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Everything posted by Gordlow

  1. I'll be going back to work full time from Monday. I'm happy about that, but sadly it means I won't have time to keep participating in this project. Thanks to everyone and particular thanks to @Matt D for organizing this. It absolutely helped me get through the time of crisis over here. I have had a blast watching matches and writing and reading reviews with all of you.
  2. Make Your Own Simile Contest Using Ric Flair to hype up Edge vs Orton as The Greatest Match Ever is like... Having Martin Scorsese hype up Capone as the greatest gangster film ever made.
  3. Agent: Boss, we need one more team. Flash Funk isn't doing anything. Who should we tag him with. Vince: Black man. Agent: You got it, boss! Bradshaw and Chainz is another kind of strange pairing.
  4. LOD 2000 (Animal and Hawk) (with Sunny), The New Midnight Express (Bodacious Bart and Bombastic Bob) (with Jim Cornette), Los Boricuas (Savio Vega and Miguel Pérez, Jr.), Los Boricuas (Jose Estrada, Jr. and Jesus Castillo), The Truth Commission (Recon and Sniper), Bradshaw and Chainz, The Nation of Domination (Mark Henry and D'Lo Brown), The Nation of Domination (Faarooq and Kama Mustafa), The Quebecers (Jacques Rougeau and Pierre Ouellet), The Rock 'n' Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson), The Headbangers (Mosh and Thrasher), Too Much (Scott Taylor and Brian Christopher), Disciples of Apocalypse (8-Ball and Skull), Steve Blackman and Flash Funk and The Godwinns (Phineas I. Godwinn and Henry O. Godwinn). Google, copy, paste, my man. Takes about 10 to 15 seconds. Now all of our lives are so much richer. Agree that it would make a great trivia tie-breaker.
  5. It was really similar for me. I watch so little WWE these days that being exposed to their production style again was - as you say - jarring. If they'd just get out of the way and let their wrestlers wrestle WWE could have some of the greatest shows on television.
  6. I was reminded more of Zucker Abrahams Zucker, but Warner Bros is a good comparison too. Just one insane creative idea after another coming at you so quickly... Definitely a nice, entertaining break from the pretty grim recent reality.
  7. @supremebve That was a really good review! Glad you enjoyed it. @Smelly McUgly I've got a ton of preconceived notions about modern WWE and their go-go-go big bomb overkill dozens of kick-outs main event big match epic epic epic style. I was expecting this to be that and I was kind of looking forward to complaining about it while trying to keep an open mind. Imagine my surprise when this match turned out to be built around old-fashioned body part psychology! I was not expecting that at all. And these two young ladies did a tremendous job of working in that style. There was remarkable athleticism, a blistering but not frenetic pace, stiffness, stuff that looked like it really hurt, some pretty damned good selling... Here's a kind of pro wrestling hipster complaint you often see online: Why do all that limb work just to blow it off at the end? or maybe Why do all that limb work for it not to lead into the finish at all? And I get it, I really do... but starting a match off with some limb work before building to bigger spots has been something that wrestlers have been doing since at least the 1950s and probably since the very beginning of pro wrestling itself. How many matches are there, really, where the limb work is sold until the end and really leads to something? Well, lo and behold, Sasha and Becky sell the limb work even after the match is over, and it leads to a great false finish and ties into the ending of the match. And it's just lovely. I can see why people wish it would happen far more often. It was a very well-worked and enjoyable pro wrestling match. But, yikes, all of the stuff around it that had nothing to do with Sasha and Becky... For example: The often unnecessarily hyper-kinetic camera work. It wasn't as bad in this match as it is in a lot of other big WWE matches (maybe because this match was not about big bombs and near-falls), but it was still there and I still can't get used to it. The dueling chants that seemed disconnected from what was happening in the ring. Sasha was putting on a great heel performance, but the crowd essentially wasn't reacting to that. How I wish they were booing her. The commentary. They were really good at getting over the story of the match and explaining the moves and the psychology, but any time they tried to inject emotion into the match it felt forced and phony. "Ladies and gentlemen. This... is passion. This... is determination." with zero sincerity and all the enthusiasm of reading the laundry tags on your new t-shirt. It took me out of things every time When they were reacting to what was happening in the ring? Good. When they were disingenuously reading off pre-prepared talking points? Very, very bad. The ref constantly drawing attention to himself. Look at me in here, reffing up a storm! The backstory. Hey, you know those two wrestlers who were close friends? ZOMG! One of them turned on the other! Anyway, none of that crap is on Becky or Sasha. They were great. If there was some grainy hand-held footage of this match where you couldn't hear the crowd chanting, I think I'd like it 5000 times more. It's like WWE is a giant machine meant to turn me and people like me off of pro wrestling, even when the work itself is beyond reproach.
  8. Interesting story about Yajin's life after wrestling. I was married in Uji, and we go there at least once a year. It's a green tea lover's paradise and one of my absolute favorite places in Japan. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that his family has a tea farm there: http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/13362525 (The article states that Yajin means 'wild one', but I think it means something closer to 'country boy')
  9. @supremebve Cool. Looking forward to it. OK, @Smelly McUgly I wasn't able to bring myself to watch the Owen doc, but how about an Owen match from Stampede?
  10. Enjoyed that cage match. Didn't expect Rude to go off the top of the cage. I don't think I have ever seen that particular false finish and re-start before. That was pretty cool.
  11. Good Lord! The bump on that double back drop!!
  12. @Smelly McUgly I guess supreme hasn't had time to review Ebessan vs Kuishinbo Kamen. Would you like to take a crack at it? If not (or if supreme still wants to give it a go) I'm happy to pick something else for you.
  13. Yet another dude I have been lucky enough to meet a few times. He's got ties to the local Vancouver indie scene. They gave him work before he was a big name and so he often paid them back by coming up to work small shows for ECCW and Vancouver All Star in the early 2000s after he was well known for his work in ROH, Japan, and elsewhere. He always hung out at the after-parties and talked with everyone. Truly a good dude. Interesting, easy-going, laughs at your jokes... This was from the 2005 Pacific Cup after-party, if I remember correctly. The pic was snapped by my good friend, SLAM wrestling hall of famer Vicious Verne. If memory serves: We also sat at the same table with Bryan at the WrestleMania 21 watchng party (at Dropkick Murphy's?). I was impressed by his behaviour there. He was ramping up for his championship run n ROH, probably the biggest name and consensus best wrestler on the Indies, but he refused to be the center of attention. He kept turning the spotlight on other guys at the table, encouraging them to tell stories or reminding them of something the funny they'd done. The man just exuded generosity, consideration, and genuine warmth. When HBK and Angle went into that long and marvelous chain wrestling sequence, Verne quietly and 100 per cent accurately called every move, hold, and counter just before they executed it. Bryan noticed, and gleefully turned the spotlight on my old buddy. Afterward, I'd lamented to Verne that I had really wanted to get a picture with Bryan but had been afraid to look markish in front of the boys. A few weeks later, at the Pacific Cup after-party, Verne had a quiet word with Bryan and we arranged to sneak out and get a snapshot when nobody was looking. Dragon did everything in his power to put me at ease about it and then when we went back inside he was once again making sure that guys like Jesse Jimenez, Puma (TJ Perkins), and JJ Perez all got some attention and a chance to tell a joke or a story. He did that quietly and subtly. I only noticed because I was paying pretty close attention. I've been super lucky to meet a lot of very cool, nice, and fun people in the pro wrestling world. Bryan Danielson legit seems to be right up there as maybe the best dude and the biggest heart in the business. Literally could not be a nicer guy.
  14. @odessasteps @nofuture @Eivion @The Natural In my limited experience it seems to me that Kana is genuinely bubbly energetic and positive. She's definitely an Osaka lady and then some. You get all types in Osaka, but I bet she'd be a lot less goofy if she'd grown up in Kyoto or Fukuoka or somewhere. I also met Tajiri once, in the Cowboy Steakhouse near the old Osaka Pro arena. We got into a conversation and then I noticed that everyone was staring at us. Then I realized that out of politeness I had been speaking Japanese and he had been speaking English the whole time. That must have seemed crazy to the other customers. I really enjoyed meeting both of them. Haven't got a bad word to say about either one.
  15. You know, I do not believe that I would have made that connection myself, but I can totally see it now.
  16. Good Lord! Really?!?! * Watches the match * * Smiles * Wow. That is definitely something I had never seen before. Also, something I had never expected to see. However, as you say... Most of the crowd are delighted by this, as opposed to, say, shocked by it. How often do you think this happened? Every few matches? Every few shows? Was it just the shepherd guy's gimmick? I love the idea that a match could conceivably end by pinfall, countout submission, disqualification, or a hug and gift exchange. Thought experiment: In various arenas, in various cities in various territories, and during various eras... What would the reaction have been if, say, Koko Ware came to the ring with a parrot, then One Man Gang came out, then they hugged and Koko gave OMG the parrot? Could anyone anywhere in the US or Canada or Mexico or Japan have gotten that over the way it was apparently over in Argentina? Pro wrestling, man! It literally never ceases to amaze me.
  17. OK, so I looked it up and this match is from WCW Uncensored 1996. That means the main event, which @supremebve mercifully did not give me, was the infamous Tripe Decker Doomsday Cage match where Hogan and Macho overcame an 8-on-2 advantage thanks to the Booty Man and some frying pans. I have not seen that, and I plan to never see it. I appreciate being given this match instead. However: In looking up which main event I'd been spared from watching, I ended up reading a couple of write-ups of this match and holy $#*t it sounds terrible on paper. The set up was that Parker was all set to marry Sister Sherri Martel but then it was revealed that he'd been carrying on with Madusa on the side. So here we have Parker getting revenge on his mistress for ruining his wedding? Apparently so! From Bandon Stroud's write-up: Parker gives an admittedly hilarious heel interview about how he’s gonna beat her to death and rub her face into the ground because that’s what the people at home want to do to their mistresses or whatever, but are too chicken to. Good Lord! And, furthermore, *spoilers* Parker wins this one! On paper it couldn't sound worse. However, in fact it is exactly as supremebve describes it. It's no classic. but it is certainly entertaining. Parker is clearly the heel, the crowd is solidly behind Madusa, and the action is well-balanced with Parker having a size and strength advantage while Madusa is quicker and more skillful. She hit a nice-looking German on Parker after a few minutes of back-and forth, but *spoilers* Dick Slater interferes to rob her of the win and set up the finish. I agree that it really seems like Madusa is having a great time in there, and that really does help to make this match (surprisingly?) enjoyable to watch. It sounded like unbearable crap on paper, but it was a solid and fun gimmick match. Goes to show, you can't believe everything you read.
  18. Loved Koko''s stick and move strategy, and Gang lumbering around trying to cut off the ring... and when the coyote finally caught the road runner, that was some absolutely first rate clubbering indeed! Loved Koko''s dropkick on the comeback, too.
  19. I remember watching that whole damned thing once, on a VHS comp tape of "Legendary Brawls" or "Most Violent Matches" or some such. I remember all the chinlocks and ground work making me think about Truth in Advertising. I remember being kinda bored and frustrated and being determined to get through the damned thing... And I clearly remember the sight of those two guys covered in sweat and blood and stumbling around exhausted being, finally, pretty awesome. Almost worth it. As you say, Matt, it does succeed in setting a rather unique mood. Ganryujima is apparently a bit of a tourist attraction. It's a small boat-shaped island between two of the main islands of the Japanese archipelago. We went to Shimonoseki once, to eat fugu. You can take a little ferry out to the island It was the site of a very famous Samurai duel, between the great swordsman Musashi and Some Other Guy (who was the head of the Ganryu school of swordsmanship, hence why the name of the island was changed from literally "boat island" (probably Funashima) to Ganryujima, as a memorial).. The story of the fight is that Musashi carved a wooden sword out of a boat oar, showed up 2 hours late for the fight, and brained Some Other Guy with a single swing of his wooden sword. There is a statue commemorating the battle, but apparently the draw for tourists is to stand on the island and imagine the fight. There are no restaurants or souvenir shops or anything. There is a storage facility for he Shimonoseki dry docks. We opted not to go. At the time, I didn't make the connection with the Island Death Match. I think there should be statues commemorating the Inoki match and also Hase vs Tiger Jeet Singh. If so, I'd go there and imagine those fights, if we ever go back to Shimonoseki. Or maybe not, cuz that would mean I'd probably have to watch the Singh match, too.
  20. I was just watching Aja Kong vs Yumiko Hotta from January 1984... and, I don't mean to be controversial, but... I think the striking in that match was quite a bit better than the striking in Sharmell vs Jenna.
  21. @supremebve This is a match that, quite literally, changed my life. I was introduced to this match by the Violent Panda video review on 411Mania in 2004. I sought it out, got a copy of The Best of Ebessan from IVP videos. My eldest daughter is 8 years old. She has been doing ballet (her choice) for literally half her life. Yesterday, we were watching the DVD from her ballet company's big year-end extravaganza. They had some comedy ballet performers from Tokyo as special guests. Their comedy style mostly involves subverting the tropes of ballet, and as my daughter watched it and laughed I felt proud. At 8 years old she understands ballet well enough to get when the tropes are being subverted. What blew my mind about this match was that a lot of the comedy is about subverting the common, often subtle, tropes of Japanese pro wrestling. And there is a huge audience (in what I now recognize as Osaka Jo Hall) reacting to and playing along with it every step of the way. This crowd understands pro wrestling the way my daughter understands ballet! "These are my people!" I though. I desperately wanted to be a part of that. In 2005, I went to Japan with the woman who would eventually be my wife and the mother of our little ballerinas. I got to see Kikutaro (the original Ebessan) live at the AJPW World Tag League finals in Ota Ward Gymnasium. He had me laughing out loud. It was pretty great. In 2007 we went back to Japan to get married and on our honeymoon we went to Osaka. One of my wife's friends had given us directions to the Osaka Pro home arena in the entertainment district of Namba. As we wandered around the area trying to find it, we bumped into Kuishinbo Kamen and (the third version of) Ebessan, who were out on the streets drumming up business for the show. I tried to sneak close to them so that my wife could snap a picture, but they busted me... and then posed for pictures with both of us, and escorted us to the arena. We had an amazing time at the show. Afterward, we bought little plush dolls of Ebessan and Kuishinbo... and then, no fooling, Kuishinbo Kamen ran up to my wife, tore the dolls out of her hand, and ran away. He then came back with both dolls autographed in black magic marker. Two years later, the contract ran out on my job in Canada and we decided to move to Japan. The Namba area of Osaka was too busy for us to live in, but we wanted to be close enough to go to some Osaka Pro shows... now we've been living here, a train-ride away from Namba, for 11 years. I've been out eating and drinking with Kuishinbo and I am flat out drinking buddies with Ebessan III. I finally got to meet Kikutaro in 2012. They are all great guys. I've seen them do variations of their comedy match in various combinations literally dozens of times and it has never failed to entertain me. Osaka Pro was a huge part of my first few years living in Japan. I still have friends from those days. And it all started with this match:
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