The cover was by Syracuse tattoo artiste extraordinaire xTheSpoilerx and was going to be a thigh tattoo for a young Raven Mack but you know how life works out...


Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Jyushin "THUNDER" Lyger- NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING- G1 Climax-8/8/2006: Tanahashi is perfectly acceptable unless being beaten to death by Bernard- whereupon he becomes this existential figure of longing and love lost or some bullshit. Justin "Thustin" Ligner is the most recent great wrestler to have a really long down period- though he ALSO becomes the King Of The Earth once again when wrestling your The Giant Bernard. Put these kids together and I'm assuming that I will either fall asleep or possibly punch myself in the stomach. But, if you wanna write for the Death Valley Driver Video Reviews, you got to watch the matches. FIRE IT UP, P-COLA! They stand and stare at each other and Lyger is aged and hate-filled in the open eyed mask- shirtless, exposed, basic. Tanahashi overpowers him early but can't quite pull off a New Japan heavyweight vs junior vibe so this is already an odd match. Tanahashi has the belt and needs to wrestle like that. EN LIEU, he tries to match Lyger at highflying early. Maybe this is the story. Lyger does the same Lucha timekillers that he did in his completely lacklustre Kojima G-1 match and I got a bad feeling. Tanahashi fights out of snapmare and procures a headlock. Tanahashi loses the New Japan Shoulderblock Invitational and then starts bumping all over the building for Lyger's junior heavyweight highflying. I don't think they are trying to remake Lyger as the Japanese Benoit so Tanahashi taking the Brainbuster to the floor for a 19 count seems like a strange move. Tanahashi goes on offense and has the second best Junior Heavyweight offense in the match. I dunno. Tanahashi is so crappy on offense and unstiff-working. He doesn't work as the heavyweight champion on offense; he doesn't even work as the heavyweight versus the Junior Heavyweight. Fuck, put the belt on Makabe unless you are going to have an actually endless fued with Giant Bernard. Tanahashi tries to wrestle the Bernard match against a guy 1/4th of Bernard's size and you can REALLY not give any less of a shit about his babyface comeback. If a junior can kick his ass this thoroughly, good on him. Lyger gets in a bunch of offense and some especially nasty brainbusters. He should loan them to his champion so his champion can stop using those completely shitty looking elbows and the crappy looking Swing BLADE-O!!! God, Tanahashi hits his finisher three times and then finally polishes off the Vader-esque Lyger with a Dragon Suplex. It was a perfectly fine wrestling match, but shouldn't your Heavyweight champion be beating the shit out of the aging junior heavyweight- as opposed to surviving the junior heavyweight's merciless onslaught? I dunno. Let me say that I found the story of the match to be puzzling. 

Satoshi Kojima vs. Giant Bernard- NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING- G1 Climax-8/8/2006: Fuck, this goes for a while.  Ooops, almost forgot! Babyhead: check.  Middle Aged Woman Glasses: check.  Lipstuds: check.  It's Kojima versus Bernardoooooo!  Can Giant Bernard carry the load called Kojima?  I would think.  He is awesome and Kojima doesn't suck as much as Tenzan (I don't think).  Bernard is peeved that Kojima chopped him and it is starting well.  It just dawned on me that Giant Bernard in MUGA would be fucking great.  He is so 1975 in his deliberate building of a match around stuff.  Kojima is rolling with the old school psychology idea really well as he takes time to size up the man who overpowers him and sells the losing knucklelock like a champ.  Yeah, Kojima is better than Tenzan.  Bernard starts working on the knee out of kneebar and he and Tenzan trade holds out of the idea and Bernard uses his power advantage to try to escape the crossarmbreaker but he has to hit the ropes.  Bernard MIRRORS Kojima by taking to the floor and tries to size his opponent's wrestling skill advantage.  Sorry, GIANT BERNARD IS THE BEST CARRIER OF FOLKS IN WRESLTING.  Bernard DESTROYS the shoulder of Kojima and drops into a Fujiwara Armbar and it looks fucking nasty.  Kojima actually sells it pretty well.  Bernard crushes his arm against the ringpost after Kojima escapes the armbar and Bernard goes Abdullah The Butcher on him and makes with the FIVE FINGERS OF DEATH.  Kojima chops to comeback but Bernard beats him down and does the Giant Elbows across the back into the body vice with a Keylock and I've no problem with Kojima so far.  This is definitely the best Kojima match I've seen in forever.  Kojima sells the shoulder while trying to comeback by dropping elbows across Bernard's knee.  He sells while chopping on Bernard and Bernard cuts him off with really stiff chops and headbutts.  Bernard with the Avalanche Clothesline that Kojima leans into like a MAN and we are entering 14 minutes of Kojima not pissing me off.  Bernard misses an elbow to the corner and Kojima reels off a batch of chops and lariats but Bernard cuts him off by hitting the beautiful looking charge to knock Kojima off the apron- upon which Kojima bumps like a freak.  Kojima finally makes the TRANSITION~! to offense by throwing Bernard into the rail and fights to finally facebust the former A-Train onto the apron.  Bernard is a genius because he realizes that you have to just beat the living dogshit out of Kojima to keep him from running out of offense and going all Kurt Angle with the endless finishers.  Kojima hits a toprope elbow and they opt to beat the shit out of each other in the middle of the ring.  Bernard wins but sells the damage.  Kojima ranas out of Powerbomb attempt but Bernard kills him with a lariat and them double kills him with a Powerbomb. Bernard with an Avalanche for two and we await the Kojima comeback. And he elbows to offense and then Stunners young Bernard and they both fight to their feet at 8.  They struggle for the suplex and Kojima wins and the crowd comes alive as they sense that Kojima is finally ready to bring it.  He hits a lariat for two and Bernard and Kojima sell the damage for a little.  Bernard hits his Falling Chokeslam Powerbomb and they both struggle to make it to another 8 count.  Kojima lariats Bernard and they both fly over the toprope to the floor and this is the best Kojima match that I can remember (but we all know what my memory is worth- but STILL…).  They both make it back to the ring at 19 and start beating the fudge out of each other.  Kojima fights out of an Oklahoma Stampede and hits a lariat and another lariat and gets a two count. They finally both make it to their feet and Albertooo finally hits the Tombstone for two and they both sprawl to the mat and DOUBLE FUCKING COUNTOUT?  AWWWWWESOME.  So fucking great.  Giant Bernard made me like a fucking KOJIMA match.  NUMBER ONE AND THE BEST.  BUTT. My main problem with the match is that Kojima's offense is so pedestrian that I didn't really buy Giant Bernard being put out to the point of not making the cover, much less not answering the ten count.  I mean Bernard sells Kojima's shitty offense like a fucking king and you know the psychological basis of the finish but Kojima sucks ass and he can't really muster anything that would make you buy it.  But Bernard is so fucking awesome in this that you can look past this one major flaw and take the GIFT the Puroresu God's have left you...

TOGHI MAKABE vs Naofumi Yamamoto- NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING- G1 Climax-8/8/2006: God, this DVDVR is all that Yamamaoto and Yujiro that is supposed to heat up my wrestling tenderloins and so far so good (Yammmi/Sai) and here we go with the Japanese poor man's Mike Enos versus young buck Yamamoto.  Yamz brings the kicks and crappy dropkick early.  Yamamoto's offense is 50% cool and 50% pure shit so I'm not in love with him unless Sai is kicking the fuck out of him.  Makabe does the GNARLEY Death Valley Bomb to the floor that is met with deep crowd indifference for some reason.  I really like Makabe but it appears that noone in the Japanese paying audience could give a fuck.  His offense is 100% perfectly okay.  Maybe the crowd was MIC-ed~! wrong. Makabe has a really nice vertical suplex.  Maybe he is the best possible Hugh Morris.  Maybe he should just stick to the New Japan Pseudo-WCW-Syndies- as his vertical suplexes may have more heating effect in the studio confines filled with folks who actually give a shit about methodical match structures with good looking offenses.  This all kinda builds to a Yamzz underdog comeback that isn't getting the crowd worked up.  Thus, it would appear to be a failure so far.  Makabe stretches the fuck out of Yamamoto with a half-crab and I await Makabe vs Hiro Saito for the MUGA title.  Yamamoto finals starts kicking the fuck out of Mukabe and the crowd is listless though his kicks are hurty and his backdrop makes you think that he has a ghost of a chance before Makabe cuts him off and kills him a couple lariats.  Mukabe is TENZAN ARMY now and you gotta wonder if it's gonna be a Anti-Choshyu Army Black And White to Chono's Wolfpack.  As Mukabe's overness is very Stevie Ray/CurleyBill/Bryan Adams-esque.


Hector Garza & Damian 666 & Mr. Aguila vs. Universo 2000 & Tarzan Boy & Rey Bucanero: I love the lucha libre. You see a lot of lucha respect in American indies, but they tend to concentrate on the artsy-fartsy crazy characters and fliptastic styles. The great thing about lucha libre is that it's folk art rather than urban art school college art, and there's a down-home feel to lucha that the lucha-inspired indies have yet to capture.
The deal here is Universo Dos Mil beat Halloween in a hair match, using what looked to be a piledriver, but the ref ruled it that Halloween hit his shoulders. We have Universo talking shit with a scowl before this trios match, with Halloween being pushed around in a wheelchair with neckbrace and leg cast by Damian, who is in full evil make-up and street clothes. The skull of Melissa would be proud. When I first started getting the lucha libre weekly back when I had a satellite tracking machine shooting television waves into my brainwashing box, much to the joy of Homeland Security types, I could not stand them there Dynamite Brothers. And I still don't care much for Cien Caras or Mascara Ano Dos Mil, but Universo Dos Mil started growing on me pretty hard about the time he put Perro Aguayo out of official commission. And now that he looks like a pockmarked evil drunk Mexican heel without his mask, it's even better. And you know, you have to love the fact that in the year 2006, with all the scientific breakthroughs in medicine and structural rehab of skeletons, the piledriver is still sold as motherfuckin' chump ass evil in Mexico. I am not a scientific type; in fact, I'd say fuck science, as it's not half as smart as it thinks it might be. There are things that cannot be explained, like Que Monito or hermaphrodites or furries or Reggie Roby, and science will come up with some half-assed explanation to try and put it all in its proper place, but it doesn't work. This is why I like the religious aspects of wrestling as opposed to techincal analysis, because religion doesn't give you a half-assed explanation, it just accepts the fact there's shit you could never explain and THAT'S THE MAGIC of whatever it is you're getting religified about. Sometimes, I hate wrestling so much because I've been polluted by the poisons of over-analysis. Usually, when this feeling overwhelms me, I'll take a couple hydrocodones with a corked bottle of cabernet sauvignon, something warm for my gut and slow for my bloodstream, and pop in an old Sabu videotape or watch more lucha that my man Ed Turtle continually sends me even though I've sent him nothing but broken promises for like two years. (Actually, that's why I started in May of lucha on gala, because I'm determined to work my way through all this lovely stuff more than just having it on the background while I carve retarded educated redneck haiku into soapstone with a Dremel.)
If someone promised me 51 lucha ring girls in some sort of fake-heaven after I martinized myself, I'd probably try to kill some godless Americans, too. Pooch bellies and fake titties never looked so good. Hector Garza's mustache makes me think further of fake-heavens and the recent passing of Antonio Pena and I'm sure if there is a for-real Heaven, no religion's for-real Heaven would exclude a mad genius businessman like Antonio Pena, and I'm sure in Heaven, the midgets and women work for free, the young wrestlers are more than glad to sign the rights away to their gimmick, and the muscular guys love wearing thongs. Heels fuck up the faces for a visually spiffy three men splitting apart the legs of two men to flip them over into a menage-a-cinco Boston crab fairly fast for the cheap first fall victory.
I guess everybody in this match is actually rudo, just like the real world. Tarzan Boy doesn't look nearly as roided up as I remember him. Now, Damian and then Aguila both had CAPITAN! Universo Dos Mil pinned in this second fall, but pull him up to make him suffer, just like their podna Halloween has suffered, sitting up there on the entrance ramp in his neckbrace, wheelchair, and doo-rag. Damian 666 does one of them new-fangled invertebreaker-breaker moves that would far more easily paralyze a man than a piledriver for the second fall win. This is Mexico, and the crowd appropriately boos, and without irony, but a man also draws caricatures ringside while an infant wears a Mistico stocking hat.
Rubber stamp caida starts with Universo Dos Mil wanting him and Damian 666 one-on-one, to settle some old festering bullshit, which ends in some crowd-pumping kicks to Damian's ribs. I guess Los Perros Del Mal are more rudo than regular rudo. And I gotta tell you, if you had said to me in like 2001, "Yo Raven, you know Hector Garza is gonna look far gayer than he does now, and in an even more disturbing mistaking-power-for-sex type way," I would've said bullshit, because his AAA gyrations of 2001 were enough to bother even me, the amazing two-bearded man. But damned if he doesn't, with his thicker physique and creepy blonde hair and weird Magnum P.I. as filtered through the Rio Grande mustache, look even more creepily homosexual than he did back then. (For those who think I automatically associate gay with creepy, I'd like to explain my barometer for wholesome homosexuality is Larry and Laban, two guys who had crocheted witches in their kitchen on a Roanoke-based PBS cooking show that was the greatest show a stoned teenager could ever want to watch while staying home from school for the fourth time in two weeks. It's where I learned to make peanut butter pie, and no, that's not a euphemism for something homosexually kama sutric.) Bucanero does a ringside drop toehold on Garza into the fans in the front row, and it just doesn't seem that devastating if Garza is acting like he's gonna lose five teeth but the dude he got dropped against is leaning on his wife's shoulder and laughing. Third fall highspots lead to just Garza and Tarzan Boy in the ring, and Garza gets down on his knees with one hand behind his back for the handshake, in the third fall. You gotta love lucha. Ends up with Tarzan almost getting pinned by Garza but Universo, ever the resourceful old fighter, throws a beer in the face of Garza which leads to his match-deciding pin, because alcohol stings his memory, as it was the drunken abuse of his father at a young age that has caused him to unhealthily search for approval, albeit through sexual avenues, from older men.

Atlantis/ Ultimo Guerrero/ Averno/ Mephisto vs Blue Panther/ El Hijo Del Santo/ Mistico/ Negro Casas: Mistico is so fuckin’ large (in terms of pop culture approval) there needs to be a Negro Mistico like three weeks ago. And Negro Casas will always look to me like a guy trying to jack-off in the woods watching teenage girls swim at the public park swimming hole. Also, if I had a lot of unnecessary money to waste on running stupid wrestling shows that 74 people would go to and then I’d sell only 37 copies of the show, but those 37 copies would in turn be “traded” to another thousand people, I’d totally waste my money on bringing Blue Panther in. That guy has been silently solid for as long as I’ve followed the stupid lucha semi-regularly. Ultimo Guerrero is looking swank as always, though his colors may be a design meant to complement Mistico; I’ve always been super partial to Ultimo’s lime green/black phase.
Mistico is not a big guy, even by lucha standards, and los cuatro rudos grab a limb each and toss him up as far as they can, and Mistico does a great job of landing on his head and throbbing around like masked olive-skinned Rocky King, and I almost start to believe they may actually maim him slightly, right before all four guys pile on to pin him to finalize a first fall win for the crowd-pleasing ways of evil. 1000% rudo, yo, 1000% rudo.
Lucha chaos is not necessarily the greatest work rate wise, but fuck it, I’d rather look at crazy guys in masks slap each other in front of families than work anyways. I’m also starting to realize one of the most marketable things about Mistico is that almost every other luchador can easily toss him 17 feet into the air, and when he lands with a sprawling thud, followed by some epileptic twitching, it makes it all seem oh so real for a second or two. But the tecnicos take over, of course, and Mistico throws like seven shitty kicks during the momentum changing melee, while Negro only throws one that was shown, but it was a nice boot about halfway down Mephisto’s throat through his cheekbone in the corner. A brief gathering of the senses and restart center ring ends up in beautiful lucha chaos that ends with Mistico and Blue Panther slapping on simultaneous submission armbars on Ultimo and Atlantis, after Santito barely gets launched far enough over the ropes into a tope for Averno to catch him without cracking any heads. But fuck it, it’s lucha. Being safe is for sports entertainers.
Tercera caida ring card girl has the thick thighs and thick ass that I long to share a king-sized bed jacuzzi hotel room with. The crowd loves them some Mistico, him getting name chants like Santo with horn blasts and mad foot-stomping. And when I’m watching lucha libre and I get to see the Negro Casas slaps on a sleeperhold type thing, falls backward with rudo stomach exposed, Santo does a senton from the top rope but rolls into upright run across the ring to do a tope through the ropes to the outside, then I’m a happy wrestling viewer. That spot’s like the Ric Flair over the top rope run to the other corner spot times siete. So Atlantis is using Que Monito against his will as a weapon, which is funny to me because I don’t often see little furry humans in my every day life, but then Que Monito wobbles over and gives Atlantis the dreaded south of the border below the belt clubbing, and even though Que Monito is maybe 56 lbs. with his furry costume on, Atlantis is down, clutching his el hijo holders. Mistico planchas Ultimo down the aisle, and we just as Santito and Casas are battling
Averno and Mephisto and I thunk to myself how this is setting up another ring-clearing situation to leave the capitans Panther and Atlantis in the ring for the finale, Santito and Casas slap on submission holds and it’s over. The thing about lucha main events is they could be interchangeable with a ton of other lucha main events, but were you to have a DVD full of nothing but the lucha main events from CMLL on Galavision, if you didn’t love the fuck out of that divid, I don’t know if I’d want to know you. 



I think this is a one match show- and I wonder where the love of God goes when the Ryuji Ito turns the minutes to hours. But we must watch it before we spew forth vile hatred so let us take a look. I think I got this from Stuart's board but I'm not sure- as I have so much wrestling to watch and but one life to live. It truly is the happiest of days. Wrestling fandom wise.

Ryuji Ito vs Takashi Sasaki: Another day, another death match. I am setting some sort of personal record of death match viewing in a 6 month period. They show flashbacks to all the matches I've watched in the last three weeks. They have a little press conference where I assume they explain the reason for the shark cage thingy with a ladder on top. Simplicity, guys. It's the key. Onita just needed barbed wire that blew up and an exploding ring. His most memorable death matches weren't socially stunted Rube Goldberg drawings. But I'm ahead of myself already. Death matches are like electronical music. New Order made it great because you felt the humanity underneath. The human will to win the match is the story. If it's just jumping off ladders, you are moving more into a… God, I can't think of a bad 80s electronical band. OMD- ruled. Naked Eyes- Ruled. Human League- RULED. Just trust me. And I'm sure someone will spark my memory. Hey, the match started. They fight in the middle and try not to get thrown into the non-exploding flourescent lightbulbs. They do some standing switches. The sliding in front of the bulbs- the TEASING of the glass breaking in a powdery non-exploding mist- you have seen this is every death match. They do a lot of chain wrestling and then the first one to his feet runs over and hits the other over the head with a light bulb. That's kinda neat- a sort of Shuttle Run For Kids Who Would Mutilate Cats. Sasaki tries to suplex Ito through the dog cage of light bulbs sitting on six chairs and they go right ahead and do it. I figured they would build up to it, but this does have the element of surprise going for it. The fact that they don't really sell it kinda validates the off-hand way they hit the spot- and I love that Ryuji Ito sells his ride into the chairs as more of hurt-inducing move than being suplexed through a barbed-wire box off the apron through to the floor. Maybe they are shooting for a CUMULATIVE selling thingy. That must be it. Sasaki does kick him around a bit so I guess it's better than Ito hopping up and going on offense. But yeah, come on guys. They smack each other and Sasaki stomps him in the corner and the barbed-wire shark cage avec une ladder is the TEASED spot so I guess it will hurt more than the dog cage to the floor idea. Sasaki goes face first into the shark cage and a bunch of light bulbs break as I notice that it isn't actually wrapped in barbed wire. Look. You NEED an explosion there. Call me old school. This is like a Nu Metal band covering "War Pigs". Sasaki no-sells a toprope Frankensteiner but he was hurt by broken light bulbs one minute prior. I am starting to have... QUESTIONS.... about the quality of the psychology of this match. I dunno. You gotta have ONE or the OTHER- rock solid psychology like the Yamakawa-Honma-Shadow WX-Shadow Winger axis of matches or you need to have ridiculously dangerous stuntwork like Cactus Jack or the TLC matches. The shark cage visual was pretty neat when I watch it again but it doesn't even enter the Dudley boys TLC non-Hardys matches level. And the psychology isn't holding it together. BAH! Okay, maybe this will pick in the- oh holy fuck, THIRTY-TWO minutes left? They fight for the ladder on top of the regular non-barbed-wire shark cage and Sasaki teases Suplexing him twenty feet to the ground- AND HE DOES! But the big question I ask myself is- WILL ANYBODY SELL IT? It's good for a two count. So you will always have that, gentle reader. Sasaki follows up with a Northern Lights Bomb for two. Ito ducks a kick through a wad of tubes to his face and SPRINGS INTO ACTION! and hits a Frog Splash through some tubes for a two count. Ito opts to build a Barbed-Wire Box On Six Chairs thing inside the ring, as it would appear that this set-up doesn't actually devastate the victim all that much off the apron through the floor. AH! You put Sasaki UNDER it and dive off the ladder! But Sasaki isn't done yet so they fight over the ladder again. Sasaki loses and falls off the cage and through the box and then gets Frog splashed for two. See, this match is working on an internal logic that they veiwer must buy into. The FLAW is that the match itself doesn't actually buy into the internal Logic of The Professional Wrestling. I can't follow them down a non-professional wrestling logic route and buy into what they are trying to designate as a horrendous finishing move and what is merely blood-drenched time filler. They kick out of a lot of things. Ito misses a diving headbutt off the ladder on the cage and hits the mat in what I am assuming was supposed to be the finish- but WHO COULD BE SURE?!? Maybe he was supposed to DRAW THE POWER OF THE MAT into the cuts across his chest and the added Fighting Spirit will vault him past the mechanisms permeating the match- thus allowing Ito to win with a German Suplex? Well. The upside is that it isn't actually 45 minutes like it threatened to be. They wrap it up at 22 minutes. Fuck, I don't know what to tell you, gentle beloved reader. Non-sensical selling and nothing blew up. Welcome to hell. Next time, if you ain't gonna blow shit up, get Mammoth Sasaki to be in it so the wrestling aspect is interesting. GUH. Ah, you might like this. I was confused by it. Maybe that's a sign that it is BEYOND my old-fashioned comprehension. I will gladly be the art critic who scoffs at this possible Death Match Impression Sunrise and dub it "dog lickings". Postmatch Jun Kasai is very earnest.

The rest of the show is all about gearing up for the return of Yamakawa. And I back that play one hundred percent.


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

1. Chris Benoit v. Finlay WWE 5/21
Jun Akiyama v. Masao Inoue NOAH 4/23
Rey Mysterio v. Randy Orton WWE 4/4
William Regal v. Chris Benoit
Chris Benoit v. Finlay WWE 5/3

Finlay v. Rey Mysterio WWE 3/20
Chris Benoit v. JBL WWE 4/11
Homicide v. Necro Butcher 5/13
Chris Benoit v. William Regal WWE 5/8
American Dragon Brian Danielson v. Samoa Joe ROH 8/6
American Dragon Brian Danielson v. Nigel McGuiness ROH 4/29
Mistico/Negro Casas v. Averno/Memphisto CMLL 4/15
Chris Hero/Necro Butcher/Super Dragon v. Samoa Joe/B.J. Whitmer/Adam Pearce ROH 4/22

14. La Mascara/El Hijo Del Santo v. Blue Panther/Tarzan Boy CMLL GDL 1/1
15. Rey Mysterio v. Mark Henry WWE 1/15
Damien Wayne v. Sean Denny NWA-VA 5/6
Meiko Satomura v. Aja Kong Sendai Pro Wrestling 7/9
L.A. Park/Marco Corleone/Johnny Stamboli v. Dr. Wagner Jr./Dos Caras Jr./Lizmark Jr. CMLL 5/19
19. Rey Mysterio v. Finlay 9/5
Yuki Ishikawa v. Hiroyuki Ito Big Mouth Loud 5/4

Previously on the list
- El Hijo Del Santo/Negro Casas/Mistico v. Atlantis/Black Warrior/Ultimo Guerrerro 8/4
- Low-Ki v. Necro Butcher IWA-MS 4/1
- Rey Mysterio/Bobby Lashley/Chris Benoit v. JBL/Finlay/Randy Orton WWE 2/23
- 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

4. William Regal v. Chris Benoit

Well fuck. This might be my favorite match up in wrestling history, and it shows up on PPV. It was Regal v. Benoit and you got all that you would hope from that. The first headbutt which split Regal open was Kikuchi level nasty, it sounded like someone dropped a Mango off a 5 story ledge. I also loved Benoit chopping Regal right on the open wound to get the blood flowing again. Regal's King Kong kneedrop was a new wrinkle and a great one, one knee to the ribs, one to the neck. I especially loved all of the mat struggling, Benoit's mat work always looks like a viscous fight, and the countering of the Regal stretch here was great, as was Regal fighting the crossface like his life defended on it. I like how Regal doesn't fight the crossface, but always immediately taps, really puts over the viscousness of the hold

12. Mistico/Negro Casas v. Averno/Memphisto CMLL 4/15

This has been a pretty rough year for CMLL, with their main events being cut really short, and nothing really delivering like it should. This however got close to 30 minutes and was actually worked sort of like a title match. Mistico usually breaks it out for big matches, but he was sort of subdued here, he and Averno ran through their fast exchanges, but the focus of the technicos was on Negro Casas as it should be. Casas was the conductor and is still one of the best wrestlers in the world. Just his opening standing switch section with Memphisto was beautiful. Then when he kicks it into gear he was great. The first two falls were on the short side (although not by 2006 CMLL standards) and then they had a super hot third fall full of big moves.

I don't really care for Ulitmo Guerrerro style "big spot" rudos, all I need from my rudos is good catching, some big bumps, nice punches and some shtick. Averno and Memphisto are not that kind of rudo, they break out a half a dozen powerbomb variations in the third fall, which is really five too many. It isn't my kind of lucha, but everything was hit really well, and the near falls were very cool. I hope CMLL delivers better this year, but so far this is the best I have seen.

19. Rey Mysterio v. Finlay 9/5

We get another TV match between the best babyface in wrestling and the best heel, and the Finlay love continues. This match was hurt a little bit by the storyline, which was Rey being "off his game" although most Rey matches, on game or off, have him selling as much as he did here. I don't think Finlay ever worked lucha, but he was the lost great rudo in this match. I loved the little opening mat work which had Finlay reverse the headscissors using a indian deathlock, his headscissors counter into a quebradora was amazing, and he took all of Rey's offense perfectly. The bump on the satellite head-scissors was especially gorgeous. As much as I was in love with January/February Finlay he may even be better now.


$%$%$%$%$%$% Yutaka Yoshie vs Buck Quartermaine- MUGA- 9/25/2006- [ALEXANDER CAIN]: Quartermaine is like an epileptic whore. He means well, but just when you're about to come, he spazzes out and fucks up the klymaxx. That whole legwork section outside the ring made no fucking sense whatsoever. I just watched Terry Allen and Barry Windham rassle the Alabama Chain Gang on CWF '82, and, brother, lemme tell you, that was real wrestling. ACG [two guys in Assassin suits with vertical stripes on the whole shebang] was all Disorderly Conduct on the two Young Lions, cutting off the ring and getting mad heat. They went to a time limit draw. No resolution. Loaded boot gimmick. After the match ended, I remarked to my girlfriend 'I'd pay to see that match. I feel like I'm ten again'. She didn't acknowledge what I was saying. Just went back to reading the 'Bell Jar'. A good book, but still....

$%$%$%$%$%$% Yutaka Yoshie vs Buck Quartermaine- MUGA- 9/25/2006- [DEAN RASMUSSEN]: I always confuse Quartermaine with one of those guys that was in a Memphis tagteam in the late 90s and I can never remember if it was New South or the Tennessee Volunteers or some other something or another.  I know that he is in Japan because Riki Choshyu brought in a folks from Florida to wrestle in Wrestle One and I assume Fujinami remembered young Buck and thought “Florida=Briscos=MUGA” so he is in!  Yoshie is the best possible Tugboat Taylor so I could see how a young man from Jacksonville would wax nostalgic. Yoshie is awash in pink and is this most peckerwood white trash looking Puroresu superstar on the circuit so I'm having nostalgic memories of Al Madrill versus Killer Karl Kox.  MUGA is about the STORY and the STORY is that Buck is little and Yoshie is large and they work around that idea.  Buck is quick and works the leg until he gives up the clean break.  I like Buck in this match because he has the baffled expression on his face between moves like he is amazed to be there- as if he is saying to himself, "Jesus, when they figure out that I'm fuckin' BUCK QUARTERMAINE I'm so back on the plane and back to bouncing at the Gator Growl Bar and Grill."  Buck's Rip Rogers Crapping In His Pants Tiptoe Sell of the knucklelock HAS to make this worthy wrestling and it makes up for the hilarious chairshot after the aforementioned out of ring legwork.  The joy of Buck in the corner working the leg- where he says, "Fuck it, I'm here.  I'll just enjoy it."- was uplifting to my human spirit.  Buck trying to elevate his offense to not look like a guy who would job to America's Most Wanted in three minutes was a little harsh- as it isn't a role he's comfortable with, though between hesitation, he can conjure a Bart Sawyer vibe that is worthy of a MUGA undercard. The finish is so sloppy that I would be TEMPTED to join you in scorn for the match but I blame fat boy just as much as Buck for fucking up the money shot.  I like it because MUGA is now in the context of the Puroresu Pseudo-WCW-Syndie and thus an awkward match like this is going to happen.  I don't remember ever hating a Worldwide match where Juventud would try to work a Powerplant trainee so how could I in good conscience hate this? If Masa Saito/ Kensuke Sasaki vs the Southern Posse on WCW Pro is some mystical match in the mind's of the Japanese to the point that the Puroresu Overlords feel it is the basis for five syndie leagues, I back their play 100%.


New Japan's LOCK UP- 6/25/06
Stuart posted all this because he fucking rules- (D/L it from his public folder and you can play along as I review!).  LOCK UP is Riki Choshyu's New Japan offshoot that runs in New Japan arena in Disneyland Tokyo (I'm assuming).

Hirooki Goto vs Daisaku Shimoda: I could have sworn I had reviewed some of this LOCK-UP before because it is right there with Wrestle Land and SEMS and THE WOMAN in the PsuedoWCW WORLDWIDE-mania sweeping Puroresu the wrestling as of late.  This is like a WOW taping in it's tiny weirdness.  Hirooki Goto I've seen a couple times now and his Steve Buscemi good-looks will make sure that he will one day graduate to the high profile big time of a MUGA undercard.  Here he gets four minutes to take a quick ass beating from Shimoda- who I don't remember ever seeing.  Hirooki whips out the All Japan Women rookie match offense and uses it to sink in a cross-armbreaker.  Shimoda- better looking in a goodlookin’ Greek guy with a lot of facial bee-stings sort of way- suplexes and suplexes and suplexes until Hirooki can fight back with a leg lariat and a Boston Crab. Shimoda hits the ropes but Hirooki hits some sweet side suplexes and gets the Rick Fuller over Roadblock-esque win. We were diverted by a little wrestling. I love the LOCK-UP.

Takashi Uwano vs Ichiro Yaguchi: These are two crappy guys that are Choshyu cronies.  Yaguchi doesn't carry the barbed-wire cross to the ring anymore- or maybe he's toning it down for the Orlando audience.  Who could be sure?  Anyway this is the EXACT same as Horace Boulder and Ed Leslie wrestling on WCW Pro.  Except Horace had better offense than anybody in this.

Gedo vs Osamu Namiguchi: Oh Namaguchi, I don't remember ye.  They wrestle this like Juventud Guerrera versus Hector Garza on WCW Worldwide- with Gedo being the world's most uncoked-up Juventud and Zero-1MAX boy being the least roided out Hector Garza.  Juventedo smacks Namihector around early- and then Namiguchi hits some perfectly fine mid-grade New Japan Juniors offense and Gedo is in trouble until he drops Namiguchi's throat across the toprope after hitting an Atomic Drop, a stunner and something else.  Gedo hits the superfly Splash and gets the pin.  No muss, no fuss- just a little wrestling to get you through your hangover. That brought back memories.  The Japanese announcer says some bullshit about a game of human chess.

Naofumi Yamamoto/ Yujiro vs Ryouji Sai/ Rikiya Fudo: Another Naofumi Yamamoto match and Yujiro is there too! Truly I will be up to speed in no time. Hey, this would sorta be like the Sai-Yamamoto rematch I would demand down yonder in the Singles Going Steady.  So the fact this is on the LOCK-UPS means they will give it eight minutes to beat the hell out of each other.  I'm torqued.  Let's fire up the computer machine and watch the goodness! Rikiya Fudo is a fat guy- so Food-Oh! is soo an awesome gimmick.  He looks kinda like the bastard son of Aja Kong and Buddy Lee Parker.  Sai and Yamamoto hate each other's fucking guts early and Sai is sooo my favorite out of all these guys I hadn't seen yet.  He kicks the living fuck out of Yujiro early and I am aflame with love.  Love for you, the reader.  Love for you, The Professional Wrestling.  Sai kicking the fuck out of Yujiro is somehow even more fun than Yamamoto and Sai kicking the fuck out of each other.  I love this shit.  Then Yamamoto tags and punches Food-oh on the apron and starts beating the shit out of Sai.  Sai does the AWWWWESOMe jumping kick to the face.  It was awesome.  They tag in Fudo and he, a ball of fire and powermoves.  He has FUDDDOOOO!! across his pants.  He also has a nice powerbomb to set up Sai’s completely hateful doublestomp on our boy Yamamoto.  Yujiro mauls Fudo with really nice powermoves during an extended save- and I remember that I've seen Yujiro before in a rookie match.  Yujiro and Yamamoto beat the hell out of Fudo until he can stand no more and that's that.  That was an awesome 6 minute match.  The Lock-Ups is the best of the Puroresu Syndies.

Togi Makabe vs Daisuke Sekimoto: Makabe in LOCK-UP is a match made in heaven.  Sekimoto looks great against Mammoth Sasaki these days.  Makabe isn't Mammoth Sasaki but should fair well.  Sekimoto topes early and starts punching Makabe in the face and this is already fabulous.  Makabe doesn't answer the call to beat someone's ass and instead sets up Sekimoto's power arsenal so this isn't nearly as fun as a Mammoth Sasaki production- but what on God's green earth is?  Makabe sells the fuck out of Sekimoto Big Japan offense and goes up big for his suplexes.  Makabe is really underrated and is quite the Mark Starr of the LOCK-UP All Stars.  Sekimoto bumps big going shoulder first into the ringpost and Makabe suplexes him and Superplexes him and they opt to no-sell some lariats before suddenly selling the one that puts Makabe over.  Ending was shitty selling incarnate so.... a bit disappointing considering how well everything was going up to that point.  I blame Sekimoto.  Makabe is still on the Mike Enos roll of a lifetime.

Riki Choshu/Toru Yano/Tomohiro Ishii vs Kintaro Kanemura/Tetsuhiro Kuroda/GENTARO:  There is dancing.  Yano's boots are soo fruity. I remember GENTARO when he was FIGHTING MACHINE TARO.  I thought I would throw that in to make sure you remember how down with the kidz I am!  Ishii I'm sure I've seen before in the last month and a half. Choshyu's team is sooo Dungeon of Doom-level sleazy and crappy so I love them deeply while I also hate them for being so crappy.  Kanemura lowblows to get TNR2K6 back in the driver's seat.  GENTARO is great at landing on his head at an impossible angle but not so good when throwing punches.  Choshyu whips out the Scorpion Deathlock and GENTARO attacks with a chair!  This match is a total wreck.  You'll chuckle at things like I did.  Yano's hilarious offense is so BAD.  Ishii fucks up the finish but GENTARO drops a nice toprope elbow drop so all is forgiven. Because it's LOCK-UP and it's AWESOME.  Kuroda is Fishman 1998-level So Very There in this.  The actual finish involves lots and lots of lariats and comical spears.  Iishi hits a nice brainbuster for the finish. I so dig the LOCK-UP. 

Main Event sucked it, but I digress.

   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

#$#$#$#$#$#$ Magnitude Kishiwada/ Don Fujii/ Naruki Doi/ Masato Yoshino vs Magnum TOKYO/ Super Shisa/ King Shisa/ Katsuhiko Nakajima - DRAGON'S GATE- 12/26/05- [RAVEN MACK]:  Dean sends me shit and sends me shit, attempting to feed me the quality puro, but you can't feed a man a kobe steak who'd rather suck on a bottle of cheap wine. I have always had cultural blocks against the puro, and this is purely an internal thing as opposed to a prejudice of any sort. I think in words as opposed to images like what probably most folks do, pretty much reworking anything and everything I experience during the day into words, for better or worse, most of which never sees the light past my stream of consciousness. Shit, I even tend to masturbate to forum letters as opposed to the pictorials. So for me, knowing no Japanese, it makes it hard to experience the puro without becoming frustrated with my own mental make-up's inability to process what I'm watching in a way I enjoy. Luckily, I never really started watching lucha until after I had a perfunctory amount of both book-sense and jobsite Spanish to make it far easier to digest.
But I will try again. Dean sent me a bunch of shit, and then even told me what matches I should motherfuckin' watch with my ignorant ass, and this match from a Dragon's Gate show was one of the ones he bolded up in his email to me. Isn't Dragongate the one with all the gay shit? I certainly hope so, because the best wrestling I've ever seen is definitely some gay shit.
Fuckin' Black Crowes music and a bunch of freak indy rock looking Japs... this'll probably be right up my alley, as more than even wrestling, I am a huge mark for stupid shit. And Chris Robinson's New Earth Mud CD is the best hippie music that's been made in the last ten years, far better than all that jam band bullshit that's supposed to be Grateful Dead v3.0. And people follow that shit like it's a real band nowadays, following shit like Disco Biscuits and the shitty-ass String Cheese Incident. If there is a worse band than the String Cheese Incident on this planet earth, then I haven't had seven different misguided humans attempt to explain to me for far too long how great they are.
Ahh... weird techno-prog mood music in the dark with fans holding glow sticks and some strange voice-over the P.A. system... this is motherfuckin' wrestling. But again I am forced to ask myself, has anything ever synthesized been rockin'? I think not. Once the weird voice-over stops and someone sings, it sounds more like creepy anime music. The local community college-funded station used to have this show on Fridays from noon to two where the chick played all anime music and even would tell the time and weather from Tokyo... people like that freak me the fuck out and would have no second chance for life were I the Idi Amin of central Virginia post-apocalypse splintering apart of America.
Whoa, there's a troupe of girls in colorful masks dancing a very generic hip hop dance in the ring as the second team in this match-up enters... that would make for much better MTV-style TV than a couple of shitty brass pole hugging haggards with fake tits rolling around in g-strings, which is what I usually see in the 'merican wrasslin'. Oh, this is Magnum TOKYO's dance entourage, and HE DOES THE DANCE ROUTINE TOO, which makes him automatically the best wrestling I've seen in the last three months (of course, I haven't watched shit), and also has him expending more energy before the match even starts than most everybody of what I saw on the shitty fake ECW by WWE divid I got from stupid Netflix last month. Using him as the knowledge base of his team, I can deduct who the two Shisas are (assuming the one with the burly bearded black mask is King and not Super), and then figure out Nakajima.
The other team will not be so easy, and they are carrying fuckin' workout equipment, which I find upsetting. I know Magnitude Kishiwada is the masked dude, but the other three are just three well-sculpted, fit-looking, wrestling Japanese fuckers, so bear with me as I figure it out. Oh yeah, introductions... I got 'em all pegged now, and was correct in my distinguishment of a man who is a masked king and one who is merely super.
ALL HELL HAS BROKE LOOSE - IN EIGHT-MAN FORM! Magnum and Fujii trade forearms in front of some bleachers, and Doi and Nakajima are the dudes left in the ring during intial melee. Super lucha-based international grappling, with Magnum TOKYO sitting in the crowd watching the match. What a joker that Magnum TOKYO character is. The Yoshino kid looks about sixteen and is a couple of stacks of pancakes lighter than everybody else, but he runs through spots like a man who enjoys methamphetamine style commercial drinks. And I can't help but love Don Fujii as he looks like a member of Sha-na-na, but with an oriental face. Beyond his mask, Super Shisa is not very fuckin' good for the most part, although I gain love for him as they have a lengthy four-on-one segment with him as the one having the other team attempt to crack as many of his ribs as they can. AND YET, STILL HE KICKS OUT! Shisa must be Japanese for indestructible viking cat. King Shisa, a much Chinese buffetier indestructible viking cat, gets involved to help his Super counterpart out of a jam, which ends in double topes to the floor, and if the lucha libre has taught me one thing over the years, it is that there is nothing grander than a fat dude in a mask diving errantly into another man from a platform about three feet higher than him.
Magnum TOKYO gyrates his pleather-concealed penis in Doi's face before hitting a top rope hurricanrana, and the crowd goes into the normal Pavlovian squeals of delight. I never understood the thinking behind this... "OH SHIT, YO! Look at Magnum act like he's rubbing his dick in that other dude's grill... that shit is so awesome." I guess it all relates to the whole "suck my dick" derogatory retort, which I don't use because what if somebody said, "sure"? Then I'd have to get over my feelings of guilt at letting another man fellate me while being married. At least the first time that happened to me, I wasn't attached, though the feeling of scratchy face around succulent lips has always bothered me, because sensually, those two things don't match up in the preconceptions of my mind. However, like my dad taught me, so long as I don't touch a penis, I'm not being gay.
Yoshino hits a sweet missile dropkick which he angles like a double thrust of foot from the sky into the face of Super Shisa, who is earning his money during this match if not for nothing more than being the whipping boy. King Shisa is like a thousand times better than Super Shisa, which may be a metric conversion of sorts that I don't know about, since I am an ignorant American. And one who likes the men who what does the fake fightings to boot. Super Shisa even does some lucha-style spinning around the body of your opponent type stuff in slower speed than you'd expect, making even that look more forced and faker than usual. Maybe Shisa actually translates as slow motion alien life form. Aww, stupid Super Shisa gets kicked in the beard in his mask and pinned to cause shameful defeat for his team. I had fun with King Shisa, Magnitude Kishiwada, and Don Fujii, and if you'll pay for another date, Chuck Woolery, I'd love to see them again.

%^%^%^%^%%^ JUSHIN "THUNDER" LYGER vs MINORU TANAKA- NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING- 5/28/2006- [DEAN RASMUSSEN]: Stuart posted this and we thank him. Remember when TAKA Michinoku went to the WWF and hung around in the US and Puerto Rico for a couple years. When he came back and started wrestling again he would have a good match every now and then- but mostly he wrestled every match in Japan like it was 6 minute Velocity match. The farther Minoru Tanake gets from his BattlARTS beginnings the more he is boring me to death. Hopefully not the point of de-Michinoku Pro-ized TAKA, but we're moving in that direction but he really hasn't done anything for me since being absolutely SOLID GOLD in that NOAH invasion tag match. But we have THIS. I haven't seen Lyger have a really good match in a while. His G-1 match with Giant Bernard is kinda like everybody else's match with Bernard in the G-1: well, it was fucking Giant Bernard so of course it fucking ruled. Giant Bernard is becoming the new Benoit match gauge- or non-gauge- since matches with either can usually be chalked up to Benoit or Giant Bernard regardless of how good the opponent is. So, I have high hopes for this. Minoru flies into a crossbreakor early and then Minoru does mini-Zbysko stall for no real reason. Lyger does his basic Lucha Libre submission thing until Minoru goes back to the arm and this MUGA influence is getting way out of hand. Lyger SHOTAYS! to try to set up a toprope brainbuster or something but Minoru dropkicks him and they brawl to the floor- hitting the East sign at Koureken. Though Lyger wasn't spewing blood so I didn't understand the significance. Lyger ges all fun with the piledriver on the uncovered floor and then takes off the turnbuckle padding and yeah, I love the Lyger again. Minoru is a pussy and doesn't blade from the piledriver. Minoru fights off a toprope Frankensteiner and Lyger is back to selling the arm. Minoru kicks the arm in a myriad of ways as this drifts away from the bloodbath this was looking like it was going to become- as Minoru hits a nice Dangerous Backdrop. Lyger hits a Released German and one can only hope that Lyger goes back to his Puerto Rico 1983 instinct with this match and he starts with the brainbuster on the floor. One would hope for a follow up of a broken wooden chair leg jabbed into Tanaka's forehead but I doubt if this match can deliver what it taunted me with when Lyger exposed the turnbuckle. Lygerbomb for two. Not on the exposed turnbuckle. BAH! Minoru with a backslide and rolling cross-armbreaker thing and this is perfectly fine junior heavyweight wrestling. Which isn't gonna cure me of my declining interest in these two. Tanaka kicks like a pansy now. Shotay for two and I've completely turned on this match. It's not fair. I blame Lyger for hinting at something else and then doing a straight New Japan Juniors Velocity match. Nice Shotay though. Minoru leaned into it like a man. Minoru no-sells a toprope brainbuster and this match can go fuck itself. Lyger beats him with suddenly effective second toprope brainbuster. I'd call Tanaka the Scotty2Hotty of New Japan Juniors but Scotty2Hotty would fucking sell a brainbuster- and fuck, he would have bladed after the piledriver to the floor. This sucked ass.

#$#$#$#$#$ BAD NEWS ALLEN/BRUISER BRODY V INOKI/FUJINAMI [BOGUS PROPHET 5000]: I grew up a big mark for CWF -- and a big part of the reason, even though the promotion was into what we now call its decline and fall, is because the promotion had some awesome heels come through. The kind of guys I would see and wonder why they weren't wrestling Flair instead of, well, the people Crockett fed to him. The two gaijins in this were on my short list, and I was stoked to see this match. Did not disappoint. Allen and Brody work really smooth, stiff, and vicious on the doubleteams, almost like a sped up Minnesota Wrecking Crew. Both guys could work at this point, and, well, you know what Inoki and Tatsumi could do. Brody was just on here -- his dropkick against Fujinami early in the match a thing of beauty. The finish was indecisive -- 'it's breaking down in Osaka' -- with the timekeeper's table flying into the ring at the very end. The Americans carried the offense, and Inoki and Fujinami sold like Mulkeys. Awesome stuff to watch on a Saturday morning, or any morning.

!@!@!@!@!@!@!@!@ Naofumi Yamamoto vs Ryouji Sai- NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING- JAPAN CUP- 4/16/2006- [DEAN RASMUSSEN]: Reading Stuart's recap to get a general idea of where I am with this. Sai is from Zero-1 and I haven't watched him wrestle in forever if I have ever seen him. Yamamoto I've seen wrestle a couple times and haven't pledged my eternal love to him like others on the internet have. I was HOUNDED to review this so I am filled with nervous anticipation that this is better than the other Yamamoto offerings that have been served up to me. Yamamoto looks at Sai with the awesome psycho look in his eye- as if to say in Japanese the equivalent of "WHATCHU FEEL, MOTHERFUCKER? Ain't nuthin between us but fear and atmosphere." Yamamoto tells the ref to go fuck himself and starts in on Sai like he owes his mom money. Sai starts stomping on Yamamoto's head in the corner in return and is baffled as to why folks are giving him shit when he didn't start none but they gonna be some. Yamamoto goes in for a takedown and Sai rips Yamamoto's entire head off with a knee to the jaw. I think it might have been accidental. I KNOW it looked fucking awesome. It was Sai saying- with his knee- "Come gitcha some, pussy." This is already 12 billion stars. So they opt for some mat work to slow it down for a minute but Sai decides to heat it back up by throwing Yamamoto to the floor. Sai beats the fuck out of Yamamoto on the floor and Yamamoto will stand there and accept an assbeating. Sai throws him into the ring and fuckin stomps on some more until Yamamoto lucks into a Fujiwara armbar. Yamamoto tells the ref to suck his dick after not breaking after Sai makes the ropes. Yamamoto kicks the hell out of Sai in fun and excitingly innovative ways to kick a guy in the fuckin' teeth. The running knee to the sternum is soooo completely dickish that I can understand the love of Yamamoto now. Though I love Sai more in this match. Sai sells the Yamamoto choke out like he's a professional wrestling being choked out. Sai tries to punch to a comeback but Yamamoto stuns him with a kick and kills him with a dropkick. Yamamoto tries running kick to the throat after kicking him the head to show he's his little bitch but Sai catches his foot and Release Germans him- but Yamamoto no-sells it so the bloom off the rose a bit here. Yamamoto goes up top but Sai catches him and Brainbusts him from the second rope and they crawl around on the ground and headbutt each other until they get to their feet. Sai slaughters him with a knee to the face after Yamamoto bounces off the ropes and hits a perfectly fine toprope Double Stomp to get the win. The finish would have to have required switchblades or rusty tin can lids to truly match the level of ugly hatred that made the body of the match so fun. QUALITY PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING. Postmatch, Zero-One and New Japan try to shove it up each others asses and we get to watch. I love me some interpromotional hatred. Sai is on fire calling Yamamoto his little sissy fannypants sobsister and storming off in victory. REMATCH ALREADY.

$%$%$%$%$%$ The Boogalou Crew vs Air Paris/ John Phoenix - circa fall 1999- [RAVEN MACK]: My man Lee down in Florida sent me an Air Paris comp called Suicidal Tendencies, which is fitting because Air Paris was a high-flying fliptard in Wildside about the same time A.J. Styles broke his Wal-Martinized Christian ass onto the scene, yet while one followed the path layed out by the lord, including dodging locker room politics and feeding his body the necessary supplements to survive and thrive in the prefessional wrestling industry, Air Paris turned out to be a dirtbag junkie who'd blow his advance money when he could still get some in truck stop bathrooms shooting up. But fake God and fake Satan are a western yin and yang, needing each other to perpetuate their individual industries, so Air Paris deserves some recognition. And anyways, he might be clean and sober now. HAHAHA, that's funny. Heroin junkies are to cleaning up like wrestlers are to retiring.
I think the Boogalou Crew is Scottie Wrenn and J.C. Dazz, and I also think Scottie Wrenn is that dude who caught himself on fire on that one Wildside tape I watched way back in the day. I never knew how fucked that was until I was at the Wildside Arena one time - an old church-looking shit-ass building in the middle of a field not really near anything too much of a note, although the country store across the road sold boiled peanuts. I'd like to see some of that NWA Anarchy nonsense that supplanted Wildside once Bill Behrens became a TNA person of importance. You don't hear much about it on the world wide weezy and eye-dubya-see, so I figure it's probably good shit that would draw black kids and old drunken racists and paraplegic epileptics with Down's syndrome, who all get real loud and boisterous enough to sometimes make the laptop-luggers not feel as comfortable.
This match, however, is not very good, and to be the first match on a best of comp... that doesn't bode well. They do mention on commentary how Dragon Dan Wilson's great uncle is Gypsy Joe, which is just one more reason to love Dragon Dan Wilson. I don't have many regrets in my life, but I passed up the chance to drive a car through West Virginia with the car full of Gypsy Joe and Necro Butcher to go to Delaware for some CZW thing. Instead I was gonna go to a demolition derby in western Pennsylvania, but the timing chain in my car went out a quarter mile from my house, so we drove my boy's car instead who was going with, and he would not have been stoked to drive his shitty Saturn hatchback with the busted muffler and half-missing fender through West Virginia to stuff a couple of freaks like Necro and Gypsy Joe into the back to go to the Truck Stop State... actually, he probably would've loved that. Oh well, it's better to regret something you didn't do than to get locked up somewhere you don't know anybody to call.
J.C. Dazz looks like he'd be a volunteer fireman, which makes this match an even more perfectly southern indie match. Oh man, Dazz has been getting whooped for a while, gets caught in an Air Paris sleeperhold, but with the crowd rallying behind him, HE REVERSES MOMENTUM DURING IRISH WHIP DUCKAGE... to slap on a sleeperhold of his own. The crowd goes sort of wildish out of respect. Doesn't last long as Dazz is your wifebeater-wearing crewcut-sporting Ricky Morton in this local TV southern tag match formula. John Phoenix misses a corkscrew reverse senton-looking thing, landing on his hip-hopbone, and then Air Paris gets dropped on his shoulders but like it's his neck, and their third buddy outside the ring gets powerbombed, so hopefully this means the hot tag to Scottie Wrenn and we can all get on with our lives. Oh no... Scottie Wrenn is so excited he accidentally clotheslines the ref, and even though the Boogalou Crew hits their finisher (a rip-off of the Dudleyz 3-D), their mortal enemies for the upcoming seasonally featured card come out and do damage and cause the Boogalou Crew to lose a non-title television match-up to an upstart tag team. Will injustice know no limits?

%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^% GENICHIRO TENRYU vs RICKY STEAMBOAT- 2/23/1984- [DEAN RASMUSSEN]: collateralxxx posted this on the board and we thank him. Steamboat in Japan is strange. Folks say that the Japanese didn't dig his giant overselling of stuff. I'm assuming that folks who went to the Steamboat matches weren't the same guys who went to all those Terry Funk matches in Japan. DIVERSITY! Steamboat takes a young and spry Tenryu to the mat and works an armbar and I see that Tenryu's use of ridiculouly awesome levels of stiffness was a late career development- as he bust the Steamer in the mouth one. Steamboat goes back to the arm after hitting the graceful and beautiful flying crossbody. They run the ropes and go back to the armbar- as this is Mid-Atlantic but in Japan and I've seen this match 4000 times with everybody interchangably inserted into both spots. Steamboat with a DEEP ARMDRAG and back to the armbar. Tenryu gets a headlock on Steamboat and elbows the fudge out of the back of Steamboats neck, chops him and drops a truly nasty looking knee across the throat. Tenryu is opting for big moves as he hits the side suplex and then sinks in a front chancery. Steamboat powers out and Tenryu decidesto start throwing steamboat around and Steamboat is fuckin Steamboat so bumps all crazy to the apron. Tenryu goes back to the headlock and this is a MUGA training film. God, this is DEFINITION: WRESTLING MATCH. Tenryu controls Steamboat with a headlock and head scissors and Steamboat struggles out, hits the ropes and Tenryu cuts him off and they start over again. Then they do it where Steamboat doesn't get out and hit the ropes but he counters out and Tenryu counters Steamboat's counters to keep him in the headscissors. Finally, Steamboat puts his weight on Tenryu's ankle and spins into a figure Four and they do the whole turning of the Figure Four which I thought was a goofball footnate to the move starting in 1989. They roll to the floor in the Figure Four and Tenryu tries to catch Steamboat coming in but Steamboat hits a big Belly to Back suplex and the karate chops start flyin'! The chopping each other section is all dramatic because Steamboat was all about the dramatic. They do some nearfalls and Steamboat does a slick counter into a Boston Crab and they go to some nearfalls until Tenryu hits a really nice Enzuiguiri for two and a suplexd and misses the Falling Elbow Thing. Tenryu kicks out of a crossbody and procures a crossface for the pin. Not the most heated and intense wrestling match you'll ever see. I dunno. Steamboat ruled. Unless he was in Japan. Where he kinda sucked. This was kinda like the first half of a WWWF Bob Backlund match without the... you know... SECOND half of a Bob Backlund match.

$%$%$%$%$%$%$%$% Satoshi Kojima vs. Katsuyori Shibata- 12/29/05- Big Mouth Loud- [RAVEN MACK]: I am intrigued like a simple-minded moth to the fire of the blood and bold tattoos of the Inoue/Murakami match before this one, but I will follow Dean’s suggestions and go straight at the main event. Shibata has emotion, to counter Kojima’s color-coordinated outfit. Shibata appears to be a kick machine with bad hair, and whoever makes Kojima’s ring gear appears to like architectural review magazines from 1982. Shibata’s kicks continue to pester Kojima, so he moves towards some legholds to weaken their strength, or at least I think because I am thinking way too hard about what I’m seeing. Yet Shibata remains ridiculous with his legs. It is amazing that a man, whose species has utilized the hands and fingers along with brain to such incredulous levels, could develop such lethal second fiddle limbs. FOR GOD’S FUCKING SAKE, STOP KICKING KOJIMA. Outside the ring, Shibata pulls the safety mat up, which I don’t have to understand Japanese commentary to know, he’s about go try and get all unsafe up in this piece, at somebody else’s expense. And he goes for a brainbuster, but you can’t do a brainbuster with just your legs, and when you develop your leg offense so heavily like Shibata obviously has done, sometimes the other aspects of your wrestling game lag behind, and he’s unable to lift Kojima into a busted brain maneuver, and Kojima reverses it to drop Shibata on his shoulders onto the nice hardwood floor previously concealed by a blue mat. Instant karma, yet again in the professional wrestling.
And that was the changing of the tide, with Kojima taking over. When Shibata does mount a comeback, of course with the lethal legs, we get LEG WHIP ACTION. There’s a really nice sequence where Kojima is fighting armbar attempts, a perfect mixing of the MMA and the worked combat into something that seems like it might actually be a part of a larger-than-life fight, as opposed to just some dumb stiff shit two wrestlers hit each other with in a predetermined wrestle match. Kojima starts to bring the wicked clothesline action to counter the wicked kicks upside his ribcage he’s taking, and vicious lariat beats vicious foot, because man has developed his arms as weapons far more than the legs, as it is closer attuned to the brain. It’s an old story, and ask any friend tomorrow, would they rather lose an arm or a leg, and anybody with any sense will tell you a leg, because legs are for pussies. Arms are for men. Says so in the Constitution even.