WELCOME TO THE DEATH VALLEY DRIVER VIDEO REVIEW #161!
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The Jim Breaks-enriched cover is by the mysterious Misterfying.

~@~

BIG JAPAN DEATH MATCH WARS #88- 8/18/2006
[DEAN RASMUSSEN]
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This starts off with highlights of what looks like Japanese Arcade Fire fans coated in their own blood and talking earnestly to each other. I thank God that I cannot speak Japanese at moments like this.

Masada/JC Bailey VS Kintaro Kanemura/ Asian Coogar: Kanemura and Asian Cooger as a tagteam? That is the most indie object on earth. I vaguely remember Masada- though he was in Mexico so I'm assuming that it was a differnt Masada- not that it matters- and I vaguely recall JC Bailey in IWA-MS attempting to kill himself. Let's see how far everybody has come, shall we? Asian Cooger still has the tassles but his mask is all black and evil. Oh, this is a whiteguy Masada so I don't even vaguely recall him. Yes. A new experience. Kanemura hits a nice Quebrada To Nothing and takes a rana like a champ. He looks better than the last time I saw. Asian Cooger hits a Released German that Masada takes straight on his head and he sells an Irish Whip, fights off a chair spot and hits a nice Capture Suplex. They kinda wander around after that. Kanemura hits a too slow to set-up but quite impressive looking splash through a table and JC Bailey off the landing. Cooger and Masada wander around and Masada hits a too slow to set-up but nice looking when finally hit elbow drop through some chairs. Bailey is already coated in blood for no apparent reason and fights off Kanemura to superplex him onto a pile of chairs while Asian Cooger does the truly neato Monkey Flip of Masada off the stage onto the board on two chairs. Cooger still does the thousand legdrops. This is. DUNdunDUNdudn- dundunDUNDUNundundundundun dUDNDUNDUDNDUNDUNDundundun-DUNDUN! a COLLECTION OF SPOTS. Luckily, Asian Coogers spots are sufficiently cool enough to make one not hate this match too much for being just the shallow exercise in stuntwork that it is. Kanemura is holding up better physically than I assume anybody thought he would. There you have it. His true victory.

Ryuji Ito/Jun Kasai VS Takashi Sasaki/Naoki Numazawa: Sasaki I've seen a few times since his nascent DDT days. Ryuji Ito I remember being a scrawny kid who got pretty good as he was kinda going to seed a while back. Numazawa I remember from Zipang or Onita Pro or Eagle Pro or something. We will become reacquainted quickly. I think this is one of those lightbulb-based match I am learning to hate. I've been battling a little bout of insomnia and it coincides with this mini-foray into the realm of the death match wrestler- and one can assume that it must be related. Maybe it strikes at the core of the veiwers fear of pain and the actualization of it on the tv screen. Maybe its existential angst at not actually being as hardcore and in touch with one's pain center and fear center to the point that anxiety over the unknown pain creates this dissonant terror in your mind that will keep one awake. Maybe it's the fear that I live in Virginia and we have a no-blood law in our wrestling so sick motherfuckers like this don't carve each other up in a ring in front of paying constomers but instead spill forth onto the general public. My guess is too much caffiene and an addiction to the SendSpace upload progress bar. I also used to get way into watching the computer defrag back in the old days when it was a real production. This bar-graph defrag bullshit lacks the snap crackle and pop and overall tits and ass of the Windows NT Glory Years of obsessive computing behaviour. Anyway the introductions are over and a couple of guys are about to bleed a lot. I should probably watch. Ito and Sasaki feign going into the bulbs then smack each other over the head with bulbs and then tag out. I myself would enjoy something blowing up. THOSE are the deathmatches for me. The explosions, the ooooing of the crowd, the manly powder burns, the sheer stupidity and wrecklessness.  Numazawa and Kasai do the idiot thing of running the ropes into the bulbs and I see that many things from the Kenzo Suzuki review of his death match with Takagi down yonder are gonna seem a bit repetitive when you get to it.  My apologies 2 U. Sasaki jumps really high over the toprope into the crowd. Numazawa slides into a section of chairs like a champ. Sliding into chairs well is a NUANCE of death match wrestling that is often overlooked. I'll take one good flailing rampage into a section of chairs over four flaming tables 24 hours a day/8 days a week. But alas... Jun Kasai breaks lightbulbs on Numazawa's festeringly hideous junk and then mocks his groin pain. This is listless but probably because I hate a light bulb match unless Honma and Yamakawa are involved and it's 1999. It is but they ain't and it ain't- so there you go. Jun Kasai does make hideous faces while bleeding from odd places but that doesn't replace intensity and the WILL of a good deathmatch. Listless. This was LISTLESS. LISTLESS. I say to thee LISTLESS. Luckily it goes on for fifteen more minutes. I dunno- it just seems more like a POWERTEAM Crushing Phonebooks For Jesus demonstration than an insane, extreme wrestling match. "Right now, brothers and sisters, Jun Kasai will take a dropkick to the chest and glass will cut the skin on his stomach! Like Jesus dropkicking the moneychangers in the temple!  Let us pray..." Sasaki tries to do some wrestling with Kasai and Kasai does allright. Ito does the worst leg lariat I've ever seen. Ito gets a ladder and daintily sets up Sasaki for something but Numazawa stops him and throws thumbtacks on the mat and Sasaki powerbombs him for two. Sasaki with a brainbuster for two and Sasaki kicks a bulb over his head and the five million nearfalls begin. This part wasn't listless. This involved a lot of German suplexes with bridges. "Now brothers and sisters, right now brother Ito is gonna dive off a ladder onto onto brother Sasaki who is covered in flourescent bulbs. Before he does this, have you thought about having your soul washed in the blood of the lamb and let our saviour the lord Jesus Christ come into your heart. As Sasaki sheds blood for wrestling like Jesus shed blood for you, know that someone loves you and cares for you and he wants to come into your heart and be your saviour now and for eternity." The finish is even more preposterous as they do an truly crappy three-man suplex off the ladder. There are then many Germans. And these Germans have bridges. There are many spots off the ladder- including ANOTHER splash off the top to the Numazawa on the mat after Kansai hits a spectacular Belly to Belly on Sasaki off the ladder in the ring to a pile of chairs on the floor. The first half of this sucks it. The last half is peppy if waaay too CZWish in its finishers and giants spots that mean nothing. Eh I dug the second half of this match despite the mindlessness (even for a deathmatch) of it. Need explosions. Needed fucking Mammoth Sasaki. Fuck, EVERYTHING needs more Mammoth Sasaki.
 


~$~

WAR-7/27/2006-FINAL-REBORN TO FUTURE
[DEAN RASMUSSEN]
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Tomohiro Ishii vs Ishin Riki: Oh, I should know these two guys, shouldn't I?  I'm sure I've been fast forwarding through their opening matches for eleven years now.  Now that they took the night off from jobs at the packing plant, I will watch their match finally.  Chopping and sumo styling does mean classic WAR heavyweight.  One lumpy WAR heavyweight very slowly hits a few power moves and hits a perfectly fine diving headbutt.  The other hits a lariat and a very fine brainbuster for the win and there you go.  You were finally veiwed by me, young who ever you weres.

Genichiro Tenryu/Rumi Kazama vs Eagle Sawai/Magnum TOKYO: Rumi looks all hot in her latter wrestling years.  Eagle Sawai is still a whole lotta Rosie.  and you'd hit it and never wanna quit it and never forget it and try get back widdit.  Is Magnum sleeping with her or something?  That would RULE.  "I like a big lady.  Knows how to cook... if you know what I mean."  If not, why is he in this?  I guess LLPW still run regularly because the ladies look all peppy in this and it doesn't resemble the FMW Ladies Reunion matches or anything.  Magnum and Tenryu kinda beat on each other and Rumi kicks Magnum quite a bit. Eh, this is a mixed tag match.  I can't pay too much attention to it. Rumi tries a hilarious German Suplex with a bridge on Eagle and Eagle hits some non-Black Joker level lariats and Eagle hits a powerbomb and somebody pins somebody and it's over.  Yes, it is.... finished.

Damian/Battlanger vs Dos Caras/Gran Naniwa: Ahhh Battle Ranger- I hear you have been wrestling in Osaka Pro as Policeman.  How did Dos Caras get wrangled into this?  It's like having Solar I show up on one of those old Onita Pro undercards wrestling Sambo Asako and TAKERU.  Actually, he and Naniwa are a fun little tagteam.  Dos does the Piscado and the TOPE early- so he isn't afraid to still bring his A game at his age.  Hell, he and Naniwa do double Pescados and Dos Caras is having a midlife crisis that we can all get behind.  Damien is a card carrying member of Perros Del Mal so he will die for your pleasure and he and Dos Caras doing the lucha libre is all beautiful and what not.  They clipped all the cool offense that Battle Ranger OBVIOUSLY must have gotten in.  Dos Caras in Japan is always balls out.  This is no exception.

Genki Horiguchi/Dragon Kid/Ryo Saito vs Yasushi Kanda/Kenichiro Arai/Susumu Yokosuka: God, this is a lot of motherfuckers who I've completely ignored for three years.  Dragon Kid is still all fast with the headscissors.  They edit up to the highspot train.  Arai I always liked. He and Ryo Saito beat the hell out of each other with headbutts and suplexes so I got no beef with the edited remnants of this match.  When did KANDA start wrestling again?  I thought he had the world's most ruined back.  Ah the other Mochizuki.  They beat the shit out of Dragon Kid and I'm happy again.  Ah, old friends...  Ryo and DK do a preposterously contrived toprope rana and I remember why I ignored this for so long.  Arai with the MIST?!? and diving headbutt off Ryo's shoulder off the toprope and this is really really fast and really fun.  DK beats Susumu with a ridiculously elaborate Crucifix and it was truly beautiful.  I will hate the Dragon Gate no more forever...

Jado/Gedo vs GENTARO/Kintaro Kanemura: AWWWWESOME! Jesus fucking Christ, GENTARO is indie as a Danny Doring $10 polaroid.  Jado, Gedo and freakin Kanemura are.. fuck it:  INDIE. Ah, I await the sleaziness to engulf me. And it does as GENTARO does a Flying Space Tiger Drop to kick this motherfucker off.  Oh yeah, Gedo and Jado are dressed in their old WAR garb.  If only Gedo could have quickly regrown his shitty pompadour.  Gedo bleeds early.  Jado and GENTARO trade foray's into the ringpost. They then fight with chairs.  The referree stops Kanemura from beating on Gedo with a chair but all I can notice is the SWANK shirt the ref is wearing with the old WAR - LIVE FOR TODAY slogan in yellow on a red field.  Gedo throws really great punches and fights out of the death match indie league assault of GENTARO and Kanemura.  Gedo and Jado have gotten too uppity in the post-WAR luxury of New Japan and the STREET~! has come back to beat them into oblivion.  Then they kinda do a conventional wrestling match and the whole Indie vs Corporate thingy kinda falls by the wayside.  GENTARO is awesome taunting a tag for Gedo to Jado and then slapping him in the face. Jado is kinda AWESOME in this on offence and I am baffled.  He hits all this shit really perfectly and rolls into a Crippler Crossface and sets up GENTARO's Buff Blockbuster like a champ.  Gedo and Kanemura have a fucking BEAUTIFUL sequence after that and this is a really cool wrestling match.  Gedo and Kanemura trade punches in the middle of the ring until Kenmura goes insane and pounds on the ref and sets up a bunch of chairs.  Jado catches him and Superplexes him through his little construction and they then Superbomb GENTARO and this is pretty much about Gedo and Jado re-establishing their street cred, maaaaan- as GEDO mauls GENTARO with completely nasty STO hits a Superfly Splash for the win.  That's the wrestling that the WAR would bring...

WAR International Jr. Title Match: Masaaki Mochizuki vs Pentagon Black: I never researched and found out if this is the same Pentagon who was dead for five minutes during a match with La Parka in 1994. I'm assuming this is a Japanese guy who jacked Pentagon's gimmick or something.  whoecver he is, he's alive now and brawling with Mochizuki on the floor.  Mochizuki does vicious kicks as his part of the brawling.  It's kinda fun in a wandering brawl kind of way.  Pentagon uses drinks from the audience to explosive effect and then they hit the ring.  And Pentagon drags them back to the floor and mauls Mochizuki a bit with a chair. Pentagon misses a lariat and hits the ringpost and we have a point of destruction for Mochizuki to concentrate.  Fujiwara armbar applied, ropebreak made, follow up kick to the shoulder and that Backlund pump handle thing for good measure that goes into a Reverse Crippler Crossface.  Pentagon Sidewalk Slams to offense and TAKES IT TO THE FLOOR!  I like this version of Pentagon.  This time Mochizuki misses a kick, punishing the ringpost but punishing his knee yet even more and we have a point on which to concentrate for Pentagon.  He running dropkicks the knee and spins into that kneebar thing that Sasuke and Ultimo always do and rolls into an STF and generally spindles and crimps the knee in sundry lucha ways until Mochizuki flying kicks his way to do a tope over the toprope to kill everyone dead. Mochizuki hits his running up the ropes kick thing which is as 1997 as a Devon storm- Ace Darling two count roll-up sequence and hits a nice brainbuster and does a toprope shoulder Calf Branding into a couple of cross-armbreaking holds and this is truly the finest Pentagon Black match I can remember.  And about the- I dunno- fifteenth best Mochizuki match I've seen.  Pentagon crushes Mochizuki with an Asai Moonsault and then spits directly onto the camera lense.  I would much rather he spray blood onto the camera lense but it's early in the match yet.  Pentagon hits a Toprope Splash and K-Driller and we are deep in the nearfall section.  Mochizuki finally kills the game Pentagon with a Dragon Sup... WHA?  Pentagon kicks out and Mochizuki hits a Frankensteiner but Pentagon Black rolls through and GETS THE PIN!  Hey, I didn't see that coming.  This was deeply in the middle of all wrestling.  Nothing really dramatic or overly memorable though Pentagon was a lot sharper in his execution that I ever remember him being.  Mochizuki should have made an attempt to beat the shit out of him some- as opposed to being Outsmarted Victim all match.  Lacked drama but Pentagon was pretty fired up.  I guess they tried to go with Mochizuki carrying the match by selling and trying to be all wily while getting out of little predicaments- when it seems like they would have had a real slamdunk with a fired up Pentagon and Mochizuki bringing the raw power of the ass-stomping he CAN muster.  Not a failure or a bad match by any stretch but not what I would want out of my Mochizuki WAR match.       

Shiro Koshinaka/Akitoshi Saito/Michiyoshi Ohara/Masaji Aoyagi vs Don Fujii/Kouki Kitahara/Masao Orihara/Genichiro Tenryu: We were gonna get Rippa to review this so we would have had three people review this perfectly fine match over the span of two DVDVRs but- you know... we'll just quit while we're ahead.
 


~!~


BIG JAPAN DEATHMATCH WARS #89- 8/18/2006
[DEAN RASMUSSEN]
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[I assume ECF'NW posted this. I thank him] I'm so out of it- old so very old- back in my day- Honma Yamakawa- you know the drill.

Mammoth Sasaki/Tetsuhiro Kuroda vs Daisuke Sekimoto/Ketsumasa Inoue: Can Mammoth Sasaki keep up his hot streak with me with this AND the Morishima match? There is but one way to find out. First we hear from Madman Pondo who is as baffled as we are that Kenzo Suzuki is showing up on this download. Oop, music video of everything I missed in the last 6 years of effectively ignoring Big Japan. Yamakawa's coming back soon. I wonder if it will be like the last Larry Holmes comeback. We discussed Yamakawa's comeback over the weekend and Tim wasn't aware he had ever retired. I assumed that he was tired of working fulltime in a warehouse or whatever he ended up doing. THE MATCH AT HAND! I've never seen Ketsumasa Inoue (or if I have- I don't remember) so I will learn what you may already know. Forgive any annoying obvious conclusions I may draw. I dig Sekimoto in the 06. He and Mammoth hookin em up gets me a little torqued. They lock up first and do basic Puroresu Match Shoulderblock Invitational- and it's Mammoth so it rocks. Inoue tags in and he has the creepy date-raping frat boy vibe that goes well with Mammoth's Shameful Hard-drive vibe. Mammoth scoffs at his offense and kills him with a body slam and tags in the very morose Kuroda. Kuroda is melancholy selling the slaps that Mammoth would not bother with. Sekimoto and Inoue stomp on Kuroda for a while- Kuroda is subjected to a knees to the back and some Boston Crabs, so this is basic wrestling psychology until Kuroda hits a dropkick to the knee and sends Inoue out to be led around by Mammoth- triggering the beginning of the Wandering Death Match. Which they edit out. Okay. Inoue is being Figure Foured and Mammoth gets the crowd to cheer Kuroda attempting to break Inoue's leg so the heat is kinda wacky in this traditional HEAT SEGMENT~!! Mammoth is fucking GOLD on the apron, being all up in the ref's area and keeping the crowd riled up. Kuroda is very cheesed off at Sekimoto making the save so Mammoth tags in and stretches the living poo out of Inoue and Mammoth is a superstar. Sekimoto gets the crowd into Inoue's comeback which is triggered by a nice Desperation Judo Flip. Mammoth goes up HUGE for Sekimoto's Released German and Sekimoto fuckin DESTROYS Kuroda with a Tope in the same motion. Sekimoto and Mammoth are fucking electric trading lariats. Yeah, I wanna see the Sekimoto/Mammoth death match YESTERDAY. Mammoth leans waaay into Sekimoto's somersault kick to the face and allows Inoue to come off the top. Inoue and Kuroda isn't as exciting as Mammoth vs Sekimoto- but the Kuroda decapitation off the top across the toprope across Inoue's thraot was pretty fucking beautiful. Inoue does a diving headbutt and Sekimoto is all about the nasty German and NASTIEST Brainbuster and yeah, fuck a deathmatch. This is quality straight The Professional Wrestling. Kuroda kicks out of a frogsplash and tags Mammoth who fuckin SLAUGHTERS Inoue with a Powerbomb with Sekimoto fuckin SLAUGHTERING Mammoth with a Released German for the save. Inoue is fucking DESTROYED by a Mammoth powerbomb and this match fucking rules as Sekimoto makes the save. MAMMOTH IS FUCKIN YOUR WRESTLING MESSIAH with a fucking AWWWWESOME JUMPING BRAINBUSTER for the win. Mammoth is motherfucking awesome. And so is Sekimoto. Get these kids together. God fucking DAMN you want all this.

Kenzo Suzuki/Abdullah Kobayashi vs MadMan Pondo/2 Tuff Tony: I watched Kenzo vs Takagi before watching this- so my deathmatch realizations will seem kind of like I have some kind of dementia. I probably don't yet. I love 2 Tuff Tony and I heart Kobayashi and I also dug Kenzo The Japanese Wrestler from the Takagi match so this match is an open book to me. Kenzo is over with the rubes and Pondo and Kobayashi trade barbs over the housemic to heat this baby up. Kenzo bumps over the top while being introduced. He and 2 Tuff do some mild brawling while Pondo carves up Kobayashi. Kenzo sells an assbeating as Pondo and Kobayashi do a geek show of Pondo stabbing Abby in the forehead. Kenzo drags Tony into the ring and they start having an actual wrestling match- with kenzo hitting mid-grade WWE offense. Tony and Abby headbutt each other a whole lot- swapping blood and fuck knows what else. Kenzo tags in and uses a barbed wire board between mid-grade WWE offense so this isn't really transcending any genres just yet. Tony pulls up short of hitting the barbed wire board in the corner and dodges Kenzo who flies face first into the barbed wire. Pondo tags in and stabs him in the head and this doesn't excite me yet. Tuff Tony has the barbed wire baseball bat and it's so 1995. Pondo staples things to Kenzo's arm, face and forehead and this is really becoming tedious. Tuff Tony drives Kenzo through a barbed wire board on the floor and that's kinda fun. Kenzo tags the hot tag and Abby is all about the Flip Flop and Fly and this becomes more of a wrestling match and less of What Will Kenzo Stand Around And Have Done To Him Next. Though to be fair, you really want to see Kenzo beat the fuck out of these two- so mission accomplished on that. Kenzo with Claw STO. The comeback by Kenzo wasn't nearly enough to make up for the punishment doled out to him. This wasn't the other match on this show so that didn't help this. I blame Kenzo's lack of offense- though he hit wads more impressive actual wrestling offense in the Takagi death match. I mean, I dug the whole point of Pondo making him a death match fighter but the modern deathmatch is more than just having shit stapled to your face.

More of the former. Less of the Latter.

~@~
WWE's ECW- One Night Stand on PPV 2006
[RAVEN MACK]
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I got this on Netflix and made my wife watch it with me. She is great because she not only tolerates but encourages my madness. But this is because she is also insane like me, just in prettier more herbal mediciney ways. I'm not sure why I would want to see an ECW through the filter of WWE trying to make money off the ECW brand name; I guess I'm just a dumbass mark like everybody else. At least I only got it from Netflix, which only makes me secretly pay for their services once a month, so I can pretend I never actually lost money on this deal.
Paul Heyman talking forever was what you'd expect him to say, and it's funny to see somebody try to act emotional when they are basically cutting the promo they're supposed to cut, mentioning the godhead company's other brands, although pretending to despise them, talking about busting ass and loving the fans and all that crap. Paul Heyman bouncing checks to wrestlers and using secret locker room pep rallies to get them to drink the Kool-Aid to have great matches is way better than Paul Heyman cashing a check with WWE and just throwing Kool-Aid out at the crowd, hoping a few of them get some in their mouths...
Right off the bat, I am not down. I understand WWE's business plan of capitalizing off the ECW marks, but that stupid intro song they use reminds me of ECW on TNN matches featuring Danny Doring & Roadkill, not the good shit that made ECW good enough to geek out the wrestling geeks. Couldn't they just spring for the use of that White Zombie song? I mean, it's not like Vince McMahon is hurting for money or power. And then having a match with Tazz vs. Jerry Lawler... I could care less. My wife saw Tazz come out looking hard and tough like the last seven years never happened, and she said, "I just can't think of him without seeing him make people run around on MTV." So we fast forwarded...
The F.B.I. came out, but there was no Tommy Rich nor J.T. Smith, and they came out to a karaoke machine's version of The Beastie Boys' "No Sleep Till Brooklyn", so I was leaning towards the button, and then out comes Tajiri & Super Crazy, which back in the day I would've marked out for a match like this, but I had no emotional interest in it, so fuck it...
That Bradshaw guy sure can talk up a storm, and the crowd did like nineteen chants, and my wife helped me realize why I think chanting crowds are so annoying - it's like a pep rally. I never once hung out for a full pep rally when I was in high school, because it felt like Kool-Aid tossing to me. And the extended Bradshaw talking shit segment also pointed out one major aspect of ECW that made it awesome that the WWE has obviously never paid attention to - the production, though low budget, was rapid-fire and backed by some sort of semi-enjoyable soundtrack, catering to the attention deficit disorder derelicts like myself who made up their original fanbase who were itching to see Sabu flip over a guardrail or Benoit drop somebody on their brain.
Sabu vs. Rey Misterio piqued my wife's interest, because she knows what a huge Sabu mark I've been in my life (she once snuck away at a shitty ECW on TNN era ECW house show to buy me a Sabu t-shirt for Christmas without me ever knowing), and she enjoys Sabu, mostly because of his shiny pants and ridiculously entertaining reckless style. And she remembered Rey Misterio from WCW when there was wrestling on our free cable like twice a day back in the heyday of cable TV wrestling, as well as his stint on the lucha libre when I would tape it every week to rewatch at night. It's funny to hear people to this day try to act like everybody in the WWE is not using steroids or whatever experimental growth hormone supplement that they use now, because the first thing my wife said was how unhealthily muscular Rey's body looked now compared to then - far thicker and bulbous like a He-Man action figure, which I'd say has probably never in the history of modern man been attained through hard workout regimes, much less by guys who travel six days out of seven. She also has paid attention enough to the lucha in our shared lifetime to ask why he was wearing a mask now, and when I told her, she called him a punk.
The Sabu/Rey match was formulaic, but their formula was more enjoyable than most of what I'd seen otherwise, however the ending was crappy. Overselling a bump that would've been nothing in old ECW (which also points out the deficiency of the hardcore style, because you always have to go bigger and better), yet they both got helped to stumble their way back to the locker room. My wife says, "This is to ECW what that 'if you're going to San Francisco, put a flower in your hair' song was to hippie music in the '60s." Yep.
Eugene I explained to my wife, and of course, like any sensible American human being, she found the whole angle repulsive. Yet honestly, him acting retarded was the best thing of the PPV for both of us, because it mocked the crowd. Sandman comes out and is built like he doesn't even drink anymore, and it creeps me out how much his face looks like Barney Fife nowadays, just in a pseudo-cool grimace instead of a bug-eyed shocked look. Eugene was great though. He would've made a great third partner with Jimmy Valiant & Bugsy McGraw against Paul Jones' Army, and for me that's the ultimate litmus test of whether a wrestler's gimmick is enjoyable or not.
I'm not sure, because I don't even read wrestling shit three-quarters of the time anymore, but this John Cena/Rob Van Dam match was obviously the much-ballyhooed main event, and they went a while, which in simple smart terms (from the promoter's perspective, not the smarts') means it's a great match, but god was this boring for me. Maybe I need to watch all the television leading up to it, but when I want to watch a porn tape, I don't need to watch a bunch of tapes that show the girl and the guy getting introduced at a bar and dating before they fuck it up sexually.
I don't know, I guess there's probably people that like this shit, but I don't see it. I know when you're a TRUE wrestling fan, you're not supposed to do nothing but talk shit about the wrestling, but this sucked. And even if I didn't see myself pay the monthly Netflix bill, I know I did, and by my calculations, I paid like a dollar to watch this. Eugene was worth that, but nothing else was, so unless I know Eugene is main eventing next year's ECW PPV against The Dark Patriot, I doubt I'll waste another dollar on this tripe.

~$~

PHIL SCHNEIDER'S ON-GOING TOP 20 of 2006
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. American Dragon Brian Danielson v. Nigel McGuiness ROH 4/29
11. Chris Hero/Necro Butcher/Super Dragon v. Samoa Joe/B.J. Whitmer/Adam Pearce ROH 4/22
12. La Mascara/El Hijo Del Santo v. Blue Panther/Tarzan Boy CMLL GDL 1/1
13. Rey Mysterio v. Mark Henry WWE 1/15
14. Damien Wayne v. Sean Denny NWA-VA 5/6
15. Meiko Satomura v. Aja Kong Sendai Pro Wrestling 7/9
16. L.A. Park/Marco Corleone/Johnny Stamboli v. Dr. Wagner Jr./Dos Caras Jr./Lizmark Jr. CMLL 5/19
17. Yuki Ishikawa v. Hiroyuki Ito Big Mouth Loud 5/4
18. El Hijo Del Santo/Negro Casas/Mistico v. Atlantis/Black Warrior/Ultimo Guerrerro 8/4
19. Low-Ki v. Necro Butcher IWA-MS 4/1
20. Rey Mysterio/Bobby Lashley/Chris Benoit v. JBL/Finlay/Randy Orton WWE 2/23
 

Previously on the list
- Samoa Joe v. Necro Butcher IWA-MS 1/12
- 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

------------------------
10. American Dragon Brian Danielson v. Nigel McGuiness ROH 4/29

This was a title v. title match and the first match of their trilogy. This has the long opening mat section which is your basic Danielson opening. Nigel brought alot more to the mat stuff then most opponents do, and I was really engaged with all of the early stuff. I especially dug the early headscissors escapes by Danielson, as I am mark for a good headscissors escape. I also like alot of the little things, the elbow to the small of Danielsons back, the grabbing and twisting of Nigel's ear ect. All of the stuff leading to the rope breaks was fun, especially Nigel going behind the refs back to piss off Danielson and make him snap and throw a punch. It was actually one of my old favorite Rugby moves, cheap shot a guy when the ref isn't looking, and then take the penalty when he swings on you. I imagine that the rope break shtick might get tiresome if I watched more Nigel Pure title matches, but I liked all the stuff here.

I also really loved the finish, I like a good countout finish alot, and the second row crazy Danielson dive headfirst into the chair was awesome. It was exactly the kind of loony spot the match need I also liked how it was set up by Nigel trying for the countout earlier. The reason I have this a little below the Samoa Joe match is that the hot near fall section before the finish was a big step below the Samoa Joe match, seemed kind of cursory to me, while the last ten minutes of the Joe match were insane. I really dug how these guys match up with each other, and I am really eager to see their other two matches now.

~@~

NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING 5/3/06
[DEAN RASMUSSEN]
---------------------------------
Stuart will post a random recent New Japan houseshow and I'll just up and review it.  Damn straight.

Samurai/ Ryusuke Taguchi/ Wataru Inoue/ Prince Devitt/ Azteca/ KAZE vs Jyushin "Thunder" Lyger/ Jado/ Gedo/ Hirooki Goto/ Diablo/ Kurokage: There seems to be a Cult of Kageki and I want to be on record stating that IIIII was into Kageki before Kageki was Kool! Well, I watched the Palomino matches. I wouldn't say that I was THAT into them. They didn't really have that many shows to make it to tape and the shows they ran were hysterically inconsistent (read my review in DVDVR #109. Note my hilariously idiotic comment that Yabushita is the "lesser" Judo girl...) Well, here we are a thousand years later. They still opt for creative- yet shittily executed masks. Ahhh, Kurokage... i love you even if nobody downloads the matches of you that I capped. The El Samurai team trots out and they are infused with UNIMAGINABLY beautifully crappy indie Japan masks. He is KAZE and he has a mask that says, "Make it kinda like Super Delfin and a little like Lizmark but not really like anything in particular." Lyger slaughterlizes him early and... hold on, there is a Kageki page on Stuarts site, let me go figure out who I am looking at. RESEARCH~! (Actually, it's not officially on Stuart's site.)So Ryusuke Taguchi is the Japanese indie-est looking guy to ever spring from New Japan. I'm out of it, as you know.  So I was looking at the Kageki profiles and I was like, "Where's the guy with the goatee and the bad hair?" THEN. I realized. TAGUCHI WASN'T from Kageki Pro- he was from NEW JAPAN! ONWARD! Azteca looks great in this- going by the one swanky armdrag. CONTROL TERRORIST Hirooki Goto is in for a few seconds. And he tags out. Taguchi comes back in and you'd think New Japan would spring for actual pants. Maybe they are shooting for the Social Progress Wrestling nostalgia crowd and want one guy to have pants that would fit in being claw chokeslammed by Shinnigammi. Diablo and Azteca trade very lucha slaps across the chest and I enjoy the reverence to the source material in their wrestling style. El Samurai topes to not allow KAZE to get in his precious seconds of face time in this match. KAZE does get completely destroyed by Diablo with a fuckin GNARLEY and WRONG Powerbomb. ELIMINATION MATCH! No, 2 out of 3? Maybe this is Bandits and Bodyguards rules. HEY. Now THAT would be a high concept Chikara match that would get me to Pennsylvania: the Bandits and Bodyguards Memorial 12 man match. Not that we are positive that those aren't the rules in this here match. Though I do not see the Japanese counterpart of Ray Boom-Boom Mancini. Kurokage powerbombs Inoue like a big leaguer. Hirooki punches Inoue in the face really hard. Inoue is having a bad opening match day. Jado works on KAZE and you really can't get any more Japanese indie than this on a major promotions show unless they had a Fuyuki Force Army alumni versus Shin FMW alumni Battle Royale as the dark match. And who is to say they didn't? Lyger loves a goofy mask and he revels in all things indie, as this match proves. Gedo works over KAZE. Gedo and Jado are Fuyuki Force Army alums so they are acquainted with the life of under-attended cards putting over Phantom Funakoshi because it's his birthday and his girlfriend is there. So it's a labour of love. Taguchi does the super indie Multiple suplexes. I await a Stone Cold Stunner. He is then Superbombed and SuperFly splashed and pinned when wads of indie scum are standing right next to him. Taguchi is also having a bad opening match day. And then they choke him with chains and pose. Gedo taunts him and El Samurai reappears and we call it a match. That was fun. I don't know if i would want to see a whole card of Kageki anymore. I'm getting older and whimsical Purolucha just angries up the blood at this point in my life. Prince Devitt rounded out the cast.

Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs Tomohiro Ishii: Ishii, Ishi..... is this Pants Boy? No, he's NOAH. So it isn't the guy who got his jaw broken by SUWA either. Okay, I don't think I've seen this guy enough to remember (or maybe I called him the Great White Hope of Nouvelle New Japan or something at some point. Aging. It is a scary thing.) Ishii is wearing a protective mask and doesn't believe in a clean break. He does put some pepper behind his chops which I enjoy. Tenzan headbutts him a lot and doesn't bother with the Shoulderblock Challenge of The New Japanese and opts for a short lariat. Ishii is drilling in the elbows so I can't help but dig him. HE IS THE GREAT WHITE HOPE OF NOUVELLE NEW JAPAN! Then he does these really weak headbutts and he is a Lesser Hope. Ishii tries to make a chinlock interesting and he chops on Tenzan and Tenzan whoops up on him and yeah this is Bryan Clarke versus Robbie Rage on Thunder in about fifteen different ways. Except with less heat. LUCKILY, for me, there is seven more minutes left. Ishii tries to perk things up by elbowing Tenzan in the face but Tenzan Lugerizes the proceedings with his shitty punches and Kronik-level brainbuster. They fight for the advantage at the top of the rope Ishii wins and Tenzan OPTS not to sell it too much. Ishii's offense just completely smokes Tenzan's in execution. I dig Ishii. Tenzan- I don't dig. Ishii has a final flurry of quality lariats and nice brainbuster before Tenzan listlessly puts him away with a crappy tombstone. Tenzan really sucks.

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Toru Yano: Can Tanahashi keep his hot streak alive without Giant Bernard beating the living dogshit out of him?  Let's see, shall we?  Yano is a non-entity to me so far so here we go.  They have a series of clean breaks early and then take it to the mat.  Tanahashi is fun selling the mat work of TORU~! who acquits himself well.  Toru pulls some hair and there is no clean break and they kinda go into a Professional Wrestling Match as Tanahashi sinks in an armbar.  They do a botched Skin The Cat spot and Tanahashi does a rolling senton off the apron and Yeah, no Giant Bernard means no really great Tanahashi.  Toru's offense is based on pulling Tanahashi's hair so it isn't like he is Flair to Tanahashi's Steamboat.  Toru does beat Tanahashi to death with a chair and mauls him at ringside so it isn't a total loss.  Tanahashi isn't Benoit.  He doesn't really put together a really good match with someone who is limited in what he can do.  He is good at bringing back the assbeat to an assbeating.  He's not so good with guys he's supposed to carry.  Not that this was bad.  It just wasn't as good as Chris Benoit versus Verne Henderson on WCW Pro in December 1995- much less when Giant Bernard is beating his ass.

Yuji Nagata vs Tohgi Makabe: These two had that Best Possible Two Star match Ever in the G-1 Climax. Makabe takes the fight to Nagata as he is coming up the aisle. Makabe understands what makes wrestling fun. Makabe punches Nagata in the stomach and knees him in the stomach until Nagata goes all early with the Shining Wizard and Makabe hits the floor- yelling at everyone. Nagata pounds on him until Makabe rakes the eyes and punches him in the jaw a few times. Nagata beats on Makabe for a while and THEN! it is TIME! for the SHOULDERBLOCKS! They have a couple and opt to hit the floor and Makabe beats him with a chair- an ode to their perfectly fine G-1 match and then Makabe hits a MANLY powerslam on the floor. That had to suck if you were Nagata. But you're not. And neither am I. So we enjoy his pain. The Glory Of Wrestling! Makabe with the non-secretive choke because he fills a match up stuff- not spectacular stuff but effective looking actions that move the match along to the finish. He's like the Least Possible Acceptable Member of Disorderly Conduct. He headlocks and doesn't break the hold when Nagata hits the ropes and hits a powerslam and misses a lariat to allow Nagata to jumping knee to offence. The big kicks from Nagata come in and Nagata Lock #4 (prolly) declares that the 8 minutes of Makabe fiddling around is over and now we will have power moves and big kicks for five minutes. The Lariat by Makabe cuts off Nagata. Roll-ups, kicking lariat arms, Stevie Ray-esque Death Valley Bombs, missed elbows off the top, friendly loving Exploiders- everything to make this a perfectly fine houseshow wrestling match. Not as good as their G-1 match but I guess that's why they have the G-1 Climax or maybe THIS match perfected their G-1 match and now Nagata and Makabe will be Guerrerro-Malenko of the Late 2000s. Probably not.

Tiger Mask IV vs Koji Kanemoto:Kanemoto has two sides these days- really cool underdog and really stale asskicker. WHICH SHALL WE GET? Will there be a third dance card he can punch? Is there a third trick this old dog has learned? Tiger Mask bores the fuck out of me in recent years so I watch this with dread. Luckily, if this sucks, it will suck for 27 minutes. But hope springs eternal. Not really- but here we are and here we go and whatcha gonna do? They feign matwork early. They have an ugly rope-running exchange and Kanemoto gets in his boot-scraping spot- which is soooo 1998 at this point. Kanemoto stomps on TM4 and smacks him around some. The knee is the target of Kanemoto's attack but I can only assume that it will have no bearing on the finish but we'll see. Kanemoto ups the stiffness and I start to give a fuck. Kanemoto does the cool-assed TRANSTION~! from offense by landing on his feet after trying a moonsault and selling his knees being old. Okay, this match has become good to me now. TM4 works on the knee and Koji sells it like a fuckin' KING. We get Cool Underdog Koji Kanemoto in a non-heavyweight setting and I am torqued. Kanemoto drives a big knee into TM4's face in the corner and goes over the toprope and the move has meaning because you know the sacrifice of Kanemoto's knee. TM4 responds with a tope and Koji has fucked himself as TM4 hits a faster, more out-of-control tope because Koji can't move. God, this got real good real fucking quick. Koji is dead on the floor and he does the 19 count spot like when he wrestled Nagata and Makabe in the G-1 (though this is from before the G-1). Koji hits the desperation Dangerous Backdrop but is too hurt to follow up so TM4 hits his own. It's so awesome Koji pulled this match off with a junior heavyweight before perfecting it with the heavyweights. Koji tries to no-sell a Tombstone and gets kicked in the face as he struggles to his feet- LIKE FUCKIN KAWADA in the old days. TM4 slaughters him with a Tiger Suplex and a toprope Tiger Suplex into a Crossface Chickenwing. Koji is awesome kicking with desperation to escape. TM4 takes 7 count and Koji misses a moonsault to slow his comeback down and kicks TM4 in the face enough to hit a moonsault and the first nearfall is all heated and shit. TM4 tries to cut him off but is dragonscrewed into an ankle-lock and Koji's selling is pretty great- as he is hurt yet dominant. In the G-1 matches, he would get to this situation and still sell sheer death during his comeback. TM4 Tigerdrives for two. And Tigerdrives to a ropebreak and reverses a Anklelock into a hot nearfall. Koji sinks in the ankle lock and the struggle to escape is all heated. Koji Falcon Arrows him right as he is about to hit the ropes and gets the pinfall and that was sooooo much better than I had any right to hope. TM4 doesn't really have the assbeat in him to make this as compelling as the Nagata match was, but Koji Kanemoto showed that he has become this really cool psychologically rock-solid wrestler. That's quality professional wrestling right there.

~$~

wXw True Colors 2006- Night 1- 7/22/2006- PART ONE.
[DEAN RASMUSSEN]
---------------------
I just got all these so I'm cramming a few matches into this beloved DVDVR.  Felix sent me these all the way from Germany and they will be reveiwed over the next jillion DVDVRs if we play our cards right.  I always noticed that wXw runs the weirdest cards on earth- a sort of Tuetonic Wrestle And Romance.  Imagine my delight when these babies arrived.  Ohh wXw, bring me your esoteric strangeness.....

Doug Williams/Takashi Sugiura/ Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs Tengkwa/ Tommy End/Steve Allison: The set-up of the ring is right next to the bar with folks directly up to the ring.  If only there were 18 year old East Carolina coeds smoking and drinking right at ringside, this would look EXACTLY like the greatness that was NCW ( here and here) so this is already number one and the best.  The fact that it's Sugiura and Kanemaru instead of Matt Hardy and Jason Arndt makes it quite the vertical move but the same concept. I havent seen Doug Williams wrestle in a couple months so this will get me caught up, one would think.  The ring looks tiny but I think it's the camera angle- as it looks to be from the balcony.  Hell, replace the German accents with Southern accents and this could be at Blakely's Bar and Grill in Chesapeake, VA- which I had this same veiw at a VCW show five years ago- seeing the Barbarian and Preston Quinn have a fabulous match. Sugiura and Tommy End taking it to the mat is sooooo like Matt Hardy and Black Skull taking it to the mat on NCW TV.  Tengkwa and Doug Williams take it to the mat and you forget how nifty Williams is- doing the cool tricked out drop toeholds and then working the shoulder. This is all nice and lowgrade until Sugiura decides to start kicking the hell out of Tommy Ends and this heats up a little.  Tommy assumes the Ricky Morton role and the three NOAH guys beat on him for a few minutes.   Kanemaru and Sugiura kick it into gear and truly beat the hell out of Ends and it really heats up Steve Allison's hot tag.  Sugiura kills his tag of hotness by spearing him and we go straight to a bunch of pinfalls- with Doug Williams going all suplexy and the three Euro guys doing elaborate triple teams until Kanemaru destroys Tommy Ends with a brainbuster and we have a perfectly fine opener.  Sugiura saved this from being too kind and gentle by really kicking the hell out of folks at opportune times.  Ends, Allison and Tengkwa could have laid it in a little heavier since the other sure were gonna.  Perfectly fine.  

Ares/ Emil Sitoci/ Bad Bones vs High Class Catch Club (Baron von Hagen/Adam Polak)/ Tracy Smothers: Tracy Smothers!  He leads some chants and talks about how good it feels to wrestle in Germany on a Saturday night and you gotta love it.  Then he SHOOTS~! on some stuff and then they finally have a wrestling match. Baron Von Hagen and Ares kinda wail on each other in an awkward kinda way.  Adam Polok has real crappy offense, but Bad Bones was perfectly acceptable.  They flail around a bit and tag out to Smothers and Sitoci and suddenly it transforms into a wrestling match. Then they fuck up an armdrag and this match isn't going well.  Polok isn't good but Hagen has a lumbering charm and his avalanches look nice.  This is pretty much a train wreck though. I'll write this one off and wait for their next matches to be JudgeMENTOR Of The PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING...

Wesley Croton vs Chad Collyer: Chad Collyer!  I haven't seen him since he did that odd cyborg masked deal in Michinoku Pro three hundred years ago.  They have a bunch of stalemates coated with attempts at chain wrestling early on.  Croton finally latches on a hammerlock and does fun superfluous bridges and then they do a bunch of armdrags.  I dig Croton.  He has all the elaborate Snakepit flourishes to all his basic matwork and he smokes Collyer on the mat in this- though I would blame Collyer for dogging it as opposed to Croton being the second coming of Joe Malenko or anything.  Hell, Croton's sweeet Belly-to-Belly Suplex into a rear naked choke was by far the coolest thing in the match.  And he has a nice elbow drop. Collyer kinda slaps on the Texas Cloverleaf at the nine minute mark and there you go.  Collyer didn't really seem to try too hard.  Croton I wanna see again.

$
    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
   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?
   SINGLES GOING STEADY
 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
    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 $


 



@#@#@#@#@ Kenzo Suzuki vs Sanshiro Takagi- Wrestle Expo 8/20 Tokyo Waterfront Subcenter Event Space- No Rope Barbed Wire Exploding Ring Death Match- [DEAN RASMUSSEN]: I was thinking about doing a super-annoying high concept thing of reviewing just barbed-wire death matches this Singles Going Steady, but I have opted to only fill it with 3/4s the way full of barbed-wire deathmatches. This one is may be my favorite before I actually watch them all and RE-sort them via actual quality of deathmatch. Tagaki is DDT indie scum SUPREME and Kenzo Suzuki was performing in front of audiences almost twice as big as what showed up at the Tokyo Waterfront Subcenter Event Space. Why do they stop at 5 modifiers? Why not Tokyo Waterfront Subcenter Event Space Blue Tudor-roofed 4 Bathrooms Kitchenette Zoned Light Industrial? Because that would be stupid, that's why. This is a barbed-wire deathmatch at the place I'm assuming they would have the boat show or the gun and knife show if they have gun and knife shows in Japan. Kenzo has Metallica bassplayer hair and he is peppy about kicking Takagi's ass. God, where does Kenzo wrestle now because he has what looks 50 stitches under a bandage on his forehead. And what is that scar under his eye? Was he in a car wreck? Kenzo towers over him and they chop each other for a moment. I'm such a rube. I'm stoked about the barbed wire exploding. OOOOOOooooo. They are still fighting for it- with Kenzo sinking in the headlock on the nise Steve Austin and Takagi powers out but can't quite send Kenzo cascading into the explosives. They knucklelock and and Kenzo armdrags out but doesn't armdrag into EXPLOSION!!! so we keep waiting. Chops and a Kenzo WWE lariat and spear and Takagi hits the exploding barbedwire and... eh... not 1/4th of what Onita would demand from his pyrotechnic guy. It also flips the breaker so they wrestle in the dark. Kenzo chinlocks and we wait for a union electrician. AND we have lights. Kenzo drops a knee and I assume they wonder if the next flight into the barbed wire will bust up the power. Kenzo misses a big boot and flies into the barbed wire and YES! THE POWER GOES OUT! This is quality indie sleaziness. Yakuza underlings wiring of the explosives leads to wrestling to the flashes of the ringside photographers. LUCKILY it goes on for 11 more minutes. I wonder if they meant to do it on purpose. After the IDEA of fighting to throw somebody into the barbed wire, I guess it wouldn't be overly smart to show these Less-Than-Theszian grapplers fighting off Irish whips for five minutes at a stretch. When the lights coem back on, Kenzo hits a wad of power moves and looks pretty good throwing the odd Takagi around. Takagi comes back by driving both himself and Kenzo into the barbed-wire and the LIGHTS STAY ON! Now they can sell the damage by laying around and the electrical problems truly added to the star value of match (375 stars as opposed to the assumed 267 stars of Takagi vs Kenzo in the daytime.) The do the Duel Idiots spot of both of them attempting to bounce off the ropes- not realizing that they are- you know- exploding barbed wire. Kenzo makes it too his feet and hits a backslide and trade some finishers. Takagi goes for a bunch of Stone Cold Stunners and Kenzo drives him into the barbed wire and the Yakuza electrician opted to pack all the explosives into that side of the ring because it lights up like a KISS concert. Kenzo and Takagi swap nearfalls until Kenzo does the Pieface Nodowa for two and a SWWEET braingbuster for the win. Kenzo looked great in this. Takagi looked perfectly fine also. The lights going out and mutual dunderheadedness spot made this a beautifully goofy death match. Fuck it- 405 stars. Postmatch, Kenzo says something very earnestly and his hot wife cries quietly. Takagi speaks very earnestly for a minute and then Kenzo speaks and they hug. And then Kenzo starts crying and I'm assuming that Kenzo is retiring or something. Very odd.

#$#$#$#$#$#$ RIC FLAIR V HULK HOGAN [ZAFAR SHAIKH]: This match is from an 11/20/91 MSG show, and really illustrates that it was possible to book an issue between these two and keep them both looking strong. Starts off with a lot of brawling reminiscent of Flair/Brody -- chops from both men, and Hogan's size and booking advantage allowed him to take control. Highlight of this was the outside the ring action, which included Hogan vertical suplexing Flair on the ringside pads. Maintained a competitive squash pacing for the first seven minutes -- Hogan scored a quick pinfall, that was overturned when Flair's leg was discovered to be on the ropes. Quick brawling gives way to Flair's offense and some Hennig nefarity. Anyway, Flair gets a victory with brass knucks, Tony Garea runs in to start some shit, the victory is overturned, and we get a pinfall and posedown and remember why we hated Hulkamania so much.

@#@#@#@#@#@#@#@# Hiroshi Tanahashi/Yuji Nagata vs Giant Bernard/Black Strong Machine- NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING- 9/3/2006- [DEAN RASMUSSEN]: (Someone posted this to the matches board- probablty Kevin or Kevin, maybe Sprewell RimZZ or possibly the sullen Lenny.) Oh before we forget. BABYHEAD- check. HIRATA MASK AND MANLY KEG OF STOMACH- check. EMO HAIR- check. Yeah, this has a good chance to be the quality The Professional Wrestling. Giant Berrnardooo had fucking COMPLETELY BALLS OUT fucking great matches with Nagata and Tanahashi. Hirata is fat and angry and useta be a good tag team wrestler. This has a good chance. All we can do is watch now and let the chips fall where they may! I notice Bernard's painful thigh tattoo. Nagata is pawning off his NAGATALOCK towels. Tanahashi is sporting the IWGP heavyweight title. Is that really Hirata? He's lost weight. DAMN YOU, STUART! Yeah, that's Hirata. Hirata and Nagata bull each other around the ring for a while and Hirata gets in the first stiff kick since he and you and I are assuming that he will get kicked in the face a whole lot by Nagata by the end of this- and Nagata peppers the old fella with knees to the stomach while trying to unmask Black Strong Machine TO SHOW THE WORLD! HIS UGLY FACE! Bernard tags in and consoles his masked partner and says to Yuji, "Give me Idiotic Hair Boy" and Nagata tags out and Bernard goes all Memphis by getting out of the ring and verbally assaulting rubes in the audience. Have I told you lately that Giant Bernard is motherfucking AWESOME. Okay, Giant Bernard is MOTHERFUCKING AWESOME. He and Tanahashi beat on each other- with Bernard winning the shoulderblocking section but Tanahashi winning the Dickishness Done Real Fast section- what with the jawbreaker and the running kick to the store. Nagata and SBM brawl like motherfuckers on the floor- REAL CHAIRSHOTS!- while Bernardo suplies shoulders to Tanahashi's six-pack ab region. SBM and Tanahashi have basic wrestling manueveurs but Tanahashi can't tag out because SBM killed Nagata with the chairshots! Shades of Barry turning on LEX!! Bernard brings the Arn and Tully level ass-stomping onto Tanahashi as Nagata struggles at the rail and THIS IS FUCKING AWESOME. SBM tag in and out and Nagata still hasn't made it to the apron yet. Bernard with the Extended Butterfly Suplex and Tanahashi fires back and has the look of, "WHERE THE FUCK IS THAT PIECE OF SHIT YUJI NAGATA!?!?" Tanahashi ranas out of powerbomb attempt finally and Ricky Morton Rolls for the hot tag and Nagata is on fire and sinks in the Nagata Lock. Tanahashi tags back in and- of course- Giant Bernard bumps GIGANTIC over the toprope for him. Tanahashi does the neato Frogsplash over a charging Giant Bernard to crush SBM for the pin. I was hoping for Tanahashi and Nagata to turn on each other because they set it up so perfectly. Good little match. Bernard +Tanahashi = SOLID GOLD.

$%$%$%$%$%$%FINLAY/HAYSTACKS vs BIG DADDY/DREW MCDONALD [JEN THE BOX]: So it's Finlay [rocking the Peter Hook 1981 beard/hair] and three guys in varying stages of morbid obesity. As you can guess, he bumps for everyone, draws heat for his team, plays the chickenshit heel thing when necessary, and, as the kids used to say, 'worked for four' and 'came up kingsize'. The Daddy/Haystacks segments are like the World of Sport equivalent of Headhunter A Vs Headhunter B, with more flab and no blood. For a 666 pound man, Haystacks was willing to bump. Drew McDonald didn't show much here but an ability to sell, and Big Daddy was sort of an unholy melding of Mike Graham, George Gulas, and Paul Prudhomme. His best move? The Irish whip, which had a sort of Joycean symmetry when used against Finlay. James Joyce? Well, more like Joyce Dewitt.

#$#$#$#$#$#$ GIANT BERNARD vs KENSUKE SASAKI- ALL JAPAN PRO WRESTLING- 4/10/2005- [DEAN RASMUSSEN]: I'm assuming the date is correct. I found this over on Stuart's board- as I scour the cyber world for Giant Bernard matches. I could only find one result with these two wrestling at each other so I'm guessing this is it. And I also know who wins, so that sucks it. BUT MAYBE THE DATE IS WRONG! MAYBE I DON'T KNOW THE OUTCOME! MAYBE THIS WILL BE LIKE WHEN REY MISTERIO JR WAS SUPPOSED TO LOSE HIS MASK TO EDDY AT HALLOWEEN HAVOC IN 1997 AND THEN.... HE DIDN'T!! AND WE ALL FREAKED OUT BECAUSE WE WERE SO INSIDE AND KNEW THE SCOOP THAT BISCHOFF WAS GOING TO MAKE REY DROP HIS MASK AND THEN WE WERE ACTUALLY RUBISHLY SURPRISED! AND IT RULED! So, hey, I'm stoked about watching the wrestling. Oh right. Babyhead- check. Bicycling paunts- check. Painful Chest Tattoo- Whoa! NO. This is old. But it is on Samurai so I STILL don't actually know the outcome. Akira Hokuto threatens TARU and if I were TARU, I'd shut the fuck up. Bernardooo had the thigh tattoo before the rashlike chest tattoo and I am mystified by the former A-Train. He brings the lariat and the headbutts. Ah, this is Championship Carnival 2005. 4/10 Kouraken Hall. Thank you, Samurai watermark graphic. Bernard crushes Sasaki against the rail but Sasaki makes it to the ring and starts makin with the chops before lumbering offense by Bernard puts an end to his ideas of coming back. Bernard butts heads getting the better of the exchange. Sasaki chops again but is no match for Offense What Would Lumber. Sasaki charges into the corner and gets in some chops and hits the shitty Muto bulldog and the shitty Mutoh toprope bulldog but is cut off by the VERTICAL SUPLEX of the Giant Bernard. Sooo much to love as Bernard takes the bump he always takes for Tanahashi now. Sasaki does a plancha off the top to the floor and this is ruling. MENAWHILE. Akira and TARU sword fight at ringside. MEANWHILE. Giant Bernard crushes Sasaki with the Bernardooo Splash. They opt to see who can lariat. Sasaki can Lariat and does a pretty impressive array of power moves with a guy TWICE his size. Bernard TRANSITIONS~! with his Falldown Chokeslam Thingy. He then Avalanches for the three count. A wee wisp of a match at 7:50. Held promise of what I assume would be a truly great 20 minute match that hasn't happened betwixt them yet. Bernard is still on a reviewing roll with me.

%^%^%^%^%^%^ DICK MURDOCH V OTTO WANZ [JEN THE BOX]: The girthy Wanz has about 100 pounds on Murdoch, and since we are somewhere in what is now known as the European Union, we get the spectacle of the undersized Murdoch playing chickenshit heel. Deliberately paced from the outset, this match was the headline bout on Night Of The Restholds. If you like limp fat-man bearhugs and standing side headlocks, you will wear out your foreskin jacking off to this match.... Wanz sells more for his cornerman giving him a sponge bath than for anything Murdoch does -- that's a real fucking treat to behold also. Still, even though Weeble Wanz's feeble notion of selling is just rolling around on his back like a displaced turtle, the dumbkopfs in the audience keep chanting his palindromic first name.... Meanwhile, I can't help but think of Sylvia Plath: "Ich, ich, ich, ich/I could hardly speak./I thought every German was you./And the language obscene." An obscene language? Perhaps she overstates her case. But this match was pretty much a teutonic travesty -- sort of like the fetish 8mms Kurt Waldheim reputedly made with conscripts in the 40s, but I digress.... Something to look for, if you are a fan of cardiac arrest: Wanz, who has done fuckall in the match but stand around and digest his prematch sausage, blows up applying a fucking armbar. Fucker bumps like Pope Benedict. He's built like Ignatius Reilly, though, so bless him for being consistent....In-between rounds, the bumper music -- Venus by Bananarama... Wanz your venus, wanz your fire, wanz your desire....You stand at the blackboard, Otto,
In the picture I have of you,A cleft in your chin instead of your foot. But no less a devil for that, no not Any less the black man who Bit my pretty red heart in two.... Enough frickin' German already. Enough watching dead fat men roll around in pools of their sweat. As Sylvia her badself wrote:

"So daddy, I'm finally through.
The black telephone's off at the root,
The voices just can't worm through.

"If I've killed one man, I've killed two--
The vampire who said he was you
And drank my blood for a year,
Seven years, if you want to know.
Daddy, you can lie back now.

"There's a stake in your fat black heart
And the villagers never liked you.
They are dancing and stamping on you.
They always knew it was you.
Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I'm through."

Otto Wanz, if you are reading this, you can kiss my ass. And that is a shoot. [END ITEM]

@#@#@#@#@ Michiko Ohmukai vs Hikaru- THE WOMAN- 6/23/06- [DEAN RASMUSSEN]: [Lenny brings the new Joshi and we thank him.] THE WOMAN is run by GAMI according to fellow Puroresu Nerds on the board- not Manami Toyota as I originally thought. It's good to know that Ohmukai is now deeply in the Russ Meyer Film Area of Ultra-Vixen- as she beats the fudge out this youngster, all the while being hot and scantily clad and choketastically stiff-workin'. She has the slutty tattoo on the base of her spine so I'm SPENT typing this. The feel of THE WOMAN is like the feel of Wrestle Land- like WCW decided to do syndicated version of the GAEA cruiserweight invasion. At 6 minutes and only one obvious edit, this was probably taped at the same Orlando, Japan taping as the Tanahashi vs Kobra Makai match. They just changed the ring apron. Ohmukai is hot while quickly dispatching of the THE WOMAN version of Snake Brown- young Hikaru. I shall go back and find that Manami Toyota match that was posted a while ago.

$%$%$%$%$%$%$% Akebono vs Bob Sapp - 12/31/03- [RAVEN MACK]: I have not had the hard-on for the grown men fake-fighting so much lately, and I'm such a shitty trader or shitty reviewer or on the downward spin of IWC popularity that nobody offers to send me stupid crap anymore, but it all works out just fine, because a while back the good Mr. Michael J. Naimark sent me a couple of his SHOOTCOMPS!~~! and I have some weird DVD playing machine that my brother-in-law got from a Pakistani flea market or something, so when I first got them, I never could play the DVDs. But I figured out it one night by accident, and enjoyed the fine spectacle that is the DVDVR SHOOTCOMP!~~!
Now, I am a newbie to the MMA action, although a close interworld dude of mine had been trying to turn me this way for a few years. I know MMA internet experts are closely akin to IWC internet experts, and there is lots of mockery to be made of people who don't "know" what you know, so all I can say is I am nothing but a man who enjoys watching a good fight, and usually has an opinion, for better or worse, and more often than he should, thinks he has it all figured out. I remember the one time I had a Wrestling Observer subscription on the legit level, Meltzer was going all Meltzerian with his New Year's Eve MMA in Japan shows analysis at the time, leading up to the shows, and Bob Sapp was the hilariously bad ass black man of the internet at that time (he should fight Kimbo Slice). And I was intrigued by Akebono's participation, as I have to admit I've always been a secret sumo fan, not so much because it's something to be embarrassed by, but because you can't really indulge that passion in America. Have you ever tried to find sumo tapes? Next to impossible, and when you do find them, it's not trading wrestling DVDs where you can say, "Yeah, I'll send you this shit if you send me that" and people do it; sumo DVD owners actually expect you to pay them real money for copies of their shit. They have fantasy sumo leagues in Japan, for real. This dude I know got addicted to it while he was living over there.
Anyways, while watching the shootcomps, I was comparing what I saw to what I currently hated about wrestling, and we'll just get the obvious out of the way - the Akebono/Bob Sapp fight was pitiful at best. The only real drama watching it was to see how long Akebono could postpone the inevitable. But the spectacle of the match was great - two larger than life characters with immaculate entrances that seemed special rather than standard. And I can't remember the last time I watched a wrestling match that had that.

!@!@!@!@!@!@!@ FINLAYS BOUNCY CHAIR [JEN THE BOX]: 35 SECONDS of a newborn bairn twiddling his limbs and shitting himself on Youtube. Is this a viral marketing promo for The Little Bastard? The cryptic description: "Finlay bounces and crows in his bouncy chair." That's fucking great, but how does that advance any angles? Vince, you leak this shit to Youtube -- listen to me Vince, I'm shooting on you, how you like me now? -- but the little baby, cute though he might be as he "bounces and crows", doesn't tell ME, the FAN, what Finlay intends to do with Batista. Instead, some weird Lifetime music plays -- something out of one of the 3 movies made about Mario Lopez's childhood or whatever. Maybe you could have Ric Flair be Baby Finlay's nanny -- or is it nanno -- and raise him into a little leprechaun or something. I dunno, but "Finlay's Bouncy Chair" has no bounce as far as I'm concerned. I don't know who "S____ Pam" is -- another played-out, strung-out crackho diva serch looser???? -- but this cryptic cyberpromo she put out, ummmmmmm, recommendation to AVOID. "Cute little guy. My grandson is on here bouncing Finlay. Born June 22nd last year. email [deleted by DVDVR Legal Team] Grandma Pam". Really, VINCE, is this 1978? Are you channelling the spirit of Rich FUCKING LANDRUM here? Because he's the only announcer I ever heard trying to get someone OVER with us, the IWC, by telling us a worker's zodiac sign. FOAD, dude, and that is a shoot.

#$#$#$#$#$# Jun Kasai vs Hyoma- BIG JAPAN PRO WRESTLING- 6/26/2006- [DEAN RASMUSSEN]: [The melancholy and misanthropic Lenny posted this and we thank him.] Hyoma looks like a complete freak until they pan over to Kasai and you realize that Hyoma is the more employable of the two. Scrape off the make-up and give him a wig you have an entry level office clerk. Kasai just looks like a construction day-worker you don't pick up a second time. But that's why God GIFTED us with garbage wrestling- so social outcasts will have a healthy way vent their rage at a world that holds them in contempt. Why Jun Kasai is barefoot and wearing a thong are questions I refuse to ask. Kasai is wearing a barbed-wire girdle and it does make the mat wrestling section a little more interesting. Hyoma with a Stone Cold Stunner for two and One Man Flapjack for two and Hyoma's ode to late 80s Texas wrestling is odd but appreciated. Of course, Jun Kasai wearing Chaz pants makes the whole Texas-Global homage complete. Hyuma takes a toprope Plancha through a table and lays there while Kasai leisurely sets up a board between two chairs and then joshes with the crowd. Hyoma atomic drops Kasai's barfeet into the barbed wire and then whips out a stump-puller and I'm assuming Steve Keirn was on the Texas tapes that he lifted his offense from. Hyoma gets Germaned into the barbed wire. He catches Kasai at the toprope and beats him over the head with a board and Superplexes him to the mat for two and then they do the world's worst Van Daminator variation with the barbed wire tether ball. Hyoma misses a toprope splash and Kasai hits a Yamakawa Face-Buster onto the barbed-wire for two and we enter a nearfall setion. I can only assume that Hyoma's finisher is either a Chris Adams Superkick or possibly the Ice Man king Parson's CoCobutt. If it's the latter, I have a new favorite wrestler. Kasai with a German with a Bridge for two to set up and toprope splash for the pin. No Cocobutt, No Peace. The least of the death matches I've reviewed in this hallowed Death Valley Driver Video Review- but by far not the worst death match I've ever seen. Far more disturbing than good.

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NEXT TIME! 9/9 NOAH! WADS of the NEW JAPAN! BIG JAPAN! FINALLY- the WORLD OF SPORT reviews! More wXw! and whatever else we can cram in.
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8 FISTS IN THE FACE OF WRESTLING.
THE DEATH VALLEY PLAYAZ