WELCOME TO DEATH VALLEY DRIVER VIDEO REVIEW #104!


Hello!  I finally get to delve into the weirdness that was tacked onto the end of the Michinoku Pro tape that I ended up buying twice (see Emporium Page Of ((Qualified)) Hate at  DVDVR CyberHeadquarters).  Me n Pete are trying to see who can get in the seediest Puroresu promotion reviews this year and I had to trump his early 90's FMW with NEW! NOW!- so judge for yourself.  Schneider continues his Journey Into WOMANLINESS as he tackles the foxy ladies of GAEA- as Rev Ray takes a seperate Estrogen-soaked Journey as he wonders aloud about that there JWP.  ALL THAT AND RIPPA TOO! We will be Naimarkless this week as he  is still concocting the Flying Dutchman called HISTORY OF THE GRACIES- so we will keep you abreast (tee-hee!)  SWEET GOD! LOOKIT ALLLLLLLLL OF MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.....

#$#$#$#$#$#$#$ NEW! NOW!- on SAMURAITV!'s famed BATTLSTATION!- 4/99.
(DEAN RASMUSSEN!)
YOUR BACKSTORY: I was trying to figure out what else to stick on the six hour tape after the trade with Adam took so many hideous embarrassing turns- so's I talk to my fellow-Wrestling FREAK- Tim Noel- and I says to him, "Hey, Tim.  Whaddya got in that Lynch Update I actually gotta buy something.  Look in the Big Japan section" (as we all wanna get our mitts on that Honma/Yamakawa match already.)  He mentions that NOW! has a show listed and I remind him that NOW! was the sleazy promotion that became the MegaRegeneratively sleazy promotion called FMW and ask him if it's the same.  He gives me on his "How the fuck am I supposed to know" dramatic pauses and I get the tape number from him- waiting for the hideous and beautiful thing call Sleaziod Japanese Indie World in my mailbox!  WOO-HOO! Then it got here! WOO-HOO!  This was plenty weird and had wads of legit Joshi stuff on it, so it was a good investment- all in all.

Yasha Kurenai/Keiko Aono vs. Emi Motokawa/Sachie Nishibori:
WHOMP ASS! It's EMI~! with her lil IWA sister- the capable little luchaette calles Nishibori! HEY!  It's the superhot Yasha Kurenai- contemplating retirement here with her LLPW compatriot Aono and looking superfine while contemplating such!  Things are already looking up (so to speak). Emi is all spunky as she stooges Yasha  with an eye-poke that was quite akin to Kinard Lang in the Giants game, all this after crimping Aono's legs with a superfab La Tapatia.  Emi and suddenly-no-longer -Canadian-flag-bedecked Nishibori make with some low-grade highflying, Aono nearly kills Emi with sloppiness and Nishibori succumbs to Yasha's comical finisher.  EMI~! needs to find the way to GAEA already.

Isao Takagi /Yuichi Taniguchi vs. Daisaku/Yusaku:
AN ACTUAL CONVERSATION transcribed by Dean Rasmussen.

(DEAN RASMUSSEN and PHIL SCHNEIDER are bored and talking on the phone while dean is trying bluster his way through a tape to review for the now weekly Death Valley Driver Video Review)

DEAN RASMUSSEN: How the fuck am I gonna review this?  I have no idea who any of these guys are.

PHIL SCHNEIDER: So.  Nobody else will know either.  Just make it up.

DR: Yeah, I could make all these fake histories of their lives and shit.  It'll be all about the funny....

PS: HEY WAIT! I'll get the book (Idol sent me.)

(Boston Idol sent Phil this COOL-ASS wrestling index because- HELL!- Idol is the coolest motherfucker in the entire world.  He sent it to Phil along with wads of TRES SWANK APW for Phil to review- and then, in one of my many lapses of reason,  I decided that IIIII should review it- so Phil sent it to me to review and then DVDVR #100 came up and we all quivered in fear of writing anything for two months.  SO we talk quite fondly of reviewing all of it.  The same thing with the fucking mountain of TRES SWANK WPW that Tom sent.  We also talk about doing a big Lucha Index.  We also talk about world peace and the LA Clippers not sucking in the future.)

DR: COOL!

PS: This could take a while since I'm just looking for the name. Taniguchi is the one that's fat

DR: The one's that FAT? It's Japanese Indie.  That means nothing.  Is he REALLY fat with like a leopard outfit on?

PS: Yeah this guys a real roundfaced hog but he's got a Kendo Nagasaki shirt on in the book. YEah it says New Now right here next to the picture.  He's 15 kilograms more than Shoji Nakamaki according to the book...

DR: Yeah fatter than Nakamaki.  That's the one in the leopard suit. What about Takagi?

PS:  Let me look in the Dramatic Dream Team section... Ah Dramatic Dream Team! Takagi is not as fat, big nose, and pock-marked face. A really big nose.

DR: He's got a bandage on his - I guess big- nose.  He looks kinda old with sucken eyes?

PS: Yeah.  Who are the other two?

DR: Diasaku and Yusaka.

PS: Oh, they  are Dramatic Dream Team too.  Daisaku is the one with the kicker boots and baggy pants.  He looks real womanly  in the face one ,  You wanna kissem on the mouth or something. (we all laugh an uncomfortable laugh)

DR: Do you want to leave in the part about kissing him on the mouth?

PS: Yeah, It'll be funny and we're all about the funny. Yusaku looks like he has light hair...

DR: Looks like Kojima?

PS: Yeah sorta.  In his profile, it's all in Japanese except in English it says 'ENDLESS LOVE'.

DR: NO WAY! THAT'S AWWESOME.

PS: Ah fuck that's my phone dying.  You gonna be up a while?  I'll call you back in forty five minutes.

DR: Yeah I'll be up writing this stuff.  I'll review everything up to the Great Takeru match and we'll figure out who's who in that.  The wrestling in this one means absolutely nothing.

Mizaki Kana/Carlos Amano vs. Azumi Hyuga/Ran Yu-Yu:
I'm still baffled asa to why JWP changed all their wrestlers' names right as I had finally started to figure out who is who.  Eh, it's transplanted JWP gals so it has to be.... something.   Azumi is Kazumi and Azumi by any other name would make feel like as much of a pig for being so filled with funny feelings while being old enough to her much older  uncle.  This match was pretty cool- as one always forgets that Azumi is really great, being the suplex machine in this.  Ran Yu-Yu (HAHAHAHA!) and Hot Carl Amano go all shooty for awhile and it basically breaks down to every JWP youngster match you've seen with these gals in them, with Azumi flying and suplexing like a Near Superstar and Amano doing freaky shootstyle-cum-lucha set-ups for assorted Cross-Armbreakers.  Kana is quite the cute little ass-stomping powerhouse also.  Fifty finishers later and Amano with the CAB on RAN YU-YU!

Great Takeru/Keizo Matsuda/Leisuke Yamada vs. Shiningami/Onryo/Sato:
(Schneider calls back- A SYNOPSIS!)
PS: "Matsuda- Flat top, Big jaw, wide head."  "(YAmada) big hair, lots of zits. In his profile, in English it says "VOICE OF AMERICA."
~!~
PS: Shiningami is the shittier of the Zombies (not Onryo).

DR: Ah, the one that does the claw.  What about Sato?

PS: He's the one that isn't a ZOMBIE.

DR: Oh... yeah. Of course.  He's all scrawny and mealy.
(Schneider then realizes that all the English stuff in everybody's profile  is their entrance music- so Endless Love written there is now an AMAZINGLY COOLER thing to know.  How balls out can you be? )

THE MATCH: This was horrible.  The Great Takeru ain't so great.  They do the "ref bump/ schoolboy on the heel" finish- which is just as well, I guess.

PART TWO NEXT WEEK as it will bleed into the HOT BIG JAPAN COVERAGE! MOTEGI!

~$~

#$#$#$#$#$ FMW CHAMP FORUM - 2/23/96, Korakuen Hall.
(POGO PETE STEIN!)
Hey, it's the Japanese-cum-Mexican guy in the mask.  He's also wearing a serape so we get the "starchild" effect when he walks in front of the blue screen with the Champ Forum logo on it.  =)

TAKA MICHINOKU/SHOICHI FUNAKI vs. KOJI NAKAGAWA/WILD SHOOTER:
It's Indy Scum Tag Wars as pre-KDX TAKA and Funaki take on Koji and Shooter (I'm gonna kick myself when I remember who he is).  Focus here is between Koji and TAKA, who is challenging for Koji's FMW Juniors title at Kawasaki Stadium in May, and TAKA is ungodly over with the Korakuen folks.  Funaki "KO's" Koji with a sleeper and Shooter has to go 1-on-2 (Orihara?  He hits the moonsault to the floor...), but Koji Shamrock revives and snaps on Ted Tanabe and TAKA.  He destroys TAKA on the floor, saves Shooter from tapping out to Funaki's figure-four, powerbombs the crap out of TAKA and hits a Liger Bomb for the pin at 10:57.  Interesting booking to have the champ beat the challenger before the title match...

STREETFIGHT:  SHARK TSUCHIYA/CRUSHER MAEDOMARI/BAD NURSE NAKAMURA vs.  MEGUMI KUDO/YUKARI ISHIKURA/KAORI NAKAYAMA:
JIP with Kaori and Yukari already juicing from Shark's weaponry, so at the very least we're spared watching the bitch cut them up.  Hey, Bad Nurse uses a rolling cradle!  Bad nurse!  BAD NURSE!  To her credit, she *is* selling for the youngsters unlike her cohorts.  Crusher does pull off the coolest move I've ever seen her do, a sort of Thunder Fire double-underhook facebuster on Kaori.  Kudo pretty much stays out of the way here, letting her teammates get the big moves like Kaori hitting a plancha to the floor on Crusher.  Finisher comes when Kudo ducks a double-clothesline from Shark and Crusher and hits her SpinningKudo Driver on Bad Nurse for the pin at 17:47.  Of course Shark needs her heat <***SARCASM***>, so she jumps Kudo and they brawl to the back while Crusher and Bad Nurse take out Yukari and Kaori.  Combat Toyoda soon makes the save and CUTS A PROMO on Kudo for her retirement match at Kawasaki.  What aired was actually OK as the worthlessness of Shark
& Co., Ltd. wasn't televised this time around.

SCRAMBLE BUNKHOUSE WARGAMES:  MASATO TANAKA/TETSUHIRO KURODA/RICKY FUJI vs. MITSUHIRO MATSUNAGA/W*ING KANEMURA/HIDO:
Neat Wargames setup consisting of a regular cage with a BWBB suspended over the ring and a ladder to reach it, plus handcuffs attached to the cage to cuff people to.  Hido and Tanaka start off and nothing of note happens.  Kuroda and Kanemura come in next (the other wrinkle: each team sends in one person at a time), but Kanemura runs around and chairs Kuroda while he tries to climb in.  Kuroda sends Kanemura into the cage, climbs in and tips the ladder over just as Hido is about go grab the BWBB so he takes a sick bump onto the apron.  W*ING Army takes over and Hido holds Tanaka while Kanemura climbs the ladder, but Kuroda hits him with a lariat off the top.  Tanaka whips Hido to the buckles and hits him with the BWBB while Kuroda uses the ladder Cachorru-style and disembowels Kanemura with it.  Finally Matsunaga and Fuji come in... what does this say for Fuji that he loses a foot-race to Matsunaga on those bionic knees of his?   Tanaka heads all the way to the top of the cage and hits a DROPKICK on Kanemura! Matsunaga then loses his mind (again...) and goes to the top of the cage himself, but Tanaka joins him and slams him to the mat.  Finally Kanemura completes the Temporary Insanity trifecta by scaling the cage and putting Tanaka through a table with a splash.  Team FMW comes back as Tanaka elbows the crap out of Kanemura while Kuroda uses Hido's head like a paper-puncher and makes a big hole in the table.  Kanemura comes back and hits the Human Torch on Kuroda on the table but Kuroda kicks out.  W*ING come back and give Kuroda a Superbomb, then cuff him to the cage.  Kanemura and Hido hit a double Human Torch on Tanaka but he kicks out.  Fuji and Tanaka set up the now-destroyed ladder on the ropes, add a chair and set Matsunaga there... it collapses, but Fuji heads up top anyway and splashes Matsunaga.  Kuroda ties up Hido while Fuji and Tanaka give Matsunaga a double fishermanbuster, then Tanaka hits a screwdriver on Kanemura for a near-fall.  Tanaka hits a Tornado DDT on Kanemura, then suddenly a wrestling match breaks out as the two work a cool sequence until Tanaka hits the (Roaring/Rolling) Elbow for the pin at 16:50.  Postmatch Victor Quinones and the Vicronies debut as he, Mr. Pogo and the Headhunters hit the ring and destroy both teams.  Really great match, as all six guys were working at a million miles an hour and everything was focused on the ring due to the cage. One of the better garbage matches you'll ever see.

~#~

@#@#@#@#@#@#@ Hikari Fukuoka  Retirement Show -  3/28/99
(REV RAY DUFFY!)
The show opens with Hikari dropping the Open Weight class title to Azumi Hyuga after Azumi has her fucking ribs destroyed with a moonsault stomp. Azumi hits an MD-II, a spider german and another MD-II to win the belt.

Ran Yu Yu/Kayoko Haruyama vs. Yuka Nakamura/Yoshiko Tamura (Neo ladies) :
The Neo gals charge at the bell and Ran... ummmm. breaks Yuka with an elbow smash at the start.  Nakamura's body is carried to the back and Misae Genki steps in in her warm up outfit and a t-shirt to sub for her fallen lil' buddy.  Tamura throws me by not wearing her usual color scheme.  Genki beats up on Kayoko and throws her to Ran to tag in.  Ran and Genki wail on each other with chops and slaps at the start with Genki taking over and working a half crab.  Tamura gets the tag and stomps down Yu Yu before eating a forearm in the corner.  Both gals take turns killing the other with low level release gemans.  Kayoko gets in her butt drop roll over into a bridge and a spine bomb both which are kicked out of.  Kayoko's top rope offense usually backfires on her resulting in Tamura getting in some offense.  Tamura reverses a corner whip into 2 drop kicks off the ropes and hits a german which make Yu Yu make the save.  Genki comes in an works over Kayoko until Ran interferes with an enzugiri.   Genki has a good outing with some good looking suplexes, an airplane spin into a snake eyes type move and a run up the  corner buckles plancha.  Ran and Genki are not afraid to work stiff with each other (or at least make it look like they are).  Ran escapes a Genki-Driver (Emerald  Frozen/ Dreamer Driver) attempt with a sleeper and Tamura makes the save.  Ran goes up top, Tamura stalls her for a Genki chokeslam, followed by a top rope elbow.  Tamura scores a near fall with her double wrist armsault.  Ran escapes a superplex attempt with Haruyama's help, hits a diving enzugiri and a german for a two.  Eventually, Haruyama's in with Tamura and gets caught up top AGAIN.  She gets the double wrist armsault from the top and a second one to put her away.  Post match, Genki does some mic work towards Ran.  The match is at it's best when Ran and Genki are in.  Haruyama has a ways to go.

Clips of the undercard matches are shown leading to a Hikari montage as "Close to You" by the Carpenters plays.  You know, when I normally think of the Carpenters, Moonsault Footstomp doesn't pop in my head, then again, considering how Karen died, maybe there is a connection.

Carlos Amano/Comando Bolshoi/Azumi Hyuga vs. Hikari Fukuoka/Candy Okutsu/Hiromi Yagi :
The reunited Hi-Chans do their pose at the start of the match and Amano and Hikari start, with a test of strength which degenerates into head butts which Amano has the advantage with.  Hikari drops with an elbow and tags into Yagi.  Amano and Yagi tag it to the mat and Bolshoi gets the tag.  Bolshoi works on Yagi briefly before Candy comes in and they work a leg hold on each other, which leads to each one biting the other (more specifically, Candy biting the clown nose) before we get another tag into Azumi and another quick tag to Amano as they focus on Candy's leg.  Hikari gets the tag in and gets the advantage on Amano, doing a dancing while I stand on your fingers and then stomp on them.  Yagi gets the tag and top rope drop kicks Amano back to her corner.  Azumi gets the tag and Yagi gets her in a top rope ipponzei. Candy gets the tag and gets the locomotion underhook suplexes from Azumi which Yagi saves the pinfall from.  Hikari and Bolshoi end up with each other in the ring.  Bolshoi gets her rope walk backwards and forward with the other Hi-Chans shaking the ropes mercilessly.  She then challenges Hikari to do the spot, which she does rather shakenly as her partners steady the ropes for her.  They work a spot where Amano tries to get revenge for the earlier finger stomp, but Hikari gets her fingers out of the way first.   Amano works a half crab on Yagi and Bolshoi comes in and uses her foot to push Yagi's leg back further. Azumi and Hikari end up in together, Hikari hits the run up the ropes moonsault body press and all 3 of the Hi-Chans get their opponents in a really rediculous looking submission hold out of what look likes a tiger driver set up.  The younger gals fight back with Amano and Bolshoi hitting a double kneebar and Azumi hitting a top rope double stomp.  Azumi unloads  with about 5 underhook backbreakers.  Bolshoi gets trapped and takes a trifecta of top rope splashes from the Chans.  Bolshoi works over Candy after avoiding a moonsault with an uranage and a wakigatame.  Amano gets the tag and Candy fights her way out of her attacks and tags to Yagi.  Amano and Yagi take it to the mat again as they work knee bars and assorted different  aways to slap on a cross armbreaker that rocks in a female BattlArts sort of way.  Amano catches Hikari in a cross arm breaker, but the Hi-Chans make the save.  Azumi works with Hikari before Yagi gets the tag.  Azumi counters a Yagi attempt at Eddy Guerrero style forward roll bodyscissors cradle into a wheelbarrow suplex and then follows it up with a few locomotion german suplexes.  Both sides tag, Bolshoi drops  Hikari with a Shotay.  Hikari fights back and goes for a tiger driver, but Amano takes out her leg. Bolshoi puts Hikari up on her shoulders and Amano takes her down with a cross armbreaker from that position, forcing Yagi to make the save.  Amano tries to do another cross armbreaker off the ropes and Hikari knocks her to the floor, setting up the Hi-Chans plancha trainwreck with ends with a Hikari moonsault to the floor.  Amano tossed back in, Hi-Chans hit a triple stuff powerbomb followed by a triple diving head butt from 3 different corners of the ring which Azumi and Bolshoi make the save for.  Hikari and Candy hit moonsaults on Amano and then try to convince Yagi to do one too. Yagi goes up and hits a backwards jump into a double stomp, which Hikari follws up with.  She goes for another moonsault but finds Amano's feet. She's whipped into a corner.  Azumi drop kicks her, Bolshoi shotay's her, Az umi whips Yagi into her, and Hikari has a shocked look on her face as then Candy is whipped into her and Candy clotheslines her, Mizaki runs in and drop kicks her, followed by another of the seconds with a running knee followed by Amano with a clothesline into a Tiger Mask style snap take over into a bridge for a two when one of the seconds (I think Maya Hashimoto) makes the save.  Amano hits another for two and tags in Bolshoi.  Bolshoi sets up Hikari for something, but Yagi knocks her down and Hikari kills the clown with a moonsault stomp as Yagi and Candy hold her out.  Amano gets one and then the Hi-Chans hunt down Azumi who tries to run away and hide on the floor.  She's lucky though as she only has to take the Hikari somersault drop kick from the top.  They go to give Bolshoi one but Hikari takes out the Hi-Chans.  Bolshoi with a german for two which Yagi saves her.  Bolshoi hits the top rope uranage but gets only a two.  Hikari avoids a shotay and hits her Tiger Driver.  Candy and Yagi top rope drop kick Bolshoi down, Hikari hits a moonsault for two.  Hikari works some near falls until Bolshoi hits another Wakigatame.  Candy saves her and hits a powerbomb.  They hit 3 diving headbutts onto Bolshoi for another two.  Hikari with a top rope drop kick and another tiger driver for twos.  Bolshoi ranas out of another tiger driver and works for a neck submission but the time runs out and the match ends in a 30 minute draw.  Then, Dynamite Kansai runs in and drops Hikari with a clothesline.  It's last licks time as the JWP roster run into hit their moves.  Devil hits the Lyger Bomb.  Yu Yu hits an airplane spin into a fall away slam, Mizaki hits a senton, Yagi hits an ipponzei.  They roll over Hikari for a corner as Devil and Kansi climb up for a double double stomp, but the seconds are nice enough to spare her that fate, as everyone rolls her away from it and they group kick down Devil and Dynamite.  The Hi-Chans do their group pose one more time.

The show ends with everyone coming out one by one and presenting Hikari with a rose.  Everyone has a tape'd piece with them saying a farewell in a window.   Dynamite's the last wrestler in and she has Hikari clothesline her as a going away present.  The president of the league gives her a present last and he and Hikari do something that's sort of like a crotch chop that I've seen Team No Respect do and I saw Hikari, Azumi and Alexander Otsuka do the week before in the King & Queen tournament.  They have the 10 bell salute and they do the group pick up toss and drop on her.

This is a pretty choice match.  It's got some boss moves and is also fun. JWP is hurt by losing their top star, but they've got some really good people to take up the slack like Azumi and Amano, even Bolshoi, who when not in her goofy clown mode, is a good little wrestler.

[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected]! GAEA Television 7/99ish
(PHIL SCHNEIDER!)
RIE/Toshie Uematsu vs. Sugar Sato/Chiyako Nagashima:
Nagashima and Sato are probably the best tag team in women's wrestling.  Uematsu is the least of the debut GAEA class and former WCW Women's  Cruiserweight champion, while RIE is the former Bad Nurse Nakamura, who despite having a great name REALLY STINKS. Sato and Nagashima do their best, and actually build to a reasonably hot ending, but RIE is so BAD that she kind of drags the match down. Uematsu looked pretty good, htting some nice punches and some freaky roll ups. She pales in comparison to her classmates, but she isn't a bad little worker.

Chiyako Nagashima vs. Sonoko Kato:
Mercy, mercy me, this match ROCKED. These two are so good for wrestlers in  their third year, and the match the worked was all complex and intricate in it's execution. It seemed like every move had multiple counters and counter-counters. For example, Kato tries to set up the rolling fireman's carry from the top, Nagashima turns that into a Rings of Saturn, Kato then breaks free and slaps on a kneebar with Kato standing in the ring and Nagashima on the top rope. Then Kato hits a big kick, takes Nagashima to the other corner and hits the rolling firemans carry.  The entire match was that complex, multiple moves each one connecting to the previous, the end was super with each wrestler teasing their finisher, with it being countered, until Nagashima hits the fishermans buster for the win.

KAORU/Meiko Satomura/Toshiya Yamada vs. Etsuko Mita/Lioness Aska/Sugar Sato:
These GAEA v. SSU six-lady tags are kind of like EMLL six-man matches, or 1997 MPRO tag matches, they are all really great, they are all sort of the same and they are hard to tell apart. This had all the greatness you would expect, multiple false finishes, KAORU moonsaults to the floor, and twisting moonsault sentons, Yamada and Aska kicking girls in the face, Aska doing her patented, Put-the-folded-table-leg-down-across-a-girls-stomach- and-give-her-a-top-rope-double-stomp, thus turning her ovaries into cole slaw spot, plus other assorted goodness. Meiko continues her beat the stars tour, by pinning Mita with Mita's own Death Valley Bomb. All these matches rock and this is no exception.

Lioness Aska/Chiyako Nagashima/Kaori Nakayama vs. Sonoko Kato/Meiko Satomura/Sakura Hirota:
This is a good match but it is less then the previous match, mostly because of the presence of the average Hirota and  Nakayama. Bunches of neat spots, including Aska powerbombing her partner Nagashima on Kato, cool shooty reversals by Meiko and a sweet powerbomb reversal of a springboard rana by Satamura. Hirota was the focus of the match however, and her continued mediocrity poses an interesting question about GAEA. The first class of GAEA trainees consisted of Sonoko Kato, Meiko Satamura, Suger Sato, Chiyako Nagashima and Toshie Uematsu. The first four are currently in the top dozen of working women's wrestlers and Uematsu isn't far behind. However the subsequent classes have only produced the uninspiring Hirota, while the rest of her classmates have scattered to the dregs of Indy wrestling (IWA Japan, Mobius, New NOW). The other young girl spots have been taken by stinky FMW refugees (RIE, Nakayama). GAEA is on a hot streak now with the veteran matches POPPING BIG HOUSES, but in 5 years I could see them having an All Japan problem, with big 5 matches and nothing on the undercard, they need to fire up that dojo again and pop out some more prospects.

Aja Kong vs. Chigusa Nagayo:
This was one of those Chigusa "DRAMA" matches that I don't cotton too so much. The beginning was cool, with the two legends locking up in a modified arm wrestling test of strength. Then the broke into the fat girl high flying section, with Aja doing a sweet tope, and Chigusa doing a plancha. Then the drama kicks in, Aja hits a Northern Lights Bomb, and Chigusa gets right back up, showing her spirit. That sucks when a crappy wrestler like Hawk does it, and it sucks when Chigusa does it. The rest of the match was more of the same, with Aja hitting a bunch of urakens with Chigusa getting progressively weaker, hitting a uraken of her own, and a cross armbreaker combo, but mostly taking the beating, before Aja finishes her off with a gloveless uraken. It wasn't a bad match, persay the stuff was executed well, and the crowd was really into it, but it is a style of match I don't like much, and I didn't like this one.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
$$$$$$$ why she's the girl from the chainstoreSINGLESGOING STEADY why she's the girl from the chainstore +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Genricho Tenryu  6/5/89 (I hope)
(PHIL SCHNEIDER):
(So me and Dean were talking, trying to figure out who we would make the wrestler of the week for issue #103. I suggested El Hijo Del Santo, but Dean mentioned that we had done a ton of Santo matches in #100, then he broached Terry Funk, but I mentioned that we really don't have the breadth and scope of his career available on tape. Then I had a brainstorm, LET'S DO TENRYU, Dean was juiced because it let him make Road Warrior jokes, plus I would finally have an excuse to watch that Tenryu v. Tsuruta match which everyone says is so great, so I pop in my Best of 1989 tape and fast forward till I see those two in the ring. I watch the match, and it was pretty good, nice tope by Tenryu, brutal botched powerbomb by Tsuruta, good stuff, seemed a little overrated to me though. So I write that sucker up and I am immediately smacked around by the All Japan dorks on the "other" site. So I pop in the trusty matchlistless Best of 1989 and fast forward until I get another glimpse of Tenryu's Black Revolution jacket, this match has the right finish so hopefully I have got it right and can redeem myself in the eyes of the AJ cognecetti)

Coming into this match I was expecting a classic All Japan style wrestling match, what I got was a brutal, stiff as fuck brawl. Tenryu and Tsuruta just beat the ever living crap out of each other. My favorite part of the match was when Tenryu went to the guard and just started laying in the forearms on Tsuruta's face, it looked as rough as some of the sections of Aska v. Hotta.  Tsuruta does his part beating, Tenryu like his name was Genricho Kikuchi including several kicks right to Tenryu's face, a nasty lariat where his fist hits Tenryu in the throat, and three unprotected second rope kneedrops to Tenryu's head. I was really into this match for 90% of it. There is nothing I love more then stiff wrestling and this match was right up there with the stiffest I have seen, the actual wrestling portions of this match were fine and dandy as well, but I just didn't buy the finish at all.  Tsuruta just beats the crap out of Tenryu for most of this match, then he misses a lariet, Tenryu hits a not-as-crappy-as-usual-but-still-pretty-crappy enzigiri, two well below average powerbombs and gets the pin. It was out of nowhere, and I thought it took away from the match flow and dropped this match from classic status. Still damn good though and well worth checking out.

THREE-WAY STREETFIGHT: ROCK N ROLL EXPRESS & ARN ANDERSON vs. STUD STABLE & DUTCH MANTELL vs. HEAVENLY BODIES & BOBBY EATON (SMW 4/2/93, Pikeville, KY)
(POGO PETE STEIN!):
I was in the process of rewinding to the Vader/Takada match until I popped the tape in and it picked up with this match.  Suffice to say that I have GOT to stock up on more of this stuff because this is about as old-school great as it's gonna get for the 90s.  The fun starts with perhaps the single greatest sequence of "pissed-off redneck" interviews you'll ever see leading into the match.  Motivation, Intention, Hype.  Motivation, Intention, Hype.  It'd be next-to-impossible for most any match to follow those interviews but somehow they pull it off with the combination of insane violence and good ol' nuclear Southern heat.  There's too much action going on to even attempt to justify a play-by-play for this match with nine wrestlers, Jim Cornette and Mark Curtis all running all over the joint, but looking back it's cool to see that they're using chairshots and not having to crack the other guy's skull with the chair to get a pop.  At some point Gibson and Eaton brawl on top of one of the basketball backboards in the gym and Gibson toasts his ankle falling off.  Another great thing is that the crowd quickly gets drained by all of this, but all it takes is Dutch to choke out that evil Cornette with Shoo Baby for them to go nuts again.  Stud Stable is eliminated first when Gibson pins Robert Fuller off a Morton chairshot.  Morton gets dropped and Eaton and Prithcard hit him with sequential Rocket Launchers but Arn evens things up with a fire extinguisher. He follows by DDT'ing the entire heel team, then the faces set up a table and the heels get run into it.  Cornette gets his turn last, and he's such the man that he leans right into the table for maximum effect, which results in a nasty bump on his head later.  Gibson then slaps a figure-four on Cornette, bad ankle and all, but Pritchard puts something on his knee and nukes Gibson with a Bombs Away for the pin and match. As great as the match proper is, I still prefer the interviews if for no other reason than to hear Arn say "heebie-jeebies."

GREAT SASUKE VS. JUDO SUWA - MICHINOKU PRO 4/99- (DEAN RASMUSSEN):
This is from the PERSONALLY controversial tape (see the Wrestling Emporium Qualified Hatred Page) and was about as good as you would expect- as Great Sasuke is WILDLY RESURGENT and Judo Suwai is ever the Rudo's Rudo of Japan.  The beginning is all just a bunch of stuff as they kinda fiddle around with half-assed submissions and dropkick each others knees but don't actually work on the knee and go for suplexes and block them-  and other assorted wrestling approximations to kill time until the onslaught of finishers- as this is the luchafied version of the New Japan Juniors match as filtered by and made cooler by MP and TORYUMON these days.    They finally get around to someone going on the offensive when Judo FOILS a Sasuke Asai Moonsault attempt and starts busting up Sasuke with the help of his CRAZY MAX pals.  It's kinda disconcerting that a large amount of the match is basically  A CRAZY MAX HEAT SEGMENT! with the Great Sasuke- as I guess Sasuke A.) felt that Suwai wasn't ready to pull off a main event singles match just yet, or B.) Sasuke has this Konan/Heyman "MUST BOOK MATCH NO MATTER WHAT" gland that he can't quite reel in yet.  The triple team was goofy in a really Sports-Entertainment-level crappy kind of way- in that there was this preposterously extended ref bump that somehow knocked Ted Watanabe out long enough to do a whole middle section out of  a CRAZY MAX vs SASUKE/NANIWA/TM4 match - right down to Sasuke reversing a Superbomb into a Hurricanrana and taking out all three so's he can make the HOT TAG TO... oh wait.  Either way, past the CREATIVE BOOKING! Suwai hits a swanky Tope and Sasuke hits really nice Springboard Hurricanrana to complement his usual beautiful array of truly graceful lucha in-ring moves.  i would have liked some actual psychology in this match instead of MICHINOKU PRO IS ORP UKONIHCIM but it's still pretty watchable and really good in spots.

WCW- Ricky Steamboat vs. Brian Pillman - Lumberjack Match- (PHIL RIPPA!):
This took place on Saturday Night. It was that period when Steamboat was one half of the “unified” tag team champions with Shane Douglas while Pillman, sporting the GOATEE OF HEELDOM, was just starting to team with Steve Austin (soon to be known as the Hollywood Blondes.) The Lumberjacks are of some note too. In addition to Douglas and Austin (which screams screwjob ending), surrounding the ring are: a face Steve Regal, Cactus Jack, Scotty the Body (or whatever the hell Scott Levy’s gimmick was at the time), a very pasty Rob Van Dam, Tex Slainger and Shanghi Pierce, someone who looked a lot like Dustin Rhodes, Vinny Vegas (hey look, it’s that oaf Kevin Nash). I know there were one or two others but I can’t remember. Steamboat and Pillman wrestle for like 9 years. It is back and forth action with Steamboat doing his usually selling like he was on the verge of death. The match is also notable because something happened that I don’t remember every happening. The match ENDED during the commerical break. During the second commerical break I might add. When we get back, Jim Ross announces a decision and that “the video tape machines were rolling”. So they just so us the rest of the match. Weird. Anyway, Steamboat is in control, the lumberjacks start brawling and Austin sneaks in the ring behind the ref and waffles Steamboat so Pillman can get the win. Lots of good wrestling on free TV. Can’t beat that.

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YOUR WRESTLER OF THE WEEK IS..... VADER!
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SUPER VADER vs. NOBUHIKO TAKADA (UWFi 12/5/93, Jingu Stadium) (PETE STEIN!):
I just have to get this off my mind:  Whoever came up with the idea of holding an outdoor show in the beginning of DECEMBER should be drawn and quartered.  What, New Japan had an exclusive on the Dome?  That said, this is pretty damn good and dramatic if not as good as their rematch (which I seem to have misplaced, hence this one).  Vader does a very cool, low-key prematch interview where he talks about how he "did not come here to look good... I came here to win."  Match starts out with a long feeling-out process until Vader drops Takada and lays in some hard slaps, then slaps on a headlock until Takada makes the ropes.  Vader continues the attack with body punches and a rear sleeper; Takada throws his kicks but Vader "isn't fazed" by them (in "shoot" terms he no-sold them =D).  Vader takes him down but
Takada goes for the armbreaker and Vader has to take a rope-break.  Takada comes back with the kicks and there's a great shot of Vader in the corner looking like a wounded, pissed-off grizzly bear as he's taking this.  Finally he catches a kick, drops Takada, slaps Takada in a headlock, throws some shotays and absolutely CRANKS on the headlock to a huge pop.  Off a rope-break Takada comes back by kicking away at Vader's leg like he's trying to chop it down and use it for kindling. Vader takes an 8-count but comes back with a massive spear and more shotays while Takada's down, and Takada actually has to roll to the floor to escape the onslaught.  Vader gets pissed at the ref and actually slaps him here, but the ref isn't even fazed by it and the crowd reacts like, "Well!  That was different!"  Vader gives Takada two Colorado Judo Slams (read: powerslams =P), slaps on a waki and turns it into a full nelson but Takada makes the ropes.  Takada comes back with more kicks, dropping Vader and applying a choke from behind. He gets back up and throws still more kicks, then drops Vader and applies a V2 Armlock, turns it into the armbreaker and gets Vader to tap at 14:23.  Vader pulls up a stool, sits down and milks this for all it's worth... and to his eternal credit, he does such a great job selling this that when I first saw it back in '94 I really thought he'd screwed his arm up.  He even has an out for losing here since he doesn't have any experience working these kinds of matches while Takada's been working them for years.  Incredibly, the rematch is even better... and offhand I can't think of anyone else in Japan who got TWO clean wins over Vader.  'Course, JDW or someone else will surely correct me on this one.  ;)  Never mind... just remembered Misawa.  =P

Leon White vs. Rambo - 8/91- (PHIL SCHNEIDER):
This match is from Germany and is for the CWA title. Euro wrestling is  notable for it's mat wrestling and it's stiffness, and while this match didn't have much mat wrestling it did have a whole helping of Vader potatoing Rambo. I am not sure if this Rambo is the same as Puerto Rican Rambo, Mexican Rambo, Maryland Rambo or Portland Rambo-who-Art Barr-shot-on, but he was a decent little worker, at least he was willing to stick his face right into Vader's punches. They used the round system, which can be a distraction, but was used well here, with Rambo hitting a belly to back suplex and Vader getting saved by the bell. The ending was lame, as they brawl into the crowd and Vader shoves an old guy (possibly Otto Wanz I DON'T KNOW) and gets Dqed. For a wrestling match this wasn't that special, but it was a must see ass stomping, Vader knocked IQ points off Mr. Rambo, and it was fun to watch.

Vader vs. Kenta Kobashi (by dean):
Hey, due to my great filing system, this was the first Vader match from Japan.  This is from the '99 Championship Carnival. We're joined with Kobashi going up for the fatter than the Head Hunter with diabetes moonsault which comes up empty.  Vader hits Kobashi's charge with a Vader attack and tosses him to the floor.  A Vader attack off the apron to the floor draws screams of panic from women in the audience.  Vader sets up Kenta on the railing and Vader Attacks his back... and then falls over him to the other side.  That was to be as evil a bump to take as Mark Henry's vertical splash on the ropes that has his slide all the way out to the floor.  Kobashi takes two splashes and kicks out.  Vader punches him in the corner, Vader attack and a second rope splash garners another two count. Kobashi holds his stomach, thinking eating the bucket of tender roast wasn't suck a hot idea.  Vader holds up Kobashi and nails him with short arm lariats sending the sweat flying like waves crashing on a rock, but they won't drop Kobashi.  Kobashi does to the body with a punch, a back kick and then work on Vader's leg with knee cap drop kicks and a dragon screw. Kobashi works an ankle lock and pulls Vader back from reaching the ropes once.  But as we all know, submission holds never work in All Japan.  Vader goes for a release german, but Kobashi rolls forward and hooks a kneebar, but Vader hits the ropes.  Vader with back fists to set up the powerbomb which gets back dropped out of.  Kobashi charges with a lariat, but Vader hits one as well and both guys are down.  Kobashi's up first and hits a body slam and moonsaults Vader for a near fall.  Vader gets up and hits an 800 pound lariat that only keeps Kobashi down for two.  Vader with a release german for a two that may have been a 3 had he gotten his body across Kobashi.  Kobashi hits a german with the same results.  Vader up with punches and a corner Vader attack followed with a lariat into the corner.  A Vader DDT gets him a two and a splash gets him another two.  Both men slap each other from their knees.  Kobashi hits a spinning chop for another near fall.  Both men up.  Vader with headbutts and a punches, Kobashi slips behind for an inside cradle which ends the match as teh time expires.  Overall, they've had better matches in the past, but we do learn one thing: The Japanese build some quality ring rails to support the weight of Vader and Kobashi on top of them.

UWA- Big Van Vader/Fabuloso Blondy/Cien Caras vs. El Faracon/ el Satanico/ Lizmark- 1989ish MAYBE?- (DEAN RASMUSSEN):
the Lucha Vader is the least of the Vader's if this- the only Vader avec Luchadores I have in my Cavernous collection here at DVDVR CyberHeadquarters- is any indication.  The fact he is in with (YEESH!) Cien Caras (with a mask yet!) doesn't make up for the fact that this sucked and it actually included frickin younger versions of the Still Viable In The Nine Nine Satanico AND Lizmark .  The first caida starts with Fabuloso Blondy doing a fine version of the star-spangled Banner- though he blows the  "And the Rockets red glare" section.  This was the only fun part as Vader is clueless and basically potatoes the hell out of everybody in the ring.  They all freak-out and it looks like Satanico and Lizmark try to bust him up back pretty good legit.  It kinda settles into a crappier than I'm used to Lucha match- leading up to the Vader Corner Clothesline for the first fall.  The second Caida is fun because- after a TOTALLY AAA'd tope by Faracon(Pharaon?),  Vader and Faracon (Pharaon?)  brawl into the crowd and Vader catches a FULL Fresca right upside the head and is actually kinda woozy for the rest of the caida. They do the "two guys pin the big guy but the big guy kicks out" schtickt and then Vader takes the Big Show fatguy bump and Lizmark hits a Big Flying cross-body block on Fabuloso as Satanico slaps a preposterous submission on Cien Caras and we call it a crappy caida.  The third caida is  the worst as Vader is  totally blown up by this point and can't really do anything well until the finish- which was Lizmark halfway hitting a toprope Sunset Flip with Vader killing him with his big fat keister.  I love Vader but Vader was so very not good in this match and I'm guessing any Lucha in general.  I mean, stiffness in this match was as freakish and out-of-place as his stiffness in the WWF.  Plus his style doesn't mesh well with complicated Lucha spots and it ends up looking like one of those Solomon Grundy matches you love so much.  I dunno.  He was still pretty green too.  I mean, he rules- just not here.

The Man They Call Vader vs. Shawn Michaels - Summerslam 1996- (PHIL RIPPA):
This was that really annoying period where Leon White was always called The Man They Call Vader since the “Big Van” part was trademarked. I’m still surprised that it didn’t start appearing on TV as The Man They Call Vader ™. This is one of , if not the best, Vader in WWF matches. The match does something you don’t see much of anymore in the era of three minute matches - It tells a story. It is the classic tale of the big, power heel vs. the hero, tiny face champion. Michaels gets tossed around like a rag doll and sells like a champ for Vader. He also gets foiled whenever he tries something like a punch or clothesline. He’s only offense is his highflying spots, like the tope suicida that you see in almost every WWF commerical. Mr. Perfect, who was doing color, gets off a great line after a particular nasty Vader suplex. “Hey Michaels, why don’t you nip up now”. I still haven’t figured out if I truly like the false finishes throughout the match. I am leaning towards liking because it worked in the context of Vader kept winning but not getting the belt and that is why he came to the arena so he will keep wrestling till he gets his belt. False finish number #1 comes after both wrestlers fly over the top rope, with Vader misses the ring apron by about 2 millimeters. Vader recovers first and gorilla press slams Michaels across the railing. For once this spot look very nasty. Michaels staggers around like he just left a Syracuse parking lot and Vader gets the countout win. Jim Cornette gets on THE STICK! and uses some Back to the Future psychology on the Boy Toy to get him back in the ring. False Finish #2 comes when Cornette throws the racket in the ring but Michaels gets it first and whacks away at everyone in sight. DQ. Cornette bitches some and Gorilla Monsoon restarts the match. They go right into the finishing sequence as Michaels hits the Sweet Chin Music which Vader barely kicks out of. Of course Vader really doesn’t kick out all that well and there is a little confusion in the ring. Meanwhile the announcers sell the fact that Vader is mean and nasty that it takes more than one superkick to do the job (pun most certainly intended). Vader nails a wicked powerbomb on Mr. Hickenbottom and goes for the Vader bomb. The crowd goes nuts because this is the move that pinned Michaels in a tag match at Capital Carnage (I think. It coulda been RAW). Cornette cons Vader into doing the moonsault instead. Well all the indecision means Michaels has time to roll out of the way and then hit his own moonsault for the win. Very good match on an otherwise lackluster card.
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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
NEXT WEEK: BIG JAPAN! more NEW NOW! OTHER STUFF! BARRY WINDHAM! BARRY WINDHAM! BARRY WINDHAM!
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THE DEATH VALLEY PLAYBOYS.
six fists in the face of wrestling
I first saw you- you were in blue jeans- your eyes couldn't hide- anything
                -BIG STAR
 
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