DEATH VALLEY DRIVER VIDEO REVIEW – ISSUE #181

DUSTIN RHODES! and VADER! are really great at this wrestling thing! More DEAN~! from the RSPW~! archives! BAM BAM BIGELOW~! gets an extra M~! in his name! KONNAN~! loses an N~! DAISUKE SEKIMOTO~! wrestles in a weird place! And I~! don’t mean JAPAN~! YUJI NAGATA~! MARTIN STONE~! BRAZOS~! DERANGED~! THE DEATH OF WCW~!


WELCOME TO DEATH VALLEY DRIVER VIDEO REVIEW #181


Howdy~!

I continue the slow, eternal march to 200 issues that only I care about. Always hate your brain kids. Fortunately – the last bits of greatest from what exists in the RSPW archives provides extra content. Gonna have to keep looking in weird places for find shit from Dean to keep you reading.

~!~

WCW SPRING STAMPEDE 1999 (04/11/99)

(by DEAN RASMUSSEN)

(found somewhere on the RSPW archives)

Hiya !

A couple of little comments on the pretty good little PPV that the WCW put on tonight. Hangman Tim, Fat Ass Dave, King of Danger Cliff all came over to partake of the raw veggie platter and humus and watch some grappling. Steroid Joke Count: 78.

BLITZKREIG vs. JUVENTUD GUERRERA 

BLITZKREIG VS JUVENTUD~!: This was REAL good, stole the show until the FUCKING AWESOME Horsemen/Raven/Saturn match. The new “El Samurai On Acid” Mask for Blitzkreig was pretty fricking choice. Juventud whips out the SUPERhurty Toprope MP DRIVER II and it was choice. Blitz only blew one spot and Juventud got the utmost out of him to show that he is the smartest wrestler in the ring in North America. I’m assuming he goes over Rey tomorrow night. Really good little match- with Juventud carrying like a motherfucker.

HAK vs. BAM BAM BIGELOW (Hardcore Match)

HAK vs BAM BAM: Best Big Two Garbage match of the last year or so. FAT ASS bumps by Sandman that BAMM BAMM made look logical. Bamm Bamm sprays Chastity’s cooter with a fire extinnguisher (very disturbing) and does the Highly Hurty Greetings From Asbury Park through a table from the top rope. Sandman bumped like a freak and Bamm Bamm held it together. Good match for a bloodless blood-sucking freak match.

SCOTTY RIGGS vs. MIKEY WHIPWRECK

Scotty Riggs vs Mikey Whipwreck: Scotty gets the token PPV win for being such a company guy. Mikey’s push starts tomorrow I guess since they suddenly need Cruiserweights to fued with Juventud now that Kidman and Misterio are gonna be touching four stars with Raven/Benoit/Malenko and Saturn for a while. Heatless, well-worked match with Mikey doing the HIDEOUS Cactus bump to the rail for the big highlight.

KONNAN vs. DISCO INFERNO

Konan vs Disco Inferno: Pretty horrendous. Usual Konan crap but with added suck factor of offensively-challenged DI having to supply all the offense while Konan lays around the ring. Three restholds in two minutes so I was thinking this was a Hugh Morris match. Konan wins with DI’s finisher as poetic justice for DI stealing his video. Not as stinky as it could have been, but plenty stinky.

REY MYSTERIO JR vs. BILLY KIDMAN (WCW Cruiserweight Championship)

Rey vs Kidman: Crowd comes around late. Kidman tries a batch of new moves before getting back into his rut as Rey Misterio Jr tries to hit his first powerbomb ever for some reason. Finish was really hot as Rey hits his new bunch of Bulldog finishers and the crowd was awake by the time Rey scores the pin. This was very good but it got smoked by
Juventud and Blitzkreig.

CHRIS BENOIT/DEAN MALENKO vs. RAVEN/SATURN

CHRIS BENOIT/DEAN MALENKO vs RAVEN/SATURN: Mid-South as hell, with HEAT SEGMENTS!, Saturn and Raven with cool-ass face tag moves, Horsemen with dickish heel tagmoves including Malenko’s new pet move- the dropkick to the face while victim is prone. GREAT sequence where they tease everybody’s finisher as Raven gets Saturn out of the Locomotion suplex after Malenko dropkicks Saturn to start it. Arn takes a bump and the finish is AWESOME as BENOIT does a diving headbutt into a chair laying across Raven’s face LIKE A MAN and gets busted open hardway and RAVEN WAS MAN ENOUGH TO TAKE IT. Fucking GREAT match. Best batch of Southern-style booking to come out of WCW in a while.

BOOKER T vs. SCOTT STEINER (US Championship)

PART ONE: PART TWO

BOOKER T VS SCOTT STEINER: Good little match booked fifty-six ways to Sunday to protect Booker T, so the ending really sucked cock. Fat Ass Dave said, “Jesus, they did everything but shoot Booker T in the head.”  Pre-shitty ending, it was another in the Steiner hotstreak as he bumped, worked stiff as shit and did a toprope Frankensteiner. Booker T proves to be the underrated heavyweight that he is as he took a beating, hit all his spots and sold like a champ. Hated the ending, but it did show that Nash is way into Booker T.

KEVIN NASH vs. GOLDBERG

NASH VS GOLDBERG: This match forgot to suck like I thought it would. Nash lays down clean as a sheet and I think he just rebuilt Goldberg.  Maybe Nash isn’t the most idiotic booker ever.

HOLLYWOOD HULK HOGAN vs. RIC FLAIR vs. STING vs. DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE (w/ Randy Savage as Guest Ref, WCW World Heavyweight Championship)

HOGAN VS FLAIR VS STING VS DDP: Hogan goes out early after DDP does the Bret Hart Ringpost Figure Four. Match is actually workable past that as the biggest drag is disposed of. Weird ending as Macho turns on Flair and hits him with a Macho Elbow while Flair has Sting in the Figure Four. DDP hits a Diamond Cutter to become World Champion. This wasn’t the flaming turd/Hogan strokefest that I was fearing so I was happy with this. I get the feeling that DDP the Champion will last as long as Lex Luger the champion.

Overall, this was a good PPV with one okay match (Riggs/Whipwreck), one good match ruined by overbooking (Booker T/Steiner), three really good matches (Juventud, Bamm Bamm, Misterio/Kidman) and one REALLY FUCKING GREAT match (Horsemen vs Raven/Saturn). The stuff that sucked cock was at least smartly booked and less than horrendous in the ring (except for the Konan/DI match- which was just really horrible).

Best WCW PPV in a WHILE.

CICLOPE~!

Dean Rasmussen, Sexy, Sexy Motha…

~!~

THE DUSTIN RHODES vs. VADER “SERIES”

(by PHIL RIPPA)

Not a series per se as they were spaced over time and space. Plus, these two had randomly faced each other in tags. But for our purposes – there are apparently four singles matches during their period in WCW together. These are three of them. Cagematch claims there is a 4th match that took place in 1993 on Main Event but that isn’t online anywhere. (It also could have been a Dark Match since it followed a Dark Match Battle Royal which was won by Ice Train and since it is February I am refraining myself from making the joke I really want to.)

DUSTIN RHODES vs. BIG VAN VADER – WCW SATURDAY NIGHT (11/16/92 (Taped), 11/21/92 (Aired) – King of Cable Semis)

Hot Damn! I fucking love this match so much.

The King of Cable was another one of those wackadoo Bill Watts/WCW ideas. Maybe it was just so they could have a version of the King of the Ring. Maybe it was just another way to get to a Sting/Vader match. All I know it is so forgotten that neither Cagematch or Pro Wrestling Database have anything behind the final (which was at Starrcade 92 because they need to do something besides Battlebowl) and the Sting/Rude semi (which was on Clash XXI). Thank god for this bizarre obsessive site.

Dustin Rhodes had been ½ of the tag champs but he and Barry Windham had lost the belts at the Clash of Champions and Windham turned on Rhodes after the match. Vader and Sting had been feuding on and off for most of the year. It was about to get deeply into the on territory. Vader had lost the WCW World Heavyweight Championship to Ron Simmons and blamed it on the fact that he had been “preparing for Sting” but an injured Sting was replaced by Simmons. So Vader jumped Sting. In return – as Harley Race and Vader are cutting a promo before this match – Sting breaks a 2×4 over Vader’s back. They come back from commercial break – Harley is vibrating with how upset he is and screaming how there can’t be a match. Bill Watts comes out and since he gives zero fucks about wrestler safety orders the match to start and Vader has a 10 count to get out there. Oh and Harley is now banned from ringside.

God bless you nuclear hot TV studio crowd. They are already melting the place down as the kids are so deeply into Dustin but you have those who love snorting along with Vader. Toss in screaming Jim Ross and it is a good time. (Ignoring Michael Hayes who is playing a quasi-heel announcer and really adds nothing. I like how he claimed he was late getting out to call the match because he was making arrangements to get to that night’s house show. Mind you – this match was airing at like 7:45 pm. Way to sell the kayfabe PS.

One more piece of housekeeping – the King of Cable used judges in case the match went to a 20 minute draw. The judges – who were ringside at every match – where Ole Anderson, Larry Zbysko and Hiro Matsuda. (I also just wrote Lazzy and debated keeping it because I totally just created some indie workers new name.) Only time the judges were needed was conveniently during that Sting/Rude match.

This is your normal sprint 10 minute Hoss fight told in three parts.

Part One is Dustin being firey young upstart who takes it to Vader. Vader pie faces Dustin so they immediately start throwing bombs. Dustin tries to clothesline Vader out of his boots a couple of times and they somehow someway Vader takes a bulldog straight on the top of his head. This leads to Dustin doing basically the Cactus clothesline (it is more a cross body) but both go wildly flying over the top. Dustin is just peppering Vader until Vader uses his one of his great transitions. He just suddenly leaps out of the corner with the chest bump splash thingy he always uses and we are on to Part Two.

Part Two is Vader gives Dustin an ass whipping. I mean he wastes no time just landing straight punches to Dustin’s dome. Fuck at one point, Vader just steps on Dustin’s throat. They subtly start teasing that the ref is gonna have to stop the match. Then Dustin gets is first hope spot as he nails two uppercuts (which is shot amazingly) and then does a double legged take down. (You will wanna remember that spot for future matches.) He quickly misses an elbow drop and Vader responds with a clothesline and splash that has a little kid in the front row marking out for. Dustin sneaks out at two. Vader – not pleased at the kickout – just lands straight right after straight right. The second hope spot is when Dustin does his side step rollup as Vader charges into the corner. (A staple of early Dustin matches.) Part Three is upon us.

Dustin nails a top rope lariat (which Vader leaps into) for two. He then pops Vader with what is basically a 1992 spear (that JR had no idea what to call). It is a great looking nearfall as instead of kicking out, Vader frantically reaches for the bottom rope and barely gets there before being pinned. Dustin knocks Vader to the floor and we get the spot of the match. Dustin charges Vader from behind and Vader just wheels around and left arm lariats Dustin out of his boots. JR, Hayes, the crowd, probably Harley in the back lose their minds. Vader – adding insult to injury – shoot kicks Dustin in the face which legit busts him open. He drags the corpse of Rhodes into the ring and hits the 450. The finals are now set.

Then… THEN!!!! To wrap it all up, Harley Race cuts a promo screaming about Thanksgiving Omni show that has Vader vs. Sting in a cage. “STING!!! THAT WAS THE LAST STRAW AND YOU BROKE IT OVER VADER’S BACK AND IT DIDN’T PHASE HIM!!!” I swear Harley was turning purple. Vader is yelling “BRING THE PAIN!” Holy Fuck! I am trying to figure out how to invent time travel so I can go back 25 years and since this God Damn cage match.

DUSTIN RHODES vs. VADER – WCW CLASH OF THE CHAMPIONS XXIV (11/16/94)

Almost two years later, these two meet again at Clash of the Champions 24. And they yet again they have a sprint 10 minute Hoss fight that is fucking awesome.

Here is the deal. The whole reason I chose to do this series is because of this match was because of Segunda Caida. This is the match they thing is better than Misawa/Kawada 6/3/94 but were too yellow to actually say so. THAT’S RIGHT I CALLED YOU YELLOW! MAKE A FIST!

Here is all your context
Board thread that originally caught my attention to this
SC review

I suggest you read the review because they are right on about 98% of what they said. This match is motherfucking great. In the board thread I say that the King of Cable semi is better. It’s not at least in terms of the match itself. I love all the extra nonsense surrounding the KOC match. I also have misty colored watered memories of seeing that match during my first semester of college. Yes I am old. Fuck you. Just for the record – this is the match I picked of the lot to put on the 1001 so there is that.

My biggest disagreement is with something Eric wrote where he said Tony Schiavone was “really really good throughout.” Tony was terrible in this match. One of the first thing Tony says is “There is a big size differential here!” which made me spit out my drink since Dustin is taller than Vader and isn’t exactly staying thinning as he was getting older. But even better he then immediately says “Dustin is very big and very tall!” Well thanks for that Tony.

The more egregious thing is Tony just going “No animosity. No previous issues” Way to sell the match Tony. God I hate having a long memory (and having the internet 20 plus years later).

I actually thing the match is even better when watched contextually as the sequel to the KOC match since it allows to go with the story of Dustin having two more years of experience under his belt and that he has learned from their previous encounter.

A lot of the same notes are hit. Yes – the double leg takedown is far better this time (again helps that the crowd is all in on it). Same Vader transition to offense. Same Dustin side roll-up for two. Same Vader misses the butt splash counter to a sunset flip. Same left handed lariat out of nowhere (this is where it the first match did it better). Etc… This isn’t a criticism just again more ways to compare and contrast. (Again another reason why I was bothered by Tony acting like these two had never seen each other before.)

Another thing I go back and forth on is the spot where there is a ref bump and Vader just flings Dustin over the top rope. Now if this happened in the first match – it would have really worked since it played off the amazingly stupid Bill Watts’ Over the Top DQ rule. But Watts was long gone as this point in time and the Over the Top DQ with him. So why did you really need to bump Pee Wee Anderson first before Dustin took the death bump? And if you are going to say that Anderson might have still DQed Vader – it would have been helpful if Schiavone or Bobby Heenan brought that up as a possibility. So as an important move in the match. Yes – top marks. But the ref bump was unnecessary.

This reminds me that I should mention that Harley Race being at ring side at this match is so much better. Of course – I love it when Harley is around because he is most likely going to bump at least once if not twice. Harley is also great for yelling at the ref. Many a “GOD DAMMIT!” is growled out.

Oh and speaking of Harley – the finish is a distraction finish which is disappointing. And a postmatch beatdown means US Champ Jim Duggan comes out for the save and I am reminded that Duggan was US Champ so that is another strike against this match.

There is some fat in the match but yes there is less fat than 6/3/94 but it is also 1/3rd the time. Honestly, that might be my biggest issue with trying to say that it is better than Kawada/Misawa. Ten minutes is too short to be considered one of the greatest matches of all time. That clearly is a personal opinion thing as I think as I have gotten older 18-22 minutes is my butter zone for matches.

DUSTIN RHODES vs. VADER – WCW SATURDAY NIGHT (12/17/94 (Aired))

This is a different match that the first two. Partly because it is much shorter. Partly because I wanna talk more about Harley Race.

Vader is out first. Dustin charges the ring and is supposed to hit Harley with a clothesline behind Harley’s back. Problem is he somehow whiffs. Harley improvs and not only does he delayed duck but he does some sort of dance with Nick Patrick until Dustin turns around and hits him with the clothesline for real. Dustin then chucks Harley into the corner and Harley – at age a million – decides to take that crazy ass corner flip bump out of the ring to the floor. No wonder he has such a hard time getting around right now. Dustin that just does a wild plancha that Harley eats ALL of. And this all before the match officially starts.

It is all Dustin to start with and we race to repeat the Vader tries to splash Dustin but instead gets powerslam spot from the Clash match. However we do change up the script this time as Vader DOES hit the sit down splash counter to a sunset flip. Then we change it again as Dustin kicks out of the 450… and then immediately goes on offense. Umm… okay…

Vader cuts that shit off though as Have Vader, Will Splash. But Dustin starts firing up shortly there after again. Of the three, the match is laid out the most to protect Dustin (not that he wasn’t getting protected in the others too) but this one had Dustin on offense the most, the heat sections are much shorter, kicking out of at least a former Vader finisher, etc.. Most importantly Dustin only has to lose by DQ this time.

Vader hits the reverse wheelbarrow suplex thing that he won the Clash match with. Then they repeat the ref distraction, chuck Dustin over the top rope spot for… reasons. Vader goes to powerbomb Dustin on the floor and Jim Duggan is back out to ruin my day. Duggan chases off Harley Race and Vader and then gets handys with Dustin. You can #MeToo that Dustin. It’s okay. We will believe you.

~!~

RSPW FIGHTS OVER THE DEATH OF WCW… in 1998

Below are just Dean’s responses taken out of context. Click here if you want to see the full thread. The thread is full of heavy hitters from the heyday of RSPW. God that is a sad statement. And yes, I am giggling over them yelling about what caused the death of WCW like 18 months before it actually happened.

“It’s called killing your business. I hope they go under or at least continually get their lousy asses handed to them long enough for them to have to cut down their rosters because this would make WCW cut back on the guys who don’t put asses in the seats (Malenko, Benoit, Eddy, Jericho, Shiryu, Psicosis, Juventud Guerrera, and anybody else who can wrestle worth a fuck) and keep all the guys who really pack’em in and draw the big ratings like Monday (Bryan Adams, Jim Niedhart, Bill Goldberg, Kevin Nash, Sting, and any other total sack of drizzling shit.) and ECW could take them all in and go REALLY big time. If ECW got a hold of Chris Benoit NOW before the fuckheads at WCW ruin him any further, Heyman would show Bischoff who can draw and put asses in the seats. Think about it. If WCW has to cut corners when business starts to die, who are they gonna keep and who are they gonna let go? British Bulldog or Juventud Guerrera? Malenko or Bryan Adams? Chris Benoit or Scott Hall? I hope WCW slides totally into the toilet so guys who I want to see can be set free to wrestle in a less shitty environment.

“WWF sucks as much as the WCW. Hell, if it wasn’t for tapes from Glenn and Lorefice and Phil, I would have been out of wrestling fandom a LONG time ago. US wrestling sucks dick right now, and it’s frustrating because it should be a fucking golden age. But it does and it is and it ain’t.”

“Austin’s best opponent would be Bret Hart but THAT ain’t gonna happen.”

“Hogan and the shitheads at the top of WCW aren’t putting MY ass in the seat so I could give a shit. To Hell with all of them, they all suck.”

“Bischoff can eat my ass. What a total Hulk-blowing shithead.”

“Because the WCW management are total idiots. All these guys who can fucking wrestle are gonna go to WWF and ECW and get decent pushes and get over and WCW is gonna be exactly like that other Bischoff assisted masterpiece- the last two years of the AWA. Maybe at that point I’ll watch RAW live and actively trade for ECW. The problem is that WCW snapped up everybody who can be the greatest current wrestler in North America and destroyed them because WCW is evil and horrible.”

“Compared to ANY other country, US wrestling gets on its knees and sucks it till the money shot. Everybody else on Earth is getting the Guinness Extra Stout of wrestling and we get Milwaukee’s Best Lite Ice of wrestling. Picking a side in the WWF vs WCW battle is deciding that you like one turd better than you like another.”

“I’l give them that. And the Jericho Cruiserweight reign is gonna be memorable if they tie up the Juventud angle, which they won’t because the WCW booking commitee is a metric ton of shitheads in a two pound bag.”

“I want to see them wrestle in a real wrestling organization which I’m thinking is beyond the scope of American promoters. I mean, ECW has great matches on TV, but are totally clueless when they charge ME motherfucking THIRTY BUCKS to see them wrestle, but they are the only hope for the US since their heads aren’t COMPLETELY up their asses. WCW is losing any grasp at all on how to book ANYTHING, and the total clusterfuck that is Spring Stampede is a good example. WWF is just as bad. The fact that Japanese stepchild Big Japan delivers more than WCW and WWF on a per-good-match-per-TV-show-hour percentage is TOTALLY ridiculous considering the amount of talent that WCW and WWF has access to.”

Oh yeah. Booker T has been the one guy who has wrestled past expectations and has been booked correctly. One guy out of One Hundred- there you go.

“DDP without a healthy Mero, without a Benoit or an inspired, healthy Savage is slightly more talented Tommy Dreamer with bad skin.”

“And he ain’t delivering a match that anyone who enjoys good professional wrestling is gonna ever want to see if he stays where he is now. I don’t know if even Fit Finlay can beat that much goodness into his sorry ass.”

And aside from the obvious shithead endings, when was the last time any of these chokers ever worked a good match? These guys suck. What kind of braindead Sammy Clay-swilling yokel would watch this shit and be
excited by it?

“Fuck Bischoff and the WCW. Set them free so they can wrestle again.”

Maybe I’ll less cranky after sweeeeet WorldWide….:)

VICTORY THROUGH GUTS~!

Dean Rasmussen who rocks the house in an old school way…

~!~
SINGLES GOING STEADY
~!~

BUSHWACKER LUKE/KOKO B WARE vs. MARTIN STONE/MITCH MITCHELL – LEGENDS OF WRESTLING (01/23/16)

There is a special skill that many wrestlers nowadays do not have and that is the ability to be an amazing stooge. Think about it this way – sometimes you need a guy who will wholeheartedly embrace being a chicken shit heel who will make his lesser-abled veterans look good to the delight of the crowd at a family friendly show being held in a random casino on an Indian Reservation. Martin Stone has that skill.

For those who have only seen Stone in NXT as Danny Burch, you are missing out by not seeking out his other stuff in the States and the UK. He is so amazing at antagonizing Luke and Ware by doing the Bushwacker walk, wearing Frankie (more on that in a minute) and flapping his arms like a bird. (The faces, not surprisingly, were playing the hits in interacting with the crowd.) He also was always in position to feed himself properly so Luke and Ware were getting their shine and oversold amazingly which is always needed when making up for the oh so many limitations of your opponent. (Also important when the whole point of the match is for the crowd to enjoy seeing the “names” that they most likely paid to see.) You can see how strong his facial game is as everything comes across on film despite it being shot on a handheld that makes the upload seem like it came straight out of 1999.

Mitch Mitchell is super young and only a couple of years into the business at the time of the match but he got it. Folks might not necessarily might want to hear this but there is so much more value to this type of experience than the “Hey! I am 23 and my opponent is 24! DIVES AND FLIPS FOR EVERYONE~!” Just teaming with Stone will be a boon but being willing to work this basic ass type of match is so helpful in A) getting over with the crowd and B) getting a good rep with promoters. I only slightly have my tongue in cheek on point B as the wrestling/promoter world is getting smaller and more and more guys are damaging their “brands” by the way they act. Embracing working a style like this says to me that Mitchell has an idea of what will help him succeed in the future. (I await someone telling me that Mitchell is a menace and goes around pushing old ladies in front of buses or something.)

Luke and Ware – who have Ricky Steamboat in their corner for reasons that can only be a “Hey someone clearly will pay money to see Steamboat stand around” – are more mobile than I actually thought they were going to be. Part of that is because I can never remember which Bushwacker is the one who constantly appears near death. Ware comes out wearing some sort of bird hat that we all learn, Koko thinks is the living embodiment of Frankie. This is where I would have backed away slowly from the show.

Luke clearly still watches wrestling as he does almost every possible popular thing from the last 20 years – a Yes chant, a spear, a stunner, extended chop sequence in the corner. Koko does a stinkface but Luke trumps him by yanking down his britches first and THEN sticking his ass into Mitchell’s face (Sorry youngster, them’s the rules.) Steamboat randomly starts punching and chopping Mitchell because sure. Koko does a bulldog for the win because I guess he can’t get guys up for the brainbuster anymore. They then all – including Steamboat – do the Bushwacker walk for a LONG time.

Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing special about the match and it isn’t really something you need to watch. But you aren’t going to complain about wanting your money back if you are there. Plus, the kids – who honestly have no fucking idea who Koko B Ware or Bushwacker Luke are – will look for any excuse to wave their arms around.

It is too bad that Stone seems committed to staying loyal with the WWE because if a promoter needs a good hand to come in and work the immobile 80s star, I would be all about Stone vs. Jim Duggan or Honky Tonk Man or Tatanka or Greg Valentine. And if you want a license to print money, have Stone working multiple date shows against Jerry Lawler and Gangrel and Too Cold Scorpio.

~!~

YUJI NAGATA vs CHRIS HERO – NOAH GLOBAL LEAGUE 2014 (10/18/14)

I have like three different stashes of “watch later” lists (two different Youtube accounts and Dailymotion) and that’s not to mention all the other stuff I jot down that I have to watch via various streaming services. Because of that it is a real treat to sometimes just stumble across something on one of the lists that I forgot existed. Case in point.

Assuming Cagematch is not lying to us all – this is the only time two of my faves have stepped foot in the ring together. This is from one of NOAH’s Global Leagues from a time when they could still sell out Korakuen Hall. It is the opening match for both guys and it is what you what expect from two quality guys and that is a damn fine WCW Saturday Night Main Event that would have proudly found room on one of Dean’s perm tapes.

Fairly straight forward affair in that it is basically we are going to beat each other as hard as we can until someone stays down. Nagata has this look like “Oh I am gonna have fun working the goofy gringo.” So he is all “Yay! Chop exchange. These are my jam!” and that is all well and good until Hero hits a elbow out of fucking nowhere like a lightning bolt and Nagata drops like a sack of potatoes. Hero gets a two count and Nagata is all “Well that just happened.”

So Nagata is now all “Yay! I am gonna kick the fuck out of you. This is my jam!” and again Hero hits an elbow that floors Nagata for two and instantly Hero’s elbow is setup for not only this match but the whole League as ain’t nothing to fuck with.

The story of the match becomes – besides all the bomb throwing – Nagata getting pissed off and messing up Hero both in and out of the ring. Hero’s height helps in two ways here as 1) it always look more visually impressive when Nagata is able to toss him around with suplexes. 2) It allows him to get the ropes easier to break submissions which is a lot better than guys sitting around for five minutes before getting out. This helpfully plays into the other story of the match.

The other story is – besides all the bomb throwing – is Nagata trying to survive/avoid the roaring elbow. Hero actually connects the first time he hits it but as Nagata has been wearing him down and kinda has a thick skull (in the wrestling sense. Clearly not in the I am facing Mirko Cro Cop or Fedor Emelianenko sense), he is able to escape at two. But clearly Nagata knows he can’t let that happen again. Attempt #2 Nagata counters into Nagata Lock IV (which is where the whole Hero being super tall and the ring being super tiny comes into play). The third (and final) attempt – Nagata blocks with the jumping enziguri and then nails a Backdrop Hold for his first two points of the League.

I really really enjoyed this. My only disappointment was that Daisuke Sekimoto was over in Block A so I didn’t get a Sekimoto/Hero match.

~!~

DAISUKE SEKIMOTO vs. TRISTAN ARCHER – INTERNATIONAL CATCH WRESTLING ALLIANCE (07/05/13)

You know how the WWE would have those random matches at like Wrestlemania Axxess? Well this is the same thing except it is in France and in what might be a converted airport hanger in front of folks who if I didn’t know any better where there attending a Home & Garden Trade Show.

Tristan Archer has his own Youtube channel and he uploads a lot of his own matches. I guess it is something to do when one is one of the less than a handful of guys who the WWE wanted no part of after the Cruiserweight Classic. He labelled this as “Japan Expo” whatever the fuck that means. All I know is that looking at Cagematch – a group of basically six guys wrestled six times in two days. I mean Sekimoto wrestled a dude named Peter Fischer three times the day before. So you know you aren’t getting anything really special outta these things.

Heck this might as well be an Axxess match which the devotion these two have to a headlock for over half the match. (And clock in at less than 10 minutes total match time… that is a long time.) The French public address announcer who is commentating the match to the live crowd reacts big to the rare big move (or just when Sekimoto murders Archer with a lariat). That at least gets a reaction from time to time.

I am trying to think of what exactly I could use to even get someone to attempt to watch this. I guess the brief period when Sekimoto is working as the chubbiest Ricky Morton ever elicited a chuckle from me. And hey – wrestling from interesting places. And I think it is a safe assumption that I enjoyed this more than the two times Sekimoto wrestled Kikutaro the rest of the day. I mean at least he could have worked Kazma Sakamoto but nooooooo. Sigh. And who the fuck was this Inca Warrior? It sure wasn’t Niebla Roja. I mean when Cagematch doesn’t link to you, you are fucking obscure.

Anyway – Sekimoto wins but doesn’t gain entry into the Andre Memorial Battle Royal. What a waste.

~!~

(Not sure what this exactly was but I found it on RSPW – Rippa)

It’s already been done in the WCW- it’s called Chris Benoit.  As for the rest of the Cruiserweight division, keep them against each other.  What was better- Misterio vs Kidman or Misterio vs Flair?  I’d say Kidman vs Misterio (but I am WILD).  As for a Pay-Per-View, they should do a two night tournament in Texas- advertising it as a Lucha tourney to draw a friendlier crowd, splice together the best of the two nights into two and half hours and put it on PPV like they did with the North Korean PPV in 1994.  You hedge your bets on production costs of going live and you’d get a buyrate that would be better than ECW or UFC- which would be a good target to beat, what with the culty nature of the Cruiserweights.  It could be done and WCW could have an ass-stomping two day tournament and the heat would be there if it was a lucha crowd behind Rey, Psic, and Juventud. If it was an eight-man knockout tourney I’d put in Rey, Psic, Juventud, Eddy, Blitzkreig, Chavo Jr, Billy Kidman, Kaz Hayashi.  Eddy and Rey could be in the final.  The possibilities are endless if WCW had Cruiserweights they wanted to debut and wanted expand the number of participants to include the Toryumon guys.  It could be and it should be done.

BIOFRANKEN~!

Dean Rasmussen, PURE HEART-PURE WRESTLING!

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PSICOSIS vs. DERANGED – PRO WRESTLING UNPLUGGED (11/05/04)

Oh Lord. Okay, Pro Wrestling Unplugged was Johnny Kashmere’s fed in the mid-Aughts than ran in Philly and used all the same guys that showed up on CZW and JAPW cards. Heck – I am shocked I don’t see Ray or Pete on camera. This show is being held in the Animal House which is, shockingly, not the ECW Arena. There was more than one sketchy abandoned warehouse in Philly that was running shows? Learn something new every day.

Deranged has always been instantly infuriating to me in the same way every single one of the wigger clones that where trained by Homicide or Low-Ki or Amazing Red were. Oh so many of them. Doing some reverse math – Deranged might – MIGHT – be 20 in this match and he has the muscle definition of a 12 year old. Oh speaking of 12 year olds – one flips off Deranged as he goes to the ring so it’s a Saturday night in Philly.

Psicosis is wearing his mask which is really enraging but that was his deal in 2004. (In looking at an old Road Report – Pete said he was wearing his mask earlier in the year too at the Super 8 but took it off mid-match. No such luck here.) Psicosis is fucking ripped and I am jealous of his ’04 body. He also is possibly bombed out of his mind.

This is nothing burger match as Psicosis beats on Deranged for two minutes. And I mean why wouldn’t you? Fucking doo rag. Deranged hits one double jump moonsault to the floor which, let’s not kid ourselves, was fucking cool looking in 2004 and then the SATs run out to beat down Deranged. I can get behind that.

Trent Acid comes out to try and make the save and he gets his ass whipped and then Juventud Guerrera comes out and does make the save. A lot of back and forth ON THE STICK~! that is completely inaudible. Reckless Youth the moseys out and turns the Main Event into a 6 way with the SATs and Psicosis vs. himself, Acid and Juvie. (I guess the original Main Event was Youth vs. Juvie.) Why the fuck Deranged doesn’t get his justice is beyond me.

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ATLANTIS/LIZMARK/MASCARA SAGRADA vs. EL BRAZO/BRAZO DE ORO/BRAZO DE PLATA – EMLL (09/07/90)

Dataintcash is/was one of my favorite Youtube channels. So much classic luchas. I say is/was because a video hasn’t been uploaded since April 2017. This was the last match that was uploaded. Thankfully – it was more Brazos. (Of course in the time I wrote this this past weekend and today – Dataintcash has posted three more videos. I definitely am being watched now.)

It also has Atlantis and Lizmark. That is a good thing. And they are two different wrestlers despite what WCW might have wanted you to believe. This is a full size Mascara Sagrada so that is actually disappointing.

Watching this match made it click that I have never been so angry at wrestlers as I am now over New Day never stealing ANY of the standard Brazo shtick. There are so many and they never fail to make me super happy.

  • Brazos get fed up with this shit and threaten to leave (usually because everyone is being mean to them)
  • Super Porky does a pratfall by crotching himself on the top rope (usually to a big pop because the technicos immediately going on offense)
  • Super Porky accidentally splashes his brothers multiple times. The brothers get mad at Plata. Plata starts to cry. The Brazos kiss and makeup. (By far my favorite of all the spots)

This isn’t a “great” match but it is fucking fun. And sometimes that is all I want out of my wrestling.

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AMBER O’NEAL/SANTANA GARRETT vs AMANDA RODRIGUEZ/AMY LOVE – PWX (06/29/13)

In a thread on a board Dean wrote

“O’Neal and Garrett are the WOW tagteam champions!  So that’s awesome.  This is good little tag match even if it seems to make one’s Knockout Bundle all wiggly and out of control with all the tiny paunts.  But yeah, this not just a parade of tiny pants.  And I will stop before this gets even creepier.”

I thought “Great! I can review this match while comically laughing at pervy Dean.” What I hadn’t counted on was that mocking pervy Dean meant I can’t write this review as pervy Rippa.

The match took place as part of a PWX (Premiere Wrestling Xperience) iPPV. It aired as part of PWX’s TV show. (This was the second episode). I mention this because to get to the match you have to get past a lot of other filler – including two Amber O’Neal promos in which she wears two different outfits. And Amber O’Neal really shouldn’t be cutting promos.

In the first one, I am pretty sure Amber O’Neal just misspelled Bitch or whatever alternate spelling was popular with the kids in 2013. In the second one, she says that Amanda Rodriguez only got the match because she is fucking Caleb Konley. And now we have reached a crossroad. Or maybe this is my two roads diverged in a yellow woods moment. Do I, gentle reader, try and figure out if this was a shoot comment or not?

(The correct answer is Google “Amanda Rodriguez wrestler”, immediately realize that was a terrible idea at work and forget the whole thing.)

Amy Love is doing some sort of runway model gimmick that is instantly infuriating yet she is somehow on the face side. (Also – I don’t think most runway models have that big of a tattoo on the small of their backs.)

Between the camera angles, the horned up announcers and O’Neal/Santana doing a distaff Beautiful People gimmick I am hating my life and Dean at the moment. This is quite the Women of Honor knockoff match. You infer from that what you will.

It sucks. (Sorry – some of you are slow.)

If you like Day 1 at the Performance Center armbars, this match is for you. Hmm… maybe armbars are more like Day 4 since they do love themselves some tumbling, running in the corner and shuttle steps. I also liked the part where Love just kinda falls over attempting the pin after slamming Garrett.

Lord it would have been nice if someone ANYONE would have pointed out to the production folks that A) just because WWE has lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of cuts in their editing, you don’t need to and B) while multiple camera angles is nice if you are going to have one HD camera and then three SD cameras, it is really noticeable when switching back and forth.

I give up. All I learned from this exercise is that in 2013, Dean had Luke Gallows’ woman on his F List.

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