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Matt D

(Also Not March Madness): SECRET SANTO March 2020

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@Curt McGirt I found you a curio. Televised British Wrestling, from the 80s, that isn't World of Sport. World of Sport was Joint promotions, on ITV. Family friendly, PG clean. THIS is All-Star Wrestling, on Screensport, where the rules were a little more fluid:

It's a playlist of 36 matches. I'd like you to look at number 27: Brian Maxine vs Rollerball Rocco.

Although number 5 might be interesting too, Zigue Zag & John Wilkie vs Ironfist Clive Myers and Fugi(sic) Yamada. Recorded 4 miles away from my house... 35 years ago. 

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, Goodear said:

 

 

Oh hell yeah this is a great choice for me right now. I assume that almost everyone on these boards has seen Beyond the Mat and is familiar with the context of this match from that documentary. I've also been re-reading a bunch of my favourite wrestling books to kill time during the crisis, and both Bret and Terry talk about this match in their books. Funk goes into more detail but there were three interesting tidbits from Bret's book that made the match even more interesting for me: 1) Bret was ill with the flu and working a busy schedule, and 2) this was their first time ever working together, both of which I think help explain the deliberate pacing of this match and 3) Dennis Stamp was Bret's first opponent when he worked in Amarillo as a young boy, which adds even more emotion to the story of Stamp working as the ref here (he does a fine job). 

This was a Terry Funk retirement match, and there are too many possible jokes here so I will just let you choose your own. In his book, Funk says that the match was in fact billed as his last match in Amarillo, not as his last match ever. 

What is most interesting to me, on watching the whole match separate from the documentary, is how much this is worked like Bret is the touring champion, putting over the local hero while scraping out a win. As I said, the match is worked at a pretty loose pace, but I think that works really well with the structure they are using here: After some really lovely chain wrestling (they were very clearly doing the dance), Bret pretty much dominates the wrestling portion of this match. He works over Funk's leg in a wide variety of ways, while needlessly throwing in cheap shots to Funk's eyes and throat (taking advantage of the no-DQ stip... but also doing most of it when Stamp isn't looking). Then, when the crowd is nice and riled up Terry starts firing back while on his knees and even, at one point, flat on his ass. When the brawling goes outside, Funk finally takes the advantage. Funk slips on a banana peel during the big (and arguably unnecessary) table spot and that leads into a hot finishing section where both men get near-falls off of reversing the other's finishing hold. The actual finish is perfectly appropriate for the "touring champ" type of match that they were working here.

I guess I could have done without Bruce Hart trying to draw so much attention to himself, but it was neat seeing Stu in Bret's corner. In fact, even more than the in-ring action, what I love about this is that it is two of my absolute favourite pro wrestlers of all time showing a deep and abiding respect for each other. whether it was Bret selling his fear of the spinning toe hold or Terry doing the honours, this came across as representatives of two of the great wrestling families showing their mutual esteem. It felt good to watch this.

Edited by gordi
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23 hours ago, OctopusCinema said:

 

 Let me know if you’ve seen this. Black Terry and Negro Navarro vs Hechicero and Virus. I dig deep through the Youtube machine for a random enough match of people I feel you dig/ might dig. Pretty fun watch.

I had not seen this one in particular though I've seen plenty of these four in other variations with one another. The Hechicero vs Terry series is both exceptional and varied, for instance. Here though, you have pairings of Hechicero/Navarro and Terry/Virus. This plays pretty well to their respective strengths. I've seen a Hechicero vs Navarro match from a few years earlier where they keep it pretty serious and stoic but by this point Navarro had lost a step and Hechicero had been working CMLL crowds a lot more and they're able to dramatically ham it up more here to the benefit of the match. In contrast, Virus and even a 2/3rds fast Terry brought plenty of substance, both in the initial matwork and the second exchange with rope running. There were a few impressive bombs: Terry's second rope backcracker and Hechicero's amazing top rope elbow decapitation to a standing Navarro especially. 

What I love about the match, and I know this is going to sound pretentious and I'm sorry for that, is just how inaccessible it is. There's the long exchange in the middle where the partners would keep interrupting holds by putting holds of their own on and switching in and out that way. There was no major sense of urgency to their partners plight. Every hold was more tricked out and complex than the last. They worked a double pin spot in the middle of it and then rolled right back into the back and forth of it. Yet it was all about pride and oneupsmanship and it had a meaning all its own that really isn't textual. Case in point, the only sign of urgency was when Terry rushes in at Virus to break up his pin attempt, the attempt itself, the disruption of the rhythm and balance they were creating, all of it felt like an affront and it was one that led to the shirts coming off and the escalation that brought forth Virus' elimination. This style of wrestling is so symbolic and impressionistic. I don't think it's a world you can stay submerged in for long but it's always a joy to dive headfirst now and again.

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Posted (edited)

"Goldbelt" Brian Maxine vs. Mark "Rollerball" Rocco (Middleweight Bout)

You sure as hell were right about the rules being "a little more fluid" in All Star! The round system, yellow cards, you won't see any of that from WoS here (besides one public warning which was basically nothing). Rocco jumps Maxine and it doesn't stop from there the entire time. Both guys just hammer each other, Rocco getting dirty and doing stuff like biting and trying to detach the turnbuckle pads while Maxine as the blue-eye did a bit more fluid and snug wrestling while at the same time just trading off with Rocco. They don't let up and the ref seems fine with it. At one point the announcers even say something I believe about him getting heat and having to go to Canada so I think he might be somewhat of a heel ref, but as it is he just treats everything as no-DQ. Halfway through after a crappy no-sell of a Tombstone they go outside and just start waffling each other with road cones! I've always wanted to see that. They use the fire extinguisher as a weapon and a chair and we even get a no-sell of a lowblow before they're finally corralled again. It finally ends with Rocco just plastering Maxine in the junk forehead first as he tries a go-over so the ref counts Maxine down. Ref liked to count a lot too, if you went to a knee you were getting counted and fast, and they did a lot of really nice struggles for pins for him too. Loved the commentary here too with all three guys knocking off one-liners for bits like saying Rocco hadn't had anything to eat before he got to the ring after trying to take a chunk out of Maxine's calf. These guys probably had a hell of a feud over there. 

Also have to add, I have seen a little of Rocco in New Japan and I think a match or two on a Schneider Comp but he didn't impress much there, here he looks like a beast with the '80s mustache and larger size. This looks like a real neat channel and for sure I'll get around to "Ironfist" Clive Myers (how cool is THAT name?!) and Liger.

Edited by Curt McGirt
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Posted (edited)

Fuji Yamada/Ironfist Clive Myers vs. Blondie Barratt/Rocky Moran was pretty fun. Started with a brief interview where Liger gets to speak Japanese and then say in an absurdly thick and cliched accent "DON'TU LIKE MARK ROCCO." Then we get an arm-wrestling contest because one of the heels was just in Over the Top, the expected happens, and they have a tag match. Liger already looks great, busts out a nice rana, back rollup into a Camel Clutch, and a Saito suplex. Ironfist uses '80s kung fu stylistics. The grannies at ringside are all into this one. Then after the match Rocco shows up fresh off his plane from Japan to offer one announcer a birthday cake -- to the face of course, and then says "and I got something for you too" to the other guy, pulls out a black glove that looks to be made of a trash bag and chases him off screen! So that's a bunch of major wrestling cliches shoved into one match. 

EDIT: Whoops, I guess you wanted me to watch the Zigue Zag tag instead; I'll get around to it. There's a lot of good on that channel, early Robbie Brookside, Jim Breaks (hell Jim Breaks vs. Johnny Saint of all things), Dave Taylor. 

Edited by Curt McGirt
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Haha, I just nailed it! When Liger says "DON'TU LIKE MARK ROCCO." he sounds exactly like the "Japanese" alien from Aqua Teen Hunger Force that uses Shake as his personal voicebox. "I RULE YOU!"

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26 minutes ago, Curt McGirt said:

Haha, I just nailed it! When Liger says "DON'TU LIKE MARK ROCCO." he sounds exactly like the "Japanese" alien from Aqua Teen Hunger Force that uses Shake as his personal voicebox. "I RULE YOU!"

The grand irony of them building the Liger vs Rocco feud is, Rocco was Liger's chaperone for the whole excursion. Liger lived in Rocco's spare room for his entire time in England.

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That had to be weird considering kayfabe back then. Dunno how you chaperone someone who is your mortal enemy. Did Mark know any Japanese?

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I don't think he had very much, no. He had that one WoS match with Sayama where everyone at the time thought he was insulting Sammy in Japanese, but he was just shouting the names of Wrestlers, like a TNA Curry Man promo.

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That might've been one of the other Rocco (and British) matches I've seen, from one of the Phil comps

Which brings up a personal issue I have, is that the only person I've really seen Sayama fully gel with is Fujiwara in the original UWF. Even with Dynamite it wasn't always there.

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BockChoDer #1 A night drinking Hamm’s

 

Nick Bockwinkel vs Dick Slater

2 out of 3 Falls

Bock is steadily bouncing his body back against the ropes. Arm across his back, staring at his opponent. There’s something so simple and methodical of how he presents himself. Pulling on the second rope as he stretches. A presence of a champion. There wasn’t an uproar from the crowd nor a face to face jawing, but to a nerd who’s watching this nearly 40 years after the fact, there is power in the introduction. An old fashion battle between two athletes. Slater v Bockwinkel. AWA.

Opening bell quick circle leading to a lock up. Dick is strong, pushes him against the ropes. Bockwinkel turns him around. Break. Second lock up leads to Slater twisting a headlock “the long way” into a hammerlock tack down. Nick Bockwinkel’s teenage Doberman-falling-off-the-couch flop to the mat is gracefully spectacular in a way only he can. Mat work, baby! Dick Slater edges his shoulders closer to Bockwinkel prone arm. Nick reaching backwards only to be tied up and arched back into a forced pin. Neck bridge. A few pin attempts aborted and transitioned to an elbow drop. Already I am enjoying the pace of this. Seeing little moments fought for and earned. Slater lifts up Bock for a chop and a small package. Bockwinkel rolls out and cowers to the ropes. Separated, this leads to a test of strength. The color commentator is really playing up the test of strength as a moment of power but also a moment to outsmart their opponent. Although that is clear, I’ve never seen it actually spelled out so literally. A muscle chess match. Slater with a headbutt, backs him against the ropes, quickly roles him over for a takedown pin. Neck bridge. Rope save.

Under 3 minutes in and the characters are all defined. Dick Slater, the strong challenger, is feistier and hungry. Ready to throw heads and do what he needs to. Nick Bockwinkel, the crafty champion, willing to work whatever he can to escape the town with his belt. The repeated classical movements of the match are as follows, Slater with a takedown and submission hold, either head-scissors or headlock, and Bockwinkel creatively gets away with a knee to foot or a neck bridge out of the pin. Nick will either get to the ropes or out of the ring, but for the times he fails to will be met with a wallop. Dick is a fighter. But Bock is a champion and will take moments to shoulder tackle or smash him into the turnbuckle. The Bock advantage lasts momentarily and Slater will regain advantage and stomp out Bock. 

A moment I loved involved Nick spread out with one arm on the bottom rope and the other being pulled by Dick. Pulling Bock away, Slater puts him in a hammerlock, similar to the hold at the beginning of the match. Holding it down, Slater transitions to holding Bock’s arm with his leg and stands for leverage. A series of drop downs and Bockwinkel’s body flails upwards. Who else can wildly, and yet realistically, sell like this? He’s on his stomach and Bock’s legs go above his head with each drop. He inches to the rope. Bock has been beaten down, he needs to look strong. With his other fist he starts to punch Slater. After a few strikes to regain his composure, Dick grabs his head and smashes it into the canvas. Of course, Bock’s legs go flying upwards. A series of headbutts, Bockwinkel rolls out of the ring. Slater uses this to his advantage. Headbutts Bock as he slowly tries to get to the ring, gives him an atomic drop outside, wind up punch as he’s groggy on the apron. Slater has the upper hand. Shoulder tackle knocks them both down, but Slater is back up for some headbutts and a body slam. Like Icarus, Slater does to the second rope to put Nick away, MISS. Bockwinkel rolls away. Slater’s leg is hurt. Figure Four. Painfully, Slater rolls out of it. Bock rolls out, drags Dick’s leg to the corner, a girl in the distance screams, and Bockwinkel smashes Slater’s knee into the post. Wobbly, a pained Dick can barely stand. Guillotine with the top rope. Three count, Bockwinkle gets the first fall.

The beauty of that segment was it almost felt symmetrical. Bock in need of mercy gets put in a hold. Slater’s advantage. Bock strikes to no avail, gets put down. Slater gets Bock outside and uses it to his advantage. Middle moment. Slater goes off the second rope to no avail. Slater gets put in a hold. Bockwinkel’s advantage. Bock uses the outside to his advantage. Slater in need of mercy, Guillotine. Pin. Such a good shot, reverse shot that fit each character. Slater’s playing king of the mountain to dethrone the king and Bockwinkle’s using tricks from the ground to retain. Bockwinkel’s comeback punches get turned around by raw power and Slater’s glory of going off the ropes get turned around and picked apart. Point, counterpoint.

The second fall is a product of quickly getting Slater back into the match. The start of it is visually interesting. Slater is limping around and Nick Bockwinkel is just stalking him around. The announcer is counting down the start of the second portion. Bock preys on Dick’s leg. Gets Dick down quick and goes for a figure four. Slater rapidly kicks and punches out before the move is locked in. Pow. Dick is pumped up. He needs to get all his spots in. Stomps on him rapidly on the apron, falling headbutt, Revenge leg smash into the post, a connecting elbow off the ropes. Bockwinkel is just flying around and tacking everything. Easy second fall goes to a limping Dick and the crowd believes in him. 

How do you start a third portion? A GOD DAMN PILEDRIVER, THATS HOW! Bock rolls out. Slater’s clearly gonna win. Nick Bockwinkel is flopping around and can barely get up. Dick pummels him. They get back in the ring. How do you follow up a piledriver? A GOD DAMN SUPLEX, THATS HOW! Two count. How do you follow up a suplex? A GOD DAMN BODYSLAM TURNED RIB BREAKER, THATS HOW! Slater goes for a spinning toe hold, but Bockwinkel clobbered Dick’s god damn head. Groggily they both stand. Slater gets Bock into a headlock, Bockwinkel pushes Dick into the ref. Shenanigans. Dick Slater goes for the roll up. Nope. Eventual reversal and tights grab, ref is up and counts that. Bockwinkel retains but gets clobbered. 

I want to mention that I truly enjoyed the commentator. Midwestern voice with a lot of awkward pauses mid sentence. At times trying to figure out how to end his sentences after starting. As a Minnesotan I find him warm and endearing.

 

All hail Bockwinkel.

 

Rick Martel vs Nick Bockwinkel. 

Pre-Note: Boy, I forgot how handsome Rick is. Not just cute, but truly handsome. The way his appropriate mound of chest hair is still visible from different angles of the low definition camera, coinciding with with the Scott Baio haircut. What a catch.

Note: Bockwinkel is wrestling in protest because the AWA suspended Bobby Henan. Storyline? Mr Saito was in Nick’s corner. 

Other note: As both the wrestlers are getting the match started off with a ref talk and pat down, Bock is prickishly pointing at Martel in an aggressive manner a lot. Saito is standing there. Ref says nope, don’t stand there. You’re out! Bockwinkel. protests. Martel is pleased.

Another note: For the first 30 seconds I can tell the difference this match will be, I assume, than the last match. Bock is Against a much quicker opponent. They tie up and quickly trade blows. Bockwinkel misses a knee to the corner and goes down.

Additional note: For the first 7ish minutes, Martel has a series of leg holds on Bockwinkel. Squirming and grabbing his head, Bock’s selling is stellar. He’s been on his back or quickly brought back to his back for this entire time and I’m engaged in the action. Rick Martel looks like an absolute superstar.

Next Note: After pulling hair, Bock punches his way to freedom. He can’t quite stand, but he can viscously headbutt Martel’s sternum. After a few forceful pushes with his head, Martel is laying against the bottom turnbuckle. Nick Bockwinkel looks like an animal just kneeing Rick’s back and ribs. 

New Note: How wonderful this is. Both these men can barely stand. Martel gets to the other corner and his back is arching. Bockwinkel is limping. Series of forearms to Martel’s ribs. As Martel is bending in pain, Bockwinkel falls over. His leg is giving out on him. 

Red Note: That’s the underlying theme of the match. Both men are wounded. Can barely go in, but the AWA Title is on the line. Several cool moments throughout. A few of my favorites were Martel going for some type of crossbody/ shoulder tackle and Bockwinkel diving out of the way. Also both punching at the same time and both falling down. Showed how even of competitors they were. Then later on Martel getting the advantage in the same punch off situation but using bouncing off the ropes to his advantage. 

Blue Note: I was so caught up in the match I forgot about Mr Saito. Haha. Ref bump, cheap Bock win. This was enjoyable. Adding it among my favorite matches. 

 

Final Note: All Hail Bockwinkel.

 

The High Flyers vs Nick Bockwinkel & Mr Saito 

Classic face against heel tag formula. Greg Gagne and Jim Brunzell were the clean cut exciting babyfaces and Bock & Saito were the dastardly heels. If this was the first match I watched out of these three I would not have had any trouble following along. The commentary did a fantastic job setting the mood. The High Flyers are trying to bounce back after an injured year, Bock was a former champion looking to climb back the ranks, Mr Saito is “pure evil”, and these two teams hate each other. Noted. 

Early on in the match it was heavily established that The High Flyers were known for fast passed tags and maintaining that pace to their advantage. The opening is clearly this. Both men coming in and out and really giving it to Bockwinkel. Each chance he gets, Bock will pull hair or cheat with the rope. Good vs Evil. 

The excitement of the match comes from the heels cutting the ring in half against Brunzell. Lots of underhanded moves keep the villains on top. Bock uses his leg to leverage Saito and even at one point stands on his head. They wonderfully play out two missed hot tags and with each one the crowd gets louder. Once Gagne finally gets tagged in, the match erupts into chaos. Ref is too distracted to see Bockwinkel submitting. The match continues until Gagne ducks out of the way and Bockwinkel accidentally hits Saito with the salt. 

Very fun and lively match. I think it should be mentioned that Nick Bockwinkel takes the hammerlock beautifully. I think that has happened in each match I’ve seen today. 

 

All hail Bockwinkel.

 

Masahiro Chono vs Yoshihiro Takayama

Shout out to @Six String Orchestra for the rec.

Guy is talking on mic. Something something G1 Tournament. Probably saying this will be an easy going pretty chill match. Bell rings. THAT SONOFABITCH JUST BIG BOOTED HIM IN THE HEAD. SO DID THE OTHER ONE. Now a miss to the head. Jeez this is starting off early. Jawing at each other. I’m fist pumping. Crowds pumped. I’m pumped. 

This is my first time watching either of these men and I’m excited for the undertaking. It would be nice to know the storyline going on at the time, especially with the post match scuttlebutt. But for the match overall, I don’t need it. Just two tough dudes hitting each other. Takayama is the bigger guy and uses his size early on to push Chono to the corner and gain advantage with a test of strength. Chono is the rough rider looking guy running his mouth the whole first period of the match. 

They just smash each other the entire time. Takayama starts with the lead, really giving it to him. The heart of the match seems to me to be the Chono comebacks attempts that take the energy out of Takayama. Slowly his power bar drains and Chono’s maintains blinking red. Not sure if it’s his signature, but Chono taking Takayama to and executing that STF really got the crowd pumped. 

Loved the ending segment. Spitting while getting booted in the head is an underrated sell. Each kick is putting Takayama more and more down. You see the dropping, rising, and eventually falling of Yoshihiro’s emotions during this. Just exhausted, manages to almost hulk up. Fighting Spirit? Nope. Too many kicks to the head. Poor guy goes down. 

Fun match. I’d like to see more of these guys. 

 

All hail Nick Bockwinkel.

 

Invader #1 vs Rambo Ron Starr 

At the edge of the dock, I stand waiting. Staring into deep fog. My hands are shivering. Am I cold or is it just nerves? Maybe I should just turn around. I’m already four matches in. I could just turn around now and no one would be the wiser. Who reads this deep into a post. I’ve already switched from Hamm’s to Whiskey. It’s best I just go.

 

“Ahoy!”

 

I squint my eyes. I can make out a small boat approaching through the fog.

 

“Grab the rope, kid!”

 

I get a rope tossed to me. I pull it to the dock. I start to tie it to the post.

 

“Y’arr, just jump in and I’ll take ye’ to wh’re ye’ want to be.”

 

I look up from the post. First thing I notice is the peg leg. Up further I see the eye patch. Realizing I’m staring, I avert my eyes. 

 

“I don’t know if I’m ready. I’ve never watched a full match from Puerto Rico before. Aren’t they too hardcore? I’m sorry, Sea Captain @Matt D. I don’t know if I’m ready.”

 

Matt chuckles. 

 

“Y’arr. No use being afraid of something you’ve never experienced before. So what if the guy has Rambo in his name an’ the other has a number. It’s gonna be fine. I’ll keep you safe, kid.”

 

Matt puts his hook-hand on my shoulder.

 

“I’ll keep you safe.”

 

Off we go to a Puerto Rican baseball field. Invader #1 says something on the mic I couldn’t quite make out and they start the match as a brawl outside the ring. Invader is punching Starr all around the outfield. Haha, oh snap they’re going to the stands. I’m so in. This grandma is ready to throw down, good thing her son is holding her back. 

This match was sheer fun. They go through al the fans who are just having the time of their lives. Ron is whipping Invader on top of the dugout with hits belt. Then the tables turn. They’re just running all through the fans punching each other. You couldn’t see much outside of people jumping up and down. By the time the get back into the field they both have color. Rambo gives a viscous looking double stomp. This is stiff! 

Once they reach the ring they are both exhausted. Rambo has a bit of the upper hand but it’s pretty back and forth for a bit. Ron does some type of butt drop off the top rope. The first time connects but the second, Invader lifts his knee and crotches him. The match ends with a double count out on a shoulder block style crossbody that knocks them both out. I need to see more of these types of matches to really get the flow of it all. Saying that, this was fun and wild.

 

All hail Bockwinkel. 

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@Six String Orchestra I am behind but don’t want to limit you guys. I’ll continue my CHIKARA recommendations with probably the most famous CHIKARA match ever, and Kota Ibushi introduction to US fans live.

 

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Posted (edited)

I can’t imagine that’s the most famous chikara match, but I’m more what I would say the alternative would be. Arguably there are notorious clips that went viral (Ophidian hypnotizing people, the hand grenade spit, the slow motion matches) but that might be apples and oranges. 

Edited by odessasteps

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15 minutes ago, odessasteps said:

I can’t imagine that’s the most famous chikara match, but I’m more what I would say the alternative would be. Arguably there are notorious clips that went viral (Ophidian hypnotizing people, the hand grenade spit, the slow motion matches) but that might be apples and oranges. 

Those are clips, not matches, but fair point.

 

if anyone wants to review the most famous CHIKARA clip, I’ll submit that too.

 

 

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I keep trying to think of matches, but think they might fall into the clip category, like Sweeney dancing with Akeem or the Delorean. 
 

maybe the “two day” match between Sweeney and Kingston?

to me, and I talked about this With beau last week after we really recorded, the most infamous match might be lince v Mitch Ryder when he also got paralyzed/died.  

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On 4/20/2020 at 3:13 AM, Matt D said:

I have not seen this, but I am sure it is something. 

How about this?

It cuts out before the finish but you'll be satisfied with what you get.

OK, my match from last week that I didn't review until today... I was going to do it on Sunday before work but then I realised it wasn't a fifteen minute video, it was a thirty minute video followed by a eleven minute video, and I only had like half an hour. But then the first twelve minutes were just ring entrances and introductions. The referee gets entrance music! Brad Armstrong comes out to Born in the USA thus cementing himself as foreign heel against Germany's local favourite Fit Finlay, from Belfast Northern Ireland.

Round One and Finlay is hard but fair. Throwing in those little touches like cranking the Cravate before hitting the snapmare, or using an armbar into a wristlock into a hammerlock into a headlock to set up the forearm to the jaw. Armstrong starts out working his Southen babyface offence, with the drop down, leapfrog, Dropkick combo that used to be a universal babyface pretty boy thing but is now an AJ Styles trademarked spot. It's that thing where you have a natural heel like Finlay who the crowd loves, and a natural babyface like Armstrong who they take against. But then the penny drops and in round two Armstrong becomes a cheap shot machine, hitting on the break, pausing to adjust his kneepad in the corner and then shooting the legs when Fit looks away. Although Finlay being Finlay goes straight into an I can fight dirty too routine and round two ends with both guys tumbling out of the ring and brawling on the floor.

Back in the ring to start round three, and they're arguing before the bell, then Armstrong slaps Finlay right in the face! To the corner, they clubber, but you take a second to look around and Finlay's smashing you all over again. These strike exchanges really show how both guys are masters of that type of selling that tells the audience "I'm a tough bastard, but fuck that hurt". Finlay falls out of the ring for no apparent reason and the round ends. They play music between rounds, you know. So far it's mostly been 80s Rock like Queen and that, but this time it's Kiss. Not normal rock and roll Kiss, I Was Made For Loving You disco Kiss.  Round four and Finlay's head is injured. Armstrong works him over and Finlay struggles to make comebacks. The flying headlock takeover is a thing of beauty, but cranking the head on the mat lets Finlay reverse into a Cross Armbreaker as time expires. The rounds system is really helping them tell the underdog story here - you know the Flair touring champ formula of him retaining by time limit draw, but if there'd been another thirty seconds he'd have lost? You can do that several times in one match when there's rounds.

Round five, and we've settled into a story of Brad's arm vs Fit's head, both are hurt but which will collapse decisively? Finlay is your honest dirty fighter, and Armstrong is your sneaky snake. Ugh, they're playing Gary Glitter between rounds now. Not even one of the good ones. No, I don't want to be in your gang. Hulk Hogan did a cover of this with Green Jelly once. It wasn't as good as Three Little Pigs. Finlay kicks out of the Side Russian Legsweep and goes back to cranking the arm, so Armstrong decides to go to the eyes. Nice combination hold of a rear double eyegouge and an upper head bite. Wakigatame and times expires. Joan Jett loves Rock n Roll, so put another dime in tyhe jukebox baby. They're going faster now. Before they were hurt and wary of getting hurt more, but now they're desperate, and the need to inflict damage has become greater than the fear of suffering damage. Fit cranking the arm, but he misses a spear into the corner and Armstrong is now working the left shoulder as well. Huge forearm drops Finlay at the end of the round, and Bryan Adams (not the wrestler) got his first real six string and tried real hard. The kicking and the clubbering and the sudden jump cut in the VHS? OK... this is really good, it deserved to be pro shot, not on a crappy handheld. And the video ends before the match does.

That was really good. I bet Finlay won in the end.

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Get around to those after the Piratenkampf match I'm still sitting on and my kung-fu pick for the Movies board

I can't believe the amount of shit I've already watched today

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Thought you needed a helping of heartthrob babyface Adonis.

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On 4/27/2020 at 10:28 PM, Curt McGirt said:
 

I seem to remember this being quite good. 

EDIT: There you go, changed the link. I tried to find you the main of the first ever Z-1 show (Hashimoto & Nagata vs Misawa & Akiyama) to no avail

Toshiaki Kawada & Nobutaka Araya vs Genichiro Tenryu & Masa Fuchi

So, All Japan, soon after the Noah lads left. Kawada and Fuchi were the only Japanese natives who stayed, and they had the final match on the final show of the first Misawa-a-less tour, which was notable by the fact that there were a lot of chops in it. Fuchi is naturally pale, but Kawada turned his upper chest bright crimson in that match. Possibly that was what inspired the later chopfests Kobashi would have in big matches, possibly. Fuchi had previously aged into being in the comedy match segment, but they brought him back to be a crafty veteran main eventer. Kawada has become the company Ace by default, even though he probably would have earned the Ace spot three years earlier if his arm hadn't broken. Tenryu has returned to save the company. Araya used to be the number three native in IWA Japan, beneath Shoji Nakamaki and Hiroshi Ono, but IWA Japan seemed to disappear right after Cactus joined the WWF and Terry Funk returned to FMW.

The opening exchange is between Fuchi and Araya, and basically lets everyone know that the veteran has the greater technical ability level. So Araya, having been controlled on the mat and had his hold attempts reversed easily, tags out. The Kawada and Fuchi exchanges are basic technical wrestling; Fuchi wins the first exchange working standing armbars, Kawada wins the second on the mat, then they face off, try a little tentative striking, and Fuchi decides that actually exchanging strikes with Kawada isn't any kind of fun and tags in Tenryu. They lock up, look for holds, Kawada gets an arm but is backed into the corner, clean break. And then, the striking starts. Stiff as all hell, the striking. But it's a short exchange, as Kawada goes to the leaping headkick early. And with Tenryu hopefully weakened from that, he tags Araya back in. Araya shows a lot of fire, whipping Tenryu across the ring and impaling him in the corner with a running Clothesline that gets a two count. Then he gets up, and Tenryu punches him, right in the fucking face. His eyebrows splits wide open. Fuchi has been tagged in, and he says "So I hear you Death match guys think you can take a lot of punishment", and tests the theory with some stomps, kicks and punches to the bleeding head. Araya fires up and hits back, so Fuchi trips him with a Drop Toe Hold, and tags Tenryu back. Nobu Araya, as was hinted at earlier but has now become blatantly obvious, is now our officially designated whipping boy of the match. And does he ever take a whipping. Tenryu just unloads on him, and when Araya fights back Tenryu seems less hurt, and more insulted that his comeback strikes are weak and ineffective. He buys himself a tiny bit of breathing room, and Kawada comes in as a house of grim fire, prompting Tenryu to pass the baton to Fuchi. Kawada immediately takes it to Fuch, the fight spilling out of the ring and Fuchi eating the railing, taking boots and chops on the floor. Back in the ring, Kawada leaps to drive a kneedrop into Fuchi's face, and gets a two from it.

At this point, we've clearly established that Fuchi is the number 3 guy in the match, and Araya is the weakest, but the real test is seeing whether Kawada or Tenryu proves to be the strongest. Fuchi manages to whip Kawada into the neutral corner, Tenryu running along the apron to spike it with an Enzuigiri, and that slows Kawada enough for Fuchi to tag out. Brainbuster by Tenryu gets a two count. Kawada locks him hands to prevent the WAR special and hits an overhead kick to get some breathing room. Then he tags Araya back in. He's full of fire and fury, racing in with a Lariat that almost drops Tenryu, and managing to go toe to toe with the legend for a strike exchange. For a second, you almost believe he has a chance. Almost. Then Tenryu takes his head off with a lariat. He tries to fire up again, he tries to get to his feet, but he can't. Fuchi is tagged in, and starts blasting kicks into the head of his prone opponent, cutting him off every time he tries to return to a vertical base. Backdrop suplex by Fuchi. A second one gets a two count. Araya gets to his feet and is no doubt dismayed to see that Fuchi has tagged Tenryu back in. A single chop to the chest drops Araya to the mat, but he is quickly pulled to his feet and whipped into the ropes, then sent up and over with a back body drop. He shows great instinct rolling off his shoulderblades, but Tenryu nonchalantly kicks him in the eye. Araya fires up again and gets in Tenryu's face, giving him the "You want a piece of me?" Tenryu responds "I don't want a piece of you, I'm going to eat you whole" with the chops and the punches and the Lariat in the corner. Big slap in the face, and a cross corner whip, but Araya somehow rebounds with a shoulderblock and stumbles over to tag Kawada in, before looking for a quiet corner where he can curl up and die. Kawada goes kill mode on Tenryu! Tenryu blocks a high kick and goes kill mode on Kawada! And then Fuchi is tagged in, and he hits a Dropkick and sets up a German Suplex. Kawada escapes to hit a Pele kick to the lower back and tags out. Araya with the Rock Bottom for two. Scoop slam and he calls for the Moonsault, but Tenryu nails him with the Guh Punch as he climbs. Kawada kicks Tenryu off the apron, Fuchi Backdrops Araya off the turnbuckles, Kawada high kicks Fuchi before he can follow up! Scoop slam by Araya, Moonsault by Araya, 1, 2, 3! He wasnt the weakest guy in the match after all!

That match was a lot of fun. Everyone played their roles very well, and Araya as the underdog babyface took a hell of a beating. Showed that AJPW in it's rebuilding phase was possibly on it's way to being something. Although obviously they changed direction quite dramatically and gave the company to Muto instead.

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Super happy you liked that, it was truly a shot in the dark as I hadn't rewatched the match (and still haven't) but from memory and love of the opponents I thought it was a sure-shot. Araya is a favorite of mine whether he was in WAR or wherever, midcard guy that never got the rub he deserved. And I can't really think of any death matches he was in! Someone will probably correct me on that though.

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Posted (edited)

Jeff Jarrett vs. Glamour Boy Shane, IWA 2003

Gotta be honest, I was pressed that @Tim Evans was going to make me watch a fucking Jeff Jarrett match. No fucking thank you, typically, is my feeling on watching Jarrett. He's fine as a baby, but heel Jarrett is nearly unwatchable for me. 

My PR match knowledge is spotty as hell. I've seen some of it. I like it when people bleed and the fans try to cut someone. It's right up my alley, generally speaking. 

I've never seen (or heard of) Glamour Boy Shane. 

Anyway, Jarrett heels a bit and has to dodge Shane, bailing when necessary to open. The open is typical of what you might expect when a fiery babyface meets up with a traditional shithead heel: fast pace, baby outsmarting heel, lots of punches. Shane is hulking up like two minutes into this match, but then whiffs on a shoulder charge and hits the post, and wheeee, we're gonna get a long heel control segment from Jeff "I can bore you more than a HHH heel control segment" Jarrett!

It's not great, is what I'm saying. We get shit like Jarrett crotching himself and then immediately gaining control with a sleeper after minimal selling anyway. Then we go from that into a figure-four spot. 

Eventually, after about five years, Shane fights out of it and eventually fires up and wins a strike exchange before he and Jarrett are laying around selling the pain and loss of energy from this last bout of action. There's some offense, and Jarrett's out here with some dude seconding him who I've sort of noticed before, but Shane gets at that dude and gets two off a cross-body. More fuckery with the manager leads to another two-count off a schoolboy. The ref bumps off the kickout and Jarrett loads up the PR flag that Shane brought out with him and cracks Shane in the head. Finally, the ref comes over to make the count and it's a 2.9. Shane fires up, drops a flying elbowsmash, and gets three. At least we didn't have prolonged guitar struggle spots in an '03 Jarrett match, I guess. Some shit happens at the end where Jarrett and his second are mad and is that Savio Vega out here or what? Anyway, I've sort of stopped paying attention. 

I admit that I may have been conditioned to dislike this, but even considering that, it sucked. Sorry, Tim. Its saving grace is that it was at least pretty short. 

Edited by Smelly McUgly

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Yeah If you don't like Jarrett, you probably aren't going to like that series. That is Savio with Jeff. Just glad you watched the match @Smelly McUgly or tried to

I watched both Jericho/Juvi matches. They mostly had the same formula but I liked 4/20 way better than 4/6

Best thing about the 4/6 match is Jericho name dropping Electric avenue in his prematch promo. So Jericho was feuding with Prince Iaukea and Dean Malenko at the same time. Juvi seemed a little off but Jericho held it together. In a match that's about 5 minutes, we get a boring chant, about 5 nearfalls that the crowd bites on and I don't think they even locked up once. Finish is pretty weak where Jericho has Juvi in the liontamer but a good two minutes until Prince Iaukea comes out and throws in the towel. Like why the hell would he do that? I know he's facing Jericho at the ppv but that's still a stupid finish.

4/20 is shorter but the crowd is into it the whole time. Juvi is more on and even does a dive to the outside landing right on Jericho's head. Again, Juvi gets put in the liontamer but this time, he doesn't tap and just passes out giving Jericho the win. Decent tv match which puts over Juvi in a loss. Apparently he feuded with the flock after this.

The finish of the 4/6 match sucked but it wasn't a awful match. 4/20 was better. Now I need to watch the 6/1 match they had where Jericho wins again. Oh wcw.

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Curt McGirt said:

Araya is a favorite of mine whether he was in WAR or wherever, midcard guy that never got the rub he deserved. And I can't really think of any death matches he was in! Someone will probably correct me on that though.

Ono & Funk vs Nakamaki & Araya, no Rope Barbed Wire Fire Hair vs Hair, with Sparkles!

EDIT: Hey, this is the match where afterwards Funk starts yelling about how he doesn't need stitches like Onita and Onita is chickenshit.

Edited by AxB
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