WELCOME TO THE DEATH VALLEY DRIVER VIDEO REVIEW #101!

Hiya, We're all united and the mom jokes are bottled up in our individual souls- fermenting inside each of us like a horrible Incubus!  and we're all WEEEKLY! ( WHOMP ASS~! ) now so expect differing lengths and differing line-ups but constant freakish slavery to quality wrestling tapes- for YOU, the beloved and cheriched gentle reader.  Schneider had an idea of doing five matches from a different wrestler every week- as a change of pace (sorta like the old WE WANT FLAIR section we used to- actually) so every week we will review five matches- with no hard and fast criteria- so it will be all wild and shit.  Ray and Pogo Pete comtinue to not send me the FMW PPV and THEN taunt me with a REVIEW of it, the MoFacks.  Schneider opted to for GAEA because if  IIIII did another consecutive slathering GAEA review, DVDVR readerdom assembled would blow oats all over their shoes and you don't want that, prolly.  MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE..........
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#$#$#$#$#$#$ IRWG TV-3/28/99- (DEAN RASMUSSEN)
IRWG is quite the Andrew Ridgely to TORYUMON's George Michael in Ultimo Dragon's whole WHAM! wrestling metaphor, so to speak (i guess).  Whereas TORYUMON seems to do no wrong and is The Coolest Promotion On Earth That Isn't Called BattlARTS, IRWG is usually a comical display of horrendous Lucha Libre containing some of the most untalented shmoes to don the mask and cat suit doing everything wrong.  but every now and then they pump something out that is cool and ESPN2 Latino captures it for posterity and this had the cool as crud Dr Cerebro on it so I traded young Adam for it and now my TV is all aglow...

Zonick vs. Mr. Cobra:
Zonick- for whatever reason- has an outfit that borrows liberally from EMLL ne'er-do-well Foreign Exchange. This match is so inept and loose that you will long for the stiffness, grace and precision of a Sicodelico vs Mocha Cota Tilt. Actually, they both do a cool preposterous roll-up- including a nifty El Dandino variation by Zonik for the win.  Okay, not totally worthless, but pretty close.

Fantasy/Genki Horiguchi vs. Stoker Ichikawa/Rokambole Jr.:
Stoker is in this so it ALREADY rules it to the hundreds of thousands of stars zone.  The match itself is pretty ass-tastic and craparific- as Fantasy and Rokanbole not only have haplessly fourth-rate masks (Fantasy is basically cardboard and Reynolds wrap)  but have a midgrade WWO-undercard workrate that doesn't take them to that SPECIAL place- that place of Lucha watchability.  Horiguchi- who looks to be the next good worker to be pumped out by the Ultimo Dragon Machine- and Stoker take the mediocrity to heart as they mail in half of this match and blow every spot in the other half of this match.  The finish to the first Caida is botched to Nightstalker vs Sid Vicious lengths of ineptitude by Rokie and Fantasy.  These guys are SOOOOOOOO not ready for Prime Time.

Los Super Payasos/Slayer vs. Mercurio/Rey Cuervo/ (TORYUMON-version AND SOOOO NOT Masaaki) Mochizuki:
I don't even like REAL actual Ha-Ha type Clowns OR the REAL WRESTLING PAYASOS- so imagine my illogical loathing for these pseudo-Payasos. With that in mind, think of how shocking this statement coming out of my Cybermouth is:  These Super Payasos RULE!  This match is  really goofball great.  The first Caida has all this cool ass armdrag action with both Payasos and Rey Cuervobeating my ass with cool ass in-ring lucha magic- as Cuervo is quite the Rudo's Rudo and I'm pretty convinced that he is a REmasked Mirabunta- because he rules it hard with the old school offense and new school bumps.   Slayer gets the duke of the first caida by getting Tvasnm Mochizuki in the Tijuana Pendulum Hold and we all party and freak out.  The second Caida is all about the Star and Tunnel To Pin the Three Guys Who have My Two Partners In A Preposterous LegLock Pyramid and the SWANKY Dog pile pin- as this blows the lid off the goofymeter. For some reason they didn't show a caida so that was actually the end.  This was all kinds of great.

Micke Segura/Multifacetico/Ultimo Vampiro vs. Dr. Cerebro/Star Boy/Punch Power:
HEY! Dr. Cerebro isn't wearing the Jerry Garcia's Brain Tie-dyed Mask in this as he opts for the pink brain being offset by the duel American Medical Insignias.  Punch Power is was all stoked about seeing back in the day when I first heard his odd name- figuring that this kid HAS to have a freaky mask with such a freaky moniker- but alas he (and the freakily named Star Boy) are both sans mask, so my hope and joy are lessened a bit.  Ultimo Vampiro has a great Mexico-Goes-All-Goth outfit and has shown the ability to take a fat bump despite his substantial shortcomings as an overall luchadore. Mickey Segura is quite the budding star as he is all flashy and graceful when high-flying and makes the first caida work as he and Dr Cerebro threaten to totally have the Lucha freak-out but they limit it in the first caida. Multifacetico has the truly magnificent banana yellow outfit with giant "M"s etched across it, but he isn't that good, despite the fact that I would definately wear that get-up to work every single day of my life.  The first Caida is actually pretty happening as Cerebro bumps like a freak, Ultimo Vampire hits one of his beautiful topes and Segura runs up the ropes and hits a really beautiful Cross-Body Block.  Power Punch and Star Boy are quite passable rudos in a Leon Negro sense of Lucha Right-In-The-Middle-Of-All-Lucha sense.  The ending is motherfucking great as they do this 54 step set-up where Star Boy has his head between MultiF's legs while somehow Doc Cerebro ends up on Star Boys back as Segura gets him in a totally goofed-out La Tapatia (or Mexican Cieling Hold if you will) as Dr Cerebro calls the ending and what you get is Latin Fat Albert-style Game Of Buck-Buck with preposterous submissions on top. REALIZE NOW THAT DR CEREBRO IS YOUR ONE TRUE GOD~!  The second caida  is a dog's breakfast of lucha cliches- with a the crappy rudo caida giving way to the old standby fave of each person in the match getting a comical submissions and then the person making the save gets the former submission procurer  in a submission hold- but for some reason we never get to see Dr Cerbro go for one his patentedly outlandish submissions- as the match goes into a batch of disarray and Triple A'ed highspots until Ultimo Vampiro hits the tres Swank Slingshot Powerbomb for the Second straight Technico fall.  I was hoping to see more of what this highly-touted Segura could do and I wanted to see the usually Dos Caras-cum-Villano 3-cum-Blue Panther-inspired matwork by Cerebro, so I wasn't overly down with this match.  It was good enough in spots, but it wasn't life-threateningly great either.  I dunno.  A whole Dr Cerebro match without a Dr Cerebro submission ain't good.

Kato Kung Lee/ Moonwalker/ Mr. Niebla II/ El Brazo/ Brazo de Platino/ Brazo Cibernetico vs. Maniac Cop/ Oficial/ Guardia/ Fireman/ Bombero Infernal
(*Guerra Sin Escape (combination battle royal-lumberjack match):  These rudos ain't so good.  Bombero Infernal is deeply in the realm of Cien Caras bad. Maniac Cop has a cool mask at least- but hell, Cibernetico has a cool mask but did you EVER need to see him attempt to wrestle.  This match was pretty hideous- by design: It starts as a Battle Royal and- HEY!- battle royals suck- unless it's a WCW Cruiserweight Battle Royal and everybody is trying creatively kill themselves dead- and this ain't that.  When they whittle down to tag match, it becomes a lumberjack match- and- HEY!- Lumberjack matches suck. Add to the equation of stinky the fact the final four standing are El Brazo, Bombero Infernal, Maniac Cop, and whatever they call their Salsero knockoff.  FOUR screwy endings later and Pseudo-Salsero wins by DQ.  BOY!  This was STINKY! PEEEEEE! YOOOOOOOO!

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[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected]! GAEA G-PANIC MAY- (PHIL SCHNEIDER)
Since GAEA has more complex booking then any league this side of 1983  Memphis- let me give you a quick rundown of the events preceding this show. Mayumi Ozaki and her cadre of vixenish OZ Academites (Sugar Sato, Karoui Nakayama and Chiyako Nagashima) have joined forces with the evil Lioness Aska , Aja Kong and Etsuko Mita and Mima Shimoda to form the Superstar Unit (SSU). SSU have taken the advantage in the battle over the future of GAEA and conversely Joshi Puroresu and then the world, at the GAEA 4th anniversary show when SSU leader Lioness Aska defeated her former Crush Gals tag partner and GAEA founder Chigusa Nagayo, to take control of the league. SSU redecorated and took over the book. At the time of this show the plucky youngsters of GAEA (Sakura Hirota, Toshie Uematsu, Sonoko Kato, Meiko Satamura) with some veteran assistance ( KAORU, Toshiyo Yamada, Chigusa) are attempting to regain control of the promotion they love.

Chigusa Nagayo vs Karoui Nakayama:
This match was booked by Lioness to humiliate Chigusa by making her wrestle in the opening match against SSU job girl and former Shark Tsuchiya cutlet Nakayama. Despite being a angle driven squash match, this was actually some okay wrestling. Nakayama attacks from behind, and starts doing the corner punch, Chigusa immediately turns that into the running powerbomb (which is her finisher) however Nakayama turns that into a rana, for a near fall, Chigusa rolls through that and slaps on a nasty Rings of Saturn for the 1 minute submission. Pretty good for a squash.

Sonoko Kato vs. Lioness Aska/Sugar Sato:
Aska and Sato beat up Sonoko to prove their evilness. Short and uneventful.

Lioness Aska/ Mima Shimoda/ Mayumi Ozaki vs. Meiko Satamura/ Sonoko Kato/ KAORU:
This match was the WAY.  These are arguably the six best workers in GAEA (I think Nagashima is a little better then Kato, and Yamada is better than Shimoda, but an argument can be made)  and this match was even better then the LCO v. Yamada/ KAORU match from 4/4 which has gotten some MOTYC buzz. While that match was sort of a tricked out ECW match, this was a standard wrestling match with only a couple of garbage spots. Aska is on quite the wrestling hot streak as she was kicking ass all through this match, punting people in the face, dropping then on their heads and just being an all around mean bitch. KAORU was rocking too, busting out a ton of moonsault variations (including a freaked out twisting moonsault senton which is both beautiful and hurty looking) and a top drawer running Excalibur. Meiko Satamura and Sonoko Kato did a bunch of neat tag combo moves including a boss backlflip kick into a dragon suplex. Kato took the Sonoko Kato table bump, where Lioness Aska places a folded table legs down on Kato's stomach and gives her a double stomp, turning her fallopian tubes into fruit roll ups. The ending is fun as all heck and golly as the GAEA gals to a triple finisher spot, and then the all brawl to the floor and let KAORU and Shimoda go at it.  After missing a moonsault, KAORU falls victim to the top rope Harlem Hangover on a standing KAORU , which was banging. This match is 1999 Women's match of the year so far.

Lioness Aska vs. Sonoko Kato:
Joshi Puroresu has a tremendously hierarchical system.  Matches between Veteran wrestlers and young stars are often squashes with the veteran refusing to sell the offense of the younger star, or refusing to sell for a wrestler that isn't on their level (for an example of this check out the suckass Meiko Satamura v. Manami Toyota match) . What makes this match so great, is that Lioness Aska one of the legends of women's wrestling, and one the biggest current stars, works a competitive match with a much younger less experienced wrestler. Aska lays out a big beating in the beginning, but Kato keeps fighting back. They do the Kato table spot, and any chance of Sonoko having my ... I mean any children is eliminated. Then Meiko runs in to counter the SSU interference and Sonoko gets a bunch of near falls with a Dragon Suplex, and a choke sleeper. Then end is pretty great as Aska hits a huge kick to Kato's face, and gives her multiple powerombs, after each powerbomb, Kato gets back up, not no selling them however as she is nearly dead after each move. Finally Aska gets a rotation powerbomb for the win.  Great match, which really elevated Kato, even though she lost.

Toshie Uematsu/ Sakura Hirota/Toshiyo Yamada vs Mima Shimoda/ Etsuko Mita/ Chikayo Nagashima:
The big story of this match, was the rivalry between Nagashima and Hirota. The match was based around the veteran members of each team trying to get the youngsters a pin, as Yamada and Los Carochous Orientalas just kick ass and didn't go for many pins. Hirota ain't at the level of the other 5 wrestlers in the match, and the focus on her hurt the match quality, LCO was kind of dogging it, although Nagashima looked good as usually. Match highlights include a sweet Hokuto tope-con-hilo by Nagashima, and a swank spin kick by Yamada. Hirota rolls through a Nagashima pin and gets the win to continue her big, and sort of undeserved push.

Battle Royal :
This match had SSU and Hirota in it, and was all whimsical and comedic, and sucked way more then all the hate filled wrestling which proceeded it.

Sugar Sato/ Mima Shimoda vs. Toshie Uematsu/ Meiko Satemura:
Sort of a lackluster finish to a great show. Satamura and Sugar were ruling it, but Shimoda sucked ass in this match, delivering one crap chair move after another, like Rob Van Damn with out the highspots.  I sort of don't dig LCO, they have been in some great matches (the cage match v. Ito and Watanabe is off the hook) but to often they fall back on the same crappy brawling spots in every match, this match was rail ride free, but that spot sucks balls.   Satamura is the best young women's wrestler in the world, but there are better matches which she is in and shit.
[email protected]~
 #$#$#$#$#$#$ FRONTIER MARTIAL-ARTS WRESTLING  PPV - 11/20/98- (REV RAY DUFFY!)
FMW's spruced up their lighting and stage stuff for the PPV.  The problem is that there's a lot of empty seats in the arena.  Still, it looks nice.

Flying Kid Ichihara vs. Rey Buccenaro
Buccenaro was in Japan for the Battlarts PPV and score himself a slot on the FMW PPV.  It's odd, but Rey is listed in the graphics as a WWF wrestler despite the fact he wrestles without the mask for them as Rey "Pirata" Ortiz (I think).  This is pretty heatless from the crowd in the early part.  Rey takes to Psicosis head first slide to nowhere to go outside the ring.  Kid tries to do the spot where he gets back dropped up, does a handstand on the and then lands on the guy on the floor and does a head scissors.  Kid loses his balance and Rey saves him from killing himself by catching him and they do the spot from more or less a tombstone position.  This was really... eh.  I think without any crowd heat, it hurt the match.  Rey wins by turning a Kid top rope rana into a superbomb.

Kaori Nakayama/Ricky Fuji vs. Go Ito/Hido
You know, it's kind of sad when a manager is probably the second or third best worker in the match.  Clips leading up have Ito hanging out with the FMW Commissioner's 16 or 17 year old daughter.  Easy there, Jerry Lee.  Koari comes out dressed like Sabu. Apparently she said she'd be there with bells on... and she is.  Fuji and Nakayama come out to Fuji's song with his girl band.  Hido and Ito come out to "Gonna Fly Now" from Rocky, looking somber until they get to the end of the ramp, then another song comes up and the commish's daughter comes out blowing bubbles. Hido and Fuji start off and do nothing of note.  Ito gets tagged in and runs away from Fuji until getting caught and bumping around like a fiend.  Fuji and Hido do a long uninteresting segment until we finally get Kaori and Go in the ring.  Go gets beat up a it and bumps well for Kaori until Hido hits her from behind and Go gets in some offense.  Including a camel clutch spot where he and Hido smack her around.  Hido attempts to do a chairshot on Kaori, but Fuji covers her to take the shot.  Hido beat on Fuji for a while and Ito tags in again.  He hits a springboard splash that finds nothing but knees and then Kaori works him over again.  Hido tries to save him, but Fuji stops him.  They got dueling noogies and sterio Kamakazis by the faces. Fuji gets Hido in the scorpion, but Ito throws powder in his face for the save.  Ito and Kaori mix it up again.  She flips out of a german suplex attempt and attempts a rana which turns into the wold's softest powerbomb.  Ito claim's he's going to do the scorpio splash, but gets crotched on the top rope.  Kaori hits a rana of the top rope which sort of gets blown and Kaori almost is on the recieving end of the Kawada death driver from January.  Kaori hits her swinging DDT for two and pulls up Ito and decks him, trying to get the win with a punch, but Hido saves the pin.  Hido takes out Fuji and piledrives Kaori, rolling Go on top to get the pin.  Go was surprisingly good and bumped like a fiend.  It would have been a lot better if Kaori got more time in the match.  Oh yeah.  Hido still sucks.  But, he's banging Kudo and I'm not.  Life ain't fair.

"Mr. Double Cross" Koji Nakagawa vs. Hisakatsu Ohya :
This starts off witha real surreal bit where Ohya is standing at the waterfront staring off at the harbor when a ball rolls over by him and a little kid runs over to retreive it.  Ohya gives the kid the ball, pats them on the head and smiles.  The crowd got a chuckle out of it and it's one of those weird goofy bits.   The match itself doesn't really live up to the promos as it's solid if unspetacular.  Ohya's leg is taped up and it gets worked over a little bit during the match.  Ohya pretty much controls except for a few spots. Nakagawa tried to use the bell hammer at one point but only found the post and then got hit with an enzugiri driving him face first into the post. Ohya busts him open.  Ohya has him in the octopus hold but lets him go. Ohya with the back drop and then a enzugiri into the corner where Nakagawa's jacket is.  Nakagawa grabs his fork (he's been using that as his gimmick), throws the jacket on the ref, fork attack to the throat, headbutt to the groin and a jacknife hold seal the deal for Nakagawa.  Post match, Ohya beats up the referee.

Diasuke Ikeda/Mohammed Yone/Ricky Fuji/Naohiro Yamazaki vs. Shoichi Funaki/TAKA Michinoku/"Super Fly" Gedo/"Stan" Jado : 
Yet another reason to love Ikeda... the fact he uses "Fight For Your Right to Party".  TAKA and Funaki were mystery partners, Funaki greets the announcer J. Taro with a "We're here motherfucker!".  Gedo and Jado leave the women's room before heading to the ring.  Jado is now doing a Stan Hansen gimmick, complete with borrowing his theme song.  This match wasn't as good as it could have been.  TAKA was being surley and stuff, but it was a very american style match.  It would have been a lot better if Ikeda and Yone were kicking people in the face and TAKA and Funaki thought they were working for M-Pro 3 years ago.  Gedo ends up getting the win with the "Super Fly" Splash.

One Man Gang vs. Sabu vs. Yukihiro Kanemura - 3 Way Dance
Hey, Gang's lost a lot of weight.  Kanemura has a video piece before hand with stock footage of Africa and Kanemura doing squats bare assed and with a peice of tag over his groin, which Gedo tries to steal.  Freakin' weird.  Gang yells a lot and over powers Kanemura and Sabu early on.  They work on his legs a little. Gang teases a plancha spot, but it's a fake as he rolls out to the floor. Sabu hits a triple jump plancha on both guys.  Gang counters a Sabu spring leg lariat attempt with a back suplex.  Gang is first to go after a sunset flip by Sabu as Kanemura's first attempt didn't get him over.  Kanemura attacks Sabu with a table and tries to put him through it with a dive from the post to the floor, but Sabu gets up and body slams him off through the table.  Kanemura juices following a spike attack from Sabu, but he no sells some broken table shots to the head and hits a twister slam.  Kanemura diving senton gets two.  Kanemura fills the ring with chairs and goes for another top rope move but gets ranaed onto the chairs.  Sabu hits a triple jump moonsault for two.  They do a duel of a row of chairs which ends when Kanemura knocks the chair out of Sabu's hand but gets hit with a low drop kick. Sabu wins with the arabian facebuster off the top rope.  This match was really just there.

Tetsuhiro Kuroda vs. Mr. Gannosuke
Gannosuke's return following his injury after dropping the double titles to Hayabusa.  He comes out in an outfit similiar to Shinzaki's except in all black.  They take it to the mat early with Gannosuke working the leg.  Gannosuke teases doing the Shinzaki rope walk but gets caught and Kuroda drops him face first on the turnbuckles. They go out to the ramp.  Kuroda with a DDT and a 50 yard jumping knee.  He tries for a 50 yard lariat but Gannosuke catches his arm and turns it into a 25 yard running armbar takedown, driving Kuroda face and shoulder first into the ramp.  They go back tot he ring and Gannosuke works the arm over. Kuroda survives the arm attacks and goes to work on one of Gannosuke's legs, I'm assuming it was the one that was injured.  They get into a spot where they double lariat each other, with Gannosuke countering one attempt with the Gannosuke clutch for two and then a Northern Lights Suplex for two. Kuroda does the Kobashi get dropped on your head answer with a lairat spot. Kuroda comes back with a rolling german into a dragon suplex combo for two and then hits Gannosuke with is own move, Fire Thunder for a 2.  Gannosuke avoids 2 lariats only to get hit with a third for another near fall. Gannosuke escapes a tombstone attempt and turns it into Fire Thunder for two.  This gets all New Japan-esque as they start busting out a million lariats.  Gannosuke does the praying bomb for two and then puts Kuroda away with his new move which is sort of a combo of a full nelson and a camel clutch.  A solid wrestling match.  Post match, Kanemura confronts Gannosuke who just walks away.

They show clips of the big "Come Out and Play" match between Team No Respect and the Phoenix Group.

Mr. Pogo vs. Atsushi Onita :
Pogo comes out with Nakamaki.  This was after Great Kojika apparently kicked Nakamaki's ass at a Big Japan show.  This was also Onita's last FMW show.  Pogo looks winded walking down to the ring. Onita beats up Pogo a bunch.  Pogo looks totally blown up.  Onita tries to do a piledriver on a table, but the table gives one and pogo basically falls all the way to the mat.  Pogo busts out the ginsu 2000 and carves up Onita's arm and shoulder.  He breaks a piece of bamboo and goes over him with that. Nakamaki interferes and gets beat up by Sasaki, the ex-sumo FMW undercard guy.  This gets comical as Pogo tries to do a running face buster but it ends with him more or less falling down then actually doing the move well.  Onita shields himself from a fire attack with a chair, hits Pogo, hits him with two face busters onto a chair.  Onita uses a crutch on Pogo and hits one more facebuster on the chairs for the win as it seemed like Pogo's heart was going to explode if he had to do anything else in the match.  Post match, Team Zero (Sasaki,Gosaku and Hosaka) come out and Onita gives them a going away spit water in the face.

Hayabusa vs. Kodo Fuyuki :  Double Titles match :
Busa starts by working on Fuyuki's arm early.  After about 5 minutes of this, Fuyuki gets an opening while in an armlock and goes after Hayabusa's leg.  They go out to the floor and Fuyuki gains control, whipping Busa into the railings and then hitting a fisherman buster on the floor and then using some chair shots.  Back in the ring, Fuyuki with another fisherman buster for a two.  Fuyuki with a Northern Lights Suplex for a two and it looks like the fat boy has brought his working boots to something other than the all you can eat buffet. Fuyuki gets another two following an inverted facelock suplex off the second rope.  Fuyuki with a powerbomb for another two.  Banana Panic into the stretch plum which Busa rope saves out of.  Fuyuki misses a corner charge and gets back dropped to the floor and gets a quebrada for his troubles. Busa hits a drop kick off the top rope to Fuyuki's arm and hits cross armbreaker.  Leg lariat gets a two for busa, as does a fisherman buster and a firebird splash.  Busa goes after the arm again.  Busa goes up top again, but Fuyuki catches him and hits the cretin lucha cradle neckbreaker than Damian uses.  Busa avoids the Banana Panic and kicks Fuyuki out to the floor and hits a springboard plancha.  Busa misses a spring leg drop on Fuyuki, but catches Fuyuki in mid air with a drop kick as he goes for a body press. Busa hits a Tiger Driver for a two following a release German.  Fuyuki comes uip with a weird roll up to counter the dragon suplex once, but gets hit with one before he drops Busa with a lariat.  Busa gets caught on the top rope, Fuyuki climbs up and after nearly killing himself once, hits a powerbomb off the top rope.  Fuyuki tries to follow up with a suplex type move, but Busa diamond cutters out of it.  Hayabusa with a tiger suplex for a two.  Fuyuki avoids the phoenix splash and hits the Banana Panic for a two.  Busa gets dropped across the top and lariated for a two and one final lariat seals the deal.  This is probably the best match Fuyuki has been involved in in years.  Seriously, this was good.  I remember hearing that Fuyuki won the title and I was like "What the hell?", but he did put on a good showing.
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%^%^%^%^%^%^%^% JWP TV- Taped 1-9-94, 2-11-94 Tokyo Korakuen Hall- (POGO PETE STEIN!)
It's the feel-good portion of DVDVR 101 as we take you back to JWP in its prime, hot off the 1993 interpromotional wars and still maintaining the services of their most legendary crew.

1-9-94
HIKARI FUKUOKA vs. HIROMI YAGIMURA:
Yagimura is of course better known now as Hiromi Yagi.  This is her debut, and she pops the crowd by hitting her ipponzei on Fukuoka to break up the monotony of an otherwise-typical "rookie discipline" match.  Fukuoka with the inevitable pin at 5:42... y'all realize that if it was fukuoka's idol Toyota in there she'd have showered, dressed and been halfway through her second Sapporo at this point.

COMMANDO BORISHOI/HIKARI FUKUOKA vs. CANDY OKUTSU/FUSAYO NOUCHI:  JIP.
I'm beginning to think Borishoi might get more props from people if she wasn't using such a cornball gimmick, because she's a pint-sized machine here.  She hits an absolutely brutal backdrop on Nouchi here, also adding a sweet nodowa on both opponents.  Candy is quite good here, hitting the triple German and also throwing in some hot spots like these turnaround missile dropkicks and a plancha to the floor.  Fukuoka finally isolates Nouchi and hits the missile dropkick while Candy and Borishoi duke it out on the floor, but Nouchi kicks out to a big pop.  Fukuoka follows with the rolling cradle but Candy saves. Borishoi takes out Candy one last time and Fukuoka hits a German Suplex Hold on Nouchi for the pin at 24:30.  Postmatch Fukuoka screams for Devil Masami and Dynamite Kansai to come out, I guess so she can challenge them to a match.  They oblige her, at which point Devil
exclaims that Fukuoka's hair is a mess and she's grounded for the weekend.

TWO FALL COUNT 6-WOMAN TAG MATCH: DYNAMITE KANSAI/DEVIL MASAMI/ CHIGUSA NAGAYO vs. MAYUMI OZAKI/CUTIE SUZUKI/PLUM MARIKO:
The match title refers to the fact that you only need a two-count to win this match. The crowd heat for Chigusa is amazing... all of the schoolgirls in the house are going nuts for her while all of the guys who've gotten hooked on womens' wrestling now are booing her like crazy.  Also weird seeing her sell her ass off early for her smaller opponents, and it seems like she's fighting herself not to do it.  Big team controls the early going until Plum pulls a German suplex from out of her ass on Devil for 1.999, and Ozaki actually starts kicking Charlie (the ref) for not counting faster.  Big team comes back on Cutie and there's a cute bit where Oz runs in to stop Chigusa from using a hold on Cutie, only to haul ass back to her corner the second Dynamite comes in.  After getting pounded for over 15 minutes the smaller team finally isolates Dynamite and they all do top-rope moves onto her.  Oz works on Dynamite's arm until she tags to Chigusa, but Plum catches her with a dropkick and snares her in a rolling anklelock.  They all work over her ankles until Oz hits Tequila Sunrise, but Chigusa basically no-sells it and tags in Devil who hits her Jumbo Suplex on all three girls.  Devil and Dynamite run their opponents ragged but once again it's Chigusa who's the weak link, as the second she tags in she starts to get used like a suplex baton as Oz, Plum and Cutie trade suplexes on her.  They drop her and all three head up top for a triple-diving headbutt but Chigusa rolls out of the way and tags in Devil, who hits her powerbomb spree on Oz for 1.  Dynamite tags in and hits Splash Mountain but Cutie saves.  Dynamite proceeds to give *Cutie* Splash Mountain and tags in Devil, who hits a diving legdrop on both Oz and Cutie.  Chigusa comes back in, but you guessed it- she gets taken out and before long everyone's brawling on the floor.  Chigusa and Plum come back in, where Chigusa hits a piledriver for 1.  She heads up top; Plum recovers and tries for a Frankenstein, but Devil holds her up in mid-air and Chigusa hits a Superbomb for the pin at 29:50.   Postmatch Oz gets all up in Chigusa's area and we get a pull-apart, and the crowd reaction is great for the small, high-pitched "Chigusa!"
chant and a big-ass, deeper-sounding "OZAKI!!" chant going on at the same time.  Great match, with the two-count stip adding a sense of urgency to the proceedings.

RINGS commercial.  Hey, Maeda's still in shape here- this IS old!

2-11-94
HIKARI FUKUOKA vs. CUTIE SUZUKI:
JIP at the 10-minute mark with them brawling on the floor.  Good action going back-and-forth the whole way until Fukuoka hits her moonsault and gets the upset pin at 21:10, but seems like something was missing here.  The fact that they didn't join the match until the 10-minute mark and apparently proceeded to cut a chunk out of what *did* air didn't help matters.

Footage of Plum learning submission from the former national sambo champion (Mr. Tanaka), interspersed with one of VOLK MOTHERFUCKING HAN!'s more preposterous holds, leads into...

PLUM MARIKO vs. CHIGUSA NAGAYO:
Plum just SMOKES down to the ring and jumps Chigusa before the intros, taking her into the crowd and juicing her with a chairshot.  Chigusa staggers onto the floor only to be met with a Plum silla.  Match finally heads back inside where Plum works on the cut and converts a Chigusa lariat attempt into a wakigatamae.  Chigusa comes back with kicks and a cross-armbreaker but Plum easily escapes it.  Plum's going hardcore heel here, biting Chigusa's cut, choking her out and flipping off the schoolgirls as they try to rally their idol Chigusa on.  Chigusa comes back with some nasty kicks and slaps on an STF, then refuses to break the hold when Plum reaches the ropes, so now it's HER turn to flip off the fans when they boo her.  Chigusa starts to work on Plum's ankles (revenge for last month?), slapping on a sharpshooter and punching Plum a couple of times before flipping her over to earn more wrath from the males in the house.  Chigusa takes Plum outside and chairs her, then grabs the house mic and lays the smackudownu on the anti-Chigusa patrons.  Chigusa calls for a sleeperhold, but Plum reverses into a crossface-chickenwing.  Plum hits some suplexes on Chigusa and goes to a sleeper of her own, then kicks Chigusa to the floor after she gets a rope-break.  Chigusa comes back in and slams Plum, but Plum comes back by reversing another Chigusa lariat try into the Stretch Plum.  Chigusa's almost at the ropes when Plum turns it into a German suplex for two, then hits her with a silla.  Chigusa blocks a second silla attempt and goes for a crab, but Plum reverses into a modified waki.  She sets Chigusa on top but Chigusa slaps her down twice then kicks her to the mat, then levels her with more kicks and Plum takes an 8-count.  Plum takes another standing eight off the kicks but blocks another kick attempt and slaps on an STF.  Chigusa eventually gets a break but Plum quickly gets the rolling anklelock on her.  Plum kicks away at Chigusa's leg
some more and re-applies the hold until Chigusa can get to the ropes.  Plum heads up top, but Chigusa kicks her on the way down and slaps on a sleeper.  Plum struggles for the better part of two minutes but finally succumbs at 22:40.  Postmatch higusa gets the mic and continues her comedic stylings from before until Cutie runs in and jumps her, and we have a schmozz in the making until Masa Yamamoto (JWP president and co-ring announcer) calms things down over the mic.  AWESOME match... if Plum ever had a better singles match then I've yet to see it.

DEVIL MASAMI/CANDY OKUTSU vs. MAYUMI OZAKI/DYNAMITE KANSAI:
Devil in white fringe is BEYOND weird... the only thing stranger I can imagine is the Undertaker coming out wearing a Chivas Rayadas mask.  The announcer describes the opening exchange between Oz and Devil as a "slow start"- truer words have never been spoken in wrestling. ;)  The match proper is OK, but at least from a TV standpoint it doesn't have a chance following the Plum-Chigusa classic.  The main focus here is on Candy vs. Dynamite, with Candy trying to use her flying moves to offset Dynamite's kicks and power.  Devil pulls off a move I've never seen before, as she slaps a Romero Special on Oz and puts Oz in a Dragon sleeper at the same time!  Neato!  Dynamite hits a top-rope footstomp on Devil, then gives her the Tsutenkaku Special while Oz comes off the top at the same time with a lariat.  Candy tags in but Dynamite destroys her with a backdrop and hits Splash Mountain, but Devil makes the save.  Dynamite goes for it again, but Devil kicks the leg out of her leg and Candy gets a near-fall.  Devil soon gets the hot tag, lays out both Dynamite and Oz and proceeds to CRUSH the both of them with a senton off the top for 2.  She heads back up and hits a legdrop on Dynamite but Oz saves.  Devil gets a Dragon sleeper on Dynamite and Oz saves again.  Another top-rope legdrop- same result.  Now Devil tags in Candy, and the crowd collectively says "Uh-oh."  Candy hits a missile dropkick on Dynamite while Devil has her in the vertical suplex position and gets a near-fall.  Devil powerbombs Dynamite and tries to give Candy a Jumbo Suplex onto her, but Oz breaks it up.  Devil gives Oz the Jumbo and tries it again with Candy, but Dynamite gets her legs up.  Oz ties up Devil while Dynamite rolls up Candy for a pin that totally deflates the crowd at 25:54.  Shitty finish to a decent match.

Overall an OK tape for JWP, but there are better shows out there.  You absolutely CANNOT go wrong with Plum-Chigusa though...
~#~
The WWF's Even More Unusual Matches
(PHIL RIPPA!)
I lost all ambition this week so my idea of reviewing some All Japan Women went out the window. Instead, this is my tomato can for the week. Maybe next week.

Bruno Sammartino vs. Randy Savage
Lumberjack match for Intercontiental Title I gag when I hear the announcer say that this match has a 1 hour time limit.  That is a really old and slow Bruno in that ring. I don't think this is going go more than 10 minutes. Bruno's entire offense consists of trying to hit Savage with his knee and trying to throw him into the turnbuckle. King Kong Bundy waffles Bruno every time he gets thrown out of the ring while Ricky Steamboat is just itching to get his hands on Savage. Hey Frenchy Martin is at ringside. Good to see he was collecting a paycheck that week. Savage oversells everything adding to the absurd nature of the match. Sammartino applies the bearhug which brings Bundy into the ring to make the save. Steamboat hops in the ring and those four brawl while the other lumberjacks just look on like idiots. Finally they remember "hey we're supposed to be doing that too." Big brawl last 10 seconds and then the match is over. I hate Lumberjack matches.

$50,000 Tag Team Battle Royal
We join this match as Bret Hart and the Dynamite Kid are eliminating themselves cementing the fact that I am not going to care about this match. Last two teams are King Kong Bundy/Big John Studd against the Islanders, who are Kama and Haku (the Mighty MEEEEEENNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!). Kama gets the Avalanche in the corner and sells it like he will be coughing up pieces of rib for a week. Haku does the CHOP OF FEAR! and the PUNCH OF FEAR! He avoids a charge from Studd and Bundy gets eliminated by his own partner. The Islanders win and I am mildly surprised. Still nowhere near being watchable.

Hulk Hogan vs. Harley Race - Texas Death Match:
This match takes place in Madison Square Garden and it starts off with Howard Finkel explaining the rules and telling the front row fans to leave or "stay at their own risk". This "Texas Death Match" is not really a true Texas Death Match - in reality it is just a NO DQ match. I haven't watched a Harley Race match in a long time and I forgot that he does the Terry Funk freaky selling of everything which is kinda cool in one respect but looks really weird at other times. At least Race is trying. The first five minutes of the match
consist of Hogan choking Race with various objects and breaking a chair over his head. Race mocks Hogan by doing the LITTLE TRICKLE OF BLOOD bladejob. Hogan chases Heenan. Hogan no sells Race's punches. That carries on for a little while. Race manages to hit a piledriver to get on the offensive. Heenan throws the title belt in and Harley Benoit goes for the diving headbutt but ends up with a face full of championship gold. Hogan dances for rain and then hits Race with the belt again and pins him. Weird. No leg drop. Again all kudos go to Race for trying.

Hulk Hogan vs. Harley Race - Texas Death Match:
This is the rematch from the Boston Gardens. It the same match as the first one only they change the order of events a little. The ending is exactly the same. Fast Forward button usage recommended.

Hercules vs. Billy Jack Haynes - Chain Match:
Hey Hercules is the Master of the Chain Match. It's True! Gorilla Monsoon just told me. You win the match by pinfall not the touch all four corners crap. The second stipulation of the match is "Whoever does the more absurd bladejob wins". The winner of that is Hercules who gets colored (I'm so inside) after getting crotched by the chain. No, no, no, he bleeds from the forehead which is why it is so perposterous. Hercules must of hit a vein or something because he ends up with his entire face covered, gets specks on his stomach and splatters some on the ref. If you noticed I am not talking about the actual match because IT STINKS. When Hercules has to do the carrying then you are not a good wrestler. I'm looking at you Mr. Haynes. Hercules wins after tying Haynes up with the chain.

Judy Martin/Lelani Kai vs. Penny Mitchell/Candice Pardue:
Like a nimrod, I actually wrote "Penny Marshall" down in my notes. Martin and Kai look old even during this match. And their asses still take up half the screen. This match is on the tape because of the ending (according to the makers of the tape). Craig DeGeorge and Johnny V. carry on about the "amazing, devastating" hold that wins the match. How they have never see it before Yadda Yadda Yadda. The "move" turns out to be a powerbomb which Gorilla Monsoon says he has never seen before and Lord Alfred Hayes claims it is called the Drip Dry in England. Okay, moving right along.

Hogan/Haynes vs. The Hart Foundation and Danny Davis
This match is truly horrid. Bret Hart wrestles for all of a minute. That means lots of Neidhart vs. Hogan and Neidhart vs. Haynes. My VCR started smoking and the fast forwarding was working overtime.

Bunkhouse Battle Royal
No Dusty Rhodes in this one so he isn't going to book himself to win this one like all the Bunkhouse Stampedes. Fortunately, Rhodes will not being rearing his splotchy, polka dotted ass in the WWF for another 10 years. The "come as you are" rule gives us the treat of seeing 15 guys in jeans and cowboy boots, Haku in the BICYCLE PANTS OF FEAR! King Kong Bundy looking like he just bowled a 215 down at Earl Anthony's, and Lanny Poffo's dumbass in a suit of armor. It should be noted that Poffo is like the third guy eliminated. Scotty McGee manages to cripple himself as he gets tossed out of the ring. The final three are Bundy, Blackjack Mulligan and the Duke of Dorchester which is leading me to guess that this match was originating from the Boston Gardens. Bundy tricks the Duke into climbing the ropes and then promptly eliminates him. The Duke grabs a chair, comes back in and waffles Bundy which helps to get rid of him. Oh boy, Mulligan wins. I think I am going to puke.
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J'D TV- 5/1999- LIONESS ASKA vs KYOKO INOUE- (RASMUSSEN)
Golly, I guess this doesn't actually rank up with the other two great ones these two have had in the last twelve months, but it does get win, place and show for greatest bump I've seen this year- as Lionness ascends to the top turnbuckle and DOUBLE STOMPS Inoue through a table.  We here in Death Valley Land love to make cheap jokes about what a reubenesque beauty Kyoko Inoue has become, but she ain't afraid to take THIS bump like a motherfucker and hats off and  here's looking at you, young Kyoko- because THIS junk was BONE. The rest of the match was the usual Lioness Carrying Kyoko into Joshi Puroresu Middle Age Greatness.
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W*ING JR. HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE: THUNDERBIRD COMO vs. CANADIAN TIGER- (W*ING 6-18-93, Korakuen): (POGo PETE STEIN!)
Brett Como was the toast of W*ING for a few months during the summer of 1993, wowing fans with his flying moveset including being perhaps the first gaijin to hit the Shooting-Star Press.  OTOH you have Tigre Canadiense, a solid if unspectacular junior who's kicked around groups as diverse as Stampede, All Japan, W*ING and EMLL.  The match they have here isn't all that special in and of itself since Como's shoulder is heavily taped and he's somewhat grounded.  However, this match is an absolute must-see for the smart-asses that make up the dearly-departed W*ING's Tokyo fan base.  They immediately pick up on Tiger's habit of yelling "YEAH!" every time he hits a move... before  long you've got the Japanese equilavent of an ECW crowd watching a Hack Myers match as the entire building screams "YEAH!"  Dropkick- "YEAH!"  Forearm- "YEAH!"  Whip to the ropes- "whoaaaaaaaaaaYEAH!!!" as Tiger hits a move on the rebound.  Goes for a cover- "YEAH!  YEAH!" for each count.  I was watching this last week with Rev Ray and DVDVR stringer Jon Boy when he was in town, and we were absolutely DYING by the end of the match.  Oh yeah, the match!  Tiger hits an enzuigiri on Como and goes for a clothesline ("YEAH!"), but Como backdrops him to the floor, steps onto the apron and hits a sweet Asai moonsault.  Back inside Como gives Tiger a gutbuster, heads up top and hits the SSP, but Tiger kicks out at 2.  Como appeals for the ref to count faster, but while this is going on Tiger gives him a horrible roll-up for an even worse finish, as Como clearly kicks out even while the ref counts him out at 11:31.  So the match isn't too hot, but the crowd TOTALLY ROCKS.  Get this if you want some laughs that don't come at the expense of actually bad wrestling.

(USELESS INFORMATION FROM DEAN: COMO is Thunderbird in Mexico and was the infamous ULTIMATE Dragon in the WAR International Juniors Tourney.)
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WWF TV- The Hardy Boys vs. The New Rockers - Sometime in 1996 (RIPPER!)
Being the town crier of all things Hardy, I wanted to go over one of the early (if not earliest) Hardy TV appearances. This was the first of the many "Crazy" Al Snow gimmicks- while the Hardy's are not yet from the street. Jeff is all of maybe 15 here but he is still not afraid to land on his head about 4 times. It is a squash for the New Rockers as they toy with the rookies. They torment Jeff by pulling his bandana over his eyes and suddenly Jeff is doing his best Jimmy Garvin impression. A decent match for a squash. It is more fun from the nostalgic stand point. The next memorable Hardy appearance is when then get killed by Kane on RAW. They bumped like freaks then too. (Remember: 2010 World Heavyweight Champion - Matt Hardy. 2010 - Jeff Hardy in wheelchair.)
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ALL JAPAN TV - Mitsaharu Misawa/ Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Jun Akiyama/ Kenta Kobashi - 3/6/99 - (SCHNEIDER)
Most All Japan tag matches follow a similar format, thus except for thetruly exceptional ones, they all tend to blend together. For example I can tell you the best Misawa / Kobashi v. Taue / Kawada match was on 6/11/95,For the life of me I can't tell you what there second best match was. The thing that separated this match was the performance of Yoshinari Ogawa.Ogawa has long been a seedy presence on All Japan undercards, the guy who looked like a meth dealer, who was always putting over Asako. Well Misawagot dumped on his head a lot and decided to upgrade Ogawa to the big leagues, and bizarrely Yoshinari delivers. Ogawa's MOVE SET is really different from the other workers in the match, as he does a lot of matworkish kind of stuff, the opening is great as he ties up Akiyama with aseries of arm ringers and shoves him into Kobashi, when Akiyama comes, flying out Ogawa gives a drop toe hold and slaps on an armbar. Misawa andOgawa also do this do-si-do which is very Fantastics in a goofy double teaming way (they do it once successfully, and once Ogawa do-si-do's Misawainto an Exploder, in a neat spot).  The bulk of this match was Akiyama and Kobashi working over Misawa and Ogawa, Misawa took his requisite insanebumps including a half nelson suplex right on his head, a corner powerbomb right on his head, and a t-bone suplex (let's all sing along now) right onhis head. This match had the super hot ending, as Akiyama and Ogawa squared off, with Akiyama dominating, but Ogawa getting a couple of flash pinattempts to big pops. I am not so sure how the elevation of guys like Omori and Takayama will end up, but I think the Ogawa experiment has worked well,as his presence was the added dimension which made this a Match of the Year candidate.
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....AND YOUR WRESTLER OF THE WEEK: SABU!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
SABU vs. ROB VAN DAM- All Japan- 5-31-97, Sendai: (POGO PETE STEIN!)
Perhaps not the best match they've ever had with each other, but it's unique in that it's being presented for the cleanest and most polite crowd they've ever worked in front of.  ;)  Pose-off at the bell is followed with a minute or two of matwork before RVD drops Sabu and hits his rolling splash off the ropes.  Sabu comes back with a sprinngboard dropkick that sends RVD to the floor... then the REAL fun starts for this crowd as he sends RVD into the seats with a baseball slide.  Sabu ejects an NWO-shirt-bedecked fan from his chair, throws it into the ring, heads in himself and does the triple-jump plancha onto RVD two zip-codes away in the stands to a GIGANTIC pop.  Both guys duel with some chairs until RVD knocks Sabu's away; Sabu gives RVD a spear but RVD chairs Sabu on the mat.  He sets Sabu on top and opens the chair, but Sabu recovers and gives RVD the Arabian legdrop onto the chair.  More Chair-Fu hijinks follow until RVD takes Sabu outside and sends him over the rail with a spin kick, then drapes him onto the rail and hits the corkscrew legdrop.  They head back inside where a recovered Sabu crotches RVD on the top rope and Frankensteins him down.  RVD returns the favor and kicks him all the way to the  floor, then follows with a beautiful hands-free tope con hilo.  They head back in and go back-and-forth until Sabu grabs a chair from outside and chucks it at RVD's head.  RVD steals it and gives him the Van Daminator, but Sabu kicks out.  RVD then notices that one of the seconds is putting the chair back behind the rail, so he steals it again but this time Chair-Fu backfires as Sabu throws it at him.  Now we get Table-Fu as Sabu crotches RVD on the rail and hits him with said table.  Sabu sets RVD on the table, but it's one of those tables that graduated from the Power Plant as it barely bends even after Sabu splashes RVD twice.  Now Sabu goes back to Chair-Fu and tries for a splash into the corner with RVD on top, but RVD kicks him in mid-air and then gives him a dropkick to the face with the chair.  RVD places the chair on Sabu and hits the Hollywood Star Press, then starts selling his own ribs.  The crowd has finally given up on this being a serious match as they start laughing like RVD didn't know this was going to happen.  Sabu finally gives Sabu a Frankenstein onto the chair, hits the ropes and does the triple-jump moonsault to pin RVD at 15:49, and both guys do the other's pose out of... something.  I'd say respect except they probably thought it'd be cool in the middle of their bowl before the match.  Crowd was shockingly receptive to all of this, I guess because it was different from the head-dropping.

Sabu vs. The Lightning Kid - NWA Grandslam 1993- (PHIL RIPPA!) Danger, Will Robinson! Danger! Big fat guy in Hawaiian shirt on the loose. That's right kids, Oliver Humperdink waddles around with a shirt big enough to encase a small Tibetan village. Humperdink is so God Damn fat that he can't button his shirt and all 300 people in some gym in Minnesota get to lose their lunch seeing his bulbous figure. Anyway, this match is one of my favorite Sabu matches as Mr. Clutch and Grab doesn't do much clutching or grabbing. Meanwhile, Sean Waltman is all young and suicidal and willing to do a level #9 blade job for our pleasure. More on that later though.  Match starts off on the mat as Sabu starts to work over a leg and the Kid's answer is to repeatedly blast Sabu in the face. The best example of this is a spin kick that looks like it cracks Sabu's jaw in about 4 places. God bless the young and peppy Kid. Aaah, the wonders of youth. Waltman gives himself concussion #4 of his young career by missing a charge into the corner. Sabu takes advantage and the high spots start coming. Sabu hits a tope con hilo that the cameraman Triple A's the hell out of it. Sabu follows up with an Asai Moonsault. It is at this point that Humperdink rolls over and posts the Kid. The Kid whips out his friend Mr. Razor Blade and opens up a gash that would make Sabu's uncle wince. By the time he is done mangling his face there is a blood spot on the floor. Sabu hits a powerbomb to the floor, which leaves another stain on the floor. Back in the ring and Sabu starts to go for the win. A double jump moonsault sets up the split-legged moonsault but the Kid gets the knees up of the latter. Kid goes up top but he sells being woozy (at least I will say he is selling it. God knows he could be loopy thanks to the gusher he has) and gets crotched by Sabu. Top rana connects. Sabu puts the Kid back up on the top turnbuckle. Kid blocks and reverses into what is supposed to be a powerbomb. What it ends up being is Sabu landing straight on his head and compressing vertebrae #5 through #8. Now it is Sabu's turn to be woozy. The Lightning Kid hits the running short leg-drops - which is my favorite move of his. Sabu to the floor. Head fake into a plancha by the Kid. Then an out of control senton kills Sabu and the some yahoos in the front row. Everyone staggers back into the ring. Big ref bump as Sabu pulls the ref into a dropkick. Sabu punches the ref to hammer home the DQ. Crappy ending to a very good match. Post match sees Sabu and Humperdick open Kid's cut some more. Then Jerry Lynn makes the worst save in the history of saves (if you ignore the Seattle Mariners' bullpen). The plastic chair Lynn carries gets caught in the ropes and you can practical see Lynn saying "Wait guys. I'm coming. Boy and when I get there, oh there will  be Hell to pay. If you can help me get this chair into the ring." Oh well. Watch this match. And then watch the Sabu/Lynn match that was set-up by the  run in.

Rob Van Damn v. Sabu -Stretcher match- ECW 1996 (SCHNEIDER)- When I first watched this match I thought it was one of the top five matches of 1996.  It really hasn't aged well as Jeff Hardy, Billy Kidman and Mick Foley have really raised the bar for crazy bumps and this match is basically a collection of big bumps.  However I think this was still the perfect platform for Sabu's unique psychology, he has always had a big problem building his matches to a finish, while this match just required both guys to kill themselves until one couldn't stand.  Some of the crazy spots in this match include Sabu doing an Asai moonsault onto a prone Van Damn who is on the stretcher, with Sabu smashing his ankles on the guardrail, a fisherman's buster by Van Damn through a table which is stretched between the guard rails, and a somersault plancha by Van Damn with Rob smashing his head right on the stretcher (which was a cushion over metal and has no give.)  Another thing I dug about this match was the Sabu highflying.  Sabu is not a graceful highlfyer like Mr. Niebla or Hayabusa, he always looks out of control and dangerous, that works real well in a match like this which in prefaced on the idea of both guys doing anything to survive.  Watching it again I realize it wasn't the classic I originally thought it was, but it was a fun little match and worth popping in the VCR.

SABU vs THE DIRTBIKE KID- 7/7/95-WOW (LONDON) : (RASMUSSEN!)  [LONG-WINDED BACKSTORY (or life of a wrestling tape that isn't Big Japan In My House):  When SChneider thought of this new little segment and pitched it to me (we're so SHOW BIZ~~~!!),  I immediately pushed for Sabu since I have been looking for an excuse to actually watch this match.   The Amazingly Great and Elusive Rob mothafukkin  Newlin sent me this UK handheld- CRIPES!- three years ago? and it's been stuck in my "I'm Gonna Watch This Here Tape REAL SOON" stack ever since.  And I can't figure it out since even dirtworst UK indie stuff is usually better than average US indie and I'll watch US indie stuff nearly immediately upon it being handed to me by Hangman Tim.  I think the influx of the glory of BattlARTS, IRWG,  the Funtabulously gargantuan GLENN~! TAPES, Lorefice being the KING and sending more wrestling than a mere mortal can watch, and with Schneider fearlessly gathering up all the  Japan Indie sleazarama in cyberspace- it has all kept me from this tape but there is still no excuse that something as cool and exotic as a UK Indie Handheld slipped through the cracks of the gaze of your beloved DRIVER.  For some reason Schneider's idea triggered my memory, so here you go. Grab some...uh Bangers and Mash, throw in a BMX Bandits cd and GEAR UP! ]    Maybe Sabu out of ECW is quite the okay wrestler.  Without the "smart" mutant's pressure to do forty highspots in five minutes, Sabu actually builds up to his highspots off the mat, sets up his highspots and actually builds the match to a finish (when Sabu finally gets the first table and hits two senton variations to the floor to head to the finish- and the finish was actually related to the highspot, unlike any other match I've seen Sabu in).  Of course, this was 1995, when EVERYTHING Sabu did in the ring highspot-wise wasn't overshadowed by better, faster, more graceful, more psychologically-sound wrestlers from Mexico and Japan, so he may not have felt the urge to destroy six tables in an average match yet.  Sabu and young English Highflyer (and 1999 Michinoku Mask Tournament guy) Dirtbike Kid actually take it to the mat for a while and it wasn't overly embarrassing or anything.  The main thing was that it was something semi-interesting to seperate the spurts of Sabu landing right on top of his head (ah.... just like he used to....)  This was a whole lot closer to a lowgrade New Japan Juniors match than he ever actually pulled off anywhere in Japan.  Actually, Sabu and Dirtbike sell more for each big highspot than anyone ever has in New Japan.  I was surprised.  I figured this would be a Prototypical and Archtypical LATE nineties highspotfest, when actually it was a lot deeper and a lot better than your random Twiggy Ramirex vs Reckless Youth match.  Hell, maybe it was the super mod Union Jack Ring Apron cover or the amazingly hot London crowd- either way, it was WAAAAAAY better than I thought it would be.
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NEXT WEEK: NAIMARK's big Gracie Dealio should bve ready to roll.  Other than that- Hell, I dunno.  Beautiful Aja is wrestler of the week.  ASSUREDLY there will be WADS of wrestling.
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YOUR DEATH VALLEY PLAYBOYS.
SIX FISTS IN THE FACE OF WRESTLING.
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Play ALL WORLD COWBOY ROMANCE by Mission Of Burma in your head.
 
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