Tuesday, June 29, 2010
I totally dig Haku. For me, he was that guy that could at any moment beat the good guy. Even though he lost plenty, I kept expecting him to pull something off.
I think he may have a much stronger body of work as a tag wrestler. His stuff with The Islanders with matches against The Hart Foundation and Strike Force were solid. His team with Andre in the Colossal Connection was anchored, in ring, by his ability(Andre was in the twilight of his career physically). Above both of those teams is the awesome pairing of Haku and The Barbarian aka The Faces of Fear. Two bad-ass bruisers who took nothin' off of no one. I love that team, and I'll probably dig up some cool matches that I enjoy of theirs for a later post.
Haku really picked up in singles notoriety during his TONGAN DEATH GRIP OF DOOM run. It wasa 2nd wind for a guy who had been the Ultimate Warrior's first televised world title defense years ago, and had once been known as KING HAKU. By this time, he worked a great brawling style and got more reaction with his character and his massive hair. Of course WCW was pretty much heading into the crapper fast, so I'm sure the fans were looking for anything that was entertaining. And Meng certainly was that. With that run being some of the last of Haku's stuff we were exposed to, it's cool to go back and look at him work faster pace matches.
This first match is one of my favorites of his. It's against Davey Boy Smith who was just tremendous around this time in his career. While Davey keeps the pace up, Haku is right there with him. Check out Haku's nasty pile driver, and stick around for the battle of the headbutts near the end. Good times.
This second match was a few years later. As you can tell, Haku, now under his new moniker, Meng, has beefed up a little. Yet he's still really light on his feet. Him and Ice Train have a surprisingly cool match together. The finish is a little lame, but makes sense in terms of Ice Train's storyline with his former Fire & Ice tag-team partner Scott Norton. What I like about it is the crowd seems really apathetic at the start, but some how Meng and Train get them into it. Meng breaks out some nice head butts, and Ice Train brings the meaty clotheslines. Stick around for the awesome kick from Meng at the 6:30 mark of the video. It's great.
Monday, June 28, 2010
This kid is an idiot. I'm not like a huge Miz supporter, but holy crap, would I have loved to see him knock this kid out. And if a superstar asks you who your favorite wrestler is and you answer, without hesitation, "Chris Benoit", you deserve to be ignored for life. But at least we learned one thing:
Posted by Jae at 4:11 PM
Friday, June 25, 2010
Every Friday I'm going to try and throw up a good match from Japan. Sometimes, hopefully every time, I'll have video.
This week, it's the Falcon Arrow vs. The Michinoku Driver. One of the first tapes I ever got from Japan was a "Best of..." compilation for Hayabusa. My cousin and I were into him based off the Tag match he had with Jinsey against RVD and Sabu.(Which is a good match, I think it's from a HeatWave PPV) Anyway, I loved Jinsei Shinzaki and my cousin loved Hayabusa, so we got this comp since it featured a lot of both. My favorite match of Haybusa's featured on said compliation would be this one against Taka Michinoku.
So check it out and I'll share some of my thoughts after the jump.
I just recently watched this match before pimping it to you all. I'm not certain on how it holds up to some of the junior stuff of today, but I still quite like it. The tease of the dives makes them mean more when they finally happen later on. What's cool is they tease them and then later Taka goes for one and totally crashes. Then later they both hit their signature dives, in what I thought was a pretty organic way. I mean it felt exciting when they were finally pulled off. Michinoku's no hands moonsault is still a sight to behold.
The finishing stretch was a good one, as it didn't overstay it's welcome with overkill. Hayabusa winning was a shocker for me, because I thought Taka was a much bigger deal, and Hayabusa was a bit of a loser in his own company. It's too bad his career was cut short as I think he would have aged really well.
Monday, June 21, 2010
I thought The Big Boss Man was freaking awesome as a kid. He was a big ol' boy, had a gut, looked light on his feet, and loved to upper-cut people. So when I was thinking of mid-card guys for my little experiment to keep my blog updated, Da Boss Man was one of the first guys to pop
To me, the peak period of Ray Traylor stuff was when he was working face as The Big Boss Man in the WWE. He's a great big guy, that you know can do some damage, but his selling is outstanding. I remember when The Mountie was shocking him with the cattle prod - I thought he was really dying. What? I also thought Papa Shango was magic, get off my ass - I was a kid. Something about the way Boss Man sold made me engaged in the match. Sometimes it was a little over the top, but it worked for me. His comes backs were usually really hot as his body language was so bad ass when it was time to lay down the law.
I think Ray's work in WCW is hit or miss. You can see him doing some fun work with guys like Jonny B. Badd or Chavo Guerrero. But the matches were kind of short and he didn't seem to be in nearly the same shape as he was during those peak years. He was also a victim of name changes and multiple turns. He went from The Big Boss Man to The Boss to The Guardian Angel to Big Bubba Rogers, and I think he even just wrestled under Ray Traylor. The bulk of his stay in WCW was under Big Bubba Rogers and with that character he went from being a member of the Faces of Fear(bad guys) to turning on them to joing the NWO(bad guys) to getting dropped from that group to remain a bad guy. This all over the course of a five year stay. I mean, who'd care after all that?
When Boss Man returned to the WWE with the riot gear attire, he seemed really rejuvenated. He had an Attitude take on a classic character, which worked out really well. His in ring work was looking better and faster than some of his latter day WCW work. I think his pairing with Bull Buchanan was a good one and their team wasn't too shabby.
I've pulled up two videos, the first is a nifty little match with Mr. Perfect. It's in the middle of his feud with the Heenan Family. Mr. Perfect tries to steal the show, but Boss Man does some great work in this. Despite his looks he just has an ability to connect with fans and get them to rally behind him. Today, that's known as the Mattitude Effect.
This second match is when he was working as The Guardian Angel. He had some really fun heavyweight slug fests with Vader. I think this one is better than their PPV match at Bash at the Beach. THE PPV match has some really impressive power moves, but has a really funky ending coming off of Vader's moonsault. This match has a really hot Studio crowd, Bobby Heenan, and better bits between Harley and Vader. Just a really good time.
What's your favorite Ray Traylor memory or match?