Monday, November 29, 2010

Chikara: King of Trios 2010

I haven't reviewed much Chikara, if at all, or seen a lot to be honest, but this is their big one each year and I dig the concept and thought i'd try my hand on this year's heralded show.

1st Round:
1) FIST (Gran Akuma, Chuck Taylor, Icarus) v. Matt Classic & The Throwbacks (Sugar Dunkerton & Dasher Hatfield) - 4
2) Team Frightening (Mike Quackenbush, Frightmare & Hallowicked) v. Team Big Japan (Daisuke Sekimoto, Yuji Okabayashi & Kankuro Hoshino)- 6
3) Bruderschaft des Kruezes (Ares, Claudio Castagnoli & Tursas) v. Osirian Portal & Sara Del Ray - 5
4) The UnStable (Vin Gerard, STIGMA & Colin Delaney )v. Team Osaka Pro (Atushi Kotoge, Daisuke Harada & Tadasuke)- 5
5) Areoform (Flip Kendrick/ ? ) & Johnny Garango v. The Colony (Green Ant, Fire Ant & Soldier Ant)-5
6) F1rst Family (Arik Cannon, Darin Corbin & Ryan Cruz) v. Tim Donst, Pinkie Sanchez & Lince Dorado- 3
7) Los Delicioso (Curry Man & Los Ice Creams) v.Team Perros del Mal(El Oriental, Alebrije & Cuije)- 3
8) the Future is Now (Jigsaw, Helios & Equinox) v. The Jackson 3 (Matt, Nick & Malachi Jackson)- 4

So, Chikara is a very unique entity, this opener was purely comedy and it seems they have no end of performers that can dip into that style without being taken too seriously. Some good athleticism was shown by Sugar, FIST (standing for Friends in Similar Tights, great name) were all decent, i've seen them all before in drawn out singles matches but liked them more as a unit, then Matt Classic, wearing an old 60's take off of Destroyer's mask, wearing really big underwear and only doing airplane spins and the like seem to be having a lot of fun with the match, as was the fans and the announcers, who were really working hard to set the tone of the fed. Overall, it doesn't offend because it was exactly what it was trying to be and done well.

Team Big Japan was impressive, not just with the power they displayed, awesome moves, but they adapted to working in the US really well, showing expression, selling with their face, all that stuff. Some real spectacular spots happened here, incl. Sekimoto (who's travelling all over Japan these days) doing a German Suplex to 2 men. Quack has been basically doing the same program since early 90's in PA, Hallowicked i've seen live and i'd just as soon tile my bathroom, and Frightmare was a little dude (Dominic Mysterio in a mask perhaps?) but took loads of ass whooping pretty well.

Sara is with the BDK, so they were working that angle the whole match. Osirians are hit and miss with me, as Ophidian was with some of the most intricate moves he was trying where he'd wrap himself around someone 3 times before scoring with a move. Pace was slower than you'd imagine for that kind of match but it came together nicely at the end with the hope spot and I loved the visual of Amasis being hung up like Christ then flipped entirely upside down like he was a human roller coaster car.

Another solid match, only guy that really stuck out that was lost was Gerard, he either didn't know what he was going to do or he fucked it up when he did it. Delaney and Stigma were both good in their roles, the Osaka boys all looked fairly good, with quickness, hard strong style and good teamwork. This match didn't drag at all and concluded smartly and succintly.

I def. know what a Colorform is, but Aeroform? anyways, they were sort of bland, some overselling, Gargano was the glue of that team, had good instincts, a real presence, and really dug the triple superkick spot. Ants are a fun watch, in a vaccuum, they're harmless entertainment, all good athletes and now their routine. This never stretched into hour long PWG finishing stuff so I didn't hate it.

Does anyone on this roster work out or eat red meat? The rarity is to even hit 100 pounds, but that's neither here nor there. This BDK team is most certainly this generation's NWO Black and White, except no one can cut a promo in a limo like Virgil. Match didn't leave 1st gear until the last eight minutes, which included a dive spot where Corbin played the role of Danny Doring (ie. multi man dive spot where one guy dives on many people, with the guy in the back, always going down even though no one touched him) Pinkie is a mess and I wouldn't give him cab fare to the hospital if he had a spear through his stomach. Don't buy his submission that "has no counter" either. I've liked Cannon & corbin's work in IWA Mid South but this was sort of lousy.

Hate to make this appear as a discrimination piece, because Cuije (a minis wrestler who probably is an inch taller than my 2 year old daughter) was the highlight of the match but this was pretty droll. Another comedy match, i know, i know, this is Chikara, but I wasn't feeling it. I think i'm in the minority of people that really are sick of Curry Man, his schtick is as old as the free samples of "Instant Death" hot sauce he gets every time he walks into a Korean BBq place. Los Ice Creams, Ice Cream jr and El Hijo del Ice Cream, respectively, dumb team concept, even dumber to watch. Team Perros wasn't exactly top notch either, Albreje and Cuije both looked like they were wearing MerMan masks and were the only bright spot of the match. Comedy went on for a while, creschendo'd at one point, but the match drug on into later rounds when it really didn't need to even though Oriental's moonsault outside was pimp.

The Future is Now, seriously? Powerman 3000 said that in '98 and we see how well that worked out for them. Bucks seemed sort of neutered which isn't a bad thing compared to their old indy habits. Could you imagine trying to get a bank loan with the name Malachi Jackson? good lord. Besides still doing backflips to attack a singled out arm, Gen Me is adopting their more interesting heel characteristics incl. Matt taking a pot shot at his mirror in the Hardys. Man, the exchanges between Equinox and Malachi were as graceful as Edward Scissorhands trying to play Operation. Helios is a dynamic ariealist, but that's about it. Never been impressed with Jigsaw; he and Malachi try some improbable offense that makes me want to torch every crossword puzzle I come across from now till the grave. If this ends well, it's a 4. okay it's a 4.


9) Team Big Japan v. The Future is Now - 7
10) BDK v. Team Perros del Mal- 6
11) FIST v. Team Osaka Pro - 5
12) The Colony v. BKD Lite (Donst/ Sanchez/ Dorado)- 5

Big Japan came to play, all 3 guys came off looking like studs here, they actually work really well with the lightning fast quick guys, more so here than than the first bout where Sekimoto really shined and the other guys were just good background players. Jigsaw stuck out as the best guy on his team this time around, just being in all the right places and hitting some decent offense, incl. a sizzling roundhouse kick. The 4 way German suplex was, even to a jaded old reviewer, awesome, but damn Equinox, f'n rookie, throws a dropkick right after it as the crowd prepared to let loose large puddles of piss all over the already piss covered floor of the Alhambra. That's a guy who doesn't know shit about psych, completely killed the heat of that giant spot. Ending was tits, solid b cups.

Liked this match too, Claudio was perfect comedic foil for the tiny ladybug thing Cuije while also seeming a threat. Tursas did more here, and seemed to be only good for a few seconds spurt but proved he wasn't later on, although his timing is atrocious. Ares is useless. Albrejie is a bumper man, he was there for every big spot, thought he showed a lot of charisma and leadership during this one.

Kotoge & Harada, Osaka Pro tag champs, were dynamite in this one, from the kick-punch-kick combo that looked like E Honda on mescaline, to the final slew of double team moves at the end. Most of this kind of functioned like a by the numbers house show match with little fire, but then they threw this whole massive near fall thing on at the end that really didn't build up at all. More like the Young Bucks than the Young Bucks were the night before. But overall, still some fun moments to be had, like Kotoge somersaulting into the front row then slapping hands with the fans for a few moments before going back to the match.

Really crazy but strangely placed suplex where both men go over the top rope early on. Match started with a fight outside, a refreshing change from most of the clean contests we've seen but quickly went back inside using the Ants as face fodder for the unlikely bullies made up of a chubby Internet porn advocate, a masked part time Subway employee and a coke fiend found in the corners of Quackenbush's training school. Match went on with the Ants fighting from behind in some good sequences including a shooting star that probably could have watched New Jersey with the float Dorado got on it. Turned into a high flying/ near fall-a-thon for the last stretch with them showing a lot of innovative moves but no one being able to absorb all that they saw, a common one way street for indy wrestlers these days. Looking forward to the semis.

Semi Finals
13) Team Osaka Pro v. The Colony- 3
14) BDK v. Team Big Japan - 4

I thought this was really weak for a semis of a major tournament. Was abbreviated, pretty by the numbers quick tag match where no one really shines or sticks out just guys stringing moves together in an illogical order. Of all the divefests over this tourney (and trust me there's been bunches) Fire Ant's was by far the worst, flipping over the top and sliding down the back of one guy as the other 2 just sort of meandered down to the ground. Finishing jump was cool but that's it.

also the weakest of the Big Japan teams' performances of the weekend, not sure if both teams having to fight in the finals predicated that or not. Tursas was embarrassing; struggling to get someone off the mat before deciding to fix his tights instead, Ares taking a kick to the face to ignore it and hit a fireman carry move into a Michinoku driver. The end was a big old farce, NOAH on it's worst tag card, where everyone is holding someone else down while the other 2 guys try to duke it out, Ares winning with a powerbomb Erik Watts would be ashamed to throw.

15) BDK v. The Colony - 4

Hey, isn't this the fed Bob Saget was commissioner of? You're telling me Green Ant couldn't get a seat next to Greg Giraldo on his Comedy Central roast? We're treated to a desperate plea from Quackenbush in the back that probably comes off as pointless as a halftime pep talk from Marvin Lewis these days. They tried a little bit of everything here, most of it falling short. Wild brawl to start, check, tit for tat with holds, check, random unfinished powermoves from both teams for not that near falls, double check. Just saw 6 guys who have worked hard throughout the tournament but were looking towards the finish line, then there's the finish, swerve city, felt like some mutant understudy of Vince Russo's followed him around an AIW show or something.

Overall, a fun tournament, just as wacky and entertaining as last year's even if the final 4 matches and finals were as lackluster as most of the lunch options on a Perkins menu.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

BJW Exploding Thumbtack Balloons~! 5/22/96

What's better on Thanksgiving than exploding balloons containing hundreds of thousands of thumbtacks?! Not a damn thing. I am thankful for BJW. Well, thanks to pwchronicles for the match listings.

Under-Card (AKA Clipped Matches)
1. Yuichi Taniguchi vs. Gennosuke Kobayashi - 2
2. Satoru Shiga vs. Masahiko Kochi (SPWF) - 1
3. Ichiro Yaguchi (Free) & NINJA Hayate (Mexico) vs. Crusher Takahashi & Aquarius (Mexico, but actually this is Tajiri under a hood) - 3
4. Hack Myers (ECW) vs. Sabu - 1

Upper Card:
5. Great Kojika vs. Mr. Pogo - 4
6. Exploding Balloon Thumb Tacks Street Fight Death Match: Shoji Nakamaki (Free) & Axl Rotten (ECW) vs. Kendo Nagasaki & Seiji Yamakawa - 4

I had no idea what to make of this. Fat guy in business clothes taking on a guy who maybe got one move in. Kobayashi looked gassed early on. Come to think of it, they both did. Then again, this was clipped, so I have no idea how long this match was. Kobayashi looked to be a jobber of all jobbers in this match, getting slapped all over. The finish came out of nowhere, with Taniguchi hitting an Angel's Wings-like maneuver. It was what it was.

The second match was shit. This match pretty much saw Shiga hitting move after move with no transitions or psychology to mention. It pains me to speak in such a way about a man that would become Shadow WX. Also, it went 14.5 minutes and only like 2 minutes were shown. For shame. Clipping sucks.

The third match (tag) was decent (considering the clippage). The dude under the hood was so obviously Tajiri. He has a way of moving and fluidity in the ring that is very distinct. You're not fooling anyone! There was a sequence that I dug in this match featuring Takakashi in which he ducked the clothesline and hit a tope suicida onto Yaguchi. That. That was nice. There was this sick moment in which Hayate killed Tajiri's leg off of a dive, landing right on it. The sickening thud resonated to Hokkaido. Tajiri looked solid -- his moves were spot on and were placed effectively. Unfortunately nothing to mention in terms of selling.

The fourth match featured two American "stars." It was more like "Sabu's Super Sexy High Spot Fun Time :D!" Myers was there just to take Sabu's dives. The fans ate up Sabu's dives. This might surprise you, but Hack's selling I dug. He'd start saying things while selling like, "Goddammit Sabu" while clutching his face, or something like that. The match only featured Sabu's phenomenal and pristine offense...


Kojika may be old but if you so match as look at him the wrong way he will tear your scrawny ass in half. Pogo took Kojika on a tour of Korakuen, taking him head-first into walls and hallways. Kojika was stumbling around like a senile old man (selling?). When Pogo brought out his sadistic sickle, the crowd went nuts. Here's where this match got nice: the teasing. Pogo would drive down the sickle and just miss Kojika's face, stabbing the canvas. Pogo also brought out some sadistic knife-like object, raked it across Koj's face and mouth~!~! Holy shit! Kojika sold it like death, too, which made this even more fun. Kojika's innability to move really held the match back.

The exploding fun match was actually pretty good in-ring. It was tornado style, so all of the men were in the ring at the same time, yet it didn't seem cluster-fucky like some do. Axl was doing slop spots while Shoji kept it cool in the ring with submissions. There was some great chair-swinging fun on the floor. The anticipation for the explosion was maddening. Every time the announcer would tell how much time was left, the audience would cringe with anticipation. I dug that. Seiji's intensity was great. He ripped his shirt and screamed before delivering a pretty nice DDT to Axl into the tacks. Fan's loved it. Pretty fun match filled with anticipation for balloons popping.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

R.I.P. Gran Naniwa

To commemorate the life of the recently deceased Gran Naniwa all three NHO writers will be sharing a link to one of his matches and a review of said match below:


Gran Naniwa and Super Dragon vs. Jimmy Yang and Fuego - '03 Japan - 2

I've always big a Naniwa mark. When we first started getting Michinoku Pro tapes in the late-'90's, he was an instant favorite, embarrassingly enough, when we did backyard wrestling matches I'd sometimes still his crab walk spot using a fence in place of ropes. This is clipped unlike my friend Steve's cock. I never knew Super Dragon went to Japan. I wonder if he had to buy two seats on the plane to fit his dumpy ass. Fuego is Amazing Red and he is, of course, amazing. I ran into a guy at a store the other day I hadn't seen in over a year but knew socially from parties and whatnot, he randomly told me (knowing I'm a wrestling fan, although I never knew he'd watched) that lately all he's been doing in his spare time is discovering this federation named "TNA" and watching "Amazing Red matches". I didn't want to burst his bubble that today's TNA is vastly different from the '04 variety he's indulging in. Yang's a guy who I feel like I've seen a ton of and I've never understood that spot where he runs up a guy in the corner and backflips off of them. It's the kind of showy, unnecessary shit that should have never made it past the level of armory indy shows. I didn't feel a real sense of struggle here or get pulled in by the minimalist storytelling. Yang's rolling senton off the top to score the victory was sloppier than Dragon's waistline and he needed to be reigned in more like his choice in DVDs (saw him at the food court at Tri-County Mall in Springdale, OH when he was working in a WWE developmental territory with a Sex and the City box set). Now that I recall I've actually seen this before on a "Best of Amazing Red and S.A.T. in Japan" video cassette I irresponsibly ordered as a teenager.


Gran Naniwa vs. Gran Hamada (ECW House Party 1998) - 5

The little older power house Hamada was going against the young Naniwa. The mat control by Naniwa over Hamada's small body was really great to watch. The best thing about this match was that both of these guys kept the M-Pro style and took it overseas to ECW. The match built and built, complete with mat-work and dives. I loved watching Naniwa heeling it up with hat guy, spitting on him and kicking in his general direction. The prior legwork came back into the match, which I really dug. Favorite spot of the match came when Naniwa dove off the rope and Hamada straight up caught his arm and put him in a Fuji-fucking-wara~! Naniwa walked around like a cocky son-of-a-bitch, pissing the fans off. God, he was good. Fun match with fun energy.


The Metal Master vs Gran Naniwa (2002) Japan
Uploaded by themetalmaster. - More professional, college and classic sports videos.

Gran Naniwa v. Metal Master (Nov 2002, Mich. Pro)- 6

Some stuff years after Naniwa's prime years and run in Mich Pro where he was one of the top guys. Found this match on Daily Motion, wondered about the validity of it, not sure who Metal Master is but he posted the match himself, and also left some nice comments for the recently departed superstar so i gave it a chance. Was pleasantly surprised, a very tight 12 minute match that told a good back and forth story, more lucha based, started with both men trying to secure dominance on the mat, then started with the stuff more likely to finish. Couldn't see squat when they went outside but there were some really good reversals while inside the ring, liked the sunset flip near fall. Shockingly, Master goes over with a real nasty DDT version, but showed me Naniwa still had a lot of mileage in his tank. It's a damn shame Gran's passing and I hope this review we have cooked up is a good memoriam in his honor.

WWE Superstars - 11/10/10

I am a DISH networks subscriber, among the many complaints i have with the service is I do not get WGN anymore, on my cable package. therefore no Superstars, a show I really enjoyed. And the guys are always pimping stuff off here, so occasionally I am going online and watching them back, so figured since I'm watching it, let's just review one~!

1) Zach Ryder v. Yoshi Tatsu- 5
Okay good opener here. Zach seems like he doesn't know how to get his charisma out during the content of the match, didn't do a lot great during his control section except for the very Windham-esque superplex that was better than almost any move on Raw in the months. Tatsu is a treat to watch though, like Community, just puts a smile on your face. Really awesome back bump off the feet in the corner, Shining Wizard seems like it's done by everyone but this one was just as good as any other.

2) Eziekel Jackson v. Primo- 2
Not bad, was thinking Jackson was going to be a big piece of clay, ready to be molded with each opponent he fights, but not enough happened here to really tell if he's coming along. Primo's front facelock was total stalling, but obviously his talents are being squandered as well.

3) Drew McIntyre v. Kaval- 6
Drew's modern sad rock entrance song was pretty stupid. This was a good match though, lots of really innovative stuff, Kaval's upside spin kick is a really cool transition move. McIntyre i wasn't really sold on, but his deliberate method is sort of cool because it's different. Sick NOAH apron suplex that couldn't have felt good. Striker trying to sell WWE's roster as "world class" is funny, Ki's fought KENTA & Kanemoto, you trying to tell me Drew is tougher? I'd quicker buy stock in Blockbuster video than believe that one. Only Kaval would attempt a coppo kick rolling up steel pointed stairs, crazy spot. I can say whole heartedly after watching this Kaval is one of the best in the company, sadly he's doing the lose every match gimmick, has that ever been a good idea?

Monday, November 22, 2010

No Prom Date (16) Holiday Edition

hey everyone, looks like it's been since July since i've thrown a bunch of random matches in one review, so it's a good time. Seeing as the holidays are fast approaching, I thought after each match i watch, i'll give them a gift to celebrate this wonderful time of year! Oh god, i hope it's not clothes....

1) Keith Walker v. Jun Akiyama (NOAH 06/26/10)- 4
Jun looked tired, like waiting at the airport on a layover. His wispy black hair with streaks of grey, the flab on his stomach, he looked older than George Takei. And he got his ass whipped the entirety of the match, some real hard bumps for a guy so broken down, guess that's the warrior spirit of those guys. Liked the unique finish Jun came up with though, made sense given the monster opponent he was fighting:

Xmas Gift: an 8 pack of Red Bull for the rematch. This match felt like a clothes dryer turned on Low cycle.

2) Ricky Steamboat v. Dustin Rhodes (WCW Sat Night 01/11/93- Match for vacant US Title)- 6
this was as clean of a wrestling match you may ever see, while also employing great techniques that make this sport so interesting. Particularly Steamboat's selling (no surprise) of the damage Dustin was dealing out to his back. They were mis timing some stuff near the end but really cool nearfall with the bodypress. Windham interferes looking like the lost member of Wolfmother and gives Ricky a real nasty DDT on the concrete that reminds me of the one he took from Jake back in 86.

Xmas Gift: A Restaurant gift card, for these two men to go out and share a meal together, as you totall got the sense they were friends and wouldn't mind pontificating about their match over some warm chili or cheese fries.

3) TJP v. Zack Sabre jr (XWX: The Vision) - 7
Loved TJ against Ultimo Dragon from last year, and Sabre already scores points with me by using No Easy Way Out from Rocky. I really enjoyed this though. It was all about European submission style and really hard kicks. Both guys looked really good in both aspects and had some real cool reversals incl. TJP grabbing a sleeper hold off of an armbreaker attempt by Sabre. The announcers were fun to listen to but sounded like Hollywood gossip column writers but instead of celebrities they were namedropping so many wrestlers it was ridiculous. The armbreaker finish felt like they were trying to go MMA, but I was thinking if they wanted this to be authentic, it could just end out of nowhere, then it did so bravo. Also loved TJP's spinning back kicks, very Dennis Siver of him.

Xmas Gift: Electric razors, just in case either man every grows any facial hair.

4) Jon Moxley v. Drake Younger (HWA Uprising, 04/26/08)- 5
This was Moxley-lite and Drake warming up for a late shift at a IHOP later that night. This was perfectly fine wrestling, no real mistakes, nor any thing memorable save a few strikes from Drake and a fun painful suplex on the concrete in front of a row of nightclub rejects seated at tables like boxing judges. I guess you play to your audience, because there was some Eugene-level bad comedy stuff near the end and really tired finish.

Xmas Gift: a bowl of popcorn and a CZW dvd for them to watch, so they can find their intensity again.

5) CM Punk v. Jeff Hardy ( Steel Cage Match, 08/28/09)- 7
This was one of those big WWE main events that has the feeling out stage gutted like a catfish you caught at the lake, but these guys had been battling for a while, so it made more sense here. Hardy was just on fire, the crowd literally in the palm of his hand, teenage girls all over the audience becoming women, growing breasts, getting their 1st period, all in the matter of 20 minutes of this match. Jeff took some nasty bumps, incl. a delayed superplex off the top of the cage and a crotch spot near the end. Punk was great as a heel, seems he was just biding his time in that horrible face ECW stint he had, to become the guy who squirms halfway out the cage door to yell "I'm out! I'm out!"

Xmas Gift: a bottle of extra strength Excedrin and some money, bravo boys

6) Mil Mascaras v. Gran Markus jr.- 5
Markus looked like Jeff Garlin of Curb fame under a mask, but he was kind of awesome. He threw these short uppercuts, like a Pacuqaio shot and everyone connected. Plus he took a hellacious bump that would make Spike Dudley give himself Hari-Kari. Mascaras follows it up with a dive outside, the right way and Markus catches him like Griffey was paid to do for so many years in Cincinnati. The rest of the match was just perfunctory matwork.

Xmas Gift: Contraception, because these guys were laying many geishas that night in Tokyo

7) Ray Stevens/ Nick Bockwinkel v. Bruiser/ Crusher (2/3 Falls, No DQ)- 6
This match features one of the tag teams Brian inducted into our HOF, the champs, Bock & Stevens and rightly so. They are throwing their bodies all over the place like they're starring in Paranormal Activity 3. Their brawny opponents give one images of motor oil, lumberjack flannel jackets and large stogies, but they can also go in the ring. Nothing dynamic but both men can punch and do, with vigor. Bruiser seems more in the game than Crusher, who falls like a Redwood on his sells, but can bleed like he got his head spiked with a Phantasm ball. 3rd fall got a little sloppy, Crusher was looking for the apron and the heels were bumping even more for more weak looking offense than in the 1st fall.

Xmas Gift: Leisure suits, for all of them, just because they look like they would wear them. And possibly a GPS, because they looked sort of lost in that last fall.

8) Dick Murdoch/ Adrian Adonis/ Big John Studd v. Wild Samoans/ Samu (Kiel Auditorium, 84)- 6
I haven't seen an opening to something that was this exciting since "The Way of the Gun." The ropes break though, real quickly, but it doesn't slow the pace down. Murdoch plays off he isn't holding a foreign object, but is fun while doing it. The arm work section by the heels is pretty enjoyable too, the Samoans aren't really a factor at all but the ending fracas could have taken place a Samoan family reunion at your local Ryan's Steakhouse anytime during the 80's. Sign me up.

Xmas Gift: a 24 hour sentence in a video monitored room containing only the following items: one queen size bed, 3 pairs clean underwear, 2 bottles of Jim Beam, 1 package of beef jerky, one issue of Penthouse (March 93 issue) and a portable DVD player containing the Mr. Bean collection.

Happy Holidays from the NHO crew, make sure to eat lots of turkey, exchange lots of gifts and keep watching any and all Carolinas footage you can find, and leave that ECW stuff alone! (good idea for a New Year's Res!)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

WAR - Super J Cup 1995

"Is it better than '94?" THAT is the question. I (along with countless other puro fans) consider NJPW's Super J Cup 1994 to be the pinnacle of Jr. Heavyweight style. Can WAR match or put on a better spectacle than last year's? Let's find out.

Opening Round Matches

1.) Damien 666 vs. Gran Naniwa - 2

I think it's safe to say that Damien is a fan of puro. The entire match seemed to have been dedicated to Japanese wrestling legends. Before every move that Damien made, he would call out the names of the wrestler he was imitating (Muta = moosault, Misawa = forearms, etc.). This Schick got old rather quickly. As far as the in-ring was concerned, the match had some decent flow, but the only things that really happened were a few dives and some chops. This match was simply a comedy opener to get the crowd warmed up. I wasn't a fan. Damien advances to the quarterfinals.

2.) Ohtani vs. Masaki Mochizuki - 5

I really, really was digging this match. As soon as the bell rang, Moch was on Ohtani like impersonator Rosie O'Donnell on her chocolate whale cake, Fudgie. Sick spinning heel kick started the match, with Moch laying into to Ohtani with stiff strikes that flowed right into some nice leg-work on the mat. Not to be outdone, Ohtani came back with some flourious strikes of his own. Moch came of the rope with an ensiguiri to the side of Ohtani's head, who sold it like Terry Funk on a bender. I was totally digging this match until Ohtani got the pin... at four minutes! I was pretty pissed that such a great match only got four minutes -- I could watch this shit for hours. Oh, oh, Ohtani moves on to the quarterfinals.

3.) Ultimo Dragon vs. Sho Funaki - 4

There was a real sense of respect by both guys that I felt was rather genuine. The fluidity by both men was really great, moving from one body part to another while on them mat. Both men's moves fed into each other really well. Ultimo hit one of the sloppiest hurricanranas I have ever seen which really took away from the match. Sloppier than Steph after the New Year's Eve party in Greenwich, to be exact. There was hardly any selling on mat-work to talk about -- both guys looked like they were going through the motions. Sho really shined here with his smooth transitions between maneuvers. I feel that he is a very underrated wrestler. Ultimo moves onto the quarters.

4.) Masayoshi Motegi vs. Gedo - 3

This match just did not take off. Motegi began by working over Gedo's arm, pummeling Gedo with a belt, then moving onto mat-based submissions of the injured arm which Gedo sold well, vocally. Motegi hit these sloppier-than-hell Germans. He eventually submitted to a double chickenwing that looked like it would be rejected at KFC. The finish came out of nowhere with no previous armwork. Gedo moves onto the q-fins.

5.) Dos Caras vs. El Samurai - 6

I dig Samurai, but I have seen less that 5 Dos Caras matches in my life (is this a sin?). Caras hit this sweet submission in which he tied up Sam's arms and floated over onto his back. Both of these guys' offense is just so polished. Caras hit these really awesome roll-up pin attempts, as well. He's just so fucking clean~! Samurai stuck in there with him, but I think this was really a time for Caras to get over in front of the Japanese crowd. All of the match was mat based and it came off a so damn great. Being an opening round match, it didn't break the 10 minute mark, but damn it was a spectacle. Dos Caras flies into the quarts.

6.) Lion Heart vs. Hanzo Nakajima - 5

The first round finishes strong with Jericho taking on Nakajima. I liked the back-and-forth, "can you top this?" style of match these two had. Jericho seemed to be playing the "cool, sportsman-like American" insisting that the crowd get behind Nakajima. Aside from the very distracting, 80's hair metal band-inspired WASP tights, Jericho looked as good as he's ever been here. Nakajima, pink singlet and all, hung with Jericho, but the lionsault did him in. Nakajima sold his abdomen the whole match really well. The look on his face conveyed more pain than getting a tribal tattoo. Lion Heart moves on to the BIG Q.

Quarter Finals


7.) Gran Naniwa vs. Jushin Liger - 6

Liger, as always, looked great in this match. His dominance and asshole personality in the ring really shined through against the funny man Naniwa. It seemed as though Liger controlled the entire match, streching Naniwa like a used up Stretch Armstrong. In what seemed to be a one sided fight, Naniwa would try his hardest by busting out dives and power maneuvers. One of my favorite spots in the match came at what looked like a botch: Naniwa put Liger in the powerbomb position, but it looked as though Naniwa dropped him on his head, only to have Liger come back with a rolling Liger kick. Shit was nice. I just loved the control that Liger had the whole match. Liger moves onto the SEMI's!

8.) Lion Heart vs. Wild Pegasus - 7

When you look at the two names going up against each other, Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit, it's hard to imagine the two putting on a bad match. Both of these guys just have such a great technical prowess and ability to pace themselves. This match was such a roller coaster. The mat work and Jericho's vocal selling of being stretched like a new baseball glove was amazing. He even let out this squeal that sounded like a mouse on steroids. Benoit's aggression was on par with everything else he's ever done. He hit a really nice tope suicida on Jericho that he really didn't have to, but hey, it's Benoit. Jericho kept speaking English to the crowd, even calling Benoit a "Motherfucker" which garnered some Japanese "OOOOH'S". I dig it. Both of these guys have stolen the show with this match so far. Benoit moved onto the Semi's, getting the best of the yellow-maned rockstar.

Ultimo Dragon vs. Shinjiro Ohtani - 6

Freaking loved this. The match started off with some great high spots and strikes to get the audience out of their seats. Some of my favorite stuff in this match was the mat-work. I loved how Ohtani tangled up Dragon, and how Dragon retaliated with some tangling and stretching of his own. Both guys turned up the heat with dueling tombstone piledrivers that neither sold. This is an example of good no-selling because it mystified the audience and got them more into the match, catching them in the heat of them moment. Ohtani and Ultimo's ability to go from mat-based to highspots in a split second is awesome. Great back and forth between two junior heavyweight legends. Ultimo slides into the SEMS

Dos Caras vs. Gedo - 3

I can't stand Gedo. He had no business advancing in this tournament as much as he did. Caras looked awesome as always here, bringing his mat-based lucha style to Gedo, twisting him into all sorts of gnarly positions. Gedo was selling them well by screaming. That's about the only good thing Gedo did in this match. Gedo got a lot of crowd heat when he tried to pull off Caras' mask. If anything Gedo looked well in his selling and ability to get crowd heat, but this match really got over Dos Caras and his sweet mat skills. Gedo unfortunately moves to the semi-finals.


Jushin Liger vs. Ultimo Dragon - 8

This. Fucking. Ruled. This is junior heavyweight style at its finest. The ups and downs, the pacing, and the technical and aerial abilities by both men are out of this world. I love both of these guys. The mat wrestling, SWEET CHRIST THE MAT WRESTLING, was amazing! I absolutely adored it. Liger's working over of Ultimo's arm was great, and Ultimo's working over of Liger's leg and Ligers consequent selling of the leg was to die for. The near falls, especially Ultimo's after Liger hit the Liger Bomb, were incredible as well. I would've like to have seen Ultimo sell the arm a bit more, but his selling was still satisfactory. The dives and topes in this match were nastier than your local flea market -- SO GOOD! Seriously, this match was awesome. Liger dives his way to LOS FINALES~

Wild Pegasus vs. Gedo - 4

God I hope Benoit takes Gedo's head off. This was Gedo's best match of the tournament thus far, but seeing as who he was working with, it'd be kind of hard not to have a decent match. Benoit can make a mop doused in genital sweat look good. Gedo just looks so sloppy. I made sure to watch him taking the German suplexes , and damn, he could hardly roll up off of his back. You could make a case that this was really good exhaustive selling, but let's not get carried away. The best element of this match were the nearfalls. They were executed well and seemed as though they fooled the majority of the fans. Gedo, much to my chagrin, moves onto the finals.

Psicosis vs. Rey Mysterio Jr. - 4

The feud moves to The Land of the Rising Sun in a non-tournament match! I dug how Ultimo came out with Rey. I fucking loved their match in WWE. This match struck me as odd, however. It started with some decent mat-based chain wrestling, but moved on to some nonsensical dives. I realize this was put on to get Rey over, but I could have done with a lot less topes. I also wasn't very fond of the finish. Psicosis was basically a crash test dummy for Rey, sometimes obviously showing that he was working with him (e.g. Rey kicking Psicosis, and Psicosis pulling himself up to sit on the top turnbuckle to set up for a hurricanarana. I still liked the action as Rey looks flawless with his dives, but it got a little too repetitive for my tastes.


Jushin Liger vs. Gedo - 6

While I'm by no means a Gedo fan, I will say this: he's great at selling. Liger worked him on the mat for a good portion of the match and he was screaming. I liked it. Liger also hit some awesome rolling Liger kicks which Gedo sold marvelously. The pacing was my favorite part of this match -- it started off slow and built up like a pressure cooker. All the means for a great match was there, and a good one was put on. I think Ultimo (who booked the tournament) really wanted to legitimize Gedo's chances of winning the mind of the crowd. While I disliked how far he got in the tournament, Gedo did prove himself to be an excellent seller.

Overall, I still feel that '94 was a better all around tournament; however, I will say this: if Beck is looking for where it's at, tell his odelay-ing ass to pop WAR Super J Cup '95 in the DVD player.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

ROH Glory By Honor IX

1. Jay Briscoe vs. Kenny King - 4
2. Mark Briscoe vs. Rhett Titus - 5
3. Ballz Mahoney and Grizzly Redwood vs. Erick Stevens and The Necro Butcher - 3
4. Double Chain Match: Kevin Steen and Steve Corino vs. El Generico and Colt Cabana - 6
5. World TV Title Match: Eddie Edwards vs. Shawn Daivari - 4
6. Christopher Daniels vs. Austin Aries - 6
7. Non Title Tag Team Dream Match: The Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli) vs. Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas - 8
8. ROH World Title Match (with Terry Funk as the special ringside enforcer): Tyler Black vs. Roderick Strong - 7

Ring of Honor's biggest event of the year comes by way of iPPV (and later DVD) from New York City.

Scary botch in the opener where Jay held King precariously and tried to flip him over his head into the turnbuckles but Kenny instead nosedived straight to the mat in a heap (see the included image) which elicited a "You killed Kenny!" chant. Physical stuff, a hot crowd, and a believable, clean finish made this a nice way to kick the show off. Where Jay is measured Mark is more chaotic and I've always preferred him, he showcases his wilder side here, including a rolling senton off the top to the floor that saw him land tailbone first on the ground. Mark's "Burning Hammer" to get the victory was brutal and a nice finish to a match that built upon the previous' intensity and crowd fervor.

Next up was the first tag encounter of the evening and while it was mostly fun while it lasted it didn't ever reach a fever pitch. Ballz is just grotesque, Necro looks like a fool sans-hair, etc. The spot of the match saw Stevens press-slam Grizzly to the floor from in the ring and while flying in mid-air Necro, also out on the floor, punched Redwood in the face.

A nice dose of storytelling in the dog collar bout, we've got the magnanimous Generico, Cabana's idiosyncratic quirks silenced (for once!), Steen's ebullient asshole nature, and Cornio who, I've got say it, you're being extremely myopic if in 2010 you're still pedaling him as some lost "great" worker, combining in a wild fight which has finality as its cynosure. Generico eating his former partner's blood off of his mangled head makes sense, I guess? Maybe in some sick Alan Moore dystopian vision. Cornio's used to bleeding on tape, it's how he's bought his son Christmas presents for the last decade.

The post-match spectacle only adds to its score as it's a circus of disturbing visuals, Generico unmasked resembling an ersatz Andy Dick, Steen forcibly kissing Corino's teenaged son on the mouth, and Kevin, Steve, and son writing cryptic messages on a steel chair with Corino's forehead plasma.

Edwards has transformed into one of the guys I most look forward to watching in ROH. Daivari was tragically overlooked and underrated in TNA and fits in better here than other Orlando orphans like Sonjay and Petey did. A nice, basic match, with crisp execution (save for one botched leap frog spot) and nice selling (see Eddie's histrionics after a tornado DDT). I guess if Glory By Honor is ROH's answer to WrestleMania then this would be it's equivalent to Goldust vs. Maven.

Next an encounter between two consummate professionals. One, Aries, I like, had him in my top ten in the world in '09, which was an outstanding year for him, and then there's Daniels, who I've always looked at with a degree of equanimity. A few months ago former NHO employee Adam gave away hundreds of DVDs, including several bags full of commercial releases, one of which contained The Prophecy Foretold: The Best of Christopher Daniels which I started studying one night to reanalyze my somewhat timid position on his work. I found myself coming out of the viewing prepared to admit Daniels is a superb performer, great timing, positioning, execution, etc. While he's not this generation's Steamboat I think you could make a case for him being our Rick Martel and that's not too shabby. My favorite sequence saw Daniels attempt a Quebrada to the floor that Aries dodged, then Austin quickly slid into the ring, off of the opposite ropes, and dove out headfirst onto Chris with his pateneded Heat Seeking Missile dive. At one point after having Aries in a Koji Clutch some idiot in the crowd starting chanting "UFC! UFC!" Right, like anyone's ever pulled off that submission in an MMA fight! Maybe Rafael Dos Anjos will experiment with it in his next camp.

Tremendous crowd reactions elevated KoW vs. WGTT into the stuff hardcore wrestling fans dream of. For a guy who's watched way too much 1950's film in the last few months I felt as though Haas was channeling William Holden. A lot of athletic and physical moments highlighted this wrestling mosaic. Even though the finish felt cheap like a Sarasota hooker's murmuring of "I love you" while you check her prostate with your uncircumcised cock this is still one of the better American tag matches this decade.

Wow, seeing Terry Funk at ringside for the main event, got me to thinking Tyler Black couldn't even wipe Funk's ass let alone perform on the top of a bill like he could. I never noticed before but Strong eats power stuff like suplexes and slams a lot like Terry Taylor, but facially sells pain in submissions more akin to Sunny Beach (or maybe Kuniaki Kobayashi minus the dazed eyes). I've never gotten the Tyler Black appeal, to me, he's a slightly better version of Sick Boy, and come to think of it, would have been a nice fit in Raven's Flock. I think the plain old dull babyface Strong (we'd all come to know and tolerate) making a run at the "sell out" champion would have been fantastic stuff, but this new Roderick, as part of Truth Martini's gang, seems about as conflicted as my feelings on the new season of The Office. Kevin Kelly making Willy Wonka references makes me regret this download. Seeing Martini, a guy who I used to watch wrestle with the likes of Pondo and Rotten right down the street from my house here in Fairfield, bumping for Funk was surreal. Strong winning the belt was a neat moment and the finish was fine save for Funk taking too long to hobble into position to make the count.

Overall, a really good show, offhand I'd say their best of '10, and a better option for your evening than watching Marmaduke or finding new ways to label and re-categorize your DVD collection a la Adam Sanders. Homicide's return post-match after the main gave me chills, too bad seeing him live in Dayton weeks later versus Kenny King failed to illicit the same reaction.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Holy Trilogy: Couture v. Liddell

Alright fight fans, MMA has been dormant long enough here on the blog (although keep your eyes open for Brian's upcoming love letter to the sport on his newest Burger Kang) I did one of these once before with the Rock-Austin series from Mania, the name is merely a shot at the moniker fan boys have given the original Star Wars series but if you considered what feud really ignited the world of MMA as far as main event guys, it would have to be the fights these two have waged. So here i will be reviewing all 3 of their Lightheavyweight Title fights. Actually, I'm going to go one step better and review all 3 complete shows they aired on! I knew you'd like that one. A big shout out goes to Big Lots for selling this to me for $2.50 when Best Buy almost snagged $25 cool dollars from my pocket. Ok, Fight!

UFC 43: Meltdown (June 6, 2003)
1) Pedro Rizzo v. Tra Telligman - 6
2) Matt Lindland v. Falaniko Vitale- 3
3) Yves Edwards v. Eddie Ruiz- 5
4) Frank Mir v. Wes Sims -3
5) Ian Freeman v. Vernon White -4
6) Vitor Belfort v. Marvin Eastman- 3
7) Kimo v. Tank Abbott- 1
8) Randy Couture v. Chuck Liddell - 7

1st fight was a slugfest, Telligman was from a boxing background, he's the guy with the caved in chest and was looking for revenge on Rizzo from an earlier defeat. He didnt' hold back, won the 1st round and these guys were letting the hands fly. Rizzo's leg kicks were sick, even spinning Tra around like a dervish at one point. An unfortunate doctor's stoppage ended this but I came away with a great respect for Telligman's fortitude.
2nd bout didn't go far, Lindland seemed in control against a younger, impressive looking dude, but one mistake on a takedown and he was out cold.
I could see how this bout may not interest the casual fan, it was a calculating ground war with a wrestler v. striker. Edwards was like a young, less dominating Anderson Silva, and Ruiz was a tenacious wrestler, he took some nasty shots throughout but really showed tons of heart. A lot of good technique between both guys in a 3 round battle.
This match will be known for MMA's resident nutcase Wes Sims getting DQ'd for stomping a mudhole on Mir's face in a fight Mir was handily in control of.
Our next fight was a heavyweight war of attrition, it goes all 3 rounds with both guys finding close success with both takedowns and standing, I actually had it as a draw as well, Freeman's hands looked really good in the final round but his wind ran out and White looked well rounded in every area. A short interview with Ken Shamrock between rounds showed how many downers a guy could take and still do a interview without passing out.
Wow, Vitor is as explosive then as he is now, he just waited patiently for the right shot and when he does, it's an A bomb going off. Beastman looked armed too, but couldn't stand up to it.
Tank was an Ultimate Fighting Joke at this point and didn't last long in a subpar choke by Kimo who couldn't even cinch it in right.
The 1st of their battles was an awesome fight. Liddell was the superstar of the UFC at this point, it was hinted multiple times that this was going to be a walkthrough for Chuck since Tito had ducked him for 2 years. But Randy's power is his heart, he toppled Chuck with takedowns in all 3 rounds and then for the last 2 rounds he dominated the standup in a shocking display of boxing. A masterful performance, you can tell Chuck was very surprised by a lot of what Couture brought to him, possibly underestimation. A very awesome moment when Randy gets the stoppage as they pull in close to a bloody Chuck on the ground and he mouths "I'm done."

UFC 52: Liddell-Couture 2 (April 16, 2005)
1) John Marsh v. Mike Van Arsdale - 6
2) Patrick Cote v. Joe Doerkson - 7
3) Ivan Salaverry v. Joe Riggs -2
4) Renato Babalu v. Travis Wiuff -5
5) Georges St. Pierre v. Jason Miller- 7
6) Matt Lindland v. Travis Lutter- n/a
7) Matt Hughes v. Frank Trigg- 5
8) Randy Couture v. Chuck Liddell- 4

Our opening fight featured known great wrestler and prick among pricks Van Arsdale, this was a war though, Marsh i've never seen before, he looked like a bodybuilder gas head, and got owned in the 1st but came back to dominate the 2nd round with heavy hands and expert sprawling. 3rd was a toss up until Van Arsdale used the dreaded "69" position to trap Marsh and make him relive a male college rape he endured, i'm just joking, hopefully.
2nd fight was just a clinic, Doerkson was on his A game with submission and ground wizardy, he had a counter to everything Cote tried to do, and was attempting submissions at every turn. It was an interesting fight because Doerkson had clearly won the first 2 rounds when Cote nearly punched him into defeat, but an amazing comeback by Doerkson. I was really digging his one legged trips that worked time after time. Good example of a ground fight that was really exciting.
Not a lot happened here, quick fight, only thing of note was the crazy upkick Ivan hit right before the finish went down. Riggs prematch fight interview was quite the pat on the back though
This was a really aggressive fight, Babalu has a hot/cold rep and he was in danger of being outclassed with wrestling here but was def. better at submissions which helped him. Saw Tim Sylvia in Wiuff's corner, so that's never a good thing. Also, if anyone was to run into Wiuff today, could you ask him if he still paints his toenails?
Wow, amazing early display of how great GSP is in the MMA game, Mayhem (of Bully Beatdown fame) took a shclacking for all 3 rounds, but the guy is tougher than KMart brand sneakers because he tried everything in the world to stop GSP but it wasn't happening. Another awesome ground fight that never slowed down. Wonder how this fight would play out today? Probably the same but Mayhem would have that ever present smile on his face, i bet.
Unfortunately the Lutter v. Lindland match wouldn't play on my dvd, tried it 2 different players so alas it will not be reviewed. Trigg v. Hughes also wouldn't play but luckily i have a small stash of UFC fights on VHS (yes it still exists, sort of) so plugged it in and watched and was a cool little fight. After seeing it and his latest few efforts, Trigg is talented but way overhyped. He nearly got the win after a low blow wasn't called on Hughes. Real tense moment where Trigg tried to choke out Hughes but couldn't quite get it done.
Our 2nd in the main event series went barely 2 minutes, Chuck came in prepared looked solid in his poise and just plowed Randy's face in with a nasty shot. The electricity in the arena was so huge though, really made this short bout feel like one of the biggest fights of all time. Okay onto the last part.

UFC 57: Liddell v. Couture 3 (February 4, 2006)
1) Keith Jardine v. Mike Whitehead- 2
2) Jeff Monson v. Brandon Lee Hinkle- 3
3) Paul Buentello v. Gilbert Aldana- 5
4) Alessio Sakara v. Elvis Sinosic- 2
5) Nick Diaz v. Joe Riggs-6
6) Babalu Sobral v. Mike Van Arsdale -3
7) Frank Mir v. Marcio Cruz- 4
8) Brandon Vera v. Justin Eilers- 3
9) Chuck Liddell v. Randy - 5

So, apparently Whitehead was this great prospect back in 06, wow, who the hell made that prediction? This 3 rounder didn't do much for me, from Whitehead's really plodding style, with takedowns doing nothing with them and the lazy, unrefined exchanges they traded during the standup portions.
Monson kind of bulls through Hinkle, at one point shoving him like in a hockey fight. Really nice choke though that puts BLH into early nap time.
What a nasty fight, not sure where Aldana is today but despite him running out of gas early, he took a hell of a beating here. Buentello has some sick uppercuts, maybe better than Apollo Creed, and he used them beautifully here.
Another dud, Sakara just owned Elvis on the ground, bursting his face open like he found oil but never being able to finish, Elvis hung in there but this was a snoozer.
Man, Nick Diaz is a tough son of a gun, very close judges decision here, funny because you could hear Goldberg disagreeing with Joe throughout the 2nd & 3rd rounds. Riggs was landing bombs but Diaz slow start didn't come through as usual but with the ground work involved as well, this was a real fun 3 rounder.
Bablu was pretty secure here, Van Arsdale looks like one of the townspeople from the world in Stargate and despite him being touted "the best wrestler in the history of UFC" he got outwrestled.
Mir was just coming back from his horrific motorcycle accident, a whole video montage was shown and this was to be a great return and storybook beginning to his rise again in the UFC. they just left the part out about how he was hooked on painkillers at this time. He was beaten bloody by a big, lanky and never before heard from again giant. This was quick but is notable for the upset.
Vera showed at one point he was a game competitor and completely dominated Eilers with his crazy muy thai.
This would rank near the first fight but didn't get out of the 2nd, at this point Liddell's punching power was on par with Tyson's run in the 80's he was KO'ing everyone, Randy no exception. He tried to play a smart battle and did for the most part, even scoring a go nowhere takedown but Randy at this point needed some time off.
Great trilogy of fights, showed both men's strengths and weaknesses and combined with some of the hottest crowds to ever watch a UFC show, these guys both showed why they are considered among the top dogs to ever compete.

Friday, November 12, 2010

DVDVR's Best of Texas from the 80's Disc 4

This discs are loaded, so it's taking me much longer than I thought to work my way through them. But be patient, this is happening.

1) Terry Gordy v. Chris Adams (2/3 Falls, November 12th, 1983)- 6
2) Fabulous Freebirds v. Kerry, Kevin & David Von Erich (Elimination Match, November 21st, 1983)- 6
3) Kerry Von Erich v. Michael Hayes (Loser Leaves Town Cage Match, November 24th, 1983)-4
4) Jimmy Garvin/ Terry Gordy v. Kerry Von Erich/ Chris Adams (2/3 Falls, November 28th, 1983)-4
5) Iceman King Parsons v. Buddy Roberts (December 12th, 1983)-5
6) Iceman King Parsons/ Brian Adias v. Super Destroyers (2/3 Falls, January 30th, 184)- 4
7) Jimmy Garvin v. Chris Adams (Steel Cage Match, January 30th, 1984)- 5
8) Ric Flair v. Chris Adams (February 3rd, 1984)- 7
9) Iceman King Parsons & Chris Adams v. Jimmy Garvin & The Missing Link (March 2nd, 1984)-3
10) Michael Hayes & Terry Gordy v. Kamala & The Missing Link (March 16th, 1984)-4
11) Kamala, The Missing Link & Super Destroyer #2 v. The Fabulous Freebirds (March 30th, 1984)-6
12) Jimmy Garvin v. Chris Adams (April 2nd, 1984)-5
13) Jimmy Garvin v. Chris Adams (April 15th, 1984)-3

So first match is a 2/3 falls match, which I love, not fond of the 30 minute draw type, the evidence is in this match, as it peaks a good 4, maybe 3 minutes before the time is expiring and should have ended but it can't because of the constraints of what they are trying to do. that being said, it's still a fun, hard worked wrestling match. 1st round is pretty dull, even for opening holds and feeling out process. 2nd fall is a quickie, then onto the third where it pretty much won me over because it was all based around back suplexes, Saito type. Adams really holds his own against, in my own humble opinion, possibly the greatest big guy that ever laced a pair up.

Fitting this is David's last match on the set and he gets the big win here, he looked real crisp on most stuff but when in control a little lost, like a blind man trying to find his way around a sex club with no braille on the hookers? I don't even know what that meant. Anyways, really lengthy bout that only picked up when they got Kerry and Hayes out of there and it became a tag situation. Roberts bumped his ass off like his paycheck depended on it. Strange to see David being choked with Gordy's Oriental Spike when just weeks later he would choke on 2 giant portherhouse steaks to his death.

This one was clipped, even so, kind of grew sour on the the overblown Hayes-Kerry element to this feud. They get heat like Satan in a sauna, but I prefer the supporting players matches more. This had all sorts of hijinx in it with Fritz getting involved to give his prostate a kick, and Roberts taking a ridiculous and frightening crotch bump on top of the cage for no reason and in the end, the match ends much the way it was built upon: lots of subpar punching.

This match also didn't do a lot for me, i could see maybe how it would for some. 1st fall featured some timid rest holds and Garvin and Kerry working together as well as a corpse trying to put up a Christmas tree. 2nd fall picked up a bit, Gordy sold like the best jobber you've ever seen, he and Adams have great chemistry. 3rd fall was pretty indicitive of a lot of World Class stuff and it's kind of wearing on me, very formulaic to a lot of other tags i've seen.

A fun scrim between two pretty outrageous characters. Lots of classic heel stalling and other tricks Roberts utilized, very fun match for your 8 year old to watch but for some reason I also enjoyed it. Not a lot of content, some solid strikes both men are known for and some real vicious kneedrops from Roberts.

I don't miss the 80's. The Super Destroyers are two masked men who are even more clunky than Demolition were. Iceman and Adias are both young though and keep the match at a somewhat lively pace. This match didn't need 3 falls, it barely had enough good stuff to fill one regular paced match. Akbar's 5 minute period with Iceman afterwards was just as stale.

Adams worked harder than Roy Munson trying to eat crab legs. All his spots were timed perfectly, some good psych with trying to use the same tactics Garvin did and the finish came off well. Some negatives were the women staying inside the cage?, Garvn's selling of the leg (looked like a little kid being tickled) and the flow of the match was pretty leisurely. Adams got some major blood but didn't give it any sort of big match feel.

More I watch of this set Adams just appeals to me more and more. The guy can go, it's too bad he never got a chance in one of the big 2 as the 80's unfolded into the 90's and that he was such a festering boil on society in his personal life because he could go. Offensively, he mis-stepped a few times but his selling for Flair was as good as anyone he got in other territories. Flair offensively was at a high point, all his stuff looked painful and well executed, suplexes, backbreakers and blistering chops. Ending was good too, even if the slow Lubich made the count like he was counting his coin collection at home.

This was sort of a mess, probably like Fritz's nightly diaper changes after he caught Kerry taking pictures of the dog's wang. Iceman was throwing some nasty shots that weren't pulled at all and that was the lone spot to enjoy although Link threw some token big man swipes that looked hurty. Brawl that capped this one off was as tame as a zoo animal. Adams and Sunshine dancing to Beat It coming in made me lose my lunch.

Match was fun in a ridiculous brawl sort of way, the monsters were bumping like gymrats for the Freebirds punches in a fun visual. Slow point was Link and Kamala on offense, which made the bulk of this, but when they were exchanging with the Birds, match picked up steam. Can't rate this too high, was the start of something bigger, so wasn't fully developed.

Can you imagine the propieter's face of whatever bar in Denton, TX those 6 took over after this show? A fun wild brawl, Gordy was just punches, Hazyes was having fun taking cheap shots, Roberts was solid, Link was real stiff and sold his ass off, Kamala was fully engrossed in character and Destroyer impressed me, he was sort of the glue, and pulled off a great dropkick and falling Nash sideslam better than that over payed hack has done in a decade. See this one for a good 10 minute romp.

This was better than most of their stuff, some good near falls, Adams putting on another great performance, cool tombstone and back bridge injected some Japanese flavor in there. But again, they always do long legwork sections in all their matches yet neither of them have a leg submission nor attempt one to win.

Another flavorless match, that seemed mostly built around the women trying to kill each other and the men following the same formula they've been using. Sidestory: Back in June 1999, besides seeing an awesome Rey v. Jericho match that was one of Jericho's last in the company, me, Brian and some other buds got to see "Gentleman" Chris Adams in action agains Vampiro and it was quite a treat for me to be able to catch in action one the guys from World Class I grew up watching live and only a few years before he was murdered.

Monday, November 8, 2010

TNA iMPACT! 11/4/10

1. Velvet Sky vs. Sarita - 1
2. Shannon Moore & Jesse Neal & Mickie James vs. Generation Me & Tara - 3
3. A.J. Styles vs. RVD vs. Rhino for the TV title - 3
4. Kazarian vs. Douglas Williams - 1
5. The Pope vs. Abyss - 2
6. Matt Morgan vs. Eric Bischoff - 0

A really bad episode this week. I was disappointed in the opener, expected more from the ladies, but there were several miscues and "deer in headlight" looks that made this appear like it was their first match at the local armory in front of Papaw. Six-person tag was best action of the night, Neal's not yet "good", but he's improved, and his selling in the heel control segment was fine. The Bucks' facials and personas have really gotten fun to watch. The three-way, featuring two guys I really loathe, was fine for the time given. They didn't do a lot, but with minimal time, made stuff matter by quality selling and keeping to a simple structure. I thought the Kaz/Williams match outright sucked. Felt like the opening few minutes of a match and nothing more, never got close to even first gear, plus the few simple things they did like clotheslines seemed awfully telegraphed and gave the whole thing a real choreographed vibe. I liked Abyss eating Pope's punches early, but this only got like two minutes, so forget it. I always thought the best stuff with a wrestler attacking a planted fan in the crowd was Pillman back on Shotgun Saturday Night, but I really dug Abyss attacking the fans. The second guy flew back off of a punch and busted the back of his head on the ramp, and the fourth guy, some poor slob, landed right on top of his head when getting dragged over the rail. Abyss mauling him looked strangely like one of those "when animals attack" videos. The "main event" was angle development for the forthcoming PPV and saw Bischoff eat a big boot by Morgan like Eric's wife eats strangers' cocks (I did read they were swingers somewhere).

Friday, November 5, 2010

DGUSA Open the Northern Gate

1) Tag Team Grudge Match: Mike Quackenbush & Jigsaw vs. Gran Akuma & Akira Tozawa - 3

2) FIP World Heavyweight Title Match: Jon Moxley vs. Phil Atlas - 4
3) Special Challenge Match: CIMA vs. Jimmy Jacobs - 6

4) Special Attraction Match: Naruki Doi vs. Masaaki Mochizuki - 4

5) MPW Showcase Match: Bolen & Tyson Dux vs. Xtremo & Brad Martin - 5

6) 2 out of 3 Falls Match: Dragon Kid vs. Masato Yoshino - 6

7) Tag Team Action: BxB Hulk & PAC vs. YAMATO & Shingo - 6

Opener felt like Chikara-lite and that's as welcomed as a blowjob-lite. Quackenbush often strikes me as a guy who'd rather be collecting Pet Shop Boys bootlegs than actually being involved in anything in any way athletic. Moxley was freaking phenomenal in his match. He had this trashy-looking blonde as his valet and he pulled her hair, would fishhook her mouth, shove her around, etc. like an absolute creep. His antics alone were worth seeking this out for. I'll admit I probably liked the next match well more than most people. What really got me into it was the two distinct selling styles; Jacobs was theatrical, putting emphasis on the pain he was in, while CIMA did the more commonplace in Japan style of fighting through the pain, as if it was just temporarily sidetracking him from his goal.

Doi and Mochizuki was good but a little underwhelming. Doi got little offense in and while I enjoyed both guys targeting the legs (Naruki via submissions, Masaaki via kicks) I'd have preferred this to have been less one-sided. The local showcase was surprisingly good, perhaps the lack of quality tag wrestling in general these days boosts my enjoyment of even fairly standard stuff as the grading rubric in that category has evolved, but I dug this. Xtremo, lame name aside, would really fit in well in a southern-style group, don't know a lot offhand currently, save for XCW Mid-West, but I saw him as the best possible version of Brian Christopher. The Yoshino/Kid series came to a finale and it was arguably fitting of what had transpired before it. The finishes weren't exuberant crescendos but were largely believable and expertly executed. I wish, for their sake, they had gotten to pull this off in-front of a larger crowd then the handful of Ontario natives who showed up. The main event was awesome, balls-out Dragon Gate goodness, while it's not everyone's cup of tea, if you're a fan of fast-paced, crisp, spotty action then this is a tasty morsel. I toyed with grading it higher, but in reality, these guys do this type of thing all the time, on practically every episode of the 200+ backlog deep of their show Infinity, so amazing sprints with neck-crunching drops and amazing aerial wizardry isn't nothing new. I would have liked to have seen PAC get a few more big sequences in there, but I absolutely loved YAMOTO's wobbly selling and would realistically put it up there on par with Terry Funk's.

Monday, November 1, 2010

NHO Hall of Fame Class '10: Inductee #11

My final HoF pick for 2010 is none other than Jaguar Yokota. She is widely considered one of the greatest female wrestlers of all time, and, during her heyday in the early 1980s, was considered one of the best wrestlers in the world, irrespective of gender. She retired in '86 to become a trainer for AJW but returned to the ring after forming her own promotion Jd' in '95 where she competed as the company's top star until '98. Since 2004 she's wrestled freelance, including a stint as part of the "Monster" faction in HUSTLE as Jaguar Y. She utilized many different finishing moves in her career but the most spellbinding was the Shuttle Loop Buster (a high-angle release German suplex).

She held the AJW Championship, AJW Junior Championship, WWWA World Heavyweight Championship (twice), WWWA World Tag Team Championship with Jumbo Hori, was inducted into the AJW Hall of Fame in '98; she also had success elsewhere, winning the AWF and TWF World Women's Championships, as well as TWF World Women's Tag Team Championship with Yuko Kosugi. She was inducted into wrestling's most legitimate HoF, the Wrestling Obsever Newsletter Hall of Fame as part of its inaugural class of '96. Congrats, Jaguar!