So as you may have noticed, I have less time to watch wrestling. Since I only get to fit in some youtube matches every once in a while I figured I'd collect the ones I watch and post it for anyone still interested in my thoughts about the rasslin'. I tried to format it like it was a real show. Short matches. Long matches. Strong opener. Heavyweight title matches go last. There's also a strong theme of people getting popped in the face. Hope you like it.
EDIT: youtube playlist link: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLxXqKoWNIM4xkhFzVElwyX-jGU6rR12Na
LET'S KICK THIS SHIT OFF WITH JOHNNY B. BADD!
WCW TV TITLE MATCH
JOHNNY B. BADD vs. EDDIE GUERRERO
Find me a better Johnny B. Badd match. Eddie only has 10 minutes, so he goes for a lot of roll-ups and cradles, trying to disorient the champ and score a quick pin. Badd is the champ so he proves he can hang by countering some of the maneuvers and even throwing in his own aerial offense. The top rope sun set flip may be the furthest I've ever seen anyone jump to pull that move off. I mean that looked insane and Johnny B. made it look quite easy. Things start getting nasty when Badd starts throwing fists and drops Eddie with an uppercut. Eddie ain't having that and shit gets heated when the match devolves into a slugfest.
Love this match, just because it tells a pretty good story and both guys execute their parts really well. The time limit is something I wish was more prominent in wrestling, and I love how they work a match that feels like they're working against a clock. Badd just has to survive and Eddie has to go for broke. And when two faces lose their shit and start brawling it makes the belt even more important. They're willing to abandon their flashy personas to get down and dirty because being they're COMPETITORS and this belt means more money. It's the kind of realistic frustration that pulls a viewer in and makes it feel like two guys that are really wrestling and trying to win. Fun fun match.
BILL GOLDBERG vs. GLACIER
Tell me it's not fucking awesome when Goldberg ninja evades that Glacier kick. Bobby Heenan with the best line after the finish.
THE ROAD WARRIORS vs. MANNY FERNANDEZ & RICK RUDE
Disappointingly short, with a BS finish. But what we do get is really sweet with Fernandez and Rude showing incredible physical charisma in the way they try to fight and eventually beg off from the unstoppable Road Warriors. Both guys were tremendous in this. Also Rock's flying shoulder tackle looks insane the way he hovers in the air for a split second after making contact. Can anyone do that like he can?
KERRY VON ERICH vs. TERRY GORDY
Kevin Von Erich with the best casual clothes on the planet. Late '96 Shawn Michaels wishes he could look that good. I just love the atmosphere in this. Crowd is screaming their lungs off, Kerry and Terry are throwing haymakers at each other, and Kevin's on the outside saying shit like "Don't worr about him(Hayes), I got him." It's like a back-alley fight over who some one cheating at cards. Gordy working Kerry's face with elbows and punches had to have been breaking girl's hearts all over the arena. The Michael Hayes shenanigans was planned out really well, and kept the interference finish strong. Fun match.
TAKESHI ONO vs. DAISUKE IKEDA (FUTEN 9/26/10)
Daisuke Ikeda knows what's up. When a guy keeps punching you in the mush, the best defense is to grab him by the throat and head butt him in the face. FOR REALS. I like all the face punching. I like the submission counter that lead to the sick ass knee to the back of the head, and I like that it ended abruptly and under 5 minutes. Some good quick violence when you need it.
WWF TITLE MATCH
BOB BACKLUND(c) vs. COWBOY BOB ORTON
PART 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95W-wgPcgPs
PART 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDNkrZ27mWw
You can divide this into two halves story wise. The first half is Orton getting obliterated between the ropes. Backlund is the champ for good reason, and he schools Orton wrestling wise. I love the monkey flip to body scissor's spot and how that lead to Orton being scared to come at Backlund who was lying on his back. All Backlund had to do was stick those legs up like he was ready to lock him up again, and it eventually sent Orton out of the ring. Also check the really cool head scissors and how Orton loses his shit trying to break out of it, only for Backlund to crank it on him. Lots of wrestlers would have just sat in that move but they kept it looking like a struggle.
After the handshake is the second half, where they can't stop going out of the ring. This serves two purposes, to build on Orton being unable to compete with Backlund between the ropes while also building towards the eventual Lumberjack rules rematch. I really love that Orton didn't cheap-shot Backlund on the handshake and instead did it on the second clean break. I also love Backlund throwing Orton out and then stomping his head into the concrete from the apron. That Backlund guy is all clean cut and Howdy Doody, but when you start cheating he will jack your shit up. Of course we don't get a conclusive ending, because this is a build to the next match, but what we got was really entertaining, and never felt like filler shit. It was a real story, with a To Be Continued on the end. Big props to Orton who showed his ass really well, while still looking like a skilled competitor. Difficult balance that is incredibly hard for a heel to pull off.
TRIPLE CROWN TITLE MATCH
JUN AKIYAMA(c) vs. MASAKATSU FUNAKI
Two of my favorite heavyweights right now. I know who won but I didn't how. Total surprise. I love that Akiyama went in with the game plan of "Kill this man immediately" and he blew it. Went for too much to fast and Funaki proved to be more lethal. Man, when these guys are feeling each other out and Akiyama blocks Funaki's takedown with a knee, it just felt electric. Good times.
IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH
SHINYA HASHIMOTO(c) vs. HIROSHI HASE
Even though the leg work doesn't pay off to actual selling, there is a logical build from it. Hase goes for a specific game plan: take downs and leg bending. I love that his first couple of take downs get stuffed, but he sticks to it until it pays off. There's a really rad moment after he ties Hashimoto up like a pretzel and Hash counters out with a possible kimura. Hase rolls through into the ropes and the ref breaks it up. Hashimoto makes the mistake of showing compliance to the ref and Hase immediately crawls in to pick his leg again. Really cool spot.
While Hase may have been winning on points, he's not breaking down the legs at the pace he would have hoped and gets frustrated leading to him going for a stand up strike exchange. Against Shinya Hashifuckingmoto. Big mistake. Hashimoto is such a badass at just methodically breaking a dude down. It just looks legitimately exhausting to be on the receiving end of his stuff. The final stretch with Hase going for broke was nicely laid out and I love Hashimoto finding his opening by going back to those knees to the gut, which he'd softened up earlier. And man that crowd was hot as hell for Hase maybe winning the big one. Hashimoto's wheel kick was hellacious. Check this shit out.