This is the precursor to the still ongoing yearly Champion Carnival event pitting a certain number of wrestlers in 2 different blocks and earning points through wins and draws. These are 7 of the selected bouts from this very special event.
1) Dick Murdoch v. Anton Geesnick- 3
After just finishing Zombieland and seeing savory Emma Stone, staring at barrel chested sweaty monster Geesnick isn't my idea of a fun 10 minutes. His gimmick is martial arts guy trying to adapt to pro wrestling. They trade hiptosses in a strange but kind of oddly fun section that goes way too long, almost like a training school session, but Murdoch gets huge air on each one of his and lets out a fun redneck bellow to boot. Not much to be said here, liked both guys testing each other out on the mat for a few minutes before a downright shitty countout finish even worse than Hornfondle and Dick Wiggler from the Raw just posted a few days ago.
2) Mr. Wrestling v. Don Leo Jonathan- 5
I liked Jonathan's style, he's a large man but you wouldn't know it from watching him, he uses momentum several times to sneakly slip out of holds or pins and puts the pressure on the other guy. He does a complete 180 over the top rope back into the ring with a tomahawk chop and a front flip as a spot, just all over the place. Oddly i was watching him work a side headlock and it deja vu'd me back to Jack Swagger from Raw last week, no difference. Wrestling wasn't as impressive, he bumped good, something Don Leo was sorely lacking but Mr. Wrestling didn't have much good offense, save for his famous kneelift nor did he do much with his time on the offensive, kind of leaving the match in limbo w/o Jonathan's posturing. He had to break for a rope grab but just snapped his elbow off on Wrestling's mask in a dick move that had me snickering.
3) Dusty Rhodes v. Hiro Matsuda- 3
The 8 minutes this went I was into it, both guys using smooth work on the ground and able to work around each other into transitioning holds like they were a Malenko. Loved Dusty's reversal out of a anklepick with an armbar. Cool dropkicks by Matsuda and he sold Dusty's famous elbow drop as if Bertha Faye had just dropped a Cleveland Steamer on his chest; utter pain and dismay. Terrible finish ruined what i was hoping was building towards a 30 minute classic.
4) The Destroyer v. Great Kusatsu- 4
The opening was dreadfully slow, Destroyer settling in on Kusatsu with a hard headlock that less resembled something athletic and more resembled an uncle roughing up his nephew. A very Mich Pro spot of both guys trying to hit the elbow drop on the leg by bouncing off the bottom rope, and a Thez Press that would make Steve Austin toast the masked man with a cold one.....Welch's Grape juice that is.
5) Horst Hoffman v. Jumbo Tsuruta- 6
Don't know where Horst came from (or went to; possibly a Waffle House chef in Des Moines) but he fought like an old shooter from the past. For a guy with a porn stache, he had stellar takedowns, smooth as butterscotch, it's funny because his judo throws were so slick, but when he tried a suplex, Jumbo fell on top of him like two lovers tussling on a bed on a bad 80's "will they/ won't they" sitcom. Jumbo was really young here, but his instincts were spot on, and had the suplexes down. Awesome mat work section early on that trumps even the most pimped IWRG handhelds. Transition into ending just worked. Love to see a rematch
6) Dory Funk jr v. Baron Von Rashcke- 5
I've never seen Baron look any younger than 54 till this match. He did some heel stooging as often as he could, pulling trunks on a leverage hold for no reason, loud whining during armlocks, some cool touches, i even enjoyed his animated selling. Funk seemed subdued, not working at his usual tempo, but really great spot where the toe hold and the claw both went on simultaneously.
7) Harley Race v. Giant Baba- 7
A moveable Baba? This is a first for me, the guy was bumping around the ring more than a 4 Square ball. Race was liberal in his high octane offense, especially enjoyed the large Gotch piledriver. Baba's weary facials were so very Tommy Lee Jones-esque in "No Country" and that's a compliment. I liked his offense, not that it was showy, but he knew when to pull what out, like the sick backbreaker that would have made Bane blush about 25 minutes in, then the appropriate cover afterwards. The match built more than any other one on this disc so I scored it higher, the fuctionality of the story was much more solid than the other matches. Race delivered his trademark brutal knees and elbows and Baba more than held his own in a damn fine match.