Friday, December 18, 2009

Bret Hart Comin' to Mondays?!

So by now, the news is starting to spread and wrestling fans are hearing that Bret Hart has signed a talent contract with the WWE. Apparently the contract is a Wrestlemania Special that runs from the January 1st until Wrestlemania 26 on March 28th.

As for what exactly he'll be doing, no one really knows. There's been rumors of a Hart Dynasty vs. DX feud that could be amazing TV if Bret is added to the mix. You know, because of those guys in DX and Bret Hart have a little bit of a history. There's the other story that Bret may end up in the ring facing off with Vince McMahon at Wrestlemania. It's tough to say exactly what will come out of this, but the TV drama could be amazing.

With the possibility of Bret Hart beginning his run on the much hyped night of January 4th, TNA may have met it's match. That date is the day Impact goes Live against RAW with the debut of the new Hogan regime. While I certainly wanted to see this TNA show for it's amazingly comedic car wreck potential, Bret Hart has taken the cake. Besides being one of my Top 3 Favorite Wrestlers Ever, the volatility and combustibility of giving a live mic on a live show to "The Hitman" sounds too amazing to pass up. Even is he doesn't come in on that Monday, wrestling has gotten a lot more interesting and who would have thought the catalysts for that would be Hulk Hogan and Bret Hart

Oh and if you don't have this DVDyou really should get it. It's probably the best set the company has put out in terms of both documentary and match quality.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Eddie Fatu Passes Away

Eddie Fatu, who rose to fame as Umaga in the WWE passed away today.

Before I get into the write up, I would like to say that I was lucky enough to see Fatu wrestle live, and thought he was an amazing performer. Just a big impressive dude, who put on a really fun match with CM Punk. Soon after that match he was let go from the company for a Wellness Violation. I was sad to see him go and hoped that he would straighten up his life and make it back on my television. Sadly this will not be the case. He leaves us with an highly enjoyable body of work, and some amazing memories. 36 years old is much too young for anyone to die, and I can't fathom the heartbreak his family is experiencing. My thoughts go out to his family and friends.

So From
WWE would like to express its deepest condolences to Mr. Fatu’s family, friends and fans on his tragic passing. Mr. Fatu was under contract with WWE at various time periods and most recently performed under the name "Umaga." Mr. Fatu's contract was terminated on June 11, 2009.

I think it's a little sad how they wrote that up. Making sure to give the exact date as to when they fired him, so no one is confused as to if he was a current WWE employee.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


So I don't like TNA. There's all kinds of reasons that I don't like it, and most o f them are the same reasons that plenty of people use to explain their dislike of the TNA product. Then Hulk Hogan signed with TNA, so I decided to watch a couple of theri shows so I could spot a difference between before and after Hogan's influence. Turning Point, while probably influenced by the future that is Hogan, is still being booked and produced by the same old guard. So that, combined with the word that some of the matches are pretty tight, made me decide to check it out. I probably won't watch much more than this until Hogan is officially in the fold, as I really don't think I can keep hurting myself like this.

Montage opens with sound bytes from your two main feuds : AJ Styles/Samoa Joe/Christopher Daniels and Desmond Wolfe/Kurt Angle. Interspersed is Dixie talking about change and making history. With some clips of Hulkster running his game on everyone. Myself included

The show kicked off with AMAZING RED vs. HOMICIDE for the X-DIVISION TITLE. Don West was at ring side cheering on his boy and he sounded like he was practically in the commentary booth. The match had some interesting stuff but I couldn't tell you much about it. Red took a really nice beating. His bump for a lariat got a "Holy Shit" chant. Homicide doesn't seem to give a crap. What's funny is that even at that level he seems more entertaining than half the roster. Red wins after reversing a top rope huricanrana into a Code Red. It was a Rey Mysterio formula, but without Rey Mysterio which ain't all that great. So far so bland.

Up next was BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE vs. SARITA and TAYLOR WILDE and ODB. Apparently the rules are that if you pin a champion you get their belt.ODB being the singles champion and the other two broads being the Knock Out tag champs, which I didn't even know exhisted. The match wasn't all that bad. I actually liked it better than the match before it. Velvet Skye was a higlight as a straight up bitch, whipping out an octopus hold and biting and biting her opponents fingers while she had it on. CLASSY. Lacey Von Erich stays out of it, which at this point is probably a good thing. She could probably stand to watch some Beth Pheonix matches to learn how to hold herself like a dominant figure. I mean, she's tall folks. ODB over comes some sparse odds for the win. At least it's getting better.

After a pretty weak promo by Desmond Wolfe, the TAG TITLES are on the line in a three-way between the MOTOR CITY MACHINE GUNS vs. BEER MONEY, INC vs. WORLD ELITE. World Elite are bump machines in this, letting the other two teams do pretty much whatever the hell they want. I really liked this match UNTIL Eric Young came out and interfered. It wasn't that he interefered, its' that Kevin Nash came out and took his belt back only to smash James Storm in the face with it. SWERVEY! Worlde Elite pull out the win on Robert Roode, while MCMG are apparently lost in limbo.

Kevin Nash gave an interview with Borash about why he did what he did. Apparently it's all apart of HULK's plan. Sounds stupid, but we'll see.

AWESOME KONG vs. TARA in a STEEL CAGE, was pretty fun. Tara got her ass whomped pretty good by the beast. Kong is so good at delivering a beat down, and Tara certainly isn't afraid of getting wrecked. No one was easy on anyone. Tara eventually climbs the cage only to nail a flying Thesz Press for the pin. Just a good all around match, with a perfectly fine ending. Kong doesn't lose too much credibility as Tara is legit tough and it took a top of the cage Thesz Press to pin her. After the match Tara calls out ODB for a title shot. That should be pretty good.

OLD vs. NEW continue their feud this time it manifests itself with a six man tag between TEAM 3-D AND RHINO VS. HERNANDES, D'ANGELO DINERO, and MATT MORGAN. Another solid match here. It's nothing amazing but the I can say the younger guys certainly stand out. So much so that between them, a solid women's division and the three guys in the main event tonight, TNA could just get rid of all the old guys and have a pretty good roster, that could get people talking. Dinero is especially hot shit. I mean a ball of fun. It's like there's no holding this guy back now. The Old Guard from ECW were all good guys (I'm a Rhino fan so there may be some bias), and they cetainly made the young guys look really good. They even had to cheat to win, which is a plus. Still, I'm frankly sick of this old vs. young feud. It's been done, dead and done again x3.

The match I was looking forward to the most, SCOTT STEINER vs. BOBBY LASHLEY in a FALLS COUNT ANYWHERE STREET FIGHT, was next. The build up to this has actually been better than any other match, if you ask me. It's so simple that you can't believe that it came from the same company. And because of that simplicity, it stands out. The in-ring work was just two meat heads chucking the hell out of each other. Lovely. I had the impression that Steiner was in pretty rough shape, but that guy was taking some really nice suplexes here. He even dished out a few, hell, he even through out a top rope Frankensteiner. LOVE IT. Steiner juiced a little, and took some pretty weak shots from Lashley and 2x4. Lashley shouldn't swing weapons ever. Scott shocked the world when he dropped Lashley with a lead pipe shot for the three. Really surprising finish, as both guys were on equal footing since the rules were what they were. Maybe Lashley is going somewhere.

DESMOND WOLFE vs. KURT ANGLE was pretty good. It honestly wasn't anything memorable. Just a good match, that was better than anything before it. One thing that easily kils matches for me is crowd reactions, and this crowd did that. I just really, really hate the crowds at TNA shows. They're so eager to be bigger than the stars, and authoriative. "THIS IS WRESTLING." They say. No shit, thanks for the update guys. I really wish this was infront of a different less smarky crowd. Kurt winning with a flash triangle choke, was pretty tight, as it didn't diminish Desmond, who looked like a total killer, and still made it known that Kurt Angle is the top man, despite who holds the belt.

The build up for the SAMOA JOE vs. CHRISTOPHER DANIELS vs. AJ STYLES match has been oft putting. On paper is kind of okay. The concept of Joe splitting up two friends that are in the same match, is a great approach, and Joe executed his role amazingly well. Daniels and Styles, however, were pretty awful. Just the words that came out of their mouths and how they said them, were so cheesy, it was laughable. But that's all water under the bridge, when it comes to these guys in the ring. And this match came through. All three guys have great minds for matches that move from spot to spot. In singles matches, this can be pretty annoying and unappealing. In 3-ways, it's okay, because you don't really have time to work on one guy's limbs or where them down. 3-ways are built around winning before another guy catches you. Joe was looking pretty spry, and Styles was flawless in this. Amazingly so. The real story was that Daniels looked better than he has in years. So much so, that the fans were clamoring for him to nail the BME. They wanted that win, because he was a work horse son of a bitch in this match. The fact that he hit it and AJ followed with a spring board 450 on him and Joe for the win on Joe, makes the eventual singles rematch very appealing. Yet another reason that the only reason you need the old time wrestlers is to teach and book backstage. Not taking away from some of the very hot, very athletic talent.

OVERALL THOUGHTS: This was a very solid wrestling show. The storyline stuff was mostly stupid, but it was kept to a minimum. If only they could get a new audience in these arenas that don't suck ass, TNA could be going places. Even with the Hulkster I doubt this will happen.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

3XW Outta Des Moines

The great thing about the internet is that you can see some local indy matches, for free. 3XW is a classy outfit rocking the Midwest. I recently checked out a little tag match on the youtube that I'm posting here. Check it out and my review that follows.


Okay, Masterson's Price is Right gimmick is great. I love it. The structure of the match is actually really solid. It's pretty standard, face in peril business, but the timing of everything felt just right. I couldn't wait for Masterson to get that hot tag. All four guys were pretty good and I Sexy and Smooth were both really solid. Ryan Slade in particular polish that stood out.

There were some problems though. One, the ref was in plain veiw of some of the dastardly deeds. Like that stuff in the corner. And I'm pretty sure the ref watched Smooth use the foreign object off the top rope. I liked the commentary kind of making up for it by really making up for it. The commentary is another strong suit for 3XW as they sound vastly more professional than some of the smarky, goofy crap you get 90% of the time. the play-by-play seemed professional, and the color guy wasn't annoyingly pro-heel in a forced ROH Prazak kind of way. It felt more logical. The guy didn't like Aaron Masterson because he thought he was a joke. Fair enough.

One big problem I had was that sometimes it wasn't very engaging in terms of how they got the audience involved. Masterson starting a "USA" chant was a good try, but felt misplaced considering his partner is the LAOTIAN SENSATION. Kwong, looked really smooth in the ring, but didn't have that dramatic flair, needed for a guy getting his ass beat. Sometimes it just looked like a guy taking moves. It didn't have that desperation. And I think that's part of why the hot tag didn't seem nearly as hot as it should have.

Despite that, it was still pretty good. I liked the style, as it wasn't goofy flippy shit for pops. And really there wasn't too many crazy moves. Other than the nice top-rope belly to belly suplex I can't think of anything else. And yet without all the crazy 450s and suicide planchas that you see up and down a lot of indy cards, this was still fun to watch.

So big ups to 3XW and the four guys here, who had a fun match that I liked better than anything on the FCW show I reviewed yesterday.

For more 3XW check out 3XW'S Website where you can buy some DVDs ....that are 10 freaking dollars for singles discs and a mere 12 for the big 2 disc shows. For cryin' out loud, that's a good deal.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

FCW 9/27/2009

Haven't seen FCW before, but I figured why the hell not. Byron Saxton is doing play-by-play which I like. His stuff on the ECW show I reviewed was pretty nice. And f'n Dusty Rhodes doin' color.

Bo and Duke Rotundo vs. Troy Jackman and Fletcher Chase.

Bo and Duke are the champs. They're also Irwin R. Schyster's kids Jackman and Chase are the some of the worst sounding names I've ever heard. You know how Marylin Manson's group took a name of a murder and a famous person and put them together to get each members stage name? That what wrestling names are now. Ugh. Anyway, right off the bat Dusty and Byron are talking about hubcap parties and I think they could be the best duo calling a wrestling show. Bo and Duke are a little too hazardous for me. Yeah Baby, yeah!!!!

I'm likin' Duke Rotundo. He just looks different, and his offense looks nice. His little head but to the bread basket had just enough flair to it to set it apart. He's just more engaging. Chase and Jackman are okay. The bulk of the match becomes the Cabinet members focusing on Bo's leg. Fletcher uses some stuff you don't see every week but he just doesn't make it look very interesting. When they hit the hot tag, the match feels so much more energized with Duke. Sadly, he gets dropped with Fletcher's Final Cut for the three. Non-title match so Rotundo's are still champs.

The match wasn't too interesting, but I like that Duke Rotundo.
Some footage gets spliced in with some woman talking to a POV camera that tells her she's going to have to take the fall tonight. It then cuts back to the Cabinet guys celebrating. Didn't like that.

Abraham Washington Segment
Lots of guys want title shots, one guy gets hit with a chair off camera by a cat named Gabriel. I like the idea of everyone demanding title shots, but I don't know who any of them are. Abraham Washington seems ten times more interesting here than he does on ECW.

Queen Diva of FCW
I think Mancini is the broad who was mysteriously told to take a fall.

These two ain't too bad compared to some of the Divas that are wrestling on RAW and Smackdown every week. Not really much interest from anyone in the audience. Mancini just nails a Dominator and wins.....a tiara. Wow. Well congrats. A freakin' tiara.


More awful names. and sadly, Brett's name sounds just as bad, despite him actually being a Dibiase. Since all the other names sound like mash-ups of two people his does too. Bummer.

Dawson Alexander, who has the worst name so far, is a big meat head, which makes he name a total mis-match. He kind of reminds me of a Power Plant graduate. The other guys seem pretty plane jane. Vance Archer, formerly Lance Hoyt, seems a little more interesting than most but not much. Dusty starts asking some guy for a hotdog or some water, one of the other. I love it.
He even starts making fun of Byron by calling his calls "Micheal Cole Calls"

Justin Angel gets the hot tag and he's gets hot with some high flying stuff. The match gets a little out of control leaving him alone with Hergoz. Angel nails a really NICE 450 Splash. It wasn't tight in the corner like Juvi's it was a little out there, so he started the rotations a little later as he was leaping out. Like that guy.

They show a clip of Hennig running into an impromptu match against some guy who's the champ. Hennig wins but instead of getting the title Washington informs him that there was no contract so no title switch. So the match tonight between Joe Hennig and Tyler Reks is a #1 Contenders match.

Oh and the guys name....HEATH SLATER. Jesus. Awful. Just awful. And he sounds awful when he speaks.

Reks is hurt from a chokeslam by some guy. Ribs are taped. I kinda like Joe so far. He threw a dropkick that wasn't PERFECT though.
Their work isn't awful but no one in that arena except for two guys chanting for Joe. It's weird. Just really dead. Joe nails the Hennig-Plex but they're near the ropes. Crowd couldn't care less. Tyler picked him up in a rack but Hennig popped out and hit a second Hennig Plex for the three count. Stares down the champ and it's over.

The names are horrible. The wrestling is okay. The crowd is dead as hell. You'd figure small venue wrestling would have louder crowds but not this bunch. I'd probably tune in if I didn't have anything to do, but based off of what I saw this isn't something that I gotta see. No one seemed to stand out so much to make me tune in for them. Except maybe Dusty on commentary. But even he is subdued when he gets crazy unlike WCW where he's having to yell and talk over people to tell people what's goin' down, baby. I'll probably give it another shot, but it's not on my priority list.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

ECW 10/27/2009

Abraham Washington Segment
I like talk show segments where the guy running it is heel and he wrestles. Carlito's Cabana was good. Cutting Edge. Highlight Reel. All allowed decent to great talkers to get heat and push storylines. Abraham Washington is getting a little heat, but what's the point? If he isn't going to wrestle then he should at least be a better performer and not a dick. He doesn't look comfortable standing up talking because he shuffles his legs a lot. And if he's going to be unlikeable, he should be managing a wrestler or get in the ring so that there's some retribution for having to listen to him. Tiffany ain't so great either. You'd think that if WWE was going to invest in this idea that they are a entertainment company they'd get actual actors to play these parts. I know plenty of actors who'd be fine with playing these roles and getting TV exposure.

Anyway, Regal comes out and demands a ECW title shot. Tiffany says no, maybe never, and Regal loses it and Incredible Hulks the set. Regal snapping didn't look all that great as it seemed like he was given one prop to thrash and had to leave the couches alone.

They show the new announcer who seems like an okay guy. He sounds like Josh and Todd, which is kind of disappointing. Doesn't add much flavor.

Sheamus is very very white. And this is all pretty dull. Shelton gives a nice split legged moonsault off the top rope to the outside before the commercial break. Sadly that's about it. The crowd seems into it, but neither guy really gets out of second gear. Shelton throws a nice German for a nearfall, but Sheamus survives only to hit his pump-kick to the side of Shelton's head. It all looked very low impact which made the three count all the more disappointing. Honestly, I don't see much in either guy. I can see Shelton dropping off in the next 6 months. And Sheamus needs more than Triple H's wing to engage me.

There's a bit between Shane Helms and some woman who talks a lot. Paul Burchill comes by and says he wants to see the Hurricane next week. These guys don't seem all that interesting either. Helms looks devoid of all life, to be honest. His indy hair and facial hair scream amateur hour. And honestly, I liked Paul as a pirate.

Christian gives a promo about young guys like Yoshi having to cope with defeat.

The opening stuff is basic headlock work that some how already feels more interesting than the previous match. Yoshi is making quick come backs to maybe flash pin the champ which puts Christian in an interesting position as he usually plays that role to bigger opponents. Yoshi misses a plancha to the outside and Christian does his own spring board rebound dive, that still looks damn pretty. I just really like that move. Captain Charisma takes it over until he goes for the Tornado DDT. Tatsu counters out and goes up top for a fun spinning wheel kick that I never give CAWs on wrestling games. I like to look at it but I never think of anyone doing it.
Shit gets straight ballin' in the last section that had some nice nearfalls. I mean totally hot, as the crowd was buying it and you could tell some of the Peeps had even softened up to the idea of Tatsu beating their hero. Christian finally hits the Killswitch to seal the deal. I like the name Unprettier better, but whatever.

Christian continues to be very solid. Nice star performance for Tatsu. It's the kind of performance that doesn't necessarily make him a superstar, but it's the kind that makes him legitimize him as a competitor and not a an asian schtick guy, like Funaki or even Jimmy Wang Yang. I'm rooting for him. God knows me and my fellow Asian Americans could use some better role models in wrestling. Or TV in general. Also, he should add the Sliding D to his movelist. It fits him better than the Roaring Elbow, and no one is doing it on TV here in the states yet. Take IT!

Nothing interesting but the Main Event, which is worth tracking down on the Hulu, which is where I watched it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

SUPERBRAWL VIII, half hearted review.

Upon a request for some good Booker T matches, I was told to check out his work on SuperBrawl VIII. I checked out the card and decided to watch the whole damn thing. I'll say right now I was not a WCW fan. I didn't watch a lot of it, as I've been firmly a part of McMahon Church nearly my whole life. Anything else was practically heresy to watch.
WCW SuperBrawl VIII
February 22, 1998
The Cow Palace in San Francisco, CA
Gate: 12,620

Booker T vs. Rick Martel
There are really two things I remember about the little WCW I watched. One was Booker T's work with the TV title, facing guys like Martel and Benoit. The other was Chris Jericho vs. Anybody. This match was hella good. The back story was Booker and Saturn were supposed to face off for the title but Martel won it. So now Booker is getting a rematch with the winner facing Perry Saturn later in the SAME NIGHT. Doesn't favor the champion which is kind of lame but makes for an exciting scenario. They get a lot of time and it's a really really great build. The audiences is definitely down with the whole affair and make it a much better experience. Honestly Rick Martel is probably one of the best dance partners Booker could ever have and seemed like they could have had so many more matches better than this.

Apparently Martel ripped his MCL in this match and they called an audible for Booker to win. Sadly this would be the beginning of the end for Martel as he'd come back from this only to be injured again with Stevie Ray, and then retiring. Still a damn classy match that should be checked out by anyone.

Booker T vs. Perry Saturn
Perry comes in and immediately locks in the Rings of Saturn which is a favorite sub of mine. The match hasn't started yet officially so the ref tells him to break the hold. The match starts after that and Booker gets it taken to him for a while. There's something really weird about Perry Saturn. He just has a bizarre arsenal. Big power throws and weird dives, like the spring board splash off the middle rope to a prone Booker T. And oddly it got little reaction. Neither did the Lionsault style moonsault he did to a standing Booker. Just randomly doing moves. Booker gets it handed to him for a long time and the crowd seemed to be less into it as it went on. Booker some how nails a spin kick for the win and retains his newly won title. Not as good as the first match, but not awful really. Just not memorable.

Disco Inferno vs. La Parka
Not good at all. La Parka made fun of Disco a lot. The finish came after the ref got thumbed in the eye. Parka brought in a chair and set Disco in it. He went up top to do something but Disco got up. By this time the ref was fine and just allowed the chair to sit there despite seeing Disco sitting in a chair. Disco tossed La Parka from top rope onto the sitting chair and then finished him with the Chart Buster. The ref of course removed the chair before counting. Lame.

Bill Goldberg vs. Brad Armstrong
Goldberg beat up Armstrong real good.

Cruiserweight Champion Chris Jericho vs. Juventud Guerrera
Nifty little match but certainly not one of early Jericho's best. They both work well together and I really wish Juvi's last run with the WWE worked out, as a reprise of them could have done well much like Jericho and Rey's recent feud. One of the big shockers of the match was Juvi's 450 didn't put Jericho away as he was able to grab the bottom rope. I like little details like that, as it shows that the moves doesn't always translate into a win since the opponent is position so close in order for it to hit. Tenay was selling loss of a mask as practically instant death to a wrestler's career. Worth checking out as for the historical nature, but it's not really near the best of either guy. And they'd have a much better match at Road Wild in August of the same year.

The British Bulldog vs. Mongo McMichael.
Not as bad as you'd think it would be. Bulldog looked very out of it, as was probably the case. At one point he put on an awful Sharpshooter as a shot out to his buddy Bret coming to the company. Mongo eventually was put into an armbar. He didn't actually give up or tap out, the ref just called it. WEIRD. He even got up and said he didn't give up. The announcers acknowledged it too. Could have been a story development in reference to Hart coming from the WWE post Montreal, but it feels doubtful as no one seemed committed to it as storyline.

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Chris Benoit.
This is the first time I've watched Benoit since the tragedy I think. It's weird. The match is pretty good as Benoit brought a great game plan. Sometimes I'm able to watch it as just another match, but anytime the camera closes up on Benoit's face I come back to reality. Page ain't down with selling the arm that Benoit spends nearly the whole time working on but just acts generally worn out. The Diamond Cutter spot was nice and Benoit sold it like Tyson just had a free shot at him. Page retains in a good match, if you can sit through it.

Lex Luger vs. Macho Man Randy Savage.
Not very good at all. I couldn't tell you what the point of it all was but neither guy looked really interested in being there. Luger especially. Lex got Macho up for the rack and Elizabeth interfered. Then the NWO came down annnnnnnd attacked both guys. Hogan came down called the troops off, while Luger locked on another Rack for the win. Then they all walked away.

The Steiners vs. The Outsiders
They kind of telegraphed the turn of Scott especially Bobby Heenan. Scott had a good look of concern that could have been taken as focus on his tough opponents. But Heenan was like, "Hey, did you see that Scott didn't talk to Dibiase....HMMMMM....I wonder...." Heenan is just too damned smart I guess. Anyway Scott turned on Rick and the Outsiders finish him off for the win.

Sting vs. Hulk Hogan
Pretty fun match actually with a weird flaw. Charlie Robinson admonished Hogan for holding onto the ropes while Sting had him in the Deathlock, which was the stupidest thing ever. He actually kicked his hand away and said, "You gotta let go." He said nothing to Sting for holding onto the ropes. Hogan acted like Charlie Robinson's kick hurt his hand and while Robinson was checking on him Sting just splashed both of them in the corner. I mean Hogan didn't even have to pull the guy in. So Sting looked like a dick. Robinson is out so this brings out Nick Patrick who may or may not be in the NWO's pocket. We quickly realize the answer is "NOT" as he played it down the middle much to the chagrin of Hogan, who said, "But it's me...HOLLYWOOD." Loved that. Eventually Nick Patrick got bumped and the NWO came down but were fended off by Stinger. Macho came down to and nailed Hogan with a spray can and left it there. Sting made the cover and Patrick counted him down. Sting then picked up the spray can, and Patrick lifted the hand holding it in victory. I've seen matches reversed with less evidence than this. Anyway, Sting became the champ and spray painted WCW on Hogan's belly. GO HOME!

Despite the really bum over booking that protected Hogan, who needs ZERO protection, even at this point in his career. Still it was fun to watch. Hogan is a great heel and Sting's come backs were rocking the joint.

OVERALL SHOW: Booker/Martel was the best match. The rest of the card can be hit or miss. And if you look at it you can probably tell where the misses are. HINT: Disco Inferno.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


I have two BRAND SPANKIN' NEW reviews posted over the amazing Puroresu Central. One is for a ZeroOne show that aired early this year and the other is for IGF GENOME9 which was but a few weeks ago. Sadly the Genome 9 show didn't provide me with any cool footage to share like the Jon Andersen toss or Takayama breaking out a U Can't C Me. But it was still a bizarre train wreck. The ZeroOne show was fun and featured a HELLACIOUS top rope dropkick in the SUN match, that I highly suggest looking at. Those broads were tough as nails. Anyway, check out Puroresu Central, Kevin has an amazing site that is an amazing resource for knowing who is is who in puroresu.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Getting There:
So I'm an actor and it just so happens that I had a matinee that usually would end at 4:30. Somehow we were able to shave 7 minutes off the performance without really sacrificing anything. It actually felt really long, but I think that's because I wanted to be at the Congress Theater. Also, in some kind of crazy fate, the theater I was performing at was just a hop skip and a jump away, so with my wife sitting out side with the car ready to go, I was able to get to the venue in time to just see JR and Jerry Lawler from a distance. Sometimes it's just cool to look. They didn't have too many folks at their table, but I was running late and a lot of folks were in their seats already awaiting the FRAY! I ran over to the Dragon Gate table and got Naruki Doi's autograph on a sexy little 8x10. He's a pretty warm guy and was all smiles. I passed up Ryo Saito and Genki Horiguchi, because my plan was to only spend 20 bucks, and ten of that was going to Bryan Danielson at intermission. So instead of the Twin Gate champs I got SHINGO's autograph and he was looking pretty intense. Pretty shocked to see he had shaved off his awesome hair. Despite seeing the pic online earlier.

I refrained from yelling "SOONER SEASON IS OVAH...OW OW MY ARM!" at Jim Ross and went to my seat, which was awesome because a) it was close and b) the seat next to it would remain empty. YES.


Johnny Gargano vs. Flip Kendrick vs. Hallowicked vs. Arik Cannon vs. Shima Xion vs. The Great Malaki vs. Sheik Mustafa Ali vs. Louis Lyndon

Canon and Hallowicked started things off. Arik Cannon was rocking some chops early on that were getting people into him. Really popping them off. He's not the best looking cat by a long shot but he was pretty impressive in terms of keeping up with guys who looked to be so much better shape. He was good base, but he didn't just stand around and let people flip around, dude was moving pretty good too.

Shima Xion was pretty forgettable to me. He did a ridiculous jump to the outside that looked like 630? This kid a row ahead of me went "SHIMA SHIMA" to try and get it going and when he notcied no body else was getting into it he went ."No one cares." Which was pretty honest. I mean it was an a amazing jump but he didn't stand out doing anything else. Of course he did get eliminated pretty soon after wards.

Sheik Mustafa Ali was okay. He was getting immediate heat just for being not-American. Cracked people up when before he did a jump off the top rope he yelled "JIHAD!" Funny.

Louis Lyndon may be my new favorite thing in the world. He's a black dude with a Kung Fu gimmick. His facial stuff was too funny and he was really solid. Just a really entertaining guy.

The Great Malaki is apparently apart of some dark arts cult stable. He's a got a cool broad and sinister little dude in a suit. He was memorable because before he came in THEY SET HIS HANDS ON FIRE. He then made his way down the aisle and into the ring with FLAMING HANDS. Great stuff. Don't remember him doing much else though.

Flip Kendrick was not particularly good. He did a whole bunch of flips and was trying to do some flips to counter something Hallowicked was doing but then H'wicked stopped doing anything and just stared at him while Flip flipped himself to the ground. H'wicked then just reached down and grabbed him to beat on him so more.

Johnny Gargano was getting heat just for having a scrunchy in his hair. Whatever works. He and Hallowicked were last and had a fun finishing stretch. Garagano wins and comes out looking pretty good. I'll have to go to a AAW show when I get a chance.
PPV Started and we opened with:
Masato Yoshino vs. Dragon Kid
I'm pretty pro Yoshino and I was lucky to be around some others were also pro Yoshino. Dragon Kid seemed to be over with more of the crowd. This match was pretty great. They moved pretty fast as usual without a lot of down time. Anytime DG guys get into singles I get a little worried, but they were working with maybe fifteen minutes which would probably be the sweet spot for these two. As the match went on more people started getting behind Yoshino. Especially after Kid attacked him as he was stepping through the ropes. People started booing and Kid was like, "No, no, it's okay." Hilarious.
DK's Deja-Vu is pretty damn rad to see live, and has some nasty, nasty slaps. Dragon Kid picked up a surprise win with his Crucifix roll-up. I thought for sure Yoshino would get his win back. After the match was over Kid once again offered his hand and Yoshino blew him off. There wasn't much here that I hadn't already seen them do, but even with them not busting out some of their sicker stuff, it ended up being my 2nd favorite match of the night

Gran Akuma and YAMATO vs. Mike Quakenbush and Jigsaw.
The story hear is the CHIKARA/Dragon Gate rivalry with Akuma deciding to side with Yamato despite being a CHIKARA guy. Quack being opposite YAMATO is grand. YAMATO was just a total dick the whole time being smarmy and sleazy. Akuma looked okay, him and YAMATO seemed a little off in their double team efforts. Jigsaw basically got beat on a lot, having his leg worked on pretty hard. Quack got the hot tag and towards the end Jigsaw tried to get Akuma up for a Doomsday device of some sort but his legs gave way and he just held him up on his knees. It actually worked out just fine, and if it wasn't on purpose, it worked in the context of the match, since his leg was in rough shape. Quackenbush also had some pretty funny comedy defense like squatting down on YAMATO's rear foot as YAMATO tried to irish whip and then just shaking his head.
Quakenbush gets the win hitting some kind crazy piledriver. It's like the same one that broke Austin's neck, but before he drops he grabbed Akuma's legs and bent them behind his(Akuma's) back. I was watching it from the side and it looked like Akuma's head was way out. I hope he's alright because I watched him lay there and go "Oh my god" and try to move his left arm. It looked legit but who knows, maybe he had me fooled.

Young Bucks Promo
The Bucks came out to some fanfare. They said that they demanded Genki and Saito to put up the titles in their match later tonight. Apparently it's non-title. Then we heard "Well, well, well, Did somebody say....JIMMY JACOBS." And Jimmy Jacobs showed upto some cheers, but immediately afterwards was booed because everyone remembered it was Jimmy Jacobs. He basically tried to recruit The Bucks to his new squad which right now features Sheik Mustafa Ali. He said he could make them into stars. Bucks told him no and they brawled. Genki and Ryo came in to work over the challengers too. Was wondering if Jacobs would get involved since he's also apart of AAW shows. Still not a fan of The Young Bucks.

Bryan Danielson vs. Naruki Doi

I actually didn't like this as much as I thought I would. Don't get me wrong, it was pretty damn cool, and Danielson is amazing to watch. He just does a lot of little things that I wonder if they'll be there when he moves to the WWE. Certainly a fierce guy who did some amazing arm work, that may be worth the price of the DVD alone. I mean he was doing things that looked unreal to Doi's arm. Doi was a solid trooper and carried his end of the match. Dude took some pretty hard shots and dished out a couple too. There was one that the people around me werel pretty sure knocked one of Danielson's teeth out. Doi didn't do much selling of the arm, which set this back for me. I have limits and this one just went past it by a little bit.

After the match Danielson gave some thanks and said that he wanted to be replaced as the Best in the World, by another indy wrestler, since he thinks he won't be able to be that guy anymore. Which was interesting to hear. He also said he believes that the new man to take up the mantle will be Davey Richards. Plenty of cheers, a few boos. Then we all sing Final Countdown to him. Bryan walked around the ring and shook hands with everyone. There was a kid in the front row and it was cool to see some one who looks so crazy in the ring become instantly funny and warm around the kids. Class guy. I'm so glad I got to see him live in this type of setting.
So no, I didn't get Bryan Danielson's autograph. That line was crazy. Actually I had gotten in the line early on, and thought it was the wrong line because I couldn't see where it lead to. So I went around and realized I was indeed in the right line. So when I got back the line had doubled. Which sucks, but whatever, YAMATO, Yoshino, and Dragon Kid were signing pics so I got YAMATO and Yoshino autographs too. Totally a fair trade I say. Before the show picked up again some dude started to yell "CENA SUCKS". Some people chanted with him, I was confused.

CIMA vs. Brian Kendrick

So at one point Kendrick gets his head tucked under the middle turnbuckle and his arms wrapped around the middle ropes. CIMA then starts spanking that ass and starts to act like he is about to sodomize Kendrick. Hilarious. Some folks in the crowd were just plain confused, but I found it pretty funny. The match actually felt a lot like WWE kind of pacing and style. Spanky did an amazing bump for CIMA's backcracker. Kendrick did a complete back flip off of CIMA's knees instead of just taking it flat backed. Coolest bump for that move I've ever seen. CIMA eventually just dropped the hell out of Kendrick and nailed him with a gorgeous METEORA. Love that move. Overall it was pretty solid though a little underhwleming. CIMA is crazy energetic though and made me forget that he was one of my least favorite guys in Dragon Gate last year.

SHINGO vs. Davey Richards
First things first. Davey Richards is goofy ripped. I don't seem to recall him looking that jacked before but I don't watch a lot of his stuff. I mean it was like looking at Benoit or Dynamite Kid. Little dude with what just looked like mounds of mucsles stuffed into his skin. Shingo was rocking a new hair cut which made me sad. Thanks to Bryan Danielson everyone was pretty pro Davey and chanting stuff like "NEXT BEST IN THE WORLD" which is a mouthful.

So yeah, this match was amazing. Amazing. Certainly the match of the night. Will probably get some MOTY talk once it becomes more readily available. I mean these dudes were dropping some bombs. At one point Davey wrapped Shingo's arm around the guardrail directly in front of this little girl, who I was two rows behind. The dad was like, "maybe we should scoot you back." Davey then ran and kicked Shingo's arm and broke the top bar of the guardrail. The daughter was all grins. She'll remember that stuff. Davey busted out another nasty dive when he did a front flip into the crowd. I thought he nailed his neck on the guardrail but all was okay. It was so cool watching Shingo pull the guardrail as a sign for, if there's anyone behind this, you may want to move. Everyone just looked at eachother and was like "Oh crap, and scrambled to make room for Air Davey. Dude was certainly trying to earn that title of Best in the World.

Eventually after some amazing amazing work and plenty of nearfalls, he hit the SSP and when Shingo kicked out, Davey locked him in the Kimura for the tap out. Great stuff. Great ending as Davey had been busting on the arm the whole time. Shingo was the man, and I was sad to see him lose. At one point during the match we made I contact and I was like "C'mon man, let's go," and it felt like he saw it. Kind a neat. Anyways, great match, and will certainly sell this disc.

After the match Davey, showed some respect to Shingo, and then thanked the audience, except for one "dickhead", and he pointed at that one joker that was doing the CENA SUCKS chants earlier. HILARIOUS. He then called for Bryan to come back out and talk to him face to face. Danielson came out and Davey said thanks for the kind words, and that he really wanted to show him how much he appreciated - KICK TO THE FACE. SURPRISE!!!! Davey heels it up on AmDrag and tells us that he doesn't need his endorsement and that he would become the first Open the Freedom Gate Champion....BEST IN THE WORLD. Great stuff. After wards, those same fools that were chanting "Next Best in the World" started chanting "You Still Suck."

Non-title match
The Young Bucks vs. Genki Horiguchi and Ryo Saito(Open the Twin Gate Champions)

I don't know The Young Bucks names. No joke. there's a blonde one and a brunette.
Genki Horiguchi and Ryo Saito were freaking amazing heels. I mean they were just spitting and telling people to shut up. It was great. Genki cleared out a couple of rows of seas right next to me and suplexed the Blonde Buck onto the chairs. Me and a couple of guys cheered for him, and when we did he acted like he was going to beat us up. GREAT.
The three cats in front of me were shouting and booing Genki and Ryo. So they started feeding us some attention. At one point I started yelling some Japanese stuff I've been picking up at Ryo and he looked at me and started yelling right back. So we were all yelling at him and then he looked me in the eyes and spit at me. AMAZING.
The Bucks started takining turns doing double axe handles smashes to Genki's arm and then eventually grabbed Genki's pony-tail and started doing double axe handles from the middle rope on that. Funny stuff. Despite all the unique and atheltic double teams and dives, I wasn't too impressed with The Bucks. Felt like a lot of really good flash, but not enough substance. The Blonde One ended up super kicking the ref, which looked pretty nasty. They hit their 450/Moonsault combo but no one was able to count. Genki rolled in and nailed the Brunnette with BLUE MIST!!! Ryo hit him with one of his finishes and the ref was awake enough to count to three. Fun Match. Next time I will get Genki Horiguchi's autograph and tell him he is my new number one.
So as I'm leaving some of those people in the first two rows left their THUNDERSTIX, so I got me a pair for free. I then helped a cat to to the Blue Line as I walked home and we talked about how goofy ripped Richards was. My wife was up I told her all the awesome details and we played TRIBUNE which I won. It was like a weird version of Ice Cube's "Today Was a Good Day" video.

Friday, July 31, 2009

NWA Fusion: Meltdown Ep, 1

NWA Fusion is a little indy out of Virginia. They're attempting to do an online show (again, I think) and I think it airs locally there. Any way, I don't know anything about them, so what better way to get acquainted with them than to watch their first episode of their new show: Meltdown? You too can watch the action on Vimeo HERE

Alpha Title Match:

"Memphis Mofo" Mark Bravura v. Damien Wayne v. Amazing Sanchezzz v. Krotch
Before the match starts we get some backstage promos by Wayne, Sanchezzz, and Krotch. Sanchezzz's was all in Spanish but I got the jist of it. Krotch has Sheik Ali Akbar for his manager. Akbar has a funny kinda cartoony voice. Mark Bravura does his promo in the ring. He ape's Mr. Kennedy ridiculously. From the walk, the pose, the holding of the mic. Even the content of his promo was "Tonight I weigh in at...." Damien Wayne can be seen leaning on the ref like he's sleeping, during this. The match wasn't very good, and I wasn't clear on rules. They were doing it like only two in at a time and the other guys had to be tagged in. One of the commentators mentioned how that made no sense to tag out. The play-by-play dude tried to make it logical but I didn't buy it. Neither did the wrestlers who abandoned it later, and would break up falls, and then just stay in to make their own pin. Damien Wayne looked pretty solid. I liked Sanchezzz enough, but I don't think this match worked for him. Krotch had some goofy offense and kinda reminded me of that match Kizarny had that one time. But I didn't hate Krotch all that much. Bravura laid around for most of it. And by the way, his finish is that awful Roll The Dice move that WWE puts on people who can't come up with one. So yeah, pretty weak opener, but it's not offensive.

We get a quickie promo from Da Nu Bluds. Ick. They're the tag champs. They also speak like almost every white dude that shows up on Jerry Springer. And their names are....Da Gift and....Da Curse? Ick. Trailer park wigger wrestlers make me feel dirty.

Tomkat vs. The Hatriot w/Sheik Ali Akbar
Oh man why hasn't their been a Hatriot before? Tomkat works the hell out of that "USA!" chant which I can't really fault him for. But he starts it like three times in the first minute. Hatriot squashes the little guy. He's got a couple of neat moves. One is him lifting Tomkat up in a Fireman's Carry, and basically tossing him off into the turnbuckles, so that the kid lands on his head. The other is like a weird reverse Full Nelson, that he uses to lift them up into a sit out powerbomb. Pretty fine for what it was, and at least has me interested in who will be the guy to take down the evil Hatriot.

Quikie backstage promo from "Big Time" Mike Booth, who says his NWA Continental Title is going nowhere. So deal with that, Sean Denny.

Speaking of Sean Denny, dude comes out to cut a promo in the ring. Says some stuff about being the next champ and makes an open challenge for any one to come out and "test" him. Bravura comes out and says Denny doesn't deserve his title shot, because he's been beaten by the Mempho Mofo. Bravura has dropped the Kennedy schtick and is so much better for it. Denny eventually shuts him up and throws him out. Mike Booth walks out and Denny is game for a throwdown. Booth balks at this and the crowd boos.
The End.

Didn't care for the big match, but nothing was offensively bad. The commentary is pretty decent. It's not some wrestle nerd, being smarky with the insider lingo or sounding so pleased with himself that he knows all the names of the moovez. Even though it wasn't spectacular show, there's something there that makes me want to see what happens next time. Which is better than say, TNA. Booyah Dixie-Land!

Smackdown 07.31.09 Thoughts

Five on the Plus Side:

5. Jeff Hardy's promo. First time in a while Hardy didn't sound lame as hell. He even put over Morrison to sell the main event later that night. Saying he may not even be the champion Punk gets for his re-match clause was a nice touch, as was referencing Morrison's recent winS over C.M. Punk. The match was so-so, but I stuck around to watch it.

4. Mike Knox. After being torn up by the Khali last week, Knox got to raise his cred a little here. He didn't eat the pin and got to look pretty tough beating up Finlay and Rey. His surprise Cross Body was a great way to introduce himself into the match. I'm sure no one really cared when he came out, but when he hit that move right off of the bat, people started pay more attention. I'm not on his bandwagon yet, but I'm checking it out.

3. Morrison kicking out of the Swanton. The match wasn't really great or anything, but I will remember that Morrison kicked out of the Swanton, a move that kept Kane down for eons on that first post draft Smackdown. You know, when Jeff hit it, and Jericho pulled him out of the ring so he could get the pin. If only his face act was as fun as his heel act.

2. Cryme Tyme. They put on a great show with The Hart Dynasty, in what I thought was the Match of the Night. I'm not huge fans, but I like it when I guys are passionate in the ring and act like stars. These guys did all of that, just in the match, and later, in the post match stuff, they held their own with Jericho and Show on the mic. Jericho and Show both made amazing cases for why Cryme Tyme were not in the same league as them, but Cryme Tyme, through sheer charisma forced the fans to not believe it. Definitely a good week for the Brooklyn Boys.

1. C.M. Punk snaps. I loved every bit of it. Punk is playing this so pitch perfect, that no one will be able to trust him now. It's so good, that there's no going back, and it's like this guy is heel for life now. That beat down was great and kind of refreshing. No chairs, no mounted punches, not even a Go 2 Sleep. Dude just coiled up and unleashed some AmDrag elbows on Hardy. Just some very nice stuff.

Bad stuff:

Ziggler eating the pin after losing Sunday. I was hoping he'd get a cheap win in a tag match, just to get a little heat on him.

The women's match. I feel like this is the only match the women have. This same tag match.

The Hart Dynasty. It's just about too late for this team to really matter ever. Which is sad, because they're The Hart Dynasty. Maybe with Cryme Tyme hitting the bigs, HD can get some cred back by beating up.......some one. Kung Fu-Naki is still employed right?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

New Japan Pro Wrestling 3.15.2009

New Japan Pro Wrestling 3.15.2009
Korakuen Hall
Attendance: 1,800

This show is apart of the New Japan Cup Tournament Tour. It features the quarter final match ups, with the semis and finals to be held on 3.22. I'll be looking at that one a little further down the line. It's an interesting card:

1. Jushin Liger & Kazuchika Okada vs. Ryusuke Taguchi & Prince Devitt
2. Super Strong Machine, Tiger Mask, Koji Kanemoto & Taichi Ishikari vs. Toru Yano, Black Tiger, Jado & Gedo
3. New Japan Cup Round 2: Milano Collection A.T. vs. Giant Bernard
4. New Japan Cup Round 2: Yutaka Yoshie vs. Tomohiro Ishii
5. New Japan Cup Round 2: Yuji Nagata vs. Takashi Iizuka
6. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Manabu Nakanishi & Wataru Inoue vs. Togi Makabe, Val Venis & Karl Anderson
7. New Japan Cup Round 2: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Hirooki Goto

Even the six-mans sound fun!
Let's do it.
Jushin Liger & Kazuchika Okada vs. Ryusuke Taguchi & Prince Devitt

It's mostly ground game with Liger playing pretzel maker. Okada is descent and does his part when it comes time for him to do a little mat wrestling. Liger throws in some heel touches, like pulling the bottom rope from a desperate Devitt trying to escape a Boston Crab. Taguchi isn't some one I go out of my way to watch but he does his stuff well and gets a nice crowd reaction. I thought this was going to be a throw away kind of match but it was okay for a ten minute opener. Okada came out of it looking pretty nice, despite taking the fall. I can see him being a bigger deal for the division down the road.

Super Strong Machine, Tiger Mask, Koji Kanemoto & Taichi Ishikari vs. Toru Yano, Black Tiger, Jado & Gedo
Pretty standard affair as pretty much everyone takes turns getting in on the action. The main story being the Black Tiger/Tiger Mask feud. Ishikari doesn't spend the whole match getting beat around which is surprising. Koji Kanemoto looks like he's in less pain than usual. He's got a little spring in his step that's nice to see. Finish comes with Black Tiger pushing the ref and kicking poor Ishikari and the junk, to set up his scoop tombstone for the win. At least Ishikari was cheated, I really expected him to just be the whipping boy. BT and TM throw some 'bows after the bell.

New Japan Cup Round 2: Milano Collection A.T. vs. Giant Bernard
Nicely booked match. Milano starts by trying to use his speed to evade the monster but eventually he gets caught. Bernard proceeds to beat Milano around for a few minutes until The Italian One finds an opening and makes a comeback working on Bernard's knees. There is a funny spot where Milano goes for a pin but Bernard kicks out by tossing him in the air. Milano lands on the ref, knocking the wind out of him. So Milano gets a funny idea, he tries to body slam Bernard but this of course fails with, Bernard looking confused that such a little person would attempt such a move on him. But then as the ref is getting up Milano grabs Bernard's leg and places it in between his own, making it appear as those Bernard kicked him in the junk. The ref begins to admonish Bernard and threaten a DQ. This leads to enough distraction for Milano to hit a couple of crescent kicks for only a near fall. Next they fall out side and battle it out as the ref counts. Milano pushes Bernard into the post and rushes into the ring. 14....15.... Bernard gets on the apron to step in but Milano kicks the rope, crotching Bernard and sending him back out of the ring. 16....17.... KARL ANDERSON hops in side and drops Milano with an RKO while the ref counts...18....19.....Bernard rolls inside beating the count. He then hits the Sumo Driver on a prone Milano for the three. Bernard advances. Just a fun finishing sequence to an okay 10 minute match. I certainly didn't believe Milano was going to win, but his little tricks during the count out made me second guess myself, and I love that.

New Japan Cup Round 2: Yutaka Yoshie vs. Tomohiro Ishii
Last year Yoshie was a machine, putting on some of the more entertaining performances of 2008. Tomohiro Ishii could be the Yoshie of 2009. Winner proceeds in the New Japan Cup.
The bring the heavyweight BEEF. I love it when two guys just try to out muscle each other. About half way through Ishii calls for a brainbuster and you think he's crazy. But he breaks one off on the Pink Pin Ball, and the crowd loves every bit of it. I love it when wrestler's get people excited for suplexes. Yoshie hits a monster Thesz Press later. It's the kind of move that could be a finisher for him, no doubt. Yoshie gets cocky and goes up top, but gets caught with a SUPERPLEX. Crowd is eating it up and chanting Ishii's name. LARIAT-O TIME. Ishii needs three to put the beast down but it's only good for a two count. Crowd is way into this. Yoshie comes back with his own hoss lariats, but the crowd is still rooting for Ishii. Yoshie dominates for a little bit, but Ishii shocks him with a GERMAN SUPLEX!!!! 1- 2- kick out! They're on their hands and knees and just headbutting each other. Back on their feet and Ishii is throwing some elbows. Yoshie responds with some back fists that bring Ishii to his knees. A nasty knee to the chest and Ishii is down at the corner..... Yoshie heading up top for a big hoss splash, and that's enough for the 3-Count. Bummer. Fun Beefy Match. Two heavyweights being heavy with a lively crowd makes this totally watchable. Check it out.

New Japan Cup Round 2: Yuji Nagata vs. Takashi Iizuka
Nagata looks ready to mess up some Iizuka. The match has a little crowd brawling early on that I didn't like. I don't mind crowd brawling precisely, but I don't like it when it's mostly one guy holding another guy by the back of the head and just walking with them somewhere just to ram there head into something. Which is exactly what happens here. Iizuka and Nagata take a stroll to the upper decks where Iizuka slams Yuji's head into the door up there and then he walks off. Like it was so important. Nagata juices some where after this. A lot of the match is kind of slow brawling with a lot of interference from Jado and Gedo, Iizuka's GBH buddies. This stuff is always lame to me. Unlike the Milano/Bernard match, the ref is never distracted at the right time, so when he does see something happening, he has to figure something out for him to go do instead of breaking up the interference. It's super annoying. Finish comes when Nagata nails a top rope Exploder for a two count. And then a brain buster for a two count. And then he locks on the Nagata Lock II. Iizuka tries to reach the ropes a couple of time but fails. Jado jumps on the apron while Gedo hits Nagata. Nagata just smacks him out of the ring and buts Jado. Iizuka picks up his metal glove and nails Yuji in the throat. The ref sees it and calls for the disqualification. Well, at least the ref called something for all the illegal shit going on. That stuff drives me mad. Yuji advances.

Hiroshi Tanahashi, Manabu Nakanishi & Wataru Inoue vs. Togi Makabe, Val Venis & Karl Anderson
I was looking forward to seeing this as I thought Val Venis was a great mid-card guy. Surprise, surprise, he's not tan, or buff anymore. It's not that feeling you had when you saw Piper wrestle with no shirt on a couple of years ago, but you get the point. Venis plays heel, but out of nowhere people start chanting his name. Those people then get drowned out by the Nakanishi fans. Venis is cracking me the hell up. He's got this bewildered look on his face, like he has no idea how he got here. After getting shoulder blocked by Nakanishi he backs in the corner, and asks "What the hell was that?!" He then runs over to Karl Anderson for a tag. Nice. Karl gets worked over a little bit and Val is calling for a time out but no dice. Inoue gets tagged in and things spill to the outside where folks start diving on to each other. Manabu shocks Val Venis with a plancha. I really want a singles match between the two now. Inoue gets to play whipping boy as he should. Tanahashi gets the hot tag and gets buck wild on every body. Hell, Karl Anderson gets in on some comedy and croches himself in the corner when Tanahashi moves. His voice even sounds like it went up in pitch. Cute. Manabu hits the ring and just randomly puts Karl in the Torture Rack for the submission. Odd finish that kind of came out of nowhere, but still a good match. Didn't over stay its welcome and was interesting throughout.

Omori shows up out of nowhere and offers a hand to Nakanishi which he accepts. Wonder where that's going?.....

New Japan Cup Round 2: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Hirooki Goto
A little history: Goto and Nakamura have been together for a while now. At last year's G1 Climax, Goto and Nakamura were in the same block and it basically came down to the two of them in terms of which one got to go to the Finals. Goto won that match, an upset if you will, and went on to when the whole tournament. Now we're in the New Japan Cup and the two friend are once again on opposite sides of the ring, each hoping to move forward in the tournament.
Nakamura spends the first half working the arm in various ways. There's a neat moment where Goto grabs the ropes in order to stop a 3-Count and Nakamura grabs the arm and pulls him away from the ropes into a nice arm lock. Goto eventually makes his come back and they battle it out on the top rope, which eventually ends in Goto pulling Nakamura off the top with a neck breaker. And so now, Goto has something to work on. Nakamura does a great job selling backdrops as death on his fragile neck. Much better than Goto did with the arm. As a matter of fact, his arm is perfectly fine now. I'm not saying it should be in a sling, but a little shrug would be nice. There's a really nice rebound off the rope counter fest that ends in a Nakamura German Suplex. Goto responds with his own, and Nakamura pretty much lands on his neck. When they get up they start slapping the piss out of each other. Goto then punches Nak in the face. The ref pulls him back and Nakamura just shoves the ref to the side and punches Goto square in the jaw. AWESOME. Gloves are off, girlfriend. They start going for the big moves, each sneaking out of the others. Goto then lays Nakamura out with a surprise Lariat for a two count. Goto decides this is the best plan of action and gears up for a second. Good gawd when he connects it looks nasty as hell. 1-2-3. Goto wins in 19:00 with a big time LARIAT-O.

It's not PPV quality, but is a great appetizer for the main course, which would be the tournament finale. Not one match felt like a chore to watch, and I can't think of too many promotions that have that going for them.

  • Yoshie/Ishii being MEN.
  • Val Venis being bewildered.
  • Nakamura being decapitated by Hirooki Goto.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Kerry Von Erich vs. Jumbo Tsuruta 5/22/1984

Quick backstory: The more I watch Jumbo Tsuruta the more I fall in love him. Kerry Von Erich has become a slight fascination to me. He's just one of those guys that has everything going for him in terms of body and charisma. He's not particularly good in the ring but the crowd eats it up. So when I look back at his matches, it's not just to watch him work, but to see how other people try to make him look good. 16 days prior to this, Kerry won the NWA World's Heavyweight Title from Flair in Texas.

Best of Three Falls
Champion: Kerry Von Erich vs. Challenger: Jumbo Tsuruta

From the onset, Jumbo seems to revel in the challenge of reigning Kerry in. Kerry looks pretty focused (for Kerry) so things are looking up. There's plenty of Kerry matches where he's just all over, which can be good and bad. Hopefully with Jumbo we get more good.

Their "getting to know you" stuff is fun. Kerry gets to show off a nice drop kick, Jumbo gets to show off some technical prowess and even a little bit of power. They stay pretty even, with neither man getting a lengthy advantage over the other. At one point, Jumbo teases a double-underhook suplex, and just the tease gets a hot reaction. After a couple attempts he finally gets it over and the crowd loves it. I love it. Making moves seem difficult to pull off really adds to the mystique of a match. I mean how many matches have you watched where I guy just pops off a suplex out of the gate without batting an eye. Usually in a match it's just the guy's finishes that are met with resistance. But here it feels like everything is important.

Jumbo locks on the abdominal stretch and rolls it over for a pin but Kerry kicks out. The crows is already counting along. They tease The IRON CLAW early but Jumbo keeps it out of the face, so Kerry settles for an Iron Ab-Claw. No dice on a sub, but I'm sure it's uncomfortable. I mean it's The Von Erich Claw but on your intestines. One time my brothers and cousins were having a big battle royal and I put The Iron Claw on my brother. For whatever reason his nose started to bleed (honestly I think it's because he was an awful nose picker) and when I pulled my hand away it was covered in blood. No one wanted any part of that move on that day, I assure you.

Twelve minutes in and Jumbo decides to be a dick. It happens when Kerry puts him on the ropes and gives a clean break but Jumbo shoves him to the floor. Kerry gets up ready to throw down. No more Mr. Nice Guy. Jumbo rams Kerry with a couple of big jumping knees sending him to the outside. Kerry responds with a big sunset flip from the apron that fetches him a two-count. Jumbo shocks him with an enzigiri and a back drop for the three. Stunnah.

Scorecard: Jumbo - 1 Kerry - 0
So far we're 14 minutes in and the match has been pretty back and forth. That first fall was really a surprise, as no one had been in control very long and to eat a pin at this point seems kinda weird.

After a reprieve, Jumbo starts taking over, busting open the Modern Day Warrior with some big punches. Seriously, I LOVE JUMBO. Every time he punches Kerry, he looks at the crowd like an excited child going "Look at what I've DONE!" Kerry is equally great flopping around all bloodied up. Eventually he comes back with a sleeper and it works for a little while, until Jumbo runs the guy's head into a turnbuckle to escape. Kerry answers that with a dropkick, but Jumbo is like whatever and starts knocking the kid around with those big time rights again. After a big double bump, Jumbo nails Kerry with a pile-driver for a two count. The crowd was so excited to see a pile-driver. It was a damn good one too, but only a two count.

22 minutes in and Kerry hits a discuss punch that sends Jumbo rebounding off the ropes into THE CLAW!!! THE CLAW!!!! By gahd it's the Iron Claw! Kerry gets him down for a pin, but Jumbo BRIDGES OUT! He actually bridges up on his feet, but Kerry keeps the pressure on and Jumbo is back on the mat for a three count. Coolest spot of the match, and totally unexpected. I've never seen anyone do that to the Claw.

Scorecard: Jumbo -1 Kerry - 1
The ref has to pull Kerry off of Jumbo so they can get another break before the the third fall. Jumbo's ring boys work over his face trying to get the muscles and bones back in order. Wow, what a cool way to put over a move.

Out of the gate Kerry looks cocky and goes for the Claw again. Jumbo narrowly escapes, rolling to the outside. Take a powder big man, you deserve it. Jumbo comes back with a new game plan and starts smashing Kerry's Claw-Hand on the turnbuckle. He then stands on his arm and begins to stomp it. Glorious, glorious. The crowd eats it up and so do I. Oh no, he rakes the hand across the ropes! Kerry tries to come back but his hand is too damaged. Jumbo grabs it and slams it on the metal thing in between the post and the turn buckle. I love it. Every freaking bit of it, this is really so fun to watch. He then pulls Kerry outside and slams it into the post like a wild man.

A Jumbo suplex back in the ring leads to a two count. Jumbo tries to break the guy's arm over his shoulder and the crowd is going nuts for it. He then goes for an armbard and I'm actually shocked. It's kind of weird seeing Kerry getting put in what I see as a very "puro" move. Kerry doesn't sell the armbar very wekk but it's okay. Eventually he gets out of it and hits a pildedriver of his own. He then goes up top but misses a crucial elbow drop. Jumbo responds with a jumping knee and a Boston Crab. TSU-RU-TA! TSU-RU-TA! Kerry reverses it and rolls up Jumbo for a two, Jumbo reverses that into his own roll up for a two and they're trading near falls like Lynn and Van Dam. But it just feels....cooler. They trade some punches and Jumbo goes over the top and pulls Kerry with him. They fight to beat the count out and Kerry locks on The Claw. Jumbo grabs him and hits a back drop suplex, but Kerry won't let go. Jumbo brushes him off and rolls in just after ref counts them out. Jumbo thinks he's won but the ref calls it a double count out. DRAW.

Winner: DRAW and Kerry Von Erich is still your NWA World's Heavyweight Champion.

I don't mind the double count out, but Jumbo acted a little strange - brushing away The Claw so he could roll in as the ten count finished. Looked like he wanted to look like the winner despite the draw. Which is fine by me. Lord knows Kerry has had enough draws where he came out still looking like a world beater down in Texas. The bulk of the match was fun and pretty equal for both guys. Neither spent too much time getting hammered on by the others. Jumbo was really creative throughout, whether it was the bridging up in the claw or the working of the hand, he was truly kickin' ass. Kerry was Kerry, which depending on your opinion, is either okay or not okay. He's a little awkward, as per usual, but he's got so much natural fire and charisma about him that it makes up for a lot of it. If you can find it, watch it. It's good.

A little trivia: As I mentioned, Kerry won the title 16 days before this match. 2 days later he would lose it back to Ric Flair in Yokosuka, Japan, giving him the 12th shortest reign in NWA history.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Review: Halloween Havoc 1989

Why this show: So I was not a big NWA/WCW fan growing up. I just didn't have access to the shows. I was pretty much into WWE and USWA as a kid. Anyway, I love Terry Funk and I think The Great Muta is awesome and them together in a Thunderdome Cage Match against Flair and Sting sound great. Real Quick card rundown:
  1. Mike Rotunda vs. The Z-Man
  2. 6-MAN TAG: Bobby Eaton & Stan Lane & Steve Williams vs. The Samoan Swat Team (Samu/Fatu/Samoan Savage)
  3. Tommy Rich vs. The Cuban Assassin
  4. TAG TITLE MATCH: The Freebirds (Garvin/Hayes) vs. Dynamic Dudes (Shane Douglas/Johnny Ace)
  5. Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner) vs. Doom (Butch Reed & Ron Simmons)
  6. UNITED STATES TITLE MATCH: Brian Pillman vs. Lex Luger(champion)
  7. The Road Warriors (Hawk & Animal) vs. The Skyscrapers (Sid Vicious & Dan Spivey)
  8. THUNDERDOME MATCH: Ric Flair & Sting w/Ole Anderson vs. Terry Funk & The Great Muta w/Gary Hart
So let's do this:

October, 28 1989
Philadelphia Civic Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 7,300
Announcers: Jim Ross and Bob Caudle

The Z-Man(Tom Zenk) vs. Captain Mike Rotunda

You may remember Captain Mike Rotunda as Irwin R. Schyster in the WWE. The Turner Home Video basically ripped out the middle of this, so we only get a little opening and a little ending. Rotunda rocks the abdominal stretch with a little added leverage via hand on the rope. Oddly enough, the ref is standing right in front of them focused so hard at Zenk that he doesn't notice. FACT: Professional wrestling referees are a sub-species of human beings who's main distinction is a lack of peripherial vision. Finish comes when Rotunda gets whipped to the corner and springs from the middle rope with a crossbody. Zenk rolls it through to get a flash pin. Audible boos at Zenk for winning. But he's THE Z-MAN. Complete with Tim Burton's Batman theme music. F- the haters, I'll back Zenk. Go, Z-Man! Go!

Midnight Express and Steve "Dr. Death" Williams /w Jim Cornette vs. Samoan Swat Team and The Samoan Savage /w The Big Kahuna Sir Oliver Humperdink

Jim Cornette does the intros for his team and says this about the Midnight Express "They've wrecked more homes than Hurricane Hugo." Classy. The beginning is clipped out so we jump to Bobby Eaton getting beat up. Bobby Eaton slams Fatu's face into the ground in an attempt to make a comeback, but Fatu no sells it. Because he's Samoan and that's his head. Dr. Death eventually gets the hot tag and springs in off the top rope(not kidding) and proceeds to toss around every opponent that comes at him. Crowd goes nuts. Stan Lane comes in and attempts a neck breaker, changes his mind and goes for a DDT, but which ever Samoan was taking it tried to spin like it was a neck breaker. Awkward. Finish comes when Cornette gets on the apron to drop a sneaky Humperdink. Then Samoan Savage pushes Stan Lane into Cornette conveniently causing the Sweet One to hit his head on Corny's racket. FACT: Cornette's Racket is made of adamantium. The Samoan makes the cover on a now completely incapacitated Lane for the win. Wikipedia lists this one has having gone over 18 minutes. Part of me wishes I had a full copy. A small part.

Tommy "Wildfire" Rich vs. The Cuban Assassin.

Another clip job. Thankfully they clip directly to the Cuban raking the eyes which causes Good Ole Jim Ross to say: "That seems to be a popular short cut for people of his ilk" Take that country of Cuba and people of Cuban descent. Ross was touting Wildfire as one of the comeback athletes of 1989. And by comeback, he means slightly credible veteran who will job out to Lex Luger soon. The Cuban hits a big knee to Rich's chin and begins to stomp his face, which leads to another gem from Ross: "That's not scientific at all, I guess the amateur program in Cuba leaves much to be desired." FACT: Jim Ross can't find Cuba on a map and will swear to you that the "dang thang moves when you ain't lookin'". Crowd was pretty restless and bored. Finish was a variation on the Z-Man match, with Cuban doing the cross body from the middle rope just like Rotunda, but Rich isn't any where near him. When the weary Cuban gets up he's met by Rich's Thesz Press for the pin. A big, ugly Thesz Press. The ref raises his hand to a lot of boos and Rich just bolts. Man that must have been a rough 8 minutes.

-Tag Title Match-
The Dyanmic Dudes (Shane Dougles and Johnny Ace) vs. The Fabulous Freebirds (Ronnie Garvin and Micheal P.S. Hayes)

Man did the man fans crap on some Dynamic Dudes. If you get a chance watch this match, and you will see some similarity between the Dynamic Dudes and John Cena. The Freebirds play up some heel stuff, but it doesn't matter, too many guys in the crowd love them. Hayes was hitting cheap shots to some big time cheers. Huge Freebirds chants. Hayes misses the DDT and Douglas gets the hot tag to massive boos. Finish comes when they go for The Wipeout, but Hayes pulls Ace's leg and Ronnie reverses it into a pin on Douglas. It actually looked pretty cool. A "moment of the night" contender comes when the Freebirds roll to the outside and Gravin looks at the camera, clutching the belt and goes "Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah." And Hayes leans in and makes a super-model kiss face, and just walks off. You have to see it, because it is so funny and cool as hell at the same time. Hayes is a smooth mahta fahkin criminal.

The Steiner Bros. Vs. Doom w/ Woman

Quick Backstory. Woman was orginally a fan that had a huge crush on Rick Steiner. Scott Steiner finally told her off because she was kinda creepin' him out. She got pissed and took on the moniker "Woman" and told them they would meet there "doom" at Halloween Havoc. The "doom" she was referring to was Doom, a monstrous masked tandem consisting of Butch Reed and Ron "DAMN" Simmons. Of course we wouldn't "know" it was them until they would be unmasked a few months later, and go one to have a pretty neat run as tag champs. So this is the debut of Doom.

Right off the bat the Steiners shine with a stereo German Suplex. Steiners are crazy strong. It kind of takes away from the mystique of Doom and whether or not these"big imposing" will be too much for the Steiners. Ross and Caudle debate whether or not Doom will be too much for the Steiners even though we just saw Rick and Scott toss them around like ragdolls. Jim Ross provides a fun fact: Scott was going to be a SCHOOL TEACHER until Rick convinced him to become a wrestler..... A school teacher...... Scott Steiner..... Mull that one over. The Steiners pretty much give Doom little offense in the first half, but eventually they overcome Scotty and work him over for a while. Pretty pedestrian stuff here. Rick gets the hot tag and all hell breaks loose. Finish comes when Woman loads up "Doom 2"'s mask and he knocks out Rick Steiner with a headbutt. It's not particularly good, and Doom looked pretty weak despite getting the win. It really makes me want to reevaluate The Steiners as a team.

-United States Heavyweight Championship Match- Flyin' Brian Pillman vs. Champion: "The Total Package" Lex Luger

Pillman gets an entrance with a bunch of cheerleaders. Lex Luger comes out like a damn super star, and I wonder why I was one of those people who thought he was crap. The reason: Lex Express. NWA\WCW Lex Luger is hot as hell and an awesome heel. I'm debating goinf back to the 90's WWE Luger and seeing if I was just wearing my Bret Hart colored shades when he was on. The match is immediately more fun than anything else that's been on so far. Which isn't saying much, but depending on the main event this will probably be the best match. Pillman is quick and agile and unlike anybody that's been on so that gets the crowd excited. Lex Luger lets Pillman get over him a lot and makes him look really strong for the first half. Sadly that high risk offense comes with a price and Pillman belly flops off the top rope splash, transitioning to Lex having an extended take over. Luger keeps taunting the crowd through out it all. I mean Luger is sizzling hot and ready to the moon. As I'm watching this, I realize that the US title is just a token appreciation for being crazy hot but not being Ric Flair or Sting or Terry Funk. The whole time you watch him in this match, all you can think is World Champ material. Pillman is a great opponent for Luger here too. His offense is flashy and exciting for the crowd and Luger really doesn't have to do anything overly athletic but fall backwards. The finish comes when Brian leaps on Luger from an irish whip but Luger falls back hot-shotting the kid on the ropes, which is enough for a three count. A surprise of a finish but it actually looked more brutal than any finish on the card so far. Luger looks really strong and Pillman looks like a guy to watch. Ross and Caudle blame the Pillman loss on the missed dropkick, which I love. I love it when high risk wrestlers lose because a risk they take doesn't pay off, not because of underhanded tactics of the heel. It makes those big moves mean something whether they connect or not.

The Road Warriors /w Paul Ellering vs. The Skyscrapers(Dan Spivey and Sid Vicious) /w Teddy Long.

The Skyscrapers are billed from "Metropolis". Nice. I'm looking forward to this and it was actually a big reason why I got the show. They show a shot of a kid at ringside wearing a big Hawk mask but neither announcer knows what the hell he's supposed to be. Ross actually thinks he's The Great Muta. You decide:Hawk and Animal run rampant all over the 'scrapers early on. Unlike crazy suplexes like in the Steiner match, it's running body blocks and clotheslines over the top, which I like better. It's a momentum thing and doesn't totally kill off the size of Spivey and Vicious. These guys actually look like they're having fun, though. At one point Sid Vicious has his head caught in Hawk's head scissors and he KIPS UP to escape it. Sid Vicious kipping up like he was one of the Rockers is a sight to behold. Directly after that he lifts Hawk up on his shoulder and spins him off like a helicopter. That's the Master and Ruler of the World, folks. Hawk plays face in peril, which I like. He sells being battered and weary much better than Animal, and the Skyscrapers need that, especially if they don't go over, which I suspect, since Doom took out the Steiners earlier. They actually do a similar "ref misses the face tag" that the Steiners did earlier. Really a repetition of spots has been pretty rampant through out the night.

Animal finally gets the hot tag and takes out Spivey but comes face to face with Sid. The crowd goes nuts here and so do I. It just looks cool. All hell breaks loose and Teddy tosses in some big ass metal key to Spivey. Spivey uses it in front of the ref and we get a disqualification. Warriors win, but the Skyscrapers looked really good and didn't have to drop a fall. Even though the finish was disappointing, it was still way better than any of the other tag matches.

Thunderdome Cage Match /w Bruno Sanmartino as Special Referee: Terry Funk and The Great Muta /w Gary Hart vs. Sting and Ric Flair /w Ole Anderson
The deal here is that Gary Hart and Ole Anderson act as "terminators" and the match ends when said "terminators" throw in the towel because they believe their team has had enough. Oh and there's a big ass cage with and electrified top surrounding the ring. Jim Ross drops some knowledge and tells us that Bruno won his first World's Title in 47 sec. and held it from '63-'71. A feat that I will probably never happen again. Before the match starts some fabric on the dome catches fire due to some gimmicky sparks as the cage was lowered and some dudes have to put it out. Whether that was planned or not, it was awesome because it added that little hint of realism, to something really hokey. Muta in his infinite wisdom climbs the cage towards the fabric and sprays it with the dreaded Green Mist. FACT: The Great Muta is the National Wildfire Prevention Representative in Japan.

I'm a little surprised this was worked as a regular tag match, I figured it would have just been Texas Tornado style. Ric and Terry start it off and it looks great with Terry just bumping for Flair. Sting comes in and so does Muta and eventually Sting gets overwhelmed by the heels. Eventually it just becomes a brawl with the heels trying to climb out of the cage and the faces pulling them down. None of it makes any sense. It's electrified. At one point Terry Funk is swinging from a bar in the corner and Flair starts chopping his chest. Funk gets hung up in the cage and Flair swings from some random rope hanging down from one part of the cage to the other. Funny stuff. Eventually the switch off, and Sting is doing a swinging drop kick into a hung up Funk. Eventually Funk moves and Stinger gets caught up in the cage. Funk ties him down with the rope and they start working over the Nature Boy. Sting comes untied and leaps from the corner of the cage into the ring nailing Funk. It actually looked kinda neat. Muta high tails it out and starts climbing up the cage. Apparently in this one spot no electricity is running. While Sting tries to bring him back Flair works Funk's leg for the figure four. Eventually he gets it and Stinger starts going up top and begins to splash the prone Funker. Once. Twice. Muta comes in and chops Bruno for whatever reason and Bruno punches him out. Before Sting can go for third, Gary Hart comes in to interfere but Ole clocks him, causing him to accidentally toss his towl up on the shoulder of Bruno. Bruno of course had his back turned on all this and only sees that Hart's towel has been "thrown in". Flair and Sting win.

This was a total disappointment. The problem with the electrified top is that there is no reason for Terry and Muta to climb up there. It's electrified. But they have to in order to make it gimmick, and it looks stupid. One of those instances where the gimmicky stuff got in the way of four very competent workers who could have had a classic without it. The finish was pretty lame as well. Not satisfying at all if you were cheering the faces.

There were some vocal fans in the crowd who were also not happy with the match, and you could hear some of them chanting "boring". They're probably the same people booing the Dynamic Dudes. And most likely these same Philadelphia Rasslin' Fans would go on to fill in the ECW Arena in hopes of something better. Terry Funk would go with them.

Overall Show: Not very good. Pillman and Luger was the match of the night, and it wasn't an all out classic either. The Steiners seem like real dicks in terms of helping a brand new team look good. Hell, they seem like they would be awful at helping anybody look good.

From Judgment Day to Dragon Gate

I went to WWE Judgment Day and had a blast. I meant to write a report and failed on that. I wrote up everything and then my computer went crazy and I lost it all. But it was fun, and apparently my wife and I were on TV, clapping after Rey pinned Jericho. We're standing above the kid with the "619" sign.
To make up for it I wrote a review of Halloween Havoc 1989 which I'm about to clean up and post directly after this. I should be updating more often, now that things have settled down and we're back from our excursion to the Blue Grass State.
Oh, and great news: Dragon Gate USA will be doing their 2nd show in that states at a venue a couple blocks from my house, and I bought a third row seat for it. So I'll be there. Hopefully there will be pictures of me and some of the cool cats from DG.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Okinawa Pro 1/10/2009

So what is Okinawa Pro? I guess we have to start with Super Delfin. Delfin was/is a pretty popular guy who wrestles a lucha style. He met a lot of success in the 90's doing well in New Japan's 1994 Best of the Super Juniors Tournament, and being apart of the big Michinoku Pro boom. In 1998, he set up Osaka Pro which was to be a regional promotion for the Osaka Prefecture. The company is still in business and doing pretty well, having built a very faithful fan base inside Osaka and out. Check them out if you can. So the Okinawa Prefecture wanted to do something similar. What they wanted was a fun promotion that would draw attention and tourists to the city, and Delfin has become a center piece to developing this idea.

Both companies work in a lucha influenced style and both are geared towards the family audience. Okinawa Pro, however gears its wrestlers much more to children with most of it's roster consisting of strange and fun masked gimmicks like pirates, pigs, and pineapples. While they utilize a lot of lucha maneuvers, the matches are pretty light hearted with many comedic elements. It's that kind of "comedic competitive" style that one would call an acquired taste. Nothing too intense, but the roster, from what I've seen is pretty slick and crisp - the kind of wrestling that kids can watch until they're ready to watch the real deal Holyfield kind of stuff that makes them want to headdrop their buddies on a trampoline.

As I mentioned, Okinawa Pro is set up to sell folks on coming to the city, and the television show reflects that. In between matches we get to see the wrestlers out and about going to different local dives, and generally showing off what the city has to offer. For the Japanophile, this can be pretty fun, as you get to see interesting places not called Tokyo, and with goofy masked wrestlers as your tour guide.

Also, their venue is FREAKING SWEET. It's small but it's really fun and reminds me of the Angel Grove Youth Center from the old Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

Menso~re Oyaji vs. Kanmuriwashi Yoko
Oyaji is the goofy underdog who gains fighting spirit from some beverage. He does a wobbly rope rock that is kind of humorous. The guys are very athletic and move well, but the match isn't particularly inspiring. I'd say it would probably be more fun to actually watch it live where you can get into the action with a bunch of other people who just want to have fun. Yoko kind of has a kick boxer shtick and he hits everything really well. I mean seriously, these guys may not blow you away with insane workrate stuff, but they're crisp and they move well. There's plenty of guys on the larger national stage who can't do that. I thought Oyaji was going to be kind of a sloppy joke but he does handle himself well, and hits a really nice spring board dropkick. It's one of those moves that has kind of been taken for granted I think. Juniors hit that stuff all the time, but I think people don't appreciate them nearly as much. Oyaji hits a flashy sunset flip the win and we're moving on.

Goya Mask vs. Kijimuna vs. Agu
Agu is the guy in the pig mask. Kijimuna is some kind of Forest Demon, and Goya Mask is the frog with the cape. AND this is all for their prestigious UWA approved, MWF recognized Junior Heavyweight Title. It's basically a title that Delfin held on to for a long time and now uses for this company. Agu plays a good power guy and never really looks out of breath or out of shape. Which is impressive, because he's a portly little porker. Goya is pretty much the hero in peril and flops around for Agu's headbutts. Seriously, I think I really Really like Agu. He's quick and agile and fat. He's also got a great rolling senton. Not a whole lot of triple threat chain moves or stuff like that. It's mostly them trading off different combs of one on one action. Goya seems a little boring to me until he explodes with a BARREL ROLL OVER THE TOP TO THE OUTSIDE!!!!!! It's kind of wild because this place does not lend itself to dives to the outside at all, with the audience being so close. They don't seem to mind as they all just snap some pictures off. Goya has another neat move where he wedges Kijimuna in between the first and second turnbuckle and then springs off the second turnbuckle with a double foot stomp. It's kind of cool. Agu is dropping folks with spears and Michinoku Drivers and I swear he's awesome. No, really. At one point he finds himself down and Kijimuna goes up top but is met by Goya Mask. While they battle, Agu runs up and does a double back body drop from the TOP! It looked pretty cool. They trade off some big moves as she heads to the finish. Goya Mask hits a huge flying cross body from the top that hits Agu SQUARE IN THE SNOUT. It did not look comfortable, and Kijimuna gives the porker a backcracker to send him rolling out of the ring. Goya Mask surprises the red devil with a big jump kick to the face for the win. GOYA MASK RETAINS! GOYA MASK RETAINS!

I'm not joking when I say this was fun. All the guys had there moments. But alas, you can only get like 75 people soooo excited, you know? But those folks were into it in those closing moments. Good match.

Super Delfin, Captain “Churaumi Pirates” Zack & Mil Mongoose vs. Kaijin Habu Otoko, Shisaou & Golden Pine

Golden Pine is a fruity Pineapple guy, and people dig him. His partners both look like they mean business. I'm actually really excited about this. Golden Pine keeps trying to feel up Delfin's junk. They go for a chop battle and when it's Pine turn he gently rubs his hand down Delfin's body. Delfin = Not Pleased. Then they go for a test of strength. They lock up one hand and then before they lock up the others Pine rubs down Delfin's junk again. Delfin = Mildly Confused. Eventually pine gets kicked to the outside and seeks refuge in a ring side fan's lap. Where as the last match was a little more competitive this one is heavy on comedy spots early on. Once Mongoose gets in there it kind of settles on some face in peril action. They do a lot of double teaming until Mongoose is ready to make his comeback. I like Mongoose, he's another one of those guys who moves really well in the ring and guys like Shisaou and Kaijin are stout enough but agile enough to be good bases. Speaking of Kaijin, I wonder where I've seen him before. He's easily the best guy in the ring. He's got a slick moveset with some call outs to Keiji Mutoh, like the dragon neck screw. He also hits a HOT Running Wizard to an oncoming Captain Zach.

The finishing stretch is fun with a good combination of comedy spots, like a six man german suplex chain, and some false finishes. Some of the best stuff happens when Mongoose and Kaijin are in the ring, and I'm welling to be they work together a lot. Poor Mongoose gets hit with a lot of offense and is eventually put away with a cross arm powerbomb by Shisaou.

Not really as good as the last match, but some of the exchanges was fun. Mongoose was the whipping boy but he's no bum. Definitely one of the more energetic people on the roster. And I know Kaijin wrestles as somebody else somewhere, and when I figure it out you'll know.

OVERALL: The Show is fun, and refreshing if you spend a lot of time watching the more famous promotions. I wouldn't go in with expectations of being blown away with mind blowing spots, as it's a little more simple and basic. I've watched way worse by bigger companies than the three matches on this card. So have you probably.