DEATH VALLEY DRIVER VIDEO REVIEW – ISSUE #22
CHAVO JR! Kyoko! HOTTA! Liger! AJA! Dynamite Kansai! and Other stuff I’ve seen this week!
Welcome to DEATH VALLEY DRIVER VIDEO REVIEW #22!
I got a monstrous AssLoad of Tape from St.Phil (YOU RULE!) as he sent a giant batch of Japanese stuff. I also got a bunch of Calgary stuff from him and another Wrestling Bonanza Tape that had the match of matches on it. This may be a lil brief because I’m on the verge of Unclehood as we speak and I may have to drive to Raleigh at any moment to see my sis. MORE BABIES! WOO-HOO!
I saw the Handheld of Minami Toyota vs Yumiko Hotta and GOD does Hotta kick her ass. It was kinda pathetic because Hotta is such a force that Minami’s attack really pales in comparison. Actually, this is the whole key to the psychology of this match. It’s a lot like that Vader/Flair match where Vader was still the unstoppable force and Flair was the greatly overmatched face who had to figure out a way to win. Hotta basically beats the hell out of her and shrugs off any attempt at offense by Toyota for the first half of the match- the most hellish is when Hotta gives her a stiff kick to the head here and there and kinda laughs about it. Minami finally gets Hotta out of the ring and starts flying on her and then it evens out as Toyota starts hitting some suplexes. This is kind of the way AJW should be going because they have Hotta and Aja who are both True Monsters and the better workers can work with Hotta and the lesser workers can be carried by Aja. Both of these women demand more from a match than fifty-eight highspots and that’s a good step forward, I think.
I saw the Hotta/Yamada match from sometime this year I think (Phil? Ollie? JDW?) and GOD! does Hotta kick her ass. Hotta is just out of control in this match. Yamada looked defenseless and much more pathetic than in their earlier encounters that I’ve seen. Hotta just stretches her and then kicks her and stretches her and kicks her and sells Yamada’s kicks but they are so much less hellish than Hotta’s that it doesn’t look threatening at all. The ending is the absolute most horrible powerbomb I have ever seen: Hotta has Yamada in what looks like Razor’s Edge but drives her down DIRECTLY ON HER HEAD as if Satan had invented the Tiger Driver. Hotta looks great in this one- long beautiful hair that hits her shoulders, fabulous boots. I can see why the guys around here go wild over her .:) I’m basically giving away the ending of this next one. If you give a dang, ya may want to go to the next. Just thought I’d warn you.:)
I saw the Hotta/Aja vs Kyoko/Minami match from AJW Gran Prix 96 Red and Blue (I’m thinking- one was red team and the other was blue team) and it was pretty choice. Hotta and Aja are the Dream Tagteam of Dream Tagteams. AJW should keep these two kids together for a run with the titles for a while though I don’t see how anybody can CREDIBLY (hint,hint) beat them. Aja is the wrestler of the combo- doing great suplexes and power moves. The pinnacle was when she hit a Steiner Death Driver on Kyoko. I freaked! Hotta is the no-nonsense educated brawler of the combo. Hotta basically menaced them in the ring, getting flashy with a spinning back kick here and there. Minami blows a springboard plancha onto Hotta and looks like she broke her back. This match is so weird. Aja and Hotta basically pummel these two into oblivion but succumb to Kyoko and Minami’s highflying and get into disarray. I wasn’t buying it. After all the bludgeoning that Minami goes through in this bout there should be no way that she can come back and hit all these moves on Hotta and Aja out of nowhere. I dunno. It’s like apple’s and oranges in the ring. The obvious power and skill of Aja and Hotta should make this match an interesting but deeply obvious conclusion. The way the match was structured made it so that the power moves of the larger team was given the full advantage and there was no transition in this match like in the Hotta/Toyota match where it logically turned towards the smaller, quicker wrestler. It was kinda like they had to make Kyoko and Minami stay strong, which they should, but didn’t want to bother making it seem logical in the context of the match. I dunno. In Barbie vs Aja, Barbie shouldn’t win. In Barbie vs Hotta, Barbie REALLY shouldn’t win. I’d put the monsters over big in a one-off tourney like this and go from there on the regular cards. I wasn’t diggin this one when it was over.
I watch Kansai/Aja vs Takako/Somebody (from Gran Prix I think, it’s all one big stew of fabulous grap action!:)) and that RULED THE FREAKIN EARTH! This was deeply into “Kansai and Aja beat the living hell out of Takako and we all weep for Scott:).” Scott had a couple of things to cheer about- 1.) Takako was an Ass Stomping Vixen who got in her shots, on Kansai especially and 2.) she was wearing that little leather thing that really distracts me from her vast wealth of wrestling knowledge.:) DURN! The bad part is that Aja tells Kansai to keep Niagara Driving her all the while Aja is beating the crap out of Takako’s hapless partner. After two you’d think Takako would stop appreciating the last minute saves. Aja puts an end to that with one truly horrifying spinning backhand, leaving Takako to succumb to her vertebrae-fusing fate. Great Match just because Kansai and Aja are so much fun together and because Takako is such a bitch when she wants to be and that looks so much cooler when doing it in the face of insurmountable odds. For her, its a real sign of grace in the sign of certain defeat- “You’re gonna win, but you’re gonna pay as much I can make you.”
I watched Jushin Thunder Liger vs Chavo Guerrero Jr on NJ television (well, on tape actually:)) and that was really good I thought. Chavo is developing into a nifty little wrestler and put in a good showing in this one. Liger sells quite a bit for him (SURPRISE!) and Chavo kinda electrified the crowd for a few minutes and then he blows a spot and Liger decides fun time is over and starts the EDUCATION and DISCIPLINE AS OF NOW. He starts it with a EVIL palm thrust that caves in Chavo’s puny chest and a Chavo-Killer Powerbomb that hurt just watching. A fatass Fisherman Buster and there you have it! Liger is becoming monstrously great. A good match for Chavo though, he’s gonna be a good one.
I watched the TRULY GREAT Ohtani/Kanemoto vs El Samurai/Liger match from 96 Battle Formation (or something:)) and it was BOSS! THe recurring theme was: “Who can be the biggest Dick?” Winner (Surprisingly!) EL SAMURAI! He gets the honor by powerbombing Kanemoto and standing over him and posing while the ref counted to three. Before he can hit three, out of nowhere Ohtani flies off the rope and nails Samurai with a dropkick. Kanemoto takes a stab at dick honors by slapping his elders between moves. GOD! I’ve missed Kanemoto and it’s good to see he hasn’t mellowed any while he was out.:) Wotta surly bastard!:) Liger shoots for the Golden Penis award by doing the spine-destroying released German suplex on Ohtani in the neverending crusade to Kill Ohtani once and for all!:) Ohtani was out of the running because he’s such an all-American Japanese wrestler.:) The Richie Cunningham of truly great wrestlers.:) This a whole lot of fun- as are all Liger matches I’ve seen the last two days. I need yet still more Ohtani.
I watched an AWESOME Hashimoto/Hirata vs Kojima/Nakanishi match. I’m glad Bobby Hardwork Walker no-showed his NJ tour because they scheduled him to go against Hash and Hash is the stiffest wrestler in the world right now. Bobby would never be the same. Just ask Nakanishi. Hash is awesome in this match- kicking the lungs out of the young heavyweight punks. Hirata was also feeling it as he also attempted to cave in the chest and break the knees of his future successors. Kojima is growing on me as he was more than solid in this match. He moved towards instilling some passion in his work and its showing. Nakanishi is basically a slightly better Justin Hawk Bradshaw so the jury is still WAY out on him in regfards to if he will amount to anything. This was also the most I’ve been impressed by Hirata. Maybe its the generational thing but he was on fire for this one. The end was great as the young punks wrestle like MotherFuc*ers (well Kojima wrestled like a MotherFuc*ker, Nakanishi didn’t get in the way like a MotherFuc*er.:)) and the old guard fight off the attack and it starts up again and so on. Phil really wasn’t scared to deliver the good this month.
NEXT WEEK: The Glenn Tape in all of it’s glory- GAEA,LLPW, NEW JAPAN, MOSSMAN finally! The rest of the WHIP ASS Phil Tapes! WOO-HOO! All-Japan including the first Gary Allbright/Karweenda match (Which I skimmed through and was ALREADY blown away). GOD FEARS HASHIMOTO.
Dean Rasmussen, ShiryuHEAD!