Saturday, June 30, 2012

1st Punk- Daniel

ROH Reborn: Stage 1
St. Paul , MN  04/23/04

CM Punk v. Bryan Danielson  Special Ref: Ricky Steamboat- 6

This was ROH’s attempt as a test run for their own PPV streaming broadcast for Border Wars over the weekend, they showed Punk and Danielson’s 1st ever meeting.  Some observations from this match; it was all technical, almost as if they were putting this match on as a showcase for Steamboat, because it’s exactly the kind of match he would have had, minus his own touches and flairs.  Crowd loved Ricky too and were dying for him to become involved but he was complete 80’s ref asking the crowd if Punk broke the rules.  One other major thing I noticed is how soft the ring sounded; the ring must not have been mic’d at all because after a huge superplex late in the 4th quarter of this thing, it sounded like two kids flopped on their bed at night.  I won’t say it made the match worse but certainly didn’t help it.  This was a fun kind of bout, a nice change from the heavy 2.9 counted version of ROH we’ve had for some time now and the announcing was even better, I’d go so far to say some of the best play  by play I’ve heard in ROH since before Kevin Kelly.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tito Santana vs. Honky Tonk Man

I've been watching all the Pro Wrestling Superstars shows this year as they're consistently putting on the most diverse, ludicrous, and fun cards on the planet. Their latest release, a show in Miami (same town I watched James Pate wreck his leg leaping from a balcony onto a wheelchair ramp) was another in that tradition. On a card featuring Leilani Kai, Finlay, Vader, a first-ever New Age Outlaws vs. Varsity Club tag, and a main event Florida Championship Wrestling tribute eight-man tag featuring greats like Graham, Colon, Poffo, Blair, etc. I was as intrigued as I am for the forthcoming season five of Breaking Bad. But it was the match below I'm doing an essay on that caught my eye -- a match that wouldn't have seemed out of place on any house show or TV taping during one of my favorite eras in wrestling history ('80's WWF).

Tito Santana vs. Honky Tonk Man - Pro Wrestling Superstars - Legends Show in Miami 3/31/12 - 1

Greatest Intercontinental champion of all-time versus the godsend of the AWF. Honky performs his theme song off of Piledriver: The Wrestling Album 2 and if we're doing live revivals off that seminal release why not fly in Hillbilly Jim and Gertrude for "Waking Up Alone". Remember when WWF released that album in in 2002 titled Forceable Entry? Think it was named after McMahon's favorite act on sleeping divas. Tito should ditch the black duds for his old white trunks. Would make him seem more virtuous and less decrepit. I'm dying for PWS to to bring in Doug Gilbert in his Freddy Krueger gimmick to work a program with Stevie Ray. Tito's punches have some snap. Finish wouldn't have felt like such a slap in the face had it not came after three minutes of wrestling. Santana executed a sunset flip but HTM grabbed the top rope to prevent being pulled down, leading the ref to knock Honky's hands off causing him to get rolled up and pinned. This match did neither guy any favors. I would have loved some shtick, stalling, playing to the crowd, especially HTM riling up rubes, some rope spots, a hold or two, maybe even a glimmer of physicality, god forbid a nearfall, but instead we went straight from the opening to an abrupt ending. I'm going to place most of the blame on the booker as any kid with Tito and Honky LJN figures could create a more compelling story than this.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Low Ki vs. Brian Kendrick

Low Ki vs. Brian Kendrick - NJPW BoSJ 6/6/12

You can ask anybody and they'll tell you these are two of my favorite American wrestlers of the last few decades. Well, not "anybody", but the other guys that write on this blog, and my wife, whom I'd always drag into the room when these guys had their runs on SmackDown! and encourage her to appreciate their high proficiency in pro wres. Kendrick dances to the ring like a low-rent rentable male stripper only stopping to force a woman in the front row to hold a turquoise and white checkered heart-shaped mirror while he checked himself out. Low Ki stomps down to ringside fresh off a hot run in EVOLVE. Funny callback to their ZERO1 days as while Low Ki stands on the turnbuckles looking out to the audience Brian creeps up behind him and forces Ki's arms into the Titantic pose Kendrick used to do pre-match as Spanky. Can't think of many places I'd rather see either guy more than the mats of New Japan -- maybe a cameo in HWA. Loved Ki dodging a kiss blown by BK then drilling him in the pecs with a chop. BK takes a break to flirt with girls in the bleachers until Li chases him back to the ring. I'm not finished yet but so far I'd rank this year's BoSJ a few spots above last year's. Kendrick nailed a really great suicide dive that looked more violent than graceful. Great sell by Ki on a chair shot out on the floor -- giving BK time to admire his own reflection back in the ring. Really admiring the way Ki's selling the back pain as BK targets it. Coupling his independent run and recent NJPW stint 2012 is shaping up to be an awesome year for Low Ki fans (myself certainly included). Low Ki's flying forearms tower over Tito Santana's, making mistakenly remembering Tito's as the best seem as good an idea as feeding a kid McDonald's "food". BK's got a really underrated dragon suplex. We may or may not have just seen a callback to a Dolph Ziggler bout. Nice finish as Ki counters the Sliced Bread #2 into a modified Ki Krusher '99. This is a really fun seven-minute romp that won't make you forget the last Hou Hsiao-Hsien or Apichatpong Weerasethakul film you've taken in but remind you that wrestling is alive and fun, BoSJ is better than ever, and the future is bright for NJPW!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Christopher Daniels vs. Devon Storm

1. Christopher Daniels vs. Devon Storm - ROH TV Championship Match - ROH on HDNet 2/21/11 - 3

Storm's trunks look like something out of Blade Runner.  Guess there weren't any ECW reunion cards that weekend.  I wonder if Devon still has Daffney's contact info -- he could really use one of her bras.  Both men take a wild bump over the top rope to the floor.  Story manifests itself that both journeymen knew each other in their pasts.  The only edge Devon has is his slightly unhinged personality makes him unpredictable thus dangerous.  Champion makes pretty short work of his rotund foe with the BME.  Not sure what Devon did to appear and get an instant title shot but he likely crawled back into the hole from whence he came.