DEATH VALLEY DRIVER VIDEO REVIEW – ISSUE #1

ANTICHRISTO – MEXICO’S ULTIMATE MONSTER HEEL! and other stuff I saw and heard this week¬†

WELCOME TO THE DEATH VALLEY DRIVER VIDEO REVIEW – ISSUE #1

Howdy! It was a crappy week for wrestling outside the ring this week with the Liger and Sasuke news, but I’m dwelling on that in Mike’s e-zine, so I’ll yammer about how great things were in the ring this week- most of which was domestic, which is supercool! AND the usual crap about what I saw on tape this week.

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I watched twelve hours of WWO wrestling on tape from Luchameistro Dams Lauly. Dave warned me about WWO, about it being an EMLL weak sister independent promotion, inhabited by washed up old guys, but HEY! I’m a freak! Sometimes a man has to have his Lucha Libre!¬† Anyway, WWO is Rey Misterio Sr’s Promotion that compete’s in the bitterly contested Baja/LA territory. I think this is why WWO gets such a bad rap, it is compared to Konan’s insane AAA promotion and also took the place of AAA on a lot of TV stations; so the seeds of bitterness were sown and its probably unfair malalignment germinated. Being a native Virginian and not influenced by the bitter rivalry of the promotional feud, I’m guessing I can give an unbiased view of Rey Sr’s august promotion. (I tried to forget about the Tijuana handhelds I have for a moment.) There were a lot of really great wrestlers on these tapes, including my fave Silver King and Ultimo Dragon. The problem is that since 95% of the matches were trios, so you’d get one great worker in with three green local guys and two awful old guys. This also leads to some real weird wrestling. Some prime examples were: Ultimo Dragon doing comedy spots with a three hundred year old Exotico and then five minutes later putting on a lucha clinic with Negro Casas in the same match.

The WEIRDEST THING I’VE EVER SEEN IN WRESTLING also occurred during the first tape: There was this wrestler called Antichristo with a goats head on a pole and truly freaky mask. They are interveiwing him in English, I guess to attract the gringo crowd, and he says in broken English,”ANTI-CHRIST IS THE BEST! I AM ANTI-CHRIST AND I AM NUMBER ONE!” Then the announcer said something in Spanish, and Antichristo grabs the mike and yells, “I AM NUMBER ONE! ANTI-CHRIST IS NUMBER ONE! (very loudly) NOT GOD! BUT MEEEEEEE!” I swear I thought I was going to laugh until I died. I showed it to Cliff when he came over to watch Hogwild and he was actually crying from laughing so hard- definite answering machine fodder. THEN, he, of course, wrestled a trios match where his partner was Chavo Guerrero (does Eddie know who his brother is consorting with?) and they wrestle, of course, HAYABUSA! Hayabusa is with Onita Jr who I’d never seen but was pretty okay and UltraMan (thus the FMW connection). Then the rest of the four months I have, the dark one disappears, I guess having done his job of using wrestling as a vehicle to establish Satan’s earthly kingdom. Oh yeah, the beast is a crappy wrestler.

The best matches were Silver King/Super Astro/Dandy teamed together. Silver King and Super Astro rule it and Dandy can’t do much anymore but didn’t get in the way. Super Astro is amazing for such a pudge. I love his Plancha diving shoulder block onto the floor.

The best guys I had never seen before were El Solitario, Solar and Angel Blanco. They also had a match where Apollo Dantes wrestled face, which was strange to me. When did he turn? I finally saw El Brazo de Plata. God, he’s awesome! I love any real fat guy who can move around that much.

The best guys who are too old to be really great but could still work were Atlantis, who is actually still pretty good, Fishman, who is still a heat machine, and Rey Sr, who can still get around pretty well. I hope I never see Mocho Cota again.

In summary, WWO: more weird than good.

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This WCW/AAA thing is delivering. There were two great matches and one really good match for free involving AAA luchadores, the best being the too-short Ultimo Dragon/Rey Misterio match on Nitro. Ultimo ruled it so hard! I’m glad they let him go to it at the expense of the champion, who had a subdued match in comparison. I really hope UD is wrestling Malenko Thursday like I keep hearing about, though it sucks that it is at the the expense of Psicosis’ elbow injury. The Misterio/Malenko match on the pro saturday morning was pretty choice, with Misterio selling most of the match. Rey is becoming a very complete wrestler very quickly in this new environment of the New Japan/AAA/WAR axis and I hope they would get Juventud in there already. I was glad to see Psicosis get the win finally on TV, as he carried the very green Prince Iukea to a decent match. I await the Psicosis push with baited breath. And they definitely need to sign Ultimo Dragon already.

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The WCW/New Japan tournament next month looks pretty pathetic except for the Flair/Fujinami match, which I gotta love for sentimental reasons. The Muto/Regal match would be interesting but both of these guys aren’t afraid to be the laziest workers with talent on earth, so I not getting my hopes up. I can’t remember who Shinya Hashimoto is kicking the lungs out of, I hope Scott Hall. I wish they would have brought over some the WCW young guys and have them go at it with the UWFi and New Japan young punks. Alex Wright needs to get a dose of that super stiff style because by the time he gets to prominence the UWFi-shootstyle-mutated-with-New Japan-mat style will be the common style for the weight class I would predict. Plus it would give all these youg guys something to look forward to instead of the endless drone of jobbing to AAA and New Japan acquisitions. I dunno, I think I’d be into a Kidman/Takaiwa match, despite the hellish beating our boy Billy would take.

I now must watch six hours of FMW from Saints Phil and Dan along with a batch of AJW so I’ll fill y’all in on that and whatever else arrives.

NANIWA~!

– Dean Rasmussen, Ultimomaniac!