LA PARKA! REY MISTERIO JR! PSICOSIS! ULTIMO DRAGON! HEAVY METAL! and its all one match folks! JERICHO! vs HALLOWEEN! and other stuff I saw and heard this week!
Welcome to Death Valley Driver #9!
Unbelievably (for me anyway), I’m almost caught up- tapewise. So the cycle begins again! Where is that Lacy fella?!?
I got a fantabulous Extreme Southwest (tm-jdw(So THERE!)) handheld from Tim (the benevolent tapesmaster and lover of all things Psichodelico-esque) from 6/2/96. The Main Event RULED! It’s a four corners match between Rey Misterio Jr/Perro Aguayo vs Ultimo Dragon/La Parka vs Psicosis/Heavy Metal vs Cibernetico/Pierroth Jr, with a single elimination rule- so instead of both guys being out after one gets pinned, you can stay in it after your partner is eliminated. This stipulation pays major dividends by the time its all whittled down. La Parka carries the first half of the match, as his 300% wild ring work is quickly catching up to his wild attire. Ultimo Dragon and Rey are tagged in at the same time but refuse to go tecnico a tecnico (thus fueling my enthusiasm about the HogWild match even more). LaParka and Rey end up in together and they go at it about as fast as Lucha Libre can get, but with the great non-slams replacing the slams that would end each sequence, with a mountain of spinning flying headscissors into standing switches and reversals that kept this veiwer from blinking in fear of missing any of it. After this, there is a highlight for each wrestler with Ultimo doing an inring Asai moonsault, Heavy Metal running up the ropes, and Psicosis doing an INSANE over-the-turnbuckle bump, so everybody is on full throttle (except for Cibernetico- who doesn’t do highlights or anything really). Perro Aguayo gets into the act with a great old style tope. Pierroth Jr then starts to no-sell everything by Misterio, and eventhough I hate no-selling as much as a rightminded wrestling fan will hate the career of Lex Luger, Misterio makes the best of it by doing goofy Lucha selling of a hurt hand after each knife-edge chop. After electrifying the proceedings, highlighting it with the lucha staple flying chair shot after a fabulously intricate lucha rope running sequence and catching the big Ass springboard tope from Misterio (after Psicosis ducks out of the way), La Parka is eliminated. I’m guessing this was a good thing, because the man had to be tired after working his ass off for that long. The match then becomes the Misterio/Psicosis show as everybody is eliminated and these two are the last two standing. They proceed to add to the New Luchadores of AAA Legend by cranking out one of the most beautiful matches these two have had and make a great match even better. The gist of this was that it was every spot from Bash at the Beach distilled into a ten span added to other spots that FREAKED ME OUT. The ending was… HEY! HEY! That would be telling!
Also on this tape was luchadore extraordinaire – Chris Jericho! Now this was fun! The match itself consisted of Jericho, the very solid Leon Negro and Angel Mensajero (who I’ve never seen before up) against Halloween, Enfermo Jr, and Viernes 13th. I really want to really like Halloween. He’ll go the extra mile, he’s a GREAT second and he has stolen the best stuff from Fuerza Guerrera. He can do everything but wrestle. Anyway, it was great to watch Halloween sucker the naive Canadian into the Fuerza Guerrera Ican’t-believe-you-won’t-hug-me-I’m-your-bestest-friend-on-earth spot, my personal all-time favorite rudo gimmick. Jericho hits the mat real well, going native on the low impact armdrags and selling the bizarre leglocks and abdominal stretch variations that permeate Lucha Libre, but Jericho never really goes hogwild like he could have. Things get extreme as Los Pandilleros hit the ring and kick the crap out of the tecnicos. More interesting than great.
The first match on the tape was Los X-men and Thunderbird (and, yes, he rules sometimes) against Deprador, Negro Azteca, AMNESIA!!!, and Genghis Khan. Deprador is a strange luchadore. He is very technically capable as a rudo, very traveled (I saw him in the Michinoku Pro Match I ever saw), and has one of the wildest outfits in wrestling, but just never quite can make it out of the first match. The other three rudos I couldn’t tell apart from one another, though I’ve seen Negro Azteca a few times and I think he is the one sans the mask. The match starts off well with Thunderbird doing some nifty highflying. He is older and has the Plan 9 from Outer Space outfit on. Amnesia, I’m guessing, tries an El Hijo Del Santo one inch from the ringpost tope and I guess he landed wrong because he isn’t seen again. Los X-men hit a batch of cool topes in the second Caida with the best being Wolverine doing the Shiryu somersault tope (3/4 shiryus:)) This year with all these hand helds being available and after seeing seven or eight of them, I think these young punks- Los X-men- are the most improved and they are beginning to approach the Power Raiders level of goofiness-drenched awesomeness.
Damian 666 vs Mascara Sagrada Jr rounds out the cast.
I watched a batch of 80’s WWF sent to me by Tall Paul, the Stud With It All (or something like that!) It had a batch of Bulldogs, Rougeaus and Quebecers matches and the Quebecers win hands down, when it comes to great wrestlers that made the best of super idiot booking in the WWF. I mean HELL! they made a Bushwhackers match interesting. The most promising match on this tape is the Survivor’s Series match which is ruined by the end by cretin booking. The Match has the Brainbusters, the Rougeaus, the British Buldogs, the Rockers, the Young Stallions- some of the best tag teams of the 80’s who are, of course, eliminated to make room for the important steriod fest of a Demolition/Powers of Pain final. The Conquistadors are the third last to knocked out. Who do I punch?
A-Number one in the what the fuck department is the Takada/Abdullah the Butcher match announced by Tokyo Pro this week. Does Takada need money or something? Is he Abdullah’s son-in-law? Did they offer ole Nobuhiku a lifetime supply of ribs from Abdullah’s restaurant or something? ME DON’T WANT TAPE!
The Juventud/Misterio match was pretty great on Saturday night. Is it me, or is Rey actually getting adept at selling in subtle ways? I love this UWFi thigh kicking stuff that Juventud is getting into. When is the Takaiwa vs Juventud match? I would be stoked. I’m guessing this dream team of Rey and Juventud starts after Rey drops the belt to Malenko at Havoc, setting up a kinda cool sounding Malenko/Waltman feud and explaining the loss to our boy Alex.
Next Week: I dunno. I’ve watched all the tapes I currently have. Something, I assure you!
– Dean Rasmussen, SATOgenerian