I'd never seen any of these guys, but good lord, looks like they just rounded up four slobs from the local truck stop and gave them some weapons to bludgeon each other with. Dixie Destroyer was a 500lbs. beast wearing overalls and a confederate flag lucha mask. Semi-main of Mickie Knuckles/Jon Moxley/Sami Callihan vs. The Hooligans was an extended beatdown, as the crowd favorites beat and bloodied the Hooligans, especially their requisite Spike Dudley in Neil Diamond Cutter who earned his $15 of pay taking the ass-whooping of the century. Main event was No Rope Barbwire, Electrified Light Tubes, Fans Bring The Weapons Match: Mad Man Pondo & Ian Rotten vs. Viper & Elkview Adam. A big pile of shit it was. Pondo's gut is larger than ever, a clean-shaven Ian makes him look even more like a molester, Viper looked like a gargantuan Justin Credible (sold better, though) and Elkview Adam, albeit post-match Rotten blew on the mic, didn't impress me a lick. So that's your fed's finale after 13 years? Bwahahaa!!!11!!.1 fucking idiots -- Oh wait, William Regal is on Superstars I'm going to go watch that now..


Picked up a few new DVDs at Half Price Books last night, including one called "AAW Taste of Violence" which features some real terrible wrestlers and lots of phantom selling. There was one match that was a hardcore match between Venom, a scrawny kid who looks about 17 and is wrestling wearing a Spiderman Venom t-shirt, stone washed jeans, and skater shoes, and a wrestler named Wolverine, who goes about 275 with a goatee and is probably the 2,657th low-level independent wrestler to use that name. The match was full of comedic errors including Wolverine bumping on a piece of plywood and Venom doing a balcony dive and crashing through a table. There was another match which had Hannibal, a complete rip-off of the Anthony Hopkins movie character, against two dudes who are blatantly ripping off the Mean Street Posse. Hannibal did some type of shit spinning kick that I rewound multiple time and laughed really hard at. There are no notable names on the show but I got it out of curiosity. A thorough review of this awful crap will be forthcoming.

Also, got together with Brian and Geo and watched IWA-MS King of the Crimson Mask 2009, which was touted as the final IWA-MS show at the time. Highlights of this comedy masterpiece included a 450 pound hillbilly in overalls and a conferdate flag mask getting his back lashed open with a crap ton of light tubes and Ian Rotten stumbling around, sticking his ancient face in wherever he can, and cutting promos about the company and putting people over. The main was awful and featured Rotten and Mad Man Pondo teaming up to "wrestle" Elkview Adam & Viper in what can only be described as a complete clusterfuck. Afterwards, Ian and Pondo worked the stick and bored the shit out of everyone. I do want to see some more IWA-MS though, just to see if there's even anything from the past few years in that shit company worth watching. Brian, pass that along to me as I would like to take some notes on it.

Finally, watched a random and brief bout from a DVD called "Grand Masters of Wrestling" (which can be found in the $1 bin at your local Wal-Mart) which featured a bloated Iron Mike Sharpe and King Kong Bundy. The match was terrible, probably one of the worst matches I've watched in a long time with Sharpe and Bundy just stalling and trying to spots they did 20 years ago to no avail. The biggest annoyance was that the crowd noise was dubbed in in what seemed like a five minute loop. Bundy was randomly counted out. The crowd was in such a zombie state that even if they were forced to give a shit, they probably wouldn't have.


Nothing from iMPACT! was too notable, Kaz v. Kendrick was fun, but in PWG they would have gotten triple the time. Finishing off ROH End of An Age this morning. D-Lo Brown vs. Roderick Strong, first D-Lo ROH bout I've actively enjoyed. Basically them just pounding the hell of each other, lots of great chops, but cheap fin. I surprisingly enjoyed the Brent Albright/Colt Cabana vs. Claudio Castagnoli/Joey Ryan Street Fight. Pretty chaotic and at times sloppy, but fun 'till the end. One of Ryan's better ROH performances, pretty game to eat stuff, but nowhere near the level of his '09 PWG stuff (see v. Chris Hero). I really like one spot: the heels were seated in chairs in the front row, and Colt did a backflip off of the guardrail and just crushed Claudio. Hey!! Ryan gave Cabana a Mustache Ride off of the top onto a pile of chairs -- Cabana sold it like he was sharing a bed with his brother and felt a boner poke him in the back. Ending was a (flying) Butt Butt through a table, but Iceman Parsons did a spit take on that one!!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

WCW Clash of the Champions 25 & 30

The Never Hand Over crew were working on a project to individually watch and rank every Clash of the Champions match ever, then collectively, tallying up the votes and preparing the ultimate list. With finishing my last semester of college, having a baby on the way, other projects, etc. I felt realistically that we weren't going to get it done anytime in the conceivable future. I did watch two shows, though; here's my rankings and reviews from those shows:

Steve Austin vs. Brian Pillman - (Clash of the Champions XXV) - 5
Started off fast and furious, Pillman wasting no time, etc. Brawling on the floor, some nice chops and shots by both, Brian takes a sick bump off of the rampway throat-first on the guardrail. The crowd was fired up for this and that helped. What I didn't like is it almost moved too fast, which kind of made sense in terms of their story, but made the match seem less good, not a lot of time for selling, etc. Also, in the end, came apart a bit, Pillman visibly calling spots, Austin landing knees-first on a splash from the top, and the manager cheating the face finish had just been done the match before this.

Ric Flair vs. Vader - (Clash of the Champions XXV) - 5
This was a quick glimpse of better stuff they'd do later. Highlights were Flair's selling, obviously, screaming bloody murder after being suplexed into the ring from the apron, etc. Ric also laid into Vader, backing him into the corner, throwing a variety of viscous chops and shots. The finish sucked dong, Flair thinks he won the championship, Vader's foot was on the rope, so we don't get a legitimate finish which felt like a blatant plug to order their next pay-per-view or whatever.

Arn Anderson vs. Johnny B. Badd - (Clash of the Champions XXX) - 4
Badd wrestled with more confidence and poise here than I remembered him for.. - Arn as always pitch-perfect in heel role, bumping for Badd, didn't really do any over his over-the-top stuff (begging off, crybaby faces, etc.) which I missed.. - finish was convoluted with Arn being knocked out of the ring, revived with a pitcher of ice water, a game of chase around ringside, etc. sort of a mess

Harlem Heat vs. Stars & Stripes - (Clash of the Champions XXX) - 4
Heat had lots of charisma, Booker had most explosive offense of the show, real nice kicks, etc. - Bagwell was fairly innocuous but a bit bland as babyface in peril.. - Patriot didn't offer much at all, lazy arm lock, uninspired punching.. - Crowd was pretty hot for the finish, although it appeared to had to attempt it twice to get it right, with Sherri taking a bump off the apron

Steve Regal vs. Johnny B. Badd - (Clash of the Champions XXV) - 4
Regal gives a masterful performance, some of the most snug offense of anyone on the roster at the time, good timing, facials, etc. Badd does his best keep up, but this wasn't given enough time to really materialize into something recommendable, and the copout cheating finish felt abrupt and passe.

Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage vs. Kevin Sullivan and The Butcher - (Clash of the Champions XXX) - 4
Parts of this were ferociously stupid.. - Started off bad.. - Hogan's punches in corner, so weak.. - Butcher was in-ring for majority and came off real limited.. - So dumb, Savage "wakes up" an unconscious Hulk by dropping an elbow from the top, his finisher, on him? - Savage had more fire and charisma than anyone, no surprise.. - Sullivan worked Randy over outside, liked Kevin's violent tendencies, and Savage sells his ass off, Heenen compares him to Jell-O at one point which was apt.. - Crowd was into ending even though all of our intelligences had been insulted.. - Vader, post-match, mixes it up in Cosby sweater and rips his dress slacks.. - going to be a long plane ride back to Denver in coach..

Nasty Boys vs. Sting and British Bulldog - (Clash of the Champions XXV) - 3
I was looking forward to this but it rather sucked.. - Right off the bat Rick Rude runs out and gives Davey a "Rude Awakening" on the rampway.. - Smtih sells it like he's doing an impersonation of himself circa 2K9.. - Nasty Boys bump around the ring but are routinely picking themselves back up to get into position for the next thing (inc. after both taking Bulldog's powerslam finisher).. - No continuity in the selling.. - Saggs flying elbow puts this to bed?

Dustin Rhodes vs. Paul Orndorff - (Clash of the Champions XXV) - 3
I was disappointed here. The guys didn't have much chemistry together, lots of middling grappling, no real emphasis or direction to the mat work either, the long headlocks, etc. weren't part of a bigger story, just tiring filler. The best selling in the match came from Assassin #1 at ringside eating some Dusty shots. Roll-up finish was dogshit.

Sting vs. Avalanche - (Clash of the Champions XXX) - 3
Tenta was decent in control segment, didn't work the crowd much save for a Hogan-like pose that got some heat.. - Thought it was stupid Sting rolled around selling the whole match then all was forgotten when he got on offense.. - guest ref Guardian Angel wouldn't call for the bell which lead to an amusing post-match brawl with Sting

The Equalizer vs. The Shockmaster - (Clash of the Champions XXV) - 2
Equalizer controlled the bulk of it, no real transitions to speak of on offense though, just laying in uninspired stuff and not giving anything time to sink in or mean anything. 'Ol Uncle Fred had some decent selling going on facially, but this was fodder and his finisher looked dumber than he did when he fell through that wall.

Bobby Eaton vs. Alex Wright - (Clash of the Champions XXX) - 3
Wright seemed a bit uncomfortable doing stuff on the mat, i.e. arm work, etc. - Eaton led him through the paces but didn't exude much personality doing so.. - Best bump was Bobby dodging a flying attack and Alex eating the ropes

Rick Rude vs. Raod Warrior Hawk - (Clash of the Champions XXV) - 2
A shitty match, guys were working at half-speed, only went a few minutes and ended suddenly in a disappointing double countout. Hawk no-sold Rude's clothesline outside the ring and just generally didn't sell for shit.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

All Japan Champion Carnival 1995 Part 3

1) Takao Omori v. Kenta Kobashi- 5

I swore i knew the results beforehand but Kobashi really made me believe the upstart was going to upset him here. Really well paced match with some high impact suplexes and hard nosed clotheslines. Got better as it went on actually, they strayed away from a lot of unnecessary ground work, although Omori did go to the arm as usual, as if when you get in a car and just start driving and don't have a clue where you're going. Good start to final disc.

2) Jun Akiyama v. Akira Taue- 4

Only thing noteworthy in seeking out here is the most brutal torturous Abdominal Stretch in the history of the planet Earth, the rest of this was just Taue pummeling Jun like he was a prisoner in Guantanamo Bay.

3) The Eagle/ Dan Kroffat/ Johnny Ace v. Yoshinari Ogawa/ Giant Baba/ Stan Hansen- 3

This was just a smattering of humanity. Went on way too long to function as anything more than a throwaway match. Hansen was selling the whole time as if he had appendicitis. Kroffat especially leary of hurting Baba, but Ace had no problem chopping that taught thin piece of skin over his skeletal frame. Ogawa was a speck.

4) Mitsuharu Misawa v. Toshiaki Kawada- 6

Another great entry in their lexicon. The way those two could operate around each other was like two guys opening up the sails on a large sailboat, complete teamwork in sync, the reversals were the thing to watch here, and Kawada trying, actively trying to break Misawa's nose. Kawada's Germans are no doubt dangerous, but also sloppier than Slimer taking a deuce. Picture perfect elbow suicido here, miss you Mits.

5) The Eagle/ Dan Kroffat/ Johnny Ace v. Jun Akiyama/ Kenta Kobashi/ ?- 5

There was a skinny as fuck dude on the Puro team who got bitched out from the go by Kroffat, he was rail thin and totally untrained by my eye. But this match worked on more levels than previous six man becuase it was contested more under tag psychology, even giving us our beloved ROH close breakups at the end, except the illegal guys were still going back to their corners afterwards, who said playing by the rules couldn't give you that warm feeling in the pit of your stomach? Ace was commander here again, just taking liberties with all who opposed him, even the Eagle looked competent matching strikes and offense with Kobashi. Really fun match here.

6) Takao Omori v. Toshiaki Kawada- 4

This is a fail. Kawada doesn't have the nuturing guidance to push Omori through this match looking like roses. He kind of dead weighted a lot of the kids' stuff and really didn't give him the right offense to make this a contest, just flat back bumps after every punch or kick or what have you. And there were a few pointless outside spots that left me scratching my head. Not even brutal Kawada showed up for this although the finishing run was well done even if not worthy of it's bestowed.

7) Stan Hansen v. Doug Furnas- 3

This was the drizzling shits pretty much, Furnas looked totally inept, even stumbling when trying to execute a stomp and he did these shoulderblocks that McLovin would have laughed at. Hansen kind of meandered like a blind mule until he hit the lariat, which didn't disappoint.

8) Mitsuharu Misawa v. Akira Taue- 6

Really disappointed this wasn't their finals match, so we got the 30 minute draw, so it did work in that regards where it felt like both guys were really giving it all they had to pull out the win even down to the last second where neither man could keep going. Taue was totally pushed here as the younger Baba, the similarities are frighteningly similar, the Wall-esque forehead, the giant leg offense, the withered Master look (as the character from the fantastic film, "Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...and Spring) , so after you watch this you like it for it's physicality, which Taue brought in spades with his giant handling of Mits, who also didn't hold back on elbows (when did he ever?) but lacked the genuine spark of a Kawada match, which I just watched an hour before this. The big outside spots took forever to set up and the payoff wasn't worth it, don't like the context of how submissions are also utilized during the end, but highspots they know like the back of their regularly lotioned hands and that carried this match to recommendable standards.

A Few Late ‘09/Early ‘10 HWA Matches

Ok, so I’ve been keeping tabs on the HWA the past couple of months and noticed something … they can go from really good to really bad in the span of a few weeks, as evidenced by the 12/19/09 and 1/29/10 shows (both of which were good shows) and this past week’s Wednesday show (2/17/10, which was downright hideous). The Wednesday night shows are held on the fourth floor of an ancient opera house with paint peeling off the ceiling, plastic over the windows, and a eerie staleness in the air. So here are some notes on a few matches that have stuck out in my mind over the past month or so.

Norwood Street Fight: Brian Beech vs. Ron Mathis (World War 3, 12/19/09) - 3
Beech legitimately dislocated his shoulder in the first 90 seconds after throwing a simple punch. Mathis showed some fire but didn’t really impress me all that much. The match featured your standard brawl in the hallway with rubber trash cans and assorted weaponry. There was no apron on the ring and from our vantage point in the second row we could clearly see Beech do a blade job and then throw said blade under the ring. Mathis was playing the heel and really made you hate him. Not so much because of his character, but because of his shoddy ring work. The finish was Mathis executing a giant spot on Beech off a turnbuckle through an ancient looking table. Afterwards, Beech cut a promo about how he was leaving now that he lost. Good riddance.

Aaron Extreme vs. N8 Flames (Sorg Opera House, 1/27/10) - 2
These two are the scrawniest dudes I’ve ever seen wrestle on a live show. Extreme is so tiny that if he went on a diet, he would go from skin and bone to just bone. Flames spelling his name like that is just an insult. I did some research on Aaron and found out that he used to work for that terrible fed that I ripped apart back in the spring of ‘08 (whose name I won’t mention because it would only inflate their egos). They botched a simple slam and damn near killed each other on a few highspots. They did what they could and didn’t impress a soul. This was like what it would be if Stevie Wonder had ever led Ray Charles through an art museum (think about that for a moment).

Four Way TLC Match: Irish Airborne vs. The Hybrids vs. Drake Younger & Scotty Vortekz vs. Aeroform (All or Nothing, 1/29/10) - 6
Wild match here with Drake piledriving one of the Hybrids on top of the bar in the first few minutes of the match. I saw the Hybrids in a four-way elimination bout back in December and they brought nothing to the table. This is the first I’ve seen of Aeroform as a team and they came across as a bit spotty but fun to watch. Drake made this match. Just killing people with chair shots and brawling all over the ring area. The false finish in which they eliminated the two non-HWA teams from the match was stupid. The final act saw a few table spots and the Airborne retain the HWA tag belts, which are actually replica WCW world title belts. If this ever sees the light of day on a DVD release, it’s worth at least one watch, maybe two if you dig Drake Younger like I do.

King Vu vs. “Madness” Chris Hall (Sorg Opera House, 2/17/10) - 1
This started off fine but once the ref got bumped in the first few minutes, things quickly deteriorated faster than New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. They brawled on the floor and one of them got shoved into a chair and nearly took out some obsese girl and her infant child. The whole situation pretty much filled the room with a weird vibe and numerous lariat and spinebuster sequences bored the crowd to death. The finish should have come after a giant superplex from the top rope but no, it came on a shitty roll-up from Vu. Another mind-boggling aspect of the match was the fact that the referee laid on the mat for a good ten minutes without any of the other referees coming out to carry him to the back or take control of the match. Seeing a match like this really makes me re-think the posssibility of going to their weekly live shows again.

Friday, February 19, 2010

ROH on HDNet 2/15/10

The show started with a video package on the Erick Stevens and Necro Butcher feud. Stevens' line about not caring if Necro's kids go hungry was particularly well-crafted, enunciated with bitter avarice. I think the production staff has improved since the show's inception, this was done in a more intimate style, similar to the interviews in UFC countdown specials, and as a result engaged me more than the majority of recent in-ring angle development on bigger programs like WWE Raw.

1. Erick Stevens and Joey Ryan vs. Necro Butcher and Eddie Kingston - 3

They utilized Adam's favorite visual technique, the split-screen, to follow the action of dual brawls. Ryan, in his usual hubris, looked good selling whips into the barricades. Later, Joey got a plastic bag over his head via Necro and I had a flashback to Funk/Flair. Erick had a wild look in his eyes while holding Kingston in a chinlock -- I'm liking his new, mean-spirited heel persona. Lots of work on Eddie's ribs which he sold with gravitas. I loved Stevens' eating of Necro's big shots in the corner, but the countout finish was bullocks.

2. Rasche Brown vs. Christian Moreno - 1

Complete and utter squash with Brown gaining the win using the "Burning Hammer" to put away the slob. My last piss lasted longer and was more meaningful.

3. Cheech and Cloudy vs. Andy Ridge and Sonjay Dutt - 2

Cheech was getting worked over for a lengthy section, his selling was moderately good, but in comparison, was mediocre compared to Cheech Marin's in Cannonball Run II. Sonjay isn't bad as an obnoxious heel, seems to fit him well, but Ridge needs mentored by a guy like R-Truth to make it to the "NXT" level. Andy gets pinned and Dutt attacks him post-match. No real bumps or sequences of note in this one.

4. Delirious vs. Kevin Steen - 4

Steen went for a "Sharpshooter" early but Delirious countered by kicking up at Kevin from the ground, Steen's subequent stumble I believed about as much as I did neighborhood kid Timmy's portrayal as one of the Three Wise Men at the church pagent. I know Steen's somewhat familiar with gold, but those that chubby Canadian know anything about myrrh or frankincense? The story early was Steen dodging the lizard to infuriate him. Steen's sell of a hard whip into the ringside barricade, clutching at his meaty shoulder and shaking his hand for feeling, was better than any moments from last year's Orton/Triple H WrestleMania main event. Kevin swatting at the nasty, wispy bangs of a ringside girl (guy?) was highly amusing to me. Delirious sells an enzuigiri-like kick by adjusting his elbow pad? I wonder if he teaches that one to the ROH trainees:

"Hey! Good job, Alex. But, next time, instead of clutching at your head, why don't you try tugging on your elbow pad? Maybe just a little bit."

"But he just gave me a DDT?"

Steen tumbled taking a Delirious somersault from the top turnbuckle to the floor with all the grace of the Swabbies on Power Rangers: Lost Galaxy. I think Kevin is more believable in this new role of fat asshole. A good nearfall off of a Steve Corino distraction, but it's Steen countering a "Shadows Over Hell" by catching him in a "Crippler Crossface" to get the victory. Best offering on this episode, but, still nothing worth seeking out here. Delirious' act is incredibly stale.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

NHO Poll #3

Explain your answer in the comments section! Should be fun:

Saturday, February 13, 2010

UFC 109: Relentless

1) Matt Serra v. Frank Trigg- 2
2) Demian Maia v. Dan Miller- 4
3) Phil Davis v. Brian Stann- 4
4) Mike Swick v. Paulo Thiago- 6
5) Nate Marquardt v. Chael Sonnen- 7
6) Randy Couture v. Mark Coleman- 6
7) Rolles Gracie v. Joey Beltran- 4

Our first fight was quick and painless, Trigg showing he absolutely doesn't have what it takes to fight in the UFC, Serra looked marginally spry and his handwork was good, not sure where he goes from here.

This was a hard nosed war, Maia pushed the pace all 3 rounds (which i gave to him) not only with improved standup and great combos but unsuccessfully with takedown attempts. Miller showed his newly earned BJJ black belt was not just a gimme and stuffed most attempts by Maia, but left him with little else to offer offensively. Some really dead periods in this fight as well.

Davis looked great against the solid Stann, living up to his "Mr. Wonderful" persona, let's hope he doesn't get that one tiny bicep like Orndorff, just put down the steroids and he should be fine. He showed lots of great wrestling skill and look forward to more from him.

Man, these guys were going full tilt boogie (inside joke) with haymakers and jabs, Swick looked good early with good poise while still throwing hands, but Thiago has some strange KO power where the punch doesn't look that bad, but it hurts guys, crazy D'arce choke out of nowhere and it solidifies him in this division as the new most dangerous dude with Thiago as part of his name.

2010's first fight of the year candidate was a shocking one, Chael Sonnen, outspoken as he is, came from virtual obscurity to fight in WEC for what should have been a title shot then outclassing Okami to shutting down perennial top contender Nate the Great in a hell of a war. Sonnen's wrestling looked to be in it's own class here as Marquardt was quite untested on the ground. He had a style very similar to Guida's but not as frenetic. I give Nate some credit though, he threw a nasty elbow which opened Sonnen up like a movie squib and caught him in a decent choke all from the bottom, so Middleweight division is shaping up with a new lion in the jungle.

Nobody does it better....nobody, yes Curt Henning fits that line, but so does "Captain America," Randy Couture, allow some room for my mark-dom here. Sure he was up against damaged Mark Coleman who didn't look to have his complete focus on the fight after the first few shots rung his bell, but Randy did exactly what he always does, bullies guys up against the cage and works them over. Surprising choke finish from a guy who isn't real adept at submissions, regardless of the outcome, this fight still had a big aura around it from the entrances to the punch exchanges up till the end. And loved Coleman bitching out Tito in his post fight interview.

The heir apparent to the Gracie throne looked like an amateur here. Beltran, a scrappy Mexican American fighter, just blew this kid out of the water as I used to do to my brother in Battleship. Gracie was so dazed and confused by the 2nd round he was flopping around the cage like a hippie on some bad acid slipping on a banana peel in mud. Royce should hold his head low.....wait is he dead yet? oh sorry, my condolences to the Gracie family. No, my mistake, still alive, I just Googled it, yes hang your head low Royce.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Nous observons chaque seconde #8


So, I'm watching some iMPACT! waiting for UFC 109 to start -- not a bad show, really. I dug Pope vs. Styles, fast-paced, some good stumbling selling by AJ, and the post-match build with Samoa Joe and Flair exchanging some stuff actually had me semi-excited for angle development in a TNA program! On the opposite end of the spectrum, Tomko looked like complete shit versus Angle. I mean, like easily, one of the worst in-ring performances on TV in the last couple years. He was out of position and took Kurt's suplexes worse than anybody else ever has, botching the belly-to-belly off the top, one of his Germans severely, etc.

I watched the documentary GAEA Girls which I've gushed about elsewhere -- just phenomenal. That lead to me watching some joshi, a real fun tag with Super Heel Devil Masami, KAORU and Dump Matsumoto vs. Chigusa Nagayo, Yumiko Hotta and Meiko Satomura. Chigusa bled from her head, ate some gnarly stuff, Meiko looked fabulous and right now leads the pack for my next HoF inductee in May, Devil Masami is frightening as all hell with that long, ghastly hair, Dump was beating everybody viciously with her kendo stick, and KAORU was adding some nice heel elements to the affair. A great way to spend fifteen minutes. Watched some more joshi afterwards, with Sachie Abe, Haruka Matsuo, and one of my personal new faves Yumi Ohka sticking out.

Tonight's agenda is watching UFC 109 and last night's SmackDown!. What have you guys been watching this snowy weekend?


I'd much rather see Flair in a heated brawl than ever work a match again, i'm just being honest, i know the guy was a great storyteller in his time, but i just can't see him shirtless on my TV anymore. And i'm sure Tomko will be a guy they push.

Saw Smackdown! didn't really wet my whistle too much, actually some spots came off clean in that 3 way, but Kane looked like Gulliver getting arrows shot at him by all the flying attacks of the two smaller guys, finish was well done. Truth gets in the chamber with a Taylor Five Arm? Okay, i'll buy that. Jericho v. Matt Hardy, two guys i absolutely love watching, but Hardy's flabby exterior and unsightly necrotic skin made me ill, plus he looked terrible flailing on the ropes like a shark out of water, match was below expectations. Lawler on "Word Up" reeked of desperation to be cool again, please someone put him out to pasture, he hasn't contributed significantly to the company in a decade or more. I miss JR. Loved the idea of the tag team with McCool & Layla getting a team name and matching outfits and such, they need to do that with more teams instead of throwing 2 guys together randomly. match was so so. Main had a lot of fire though, thought itwas better than their series last year for the IC belt, Rey emitting tons of emotion behind the mask and Dolph showing desperation well, may still be a spot for him yet. Main interview segment with Edge v. Jericho showed sparks of life, but from there i tuned out.

possibly a UFC 109 review forthcoming, thanks for link brian


I thought last week's Impact was going really good until that disastrous Foley/Nash match ... early contender for worst match of the year. Really dug Pope vs. A.J., good stuff, hope they do something with Pope. The thought that Joe showed more fire in the promo afterwards than he has in the last year or so.

As a personal project, I started watching the WrestleMania again the other night in anticipation for this year's show. Not reviewing them or ranking any matches, just watching them purely for my own enjoyment. Only watched the first three thus far and Mania 2 was better than I remember and is definitely the best of the bunch thus far.

Going to finish another Clash here soon and one of the FIP discs.


ECW on SyFy was a fairly enjoyable, second to last, episode of TV. The bloodiest episode since ECW got rebooted years ago, although, having a ringside physician glue Shelton's gaping wound in the middle of a match felt obtuse. Caylen Croft bled the hard way, too; I get the impression that he and Trent Barreta are a poor man's version of CZW's team The Best Around, with some Motor City Machine Guns nonchalance tossed in. The Ezekiel Jackson squash was manly and short. Vance Archer was tolerable in the main, but personally, I'd like to see him get future endeavored pronto. Out of the three TV shows that have aired thus far this week, ROH on HDNet leads the pack, with a good Young Bucks vs. American Wolves main, as well as my first glimpse of the new Corino/Steen duo. I'm hoping Superstars brings the goods again this week, iMPACT! is always a crapshoot, and surely SmackDown! will be better than last week's, with the lone highlight then being the superplex Ziggler killed Mysterio with, and Rey's subsequent unparalleled selling of said move.


There was supposed to be a meeting at work at 3:30 today but it got canceled. So, with the afternoon free, I took a break from the ongoing projects and popped in the CHIKARA Season 8 Finale "Three Fisted Tales". Only watched the first disc thus far and it's been pretty fair overall. The opening 8-man tag was more choreographed than a sixth grade class play. The Quackenbush tag was okay but Jorge Rivera was getting so gassed by the end, it was hard for him to keep up with the opposition team. Best match thus far has to be Player Dos vs. Lince Dorado. Nothing too wild but if was scoring at home, it would be in the 5-6 range ... leaning towards a 6 for the crazy ass bump at the end where Dos and Dorado were on the apron and Dos broke out a German suplex with Dorado's head crashing into the ring steps. Probably one of the sickest bumps I've seen since Alissa Flash threw Hamada down the bleachers of the Impact Zone last fall.

Watched ECW yesterday morning when I got up. Definitely have to say that Archer/Benjamin was the best match of the show but couldn't they have cut to a commercial when Shelton's head had to be glued shut? Plus, what was up with the announcers acting like someone died while the doctor was tending to Shelton? Probably Archer's best match since he's been on ECW ... wish he would go away and never appear on my TV again. I'm still not sold on Croft and Barretta. Personally, I would sprinkle some paprika on them because they need more seasoning.

RIP Survivor Series ... may the memory of the Demolition/Powers of Pain double turn in '88 never be forgotten.


Here's some thoughts on the stuff I've watched the past night or two:

The Pope vs. Orlando Jordan (iMPACT! 2/11/10) - better than their first misfire a couple weeks back.. - Jordan, with the long dreads, looked real good selling armdrags, etc. - Orlando's dropkick looked great, too

Haruka Matsuo vs. Yumi Ohka - (2009.03.08) - really dig Yumi who made my '09 top 100 ballot.. - great 10-min. draw.. - although, seeing two ridiculously cute girls doing a Kobashi v. Akiyama strike exchange mid-match seems a little silly.. - good expressive, sympathetic selling by the youngster Haruka.. - Ohka did this unbelievable move I've never seen before where she grabbed Matsuo's hands and frontflipped over her head and the ring ropes, in effect crucifying Haruka backwards over the top rope.. - that verbose explanation doesn't do it justice..

Jun Kasai & Jaki Numazawa vs. Kankuro Hoshino & Mototsugu Shimizu - (2009.08.28) - really fucking fun hardcore match.. - can't believe some of the crazy shit they busted out for a random show.. - like, there was a bump or two that, if had taken place in ECW, would still be being pimped by fan boys.. but alas a lot of their insane work goes unnoticed.. - Hoshino got superplexed off of the top turnbuckle out onto the floor onto a construction of chairs.. - great spot!

Christian vs. Zack Ryder - (Superstars 2/11/10) - really enjoyed this, Zack almost seemed on Christian's level selling-wise surprisingly, def. one of the better guys to come through the flawed FCW system

Kota Ibushi vs MIKAMI - (DDT) - don't know if this was a ladder match or they just decided to use one.. - some violent moments and bumps, good athleticism as always by Kota, etc. - MIKAMI wasn't bad, but needs more expression in his selling

JTG vs. Dolph Ziggler - (Superstars 2/11/10) - worked very old school, with JTG doing face in peril stuff all match.. - his sells seem slow motion.. when he gets hit with something he kind of slowly teeters over like a tree.. - guess Cryme Tyme is still in the dog house

First Tiger Mask & Tiger Mask vs. Riki Choshu & Tatsuhito Takaiwa - (2009.03.01) - not bad but nothing to rave about.. - Takaiwa looked the best of the bunch.. - Sayama just threw spinkicks all match, many not landing.. - Choshu looked scary enough to frighten small children.. - Sayama did bust out the sickest tombstone on Tatsuhito, making Undertaker blush in the process

Meiko Satomura vs. Sonoko Kato - (2009.04.30) - my girl Meiko taking it to Kato.. - didn't even go 7 minutes but fought pretty competitively.. - Satomura busted out her trademark shit like the best Pele kicks in the game and her beautiful cartwheel into a knee drop

Santino Marella vs. Jack Swagger - (Superstars 2/11/10) - moment of decentness, but overall the exact type of comedy shit WWE doesn't do well.. - liked Marella's unconscious sells, like he was dead to the world, but Swagger feigning surprise I don't buy

Shinya Ishikawa vs. Ryuichi Kawakami - (2009.08.28) - typical opening fare.. - in the words of a wise man: "dojo boy done good!"

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Randy Savage v. Jushin Liger- New Japan 07/17/1996- 4

This at first felt identical to a Savage v. Flair match from Nitro from this era except with Liger plugged into that spot, which his talents weren't quite suited for plain old leg work, what a waste of charisma and performing capability, it'd be like buying a Maziata and leaving it in the garage. It never really went into 2nd gear, also not a lot of transitioning between either guy, but I enjoyed Liger's spree of high impact moves smashing Savage near the end. Another funny moment was Liger hitting the coppo kick and blasting randy in the face, then Savage running outside to escape and trying to leap the barricade and falling face first, like an Olympic trial blooper video of a runner tripping in mid jump.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Cinnamon Toast Punch #3: Select Matches from WWE’s “History of the World Title” DVD

For this edition of Cinnamon Toast Punch (everyone’s favorite accompaniment for those cold Pop Tarts that you wolf down every morning before work) I am pleased to bring you ten (count ‘em … ten!) selected matches from WWE’s recent “History of the World Title” DVD. Let’s hope some of these matches have held up over time … unlike the milk in your fridge that expired weeks ago.

1) Best of Three Falls Match: Pat O’Connor vs. Buddy Rogers (Chicago, June 1961) – 7
2) Ric Flair vs. Magnum T.A. (AWA Superclash ‘85, 9/28/85) – 5
3) Ron Simmons vs. Vader (WCW, 8/2/92) – 5
4) Human Cage Match: Ricky Steamboat vs. Vader (WCW Saturday Night, 10/16/93) – 5
5) Jeff Jarrett vs. Booker T (WCW Bash at the Beach 2000) – 4
6) Chris Jericho vs. The Rock (WWF No Mercy 2001) – 6
7) Rob Van Dam vs. Triple H (WWE Unforgiven 2002) - 7
8) Kurt Angle vs. The Undertaker (WWE No Way Out 2006) - 8
9) Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton (WWE Smackdown, 4/7/06) - 8
10) John Cena vs. Chris Jericho (WWE Survivor Series 2008) - 5

Ok, so I was a bit timid going into this first match. My main thought was that it was going to be a slow, prodding match with a very silent crowd and it was going to be on film. Well, I was wrong. It looks like the footage was taken from the original television broadcast and has held up quite nicely. Right out of the gate, O’Connor blasts Rogers with a hard fucking elbow to the ear and that pretty much signals that this will be a hell of a fight. O’Connor wrenches the shit out of Rogers’ left elbow with a spinning arm lock, similar to Terry Funk’s spinning toe hold. First fall ended with Rogers catching O’Connor charging into the corner with a hard boot. Damn. The third fall is where things really started to get good. Rogers’ fatigue selling was awesome. Just the way he rolled around on the match while facially selling everything was something that some of today’s workers could take notes from. He sold O’Connor’s bodyslams like his back was broken. The finish saw O’Connor miss a dropkick and landed in the ropes with Rogers getting the pin. Really, really good match that should be an example of how to properly sell everything. Next bout was outdoors at the Comiskey Park, the same venue the Rogers/O’Connor match took place at, and isn’t nowhere near as full. They kept a good pace but didn’t really work any harder than they had to. The match was based around submission work which each guy applied. There were a few spots with some brawling outside the ring, including a spot where Flair got busted open. The crowd seemed deflated, almost to the point of exhaustion. Looking at the card for this show, it’s not hard to figure out why, they had to sit through 13 matches before this one. I think had this been a loud, molten crowd somewhere down in the Carolinas and not a rigid, bored crowd, it would’ve benefitied the match much more. There was a nice ground sequence where they reversed each others roll-ups much cleaner than RVD and Jerry Lynn ever dreamed of. Magnum using Flair’s figure-four to try to win the match was a nice touch but really didn’t lead to anything. All in all, a pretty mailed in performance by both guys.

Simmons/Vader is the infamous title switch where Bill Watts put the title on Simmons at a WCW house show. Eventually, footage of the match was shown on TV but here, we get the full match. Vader wasn’t selling Simmons’ weak-ass kicks and punches at all. Vader had been this dominant force throughout 1992 and noboby thought Simmons had a chance in hell of winning the belt, due to the fact he had been in the upper-mid-card for most of the year. Simmons tried a sunset flip late in the bout which Vader countered by just sitting on his chest. The match itself wasn’t very long, just over ten minutes and moved along at a nice pace. Simmons was on defense for most of the match but got the suprise pin after a big powerslam and the crowd went apeshit. Afterwards, a bunch of dudes such as Tom Zenk, Barry Windham, and Van Hammer came in to celebrate with Simmons. Zenk jumped around like he was trying to dodge traffic and had a feigned ridiculous smile on his face. I saw the phrase “human cage” on the DVD insert and my mind immediately thought wrestlers standing on each others shoulders. However, it turned out to be nothing more than a fancy name for a lumberjack match. After that, I saw the words Vader vs. Steamboat and I thought “Sweet! That’s gonna be a good match!” Well, I was mistaken in that department as well. Don’t get me wrong, Steamboat’s facial sells were great when getting hit with Vader’s tree like forearms and ham hock sized fists. Much like the match with Simmons, Steamboat’s offense wasn’t registering on Vader at all. The crowd was deflated, the wrestlers on the outside got into numerous squabbles (as is the norm for every lumberjack match), and Tony Schiavone seemed very sedated. All of this added up to a less than memorable encounter that went 15 minutes but felt like 40.

The Jarrett/Booker match was set up by Russo during a work/shoot promo (don’t know if it was a work or a shoot, although coming from the mouth of Russo, we’ll never know) that pretty much buried Hulk Hogan. This was typical early-to-mid 2000’s Jarrett … lame crowd brawling, sticking his arm up in the air to kick out of a fall, and shitty punches. Jarrett busted out a piledriver on the announcers table in a random spot. Umm, ok. This also had Russo’s dirty fingerprints all over it … blatant rule-breaking in front of the referee, ref bumps, and a goofy ending. Booker really put forth a good effort but it was negated by Jarrett’s laziness. I enjoyed Rock/Jericho for the most part, however, there were two things that really troubled me. First, a completely random spot with Rock giving Jericho a Rock Bottom through the Spanish announcers table. I think that was put in there just because someone in the back realized “Hey, we don’t have a table spot in one of our main events! Let’s throw a random one in here just for the hell of it.” Second, Stephanie McMahon, looking like a skanky go-go dancer from a bygone era, interfering in the finish for no utter rhyme or reason. The best part about that was when Jericho lunged for her, she ducked, slipped off the ring, and smashed her face into the apron. Other than those two items, the match was really fun. Jericho definitely made the jump from mid-card to main event with his performance here, selling Rock’s limited offense to the best of his ability. Didn’t care much for the finish as I think Jericho would’ve been better served to have won with one of his big moves instead of a lame facebuster on a chair. Rock wasn’t selling any damage on offense at all, not even a well-placed grimace.

Even though I’m a huge RVD fan, even I will admit that he was very sluggish during his last days with WWE. However, I would go so far as to say that this match is one of his top five WWE matches. His offense was clean and crisp and his selling was top notch. He took a hard bump on the floor after missing a somersault dive over the top. HHH bugged me on RVD’s big comeback, constantly bouncing right back up like a rubber dodgeball after RVD would hit a move. RVD got in a kinda sloppy flying forearm over the top rope late in the bout. The standard offense from Trips was made to look phenomenal by RVD whose selling, both physically and facially, as I mentioned before, was top notch. The finish was your standard heel HHH finish circa 2002-04, complete with a telegraphed ref bump. If you’re wondering what I’m referring to, just cue up any HHH match from that era and tell me that a ref bump, Flair, and a sledgehammer don’t come into play in every single one of his matches. Undertaker/Angle has been pimped as one of the best bouts of WWE 2006 and I couldn’t agree with that statement more. The first 15-20 minutes was built around ground work between the two. During one of the sequences on the outside, Angle caught Taker in the ankle lock and didn’t let it go until the ref was near 10. And, unlike the table spot in the Rock/Jericho match, the Angle slam through the Spanish announcers table here didn’t feel forced, instead in fell right in line with what they were doing at the time. It also led to a great tease of a count-out where the ref got to nine and Angle stopped his count. This is where things started to ratchet up as Taker reversed Angle into the steps and landed throat first on a piece of a table after hitting the steps. Great sequence where they reversed each others submissions about three times. Every time Angle would slap on the ankle lock it built more and more drama as to if Undertaker would tap or not. There was one major screw-up where Angle attempted to execute a belly-to-belly suplex from the top rope but instead dropped ‘Taker right on his shoulder. Great finishing sequence where Undertaker had Kurt in a triangle choke and after Kurt’s arm dropped twice, he rolled up the Undertaker in a pin for the win. Great match.

The match from Smackdown was Mysterio’s first title defense since winning it at WrestleMania 22. I’m sure most of you reading this remember Rey’s lackluster run with the belt during the spring of ‘06 but you may not remember this particular match. Orton was on top of his game, delivering sick offense like a Domino’s driver and wearing Mysterio out with trademark chinlocks. Mysterio held his own, executing a springboard senton and a ringpost 6-1-9 before that move became stale. Mysterio ate two sick dropkicks, with the first one sticking out more since he took a hellacious bump to the floor. Mysterio got a couple good nearfall segments that got the crowd pumping. Orton’s staggering sells during the closing moments of the match were fantastic and Rey got some serious height on a springboard leg drop, to which Michael Cole referred as “dropping the dime”. I never want to hear Michael Cole use that reference ever again. This is a match that you should definitely go out of your way to see as it impressed the shit out of me. Closing out the matches I’m reviewing from this set is Cena/Jericho from Survivor Series 2008. This was Cena’s return from yet another neck surgery and Jericho focused the majority of his offense on Cena’s neck region. Cena was selling the cumulative damage well and was getting a move in here and there but the match was all Jericho. There was a good nearfall where Cena hit an F-U for a very close two count. Both guys seemed to be playing it safe here. Jericho applied a modified Walls of Jericho hold where he had a knee on the back of Cena’s neck. Honestly, not really much to see in this match unless you want to watch 15 minutes of John Cena selling like a dead fish and Jericho walking around. Big crowd pop for Cena hitting a second F-U for the title win.

Final Thoughts:
Of the matches I’ve looked at from this set, it’s definitely a mixed bag. I chose these particular matches because either I haven’t seen them at all or I haven’t seen them in a long time. Definitely go out of your way to see anything I rated “6” or above at the top of the article. Gotta say though, I’m glad I rented this from the library and didn’t fork out 25 bucks. Perhaps you should do the same.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Nous observons chaque seconde #7


So, I'm watching ROH Death Before Dishonor VII Night Two (I loathe shows with cumbersome, long titles as such) and lately I've been watching matches in random order off of DVDs for no explicable reason. I click on Tyler Black vs. Tyson Dux, assuming it'd be as bad spot to start as anywhere else, when lo and behold Black comes to the ring wearing a kid's sized maroon Gryffindor (of Harry Potter fame) t-shirt! What is homeboy thinking? Next world's champ? More like next guy to get shoved into a locker...


if he came to the ring sporting that garb, he should have put on the Cloak of Invisibility right on top of it.

Last thing i caught was some random matches being contested over the US title in the late WCW 90's era. 1st thing that caught my eye was the retaining water Bret Hart, dude was so bulky. He squashed DDP in ANOTHER angle where DDP was so injured he couldn't do anything, then saw 2 Luger matches where Bret basically kept him on the ground the whole match with kicks and leglocks. Why does Lex throw his hands in front of his eyes like he was Harvey Dent trying to block some acid when someone punches him in the gut? That ever happen to anyone else in the Universe?


Not sure how the Harry Potter garb fits into his character ... dude should be condemned for sporting that with his emo Hot Topic shirts.

Tim and I were bored tonight so we decided to venture over to the Sorg for the weekly HWA show. I've mentioned this before, but they're up on the fourth floor ballroom and game area which looked like it hadn't been painted in about 20 years. The paint was literally peeling off the ceiling. Show was definitely worth five bucks but not much more. First bout was Nate Flames vs. Aaron Extreme ... both dudes were skinny as fuck and had their spandex hanging off of them. Aaron botched a simple bodyslam and accidentally dumped Flames on his head. Six-Way bout was fine for what it was. Jesse Emerson was over like crazy and looked really good. My main reason for going to the show, Tim Donst, was eliminated about halfway through. Main event was Jon Moxley & Irish Airborne vs. King Vu & Noble Bloods. Started off ok but quickly became a mess. Bunch of legal man issues with some zombie guy interfering and knocking Dave Crist off the top rope.

Picked up the World Heavyweight Title DVD from the library today. Going to watch the documentary and a few select matches off there. Didn't really want to fork out twenty bucks for another lackluster DVD, which has pretty much been the story of all of the title history DVDs. I hope they get the Best of Raw 2009 DVD, don't really want to drop the cash for that one either but I do want to re-watch some of the stuff that's on there.


oh , the Sorg? Anybody blame the ghostly spirits for messing up their undercard spots? I'm not familiar with Tim Donst, but now you've pique my interest. Got any of his stuff I can watch?

The paint was literally peeling off the ceiling

haha, that place is crawling with lead poisoning! Please tell me you heckled the shit out of the Crist boys too, as you're known to do. Let me know how that World Title dvd is, thing i've liked about the Title dvd's is the unique matches they provide.

I caught some of a Toryumon X show, (labeled Toryumon 102?) but it seemed a mix of diff. matches from diff. locales. Opening was the Pineapple Harai team against two luchadors, it had it's moments, nothing on the card really stuck out, it all balanced between being good and not rememorable. CIMA, Doi and Suwa were in a 6 man which was building well but then a dude in a thong was involved and it turned to bad comedy. Also saw Owen v. Edge on Breakdown, in a vacuum the match worked, they both worked hard, not really selling "Attitude" just good fundamentals. I miss the days where two guys were given a chance on a PPV to have a great match, with no storyline needed.


Donst is a Chikara regular and had a feud against former tag partner Hydra in the latter part of last year. My copy of "Man Makes Plans" is currently in circulation and he completely destroys Hydra on that particular show. It also has a pretty good Claudio/Hallowicked main.

Didn't heckle them any really, was just there to sit back and enjoy some low-grade indy action in anticipation for their big show on Friday. Yes, the game room/pool hall we all waited in until the ballroom opened and just rife with shady characters. Did I mention the creepy entrance off Main Street and the ultra shady stairway that we took up to the fourth floor. You owe it to yourself to come out just once and see how completely ridiculous and crusty their set-up is.

Getting ready to cue up Impact and recharge the laptop. Will send some thoughts later on.


Watched the 1/28/10 TV -- the last stuff I'll be viewing in my apartment of two years as I move into our new house today. Superstars was fairly good, the women's tag was a bit of an eyesore, but the rest delivered. Who would have thunk it: Chris Masters vs. Primo vs. Chavo Guerrero in a random three-way match and it was fucking awesome? Seriously, ECW gets all the credit for the best three-way bouts, but, offhand I'm having trouble coming up with a single one that was better than this. Big bumps to the floor, nearfalls, teases, etc. I really liked it. The main, David Hart Smith vs. Matt Hardy, was decent, with the highlight being Matt's consistent arm selling. It kind of reminded me of the Warlord vs. British Bulldog bouts off of old Coliseum Videos.

iMPACT! wasn't as bad as the last few weeks, a step in a better direction with some decent in-ring stuff. The theme seemed to be guys that blew it at the last pay-per-view redeeming themselves in much better matches. Sean Morley vs. Desmond Wolfe was a really good opener, what a commanding performance by Desmond, he's looking confident and measured and this felt right. Daniels and Hernandez both had less than spectacular performances at the pay-per-view, neither really vindicated themselves a la Morley, as Hernandez is furthering his case as most overrated guy in the company, looking like an 8-year old trapped in a large, steroid-fueled man's body. Liked Hamada beating up all the Beautiful People, the Kendrick/Machine Guns vs. Young Bucks/Red sprint was fun while it lasted, but far too short to be memorable. Lastly, Ken Anderson who really came off like shit at the PPV, had a surprisingly enjoyable match with Jarrett, felt borderline '93 USWA, with Jarrett eating lots of punches, extended wristlock sequences, etc.

A good night of wrestling TV, I'd definitely recommend the Superstars three-way, and possibly Val vs. Nigel. Now I'm off to watch Colt Cabana vs. Joey Ryan - No DQ from DBD VII Night 2.


Perhaps I will venture a trek to that sordid Operahouse one day, I don't see it in the very near future however. Cool like to see his work on that show whenever it floats back around, guess I"ll get my library card ready.

I also saw the last 30 minutes of Impact, and I was apalled at the random 2 moves we got as Doug Williams wins the X Title??? What a way to tell you a belt don't mean shit! It was literally 2 moves, and a replay shown in between them and new champ, what a joke. The Bischoff segments, while he's a good performer, felt like they accomplished nothing, and Styles seemed like an out of place fool strutting around the locker room with Flair and bimbos. But, yes i also did enjoy parts of Jarrett v. Anderson, I was more into Jarrett's punching, had that real Watts-esque clubbing to it and Anderson sold them well, the finish was also smooth even though it's been done a million times, they pulled it off well, would like to see more from those two, I actually think Jarrett could really help Anderson if they gave them an extended program but I doubt that will happen.


Watched TAKA Michinoku vs. Shoichi Uchida from the FUTEN show. Nice to see TAKA in a shootstyle setting again. I was real amazed by how terrific TAKA's selling of submissions was, great anguished facials and noise, especially when he was having his leg worked and later while in a crossface-like hold. Uchida sold an enzuguri like Rake Yohn when Bam antiqued him with flour. A quality nine minute fight.

Sitting on the floor in my furniture-less house I wanted to christen it with a special match for its first viewing. Jake Christ vs. "Sexy" Shawn Cook from XCW Mid-West. I love the redneck crowd. Obese lady in white sneakers in the second row grabs the seat next to her to prop her sizable legs on. The thing I don't like about their set-up with only one, lone hard camera, is my favorite aspect is selling and facials, and it makes it a lot more difficult to get a sense for that sort of thing when I feel like I'm watching from the vintage point of a fly on the wall. Cook comes off like a poor man's Mr. Kennedy with a touch of Texas-era Rod Price/Alex Porteau, but kid's got a killer dropkick and a not too shabby crossbody.

Waiting for Duke Energy to come to my place to check out this livewire spouting out of the ground in our backyard so I watch Jado & Tomohiro Ishii vs. Kazuchika Okada & Nobuo Yoshihashi. Ishii gets his nose busted early and looks great spitting out blood. Nubuo sells a Jado clothesline like his soul was just robbed, falling to the mat like a lifeless flesh bag. Could be a good name for a Canadian hardcore band. They'd probably end up pissed at each other, fuck each other's girlfriends' assholes, and break up over Xbox privileges on the tour bus.


I'm taking that idea and making it into a script for NBC, they obviously see crap (Leno) as an asset, maybe they'll run with that fucked up concept and turn it into a situation comedy! Could you see Jado's scrawny ass doing schtick in an apartment setting with fucking Meredith Baxter? Hahaha

i've got a new piece from Champions Carnival coming up, (as well as a piece on last night's Rumble) for the blog, only other stuff I watched was more of WWE's Breakdown show from 98. Scorpio leading Too Cool through a passable match, Droz and Mero bungling more spots than in Sable's last plastic surgery, then onto a fun little stiff fight with Vader and Bradshaw, D'Lo v. Gangrel had a few cool spots, but their was no pace to it at all just two guys doing moves to each other back and forth and then I started this abysmal 3 man cage match with Rock, Shamrock and Foley, a triple abdominal stretch! is this an LSD-induced nightmare or did that spot actually happen? Loads of punches and stupid haircuts, i loved Foley's promo before the match where he brought up a ton of stupid things in life and ended by saying "but nothing is stupider than the People's Elbow, Rock, you're nuts if you think i'm actually going to lay down and let you get over on me with that ridiculous move." Oh inside scripting, as if Foley was vomiting Russo out of his mouth speaking the words himself.

RIP Jacky Boy, loved your Mid-Atlantic shit, your "Lifters" were among the best


I remember not too much good coming out of that Break Down show. Wasn't there a major botch in the Scorpio match where he falls off a chair or something? I remember liking the Bradshaw/Vader match as well. So many random undercard bouts during that era in WWF.

Went to the HWA show last Friday (my third live event in four days) and it was a really good show. It was the biggest crowd I've seen in a long time for them and probably the best show for bell-to-bell action since their glory days of 01-02. I enjoyed parts of the four way bout that featured Tarek the Legend. Seeing a dude named Madness who goes about 300 pounds to a dive over the top rope was pretty wild. The Moxley match was good although Vu didn't seem to have had the same fire and intensity he had in Norwood. Tim Donst tried to carry Dustin Rayz to a good match but Rayz' work was sloppier than an overstuffed burrito from Chipotle. The main event really delivered and as just as wild as I thought it would be. Irish Airborne actually put forth a good effort. Drake Younger was stiffing people with chairs and had a nice brawl with a member of the Hybrids in the bar which culminated with a piledriver on top of the bar. I didn't like the false finish they did with the Hybrids and Airborne just to eliminate the other two teams. Thus far, it's on my match of the year list but probably won't stay there long. For the record, Longworth Hall is a great venue for them and hopefully they will run there again.

Got three matches left from Clash #35 to watch and then I'll move on to one of the earlier ones. Really enjoying the Clash project thus far. Looking at the cards for some of the shows from the early 90s and they sound completely wild. As Dean Moriarty would say ... "Yes! Yes!"


Been a crazy week, moving and settling into our new house, so I've mostly watched TV stuff. Countdown to UFC 109 got me more interested in Marquardt vs. Sonnen and Thiago vs. Swick than the main event, but no mention of the Demian Maia or Trigg vs. Sera fights. Last night's ECW on SyFy was a mixed bag; liked Archer vs. Benjamin more the two times they've done it on Superstars, Archer needs better transitionary stuff on offense, and a more definable character. I hadn't been impressed with Trent Beretta before, but loved the way he sold the knockout kick of Tatsu. Main event was typical Christian formula, just with a shitty run-in finish, so nothing memorable there. Biggest thing coming out of the show was McMahon coming out saying ECW would be gone in three weeks. Good riddance. He said something new and evolutionary would be taking its spot -- the boys of FCW playing laser tag, perhaps? That'd be sci-fi. Also, been watching Silent Library again, they've had new episodes daily for awhile now, mostly featuring bands as guests. I love seeing people get hurt and eating gross stuff inside a public library, a genius concept, all thanks to the masochists and evil geniuses of Japan. Speaking of TV, Adam, what's the ETA on my copy of last week's SmackDown!? I'm looking forward to seeing how much better Mysterio looked than Michaels.

Been watching lots of Clash of the Champions stuff for our upcoming massive project. For those that haven't heard, which is likely everybody, we're all watching, reviewing, and ranking all 300+ CotC matches for a forthcoming series of gigantic posts. So, start preparing yourself now for our thoughts on Equalizer vs. Shockmaster, amongst other fantastic bouts. I downloaded the newest CMLL and Perros del Mal stuff available -- trying to stay relatively on-top of pimped lucha in '10. IWRG is showing up constantly on YouTube, too; so, there's no excuse not to watch some of the best wrestling in the world right now. While the Internet in general has apparently given up on Japanese stuff, I'm excited for '10, hoping some quality stuff surfaces in the months to come. It's definitely a superb time to be a fan and purveyor of the grappling arts.


oh i love silent library, watched a whole marathon one slow Sunday afternoon, great stuff.
Archer is a boring weirdo, evidenced by larger than normal Tramp Stamp
Michaels v. Mysterio was good, even the angle afterwards made sense and made me curious about the whole main event scene coming up.


Brian, your copy of Smackdown will be ready in the next day or so.

I'm almost finished with the second disc of matches on the History of the World Title DVD. There's only a handful of matches I wanted to watch and review and I'm about halfway through those selections. The documentary portion was pretty bad. It completely glossed over WCW and WWE and focused more on the early days and the NWA title changes in the 70s. The narrator said "In the late 90s, there were simply too many title changes to keep track of". That was their excuse for glossing over everything. Only seen one recommendable match on in thus far, Buddy Rogers vs. Pat O'Connor from 1961. Everything else has been pretty hit and miss.


So, besides ROH on HDNet and the new Best of Pride Fighting Championships, my favorite weekly show is easily Superstars due to the wrestling/bullshit ratio being strongly in its favor. Almost finished with this week's episode and am really liking it. The women's tag to open wasn't do anyone any favors, although, Alicia Fox I feel has tons of potential, lots of inherent personality and good heel timing, with better opponents and programs she could be a memorable diva. Then, surprisingly, we had one of the better TV bouts of '10. Evan Bourne vs. Carlito! Evan's best in the co. right up there with v. Morrison (ECW on Sci-Fi) and v. Hardy (Cyber Sunday), and easily Carlito's best in-ring performance since '07. Carlito was selling the hell out of Bourne's leg kicks, he also sold a flying knee out on the floor amazingly, built very nicely and given plenty of time, really nice nearfall sequences, etc. The main event is a six-man tag which I'll be watching later tonight along some with January '10 NOAH shows I burnt.

WWE Royal Rumble 2010

Happy Birthday Savannah!

1) Christian v. Ezekiel Jackson- 5
2) The Miz v. MVP- 2
3) Sheamus v. Randy Orton- 4
4) Michelle McCool v. Mickie James- 1
5) Undertaker v. Rey Mysterio- 6
6) Royal Rumble Match- 5

It's Rumble time folks! Let's get started..............
Christian was the perfect Coach handbag to Jackson's power game (meaning compliment) He got the most out of Jackson we've seen so far with gnarly bumping and just being there in front of Jackson as he did was he does best. Plus his half slap/half punch was on the mark each and every time. Some awkward positioning of his moves will come with time, unfortunately, we lose Regal within 5 minutes on his only role of the night, they've wasted so much valuable time with such a great performer there. Flash pin finish a little strange but i'd like to see more of these two.

Our tacked on match was as appetizing as a live goldfish, MVP's face offense makes him look like Gumby with the sloppy execution, Miz is one of the only bright spots on Raw nowadays but besides his swank corner clothesline and smart package rollup, this match offered nothing besides confirmation we'll see more of it in the future, Awesome, really cool, i'm really excited....stoked, looking forward to it......bright future, the prospect of more is really........yeah.

I was pleasantly surprised with the results here, Cool limb work from both men, Sheamus backbreaker made everyone in the room cringe, Orton's usual off the charts physical selling, even storyline development going forward, so the match did everything it was supposed to do. Sheamus is so damn pale he's near invisible, we all kidded about Jason and Grant finding EVP's of bad Sheamus promos, and of course then explaining exactly what an EVP is for the 1,000 th time.

Women's match was your feel good moment of the year, bwahahaha, even though I have found the angle to be cruel and unnecessary, the pig suit stuff makes me exponentially more interested in Layla. I'm sure we haven't seen the last of this either.

Really awesome Title match here, these two guys are both severely banged up, total Mel Gibson Lethal Weapon types, but even still they push themselves to turn in great performances. Rey from the beginning was taking huge scary falls to get over Taker's ominence, (note to the director: please shy away from Taker close ups though, his strange chin and ex-tattoos are an eyesore) Awesome cry of anguish on knee being dropkicked from Taker and even to my amazement, he gave Rey a ton of neat opportunities to work him over, both men brought their A game and stole this show.

Onto the Rumble, every year they seem to go a different direction, this year there was no attempt at builidng the ring up full of guys, which always gives the fans more to look at but this was more about individual performances. Punk owned the first half but as much as I respect his mic work, the Rumble is the last place I want to hear some windbag guffaw it up for several minutes on end. Beth Phoniex surprised everyone and is probably now eligible to give amazing blow jobs after Punk busted her front teeth out with a sick GTS.....yes, i said it. Let's just breeze through some highlights quickly, Carlito looked like hell, weak ass punches, pitiful backcrackers left and right, he looks like a wet chichiuaua these days, ship him out. Matt Hardy getting only 10 seconds of action was a crock, HHH was completely forgettable....wait what did he contribute again? and then Shawn, who the Rumble story revolved around, was really unprofessional here, just tossing guys with no creativity or thought going into how they went out, 3 or 4 rising stars of the company discarded like his Vacation Bible School schedules and empty lydocaine needles. His frustration and anguish out of losing was quite well done and managed to pull the crowd into the match in an emotional way they normally wouldn't be, but that's all i can really commend him for. Also sure he wasn't happy with Cena dropping HHH on his face. No real stand out performance to speak of, i liked little things Cody Rhodes, Kofi Kingston, R Truth and John Cena all did, everyone else was kind of stalwart, I mean Cena, Batista and Edge as final 3 was almost like a B card show triple threat main event that I didn't want to see. Off hand, i guess i'd give best elimination to Zach Ryder, who tried to recreate Taka's face first fall in 2000 with a lesser degree of success. Overall, it didn't leave a terrible taste in my mouth like last year's Rumble match (maybe due to the excess of Gold Star Chili dip I was eating) but this doesn't break top 10 Rumble's either.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

All Japan Champions Carnival Part II

Before the show started we get footage of Jumbo coming out for a show, meet and greet with fans and then hitting 3 moves in a geezer 6 man tag that more resembled a Monty Python stage play than a pro wrestling match.

1) Jun Akiyama v. Doug Furnas- 4
This was going to be a fun match, Akiyama has shown a lot of fire in this tourney so far, thing that dragged this match down was Furnas on offense, he wasn't his usual dynamic self, lots of boring grinding submissions and no power moves to wear Jun down with. Akiyama's comeback and flash pin was slightly inspired but not enough to pull this from the near dregs.

2) Toshiaki Kawada/ Akira Taue/ Yoshinari Ogawa v. Takao Omori/ Stan Hansen/ Giant Baba- 4
This was also a very underwhelming tag bout, with Kawada and Hansen working the majority of it. Ogawa didn't impress here, very weak on his spots and had no sense of direction in the ring, like he was wandering through a garden hedge maze. Baba was Baba, no getting around that, but the other parts of the teams didn't hold up much on their end. And this went way too long, like it was thrown together for a spot on the card.

3) Mitsuharu Misawa v. Kenta Kobashi- 8
This match showcased why these two are so great, I marked out with all the awesome counters they had to each other, and not just "you duck this clothesline, i'll duck yours" stuff, i mean intricate moves that were countered to the next, setting up the match as two serious rivals that knew, truly dug and feared the other's work. Misawa's elbows and Kobashi's chops.....does it even need to be said how murderous they were? One neat thing here is there werent a lot of covers, which wouldn't seem to make sense, but here it was clearly laid out as if they were only wasting time on a cover after a big move and they stuck with it the whole time. Misawa's vocal yelling every time his chest was blistered with one of Kenta's limbs resonated with me and Kobashi's "O-face" sell let me look away from his 80's glam-rock hair at the time. And the dude was wearing orange, what kind of shit was he into at this time, Velvet Underground and Pixie dust parties? It doesn't matter because this was a war and made me seriously want to see their other work together.

4) Doug Furnas/ Dan Kroffat v. Kenta Kobashi/ Tsyoshi Kikuchi- 4
We get the first lockup and the last 10 minutes of this match, giving you no context at all about what happened here. All we know is there's a long extremely hot finishing sequence that happens. Kikuchi is one tough bastard, if more charisma could have been a player possibly. Reverse superplex that beats him could have had him eating through a straw if not more careful, Kobashi not as prevalent here as usual.

5) Dan Spivey v. Stan Hansen- 3
Former partners and I like how Spivey takes it right to Hansen. He just looks like an old wounded dog, getting punched in the eye repeatedly, with no answer. Spivey looked good here in his short spurts but it didn't take long for him to fall to a lariat, would have fit perfectly on a Raw as a fun short tv match, anything to take 3 minutes from a DX promo.

6) Mitsuharu Misawa v. Jun Akiyama- 5
This had the feeling of a New Japan match. Akiyama was all Achilles right from the start, just blowing through Misawa with big moves. Misawa always ducks outside if in trouble but here Jun followed him and never let up. Really good back and forth and hot near falls with Jun looking every bit as if he belonged in the ring. Not sure what the submission aspect of Misawa's tourney performance is, it had no real build to it and left me feeling unsatisfied, like a salami sandwhich or a Elmore Leonard novel.

7) Akira Taue v. Toshiaki Kawada- 5
This was main event with the fans buzzing to see these two lock up, the results were mixed. Kawada ate a nasty shot right from the get go that made the knees weak and put him down. They weren't holding back on the kicks and punches, really reving up the fans and the action. Long rest hold spots felt very strange though, as if they had nothing else to do or didn't want to do it, outside brawl was kind of tame too, like the 3rd season of Animaniacs, when it was only on during Sat. mornings. Finish happened with no fanfare and I feel like we hadn't seen the best of what they had to offer.