Monday, February 28, 2011

CZW Cage of Death XII -- December 11, 2010

Cage of and Tournament of Death are always great mainstays in the world of deathmatch wrestling. Can't wait to see what this one has to offer with such a strong looking undercard.

CZW DVD December 11, 2010 "Cage Of Death XII" - Philadelphia, PA
1. Akuma vs. Jonathan Gresham vs. Ruckus vs. Rich Swann vs. Ryan McBride vs. Alex Colon - 5
2. Adam Cole vs. A.R. Fox - 5
3. Robert "Ego" Anthony vs. Sami Callihan - 7
4. Philly's Most Wanted (Joker & Sabian) vs. Osirian Portal -6
5. Jon Moxley vs. Homicide -5
6. Yuko Miyamoto vs. Nick Gage - 7
7. Cage of Death: The Suicide Kings (Devon Moore, Dysfunction, Scotty Vortekz & Danny Havok) vs. Cult Fiction (Brain Damage, tHURTeen, Drake Younger & Masada) - 5

The event starts off with the typical CZW insane scramble match. In front of us we are greeted with a bevy of workers that I dig like Akuma, Gresham, and McBride. This match really saw a great performance out of Alex Colon. In every event that passes, his offense becomes more and more crisp. Colon hit this really great move in the corner on Gresham that I can't really find a way to describe. Basically Colon ran into Gresham in the corner. In an attempt to evade his oncoming, Gresham got his legs up, but was caught by Colon and nearly dumped on his neck. It was amazing. Colon did a good job protecting Gresham's neck from injury, so he's becoming better in the ring to work with, I would think. Akuma was stiff as hell, hitting some great power-bombs. Rukus hit his usual offense, McBride ate some nasty stuff, and Swann seems to be coming into his own style as well. Good way to open the show.

Cole and Fox are arguably two of the best junior heavyweights on the roster, which makes this match happening at the annual Cage of Death quite appropriate. Cole has really gotten comfortable with his character. We all knew he was great in the ring, but he never really had a chance to shine in any kind of creative way. He's secured a cocky, pretty-boy heel character and fits it well. I'm a little bit on the fence with Fox. He seems to be more concerned with doing cool moves rather than emoting and focusing more on working. I think it'd be cool to see some more selling and less flashiness out of him. The match itself didn't really have any flaws and Cole did an excellent job, but Fox's offense is become cumbersome and rather monotonic. Post-match, the Philadelphia Hillbilly Tyler Veritas came out and challenged Cole for the strap. The two battled around the ring in some solid action.

The next match may be my CZW MOTY. The former Egotisico Fantastico, Robert Anthony, is great. Going against one of the best guys on the indy scene today, Sami Callihan, you'd have to expect a great match... and that's what we received. As we all know, Callihan has that sadistic madman way about him that leads to feelings of reckless abandon and oftentimes insanity in his matches. As Ego's character matured, Anthony came out from under the mask to become a serious heel in the company, which complimented the style of Callihan perfectly. Anthony went from a goofy wrestler to a legitimate contender for the title, and I believe this match pushed him to the next level. Anthony hit this sickening power-bomb on Callihan in to the crowd which parted like the Red Sea. It was just great. Pair that with great, stiff in-ring work and you've got a hell of a match. Well done.

The next tag was for the straps, and it was a lot of fun. The team of Sabian and Joker really resonates with me as a great team that can carry the belts for a long time because they both seem like legitimate bad-asses. The Portal was great in this match, and one of my favorite comedy spots occurred when the Portal did the hypnotizing spot, causing all four men to dance like MC Hammer. I feel, though, that there was no way that The Portal could have the belts because they're not seen as a serious team. They are great in CHIKARA, don't get me wrong, but this company doesn't seem appropriate for their type of wrestling. The nearfalls were great in this match, especially after the Portal hit their signature double top rope manuever on Joker who kicked out at the last possible second. Really fun, well-worked match that went a perfect amount of time.

The next match was good. I love Moxley (we all do), and Homicide is undeniably one of the best on the indys. His return post-Orlando has been rather lackluster, but this match was quite good. The sprint atmosphere worked really well with hardly any down time on the mat. Both guys brought a stiff element to the match. Mox got his nose busted open early on which added a really great element of realism to the match. Mox took a nice looking Cop Killa on the top of his back and sold it by folding in half like a deflating balloon.

The next match was fucking awesome. Now, normally it be damn-near impossible for me to give anything this high to a Nick Gage singles, but this was unlike anything I've seen out of him before. The BJW star Miyamoto was tearing it up hardcore in the Asylum. I fucking loved this so much it's beyond words. Gage took a back bump into a fence of barbwire and shortly after ate a Miyamoto back senton from the top rope onto said fence. Miyamoto was willing to go all out in this match as was more than evident of the next spot: a balcony fall. That's right, Korakuen style. Miyamoto crashed through the table below perfectly -- you couldn't have asked for a better bump. The final spot that has to be mentioned in Miyamoto's amazing moonsault from the top of the ladder. He seriously was to the ceiling of the building and just fell backwards, rotating ever-so precariously in the air, crashing onto Gage's ribs with his knees. This was just amazing. The flow of the match and the brawling aspect combined with great spots makes for an amazing hardcore match. I love it!~

The CoD match itself is where things get interesting. While this was by no means the best one in company history, it wasn't without it's good points. Thurteen really showed his ability here at performing. His vocal selling during all the barbwire madness was great, and his initial bump off the top of the cage was sick. His dedication really came through during the match. The eliminations in this match also were done well, but the thing that really knocked points off for this match is what usually knocks points off: the incoherency of the match. There's just too much going on inside of a small space at one time. Combine too many men with too many weapons in the ring and you don't have a good outcome. The middle of the match dragged up until Brain Damages elimination. BD was thrown onto a table of barbwire and got his bicep caught in a barb - -a sickening visual. The elims off the top of the cage were a nice call back to the old school CZW CoD matches, especially Zandig and Lobo. MASADA nearly died in his elimination by (almost?) hitting his head flush on the guardrail from the top of the cage. A good match pardon the lackluster middle, but in the end it was memorable for Masada's elimination and the surprise return at the end.

Overall, a really great event -- maybe the strongest the company has had all year. Well worth the money.

Match Average: 5.7
Recomendation Level: Highly Recommended.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Watts Is It #2

Ok, well I already hit a problem. The disc labeled UWF 86 #2 had no audio, period. The only sound I heard was the DVD player switching between chapters while I tried to see if it was an issue with only part of the disc. Well, it wasn’t so I’m moving on to the disc labeled UWF 86 #3. Luckily, this one has audio. Let’s press on …

1) Ken Massey vs. Chavo Guerrero – 2
Massey is probably one of the most awful jobbers I’ve seen in a while. It’s almost like they just picked some local athlete to be cannon fodder for Chavo. Massey hit the ropes very loosely, sort of like a plastic shopping bag floating in the wind. Chavo just worked him over with a nice Northern Lights suplex and a rolling leg lock.

2) Sting vs. Brett Wayne Sawyer – 2
This is Sting in his early days, a far cry from the broken down old warhorse seen currently in TNA. At this point, he was still pretty rough around the edges, even messing up with a simple lateral press. Sawyer got in a few good dropkicks that Sting sold by taking flat back bumps and then popping up again within a few seconds. Not much to this one.

3) Kamala vs. The Missing Link – 1
I was thoroughly disappointed in this. I was expecting a wild brawl but they mainly just stalled for time until Hollywood John Tatum, Missy Hyatt, and Jack Victory interfered. The lone highlight was Kamala taking a hard headbutt from Link.

4) Gustavo Mendoza & The Libyan vs. The Fantastics – 2
This was pretty much a showcase match for the Fantastics. They hit all of their top moves as J.R. and Frank Dusek put over what may happen when The Sheepherders challenge for the UWF tag team titles. The Libyan was just there merely for decoration as he never got tagged into the match and only took a few moves when the match broke loose. I have to agree with J.R., I would like to see the Fantastics and the Sheepherders lock it up.

5) Buddy Roberts, Terry Gordy, & Michael Hayes vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Terry Taylor, & Ted DiBiase – NR
Again the show goes off the air in mid-match so I can’t give this a proper rating. I liked what I saw though. The beginning was wild with everyone brawling in the ring and the crowd just going crazy. Hayes never was a great wrestler but he knew how to get a crowd riled up. I would definitely want to see this whole match.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

WWE WrestleMania 25th Anniversary

1) Money in the Bank Match (featuring CM Punk, Mark Henry, MVP, Shelton Benjamin, Finlay, Kofi Kingston, Christian and Kane)- 5
This was probably the most physical one of these since the first one. Guys were really going for it, Kofi was doing stuff Shelton just can't pull off anymore and looked damn good doing it. Henry and Kane played their monster roles pretty well. As it wound down, some huge boners were taking place left and right, Christian really bonering his Unprettier, Shelton somehow doing a powerbomb off the top of the ladder onto MVP where MVP landed behind him? Still overall, a fun train wreck.

2) 25 Diva Battle Royal- 1
I give it a point because of the nasty tumble Mickie and Michelle took over the top rope, other than that, this was a mess. The DVD cut out all the divas grinding on Kid Rock's KFC skinned leather pants. Women were just bailing ship like they had stock in GM. Saw Molly Holly working some women, but her time was up quickly. Hated the ending, I mean, the women here get enough disrespect then to have to lose Santino in drag, that's a new low.

3) Chris Jericho v. Jimmy Snuka/ Roddy Piper/ Ricky Steamboat- 6
Call it nostalgia, but the ending sequence when Jericho squared off against the Dragon but these two guys were just doing simple wrestling and the crowd was digging it. Snuka looked scary droopy, Piper tried, but is just a shell of the passionate fighter he used to be, but Steamboat, male pattern baldness and grey haired, but still had most of his instincts, and these guys worked really well together. After match hijinx were fun and I don't think anyone else but Jericho could have made it work.

4) Matt Hardy v. Jeff Hardy - Extreme Rules- 6
I love how the Hardys operate. I've heard they said with more time they would have stolen the show and this did feel a bit truncated in some parts but was physical and everything fit well into the story of the match. Jeff taking so many gnarly spots here, the missing legdrop was instant spinal crackage, and the finish i've been in love with since i've seen it like Eva Mendes. I actually think their Stretcher match may be better though.

5) Rey Mysterio v. JBL- 1
JBL's brilliant idea of a 30 second title change, he sounded like a talking mule coming down the aisle. Have to dig Rey's Nolan Joker outfit, he polishes off the Texan for good on my tv screen so there's a point there.

6) Undertaker v. Shawn Michaels- 7
Okay going to break this down as I know it gets tons of pub as being one of the greatest of all time. Started off fine, but I can't figure out why they broke out all the submission stuff in the first 10 minutes with no build and no one in the building thinking it would end there. The dive sequence, dear god, Shawn's moonsault would have made Bam Bam upset, and Taker nearly killed himself with his. At this point in the match, this thing's a stinker. But, with Shawn improvising the countout near fall then onto the whole ending part, this ranks up there with some of the most crowd involved stuff in history. I think the crowd here tops Hogan-Rock and that's saying something. But you have to understand; it took 20 years for the fans to love both of these guys, pop for their finishers and for them to be as good emotionally to sell this. The run of nearfalls and close finishes here is quite amazing; Taker's nearfall with theTombstone and his face after Shawn kicks out, to me, one of the most iconic moments in any WrestleMania ever. It will stand the test of time. Physically, there's been oodles of better matches, but emotionally on this big a stage, it def. earns a legacy.

7) Edge v. Big Show v. John Cena- 4
Remember hearing Cena being ticked about having to follow the last match but they did alright. All of the spots that were supposed to put Big Show down were, for lack of a better word, shitty. They just looked bad and him waiting in position for each one was pretty laughable. Sad thing was, he's a great point to build a match around, which they tried to do. Grabbing someone by the waist now constitutes a spear? Get the fuck out of here. Cool moment when Cena had both guys on his shoulders, he's a freak in this business. So-so finish, def. not Mania material though.

8)HHH . Randy Orton-4
Flatter than a week old can of soda. The highlight video really made this feel like a huge match even though i'm sure when all that weekly McMahon shit was going on, i was tunig out for Kitchen Nightmares. Hitting their fins within 1 minute sapped all kinds of heat out of the building; actually I think Houston nearly suffered an ice blizzard after that stupid idea. They did such a good job of building up Trip's hate, it almost felt like everything he did couldn't have made up for Orton violating his wife. Liked the nasty knees to Orton's neck and that little segment, but it didn't lead anywhere, and the ending was as stupid a concept as HHH's entrance and putting R Truth on the cover of the DVD even though he didn't wrestle on the card.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Scaly Dragon Bacchanalia

I've been plowing through '10 DGUSA and thought I'd share some musings on some of the DVD extra bonus matches they're wont to include.

1. Arik Cannon vs. Kyle O’Reilly - (Dragon Gate USA "Untouchable" 9/25/10) - 3
2. Aeroform vs. Zero Gravity - (Dragon Gate USA "Way of the Ronin" 9/26/10) - 2
3. The Prophet, Derrick Niekirk & Irish Airborne vs. Chimera, The Cutler Bros. & Malachi Jackson (Dragon Gate USA "Mercury Rising" 3/27/10) - 2
4. Homicide vs. Shingo (FIP "Heatstroke 2006 Night One" 7/7/06 from DG USA "Mercury Rising") - 4

Battle built around strikes but those are harder to get into when there's no thunderous Kensuke Sasuke chops or devastating Yuki Ishikawa open hand shots, etc. Cannon has been around long enough to have been able to afford better gear than the trunks he sports that look like a black trash bag. Kyle's done some work on the leg -- will it lead anywhere? Close-up of both men on their knees exchanging hard shots felt like borderline Iranian smut. O'Reilly ducks a Shining Wizard and locks in a nasty looking half-crab and I'm starting to think, "Okay, this is sort of starting to work -- I mean, it's better than that shitty film Salt I watched last night, so, it's got that going for it, right?" Arik hits "Total Anarchy" and I weep for the punks that got day jobs like Gary Baker and gave up their three-chord dreams. "Oi! Oi! Oi!" indeed.

This match was exclusive for "golden ticket holders". Now wait -- in Wonka's universe you got a fascinating day in the world's most insane candy factory for being a recipient of said ticket; in our meager world it's good for a few minutes of Flip Kendick painfully trying to cull the acting ability to make us believe this isn't all a big con and he's in real pain. Zero Gravity? More like zero talent. To think my friends and I almost drove to Wisconsin for this show. They would have found me dead in the closet hung with a noose fashioned by those old RF Video catalogues I used to keep copies of crumbled up in my bookbag in high school where I'd spend study hall scouring over the latest ECW fan cams and FMW shit. I'm sure Guido and Ballz changed up their undercard singles enough in the half-dozen towns they ran it in that to not have all of those fan cams is a real disservice. Kendrick did something they dubbed a "Shooting Star 450" which, while I'm not sure is entirely accurate, whatever the hell it was it blew my mind like the unearthing of an hour-long Jessica Alba sex tape conceivably would.

Eight-man tag was all sizzle no steak minus the sizzle (maybe the restauranteur piped in sizzle sounds over hidden speakers in the flora above diners' tables). Cutler brothers' double-teams were crisper and more innovative than those of the Crist brothers'. Malachi was the best part with some good facial performing including feigning fear of Niekirk's raging intensity. Dave Crist took the loss for his team and that made me happy. Homicide versus Shingo sounds like a tasty treat on paper but paper lies. Paper's also recyclable as I hope this disc is as I pitched it in the orange bin curbside promptly after screening. Just kidding, your disc is safe, Adam, as well as those top-secret plans for your forthcoming bachelor party that Tim Chestnut cooked up. This was fine, Shingo lacked the dynamism that makes him a big player in today's scene, he mostly got heat on Homicide and then there was some lame run-in leading to the finish with BJ Whitmer scurrying down with ratty long hair and just fuck off.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

WWE Raw 11/8/10

1) The Bella Twins & Eve Torres vs. Maryse, Alicia Fox, & Tamina – 2
Since this particular Raw is in Manchester, England, the heels are dressed in Liverpool uniforms and the faces are in Manchester United uniforms. Josh Matthews was making soccer references on commentary whenever someone would kick someone else really hard. The exchanges between Tamina and Eve were the best part of the match. Typical weekly divas match and not much else.

2) The Hart Dynasty vs. The Usos – 2
Nice flip move over the top to the outside by Kidd. How many times have these two teams fought each other on TV this year? I like the Usos intensity. This continued the slow burning cigarette that is the break-up of the Harts. Usos looked good and hit a few hard kicks, especially one on the outside on Kidd. Smith took the kick weird at the end of the match that led to a splash for the pin.

3) Goldust vs. Ted DiBiase – 3
Goldust’s career has really had a resurgence in the last few years and I’m kind of liking this feud with him and DiBiase over the Million Dollar Belt. DiBiase seemed to have a blank expression on his face the whole match while selling any of Goldust’s offense. Really liked the rotation Goldust got on the powerslam at the end. Speaking of which, the end was kind of goofy with Aksana running down to steal the Million Dollar Belt from Maryse and then the camera nearly missing on the pinfall.

4) John Cena vs. David Otunga – 3
Otunga has been consistent this year, consistently bad. I think the traveling gnome from those Travelocity commericals is a better wrestler than Otunga. It just seems to me that Otunga’s heart and passion just isn’t into it. This was just an elongated squash. Otunga must’ve read the JBL book of flat back bumps cause he damn sure took one on a Cena dropkick. Cena got all his regular shit in here with the regular combo of the AA and the STF to finish it.

5) Sheamus vs. Santino Marella – 1
This was set up by a goofy “Tea Time w/ Santino” skit where he and Kozlov spent the entire time making jokes at Sheamus. The match wasn’t even really a match. It was mainly Santino running from Sheamus and then getting DQ’ed for a low blow. Only gets a point for Sheamus knocking the shit out of Santino as Santino was doing the stupid cobra thing. This feud isn’t doing anyone any favors.

6) Randy Orton, R-Truth, Daniel Bryan, Mark Henry, & The Miz vs. Wade Barrett, Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater, Husky Harris, & Michael McGillicuty (w/ John Cena as referee) – 4
I really dig Husky Harris. He’s definitely got a lot of old school southern brawler traits and his lariats are very Windham-esque. The brief mid-match exchange between McGillcuty and Bryan was really fun to watch. I think they could work well together. Until the end, I’d forgotten that Cena was the ref. Miz turned on his team at the end with Cena distracted with the interfering Otunga in kind of a sloppy finish. Bryan was the high point of the match for the face team.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Nous Observans Chaque Seconde #12


Back doing the random thoughts thing here on the blog and I'm as happy as the people of Egypt right now. I caught a lot of stuff piecemeal this weeked as all the boys are burning through reviews like Jonah Hill's character in "Get Him to the Greek" did whiskey and weed. I'll kick it off by commenting on the first half of IWA Mid South's Prince of the Death Match. Their King tourney has always had a stigma, an aura about it as being a big deal in American stylized brutality, but there couldn't have possibly been more than 15 people here for this show. I saw Dixieland Destroyer again, the 600 pound goof who absolutely should be on the Biggest Loser, in a barb wire match, it was decent, it just bugs me because you can tell the guy's a giant pussy, as here he slowly crawls in under the wire while desperately trying not to have it touch any part of his body. Moxley fought Neil Diamond Cutter who I think was handing out key chains before the match that nary a single person accepted. It was like he worked at a flea market or something. This match was titled "the Curt Hennig Drunken Taipei Death Match" way too much going on, Moxley was belligerent, doesn't matter if he was sauced or not, and Cutter's flesh was ripped open like a 6 year old going through his presents at Christmas. Next were two guys I can't recall their names but their match had wire strung across the actual mat, so you couldn't really do too much on the ground and they even had to watch where they stepped. Two obvious rookies although they both tried hard. Finally Simon Sezz against Kyle Threat in a Barefoot Thumbtack match. This is nuts. Wearing no shoes in a match like this, sure, it proves your tough, but in the end, you still have to perform a match and the fans are expecting you to, so why hamper your chances of being able to just to prove your tough? You are in a thumbtack match isn't that enough! I couldn't believe the level of violence these guys unleashed, it was unearthly. I don't see how they got paid more than $10 bucks to do this to themselves. JC Bailey took on some chubby junior champion named Phoenix in a match that put me to sleep twice. Then in a 6 man tag Ian Rotten teamed up with the Hooligans (who I loathe) and this was one of those Ian ground work matches which are mildly amusing just for the sight of it.


The Superstars episode on Feb 10 featured one of the best diva's matches in recent memory featuring two of the most technically sound women in the company, Alicia Fox and Natalya. It was just so good. The in ring ability of both of them puts the rest of the women in the company to shame. Such great back-and-forth mat work featuring some great moves and countermoves on the mat. Fox's kicks are great and they always seem to connect. Natalya really shows that Hart-style of wrestling with really tight holds and hard shots. Natalya botched a suplex but that was forgivable because the rest of the match was just so damn good. I'd give it a 6 -- easily recommendable.


Makes you wonder why the hell Eve just got their belt? I'll have to check it out then. Adam and I just viewed Trish v. Lita on the High Flyers dvd and it's the best women's match I can think of WWE's produced so I'd like to compare the two.

ROH was on my agenda this weekend too, didn't finish the show for the life of me can't remember, but Danielson v. Kenny King was fun, like one of those matches were the young guy can keep up with the veteran so it had that cool back and forth play going for it. I'm quite tired of the droll Embassy, they were fine in 05 but now that they're back, they have no steam even though I think Nana is a good performer in his role. They fought Colt, Grizzly & Necro, whom i'm sure destroyed a Steak n Shake later that night, both in terms of gross appetite and outrageous and over the top laughing at their own jokes.

Speaking of fun, peeped the Godfather shoot interview. Was a fun watch, only 90 minutes long, as they breezed through pedo Feinstein's questionnaried quickly. Godfather, real name Charles Wright came off as exactly the Godfather character was on TV, light hearted, fun, a positive person. He said nearly off the bat, he's never had a problem with anyone in the ring, and only some people outside the business, Johnny Ace, Stevie Richards, among the more prominent. Seemed like a guy who liked being in the business, was all about being paid, and in a very honest admission, said he never took the business serious enough to become a main player, and he now sees how old school guys would always try to give him advice about his career. Talked about being lead through tons of matches, most of his run actually. Spoke at length about Undertaker, one of his better friends in the industry. Some awkward moments when Godfather would refute some of Feinstein's facts, such as he never worked Jericho, or Jarrett much, different angles, or when he was in the company doing what, even though most wrestling fans would remember it more clearly than he could. But he seemed up for whatever question and unfortunately held back a lot of stories, apparently one about Jarrett's late wife a story on a flight where Kurt Angle bitch slapped Big Show who did nothing in retaliation. If you're a fan of shoots, but not necessarily Godfather, give it a watch anyways think you will enjoy it.


I saw that Alicia Fox vs. Natalya Neidhart bout, Geo; it was quite good. I can't vouch for it being better, per se, than the pimped Lita vs. Stratus singles, it may not have had the same emotional wallop, but I'd argue the in-ring portion was just as good if not considerably better. One thing I can definitely say it did better than Lita/Trish was bring the stiffness! Between the rabid ground-work, stiff slaps, and big moves it felt like an American equivalent of quality joshi (minus the screaming). That being said, not even sure if it was the best match of Superstars 2/10/10, as Reks vs. Hawkins, while squashy, was good stuff and rather vicious.

I've been slowly pushing through WWE Raw 4/21/08 which contained the '08 KotR tournament (and has been reviewed twice previously on the blog by Adam and Jessie respectively). I just caught Punk vs. Jericho before bed last night and was surprised neither of my blog colleagues pointed out how dangerously sloppy it was. Chris botched a front-layout suplex onto the ropes twice consecutively.

I've caught the first one-third of Wrestle Kingdom V. I don't want to get into much detail as I believe Jessie will be reviewing it fully later. Yano played a good Rhyno for Rob Van Dam to toss garbage cans at and squish with ladders. It saddened me Koji Kanemoto didn't even make the main card.

I screened Audinwood vs. Makdessi, an unaired undercard bout from UFC 124, which was great albeit one-sided. Makdessi trains with GSP and the crew and had unbelievable stand-up. I'd like to see what else he has up his sleeve and will get the opportunity to do so as he's on the forthcoming Toronto show in another non-televised fight.

I finally pried DGUSA Mercury Rising away from Adam. I figured I'd watch the bonus disc first and started with CIMA & BxB Hulk vs. Austin Aries & Matt Sydal vs. B-Boy & Chris Bosh - Triangle Elimination Tag Team Match 7/10/06 - Wrestle JAM - Kanagawa, Japan. This was kind of fun but not spectacular. It's been a week or more since I viewed it but I recall liking some of Sydal's facials and happy to see B-Boy across the sea.

WWE Raw 2/14/11 was a pretty hit or miss show but when it hit it hit like a Kawada kick to the back of the skull. CM Punk vs. John Cena was just terrific, no two guys are better at making every little thing mater, and that's why this was such a joy to watch. I also dug the hell out of Danielson vs. Miz. Of all of Bryan's WWE bouts save for maybe the pimped Ziggler PPV one from last year this felt the most like this ROH stuff with a few crippling highspots like the bump on the apron and the insane flying knee plus some real nasty kicks. I've never watched Modern Family but the little girl from it dancing Punjabi while Great Khali walked out to the ring was adorable.

I finally started watching TNA Against All Odds '11 -- more on that in my next update.


trying to think of what else i got in over the weekend besides showing my wife "The Secrets in their Eyes." Saw some of a JAPW show that started out with Osirian Portal against the Heavy Hitters. The Hitters were fine with clubbing away at the Egyptian dudes whilst it stole away all their charm and charisma; except for the really poor hypnotizing sequence. After the match they called out Demolition; what Bizarro world was this filmed in? Kevin Steen showed up to play surly prick and play it he did. He terrorized a youngster I believe named Aarbo something, I liked the defenselessness (not sure if that is in Webster's) he showed, just fully giving himself to Steen's whims. There was a 4 way later on featuring Dan Maff who hasn't been seen in years, didn't look any more dangerous especially taking faux bumps for all of Eddie Kingston's back hands and strong style lariats. My memory must be atrociously fuzzy because it was a 4 way and I can't think of who else was in it. Jay Briscoe came stag to brawl with Homicide in a fun match but the fun ended when they wouldn't bring it home soon enough. Briscoe cut a great pissed off promo in the back though.


So, TNA Against All Odds '11, overall, a damn fine show. 8 matches total with the first-half struggling to feel unlike an extended edition of iMPACT! but things ratcheting up in the second-half. Kazarian vs. Robbie E. and Samoa Joe vs. D'Angelo Dinero both felt like TV bouts. Granted, they have credible excuses, as Gen ME had flight issues or else Kazarian wouldn't have even been on the show, and the Joe match ended abruptly but it served as a cog in their ongoing storyline. The other two first-half matches were actively good. Beer Money Inc. and Scott Steiner vs. Rob Terry, Gunner, and Murphy was better than it had any right being, with the returning Steiner especially putting in a good performance, getting off a lot of his signature stuff and the crowd eating it up. Mickie James vs. Madison Rayne - Last Woman Standing match was quite good while it lasted, physical, but could have used some more time to develop and falls behind the Mickie James vs. Tara - Steel Cage match from iMPACT! last year.

Second-half of the show was consistently good to astoundingly great. Matt Hardy vs. Rob Van Dam was miles ahead of their last PPV encounter, got more time, and was Matt's best outing in TNA yet. The Bully Ray vs. Brother Devon - Street Fight was awesome. I don't know what it is, but, every time Ray's in there with Devon he bumps and sells his ass off so I'm all for this feud continuing. The brawling on the floor was firing on all cylinders and this had tons of heat. The post-match stuff with Ray attacking Devon's kids was epic. Meltzer said had this been fifteen years ago it would have been an all-time classic angle. We're too desensitized and overstimulated nowadays. Still, great old school stuff, and Devon was phenomenal in the role of concerned/angered father.

The last two matches were both stellar. Jarrett vs. Angle was very good, as expected, not on par with their Genesis '09 bout, although many consider that to be one of the best in TNA history (myself included), this was still solid. Having Karen at ringside, the storyline stipulations, etc. all just distract from the great wrestling transpiring in the ring. Does Jarrett ever do big matches sans needless ref bumps? Main event, Jeff Hardy vs. Mr. Anderson - Ladder match, was mostly satisfactory with some minor slips. All the bumps on the ladders were suitably gnarly. They botched the finish where, in mid-air, while taking Anderson's "Mic Check" finisher off a ladder, Jeff was supposed to pull the belt down with him, well, he didn't. Jeff sprung back up, scaled a ladder, and got the belt which cheapened the moment as the original finish would have been insane had it materialized. Overall, I enjoyed it, some real highlights, and next month is Victory Road followed by Lockdown in April which I'll be attending live so it's a good time to be a TNA fan. Speaking of, right now, I'm going to watch the 2/17/10 iMPACT!, finish Cyrus, and get to bed.


Smackdown on 2/18 was kind of odd. I enjoyed that opening six man, especially the sprint finish. When they bust out that kind of finish every-so-often, I usually find myself reflecting on the match in a more positive manner. The divas match between Eve and Beth vs. Layla and Maryse didn't really go anywhere. I enjoyed Michelle's selling of the injured foot, though. Found myself laughing at the Kofi/Miz match after the interference by Del Rio. Since when is being whipped by a towel such a distraction? haha. The tag match between Slater/Gabriel and Marella/Koslov was weak sauce as nothing really happened. The Cobra was kind of funny when Santino debuted it, but now it's pretty much dull and boring. I really wish Dolph vs. Edge would've gone longer, but I loved Dolph's sell on the spear. An odd episode with weird ebbs and flows to it, but it was entertaining. Brian, AAO sounded quite solid. I was curious to how Scott would be able to perform in the ring given his absence. I was concerned about ring rust on his end. I really want to see that Ladder Match. Anderson's performance at MITB some years back was impressive and it would be cool to see him in that environment.

Memphis by Midnight - A Mini-Series :: Gassin' Up

I'll be looking at some of the matches from the DVDVR Memphis set in this mini-series I've titled, "Memphis by Midnight."

Dutch Mantell, Steve O & The Fabulous Ones vs. Adrian Street, Jesse Barr, and the Sheepherders (3/28/83) - 3

I honestly could make heads or tails of this match. There was just so much going on. Apparently is was loaded with stipulations including a "Loser Leaves Memphis" stip. It was fun seeing the pre-WWF Bushwhackers tearing it up in the ring. Adrian Street really didn't leave much up to the imagination regarding his character in the ring. I've never seen a main with a hairdo like that in my life. My favorite part of this match was Street's selling. In particular, during a "wishbone" manuever, street sold it like he was unable to walk. Think the way Rick Rude used to sell atomic drops and then trying to walk. Other than that, though, the match struck me as incoherent with absolutely no ref control.

Bill Dundee vs. Terry Taylor (4/4/83) - 5

Both guys looked really good. Dundee was able to keep up with Taylor's mat-based offense and held his own in the ring. Taylor was just great. His mat-based attacks were to die for. The way he was able to control his opponents in the ring was way beyond his time. Taylor's offensive style really reminded me of an early 80's NJPW style which was based heavily on mat-based offense. Dundee, who was full of charisma, was no slouch either, as his offense was quite delish in some parts as well.

The Moondogs vs. The Fabulous Ones (4/4/83) - 3

This was an odd match because, despite watching it twice in a row, absolutely nothing stuck out to me as actively good. Kirn and Lane are great workers, just really, really, solid in ring performers who will get anyone over. The Moondogs, for what they were, were decent and willing to bump. I'd like to delve further into the match, but I honestly can't because there's nothing about it that jumped out as memorable in any way.

The Moondogs vs. The Fabulous Ones (5/2/83) - 6

Leaps and bounds better than the prior encounter. Kirn is a madman. He got his head caught in the ropes (think Mick Foley style) and was kicking and writing in the ropes as if he was legitimately running out of air. The Moondogs were pulling on his legs, further decreasing his air supply while Lane attempted to free his ensnared team mate. I was seriously sweating bullets for Kirn as his selling was just fucking amazing. God, it was good. The match worked much better this time and had a really great sprint near the end. Just really great selling, especially on the part of Kirn.

The Fabulous Ones vs. Duke Myers & Bobby Eaton (5/16/83) - 4

I haven't seen much of Duke Myers, but I did enjoy what I saw of him in the ring. He had that great 80s style selling ability that you don't see any more. Kirn and Lane were out-performing their opponents yet again and made Myers and Eaton look great. Eaton had this great way of making the audience focus on him even when Myers was the one in the match by throwing his hands up in the air and jumping around on the apron. Not the best match by any means, but again, a really solid showing by Kirn and Lane and a good first impression by Myers.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Strike Force: World Heavyweight Grand Prix

1) Valentijn Overeem v. Ray Sefo- 2
2) Chad Griggs v. Gian Villante- 5
3) Shane Del Rosario v. Lavar Johnson- 4
4) Andrei Arlovski v. Sergei Kharitonov- 6
5) Fedor Emelianenko v. Antonio Silva- 5

The opening fight was quick one, as Sefo looked really confident on his feet but as soon as he got taken down, Mauro calls it and says this is not Sefo's home turf and no sooner did he get choked out. Time to go back to Extreme Couture for him and stir coffee.

Griggs came in looking akin to Starburns from Community; but he wasn't gunshy at all. He was against hometown boy Villante who seemed to just throw his gameplan out the window and flail violently because Griggs was. Griggs seemed as unpolished as my Midtown Man dress shoes but it didn't matter; his will and forward push was enough to overcome Villante in a violent but brief fight that I enjoyed.

Del Rosario is one of the promotions new golden boys rising up, and he just seemed to way too qualified against his opponent, who you kind of felt for considering in his prematch video he discussed taking a 2 year layoff because he got shot. Shane had the advantage on the feet and on the ground and got a convincing win.

Arlovski was on a 3 match losing streak, all by knockout and was fighting the darkhorse of the tournament. Arlovski's footwork was actually impressive and was able to get in a ton of his stuff, including some really nice uppercuts. This reminded me of Lidell v. Franklin where the guy that got Ko'd look good before it happened. Once Sergei found his rhythm though, he was merciless and i like his chances in this tournament overall.

Our main event provided a hell of a first round with both guys unleashing heavy artillery at every opportunity with Fedor scoring more points but "Bigfoot" landing the more significant blows. 2nd round was all Silva, passing guard easily, dropping his massive frying pan hands down upon Fedor's grill over and over again. At the end of the round Fedor's left eye was completely closed over and his face looked like ground beef. Silva looked impressive here and I think his size and power advantage didn't hurt either. Fedor talking retirement was something that totally caught me off guard as well as everyone else in the arena.

Overall not the best StrikeForce offering but all the winners came out looking better than when they went in so that's good for future business.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Watts Is It #1

I was going through my DVDs the other day and came across this pile of discs just labeled “UWF/Mid-South 86”. So, instead of just setting them aside and pulling out an WWF or WCW TV episode, I figured I would at least see what, if any, buried treasures may by lurking on these mystery discs. This particular disc is only labeled “UWF 86 #1” with nothing on it that says even what month it could be from. Pretty vague if you ask me.

1) Gustavo Mendoza vs. Perry Jackson – 3
Jackson looks like a huskier version of Dynamite David Perry from the Herb Abrams version of the UWF. Mendoza hit a very sloppy looking neckbreaker for the win. Both guys seemed pretty bland. Judging by the attire he wore to the ring, Mendoza’s character seemed to be that of a Cuban militant. At least he had the Castro look down with the beard and the hair. Jackson just came across as a generic wrestler. Nothing much here.

2) Gary Young vs. Ted DiBiase – 3
This was pretty much a glorified squash match. DiBiase hit a nasty clothesline bouncing out of the corner near the finish. I think that this is the same Gary Young from late 80s/early 90s Texas territory fame but I’m not sure. DiBiase won with a figure four in about five minutes. Interesting to see DiBiase in the pre-Million Dollar Man years if anything.

3) The Sheepherders vs. Tracy Smothers & Bret Wayne Sawyer – 4
Luke and Butch are much, much better as the Sheepherders than as the Bushwhackers. They’re much more serious and violent and not as goofy and comical. Smothers ate a hard knee from Butch as he was running into the corner. J.R. was really building up Sawyer on commentary for some reason. The two double rib breakers to finish Smothers at the end were good.

4) Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. Kamala – 5
Duggan came out and took the place of jobber David Peterson (of late 80s/early 90s AWA fame) and immediately began brawling with Kamala. Holy crap, this was wild. Duggan got run into the railing and then hit Kamala on the head with a table. J.R. was yelling so loud on commentary when Duggan kicked out of the Kamala splash, I though he was going to have a aneurysm or something. The no contest finish knocked it down a point but it did what it was designed to do, and that was for me to want to see another Kamala/Duggan match.

5) Ted DiBiase vs. Michael Hayes – NR
This was supposed to be Terry Taylor vs. Michael Hayes but DiBiase came out and told Taylor he would take the match instead. The match barely started when the credits started rolling on top of it. I can’t really rate it on the fact that the show ended with the match in progress. Hopefully, the full match will pop up on another one of these mystery discs and I can score it accordingly.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Fujinami v. Go- Double Shot

okay two more great matches from that WWWF Junior Division that I know you've all been waiting to hear about, i'm only 3 decades too late

1) Tatsumi Fujinami v. Ryuma Go (11/30/78)- 4
2) Tatsumi Fujinami v. Ryuma Go (10/02/79)- 5

The first match was a pure ground battle, they fought for 20 minutes and all accept a few standoffs and some moves near the end but the rest was on the mat. I'm as big a fan as the next guy of stuff like this, love MMA battles where it's all mat science as was this one, but with a wrestling match, where you can control what happens, there was no payoff here and there really should have been. Fujinami has some excellent facials, both on offense and off, as displayed here but when the end finally came this felt like a runon sentence of a match.

Our 2nd match really felt like they had built the first as an exhibition because they pulled out all the stops here. Groundwork dominated the first portion, but they weren't just going to stop there; they were using dropkicks to get the advantage back on the ground. Go hitting a plancha outside from the top in 79? Fucking awesome. He also had these nasty claw marks on his face like Bruce Lee from Enter the Dragon. Would have liked a more satisfying finish to wrap this one up but enjoyed it nonetheless.

Monday, February 14, 2011

DG USA Bushido 2010

Chuck Taylor vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Ricochet vs. Arik Cannon - 4
Rich Swann vs. Homicide - 3
Austin Aries vs. Masato Yoshino - 5
Jimmy Jacobs vs. Jon Moxley (I Quit) - 5
Brodie Lee & Akebono vs. The Osirian Portal - 2
CIMA & Genki Horiguchi vs. YAMATO & Akira Tozawa - 4
BxB Hulk vs. Shingo - 6

This was your typical DGUSA opener featuring spot after spot after spot that required the viewer pay damn near no attention. Hopefully this type of match won't lay the groundwork for the rest of the night because I'll be exhausted by the third match in. Ricochet proved just how insane he is by hitting a couple of sick dives throughout the match. All four guys got an equal amount of offense in during the match, which made them all look good. They all also ate a shit-ton of strikes as well, some of which looked good. I really wished the match would've built up instead of going 100% the entire time-- would've made the high spots seem more meaningful.

Homicide just has not been impressing me since leaving Orlando. Swann looked to be too excited during the match because there was just no downtime between anything he did. He looked to have drank too many Monster energy drinks beforehand. Homicide seemed pretty gassed near the match end, which isn't good seeing as it was pretty short.

Aries and Yoshino really had a fun showing going on on the mat. Both guys had some nice submissions worked into the match and the slower style had me digging the match. There was a very slow build. It was interesting seeing Aries (a guy who's not known to be a fast aerialist in the ring) wrestle Yoshino (who is renown for being one of the fastest guys in wrestling). Yoshino busted out some of his speedy offense, but Aries kept cutting him off, leading to a great feed into the Horns of Aries. A lot of ADD viewers probably wouldn't like this match as much as I did, but I loooove mat work. Found myself wishing Yoshino would've kept on Aries arm throughout the match.

Two of my all time faves hooking it up~! Hell yeah! Jacobs started the match off with a balcony dive. If that's not a great way to start a match I don't know what is. Mox brought out that deranged lunatic-like aura that he has about him by stabbing Jacobs in the forehead with Jacobs' trademark spike, which made Jacobs bleed like Muta after taking a bottle of blood thinners. Lenny Leonard referring to blood as "life-giving fluid" made me laugh for a bit, so I had to rewind the disc to see what I missed. Jacobs did a great job at getting sympathy. Picture this, this lunatic has mounted you on the back, tied your hands behind your back, blood on your face, flopping around like a fish. How could you not feel bad for this guy? Great work. The entire match was reminiscent of Mankind vs. The Rock some years back. Match was great just for the emotional value alone.

I gotta say I was expecting a full-on squash during this match. Portal hypnotized Akebono during the match, which was really great as Akebono started dancing and beating up on Brodie. A throw-away match definitely but it was pretty funny.

Your typical DG match rears it's head again. A lot of action with little down time to be had. Yamato seemed to be the one trying to slow down the match by breaking out submissions. Concerning the rest of the match, I felt like I was watching the typical DG match in that all the spots occurred quickly and weren't very significant. CIMA hit a double stomp on Tozawa who had his feet being held by Horiguchi on the outside. The only thing different about this from the usual spot is that it occurred with assistance from the guardrail instead of the ropes. These DG tag matches really take a lot out of me. Between the hyper wrestling and Lenny Leonard's over-modulated voice, I didn't know what to make of this. On one hand, it was a fun sprint, but on the other hand it would've been nice to have seen a more slower-paced match.

Hulk is sporting his short hair now after losing it, and Shingo's mullet is back in force. This match was really good. It built up and built up until both guys started busting out huge maneuvers and hit some heavy strikes. Hulk's kicks made solid connection with Shingo's skull, and Shingo's lariats were fierce as ever. The match was worked perfectly in a main event style match that certainly didn't let down.

Match Average: 4

Recommendation Level:
See Aries vs. Yoshino, Jacobs vs. Mox, and Shingo vs. Hulk. Skip the rest.

Friday, February 11, 2011

House of Truth vs. Jimmy Jacobs & Tyler Black

House of Truth vs. Jimmy Jacobs & Tyler Black - AAW Defining Moment: Fade to Black 9/24/10

This is where Black got his start, his home company, and this is also (for now) where his independent career ends before getting his start with WWE. One of the fools on commentary says upon Black removing his t-shirt it sounded like the Sportatorium when a Von Erich disrobed. That's about as honest a statement as Adam likes non-mainstream film. If both members of House of Truth stood on Jacobs' shoulders they'd combined be tall enough to ride Splash Mountain at Magic Kingdom. Of the four Christian Able is the best at selling, his performances reminding me of Dennis Farina, his ROH stuff comparable to Farina's turn in Manhunter, his AAW run more akin to Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life is Calling. Jacobs is apparently coming off of an injury, in his spare time he should have spent less time at Hot Topic and Kentucky Fried Chicken and more at the gym. After seeing Black work all those 50+ min. battles with Nigel, Aries, Richards, etc. it's kind of hard buying into the House of Truth's control segment as it's just assorted knees and clubs to the back. Weird spot logically where Black hits a suicide dive on Able, gets back in the ring, then runs across to the opposite side of the ring and does another suicide dive onto Josh Raymond who just stood aloof watching him do it all. Adam once said Black was a mixture of Mike Awesome and Great Khali, which is still baffling, which leads me to wonder how he'd sum up Truth Martini?

Black does a somersault plancha onto both HoT members which looks about as painful as a relaxing bath. Black does Cena's "You can't see me!" taunt and locks in an STFU. One thing I noticed is that there was zero ground work. I love seeing it taken to the mat, in MMA as well as wrestling, and feel cheated when that aspect is non-existent. Able countered a spear by Jacobs catching him in mid-dive and hoisting him up into a big powerbomb which was all sorts of cool. A neat spot saw Jacobs shoved off of the top rope and while falling backward caught Able in an Ace Crusher. Silas Young gets involved dragging Jacobs away (thankfully) leaving Tyler alone with the HoT. The HoT got a really good nearfall off of a Tower of Truth. I loved the finish! Black was fired up, hit some of his signature moves, a turnbuckle powerbomb and Superkick on Able, then moved to Raymond who countered God's Last Gift with a cradle and got the upset victory and tag belts for the HoT. The finish bumped up the score a bit and was well-executed. Post-match there's an in-ring circle jerk amongst the wrestlers for Black. To bad this isn't the fraternal hazing he'll experience in WWE's farm leagues or there'd be a literal circle jerk, onto a Maine lobster roll, which Black would then be forced to eat with a side of Laurinaitis' dingleberries.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

WWE High Flyers Disc 2: Co-Review

WWE High Flyers Disc 2

1) Ultimo Dragon vs. Chris Jericho (WCW Bash at the Beach ’97, 7/13/97) – A:6 J:7

A: Dragon really looked motivated here. His kicks were really stiff and his armdrags were really Steamboat-esque. Jericho hit really two hard powerbombs right in a row. They tried a really risky spot where both were on the top buckle and Jericho was supposed to dropkick Dragon. However, it looked like Dragon mistimed when he was supposed to jump and it just looked sloppy in execution. Jericho really was on top of his games here too. Everything looked crisp and his selling was good. Fast paced bout that was better than I remember it being.

J: Adam did a good job covering most of the highlights of the moves, but I want to talk about the chemistry between these two. They knew each other pretty well and it showed in spades. Both guys would commit to a high risk move even before the other guy was in place, that's how comfortable they were. And both men were stiff, kicking and fighting like a starving landlord (oxymoron for you) Both men had counters for counters all day. Dragon does some good body part selling too. Loved the play off the powerbomb attempt into a reversal that played into the fiinish. They actually pulled off so many great moves that worked, that dropkick spot Adam mentioned was just a french fry crumb on a grease stained Mcdonalds tray that Eric Bischoff deposited into his assistant's pants after lunch for fun.

2) The 1-2-3 Kid vs. Hakushi (WWF SummerSlam ’95, 8/27/95) – J:4 A:5

J: This was a nice change of pace. Two lest talked about names from the 90's that could perform. Both guys keep pace with the outside dives, and kicks, which speaking of Shinzaki busts Xpac's mouth open with a nasty kick that didn't even happen when he filmed that adult film after getting punched in the chin with Chyna's cock. Pace was all over the place, Jinsei seemed not all focused on everything, opening sequence would have been fine on a Superstars Sat morning broadcast but expected a little more from a ppv bout. Wonder what the Kliq had on the line as betting material for best match that night?

A: I enjoyed the bout myself. This was a standout match on a card that was full of “gems” such as Bob Holly vs. HHH and Diesel vs. Mabel. Hakushi was in control I’d estimate for 97-98% of the bout. Jessie covered everything for the most part. I liked Hakushi’s running dive to the outside. Fun little match but nothing to really recommend.

3) John Morrison vs. Tyson Kidd (WWE Superstars, 7/30/09) – A:6 J:6

A: Kidd got a really strong showing in, busting out a crazy neckbreaker about midway through the bout. Morrison got a really good corkscrew plancha in. Final few minutes were really good with high-risk moves from both and a really hard knee from Morrison. I liked Kidd’s vocal screaming that added to an otherwise dull headlock sequence. I’ve never been a fan of the “Starship Pain” move from Morrison as it looks, at least to me, like he can barely squeeze all the rotations in in the 1-second span or so that he’s in the air. Kidd was just bouncing up and down like a basketball during the initial part of Morrison’s comeback instead of selling what just happened to him. Other than those few little things, good showcase match for both guys.

J: Yeah Kidd's perpetual smile was puzzling but guess he was trying to give the suits in the back a reason to keep him around, god knows workrate isn't enough. The key here is Kidd is a great hand, but Morrison was on. I actually noticed him in Kidd's headlock and he looked like he couldn't get the right fluff in his pillow instead of having his neck wrenched. They spaced out the moves that got a pop, and the Hart Dynasty was well used while they were there. Kidd has a knack for getting underneath Morrison for all his high flying stuff which just makes it look 100 % better. Morrison looked like a Christina Aguilera back up dancer near the end, just making sure he was in the right spot for his cue but the ending worked. This ranks up there with his singles v. Edge and the Sheamus ladder match as Morrison's best, in my eyes.

4) Triangle Ladder Match: Edge & Christian vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz (WWF WrestleMania 2000, 4/2/00) – J:6 A:6

J: I've covered this match before, possibly twice, and recently re-watched it with Matt and Jeff's commentary overdubbed, to which they said some interesting things, such as there is too much going on, not enough care is put into establishing story and pace, as they would these days. Matt also commented "Bubba's going to get in his stuff off, no matter what." I should mention Matt seemed completely inebriated during it. My thoughts stand the same, it's recommendable for historical signifigance, a multitude of great spots, namely Jeff and Christian's performances, as well as the crazy Swanton. If youcould care less about those, and have seen this before, look for some 90's El Samurai online and educate yourself about the finer points of the DDT.

A: Personally, after watching this again, I think this may be a tad bit over-rated. Yes, the highspots such as Jeff missing a 450 and crashing on a ladder, Bubba gaving Matt an ill powerbomb off the Spanish announce table, Matt taking a big bump through a table at the end, and the famous spot of Jeff diving off a giant ladder to but Bubba Ray through a table (which Bubba promptly sold like he was taking a quick snooze), were nice but in the end it felt more like a stunt show than a wrestling match. However, I do recommend this since it was the fore-runner to the awesome TLC match a year later between these two at ‘Mania 17.

5) Three Way Elimination Match: Super Crazy vs. Tajiri vs. Little Guido (ECW One Night Stand ’05, 6/12/05) – A:5 J:3

A: This felt a lot like a match that could’ve been found on an ECW TV show. As a matter of fact, I recall these three going at it on an episode of ECW on TNN in the spring of 2000. Anyway, everything that you would possibly expect from these three was presented. Crazy did a balcony moonsault onto the entire F.B.I. entourage and Tajiri dusted off the tarantula and the green mist. Guido was there primarily as a punching bag and to get the F.B.I. on the show. The match was a sprint, compressed down into about seven minutes. Fun for nostalgia and not really anything else.

J: Dear God, Mikey Whipwreck back on my TV, is this Dec 21st, 2012? Joey Styles had a knack for calling the ECW action though, he made a lot of stuff bearable. If you mean this match felt like a match that played on TNN back when ECdub was on the air by this being a rushed, hyperbole of spots made famous a decade go now prostituted by being included in a souless "best of" compliation of the good matches these 3 had years ago, you're damn right. That being said, Crazy's moonsault was a fun moment, not near as fun as watching Ricky Gervais lambast a room full of Hollywood prima donnas who can't take a joke but still fun. The whole first fall was a major cluster. Final fall with Tajiri and Crazy had some real awkward pauses in it, like doing vocals for a song on "Rock Band" you've never heard and didn't do a thing for me. I'll give this a 3 and that's being kind.

6) Brian Pillman vs. Alex Wright (WCW Great American Bash ’95, 6/18/95) – J:7 A:6

J: Totally unrelated, the guy that always wears the pink windbreaker was in the front row and he still had hair, he looked like Judge Doom; yikes. The opening 10 minutes was all on the mat, and people never remember Pillman was great on the mat, so I wasn't bored at all here. Timing was on with both guys and when Wright couldn't make a spot work, Pillman would. Not sure the story behind Brian's pants though, maybe he borrowed them from Cher's wardrobe. Loved Pillman's aggression, hit the first chop, then pulled him outside and ripped that Wonder Punk (Heenan's pet name for him) chest wide open. Liked Pillman going all Stu Hart-Dungeon on him in the later rounds. Pillman's uppercut dropkick and leap onto the ropes nuts first were both so fucking balls out i don't know how he had pants on. Finish was cool and was not what i expected, this is the surprise of the set so far.

A: What a pleasant surprise this turned out to be. Pillman’s intensity in certain spots was fantastic and the mat work was well done too. I really dug the strike exchange they had about mid-way through the bout. Wright suplexed Pillman to the outside and the capitalized on that with a dive. Pillman upped the ante with a dive of his own and then an attempted high-risk move off the second rope wihich conclued with him eating the railing. The two spots that Jessie mentioned with Pillman, especially the dropkick, were just so fucking awesome. The aerial stuff took a while to get going but once it did, it was really good.

7) The Great Muta vs. Sting (WCW Japan Supershow, 3/21/91) – A:6 J:5

A: Really dug the pace these guys set. They started out wild with Muta going for the moonsault early on and then Sting gorilla pressing Muta over the top rope and Sting doing a wild dive right afterwards. Rest of the match was them matching each other move for move. Selling was pretty much non-existent. Sting had the most memorable sell where he tried for a gorilla press then just flopped down as if his back gave out on him. Match stayed in the ring mostly, only spilling to the outside a handful of times. Green mist to finish Sting out of nowhere was a nice spot but Sting doing a post-match scorpion death lock felt out of place.

J: These two had such an awesome rivalry, would love to see both of their crippled asses duke it out right now, in 2011. About the opening sequence, fun opening but it didn't really set an established pace. Sting's dive was nuttier than trail mix but the gorilla press before it was weak sauce. Thought Sting's front facelock was just to kill time. There's nothing quite like watching Muta in his prime, his movement is some of the crispest I've ever seen. But I would disagree with no selling, Muta shows a lot of exhaustion and Sting's working the kinks out of his arm moments before dropping Muta from the gorilla slam. Having seen hours of their matches together, this would be in the bottom half, match didn't have a lot of focus, and the ending was a bad version of a not very good finish. And the attack aftewards? What the hell was this about? Just go grab some seaweed sushi from the back and call it a night.

8) Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn (WWF Sunday Night Heat, 8/5/01) – A:5 J:4

J: Oh Christ, Lynn's rocking a colored in moustache, what 9 to 5 job did he interview for that morning? Rob's strikes continue to be the equivalent of a 5 year old girls. Always had a soft spot for Lynn's counter legdrop in the ropes but his front somersault looked like he was falling into a swimming pool to avoid an angry bee. Lynn's German suplex was pure tits, not Brooklyn Decker level, but in the shallow end of them. Watching them squeeze all their trademark spots into their time allotted like trying to wear briefs again makes you wonder if they shouldn't have just shortened some of their long self-indulgent ECW spotfests? Nah, not if i keep seeing both guys do the mental equivalent of looking at their hands during their European Studies exam. Some nasty stuff went down though but this was all done in a vaccuum, in the end meaning as little as the $7 the dad in the front row wasted on popcorn that night.

A: If you really want to see a good RVD/Jerry Lynn match, check out their bout from Living Dangerously ’99 because everything from their series of matches in ECW was compressed here into a six-minute TV match. Lynn got in a couple good moves at the outset, the most notable being a running senton off the apron and a German suplex that almost broke RVD’s neck. RVD’s offense was crisp and Lynn busted out a couple good counters to that offense. Lynn lying like a corpse in position for the frog splash at the end, without exerting so much as a twitch, was pretty goofy looking to me.

Bonus Match:

* The Hardy Boyz vs. Funaki & Mens Teioh (WWF Sunday Night Heat, 9/27/98) –A:3 J:4

A: What a strange announce team for this match, Jim Cornette and Shane McMahon. Nothing but a giant sprint match here. Jeff tried to go for a springboard senton but crashed and burned on the outside. Funaki & Teioh didn’t get hardly any offense in and seved mostly as crash dummies for the Hardys. Tons of legal man issues made this a fun but sloppy showcase.

J:Again, doing a review with Adam has my fantasty booking chops salivating: Funaki v. Jeff 2011? Yes please. Fuck, Men's Teioh doing anything this year, even pumping gas on Youtube. Sprint (not the shitty phone service provider) it was, but I'll be damned if Kaientai didn't bump their asses off. Jeff's missed swanton, shit, that hurt my 30 year old out of shape ass sitting here watching it. I dug this though, more so than some of the ECW-redux stuff featured on this disc.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Best of IWA Deep South (Disc 2 of 2)

1) Mike Quackenbush vs. Hallowicked (3/3/07) – 4
There was something about this match that just didn’t work for me. I think it may have been the fact that it seemed like they were trying to do a Chikara style match in front of a southern crowd who could give two shits less about that type of stuff. I think another thing that I wasn’t buying was Hallowicked as the heel. His motions seemed off and it looked like he wasn’t completely sure of himself in the ring. Another thing that bugged me was Hallowicked’s overselling of a Quack elbow to the knee. Quack laid it in gingerly but Hallowicked sold it like he’d been shot with the supposed “Magic Bullet” that killed JFK. The crowd didn’t seem to get behind Quack’s comeback either. Come to think of it, they didn’t really pop until Quack got the submission win. Maybe they were just happy the match was over. I sure was.

2) Hallowicked vs. Ricochet (5/5/07) – 4
Ricochet did one of the most ridiculous things I think I’ve ever seen. He’s running the ropes at one point and then inexplicably goes through them as if he was going to dive. The thing was that Hallowicked was just standing in the ring during this whole process. Then he flips Hallowicked to the floor and does a running Fosbury Flop and nearly overshoots Hallowicked. I then sit on the couch thinking to myself about if what I just witness made any sense what-so-ever. Hallowicked’s offense wasn’t much and Ricochet just seemed to be doing flippy moves for the sake of doing flippy moves, much like Teddy Hart. The commentators were equally as terrible, with the color guy trying to give his opinion of the Spider-Man franchise in the middle of the match.

3) Insane Lane vs. Cabana Man Dan (5/5/07) – 5
I was not expecting much out of this match, especially when I saw that Insane Lane was wrestling in a regular match and not a deathmatch. I chuckled at the spot where Dan tried to monkey flip Lane but couldn’t do it and accidentally kicked him in the balls. Lane showed me here that he can actually do something other than a deathmatch, although he was terribly winded by the time the match was over. He actually hit a few nice moves, such as a face first DDT from the top rop and a very high release German suplex. Dan did the same schtick that I’ve seen him do in all of the other matches he’s had. I’ll give him credit though, he nailed a sick variation of his “Surfs Up” finisher on the floor. This was better than what I expected.

4) Ladders and Light Tubes Match: “Diehard” Dustin Lee vs. Danny Havoc (5/5/07) – 5
Big ladder spot in the first few minutes where Lee shoves some light tubes into Havoc’s shirt and does a double foot stomp off the top of a ladder. Lee just looks like a garbage wrestler, with long, stringy hair and a dirty looking goatee. Lee took a sick German suplex with a light tube on him. The big ladder spot at the end with Havoc giving Lee a death valley driver through a ladder and light tubes, took a while to set up but was executed nicely. Still not sure why Havoc insisted on doing a roll-up for the pin. That stuff just looks out of place in matches like this. Both guys took a couple wild bumps in between the big spots but nothing to really make me say “see this match”.

5) Tables, Ladders, and Chairs Match: Chrisjen Hayme vs. Cabana Man Dan (9/1/07) - 5
Hayme ate a nasty chair shot to the head early on while they were brawling outside. I’ve seen enough Cabana Man Dan matches on this DVD to last me a lifetime. Hayme had Dan on a table and tried a splash over the top rope which he overshot like hell and landed face first on the concrete. There was a spot where Hayme got shoved off the apron through a bunch of chairs that were set up and Eddie Kingston over-reacted like crazy on commentary. You could clearly see Hayme look back and see where he was going to fall. Big spot at the end was Dan executing a sunset flip through a table off the top of a ladder. The table was way too close and Dan broke it with his ass on the way down. Better than their previous match on this set but the big spots were just came across as sloppy.

6) Barbed Wire Madness Match: Tank vs. Insane Lane vs. Freakshow (9/1/07) – 2
This match could have easily been omitted from this set and no one would have cared. The vast majority of the match was them stumbling around punching and stabbing each other. They did the Necro spot where everyone sits in a chair and punches each other much to the delight of no one. The crowd was so quiet at one point that you could’ve heard a mouse fart. There were exactly two high spots in this match. First was Lane doing a flying knee with a chair from the second rope and the second was Tank rolling like a fat, bloody bowling ball through a barbed wire covered table. This match sucked.

7) Light Tube Madness Match: WHACKS vs. Viking vs. Drake Younger (12/1/07) – 6
Short match but completely insane. WHACKS is this tall, piereced, and tattooed dude who just by watching him you can tell that he has no formal training whatsoever. He just goes out there and does stuff balls out without even caring. He took two falls directly on his neck. The first being a botched double back drop given to him by Drake and Viking. The second being the wildest of the two and he was charging into a corner, jumped, and then crashed into a bunch of light tubes. Drake and Viking had some good exchanges too. The finish was nuts. Drake was laid out across two chairs with light tubes on top of him while WHACKS hung from the ceiling and delivered one of the damndest spots I’ve ever seen, a hanging senton which damn near ripped Drake’s ear off! I suggest you look this up.

8) Devon Moore vs. Michael Elgin (2/27/09) – 3
Not much here to speak about as this was a very bland match. Neither guy really kicked into high gear, especially with the fact the crowd was so quiet. From what I’ve seen of Elgin, I haven’t been too impressed. He did hit a nice brainbuster but his rolling German suplexes into a crossface sucked. Moore was just there to bump for him and honestly looked like the didn’t give a shit about the match. The production value also dropped considerably on this match, as the picture was grainy and the hard cam was zooming in and out with no reason.

9) Exorcist Death Match: Thumbtack Jack vs. Scotty Vortekz (9/26/09) – 5
This does not involve Father Merrin from the Exorcist films, but it does involve three crosses made of light tubes. Some pretty crazy shit happening here. Jack slammed Scotty through a light tube cross on the outside, to which Scotty later shoved Jack off the ring apron through the other one to return the favor. Scotty took a hellish superplex from the top rope and landed flat back on a ladder. Holy shit! Jack headbutted Scotty so hard it sounded like two bowling balls hitting each other after they come out of the ball return. Finish was a sloppy GTS variation from Jack. Both guys took a hell of a pounding and pulled off a pretty good match.

10) Ultraviolent Boards and Cinder Blocks Match: Nick Gage vs. Thumbtack Jack (9/26/09) – 5
This was just wild from the get-go. Started off with Gage talking shit to some dudes in the front row with Jack diving on top of him from the buckle. Things just got crazier from there. From them getting tangled up in barbed wire, to Jack taking a stomach first tack bump on cinder blocks, and to Gage getting needles jammed in his dome, this was nuts. Gage was literally almost crying at one point from the pain, which doesn’t really jive with his tough, loud-mouthed prick persona. They got limited with what they could do at the end because they were both tangled up in some barbed wire but Jack managed to get his finish off on top of a bunch of cinder blocks.

Bonus Matches:
* Jeff Jarrett vs. Sweet Daddy (11/7/03) – 2
Jarrett working the indies? What? The match starts off with a bunch of referees ejecting some hillbilly dude from ringside. Oh Christ, the ring announcer is doing the commentary over the PA system and yells “WOOO” every time Jarrett does a strut. This just screams low-grade. Sweet Daddy is completely expressionless, even when selling. Ref bump and a Harris brother interferes and Jarrett does the guitar shot. Fuck this and the Dusty finish that followed. Same Jarrett match that you would find every week on TNA pay-per-views during this time. The sad part about this is that the referee took the best bump of the whole match.

* Barbed Wire Match: Mike Sweat vs. Ian Rotten (11/6/04) – 1
Mike Sweat is known in certain circles as the creator of the now popular “Faux-Hawk” hair style. You know it, short hair on both sides of the head along with a mohawk strip in the middle. It’s probably even more ridiculous looking than a mullet, but Sweat sports it proudly here while getting his face busted and bloodied by Ian in numerous ways with numerous items such as barbed wire, chairs, and light tubes. This was 98% Ian on offense and by the end of it, Sweat looked like the victim of an alley mugging. I’m not sure where Mike Sweat is today but let’s hope it’s nowhere near a wrestling ring.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

WWE Superstars 1/27/11

Tyler Reks vs. Trent Barretta - 3

Reks reminds me of a homeless Jamaican man that looks like he has impetigo. The sheer domination forced upon by Reks onto Barretta was pretty believable, as Trent is a great worker and can make a mouse look like Superman. The new guy on commentary made me laugh harder than I have in a while, claiming that Reks hunts WITH HIS BARE HANDS. I had to pause my DVR because I kept laughing so much. Barretta's short-lived comeback was nice, but Baretta had hardly any time to shine in this match as Reks was just on offense for 90% of the match.

Zack Rider & Primo Colon vs. Yoshi Tatsu & David Hart Smith - 5

Fun sprint tag. The two teams bring their own element to the match, but there is one key element that brings a smile to my face: youthfulness. All four of these guys are pretty young and are able to put on a fun mid-card match. DH brought a great element of power, and Tatsu brings a strong style element infused with agility. The heel team of Rider and Primo bring a brash sense of cockiness and more than hold their own in the ring. Tatsu's hot tag was one of the best ones I've seen in a while, which led to a fun finishing sprint featuring a nice Shining Wizard variation by Tatsu and a back stabber by Primo.

Tyson Kidd vs. R-Truth - 4

Kidd brought it to R-Truth, leading to the best R-Truth singles match this year. Normally bored to death with his cheesy offense, I found myself raising my eyebrows and nodding my head in approval of the way Truth was carrying himself. The stunner variation that Truth does looked great in this match chiefly due to the fact that Kidd sold it awesomely and it looked like it made a hell of a lot of contact. Kidd's fluidity in motion is great, which makes me feel like he is severely and criminally under-rated.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Zack Ryder and Primo vs. Yoshi Tatsu and David Hart Smith - 5 (WWE Superstars 2/3/11)

A rematch from a week prior. Primo arm control work early which Tatsu quickly reverses and the two trade top position back-and-forth. Tatsu probably has the best armdrags of anyone in the company save for Steamboat. Smith and Ryder do their own jockeying for position segment which ended with Hart locking on a really nasty looking armbar. Something you don't see every day Primo suplexes Tatsu from inside the ring out to the floor. Primo's camel clutch a tad better than Sonjay Dutt's. Tatsu was trained by Nagata but lacks his mentor's amazing in-ring facials although they're getting better. Hot tag to DHS was not quite Fulton-level but his spinning vertical suplex was astonishing. Tatsu wipes Primo out with a crazy dive to the floor. Long Island Iced Z gets KO'd by a headkick from Tastu for the finish, which was great, as WWE doesn't do a lot of strike-related knockouts. I like both these teams.

WWE Wrestlemania 24

First off, Happy Birthday to my beautiful, awesome daughter.

Onto the show, it was in Orlando, Florida and the setup was one of the greatest I think they'd ever done for Mania. The outdoor stadiums are just awesome for a venue like this and I loved the jets flying overhead. John Legend performed the National Anthem and he did an awesome job. Now, onto what we do best, Never Hand Over

1) JBL v. Finlay (Belfast Brawl)- 4
To kick us off, a match stemming from one of the most atrocious storylines since Booker and Edge fought over shampoo some years before it. Anyways, know this was pimped like crazy on some elitest wrestling boards, but I still don't see the luster of it. Yes the match was stiff, almost like Bradshaw was given carte blanche to hurt whoever he wanted, without reprecussions. Finlay's suicide dive outside into the garbage can lid was brain liquefying, but made no sense; he had JBL on the ropes, so decided to dive outside on him? Pace was off too, but it was stiff, overall feeling much like a TV hardcore bout.

2) Money in the Bank Ladder Match: John Morrison v. Carlito v. Shelton Benjamin v. CM Punk v. Mr. Kennedy v. MVP v. Chris Jericho - 4
Wow, I thought this was a giant mess. Funny to look at the names involved and there's only 2 of them still with the company, the rest disillusioned by the "E." Morrison's moonsault outside with the ladder was crazy, but no one was there to take it, if you're going to do it, make it look good, but it didn't. From Shelton's front flip on the ladder, the erector set diarrhea, this felt more so than any other year like a pre-programmed stunt show. Jericho didn't look good here either, a lot of guys were just there to be a body. Matt Hardy's cameo popped the people huge which was a cool little moment. Punk and Jericho's ill fated finishing sequence was one of the worst ladder finishes since Michaels-Razor 2.

3) Chavo Guerrero v. Kane- 0
Could i have spent 9 seconds better? Yes, I believe i could. 1...2...3...4...5...6...7..8...9, yes I did. I just ate a Nutter Butter cookie.

4) Batista v. Umaga- 3
This is easily one of those matches when you look at the schedule and you think, this is probably the least desirable thing on this show. But, alas, after the opening sequence of kicks, where in Batista takes a huge flat back bump outside to exactly no pop (bet that hurt inside). Batista does actually sell the hell out of his back during Umaga's woefully long beatdown period. He was moving at the pace of Jimmy Valiant, circa 2011. Question: If Batista's so strong, how come Umaga has to jump into his arms like a girlfriend coming back from a long trip for his spinebuster? Did he actuall fall down doing his finisher? Okay, this was as disappointing as I imagined.

Dear god there's a video of Carlito fighting a seagull that has to be amongst the most mind numbing pieces of footage I've seen. Who found that funny?

5) Ric Flair v. Shawn Michaels- 6
Seeing this 3 years later after Flair has come out of retirement, it doesn't quite pack the emotional wallop it did at the time. That being said, this isn't a wasted effort. The opening part does feel like Flair is trying to keep up with a younger version of himself, and he's slower with his reflexes than ever, it's sort of sad. There's a nasty moonsault Shawn misses that he didn't sell; he reacted as a real person nearly breaking their ribs; defying logic he tries it again and I swear who started the trend of not catching guys on moonsaults? It looks terrible. But, watch the 3rd act closely; it makes the match. Flair seems to have found some sparks of his old self, the way he damages the knees, attacking it like a vicious animal, Shawn sells it with every single movement he makes, the suddeness of the superkick, each time he uses, the sour puss face he makes actually is useful here and as corny as the finish is, the setup for it is pitch perfect. See this match not to see Flair's final, as we all knew it wouldn't be, but to see a legend in his final hours and you can still see the flames of passion the greatest wrestler of all time still has.

6) Ashley Massaro & Maria v. Beth Phoenix & Melina (Lumberjack Match)- 3
Most Mania Diva matches are living, breathing train wrecks with plastic surgery; this one had something going for it, Beth & Melina are good hands, they bumped for the two rooks, and pulled out some cool offense, such as the assisted moonsault. There were a few mechanic problems, the lights went out at one point, but there was some humorous cameos by Snoop Doog, Santino and inexplicably Jerry Lawler but not bad.

7) Randy Orton v. John Cena v. HHH- 5
I'd totally forgotten about a huge marching band processional playing John Cena out, kind of a cool idea, much better than some of the past ones they've done. A plea: No more 3 ways at Mania for the belt! All 3 of these guys are amazing performers, in their own ways, but it felt like a race against the clock, the whole first 12 minutes or so is everyone just trying to get their shit off. Plus, Cena and Orton, who would top most people's lists for some of the best emoting sellers, were on autopilot while HHH McMahon was on top of his game. The 3rd act, again, pushed this into a higher score bracket the flash pin by a hurt champion is a nice change of pace but I guess I expected better from these 3.

8) Big Show v. Floyd Mayweather jr- 6
With celebrity matches or celebrity involvement, you can either get two things: complete and utter failure or it goes as planned and you get through it. Well Money Mayweather performed above and beyond his call of duty. I'd have to say this was one of the best celebrity matchups ever done. Big Show was great as the gigantic bully, contending with Money's whole group of guys, whom he dismantles like Godzilla burning down Tokyo. Trivia: One of Mayweather's "people" was Nexus flunkie Michael Tarver. The way this finished, because it could only end one way due to politics, absolutely worked and was a great cap off to this very much scripted but entertaining segment.

9) Edge v. Undertaker- 6
Is Micheal Cole and Coach really calling a Mania main event? Did Taker just do a Hector Garza-like armdrag from the top rope? Man questions raised their ugly heads while watching this, like did any of the fans burned from Taker's pyro get any compensation or were they bribed by the company with free Cena merch and a Layla hug photo? Okay onto the action: Really lame flying clothesline by Taker where basically did a flying hug. Plancha feels added on unnecessarily, Taker limping after wards, was it worth it? Big boot by Edge felt Hogan, nay, Brody-esque. Really funny spot where Taker gets his back dropped on the outside guardrail and falls backwards on his neck into a front row Mania chair and some high priced hussy's lap. Really strange watching Taker and Edge do spots like Edge and Christian would. Edge half crab looks like a grizzly with a full stomach resting over the remains of Timothy Treadwell. Final act is picking up as JR would say, should say because he would be knocking this out of the park instead of the call Coach made where he said "Edge is a great, great champion." Yep, you sold me buddy. Story was Edge knows how to counter all of Taker's classic shit because he's both a fan of Taker's whole WWE run and late 90's ECWA matches. Taker's knee is clearly hurt but him not selling it feels weird. That damn Tombstone reversal, we get it every Mania but this one was infintely better as there was no ref, so Charles Robinson had to burn rubber to make it in time for the near fall. Put his ass in a Hall of Fame, what an awesome ref, the face he makes after Edge kicks out is a Kodak moment. I loved the Hells Gate finish, fuck it go ahead and watch this sumbitch, there's a little bit of everything in it for most fans.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Best of HWA 2004 (Disc 2 of 2)

1) Shark Boy vs. Chad Collyer – 4
Collyer was working as the heel here and controlling the middle part of the bout. We get a BPW reference three minutes into the match by the announcer. Wow. That tells you how dated this is, that fed isn’t even around anymore. Collyer hit a hard clothesline in the corner and a nice spinebuster. The camera work is pretty shoddy, especially from the hard cam. Shark Boy had a rather lukewarm comeback with minimal crowd reaction (how much reaction can you really get though from a flea market crowd?) and the announcers just sort of ho-hum about the whole thing. Decently worked match but didn’t have that extra boost it needed to get to the next level.

2) Matt Stryker & Cody Hawk vs. Tracy Smothers & Chase Stevens – 4
Smothers was great in this match, just punching the shit out of both Hawk and Stryker. He even hit a nice leg lariat. Stryker got in a really nasty lungblower early in the bout. I can’t say much for Stevens as it seemed like he was just there to collect a check and didn’t put forth much effort. Stryker had a really good comeback towards the end for the face team but it just turned into a mess of legal man issues, ref distractions, and a botched pinfall .. none of which gel together efficiently. Fun match for Smothers’ involvement but aside from that, not much to see here.

3) Matt Dillenger vs. Rory Fox – 4
I was pretty surprised by this match. Mind you, it’s not a must see match but it’s been one of the better bouts on this entire set thus far. Dillenger’s offense looked good to start off with but it slowly fizzled out after he took a crazy belt shot and started bleeding. Right before said belt shot, Fox took a really nasty spill over the top rope. The one problem I had was that Dillenger’s comeback never really materialized. Granted, he did get a few moves in here and there but it wasn’t really a full-fledged comeback. Also, I didn’t buy the fact that this was a grudge match yet he tried a shooting star press in the middle of the bout. That felt really out of place. Beyond those quibbles, the match went along pretty well.

4) Rory Fox vs. Tack – 2
This was joined in progress and clipped so again I can only rate on what was shown, which was only about five minutes worth of what was probably a 15-20 minute match. The ref bump spot was completely and utterly telegraphed so bad that Ray Charles could have seen it coming. Tack did a crazy dive off a support beam to take out all the members of the Black Militia who were pounding on him. Finish was interference from Nigel, Cody Hawk, and another guy to give Tack the upset win.

5) A.J. Sparx vs. Madison – 2
The clipping continues with this bout. I hope this isn’t a recurring trend. Anyway, Madison I’ve never seen before but seemed to be pretty competent in the ring. I used to think A.J. Sparx was a decent wrestler but now I’ve changed my mind. Her forearms are really shitty and her offense is pretty bad as well. Not to mention, she came out with Hellena Heavenly who was dressed in pink pajama pants and looked like she literally just rolled out of bed. Not much to report here except for the fact that this seemed like a poor girls version of a WWE divas bout.

6) Hoss vs. Nigel McGuinness – 3
Didn’t seem like these two clicked very well in the ring together. Hoss looked like a shorter and fatter version of Matt Morgan in this bout. This also felt dirty. I mean really, two guys wrestling in t-shirts in a flea market on the main event of an indy show? Can’t get much lower than that. All the time Hoss was selling, it looked to me like he was trying to remember his next sequence. Nigel had to pretty much carry Hoss through the match which is more than likely the reason it came off flat. Crowd didn’t seem into it either nor did they pop for Hoss winning the title. Eh, pass on this one.

7) No DQ Match: Shaun Osbourne & Benjamin Kimera vs. Lotus & Crazy J (Special ref: Brock Guffman) – 3
Christ, the audio is completely fucked on this. It keeps skipping and the picture keeps freezing. The building is lighted like shit, which is terrible for when the camera is shooting the crowds brawls that were continually happening in this bout. At points, I couldn’t even make out who was fighting or what they were doing because the match was such a clusterfuck. As is the norm in indy hardcore bouts, chairs, trash cans, and guardrails were used at various points. When Lotus and Crazy J did their flippy moves, it was very out of place. Did I mention that Crazy J screwed up two moves in less than five minutes? The finish was dog shit with Guffman fast counting Kimera to give Lotus & Crazy J the win after Kimera was given a top-rope neckbreaker from a dude who looked much like T.J. Dalton with a face protector on.