Monday, December 26, 2016

Tempura Boyz vs. War Machine

The Tempura Boyz (Sho Tanaka & Yohei Komatsu) vs. War Machine (Ray Rowe & Hanson) - ROH Road to Final Battle 10/21/16 - 4

Little house show action from the War Memorial Auditorium in sunny Fort Lauderdale. Tempura gets the party started with some big dives out to the floor. Shortly after Sho and Yohei get thrown like darts directly into each other. That’s a bar game worth workshopping. Sho is the beefier of the two which certainly doesn’t hurt when going toe-to-toe with War Machine. Komatsu could be the next Milano Collection A.T. I didn’t know Rowe was a member of CM Punk’s S.E.S. but the three X’s on the back of his trunks tells another tale. Hanson does a series of about a dozen charging clotheslines in the corners to a big crowd pop and I liked Tanaka’s whipping of his hair for a more visually arresting sell. When Syxx did a Bronco Buster it was noxious not painful-looking but when Hanson jumps dong-first at an opponent it’s a scary scenario. I’ve seen about ten Tempura Boyz matches so far inc. TV and VOD fare and a sampling of their Mexico run but this is the best match of theirs I’ve came across so far and a lot of that is due to War Machine (both for their boss offense but also for letting the Boyz dish out some their own).

Friday, December 16, 2016

Ray Traylor vs. Konnan

Ray Traylor vs. Konnan - (WCW Monday Nitro 12/9/97) - 4

This is Traylor pre-nWo wearing an ash gray button-up shirt only partially buttoned (‘natch). Ray connects with some great uppercut shots in the corner. This guy must be for the proletariat cause he’s all about the work. A brawl outside the ring goes poorly for Konnan until he launches Ray into the ringpost and stomps him like a cockroach on grandma’s vinyl kitchen floor. Weird spot that Tenay calls an “inverted DDT” on commentary. I guess? I’ll say Traylor makes being whipped into the buckles look legitimately painful not just a stock transitional spot. The lights go out in the arena. Flashbulbs illuminate millisecond glimpses of something as violating as a Srdjan Spasojevic film. When the lights return Konnan is unconscious and Traylor gets the less than reputable win in an opener of a hot show at the Marine Midland Arena in Buffalo that registered a 4.3 TV rating (beating a paltry 3 by a Raw show featuring Marc Mero versus Salvatore Sincere in the semi-main event).

Monday, December 5, 2016

ECW Hardcore TV (Ep. #1) 4/6/93

1. Super Destroyers vs. Hell Riders -1
2. Sal Bellomo vs. Tommy Cairo - 2
3. Tony Stetson vs. Rockin’ Rebel - 3
4. Jimmy Snuka vs. Larry Winters - 3
5. Sal Bellomo vs. Ernesto Benefico - 0

Origins of the most influential wrestling TV show of all-time are a middle school gymnasium. Three-man booth on commentary (feat. Terry Funk) and everyone is talking over each other. Destroyers two chunky guys in black sweatpants, tank tops, and gimp masks. Riders haven’t rode the exercise bike as the path they cruise down leads to the Jack in the Box drive-thru and dialysis clinic. Goofy Sandman music video with cheesy surf rock and dissolves. Cairo yells over the house mic “Sports Channel and ECW is a winning tag team combination!” Kicking of the TV Title tournament is Sal seconded by Cosmic Commander a truly abhorrent Grand Wizard knockoff. Bellomo’s gladiatorial gear probably fetch a crisp $20 on eBay today if he needs the loot. Call Cairo BP cause he’s gassed. Looks like the original tape masters were left in a damp cellar as weird colorful glitches abound like a Stan Brakhage experimental film with a message on the bottom from the WWE Network that it’s preserved to the best possible condition. Sal throws a decent headbutt. Johnny Hotbody interference on the behalf of Sal goes sour and Bellomo gets counted out escaping ringside in shame.

Sorry, Bret — Stetson is the real “Hitman” to me. Rebel officially has the best mullet in wrestling of all-time. Rebel’s trunks are so ’90’s. Like a neon teal with dozens of purple and yellow prisms. Looks like the wrapper of a Bic Wavelengths ink pen circa ’95. Stetson with a very Tito Santana-like flying forearm. Shockingly “Hitman” executed a leg drop off of the top was about a .7 on the Alabama Jam scale. Rebel puts his feet on the ropes to get the cheap victory. Heard the other day Snuka has six months left to live. I'm sure they've already got a room booked for him in hell for what he did to Nancy Argentino. Bad botch where Snuka backdrops Larry then topples over backward onto him. Nice crisp corner chop by Jimmy. The #1 seed secures the victory with his patented Superfly Splash. Bellomo is back at ringside jawing with the commentary crew. Guess he wanted to get his heat back, brother! Squashes Ernesto in about 12 seconds with a bodyslam. So, the first-ever episode of ECW, eh? During the ending credits there’s a plug for a “Dream Match” contest where you can mail off a letter to HQ with the match of your dreams — I’m guessing Glenn Osbourne vs. Johnny Hotbody was really riling up fans’ imaginations. Kudos to the Network for the instantaneous history though. Besides this I also watched an episode of NWA World Championship Wrestling from June ’89 this week and I’m loving the ability to do deep dives into the past. Now if they’d just get the complete run of WCW Thunder up there I’d be thrilled.