Yes I'm still crazy busy, but by golly Google has money waiting for me, and I gotta get it. FIVE TITLE MATCHES in today's mix, with the WWF and NWA titles both being defended. We also have a debut of Mastadon-ian Proportions. And in honor of the G1 Climax finishing up, our main event is a classic final between Rick Rude and Masahiro Chono. So pick your way through, hopefully you find something of value.
EDIT: I'm making playlists on you tube of mixtapes, so you can watch them here if you want: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLxXqKoWNIM4w1vbF-NnCb1mx3DJxcpwuB
J-CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
ULTIMO DRAGON vs. REY MYSTERIO JR.
Gotta open with juniors getting sprinty and who better than Rey Mysterio and Ultimo Dragon in 1996? One element in this juniors match was the struggle for dives. For example Rey hit a hurricanrana that usually sends a guy sliding out to the floor, but Ultimo stopped himself and got up to counter with a german suplex. And later Ultimo was gunning for an Asai Moonsault or anything really, but had to settle for a running clothesline. It's moments like those that make the parts where they do hit the dives even more important. 95% of guys wrestling today DO NOT GET THAT. Usually it's throw them to the outside and everyone hit their big fuckin' dive and it gets a little old. But if they made it seem like a struggle to finally connect it, they'd get an even deeper reaction from the fans. But why bother with all that work, right? Anyway, match was tons of fun and the finish is sick. Someone should steal that slingshot powerbomb deal.
NEGRO CASAS, AVERNO, y REY ESCORPION vs. SUPER PORKY, BLUE PANTHER, y RUSH
This is pretty fun with the highlights being Rush and Negro Casas being total assholes to each other. I love it when two wrestlers just look like they do not like eachother. Rush ending the first round by powerbombing Casas to hell worked really well me. Too often in Lucha matches am I disappointed in the the first two falls becasue they feel like throwaways. This fall felt like Rush just happened to kill a dude. Casas coming back later just to stomp on Rush's head was so cool. It's the kind of stuff that makes it feel personal. He's not just working a guy over for the audience he's wanting to jack him up. their action is broken up with some fun bits between guys like Super Porky and Rey Escorpion. They bring in some fun energy that plays a good contrast to the hate developing between Rush and Casas. The DQ finish may not be conducive to a satisfactory experience, but I'm so ready to see more, so be prapared for more Casas/Rush stuff in future mixes.
NWA TAG TITLE MATCH
MIDNIGHT EXPRESS(c) vs. THE ROAD WARRIORS
Stan Lane is in white Masaaki Mochizuki mode, deciding he is going to try and kick the hell out the Road Warriors. Loved when he realized he was out numbered and hit the outside to try and run Hawk off of a bloodied Bobby Eaton. Bobby Eaton's selling was pretty fantastic, the best part being when he finally got on the apron and just fell off. The finish was pretty slick, with Eaton suffering just too much from blood loss and eating a pretty nice lariat from Animal for the title change. It's quick but it's pretty fun and did a lot to keep the Midnight Express looking tough in a short bout.
STING & STEVE WILLIAMS vs. TERRY FUNK & TERRY GORDY
This is slightly disappointing because of who's in it, but it's a pretty awesome TV tag match. There's a really cool bit of psychology with Funk and Gordy trying to toss Sting to the outside so they can isolate him and use the environment to their advantage. Sting is just to agile and quick for that, and everytime they toss him out he lands on his feet and gets right back in. He wants to avoid Funk's wild brawl game because he can't win that way. Gary Hart is really good in this section because he continues to support them in this gameplan, and wrestling is at it's best when the competitors look like they have a gameplan. It pans out when Dr. Death gets tagged because he's not as quick or agile as Sting and Terry is able to beat him down on the guardrail. While the match gets a little messy after this part, it's always interesting to watch. Funk is one of my all time favorites and it's because of this strange unpredictability he adds to his bouts. It feels less like a dance and more like a messy fight. Really worth watching, to see some good tag team strategy.
WWF CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH]
HULK HOGAN vs. GREG "THE HAMMER" VALENTINE
I could watch Greg Valentine elbow drop the hell out of Hulk Hogan all day. Valentine works over Hogan big time and it's pretty much all awesome on his part. Hogan's first couple of comebacks didn't have enough selling, but he did better late in the game, especially calling back to his leg. Loved that part when he sold it and Valentine, who'd just been tossed off the top, went after it and then had to keep selling his back. Pretty sweet. The finish was a little out of nowhere, but, you know, how much longer are we going to let Valentine beat the crap out of Hogan? I really didn't like the Leg Drop Instant Death, but he really shouldn't have been counted down because Hogan's crappy pin lifted The Hammer's shoulder up, so I can probably sleep at night knowing Valentine was the man.
VADER vs. Z-MAN
No Mix Tape would be complete without a squash match, so I'm going historic here with Vader's first match in WCW against Tom The Whole F'n Zenk. Vader makes a badass entrance and then looks like a beast. That military slam he hit was some beast mode shit. It looked no problem whatsoever and you know Zenk weighed 251 as Jim Ross pointed out. Anyway, watch this and check out how much Vader throws his body into that splash at the in. That's the kind of stuff that makes a man poo his pants. VADER TIME.
NWA TITLE MATCH
RIC FLAIR(c) vs. BRETT SAWYER
PART 2: http://youtu.be/vmpi0JFVE3E
PART 3: http://youtu.be/Ads-E8_HN0g
PART 4: http://youtu.be/TbOaZKQDGaE
Really fun two out of three falls match. Sometimes you just take for granted how great Flair was. His selling of the Figure Four in the second fall was beautiful and put Brett Sawyer over big time. Sawyer's celebration was pitch perfect as well. Regardless of how this would end, he and the crowd would have the satisfaction of knowing he made the biggest champion in the world submit. Flair's punches to Sawyer's nose are measured and harsh looking. Each one felt like it was mashing the poor guy's beak.
One specific element that makes this really fun is Flair being bigger than Sawyer. I can't think of many times where guys were so much smaller than Flair, and he actually worked the match like a bully. This is a slight deviation from his usual act of using wily veteran moves, cheap shots, and general wrestling skill. There were moments here where Flair was just imposing himself on Sawyer with power. It was pretty refreshing. Definitely hit this up if you're a Flair fan, and you want to see something a little different. Sawyer is tons of fun too, and if you're like me and don't know much about him, this is a pretty good way to start.
STAN HANSEN vs. TOSHIAKI KAWADA (04.06.1992)
Oh hell yeah, two dudes knocking the piss out of each other. Kawada comes in with a pretty good plan, which is take out one of Hansen's legs. It works pretty well at first. Love it when Hansen tosses Kawada to the outside but falls down when he tries to put weight on the leg. Very cool selling there. If you're a wrestler you absolutely have to pay attention around the 8 minute mark at how Kawada and Hansen work the leg hold. Kawada has it locked up, and the two trade off some kicks to the face. It makes what could have been just a "rest hold" in the hands of some jabroni joe, into another competitive section of the match. Working the leg and working for position. It's little moments like that, that takes away the disbelief and inserts the audience into a competitive bout.
Hansen, is a lot like Funk in that everything he does looks messy, unpredictable, and very much like a fight. Dig the way he dumps Kawada off on the table, or the way he comes back with kicks while Kawada is down. It feels very sudden like he's working off of impulses and not just some pre-planned script. Kawada does really well as the underdog trying to scrap and his comeback kicks are timed so perfectly, that you think he might be able to sneak a win. He's slowed the beast down, after all, he just needs the knock out. The crowd here is crazy hot, and the action lives up to it. Watch this.
G1 CLIMAX FINALS 1992
RICK RUDE vs. MASAHIRO CHONO
This crowd was hot as hell. This is a battle of endurance, with all the mat work being used to wear down the other guy. Rude has this tremendous physical charisma that plays really well to the back of the house. Watch how he flails when Chono is trying to pop his shoulder out of place. It may look a little cartoonish, but to a live audience that's something that connects to the very back row, and it's stuff like that that keeps the crowd engaged through out. Rude also has some of the best near fall reactions starting around the time he does the top rope drop kick. He just doesn't know what the hell he's supposed to do with this punk. Chono is technically sound in the beginning, but doesn't really start showing the fire until the last bit when he starts getting closer to winning starting after the first STF when Rude rolled out to the floor. It felt like Chono and the crowd both knew he had this one in the bag. The reaction of the crowd when Chono just rolled Rude's body back in the ring was hot and it was even hotter when Chono pulled him to the center for another STF. Rude tossing Chono out of the ring felt like he knew he was done and was just buying time, which fired Chono up even more to close it out with the flying shoulder tackle. It's a really good story and a heck of a match, make sure to check it out.