TOSHIE UEMATSU! Blue Panther! FUERZA GUERRERA! Koshinaka! ALLBRIGHT! KAWADA! Yamazaki! and Other stuff I saw and heard this week!
Welcome to DEATH VALLEY DRIVER VIDEO REVIEW #19!
It was a big week for viewing and it was the apparent end of AWF so thus ends the surreal threads with Jason Robar (on that subject, anyway.) The best of Liger stuff will start next week because I’ve put it off long enough and I don’t even want to begin thinking about what life will become like after trying to analyze the History of IWGP titles tapes I got from Rob The King! Ollie (who rules the freaking world, by the way) sent me the motherlode of GAEA a few weeks back and I finally got to the end of it all (Next up: K-1 Star WARS! ANd Pancrase! Can you say “RASMUSSEN-fatboy in over his head”? And with a family to support yet!)
The match of the year in the GAEA promotion for your humble reviewer was the Sugar Sato/Chikayo Nagashima vs Sonoko Kato/Toshie Uematsu match from September 16. It pretty much encompassed what GAEA is heading towards if it sticks around for a few more years- which is a better version of a really good FMW match. It swings from the ring to floor with the action in the ring being as choice as wrestlers this green can make it, and it is fabulously violent in the stands without aimless wandering to the next spot. Toshie Uematsu is so good in this match, hitting a FABULOUS array of Lucha moves that, when perfected in time, it will make her a force in the future. Sonoko is far more intense here than in her WCW debut- being less lovable and far more the Punishing Vixen that we demand from our future Goddess Icons. The story is that Nagashima has defected to OZ’s Army (Mayumi Ozaki’s perky heel stable) and Sugar Sato is still on the fence. The angle kicks the intensity of the match into overdrive (Hmmm… I think that means its a good angle) as all four beat the holy crap out of each other. I’ve seen the future and they wear matching little yellow outfits!
Also on the Ollie-veiw-athon, I watched a disappointingly short Gary Allbright vs… oh, heck what’s his name?!? Toesheerko Koweirda, and it was so choice while it was happening but it was only ten minutes long. All I know is that it must be HEll wrestling either of these guys. Koowanda kicks your lungs out and Allbright slams you directly on your head repeatedly. I loved the UWFi homage of Allbright not following Kowishka out of the ring when he is thrown out. Give Kawhatshisname the Triple Crown already. Kobashi- HA! I also await the tagmatch ruined for me, where you-now-who finally pins you-know-who!
I think I saw the BEST caida in wrestling history yesterday. It was the first caida of the November 1994 match between Octagon/El Hijo Del Santo/Latin Lover vs Blue Panther/La Parka/Jerry Estrada. The sequence between Santo and Blue Panther had to be one of the most beautiful and graceful things I’ve ever seen in wrestling. It is like fifteen counters in mid air- a sort of clinic on how many EXTREMELY cool ways you can set up an armdrag or rana. La Parka and Octagon give it good run for their money with their intricate and breathtaking display of headscissor into breakbreaker into rana sequences. I’m guessing Octagon hung his working boots after this match because he’s never come close to being this good in any match I’ve seen him in since then. Jerry Estrada earned his money by keeping the then VERY green Latin Lover from distracting from the beautiful parts of the Caida. The rest of the match was great also with La Parka turning face and Estrada taking the most horrible over the toprope bump your gonna see. Another GREAT match from the same show is Rey Misterio Sr vs Misterioso. It was a pretty methodical effort and Misterioso botches a few spots, which was kinda strange, but it was a good match with Misterio psychology which is actually really underrated. I think he would be considered a great wrestler and good booker if he didn’t ruin his good old-style lucha matches with such pathetic foule-intensive endings. The factor that transcends this match into the great category is that Misterioso comes to the ring with Fuerza Guerrera as a second (will they ever learn) and it becomes All Out War as Fuerza turns on Misterioso, who is wrestling Misterio who is just starting his gargantuan family feud with the Guerrera’s, who hate everybody at this point. The mountain of violence spills out into the stands as everybody is beating the crap out of each other. Fuerza is the heat machine US promoters WISH they could create- especially since he is ALSO one of the most technically superb wrestlers to ever wrestle. Misterio, of course, hits an Aguayo-esque gusher. I’ve watched the first caida of the legendary Los Locos Gringos vs Perro, Los Hermanos Dynamita match and it’s already WAY outa control.
Nitro had a great opening match. Regal FUCKING rules now. The fact that he synthesized the disjointed lucha libre caida idea of “on the mat in the first, in the air in the second, and work on the big finish in the third caida” with the US Pro style was fabulous. If Psicosis took enough notes from this match, his Malenko match and his El Hijo Del Santo series, he will be more than able to make the transition from highspot machine who will be out of the sport in two years to great all-around wrestler who will be a joy to watch for years to come. God knows, every week he is becoming more and more proficient with his mat work and transitions. Notice how his highspots were built up to the point that the crowd actually popped at the idea of seeing it. Therein lies the key of getting these guys way over. Everyone of those guys should be wrestling Regal for fifteen miutes a pop. For Psicosis, psychology+matwork+highspots=wrestling legend I would say. Also on Nitro, Chono sucks in the ring 80% of the time, but what a cool looking heel (maybe we have a WCW Undertaker). Hopefully Nagata can pull a good match out of him (or any of the heavyweights) when he comes in. I love the fact that they are using Benoit in this bizarre sex scandal angle and I hope he has a white-hot feud when he jumps to NWO or whatever they have planned for him to resolve this horsemen angle, because the fact they pushing the best worker in the world is a very great thing, but Benoit the Sex-Machine I’m just not buying.
Dean Rasmussen, Super CaloHEAD!