1) Stan Hansen v. Terry Funk ( Rumble on the River, 1990) - 2
This was from a home released video, evidenced by graphics that even Mario Paint could surpass. The quality of this whole tape was terrible, and the only person I could clearly make out was SD Jones and that's from watching his entertaining, yet near indechipherable HOF induction for Tony Atlas in 2006. This match is plagued by awful camera work that often makes you feel more like you were on the set of JJ's Cloverfield than watching a wrestling match. You're constantly battling the screen trying to find the wrestlers and avoid looking at the grotesque fans attending. To give the people their money's worth, Funk does brawl with Hansen down to a mucky creek and get bodyslammed in. This was reminsicent of his brawl with Candido sans horse.
2) Aaron Arbo v. A.R. Fox v. Unbreakable Andy (CZW Swinging for the Fences, 04/10/10)- 3
So this is the opener for this big show from the Hardcore fed, let's see how the curtain jerkers perform. Well, sort of how I thought it would. Fox is uber athletic, problem is all his moves require setups from his opponents that look so unnatural this feels like physical performance theater, and if so where's my complimentary dinner? Aarbo is years away from being a competent performer, he blows a backwards hurricanrana spot that Brian and I pulled off first time back in 2001. Unbreakable feels totally like a former gymnast who was talked into some of his Call of Duty buddies into trying out pro wrestling, that being said he has a sick bumping style of a very young RVD. Fox couldn't stay off the top rope for nothing and it was pissing me off. The announcers blew him up like he had just become a giant star by winning an opening 5 minute 3 way.
3) Rock n' Roll Express v. Ole & Arn Anderson (Steel Cage Match, Starrcade 86)- 6
Arn Anderson is just the Man, period. I loved the spot he and Gibson set up early on where Gibson steps a bit too high up on the corner and Arn just bashes his leg into the cage. A few hiccups later on and Morton comes in for THE QUINTESSENTIAL MORTON COMEBACK. It was actually quite beautiful. The punch your heart out sequences he does with both Arn & Ole were dramatic stuff and they sold like outclassed prizefighters. The Spinebuster Arn pulls off here should be placed in a dictionary as the definition of the hold. Fun ending too.
4) Makoto Hashi/ Naoki Tanizaki/ PAC v. KAGETORA/ Akira Tozawa/ Mark Haskins (Dragon Gate- Open the Compilation Gate 03/22/10)- 5
Hashi, I believe, is a NOAH castoff but he looks good here. His tornado clothesline looks like it hurts, unlike the sloppy DDP version. Also dug his balls out swan dive to the outside. PAC still needs to learn the art of selling. Not sure who Haskins is, but he's got fire and he and Hashi work well together, as does a pinch of parsely on your turkey sandwhich. There is only one Dragon Gate, for better or worse, but this match is better put together and less on excess than a lot of other fare. Hashi was my MVP though, really enjoyed his work here.
5) Shawn Michaels v. Marty Jannetty (Steel Cage Match, 1993)- 4
First off, some funny banter between Gorilla and Johnny Polo including topics such as both men losing many cage matches,Stallone's Over the Top and The Doors. Jannetty's dropkick is as unfinished as most Kevin Smith comic book runs. That being said, I like his selling when hitting the cage, makes Shawn's look sissy, he blocks every single time, then always looks behind him before he bumps. They don't seem to have much chemistry, but both do take a giant bump off the top rope.
6) AJ Styles/ Tomko/ Team 3-D v. Christian Cage/ Kevin Nash/ Rhino/ Sting (TNA Impact 03/28/08)- 4
Christian and AJ start out hot, great chemistry between them. Nash comes in al fired up but loses his steam after one lockup, haha. Bubba Dudley trapping Rhino in a body scissors makes me feel as uncomfortable while at the zoo and the two male lions start ass screwing. Styles old heel persona made him look foolish but what a professional to still keep excelling, his dropkick as crisp as ever. The gore is the most flaccid move in wrestling. How funny Sting is still doing the same hot spots of splashing multiple guys in the ring after 20 years? Tomko is terrible, he immediately gets up after the Death drop, then Sting has to push him back down. The ending sprint of everyone hitting their big moves was a fun way to end this though.
7) Marco Corleone v. Tinieblas, jr (Lucha Libre USA debut show)- 3
I wasn't real impressed with Marco's selling and movement while doing so until he took that nasty bicycle kick. Love his left hands though, they're like a Hersheiser fast pitch coming at you. Nice air on the dive outside. The seconds were a waste of time. Really uncreative finish too.