(Cover by Rippa)
HE WHO SHALL NOT BE NAMED~! MAIN EVENTS MANIA~! CHARLES LUCERO~! IS THE GREATEST WRESTLER YOU NEVER WATCH~! DEAN~! WATCHES ALL THE BIG JAPAN AND WE MEAN ALL OF IT~! LES BLOUSENS NOIRS~! DICK MURDOCH~! THE ASTEROID~! AND SO MUCH MORE~! HIT HEATH MILLER’S~! MUSIC~!
WELCOME TO DEATH VALLEY DRIVER VIDEO REVIEW #173
Lord… this one took awhile. Most of the reasons lay at my feet BUT I DON’T HAVE TO ANSWER TO YOU! I AM MY OWN MAN!!! Well, that and because I have been waiting for the site redesign to put this out. Oh yeah… notice that the site is redesigned? Yeah… that is going to take up the rest of my life. Thanks again to Kevin Wilson for all his help – make sure you visit Puroresu Central
By the way – I am still getting the hang of the embedding of the videos. My apologies if they are fucking giant. That is why I am still creating simple pages. And at the rate videos get yanked off of the Tube – this might all be pointless anyway (assume that if there isn’t a video it was pulled and I was too lazy to find a replacement). The Simple Version can be found HERE.
Well enough about me. Here is stuff from… well… me.
(by PHIL RIPPA)
The last remaining request that we have from folks who donated money for the site is this since Dolfan clearly hates us. Or he just wants me to spend the entire show wondering if I am going to spot him in the crowd.
EVERYONE IS DEAD!!! Oh wait is that not this Mania?
Oh, Madison Square Garden. Vince still loved you back then.
JOHN CENA vs. BIG SHOW – US CHAMPIONSHIP
HEY! Cena is going for the US Championship. Weird… Of course not as weird as him being cheered by the entire crowd. Cena spitting lyrics I do not miss. Meanwhile, this is the fatty version of Show still with hair. It was not one of his better looks. (His best look is his current one as his trimmed down frame is definitely better for his health and bald is beautiful any all that.) Cena is a babyface in peril the majority of the match and the crowd keeps chanting for him and it is WEIRDING ME OUT!!! Thankfully, I can take comfort that his punches were as shitty back in 2004 as they are now. (Which again – baffles me that at no point has someone pulled him aside and been all “Things have got to change….!”) Cena gains the momentum by hitting the FU which Show kicks out of because even 12 years ago IT’S MANIA SO ALL FINISHERS MUST BEEN KICKED OUT OF!!! Never fear though – Cena hits Show with brass knuckles and another FU to win the title.
THINGS FROM MANIA 2015: John Cena winning the US Championship.
Jonathan Coachman walks the hall, finds Eric Bischoff (who is chatting with John Morrison who is clearly wearing one of Cena’s ill fitting suit jackets). Bischoff has heard a rumor that Undertaker might be in MSG. Umm… it’s WrestleMania. Why the fuck wouldn’t he be? God – this not reminding myself of the angles thing is really going to come back and bite me in the ass.
Randy Orton promo while he wears a terrible fitting suit. WHY HAS THE WWE NEVER HIRED A TAILOR?!?!?! Anyway, Evolution does the most awkward handshake at the end of it – most likely because I believe Flair is wasted.
LE RESISTANCE (Rene Dupree/Rob Conway) vs. MARK JINDRAK/LANCE CADE vs. BOOKER T/ROB VAN DAM vs. DUDLEY BOYZ (Bubba Ray/Devon) – Fatal 4 Way, World Tag Team Championship
Booker and RVD are the defending champs. The Dudleys are the most over. Le Resistance are quasi-Frech. Jindrak and Cade are dead. (Okay – only Cade but work with me for the sake of my joke.) This is on the brutal side for me since I like only one person in the entire match (Booker T). I mean the Dudleys are tolerable in a big giant ass brawl. This is not a giant ass brawl.
THINGS FROM MANIA 2015: 4-way for the Tag Titles with the champs retaining.
CHRISTIAN vs. CHRIS JERICHO
FORMER BEST FRIENDS COLLIDE~! I am a little shocked that this wasn’t a “Winner gets Trish Stratus” match since that was the whole premise. Jericho turned face because he caught feelings for Trish. Christian was bitter because his best friend dumped him for a woman… and because he wanted to put stones to Trish. Somehow – despite this being targeted to a wrestling audience – Christian didn’t turn out to be the face.
Man, even with out all the gimmick matches, it is easy to see why Christian was destined to have head trauma as all his trademark bumps required him to land in crazy ways on his head and neck. I mean I am not going to say his version of a Jerry Bump or that spot he always took where he is thrown into the ring barrier upside down aren’t visually pleasing but yeah they are also a mark of a man who wants to lose two inches to his height.
I should also note that this clearly is one of those cases where the WWE fucked with the crowd noise when putting it on the Network (or maybe the original DVD – like I am going to go back and fucking check). All I know is that visually the crowd looks way not as interested in the match as the sound wants you to believe. Plus it gets randomly absurdly loud. Almost like the 20 year old unpaid intern really was questioning their life decisions while assigned to this task.
Anyway – the match is probably the best thing on the card as it had more good than bad (the goodiest (yes I am inventing words) being the nasty ass implant DDT Christian uses) but it is sloppy more than you would expect from these two. Plus – since we all know this is wrestling – we know we are waiting for Trish to bounce down to the ring and be a part of the finish. Also since we are all wrestling fans of the early 00s – we know we are waiting for the SWERVE~! So Trish “accidentally” elbows Jericho to cost him the match and then does the full turn after the match. So yeah.
Mick Foley is interviewed by Lillian Garcia. The Rock cuts a wacky promo instead. Jimmy Snuka and Don Muraco are shown talking which means Bill Watts probably shattered something in anger.
EVOLUTION (Randy Orton/Batista/Ric Flair) vs. ROCK N SOCK CONNECTION (Rock/Mick Foley)
I can’t be the only person irritated by the fact that the Intercontinental Title isn’t being fucking defended at Wrestlemania (since Orton is the current champ). It’s all fun to play the game of “Who is in the worst shape?” It is pretty much a three way race between Flair, Foley and the Rock. But I am taking Flair out of it because he might have been gassed two seconds in but the old man is still a bump freak and he had no business taking the backdrop on the floor or the fat man Foley hipbuster. Yeah…. It’s the Rock. Oooh… that will be my thing that is the same at every Wrestlemania. One of these days – someone in Hollywood will pull clips from this Mania and be all WATCH THE ROCK AND BATISTA BATTLE IT OUT IN THE RING AND AT THE BOX OFFICE! And none of us will be winners. Hoo boy at this point in time we are still a few years from Batista having the good beaten into him on Smackdown. IT IS INEXUSABLE THAT OLD ASS RIC FLAIR IS OUT WORKING EVERYONE! DOES NO ONE ELSE CARE THIS IS MANIA?!?!?!?! Okay – got that off my chest. Much like Sting/Triple H this is fun in the goofy nostalgic way and the oldest guy in the match is doing WAY more than was expected of him. Of course – the flaw in this booking is that by about halfway through the match everyone in the crowd and at home wants to see Flair score the pinfall and that defeats the whole purpose of this match. (Of course – when my wife can immediately see how stupid it is for Foley and Rock to accept this match there wasn’t a lot of logic being applied. Of course she also pointed out that Rock’s ego more than made up for three people.) Thankfully (and its rare I use that word when talking about Randy Orton), Orton gets the pin by hitting the RKO as Foley is going for Mr. Socko. Foley basically no sells the finisher after eating the pin since FINISHERS MEAN SHIT AT WRESTLEMANIA!
THINGS FROM MANIA 2015: Old legends beating each other up.
The Hall of Fame recap is up and it is still amazing that Superstar Billy Graham didn’t hate Vince for five minutes. Bobby Heenan getting emotional over Gorilla Monsoon not being with us probably still remains THE Hall of Fame moment.
TORRIE WILSON/SABLE vs. STACY KEIBLER/MISS JACKIE – Playboy Evening Gown Match
FUCK YOU DOLFAN!
Oh wait sorry
FUCK YOU DOLFAN! #GiveDivasAChance
Eddie Guerrero goes to chat with Chris Benoit. EVERYONE IS DEAD!!! I AM SO EMO AND CAN NO LONGER FUNCTION! THE FEELS! THEY OVERWHELM ME!!! HOW WILL I CARRY ON!!! Of course – this is super awkward and Eddie insults Benoit a bunch to get Benoit to get all fired up and ragey. Yeah…
THE CRUISERWEIGHT OPEN (Chavo Guerrero Jr (Champ), Little Guido, Jamie Knoble, Tajiri, Akio, Funaki, Shannon Moore, Ultimo Dragon, Billy Kidman, Rey Misterio Jr.)
This is a gauntlet match with Chavo (since he the champ) getting to enter last. Of course it is also the weirdest gauntlet match as everyone is just standing around outside. And if you are from Japan (or at least pretending to be from Japan) you will have Asian themed intro music. These are all going to be like 60 second matches since clearly no one wants to watch the cruiserweights.
- Ultimo Dragon pins Shannon Moore
- Jamie Knoble taps Dragon
- Knoble then rolls up Funaki in three seconds to allow Michael Cole and Tazz to act like a new record was set.
- Knoble eliminates Nunzio by countout because THE JAMIE KNOBLE MEGA PUSH CONTINUES~!
- Good Lord – Billy Kidman almost dies doing a springboard SSP to the floor since this is the beefy version of Kidman. Say no to carbs kid. Anyway, Kidman finally ends Knoble’s run with a BK Bomb from the top.
- Rey Jr is dressed as the Flash since he still has two functional knees so it’s not hard to believe he still has quickness. Rey eliminates Kidman.
- Rey pins Tajiri after Tajiri mists Akio (the man we know as Jimmy Yang) instead of Rey. Of course somehow that meant Akio was eliminated from the match too so Rey via forfeit???
- Chavo Classic takes two massive bumps and shows that he is a better catcher than the entire roster.
- Chavo Jr retains thanks to CHEATING TO WIN~!
THING FROM MANIA 2015: Jamie Knoble being awesome (okay that is more a “Thing From The Year 2015” thing but whatevs)
GOLDBERG vs. BROCK LESNAR – Steve Austin Guest Ref
Hey – it’s the match where the crowd hates everyone! Hey – it’s the one time the WWE shows that Eddie needed Goldberg’s help to win the title and not just space magic! Hey – it’s that time where they teased the fuck out of Lesnar/Austin and didn’t deliver on it! Boy – this is a whole lotta nothing which always made the Brock fanboy in me sad. There is a lot of stalling which makes me giggle considering what the crowd did to them. Watching what they did with the crowd noise during this match makes me believe this came from the same reality that Dick Stockton calls football games from. I guess Vince hated Lesnar more than Goldberg since Brock has to eat the fall.
THINGS FROM MANIA 2015: Have I mentioned yet how since it is Mania FINISHERS MEAN SHIT!!!? Also Brock Lesnar not winning.
WORLD GREATEST TAG TEAM (Charlie Haas/Shelton Benjamin) vs. APA (JBL/Ron Simmons) vs. BASHMAN BROTHERS (Doug & Danny) vs. RIKISHI/SCOTT 2 HOTTY (Champs) – Fatal 4-Way WWE Tag Team Championship Match
MORE 4-WAYS! MORE PAYDAYS! Honestly – in retrospect – them not doing a giant 8 team 2 title tag match stuns me. Stupid lazy WWE writers. I really should have enjoyed this match since there is a bunch of guys in it I like. Of course – it is rushed as shit and the crowd doesn’t care since they still haven’t recovered from booing Goldberg and Lesnar. It isn’t as tedious as the RAW tag match but the general nature of the match still is flawed. Since it is first pin wins – the fact that four guys aren’t charging the ring on every pinfall attempt is stupid. Nor is it every mentioned that Rikishi and Hotty should just punch Nick Patrick in the face, take the DQ and go to the pay window. I could go on but I don’t want to fill space that badly. At least you see the origins of the “steal a pin” finish that the WWE beat to the fucking ground. Oh Tazz says “Smackdown representative representing” and that part of you that liked Tazz dies and you are ashamed for picking him over Sabu.
THINGS FROM MANIA 2015: I am just gonna assume Scotty is bitter at Rikishi for something. Also – tag champs retain in a fatal 4-way. God – they didn’t even wait to the end of the card to repeat themselves.
I am ignoring this Jesse Ventura/Donald Trump shit because this show is already infuriatingly long.
MOLLY HOLLY vs. VICTORIA – Women’s Title Match (Title vs. Hair)
The gist is that if Molly doesn’t win the title, she gets her head shaved. The gist is also that Molly Holly is in the Top 5 Best Workers on this card and no one will admit it. I had no problems with Victoria so one assumes this will be fine. Actually it is way better than fine. God Molly so ended up in the wrong decade and wrong country. Fair warning – to watch this match you have to accept you will be the only one doing so since the crowd sucks. Fucking New Yorkers. You also have to accept that Lawler and JR are going to talk about panties for far too long. Do you think Vince was able to wear pants when he learned Molly was willing to get her head shaved? It is fucking pathetic that Molly had to basically beg to get her head shaved so that this match would be on Mania. The barber doesn’t have scissors on his jacket. Heck he doesn’t even have a jacket on. The barber can eat a bag of dicks.
THING FROM MANIA 2015: Divas Title not being defended. LOOP HOLE~!
EDDIE GUERRERO vs. KURT ANGLE – WWE Championship
Oh thank you Jesus. Only took almost three hours to get to a match I am looking forward too. I am going to have to search Dailymotion for the original version of this hype video because the music on it now is straight out of your local Hyatt’s elevator. And if this is the original music – somebody stole some money. Side note – they cut back to Molly getting her head shaved during Angle’s intro which is balls out because they decided that for all the wrestling hair cuts that ever happened – this is the one that they decided needed to be finished right then and there.
There has been a lot of talk recently about what WWE announcers are allowed to say and not say. One would have thought that one of the things not to say would be saying Eddie Guerrera but nope – not Michael Cole. He clearly dreams of a Eddie and Juventud love child. Granted that abomination would still be a better worker than Mondo.
The match itself is good but it definitely wasn’t going to be for everyone. There is a LOT of matwork and it isn’t even good lucha matwork but WWE we are just going to kill time matwork. Still – it is a lot “safer” match that in hindsight you wish Angle had done for his entire career. All the suplexes are in the non-head dropping department. They tease a German from the ring apron to the floor which was sold as it would be fiery hot death (as it should have been). I think the most “dangerous” thing was Eddie deciding that killing himself by jumping into the ring barrier and even then he protected himself well. There is a nifty sequence of blocks/reversals off the top rope that I enjoyed. As much as I have said that I never want to see a Malenko/Guerrero sequence again I definitely can watch Eddie pulling out arm drags out of nowhere all day. The same could be said about the various ways he escapes the Angle Slam. There are some flaws to the match – some that could have been avoided some that were just fluky. Like Angle kicking out of the Frog Splash wasn’t as big as it should have been because Angle rolled the wrong shoulder. Or while the finish was creative (Eddie taking his boot off to be able to get out of the Ankle Lock for the flash pin) it really shouldn’t have been the finish of a Wrestlemania “Main Event”. What I would say could have been fixed was that Angle spent exactly zero point zero seconds working over a leg/ankle/foot before going for the Ankle Lock. But that pretty much became SOP for him (and wrestling in general) so I am not letting it bother me too much. This still was the best thing you are going to get on this evening.
THING FROM MANIA 2015: FINISHERS MEAN SHIT BECAUSE IT IS MANIA!!!
UNDERTAKER vs. KANE
Hoo Boy – Taker vs. Kane. AND an Undertaker Mania match (pre-DX opponents). I might as well spend the next 20 minutes punching myself in the dick. The most depressing thing is that this is only Taker’s 12th Mania win. We are all fucking old. Oh thank fucking Christ – this was under 8 minutes.
THING FROM MANIA 2015: Undertaker winning a shitty match against a guy trying to use psychological warfare against the Dead Man.
TRIPLE H vs. SHAWN MICHAELS vs. CHRIS BENOIT – World Heavweight Title
MY EYES ARE GOING TO BURN WATCHING THIS!!! CLEARLY MY SOUL WILL BLEED!!! I WILL NEVER BE WHOLE AGAIN!!! And that is because I have to sit through another HHH/Michaels circle jerk. Oh… you thought I was talking about being able to watch a Chris Benoit match. I was really tempted to just make everything be OMG! CHRIS BENOIT TOOK THE SUPERKICK!!! THAT MADE HIM KILL HIS FAMILY!!! but I realized that even I don’t hate myself that much. I can still watch Benoit matches. Of course – watching them and then having to write about them all while reconciling having to talk about HHH and Michaels is a WAY different story. I probably should just say that I am going to dislike this match probably as much as regular folks love it.
Ooof… I forgot about the white boot Hunter era.
Probably the top feud I never want to ever see another match from is Shawn Michaels/Bret Hart. Michaels vs. Triple H is #2. So of course – the first part of this match is Hunter/Shawn. There is no justice in this world.
It is awkward when the match starts to veer into the head dropping and the flying head butts. Of course – the ugliest suplex is delivered by Michaels on Benoit because he did it because Jesus took the wheel or something.
Man – between Benoit and the 4000 pints of blood Michaels bleeds, I am shocked the WWE just doesn’t pretend that Taker/Kane was the Main Event and burn all the tapes of this match.
Hey – you think when Shawn Michaels ran head first into Benoit’s junk – that caused him to go into a murderous rage? Okay… I’m gonna cut my losses now. At least, the match no longer has a faceless man hugging Eddie Guerrero.
THING FROM MANIA 2015: Triple Threat Main Event for the World Title with a former Internet darling leaving as champ. Crowd not giving a shit for a giant section of the Mania main event.
KENTA KOBASHI PRODUCE (6/8/2014)
This is some kind mashed to together TV special with Kenta Kobashi fronting the money I’m assuming- and it is with true Spirit Of Wrestle and Romance, what with the comical teaming of disparate grapplers. Rejoice and see how far I get! Before wanting to punch myself in the face! And note that all the action is on Dailymotion lately- though I noticed if I used the Chrome Daily Motion downloader add-on, I no longer go into a homicidal rage trying to get fuckin Dailymotion to stream in a watchable manner. So huzzah to high tech add on gadgets!
TAMON HONDA vs HAYATO MASHITA
Oh man, according to cagematch.de, Mashita was trained by Sayama and Orihara. My guess, he is a Yakuza don’s nephew- and also note that Real Japan still runs shows and Orihara is STILL WRESTLING! How sleazy could he possibly look now? The mind boggles. The imagination races. Tamon Honda is now 50 years old- which is just two years older than your beloved reviewer, but he now looks like my long lost grampa. I’m sure he suplexes in ways that will make Mashita wish he was my grampa. Mashita has fabulous 80s hair with the broad rat-tail, sorta like a replacement keyboard player for Talk Talk- me n Honda are OLD, BITCH! We’ve seen some stuff! Like Talk Talk! They shake hands like wusses. They clean break like this is sunday school or something. Then they start beating the crap out of each other. Mashita is doing fine until Honda gets a headbutt in. Honda counters the Belly To Back Suplex by sinking in the headlock- so this is all about story telling! The Story: Don’t be suplexing me, motherfucker- I’m old enough to be your daddy. Mashita procures an ankle lock and this is perfectly fine for your opener. Mashima tries another suplex but Honda does the awesome tricked-out Lucha roll-up and it looks like the story is now: If you could suplex me, you might, but I don’t see it happening. Honda has aged well. I wish his Futen matches were on the internet. Whoa! The Honda Clutch and that’s that. That was a wee wisp of a match. I see they make up for this later when the Kohei Sato- Diasuke Sekimoto tag match goes forty-fiveish. That’s a lotta kicking to the throat. I am stoked. Meanwhile, in the phoenix-like rising from the rubble of Joshi Puroresu….
MEIKO SATOMURA vs HIROYO MATSUMOTO
I don’t believe I’ve ever seen Matsumoto so I will go to cagematch.de and check it out! She is 28 years old, 5’6″ and 156 pounds. She was trained by frickin Mariko Yoshida. And for those wondering (like me for example), Meiko Satomura is 34 years old, 5’2″ and 150 pounds. She one year away from 20 years in the biz. It seems like just yesterday…. Anyway. Matsumoto has Maury Povich Guest hair. They shakes hands like a coupla wusses. They break clean like this is some kind of sunday school. They then begin beating the crap out of each other with elbows and shoulders and kicks to the thighs. They opt for an extended test of strength that Meiko wins but gets bodyslammed anyway. Matsumoto makes with the old ladies wrestling standards: Hair Snap Mare and one legged dropkick- and I am digging the GLOW and WOWisms. Meiko lands fruitily elaborate elbows and starts kicking Matsumoto right in the LadyPecs thus allowing her to procure the confusing Volk Hannish leg lock. Then it gets all smacky and elbowy and this is a peck of fun for a minute. Meiko with the running spinning savate crescent kick to set up landing on Matsumoto’s knees from the top. Matsumoto on offence is very 1998 Billy Kidman based- in that there is too much of your victim laying around and waiting for you to hit whatever you are hitting. They smack each other in the face a lot and the Maury Povich vibe is deeper than just Matsumoto’s hair stylings. Meiko with the Frog Splash and Matsumoto takes the Bicycle kick to the face and several other kicks. I dunno. I guess I’m just gauging it against the upcoming Kohei Sato epic, but I feel should lay this all in more. I mean, come on- Sato is going to fucking annihilate someone AND fucking Shuji Ishikawa is on this card. You don’t want to look like Danicka Patrick in the Talladega of folks beating the hell out of each other. I dunno, I think I need to watch more Stardom and US gals and stop expecting folks I dug ten years ago to still have anything in the tank. So anyway, Matsumoto hits two Dangerous Backdrops and a Rotation Powerbomb and HEY! Let’s here it for a finisher being a finisher! This was perfectly fine but it’s not gonna make you forget the career of Lionness Asuka or anything.
KENGO MASHIMO/ TANK NAGAI vs KOJI DOI/ SHUJI ISHIKAWA
Oh man, so Kenta Kobashi likes guys who punch guys in the face in Futen matches. One forgets how awesome Kengo Mashimo is because one only gets two or three chances to see him every year (if you are like me and survive on what the internet supplies.) I assume at some point Shuji Ishikawa and Kengo Mashimo will make you fall in love with pro wrestling all over again in this match at some point. Please note that Tank Nagai will fuckin lay it in. Shuji Ishikawa tags and he will also REALLY lay it in. JESUS, the worst decision by Tank Nagai ever: “I was thinking that it would really help my memory and motor skills if I stand in the middle of the ring and trade forearms to the face with Shuji Ishikawa- BECAUSE though Shuji Ishikawa has maybe shown before that he is prone to punching you dead in the face 5/4ths legit, I get that feeling that this being in a full Korakuen Hall and this being in front of Kenta Kobashi at ringside, Shuji Ishikawa will not try to bash my molars straight through the back of my neck.” Nagai would probably regret thinking this if he could ever remember anything ever again. Shuji tags out. The corpse of Nagai wiggles and writhes towards his corner. Koji Doi busts him up a little bit more by flying into him in the corner. Shuji tags in and sinks in a headlock in the greatest act of mercy a human in a tag match with Shuji Ishikawa that you will probably ever see. Then he gets goes back to pulverizing Nagai until Nagai finally gets in a powerslam and tags in Mashimo. Mashimo and Shuji kick each in the stomachs of each other a lot until Mashimo Dragon Screws to advantage- allowing Tank Nagai a chance to get in some offence before Ishikawa fucking murders him with headbutts and an I Hate You So Much Arm Breaking Suplex. Nagai has the fighting spirit and takes it to Doi to allow Mashimo to do a little wrestling. Doi and Ishikawa try to see which is better at totally fucking decapitating Mashima with dueling 7/4ths legit lariats to the corner; I have to go with Ishikawa- but Doi does work preposterously stiff. Tank makes the save and Mashimo rends Doi’s arm and shoulder in hilarious directions and finally sinks in the crossarmbreaker- allowing you and I to have the exquisite remembrance of BattlARTS tag matches past- where the most fun was seeing who could be the biggest dick breaking up a submission. Shuji Ishikawa weighs in early by dropping a knee across the teeth of Mishimo and I swear that I laughed with delight. What is wrong with me? Doi then drives the top of his head into the throat of Mashimo and this is no longer Mashimo’s perfect fun day- though it is REALLY making my day. Mashimo responds by kicking Doi in the face a few times and procuring the Rings of Saturn- whoa!- FOR THE WIN! Okay, so Kobashi Pro will be all about protecting finishers. I back your play one hundred percent. THAT was fun.
RANDOM FCW MATCHES I FOUND ON YOUTUBE
(by PHIL RIPPA)
Meandering through Youtube, finding FCW footage and thinking about how 2010 really isn’t THAT long ago but 2008 is a motherfucking eternity is a new hobby of mine. In the precursor to NXT, we had this. I will pad this review basically by being all HEY! THIS GUY IS NOW KNOWN AS WHATEVER! HE SURE HASN’T AGED WELL!
HEATH MILLER vs. JAKE HAGER – FCW TV (10/5/08) – Florida Heavyweight Championship
THE MAN KNOWN AS JACK SWAGGER~! THE MAN KNOWN AS HEATH SLATER~! THE MAN KNOWN AS JUSTIN ROBERTS~! IT’S A PARTY~! Okay – let me just say this right now. It really is gonna be way easier for me to call folks by the current gimmicks. Of course, I will probably change my mind halfway through the review. Youtube says that this is from the very first episode of FCW TV. If Youtube says so it must be true. Oooh… Dusty on commentary. And because it is basically a studio show, I am getting misty colored water memories. Thank God – Heath changed his last name so I won’t think of him as the fantasy team destroying shitty former NFL Tight End. He also has a swank ring robe that is better than anything he is allowed to wear now. The same can also be said about Swagger. Shocker, the development music was better than the big show music even then. God – Swagger really should be a bigger deal. Of course, he also is really random in that when they are pushing him to the moon, I really don’t care but put him on C shows with Titus O’Neal or as defender of the American Flag and I am all fucking in. As for this match… well… umm… hooray for development! Heath being a bump freak helps to distract from the several awkward moments. Plus it is super short which is good because it really does look like Swagger never had to sell a punch before. I mean when Dusty is using the word “green” on commentary it isn’t a compliment. Still a little weird to have a five minute match as the main event of your first show (again assuming that piece of information is correct). #givepastywhiteguyswhobothhaveruninswiththelawachance
THE EMPIRE (Stu Sanders/Drew McIntyre) vs. THE PUERTO RICAN NIGHTMARES (Eddie Colon/Eric Perez) – FCW TV (10/12/08) – Florida Tag Team Championship
HA! Stu Sanders is Wade Barrett. Holy Hell was that a terrible name. McIntyre is in his “wrestling in a kilt” phase. But nope – wrestling isn’t racist. Nope. Eric Perez is Eric Escobar but no one remembers the hot minute he was on Smackdown. Nor do they watch any of the random not really televised feds he works now. Poor poor Puerto Rico. Fuck if I know which Matadore Colon is. Lord – I think I am going to have to use every single synonym for “awkward” as I review these matches. MALADROIT~! You will know what I am taking about when you get to the part where the Empire takes control. Barrett… err… Sanders (Jesus, you know they probably originally wanted to call him Steve.) shows he is ready for his call-up by applying every version of a chin based rest hold. It finally all breaks down after the hot tag and Colon hits a reverse back stabber (so a front stabber???) to become the new champs and to send Sanders on his way to like 4 more name changes.
ERIC ESCOBAR vs. SHEAMUS O’SHAUNESSY – FCW TV (11/1/08) – Florida Heavyweight Championship
So sometime between Episode 3 and Episode 5 (which this is) – Perez became Escobar and Sheamus became the champ. And Josh Matthews has replaced Todd Grisham on play by play. BLUNDERING~! I use that to describe Sheamus running the ropes. I am assuming he tripped over his last name. Escobar never impressed me especially not to the point that I want to watch two of his matches in a row. This is a very very very poor man’s hoss battle. I have no memory of Sheamus using the goofy chokeslam powerbomb in the WWE which might be for the best.
BRYAN DANIELSON vs. KAVAL – FCW TV (2/7/10)
This is Danielson’s first match in FCW hence why he is still Danielson. The announce crew is Byron Saxton and the now named properly named Wade Barrett. The joy of the early days of NXT, since no one was watching they could talk about the history that Danielson and Kaval have without anyone yelling at them. Okay guys – you have wrestled a ton of times. Do it again just tone it down like 85%. Seriously, if you have watched any of the early 00s matches between these two, you have seen this match. That by no means should be taken as a sign you shouldn’t watch this just that they aren’t exactly breaking new ground. Man I miss, Danielson “Human Stretching Machine”. Too bad he went with Daniel Bryan “I Like To Land On My Neck Machine”. I kinda understand jobbing Danielson out in his first match since that is just the way they do things. I don’t really understand though doing this match right out of the gate instead of building to it further. Of course – they weren’t really booked more than a couple of weeks at a time but still.
SERENA vs. TIFFANY – FCW TV (3/14/10)
Dean’s girlfriend that he only recently discovered he wanted, Serena “Totally Forget That My Last Name is Deeb” Deeb vs. the now Taryn Tarrell. This was when Serena was in the Straight Edge Society and Tiffany was doing an angle where she resigned her General Manager gig so she could wrestle again. Thus it means she sucks and Serena is there to Sherpa her along. My takeaways from this match are that the worker Terrell is in TNA now is a God Damn miracle, Byron Saxton needs to learn what the GTS looks like and I really don’t want to hear Abraham Washington on color.
SETH ROLLINS vs. BRAD MADDOX – FCW TV (4/3/12)
Oh for fuck’s sake. I totally forgot about super happy rocker Seth Rollins. So uncomfortable to watch. Hey remember when Brad Maddox was a decent little worker? Hey remember when he hit that one short DDT on Randy Orton and everyone freaked out? Hey remember when he randomly returned to RAW for three seconds? Oh well. Hey! It’s Rob Naylor in what may or may not have been his on camera debut (since the announcers don’t know his name). Hey Rob! Don’t think we don’t see you using a pen to write on an iPad. He is out because Summer Rae is out because Maddox is her first signee. I question the strategy of signing a guy a good six inches shorter than you but hey, what do I know? The whole thing is a cluster due more to camerawork as we get all Borne Identity with the jump cuts between the action in the ring and shots of Summer. Then the finish is stupid as Summer blows her attempt at interference so Rollins just stands around awkwardly and then an unnamed Paige comes out in ridiculous heels (and an apparent lack of security at FCW shows) and shoves Summer which leads to Rollins winning with the curb stomp because… yeah, you got me.
PAIGE vs. RAQUEL DIAZ – FCW TV (5/27/12) – FCW Divas Championship Match
Well I was not expecting to her Jim Ross voice when I started this clip. Poor poor man that Vince hates the most. I wanted to get at least one Paige match done and it just happens to be a bonus that she is working a Guerrero. Paige is also accompanied by Sofia Cortez… wait… what??? Isn’t that… Holy Shit, that is Ivelisse Velez. Is she standing in a hole? Fuck – I don’t think I ever realized how tiny she was until she was standing next to Paige. I mean the Divas Championship belt looks bigger than her. It really is a shame that Diaz struggled with her passion for the biz and her eating disorders. Well and that she was more Mondo and Chavo Jr than Eddie and Chavo Sr. Match is fine albeit short with basically the whole thing being the showcase of Diaz aping everything Eddie did – right down to getting a DQ win via fake chair shot. Of course, I am not sure Eddie would have then started fucking Aiden English but it is a brave new world.
SETH ROLLINS vs. DEAN AMBROSE – FCW TV (6/24/12) – Florida Heavyweight Championship
Point of Order – I found this match first well before discovering the 30 minute Iron Man they had done like 9 months earlier (That can been seen HERE or on the Destruction of the Shield DVD. In fact this match takes place after every FCW match they put on the Shield DVD.) I am already rewarded by my choice of matches since this one has Regal AND Antonio Cesaro on commentary and Regal spends the opening moments cutting a promo about how he thinks Ambrose will be the man who ends his (Regal’s) career and how Regal is just trying to postpone that. Heck – as great as this match is and it is great – you really should watch it just to listen to the announcers. Regal and Cesaro put on a fucking clinic in explaining what is going on (especially when Act III hits and Ambrose starts selling a dislocated shoulder). Complete with one of my favorite exchanges ever
Cesaro: “You enjoyed separating his (Ambrose’s) shoulder, right?”
Cesaro: “Good Man”
This really should be the match Rollins/Ambrose do at Elimination Chamber… okay, since there is no way this is coming out before EC… this really should have been the match Rollins/Ambrose did at EC. Two guys with injured body parts doing hurty things to each in the match. Both stealing moves from Regal. Ambrose being a crazy person. Rollins retaining, etc.
There’s no turning back now- I’m under attack now- I see the skies are open
And I hear the word spoken- SINGLES GOING STEADY You only perceive
what you believe- You need only believe to believe- What do you know?- What do you know?
GENTARO/ WINGER vs TSUYOSHI KIKUCHI/ MASAMUNE- PRO WRESTLING FREEDOMS- 6/27/2015
(by DEAN RASMUSSEN)
I usually TRY to watch all the wrestling that pops up in my YouTube and DailyMotion assorted feeds. Sometime you just know something is going to bore you and you have research pictures of adorable babies and corgies to post on your daughter’s facebook wall, so you halfway pay attention and if something incredible happens you might pick up on it and go back and watch it more carefully. That is the story of this match. I just was Winger and Gentaro and though- hmmmmm, 1998 garbage league highfliers who really weren’t that great back in the day, who are now coasting on a career that really didn’t earn them much more than they would have made if they had a night job selling AmWay. But I will always have a soft spot for the weirdness of any indie wrestling so I had this going in the background when I noticed- to myself- “Heeeeeeeeey. that guy is doing somekind of Japanese Indie Kikuchi gimmick.” So I turned off the 80s Electro from my youtube and checked it out. “Hey! They guy doing the Kikuchi gimmick is KIKUCHI!” Man, how did he outlive all the guys who beat the living dogshit out of him in the early 90s? Ironic, I know. Anyway, Kikuchi will still punch you right in the face and here he starts off by gingerly hitting the floor to brawl with Gentaro and taking a few shots to the post to distract from Masamune’s hilariously shitty punches. WING*ER rakes his eyes and tries not brake any of his brittle bones. GENTARO kinda fucks around by not laying anything in. Kikuchi sells it all by doing his eternally awesome Bullfrog Faced Teen On Acid sell. They realize early that they are going long with a few folks who are COMPLETELY broken down physically and who never really figured out how to work a straight match very well. The pinnacle of this difference coming out is in the punches that GENTARO tries to throw and the REAL forearms crushing down from Kikuchi- who crushes your face like a guy who learned how to be a grumpy old guy at feet (and kicks to the face) of the original Awesome Old Bastard- the aging Jumbo Tsuruta. Then he tags out and you wait for him to tag in, a psychological ploy that deeply aids the crappy attempts at wrestling by the other three. Kikuchi tags and hits a Snap Suplex! Yep. But it’s the best executed thing in the match. Then it gets slower and slower and slower. GENTARO hits a Dangerous Backdrop and pins Kikuchi and I’m confused until I realize that this is 2 out of 3 falls match (NOW who is getting old?) Kikuchi and GENTARO start the second fall by taking it to the mat. Kikuchi does a standing Grapevine and WING*ER kinda land on him from the top. Kikuchi tags out and you watch Kikuchi as he stads there and you wonder what he is thingking about
SILVER STAR vs CHARLES LUCERO (NOCHES DE COLISEO 3/2/2014)
This match has been sitting here forever. I think it is because I wasn’t sure if Charles Lucero(1) was the same guy I remember from that Rey Hechicero match that showed up last year. Hey, it is: My guess: Wads of fucked up lucha libre matwork! For whatever reason, Silver Star(2) is billed as Silvder Star, though he is too fat to be Decnis under a mask! I SWEAR! This is for the World Middlewieght Championship and I would expect a traditional Lucha Libre title style match- not that you expect Lucero to mix in a bucket of blood in with all the tricked out lucha holds. But I digress. Lucero latches on the keylock early which Silver Star counters into a hammerlock to lead to Lucero kickstarting the tangled up submission holds, as he makes with an INSIDE Step Toe-Hold that Silver Star counters into a Step OVER toehold. Oooooh FUN! And it’s an INVERTED SURFBOARD! Okay, Silver Star isn’t afraid to bring the crazy Mexican submissions as he procures a full fledged Indian Deathlock- but he doesn’t do it like Paul Jones used to apply it- en lieu, he starts on the ground and works Lucero’s legs into position. Jesus, this match is going to be fucking insane. Lucero counter with his OWN Indian Death Lock somehow but Star counters out and they go to a vertical base. And this is more Lucha mat wrestling than I’ve seen in a while. They do some more intricate stuff leading up to the preposterously awesome Lucero submission- it’s (a) a back-to-back spinning wristlock into a (B) hammerlock with a © side single leg takedown with a (d) reverse cross-armbreaker? (d) Sorta? I’ve seen like a,b, and c- and I’ve seen b,c, and d, but I don’t think I’ve seen a,b,c, and d together before. We are six and half minutes in and I’ve had to try to look up four moves- mostly unsuccessfully. Second fall is really quick with a batch of fast moves that quickly ends with an Atlantida for Silver Star to take the fall. The third fall starts all kinds of awesome: Your ref has disturbing leather pants. Silver Star does an in-ring tope, then misses an in-ring tope, then armdrags Lucero- who FIFTY-THREE FUCKING YEARS OLD- over the toprope to the floor. Silver Star then throws his big fat ass through the ropes crushing Lucero- in one the fatter assed topes you will see this year. Lucero has the look that folks our age make daily, “Motherfuck, I am too motherfucking old to be putting up this kind of bullshit.” Instead of going into the shower, curling up in a ball and crying about the injustice of aging and life in general, Lucero GETS UP and CONTINUES WRESTLING FOR THE muthafukkin BELT! YOU GO, MY BROTHER! Lucero walks straight into Crippler Crossface that he spins out of, procuring the Abdominal Stretch that he rolls into a pinning predicament, but Silver Star kicks out and rolls into a Reverse Gorie Special or maybe an inverted Gorie Special that Lucero powers into a roll-up. Silver Star does the awesome modified Dragon Sleeper into a fuckin EVEREST Vertical Suplex. He goes for second but Lucero powers the big fucker over into his own Vertical Suplex. This whole time they are sharing a mutual headlock- as it is sort of Duelling Three Amigos. They fly around a bit and Lucero dodges a shoulderblock through the ropes which allows him to both crush Silver Star with a tope and nearly crush the dating couple sitting in the front row. Silver Star gets back in the ring and applies the weird ass counterwieght submission that has baffled the world from time immortal. They do some nearfalls before Lucero misses a toprope splash and allows Silver Star to do the OTHER baffling Counterweight Submission where you tangle up the legs, hold the wrists while your victim is facedown and his actual face is rubbing against the mat. Silver Star misses an ill-conceived moonsault so Lucero gets in a Romero Special before EVERYBODY bumps gigantic to the floor. Lucero does a true no-hands Jerry Estrada over-the-toprope bump to the floor, while Silver Star is not afraid to sprint off the apron, miss a senton and splat flat on his back. Every body lays around a while and contemplates each other’s fate. There is much comforting from seconds with towels. Lucero limps into ring first and Silver Star limps more into the ring. Lucero then just fucking CRUSHES Silver Stars head with an absolutely crazy second rope senton. Lucero adds a superfluous elbow drop and Silver Star kicks out! It is for the belt. Silver Star is showing true FIGHTING SPIRIT! Lucero goes up top but Silver Star catches him and armdrags him off the top to the mat. He gets Lucero up for the Atlantida- but Lucero rolls, gets to his feet and- this took a little research- applies the first steps of a Dos Caras Special- where Dos Caras would do a no-hands Sharp-Shooter, but Lucero puts him in a sitting position and stretches the shoulder. FOR THE WIN! AND THE BELT! What a fucking lunatic match. To be 53 and taking those kind of bumps, Charles Lucero is your lord and master.
1. Per Cagematch.de, Charles Lucero is 53, 5’7″ and 189 pounds. He debuted in May 1975. thus he started at age 15. HARLEY RACE, BITCHES!
2. Per Cagematch.de, Silver Star is 40 and 5’7″. He was 2 years old when Lucero debuted. I was 9.
DAVINA ROSE vs. CHEERLEADER MELISSA (5/12/12)
Oh my… For those not watching the video or for those that aren’t INSIDERS~! and down with everyone’s SHOOT~! Names – Rose is Bayley and Cheerleader Melissa is… err… Cheerleader Melissa. The video says this is from a Big Time Wrestling Supershow held in California. And I tell you what – for a high school gym they got themselves a big time crowd. Now most may be Rose’s family members but a crowd is a crowd. Whose is not Rose’ family member is the 400 lb guy who is left hanging for a high five. That made far too happy. I am a terrible person. Man – Melissa is such a perfect opponent for Rose as she is such a fucking awesome heel and there is no way Rose can be anything but super happy fun time face. Plus – Melissa is one of the few American women who isn’t in the super heavyweight division (think Awesome Kong) who can bring the power pain. So lots of dickish beatings of Rose happen and it is all awesome because the crowd is so behind Rose. Melissa should be brought in as a guest trainer at the Performance Center just to teach how to do crowd taunts. Rose’s comeback is cut short when she blows her triple jump elbow (which doesn’t ruin thins at all thanks to Melissa being able to improv well.) This leads into the leads to the finishing sequence which involves multiple teases of the Air Raid Crash with Rose rolling Melissa up for the 3 count on a final one. Way too short since I am assuming this was a stacked show but still really really fun.
SHINOBU/ MADOKA vs KOHEI SATO vs SHUJI ISHIKAWA (BIG JAPAN PRO WRESTLING – 4/28/2014)
I watched this yesterday on the big screen in my living room- via my punk ass sons’ X-Box. My youngest daughter(1) was sitting around watching anime on her i-pod or whatever it is these kids look at the internet all day on. I told her that this was my favorite tagteam on earth right- and acting slightly less like a jerk teenager, she watched it with me. She was amazed that two tiny guys were wrestling two guys so much bigger than they were- and in the process of explaining the dynamics of tag team wrestling, I basically wrote the review for this while speaking. The match is your basic underdog babyface match- with Shinobu being the weirdly abbed Ricky Morton. I was telling my youngun that when you are trying to get the crowd behind your wee babyface, you really need to beat the hell out of him- so that the crowd can connect with the babyface as he struggles to survive, then escape and then mount a comeback. This match has two heat sections and I didn’t have to tell her than Kohei Sato will beat the fuck out a babyface. She also noticed that Shuji Ishikawa will beat the crap out of a fella. She and I discussed smaller, shorter people they should beat the crap out of- tinier junior heavyweights, jockeys, Nascar drivers- to further heighten the story-telling- or just further our amusement at Sato and Ishikawa pummeling folks to death. It was magic father-daughter moment. Let’s rewatch it. Shinobu does have strange abs. Not that I care. Hell, I also have strange abs- they hide deeply inside my stomach region, waiting…..waiting…….. Shuji Ishikawa(2) strolls to ring with the towering Kohei Sato close behind. Madoka and Shinobu attack before the bell! Because why wouldn’t they? They are about as big as Shuji Ishikawa’s legs. They have to make some DECISIONS in this match. The first decision was totally on point- get the advantage early! They throw the larger guys out of the ring and hit fabulous Duel Asahi Moonsaults! Yeaaa! Here they need to make another decision: They need to heed Bill Murrays advice in MEATBALLS, when Camp North is playing Camp Mohawk in basketball. “There’s nooo waaaaaay we’re going to beat this team. But here is a way we can lose with a littel dignity.” Come on, little guys, pull their pants down and run to the back! En lieu, they make the very bad decision of having a regular tag match. They start off with a wad of tag team moves on Ishikawa- and Ishikawa sells it like a guy who is fixin to body slam Shinobu harder than he has ever been powerslammed. Koehi Sato tags in then bodyslams Shinou harder than he has ever been bodyslammed. Shinobu sells it like he has just been body slammed the hardest he has ever been bodyslammed and then was body slammed even harder. Shinobu is a motherfucking champ. This is like the third time he has been in one of these type of tag matches- another one against these two and I remember him being the Lee Scott of a Yuki Okabayashi tag match not too long ago where he is the selling glue that held all the matches together. Same way here. Kohei Sato just tees off on him- but you can tell he’s wrestling a different style because he doesn’t actually fucking kill him like Sato did against Sugiura. Sato and Ishikawa each feel their inner Arn and Tully- knowing that having a nasty offense is just the supporting part of the formula to good tag team wrestling. The key ingredient is the crowd giving a crap about the guy you are beating the hell out of. And the crowd slowly but surely gets behind Shinobu and Madoka. Shinobu crawls off his back and decides trade chops to the chest with Sato- as his decision making really goes down hill after the first decision to start before the bell. Shinobu loses and then REALLY loses to Ishikawa who tops off winning The Battle Of Chops To The Chest with a Front Face Lock EVEREST Suplex. Then Ishikawa does giant Vertical Suplex and runs and stomps on his chest. Sato tags in and toys around with assorted submissions- as Shinobu sells the half- crab like a KING. Shinobu gets in a comical dropkick and then fights out of a piledriver attempt by Sato and makes the hot tag to Madoka! Madoka hits his house afire dropkicks but Sato and Ishikawa just stand there and giggle. Madoka finally hits enough dropkicks to get Ishikawa to the floor and does a running double knees thing on Sato. Sato gets up and then he and Ishikawa try to figure out how many different ways they can punt Madoka’s chest fifty yards (there are several ways, it turns out). Ishikawa opts to see if he can actually rip Madoka in half with a lariat. (Answer: VERY almost.) He then jumps off the second rope and stomps on Madoka’s throat and chest- and sprawls out and makes faces of a man who just been stomped on by all the fat of Shuji Sihikawa. Madoka counters out of Die Hard Kansai and gets in some offense to make the second hot tag! Shinobu is going to… Jesus, get beaten to death by Ishikawa’s forearms. And knees to the stomach AND a mind-altering hideously hurty-looking T-Bone Suplex. Luckily, Ishikawa tags in Kohei… oh wait, UNluckily, Ishikawa tags in Kohei Sato. Sato opts for Crushing Through Kicking. After the crushing, Sato goes broad with the heel tactics and congratulates himself immediately after releasing the Everest German Suplex- not realizing that Shinobu over-rotated and landed on his feet! Shinobu hits the missile dropkick after Madoka hits a jumping leg lariat that we are supposed to think affected a guy we have seen knock a 1 inch gash into his own head to crush an opponents head with a headbutt. But the tag match is more about fun than the WILL and HARROWING STIFFNESS. So I roll with it. They hit Sato with ten lariats- with Shinobu hitting the tenth lariat to knock him over and get the nearfall to the delight of the crowd. Shinobu goes up top but Ishikawa cuts him off and superplexes him to the mat. And then they kill and kill and kill Shinobu- knees to the stomach, kicks to the face, hell, a Falcon Arrow! and then Sato crushes his skull with the Sato Memphis Piledriver. And it is alll over. God, what an assbeating. But the tiny guys got in a lot. Maybe too much but either way- Quality tagteam wrestling!
1. Annabelle is 14, 5′ 4″, surly.
2. According to the cagematch.de, Shuji Ishikawa is 38, 6’5″, 264 pounds. He was a DDT grad at 28. Nobody wants to tell me what he did from 18 to 28. My guess: Kobe beef puncher.
PAT O’CONNOR vs DICK MURDOCH (ALL JAPAN PRO WRESTLING – 12/15/1975)
I volunteered for this match out of the request bin- not just because it was Dick Murdoch match- but also because I was thinking it was Billy Robinson not Pat O’Connor. The idea of Dick Murdoch and Billy Robinson being in public somewhere drunk has got to be made into a movie. So this is going to be a little punishing. Pat O’Connor means a lot of scientific wrestling. I am fine with 1970s scientific wrestling- in that I’ve seen giant wads of it in my lifetime, and it was always a neat change of pace from the usual mayhem of 70s wrestling back in the 70s. It’s not really what you watch 70s wrestling for. I watch 70s wrestling for the several thousand buckets of blood and awesome facial hair- but I could be wrong about this match. Maybe things will break down and Dick Murdoch will Brainbuster O’Connor on the concrete. Both men are sporting 70s track suits that I must own. Oh man, we got three minutes of O’Connor trying to escape a head scissors and Murdoch re-applying the hold after O’Connor escapes. It does highlight the totally balling cowboy boots that Dick Murdock is sporting. O’Connor flopping around for five minutes doesn’t distract from close-ups of Murdocks manly sideburns. Okay, that is about every variation of a head-scissors that one can do as we hit the 6 minute mark of the head scissors section. I am not complaining; it was the old days- your wrestling was more leisurely. All that really mattered was if the finish was exciting. This is the slow build- as O’Connor gets more and more frustrated at headstanding out of head scissors and then captured immediately by Murdock. The final variation is Murdock making with the Snapmare to re-apply the head scissors. O’Connor finally escapes and they do really anachronistically awesome rolls while in a O’Connor keylock. There is symmetry in the first fifteen minutes as Murdoch establishes his mat dominance with a head scissors that O’Connor uses five different ways to escape which is offset by Murdock trying five different ways to escape the Keylock. They bookend the section with Murdock escaping the Keylock with the same shin to the face that O’Connor used to escape the head scissors. Then Murdock armdrags O’Connor, applies the headscissors leading to O’Connor reversing it into a Keylock. And that’s the first half of the match. Murdock then works a standing ankle lock that O’Connor tries to counter with a nasty looking wristlock that I’m assuming he would use at restaurants to break an assailant’s wrist tendons if he ever got attacked by a mark. They taunt each other with the head scissors and key lock until Murdock sinks in the Hammerlock and starts dropping knees on it. Then he starts driving his knee into O’Connor’s elbow joint and this is a wad of scientific wrestling but not a BORING wad of scinetific wrestling. O’Connor is awesome with the rear takedown into a toehold. Murdoch opts to start punching O’Connor in the face and this match is pretty great- as Murdoch basically concedes that he can’t really hold for hold with O’Connor forever. But he’s prety sure he can beat the hell out of O’Connor. And that’s the story that creates some of my favorite wrestling matches – Hell, that’s pretty much every Ric Flair match. O’Connor escapes a head scissors and punches Murdoch in the face. His punches are fucking great. Murdoch makes Murdochianly amusing faces after being punched in the face. They run the ropes and Murdoch hits the ground before O’Connor can punch him in the face- which leads up to Murdoch kneeing him the stomach and dropping a fucking beautiful Elbow across the back of the neck. 24 minutes in and they work out of a headlock with Murdoch cheating by holding the tights- after which Murdoch just really starts playing it for laughs after running the ropes and getting punched dead in the face by O’Connor. They trade headbutts and Atomic Drops and then goof around until they start fighting for the Brainbuster and then hitting assorted roll-ups. Then they punch each other in the face for a minute and go back to some rollups until the bell? Oh man! Broadway! Eh, this was perfectly fine unheated wrestling from the 70s. It was very much a exhibition match. I guess you can say that there are plenty of Dick Murdock matches that have molten heat and a bucket of blood. It was interesting seeing consumate heel Murdoch wrestling a match without a heel/face structure. But yeah, it did not make me forget Mid-South Murdoch.
JUSHIN THUNDER LIGER vs. EBESSAN – BEST OF SUPER JUNIORS 2003
This might be my favorite type of Ebessan match. There are some elements of comedy – which is fine – but he realizes that he needs to break out the wrestling to hang with one of the greatest of all times. It also helps that Liger can work as a pissed off veteran. I mean this was 2003 and Liger was all ready in “Get the Hell of my lawn” territory. Honestly – I would have lost my shit if Liger had slapped the shit out of Ebessan after blocking one of his moves. High point is when Ebessan starts hitting big moves like a Shinning Wizard and a Corkscrew Moonsault – the later of which seemed to stun himself as much as the crowd. Eventually Liger wins because of course he is winning though Ebessan kicking out of the Liger Bomb was… something. I don’t know if I could have sat through every Ebessan match in this block but I didn’t mind this.
ACT YASUKAWA vs KELLIE SKATER (STARDOM 12/29/2013)
I was watching the Serena Deeb videos from Canada and I kept clicking on the matches on the side and kept drifting deeper and deeper into Modern Joshi/ American Laaady Wrestling. I go by the credo, “Subscribe, what’s the worst that can happen?” Well, there is a very large underground gay wrestling body worship scene of whicht one ends up in the middle after going too far off the original match you were watching. Hey, I’m not your mom- dig what you want. Anyway, this match showed up as a result of deep dragnet subscribing. I’ve seen Kellie Skater(1) somewhere before but I can’t put my finger on what it was I was watching. So I watched a little of this match and noted that she isn’t afraid to lay it in and that Act Yasukawa(2) isn’t afraid to lay it in, so let us review this for seven minutes (plus research time.) Act has all kinds stuff- eyepatch, skirtbelt, sheer half sleeves; one can only hope that she develops a monocle and paisley armband at some point. She is all aboot the dropkicks early and she then drives her heel into Skater’s throat through the ropes- a move dick regardless of the size of the heel driver. Skater responds by kicking Act in the thigh a whole lot with some pretty nasty looking kicks and then knocking her over with a kick to the part of the body where, one day, Act will sport a cashmere halter top – to be held on by an elaborate Celtic Brooch (one would think). Skater hits a DDT and starts to kicking ACT again. Skater goes up top for some reason and misses, allowing Act to hit the toprope senton. Then is kinda degenerates into assorted midgrade spots that they rush through. ACT screams and kicks and hits another Senton to allow her to hit the tiniest K-Driller in the history of Joshi! A wee review for a wee match! I’ll keep an eye on these two. There seems to be the possibilty of fun at some point for both of these gals. Postmatch, someone tinier than Act Yasukawa comes in and yells at her. I assume she wants a shot at the awesome looking Stardom belt- what with the big silver star with a crown.
1. Considering what a lovely young lady Kellie Skater is, Cagematch.de has the worst pictures of her on the internet. She needs to send them some headshots- or at least a couple pictures with her eyes open. She is 26, 5’7″, 128 pounds and was born in Australia.
2. Per cagematch.de; Act Yasukawa is 27, 5’4″ and YES! 125 pounds. She has been wrestling 2 years and uses the KENDO!
DIASUKE SEKIMOTO vs SHINYA ISHIKAWA (BIG JAPAN PRO WRESTLING 5/5/2014)
Big Japan is the promotion I’m most into these days, and I don’t even watch half of their cards. I really dig their Strong Style division and I’m kinda getting into Shinya Ishikawa’s (3) Strong World Heavywieght title reign- even though he is the like seventh most interesting wrestler in Big Japan. Sekimoto is the 8th most interesting, but- HEY!- that’s still a match-up that is interesting to me, so here we go. After doing a little research- which means going to Ishikawa’s file at Cagematch.de, I see that Ishikawa was trained by Sekimoto. Will the disciple overtake the MASTER?!?!? Hook’em up and we’ll find out. It’s like that Murdoch/Pat O’Connor match early- as Ishikawa does the head scissors section and Sekimoto does the head lock section. One can only hope that Sekimoto makes a hilarious face while holding on to his last front tooth after being punched in the face. Then hopefully he get on the mic and yell, “C’mer Shinya Ishikower! Yeah, that’s right- go home and crytoyermomma!” Until then: Head Scissors. Actually, they are working it pretty much like Murdoch and O’Conner- except Sekimoto tries a few arm bars before getting sucked back into the head scissors. After five minutes, they ACTUALLY SWITCH OVER TO THE HEADLOCK SECTION. So Big Japan channels basic 70s wrestling while incorporating the Strong Style- yet another reason to dig Big japan Pro Wrestling. Now if they could just get back to having a death matches that I give a crap about, we’d really be on to something. The head lock section is more truncated than the head scissor section so they can begin driving their forearms into each other’s heads. Sekimoto ventures into Angry Kohei Sato levels of headsmashing that leads up to Ishikawa leaning into a lariat like a total champ. Sekimoto hits a very nice elbow drop and heads back to the 70s idea with a chin lock to lead to the leading edge of the 70s- the Brainbuster. From there, a Boston Crab and Ishikawa fights to the ropes. Ishikawa flies into the corner but Sekimoto catches him and hits the EVEREST T-Bone Tazplex that ishikawa No-Sells-Then-Sells- as he hits a Discus Forearm before collapsing. Ishikawa hits assorted forearms and a nice Northern Lights suplex before latching on the Octapus Hold to make Sekimoto fight for the ropes. Sekimoto lariats to transition and hits a Love Machine Splash for two. Sekimoto makes with the Sharpshooter. It appears that are replacing the usual Big Japan Strongstyle sections of Textbook Of Knowledge Destroying Battles Of Forearms And Lariats with assorted submissions. Sekimoto starts the finish of the match off with a nasty sideways Brainbuster followed by a 5/4ths legit lariat into an monstrous EVEREST German With A Bridge! Ishikawa kicks out at two! Ishikawa clings to the ropes as Sekimoto knows that he can’t make it through two consecutive Everest Germans! Ishikawa loses his grip with one hand, then the other! And he elbows his way out the suplex attempt to procure his own Octupus Hold to try and stop the freightrain that is Diasuke Sekimoto! Sekimoto counters out and they both OPT to catch up on the whole skull crushing that they were averting with submissions- and it is pretty fucking great with Ishikawa applying the Cravate to make for easier kneeing to Sekimoto’s face. THEN a dropkick for two. Ishikawa has a weird offense. THEN he leans waaaay into the Octapus hold and Sekimoto taps! What a strangely good match. Not that I was expecting it to suck, but I wasn’t expecting to have much stuff thrown at me- the submissions especially. Good show, young Big Japan Strong Style Guys!
3. I never actually researched Shinya Ishikawa. Cagematch.de sez he is 29, 5’11, 207 pounds. He was trained by Disauke Sekimoto.
JOHNNY GARGANO vs BIG DADDY WALTER (WESTSIDE XTREME WRESTLING 3/15/2014)
Being an internet bigshot, people like Alan from Figure Four keep me abreast of matches to look for. He was at this live and would have gone but I couldn’t drive my Honda Odyssey to Germany. THINK OF THE TOLLS! Anyway, there was a wonderous time when I had DirecTV. It had every lunatic sports channel in all of North America. My fave was STO from Ohio. It would show the Otterbein vs Muskingum grid iron battles! It would show the truly awesome local MMA promotion that kept YOU in touch with every local Cuyahoga county dojo graduate who would show up to fight the toughest guy from Tuscarawas county. It also had Pro Wrestling Ohio- which was kind of a less polished version of New England Championship wrestling but it did have Jason Bane- who would lay it in- and the awwwesome total douchebag heel, Johnny Gargano. I’ve done everything III can do to make his feud with Jeremy Irons be considered legendary. The ACTUAL HORROR and LEGIT heel heat Gargano got from slamming an actual handicapped wrestling headfirst into the railing was PHENOMENAL. The fact that Irons wasn’t afraid to blade like fucking psycho propelled the feud to Ernie Ladd/Ox Baker St Louis strata of sheer hatred for a heel. It was awesome. Then I had to make the business decision to switch from DirecTV to FIOS and lost 5/6ths of the lunatic sports channels. Then I heard that Gargano was wrestling as a face somewhere and I quickly wrote off Gargano as pretty boy who missed his evil calling. Then I heard that he was back to form in this match. So imagine my excitement! Big Daddy Walter fucking TOWERS over Gargano in this- but Gargano lays in a forearm to start the proceedings. Gargano has nice punches for a guy I never noticed punch before. The Story is that Gargano is trying to avoid getting ripped in half and stomped into a rug by the giant teutonic maniac called Big Daddy Walter. Gargano gets Big Daddy into the corner and does the double time front of the hand/back of the hand chops, causing Walter to power him into the adjacent corner and fucking collapse both of Gargano’s lungs and sternum and ribs with a smack to chest. This has the Young Bucks vs Kevin Steen/ Super Dragon “someone is getting beaten into your heart” kind of vibe. But we move on. Gargano has a look of sheer horror as he crawls to the other side and takes another chop and THEN takes a giant fucking Brainbuster. OH GOD! Walter fucking swings for the fences with the figurative high hanging fastball which is Gargano’s chest, as the pain is multiplied as Walter then slams him to the mat. Walter then does that awesome spot where he basically does a modified Garvin Stomp, but from a standing position, drives his knee into the knee and elbow joints of his opponent. He then drops a fucking fat ass knee drop across the face and if you don’t love Johnny Gargano for leaning into that, you’re kind of a dick. Walter misses a kneedrop on the apron and Gargano topes and brings the punches and you wonder why he would ever stop. Gargano works the knee for minute and it immediately goes back to the NEW story: “Johnny Gargano is basically trying to fight a live grizzly bear now.” Gargano says to himself, “If I can break the bears leg, it will crawl back into the woods,”- tears coming down his face. Gargano tries to break his leg on the ringpost but the bear wins and the bear is angry. The bear crushes Gargano’s nuts against the ring post. Gargano gets another chance to work the knee after Walter misses an Elbow drop. He does a few offhand Volk Han-isms and tries to fight off Walter as he powers his way out eventually. Walter uses his bad knee to crush Gargano’s face and fucking SLAUGHTERIZES him with Satan’s Own Lariat. JEZUUZ. Gargano being insane, kicks out at two. Walter goes up top but Gargano catches him and goes for the ICONOCLASM~! Walter holds on to the rope, pushes Gargano away and fucking MURDERS Gargano with a toprope fatboy dropkick. Walter sells the knee and I’m assuming Gargano didn’t have to actually sell anything. Walter slaps him around and Gargano keeps kicking him in the knee. Walter goes for a GTS but his knee gives way, allowing Gargano to lock in a Crossface until Walter makes the ropes. Walter hits a fucking GIGANTIC SUWA Double Dropkick and this match rules. There is a run-in for some reason and then it’s back to Walter killing Gargano and Gargano fighting out and getting another Crossface. They then have a few too many nearfalls but it leads to Walter powerbombing Gargano STRAIGHT TO HELL! Yeah, I love this match. It had too many nearfalls at the end, but I’m torn because it all leads up to seeing more of Walter’s offense- which is just majestically beautiful. Yeah, the gigantic ass-beating Gargano takes makes up for the nearfall section that is hard to buy. But yeah, you’re gonna wanna watch this.
REY MYSTERIO JR vs. MR CONDOR – MASK vs. MASK
This is what appears to be a 12 year old Rey Jr . vs. Mr Condor and his amazing mask. Mr. Condor also is as tall as a 12 year old Rey Jr – so that should tell you how tiny Mr. Condor is. I mean this really could be a minis match. And since it is AAA from the early 90s the video quality is TERRIBLE. But I don’t think I would have it any other way. Now I was going to review this but then I realized that Rey already reviewed this match in his own book and it would be far funnier than anything I could write so yeah… here ya go.
“I still remember my first Mask versus Mask match. It was against Mr. Condor in 1992 and we were at the convention center in Acapulco. They would hold a festival there every year, and the city would be flooded with people. A lot of American wrestling fans came in the auditorium that night.
I remember Art Barr was my second. He had a mask on, pretending to be my uncle, and they announced his as Rey Misterio. Mr. Condor’s second was Blue Panther. Blue Panther and Art Barr had a long rivalry in CMLL but it ended when Blue Panther went over to AAA. What the crowd didn’t know was that Art Barr was now in our promotion – and that his rivalry with Blue Panther would flare up again at the end of my match, when Art revealed himself.
But first Condor and I had to get it on. During the match before ours, the second rope broke off the ring, so we had to wrestle with just two. The unexpected complication spiced things up but we were still able to hit all of our spots.
Things started a little slow between us, but as the pace picked up, the crowd got more and more into it. I fed off the crowd’s energy and I kept fending off Condor’s moves. He was bigger than me and he used his size to his advantage but I didn’t back down. Gradually the tide turned in my direction. I managed to get him down a couple of times but then got some very slow counts from the referee which allowed Condor to kick out of two or three sure pins.
I climbed a turnbuckle for a splash but missed him as he rolled away while I was in the air. The match swung back in his direction, and it looked like he was going to take me. I managed to turn the tables, got his shoulders on the mat – then once again lost the pin on a long count. Another exchange sent him flying out of the ring. I flew out after him and we ended up rolling in the middle of the event photographers. And then, back in the ring, just when he thought he had me, I bounced off the ropes into a hurricanrana: I leapt up to his shoulders, wrapped my legs around his neck in a headscissors takedown. As I went down backward, he came after me – and found himself pinned to the canvas with me holding both of his legs. The slowest count in the world would have taken him out this time.
The crowd roared.
It was an emotional moment not just for Condor but for me. I’d seen my uncle take masks in Tijuana but I’d never won one myself. I still have that mask in my collection.”
ISCHA ISRAËL/ JEAN CORNE vs CLAUDE GESSAT/ MARCEL MANNEVEAU (1958?)
Gessat and Manneveu are Les Blousons Noirs- which means the Black Jackets as far as I can tell. They both wear leatherjackets and I guess it was too early to call them Le Fonz et le Fonz ou Les Freres Fonzirelli! Manneveu has the amazingly French moustache and looks like Dave Thomas from SCTV. WHAT A HOSER! Ischa Isreal has astounding abs and has a more Freddie Mercury-ian moustache. These are the visual clues I use when I try to keep everybody straight. Be content knowing that I did research.(1) Gessat and Corne start off (unless Isreal discovered Hardees and no longer sports the six pack.) Man, French chain wrestlings needs make a massive comeback because it is an awesome way to kill two minutes in a match. Corne fights out of flying headscissors like Pat O’Connor fought out of a regular headscissors in that Dick Murdoch match we watched. Manneveu tags in and Corne snap mares and does a series of those El Hijo Del Santo spinning headscissor things. Manneveu cheats earlier so you know now to keep an eye for these leather jacket wearing punks before they steal our shit and start sniffing around our women. Corne with the chinlock that Manneveu counters into Keylock that Corne turns into a face-scrapy head scissors, thus making a sentence fragment more of distilled idea of the coolness of the sequence, thus allowing some brave soul a thousand years from now when the Archive.org is re-opened to diagram this sentence and they will wish the horror of the our modern times was left buried in the bottom of the sea STILL. Israel tags in and Manneveu makes with the Hammerlock and is taking all the cheapshots he can get in. BASTARD! Gessat tags in they smack Israel with the tag rope when the ref isn’t looking. Okay, Les Blousons Noirs are thoroughly evil- what with one headbutting Corne in the back inside the ring while Manneveu knees him in the face on the outside. Manneveu is sooo smackable as a Tully Blanchard-esque heel. Israel opts to choke Gessat to transition to offense who then tags in Jean Corne and Corne is 700 flying head scissors as a house a-fire. Gessat is HHH-ian with his kneelift based offence, but so many million times cooler. Manneveu is the MOST fun as sheer evil on the apron. God, Gessat is the Terry Gordy to Mannevue’s Buddy Roberts- as he brings the heel assbeat like a champ. Israel makes the crowd erupt with his house being a-fire. He and Mannavue slow it and Mannevue sinks in a totally awesome chinlock/cobra clutch precursor that works until John Corne tags in and he is the Man With The Snapmares- and then assaults Manneveu’s kidneys with clubbing pee-enbloodening forearms. Then he drives his knees into the Manneveu’s evil kidneys. Then Gessat and Corne do an inexplicable like FIVE concurrent wristlocks by the corner of Les blousons Noirs- thus allowing Mannevue to face the audience but randomly drive his heel into the Corne’s back- enraging the rubes at ringside and delighting you and I, the veiwers in a distant future. Mannevue is fucking awesome. Corne Euro-Uppercuts to transition to offense to get the tag. Gessat bearhugs Israel and Israel goes totally Johnny Saint with the slipping out of the bearhug, the throwing Gessat into the ropes and then the rolling forward into a rana into a headscissors. Mannevue tags in and rips at the eyes to le horreur of the crowd. Jean Corne and Minnevue have an entire World of Sport match in like 45 seconds- its too awesome to try to describe- it makes one wonder how this style ever died. Israel comes in and hits the back breaker on Gessat so Gessat responds by throwing Israel into a full Hangman spot over the top ropes- I’m amazed his ear wasn’t ripped off. It is ssooooooo fucking boss. Corne tags in goes back to de-kidney-ing Minneveu with giant throws across the ring, thus Minneveu gets the heck out of the ring and away from the sadistic babyface psycho called Jean Corne. Gessat and Corne do a leg scissors spot and then an elaborate Crucifix that Corne turns into a million part rope running spot that lead to Minneveu and Corne doing an even more elaborate rope running spot that leads to Minneveu cheating his way waaaaay deeper into your heart by sinking in the cheatingest Hammerlock in the history of wrestling. It’s starts off with him driving his knee into Corne’s temple and gets cheatinger as it continues. The great thing about the spot is that the basic hammerlock that isn’t coated with cheating looks like it would fucking totally suck ass to be in. THEN A REF BUMP! Gessat steps on top of the ref because FUCK THE POLICE! Jean Corne settle down with a kneelock variation that I don’t believe I’ve ever seen before. Basically a knee based keylock. the man who just stepped on the ref 45 seconds ago is complaining to said ref that Corne struck him in the throat- FUCKIN EVIL! Minneveu tags in and chokes and cheats but then fucks up by letting Israel tag in for babyface comeback number five. Minneveu bites illegally to procure fucked up leglock number 57 in the match. Israel headlocks to transition but Minneveu escapes and Corne comes in and les Blousons Noirs kick and cheat and Minneveu applies fucked up leg lock number 58 aaaand… the tape runs out. So le deuxieme installmente will be reviewed tomorrow. Or the next day.
DIASUKE SEKIMOTO/ KAZUKI HASHIMOTO vs RYUCHI KAWAKAMI/ SHINYA ISHIKAWA (BIG JAPAN PRO WRESTLING 4/28/2014)
I don’t know why it has taken so long for me to get to this match. I love all these guys and I assume there wil many things that I like about wrestling out on display for our pleasure. Kawakami and Ishikawa are a regular thing now, I guess. I look forward to Shuji Ishikawa/Kohei Sato vs Kawakami/ Shinya Ishikawa at some point- though Sekimoto and K-Hash will beat the piss out of you also- so I’m excited. Ishikawa is wrestling with his hair in his eyes again- as he is trying to moisten the young ladies of the nation of Japan. Ishikawa makes with the fun extended Hammerlock As Headscissors section and we’ve killed 6 minutes! Kazuki Hashimoto and Kawakami tag in and K-Hash opts against mat work and instead decides to get kicking. Kawakami receives a few kicks and some very hurty elbows to the face before the Kanemoto/Ohtani face scraping begins. Sekimoto tags in and he and Kawakami trade chops to the lower throat and it is fun to watch them chop each other really hard. Ishikawa tags in and applies a headscissors- as they mirror the first half of their singles match until Ishikawa runs into the corner for an elbow but Sekimoto catches him and does the TOTALLY awesome EVEREST T-Bone Tazplex. Sekimoto sinks in the Sharpshooter and either this match is really cut in half or Sekimoto and Ishikawa wrestle a different style when they face each other- as this is the least amount of assbeating I’ve seen in a Big Japan Strong Style match. It is a change of pace so here’s to you Sekimoto and Ishikawa. MEANWHILE, Hashimoto kicks Kawakami in the face A LOT, REALLY HARD and it’s fun when the hyper-violence sticks out a little in the match. Ishikawa comes in and hits assorted suplexes and his Octapus Hold. The finish is Ishikawa hitting a Barry Windham dropkick on Sekimoto and then making Hashimoto tap to the Octapus. Yesssss. tap to the Octapus. Kawakami was basically there to absorb kicks and bump to the floor. That was a wee match- but not a bad way to kill 11 minutes.
SUPER TIGER/ KAZUKI HASHIMOTO vs SHINOBU/ MEN’S TEIOH (BIG JAPAN PRO WRESTLING 5/5/2014)
What the fuck, let’s just take a moment and clear out all the random Big Japan laying around in my Watch Later pile on Youtube. Hey, this Super Tiger isn’t Sayama! I must research.(2) He is old but not that old. He was in BattlARTS at the end, so I’m pulling for ya, a Super Tiger if not the Super Tiger! Fuck it, hook-em up! Shinobu is here with his weird abs. MEN’S TEIOH has the worst moustache in all of Japan. Kazuki is looking sharp with the Living Bundt Cake hairstyle. He and Shinobu WORK FOR THE VERTICAL BASE and stuff. Shinobu with the clean break, like he can just stand in the ring with Kazuki and not get beaten to death. K-Hash kicks in the thigh early but Shinobu wants to make with tangly matwork so the folks will clap when they both get to their feet. Super Tiger tags in and he and MEN’S have the boringest wad of wrestling I’ve seen in a while. Gah! Shinobu and K-Hash wake us- the viewers- up by beating the fucking hell out of each other immediately. Fuck the police, Shinobu will fucking lay it in for a guy who weighs about as much as the average American’s left leg (left thigh if gauging Americans at Wal-Mart. And why wouldn’t you?) The Kanemoto-Ohtani facescrape is thwarted by a Shinobu dropkick which brings MEN’S back into the ring. And then Super Dragon. A note for SuperTiger: If you are going to be in a match where folks are gauging your strikes, be at least a 1/4 as legit as Kazuki Hashimoto, because if you don’t, you will look like a total pussy. Super Tiger and Shinobu trade submissions and it is perfectly fine. Super Tiger tags in Hash and it get a LOT more fun. Kazujki sells a MEN’S Rings of Saturn like a champ and we will always have that. Shinobu tags back in because he could sense that I was fading- and they fight for the Brainbuster with K-Hash winning it with the FALCON mthfckng ARROW~! Super Tiger tags back in and lays it in a little versus Shinobu and does a submission I can’t remember the name of but I’m definately trying on my nine year old at some point. Gah, Super Tiger goes over with a spinning moon crescent flying savat kick? Watch it below. Or don’t. I recommend- don’t. But i am not your mother. For the Real Japan Completists (I’m looking at YOU) in the DVDVR readership.
2. According to Cagemtch.de, this Super Tiger is from Real Japan Pro, his name is Yuji Sakuragi and he is 36 years old. He was in BattlARTS at the end.
MANABU SOYA vs HIDEYOSHI KAMITANI (BIG JAPAN PRO WRESTLING 4/28/2014)
Kamitani has been wrestling over two years so I guess they will let him do more than just dropkicks- though I’m guessing Manaboo is going to completely slaughter him in this match. Either way, it will be another random match I can get off my Watch Later List. Let’s do this! Ah, this is the guy with plum paunts! He and Soya were tag partners in the only other match I recall him being in. Manabu is beloved by children as he comes to the ring. Kamatani quietly declines to shake hands. Soya points as if to say, “That’s cool, brah. This ain’t no sunday school.” They work a headscissors spot where Manabu goes all National High School Cheerleading Championship team spirit fruity embellishment hand stand out of the headscissors to the bewilderment and delight of the crowd that basically showed to see guys stab each other in the head with ripped in half coke cans. Kamitani tests Manabu’s strength and wins! Kamitani tests Manabu’s chest with chops! And loses. Many times. Kamitani tests Manabu’s jaw with forearms! And loses. Manabu decides that the Story Of The Match will not be the youngster challenging him, and will be more about Manabu beating him to death. Kamitani gets is a flurry of offence- including a very nice toprope shoulder block before Soya cuts him off with a 1975 Lateral Suplex and 1982 Cobra Clutch. Soya telegraphs a lariat and Kamitani counters with his own 1987 Gut Wrench Suplex. I guess these two sit around and watch old Steiner Brothers matches. And Kamitani with another shoulder block but in the ring- so I guess they watch old Steiners versus Road Warriors matches. Soya with the Vertical Suplex and I dig the fact that this match is a total throwback as the finish is Soya with a 1970s Lariat. This was good- though I was expecting less than nothing. Go ahead, watch it.
TERRY FUNK vs. THE ASTEROID – All Japan Nov. 80
If could only watch two promotions ever again – they would be Hamada UWF and All Japan Classics (basically all AJ pre.. umm… let’s say 1988). I say this partly to be my intro to two different reviews and because a couple of weeks ago Matt sent me the link to the greatest Youtube channel ever created. When I saw what it was I needed to put on pants just so I can take them off again. Of course – I will be the only person in history who says OH MAN! I NEED TO WATCH ALL THE ASTEROID MATCHES FIRST!!!
See Asteroid is Scott Irwin working in Japan in his Super Destroyer gear but not being the Super Destroyer… and not being his brother Bill. God I don’t know why my default to always name a Irwin as Bill no matter which one I am talking about. (And I am not the only one who makes this mistake as Eric just reviewed this match over at Segunda Caida and called him Bill.) Scott is one of those great what-ifs as he was taken from wrestling not because of idiotic drug use but because of a fucking brain tumor. Stupid everything.
The match is a very fun, very vanilla match. It is clipped which is sad but considering 95% The Asteroid applying various “lock” type offense (headlock, front face lock, etc..) it didn’t need to be THAT long. Funk comes in hurt (story or legit or both – who knows with Terry) with a bandaged knee so that explains giving the majority of the match. At least Asteroid applies pressure as he is doing his holds and Funk sells so it’s not just Randy Orton and someone else just filling time on RAW. Plus since the focus has been weakening Funk’s neck (and making it tougher to breathe) it works when Asteroid nails a piledriver. I mean maybe SOME leg work would have been nice. But I don’t expect my Hosses to think too terribly hard. Funk is one of the best punchers ever and he gets a flurry in to hit the double arm suplex for the win. Asteroid attacks after the match which leads to Funk ripping his mask off and Irwin doing a really shitty job covering up on the way back to the locker room. Funk then wears the totally not Super Destroyer but Asteroid mask for some yuks. Eventually Baba or someone figured out this was silly since when Irwin came back for the 82 Tag League he was the Super Destroyer then.
BILLY TWO EAGLES vs BUDDY WAYNE (CWUSA 12/1/1996)
Someone requested this and I OPTED to review it so I’m coming in cold on this one. But I did do my research. I read an interview with Buddy Wayne from Canoe.ca(1), figuring he was related to the best ever Tigermask (Ken Wayne), but alas it a different set of Waynes. I remember Billy Two Eagle from assorted matches in AWF and what have you. Yes, beloved reader, somebody is about watch some random wrestling and what could be better than that? A few things, sure! but that is neither here nor there. Buddy Wayne is on the STICK~! and he is stoked about kicking Two Eagles butt all over the greater Vancouver Metroplex. Buddy Wayne is like Ken Wayne in that they are both teeny tiny. Oh man, our Special referee is Bart Sawyer! It is WCW Enhancement ManiaClashCade! And Buddy Wayne beats on Bart Sawyer! For some reason! They carry out Bart Sawyer and get on with the Indian Strap Match. Buddy Wayne has good punches- far better than the unhurtiest Atomic Drop that Billy Two Eagles brung into the world in 1996. Jesus, Buddy Wayne was the enhancement wrestler’s enhancement wrestler- as he offers up his whole nekkid back to Two Eagles Indian strap and does not flinch at leather across his back- as Two Eagles smacks him and smacks him and smacks him. Waynes transitions to offense by kinda grabbing Two Eagles around the hip area and headbutting him into the breadbasket. Wayne’s punches get better as the match continues and Two Eagles leans into a lots of punches to the face, then punches with the strap, then just more punches to the face, and then Two Eagles totally blades like a total motherfucker. Two Eagles chops to come back but Wayne punches to cut him off- as this is from Vancouver but it is very Memphis. Wayne hits the sweet 70s Lateral Suplex and then hits a toprop elbow and goes for the fourth turnbuckle but Two Eagles pulls him with the strap and does the El hijo Del Santo Spinning Body Headscissors thingy to transition back to offense. Wayne cuts him of immediately with a clotheline more than a lariat and they take it the floor. Two Eagles lean way into a posting and blood is flying out of his head. The blood is assisted by Wayne double axe-handling avec une strap right across the place where the blood is spewing. Wayne hits an actual Bulldog and gets 2 feet from four corners but Two Eagles pulls him away does the Pro Wrestling Indian War Dance and blood is majestically flying out of his head as Wayne clocks him with a forearm across the BLOOD PLACE. He then TOMAHAWK CHOPS to offense and prays to the Native American God of Awesome Possible Hardway and I await Wayne to STEP UP TO THE FUCKING PLATE and bleed already. Two Eagles hits a missile dropkick and hits the fourth corner but the REF DIDN’T SEE IT as everybody runs in. A Haliburton is involved. Buddy Wayne cheats to win! I would have liked this more if Wayne would made with the bleeding but Two Eagles bleeds a fucking bucket for two, so I will let it slide in this case. I assume Buddy Wayne versus Bart Sawyer is somewhere on the internet.
SHU BRAHMAN vs FUJITA JR HAYATO (MICHINOKU PRO 6/8/2014
June 8th was a big day for indie wrestling. The Kobashi Pro card and THIS! Shu Brahman will beat the hell out of you if in the right situation. Against Fujito Jr Hayato for the belt seems like a good situation. The Michinoku Pro Junior Heavyweight belt is fucking awesome looking. I cannot find a picture on the internet or I would share it with you. They shake hands like a coupla wusses. They have a clean break like this is some kind of sunday school. They roll around a bit and quickly trade holds. Then they start beating the hell out of each other by seeing who kick the other the hardest in the face- but really it’s not exciting or stiff enough to actually be harrowing or life-changin or anything. They take it to the floor and water based comedy hijinx ensue- as opposed to anything compelling or intersting actually. Hmmmmm. I’m afraid this match is drifting off to the island of Suckassica and the riptide is Hilarious Wrestling. The finally get back in the ring and this is probably the last chance to bring this load of shit out of the sludge that was the first ten minutes. Shu works the arm and it kinda grounds the idiocy so its working in the right direction. And then they do some bowling into luggage. For a guy with an ass-kicker gimmick and for being a guy in a title match, Hayato sure works mighty loose in this. Hayato does do some counterbowling though so we will also have that. Shu puts on a Mistico mask and does that spinning Fujiwara armbar. They do more crowd chanting comedy spots. God, this match is horrible. Actually, I think this match is important because one needs to actually experience a match with guys who can have a perfectly fine 10 minute comedy match- if you like that shit, having a match that is 25 minutes long. My verdict for this particular example- INSUFFERABLE. I mean, you can work your comedy shit in the opener- when you got the belt, have a little dignity, ya morons. The last ten minutes is weak kicks leading to two counts. YOINKS. Hey, don’t take my word for it, It’s right there. It’s still a fucking awesome belt.
KEISUKE ISHII/ SHIGEHIRO IRIE vs YASU URANO/ AKITO (DDT 5/25/2015)
I was thinking that we should catch up on the antics of beloved favorite of the DVDVR, Shigehiro Irie. There is a match at the UNION 10th Anniversary Show with Shigehiro and Shuji Ishikawa in the ring at the same time- and I find that to be very exciting. C’mon, internet freaks, post it! Any way, Irie and Ishii are the All Asia Tag title holders and they are up against two parts of the Smile Squash stable. Yes, I went to cagematch.de and researched these guys. Urano is 38 years old and was partly trained by FMW’s very own Koji Nakagawa and also trained by TAKA Michinoku. Akito is 27, scrawny and less fascinating. And the match: Pre-match, young ladies in plaid skirts spit water into Shigehiro Irie’s face because Irie’s boners must be supressed! Ishii stands around and looks confused- as if he is new to the Dramatic Dream Team. Folks clap at Ishii and Urano doing some basic wrestling. Akito is actually impressive standing there- which is important; looking like he could beef up into a big fella later on in his career. Irie works the headlock and leans into it. Akito is nifty escaping and procuring his own headlocks and ankle locks and we are kind of coasting along here. Urano and Irie is more punchy and kicky and funner. Irie begins to LAY IT IN! Urano lays it in also but it’s not very nasty. He does a lot of eye rakes which can be just as good-lookin’ as laying it in. I mean, everybody knows how much it hurts when a fucker messes with your eyes. It’s all about the psychology. Akito makes with the several swinging neckbreakers and it’s hard to pinpoint the style of wrestling. Urano drops a pretty fucking beautiful knee across the face of Ishii and Akito does a nice Lawler Piledriver so I pinpoint this style as Undersized Greg Valentine-ish- which I obviously dig. Yeah, Akito hits a beautiful Lateral Suplex and I really dig the ode to 1982 Philly Spectrum House Show wrestling. I also dig Ishii assuming the Ricky Morton roll. Irie is a fucking beautiful house a-fire. Akito and Irie fiddle about with elbows to the face and dropkicks to the knee and what have you- all leading to Akito hoisting Irie into a truly impressive EVEREST gut-wrench suplex- impressive because Akito is thin and lanky and Irie is true burgeoning fat boy. They double team Irie for a bit with Irie leaning into Urano’s lariats and Akito’s dropkicks to Irie transitioning to offence by crushing the skulls of his opponents with yet still more Greg Valentine-ish headbutts to the face. This is perfectly fine wrestling- very competent and it is your basic Southern tag match but I’m an asshole who expects more from an Irie match. Maybe it’s the fact that Irie isn’t the underdog in this. I don’t hate this match, but it just doesn’t have SOMETHING to make me love it- though the suplex/lariat-heavy finish is pretty cool. Fuck me, I’m just being a baby. This is good change of pace from the usual Irie match and it’s really well done. Go ahead- watch it, you won’t hate it.
ERNIE LADD vs NICK BOCKWINKLE (AMERICAN WRESTLING ASSOCIATION 10/1978)
Oh man, 1978 was a big year for a 12 year old boy to be into Pro Wrestling. Jimmy Snuka showed up in Texas (when I was in Arkansas) in 77 and followed me to Mid-Atlantic when I moved back to Virginia! Harley Race was my champion and Wahoo McDaniel was on my TV every Saturday afternoon. Ernie Ladd I had maybe seen twice and Nick Bockwinkle was one of those guys- like Dick the Bruiser and Bruno Sammartino, who only showed up in my life when they would be on the cover of an Apter mag. These guys I wouldn’t recognize unless their faces were coated in blood. The wonder of the internet is that we old guys can piece together the rest of the wrestling story. The problem with this match is that it is film clips. I assume Nick Bockwinkle watched this in the studio and spoke over it, denying any evil he was perpetrating- though we would be looking directly at it with him. Man, I miss that kind of shit. It’s all truncated and shit so it’s hard to actually analyze much past what you already knew- Ernie Ladd was a really agile for a big guy- though it doesn’t highlight my favorite quality of Ladd in his prime- his ability to bump enormous. The other thing you already knew by watching assorted Goodhelmet collections- Bockwinkle is battling neck and neck with Ric Flair for the successor to the Ray the Crippler Stevens crazed gigantic selling and bumping title. These highlights are pretty much Bockwinkle selling to the back of the building and flying all over the ring. Ladd could be anybody in this- as this is a lot like the Terry Funk/ Rick Martel match from Puerto Rico that we watched before the writing interruption period- with Bockwinkle assuming the Funk role. Actually, I guess someone could write a thesis arguing that Funk is the true heir to the Ray Stevens Sell and Bump thrown- and the three way outlay of evidence through wrestling matches would be pretty fucking glorious to behold- as Ric Flair’s portfolio vs Nick Bockwinkle’s portfolio vs Terry Funk’s portfolio would make my entire mind explode. Thinking of those three as equals is a bold statement. That I just made. This collection of clips is basically Bockwinkle basing an entire match on bumping to the vast, muscular, buky offense of Ladd- as the size of Ladd allows Bockwinkle to pretty much completely chew the scenery when bouncing off of him. So yeah, in case you needed a file of Bockwinkle’s bumping and selling style when facing a big man, here it is. If you wanted to know what Ernie Ladd was all about- not so much this.
KOHEI SATO/ SHUJI ISHIKAWA vs KAZUKI HASHIMOTO/ DAICHI HASHIMOTO (BIG JAPAN PRO WRESTLING 6/15/2014)
I’m guessing Kohei Sato and Shuji Ishikawa are no longer staying together as my favorite tag team of the year- as I see Sato is tagging with lots of other folks and Shuji is in a lot of singles matches that I need to catch up with. I assume I will spend most of the rest of July wallowing in the horror of the Montreal Alouettes season and catching up on the Big Japan Strong Climb matches. So yes, the rest of July will be a rollercoaster ride of soul-crushing CFL football and life-reaffirming stiff as fuck wrestling. Pray for me, rejoice with me. Right now, Double Hash and my favorite tagteam shall commence to beating the hell out of each other for my pleasure- and I find it pleasing. Hashimoto and Hashimoto come out and the veiwer is struck by the new orange hair of Daichi Hashimoto. Being that teenagers continuously hang around watching anime in the Rasmussen household, I quizzed my 15 year old about the hipness and coolness of Daichi’s hair and she said thusly, “They’d make a cute lesbian couple.” Oh well, I guess they need to try harder if they want to win over the indifferent youth of America . Daichi is bulking up as he gets deeper into his 20s. He’s gonna need it against the number 1 and number 1a crowbars on the island of Japan. Daichi and Shuji ishikawa lock up early to make the rib-smashing by Sato that much more dramatic when gets around to entering the fray. They do set the bar high by mauling each other early before Kazuki Hashimoto tags in and K-Hash and Ishikawa feign wrestling by K-Hash working the arm. The delaying of Sato entering the ring works in building up my anticipation. Its funny that Shuji motherfucking Ishikawa is in the ring first to set up a build up to a higher level of ass-stomp when his partner tags in. Finally, Sato tags in and we have a clean break because I guess this is like a sunday school or something. Sato sinks in an armbar and Kazuki hits the ropes as we wait for somebody’s teeth to get kicked out. They take turns kicking each other in the ass and I wondering why they think a match with these four guys would need any moments of levity. Luckily, they to all brawl through the crowd- with Daichi Hashimoto and Shuji Ishikawa brawling like total motherfuckers to my utter delight; and then- just quickly, they take it back to the ring to continue with Shuji ishikawa setting a PREPOSTEROUS stiffness level that Daichi steps right up to like a total champ. Sato tags in and Daichi Hashimoto and Kohei Sato smack each others lungs through the back of each others’ chests. Ishikawa tags back in and awkwardly takes some Daichi offense to allow K-Hash in to do his Kanemoto Face Scrape spot- a spot to which I have been indifferent ever since Koji Kanemoto fell off my radar. Ishikawa suplexes to transition and tags in Sato who opts to kick the fuck out of and then inverted a Falcon Arrow onto Kazuki Hashimoto. K-Hash annoyingly no-sells it and tags D-Hash after a Dragon Screw and Daichi sinks in the STF on Sato who hits the ropes. Sato crushes Daichi’s jaw to transition and tags in Ishikawa who takes wads of double team stuff from Double Hash that all looked really fucking hurty and shit. Ishikawa powers out of suplex to K-Drill back to offense and hits a 6/4ths legit lariat to crush the fuck out of Kazuki Hashimoto. Daichi does the Mochizuki toprope running spinning savate kick after Shining the Wizard to make the save. Ishikawa takes a kick straight to the teeth- as being the Ricky Morton in this style of tag match can have a severe downside. Sato makes the save and then just fucking MURDERS Kazuki with a Lawler Piledriver. It is a thing beauty that is a joy forever. They then take turns smashing K-Hash’s ribs into powder. Ishikawa fucking kills Kazuki Hashimoto with a true Lionness Asuka-level K-Driller and THEN hits a Diehard Kansai for the pin and hell- maybe they aren’t breaking up my favorite tagteam. Postmatch, they have a lot of mutual respect moments that Tenryu would break your fucking nose if you tried that shit with him. Sato is talking in the locker room and you see that he is busted up pretty good all hardway and what not. It’s going to be a good rest of July if it starts off with this kick ass-beating and it can maintain it through to the end of the upcoming soul-crushing Dallas Cowboy 2014 campaign. Coooome on, wrestlin! Daddy needs you more than ever. 4 zillion stars and not even in the Shuji Ishikawa/ Kohei Sato top five.
KOHEI SATO vs DAEMON UEDA- ZERO-ONE- 7/13/2014:
I see that ZERO-ONE still has the Fire Festival. When we last saw Daemon Ueda, he was frollicking about town and then doing some pro wrestling that was completely forgettable if I remember correctly. Okay. You know what I mean. I’m guessing he is the first branch fed into the human wood-chipper called Kohei Sato during this- the 2014 Fire Festival. Fire will be the idea behind the broken burning corpuscles of the Ueda chest,one would assume. But let’s view this match and hopefully revel in the violence. Yesssssss. The pre-match footage is Ueda riding around on a bike- like that creepy guy who used to take pictures of us when we played little league when I was a kid. He took a great picture of me when I was six and got hit by a pitch from Terry Batten. I dated Terry’s sister in high school. She moved to France. Where was I? Oh, Ueda’s pre-match segment: Then there is special effects and hitting a picture of Kohei Sato with a hammer and yeahyeahyeah let’s get this assbeating under way already. Ueda enters the ring with highly elaborate facepaint so it is fun that they are making the Fire Festival a special occassion. Sato towers over him and I assume scoffs at the fact that Ueda’s face and body paint form a target across his chest. They have a clean break like this is some kind of Sunday school. They go old school and Ueda sinks in the smudgy headlock and they have Strong Style Shoulder Blocks Of Penis Size Measurement WITH A TWIST! Ueda makes with the Muta mist and follow-up lariat and gets the two count! Sato bumps big into chairs and this is waaaaay more fun than I thought this would be. Sato makes it back to the ring at the count of 18 after assorted outside comical chair shots. Meanwhile, Ueda is actually fun in this with his American Pro Style offence- the power slam, the Fall away headbutt, the… oh fuck it, Sato stands up and and just fucking slaughtercates Ueda’s skull with forearms and then OPTS to kick Ueda’s chest through his back. Sato then just fucking smashes Ueda’s skull with one of those Sato Howzerbootsomehardway 4/3rds legit headbutt. Ueda gets full man points for not immediately curling up and weeping like a baby. Sato appreciates this sign of toughness by REALLY fucking killing him with kicks to the back of the head. Ueda stands up and gets a few forearms before Sato just decimates the fuck out of him with an elbow basically THROUGH the head of Uead, which leads into Falcon Arrow number 29 of the New Era. We and Ueda obviously await the Lawler Piledriver so Ueda will be able stumble to his car after getting his 40 bucks and still remember how to use his turn signal. AND THERE IT IS. And Ueda kicks out? Sato goes for the EVEREST German but Ueda uses the ref to fight out and then…. MUTA MIST AGAIN! After the lariat, it looks like an upset but Sato kicks out! This match is soooo what I wanted and so much more. Ueda with the K-Driller! Ueda with another Lariat! UEDA WITH THE WIN! BILLION STARS. Man, is Ueda gonna take a motherfucking ass-beating of assbeatings when they do the re-match.
KAZUKI HASHIMOTO vs YOSHIKAZU YOKOYAMA (ZERO-ONE 7/13/2014)
Allright! It’s like last Friday all over again! Kazuki Hashimoto and Yokoyama were last seen by us beating the dogshit out of each other in some VFW armoury in Japan a few months ago. This time around it is minus one Kohei Sato and minus one Diachi Hashimoto, so it should a different dynamic. Let’s watch, shall we? Pre-match, Yokoyama and his lunatic mullet are joined by his 1985 tinted sunglasses and they all go out to lunch. He and our Fire Festival segment host eat things that are too hot to eat and we all collectively say, “Let’s get on with this thing already.” Man, are we testy today- no time for levity or whimsy! MEANWHILE, Kazuki and Yokoyama are at the Fire Festival press conference and do a perfectly fine Wrestling Press Conference Pull Apart. One would hope that K-Hash would channel Silver King:
Kazuki Hashimoto: Maybe… maybe me and my brother Daichi will… KILL…. Yokoyama. Maybe we… maybe me and my brother will KILL Kohei Sato.
But what were the chances of that? Anyway, they go straight to the ring. Yokoyama works the arm early and they do a lot of pre-excitement wrestling stuff. Let me take this time to make an appeal to Yoshikazu Yokoyama:
This is Dean Rasmussen, writer from the Death Valley Driver Video Review. I have watched a couple of your matches and you seem like a good up and coming young lion, as they say. You have the size, and you aren’t afraid to lay it in. I think you are missing one element that would vault you over the top: you REALLY need to perm you hair. The Lionel Ritchie Road Warrior Animal Safety Hawk Mullet would be YOURS. Noone else could claim it in Pro Wrestling. You gotta trust me on this.
Dean Henry Rasmussen,
Death Valley Driver Video Review
And back to the match where they have moved into the exciting part where they start teeing off on each other. I just watched a Kohei Sato match and Kazuki Hashimoto’s level stiffness in this match matches Sato’s preposterous stiffness in Sato’s match- so we party and freak out to the Strong Style. Yokoyama is more controlled but he used clubbing forearms THUS this match is pretty fucking great. It is pretty much 10 minutes of straight up Strong Style with the annoying Kanemoto Face Scrape thrown into the middle. God, the stiffness flies off the fucking charts from K-Hash at some points and Yokoyama leans into it all like a total champ. Yokoyama goes on an extended offensive flurry and it’s pretty straight up US Pro Style- Body slam into an avalanche, a highly dangerous Power Slam and an attempt and Vertical Suplex that Kazuki reverses into his own vertical suplex to allow a nasty flying kick to the face in the corner. Yokoyama Death Valley Bombs to transition to offence though it pretty much leads to them just standing in the middle of the ring and killing each other. They decide to try to knock each other out with legit headbutts and Yokoyama begins to spray blood all over the ring- causing a blood stoppage to the match. Yokoyama is enraged by being forced to stop all the while coated in his own blood and BOY! do I want to see the rematch of this. Bloodtastic. Jiminy Crickets.
DEAN ALLMARK vs SEIKI YOSHIOKA (WRESTLE-1 – 7/6/2014)
Kick ass! Our boy, Dean Allmark, is wrestling in Japan! I will now figure out who Yoshioka is by going to cagematch.de. He has been wrestling for 6 years, is 26 years old and was trained by Hanzo Nakajima. I think I’ve reviewed one of his matches unless there is an army of anonymous junior heavyweights sent off by HANZO to conquer the opening matches of indie cards. If so, I back his play one hundred percent. Deano has all the belts and I’m hoping we finally get to see Allmark wrestle heel. DEEEEEEEEN ALLLLMAAAAAAHKOOOO! They start with a clean break like this is some kind of Sunday school. Allmark pulls out the Johnny Saint card early by countering a headlock with a handstand and then pulls his Jim Breaks card by working the wrist joints. He doesn’t go full Jim Breaks by cracking all the joints for all to hear. Yoshioka flies around the ring and gets in a Dragon Gate One foot dropkick and my hatred begins. Deano goes toe-to-toe with the highflying and looks so much cooler at it because you know its like the 9th style down the list in his arsenal, yet his Silver King moonsault to the floor is fucking spectacular. Allmark goes with the total fucked up matwork and you remember that Dean Allmark is fucking awesome. He goes with the European uppercuts and World Of Sport twisty quarter Nelson suplex and we now realize that Deano in Japan is fucking awesome. Yoshioka makes with the highflying but he is so one-dimensional compared to Deano. He does lean into Deano kicking him directly in the face like a total man and also continues after ruining his knee so he does get toughness points. Deano slaughters him with a really beautiful Spanish Fly and Yoshioka kicks out for some reason. Allmark clamps on total Snakepit crazy leg lock and goes into a pinning predicament for two. Yoshioka fights out, goes on offence, and hits the Swanton. And the British Light Heavyweight championship is finally back in Japan. Postmatch, Allmark doesn’t lariat and then break the leg of Yoshioka, so this wasn’t a perfect match. Man, do I dig Allmark in Japan.