KAORU! GREAT SASUKE! TOSHIE UEMATSU! KAIENTAI DELUXE! KANDORI! BULL NAKANO and other stuff I saw and heard this week!
Welcome to DEATH VALLEY DRIVER VIDEO REVIEW #23!
I gotta ass-stompingly great tape from The World’s Finest Human Being- nCo Glenn and garsh! did it rock! This article is gonna have to be spoiler intensive so beware if you have the 10 man Michinoku Pro rematch or the GAEA Road to WCW Tournament Champ Forum on the way!
The GAEA Champ forum with Toshie Uematsu vs Bomber Hakari for the RTWCWT final was the best GAEA CF yet. It starts with Tourney highlights where Toshie does a tiny, cute impersonation of Shinya Hashimoto by selling a knee injury the whole tourney. By the time its down to Bomber and Toshie she’s real limpy but HELL! she’s the best wrestler of her generation, so far, so she turns it into a great match. She sells like a champ and is real smart about when to do highspots and when to take it to the mat. She’s gonna be a great one. Last time I saw her she aped a rolling Dos Caras abdominal stretch, This time she hit a GREAT missile dropkick WHILE still selling the knee subtly while climbing the ropes. Bomber is a good, overlooked wrestler. She’s small, agile but does a lot of power moves and knows how to keep the youngsters straight when they try too much and is a unspectacular but intense addition to the roster. I’m assuming that Bomber will be forth cog of the old gals (Akira, Chigusa and maybe, but probably not, KAORU) vs the young gals (Kato, Satamura, Uematsu) vs OZ’s Army (Mayumi, Sugar, Chikayo Nagashima, Matsumoto) multi-headed feud that is developing. The only question now is- when does KAORU join Mayumi or does she join the young gals and OZ adds Numaeo. GAEA is deeply angle central right now but luckily the wrestling is getting really topnotch.
The second match is Chigusa in a handicap match against Sugar Sato and Maiko Matsumoto of the cute, cuddly, truly evil OZ’s army. This is 100% garbage match as Chigusa shows the punks how to take a bump and set up a credible tablespot. Chigusa and Sato take an assload of punishment with Chigusa blading like a pro. This is getting to be a pretty hot feud already and this is a pretty intense match- stiff and well’wrestled. After Chigusa powerbombs Sato through a table and gets the pin, the look of contempt in Sato’s eyes is absolutely priceless. I can only imagine how good she’s gonna be when she reaches twenty, she’s already as feisty as you want a young punk heel to be. The post match Chigusa rant was great as she challenges the hockey-attire-clad Mayumi Ozaki to, I guess, not send kids to do your dirty work and what have you. Mayumi needs access to a monster though, to go up against the big strong Chigusa- she can kick the hell out of the flyers in her heel stable. Maybe Combat will come out of retirement.
The third match was when I said F*CK THE FUTURE- THE FUTURE IS NOW. The Future-That-Is-Now goes by the names Sonoko Kato and Meiko Satamura. This is second great match in a row I’ve seen these two in and, of course it’s hard to NOT have a great match when your opponents are Akira Hokuto and the alluring KAORU. Satamura is the BOMB now! She did two GREAT moves- the first was a toprope roll-into-a-cross armbreaker and the second was truly fabulous Death Valley Drop on KAORU that was as good as I’ve seen. She also has major intensity and toughness that complement her partner- who is the spunkiness poster-girl. The great part about this match is how Akira reacts to these immensely talented youngsters. They beat crap out of their elder for awhile there with an endless array of kicks (the GAEA equivalent to clubberin). Akira finally gets out her fix by battling like a legend is wont to do and smacks them on top of the head as she slinks off for the tag- highly pissed, which leads up to a kinda AWJ old-style vs GAEA young punk showdown with the young gals with Akira hitting all her signature moves but the youngsters surviving and fighting back in a youthful frenzy. Finally, Satamura and Akira are outside the ring battling it out and Sonoko Kato gets the best of KAORU- getting the biggest pin so far for a youngster in the promotion. Akira freaks at the collossal upset and Chigusa joins in on the Old-timers browbeating and the fate of KAORU is up in the air as she is totally isolated- she was pinned by Numaeo in that handicap match, was pinned by Kato in this match so she’s on the outs with the old gals club; she had a blood feud with Mayumi and her minions so that’s not an option I don’t think, so I can only think she’s gonna hook up with the youngsters and be their foxy guidance councellor. GAEA is too small to have a rogue just yet so she has to align with someone. This should be neat. This is how you do it folks. Keep the big gals in the spotlight but bring along the youngsters and get them over with impressive wins. Everybody is growing into their roles and the intrigue and the angles add to the wrestling to make this the most fascinating little independent promotion in Japan.
The Michinoku Pro ten man rematch was CHOICE! The key to this match is that the Great Sasuke is in this and that kicks up the hatred in Dick TOGO and TAKA Michinoku to a fever pitch. This was not nearly as wild as the Match of the Year (learn to love it Crowboy.), with most of this staying on the mat with highspots mixed in liberally. The main difference is that TAKA takes this match over AFTER Gran Hamada takes the match over, whereas TAKA was pretty subdued in the Spot-a-thon. Hamada was great in this, getting all stiff and fired up with TOGO and eliminating Shiryu by sheer force of will. TAKA then comes in and BEATS the HOLY HELL out of Hamada- dickishly Double TAKA Bombing the older Junior Icon to elimination. El Gran Naniwa keeps redeeming himself from the Skydiving J debacle and is great in this match- outlasting his team mates and going like a Mother Fuc*er when it came down to him alone against TOGO and TAKA. Sasuke is healing well and was about 70% of what he is when healthy so he is looking better and looked like he actualy tried to cushion his fall when he did his Asai moonsault, which is a good sign. TAKA beats the hell out of Sasuke and does the dickish little kicks to the head and taunts him. Dick Togo does his Surfer pose on Sasuke’s back and does it again as he is choking him over the rope. Super Delfin has become total face and, luckily, it’s just as goofy as when he was a rascally heel- as he does the goofiest house afire hot tag ever in Japan ever, I would think. Delfin Rocked in this match as it looks like Men’s Teioh and Dick Togo vs Naniwa and Delfin will be the match of the next couple of months as they ended up in the ring against each other quite a bit. TigerMask, Funaki and Shiryu were out early and it got more intense as it got whittled down and the Big Deluxe victory was becoming more apparent. This baby is white hot with Sasuke in the middle and TAKA and Handsome Dick TOGO being more heelish than the law allows. Kaientai Deluxe is the Heel Stable of Heel Stables right now and Sasuke, Delfin, Naniwa and the amazingly resurgent Hamada are great faces. I eagerly await the five matches- I’m just trying to figure out who will wrestle who. I’m sure it will be TOGO vs Sasuke. Past that, I just hope it’s not another TigerMask vs TAKA. Hamada vs TAKA would be neat. Heck, maybe Sasuke vs TAKA if Sasuke is up for it. Of course, TAKA may disappear with Kanemoto in a white flash of Surly Perfection when THEY lock up.
I saw Mossman FINALLY (Geez! Glenn is the KING!) and he was impressive- kinda like one of those UWFi young guys with that All Japan extra. He was in a six man against Akiyama on the other side (with Lacrosse thrown in for kicks.) At the end there is five minutes of the year 2005 Triple Crown Title match as Mossman and Akiyama face off- one on one. Mossman is great with his stiff kicks and suplexes but Akiyama shows who is closer to the crown by hitting a FABULOUS double rolling Northern Lights Suplex, a move I had never seen before and still can’t figure out how he did it. I just know that it must have hurt REAL bad. Akiyama whips ass- Mossman looks like he will whip as much ass soon.
I watched the two hour LLPW retrospective which had lots of the greatest women in the world in with LLPW wrestlers, who were quite good at times, but I couldn’t put a name on. I recognized Eagle Sawai and Shinobu Kandori, but under that I’m at a loss. There was a lot of FMW Women in a eight woman match (Nakamura, Sato, etc and Sawai wrestled Combat Toyoda later on the show) and if LLPW is absorbing the FMW ladies division after April after Kudo retires, like is reported, this could be a promotion to watch because FMW, when you get past Ms Kudoh, has all the hard, trailerpark-esque women that remind me of women I went to high school with, and that makes the FMW Women’s division special in my heart. Plus they are great at doing big angles even if the wrestling is fifth rate. Maybe with Kandori guiding them their work will pick up and we could have the Bigger two (AJW and JWP) and the Getting Bigger Two (GAEA and LLPW) which would lead to interesting cross promotion rivalries. The main event on the show was Bull Nakano vs Kandori in a falls-count-anywhere chainmatch and Jiminy Crickets! it was pretty rough and tough. Kandori has such a weird charisma and her style is so always on the edge of a shoot it seems. Bull works about as stiff as I’ve seen and hits the GROTESQUELY Horrible Rolling Guillotine with her ankle wrapped in the chain. Kandori looked pretty stunned for a while afterwards. All in all, one of the better chain matches I’ve seen (actually this is the only good chain match I’ve ever seen.)
Clash of the Champions pretty much Ruled despite itself I thought, but I wonder where Juventud was. The fact that the three man match worked so well with two non-lucha substitutes and at only six minutes is a great sign for future trios matches. Super Calo, Jericho, and Chavo were actually a pretty good face team and looked good together. It’s time to roll out the Six-Man belts because these type of matches would be perfect to mobilize some of vast array of talent that is spinning its collective heels at WCW. AND LaParka’s tope was so Ciclon Ramirez-esque. The highspot fest was beautiful and the Super Frankensteiner was FANTABULOUS. It was good to get the MP JL for a match and Konnan is getting over for some reason. The UD/Malenko match was great and really long which made the trios match time easier to take. I hope to garsh these two have a long feud because they had two great matches in two days. I actually liked the Luger match for some reason. Maybe Scott Hall was the one behind all those great ladder matches because he carried Luger to a positive star match for the first time since he wrestled the Nature Boy Way Back When. AND Where is Nagata already?
Dean Rasmussen, Super CaloHEAD!