Wrestling has always fascinated me. I tell people that I don't watch Hollywood cinema much anymore but I'll watch the shit out of wrestling. I think that wrestling is more honest about its goals and can be much more effective at telling it's story because more often than not it doesn't pretend to be something it's not. It's two people fighting for their livelihoods. It can be just as poetic as Shakespeare or as bombastic as Michael Bay, but the way it utilizes the human body as a storytelling tool is unparalleled. That's what keeps me coming back to wrestling, the way two "competitors" try to both protect and push each other's bodies to the physical limits, walking the razor's edge of creation and destruction. I haven't been around much but I still watch wrestling. I still get excited about writing and talking about it. I miss you assholes. I'll try to write something once a week, but shit happens. LETTTTTTT'S GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Jake Roberts vs. Terry Taylor
This is one of those perfectly executed matches. And it's a masterclass by Professor Jake Roberts in selling in order to tell a long term story. Both guys go for their finish in the first three minutes, Jake can't hit his and Terry hits his so well that it sends Jake to the outside. This is key for the rest of the bout because Jake sells it like his brains are scrambled. Watch him getting up between holds and how he can't seem to wrestle out of it because his synapse isn't firing exactly right. The announcers sell both guys as solid SMART wrestlers, so not having your mental faculties is going to put you at a severe disadvantage. Taylor chooses to work and arm and Jake sells that too. Once he gets in control again he transitions between holds by trying to work out the soreness in his arm. This key for storytelling in wrestling, using the time between the moves to tell the bigger story. Take note. Jake's still not mentally right when he hits the DDT and he ends up fucking up his pinfall, turning Terry towards the ropes instead of away from them. This is where having great announcers is key to telling the best in-ring stories. They explain how such a move is a tactical error, immersing the audience in the world of wrestling as a "real" fight that requires cunning and athleticism to succeed in. Often times wrestlers today make stories about booking. I love Dolph Ziggler but what is his excuse for losing? "They're holding me back. I work great matches that I planned in advance with my opponent, but they don't want me to win the fake matches so I don't. I'm steamed!" Terry rolls out to the outside of the DDT using the 10 count to his advantage, a perfect way to utilize the rules of wrestling to show how they can be an advantage or disadvantage. Next time you watch a match, where I guy rolls out you'll think - "That shit worked for Terry Taylor!" AND to put the ribbon on the gift, the head injury comes back into play when Terry sweeps Jake's legs out from under him and Jake hits his head on the canvas. This gives Terry enough room to sneak out a victory with an inside cradle. What's brilliant about this match is that you can show this match, which is under 10 minutes, to anyone and they would understand a great deal about the "reality" in which wrestling exists. It lays the ground work for rules and psychology so that one can follow any story from here on out. To me this is the prototype television wrestling match. The rules for wrestling are illustrated clearly so that other matches on the card can build or bend around them, and it displays how effective ring psychology can be in building an effective short match, if you make sure to utilize every moment you're in the ring to telling a story. Telling a story isn't about a symphony of moves that builds to an orgasmic crescendo of head drops and avalanche bombs of death defying madness. It's about making an audience understand how one man can defeat another man in the squared circle. Tenryu vs. Goto https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjcAR8rwZkc This is what's up. Tenryu's WAR promotion had feuded with New Japan. THat feud ran its course. Attendance didn't stay up so Tenryu was like, "Let's bring in them FMW guys and do that." That worked for a minute and then it didn't and Tenryu was like "Okay, I'm done." This match was from that FMW period, hence Tarzan Goto's burly ass being in it. AS soon as his crew took a pair of scissors and cut off Tenryu's boot, I was IN. And the best reaction is when he throw's the boot to the crowd, and they're like "Oh Tenryu's not getting that back at all." I mean if I was the dude who got that boot it would be on a shelf right next to some Kamen Rider models and a poster of Kana. And you know that crowd was thinking the same thing. That boots gone, sorry Tenryu, we love you, but we need this boot on our mantle. You understand. There are many elements to love about this match, one in particular is that it breaks this unwritten rule about referees and makes the ref the main story of the match about halfway. That bastard Goto is jabbing people in the throat with a Sake bottle and cracks it over this poor referee's face, opening up a geyser of blood. Isao Takagi, I think that's who it is - someone correct me, takes over, and he's got the ref's blood all over his shirt. I mean, imagine that scene in BOYZ N THE HOOD, and Ricky just got shot, and Cub Gooding Jr. is holding him and "RICKKKYYY" and then you tap him on the shoulder and say, "Hey, Cuba, you gotta ref this match." And Takagi is kinda biased, cheering Tenryu to get the hell up and defend the honor of this company and all that. C'mon Ricky is dying out there in the alley, pull your shit together. NOW imagine Ricky coming back from the dead, taking the ref shirt back, and finishing the match with a big bandange keeping his grey matter in tact. That's this match you guys. The ref gets all this sympathy, which long term speaking doesn't really help a company draw money, but fuck it man WE'RE TELLING A STORY. Does this wimpy ref have enough fighting spirit to count to three?!?!?!?! I don't knoooooow. Another element I love is Power Bombs. That's that 90's shit, man. I loved the 90's and I love Power Bombs. I Power Bomb my kids today. If I created a wrestler on WWE 2k15 all he'd do is Power Bomb and superkick, Power Bomb and superkick. I love Power Bomb's so much that I capitalize the P and the B because it's important. The last three minutes of this match is Tenryu just hitting all his shit and Goto getting owned by repeated Bombs and top rope elbow drops. Tenryu jacks him a couple times legit, chopping him in the THROAT, and later dropping an Elbow on Goto while he was laying on his side, slamming his head into the ground. Basically the last three minutes are me playing Fire Pro Wrestling deciding what combinations of moves I want to win with again a crappy AI - getting tired and just winning with a Power Bomb. Violence is good. Funk vs. Eddie Guerrero
This is Guerrero's NWA/WCW debut and Terry let's shit get crazy because he's a classy guy. Terry shows veteran savvy by bailing out early when Guerroro gets to flashy. Flip all you want motherfucker I'll be outside the ring. BUT instead of being a douchebag and making an example of the flippy guys, Terry still let's Guerroro get the better of him with speed because that's the more interesting story. It's not about one style being stupid, it's about how does Terry Funk ADAPT to a quicker more athletic opponent. So you get to see some creative solutions to Funk's problem like utilizing a giant swing OR just man handling the smaller Guerrero by bodyslamming him over the top rope straight to the floor. The piledriver to the floor is overkill, but it tells the story that Terry Funk IS overkill. He's dangerous and that kind of play is disgusting and desperate. Can Ric Flair fight a man like this? Should he even come back and fight a crazed bastard like Terry Funk? Guerrero made the most of his time, and Terry gave him enough space to execute some cool spots. It's perfect for both guys because Terry looks desperate and dangerous and Eddie looks like a young guy to keep your eye on the future as he gets more bouts under his belt. SONG OF THE WEEK BECAUSE OBVIOUS.