Monday, October 31, 2011

Burger Kang #12: Tricks or Treats

Ah, yes, Halloween. One of my favorite times of the year. When else are you allowed to dress like Alf in public and not be arrested or attacked? Halloween can be both rewarding and mischievously troubling, hence "Tricks or Treats". You never know what you're going to get. Just like when you have thousands of wrestling matches at your disposal and start randomly watching them...

From It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966):

Lucy Van Pelt: All you have to do is walk up to a house, ring the doorbell and say "Tricks or treats."
Sally Brown: Are you sure it's legal?
Lucy Van Pelt: Of course it's legal.
Sally Brown: I wouldn't want to be accused of taking part in a rumble.

1. Wanderlei Silva vs. Chris Leben - (UFC 132: Cruz vs. Faber) - 5

Wait, who's that guy in the cage wearing a Goofy mask? Oh, that's just Wanderlei. We got exactly what we expected: two brawlers meeting head-on in the center of the octagon and just banging. 27 seconds later (thanks to some vicious left uppercuts) Silva was taking a premature nap dreaming of Tacacá back home in Brazil.

2. Etsuko Mita vs. Makoto - (12/31/08) - 3

Story here is Mita's the bully to young Makoto. Opening sees Makoto throw a bunch of offense at Etsuko that she sort of just "Undertakers" i.e. ignores and stares back vacuously. I used to get that look from women all the time. Mita didn't waste much time and ended it promptly with a Death Valley Driver.

3. Fujiwara vs Nagai - clipped - (3/2/01) - 4

This appears clipped unlike my friends Nick, Chris, and Steve's cocks (Hey guys!). Talk about frightening. Fujiwara controls on the mat early, back on the feet, Nagai slowly stalks Fujiwara into the corner, limping the whole way (good selling), then starts pummeling him with hard forearms. You feel empathy for Fujiwara sometimes when he's getting blasted with shots as he does these old man tight-faced grimaces that makes it look like your grandpa is getting roughed up. Then his mean streak will surface and you're worries will subside. Yoshiaki seems more comfortable in his guard than Jake Shields. The 30-min. time-limit expires during a rough corner exchange but the version I watched was only 12 min. but still enjoyable.

4. Paul & Katie Lea Burchill vs. Super Crazy - (WWE Raw 4/28/08) - 3

Both of the Burchill's are in the ring at the same time so Crazy says "Fuck it!" and tries to take them both down. Crazy got unreal float on a moonsault -- just so pretty. Katie Lea, not to be outdone, hit a pretty swank missile dropkick. I don't remember Paul using the Curb Stomp as a finisher.

5. Manami Toyota vs. Madison Eagles - (Chikara King of Trios 2011 - Night 3 4/17/11) - 5

Geo gave this a "7" when he reviewed it, and while I liked it, it doesn't compare to Toyota's best stuff and felt more like her running through her routine which while spectacular didn't stir a lot of drama. This was on a bloated card so they didn't give it a lot of extra time to stew. Too bad. Eagles got to kick out of a Japanese Ocean Cyclone Suplex and a Japanese Ocean Queen Bee Bomb so she wasn't entirely squashed but this was all about the Wrestling Observer "Most Outstanding Wrestler" of '95.

6. Roger Bowling vs. Bobby Voelker - (Strikeforce Challengers: Voelker vs. Bowling III) - 5

Their first two fights were really good so I was amped to see the trilogy finished off. Bowling, unlike Rich Franklin, also fights out of our hometown area but I endorse him while never being a big Rich fan. These guys always swing hard and with intent at each other which makes their battles so intriguing. No! Roger gets poked in the eye which is what prematurely ended their first war last year. The fight is back on. Round one ended with fireworks. Bowling's explosive and reminds me of Urijah Faber in some respects. Voelker hits a sickening knee to Bowling's face then hopped on him for the ground and pound finish in round two.

7. Kane vs. Randy Orton - Street Fight - (WWE SmackDown! 7/22/11) - 6

This was pretty good, got plenty of time (20+ min.), some nice shots (kendo stick shots were nasty), and good selling throughout (Orton in general and Kane's of the leg post-bump after having the steel stairs dropped on it). Randy getting his foot stuck in one of the emptied holes in the announce table that usually holds a monitor and awkwardly slipping (and subsequently bumping) to the floor was odd and made me laugh and strange they didn't edit it out of the broadcast as it seemed like the biggest aired goof in ages; especially humorous them even drawing attention to it in commentary and trying to play up Orton's "unpredictable" persona. The match-ending RKO on a steel chair looked much weaker than the regular RKO he'd hit earlier but still liked this overall, quite physical and the beefier duration makes it memorable.

8. CM Punk vs. Chuck Palumbo - (ECW 4/29/08) - 4

This match has the best non-finish ever. Palumbo puts on one of the greatest punching demos in WWE history. He's wailing away on Punk in the corner and when he won't back off at the ref's request he gets disqualified. You know what he does then? More punches. Post-match, Punk tries to fight back, using some of those shitty leg kicks he was doing at the time, only for Chuck to take his head off with a lariat.

9. The Fantastics vs. Chavo & Hector Guerrero - Mid South 10/12/84

Really great tag action, Guerrero's looked like the best team in the States here, move over Condrey and co., and really utilized the ring and their superior skill level to shone. Winner's got a shot at the Rock 'n' Roll Express and their gold. No "Sharp Dressed Man" on that night as the Guerrero's lied, cheated, and stole the victory.

10. Curry Man and Shark Boy vs. Motor City Machine Guns - (TNA iMPACT! 5/1/08) - 4

This was actually kind of fun until a "fuck finish". Surprisingly, thought Daniels sold better in the ridiculous get-up, and Sabin, who I never thought as a guy who expressed well in the ring, did an adequate job in the goofy superheroes' control segment, including making the best of a sloppily executed head scissors by Shark Boy. Shelley at one point tried to bite the plate of curry that resides on top of Curry Man's mask and sold the spicy flavor like he just ate a habanero. The Guns did a good contemporaneous dive to the outside. Scott Steiner, Petey Williams, and Rhaka Khan invaded at ringside, only to be bested by Kurt Angle, and then Samoa Joe. We didn't get a finish but just a first act of a match but I enjoyed what we saw; guess I'm taking the glass half-full theory on '08 TNA TV.

11. John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio - Last Man Standing Match - (WWE Vengeance '11) - 8

I really liked this. Harkened back to one of my favorite WWE matches of all-time (Cena vs. JBL - "I Quit" Match from '05) in that it was a chaotic scene to behold. The ring was destroyed in the previous match (by Show and Henry) so all the turnbuckles were imploded, the ropes slack, the ring lopsided, etc. These guys didn't need a proper ring, though, going right at each other. It really felt like two guys just throwing big bombs at each other until one fell. A whole slew of nutty bumps, all worth seeing and my prose unworthy of recreating, but a few of my favorites: Alberto getting chucked from the ring and flying 10ft. through the air into the barricade, the stuff backstage was a hoot, ADR getting launched at the catering table and holding onto it during the ride bringing it flipping over on-top of himself, knocking over the giant storage unit (or whatever the hell that was) then climbing up onto it to do a spot, out on the entrance area some choice moments, Cena getting chucked through the giant "V" and Del Rio getting pulled off a lighting grid onto a table that exploded (like Willie Mack's dick apparently). All awesome. I love that shit. Cena's had a hot streak on PPV this last-half the year especially and I'd rank this above the three-way Hell in the Cell bout from last month (versus ADR and CM Punk). The Attitude Adjustment off of the steps through the announce table looked hurty. I wasn't a big fan of the Awesome Truth interference, feel like these guys have ruined the endings of a handful of shows now, and feel like a mid-card act muddling up my proper main events. Felt like we were being sold a shitty angle in lieu of getting the great finish a match like this deserved.

12. Sid Vicious vs. Mike Rotunda - Submission Match - WCW Thunder 2/2/00

So, yes, this happened. I've seen it all but if you want surreality as a wrestling fan just pop in an episode of WCW Thunder. Rotunda looks like a buffoon wearing an orange Syracuse basketball jersey and your uncle's goofy hair. Mike actually gets some stuff in but Vicious locks in a Crippler Crossface for the victory. First clean finish I've seen on one of these Thunder shows in awhile.

13. Uso's vs. David Otunga and Michael McGillicutty - (WWE Superstars 7/14/11) - 5

I was pimping this match to the guys via some memories transcribed shorthand I could recall the day after watching it online. Here's what I had to say:

- Jey made Ortunga's opening shots look more devastating than DO has ever looked..
- the ringpost bump and subsequent bump from a dropkick off the top the floor were insane for an Internet show..
- Jimmy's slumping sell coming out of the DO corner clothesline..
- he also had some good facials in a chinlock (kudos to the prod. team for the extreme close-up)..
- loved the Samoan Drop counter.. -
- the hot tag sequence was good
- both the savate kicks were stiff as hell
- the "Superfly Splash" was on par with some of Snuka's
- cool booking cog seeing the Uso's beat the current champs.. felt meaningful in the big picture which a lot of SS doesn't get to

14. Magnum TA vs. Ted DiBiase - No DQ Match - Mid-South 5/27/84

Great brawl at ringside, some real nasty looking rams into a table, never knew Magnum had such great punches, and Ted took a big bodyslam on the concrete while the cow-folk went nuclear. Magnum starts bleeding all over Oklahoma. TA's famed belly-to-belly suplex didn't come off as a real plausible match-ender to me. One of the better under 10 min. bouts I've seen recently. I've got the re-match from Tulsa (later that same day!) so excuse me while I go watch that now.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

NJPW Tokyo Dome 01/04/98

1) Ultimo Dragon v. Shinjiro Ohtani- 8
These two had an epic match at the Super J Crown tournament I reviewed some time back and this was just as good. If you want to see Ultimo work stiff, tune in! Not just the kicks this time, he got aggressive with his big moves at one point giving Ohtani a powerbomb that probably made him forget his mother's name. Also later on couple straight punches to the face lightened the mood. Ohtani was the conduit through which the fans were channeling all their excitement; he has this energy where he shows you he's not giving up and just as well his frustration for not getting the win. Probably one of the more expressive puro guys of that era. Dragon mistimed a few spots but it didn't hurt the overall scheme of things, esp. when he course-corrected one of them into a wild moonsault outside. Near falls have never looked better.

2) Satoshi Kojima/ Manabu Nakanishi v. Tatsumi Fujinami/ Osamu Nishimura- 4
If that last match was excitement personified (sound like a Gorilla-ism) this was DOA. Osamu worked the bulk of this and wasn't particularly interesting. I've seen him work hard before but here he had this preppy college guy hairstyle and never seemed like he was in trouble, as his comeback after the hot tag, to me, negated all the damage done. Nakanishi still sported hair and was even more limited. Tats got a nice pop but was just a spot guy here and not sure the agent on this one but it was quite bland.

3) Shiro Koshinaka v. Masahiro Chono- 4
I won't say this is the most technically sound match, in fact I know it's not and it's also not the cleanest in terms of execution but the neverending series of powerbombs between these two at the end kind of stoked my fires a bit so i bumped this up. Started out fast, but hit a tack strip in the middle and really slowed down so up and down momentum but a solid entry in both mans' careers.

4) Riki Choshu Gauntlet Challenge v. Kazuyuki Fujita, Yutaka Yoshie, Tatsuhito Takaiwa, Takayuki Iizuka, & Jushin Liger - 4

I know this is a nostalgia match but the premise just seems to be out of wack with Choshu wanting to play Superman for one last night. Sure, he's earned it and is hurting no one's status here (except maybe Liger, who had to go on last and still couldn't win) but the booking felt short sighted and very Connecticut. Choshu finishes off his first three opponents with relative ease, as they kicked him around like a tin can for a few minutes then Boom, lariat, capiche. Iizuka, a name not uttered on this blog in some time, is the only one to beat Choshu in a confusing submission leg hold. Then properly, it's played as if Liger v. Choshu was the only match that really mattered; or at least what the fans wanted to see, and it had some good moments, some lariat near falls after being booked so strong in this gauntlet, Liger going all Billy Badass on him, but in the end, this was wrought with problems, and I think the issue lies with the match idea as a whole.

5) Kendo KaShin v. Koji Kanemoto- 4
As the 2nd half of this show gets started, you'll def. be seeing a theme of MMA heavily inspired action. This had a completely different feel than the opening juniors match, which I enjoyed. But, the level of execution and pulling the audience in was far different. This was just a submission match, Koji being worked over on a leg injury with Kendo sort of being one above him at every turn. Had a few good twists and the finish was pretty logical but this didn't feel anywhere near a match I would tell people they need to find.

6) Yuji Nagata v. Hiroyoshi Tenzan- 4
Anyone remember that old N64 game, WCW/NWO Revenge? Yuji was on it and was rocking the same golden tights he is here. He's nowhere near the level of performer he is now, just a bad ass kicker. Tenzan brings as much intensity, and violence as necessary but I think this shows he never had the level of showmanship that most of the NJPW top guys have had over the years as this feels like it would fit perfectly in the middle of an ROH show.

7) Don Frye v. Naoya Ogawa- 3
Intense stuff and Ogawa's takedowns were literally works of art, and give Frye credit for offering to take those in a worked shoot, he was getting thrown around like a stretchy doll you'd get out of the quarter machines. All the punches sucked though, from both guys and it's a huge stretch for Frye to make his stuff look weak. Crowd was eating it up but even here, during the MMA frenzy it feels short sighted as to the direction. The finish was a complete 360, which is logical in MMA but this one seemed too worked.

8) Dennis Lane v. Shinya Hashimoto- 1
Hash walking down the aisle was just intense; guy would have been awesome with a bit part in the Expendables; would have made stars Stallone and Statham look like Woody Allen and Mel Brooks. This was over in less than 2 mins, not sure how worked or what this was but if it was, the finish was ridiculously dumb, reminded me of one of those boxing ppv's we'd get when I was a kid and the main event was over in 30 seconds. Hash gives him one tackle to the ground and he was injured.

9) Kensuke Sasaki v. Keiji Muto- 7
Muto is in another incarnation here, a thick 2 week beard on his face and sporting Hollywood Hogan's ring trunks. Sasaki is the man at this time and Muto knows that, what's great about watching him is he knows the exact right thing to do at every point in the match, whether it's how long to sell something, even when he hits a desperation move, he sells the damage he's taken and it makes that even more important. Again, huge MMA influence as they spend a good amount of time in the beginning working holds on each other, a high spot being Muto's figure four he builds up to.

This reminded me of the Cena-HHH bouts where everything is worked very simply, and it all works so well; Cena was a better performer at that point than Sasaki is here, as he gets lost a few times but Muto is leagues better at making this feel like the biggest match of all time than LeVesque ever was. A great big feel main event with two of the more well known puro guys so yeah, it's well worth a look.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Honor Among Thieves #2: Only The Strong Survive

Only The Strong Survive 1/15/11
Charlotte, NC

1. Adam Cole and Kyle O'Reilly vs. The Bravado Brothers - B: 3 J: 3

Brian: Not a real promising start to the show. Kept short, but little of note, Adam Cole's fighting spirit facials were a hoot. Bravado Bros. matches are what babies see when you can't figure out why they're crying.

J: The last thing i wanted was to see the shaggy haired Bravado to do a Chaos German Suplex and then do an elbow exchange with Adam Cole, who looks like the guy that designed Chris Sabin's alien trunks. Liked the superkick/ lariat combo but it didn't finish so boo

2. Rhett Titus vs. Caprice Coleman - J: 5 B: 3

Jess: These guys get mic work, Rhett even seems shocked Caprice did. Coleman was stumbling over his words like the guy he borrowed those awful tights does, but he pulled it back in towards the end with even more catch phrases than "Dwayne" ever used in a row. Nice to see Rhett not just a base for Caprice to show off, as I've seen Rhett in lately too much for my liking. I believe the Bible stated "there's nothing new created under the sun," and certainly not in this match but this has the feel of a match between two unknowns busting out all this stuff no one else is using and getting over with it. The logistics of Caprice's hurricanra from the ground on a guy on the buckle just doesn't work but i enjoyed myself watching this; especially Caprice's glad handing to get himself employed afterwards.

Brian: I found this pretty mundane. I never believed Coleman stood a chance of winning which lessened any drama and further took me out of the proceedings. Titus showed so much personality in '10 as one-half of the All-Night Express but was quite jejune here. The finish was bad too.

3. Colt Cabana vs. Grizzly Redwood - B: 3 J: 4

Brian: My wife asked me the other day what we should dress our toddler son up as for Halloween this year. I suggested Colt Cabana. A little bandana with the Star of David and a little shirt proclaiming "I'm a professional wrestler!" I'm sure if I sent a picture of that to CM Punk he'd tweet it and thousands of people would see it. Is Punk really petitioning for WWE to re-sign him? Does the world really need a Cabana and Tyson Kidd feud to play out on NXT? It's rare to see Colt playing the bigger or more physically imposing guy in a match but he seemed to relish cutting Grizzly off and laying some stuff in on the little guy. I felt pretty apathetic in the end.

J: Really though does Colt even want to be re-signed? he seems pretty happy with the comedy schtick he's doing here, plus being the senior member of the roster, I'm sure he's making good money. I don't really agree with Punk's idea that the best performers in the world should be in WWE, as they don't all fit. I enjoyed the goofiness of the opening stuff mainly because Colt pulls it off well. Also, he's toned down the end runs of his matches waaaaay back since 2005 when he was doing AJW '94 thing in 2nd matches on the card.

4. "The Prodigy" Mike Bennett vs. Cedric Alexander - J:3 B: 3

Jess: Bennett looks like he should be in WWE, he just has that cookie cutter training school look they’ve dug for so long. Alexander was all fired up which helped the cause of this a bit, had a nearfall I liked but he just felt like a strange amalgamation of several other top notch indy guys we all know. Bennett needs a new finish too.

Brian: Cedric seemed a bit aloof yet had a quality about him, a rawness I guess you could say, that made him more interesting than a lot of guys in ROH who seem on autopilot routine some nights. His staggering selling was good and he seemed like a guy intent on working on his game and craft. I would have liked to gave this more but it was too short, just like the FCW trainers will probably say to Bennett when he comes looking for a job.

5. Claudio Castognoli vs. Christopher Daniels - B: 4 J: 4

Brian: During the in-ring introductions Daniels did a little twirl when his name was called and tripped over his own feet like a drunken sophomore on ladies' night. In some respects, this deserved higher acclaim, but it had a few glaring problems that hurt it overall. First, the match needlessly went 22 min., and I only say that because a big chunk of it was Daniels doing arm work on Claudio that ended up going absolutely nowhere. They spent a major chunk of time on that story cog and it was quickly forgotten like Dane Cook. Also, the finish, we got some interference, a ref distraction, funny that the BME, or Best Moonsault Ever, was anything but. Daniels ended up repeating the BME but this isn't Muta in '89 NWA and I had difficultly buying big Claudio going down to it.

Jess: Daniels is a guy who is respected in the biz just for his time put in and hard work ethic; sometimes I think he tries too hard to live up to that. Both guys largely are stellar workings but whenever a match gets a “This is Wrestling” chant a few minutes in, I examine much closer. Hurricanara spot was kind of nutty that he pulled off the apron and was a good middle ground after the unnecessary limb work. I can’t explain it but the match felt in fast forward, like cutting through the manager interference, the top notch moves, the 1st BME was botch city but I thought the stuff after that was just in hopes of making up for it but it didn’t; match went too long for my tastes.

6. Steve Corino and Andy "Ridge Leg" Ridge vs. Alabama Attitude - J: 2 B: 2

Jess: A “2” on the NHO scale is pretty worthless, and even though nothing really struck me as horrible about the work, the whole match just felt limp. Felt similar in vein to the opener, younger team trying to snapping kicks and loud screams while Corino was in his own world working his nice guy gimmick. This was as tame as Simon Baker is handsome.

Brian: Attitude looked nervous and nosh and indeed they were a small snack for Corino and Ridge. Some people have a six-pack of abs but Corino's got an entire bottling plant. It's safe to say the halcyon days are over.

7. Chris Hero vs. Davey Richards - B: 7 J: 6

Brian: I thought these guys matched up pretty well, Richards' kicks versus Hero's elbows, knees, etc. I think this suits Davey better, a war of attrition, and against a guy physically bigger than him instead of Richards playing domineering bully. They maybe could have cut a bit out down the stretch but I was caught up unsure of who was going to win. After both guys delivered their best shots it only fueled Richards making him more irascible and choleric than usual. I liked the clean crucifix armbar finish, too. Nearly two shows down and this is the best thing we've seen from ROH so far.

Jess: Davey shined here as guy who’s fighting with a strategy. Early on, every time he takes a huge shot (elbow, shoulder tackle, etc.) he ducks out and re thinks what’s going on. The strikes here were phenomenal and easily became the story of this match; who was going to break, from the kicks, elbows and chops. Even Davey’s much maligned German from the top took a back seat to the punishment they were doleing out with strikes. I do think this could have shaved some time off and in my opinion, this should have ended in a KO, not a submission. Surprising yes, but feels like we veered off course at the end when you end with an armlock where as all those strikes weren’t good enough to finish. But overall, yep, best thing in 2011 so far (chronologically). And damn, can’t believe I forgot to mention one of the most boss piledrivers that’s been done since Memphis ’82 by Hero. See this match for that alone

8. Four Corner Survival Match: Homicide vs. El Generico vs. Kenny King vs. Mark Briscoe - B: 5

Brian: This thing was about as by the numbers as the instructions you get with IKEA furniture. I did start getting sucked into it near the melee near the end. Homicide hit the Facewash running kick on Generico and Briscoe and it looked like crap both times. I didn't like seeing my boy Kenny taking the pin.

9. ROH World Title Match: Roderick Strong vs. Jay Briscoe - B: 7

Brian: If you would have told me 4-5 years ago these two would have been the main event I would have been surprised, as in years past, these guys paired off in a singles would typically have been on the lower-undercard (or if on an FIP show semi-main underneath a crummy DP Associates tag). After just watching the three-disc Best of the Indies in 2001 DVD set awhile ago and Jay being in arguably the two best matches on the whole thing I must say my expectations were high to see him perform here. This was a good match, then Briscoe started gushing blood from his head, upping the ante and entertainment. The story was simple enough, Briscoe was a wounded animal, how much damage could he endure before Roderick put him out of his misery? This had the gore, the big moves (and subsequent kickouts), and I could see someone liking it more, the reason I'm not going higher on my score is while this had the same amount of hemoglobin as the Jerry Lynn vs. Roderick Strong classic from Dayton (which I'd rate an "8") it didn't have the same drama or nail-biting excitement.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

WWE SmackDown! 4/21/11

Trying a different approach here: sort of a stream of consciousness live commentary, a mixture of observation and play-by-play, with analysis at the end of each bout.

John Morrison vs. Mark Henry

Morrison starts off with a kick to the mid-section and some strikes but Mark just shoves him away like an insect. Spills to the floor, then back in, where Henry delivers a cranium-crushing headbutt. Henry's chinlock looks like an offensive maneuver whereas Orton's just looks like a rest. John fights out but gets caught with a back elbow after springing off the ropes. Henry charges in the corner but eats some foot casserole, this gets Morrison cooking, and he gets the Flying Chuck and a Shining Wizard variant in. Starship Pain lands! 2 count. Mark tosses Morrison high in the air and catches him in a World's Strongest Slam in an impressive visual and physical feat.

Score - 3
Good opener, Henry's dominance continues, which is well deserved. Outcome was never in question but I liked that Morrison got a little offensive run there toward the end.

Wade Barrett vs. Daniel Bryan

Thought these guys had a damn fine match together back at SummerSlam '11. Bryan's letting the beard grow back in. Some nice countering early. Barrett catches Daniel in a huge spinning sidewalk slam. Daniel was draped through the ropes on the apron and a running boot by Barrett sent him flying to the floor. Daniel firing back with some forearms. He catches Wade charging in with a boot then hits a tasty missile dropkick. Wade mounts Bryan and drops some punches, sure Daniel's been in that predicament before at Xtreme Couture once or twice. Nice crisscrossing rope sequence that ended with an explosive flying forearm/clothesline by Bryan. Pump-handle slam by WB gets 2. Barrett abuses him in the corner. Bryan gets caught coming off the top and splattered with Wasteland.

Score - 5
Heels go over two in a row. Bryan's losing streak continues. My only grip is Bryan's built as a smart, logical wrestler, but makes common mistakes like the leap onto Barrett's shoulders that lead to the finish. Action was good but we've seen them produce much better.

Shaemus and Zack Ryder vs. Christian and Dolph Ziggler

Ryder and Dolph start, quick go-behind by Zack but he eats an elbow and Ziggler takes over. Christian in and he cuts off Ryder's momentum by tossing him to the floor. Nice neckbreaker by Dolph who's back in. DZ telegraphs two rights that are blocked and Zack fires back shots of his own so Dolph dropkicks him right in the face. I liked Dolph kicking out of a cover and immediately grabbing Zack's ankle so he couldn't leave their side of the ring. Shaemus comes in hot blowing through Dolph. Shaemus sidesteps a Fameasser attempt and hits a nasty backbreaker. Christian bails to the back. Shaemus turns Ziggler inside out with the Brogue Kick for the finish.

Score - 4
Hard to give this too much love as it was short. Ryder didn't do much with the time he was in, Shaemus just got that hot run at the end to continue his monstrous push, Christian played chickenshit, but it was Ziggler who stole the focus with his nutty bumping.

Sin Cara vs. Sin Cara - Mask Match

So it's Azul (blue/babyface) vs. Negro (black/heel) in Mexico. I saw a knockoff Mistico action figure at a dollar store yesterday -- didn't recognize any of the other nameless wrestlers but one looked like a non-dwarf Blixx. We get the mood lighting. Feels like we're in Applebee's. Negro stomps away and smacks a kick off of Azul's back. He needs to put some more stank on those, like, ODB's puss level of stank. Azul does his scale the ropes plancha to the floor on Negro. Weird thing about this feud is the lack of hate or physicality during their in-ring stuff together. They're doing the same head scissors, etc. they did against guys like Justin Gabriel with no added emphasis. Negro gets backdropped to the floor where he rolls down the aisle. Too bad there's not a sewer grate for him to get lost in like how it used to happen in my neighborhood all the time. Instead of mask I wish this was "loser leaves" and we got a double countout or something. Negro nails a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Negro utilizes a camel clutch for the second time now tugging at Azul's mask in the process. Negro does a running somersault in the corner but Azul escapes -- he did it at about quarter-speed. Azul rallying and we get a series of elaborate pin attempts that don't cut it. Negro does something resembling an Angle Slam/Death Valley Driver hybrid. Azul was scaling the corner, changed his mind, ran across the ring to the other side, then did a Swanton Bomb. Bad judgement call. Azul wins with La Mistica. Post-match Negro doesn't want to unmask, and even punks Azul, but a tussle leads to Azul removing the mask and hitting a suicide dive for the hell of it.

Score - 4
As stated above, given the nature of the feud, would have liked more velocity and intensity, lots of flash, but no hatred on display. Hell, even the flash was dull like a Greyhound bus window. Not sure where this leaves Negro.

Big Show vs. Alberto Del Rio

Show's new "W.M.D." t-shirt looks like ass. He can't pull off pea green. I'm expecting some sort of screwy finish here. Show tosses Alberto early, clubs him on the back, gets a big chop in the corner, then slams him hard on the mat. Del Rio is grounded throwing "up kicks" like he's Nazareno Malegarie. Del Rio bails to the floor for a breather. Show tries to pull him back inside by the skull but Del Rio uses his weight to pull Show throat-first onto the top rope buying him some time to scale the ropes only to be caught with a big open hand chop by Show. Vengeance returns this weekend after taking a couple years off. Del Rio dropkicks the stairs into Show's legs which didn't really work. Back inside and ADR bumps for another body slam. Alberto goes after the base of Show targeting the legs which is good psychology. Then he switches to the arm trying to wear it down for his finisher. Show's back up and moving all around the ring, running ropes, etc. as if the limb work never happened. Del Rio slides out of a chokeslam attempt, drops down, clips the legs, then hops into a Cross Armbreaker. Show, just like at Golden Corral, won't tap out. Show eventually powers up to his feet and throws ADR. I don't think anyone else has lasted that long in Del Rio's patented hold. Ricardo Rodriguez interferes leading to ADR taking a KO shot and then Henry who ran down getting knocked out as well.

Score - 5
Even with the predictable "fuck finish" this was still a hoot with ADR looking really good, nice strategy, etc. and Show retains the heat from his recent return going into his World title match on Sunday. We saw them at Capitol Punishment '11 and in a cage match on Raw but maybe we'll get an extended program between the two of them down the road.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Ring of Honor Wrestling - 10/15/11

We were doing a TV show project lately where each guy on the team was going to review a TV ep but with Geo gone, that fell by the wayside; still, I wanted to give the new ROH show a go, so threw my hand in on this ep.

1) Briscoe Brothers v. All Night Express- 4
From clips and chatter on the 'net, these two teams have had some hellacious matches; this started to be one but ultimately didn't come through. One huge thing i noticed was Rhett Titus; dude bulked up considerably where as he has a completely different build and look now. I also really dug some of the innovative spots he was using. Kenny had a blazing hot fire comeback late in the match and while Briscoes can be great heels, they never got it to that level. Thought the ending was sort of sloppy as well.

2) Eddie Edwards v. Michael Elgin- 6
This is only my 2nd look at Elgin and i've recommended both matches now. When Frightmare takes a bunch of hellacious offense and still kicks out, it's pretty hard to swallow; when Elgin does, it makes sense; that's his gimmick "Unbreakable" so you can buy it. Edwards don't back down for shit in this either and seemed to assert himself as one of the top guys in ROH and I loved it. Nigel was good adding Edwards trained in the NOAH dojos to give a backstory why he's so tough and won't back down. They unleashed some crazy slap and strike exchanges here. And instead of the everyone kicking out of finishers, they simply teased executing it several times but it still worked once Eddie hit it; that's the way to turn in a match. Great stuff

This show is as talky as Impact or Raw, but they get more for their money; Impact's opening interview segment ran for 45 minutes this week, sure it setp up a lot of things but my god how can you expect true wrestling fans to wait that long. This one is very old school where people don't like each other and talk about it but it doesn't feel tongue in cheek like on Raw.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

RtW TV teaser trailer

Brian here, been promoting my new show everywhere I can, figured why not here, too? It also features NHO contributor Jessie. The show debuts on Nov. 2 over on my website Review the World or our YouTube:

CHIKARA "True Stories" 11/18/05

Carla Jean: "Sheriff, was that a true story about Charlie Walser?"
Sheriff Ed Tom Bell: "Who's Charlie Walser? Oh! Well...uh...a true story? I couldn't swear to every detail of it but it's true that it's a story."
Kelly McDonald (Carla Jean) and Tommy Lee Jones (Sheriff Ed) in No Country for Old Men (2007).

1. Lancelot & Dragon Dragon vs. Dr. Cheung, Darkness Crabtree, & Punisher – 1
2. The Prophet vs. Casanova – 3

The opener was bad, really bad. I gave it a point just for the comedy on the face team. Lancelot is a team consisting of two guys named Lance Steel dressed in goofy knight outfits that look like they came from a third grade King Arthur production. Crabtree moves slower than a glacier but I guess that’s supposed to be his character. Punisher seemed completely out of place. Only thing that really saved this for me was Dragon Dragon, who I think is a pretty cool character. Didn’t see a single thing that I liked here. Wasn’t expecting much out of this and it was suprisingly decent. Casanova has this pudgy, dirty porn-star vibe about him and spent time during the match grinding his hips a la Rick Rude and doing some “unnecessary hamstring stretching” as Bryce Remsburg called it on commentary. Prophet had a good handle on what he was doing and seemed to be the one controlling things. Pace was good and the in-ring was pretty basic but I enjoyed this for the most part.

3. Larry Sweeney vs. Sabian – 3
4. Ryan Cruz, Darin Corbin, Equinox, & Angel de Fuego vs. Hallowicked, Ultramantis Black, Rorschach, & Crossbones - 4

Sweeney’s matches are usually pretty fun but this really felt like a chore to get through. Once they got through all the schtick and got down to some business, it was okay but nothing to set the world on fire or anything. Felt like a typical Sweeney match with him doing his thing, you know the strutting, the playing to the crowd, etc. The only things I actually liked here were Sabian’s nearfalls. The piledrive at the end by Sweeney was pretty rad as well. It’s weird seeing Ultramantis without all of the tattoos he has now. Roschach looked nothing like the awesome character from the Watchmen graphic novel and more like a generic masked guy in a t-shirt. I’m still waiting for everyone to get the memo that nothing good has ever come from wrestling in a t-shirt. Equinox brought some levity, whacking Ultramantis with a fly swatter that was quickly disposed of and then a bigger version of the same fly swatter. I can honestly say that’s the first time I’ve ever seen someone use one of those in a match. Either Hallowicked is really tall or the ceiling in the venue is really low because when he climbed the buckles, he almost went through the ceiling. Some fun stuff here but nothing to get overly excited about.

5. Claudio Castagnoli & Arik Cannon vs. Reckless Youth & Mike Quackenbush – 4

Started off pretty good with Reckless Youth jumping Claudio and Cannon from behind and all four doing a brawl on the floor. The story of this match was Cannon didn’t want to cheat to beat his idols on the opposing team and that was touched upon pretty heavily during the match in numerous spots where you would normally see a heel cheating (ie: choking the opponent on the outside, double teaming, etc.). The double dives by the face team were pretty neat. Reckless and Cannon tried a Japanese strong style exchange by trading suplexes but the crowd had no clue what they were doing.

6. Allison Danger vs. Sumie Sakai – 3

Pretty much standard indy women’s match and not a lot to get excited about. Danger really didn’t show much at all as Sumie controlled the better part of the match. I dug her working the crowd and the hair pull where she would switch off with each hand once the ref reached a four-count. Larry Sweeney on commentary talked about Danger doing a 20-country tour of Asia. I didn’t know there were 20 countries in Asia. Big splash from Sumie off the top rope missed which led to Danger hitting her finisher for the win.

7. Chris Hero, Icarus, & Gran Akuma vs. Mr. Zero, Shane Storm, & Milano Collection AT – 3

Very lackluster main event. I wonder what Milano’s first thought was when he arrived at the building and saw it was a bar/VFW hall? Better yet, I wonder what he thought when he saw the ring was only a foot off the ground? Shane Storm looked ridiculous with his jorts, goofy t-shirt, and mask that made him look like he should be an extra in Killer Klowns from Outer Space. Heel team was on complete auto-pilot and nothing they did even stood out in the slightest. If Akuma was supposed to be pissed about losing his mask, shouldn’t he be kicking the shit out of the other team? Icarus looked like a total goof just standing around while his partners got tied up in the ropes. Milano’s enziguri on Hero was about the only good move of the match. Finish was bad with Akuma leaning on Zero like an idiot while waiting for his partners to help him flip the dude over.

Monday, October 17, 2011

TNA Bound for Glory 2011 + part of Destination X 2011

Hey fans
yesterday me and the crew got together for a day full of debouchery and botched moves, ie. watched wrestling. The big finale was TNA's biggest show of the year, so I figured why not take this opportunity and throw up some thoughts on this big show. Also, below, since I don't want it to go to waste, the beginnings of my Dest. X review from earlier in the year; my laptop went down and i've never been able to finish the show and who knows when I will so at the bottom, some bonus text for you. Enjoy

TNA Bound for Glory 2011

Preshow Match:
Mexican-America v. Ink Inc- 3

I liked the seconds interplay here, 3 attractive women knocking heads. I've kind of dug Anarquia in past matches but he seemed lost in a big show haze here and did Marvin the Martian zap Hernandez with a shrink ray? Moore continues to unimpress and I couldn't tell if there was any potential in Neal behind all the gimmick he was wearing. Still fun for a sprint and to get the crowd going, which stayed hot for most of the show.

1) Austin Aries v. Brian Kendrick- 6
2) Jerry Lynn v. Rob Van Dam (Full Metal Mayhem)- 6

Our first two bouts, in my opinion, were the best all around. Aries seems on a mission to stand out from the rest of the TNA pack as the best guy working here and as often as Kendrick gets shit from being lazy, he came here to perform; more akin to his Zero One shit back in the day. I can't get my head around his attire but the Sliced Bread off the top made me want to wear it for Halloween. Heat Seeking Missile never looked better either, damn good opener. Lynn v. RVD has been done over and over again and while it's consensus they haven't ever captured that magic from their 1st match again, they at least figured why not bump huge to do something with this one? Could feel it seemed like Lynn's swan song as he was taking the majority of the damage and it was brutal. Both guys had some cuts and open wounds which made this feel more personal than most of their other bouts. I bet that powerbomb into the guard rail head first will make Rob forget that he did a film called Blood Moon; a TNA highlight reel clip for sure. This served it's purpose of getting the blood rushing in the audience.

3) Samoa Joe v. Crimson v. Matt Morgan- 3
4) Bully Ray v. Mr. Anderson (Falls Count Anywhere Match)- 4

I've never seen Crimson work before and he came off as a stock big guy with tattoos. Can't really punch, no dynamic moves, and yet he got the win? Finishes were a big letdown up and down this card and this was no exception. Morgan is a failed science experiment, apparently like organ growth. He just looked bad, par for the course, his dive outside looked like a fat kid scared to come off the diving board. The next match was good at points; Bully Ray seems poised to be a top guy in this company, promos, way he carries himself and character. He blistered Anderson with chops of the heart stopping variety. Anderson's another guy I"ve just never gotten behind but seemed to have a lot of support. Bubba will take his licks which I like about him. Punishing match where Anderson was given the ball and he dropped it into the La Brea tarpits never to be recovered. But god damn did that fucked up Swanton give the whole room some hearty bellowing laughter.

5) Winter v. Velvet Sky v. Mickie James v. Madison Rayne- 3
6) AJ Styles v. Christopher Daniels (I Quit Match)- 5

Overall, I like TNA's women; think they have better personalities and I like they get the in ring time. But as the past repeats itself, a Jarrett ruined this one. It was just chaotic, no organization to the match, they were losing the crowd quickly and it seemed designed to get heat on Karen. I thought everyone looked competent except Madison who had on some kind of Beyonce skin colored suit under her outfit, but again, finish was shit. AJ and Daniels is a go to feud in TNA, it's happened over and over again, seems like every time this fed does a restart they are at each other's throats. The crowd was going in this match and they had to work hard to get them back. The apron Blue Thunder was one of the first spots I may have ever seen where AJ pussed out, looked like he got caught in a rope spider web like at a kid's play area. But it's a fun exercise watching both men take the lead; despite age, politics, pushes, they both are truly maestro's in the ring. The finish I saw coming, new chickenshit heel finish to this one and it left the fans and us cottonmouthed.

7) Sting v. Hulk Hogan- 3
8) Kurt Angle v. Bobby Roode- 5

Hogan didn't even do a lockup before brining backup; we were doing an over/under bet on how many people would interfere in the match; and no one guessed 1 person; shocking. Sting was game to be the beating dummy but it seemed extremely forced Hogan and Flair were doing that much damage. We got blood, so if you like that, there you go. There wasn't much work per se, Hulk did take a few bumps but the performances were there, both men seemed dialed in and this match is what it is. Main event is the same issue with all of Angle's work in TNA; he does about 2-3 mins of feeling out, then goes right into his top shelf moves, you'll get an anklelock series of reversals and into the big moves again. Roode looked good in keeping up, but there was nothing here to make him stand out; it felt like another Angle match that looks good no matter who's in there. But this formula is getting stale and has made the Angle Slam and Anklelock for that matter about as sure proof of a finish as the Worm. There was some diasgreement on the finish; wrestling wise it was fine and leads to a rematch but did come off flat; story wise, it shot Roode's momentum after all the videos and hype, Angle continues to be the most pushed man in TNA history. There's a long list of names he's toppled their momentum to ever since coming in, Joe, AJ, Sting, Morgan, Anderson and now Roode. You have to continually keep making stars and they dropped the ball on this one; not to say Roode won't win the belt next month but what's next months' ppv called? Yeah, I don't know either.

TNA Destination X 2011 (part of)

Mike Tenay: "This one's going to be fun."

1) Kazarian v. Samoa Joe- 6
So, it's no secret I'm no longer an avid TNA watcher, in fact, I don't tune into their weekly TV, so it's always kind of fun to peek in on the fed and see what's changed. Besides terrible booking, Joe seems to still be motivated as he was 100% in character here as smug destroyer. Liked the momentum switches but Kazarian is a poor Shawn Michaels circa '96 with the dazed look and moppy hair. Didn't really care for the finish but the package they presented was smooth and stiff at the same time.

2) Douglas Williams v. Mark Haskins- 4
Haskins came out with some character, but didn't put any of it into his performance. Crowd kind of turned on him like England did the Queen, with quiet judgement. Williams looked pockmarked like a 15 year old teenager but i did like the reversal of the Chaos Theory and they didn't feel the need to just rehash it. Haskins was having some trouble on the ropes near the end and the fans let him know it, like those bastards didn't get in for free and feel the right to give him shit. Not sure if TNA will bring him back or not but seemed he could use some help in the personality dept. Who's running that these days? D'Lo?

3) Generation Me v. Eric Young/ Shark Boy- 3
This defines "throwaway." I just realized this is now called Impact Wrestling. So is their TV show now called Impact Wrestling Impact? Shark Boy is still doing the Austin routine that everyone forgot about 3 weeks after he started doing it. The back of his tights reads "Shell Yeah." I think even third graders with limited marine biological iformation know sharks have no type of shell on their bodies. Eric Young = wasted opportunities. I'm not sure why he has two titles and why he looks as ridiculous as he does, but the guy has loads of talent, and he's losing the best years of his prime health acting like a moron and losing to Jeremy Buck. The last few sequences came off pretty good so I bumped the score up but this is nothing you need concern your eyes with.

Friday, October 14, 2011

PWG Battle of Los Angeles '07 Night 1

1. The Young Bucks (Nick & Matt Jackson) vs. Phoenix Star & Zokre - B: 3 J: 3

Brian: Opener was a lollipop. Sugary and fun but insubstantial. The opening mat stuff looked more cooperative than a sack race. Crowd had fun but this was just an excuse for excessive aerial spots as we had people flying into the crowd needlessly. I liked the Bucks piling on like a neighborhood football game to get the pin.

Jess: What a shocker, this had more dives than a shady boxing promoter’s stable of fighters. This was almost identical to every other PWG opener I’ve ever seen, mindless never ending spots, pointless opening mat work but I did think the ending worked, and have never minded it as a finish as long as the ref don’t call it.

2. Joey Ryan vs. Chris Hero (1st Rd - Block A) - J: 4 B: 4

Jess: Ryan is grotesque, but I guess that’s the point. This is when Chris Hero worked all his main offense out of a cravat; it’s hard to remember something so obviously pandering to the Internet crowd before imagine the shit he’s going to take from Helmsley and gang over that. Ryan did a lot of kicks in this but I never believed any of them would hurt someone too bad; they looked as effective as kicking a piece of furniture after you stub your toe. I was sort of entranced by this white trash woman in the crowd swaying and dancing to the match, giving Ryan’s valet shit and just being a general eye sore.

Brian: I'd been putting off watching this match as I just saw their 45 min. "Guerrilla Warfare" match last year and had my fill. Yes, that ghetto chick in the crowd, she had more presence than Hero, and I think it was Miranda Cecil Weaks, right, Jess? You remember her. I liked Ryan's Tornado DDT off of the apron, prefer him with this long, mangy hair, once he cut it what little personality he had died with it. At least we had a face/heel structure that made this stand out a bit from some of the more non-descript first round bouts.

3. Roderick Strong vs. Austin Aries (1st Rd - Block A) - B: 5 J: 5

Brian: Strong and Aries was nice, no bullshit wrestling. The ability to watch this sans commentary really was a plus here as you got to hear the sickening thuds, slaps, grunts, etc. I've wrote before about how well these two gel together, this isn't their best artwork, but still palatable to me.

Jess: Yeah it was odd, my dvd copy kept having audio and then the next match wouldn’t; really strange. But yep we’ve seen these guys go at it many times in the past and it’s not that you wouldn’t know from their chemistry but they make every bout seem like it’s their first. This reminded me of a physical chess game, each guy trying to plot around the next man’s move, make their signature stuff count and very little interaction with the crowd, they just put their heads down and wrestled.

4. Matt Sydal vs. Jimmy Rave (1st Rd - Block A) - B: 3 J: 3

Brian: Next match was slower-paced and more mat-based early which I welcomed. Offhand I think '07 is an underrated year of Rave's but he didn't do much of note here to qualify that theory. The thing that brought this down was two insistences of awkward execution that couldn't be undone.

Jess: Very surprised at that as well, and didn’t mind it at all. It was kind of strange, all these matches kind of started like that but this one seemed to push more in that direction for what we saw of it. That and this never actually developed into much. I couldn’t give you a match off hand I’ve really liked Rave in so I’d be no help trying to prove that theory.

5. Alex Shelley vs. Tyler Black (1st Rd - Block A) J: 4 B: 4

Jess: I’ve been a big Shelly fan for a while, his charisma is off the charts, and the guy knows his wrestling. Tyler Black to me is a worm hole of excitement, I’ve never jumped on that bandwagon. There was a lot of exciting sequences here and reversals but this match felt like a mid show ROH bout where I don’t even remember it after it’s over. It had no defining qualities but had a shit ton of nearfalls that never sucked me in. I don’t want to shit all over it because the work they put in was solid and the fans seemed to enjoy it but didn’t wow me. I thought I saw Spot the Wonder Dog creeping down the aisle but he left to go find Joey Ryan.

Brian: I begrudgingly give this a "4". As far as my general feelings on these two, I'm aligned with Jessie, always admired Shelley's execution, and never fully bought into the Black movement. That being said, I thought during stretches of this Tyler looked a lot better (on this night). His vocal selling was so loud that even with the volume turned nearly off I was afraid it was going to wake up my toddler son in his room. Tyler also had some offensive sections where it looked like he was actively trying to go for a victory whereas a lot of Alex's offense seemed to be in a vacuum. The finishing run had the requisite nearfalls but besides one teenaged chick in the crowd obnoxiously screaming and failing her arms in support of Shelley the crowd didn't seem moved by the action.

6. Claudio Castagnoli vs. Doug Williams (1st Rd - Block B) - J: 4 B: 3

Jess: Another mat heavy encounter, and my god does Claudio look weird with hair. They were doing all the European style wrestling where the transitions are smoother than Scott Hall’s hair grease and I dug that. One thing that stuck out was how much of their offense during it was low impact, even an outside bump by Claudio looked like he landed on an embankment of pillows. The Euro uppercut exchanges are always a worthy venture and the clean, unremarkable finish cemented this as decent.

Brian: I was actually having fun watching this but it was about as substantial as a package of fruit snacks. The opening mat stuff early was made better by having the audio option of no commentary to distract from the grappling. The lack of audio kind of hurt the trading of strikes, though, as the European uppercuts were connecting so light you could have called them "Whitney Cummings".

7. PAC vs. Jack Evans (1st Rd - Block B) - B: 5 J: 5

Brian: I may be rating this a tad high but I was pleasantly surprised this wasn't a pure adrenaline fueled collection of spots. Granted, both guys got to break out some aerial artistry, but that wasn't all we got. Evans was doing a lot of flashy kicks, not all of them landed clean, but kudos for the creativity and an element of his game I think he should utilize more. I thought PAC was doing a pretty decent job in the selling department, nothing you'd show the guys at a wrestling school and tell them to jot notes on, but you could tell he was cognizant of it. Out of the cool spots and bumps my favorite was probably PAC pulling Evans' legs out from under him on the apron and Jack bouncing off the hard apron nastily. My biggest complaint was PAC did a spot where he sat Evans on the top turnbuckle then did a springboard catching Evans in a neckbreaker, Jack fell right on-top of his skull, gruesome bump and got a great pop, really felt like it should have ended there, then he even did an Alfonso Dantés' suplex for good measure, but Evans kicked out. PAC climbed up and hit British Airways for the victory.

Jess: No, you said it all here, this didn’t have a “big match” feel per se but did have an energy before it started, knowing both guys aerial prowess and think it lived up to that. The apron bump was kind of a bump to get to the next stage of the match, wasn’t lingered on but still was one more little perk in this fun bout. Evans did that for a few spots when you thought it was over, one of the most devastating things that can happen in a match (in my opinion) is a guy getting his knees up on a splash from the top and that happened here with a 630 but it wasn’t really sold as seriously as I thought it should have been. But the flying kicks and air time was a fun treat, felt like they were doing a match inside a Bounce Zone or something.

8. PWG Tag Titles: El Generico & Kevin Steen vs. Dragon Kid & Susuma Yokosuka - J: 4 B: 5

Jess: Over the weekend, I watched the film “The Next Three Days.” Being a parent, I instantly connected with the idea in the film of this child being left motherless and the isolation and helplessness of the father. The film is a wild ride that strung me along and pulled on my heartstrings throughout the whole 261 minutes of the film. I hadn’t felt that anxious or nervous watching on on screen character in a while. As I often do nowadays, I went online to read people’s thoughts and critics’ reviews. A lot of them were not favorable. Many critics thought the way Crowe transitions into sort of an action star role in the second half of the film was unbelievable at best. But, I disagree, not necessarily that their judgement of the events is wrong but that it didn’t work. And the reason is, it was all setup so well at that point, the viewer (myself) was able to discount belief (after all, it is a movie) and go along for the ride because I was already invested emotionally in the outcome.

We’ve said it over and over again, a wrestling match is a piece of art, or can be. Just like any good movie, or book, there’s an artform to how you craft your story. And broken record again, I feel like I’ve seen this exact match so many times before and I always harp on it. The whole first 10 minutes was just guys wrestling in a bubble; didn’t lead to anything, didn’t establish any story, just kind of for the sake of filling time. Then you get to the big bumps and guys are taking these ridiculous superhuman bumps and series of moves to kick out and rebound right back up. Steen takes a super hurricanrana late in the match, which was spectacular, nope that didn’t end it. Dragon Kid, who literally weighs probably 100 pounds, takes a crazy amount of punishment near the end, and kicks out of most everything. The athleticism was there, the crowd was loving it but I’m so burned out on this style.

Brian: I read terrible reviews for that film, man, and not a big Crowe guy so not sure when (or if) I'll see that. This match, though? Not bad. Back in 2001 I was borderline militant on in-ring execution, structure, etc. but in the last year I've harkened back to youth and a lot of times look at the bigger picture: who's going to win, how, and why? It's simple enough but on that alone (when done well) I can get as pulled into wrestling as any other form of entertainment. This wasn't a revelation or anything; I've seen enough really good stuff from its participants to not put this all the way into the recommendable category, but still liked it. Generico and Steen, well okay, mostly Generico, took everything the DG boys had and made a late rally. I loved Steen breaking up the pinfall after the Dragonrana by shoving Yokosuka into them. Crowd was going nuts for the finishing stretch and all the nearfalls. Big win for the home team and nice way to end a fairly flat show with a happy ending.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

WCW Thunder 12/16/99

1. Buff Bagwell vs. Vampiro - 1
2. TAFKA Prince Iaukea vs. WCW Cruiserweight Champion Evan Karagias - 1
3. Jim Duggan & Midnight vs. Perry Saturn & Asya - 2

Oh, snap, Juventud Guerrera's on commentary -- an unexpected surprise as I was a big fan of his ridiculous shtick back then. DDP is attacked by Sting backstage. Next segment sees Page walking around calling stagehands "monkey boy" and searching for Sting. Vampiro, why would you sneak up behind your opponent and put him in a side headlock? Moron. Why not club him from behind or attack a leg? Nope, I'll loosely grab you by your head so you can shoot me off into the ropes and we can start our cooperative dance. Bagwell sells on the mat like his reaction at the dining table when his mom Judy puts too much salt in the stew. What the fuck is happening? Oklahoma comes out, which leads Vampiro to approach him, he's interrupted by Steve Williams, who in turn is grabbed my Misfits' vocalist Jerry Only? This is outrageous. You can't review WCW Thunder like a normal show -- there's just so much nonsense happening constantly it's impossible to not discuss it. Post-match Dr. Death gives Vampiro the ugliest Doctor Bomb I've ever seen on the floor then they douse him in BBQ sauce.

Evan busts out a Thesz Press although to be sure he's never heard of the move's namesake. Madusa, Paisley, and a Nitro Girl Spice are all in the ring within two minutes. Has there eve been a more overbooked wrestling program? DDP finally catches up to Sting in a stairwell that there just happened to be a camera in. A second Sting gets in a cheapshot and runs off and DDP screams "Luger!" after him. If Saturn and Asya were the "Revolution" of wrestling the industry was in bad shape. Shane Douglas grabs a microphone and I hit fast-forward instantly. Duggan comes out looking like an elementary school janitor. Saturn hopping around selling his shoulder was so hammy. He needed to dial it down a little bit. I forgot how repulsive Asya was. She looked like an '80's action figure: all muscle and no articulation. I forgot Midnight existed. Turns out she can throw a better punch than Duggan. Harlem Heat come down to ringside. Every match so far has had some sort of interference or distraction. Midnight gets her butt kicked and Stevie shows her tough love by tossing her ass back in the ring. Douglas run-in backfires and Duggan still had to use a 2x4 to beat Saturn? We're 0-3 on clean finishes tonight. I'm guessing now we'll get maybe one at best.

Wait, did Aaron Neville just clean the ring in a tye-dye t-shirt? And backstage David Flair is doing an interview caressing a giant decapitated teddy bear -- of course he is.

4. WCW Hardcore Champion Norman Smiley vs. David Flair - 0
5. Sting vs. Lex Luger - 1
6. Steve Williams vs. The Wall - 2

David had no right to be in a ring -- he had the timing and athleticism of a blind paraplegic. Meng interferes with a boss afro. The match is rendered a no contest as Smiley bails to the back. For once I'm happy with a non-finish as that was the drizzling shits. Sting's in the ring cutting a promo I fast-forward over, the lights go out, then Luger's in the ring rocking a trench coat and face paint, but even in the new duds I'd recognize those shoddy back bumps anywhere. Lex had the body of a Greek god but all the grace of a sloppy Greek gyro. Wait, there's Liz, let's chalk it up as 5 for 5 for matches with interference, and 5 for 5 for matches with fuck finishes. We're really on a roll tonight, baby! I'll give that one pity point just for Luger looking like even more of an idiot than normal. Next up: two dead guys. Wait, Williams is alive, and, apparently works at an airport in Colorado? Ever heard the expression don't quit your day job? That doesn't apply in this case. Cut to the crowd where Chavo Guerrero is bothering fans. Berlyn interference leads to, you guessed it, our third no contest in a row, and our sixth match with both interference and a lousy non-clean finish. I could be possibly watching the laziest, most insulting, worst booked wrestling program in history.

7. Curt Hennig vs. Dustin Rhodes - 1
8. Sid Vicious & Chris Benoit vs. Curt Hennig, La Parka, Shane, & Creative Control - Handicap Match - 1

So the next match starts with interference as "Shane" (Virgil) gets his balls squished. We get about a min. of nice action when all of the sudden, I shit you not, a levitating idiot in a "duster" (as Scott Hudson called it) and top hat flies to ringside, only to smash Rhodes' head with a guitar and reveal himself to be Jarrett in Uncle Fester make-up. That's seven matches in a row with outlandish fuck finishes.

Sid and Benoit beat the hell out of their five opponents. Hudson refers to Scott Hall as the "King of the Ladder Match". Funny, I've only ever seen him in two, both mediocre. The referee seemingly randomly calls for the bell. Not sure why. The whole match was chaos. That's 8 in a row if you're counting at home.

9. Kanyon vs. Diamond Dallas Page - 3
10. WCW Tag Team Champion Kevin Nash vs. WCW World Champion Bret Hart & Bill Goldberg - Handicap House of Pain Match - 0

Hudson gives up his spot at the commentary table to... Clarence Mason? "Champagne" Kanyon's bumping big. I'm actually digging the work here. Too bad both Mason and David Flair interfered. So far, 9 matches down, all with crummy interference and insulting finishes. Will the main event break the streak?

House of Pain is a cage -- who knew? My DVD reads there's less than 4 min. left and the entrances aren't even over. Not a good sign. Or is it? Oh no. As Goldberg's backstage making his long, lumbering walk we cut to ringside where Creative Control and Jarrett are mugging guest ref Piper as Nash sneaks into the ring to blindside Bret. Bill rips the door of the cage and nearly goes down with it. Seconds upon entering the cage the "good guy" Piper starts mauling Nash with a lead pipe. Jarrett comes in, there's a guitar, handcuffs, more pipe fun, etc. I'm literally dizzy trying to comprehend this ending and show in general. 10 matches. All 10 had interference. All 10 had fuck finishes. If you ever need a reminder on why WCW went out of business pop this fucker in.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

WCW Saturday Night 11/16, 11/23, 11/30/91

1) Cactus Jack v. TC Carter- 2
2) Arachnaman v. Pat Rose- 2
3) Dustin Rhodes v. Greg Sawyer- 2

Carter's wardrobe would make Bootsy Collins jealous. This felt like a kid kicking a rock down the street; Carter just takes it all, but doesn't necesseraly reflect it although at one point outside Carter looks like he's crying like he did at the end of Waiting to Exhale. Luckily Spidey never used streamers for web shooters; also lucky Arachnaman never tried to swing from a building. I believe Arachna is Brad Armstrong; yep, can tell by the dropkick. Rose is a tough dude, but he looks like the eternal turtle on his back. Finish sequence felt campier than the Marvel Hero fights from Macy's Thanksgiving Parade back in the 80's. You must have gotten a bonus for doing the most armdrags on the show during this time, as Dustin tries to top Arachna's 13 here. This was over faster than Dusty's last diet.

4) Mr. Hughes v. Buddy Baker- 1
5) Johnny B. Badd/ Diamond Studd/ Teddy Long v. Brian Pillman/ Mike Graham - 3
6) Oz v. Rick Steiner - 2

Baker looked like an overgrown child and obviously was not taught how to take a bump. The offense looked rough because of Baker but it was all done sloppily. Long comes out wearing a skin colored swimmers cap; I thought all black penises were supposed to be large? Holla holla. There's nothing going on here you wouldn't go over your first month of wrestling school. Seeing Pillman and Hall, two of the most controversial characters in wrestling history lock up was an enigma. Rick and Oz burst into their match with tons of energy and it was getting stiff in that ring but Rick's flying bulldog off the top left a worse taste in my mouth than soup beans.

7) PN News/ Z-Man v. Steve Austin/ Vader - 4
8) Steve Armstrong v. Rick Rude - 3
9) Van Hammer v. George South- 1
10) Thomas Rich v. Sting- 2

Our tag bout here was the best thing on the show. Austin's smarminess just oozes out of his tights made from leftover material from a gymnastics 7th grade competition team. Vader walked in like he owned the ring and just pulverized News like a pound of hamburger. There was some good back and forth from all 4 guys and seemed the only match to have given any thought to it. Rude did his shtick, allowed Armstrong some offense but it was all controlled by the Ravishing One; still better than most. Hammer looked like a blind turtle left inside a cardboard box, lost. South had a nice uppercut but this sucked. Sting finally broke the armdrag streak by working an armbar. This didn't take long either and Sting looked pretty bored.

1) Dustin Rhodes/ Ricky Steamboat v. Bob Cook/?- 3
2) PN News v. Pat Rose- 3
3) Cactus Jack v. Rick Ryder- 2
4) The Young Pistols v. The Freebirds- 4

2nd episode starts out highlighting the new tag champions Dustin & Steamboat's title win (which i remember seeing live and totally marking out for). They show their worthiness here, as both men complete each other's next move in a fun piece of tag work. PN also makes good use of his 4-5 minutes, almost like he's working on his act, like a stand up comedian on stage. He tries all kinds of wacky shit, like the Willy Wonka of wrestling. His finish is exactly what it should be. Cactus kind of just quickly mauls Ryder, even though he throws a better dropkick than most anyone else on this show.

With this tag bout, weird the Freebirds were face and Pistols were heels; but both are good at their roles. Smothers took a crazy spill outside; looked like a Roman assassin meeting up with Titus Pullo. Just saw a PWG tag match before this where a superkick and hurricanrana off the top rope barely fazed guys and here Hayes left hand is enough to give someone a hospital stay for the night. Wrestling really needs to get back to using psychology that makes sense. Surprise ending amdist some clustering gives me happy thoughts like eating chocolate chip cookies or playing Prince of Persia for my PC.

5) The York Foundation v. Arachnaman/ Big Josh/ Z-Man - 2
6) Rick Rude v. Joey Maggs- 2

This 6 man tag was as transparent as Gentleman Ghost's junk. I was looking forward to this match but it was just an angle. The York boys were having all sorts of communication problems, leaving a lumberjack, wannabe superhero and a dude wearing Neon green for a living look like smart people. I was trying to get into the multiple false starts for this but it just never went anywhere near out of 1st gear. Maggs is a classic WCW jobber who writhes really well in pain; Rude measured him for a few moments but finished him rather quickly.

7) Steiner Brothers v. Lex Luger/ Mr. Hughes - 5

This is as physical as I imagine a night of love making would be with Bull Nakano. Rick was pushed particularly strong here and pulled off some dynamic offense. This was one of Luger's best runs, the champion who still played calculating heel and Jim Ross on commentary elevated this as well.

1) Johnny B. Badd v. Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker- 2
2) Diamond Studd v. Scott Allen- 3
3) Todd Champion/ Firebreaker Chip v. Arn Anderson/ Bobby Eaton- 4

Parker is known these days for running the Power Plant but he looked like a wet behind the ears rookie, despite seeming to be age 41. He just looked as lost as a HHH giving a public interview, or a 3 year old navigating a corn maze, whichever comparison you prefer. I liked Allen attacking Hall pre-match outside but he paid for it, as Hall dished out some nasty Ore ida potatoes to the youngster. This was just a run of all of Hall's most hurty moves so bumped it up. The Dangerous Alliance team just rules my TV here; the Patriots were completely unseasoned but Champion at least had the right energy. Eaton's right hand was just devastating and he was being liberal with it. Guillotine legdrop will always get you in my good graces. Paul E joining commentary really made these guys seem even better than their in ring did.

4) Cactus Jack v. Brian Pillman- 5
5) Arachnaman v. Steve Austin- 3
6) Z-Man v. John Peterson- 2

I have to give Foley and Pillman credit for going that extra mile, guard rail bumps, suplexes outside, they were just throwning all their crazy shit out in this one and had fun with it. This next match must go on record as Arachnaman's only title shot; he didn't do much with it. Austin wasn't connecting at all with audience to discern himself from any other heel, just going through the motions of a plodding hammerlock war with Arachna, who would be an even lamer Spidey villain than Walrus Man. Z-Man throws a cool superkick but he's the 7th best guy doing armdrags in this series and that's all he did.

7) Mr. Hughes v. Johnny Rich - 2
8) Richard Morton/ Terrence Taylor v. Dustin Rhodes/ Ricky Steamboat- 5

Another Hughes mauling but even his AWF stuff years later had more panache than this. Main event was a Tag Title match. Dustin even looked foggy here, at one point doing armdrag after armdrag (which is usually Steamboat's thing) as if he was a skipping CD playing in a loop. Dragon is just so good at putting together cool combinations of moves and he and Morton provide the most fun sequences. Some later badly timed sequences and more partner dissension keep this from being recommendable but was probably the longest bout of these shows and featured 3 quite talented hands (Sorry, Rooster.)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Geo Farewell Double-Shot: CZW ToD X & AAA Rey de Reyes '11

(Geo recently announced his "retirement" from this blog as he embarks on a personal "journey". Here's two of his unfinished drafts. Good luck in your future endeavors, bud!)

CZW Tournament of Death X

Ten years in the making! I've avoided all spoilers and can't wait to see it unfold!

Masada vs. Dysfunction - 4
Matt Tremont vs. Necro Butcher - 7

The opener pitted the badass gaijin against poor Dysfunction, who never seems to have things go his way. MASADA started the match by beating the shit out of Dys, who really won me over with his vocal sells after taking a cheese grater and an acoustic guitar headstock to the forehead. MASADA brought out that sadistic side of himself that he's so well known for on the deathmatch scene by busting out the infamous skewers. Here's the swerve: he didn't stab them in Dysfunction's head alone, but also in his hand and forearm garnering gasps from both the live fans and this fan. So sick. All the while, Dys kept screaming his lungs out. I liked the opener, even though I wish it would've gone longer.

Dude this match was off the chain! Check this out: Dremont comes out of the wood-work from Carnage Cup and takes the deathmatch world by storm. Not only that, he's facing Necro! The king of American Deathmatch~! This kid is intense. He's a no-shit taker from Atlantic City looking to make a name for himself. I absolutely loved the punch trading in the center of the ring. At one point, Dremont got fed up and stood Necro up and started pummeling the shit out of his face, but Necro was sure to return some of those shots to Dremont's mush. Necro grabbed a legitimate beer bottle from one of the fans and bashed it across Dremont's head. I personally thought it was sicker than the bottle shot Sabu took in ECW. CLUNK! So much brutality in one match. Loved the two nearfalls as well as Necro's performance at getting the kid over. Great match.

Danny Havoc vs. Jaki Numazawa - 6
Masashi Takeda vs. Scotty Vortekz - 5

This was rather sick. Numazawa knows his way around the tubes, but Havoc is quite adept at fluorescent fixtures as well. Numazawa hit Havoc right in the stomach while Havoc was in mid-moonsault with a bundle of tubes that exploded in every direction. Havoc got back at Numazawa as the match progressed, hitting a Skull-Crushing Finale-esque manuever with the tubes located behind Num's neck!!~ We got some angle development that featured a large black man slamming Havoc into a pile of Christmas bulbs on the outside. Havoc took a powerbomb into a sadistic Abe Lincoln-like structure of tubes for an excellent, excellent nearfall. Really fun stuff. The two worked very well together.

Are you kidding me, bro? My fave BJW guy~! Hell yeah! A thumbtack kick-pad match against Vortekz to boot! Takeda went head first into a barbwire board and sold it great by grimacing and sticking his tongue out. Haha! Takeda took some kicks to the back, getting tacks stuck in his back from the pads. Then, he got the bright idea to pin Vortekz in the corner with a 'wire board...with the wire facing himself. He ran shoulder first into the wire. Nice. Scotty probably made him feel even more like shit after that embarrassment after dropping the double knees with tacks onto Takeda's stomach. Scotty took a sickening German onto a 'wire board propped with two chairs that Vortekz took on his neck. DAAAMN! Takeda went over with a German onto a board. Good match.

MASADA vs. Matt Tremont - 6
Jaki Numazawa vs. Masashi Takeda - 4

After watching this match, I think it's safe to say I'll never look at your run-of-the-mill shopping cart again. Tremont took some sick hits with it to the face, midsection, and back. MASADA didn't hold back at all throughout the match. It was obvious he wanted to give this deathmatch blue chipper a run for his money. Tremont was basically a whipping post in this match, as he was treated worse than a red-headed, freckled child in third grade. He was also the recipient of some lovely kenzans to the skull, which stuck in about as far as MASADA goes when he hits up the special massage parlors in Kobe. Topped off by Tremont taking a chair-assisted STF, what we saw unfold was nothing short of sick, but kudos to this kid for not only sticking it to MASADA, but also taking such offense from the mad gaijin.

I found myself laughing hysterically at how this match started, pitting Numazawa and Takeda hitting each other with light tubes like it was another day at the office. This match had BJW written all over and the two guys clearly worked a well known formula, being careful not to sway too far from the... ahem... beaten path. A typical deathmatch in every sense of the word, but not bad.

Joker & Sabian vs. Little Mondo & Devin Moore - 5

Moore got cut open early on and had the crimson tides flowing into his ocular cavities. Decent brawling element to start off the festivities, with Sabian pointing his obsidian phallus in the general vicinity of white females in the audience whilst gyrating his hips in a coital fashion. Moving on, the action was actually pretty stiff and fast-paced in this match like there was a personal score to settle. Little Mondo is quite small, so most offense he takes looks even more stiff than it may have been, which makes for a good illusion to the audience. Moore took a giant swing which fed into a chair shot to the SIDE of the head, which had to have been a bitch. Mondo got water spat on his face from the two hooligans. Something tells me that Sabian is used to... well, never mind. We got "boring" chants when this happened. The action moved out to the ring truck where a magical table appeared. Mondo went for a senton off of the truck but met the wood only instead of the mean little black man who feigned exhaustion while laying prone on said table. Was tits. Overall, a fun back and forth that saw some cool spots and some nice stiffness.

AAA Rey de Reyes 2011

Alright, so as most of you know, I'm not exactly seasoned when it comes to lucha libre. Being a huge prowres fan since 2000 (when I stumbled upon an All Japan 1996 tape in my friend's bookshelf), I often find myself a bit let-down when watching lucha. Recently, though, my respect for it and what it represents has risen, and the athleticism and enthusiasm from the fans is quite the spectacle. I am writing this now before viewing this event, so keep that in mind if this show happens to suck in my eyes. Welcome to a personal journey.


Me gusta Pimpinela mucho. (S)he is so damn entertaining and technically sound in the ring that it's bordering on ridiculous. I actually was looking that this match with different eyes, thinking to myself: "What are they going out there to do?" The answer seemed quite simple as is the case with all openers: to set the mood for the rest of the night and to go out there and start the show hot. El Apache is a pissed off native with a do-rag. He's up there in age, but his drop kick is nice. Mary Apache fucked up a powerbomb on Pimp, who probably whispered to her "bien hecho, puta." El Apache had this really cool little moment (I honestly don't know why this stuck with me) where he evaded Mini Histeria's dropkick and belted Yuriko with a right hand. It was really cool looking and subtle, but it was slick, man. I dug the mini work here. Octogoncito and Mini Histeria look like they'd work extremely well together. Props to Apach for bumping and being rather sweet. I had fun! Also, fuck yeah ref dropkick.


There's two ways of looking at this match (well, three): It sucked or it was good. I'm going to say it was in between the two. Yeah, it was pretty damn sloppy and had legal-man issues out the ass, but I'm coming to accept them as long as they don't make me say aloud, "Alright, come the hell on now." I came kind of close to saying it here. I'll tell you what saved the match, though: La Parka and how much he was getting the shit kicked out of him. Two members of the rudo team went for the mask and began ripping it from Parka's skull. I love that moment in time where you can see the look of shock on a masked wrestler's face as they realized their hood is being pulled off. Biting and kicking ensued on the exposed area of Parka's face as the blood began to trickle. Those kicks to the face looked pretty stiff if you ask me. All of the negativity aside, the breakdown after Parka's come back was really fun. I liked the way he had taken enough shit and wasn't going to take any more. Forgive me, but I don't know the name of the young lad in the singlet. He looks like a Mexican Colt Cabana minus 30 pounds. Maybe someone can answer in the comments. Anyway, I was digging this kid. His simple breakup of a pin with a stark kick to the back of the head was simple, but effective as he glared at the audience after doing so. Also really dug his assisted top rope DDT. Oh, not to mention that SICK Flux Capacitor (of Kazarian and Sin Cara fame) onto the floor~!~!The dive sequence was great too! The fin sucked, but I did like what I saw as the match had it's positives for sure. Torn between a five and a six, I would have to say five because of the legal man issues and bad fin.


This was crazy. Barbwire boards, thumbtacks, and insanity surrounded this particular tag. Hallowen got some new face decorations after taking a curb stomp into a pile of tacks. Once the dust settled a bit we started with Wagner and Aguayo. Aguayo had been busted open already. Blood really added a cool element to this match as it was hardcore. Aguayo being busted open so early was a bit symbolic. One of the clowns took a bump onto two stacked tables... one of which was on fire! I don't think the bump could've gone any better as the clown barely made contact with the flames, but the bump still ended up looking cool. We went back to Wagner vs. Aguayo, which really seems to get the fans riled up (for good reason, too, they have great chemistry). The fin came too quickly, but the overall flow of the match wasn't interrupted by it. It was decent.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Urban Wrestling Federation "Hood Justice" PPV

I’ve heard a bit about this Urban Wrestling Federation so I deceided to check it out for myself. Apparently the jist of this fed is that there are rappers and street thugs from all over the country with their own crews trying to get “that paper” as it was referred to multiple times throughout the program.

1. Ricky Reyes vs. Slyck Wagner Brown - 4
Where in the hell has Brown been the past couple years. Dude looks more massive than I’ve ever seen him. Didn’t take long for this to get crazy. Big brawl on the outside with the beefy bodyguards or managers or security or whoever the hell they were. The announcers say “when you got someone down in the UWF, put a gun to his temple and blow his brains out.” Match was mostly a brawl on the outside. Didn’t see Brown selling a damn thing, even after giving up in the crossface, he just got up and walked away.

2. Willie Mack vs. Famous B vs. Jeez vs. Bandido Jr. vs. Scorpio Sky - 4
In order to turn this into a five man match, some dude paid some other dude a whole lotta Benjamins to get his man another spot. The way this started, wasn’t sure if it was a four way or a tag match since it was never really specified. Bandido almost killed Jeez (aka Sabian) with a huge knee. There was some kinda huge spike DDT spot with Famous B and Sabian I believe. Saw some Willie Mack in PWG and liked what I saw, even if he still needs a bit of seasoning. Somehow, the middle rope broke during the match. Standard highspot dive sequence in the middle with Famous B getting some huge air. Felt like an Impact X-Division car crash match.

3. Rasche Brown vs. Beast Ortiz - 4
This started with Rashce Brown storming to the ring to defend the honor of his “broad”, who he claimed that Ortiz had insulted, or fucked, or something. This was billed as a “Street King Title Qualifying Match”. Match was basically them wailing on each other from the get-go. I dug the battle on the top rope and the tease that Ortiz was going to bust out a huge suplex to the floor. Rasche hit a spear that was sold by Ortiz like death and defended the honor of his “broad”.

In between matches we got random segments which, to me, made very little sense. One guy with long dreads during a backstage meeting with his crew asked Eddie Kingston “how do you lose to a fucking midget, man?” Homicide was at the Brooklyn Bridge talking about how he has numerous houses and “ain’t no one gonna take dat money!” There was this fella named Uncle Murda who was visited by two dudes from Chicago named LEP Bogus Boyz, Monie and Count. Later, this same Murda guy talked to another guy about how he was going to kill people if they came up short on his cash. More hilarity ensued when Jeez was told by a random dude with a chick hanging off of him “your fucking up my pussy”. You know, I’m not even going to try to explain what’s going on here. I suggest you watch this for yourself. At an hour long, you definitely won’t be disappointed.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Impact Wrestling 10/6/11

First thing I have to say is that these road shows make the product look SO much more big league and professional. The other thing about these road tapings is that the crowd is actually into the show, instead of sitting there in a zombie-ish state like most of the Orlando fans. The more they tape out of Orlando, the better I think. Enough ranting, let’s fight!

1. Gunner vs. Kazarian – 4
2. Mickie James & Velvet Sky vs. Madison Rayne & Winter – 3
3. Samoa Joe vs. Crimson – 3
4. James Storm vs. Bobby Roode – 5

Only four bouts on tonight’s card so let’s jump right in. Kazarian sporting black and yellow tights here. I dig them but does anyone else see them and harken back to Chris Sabin’s old black and yellow alien trunks circa ’06? Maybe I’m the only one I guess. Gunner’s mainly focused on Kaz’s arm. Nice way to really work on that elbow by dropping in over the turnbuckle and the ending armbar was nice too. Is it just me or does anyone else think that Angelina Love is quite possibly one of the most unattractive people on the planet? Anyway, tag action here with the four ladies involved in the four-way title match at Bound for Glory. Felt like the standard TV knockouts match. Velvet threw the best punch of the whole match when she nearly KO’ed Angelina off the ring apron.

I can’t get behind the whole Crimson undefeated streak push. Guy just comes off as a sorta bland to me. Those knees he was throwing when he had Joe in a cravat? Seriously dude, those wouldn’t harm a five year old. Looked to me like the old Joe was back. He laid a nasty enziguri and worked over Crimson’s ankle with no remorse. Roll-up at the end was a nice surprise finish, but really, we all know Crimson isn’t going to lose his first match on a random TV episode. The ring intros really gave the main a big fight feel, a feel that I felt that it lost as the match progressed. The story of the long time tag partners facing each other in singles for the first time really worked well. The ref bump and the Kurt Angle interference was not needed at all. Loved the nearfalls as it’s not often on TV that I really get psyched for a match of this sort. Good tease of Storm possible tapping in a Crippler Crossface of all things. Pretty good match, not a recommendable match by any means, but still good nonetheless.

NJPW Best of the Super Jr. XVIII 6/7/11

NJPW, 6-7-2011
Tokyo Differ Ariake
750 Fans

1. Best of the Super Jr. - Block B: Mascara Dorada vs Gedo - B: 4 G: 3

Brian: Dorada got too ambitious and tried to walk around the top rope like it was the sidewalk and of course lost his balance appearing foolish. Dorada's got as much a chance of winning this whole thing as Ghost Hunters does of ever presenting credible paranormal evidence. Mascara picks up the mallet they use to ring the bell which looked like a miniature croquet club giving the illusion Mascara was a towering giant -- no CGI required. Dorada used a flashy corkscrew somersault senton bomb for the win.

Geo: Ambitious is the best way to describe Dorada's offense; his willingness to laugh at any thoughts of trepidation are highlighted here as he botched a rope walk worse than an alcoholic botches a line walk on the interstate next to his favorite trooper; however, that ambitiousness is actually something that really works in his favor because fans give the reaction of: "Well, props for trying." Jado played it safe here as his performance was generally lacking and he was coasting. Again, props to Dorada. When he does hit something he looks like a veteran diver making a tiny splash.

2. Best of the Super Jr. - Block B: Daisuke Sasaki vs TAKA Michinoku - G: 4 B: 3

Geo: Props here for slowing it down to start with the grapple for the advantage. Another youngster vs. vet feel -- seems to be an overarching theme in this tourney. Taka's selling of the arm was good -- liked how he grabbed it and hunched over clutching it in the center of the ring. Liked Taka throwing Daisuke off of from the headscissor attempt into the crossface. Taka's arm was ok after he got on offense. Wanted more sustained selling on his part. Sick crossface for fin.

Brian: Not much happening for a seven minute match. We got a dive from Sasaki and some goofy facials by TAKA including my favorite where he kept perplexedly counting his own fingers.

3. Best of the Super Jr. - Block A: Fujita "Jr." Hayato vs TJP - G: 5 B: 5

Geo: Strike exchange to start? Fuck yeah. Youngster vs. Youngster feel. Hayato hurts his own foot by kicking TJ so hard on the apron, haha. This match had this really nice "I can do better than you" vibe to it with both guys seeming like they were trying to top one another. I liked some of the offense TJP broke out, including the nice northern lights variation. The German into the running knee by Hayato was sicker than Bushwhacker Luke's underwear drawer. Came really close to giving this a 'six'.

Brian: This was a fun little match although it didn't even break eight minutes and the finish sort of sprung up unexpectedly. Agreeing with Geo there did seem to be a sort of competitive rivalry here between the two youngsters. I liked what we got but it was like tapas a tantalizing taste leaving you desiring more. Another submission finish: is this a trend for the night? Interesting factoid on Hayato is he was trained in wrestling by Jinsei "Hakushi" Shinzaki and in MMA by "KID" Yamamoto.

4. Best of the Super Jr. - Block A: Jado vs Kenny Omega - G: 4 B: 4

Geo: This match was interesting. There were two elements that I dug the most: first, the energy. Kenny Omega and the words "fun and energetic" go hand in hand. You simply can't have fun when watching a match of his. This was no different. Second: the neck psych. Jado got his necked worked over by Omega, who kept going back to the neck. Overall, the match seemed like it got more time even though it didn't break 10 minutes, which is kind of a cool little spark. Really torn between a 4 and a 5 here.

Brian: I liked Jado trying to use a chair early out on the floor and one of the DDT boys grabbed it, like, "Not on our buddy, jerk!" I was jumping up and down cheering on my boy Kenny. I hope Omega ends up like Steve Martin with the ability to never age. I liked Jado's determination to get the Crossface of JADO locked on and it was successful when he finally did. I enjoyed this but it felt way short.

5. Special Tag Match: Hiroshi Tanahashi & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs Hirooki Goto & Tomoaki Honma - G: 4 B: 4

Geo: This isn't just a tag match, it's fucking special~! Honma is looking much more golden since the last time I saw him. Probably been in the fryer too long. Tana hit a dropkick on Goto that looked like it wouldn't have even injured a newborn. Made me laugh in an arrogant, assholish way. Like I could do better. Really dug the face off between Goto and Tanahashi -- it was evident they both got that prowres rush, capped off with Goto nailing Tanahashi with an errant right forearm that send the mullet man flying. A steady flow throughout the match lent to a rather flat finish.

Brian: I knew this would be disposable going into it but I was having fun the whole time even though it never really took off. I was very interested in Tanahashi and Honma squaring off which we never really got. Goto was the workhorse, the one dishing out punishment on the good guys, and the one selling for them as well. Tanahashi is such a compelling performer but he didn't break a sweat this night. Goto beating Tenzan clean as a sheet with the Shouten Kai was totally fine with me.

6. Best of the Super Jr. - Block A: Koji Kanemoto vs Davey Richards - G: 5 B: 3

Geo: I really, really want to see Koji stiff the shit out of Davey's face. Loved that slap he delivered so eloquently to Davey's mush after Davey obviously headbutted his own hand. The concept of working over the opponent's lower back worked here. I dug Davey using the diving headbutt to Koji's spine. Koj went for Davey, selling all of his offense. Wish he would've gotten more in, though. Liked the fighting spirits. Davey's lariat looked nice as hell to cap things off.

Brian: I'm surprised you didn't mention the huge back suplex Kanemoto ate on the apron that was cringe-inducing. Koji was game to sell but lots of Davey's offense looked like shit. The "throwing opponent into empty rows of chairs" bit felt so '05 PWG and inappropriate here. Koji was clutching his mid-section, grimacing, and kicking his legs like he just had some of Adam's mom's enchiladas. Poor Koji, he goes from wrestling in the unaired opener at Wrestle Kingdom this year to getting his ass beat by this lunkhead. Not sure how Davey's clothesline capped this off when the match went three more derivative minutes after that with Davey eventually winning by countering a backslide.

7. Best of the Super Jr. - Block B: Kota Ibushi vs Great Sasuke - G: 4 B: 6

Geo: Going in this match has a really cool feel. Ibushi is one of the best young lions on the damn scene, and you'd better believe that Sasuke is a legend. Bush went to the ribs first and Sasuke felt it, clutching at them like an obese child clutching the last piece of pizza. Ibushi showed his shit with the Sasuke Special -- so damn clean and well executed. Ibushi went for that back handspring pele kick and whiffed -- Sasuke had to get his own head in position to take it; seems like Bush took the DDT on the apron extra hard on the head to make up for it. Selling was good here, especially Sasuke's staggering like a drunk, but we didn't get much prolonged selling, which is always welcome in my house. Also, Razor's Edge fin? Haha, alright.

Brian: Ibushi came out rocking a Sasuke mask which was a nice touch. Two of my favorites in this competition. Kudos to Sasuke for still doing the Randy "The Ram" shtick when most of us have soured on that movie by now. I loved Sasuke doing that rolling flip off of the apron to the floor and Ibushi dodging it -- nobody ever does that. Of all moves to ape why'd Tommy Dreamer steal that one? Ibushi's missile dropkick makes Molly Holly's look bush league. Geo, I'm astounded you ranked the Davey Richards match higher than this, and in terms of sustained selling, Sasuke sold those ribs harder than Abdullah sells babyback variety in Atlanta. Lastly, as a puro fan Geo, surprised you didn't get the significance of that finish, that was a Thunder Fire Powerbomb, one of Sasuke's trademark finishers, being used against him by a man who grew up watching him as an idol even wept when Sasuke entered the ring at the start of the match. Great, great stuff.

Geo: Ah, yes. Keen eye, sir. Good little addition to the match to add to a bit of a story-telling element, too. I suppose I always think of stumbling drunks when I see that move now, unfortunately.

8. Best of the Super Jr. - Block A: Prince Devitt vs Tiger Mask - B: 4

Brian: This wasn't too bad. Tiger showed some more aggression than normal and his control segment was better for it. He had some top-shelf offense like a big flying crossbody off the top to the floor, a double underhook superplex off of the top, and some nifty submissions. My biggest complaint was the transition into the finish with Devitt winning with the Bloody Sunday didn't feel particularly well set up feeling like the match changed gears abruptly to rush to an end.

9. Best of the Super Jr. - Block B: KUSHIDA vs Ryusuke Taguchi - B: 3

Brian: KUSHIDA working the main? Sure. Why not? KUSHIDA did a sort of quizzical flipping dive off of the entrance ramp that strangely called to mind Cactus Jack of all people, except Foley would have landed on the concrete by his own design. Wonder if KUSHIDA has a trophy wife, too? Oh, burn! Some miscues and sloppiness by both guys. This is one of the first matches from BoSJ this year that's done next to nothing for me. A real cooperative nature to it and some of the worst execution. 10 minutes I could have spent watching R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour. Taguchi gets the win with Milano–saku Dodon's Throne in an ending flatter than the love note Al Wilson folded and passed to Dawn Marie while they were at the spa getting dual facials.

Bonus match: Kyosuke Mikami vs. Hiromu Takahashi - B: 4

Brian: Of these bonuses this one was the best as it actually pulled me in guessing who was going to when down the stretch. They make these guys wear all black during their early days as they haven't earned displaying a personality yet so the only thing keeping us engaged is the sense of athletic competition (although to be fare I could have driven down the street to Crawford Woods and watched kids play baseball and got the same satisfaction). Is it wrong I liked this more than the main event? 10 min. time-limit draw.