Another cover photo taken by David Layne.  Yes, he motherfucking rules.

NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLNG- 4/30/06- Amagasaki Memorial Park Gymnasium
Australian wunderkind Stuart brung this to the matches board and we would call him and thank him but it's like four in the morning over there.

Yujiro vs Mitsuhide Hirasawa: Yujiro has comical facial hair and looks seedy enough to become a superstar in the mind of this reviewer. Hirasawa is thicker and more powerful-looking. They do a rookie match with lots of basic chain wrestling. Hirosawa works the arm for a while and Yojiro struggles out but is cut off by the mercilessly rookie-level STRIKING~! of Hirosawa- who makes with the bodyslam before procuring the headlock. I love a rookie match every now and then. It's good to know that before you can wrestle in New Japan that you have a wrestling recital to show that were trained. Hirosawa works all burley and elbows real hard but it's a rookie match so it's prolly unwise to read into too much of this. I assume one these guys gets a comical masked gimmick and the other jumps to a new League that Hiro Saito will run for 8 months. BASICS~!

Togi Makabe vs Takashi Uwano: I know I've seen Uwano before but I can't place it. But I am an old old man so I say that about everything. It's my lazy way of denying that I haven't been watching Japanese Wrestling closely enough the two years or so. Makabe comes out to "Black Betty" by Ram Jam so I'm going for him. Unless Uwano comes out to "Baker Street" by Gerry Rafferty. And he doesn't. Uwano looks like the bastard son of Rusher Kimura- sorta like a Japanese Clark Kent. They break clean early and this can only lead to Makabe not breaking clean soon. Makabe with a peripheral hammerlock into a keylock and Makabe tries to stomp Uwano after he makes the ropes but nothing is heating up yet and Makabe works a Half Nelson for a minute and Makabe hits the Drop Toehold into a Chinlock and I suspect this is a homage to a Dutch Mantell studio squash in Missouri in 1978. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Makabe throws Uwano to the floor and throws him into the rail and beats him to death with a chair and one would deduce that the ode to Dutch Mantell in a television squash in Missouri in 1978 has fallen to the wayside- which is perfectly fine. Makabe starts mauling Uwano with his power offense and Uwano has no real offense yet to speak of. Makabe with the half crab and let me check Stuart's site for a moment.... ah! Okay, so I saw Uwano at some point in IWA Japan? He was also in World Japan. Okay, so he's kinda like the New Japan mid-card DDP- connected-wise. I just wanted to make sure there was a reason why he was getting nothing in. Makabe flips off the rubes while chin-locking through the ropes and I don't see this being on any shadowwingervideoz666.biz BEST OF 2006 year end dvd round-ups. Uwano almost gets in a Nodawa before actually getting in two roll-ups before being slaughtered by a lariat. Ooo o BLACK BETTY! RAM-ba-LAM! Ooo o BLACK BETTY! RAM-ba-LAM! BLACK BETTY HAD A CHILD! RAM-ba-LAM! DAMN THING GONE WILD! RAM-ba-LAM!

Jyushin "THUNDER" Lyger/ Jado vs Sangre Azteca/ Prince Devitt: I hear this Prince Devitt is a slick little fella. Lyger is dressed in black traditional Lygerwear and has the pointy cape and a comically still employed JADO en tow. God, Prince Devitt looks like an Indiana meth dealer. Sangre Azteca has the boss mask. Devitt and Lyger take it to the mat early and Lyger isn't beating the crap out of anyone yet. Sangre Azteca is 300% lucha with Jado and makes with the swanky mid-grade armdrags before dragging... JADO.... to the corner to get worked over. Prince Devitt has a nice Powerdriver and Jado likes smacking him in the chest really hard. Lyger tags in and opts to start beating the dogshit out of him and this is becoming quality wrestling. Devitt sells his eyes being abrased by the ropes suitably well and leans into the corner when Irish Whipped by Lyger and makes faces of true agony. I got no beef with this guy. Lyger is all heelish while beating the shit out of Devitt by luring Azteca into the ring to distract the ref but then doesn't actually cheat- thus it's the CONCEPT of cheating that Lyger has acheived- a higher level of evil. Sangre Azteca tags in and hits a Plancha and does some slick looking ranas and Jado catches him on the way up top and Lyger opts to DESTROY him with a Superplex. Azteca isn't Ricky Steamboat so he hops up and La Majistrals..... JADO!... and Devitt makes with the flying kicky. Jado will have no part of Devitt's Brainbusting plans but connects- resisting placing his teeth on Devitt's flying boot. Jado... JADO!... whips out a Crippler Crossface and Azteca makes the save by flying into the screen. Devitt is fun fighting out of Jado's Locomotion Suplexes and succumbs quickly to Jado's Second Crippler Crossface. This match had JADO go over. And I just want to say, this match had JADO go over.

Tiger Mask vs Gedo: Hey, it's Gedo! I remember back in the old days when he was fat punk. Now he's just a punk. I'm suitably stoked. I haven't seen Tiger Mask in a while- and he has the belt and great warm-up pants- red with the yellow stripe down the side like something Artis Gilmore would have worn in the ABA in 1974.  Plus he has the Iizuka in TWA Philadelphia belt- so this is already a fashion bonanza. Gedo curses under his breath at TM.  Gedo threatens the mask.  They do a armdrag sequence and Gedo gets BESTED! and flees to the floor.  Gedo on the floor drags TM out and punches him in the stomach but TMIV is up for some early brawling and slams Gedo into the rail and stomps on him when he is down and stomps on him as he gets in to set up a lil working on the arm and this match is quite the ADD special.  Gedo with the Hotshot and a choke and we're back on the floor and Gedo is working TMIV over with the ringbell hammer.  TMIV goes face first into a table as if used to fued with MEN'S TEIOH back in the day.  Gedo cheats and cheats and cheats and starts taking off TMIV's mask.  And he kinda does it for a while.  Gedo chokes him on the second rope and taunts TM's fans.  "TIGAH TIGAH TIGAH!" and back to the mask pulling.  TMIV kinda goes on offense and hits a nice tope. Gedo busts him back up with a myriad of moves but there is marked lack of emotion in this.  TMIV goes through some finishers until Gedo lowblows for some nearfalls and the crowd is still quite igneous as opposed to molten.  Crucifix and TMIV gets the win.  Quite the Mark Starr versus DDP on WCW THUNDER opening affair.  It was 13 minutes of nothing in particular.

Riki Choshu/ Takashi Iizuka/ Naofumi Yamamoto vs Masahiro Chono/ Hiroyoshi Tenzan / Black Strong Machine: Riki Choshu is looking more and more like Robert Mitchum as time goes on.  Tenzan and Yamamoto smack each other around and one will note that Yamamoto has "Vengence Time" written the butt of his pants.  Yamamoto's cornshoot wants PAYBACK, MOTHERFUCKER!  I needed those last week two hours after eating at Arbys!  YOU ONLY RENT HORSEY SAUCE!  Choshu hates Tenzan for reasons I'm unfamiliar (we're getting back in the swing, kids.  It won't be long.) They all stomp on Tenzan until he tags Chono who doesn't want Iizuka so Yamamoto comes in and does the sweet double-leg leg-scissors thingy.  Chono throws him to the floor and they whoop up on him on the outside. Black Strong Machine comes in and he is..... wait, Stuart's site awaits... of course Junji Hirata.  Really.  I figured it was him and remembered that he and Hirota from GAEA had similar names.  Stuart's site only CONFIRMED what I already thought.  HA! Anyway, former IWGP tag champ BSS gets Yamamoto in a Scorpion Deathlock TO SPITE CHOSHU!  Tenzan comes and taunts Choshu while beating on Yamamoto and this is quite the NOAH heatless six man.  Yamamoto fights out of his HEAT SEGMENT~! and Choshu is house a-fire and Iizuka Capture Suplexes somebody and they put Chono in a sleeper and Choshu accidentally laraits a guy and Chono wins with a shining wizard and they have a pull apart and this is probably still going on in Japan at the Amagasaki Memorial Park Gymnasium as we speak........

El Samurai/ Ryusuke Taguchi vs Koji Kanemoto/ Wataru Inoue: Kanemoto starts the proceeding by beating the dogshit out of Taguchi and it rules.  Taguchi and Inoue trade clubbing blows and Taguchi does some dropkicks and we're killing time until Kanemoto comes back in.  Taguchi fucks up a spin kick and Inoue spindles his spine with a German Suplex.  El Samurai and Kanemoto start wrestling and it's a real mess.  Koji does a fucking HIDEOUSLY hurty looking double-footed dropkick to the face while El Samuria is in the corner. Inoue has Taguchi pinned in the corner and Koji comes over and kicks Taguchi in the face because Taguchi kicked him out of the ring earlier.  This match would be fun if there wasn't so much blown. It gets backyardy in the hit-to-missed spots ratio for a minute there.  El Samurai's totally death-dealing tope ALMOST makes for it.  They edited 9 minutes. Jeepers, how much did they fuck up that DIDN'T make tv?

Manabu Nakanishi/ Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Scott Norton/ Toru Yano:  Scott Norton has a gigantic head.  HE IS OZ~!  I expect a chunky burly clothesliny match here.  Yano is pasty and creepy lookin'- like you REALLY don't wanna know what he has hidden on his hard drive.  He and his emo-haired Tanahashi do some of the Wrestling and Tanahashi can go but I can't take my eyes off his goofy hairdo.  Yano eats an armdrag like a lesser Pandillero so I got no beef with Toru- though I bet he smells like Fritos.  Manabu has a sensible handsome haircut- a haircut exactly like mine. He and Scott Norton have a Battle For Superior Thickness!  Very hard smacks!  Tanahashi is too little to chop with the portly Norton but Manabu helps out and they work on his arm for a minute.  Norton does some really crappy looking punches to the stomach of Nakanishi and he ponderously beats on Manabu while Norton savages him in the corner.  Well, maybe "savages" is a bit much.  Nakanishi hulks up and gets cut off by Norton and they slowly and steadily punch and choke him in the corner.  Tanahashi finally tags in and perks the sonombulent proceedings by doing unlikely power moves that Norton takes like a champ- a body slam, Northern Lights Suplex- it was like the Steiners/Fire and Ice fued all over again.  Manabu's Polish Hammer sets up his Argentine Backbreaker into a German for the pin on Yano. Kind of a wee wisp of a match.  Norton and Yano don't have an actual offense betwixt themselves so they probably shouldn't have spent ninety percent of the match on offense.  And Manabu Nakanishi isn't Tsuyoshi Kikuchi so it isn't like his pedestrian selling of an assbeating is gonna get the crowd worked up for a fun little wad offense by Tanahashi when he makes the tag.  Not horrible.  You probably don't ever need to see this though.

Yuji Nagata vs. Giant Bernard:  Giant babyhead? Check.  Tatto between his pecs that looks like a rash? Check.  GIANT BERNARDOOO, DADDY!  Can Yuji Nagata be in two matches in a row that I like?  It's A-Train in the Land Of The Rising Sun so there's a fair to middlin' chance.  Yuji Nagata comes out to faux Brian May guitars so you know it is big time Japanese The Professional Wrestling.  His silk chemise is swanky.  A-Train is in the Anti-Choshu Army for whatever reason.  They stand at ringside.  Manabu and hairstyle boy from the previous match are in Nagata's corner.  Beernardo bumps like a FUCKING MOTHERFUCKER over the toprope after Nagata does a running kick to the face.  Fuck the bullshit, Giant Bernard is fucking AWESOME.  He comes back into the ring and they have a staredown and Yuji wets his pants.  Figuratively. He peppahs A-Train with kicks and ducks Bernard's lumbering punches.  Bernard finally gets a-hold of Nagata and power move mauling begins- the Stampeding in the corner, the slingshotting under the bottom rope to the throat, the sidewalk slamming.  The lariating to set up THE CRAVATE~! Knees.. kick him with the knees... Oh.  That's okay- shoulders in the corner ENLIEU of knees to the face out of the cravate.  Giant Babyheadbutts! FONTINEL OF STEEL! Bernard is the finest possible Blackjack Mulligan by procuring the Full Nelson in the '06.  Patera-esque, he doesn't make the break unitl the five count and responds with a big fat powerslam into the BODY VICE! They cut to Scott Norton finding a seat.  For some reason.  Albert is just smacking Yuji in the face like a little bitch.  Yuji punches and kickes back and it makes Nagata look like even more of a bitch for responding with such excessive force.  Yuji does giant variations on kicking our gigantic-headed hero and hits a SWEET Capture Suplex to set-up his kicking with the knees in the corner.  Capture II is countered but the Giant Bernardo is Backdrop Driven in an impressive display of strength by Nagata.  Nagata lock of some numerical number is applied and Bernard sells it like he is in a Professional Wrestling submission.  He makes the ropes and still sells the damage facially even after Nagata breaks the hold. Nagata gets more kicking in before going back to the arm but A-Train gets a big boot in and opts to slowly go up for an avalanche for two.  Nagata has fighting spirit and escapes and charges directly into a Falling ChokeSlam that Bernard gets for two. Bernard with the F-5!! and Nagata kicks out and collapses to the mat in a nice little piece of getting over an F-5.  Nagata takes a 9 count to really get it over.  Nagata fights out of a powerbomb and hits three shining wizards for TWO!  The crowd is shocked.  Exploidah for TWO! They lie there dead for a minute.  They get up and elbow each other and Bernard wins the clubbering and STILL can't and then CAN get Nagata up for a powerbomb- as Bernard is selling the knee and the shoulder at the same time because he FUCKING rocks.  Giant Bernard makes with the SWEET assed Pyramid Driver for the win.  Fucking cool assed match.  I didn't buy the triple shining wizard nearfall but that was the only glaring flaw, I would say.  TWO Yuji Nagata matches in a row that I liked.  QUALITY WRESTLING.


Rob Naylor watches old VHS clipped matches he taped a decade or so ago.

Here goes. Buncha random thoughts on a buncha random matches on a buncha random tapes I watched.

Ric Flair vs Big Sky - NWA Worldwide 1993: This was prior to Fall Brawl 93 and the Rude match. I was a fan of Nitron/Big Sky/Daryl Karolet. I thought he took decent bumps, sold well for other wrestlers and was an imposing figure. I STILL think he was far better than the current Big Show...who I think sucks pondwater.

Here, Nitron overpowers the good guy Flair...but Flair smartly gets some decent comebacks and actually wins this match by avoiding Nitron's charge and rolling him up with a cradle from behind. I liked the finish...as Flair shouldn't be suplexing and figure four'ing a guy this big.

As I rewatched this.... I thought of an obscure fact.... Another wrestler on this show...Chipawah Charlie Norris...a horrible HORRIBLE wrestler...one of the legit worst I've ever seen.... went on to sue WCW...when agent Greg Gagne asked him to say in an interview... "I fight and I raindance and send praise and prayer to Chief BIG SKY"..... amazes me the creativity of the WCW braintrust at the time to be so lame to use a slur that was that unoriginal. I hope they lost that lawsuit. I think HARDWORK Bobby Walker won his.

Quebecer Pierre squash- 1995: So Pierre as Jean Pierre Laffite, imo, is one of the most underrated wrestlers of 1995. I watched a random Monday Night Raw squash that I had taped...I think against Tim McNeeny... and jesus, this guy was incredible. Had a cool look....such amazing execution on his moves.... flipping legdrop with big impact, clothesline that beheaded McNeeny, shitcanned the job guy to the outside...hit a motherfuckin Liger Dive...at like 280 pounds of "in the hunt" muscle...yeah...he was brutal. His senton that closed out this match looked like it killed McNeeny...and I can honestly see why job guys ran in the other direction when it came time to sign up to wrestle this dude. I recall a Quebecers squash where an even larger Pierre and Jacques Rougeau nearly killed an 18 year old PJ "Don't call me Credible" Walker with a fantastic flop type of assisted flip senton deal that saw Pierre land full body weight from a sick height right on Walker's liver. Sickest shit ever. Pierre had no regard for his opponents. He should have gotten more high profile matches following the great pair of bouts he had vs. Bret Hart in Mid 95.

Yoshi Kwan vs Kenny Kendall- WCW Worldwide- Fall 1993:I loved Yoshi Kwan. I realize everyone around this point got all goddamn "smart" and hated him and his lame gimmick.... but fuck that. I thought he had a badass karate kick "SAVATE" kick and also a great roundhouse kick. He had that unusual looking hat that I guess Davey Boy used to piss in as a rib.... but I thought the guy had an okay gimmick.

I had to have thought it was great...as the New Breed was my favorite tag team of the late eighties and not till 1996 did I ever find out that fucking Yoshi Kwan was Chris goddamn Champion. Anyhow...this was another decent squash match. I think squashes ruled. More wrestling fans should have grown up watching squash matches all the time and then they'd probably appreciate the good matches they see otherwise alot more. Kwan hit probably the highest legdrop I've ever seen in this match...he legit hovered in air and totally cleared the top rope with both legs on the vertical. I don't think he ever got any kind of run during this appearance on WCW...but I believe he had an okay match with Cactus and a fun match with Steamboat along the way.

Tatanka/Bam Bam vs 123 Kid/Bob Holly- Royal Rumble 95: This was a match that was remembered mostly for it's post match angle with Bammer and LT... but the match itself wasn't all bad. 123 Kid, as you'd expect, really kicked much ass. At one point....Bammer and 123 Kid recreate Misterio and Psicosis as Kid gets thrown HIGH in the air and Bammer catches him and Kid pulls off an insane rana out of the sky. I recall to this day watching this PPV live and marking out over that spot. . . as that kinda stuff never happened on wrestling on (Non ECW) US tv at that point. Seeing crazy stuff like that was great.

Tatanka was pretty damn awesome in this. He is, as time goes on, a guy that I think was underrated in the 90's. He wasn't a superworker, but he had enough believable looking offense and knew how to pace a match. And I especially dug him in these tags he had with Bam Bam. Actually I liked him in singles best vs. Bam Bam too. They'd always lay in hard shots. You'll notice I didn't mention Sparky Plug. That's cause he was, imo, the shits in this match. Zero fire, no decent offense...just the definition of a "just there" personality.

Post match...and Post LT angle... it was cool to see Vince in somber tones apologize for Scott Bigelow's actions. It really got the angle over, since stuff like that never happened back then.


MUGA World- 8/2/2006 – Black Cat Memorial Show
(Kevin ((of the now THREE Kevins on the matches board)) posted this card because he RULES.)

Some say MUGA is bland. Some say MUGA is archaic. Some say it has no place in the modern world. I say GO TO HELL! MUGA is about freakish adherance to a wrestling style that has gone by the wayside. If that doesn't warm your heart as a WrestleDork then you should probably turn in your SASUKE THE GREAT mask and get into Mixed Martial Arts or Tolkien or something. ONWARD! To the PAST! NOW!

Tatsumi Fujinami vs Mark McKay: Fujinami invented the MUGA. McKay is Australian sounding. He comes out to "Down Under" by Men At Work and I'm assuming that this would like an American having to come out to "God Bless The USA" by Lee Greenwood. I mean come on- if I were Australian- AND WHO'S TO SAY THAT IN MY HEART THAT I AM NOT?!?- and I had to come out to something from my homeland, "Dead Joe' by the Birthday Party is RIGHT THERE. McKay dresses like Outback Johnny Grunge which violates 13 or 14 essential tenets of the MUGA. McKay is all power offence which seems to violate all the other tenets of the MUGA. Fujinami smacks McKay in the face during the first break and THAT has to violate even more sacred tenets of the MUGA. Fujinami takes it to the mat and breaks clean for some reason- as the mysterious NWA 1974 rulebook is BACK IN PLAY, DADDY! McKay clubbers across the back after a knucklelock and Tatsumi slows it down to MAKE IT MEAN SOMETHING when he works a headlock into a leglock. The knucklelock again and McKay kicks the stomach to his advantage and front facelocks into a chinlock and it is easing into the Dory Funk Jr MUGA speed- Fujinami using tricky leg holds to escape the losing end of knucklelock to chain wrestle into a keylock. Fujinami locks in a Dragon Sleeper and kinda releases it for kicks. McKay throws a really nice elbow drop and stays out of the way when Fujinami wants to pull off something tricky like the roll up for the win. Perfectly fine wrestling match. Lacked the TRUE MUGA.

Katsushi Takemura vs Tatsutoshi Goto: Ever since I've seen Goto, I've WANTED to find a way to like him. He sucks at brawling, he sucks at New Japan bottom of the card tag feuding. Maybe MUGA is where we will meet and frolic in the wrestling meadows of green grass and daisies. Let us see. Takemura needs a haircut. What the fuck is going on on the side of his head? Is he going to a Blackfoot concert at the Fort Pierce Civic Center or something? Takemura seems to have the WWE liver enzyme level going for himself but who am I to cast aspersions? Goto and Takemura do a wad of chain wrestling to move into Takemura's headlock and FINALLY two wrestlers that I find repellent in the ring do things that I can watch and enjoy. MUGA... I LOVE you. See, Goto as a heavyweight tagteam wrestler in New Japan doesn't work. Goto as the New Japan version of the Gambler- THAT works. They trade chops and Goto hits a lariat- which Takemura sells all MUGA- as opposed to no-sells all NEW JAPAN. Goto with the 1975 chairshot and Takemura selling is just weird. They treat the Sunset Flip as a highspot like in the old days. The ref STOPS the tope because it's MUGA. Goto hits a backslide and the crowd buys it as a nearfall. Goto cheats by lowblowing Takemura and Takemura hits a superplex for two and Takemura sinks in the Dragon Sleeper as this kinda wanders away from 1976. Goto hits a Vertical Suplex for the WIN?!?! MUUUGA!! BEST. GOTO. MATCH. I. WILL. EVER. SEE.

Yutaka Yoshie vs Mitsuya Nagai: I turn my head for ONE MINUTE and the next thing you know Yutaka Yoshie is this rising superstar in Japanese Wrestling. Pardon my French, WHAT THE FUCK? I mean I haven't had a real beef with Yoshie's in-ring stylings since he grew his starfish hairstyle out but really, WHAT THE FUCK? Nagai I've enjoyed since his days in the mobbed-up Japanese indies he used to frequent where he would kick the hell out of someone in between the Shinnigammi/ONRYO tag match and the Goro Tsurumi versus Ryama GO! main event. I haven't seen him much since the match right after the one where he accidentally knocked out Iizuka. Luckily- for us- they meet here- in the refined ether of the MUGA. And if I say the M word again I'm going to hunt me down and punch me right my motherfuckin face. ONWARD! Yoshie looks like a guy who brings your lumber to you at Lowes. Except he has all of his fingers. Maybe they were sewn back on. Who could be sure? Nagai has bionic (as in Stone Cold Steve Austin Level) knees. Nagai is angry that Yoshie is being cheered by the people. "LOOK AT ME! I'm thin and BEAUTIFUL! He is HIDEOUS! Why don't you LOVE me?" Yoshie overpowers Nagai and Nagai can't lift to bodyslam him because he's fatter than Tony Siragusa! Tony Siragusa and Yoshie should have pictures taken together on a mini-bikes they are so fat! FAT! I love how (the M word) goes old school here by making the All Japan ace work a Haystacks Calhoun 1968 match. Nagai is really stinky in this- listlessly trying to fight his shootstyle urges to halfway attempt to conform to the style. Yoshie is fun with his Yotaka Two Ton Yoshie matwork- putting his fat on Nagai's leg and twisting. Yoshie feigns a tope which would be akin to driving a golfcart off your porch. Nagai is less stinky crushing the arm with kicks and flying fabulous knees. Nagai stumppulls his arm and Yoshie slides like a tiger slug to the ropes. Nagai still can't suplex Yoshie because Yoshie is really really fat. Stupid Nagai. You deserve the rotund spinebuster flying fat splash for two. Yoshie goes up top and does the Ric Flair spot where he gets caught on the toprope and is thrown to the mat- except pretend that Ric Flair had a horrible thyroid problem and weighed a quarter ton. Nagai with the running elbow in the corner and the Roll-Not-So-Much-A-Snap Suplex and a submission hold that I can't remember the name of- a Strangle Hold Gamma but without using your legs and two count. Yoshie hits the WORLD'S TRULY MOST HATEFUL LOU THESZ PRESS EVER. Jesus, the smell of fatman in that postion would be UNIMAGINABLE.  And I am not buying a kickout from THAT. Yoshie is fatter than your high school girlfriend. Nagia is gonna get up from that?  Much less go on offense. Yoshie with hilarious lumbering urakens and he does the Not-Frog-Perhap-Cowsplash for the pin. Yoshie is fun. This match was not really in tune with the (the M word). Postmatch, Yoshie plays his pudge like bongos. And so would you.  Motherfucker.

Osamu Nishimura vs Hiro Saito: After watching the fuckin 9000 star match with Cobra last week from 1988, I'm waaaay too stoked about Hiro Saito on the wrestling veiwing screen. Eh Nishimura. Hiro has given up being stylish with thinning hair and cut all his hair off. Osamu Nishimura still looks like Sam Waterston. They kill time for the first three minutes as Hiro Saito tries to drag Nishimura to the floor and beat him to death with chairs while Nishimura wants get him in a headlock for 45 mintues. AND THE CROWD WILL LOVE IT! Nishimura bridges out of a knucklelock situation after European Uppercutting his way back to the ring after finally hitting the floor. Saito works the arm and wrings everytime Nishimura looks to mount a comeback. Hiro procures the armbar and cannot be armdragged out of it- a spot that I truly love. Saito has both arms behind Nishimura's back and is driving his head into Nishimura's spine and Nishimura tries to fight out of it for four minutes. THIS is Old School. Nishimura reverses it and breaks the hold and they move to a headlock. Nishimura drives him to the ground and this truly is straight out of 1977- as they actually do little detailed things in the headlock to show the struggle to get out- as opposed to killing time while they call a spot. Osamu makes fierce faces as he wrings the headlock and Saito finally makes it to his feet and to the ropes and Nishimura uppercuts to cut him off and goes back to the headlock. This WILL be a headlock for 45 minutes and we DO love it. Hiro gets shot into the ropes and Nishimura moves it to a chinlock that Hiro jawbreaks out of. Hiro with the FUCKIN FISTDROP and old guy senton and Osamu rolls out of the ring all busted up. They trade blows on the apron and Hiro decapitates Osamau over the toprope- and the point of not letting your opponent into the ring is also a lost idea in wrestling. I remember it being a staple of every match in Mid-Atlantic- as it got big heel heat. This is where it would surface again and it's neat to see the history of wrestling mined in such a way. They spin to fight for the Abdominal stretch and break in the ropes so Hiro pounds on Nishimura a little and goes for a piledriver that Osamu counters into a backdrop and pinning situation. They trade backsldies and the crowd is hip to the fact that a backslide will get you a win. Nishimura does the Dick Murdock toprope leghook to throw Hiro over the toprope to the floor and jumps off the apron to stomp Saiot's knee. Saito sells it like a champ and leans into Nishimura's uppercuts like a KING before being thrown back to the floor to have his knee stomped again. The tide has turned and the story is told pretty flawlessly- as Osamu Nishimura goes in for the kill and Hiro Saito sells the knee like Arn Anderson. Nishimura whips out the Cattle Mutilation and rolls into the Figure Four. Hiro in agony makes the ropes- Osamu holding onto the second rope and not releasing the hold. Saito is fucking amazing in this match selling. Wrestling schools should show this match to students as an example of selling a body part effectively. Hiro is so good selling the knee that Osamu looks like a complete asshole for continuing to work on it. Osamu Nishimura goes up top and misses a dive and Hiro Saito hits a German with a bridge for two- and writhes in agony as Osamu Nishimura kicks out. Hiro Saito fights back to suplexing Nishimura again and Hiro Saito wins with a second German Suplex into a Bridge and sells the knee as he doesn't stand unassisted in the ring for the entire trophy ceremony. This match fucking RULED.

I'm thinking that the backlog of matches I want to watch is going to push this thing back to being completed in 161. Blame Kevin and his endless uploading of quality The Professional Wrestling. Oh well, let's have at it.

Manabu Nakanishi vs Jushin Thunder Liger- NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING- G1 Climax-8/9/2006: I assume this won't rule like the Giant Bernard-Lyger match but hope springs eternal. The beginning is all about Manabu being very large and Lyger being very small. Manabu whups up on Lyger with those hilarious Mongolian chops. Manabu gets him in the claw at one point and I'm thinking this is the POLAR opposite of the Giant Bernard match. Whereas Bernard-Lyger was the Japanese approximation of Bernard-Rey Rey on Smackdown, this is more akin to the Japanese version of Bryan Clarke squashing SilverKing on Thunder. You really just want to kick something in the ribs as you watch this. Nakanishi no-selling Lyger's Shotays and then knocking Jyushin "Thunder" over with a Polish Hammer is pretty much this match in a microcosm. God, five minutes left and I've got to come up with new ways to crap on this stinkburger. This is kinda like when Booker T was injured and Stevie Ray had to do all those singles matches- but it's also like how shitty it was when- HEY! LYGER WON! What the... what the...WHAT THE FUCK!?!?  THE FUCK?!?!?  Uh.  Hmmmmmm.  Why don't youuuu... uh... forget what I just said.

Koji Kanemoto vs Naofumi Yamamoto- NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING- G1 Climax-8/9/2006: This Yamamoto guy is causing all my fellow Puroresu dorks to get the vapors so it's high time I see a high profile match. So here we go. He's thicker than G-1 Superstar Kanemoto but not towering over him to pull off the underdog trick three times. But we'll see. Yamamoto is a shithead to Koji early so this get real fun real quick. They do little reversals and drive each other to the ropes- becoming more surly and dickish as the match progresses- smack Yamamoto in the face during a break, kicking Kanemoto in the stomach during a break. Kanemoto dropkicks him in the face in the corner and they take to the streets! Yamamoto goes over the rail and I'm not gettting the vapours for young Naofumi yet. He kicks Kanemoto really hard in the chest so that's nice- and does the Kanemoto facescrape which is kinda dickish. I dunno. Yamamoto is tentative when beating on freakin' KOJI KANEMOTO. It's not like Kanemoto is gonna take that into consideration. Koji proves this by pummelling Yamamoto in the corner. They start beating the hell out of each other and it's getting better. Sorta. This isn't making me forget Diasuke Ikeda vs Yuki Ishikawa. Hell this isn't making me forget Mach Junji vs Rasta The Voodooman. Kanemoto hits his spots and Yamamoto is fun selling an anklelock. The flurry of kicks to set up the final submission is pretty cool but this definately the least of the Koji Kanemoto G-1 matches this year that I've seen.

Yuji Nagata vs. Togi Makabe- NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING- G1 Climax-8/9/2006: There is no way I can see three good Nagata matches in a row. I'm digging Makabe in a pathetic kinda "Kenny Chaos/Jeff Farmer in 1998" kind of way. He can wrestle- he's just not as interesting as say.... Mike Enos. They go all MUGA the first three minutes with Nagata tenaciously staying on the arm- though Makabe doesn't break cleanly when going through the process of procuring the chinlock. Nagata fights for the ropes and gets busted up in the corner and can't go on offense. It's very half-assed MUGA but I said Makabe is the new Jeff Farmer not the new Osamu Nishimura. Nagata still can't fight his way out after seven minutes and I like the tenacity of sticking to the story and the BALLS to have this boring but logically sound is something I am oddly drawn to. Nagata goes all Dusty with the slow simmer while getting punched in the face. Makabe cuts off the SIMMERING with a Cobra Clutch but Nagata EXPLOIDAHHS! to offense and the beatings begin. Toprope Exploider for two with 8 minutes left doesn't bode well- and we brainbust into a Crippler Crossface and Makabe BITES his way out- which should be stolen by King Booker if Benoit ever wrestles again. Makabe beats Nagata with a chair and I really can't hate Makabe if I tried. Makabe hits a thousand lariats for two and this is the basic match- even by stripped down New Japan standards. Makabe pulling the ref into the way to block a Nagata knee to the face is pretty great. Makabe is inventive and quietly strange- THAT'S why I like him. The ref is dead as Nagata backdrops for two. The ref is still dead as Nagata crimps Makabe's shoulder some more. Nagata rolling his eyes back while sinking in the armbar is a disturbing delight. Makabe and Nagata take it to the floor and they do the AWESOME 70s finish of Makabe not letting Nagata in at the 20 count. Postmatch, Nagata is enraged at Makabe's brazen shitheadedness at causing the no contest. This will sound stupid but this is the finest two star match you will ever see. Makabe should start tagging with Kouki Kitahara and become WAR RESTART Tag Team Champions. TWO STARS! TWO THUMBS WAY UP!

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Giant Bernard- NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING- G1 Climax-8/9/2006: Babyhead-check. Emo hair- check. It must be Giant Bernard against Tanahashi. I watched their IWGP contendorz match two weeks ago and dug that. Can this Giant Bernard molten hot streak be quelled? I think not but you gotta watch before you can know.  Bernard shakes hands with Tanahashi and I'm thinking that all this pre- and post-match respect stuff from Bernard means that he will cry about his high school girlfriend when he gets drunk at parties. Just a guess. They exchange armlocks and Bernard shoulderblocks to slow down the speedy little fella but Tanahashi's speed overcomes the Bernard lumbering. Bernard plays off his Insane Antics When Frustrated in their first match to a level of calm resolve in this match and hits some powermoves before Tanahashi's quickness gives him the advantage again. Quarter of the way in, Bernard starts working on the shoulder until Bernard- being Bernard- superfluously bumps big to the floor when Tanahashi reverses the Hammerlock. Bernard mauls Tanahashi on the outside, with your boy Tanahashi taking a MANLY bump over the rail after being hiptossed by the babyheaded bruiser. Okay, Tanahashi is MOTHERFUCKING fucking motherfucking FUCKING CRAZY for taking the powerbomb to the corner of the apron. Yeah, I dig Tanahashi. Bernard mutters at the ref as the ref counts to 18. Fuck me running, Bernard has the NASTIEST elbow drops in wrestling. They fucking rule. Bernard keeps working the completely destroyed back of Tanahashi with the Sidewalk Slam for two. GIANT HANGING VERTICAL SUPLEX by Bernard and this match is just fuckin SMOKING their July match. Tanahashi tries to Elbow to a comeback but flies into a Bearhug and the RIDICULOUS abuse Tanahashi has taken to the back gets the fucking BEARHUG over in this match. Bernard finally misses an Elbow drop and Tanahashi comes back fists a flying until Bernard cuts him off with the Falling front Chokeslam for two. They fight for the Superplex on the second turnbuckle- as Tanahashi and Bernard stalemate until Tanahashi can get a grounded Bernard up for a German Suplex with a Bridge for two. The whole section in the turnbuckle is great because you sensed that a superplex was definately ending this and Tanahashi brought the right level of desperation to his fighting out of it. Tanahashi gets in some offense- using the ropes for a Senton, a double dropkick- before Bernard fucking KILLS him with a big boot for two. The crowd pops for the nearfall because Tanahashi does the Flair/Misawa 2 9/10ths to perfection. Bernard with the F-5 for two and Tanahashi is dead. Bernard with the charge into the corner, CRUSHING Tanahashi again. Tanahashi gets his feet up for the Avalanche, catching Bernardooo in the stomach. Bernard shoulderblocks a Swingblade and then succumbs to a Swingblade for two. Tanahashi with a sleeper and attempt at the Toprope Swingblade but Bernard catches him in midair and kills Tanahashi once and for all with a Screwdriver for three. Probably the best match in the G-1. Bernard is FUCKING AWESOME. Tanahashi was pretty fucking awesome in this too.


Fuck it.  I watch ANYTHING with SUWA in it.  He should get a fuckin restraining order out for me.

SUWA vs Yoshinori Ota: Oh where have I seen Ota?  I'm sure he wrestled Yellow Pants Boy in that other SEMS review I did.  Or maybe that guy who looks just like him.  Either way, there's SUWA and he makes a clean break! He must really like this Ota guy!  They take it to the mat.  Ota doesn't break clean in the corner.  SUWA procures the headlock and shoulderblocks and Ota dropkicks and this is quite the rookie league.  SUWA throws three chairs at Ota and then beats him with one. SUWA drags him into the ring and stomps on him and backdrops and elbow drops upon him.  And a hiptoss and a chop and another chop and standing dropkick and a chop and Ota fires back with really shitty looking chops.  SUWA with a bodyslam and a Boston Crab and Ota makes the ropes.  Ota fucks up a dropkick spot and hits a missile dropkick.  SUWA fights out of a suplex and Ota does the... oh RIGHT... Ota is the annoying Airplane Spin guy.  I was just going to list a bunch of moves and then go- oh! "SUWA breaks Ota's jaw by punching him in the face" and be all incensed that SUWA was taking liberties with the youngster, but hell, SUWA was be-dizzied by Ota.  I blame Ota for using such a dangerous and be-dizzying move in a wrestling match.  Oh, and this isn't even the match where he breaks his opponents jaw. Forget you read this.  SUWA rules.

Mohammed Yone vs Akihiko Ito: Oh where have I seen Ito?  I'm sure he wrestled Yellow Pants Boy in that other SEMS review I did.  Or maybe that guy who looks just like him.  I have been capping a lot of BattlARTS this week and I'm all misty and tore up about the old days and the greatness of BattlARTS- and seeing Mohammed Yone in the big leagues is nice but it's kinda like seeing Scotty 2 Hotty in the WWE currently right after watching that Super 8 where he was the stiffest worker on the card.  Ito flies high early.  They trade forearms on the floor until Yone does a spinkick on the floor and they kinda fiddle around on the floor.  This and WrestleLand and MUGA are quite the Nouvelle WCW Syndicated shows- as this is cold as a carp and perfectly fine wrestling.  Yone is a lesser Armstrong and Ito is the world's finest Evan Koragious.  And this is basically Yone doing a basic wrestling match and Ito gets to practice selling.  I assume the anouncers are having a long discussion about the Choshu vs Anti-Choshu Army fued.  Oh wait, that would be on the WrestleLand inane syndicated announcer babble.  Maybe the NOAH anouncer b-team that were on hand in Orlando, Japan when this was obviously all taped in one day are already hinting about the possibility of Kurt Angle invading or maybe making veiled cracks about how fat and crappy AJPW's new champion is.  This goes for a while.  Chrisohhhh Cruiseoooooh could actually talk about the Journey Of Mohammed Yone from BattlARTS Newest Hope to Guy Who Can Actually Pay His Rent Now.  Yone with a Muscle Buster and we get the ad for the NOAH 1-800 line.  Option 6 has all the REAL inside story of Takeshi Morishima and a certain former member of OZ Academy! 99 cents a minute!

El Angel/ Taiji Ishimori vs Yoshinobu Kanemaru/ Charly Manson: Charley Manson?  I thought he was dead or in a wheelchair or something after the video thingy that permeated the internet for a while there.  I'm glad he is alive and wrestling on late night TV in Japan.  FUCKING YELLOW PANTS BOY is in this.  I can't escape this motherfucker.  He'll have the last laugh at my expense when he is trading Cattle Mutilations with Colt Cabana on a sold out ROH show one day.  He'll SHOW ME!  My booty will be BURNED!  Angel is creepy in a AAA kind of way- as it is assumed that everybody in AAA is getting fucked in the ass in a loving manly way and that is how you get anywhere.  I'm sure it's not true, but it's a hard habit to shake.  They kinda do super lowgrade Lucha for a few minutes and JESUS, THIS GOES 17 MINUTES?  I haven't been drinking much lately because I have new cable and a new desk and we finally got rid of one of the two couches I really hate and I haven't really had time to drink myself to death.  Tonight would have been a good night to get me in the Saturday late night wrestling mood.  Mason and Angel do waay too much pointless Lucha- sans cool matwork or anything graceful and tricky.  Yellow Paunts boy does a better headscissors than the two guys who do it as a staple of their wrestling style. Kanemaru tags with Angel and tries to establish an actual wrestling match- as opposed to a Junior Varsity gymnastic floor exercise.  Manson tags in and does some sub-lowgrade Lucha submissions.  The rookie Japanese guy tags in and hits a missile dropkick and Quebrada which smokes the actual highflyers in the match.  Yellow Pants does a MORTAL and a handstand eblow bouncing off the ropes- as he OBVIOUSLY wants dibs on being Tiger Mask V.  El Angel and Charley Manson do a roll-up sequence that I'm assuming was to guarantee that you NEVER forget how good Angel Azteca was when he would actually hit that move with actual style and grace.  Manson's finishing submission looks illogical but the spinning application was pretty choice.  This match sucked it. Yes. 

Takeshi Morishima/ Takashia Sugiura vs KENTA/ Go Shiosaki:  Its late Saturday night and my wife and kids are asleep.  Back when I was a younger singler man and a man far drunker than I conjure these days, we would all go to the bars and see bands and get drunk and call our girlfriends long distance at whatever colleges they were at- unless we actually got lucky with any of the usual women we would get drunk around- women we would designate as friends but friends whom we would easily cross over into LOVAHZ! A LOVAH!  I would have taken secret LOVAH! for a few goes-round until ennui or guilt about fucking around on my girlfriend or her boyfriend at Radford or William and Mary or JMU or whatever august Virginia institute of higher learning they would metriculate would kick in and our brief affair would tail off and we would let it simmer under the surface as maddening sexual tension for the rest of our lives together- as Richmond is a tiny town and you make friends in your twenties and they stay your friends for the rest of your lives.  You just buy bigger houses farther out in the counties, but 8 times a year you see your friends and they are like cousins now- you may have grown apart and they find you repulsive and you find you them annoying but you will go there because they are your friends.  And she will be there and you will both have happy and contented lives with people whom neither of us had known from the time of our tryst, but the uneasiness and latent sexual desire will always accompany any discussion of our children and houses and jobs and mutual friends.  BUT USUALLY on Saturday nights, you'd go out and get completely fucked up and maybe get in a fistfight and do something stupid to your roomates cd collection because you and your other roomate hate his fucking guts.  OR you would come home and be alone because the roomate you like is at his girlfriend's doing to her what you want to do to her and the roommate you hate is at his parents house doing laundry this weekend.  So you fall into the red chair in front of the TV with the 3/4 gone bottle of Old Crow in your hand and you are watching WORLDWIDE and they are getting to the good match at the end that you already know that they are going to cut away from five minutes into it because WORLDWIDE in the 80s sucked ass when it did that.  Luckily, we have the NOAH syndicated programming and if you get the upload from Kevin or Kevin or Ditch or Sprewell Rimz or steal it from STUART's board, you can watch the match all the way to the finish on a Saturday night as you are winding down from a night of drunken rage and pointless misdirected sexual subterfuge.  So.  KENTA.  Let's see what you bring to my table, big daddy.  They don't play the music for the introductions because I think everybody must come out to KISS or Metalica or some other litigious rock outfit.  Go topes early and this is already a fine fine syndie match.  Sugiura and Morishima are a fine Japanese approximation of Disorderly Conduct and Go and KENTA make a perfectly fine Working Man's Kidman and Rey Rey.  Sugiuri works the leg and tags in Big Daddy Morishima and Morishima pounds on the little bastard for a while. Sugiuri mauls him in the corner and Go will take a kick to the face teeth first and not blink so this is a functioning tag match- as you, the drunk and frustrated young viewer, understand the weight of the young world upon the shoulders of Go.  Old motherfuckers beating on him, keeping him down, trying to break him like they were broken.  Like the world is trying to break you.  So you dig it when he fights back. You dig the fact basic fact that Go Shiosaki decided to piss off everyone who ever had anything invested in him and become a fucking professional wrestler.  Wrestling is fucking INSANE and that is why I love it and that is why you love it and that is why squares who don't get the reasons why we watch wrestling can suck our collective dick.  KENTA tags in and Sugiuri kicks him into position for Morishima's Handspring Elbowish charge into the corner.  KENTA kicks him in the face while Morishima is climbing the toprope.  KENTA you have a different, far more personally disturbing reason for getting behind his comeback but luckily he tags out to the far more accessible conduit of our FIGHTING SPIRIT- Go Shiosaki.  They kick Morishima in stereo and Go gets Morishima's big ass up for a suplex and hits a fine little moonsault for two.  Sugiuri cheats and breaks up the comeback and Morishima hits REAL LIVE 100% WESTERN LARIATS and our boy Go isn't looking so good.  JESUS FUCK, Morishima fucking KILLS Go with a final lariat and we realize sometimes the world is wrong and we are right but the world will win...    

Naomichi Marufuji/ Atsushi Aoki vs TAKA Michinoku/ Ricky Marvin:  TAKA and Ricky have had questionable careers.  But haven't we all. Aoki is all up in TAKA's grill before the bell.  Marifuji is taking a while to hit the ring and bore the fuck out of me.  Aoki armbars TAKA with HATE!  OFF THE HOOK! ALL UP IN HIS GRILL!  TAKA kneebars and IT'S ON!  Okay, this is really as cold as an AWF taping.  But TAKA is fun on the mat and Aoki is hilarious in his attempts at stomping TAKA's ass that this is very engaging late night syndicated professional wrestling. Marifuji and Ricky Marvin hit the mat and it is far far better than El Angel and Charley Manson hitting the mat- which is saying nothing.  Actually, it's what Manson and Angel did, just faster.  TAKA won't beat Marifuji enough to make me love him again. This match need Chris Benoit to be in it and beat the fuck out of Marifuji. Or maybe Steve Regal back when he was an angry drunk.  Yeah, he would have beaten Marifuji into my heart.  Hell, Diasuke Ikeda is still on speaking terms with NOAH, get him in this match.  That's the assbeating that Marifuji needs to get him over with DEAN.  Hell, Marifuji would have to do a 3/4 Yuki Ishikawa or he would wither in the face of Ikeda if Ikeda is feeling it that day. Instead, we this: TAKA works over the rookie and Marifuji stand on the apron and coasts to the finish.  Marvin hits a brainbuster and claws at Aoki's nose while synching in a Camel Clutch. TAKA smacks Aoki around and knees him a bit.  Aoki flying knees and Northern Lights suplexes to the hot tag and Marifuji is a lot of dropkick variations and elaborate roll-ups.  TAKA crossfaces Marifuji and Marvin gives Aoki the business into the rail and Marifuji hits a Superkick that does not drive Gentleman chris Adams from my memory and there you go.  Marvin takes an ACTUAL lariat from Marifuji and Aoki missile dropkicks for two. Aoki gets a few more nearfalls as Marifuji and TAKA brawl gently on the floor.  Marvin hits a nice Superkick and follows with a nice brainbuster and kills him with a truly nasty looking spinning Samoan Slam.  Marvin versus Aoki as a singles match is far more satisfying less distracting without me wanting see who would beat the living dogshit out of Marifuji.  Yeah, Steve Regal in 1999.  That would be fuckin SWEET.

I dig SEMS.  You might.  I'm a freak.  You may be also.


Here is the current list, reviews for the older matches are in previous DVDVR's

1. Chris Benoit v. Finlay WWE 5/21
2. Jun Akiyama v. Masao Inoue NOAH 4/23
3. Rey Mysterio v. Randy Orton WWE 4/4
4. Chris Benoit v. Finlay WWE 5/3
5. Finlay v. Rey Mysterio WWE 3/20
6. Chris Benoit v. JBL WWE 4/11
7. Homicide v. Necro Butcher 5/13
8. Chris Benoit v. William Regal WWE 5/8
9. American Dragon Brian Danielson v. Samoa Joe ROH 8/6
10. Chris Hero/Necro Butcher/Super Dragon v. Samoa Joe/B.J. Whitmer/Adam Pearce ROH 4/22
11. La Mascara/El Hijo Del Santo v. Blue Panther/Tarzan Boy CMLL GDL 1/1
12. Rey Mysterio v. Mark Henry WWE 1/15
13. Damien Wayne v. Sean Denny NWA-VA 5/6
14. Meiko Satomura v. Aja Kong Sendai Pro Wrestling 7/9
15. L.A. Park/Marco Corleone/Johnny Stamboli v. Dr. Wagner Jr./Dos Caras Jr./Lizmark Jr. CMLL 5/19
16. Yuki Ishikawa v. Hiroyuki Ito Big Mouth Loud 5/4
17. El Hijo Del Santo/Negro Casas/Mistico v. Atlantis/Black Warrior/Ultimo Guerrerro 8/4
18. Low-Ki v. Necro Butcher IWA-MS 4/1
19. Rey Mysterio/Bobby Lashley/Chris Benoit v. JBL/Finlay/Randy Orton WWE 2/23
20. Samoa Joe v. Necro Butcher IWA-MS 1/12

Previously on the list

- Minoru Suzuki vs. Yoshiaki Fujiwara Big Mouth Loud 3/22
- Juventud v. Kid Kash WWE 1/3
- A.J. Styles v. Matt Sydal ROH 1/14
- Samoa Joe v. BJ Whitmer ROH 1/14
- Chris Benoit v. Randy Orton WWE 1/24
- Shadow WX/Mammoth Sasaki v. Abdullah Kobyashi/Daisuke Sekimoto BJW 1/27/06
- Finlay v. Chris Benoit WWE 1/30
- HHH v. Big Show WWE 2/13
- Finlay/JBL v. Lashley/Chris Benoit WWE 2/16
- KENTA/Takeshi Morishima/Mohammed Yone v.Kenta Kobashi/Yoshinobu Kanemaru/Tamon Honda NOAH 2/17
- Undertaker v. Kurt Angle WWE 2/19
- KUDO & MIKAMI v. Yoshiaki Yago & MIYAWAKI Chikara 2/24
- Milano Collection AT/Skyde v. Claudio Castagnoli/ Chris Hero Chikara 2/26
- Finlay v. Bobby Lashley WWE 5/8

14. Meiko Satomura v. Aja Kong Sendai Pro Wrestling 7/9

I can’t remember the last time I watched a non-IWA-MS, non-lucha women’s match- but when it is Aja Kong v. Meiko Satomura, you watch and enjoy. Aja is one of my favorite wrestlers ever- vagina or no vagina. The best monster wrestler ever, and that includes Vader. Meiko is a ton of fun too, she has some really flippy offense, which I usually hate, but she lands everything with some nasty force. I mean at one point Aja is on the ground and Meiko runs to the ropes does a handspring for no reason, I start to scoff, but she ends it with her knee driving right into Aja’s kidneys, and all of a sudden I am fine with the handspring. She invented the pele kick, and she has a bunch of different ways to hit it really violently. Meiko is tearing up Aja’s arm for the majority of the match, so at one point near the end of the match, she takes over, by switching her lead foot and hitting a pele kick nearly from the ground right into Aja’s bicep. She brings a ton to the table.

This match was unsurprisingly made by Aja Kong. She is the master at playing a vulnerable killer, King Kong moments before falling off the Empire State Building. Meiko is working over the arm here, and Aja is Queensized at selling the pain in everything she does. There was one moment in the match, where she had just escaped an armbar, and she frantically scrambles to grab a garbage can- but when she gets it, she kind of crumples for a minute, attempting to muster another run. That kind of stuff is just on another level of most wrestling selling, the difference between DeNiro and Affleck. This wasn’t an Aja classic, I could do without the duel Death Valley Driver no-sells, and it may have been about five minutes too long. Still you forgot all about Aja Kong, go watch this and remember.
Hidden Gems

Genichiro Tenryu,/Koki Kitahara/Masao Orihara/ Don Fuji vs. Shiro Koshinaka,/Akitoshi Saito,/Michiyoshi Ohara,/Masashi Aoyagi – WAR-7/27/06

This was the main event of the WAR reunion show, and was WARtastic. Lots of old guys with weird lumps on their body punching each other in the face. Parts of this dragged a bit. I didn’t like the beatdown on Don Fuji, he is a fake WAR guy and really should have been replaced by Yuji Yasuruoka. Still lots of this were class, I loved the constant brawling off to the side of Koki Kitihara and Saito, when ever shit was going on they would find each other and start the asskicking, where are tape of that indy feud? You also had the world’s greatest dive train, with Orihara hitting a beautiful Quebrada, followed up by Tenryu trying a sumo thrust off the apron, and finally Koshinaka hitting a great asssmash silla. Orihara was a lot of fun here, he looked a little less sleazy then he did at his sleaze peak, although his multiple eyebrow piercings do make him look like Arashi’s weed hookup. I loved the section where they were beating on him, as Saito is kicking the shit out of him, and after three nasty kicks on the ropes, Orihara just kind of spits a flemy blob right at him. I can just imagine the hepatitis swimming in Orihara’s spit.  In a country where Muta is such a big star, an Orihara spray really should be a finisher. Of course Tenryu was the star here, randomly throwing things at folks, punching people in the eye, landing weird low angle brainbusters on peoples necks, just great stuff. In the world of a million indy promotions, Tenryu really needs to start up WAR again fulltime.

   And I just hope and pray that the day of our love is at hand
You and I, me and you, we will be one from two, understand?
 And the world is so wrong that I hope that we'll be strong enough
For we are on our own and the only thing known is our love

@#@#@#@#@#@#@#@ ANTONIO INOKI V HOSSEIN ARAB: wwe 24/7 brings us this 1979 MSG match for Inoki's NWF title. Starts off with some high-energy brawling and beals and Inokian robe-pulling that reminded me more of an AWA match than what I expected from Inoki and Sheik. The middle part of the match gives us a nice Arab control section, reminding me of what a great heel he was and how much I hated him when I was five years old. If only there could've been an Iron Sheik/Ivan Koloff team -- but never mind the fantasy booking. Much loaded boot action towards the end of the match. A few rough spots in the match, on transitions notably, due to unfamiliarity or maybe language issues, really, who the fuck knows. Worth seeing more as a historical curiosity than as an example of either guy's top level work. [Mailman LeDuc]

$%$%$%$%$%$%$ STEINER BROTHERS vs HELLRAISERS- NEW JAPAN-I would suppose 1993- [DEAN RASMUSSEN]: Okay the renewed love of Scott Steiner is back in full affect- as Scotty bumps psycho to the floor TWICE to make the lumbering offence of Hawk look ungodly- first from a Goriila Press over the toprope and then a beautiful looking Ray Stevens-style spin over the toprope to the floor. Sasaki fucking CRUSHES Rick Steiner with a released German right on the head- though Rick Steiner sells it like he is Rick Steiner and suplexes Sasaki off the toprope. So yeah, Scott Steiner was the guiding light of this match as Scott does absolutely everything to make Hawk look like Dusty to Scotty's roided out Tully. Rick does take an assbeating from Sasaki, but he doesn't actually SELL an assbeating like his brother does. They start double teaming Sasaki and Rick is all about the headlock to set up Sasaki's Suplex and armbar to set up Sasaki's suplex. Scott opts to throw the little Japanese fella all over the ring on his head and you really to join me in re-examining the Japanese wrestling stylings of Scott Steiner. Re-assessing Hawk, you realize that he is really limited to say the least. You never really buy that he would beat either Steiner's ass and his offense is soooo pedestrian in comparison- especially his Luger-like "Lariat". Not to speak ill of the dead, but we gotta FACE THE TRUTH. Scott hits a sweet Frankensteiner of Sasaki and it all kinda falls to pieces. Rick German's the FUDGE out of Sasaki to little effect. Scott Steiner was fuckin CACTUS JACK in this- as Sasaki and Hawk hit a fucking DOOMSDAY DEVICE on the floor with Scott Steiner landing across the rail. Rick and Hawk fly over the toprope after a lariat goes WRONG! and we have a double countout. Scott Steiner was so heads and shoulders above everybody else in this match. I never realized how he was not just the first American guy to throw dangerous suplexes, but he was also of the Stevens/Flair school of bumping. Makes for a cool wrestler. Shame that his body fell to pieces- but I'm wondering how much was steroids and how much was bumping like fuckin' Sabu at 285. Scott Steiner fucking RULED.

^&^&^&^&^&^&^& Chris Hero vs Chris Sabin- PWG- [ROB NAYLOR]:  Very good match. Hero continues to improve in nearly every wrestling group I watch him in...as he is great in Chikara in 2006 with Claudio thus far, made a huge mark in ROH this year as a badguy chickenshit and he looked great in this match also.  The match has Hero injure Sabin's arm early and then just targeted it with ALLLLL kinds of arm holds...including a cool trapped arm Dino Bravo style side slam. He also did a Diamond Dust version of the divorce court....which looked like it nuked Sabin's arm in the process.  Sabin, who catches a ton of shit for being bland and colorless online, looked great here, really looking like he was in great pain and keeping his arm tucked even after toughing out some offense using the damaged arm. If he hadn't sold, this match would have been pointless. But he did, in grand fashion and the two built the whole match around the injured arm.  Finish I loved, as Hero out of nowhere snatched a headlock...which made me think...why not continue the armwork???? But of course...Hero was a step ahead and he transitioned the headlock into a seamless Fujiwara armbar aggressive takedown and got the win as Sabin screamed in pain on the mat.  Very good match with a real smart finish.

^&^&^&^&^&^&^&^ Abby Jr Kobayashi vs Daisuke Sekimoto- BIG JAPAN PRO WRESTLING- 11/22/2005- [DEAN RASMUSSEN]: Ditch hooked a brother up. When CZW invaded Big Japan, a little hideous malformed part of my soul died. Honma was gone, Yamakawa was crippled, Jun Kasai didn't live up to his ghoulish potential. Sometimes, a man must break with his favorite deathmatch league. Then. THEN I watched Onita vs Great Sasuke from 2003 and realized that- hey! I STILL enjoy guys who feel the urge to permanently scar themselves for the simple thrill of knowing... you know... it looked pretty cool. Ditch has been trying to get me to watch this for a while and now that I am a LASERBEAM of wrestling dorkdom, I'ma watch right about now. The ring is lined with flourescent light bulbs. Call me old fashioned, but you REALLY can't beat exploding barbed wire. I mean really. I don't understand where the step to flourescent lights was somehow more dire than something that will rip your flesh AND burn you at the same time? I mean, I'm not your mom, do your death match any way you want to- and flourescent bulbs look pretty cool when you bust them over someone's head- but having barbed wire in your deathmatch is like having a penis in your pornography- it's just something MEN understand. Anyway, THE MATCH BEGINS! Abby Jr is fucking HIDEOUS looking. What a freak. He goes face first through the bulbs and through the ropes and Sekimoto topes out and they break stuff over Abby's head so that the bleeding can begin. The cerimonial Slammin Of the Head Against the EAST sign at Koureken isn't smeared with blood so it wasn't the true the Roberto Clemente Stadium White Van homage. They crawl back into the ring and Abby throws Sekimoto into the bulbs and I am a complete dick and think, "Fuck, where's the explosion?" Abby headbutts through bulb and chews bulb. Abby carves up Sekimoto with bulb- which is the difference between Mr Pogo death matches and Ryuji Yamakawa deathmatches. Pogo death matches were geek shows, "Look I'm carving up your head!" Yamakawa death matches were existential experiences: "We are here and we are intense and I fucking need to KILL you even if it kills me." They go to the stage and brawl like motherfuckers. Sekimoto throws Abby off the stage and through a table. They grab plundah and get back in the ring. Sekimoto is a fun brawler. They should concentrate more on Sekimoto clubbing Abby with good looking forearms than with hitting him with light bulbs that FAIL to EXPLODE. Yeah, Sekimoto punching Abby in the face looked 10 times painful than Abby going backfirst into the flourescent lights. They fight over the pile of lights and Abby loses and crashes into the glass. Abby is a fella of pudge and has huge reserves of blood in his fat so he spews blood out of his back. Abby is fun in his comeback- headbutting through the glass and Vertically Suplexing Sekimoto off the apron to the floor- all the while appearing to be wearing a raw veal sweater vest. Abby takes off his pants and this is now a JILLION BILLION JILLION stars. I can't even begin to imagine the smell. Sekimoto beats on the loinchoth-bedecked Abby and I'm still trying to come to grips with the disturbing imagery. They fight at the top turnbuckkle and you wince when they land wrong on the bulbs betwixt chairs and Abby impales himself groin first into the folding chair. Abby gets suplexed and he looks like a Right Whale gave birth on land. They show a close up of Abby's thronged ass and this is far more disturbing than any Karen Finlay performance could ever be. They trade giant suplexes into the pit of glass that is the middle of the ring and Abby goes up top after hitting a truly gnarley Greetings From Asbury Parks. I don't know. I'm not your mom and God knows a quasi-vampire wrestling fan like myself should be the last one to look to for for guidance on this subject but the gratuitous amount of blood- I mean there is just a RIDICULOUS amount of blood coming out of every exposed square inch of Kobayashi- doesn't come close to matching what is basically a really good Street Fight match. I would love to see this gimmickless because the light tubes and preposterous amount of blood deeply distracts from the fact that these two have a really fuckin great street match in them that they aren't showing. I'd recommend it but I felt kinda dirty by the end.

*&*&*&*&*KEIJI MUTOH V TONY ST. CLAIR [SUPER STRONG MAILMAN]: This AJPW match from Osaka finds Mutoh on his way up the card and Gordon Solie on commentary, overdubbing his lines over the extant commentary, all the while referring to his "Japanese compatriots". Sadly, here, he doesn't reprise his Starrcade 1983 "He's using him up like a wench" line from Piper/Valentine, but we can't have everything. What we have here is a nice, basic little match. St. Clair brings the latter day Regal offense, minus the comedy, with loads of arm stuff -- very British, very exciting, and it made me want to see this rematched on World of Sport. The real star here is Mutoh, just returned from his White Ninja run in Florida, where his moonsault went a long way towards making him a babyface in spite of the booking. Here we get that moonsault as well as a tope con hilo, and it's all pretty sweet. It's up on Youtube, and is worth a looksee.

#$#$#$#$#$#$ Steve Grey vs Mal Sanders- INTERNATIONAL SHOWDOWN- 3/2005- [DEAN RASMUSSEN]: Big Rob is the Le Roi Le Lutte D'angleterre! as they probably don't actually say in France. He is the wind beneath my World Of Sport wings. Steve Grey I hadn't seen since the Best of Clive Ironfist Meyers dvd that Rippa sent me way back when. This will be a twenty year lapse between veiwings. British wrestlers that didn't go to WCW in the 1990s have fallen off my little conscious corner of the earth. I don't think I've ever seen Mal Sanders but that's probably having to do with my lack of wrestling footage as to any slight on his stature in the WoS parthenon. (Actually, he was on the Danny Collins Best Of that I reviewed a while back and recently reposted on the Brit/Euro board- and it sounds like his creeping heelishness is a psychological SUBTEXT~! of a lot of his matches.) The color commentary is really great. They first traded a title in 1984. Sanders has had the Junior title 6 times. Grey twice and Grey won both of them from Sanders. Grey rolls out of a wristlock and Sanders works the hamstring and then goes back to the wristlock and Grey does a fabulously elaborate escape and this is fucking awesome TWO minutes in. This color commentator is solid gold getting across the psychology of the holds and counterholds- a differently-accented Gordon Solie. Round one was all matwork and round two is Grey going for a dropkick and missing and Grey succumbs to a Body Vice until Grey counters out. Grey with a top wristlock and they go into a BEAUTIFULLY complex string of chain wrestling to a stalemate and take it into round three. God, we used to call this Scientific Wrestling back when I was a fan in my youth. They fly through the sequence of roll-ups that Malenko and Guerrerro made famous in the US. They do a terrifying Body Vice thing where Sanders feigns JBLing Grey's cornshoot and Great Britain is a foreign country. Round four is where Sanders brings the forearms and the lariat and CONTEMPLATES heelishness. AND WE HAVE HEELDOM! as Sanders punches Grey in the face as the ref isn't looking. Sanders with the chops and the double axe-handle from the second rope. Grey catches him coming off the ropes with a second attempt. Grey hits the Atomic Drop and Sanders counters out and gives Grey FIVE FINGERS OF DEATH to the stomach and chokes him over the ropes and kicks him on the ground and wonder where is the public warning? Grey throws Sanders over the top and uses momentum of the ropes to bring him in and then hits a high crossbody block for the win. THAT was old school. I like how Sanders slowly turned more heelish as the match goes on. I like the courage displayed by just going out and re-establishing archaic moves that haven't been finishers for twenty years and selling them as what they were twenty years ago. Catch rules works within its own set of laws and logic like Lucha Libre works within its own laws and logic and it was cool seeing it in 2005. Soooo MUGA-esque....

Juventud/Rey Misterio Jr vs La Parka/Psicosis- late 97/98 Nitro-[Rob Naylor]:  This is a fantastic tag match. When people talk about there favorite NITRO tag matches...this one isn't listed often, but imo, this was as fun as tag wrestling ever got on Nitro.  Best usage of the Luchadores possible. Eventhough Nitro, Thunder and WCW PPV did a fine job occassionally busting out great lucha six mans and ten mans.... I almost wish that instead of getting odd Ice Train vs. Parka bouts...or Psicosis vs. Kendall Windham on Thunder....WCW should have just set up consistent teams like Parka and Psicosis, Juventud and Rey, Garza and Lizmark Jr., Villanos, Halloween and Damien, Silver King and Ultimo...etc....  I think it would have freshened up the shows even more. Regardless, this match ruled. Juventud and Rey Jr. were as much fun as possible as a team of amazing flyers. They did awesome stereo Liger Dives...Juvy and Rey hit an assisted rana off the top and the finish with both doing incredible flying moves at the same time (Juvy with the 450 as Rey hit an AMAZING springboard rana from the top to the floor which Parka took as good as anyone ever).  Parka and Psicosis were just an incredible team of rudo bases here and it astounds me that after this tag got over so huge..... WCW never teamed Juvy and Rey in a tag match again. Six mans yes...as the week after they added Garza and Silver King to this tag match and they again tore down the house. Still, I'd have loved more tags like this....as a Juvy/Lizmark Jr. vs. Villanos tag was ANOTHER killer match I recall from summer of 97.

$%$%$%$%$%$%$% THE STEINER BROTHERS vs KENSUKE SASAKI/ KEIJI MUTOH, NEW JAPAN- I'm guessing 1991- [DEAN RASMUSSEN]: My Steiner re-visitation continues. Mutoh looks teenage and angry in this and Sasaki has New Wave hair. He seems content and not angry. They are like fire and ice. Game of human chess. Time has come today. Scott Steiner makes Mutoh actually FUN on the mat- not allowing him to just lay there and nap. Steiner goes from headlock to top wristlock and they are waiting a few minutes before everybody lands on their heads. Rick wrestles Sasaki and this is pretty fun- as Sasaki feigns UWF lite arm holds to counter Rick's Amateur matwork. Then they start suplexing every which a way. Scott is suplexing from any direction and the speed of Mutoh allows him to escape and dropkick Scott to the floor and set-up Sasaki's toprope lariat of Rick Steiner. Mutoh and Sasaki MOCK the Steiner mid-ring pose and IT IS ON. Scotty fucks up a Romero Special (but I blame Mutoh) and misses a dropkick to allow POWERDRIVAHHHHH!! number one. Mutoh does the Springboard Elbow on the floor into the Scott into the rail and does toprope jumping knee to the head and Mutoh still has a semblance of knees at this JUNCTURE. They work on Scott's knees with Sasaki sinking in the Scorpion Deathlock. Mutoh tags in with elbows and Scott suplexes to the hot tag and does the most out-of-control Oklahoma Stampede one will ever see where the recipient actually walks again. Scott suplexes the fuck out of Sasaki and Rick elbows the crap out of him a few times- as Sasaki is the Steiners whipping boy- being the young fella in the ring. Sasaki powerslams to escape and this a caricature of Power Wrestling- as all basic tenets of wrestling involve some herculean feat of strength. Sasaki breaks up the Steiner's Doomsday Device and Sasaki and Mutoh suplex the hell out of the Steiners and Mutoh hits a moonsault but Scotty makes the save and it is Steiner Brother Hell Finisher Time as Mutoh takes a Toprope DDT FACE FIRST and makes Mutoh long for tender caress of a Steiner Square Driver. This wasn't bumping Scott Steiner that you and I love. This was overlysuplexing to the point of pointlessness Scott Steiner. So yeah, LESSER match of the Scott Steiner Revisitation.

^$^$^$^$^$^$^$^$ LORD AL HAYES V BOBBY HEENAN [Dances With Mailman]: WWE 24/7, that treasure trove, brings us this 1980 AWA Battle of the Managers -- Hayes, the face, looked to be on his way out of the territory, headed for Mid-Atlantic and an epic undercard feud with my favorite house show wrestler, Johnny Weaver. But enough digression -- this match was just like something off World of Sport, with Hayes and Heenan bringing the comedy and the neat old-school mat stuff to such a degree that Benny Hill could've taken notes. Al Hayes hasn't gotten the due he deserves in retrospect. Here was a man who played manager/wrestler extraordinarily, then moved into the announcing booth and forged a character with incredible nuance -- sometimes heelish, sometimes face-friendly, as if transcending the miasma of the face/heel structure in US rasslin. A friend watched this one with me, and remarked that Hayes reminded him of Finlay, which makes sense to me but was not something I'd have said myself.

#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$ The STEINER BROTHERS vs TED DiBIASE/IRWIN R SHYSTER- WORLD WRESTLING FEDERATION- 8/23/1993- [DEAN RASMUSSEN]: Allright! More Steiners! My little brother is fixated on mid-90s power wrestlers like I am fixated on Canadian football. I assume DiBiase has crushed his back by this point so it's two guys who specialize in hideously dangerous suplexes against two guys who have bad backs. Vince McMahon is fuckin' SATAN. Let's fire this baby up and note that this is a cage match. It's the crappy WWF cage and Irwin R Shyster is scaling the cage. They stand around, punch, and climb. They stand around, punch, and climb. They stand around, punch, and climb. They stand around, punch, and climb. They stand around, punch, and climb. They stand around, punch, and climb. They stand around, punch, and climb. They stand around, punch, and climb. They stand around, punch, and climb. They stand around, punch, and climb. They stand around, punch, and climb. They stand around, punch, and climb. Rotunda has nice punches. They stand around, punch, and climb. Sometimes somebody would rack their testicles on the ropes or the top of the cage. They stand around, punch, and climb. Scott is the only guy in this taking any bumps and they are pretty high grade bumps- so this is Good Scott Steiner but in a shitty match because WWF cage suck a penis INSTITUTIONALLY. They stand around, punch, and climb. Since this is Good Scott, Scott takes a Superplex from the top of the cage though Rotunda didn't help his back any in the process. The fact that you can pull your opponents head in through the outside shows how crappy the WWF cage match is. AHHH! Fucking undercuts why you have a cage match. Can you imagine Tully vs Magnum in a WWE cage and how much less of a match it would have been if you take away the total sense of confinement that the NWA cage match conjured? Anyway, back to the match: They stand around, punch, and climb. Scott and Shyster climb out and the point is to leave your partner by himself? God, this cage match is a logistical fuckin NIGHTMARE! I MAY NEVER SLEEP AGAIN! Scott keeps ESCAPING and returning and it's retarded! Why should the Professional Wrestling be so non-sensical? You tell me. TELL ME! They keep pulling down Ted DiBiase's pants and exposing his Million Dollar Buttocks. Not that I'm complaining... just stating a fact. Shyster climbs back in and THIS IS A MONKEY CAGE not a fucking CAGE MATCH! BAHHH! Also, this is a cage match without blood. So yeah, firmly and securely fuck this type of cage directly in the ass! I AM ENRAGED! This just isn't MANLY. The finish is Rick holding Shyster in Chickenfight position while DiBiase punches him in the ribs until Scotty hits the floor and wins. Okay, to summarize: Stand- punch- climb. Scott Steiner-bumps-good. Shyster/DiBiase- backs- bad. WWF Cage Match- dick- suck.

#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$#  LES THORNTON/TIGER CHUNG LEE VS DANSPIVEY/MIKE ROTUNDO [J. DANFORTH SHOCKET]: WWE 24/7, how the hell are ya? This is pretty nice in parts, especially the Rotundo/Thornton segments, which play to both guys' strengths -- Rotundo as young lion tecnico; Thornton as technical heel. Spivey is a bit green here, and that does mar the match as a whole, but getting to see Thornton's NJPW ring jacket in a WWF ring makes up for it. This got maybe 20 minutes in an opening match setup, and was way more competitive than I expected. Would've been an immeasurably better match if Windham replaced Spivey, obviously.

$%$%$%$%$%$%$%$% Minoru Tanaka/ TAKU Michinoku vs Makai Heat/Makai Ray Cobra #2- WRESTLE LAND, 7/23/06- [DEAN RASMUSSEN]: I'm assuming Kevin, Kevin, Kevin, Robert, Lenny or RIMZ uploaded this. I am a thousand years old and completely out of the loop because I was like "HOOOOLD ON THERE! THAT'S NOT TAKA MICHINOKU!" and then I read it again and it says "TAKU" and I turn it into a POSITIVE and say, "Well good for me. I'm getting back to seeing the stuff that the kids are watching these days..." WrestleLand is very odd. I watched the Tanaka versus Pegasus Kid singles match not too long ago and this has the same feel- like a 1993 WCW PRO taping from Orlando. I don't THINK that the age old DVDVR message board fixation- that I was a constant supporter of if not the spearhead- of being completely enamored by cold random wrestling in a low-key setting has translated into a conscious style in Japan- though far far weirder things have happened. If this continues to warrant WCW WORLDWIDE points, it will be such a fucked up and Japanese Wrestling type MUGA-styled development that Wrestle Land would have to vault into the realm of my favorite promotions. Anyway. I can't tell the Makais apart and this is where Rev Ray will also say to me, "Look at the fake moustache on the mask- that is from [obscure mid 80s anime]." Makai and Minoru have a preposterous mirror section to start and I felt one of them should have had a rose clenched between his teeth. AH! MAKAI RAY COBRA #2 has a COBRA on his pants! Thank you, God. Ray Cobra takes a ridulously dangerous looking bump onto his head when Irish Whipped into the corner but does the Vertical suplex to Makai Heat back into the match. And I guess I could have noticed that Makai Heat is wearing a modified Heat outfit but I couldn't remember what Heat looked like. Ray Cobra is indie and unsmooth. TAKU is Japan rookie unsmooth. This match is going to suffer greatly because I watch Hoshikawa vs Tanaka yesterday and Minoru the highflyer is always the utmost uninspiring of all Minorus. Minoru Tanaka the angry BattlARTS reject bastard is the best of all Minorus. This is kinda the Minoru As Lash Larue stylings - totally mailing it in and fighting his every ass-stomper urge. TAKU is spirited and leans into some offense. His opponents are pretty tentative and Social Dancy. 1/2 WORDWIDE POINT.

$%$%$%$%$%$%$%$ Genichiro Tenryu,/Koki Kitahara/Masao Orihara/ Don Fuji vs. Shiro Koshinaka,/Akitoshi Saito,/Michiyoshi Ohara,/Masashi Aoyagi – WAR-7/27/06- [DEAN RASMUSSEN]: (Expanding on Schneider's Hidden Gem-ism.) After watching Koshinaka versus Chono and Fuyuki from WAR 1995 yesterday, you really need Kengo Kimura to replace Don Fuji (unless Kengo Kimura is dead or something.)  The key to WAR uppercards are old guys so ANGRY that their archaic offense gets renewed relevance- and that's why every WAR main event looks like dogshit on paper and is fuckin SOLID GOLD in execution. You skip a whole decade of progress of wrestling as a more technically sophisticated artform back to where it is centered around extreme hatred. Extreme hatred makes Ohara's brawling fun in this. Orihara's hair is a disappointment. Seeing it's progression from 1995 mohawk to Gothic mohawk to Dyed But Grown out makes me think that he is working at a leftist bookstore now and no longer dealing meth or giving blowjobs at rest stops or whatever he looked like last time I saw him. Tenryu beating the fuck out of Saito should have conjured some sort of fire out of Saito but he was sub NOAH 2006 six-man listless in their exchanges- which is pathetic considering how fuckin fired up Tenryu is. As for Don Fuji being the WAR guy getting the assbeating- where was Hirai, Araya or Tachihikari? It's like Bob Holly and Al Snow showing up in the Midnight Express vs Rock and Roll Express match in Waynesboro next month and Bobby Eaton is on the undercard. We all enjoy Koshinaka's ass and the flying Ass Of The Apron was truly fine- as was the RIDICULOUS brainbuster by Tenryu- as is Koshinaka punching Orihara dead in the face after throwing two truly crappy punches. Kouki Kitahara looks younger than ever but he doesn't beat the living hell out of anyone so it wasn't like the good old days. Hell, I figured Kitahara could have a violent moment of ass-stomping with Akitoshi Saito but they never let Kouki unleash his proto-Ikeda magic. The final brainbuster is fuckin SICK. I was expecting more than docile compliance by the losers, postmatch. And Orihara's tattoos turning green made me feel 800 years old...

&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&* Hiroshi Tanahashi/ Pegasus Kid vs Milano Collection AT/ Makai Masked Devilock- WRESTLELAND- 7/23/2006-[RASMUSSEN]: Tanahashi will beat some sense into this promotion, right? Who are all the American indie guys who are bemasked and flippity in the WRESTLELAND? I know Pegasus Kid is that Prince Devitt guy and he and Devilock are super WORLDWIDE with the Moments Of Superfluous Wrestling. Tanahashi tags in and crowd is riled by his boyish and scruffy good looks. MCAT is put off by all the bitches wanting a piece of Tanahashi's penisular action and reacts by... wrestling a little bit. Tanahashi with a headlock and an elbow drop and some armdrags and this is Stylistically Retro Lucharesu. I am old enough to now state that Michinoku Pro is Retro Cool. Combined with the WORLDWIDE/PRO Retro coolness, my replaced hips just exploded.  MCAT's preposterous T2Pism of Tanahashi under the ropes is a take on the Tree of Woe and WRESTLELAND is a place where odd experiments in wrestling are germinated. I really hated BattlARTS the first time I ever saw- as one SHOULD be wary of heretical changes of things you find sacred- but I get the same hatred/attraction to WRESTLELAND. The highspot train is preposterously giant for such a lowkey match and it reminds me of the first couple of WAR tapes of La Fiera and Ultimo Dragon doing insane highspots in front of a subdued intimate crowd. Devilock and MCAT whup up on the Kid for a while in a W*ING opening match level of heat kind of way. MCAT and Pegasus Kids are the Jumpin Joey Maggs and Frankie Lancaster of the Worldwide that is WRESTLELAND. Tanahashi gets the rubes riled up as the least Benoit-like of more obvious indie Benoit clones makes a heatless hot tag. Tanahashi and Kid do have some perfectly fine lowgrade tag moves but the evil manager trips Tanahashi in mid Lariat off the ropes which allows MCAT to hit a bunch of Maggs-esque offense. MCAT goes deep into goofball Lucha submission approximations and hatred is starting to begin but Pegasus Kid hits a nice lariat and MCAT and Tanahashi have a pointless no-selling of enzuiguiris moment and they tag out and masked indie guys have a perfectly fine batch of roperunning and roll-ups. Pegasus does a diving headbutt and I wonder if he'll TRULY understand the allure and secret of his namesake. 1/4 WORLDWIDE POINT.

@#@#@#@#@#@#@# ERIC CANYON vs CJ HUNTER-3CW-3/2005-[DEAN RASMUSSEN]: Big Rob brings the British grappling fabulousness and we here across the pond appreciate the enlightening. CJ Hunter is a wee wisp of a lad. He enrages the rubes at ringside saying something- but his accent and the gymnasium acoustics make it lost on my aging ears. He also has the belt. Eric The Fist Canyon is beloved by the audience and he is almost as thick as Colt Cabana but not as cut. They trade arm reversals early and I dig Canyon's niftiness in keeping the wristlock on to roll into the Body Vice. They do the British Piledriver thing out of the Body Vice (yes it was explained by the announcer on WoS once and I remembered) and they do a headlock spot TomK would adore in it's Memphisness. They go to armdrags and hip tosses and Hunter hits a nice bodyslam. Hunter remembers that he is PURE EVIL! and begins cheating- gouging the eyes then they trade these REALLY nasty looking forearms. Hunter is forearmed to the floor and goes facefirst into the post and I fucking DIG this match. Canyon has good punches and mauls Hunter in the corner. Canyon misses the Arabian Moonsault and Hunter goes on offense with a pretty vicious Backbreaker Into A Rib-breaker combo and then starts kicking him in the back and dropping some perfectly fine elbows. Hunter takes a DDT and Brainbuster like a MAN and it covers up for the screwed up corner roll-up spot. Hunter sinks in the Camel Clutch and Canyon fights out before being ranaed for two. Hunter with a really fast Samoan Drop and they go into a nearfall section- but they punch each other in the stomach and throw in another Camel Clutch and play off the reversal from earlier as this is quite the deep little match- as it doesn't ever fall into a large bout of kicking out of thousand finishers- dwelling more on reversals out of finishers, a lost art it seems. Canyon hits the Arabian Moonsault for two. And HIJINX! as ref gets distracted and Hunter crushes Canyon's head with the belt. These guys are fucking good. Their punches and forearms are- you know- VIOLENT as opposed to Indie-THIS IS AWESOME-Styled "stiff". They put a match together better than a majority their stateside counterparts. SUWA was right though. These guys need to bulk up. Reminded me of an upper echelon NECW Johnny Idol match.

NEXT TIME!   An ENORMOUS roundup of all this World Of Sport British that has been surfacing.  More Yoshie. More Giant Bernard.  Whatever G-1 Climax I didn't review.  Big Japan death matches.   MORRRE!!