DEATH VALLEY DRIVER VIDEO REVIEW – ISSUE #13
EL HIJO DEL SANTO! DOS CARAS! YAMAZAKI! CHIGUSA! CHONO! El CANEK! and other stuff I saw and heard this week!
Welcome to DEATH VALLEY DRIVER VIDEO REVEIW #13!
I watched the second and third nights of the G-1 Climax (Gosh bless Paul!) and many questions arise. The main one is WHERE THE HELL HAS YAMAZAKI BEEN ALL MY LIFE!?! He rules! His match against Koshinaka was my fave. Where do you gotta go to get those whip ass boots? He mixed in a lot of submission style and kicks, and he didn’t get on my nerves (like the suckass Kojima did) by no-selling everything. Actually, I shouldn’t be so hard on the punk, Kojima, because Hirata, Kensuke Sasaki, and Tensan also suffered from Road Warriors Syndrome. Masa Chono won points for making Koshinaka’s gentle powerbomb look devastating by REALLY leaning way forward before taking the hit. He also performed the most dickish lowblow in wrestling history, and should be commended for that. If Chono could be as psychotic as he is cool, he would be onto something. The Shinya Hashimoto/Hiroshi Tensan match was pretty cool, with Hashimoto selling the knee all the way to the end. I guess this kicks Tensan up a few notches and still leaves Hashimoto an opening to kick his ass later when his knee is “100%”. I guess that would be the subtlest screwjob in wrestling. I’m guessing that the first night had the good Mutoh matches, from what I’ve read. but the Yamazaki matches made this worth it for me, just so I can have a New Japan Heavyweight to focus on when rifling through sundry tape lists. There was only one Ricky Chosyu match and it was the suckass one against Tensan, so I didn’t get the whole experience that I read about that made this one so special, but I guess I will when I get the rest of it.
I have been slowly watching all the Lucha Libre I got from Dams (King of All Mexico) and the weird thing is that I have actually really like a lot of the WWO stuff he’s sent me. The best was the El Canek/Villano III vs Dos Caras/Mil Mascaras match, which was deeply in slow motion by Lucha standards, but was absolutely technically perfect and as graceful as you’re gonna get. Dos Caras hits all of his supercool spinning armdrags into abdominal stretches that noone else can pull off, and Mil Mascaras was less mummified than he usually is. El Canek is not afraid to still rule and Villano III more than held his own. It was a great little match that harkened to different era of Lucha Libre.
Another match that was good but I doubt I’ll stick on any best of tapes was Rey Misterio Sr vs MS-1. It’s was as psychology laden as it was plodding but the psychology kept my interest. The first two Caidas were throwaways to build heat to the third Caida where each used assorted leglocks and stretches to attempt to get the submission and one got the sense of urgency when MS-1 refused to go to the ropes and instead powered out of a Misterio Camel Clutch variation. It built to a screwy ending which was irritating but didn’t detract too much from the effort shown. A good batch of hilarious booking was in the El Rocketeer/El Espacial/Neutron,Jr vs Alcon Azul/California Kid/El Taura match. All of these guys are local talent, though they all were semi-talented and El Rocketeer had a major league outfit (and a minor-league tope). The best part is the endless succession of submission holds that were all interrupted by a partner of the victim and the partner would then throw a different submission hold on the erstwhile applicator of the submission hoold until HIS partner would break it up and it would start all over again. HEY! TRUST ME! It makes sense when you see it!
A couple of freaky FMW meets EMLL matches which were from a while back are also on the shows, with Hayabusa/Onita Jr vs Los Pandilleros I and II being the weirdest. Hayabusa actually did some Lucha moves and looked a lot better than in the other match I have him in in WWO (a six-man with the true ICON OF WRESTLING: ANTICHRISTO! NUMBER ONE AND THE BEST!!!) The other FMW match was the incredibly choice Tarzan Goto/Atsushi Onita/El Hijo Del Santo vs Horance(sic) Boulder/Negro Casas/Mark Starr (not THAT Mark Starr). It was great because neither promotion conceded anything to the other’s style, so Onita kicked the hell out of Boulder (who is four times the wrestler his uncle is) all around the arena while Casas and Santo kind of stand around in ring waiting for the actual match to start. Santo steals the show as he hits all of his acrobatic highspots, including one I had never seen before- A Spinning Armdrag Directly into the 2″ from the Cornerpost Tope. Negro Casas did the best La Majistral I’ve ever seen. Onita was Onitalike- bleeding, pouring water on his head, staying intense. Goto had little impact on the match. The rest of the tape was old guys who suck now against young who suck because they are so green, which is what you need to produce the stars of tomorrow.
Nitro ruled because CHIGUSA WAS ON MY GODDAM TV SCREEN ON FUCKIN BASIC CABLE! I dunno about this Zero stuff, but if Hokuto is wrestling as Jubuki maybe they are going for the whole hog elaborate costumed wrestles division, which worked for Michinoku. I’m waiting and seeing, because if anybody can pull off a Women’s Division in the US, Chigusa can. But Phil had a good point about 1 face and seven heels. I’m guessing they are gonna have to use Toshie Uematsu and KAORU as faces if they are bringing them in because Toshie ain’t working any other way, that I can see. I also read that Mayumi Ozaki isn’t in it and she would rule as a heel if she can freak out like she does in GAEA. I guessing the final will be Bull Nakano vs Medusa, if Bull has signed with GAEA or WCW, and then I would turn Bull and make Chigusa the #1 heel, since she is the fucking heat machine.
I read that WWIII will have Rey vs Ultimo Dragon for the J-Crown. I’ll be there with everybody on earth that I know and will be stoked beyond recognition if this baby comes to pass. Hell, give the eight belts to Rey to set up the MATCH FROM HECK! Misterio/Liger here and maybe Rey/Sasuke in Japan! Psicosis vs Malenko should also whip my ass. If Chigusa is there, I’ll forgive them for the sixty man battle royal.
Dean Rasmussen, Akiyamaiac!