Friday, August 27, 2010

ROH Death Before Dishonor VIII

Eight years and counting from Toronto. Let's get this shit going~!

Kevin Steen vs. El Generico, Grudge Match - 7

In a feud that's been building and building, Steen and Generico finally go at it at a major event in ROH history. Really enjoyed the intensity in the match -- especially Steen driving Generico into his knee, countering the tornado DDT. I love Generico's selling - particularly when he arches his back, winces and flops around like a fish out of water. I love this guy. Steen being the big asshole really fits his on-screen persona well and is believable, blowing snot in people's faces. Watching this match, I knew they were going to keep building and building this match up to a great climax like a roller-coaster slowly climbing up a hill. These two just know and work each other so well and it really shows in the ring. Great emotion and intensity.

Kenny King & Rhett Titus vs. Cheech and Cloudy - 4

I'm not too high (no pun intended, C&C) on the team of King/Titus... mainly Rhett. King seems competent in the ring and is pretty sound technically, but I can't get behind Rhett and I can't put my finger on why. I really liked the showcase of C&C in this match, especially when Cheech hit an Owen Hart-esque rope-assisted arm drag. C&C had some good offense, match was pretty good. That last one was a hard one to follow.

Austin Aries vs. Delirious - 3

Aries took green mist to the eyes pre-bell. This should prove to be interesting. Aries worked 'blinded' by the mist for about five minutes, at one time mistake the ref for Delirious. Had to know that was going to happen. Aries hit the rail in a failed heat-seeking missile that looked like it hurt like a sonofabitch. Liked Delirious' particularly insane performance after Aries tried to hit on Daisey, but the match didn't flow and seemed choppy.

Gauntlet Action - 4

I forgot Tyson Dux existed. So, is only going to be on the Canada shows? Match started with just seeing if Dux could beat Edwards. Some good wrestling in the match, but I felt like the match didn't click -- like both guys just went out and went through the motions. Again, the wrestling was good, which is probably what earned it a decent rating on my part (for the whole gauntlet), but I felt the only reason people cared about this match was because Dux is a Canadian. Divari came out next, who also seemed to be running the ropes and didn't show any real emotional at all. Zzzzzzz. Colt came out next to my dismay. The crowd really likes him and he's good at comedy wrestling, but I prefer Matt Classic. Gotta admit that Colt's good when he wrestles hardcore wrestling, though. Corino came out (highly recommend Colt vs. Corino Better Friends Stiffer Enemies 2) and wrangled with Colt for a bit. Corino's selling was pretty good. He's getting pretty old, so I can't imagine he had to sell too much as he was probably out of breath getting to the ring. Roderick came out and decimated Colt. He deserves better than this. Damn, that was a long match.

Kenny Omega vs. Christopher Daniels - 6

Some great chain wrestling to start followed by Daniels dominating Omega with some really smooth and methodical offense. Omega's selling was better here than I've seen him before. His selling made it seem like he was on the brink of exhaustion, which I thought he conveyed well. I thought Daniels' Arbian moonsault into a crossface and the STO into a Koji Klutch were really awesome and smooth. Great build to the match, starting out slow and dominating and building to a fun climax with believable nearfalls.

Briscoes vs. Kings of Wrestling - 8

Apparently the Kings of wrestling attacks the Brisco's father on HDNet, so there was heat going into this match adding the already intense Briscoes. I can't figure out how to spell "Briscoes" if you couldn't tell. My favorite part of this match was the brawling involved. Mark got juice early on and Claudio kept attacking the laceration with his elbow. Fuck yes. The crimson masks were coming out early and it only added to the intensity of the match. The intensity was brought to a new level when Hero wrapped a cord around Jay's throat around the ring post outside. Jay looked the like the victim of a hanging. Also, when you bring a fire extinguisher into a match, you take that shit to a whole other level. The table work in this match was also well-done. Great fucking match~!

Tyler Black vs. Davy Richards - 6

I'm preparing for a no-sell fest here. Cornette was putting over ROH saying the fans were allowed to express their opinions ("Let's go Tyler" or "Fuck you, Tyler"). HHH jokes were made, sports-entertainment was brought up, etc, etc. I think the fans are either burned out on Tyler or never liked him in the first place because Davy was being cheered for by 80% or greater of the audience. When I looked at my DVD player seeing that there was 45 minutes left at the start of the match, I couldn't help but roll my eyes in thinking that we're going to see another 'epic' Tyler Black match. There were some cool sequences and transitions in this match (such as a Yakuza kick into a rubix cube). Cornette's commentary was entertaining -- like the exact opposite of this Hogwood fellow. The match saw both guys hitting the same shit we've seen 100 times already, but the reckless abandon and crowd reaction was pretty awesome. Tyler's selling while in the cloverleaf was some of the best I've seen out of him in recent memory. Davy's counter to the Pele kick was awesome, as was Tyler's sell of the ankle lock. I think the most surprising aspect of this match was the selling by both guys -- actually really blew me away. People who watch this match will probably think this match was a lot better than I did, and while I did enjoy the mystery of who might win, I'm just so burned out on both of these guys, but I still think both of them are great performers.

Eight years and ROH continues to deliver with the annual Death Before Dishonor. I'd recommend this event -- a really fun watch.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Ryouji Sai v. Daisuke Sekimoto (Zero One, 04/29/2009)-3

Hey NHO fans,
I wanted to post something up before I begin my 5 day vacation (incl. a trip to Chicago) since it will be basically my first full one all year. As we near 1,000 posts on our beloved blog, I'm reminded of how much great wrestling I've seen in sessions either for reviews or just for pleasure with the guys, but with the good, come the bad and downright terrible.

Zero One, for some reason, holds a place in my heart mainly for being the company one of my favorite performers, Mr. Hashimoto, built from the ground up, so I always like to find what they're up to. This is from last April (courtesy of Brian's awesome BMD discs) and if this is any indication of the nature of the company, time to take a burial plot next to Shinya himself.

This match is every bit 25 minutes, and goes through the gammet of puro stuff throughout, none of it good, except marginally the ending. The beginning matwork stuff was as genuine as an E-card. Both of these guys are guilty as charged of putting forth no emotion whatsoever, and unlike a good 3 course meal or a Paul Auster novel, this slow burn was felt like a day in Hell. No matter what they did to each other, they both left these stoic faces that were more granite than the creepy statues on Easter Island.

There were some real embarrassing spots, like the running face first into the wall in the cheap seats to the eternally long superplex where both men fuddled with getting the other in position like someone trying to fish their car keys out of an extremely tight pair of pants. The ending had some key moments though, about the only thing either man did well (Sai- Double foot stomps from high above, Sekimoto- deadly clotheslines) but was nothing special. Loved how Sai held onto the ropes and bit them to not get Germaned at the end too. So, leave this one in the dowloadable folder should you come across it online and just grab any and all Atlantis. have agood weekend all.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

TNA Xplosion 7/28/2010

1. Desmond Wolfe & Magnus vs Suicide & Amazing Red - 3

We got some chain wrestling from Magnus and Suicide to start. This is at least the third guy in the Suicide outfit and they need to let that character die. Red and Wolfe gave us an ROH showcase, fast-paced out of the gates, with Red utilizing his quickness and kicks. The return from the commercial break saw the Red/Suicide team busting out some double-team maneuvers, nice timing, but likely not of the level we'll see from Generation ME later. Magnus did a good job jawing with the crowd, he's still learning, and showing more of an updside. Wolfe and Magnus pinball Red knocking him back-and-forth with European uppercuts in a neat moment. I wonder if Nigel is happy with his decision to go to TNA; he had an opportunity to work elsewhere for the biggest company in the world, instead, he's performing on a show that isn't even syndicated in the country of its origin. I think the Suicide action figure would show more personality and emotion taking bumps than the real one does. The finish is essentially a Kojima "Koji Cutter" by Wolfe while Magnus holds the opponent's legs elevated -- could work in moderation, but likely is better suited on the PS2 than in reality.

2. Orlando Jordan & Eric Young vs Generation ME - 4

Eric starts off by running around to random corners and tagging different people, seemingly more perplexed and confused than former NHO staffer Adam when presented with the dilemma of whether to move in with his girlfriend. The Bucks' trademark high flying offense was on display, dives to the floor, etc. although guys like Kevin Steen and Scott Lost were better bases for that sort of stuff than Jordan and Young. Jordan slowed it down with some quality arm work on Max Buck, nice ability to emote the pain by Max without overacting, and an enjoyable change of pace. I think they should really push the creepiness quota of Orlando's up a few more notches. Young plays a believable goof and imbecile, but, I wonder how much of that is actually acting? The match ended with "More Bang for Your Buck", which is, a rolling fireman's carry slam by Matt, followed by a 450° splash by Nick, then finished with a moonsault off the top by Matt. Got all that? I liked it slightly more than the opener, it's shift changes weren't smooth or graceful, and the whole "Young as moron" subplot didn't do any favors, but still shined in moments when Generation ME could do what they do best, i.e. graceful aerial work and sublime sympathetic selling.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

ROH Final Battle 2008

As we near our 1,000th post here on NHO, I've noticed we've digested quite a bit of Ring of Honor, both sweaty, fetid Feinstein and goofy, Hawaiian-shirted adorned Silkin eras and their big year end show would be a nice capstone to include as we count down to that milestone.

1) Claudio Castagnoli v. Kenny Omega- 4
Omega was wrestling with the enthusiasm of a lonely coroner exhuming the corpse of a busty prostitute on a skeleton staffed Friday night 3rd shift. He had a Mary Poppins like bounce in all his movements, whether selling like Dave England stuck in a tire on every big move or just bursting all over Claudio with his sweet missile dropkick and other fun moves. Claudio on the other hand, was just milling through this match with no charisma and low marks on selling. It would be like trying to use a dildough on a boulder. His most amusing facial expression came after Omega did a corkscrew outside and landed on his knee as he grimaced like he swallowed a moldy oyster. Finish was cool though, nice little surprise.

2) Rhett Titus v. Chris Hero v. Necro Butcher v. Jerry Lynn- 5
this is going to flow strangely.....has any of these 4 corners matches ever been rememberable?.....I enjoyed Hero's entourage gimmick more than any of the 20 times they did it in ECW.....Rhett is getting heckled like a first timer at Go Bananas!....Necro & Hero exchange some real strikes that i dig....Lynn looks inept during the first few sequences, but really goes on a tear towards the end, incl. a scintillating hurricanrana.....Necro's off the apron moments later looked as graceful as a 3 legged dog trying to save a baby from a burning building....funny moment when Titus wasn't paying attention as he kept punching Necro tied in the ropes and he missed, so Necro just laughed at him.....okay next

3) Jimmy Jacobs/ Delirious v. Kevin Steen/ El Generico- 5
This was building up pretty well actually, after the Champs started rolling through the challengers like apparently Andre could a 24 case of imported beer or a whole roll of toilet paper at one sitting. Some of the knee work on Steen looked forced since he was so much bigger than them but I liked the Age acting like a pack of ants pulling him down when trying to make the hot tag. A lot of Age of Fall stuff melds together in my mind, but the Daizee storyline sticks out a little, mostly for the jeans she was wearing. Match needed to end about 3 minutes earlier and would have been a 6, but we see Jacobs holding Generico down in a headlock outside while seemingly tickling him in a strange moment. The champs put on a devastating combo to take it home.

4) American Wolves & Go Shiozaki v. Roderick Strong/ Erick Stevens/ Brent Albright (New York Street Fight)- 5
Another match that barely misses the mark, the beginning was pretty sloppy by all rights, with everyone in their favorite pair of Sunday jeans or gym shorts throwing meat hooks at each other. Edwards was the MVP for sure, and looked especially good once back in the ring, liked how he used the chair as a fucking guillotine on perennial disappointment Albright. The 2 table bumps were both brutal in their own way even though the first one didn't really have much of a point. The thing that had me generally vexed was nearly everyone just ignoring punches to get to the next spot but in a street fight, if you don't have punches, you don't have shit.

5) Kensuke Sasaki/ Katsuhiko Nakajima v. Briscoe Brothers- 5
This was a war of attrition to say the least. At times, it was a nice give and take of devastating power moves, at others it was a souless tag match using a tried and true strong style of move after move with not a lot of story or selling going on, except for keeping Sasaki strong and pushing the fact Nakajima is a prodigy, but the problem there is he's had so many stronger performances in Japan that would push home that fact better than this match. The Briscoes are known for this type of match a lot of times, and they didn't disappoint here. But there was a rare factor for these 4 athletes locking it up and just bruising each other.

6) Tyler Black v. Austin Aries- 5
These guys look like former goth brothers, Aries has him in the charisma department though, and also the wrestling. When they finally passed the introduction stage, I didn't like the way either guy punched, even chopped, which if you think about it a wrestling chop is ridiculous enough already but these guys made a fake fighting move look even worse. I've just never been a Black fan, I don't like the way he takes moves at all. That doesn't discount the opening feeling out process which went rather well, and great crowd heat. Real crazy F5 bump on the apron by Aries; something a masochist like me can respect. I'm really not a fan of Black now that he's doing all these AJ spots in a row. Aries is great though, loved how he sold the beating by falling off the apron before the 450, then still wins with it.

7) Nigel McGuinness v. Noamichi Marufuji (ROH Championship) - 7
This was something to watch, the best element of it was the play off of each other's counters all throughout. Nigel kept up his end but Marufuji was really excelling here, save that terrible sell of the Tower of London on the apron. But there was a bunch of stuff I really dug in this, such as Marufuji's cobra clutch triangle like submisssion; fuck a front headlock that Matt Huges pulled off as this unknown hold, this shit was as rare as Jimmy Hoffa, the Eva Mendes sex tape, or an intelligent member of the Palin family. The sliced bread on the apron was beyond words, suffice to say It could shake me all night long. to quote one of my daughter's favorite Disney films, "Winnie the Pooh's Grand Adventure", on a scale of 1 to 10, this was very good.

8) Takeshi Morishima v. Bryan Danielson (Fight Without Honor)- 9
First off, the highlight video alone was a marvel of stiffness, so this rightfully felt like a true main event for the biggest show of the year. Danielson comes out of the dark to kickstart this and is just a whole factory of intensity, working 24 hour shifts, pumping out intensity by the bucketloads and even more useless, trite Twilight merch. Morishima is heavy, like described in that Collective Soul song, and isn't bumping well, so it seems like he'll just beat Dragon's ass like no other can for a while, which is working quite well. Mori's clotheslines are an instant 4 Advil Migraines. What a crazy suicide dive by Dragon; too bad Davey Richards made it as exciting as a McDonald's Double Cheeseburger. The steel chain was a prop I was really excited about in this match, i mean ever since Valentine and Piper bludgeoned each other with it back in 83, it's been one of the nastiest weapons to use, if done right, more violent and less visceral than a ladder or table or what have you. Wow, an insane battle, thought Dragon's triangle hold looked a little loose, but the way they brought this home, using the chain on the elbow is a devastating ending and brought a tremendous feud home. Give me this shit over the Dusty- Road Warriors heel turn any day.
Sidenote: when the Miz said he finally saw Danielson's indy stuff and wasn't that impressed, did he watch this fucking match? or just another rerun of I Love New York?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Update: 24 hr. of wrestling

As mentioned here last week, just wanted to update everyone, right now it looks like Saturday, Oct. 16 is the day we'll be watching 24 consecutive hours of wrestling and doing live updates here on the blog throughout the maddness. Here's a sneak peak at some of the stuff on the agenda that day:

First-ever "NHO Day" - AAA to wXw -Oct. 16, '10

AAA Triplemania XVI
AJW 5/26/91 and misc. matches
WCW Great American Bash '92
JAPW 12th Anniversary Show
AJPW Crossover 2010 (7/4/10)
WWE Judgment Day '04
wXw: The Vision
and much, much more!

WWF Royal Rumble 1990

The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers vs. The Bushwhackers - 4

Completely disgusting New Zelanders vs. the stuck-up eastern Canadians. A lot of stalling in this match by both the Rougeaus and the Bushwhackers -- took about five minutes for anything to really happen. Luke bit the butt of the referee, who totally no-sold it, which was slightly annoying. Loved the heel antics of the Rougeaus - choking with the tag rope, distracting the ref while the other interfered... good stuff. I can't believe how much the people of Orlando are behind the crazy Sheephearders. The hot tags on the 'Whackers' part got insane pops. Maybe they just hate the Rougeus a lot.

Lanny Poffo vs. Brutus Beefcake - 3

The match started with a lot of odd prancing... hopefully this doesn't set the tone for the rest of the match -- if so, God help us. Poffo's selling on the atomic drop was great -- he was hunched over worse than any member of a nursing home I've ever seen. The real story here is the selling by both guys, mainly Poffo in the match, and Beefcake after the run-in and chair/leg attack. Easily could've been a TV match, but the art of selling was on display here.

Ronnie Garvin vs. Greg Valentine - 7

I offer you a simple formula: stiffness + psych + emotion + good selling = great wrestling match. Granted, the first component isn't always essential, but it was awesome here. I loved both guys' selling, but especially Garvin's. The blank look on his face while selling conveys a message of pure exhaustion, but you can also see the wheels turning in both guys' heads as if saying, "What can I do to make this guy quit?" I loved how Garvin continued to sell his leg throughout the match, also liked how they brought in the element of the knee brace to stop the other man from working over the legs. Great match, great heat, great stiffness!

The Big Bossman vs. Jim Duggan - 3

I prefer Midsouth Duggan to WWF Duggan, but wherever he is, I still consider myself a fan of his. Fun bumping outside the ring, especially Bossman falling out of the ropes to the floor in one, fluid motion. As a kid, I used to love it when Duggan would get hit on the turnbuckle, then start whooping and no selling it. This crowd is just insane, I swear. Every time Bossman would miss a move, everyone would collectively go nuts and were solidly behind Duggan. Fun bumping!

Royal Rumble Match 5

The real standout here was DiBiase -- he controlled the audience so much during the chaos -- he would bump around and look exhausted, making people think that he'd surely be easy to throw over the top rope. Not to be outdone, DiBiase would keep himself in, teasing elimination, but then barely getting his hand on the apron to support himself while he dangled helplessly. Good pacing in the match -- eliminations were happening at a decent rate. Hogan and Warrior's face-off was really special to the fans -- once they realized these two were alone in the ring, the complete atmosphere changed. Fun rumble. I really enjoyed the eliminations in this one.

Monday, August 16, 2010

WCW Monday Nitro 2/3/97

Last night former NHO staffer Adam had everyone over for a WWE Summerslam '10 party and while there he donated roughly 500 DVDs to the current NHO team to watch at our leisure. I figured time's a wasting so let's get started:

1. Ultimate Dragon vs. Rey Mendoza, Jr. - 4

Crisp and fast-paced arm/wrist control segment, rope running, etc. All of Dragon's stuff came off stellar and Mendoza was a good base and kept up fine. It's a shame we don't get stuff like this on TV nowadays.

2. Glacier vs. Billy Kidman - 3

Kidman was a fresh faced kid right out of the Power Plant and was a good at eating all of Glacier's stuff and actually making it look nasty. That's saying quite a lot since Glacier's martial arts shtick was laughable.

3. Ice Train vs. La Parka - 2

Train could go from a vacant stare to silly mannerisms and his selling (what little of it there was) was just shaking the cobwebs type stuff. La Parka was fairly low-key and they honestly could have served to shave a little time off this. I'd cast Ice Train as Lockheed the dragon If I was directing a Secret Wars film.

4. Steiner Bros. vs. Harlem Heat - 4

Two of the best teams of that or any other era. It didn't get a lot of time but was expectedly physical. It had a non-finish with Faces of Fear and Public Enemy jumping in for the hell of it; still, this is much better than a large portion of the WWE-produced TV tag stuff over the last three years.

5. Dean Malenko vs. Mike Enos - 2
6. Diamond Dallas Page vs. The Renegade - 1
7. Alex Wright vs. Super Calo - 7
8. Konnan vs. Chris Benoit - 4
9. Jeff Jarrett vs. Steve McMichael - 1

My son started having a breakdown so alas the rest of my thoughts are abbreviated. Malenko match was plodding and DDP bout went roughly a minute. Wright and Calo, however, absolutely floored me! All of the flying was smooth (minus one Calo slip on the ropes), it was competitive, and both guys showed fire. At this time Calo was arguably one of the most fun guys to watch on a roster with tons of depth. There was one part where Calo spilt to the floor and wiped out some dude in a denim shirt in the front row, he tried to get back to the ring but Wright kicked him and he flew backwards again drilling this fan right in the face and sending him sprawling to his ass, this sequence was completed with a seriously sick plancha by Wright that was one of the most dangerous looking executions of that move in history. If Konnan was a member of the gang on Top Cat he'd be Benny the Ball. Benoit makes all of Konnan's shitty offense look like the nastiest mugging ever captured on a surveillance camera. There's a hilarious moment post-match where Jacqueline is trying to find something under the ring as Benoit shields Woman, but to her dismay and our comedic enjoyment, she can't find it and it goes on for what feels like an eternity as she madly scrambles under the apron while Benoit stands guard defensively over his "frightened" wife. The main event was a poor excuse of one as it was just getting out of the gates when Debra McMichael wouldn't let Steve get back into the ring thus causing a countout in a moment that had me scratching my head.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

DVDVR's Best of Texas in the 80's Disc 2

1) Ric Flair v. Kevin Von Erich (April 1st, 1983)- 5
This is a much different match than Flair has with the other brothers, which is a testament to his abilities. At times it's a trainwreck, with gnarly brawling where neither guy will give an inch, and are fighting for an advantage. I like how the only hold Kevin uses to master Flair on the ground is a leglock, no pretending he isn't a technical master. They do 2 ref bumps and multiple DQ finishes before someone bows down to Dusty Rhodes on the finish, could have been really good had it went a different direction.

2) Chavo Guerrero/ Iceman Parsons/ Kerry Von Erich v. The Fabulous Freebirds (Penalty Box Match, April 29th, 1983)- 5
I had watched this match just last year and instantly remembered WCW trying to use this gimmick waaaaay too much during it's dying days. This match was more than likely far better than any of those efforts. Match had great heat and all the Freebirds were on, just dynamic sellers all in their own way with one common thread: they take punishment and play it up how much they hate it. Chavo was athletic, but pretty bland, enjoyed the Iceman v. Roberts sections, lots of charisma in them and nasty, little extra oomph on all the punches and knees they threw to play up their feud. The rules were made to be extra strict to enforce the box stip where as if they tried to do that today, no one would be in the box, but someone would do a moonsault off the top of it through 36 flaming tables wrapped in barb wire.

3) Iceman King Parsons/ Kevin & David Von Erich v. The Fabulous Freebirds (May 13th, 1983)- 4
God watching this makes me think of the 3 Freebirds figures I had adorning these very same red tights and sequeined red robes when I was a kid. Again, here this was more of a continuation of the ongoing feud, nothing will be settled here, the Birds content to let the clock run down with a long stall period, longer than the time they spent trying to wake Roberts from the dead that morning after a late Sunday night dinner of steak, cocaine, and a Lebanese hooker. Kevin really should give the heels some time to beat him up sometime, he was fighting out of the corner while all 3 guys pounded him, fighting like a blind gila monster. I like David's mean streak, you never know when he will snap and let off a sick Flair chop or just keep you on the ground with headlocks, Santana style. Ending and Freebirds work was all perfunctory, nothing new here and lacking in substance.

4) Jimmy Garvin v. David Von Erich (May 27th, 1983)-4
Tell me David didn't plow Sunshine at least once while role playing their wrestling characters and I'll go back in time and put money on the 2008 Superbowl winning Cincinnati Bengals. David spent a lot of time working over Jimmy Jam's leg while he spent a lot of time crying while not really selling it all that much. I'm not sure where David learned to punch but it very much resembled a Roper from Double Dragon. The ending didn't really build up all that well which kind of hurts the overall score.

5) The Fabulous Freebirds & Jimmy Garvin v. the Von Erichs & Iceman King Parsons (Elimination Match, May 27th, 1983)- 8
This was a neat concept, Survivor Series style, which i'm always a sucker for (we'll see how Summerslam goes tonight) but it's fought more like a Battle royal where everyone is in the ring at the same time, attacks coming from all directions. Liked the pysch of all 4 guys dogpiling the biggest dude, Gordy to pin him. Loved it even more when the Freebirds copied the same move to beat Iceman. After that, it's down to Kerry & Kevin v. Hayes & Roberts and it becomes a dogfight, the likes of which this feud is so legendary. They beat each other for another 20 minutes like they slept with each other's wives. Some really cool near eliminations and near falls and Kevin skins the cat more than once. The finish, I thought it was frankly speaking, as sexy as a wrestling sequence can get. Just awesome.

6) Terry Gordy v. Kerry Von Erich (No DQ, June 10th, 1983)- 6
This wasn't like your normal no dq match from these days, but I loved the energy and hate both guys poured into their performances. Gordy just kept using these driving knees like he was literally spiking Kerry's appendages to a cross like some angry people once did to a young Jewish boy. I also loved when Kerry was using the Iron Claw, it was like he was digging his fingernails into Gordy's skull trying to scrape the flesh right off of him. The seconds were kind of distracting, both in tight white tees, but they lead to a satisfying conclusion.

7) Harley Race v. Kevin Von Erich (June 17th, 1983)- 6
Race may be a self professed tough man in the industry, but here you would think he was JBl trying to ward off a pissed off Joey Styles. Most of the match revolved around Kevin physically dominating (which if you saw the two stand side by side, you'd laugh then have some Invisible Kool-Aid for fun) Race while Harley would sneak in offense when he could. In his defense he took everything amazingly and played up the role of champ in trouble as well as Flair had with any of the brothers. There were a couple punches from both guys and a kick from Kevin that had me cracking up knowing those two were some great Idaho potato farmers.

8) Jimmy Garvin v. David Von Erich (June 17th, 1983)- 5
A scientific grudge match? Only from David, but it was still entertaining fare. I actually am not convinced a pure brawl from these two would have been the best route. Garvin totally hung on his own, some good reversals to David's tactics but not a lot different from the previous match on this set.

9) Fabulous Freebirds v. The Von Erichs (2/3 falls, July 4th, 1983)-5
This crowd was sizzling like a fajita plate at Ruby Tuesdays. The Freebirds and the Von Erichs started with a strip off, much to the crowd's pleasure. I know now why Disc 2's theme was Willie Nelson's "Georgia on my Mind", as the Freebirds used it as entrance music to incite this crowd. The first 2 falls were very quintessential of this whole feud, great build up with everything going on, feeling out in round 1 with the Freebirds edging ahead using triple team tactics and ref distraction. They kept the advantage with Kevin as face in peril, selling more than often which helped the match keep it's authenticity, followed by classic babyface comeback. 3rd fall was muddled at best, it broke down several times with some pretty sloppy brawling for Texas standards and just confusion all over the ring. Kind of hurt the overall appeal of this bout.

10) Terry Gordy v. Chris Adams (July 15th, 1983)-7
Here is the Gentleman's first appearance on this massive set and it's a doozy. Adams works all kinds of British-type submission holds as quiet babyface, takedowns, hammerlocks, while Gordy tries to use brute strength to keep him off him. Adams has to turn on his Sid Vicious (the punk singer, not the terrible wrestler) to keep his head from being taken off. Most thrilling moment of the match is when Adams pulls out a Takayama German suplex for a literal "close count."

11) Jimmy Garvin v. Kevin Von Erich (2/3 Falls, July 18th, 1983)- 7
Another gem from disc 2, although the video quality was shittier than most female reality TV stars homemade sex tapes. Really wish that Eva Mendes was true (damn you Funny or Die!) This match was all strawberries and orgasms to borrow a phrase. Really nifty leglock sequences and ground work being displayed in the first fall that resembled the grappling stylings of Chael Sonnen from last weekend. Kevin looked like a master of Monkey Kung Fu the way he used his legs to pull Garvin to and fro and lock him up in all kinds of different scenarios. Clean 1st fall leads to nasty cockfight for the 2nd. Started building a story of both guys literally trying to rip each other's larynxes out, with numerous stun guns being utilized to injure the other guy. Plus they both were doling out numerous stiff shots, Kevin as usual with errant kicks and punches, but Garvin fought back with ghetto style stomps and elbows. 3rd fall was even now and Garvin brought the real dirty shitheel out of himself to push this well into one of the best things burned on this disc.

12) Jimmy Garvin v. Kevin Von Erich (July 25th, 1983) - 3
A truncated version of the previous match with a lot of the same spots, shortened technical sequence, more Sunshine chincanery and no pissed off fighting. Even had a very similar finish to the other matches 3rd fall. Heat wasn't there either.

13) Iceman King Parsons v. Buddy Roberts (2/3 Falls, August 8th, 1983)- 4
Two guys i've grown to like more after watching some of this set, this match felt very WWE-tvish with stuff shortened up and lots of comedy elements (ex. we now know where Kurt Angle got his idea for the headgear/wig gimmick he used in '02). You can tell a lot of a guy by how he takes his spill to the outside and Parsons fell in the pathetic category of "have to be able to dance at the club tonight so will make my bump look like slumped over on the couch with a hangover instead of being thrown violently to concrete." Their Hair match on the extras disc was much better.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

WWF Fully Loaded 1999

Edge vs. Jeff Jarrett - 3

It was funny going back and watching the near X-rated, breast-filled WWF and thinking about how you can't even show a drop of blood on Raw currently. The match was ok. Edge was able to maneuver a lot easier 11 years ago. Jarrett pretty much played it safe and worked light with Edge. I liked Edge's selling of the knee after he 'tweaked it' coming off the ropes, then Jeff working it over... for like two minutes. Decent nearfalls. Seemed like a Raw match to me.

The Hardy Boyz & Michael Hayes vs. The Acolytes - 4

Liked the hi-flyer vs. power wrestlers element to the match. Something I didn't really understand happened in the match when Matt when for a cross-body, but was caught by Farooq, only to have Jeff kick Matt in the back to push over Farooq -- wouldn't the majority of the pain be suffered by Matt? Anyway, I really like Jeff's exhaustive selling -- probably my favorite thing about it him. The APA really took it to the Hardyz and it was pretty awesome to see them selling and bumping like rag dolls.

D'Lo Brown vs. Mideon - 2

Pretty much a throwaway much. D'Lo hit a tornado DDT and Mideon's head didn't even come remotely close to the mat. Liked D'Lo's vocal selling, though.

Bossman vs. Al Snow - 1

Didn't care for this. Just a garbage-throwing match. The best part about the entire match was Snow's sadistic smiling while being beaten. Fully loaded... with shit.

Big Show vs. Kane - 2

Watching Kane come out took me back to when I was 11 years old and seeing him debut at Badd Blood '97. I was deathly afraid of Kane back then. The best part of this match was the bump that Kane took -- Big Show had Kane in a gorilla press and threw him out of the ring. Kane took a side bump on the floor for a great sell. Not much to say other than Kane's bumping was fun to watch.

Ken Shamrock vs. Steve Blackman - 1

Hey, I've got an idea: let's have a match in a garage surrounded by a bunch of wrestlers pounding on top of cars and honking the horns! YEAH! Utter stupidity at its finest. If they want to show Shamrock's legit toughness, shouldn't this match take place in a MMA ring? Whatever.

Chyna & Billy Gunn vs. Road Dogg & X-Pac - 3

A decent match that featured Chyna and Gunn wanting the rights to the DX name so they can make money off the royalties. Thanks for insulting my intelligence, Russo. Match was kind of bland but the hot tags on the side of Dogg and Pac were on fire. Gunns selling was also fun to watch and comical at points; however, in ring, the match was stale.

The Rock vs. HHH Strap Match - 5

Fun brawling around ringside featuring fun facials by Dwayne and Hunter selling with hairwhips and motorboat lips a-plenty. The strap was kind of useless for some of the match as they could've done the exact same brawling without it, but they eventually made use of it, but seeing as this match is a novelty, I would've used the hell out of that strap at every turn. If you ask me, we've already seen enough of out-of-the-ring brawling. Come on, boys, let's bring it inside. I liked Rock's selling of the choke in the corner -- he pretty much looked like he was a victim of a strangling. Match eventually got angl-y with a run-in, but it was fun.

Steve Austin vs. Undertaker First Blood - 6

Both men had been stitched up prior to the match and had been stalking each other all night -- apparently blood would come easy in this match. More stage brawling. Yay. I did, however, thoroughly enjoying Austin's bumping over the guardrails and into the stands in a very devil-may-care fashion. I liked the intensity shown by both guys, ripping at each others' foreheads, trying to rip open the already lacerated skin. The duo of Lawler and Vince saying "Austin's bleeding!" about 30 times in the match made me laugh. Vince's winced and facials while Taker was getting the shit beat out of him really sold the match well. Fun match -- crowd was hot the whole time and the run-ins were well-done.

3PW Su-Su-Superfly (12/27/03)

3PW Su-Su-Superfly (12/27/03)

What a way for Philadelphians to spend post-Christmas of '03. The opening video highlight reel shows them imitating ECW, pushing the envelope even further (into stupidity), with a cat fight that saw Missy Hyatt's tit fall out of her top, New Jack diving off balconies to the disappointment of his spine, and Sabu, doing what else, haphazardly falling through tables. We see all sorts of familiar (bloody) faces, Abdullah, Sullivan, Grunge, and R-Truth? Let's see if they do Snuka proud!

1. Rob Eckos vs. C.J. O'Doyle - 3

Eckos at least looks the part, has gear, visits the gym (unlike most of the 3PW staff), even has his own taunt, something akin to a Tim Hardaway crossover. We get a "standoff" not long in and Van Dam and Lynn are rolling over in their non-existent graves. O'Doyle misses a top rope legdrop, bet his tailbone was sore during his shift the next day at Jersey Mike's Subs. Eckos twice utilizes his "Alpine Line", the second time off of the buckles for the victory, a Russian leg sweep/clothesline combination that likely wouldn't hurt your kid brother.

2. Rockin' Rebel vs. Jack Victory - 0

This is everything I fucking loathe about wrestling. Rebel looks like a really bloated Ted DiBiase Jr., with a splash of Thomas Hayden Church (minus any of the acting ability). They do an extended sequence with the referee thoroughly undermining all that came before and after it. Yes, the referee ducked an attempted clothesline only to answer with a double clothesline of his own -- so stupid. Of course, the mutants in attendance popped big like they just saw Hayabusa do a "Firebird Splash" through a flaming table. Then they went right back to "wrestling", and I use the term lightly, wrapping it up with the laziest finish I've seen in all my '10 viewing, a simple punch and cover that I actually had to rewind to make sure I hadn't missed anything. After the match they stomp the shit out of the referee.

3. "Pitbull" Gary Wolfe vs. Damian Adams - 3

Wolfe comes out with a valet named Vixen who's so obviously a transexual its laughable they're trying to pass her off as eye candy. Her Adam's apple (laryngeal prominence) is so big if Adam and Eve would have tried to take a bite out of it they would have choked and died. Adams reminds me of Ahmed Johnson when he first showed up in WWF, full of energy, relentlessly pushing the action forward, not so much by design, neither guy apparently knew any better. Adams works hard, nearly kills himself on a big dive from the top to the floor, but definitely needed seasoning. Wolfe does some particularly nasty power stuff to end it, two deadly powerbombs that saw Damian's head bounce off the mat like a spiked two-square ball, and then a reverse "Death Valley Driver" that looked life-threatening.

4. Jasmin St. Claire vs. George Frankenstein - Bra & Panties Match - 1

I don't expect to see any Jacob "Christmas" Volkmann-level mat work in this one. Jasmin was never an NCAA Division I Wrestling starlet, although I'm sure she'd love the opportunity to blow a bunch of them. Todd Gordon comes out with Talia (Velvet Sky) on a leash and has her bend over for the camera repeatedly flashing her pussy. Jasmin looks like the long lost, sluttiest Kardashian sister. George is former Savage valet/girlfriend Gorgeous George. Unlike the WWE version, here, they start out in their underwear. This quickly turns into Jasmin and George making out in the middle of the ring. Gordon is incredibly creepy, fawning over the girls in his Hawaiian shirt (has anyone ever looked cool in one of these?) and bargain chinos, further turning my stomach when he forces Talia to bend over his lap as the other girls spank her.

5. Low Ki vs. Ruckus vs. Joey Matthews - 4

Two of these guys work for WWE now, and well, the third is still working for peanuts in Philly. Matthews starts by escaping to the floor and leaving Low Ki to get battered in hopes of making it easier for him. They do some mat stuff to start, Ki's transitions are a beauty to behold, but Ruckus' side headlock makes Wilbur Snyder cry. Ki says, "If you're playing a poor man's Wilbur I'll be Mitsu Arakawa and we'll recreate Sept. of '67". After making short work of Ruckus we move into the second portion of the bout. Matthews' heeling stuff feels rudimentary, like a caricature of a wrestler instead of an actual one. Ki plugs his stuff into the formula but the shitty crowd (chanting "boring" inexplicably) doesn't help.

6. Mike Kruel and Monsta Mack vs. Blue Meanie and Roadkill - 2

Mack's rocking a Brody t-shirt and I can dig that. Kruel I recognize immediately from when we used to get OVW locally on syndication. Meanie at this point must have been doing so much cocaine to keep up with then girlfriend Jasmin, he looks like the Clown form of Violator from those crummy Spawn books. It also looks like he stole The Juicer's Zubaz pants. The commentator makes some asinine mention of Roadkill being on par with anyone in history in terms of crowd reaction. If you believe that I've got a Sarah Silverman homemade porno I'll sell you (I'd heard she had a thing for comedians but the scene with the Howdy Doody doll goes too far). Meanie's sternum-first bump into the buckles is about as good as Bret's would be if he'd try it today. Regardless of what it is you're doing to him Meanie sells pretty much everything the same. Roadkill does a Mr. Socko spot and I try to annihilate my VCR/DVD combo with a nearby cat toy.

7. "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka vs. Matt Striker - 1

So, they bring Snuka in, and have him work this metrosexual dork? Striker comes out in a kilt and does a pretty damn good Piper impersonation, especially his voice and mannerisms. Snuka is so flabby, his tits like saggy, brown, wet napkins, having the appearance of one of those nude native women you'd see in a National Geographic while in school and quickly shut the magazine in horror. Well, that lasted all of a couple minutes. Gary Wolfe attacks Snuka post-match planting seeds for a feud that absolutely nobody wanted to see.

8. Sabu vs. Jerry Lynn - 3

I've known people that adore Sabu, and have not one but three friends that are self-proclaimed Lynn marks, but neither guy has particularly ever done much for me, always felt both had some pretty glaring holes in their respective games. Sabu is the only guy capable of doing a tope con hilo to the floor and completely missing his opponent instead landing face-first into the guardrail. Some brawling including a spot into the crowd felt very much like ECW-lite. Not surprisingly neither guy tried to stretch themselves or reinvent in anyway. I liked some of Sabu's sells, I can never tell with him if he's actually hurt and genuinely pissed off/disenfranchised, or is just really good at acing that. I hate the formula that's so reliant upon a gimmick, they bring a crusty table into the ring so the last act is all based upon it and that's so limiting. I wanted them to win me over but Lynn's selling was lazy at best and the adherence to formula killed it.

9. John Zandig and Wifebeater vs. "Commissioner" Raven and Sandman - 3

Team CZW vs. Team ECW should have probably meant more but it didn't. I don't know who looks stupider, Sandman, with a black t-shirt tucked into some faded jeans, or bloated Zandig (looking like a corpse that'd been stuck in the Hudson River a decade). Zandig talks to his opponent while he should be selling punishment, a fatal error even the greenest of rookies usually know to avoid. I dug the old ECW guys tossing Wifebeater off of a balcony through a table, but other than that hellacious bump, this was largely tame brawling and fat, lazy guys getting their jollies off at the expense of duping a crowd of rubes out of their money. Raven did one of the stupidest table spots I've ever seen, placing a table upright in the corner, then acting like he was going to bulldog Zandig into it only to let Zandig go halfway and Zandig just continued running towards it headfirst like a moron.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

WWE Smackdown- 08/06/2010

1) Matt Hardy v. Cody Rhodes- 3
2) Kofi Kingston v. Dolph Ziggler- 4
3) Straight Edge Society v. MVP/ JTG/ Chris Masters- 2
4) Rey Mysterio v. Drew McIntyre- 6

Cody looking in the mirror is a clever entrance, more clever than a lot of the offensive concepts he utilized in this match. This kind of match used to be Matt's bread and butter, putting over young talent with cool face in peril selling and great nearfalls, but this felt flatter than Kelly Kelly was during her Prom. Matt's physique looks like a frog about to blow up in a microwave. All Matt's big moves don't have the impact they used to and he definitley doesn't have the speed he used to. Cody at one point tried a kneedrop and missed, rolling through on the mat looking like a 6 year old girl learning how to somersault. Them trying to maneuver that last cornerspot was every bit as awkward as a teenage boy trying to unhook his first bra.

Brawling spot was cut short, but was digging Dolph digging his armlock on Kofi, just seething with fervor while putting on the pressure. Kofi really tried to show some enthusiasm with his attack stemming from last week but I thought the ending just was a lame way to win a match, nonetheless a title. Obvious this was the continuation of an angle with not a lot building up in the middle to push this any higher on the recommended category.

Not much of a match, but Gallows, i thought, looked good, controlling the faces, dropping some nice power stuff, but also heeling it up, funny laugh he did after a cheap shot on Masters. MVP looked like a puss, falling down before Gallows big boot even come near his face.

I thought the bull and cape tactic was a fun way to start, nice to see Drew unleashing all those lethal, hard strikes he was using like when he first debuted against Finlay. Can't believe Rey, with his knees how they are, is still busting out hurricanranas off the apron to the floor. Sick slam onto the table, loved how Rey balled up like muskrat, hitting very relistically. See a lot of Trips' influence here, such as the same exact multiple punch thing he does, and going to a chinlock after you powerbombed him into the corner. Rey must have had a flashback to Malenko dumping him on his knee back at Halloween Havoc '96 when Drew pulled that one off. Drew is an interesting performer to watch, he works hard, but he's not always 100% "in the match" where he could go on a streak of selling things absentmindedly but other times is selling frustration and showing pain. Cool ending, and Rey continues to amaze after giving so much in his years in this sport.

Overall, not near at the level of a usual Smackdown and aside from the main event, I'd have rather spent the time playing Splatterhouse on my Virtual Console.

Friday, August 6, 2010

AAA to Zero1 (AKA NHO Day)

Soon (date to be finalized) the Never Hand Over crew embarks on a wrestling critique extravaganza the likes of which have never been seen or attempted before! 24-hours of non-stop wrestling! We're getting a room and we're plowing through a day's worth of wrestling watching. We'll be doing live updates throughout the epic ordeal live here on the blog. We're going to tackle stuff from the old black and white days, lucha, puro, MMA, WWE, indy, etc. It's going to be a big challenge and a way to show our love for all things wrestling. More details as they're finalized, including our viewing agenda, more info on the live updates, etc.

Nous Observans Chaque Seconde #11


Well let me get this started off, recently posted a New BMD review on the blog full of interesting matches I watched piecemeal from a variety of different discs, so I won't go into those but will talk about the other stuff I caught this weekend. Finished last match on the now ancient WWE Cage Match dvd, Edge v. Kurt Angle. It was quite exciting, Edge kind of sold like an PWG midcarder, which is to say he didn't sell facially much at all, but Angle was killing himself. Two giant bumps off the top rope in particular, the backwards flip he did off a super backdrop was just nuts. Some Hogan interference really watered down the ending though.

I've found my love for Dragon Gate again! Watching Open the Compilation Gate 2010 and the fast paced action and different characters had me enjoying this promotion as if I was watching with "New Eyes." I think the reason is I was not only seeing top dogs like Hulk & Shingo but also some lower guys like KAGETORA and Kzy and it gives you a well rounded perspective of the matches and builds accordingly. Caught a six man featuring Akebono one one side and Abdullah the Butcher on the other. He was fun for novelty, but, and this will sound terrible, at points his massive mammories parting behind his back as if he was going to wear them like a sweater around the hips from the 80's was quite distracting. He couldn't do much but sold his hesitation against facing Akebono really well and I have to say, despite the hideous Orange tights, thought Ake looked very competent and comfortable in his role and pulled off some nice moves.


TNA iMPACT! was really good this week. My favorite match was Samoa Joe vs. Jeff Hardy. A first-ever meeting, went to a time-limit draw, and they packed a lot into it while it lasted. It was the best possible version of Lashley vs. Cena from GAB. Joe's viscousness came out and Hardy's fiery babyface comebacks are still some of the best in the industry. The STF on Hardy had some of the best facial storytelling I've seen on TV in months, Joe wrenching back, and then Hardy, whose eyes were bugging out of his head like he was in an electric chair. Also, the Beer Money, Inc. vs. Motor City Machine Guns street fight was awesome. Those two teams are quietly having the best feud in America. The PPV match was great, last week's ladder match was spectacular (and slightly better than this match), but this was still a lot of fun. I dug the running spots on the long ramp, very reminiscent of NJPW. Shelley sold getting a beer bottle broken over his head like I imagine the first person seeing Uncle Fester making a lightbulb glow in his mouth must have looked. Angle vs. Hernandez was good, it was Kurt's formula, which he can plug just about anybody into, but I love his intensity, and Hernandez looked better than normal here, I especially liked him showing some cockiness in subtle facials/body language, and the top rope belly-to-belly was out of this world. Lastly, the ECW in-ring reunion circle jerk was stupid. It felt like a bunch of self-aggrandizing, whimpering pussies and not the hardcore elite. What's so extreme about Tommy Dreamer's tears?

Last night when my baby Owen woke up I turned on some of the DVDVR Best of the '80's Mid-South/UWF set. Mr. Wrestling II and Magnum T.A. vs. Butch Reed and Jim Neidhart - Cage Match (12/25/83) was a great eye-opener at 5:30AM. Butch has been the big revelation of the set so far, it's a shame McMahon never utilized him properly. Magnum is a terrific sympathetic babyface, the heels keep dumping him to the floor and against the cage and he keeps spatting on the same spot of concrete floor again and again withering in pain. The hot tag is molten, Mr. Wrestling comes in and starts cleaning house. I also need to mention Mr. Wrestling's performance in the set's next match (w/ Magnum again vs. Midnight Express - 2/10/84) as he has the craziest body language, doing these short little jigs and disco-like rhythmic shuffles while owning the MX boys. Condrey and Eaton are fabulous at being stooges in it.

I'm off to watch the recent episodes of Superstars, SmackDown!, and Lucha Libre USA: Masked Warriors. If anything soaks my shorts I'll toss out some more comments.


Awesome, keep those Mid South Musings coming, love to hear about that great unearthed set. The things I've seen are quite random, but will relay them anyways
BMD goodness (as they keep on rolling towards that 500 disc milestone) with a 4 team DDT featuring Kenny Omega & an American couch potato as well as Taka & Togo as Italian Mobsters, was fun while it lasted and the eliminations all came at key points in the match when it would break down. The babyface hometown team kept the spirit alive as this match was not long on over kill nor great tag action but was satisfactory enough.

Is Ikuto Hidaka getting better with age, Sub Question: Has his body survived the years of Ishikawa armlocks and planchas into the crowd enough to where he's still a viable puro king? Time will tell but i'm betting on yes (this sounds like a JR blog post.) He impressed me here while working a completely different style than he's known for from years of Battlarts action, with some quickness and stiffness that felt very Rey Mysterio-ish. His opponent, perennial Z1 star Kohei Sato was a puny mess of an athlete, a starved lycan almost, who just brushed through a typical power wrestler offense as Hidaka kind of built this fun match around him, sort of like he was trying to make a breakthrough beating this big superstar but he wrestled circles around Sato but of course still lost. Would like to see more current Hidaka.

Quiet Storm, you're still around? He looks like the worst possible Chris Walker there could be. He's jacked tot he gills with such a short frame and his movement is lethargic. He's wrestling a guy named Psycho (creativity just spilling out of this guy) who is a Japanese Rat Fink. He does a Backcracker and a moonsault outside within 4 minutes so he's even worse than I thought. Neither guy looked particularly seasoned at all even though at this stage in the game, Storm's been around a good 7 years but I'm guessing "the gas" has numbed his skull permanently.

Dipping back into the extras of the DVDVR Texas 80's set (which did I mention is the greatest thing I"ve ever received in the post; sorry Aziz Ansari comedy special from Netflix) and saw King Kong Bundy v. Harley Race which was quite amazing. Bundy sold as well if not better than most of his Stamford contemporaries in this match alone and I think it was that very Vader like quality (where he could just as easily dominate someone as sell big for them) that worked so well against a guy like Hogan as it did here. Race almost seemed to be trying to out sell him, especially after his shoulder ram into the post that really felt like a drunk Hell's Angel member did that to him at a honkytonk in '72 after a long drunken argument over where the best cigars are from, geographically. Really hokey finish (as we were forewarned from the people who put this set together) but everything in between was well done, didn't quite have a title match feel, there was no near fall stuff or clear face/heel structure but still I liked the individual performances better than the whole.


I dig hearing that those BMD discs are getting their well-deserved love. Jessie, if you're digging on Hidaka, you need to check out the EVOLVE 2 disc I passed your way, he headlines with Hero and they work this really slow-paced, methodical mat-based burner that goes maybe 40 min. and has some nice strikes and psychology to boot. I watched Raw and NXT but not going to waste any more time on them than I already reluctantly did. I've mostly been on a movie kick (averaging two per day this week with Being There currently being the standout) mostly but did spin ROH Aries vs. Richards (11/13/09). Overall, a pretty run-of-the-mill, low-end '09 ROH show, complete with requisite filler and lousy crowd. My favorite match was Katsuhiko Nakajima vs. Kenny Omega, a real nice meshing of contemporary, hard-hitting Japanese juniors style with high-flying, fast-paced recklessness. Young Bucks vs. Kevin Steen and El Generico, I've seen this bout about a half-dozen times in ROH so far, this being one of the better offerings, but for whatever reason the Young Bucks never really took off or connected with audiences in ROH like they did elsewhere so it felt largely soulless. Roderick Strong vs. Chris Hero, again, hate to sound like a broken record (just dusted off my vinyl of The Fat Boys' Coming Back Hard Again the other night) here but this paled in comparison to their work together in PWG. Other random notes, Tyler Black looked like shit against Claudio Castagnoli, making a somersault to the floor look like a paraplegic trying gymnastics, The House of Truth need rehab, Delirious and Colt Cabana are an awful idea for a tag team (unfortunately each guys' annoyance doesn't cancel the others' out), and The Super Smash Bros. said stay in Chikara (or the local arcade). Lastly, the main the show is titled after, Aries vs. Richards, went 50 min. and ranged from mildly mediocre to groundbreaking greatness. I think I liked it more than the heavily touted Danielson vs. Richards from Boston, but still felt too padded, and Richards, save for his intensity and willingness to hurt himself and others, is really a pretty shitty performer.


Last week's SmackDown was one of my favorites in recent memory. To start off the night with such a spectacular match as Drew McIntyre vs. Christian is really setting a standard. This match was a hell of a lot of fun. I think my favorite thing about this bout was Christian moving out of his (what we've come to call) 'copy&paste' zone. A lot of great shoulderwork in the match, especially Drew dropping Christian on his shoulder on the ring steps. Really fun and intense matchup. Ziggler vs. Kofi was a great match as well. Great in ring, but the best part came when Kofi kept attacking Dolph -- he looked like a crazed lunatic. I really liked Swagger/Mysterio NODQ as well. Moving the action outside to the slippery Gulf was a really unique move and I loved Swagger basically jumping into the water after the rana by Mysterio. Regarding TNA, the one match that really sticks with me is the MCMGs vs. Beer Money cage match. Roode was bleeding everywhere and MCMG were pulling out all the stops. I really hope everyone got to see this match, and the rest that these two teams have done with each other -- really fun stuff. I also watched the 2010 IWA-DS Carnage Cup -- seedy southern deathmatch at it's finest.


So, just finished the 8/6/10 WWE Superstars, out of the 30+ episodes this year, I'd say this would rank in the lower-third. Layla vs. Tiffany, skip it, save for the Indian deathlock-into-a-cover Layla whipped out to my dismay. Some community college level bad hammy acting in this one. The Dude Busters vs. Vance Archer/Curt Hawkins was like a C-level version of KroniK vs. The Perfect Event from '00 Thunder. Lastly, Evan Bourne vs. Zach Ryder was like an B+-level version of Steve Bradley vs. Ace Darling (I know someone's got to have the '99 ECWA Super 8 tournament handy--pop that sucker in for a rewatch, you won't regret it). Ryder did maniacal better laying on the mat doing a headlock than Spacey did in all of Superman Returns. Ryder's "face wash" is a long way from Kanemoto's, but not far behind Samoa Joe's. Zach sold the "Shooting Star Press" like a stoner coughing on Cheetos dust.

I also finished ROH Boiling Point (11/7/09) today. A lot of it sucked: Dutt is awful, I'm sick of tags involving Necro and Joey Ryan, a six-man tag with Grizzly Redwood went broadway, a random Tony Kozina vs. Bobby Dempsey match shows up on the second-half, etc. I did see my favorite ROH match I've watched in maybe a half-year, though; Delirious vs. Roderick Strong was really, really good. It went almost 25 min. but avoided a lot of the independent pitfalls. It was just good, back-and-forth wrestling, nice nearfalls, exchanges, crowd pops, etc. I was surprised at how shockingly watchable it was considering I'd generally rather watch a real lizard wrestling than Delirious. Main event was a deplorable yawner involving Steen/Generico vs. Hero/Richards that looked like four buddies just going through the motions, I didn't buy into any of the "conflict" or "storytelling", it was just a smattering of stagey bumping and faux-violence amid the backdrop of disillusionment in the Jersery crowd.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

WWE NXT 8/3/10

1. Husky Harris vs. Kaval - 4

This was a nice little match, called upon their previous meeting, and built upon it progressively. Kaval was able to showcase some stuff we've not seen him pull off yet in WWE, including landing on Harris' shoulders then executing a dropkick. It had some surprisingly fast-paced counter-work, not the level of Kaval's stuff with Amazing Red in ICW and early ROH, but still a joy to watch.

2. Michael McGillicutty vs. Lucky Cannon - 1

I really liked the mat stuff to start, Cannon looked rather good, doing amateur takedowns, controlling the wrist/arm, etc. but then he started doing some cringeworthy weak forearms. This probably didn't even last two minutes hence the low score.

3. Alex Riley vs. Percy Watson - 2

This was the most forgettable bout of the show, neither guy really did anything to stand out, which given the show's concept is not a good thing. Watson has charisma but sometimes looks clunkier in the ring than the '77 Datsun Layla lost her virginity in.

4. The Miz vs. Michael McGillicutty - 3

Coming off of a really stellar performance the night previously on Raw (vs. Randy Orton) The Miz was again in the main event here. He's really learned to be more disciplined, making stuff in the ring mean more, etc. McGillicutty, who, familial pedigree aside, hasn't impressed me, actually showed fire here when mounting a comeback. Miz can sometimes be quite aggressive, his big boot in Michael's face out on the floor came out of nowhere and was surprisingly violent.

Monday, August 2, 2010

NHO Hall of Fame Pick- August

We're nearing the end of our HOF run, for now, before we put it back in the closet for a while,so been thinking long and hard about different people I would like to see join this illustrious, yet ever growing group. It's not just the performers in the ring that have made this sport great, but also many other men and women doing other jobs to enhance the overall product, maybe none more so than the announcers. I've inducted Gorilla Monsoon already but I'd be remissed this close to the close of the NHO Hall for a while to leave out who I think is the preeminent pro wrestling announcer of my generation, Good Ole, JR!

Jim Ross is familiar to most all wrestling fans for the last 20 years, mostly for his long run as WWE's lead play by play guy, but also had a classic run in early WCW/NWA as their top announcer. Jim's strengths are his passion coming forth as he broadcasts and calls matches, the emotion he adds to each and every big match he's called and his love of the sport that has skewed his style to make it feel more like a real sport than entertainment. Congrats JR and glad to have you!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Freedoms 6/21/10

Kamui, Ricky Fuji, Keita Yano, Madoka, and Shinobu VS. Abdullah Kobayashi, Kazuhiko Ogasawara, Brahman Shu, Brahman Kei, and Ken45 - Elim. match - 2

Odd. The match was very fast paced and nothing of real substance came of it. I'm pretty sure this entire match lasted less than eight minutes, and with that many guys, eliminations were happening quicker than Michael Cole calling everything 'vintage.' A hard-to-follow match with antics -- not my cup of tee. It was humorous seeing Abby in there with all the skinny fast guys, though.

Tatsuhito Takaiwa and Masashi Takeda vs. Minoru Fujita and Takuya Sugawara - 2

Match was clipped to hell and only about two minutes were shown, but I thought what was shown was pretty good. Takeda hit a really nice German suplex, but nothing of substance came out of this bout.

Mammoth Sasaki vs. Daisuke Sekimoto - 5

Ok, this is what I'm talking about -- from my favorite fed in Japan, BJW, comes two monsters who are sure to beat the shit out of each other for our enjoyment. Mammoth took a really sick Irish whip outside the ring to the post which I marked for -- these two are definitely not going to take it easy on each other. Sek looked pretty solid in his matwork -- it's def. not his forte, but he looks like he can hold his own. I liked the back-and-forth element to this match -- in a battle of two monsters, who'd come out on top? The ease of which these guys lift each other is also quick amazing. Pretty fun match. I liked how the two slowed down and took their time as opposed to a spot-fest.

Jun Kasai vs Necro Butcher - 5

Oh hell yes. Two sick, incredible death match wrestlers going at it~! I have high hopes for this match. I love Kasai's selling -- his face with that contact lens covered in blood looks like something out of a Tarentino film. Necro took a sick shot to the face with a ladder, furthering my questioning of what he won't do. Necro took one of his patented open chair bumps which he sold brilliantly writhing around in pain only to be barraged with two chairs and suplexed while they were hanging on his head leading to another great sell. Then, my friends, out came the razor board. Oh yes. Kasai took the bump for some reason it didn't feel as big as it should have. It's hard to explain. I actually thought Necro's two bumps on the ladder were sicker. Still, it was cool seeing an American DM legend and a Japanese DM legend hook it up.

5 vs. 5 Army Match - Freedoms Army vs. Kojika Army - Total Score - 3

HIROKI vs. Magnitude Kishiwada - 3
SICK dive by Hiroki to start the match plus seeing a small guy getting thrown into chairs. Always a good time. Loved Hiroki sell after the missile dropkick - this kid is good. Hiroki had some cool evasions to the powerbomb -- match was ok. Kojika Army 1-0

Antonio Honda vs. The Winger - 2

WINGER is still kicking ass, but the real story is Honda's selling -- reminds me of US territorial 80s selling. Other than that, match pretty was pretty bland. Honda won for Kojika Army going up 2-0 which got a huge pop.

Tajiri vs. Onryo - 3

Love love love Tajiri. Onryo's character is so unique that this made for an interesting matchup. My favorite thing about Onryo is that everytime you touch him, you'll have an asthma attack because of all the dust - provides for a really unique character. My favorite part of this match was Tajiri's sell when Onryo hit him with a piece of wood -- coincidentally he fell over much like a piece of wood. Decent little match. I liked the ending sequence with the powder and the mist. Tajiri would win with the mist to give the Freedoms Army a win. Kojika Army 2-1.

The Great Sasuke vs. Takeshi Sasaki - 2

Umm, yes, please! Sasaki is a great 'hybrid' wrestler and Sasuke, well, I recall being 12 years old watching old M-Pro tapes, so yes, this should be interesting. Sasuke hit a decent dive but hit the floor like a ton of bricks and really looked like he hurt himself. Nothing of real substance in this match, sadly. Sasaki went over with a kick to the head for a Freedom's win. Score tied 2-2.

GENTARO vs. The Great Kojika - 1

Wow. This should be interesting as well. This match went damn near 20 minutes with nothing of real substance. Not even anything to really touch upon in this review. Shame. End of the match saw Gentaro win with a sharpshooter to put Freedoms over for the win.

Overall, a decent event with the Sekimoto/Mammoth and Necro/Kasai matches being the highlight.