Friday, September 23, 2011

THE NEW GENERATION ERA PROJECT: LUGER/BRET B-SIDES

So with King of The Ring out of the way, we're about to see the transformation of Lex Luger: Narcissist into Lex Luger: Made in the U.S.A. Hulk Hogan is gone and Vince needs some one to fill in that American Jingoist Babyface that every American wrestling company needs.

I think one of the bigger missed opportunities was having Luger be the top heel against a Bret Hart over the world title. So I found some fancams and "Exclusive Colosseum Home Video footage" to see what we missed out on and to clean up on some of the stuff I've missed.


LEX LUGER vs. BRET HART 05/02/1993 Providence, Rhode Island

It's a little sluggish honestly. The story is good but it feels like they're still getting to know one another. The timing on little moments are off but the crowd is hot for everything which helps.

LEX LUGER vs. BRET HART ??/??/1993


If you watched the fancam and then this one, you'll notice that they were able to take the themes and bits from that match and refine them for this one. Timing is spot on, and the spots are honed in. They even do variations, like Bret being the one to take Luger's face across the ropes instead of the other way around. It also helps that JR/Heenan/Macho are on commentary to boost everything up a notch. Good match.

LEX LUGER & RAZOR RAMON vs. BRET HART & MR. PERFECT 03/21/1993 Madison Square Garden



I saved the best for last. This is a tremendous match. Historically speaking, I believe this is Lex Luger's first match at MSG. It's a really really great tag match. Mr. Perfect puts on possibly one of my favorite face-in-peril performances I've ever seen. Keep an eye peeled for a really nasty over the rope bump he takes. Razor and Luger are on fire as the bad guys, Their cut offs on Perfect feel almost nonchalant, like they're in complete control of everything, so when Perfect finally hits the tag their huge reactions are made even better. Top it off with a fun finish and this is easily in my Top 10 for the year. Awesome match.

Overall, I think they could have had a great World Title program together. The early matches weren't great, but I feel like they clicked in an interesting way, and the could have come up with some fun stuff. The heat they got for one another was great in all three matches, so one can only imagine how good they would have gotten had they main evented WrestleMania X together.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

MARK HENRY UP IN THIS


Mark Henry is your world champion, if you're not inspired you're dead. Or you got your wig split by Mark Henry. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

THE NEW GENERATION ERA PROJECT: KING OF THE RING 1993 REVIEW

Nutter Center
Dayton, OH.
Attendance: 6,500

I obviously suck, for my long hiatus from the project, but I've been working on something special that hopefully one day I get to tell you guys and gals about. The good news is that I'm taking a slight break from that to fit in something I've been looking forward to since I started this project. SO LET'S DO THIS.

RAZOR RAMON vs. BRET "HITMAN" HART
Obviously not as good as their Royal Rumble match because of time but these two work really well together. Razor just has an amazing physical charisma, and it really helps the segments where he's in control. Razor also has the best "missing elbow drop" ever. He throws everything into it and Bret is never there for it. My favorite moment may be a perfectly executed nearfall. The ref counted evenly and never made it look like it wasn't the finish and Razor kicked out at the last possible second where you weren't sure one way or the other if he made it in time. Good times.

MR. PERFECT vs. MR. HUGHES
The battle of the Mrs. That.... that can't be the right way to do that. Whatever. Mr. Hughes has some CRAZY hops. Dude flies into hiptosses and you think he's going to hit the front row. This one is pretty quick, but I'd love to see these guy's do more. Hughes snaps and nails Perfect with the urn he stole from the Undertaker to get DQ'd. PERFECT ADVANCES.

BAM BAM BIGELOW vs. HACKSAW JIM DUGGAN
No good.
Duggan almost quelled my excitement by starting this off by throwing some of the limpest clotheslines you could imagine. Bigelow takes over working over the ribs, but the bear hug on Duggan looks pretty lame. Mostly because Duggan stands there raising the roof while Bammer is bent over applying the hold. WHAT A MANEUVER. Duggan makes the quick come back and goes for the 3 Point Stance but ends up going headfirst into the turnbuckle, allowing Bammer a window to fit in his flying headbutt for the win. Decent match.

TATANKA vs. LEX LUGER
They started things off by telling Luger he has to cover his elbow or he'll forfeit the match. His reaction was amazing and the crowd loved it. Tatanka showed up and shoved the mirror in his face to start things off hot. Some how these guys go on to have a pretty decent 15 minute draw. The crowd was definitely into it, because when Luger said he wanted 5 more minutes they went crazy. Tatanka is such a good utility guy, he can go 15-20 minutes and hang with a Luger or a Michaels or whoever.

MR. PERFECT vs. BRET HART
This is the sequel to probably my favorite match of all time. Some folks think it's better and I wouldn't argue, but Summerslam has a special place in my heart. I don't feel like I can say much that hasn't been said about this match. If you have ever enjoyed watching Mr. Perfect or Bret Hart, you've probably seen this match.

It's a great character piece for Mr. Perfect, as he resorts to using some pretty nasty tricks. As far as Bret goes, it's a great second act to his night. Perfect really lays into him and by the time it's over you can't see Bret being able to overcome Bigelow, who got a Bye. And when it's over you really love both guys more than you did before the match. I think that's what's so magical about these two getting together, is because you never want it to end. You just become enamored with their style and how perfect they play off of one another.

And beyond that is the AMAZING commentary. Macho Man is gushing over them calling them the toughest guys in the WWF, and Heenan TOPS him by saying they're the toughest guy on the planet. That's when you know you're watching something special, when Bobby Heenan bringing the love.

Just go watch the stupid thing, and enjoy your day.

WWF TITLE MATCH
HULK HOGAN (c) vs. YOKOZUNA
This match is pretty sweet. It's a perfect match-up for both, because Hogan is a tremendous seller and Yokozuna's moves look so devastating. Hogan may be the best guy to ever sell a bear hug ever and his convulsions after the belly to belly suplex made it feel like it was nearly over for the Hulkster.

FACT: Hulk Hogan does not have maxillary canines.
Yoko got put over huge, despite the exploding camera gimmick. He never got body slammed, it took three big boots to put him down, he kicked out of the leg drop, and he finished Hulkster off with a leg drop of his own. I mean, it doesn't get much better than that. Solid solid match, and the official end of an era.

SMOKING GUNNS & THE STEINERS vs. MONEY INC. & THE HEADSHRINKERS
Scott and DiBiase started this off really well. DiBiase was bumping around great. Things got a little dull when Bart was getting worked over but picked up when Billy got tagged in. Pretty interesting ending, as DiBiase put him Billy to sleep with the Million Dollar Dream, and let it go to taunt everyone. When he went to pick up Billy, Billy hooked him with an inside cradle for the flash pin. Nothing really memorable other than the finish though.

INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE MATCH
SHAWN MICHAELS(c) w/ DIESEL vs. CRUSH
Really great match for Crush. Probably one of his best ever. Shawn made him look like a million bucks with his bumping, and for the first time in a while Crush was really fired up and working the crowd. Savage was also putting him over huge on commentary saying that he thought Crush could bodyslam Yokozuna. The corpse of Hulkamania was still warm, mind you. There's a nasty hotshot that Shawn takes that you should see as he takes it while going outside of the ring. Looks extra rough and I wonder why you never see it.

Worth checking out if you ever wanted to see a really good crush match.

KING OF THE RING FINALS
BRET "HITMAN" HART vs. BAM BAM BIGELOW
This is great except for the weird false finish. Bammer destroys Bret and eventually Luna comes down and blasts Bret with a chair while the ref is turned around. Bigelow then hits the flying headbutt for the win. Then Hebner comes down and says there was some chicanery and that the match must continue. WHERE WAS HE AT WRESTLEMANIA IX? Why didn't some one run down and say, "Bret got salted by Fuji, restart the match."? I hate that shit.

Still, it's a tremendous match and an amazing testament to the ability of Bret Hart. He wrestled 46 minutes total. The Razor match was a bit of a warm up, the Perfect match was brutal, and The Bigelow match was just as rough. And we also see a huge difference between our new King of the Ring and the Hulkster. Hogan, while still delivering a solid performance, did his same formula. He got beat up and Hulked up, and while this served him many times before, it got old and at King of the Ring it didn't work out. Bret Hart got beat up but he didn't "Hulk Up". He eeked out a win by using smarts and wrestling ability. Same as the 123 Kid did to Razor, and the same as Shawn Michaels does. It feels more believable and it paints the picture of these new heroes and villains of the WWF as underdogs not just against each other but against the wrestling industry.

THE KING HAS ARRIVED
After the match, Jerry Lawler came down and ruined the coronation, telling Hart he wasn't a real king. Then he beat the snot out of them to the boos of the Dayton crowd. Not a happy night to be a young fan. Hulkster gets murdered by Yoko, Crush can't be HBK, and Bret Hart gets owned by Jerry Lawler. Tough night for the good guys. At least Billy Gunn won for his team.

OVERALL SHOW: GREAT SHOW. Some solid action from everyone. The weakest match would have to be the 8 Man tag, but it's not even that bad, it's just a breather to get the crowd back into it after watching Hulk lose. Hogan went out with a great performance and Yokozuna looked like the baddest man on the planet. Bret Hart looked like a world beater and Lex Luger and Tatanka got together for 15 minutes and put on a great show. A great PPV with a lot of variance in styles and matches. Certainly one you should have seen, and if you haven't seen it in a while, check it out again.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

NOAH "GREAT VOYAGE 2011 IN TOKYO" 03.05.2011 SHOW REVIEW

I've been watching some whole NOAH cards on the youtube lately, and it's not bad as it used to be....


TAKESHI MORISHIMA vs. MAKOTO HASHI
I never wanted someone to stop hitting some one in the face as much as I did here. Makoto gets his bell rung big time. He was stumbling and bumbling and could barely stand up straight and they continued to do strike exchanges with Morishima blasting him in the head. The ref should have counted him out on the outside and moved on.

AKITOSHI SAITO & MASAO INOUE vs.TAIJI ISHIMORI & KENTARO SHIGA
Ishimori tried really hard to keep the pace up, but he spent too much on the apron, which allowed us to indulge on a Inoue/Shiga match up.....yikes. There were some comedy bits sprinkled in, thanks to Inoue, but none of it really improves this match substantially. Too long for the four involved, and it honestly felt like they thought so too.


KENTA, MOHAMMED YONE, YOSHINOBU KANEMARU & GENBA HIRAYANGI vs KENSUKE SASAKI, TAKASHI OKITA, KENTO MIYAHARA & SATOSHI KAJIWARA
Some good and some bad. It's an 8-Man so it keeps Mohammed Yone from taking up too much time so that's a plus. I really like Okita, he's kind of like a baby Sugiura. Not nearly as good but he comes in with similar fire and intensity and it helps the match pick up. Kensuke is awesome as he usually is and I love him chopping the hell out of Genba, and I'd really like to see KENTA and Miyahara mix it up for 8-10 minutes. They seemed really game to work together. Kajiwara spends the big chunk getting beat down but doesn't draw out the hot tag. It's kind of annoying. DISOBEY is supposed to be a heel stable, and they cut the ring off on who ever they're working but eventually they just tag out. It kills the tension.

And the finish kills everything. KENTA and Kanemaru just decide to turn on Yone. They drill him hard and leave throw one of the KO guys on top of him to lose. Genba looked shocked and they made him blast Yone with a chair. I have no idea why they wrestled for 13 minutes if they're just going to beat up Yone. Why didn't they tell a story where Yone gets in trouble in the match, and they lose and then they kick him out of the group? I don't get it.

YUTAKA YOSHIE vs. JUN AKIYAMA
This was pretty tasty. There's about a 4 minute stretch in the first half where it's not anything special, but the rest of it is fun. Yoshie kills Akiyama with a splash of an apron to the floor. Jun was selling it brilliantly. Or he was in real pain. One or the other. Jun's Exploder Suplexes look amazing on Yoshie. Just watch it, it's good stuff.

JUNIOR HEAVY TAG TITLE MATCH
NAOMICHI MARUFUJI & ATUSHI AOKI (c) vs. YOSHINARI OGAWA & RICKY MARVIN
This is pretty damn good stuff. It's great "game plan" wrestling. Marvin and Ogawa come in with a plan and it's kind of brilliant. It honestly feels like Ogawa spent weeks teaching Marvin how to combat Aoki and Marufuji. Both guys offer solid counters, especially Marvin, who seemed to have an answer for EVERYTHING. Each moment seemed to feel like it was apart of a whole story, and nothing felt out of place. Marufuji, after having everything countered figuring out a logical and realistic moment to fit in his dropkick from the floor to the apron was a highlight, just because it wasn't some long drawn out affair.

My big complaint was the ref, who was horrible at counting near falls. Everytime he'd give brief pause before an eventual third count. It felt like he was literally stopping and going "Okaaaaaaaaay, here it comes." And then he'd never look like he really intended to make a count. That kind of stuff can kill a match, and it certainly undermined the work they had put into it.

GHC JUNIOR HEAVYWHEIGHT TITLE MATCH
KOTARO SUZUKI (c) vs. KATSUHIKO NAKAJIMA
There's some AWESOME stuff in this match, and you should absolutely watch it. I've seen three of Suzuki's title defenses I think and he's done solid work in all of them. While he's totally good in this one, he totally gets overshadowed by the amazing Nakajima, who just kills it the whole match. He's a total prick the whole time and just beats the snot out of Suzuki. He decides pretty early on that if he can't win he's going to at least kick Suzuki's face off, and he nearly succeeds. Just watch this match NOW:


My only problem is that Nakajima was so good that I was disappointed in the finish. I didn't really feel any need to cheer for Kotaro or feel any sympathy for him. I don't know what the problem was, but he just didn't grab me enough to be excited for him to pull of the win. He just looked totally outclassed. Nakajima is a god.

GHC HEAVYWEIGHT TAG TITLE MATCH
YOSHIHIRO TAKAYAMA & TAKUMA SANO (c) vs. GO SHIOZAKI & SHUHEI TANIGUCHI
Oh man were these guys on. Just some heavyweight nastiness. Shuhei Taniguchi really stood out and his work Takayama was especially good. They tell a really solid story with Takayama and Sano wanting to focus on Taniguchi and trying to disable Shiozaki by stomping the hell out of his injured hand. It's another strong "gameplan" wrestling match, where it feels like people working strategically to win as opposed to just exhibiting moves with no rhyme or reason. Definitely check this one out

GHC HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH
TAKASHI SUGIURA(c) vs. GIANT BERNARD
Sugiura can take some amazing beatings. Bernard gives him everything and Sugiura looks pretty close to Death's door by the time it's over with. Sugiura is one of the best "fiery comeback" wrestler's in the world. When he sees his window to get back in the match, he comes back with a vengeance and you can't help but get excited. Him eventually picking up Bernard felt like a super feat of strength, the way the built it up, but I'm a little iffy on him doing it so much to finish the match. I don't know what I would want them to do instead, but it felt like it kind of ruined the mystique behind whether Sugiura could over power him. Still a fun bout though.

OVERALL SHOW THOUGHTS:
Some really good stuff from top to bottom. The DISOBEY trios match, wasn't bad until the ending. The weakest match would easily be the Saito tag, but it's not so long that you get pissed that it exists. But besides those, you still get FIVE matches that are in the good to great range, which sounds ridiculous for any contemporary NOAH card. Definitely a strong show that's worth checking out and maybe even worth buying from IVP Videos, which is where I get most of my puro DVDs.

Monday, September 12, 2011

DRAGON GATE USA: UNTOUCHABLE GATE 2011 LIVE SHOW REPORT

BRRRRRRrrrrring IT ON!

FRAY!
SUGAR DUNKERTON vs. FACADE vs. RICH SWANN vs. SILAS YOUNG vs.CEDRIC ALEXANDER vs. MARION FONTAINE vs. GREGORY IRON vs. LOUIS LYNDON
A mixed bag in every sense of the word. There were some fun guys like Rich Swann, Sugar D., and Silas Young. Timing was a bit of an issue as there were two instances where we'd be counting down from 10 to 0 for the entrance of another participant and one of the guys would go for a finish by the time we got to 0. So we're looking at the entrance way looking for "WHO'S NEXT!" and in some cases a guy is getting eliminated in the ring.

The guy's that I'm unfamiliar with weren't particularly interesting. It was cool to see Gregory Iron, who has Bell's Palsy. He doesn't seem out of place at all, and he looks significantly more threatening than Marion Fontaine and his porn-stache. Facade was this urban Mortal Kombat Ninja with blond dreads who jumped off of every rope he could. When he came out he brought out a DGUSA sign and gave it to the guy sitting in front of me. He then tagged his name onto it with some spray paint. The guy was there with his daughters and they thought it was awesome. The youngest one turned around and said to me "MY DAD GOT A SIGN!"

The final two were Silas Young and Sugar Dunkerton. I thought for sure Sugar D was finally going to win something but it was not to be. Silas hit his neat-o handstand moonsault deal for the win. Sugar Dunkerton, much like Lebron James, looks great but can't pull it off when it matters most.

Go Bulls.

I MET SABU AND BECAME THE GREATEST DAD IN THE WORLD
After the match, they announced that Sabu was in the lobby signing autographs while we waited for the iPPV to start. It was only 10 bucks for an 8x10 and I thought it was worth it. Especially when you compare how much guys charge at Comic Conventions and stuff.

After that I headed over to the Chicago Lucha Masks people and decided to pick out something for my son. He was kind of pissed at me because I was seeing wrestling with out him, so I figured getting him a mask would save my bacon. I got a little Rey Mysterio Jr. style mask, which means I'll be eating 619's FOREVER!!!!

TAG TEAM DISCOVERY MATCH
KENTUCKY BUFFET(MATT CAGE & ALEX CASTLE) vs. THE SCENE(CALEB KONLEY & SCOTT REED)
The Scene are the douchiest looking wrestlers. Caleb Konley in particular has the most douche-tacular hair in wrestling. Sooooooooo easy to hate. Matt Cage was a good bump guy and made The Scene look really solid. The Scene won in a quick 3 minute match. Nothing spectacular, but a decent way to kick off the main PPV.

Afterwards, Brodie Lee came out and beat up Kentucky Buffet. He said he was going to run over people like he did last year and that no one could stop him. I still hate him for beating up Da Soul Touchaz last year, so I was more than ready to put hope in anyone beating him up. I HATE BRODIE LEE.

JON DAVIS vs. RICH SWANN
This was awesome. Some how I didn't think I could believe Rich Swann would be able to stand up to a big dude like Jon Davis, but they made it work. Easily my favorite Rich Swann performance ever. He was so full of fire and had the crowd really behind him to pull of the upset. They had a simple story, they told it very well, and they both looked great doing it. You can't ask for anything else. Great job from these two.

BRODIE LEE RETURNS!
Brodie Lee comes out after the match and powerbombs lil' Rich Swann and talks like he's such a bad ass and no one can stop him. Out came GREGORY IRON! Iron walked into the ring and Brodie laughed at him. He called him the youtube video guy that got put over by some guy named CM Punk. Brodie tried to one up him by saying that he got put over by Kevin Nash. I call shenanigans because Kevin Nash puts no one over, brother. The crowd chanted "HE GOT FIRED!" and Brodie decided to sit Punk-style in the ring to mock them before starting in on Iron's disability. Gregory got fed up and decked Brodie a couple of times before getting blasted with a boot to the face and eating a powerbomb.

At this point the crowd was hating on Brodie big time. Then out came UHAA NATION, this thick ass dude who came in with the POWAH OF DA WOIYAH and just threw Brodie around like a punk. Then he started hitting standing moonsaults and standing SSPs. He's like a short Ezekiel Jackson/Ahmed Johson who can do back flips. It's kind of awesome. Brodie bailed like a bitch and left Uhaa pissed in the ring. This was fun.

PAC vs. RICOCHET
Honestly, this was pretty disappointing. I had hyped this up in my head to be out of this world amazing, and it was like a teaser trailer for something bigger. The bulk of it felt like them trying to one up each other, which I expected, but it also felt like the first act of a match. Then when it was time for the second act, it ended. PAC was tremendous, and looked like the more complete package of the two. Not to take anything away from Ricochet though, he still had a great outing and took some sick bumps. The match just didn't add up, and I thought for sure it would be more important.

After the match the Blood Warriors came out picked on PAC. They then held him outside for Ricochet to dive on to him. Then out came RONIN(Chuck Taylor, Swann, and Gargano), who apparently are good guys(I don't keep up, obviously) and all three jumped onto the pile. This lead to D.U.F(Arik Cannon, Sami Calihan, and Pinkie Sanchez) coming out and they supelexed Pinkie out of the ring on to the pile.

You know what's coming......

SABU! Sabu hit the ring and did the ol' Triple Jump dive to the outside. Most of the guys started battling to the back leaving SABU and two of his opponents. AR Foxx joined the fight and we started our tag bout. Very ECW-y way of starting a match, which made warmed my heart.

SABU & AR FOX vs. ARIK CANNON & PINKIE SANCHEZ
This match was awesome. They started out brawling with Sabu spiking the hell out of Arik Cannon's face and making him bleed. Eventually they settled into a regular tag match with Sabu on the apron while AR Fox got brutalized.

The bad guys did a great job of cutting the ring off and building up the need to see Sabu hit the ring. They kept pushing him off the apron through out the match. I was calling for Pinkie Sanchez's head. I don't know who the hell would cheer Pinkie Sanchez with Sabu on the other side, but those people existed and I worry for them.

Sabu eventually got the hot tag and he went to town. He and Fox were hitting old Sabu/RVD moves like Rolling Thunder. Eventually he got the table in the ring and placed Pinkie's head on it. Then he leg dropped him through the table. AR Fox then took the pieces of table and piled them on to pinkie sanchez and did a swanton on to it. Right on the table legs. Then he was like "FUCK IT." and he went up again and did a 450 splash on top of all that crap to end the match.

In short, AR Fox became my second favorite wrestler.(Sabu was #1 DUH)

This was, easily the 2nd best match of the night, possibly the first. Sabu put in more effort than I could have possibly imagined and he looked GREAT. Fun Fact: Sabu throws a really nice clothesline. He drilled Pinkie with one and it looked THICK.

INTERMISSION
It was so great that Sabu went to sign autographs again for intermission and he had all kinds of people coming up to him. I'm pretty sure he could have raised his prices and no one would have minded.  There were also a ton of kids hanging out who swarmed him as he walked to the back. A whole new generation, who didn't even know what a Sabu was, has fallen in love.

AKIRA TOZAWA vs. JOHNNY GARGANO
This match is probably match of the night, and certainly worth looking for. The pace was great, with a nice build and a great finishing stretch. The first time I saw Gargano was at the first DGUSA Chicago show, and he was in the FRAY. I thought he was stand out then and now he's gone from Scrunchie Guy to Show-Stealer. Akira Tozawa just works on a different level than most of the guys on the roster. He's so charismatic and energetic, you can't help but marvel at him.

These guys threw everything at each other, and Tozawa kicked the hell out of Johnny Gargano's face so many times I felt bad for the guy. The big spot of the match was the German Suplex on to the Apron, with Gargano hitting it with a nasty thud.

Also, if you listen closely you might hear a group of 12 kids chanting R-K-O. they were huddled next to entrance way near where I was sitting, looking like The Little Rascals, and just started chanting R-K-O, which sounds like GAR-GAN-O if you think about it, so you can see how they'd be confused.

So yeah, find this match and watch it because it's pretty damn great. Throw some snowflakes at it.

CHUCK TAYLOR vs. SAMI CALIHAN vs. NARUKI DOI vs. MASATO YOSHINO
Chuck Taylor is a clown. I can't cheer that goofball ever. Doi is a bad guy, Calihan is with that swine Pinkie Sanchez, so I had to go with Masato Yoshino, who clearly wasn't the focus of the match. I was a little taken out of it.

There was a mini Speed Muscle reunion that I was excited about, but Doi had to muck it up by turning on Masato. Anytime Doi or Yoshino was in control the match was pretty great. I really dig Sami Calihan, and I thought he did well at standing out, I just don't feel like this was his match. I'd rather see him and John Davis or Uhaa Nation. That sounds like fun.

Of  course, Chuck Taylor won and I was pissed. The stip for the match is that the winner gets to book a match for his stable. Taylor seems to be gunning for Yoshino. Masato told him "Anytime, any place" and Chuck laid him out. Rich Swann came down to tell him that wasn't very nice, and Chuck ignored him. I felt justified and booing him. I knew all along that he was a douche bag.

OPEN THE FREEDOM GATE TITLE MATCH
YAMATO(c) vs. CIMA
I was totally conflicted going into this. I was really ready to root for CIMA but he was a bad guy, and I wanted to root for the goodies. Thankfully, Yamato is easy to get behind.

This fell a little flat with the audience. They started off working the mat, with Yamato working CIMA's leg and CIMA working Yamato's neck. I was fine with it, but after all the very fast, high impact matches, this felt like a little too severe of a change of pace for people.

My problem wasn't so much the pace, but the content. I thought the leg and neck work was fine, and CIMA stuck to his game plan pretty well, but the leg work was kind of pointless. It didn't slow down CIMA very much, even though he sold it when he wasn't running, and it never really came back in the match. The finish felt a little abrupt, too.

There were some bright spots. Even though I like him better as heel, Yamato has an amazing physicality and his selling and comebacks looked awesome. CIMA is still awesome to see live, and I think he did some really great work from a technical aspect. The problem was the story just falling a little flat.

After the match, CIMA talks smack about Chicago and tells Yamato that BxB Hulk is coming for him, and it'll be a No DQ, No Ropes match, which sounds awesome.

Yamato ends the show telling everyone he'll be champion forever and thanks for coming.

OVERALL SHOW:
Really good show. Really a night for some of the less popular guys stealing the show. While Pac/Ricochet and Yamato/CIMA didn't blow us away like I expected, Gargano, Tozawa, AR Fox, and Rich Swann all came out and put on stellar performances. If the more heavily hyped matches had lived up to expectations this one would have been a full on classic.

So in honor of the stand out guys, here's AR FOX vs. UHAA NATION from last year in Warsaw, Indiana: