DEAN~! really really likes SERENA DEEB~! RIPPA~! is not a fan of MIL MASCARAS~! WE~! took requests! Lost FAT GUY~! matches! SANGRE CHICANO~! TARYN TERRELL~! One of the TIGER MASKS~! WE ARE BACK!!!!
WELCOME TO DEATH VALLEY DRIVER VIDEO REVIEW #171
Hoo Boy… is this a fucking trip. I think I just need to post the intro I did for #168 since its basically the same exact circumstances
“None of you have a fucking clue who we are. This is the Death Valley Driver Video Review. Remember these? No, of course you don’t because you are young and stupid. GET OFF OUR LAWNS!!! As a reminder, this is Dean Rasmussen’s brain child. I would guess that since you are seeing this on the DVDVR website or message board (or perhaps via CRZ’s The W) you, the gentle reader, understand this. But it is the internet so ya never know. I’m Phil Rippa. I’m just here to make sure Dean doesn’t post a picture of his junk.”
Man – dragging us kicking and screaming to #200 is going to be the death of me. Anyway – as you will notice we are basically trying out a new format since so much of our watching now occurs on the interwebs. This will last until the WWE claims to own everything… or I break something. We are also trying to review things that people who gave us money requested. So more money means more of these reviews. Or me trying to get free gum from the TNA shop and then getting the WWE Network and lamenting how A) I used to watch half of this stuff for free on Youtube and B) I will get cranky (or crankier) and be all “Back in my day, I had to watch JoMosh comp tapes! AND I LIKED IT!!!” See the power totally belongs to you.
I want y’all to sit back and think about me trying to figure out coding well enough to embed all these Youtube videos. That alone is funnier than anything I wrote for this issue. Especially when I realize that the page probably won’t work and I will cry and eat and it will be all Al Gore’s fault. So just in case… NON-COMPUTER BUSTING VERSION~! (ie: a low-fi version).
RIPPA’S MYSTICAL MAGICAL YOUTUBE JOURNEY – PART ONE
JUMBO TSURUTA vs. CACTUS JACK – All Japan (March 31, 1991)
(by PHIL RIPPA)
When starting these Youtube journeys (which means I just go from match to match based on the suggested videos), the hardest part might be selecting what wrestler to start with. So with that said – I have no fucking clue if I used Jumbo or Cactus as my starting point. Jumbo is my favorite wrestler (well at least at the time of this writing) so it is possible I was feeling misty water colored memories and used him but it is more likely that I used Cactus because of the variety of areas and matches he had. And I really can’t pass up young bump freak Cactus versus Jumbo Fucking Tsuruta in Japan. This was during the 91 Championship Carnival aka that period after World Class and Global and the cup of coffee WCW run or aka the Eddie Gilbert feud time. Anyway – I always remember in Have A Nice Day where Foley relates a story about how when he started working with Sting, the first time Cactus took a crazy ass bump and Sting basically had glee in his eyes because he realized “Holy Shit – I can work with this.” I mention this because that look sure as hell seems to be in Jumbo’s eyes as early on as Cactus goes into fucking orbit taking his bump over the guardrail. Jumbo lets Cactus do the hip buster on him as a precursor to the then ubiquitous Cactus back bump to the floor – which the crowd goes insane for. This is five minutes of fun. I think you joyless fucks can spare that.
MIL MASCARAS vs. SWEET BROWN SUGAR – All Japan (January 15, 1982)
Not surprisingly, a Cactus Jack match in Japan match linked to a Mil Mascaras match. Unfortunately, it means I have to watch a Mil Mascaras match. Man do I not like Mascaras. He is only about 70 here so at least there is that. I would be way more excited about a Skip Young match if I wasn’t already prepared for Mascaras having nothing to do with Sugar’s nonsense. (Oh and just as an FYI – someone uploaded this on Daily Motion labeling Sugar as being portrayed by Koko B. Ware and it made me sad.) So this match comes off as an exhibition of guys doing some matwork (albeit fun matwork) for the sake of doing matwork. I mean it’s not like Mascaras was going to sell a God Damn thing. Oh and the finish is all sorts of fucked up as after Macaras gets his headbutts in, he splashes Sugar and then blatantly refuses to let Sugar kickout because hey, eight minutes of work is more than enough for M-Squared.
GIANT BABA/JUMBO TSURUTA vs. MIL MASCARAS/DOS CARAS – ALL JAPAN (1979)
Alas – the one sticky wicket about these journeys is that you run the risk of a loop of just the same three or four guys. So of my choices, I went in this direction because HEY! JUMBO! is always acceptable plus my hope is that Dos Caras will start steering me towards the lucha. The tradeoff is more Mil Mascaras. I am starting to think Mil Mascaras might be in my Top 5 most hated wrestlers. Top 10 at least. I mean there is current Randy Orton. And any roided Triple H. Konnan. Anything Juggalo related. OH! Tazz! See… now I digress. All Mascaras fault too. Anyway – this is from the 1979 Real World Tag League so Mascaras might be only around 65 here. And if nothing else about this match – the ring jackets are fucking MAGNIFICENT. I would never take Jumbo’s off. The match starts off with Caras and the amazingly young Jumbo tearing it up on the mat. They do the leglock handstand thingy that would have only been better if they then started punching each other in the face. Basically the transition from the first video to the second video is when Mascaras checks in and outside of Jumbo trying to rip Mascaras’ groin off his body it’s all I AM MIL MASCARAS AND I AM DOING WHATEVER THE FUCK I WANT!!! This goes on until Baba FINALLY tags in. That was a little disappointing since Giant Baba – angry vet prowling the ring apron is great. Giant Baba – aging wrestler… not so much. So the grandpas fight over the soup they are trying to return until Jumbo comes back in and HA! Gives Mascaras a giant swing. Oh yeah – M-Squared clearly wasn’t happy about that. There really needed to be more Dos Caras. The parts with him and Jumbo really hum. God it really is great watching Mascaras trying to get away with some of his usual nonsense but when Baba is in there and is all YOU WILL EAT THIS BIG BOOT! The finish is even better as Baba breaks up a Caras pin attempt and Mascaras, possibly forgetting what the finish is, keeps getting in Baba’s face giving him lots of “WHAT THE FUCK???” motions and that continues after the bell. It was Baba’s world and those of us who are really old where living in it. Oh and in case you think I am harsh with my words towards Mascaras – I will let Rip Rogers take it from here. (And these were tweeted on Dec 5)
Rip Rogers @Hustler2754 3h
As a teenager I got all the wrestling mags- Mil Mascaras was always prominently featured- I thought he was the best- then I saw him l
Rip Rogers @Hustler2754 3h
And thought he was doing a queer gimmick-and then I worked with him – ugh-damn, shit- prima Donna, arrogant asshole- sometimes it’s best not
Rip Rogers @Hustler2754 3h
To know reality—like fans thinking certain stars r talented- the boys know who r good- good rib is “life is a rib” then u die!!!
RIPPA’S (and DEAN’S) MAGICAL MYSTICAL YOUTUBE JOURNEY – THE LADIES VERSION (PART ONE)
GAIL KIM vs. TARYN TERRELL- TNA 6/2/2013 (Last Knockout Standing)
(by DEAN and RIPPA)
The DVDVR Total Impact Coverage Team- me, Rippa, Pete and Rev Ray- have been live tweeting Impact for a couple weeks. When it’s bad, it’s as bad as you imagine. When it’s good, it’s really fucking good. Bully Ray is a SUPERWORKER. Who knew? Another FACET of the TNA PRODUCT~! that I look forward to every week is the Knockouts division. I like the fact that it has always been pretty much about the stiffness and most of that stiffness is brung by Gail Kim. Thus bringing us to THIS, the infamous Last Knockout Standing match. I missed the whole Taryn Terrell epoch of TNA so I’m going in cold. ODB grabs her boobs. We will always have that. Taryn starts off screeching and flailing like she found Kim’s teddy on her boyfriend’s couch, so yeah, this is probably going to be awesome. Kim pummels back and is quite the glue to keeping the Keyette Gone Hogwild offense of Terrell in working context. I dig Terrell’s Leilani Kei-Esque Handful O’ Hair Snapmares and how her European Uppercuts are halfway to the Japanese Elbows that Kim throws. Terrell sells the damage of the Cornerpost Figure-four like her daddy is drunk at her wedding, so this is much closer to awesome now. Kim takes a fucking RIDICULOUS Psicosis shoulder to the corner bump through a chair to the floor. Jeezus. Terrell procures the Cornerpost Figure-four and Kim sells it like she just noticed that her trampstamp says, “Dady’s Girl.” (OR EVEN BETTER: Looked and saw that she somehow has a trampstamp now.) Anyway, way closer to awesome now. Terrell takes a what would usually be a pedestrian bump through the ropes to the platform, but her crazy flailing makes it look ten times worse. Man, Taryn Terrell is the super hot Lee Scott of Ladies wrestling. Fuck, the Diamond Cutter off the ramp to the floor is FUCKING BEAUTIFUL. And weirdly, for the first time in American Wrestling since 1995, the spot that should be the finish IS THE FINISH! This was still waaaaaay too short to be all but so awesome. But I respect that the finish was THE FINISH. Let’s hear if for the girls.- DEAN RASMUSSEN
Here is the thing with this match. I have watched it to many times and it has been talked about too much to do a proper write up of it anymore… especially because I was able to expose Dean to this match and the follow up ladder match. (Just for the record – I still think this is the better match of the two but y’all should have watch both by now if you haven’t.) I do want to provide a couple of viewing tips though.
– Find the German announcer feud of the match. Fuck Taz. I mean Mike Tenay is pretty terrible on a consistent basis now but Taz takes the fucking cake. Especially as he spends far too much time clearly rubbing on his Impact Bundle instead of calling the match properly. Meanwhile – the Germans are all into the match and suitably freaking out when the bump train starts rolling through.
– I think the version I am linking to in this review has it but I am too fucking lazy to double check but make sure you watch the version with the video package at the start because that was way better than it had any right to be.
– Watch it with your pants on you dirty pervert
– Phil Rippa
TAELER HENDRIX vs. TARYN TERRELL – OHIO VALLEY WRESTLING (Women’s Title Match)
I really hate the person who came up with the “Something in a kiddie pool” match concept. (As I was finding linked matches – I ended up with some lucha “milk in a pool” match that I totally felt like I needed to shower after watching and it was all cubsfan’s fault.) Now the rules of the match are that the loser of the match has to go into the pool of poop (I will leave you to your own devices to decide what they actually used to fill the pool but remember this was Ohio.) Those stipulation would have been helpful if the announcers had explain it BEFORE hand but nope. So you spend seven minutes wondering why the ref is counting falls and thinking they are teasing bumps into the pool to set up some sort of elaborate finish. God – this match has so much working against it. Like Taeler (through no fault of her own) having the world’s most annoying name to spell. It’s a good thing she isn’t with TNA anymore because, otherwise, each week would have lead to “How many ways can I not get her name right?”. I already mentioned the announcing which really pissed me off when Hendrix and Terrell tried whatever it was they were doing in the corner and the one guy was like “I HOPE YOU GOT THAT ON TAPE!!!” since he had clearly booked a kitten killing session later that night. There was also the aphetic crowd. And that fucking Dylan Bostic guy. LET’S TEASE DISSENSION FOR NO FUCKING GOOD REASON!!! Hendrix also totally exposes the business by having to take off her boots before she is SHOCKINGLY~! dumped into the pool (though bless her heart for doing enough flopping around to sell it properly). The match serves as a good counter balance to the Terrell TNA matches because as you watch this and thing “God – she can’t even run around the ring properly” and then you watch those other matches and you think “How the fuck did that happen?” If I am being honest – all these keystrokes are superfluous as this entire match could have been summed up in one sentence. To quote Rev. Ray “This match needed German announcers.”
SHAZZA MCKENZIE/MADISON EAGLES vs. STORM/MIGHT MEl – PACIFIC PRO WRESTLING “FIRST STRIKE 2013” (02/16/13)
Okay – let’s figure all this shit out. Ooo! Ooo! Explanation will pad this bad boy out. So this is Pacific Pro Wrestling which is an Australian based fed with a 1000 people with the last name Eagles. The smartly put a fuckton of their matches up on Youtube so I am going to have to go back and pick and choose through the files , instead of just watching all the Madison Eagles, but now I am getting distracted. God Dammit Phil – let’s finish this fucking issue. Madison Eagles is by far the best women’s wrestler that I have watched like no matches of. She was Shimmer champ for like two trillion days and even was PWI #1 wrestler one year on their Top 50. (HEY! We went to fucking 100 on our lists. COWARDS~!) She is also married to one of the 1000 people with the last name Eagles (Robbie… or is it Ryan… we are going with Robbie. That is our story and we are sticking to it.) Eagles also is still wrestling despite a hideous knee injury where she really could have just punted and been all “Fuck this – I am going to chill with my kids”. BTW – I am spending a lot of time talking about Madison Eagles but this match goes 20 minutes too long (I mean whoever decided this should be so long should really have a chat with someone about effective use of time) and she is by far and away the best person. Eagles is teaming with Shazza McKenzie who is doing I guess what could be described as an Australian Beautiful People gimmick (at least for this match). Storm and Mighty Mel are tiny and… fuck… shit… what is it we say when we are trying to be nice about folks who aren’t very good (at least yet) at the wrestling? Umm… the clearly don’t qualify as “Double Tough Veterans”. Let’s just go with “they try really hard.” AWESOME! The heels do that great thing when the ref is checking their boots, they spin around so the ref checks the same boot twice. And that is basically the highlight. Now I freely admit that a lot of my bitterness comes from the fact that the match is shot on what might as well be a Go Pro and the fucker holding it can’t stay still so he circles the ring FOR THE WHOLE GOD DAMN MATCH!!!! Tim Noel would be disgusted. I hope a dingo eats something of his.
SERENA DEEB vs. KANA
Oh man, I love Kana. Not in a creepy masturbate furiously kind of way, but in a wrestler who will kick you in the face just to see the look on your face kind of way. Man, SMASH was fucking awesome the 5 cards it held. I don’t recall ever seeing Serena Deeb. I assume she was on the card because Fit Finlay was on the card and Fit Finlay trained her. But this is conjecture on my part – and is for the furiously masturbating Joshi contingent to correct. Jump in guys, it’s a high hanging fastball. Kana starts early by kicking her really hard in the stomach. Like a little tiny little BITCH! C’mon, Serena forget you got class, See that Kana girl, just kick her in the biscuits! they take it to the mat instead. Deeb is of the idea that if she keeps Kana on the ground, she won’t get as many teeth kicked out of her face, so who can question her tactics? Not I. Though Kana matches work better if the opponent will mix it up. And Deeb does and it suddenly goes from lacklustre mat work, to two gals beating the fudge out of each other, thus adding several thousand stars to the match. I dig this Deeb chick, as she beats your ass American Pro Style, so it’s like watching Judy Grable versus Jumbo Hori – but in the same mutual time period. U. KNOW. WHAT. I. MEAN. Kana, realizing that her opponent is fuckin’ GAME, goes for a keylock and tries to figure out how to light this motherfucking candle and get on with the ass-stomp. So they light this candle and it fall totally in love with Serena Deeb. And THEN she unleashes a fucking lariat like a REAL American (or Canadian or whatever the hell she is) and YOU totally WEEP. Kana connects on several kicks to the head and it seems like just a matter of time, but Deeb hits a rib-breaker and buys some time. Kana SUPLEXES TO TRANSITION~! and they trade elbows and it RULES! It then gets really sloppy as I think they are trying to set up another Deeb Lariat but goes awry until Kana SUPLEXES TO TRANSITION~! Deeb opts against selling it too much and hits a Goldberg Spear for the pin and I dig Deeb. And I don’t think I’ve actually seen Kana win a wrestling match. As if that mattered at this point. Quality if inconsistent wrestling.
CHEERLEADER MELISSA VS. MAKOTO – All Japan Pro Women (11/6/11)
Whoo-Hooo!!! Cheerleader Melissa!!! Oh yeah – there are the tingly pants. IT’S ALL COMING BACK TO ME NOW!!! Hey remember when TNA had Melissa and decided to stick her in a niqab? (Hey Microsoft Word – you might want to get with the times and stop telling me niqab isn’t a word. Fucking Bill Gates. IF WE ADD THAT AS A WORD THE TERRORISTS HAVE WON!!!) Anyway… yeah, remember when they put her in a niqab and not actually let her wrestle? Yeah… And it doubly sucked for me because I sadly have liked WAY too many Knockout matches so there was so much potential during that hot phase of the Knockout division (and yes, I remember the Alissa Flash matches but that really just emphasizes my point some more. And as another side note – how has TNA not going back to that. Making folks work multiple gimmicks. I mean it is one way they could hire less folks.) Oooh… this is from somewhere in Taiwan too. In front of dozens and dozens of people too! This really is falling into Death Valley Driver Video Review classic tropes territory. The saddest reality of this like four minute match is that Makoto truly looks like she is young enough to be fathered by me. Obviously this is not possible on several levels – the most immediate one being that no matter how attractive a woman of Japanese descent I might have been able to land (not likely at all), there is no way her beauty could have overcome my genes to produce something as cute as Makoto. Yeah – my offspring would be more Akira Taue with breasts… well bigger ones than he currently has… well ones that could actual nurture an infant. Anyhoo… yeah the match is Melissa trying to make offense from a 70 pound girl credible and then just hitting a Gory Special for the win.
There’s no turning back now- I’m under attack now- I see the skies are open
And I hear the word spoken- SINGLES GOING STEADY You only perceive
what you believe- You need only believe to believe- What do you know?- What do you know?
SATANICO vs. SANGRE CHICANO – 5/26/1989
When you were young and your heart was an open book, you used to talk shit about the old guys in the Lucha Libre. You didn’t know that the point of Lucha Libre was a lot closer to a Chicky Starr Puerto Rican Street Fight at Roberto Clemente Stadium than a Chikara Trios Tournament Final (not that there is anything with enjoying your Chikara. You (I) are (am) not your (your) mom.) Your eyes were opened when in the mid-90s, you actually watched the EMLL at the end of all your AAA tapes. You then noticed that the best guys in AAA were the guys following the lead of El Hijo Del Santo and basing every match on violence and hatred. You notice the subtle nuance of the greatness of Los Pandilleros coated in their own blood as they tried mutual triple homicide with Los Destructores. Then you realized that you realizing the subtle nuances of wrestling is bullshit. When you were a kid, you didn’t care about Nelson Royal’s European uppercut – you cared about Nelson Royal’s uppercut because he was hurting that motherfucker Johnny Valentine – Valentine who motherfucking SMILED when he wouldn’t release the figure four on Tim Woods – breaking Woods leg right there in the ring as Valentine laughed! FUCK YOU, JOHNNY VALENTINE! YOU ARE EVIL! TIM WOODS WILL DON THE MASK AND BE MR. WRESTLING! AND YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO FEED OFF THE PAIN IN HIS FACE ANYMORE, YOU SICK MOTHERFUCKER. AND THE GOES DOUBLE FOR THOSE SADISTIC FUCKS – THE MINNESOTA WRECKING CREW! OLE – YOU SACRIFICED YOUR OWN BROTHER TO BUST OPEN MR. WRESTLING’S HEAD WITH YOUR OWN BROTHERS HEAD! TIM WOODS HOLDS UP MASK COATED IN HIS OWN DRIED BLOOD! YOU SICK FUCK! Ole then said, “To hell with what you people think, I know that Gene would do the same thing to me if he knew we would win the match.” You realize that the beauty of a tope isn’t the prettiness of the gymnastics but how much it much have sucked to have Ciclon Ramirez’s big fat ass drive you back-first into the family sitting in the fixed seat of the front row. The best luchadores can bring the illusion of kicking your ass in an ally after drinking a fifth of scotch into the ring. THUS. THIS MATCH. First one notices that both of these guys and yourself were much younger and thinner in 1989. The other thing you notice is something completely lost to modern wrestling- disdain and animosity in a collar and elbow tie-up, where you make hateful faces at one another while the ref tries to make you break it up in the ropes. So then they move straight to punching each other in the face and I now realize why Schneider wanted me to watch this. Man, Satanico will just knee you right in the stomach. The closest I will come to this kind of stomach pain was last Wednesday when I tried the one dollar McRib knock-off at Burger King. Sure it was good, but… The first caida is big mostly for the manly punches but you do get the moment where the ref brings the nasty crossface to break up Satanico putting his heels to Sangre’s face. The ref does this throughout the match and its a cool spot as Satanico fights harder against the ref each time to make sure he is getting added pain infliction on Sangre. Second fall is Satanico getting pissed off at Sangre and they crank up Punching To The Face Machine and it’s truly starts rolling. Satanico would deeply kick your ass HARD in a bar fight. Second caida is as fast as the first caida – as Satanico procures the submission after hinting at the ass-beatings to come. Third fall starts in the crowd and goes back to the for one more Satanico versus the ref spot and then it spills back out to the floor and you remember why Satanico is so fucking awesome. The brawling leads to matwork which leads to submissions and then they repeat each in longer sequences- each getting more intense. Sangre Chicano is awesome just burying his fists into Satanico as Satanico flops around the broken fixed chairs. Satanico fires back like a motherfucker, crushing the last drops of handsomeness out of Sangre’s face. Sangre Chicano then just CRUSHES Satanico with punches to the face. And then they kind of mill around until the count out. Come for the punches. Your longing for blood will go unquenched.
JUN AKIYAMA vs. SUWAMA – ALL JAPAN PRO WRESTLING (10/5/2011)
I was wondering about why anyone would put out another the Death Valley Driver Video Review. It’s not like the old days where we would try to be a consumer service and try help folks with video buying or direct folks in their video trading. Now with the glorious internet you get huge swaths of video of wrestling. But then I realized that I no longer have a VCR and haven’t had a functioning VCR in like ten years. BUT I also have like 200 videos I haven’t watched. And there is a really really really really good chance that if you ripped all of them and put them on YouTube and e-mailed me saying, “Hey Dean! I ripped all those videotapes you had in your to watch bin and NOW YOU CAN WATCH AT YOUR LEISURE ON YOUTUBE! ISN’T THAT AWESOME!” Yes, that is awesome. And I love you as an awesome friend! But lets face facts. There is some wrestling in this world that just isn’t gonna get watched. There is a lot of quality wrestling that isn’t gonna get watched. Hell, for me personally there is giant swathes of wrestling that folks will give five stars and harshly condemn me for not watching that I will not be watching anytime soon. And THIS IS BECAUSE WRESTLING IS LIKE IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN. There are certain names that excite me as a fan and that list of names excludes a massive amount of very good to actually great wrestlers that simply do not get my WrestleMotor going. Sorry. You can explain away how great the Destroyer is but it isn’t going to make watch a match. Sorry. I’m 47 and could give a shit at this point. I know what I want and you have to be Phil Schneider to make me go outside my usual processes of finding new wrestlers to love. Which brings me to my current list. My current list is about the same size as it always has been. Chris Benoit goes crazy and falls off the list and Shigehiro Irie, Yuji Okabayashi, and Ricky Banderas all get shots at the starting line-up. William Regal retires and Rush steps in admirably to pretty much his exact spot. Misawa dies and that brings us to Suwama. Suwama is strange mixture of list guys to me. He takes up half of Misawa spot and also takes up the Barry Windham spot. Suwama is kind of like Tony Romo to me. I was a Dallas Cowboy fan before I was a wrestling fan by a couple of days when I was 3. The hardest part of ever being a Cowboy fan isnt the eternal 7-9 seasons. I’m personally seen on tv the Cowboys win 5 Superbowls. It’s like when Emmitt Smith refused to retire. Idiots complained but I was like, “Fuck it, he won us 3 Superbowls, If I was owner, he would start until he mandatory retirement age 65.” The worst part of being a Dallas Cowboys fan is quarterback insecurity. I was there with Craig Morton and Gary Hogeboom and Quincy Carter. It’s false hope and it is the worst. Tony Romo is better than Danny White. Danny White was a secure quarterback. I am currently perfectly at peace with Tony Romo. To bring it back to a wrestling context, the longest running unsecured spot in my Wrestling Excitement Pantheon is,,, of course… 80’s Barry Windham. Suwama is big and lanky. Suwama has some really nice old school big man offense, elbows that equate to Windham’s punches and also brings it like a motherfucker to the big matches. So he excites me like no other lover at the moment. I mean I’m not saying he is technically as good as Misawa or Windham but Tony Romo isn’t Tory Aikman or Roger Staubach. But he can make the same throws. Which brings us to this match. Jun Akiyama took Lioness Asuka’s place a few years ago on the Dean Match Excitement Scale a few years ago. Jun Akiyama used to be the fifth man on All Japan back when it had the most constipated booking in all of wrestling, so he kind of wasted away in the 90s. Then, like the rest of us, he got old and cranky.. Old and cranky Jun started to look like the somebody else on the list that he also replaced – Tenryu. SO this match is basically a clash of GIANT WADS of wrestling excitement to me. And boy motherfucker does it fucking deliver. Jun Akiyama does this thing called the Exploider Suplex. It’s nasty in and of itself. The Exploider off the Apron to the floor is just like drafting Dez Bryant at #22 in the first round- totally stealing awesome. That leads to both of them pretty much building the match around who will the wire to maintain lack of movement as they both drink through straws for 6 weeks as their mutual broken jaws heal. And then it is endless suplexes and kicks directly to the face.
TERRY FUNK/ DORY FUNK JR vs. TOM ZENK/ RICK MARTEL- ALL JAPAN PRO WRESTLING (11/22/1986)
Matt D requested this and who are we to refuse? I tackled this because I figured I would get to FINALLY talk about how boring I think Dory Funk Jr is. Sure he’ll bleed a lot but I vaguely remember him stinking up a lot of matches in a few 80s sets and c’mon he was totes Stevie Ray to Terry Funk’s Booker T. And then he goes and hits the nastiest fucking piledriver on earth in this match it just fucks up the whole review I wrote in my head before I watched the match. Actually, the other weird ass thing about this match is that I realized Tom Zenk could bump like a maniac- but that is the basic story of the match. Dory Funk takes the younger fella of the Can-Ams and splatters him on the floor through the ropes three times and then fucking homocides him with a piledriver after Terry Funk keeps stomping the crap out of Zenk on the floor each time Dory heaves him out. This enrages the ETERNALLY underrated Rick Martel. Rick Martel was motherfucking awesome. Watch his fucking elbow drop in this. It’s an afterthought in this match but it is better then anybody’s elbow drop currently wrestling. The match itself is a really top flight Southern tag but Terry Funk DUCKS INTO THE ROPES to not lock up. I hadn’t seen that used that effectively since Greg Valentine last got suckered into a competitive match on Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling.
KINTARO OKI/ MICHIOKA YOSHIMURA vs. JOHNNY VALENTINE/ DAN KROFFAT – 1972
Phil Schneider sent this to me. I’m not sure where he found it. It is Johnny Valentine – who revolutionized wrestling by basically inventing strongstyle and getting it over gigantically in the Mid-Atlantic territory. I know this because I was living in the Mid-Atlantic territory in 1972. My Uncle Bobby was my Sunday school teacher and he was a big wrestling fan. He would allow us fifteen minutes before the Sunday school lesson would start to discuss the wrestling of the previous week. Usually it was about how awesome Wahoo McDaniel and Ricky Steamboat was, how awesome it was that Blackjack Mulligan showed up or various signs that it was all fake – the obvious blading or overly sold crappy punching. Johnny Valentine was only around my conception of Mid-Atlantic for a few months before the airplane crash but I remember his feud with a face Ken Patera and a thousand 15 minute studio matches with Ed “Two Ton” Harris or Don Kernodle or usual really high-grade enhancement talent Mid-Atlantic would have on hand. Back in those days, it was never really a squash. Hell, I remember the awesome day when eternal young lions Tiger Conway Junior and Steve Kiern pulled the upset on Gene and Ole Anderson. On TV. And I they did that so you would always watch the 15 studio matches. Johnny Valentine would beat the shit out of folks though. I remember when Valentine died, Ric Flair talked about how much hated taking Valentine’s shot across the nape of the neck. Valentine was also a psychotic prankster. A lot of stuff about Johnny Valentine. But enough blathering by me, just watch this match and dig the elbow drops and imagine how much they woulda hurt.
MEN’S YOUTUBE JOURNEY – PART TWO
BLUE PANTHER/CUCHILLO vs. KATO KUNG LEE/SUPER ASTRO (June 7, 1990)
Oh Blue Panther – you will definitely get my clicks. Plus it gets me out of the awful Mil Mascaras chain. Mmm…. Hamada UWF… at least I am assuming it is Hamada UWF because it is fucking 1990 and guys are working with their masks even though they had lost them in previous years. (El Hijo del Santo took both Cuchillo and Kato Kung Lee’s masks in the 80s. Though if you go to luchawiki and see the picture of the unmasked Cuchillo – Hamada is doing us a solid here.) Clearly Gran Hamada had a NO ONE PAYS ATTENTION TO US IN JAPAN!!!! policy. Yeah… this is… umm… something. Well at least when Cuchillo is in. I mean when young spry Panther is in it is great and it is the only thing the crowd reacts to. It also helps that Panther can make the matwork at least plausible as opposed to Cuchillo and Astro who looked to be two guys doing throws for the sake of doing throws. I lay that entirely at the feet of Cuchillo since he clearly would have chosen to be anywhere else (first guess would be the concession stand from the looks of it.) At least twice Cuchillo ruins the flow of the match as he completely just stops because he has no fucking clue what Super Astro was doing. God Bless Panther selling Lee’s kicks. Oh that reminds me – remember when WCW brought Super Astro in basically to do a Rider Kick in a brawl amongst luchadores? Yeah… good times. Anyway – if you have enough patience, watch the times the Panther and Astro matchup because that is the best of the wrestling and then I don’t hate myself for picking this match to continue the train. And you could also at least feel better about yourself looking at Cuchillo as you think “Hey – my gut isn’t THAT big.”
BLACK MAN vs. TIGER MASK (March 12, 1982???)
We are going with March 82 with the caveat that the internet is full of dirty dirty lies. I mean this is Sayama and it’s the only date I can find against Black Man (and hoo boy is that always a dicey Google search. “No, I swear I am not racist Google. I just want lucha match listings. It’s not my fault. It was the 80s and wrestling. It would probably be rarer to find the non-offensive name.”) I totally didn’t mean to start a Fantasticos run – this and the previous match were uploaded by the same person – but if I had realized it at the time I totally would have found a Kung Fu match next. This is joined in progress. I am guessing not that much was clipped and if we are all honest with ourselves we don’t really need it as it was probably just two more minutes of the feeling out process. Black Man is/was criminally underrated and forgotten so him working Tiger Mask is enjoyable despite being the basic “luchadore working in Japan” match. He does go all crazy dive near the end but does fuck up the timing of Sayama’s big plancha (to the point that Sayama was visibly upset) so that wasn’t cool. Perfectly fine match to serve as a transition in this journey to get me away from the luchadores.
TIGER MASK vs. LES THORNTON (OCTOBER 22, 1982)
I know this is 1982 but that is about it since it seems like Tiger Mask and Les Thornton decided to barn storm the world that year. Stupid everything. The start of this is all sorts of entertaining as Tiger Mask gets jumped by Kuniaki Kobayashi as he is entering the ring so the first two minutes are basically a brawl between them. This is partly due to the trainees not looking too thrilled to be breaking stuff up and Thornton is all “Yeah – I’m gonna be over here till you are done.” Oh wait! That means this has to be the Oct 82 match since it would set up Kobayashi challenging for the title. Excelsior!!! Sadly – after the brawl the match gets clipped to shit which is a shame since it is Thornton and TM rocking it on the mat. The finishing sequence is frustrating as TM absolutely murders Thornton with a tombstone and a diving headbutt which Thornton kicks out of at two. Granted it seemed that this was planned so Thornton could stand up just so Sayama could win with the German Suplex (like always). Of course – Thornton immediately starts bitching that he got his shoulders up so that lead to the weird moment of TM walking up to him and drilling him with a kick to the back of the head and then the stomach. It shouldn’t make me giggle but it does. I guess I just was amused by a guy bellyaching for no good reason getting his comeuppance.
BOB BACKLUND vs. NOBUHIKO TAKADA – UWFI (Sept 26, 1991)
In the interest of full disclosure – the match that originally concluded this little rambling disaster was a non-shoot Andre the Giant vs. Akira Meada match. Of course – by the time I am getting around to finishing my review – the match was pulled from Youtube. I could find a version on Dailymotion but it had a giant fucking ad in the middle of it for a good chunk of the match and it kinda doesn’t work with the flow of something based around Youtube’s goofy algorithms. I backtracked to the Tiger Mask/Thornton and it lead to this match… which I really only picked because the clip was 5 minutes long. Shit needs to be done. This is the rematch of famous Takada/Backlund match. Of course the worked shoot “match” last 90 seconds as Backlund takes a shoot kick to the nuts and goes down for the count. So yeah… I guess if you want to see Backlund icing his junk this is right up your alley. Of course – the fucking rabbit hole I went down trying to get the exact match date on this. Fucking Wrestling Classic threads. (Hat Tip to Tabe for being the one who made the post in said WC thread disaster that allowed me to get the correct match date.) Of course – if I had just clicked on the other link of this video that one had the match date. I hate everything. I am going to take a shower now.
WOMEN’S JOURNEY – PART TWO
SARA DEL REY vs. TOSHIE UEMATSU – CHIKARA
I remember the old old old days when Toshie Uematsu was like 16 years old as a GAEA rookie- back when she had knees and was the company youngster highflier. Then she ruined her knees and opted to beat the shit out of folks. Sara Del Ray I’ve seen a few times and what she lacks in charisma she makes up for in stiffness. So I should dig this. Uematsu look like she has grown into her womanliness and that should add weight her inflicting the assbeat but Del Ray gets in the offense early. Del Ray no-sells her early flurries- which I can’t really whine about because she towers over the wee veteran from Japan. So Uematsu opts for a Three Stooges Nose Smacking sequence and I’m… beginning to… hate…. this match. Hmmm, Uematsu with a footscrape and nifty nearfall to lead into Del Ray hitting a spinning, roundhouse, cresent kick into the corner and I no longer hate this. Uematsu with a missile dropkick and I dig the idea of Uematsu going back to her high-flying when her ass-stomping doesn’t work. Del Ray hits some suplexes and won’t make you forget Lionness Asuke or anything, but they are perfectly fine. Nice flashpin nearfall leads to a very nice Del Ray powerbomb for two and then the suplex for the win. It was fine. Not long enough the actually get any steam to lead to anything too memorable. But it was nice seeing Toshie Uematsu wrestle in front of a crowd again.
YUZUKI AIKAWA vs. AYUMI KURIHARA (05/15/11)
The Youtube description just says “Yuzuki Aikawa Produce Yuzupon Matsuri 3 ~ Birthday Eve” which kinda worries me how horribly wrong this good could. I have to imagine there are many a porn search that contain the words “Asian” “Birthday” Eve”. And Holy Fuck – are they now going to be confused when this review shows up. And each time I say fuck – I am raising those odds. Wait! Wait! Wait! Is Aikawa that pop star/model/whatever the proper Japanese term is that turned wrestler that Meltzer would randomly talk about because it was clearly he was FAR too interested in her? SHE IS! Okay – now we are cooking with gas. So Aikawa is cute and tiny and is wearing purplish/pink complete with scarf that I am praying she leaves on as she wrestles and Ayumi Kurihara is cute and sorta tiny and wearing a pink bra (Don’t yell at me – I am just reporting what I am seeing.) Man – this is fucking awesome. I mean there is lots of kicking the snot out of each other. They also do an extended knuckle lock sequence near the start which no one fucking does anymore. And then it is back to kicking the snot out of each other. HA! They also each do their own version of the Black Widow but they pose during it and AJ is going to be so fucking pissed that she never thought of doing that. Actually there are a lot of moves that people need to think about stealing but that is another subject for another time. I am enjoying this thoroughly. I mean the selling is… questionable and the time calls are telegraphing that it is going BROADWAY~! But still it is hella fun.
AYUMI vs. MARCELA – CMLL (03/09/12, Aired on 03/17/12) – CMLL World’s Women’s Championship
We conclude our journey in Mexico thanks to Cubs… who thankfully uploads non-kiddie pools filled with milk matches. Just for the sake of clarity – Ayumi is Ayumi Kurihara but for some reason she lost her last name in Mexico. And none of you know who the fuck Marcela is because apparently if you are a wrestler in CMLL, you might as well be dead to the board posters. Poor poor unloved lucha. Shit why am I even bothering. I mean it is women AND lucha. I might as well be writing this for myself. Sigh… Ayumi is the champ coming in having beaten Marcel a few months ago ending Marcela’s blink and you miss it title reign. Because God Forbid Ayumi had beaten Amapola and gotten hugely over. But I learned long ago to not try and understand the thinking of CMLL. Oh and Fuego is the second for Marcela while Namajague seconded Ayumi. Sure – why not. I mean they were already in the ring from the previous match. For the three of you who do care (pretty much Mark, Ed and Dean) – I really dig this encounter. It could be that it is because the first fall last longer than a minute (I mean it is super short as lucha is want to do but there was something to this.) It could be that it is because Ayumi clearly looks like she enjoys being in Mexico. Or it could be that these two fucking rock. Ayumi takes the first caida while Marcela takes the second caida so we can get to the fun that is the third caida.The third caida is when Marcela decides to fucking DESTROY Ayumi. Man oh man. Ayumi clearly was eyeballing the wrong man I guess. And then Marcela FLYS and shows the other reason Namajague is out there – to help with the catching. Yeah… that is about as pretty a top rope to the floor crossbody as you will ever see. Ayumi answers with one of her own and I am officially in love with this match. It gets near fall happy and the crowd is going wild for Marcela and it is everything you want in professional wrestling The fact that DOS! DOS! DOS! Hasn’t been stolen as a call yet is absurd. Come for the various Michinoku Drivers. Stay for the Marcela winning with the fucking nastiest top rope double knee drop you have ever seen. A trillion stars.
LOST RIPPA REVIEWS
I wrote these like 18 months ago after #170 and then they just sat and sat. I then posted them on the old message board. And then that died the horrible death like so many other versions of the board. So if you haven’t read them before, they are NEW TO YOU~!
VADER VS. MARK HENRY – WWE FULLY LOADED (1998)
So after the next two year break, we can do an issue totally dedicated to forgotten PPV matches. My being a giant Vader mark isn’t a secret. Fuck – I seem to be one of the few people on the planet who likes a lot of his WWE work. And I like Mark Henry. And this being from 98 just reminds you that Mark Henry has been around for a long fucking time and we are all really really fucking old. Young, spry Mark Henry is here representing the Nation of Domination and if there is anyone you are going to learn how be a big man from – that person is Vader. That is assuming of course you ignore the first 90 seconds or so which are something you would send directly to Botchamania. A blow body slam, two repeated spots and Vader openly swearing on camera. Yup. But then you have Vader stiffing the fuck out Henry for a few minutes and Henry taking unnecessary bumps for no other reason than It being all “I AM YOUNG AND FEARLESS!!! CLEARLY THIS FORWARD ROLL INTO THE RING STEPS IS A SMART IDEA!” It’s a fun way to spend 7 minutes (when you count ring entrances and such). Should it have been on a PPV… probably not. I mean the feud had been all over Shotgun Saturday Night but the live crowd liked Vader so No Harm No Foul. A full Shotgun Saturday Night point.
AKEBONO VS. BIG DADDY VOODOO – ALL JAPAN (06/11/11)
The man formerly known as Mable/Viscera has one of the worst wrestling bodies ever so his inclusion in this issue was kind of necessary. (Maybe a little less time in the tattooist chair and some more time… well at least walking to the tattoo palor.) So much jiggling. Akebono is gonna show up a lot in this issue so we will just move on right now. This YouTube clip is 7:36. Fear not as the actual match time is only 3:28. That is still a loooooonnnnngggg 208 seconds though. Things you will see in this match a lot are: no sold shoulder tackles, eye gouges, missed falling headbutts, Big Daddy pulling on his gear because his man boobs keep falling out.
SCOTT NORTON VS. ICE TRAIN – WCW FALL BRAWL (9/15/96 – Submission Match)
Y’all remember the never ending Fire and Ice feud right? Man, who am I kidding? Y’all remember Ice Train right? I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when that present was dropped on Paul Orndorff and Buddy Lee Parker’s doorstop. Of course, I still can’t get over the M.I. Smooth period. Anyhoo – after the Fice and Ice team IMPLODED~! (Yeah… there is an underrated wrestling meme – tag teams always being described as IMPLODING~!) someone decided that these two needed to wrestle and wrestle and wrestle. And even better – that their PPV matches needed to be Submission Matches. That’s right – this isn’t even the first Norton vs. Train Submission Match on a PPV. They had just run the same match the month before at Hog Wild. And boy does the booking get in the way of this match. I mean to have two guys who A) have no real idea how to sell and B) have no real idea how to apply or sell submissions… yeah… hoo boy. Most of the match is fat guys blasting each other with fat guy moves. This would have been great… except again it was a submission match. So like they suddenly realize “Shit… umm… here is an armbreaker”. And the transitions are great since Norton decides that the perfect way to follow up the cross-armbreaker (which he applied like he was taking a nap) is with a jaw breaker since, you know, the attack the same part of the body. Granted that was still better than Ice Train not knowing how to apply a camel clutch so he went with the dreaded headlock. If you ignore the 2nd half and just focused on the power moves – this wouldn’t have been a waste of anyone’s time. But this was WCW. And for the record – the sleeper fat boy in this match is Teddy Long.
HUGH MORRUS vs. DAVID SIERRA – WCW Pro (10/19/97)
That’s right – only in WCW are you going to have a guy wearing a mask being called by his real name. Unless of course, that’s not actually David Sierra. And if it isn’t that’s all sorts of amazing. I mean I showed it to Ed and he immediately thought it was Jim Neidhart under the mask. If I was a younger or crazier man – I would try to figure this out but fuck knows I don’t remember anything now. Oh fuck it none of you care. Fine – I know what you chokers are really here for. Never say I won’t pander for the hits…
GREAT KABUKI/JOHN TENTA vs. TOM ZENK/THE TERMINATOR (ALL JAPAN TAG LEAGUE – 12/11/87) (RIPPA)
Maybe as I get older, my appreciation for loss becomes greater. Maybe as I get older and fatter, my appreciation for lost fatboys becomes greater. Whatever the specifics might be – I miss John Tenta. So it is with a twinge of irony that the first Tenta match I put fingers to key for in the all fatboy issue is one where Tenta… isn’t all that fat. He is a downright piece here in 1987. Still in fine athletic shape from his sumo days and with flowing envious locks – this was not the man y’all grew up seeing. The one who had a body destroyed the ravages of professional wrestling… or complex carbohydrates for that matter. No no – the fatboy in this match is actually the Great Kabuki and his “If you really want to hang out with me. I can handle my liquor” gut. Zenk was in his peak roid/tiny pant stage. He also apparently the 30th element on the Periodic Table (see because the dope who posted this on YouTube called him “Zink” and the element Zinc is pronounced “Zink”. Oh never fucking mind.) Mark Laurinaitis (much like his brothers during the same period) was only just starting out so he doesn’t have the body that only Mrs. Baba could love. God – if the WWE had a tag division and a time machine, Zenk and Terminator would fit right in since they aren’t afraid to bring the sloppy chinlocks that are a PPV requirement nowadays. Jesus was Zenk ahead of his time in his the WWF because the chinlocks and blown spots would have made him king. Way to blow the leap out of the corner. Douche. No, I don’t know why I am so hostile. Yeah… this is all about John Tenta. John Tenta shoulder blocks. John Tenta running dropkicks. John Tenta cockteasing a plancha. Fuck You Cancer!
DUSTY RHODES/VADER vs. HARRIS BROTHERS – TNA 2/26/03
Lord – has it really been that long ago that TNA was doing weekly PPVs? Good Christ we are all wasting our fucking lives. Oh early TNA and your strippers in a cage. I mean, honestly, when are we all going to accept that Vince Russo is Rob Black minus the prison time and with extra Hail Marys said? This is as terrible as one would except for these four in 200fucking3. Poor poor broken down Vader. I love you so. And y’all need to not sleep on the fatboyness of the Harris Brothers. Ron and Don always had their height to mask their pudge but the ravages of time can’t be stonewalled forever. There are a whole lotta T-shirts being worn. I guess because it’s a PPV, Dusty decides he needs to blade about three minutes in. Eventually there is some nonsense with Sonny Siaki who is either managing the Harris Brothers or scouting them or servicing them. Then Dusty spanks someone who my notes from the first time I watched this describe as “the Turnbuckle whore”. You know how we all like to joke about how Ishikawa books himself in that mixed tag matches so he can be all sorts of creepy old man on the ladies? Well Dusty sure ain’t afraid to do the spanking spot in like 90% of his matches. I pity his wife. Anyhoo – back to the matters at hand, after Dusty is done with the touching of the junk in the truck portion of the program, Nikita Koloff shows up… well… because… gee…. he was available. Good fucking Christ – TNA was doing the same shit then as it is now. Mercifully this match is lost somewhere in the YouTube ether.
LANCE CADE vs. BONO-KUN – Hustle 2/22/09 (RIPPA)
None of us watch Hustle or I should say, watched Hustle. So when the question arose “Okay, who is the hot chick shaking her cooch at Akebono?” we were at a loss. I mean when fucking Tom can’t pull who it is we are so flying blind. Tom’s best theory is that it was “the women” who shoved Bono out Mork and Mindy style. I gathered that to mean he thought it was Mistress Yingling. No one really cares if that is right since you are all watched it for the slutty business office assistant possibly slutty MILF stripping for Bono (and Japan yet again does the nudity distraction angle so far better than any US promotion). I suppose that some of you could care about the apparent Bono doing his Obama gimmick vs. Lance Cade representing the Republicans angle that is unintentionally going on here but that angle would have worked better if Cade was being played by like Trace Adkins. Anyway – back to the discussion at hand. The reason I had posed the original question is because your four minute match is just a backdrop for Bono to be distracted by random jiggling body parts… oh and for Cade to collect a paycheck. Bono losses after a squeezed mammary allows Cade to hit a lariat and then a top-rope elbow drop for the three. But who is really going to begrudge a fat man for trying to reach out of his league. Unless, of course, the original Tom hypothesis is right and that is his Mom. Then y’all we need to take a shower… though y’all probably need to do so anyway. You pervs.