WELCOME TO DEATH VALLEY DRIVER VIDEO REVIEW #113!

Hiya! welcome to quite the fabulous HARBINGER OF DRAMATIC DREAM TEAM REVIEWS as we clear out all the other Japanese Indie Scum with this one to gear up for the barrage of D2T that hit like a Junior Heavyweight Tsunami.  In addition, this baby is all about a MAN CALLED MUTA as Rev Ray suffers through a Crappy Muta Commercial tape as an extended lead-in to THE GREAT MUTA as our esteemed yet much-maligned Wrestler Of The Week.  We are all still digesting the beloved offerings from our Truly Beloved benefactor and bandwidth-eating enabler- the young sex-machine called MOTHERFUKCING GLENN~! KING OF THE WHOLE MOTHERFUCKING WORLD.  The ingesting of the latest round of Glenn tapes will run concurrently with the DDT invasion- plus Fat Tony. Pogo Pete and the Mack Mike Naimark will be gracing us with their high-spirited brand of hijinx once again.  Either way, we have a quorum this week as Schneider and I plow through the mounds of great indie action we have laying aoround and Ripper polishes off the rest of the WCW hh's he got a hold of, and we mentioned the glory that is Rev Ray Duffy.  HEY! YOU!  HOWABOUT A BIG DOSE OF  sweet delicious MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE...............

$#$#$#$#$#$ BIG JAPAN BATTLE STATION- 11/1999
(DEAN RASMUSSEN)
Ah Big Japan.  Rippa sprung for all this from Lynch and shared it with Schneider who passed the blood-n-garbage spleef this a way (on the left hand side- as the say in Jamaica in that song by Musical Youth.)  This shit is fucking great just for topping itself each time out the gate in terms of making me go "WHAT THE FUCK DID I JUST SEE?"  This one is fucking indie sleazefest DELUXE and we get to take big heaping gawks at the stinky hideous freakish mess.  It touches me.....

Kamikaze/Shunme Matsuzaki vs. Mike Samples/Jun Kasai:
Jun Kasai is a crazy rookie psycho bastard who looks like he is gonna give everybody at the Big Japan Bloodbank a real run for their money in the Liquid Gallons Spewed department- AND LET THE BALL START ROLLING WITH THIS MATCH!  Kasai has a big, big crimson mask by the end ot this- THIS being the first match of the Hyper-Plasma Red Spurt  Super Blade Tag League 1999.  This match has a weird dynamic because Kamikaze must have said, "I'll be in your stupid death match tag tournament, but I ain't messing up my soft, supple skin by flying into barbed-wire."  Whereas Kojika (dressed as Evita Peron) says, "NO PROBLEM! We'll get Shunme Matsuzaki.  He'll do anything for a square meal and a night away from the wife."  Mike Samples takes no bumps because I guess there is a real fear that if you poke a hole in his skin anywhere but his forehead, fat will just blow out of the hole and coat your entire audience in Samples gooey, lard-based suet.  Think of the implications and bad PR from that dry-cleaning class action suit.  Either way, Kasai takes about as many hideous bumps as any vessel built to spill blood should- but there seems to a glimmer of actual wrestling ability and non-blood-based spirit contained in this rookie and one would be smart to keep an eye on him if he survives long enough to develop into anything.   Shunme Matsuzuki takes the Nouveau Big Japan Grotesque Signature Spot flying across the ring and hitting the barbed-wire board and sliding down slowly- this time, with the assist from Lard-Ass Samples throwing Kasai into Shunme first, adding to the momentum as he hits the barbed-wire.  Kamikaze- though a powdered-ass pussy for not going into the barbed-wire in a fucking barbed-wire deathmatch- supplies the most real wrestling and brings the story of himself killing the rookie by powerbombs on and moonsaults through the boards.  Kasai kicks out of major leagues of truly grotesquely painful looking spots and shows his fighting spirit and really gets over with the suddenly swelling Big Japan crowd.  A good intro for Kasai in yet another quality Big Japan tournament- as kojika shows that he is a much better promoter as of late than he ever was as a garbage wrestler.

Tomoaki Honma/Ryuji Yamakawa vs. Mike Samples/Jun Kasai:
The Further Adventures of Kasai The Blood-spewing Rookie takes as epic turn as he meets his horrible fate and future, running headlong into the blood-letting elegance and horrendous, gore-infused degeneracy  of Tomiaki Honma and Ryuji Yamakawa.  Yamakawa and Honma see the future and now they want to make it bleed.  This is pretty cool- though like all tourney non-finals matches on this motherfucking tape, it is annoyingly clipped to hell.  Somewhere on the editor's floor is the reason why Kasai is normal one second and coated in a layer of his own blood the next.  Maybe standing next to Honma is enough cause Puroresu Stigmata or something for young Jun.  Either way, Jun whips out the hurty as all-fuck highspots- the best being Dynamite Kid-like diving headbutt off the top turnbuckle through Honma who was on a table on the floor- it was all graceful and shit and looked like it hurt everyone involved in ways we will never know.  Kasai also takes a hellish bump, being thrown into the corner through the barbed-wire, sliding slowly for your pleasure.  He also hits really nice TM2 Frogsplash (someone will now tell me the name Misawa uses for it) and busts out a really nasty Released German Suplex that snaps Yamakawa's spindly spine like a dried twig.  Kasai tops off his fabulous heart-warming performance with the great "I'M BLINDED BY MY OWN BLOOD!" stumbling hot tag.  After all this, Yamakawa hits a big Jumping Spin Kick To The Head to get the offensive transition and  they basically have the story of the match kick in:  Honma is going to see what the rookie's got and starts literally ripping him apart with his usual  MOVESET! of SHEER BRUTALITY- including his ever-nasty toprope hurricanrana through a barbed-wire board with flesh-ripping sandwich pin attempt follow-up and super painful kick-out to finish.  It then works into ACTUAL WRESTLING as Honma uses his non-garbage finisher- the Forearm Smash- to go for the win- with Kasai being all game and kicking out of everything up to the Running Forearm Smash.  Postmatch, Honma is all impressed by the young freak and they hug and cry and stuff.  Yamakawa and Kasai do the All-time fave of mine- the smacks to the face to precede the handshake.

Tomoaki Honma/Ryuji Yamakawa vs. Kamikaze/Shunme Matsuzaki:
Hey this starts with Honma doing the Big Japan Signature Spot and thus sliding gruesomely for your pleasure.  I'm wondering how many Shunme Matsuzaki matches I've reviewed because it takes THESE kind of matches to get me to notice him.  Either way, he is a better version of Shadow WX- who is himself a crappy marriage of the two members of Public Enemy- not as good as Rocco Rock but better than Johnny Grunge- in that he can't fly but he can hit power moves effectively and only blows spots in matches that are gonna suck anyway, it seems.  Hell, Matsuzaki can kinda work, is big for a sleazy Japan heavyweight and has absolutely no qualms at all about going straight into the barbed-wire face,back or shoulder-first- as opposed to his fancy pants partner, Kamikaze, who is the most talented version of Tiger Jeet Singh EVER in this match.  Shunme and Honma have a big extended wrestling match inbetween all the garbage and tagteam trappings, with Honma finally hitting the most protecting Tombstone one will ever see (bless his freakish little heart) onto the barbed-wire to set up the blood-drenched diving headbutt, leaving quite a puddle on impact.  It then clips directly to the Rolling Elbows for the big win for the amazingly over with Children Of the Yakuza in the audience.  He says to the crowd, in sheer Onita mode, how he loves them and bleeds for them and they are the greatest audience in the world.  Yamakawa gives the camera a big, very toothless grin and motions them to focus back on Honma being a Rock Star of Japanese  Indie Wrestling.  Honma is the next freakish superstar of wrestling and I'm all for it.

Shadow WX/Winger vs. Mike Samples/Jun Kasai:
This is mauled in the ring by the feculence of WX and Samples and is mauled by the post-production crew by being clipped to nothing.  Kasai ain't gonna be carried by WX and they blow some stuff- but Kasai does a cool-ass German Suplex Into A Bridge onto a barbed-wire board with other guy in the ring who could work- the resurgent Dragon Winger.  Samples takes the only bump I've ever seen him take, but this still sucked WAAAY more than it should have.

(There is a match right here between two Big Japan rookies that are so obscure that noone has it on any of the matchlists that I usual steal line-ups from. (So basically, Jeff Lynch didn't know.:) The guy with the furious-looking face wins with something.  He'll be hoisting the Triple Crown over his head in four years and y'all can make fun of this review!  I'm looking out for ya like that!)

Chiharu Nakano/Tanny Mouse vs. Yoshiko Tamura/Marcela:
Marcela looked all fun and  Loocharific in the fourteen seconds they showed of this.  Nakano and Tanny Mouse dress alike and are quite the smaller, cuter and crappier version of the Natural Disasters (with Tanny assuming the Ottman-like role).  Why is Tamura here?  Why is she putting over ANYONE in this match?  If a tree gets clipped to hell for the TV version, does it make a sound?

Mike Samples/Jun Kasai vs. Daikokubo Benkei/Black Samples:
This was even more clipped.  And I thank God and SamuraiTV! for that fact.  Kasai is pretty funny when they win though- jumping up and down and getting all HYPED!  It still sucked a whole bunch.  Oh yeah.

Chappinger/Fantastik vs. Men's Teioh/Ryuji Ito:
Ito is a really skinny rookie.  Men's is now the most decayed wrestler in Japan, Chappinger is Motegi and he lost whatever little ANYTHING he had a while ago- so it's up to the Truly Ruling Fantasik to save this turd in the making- and HE ALMOST PULLS IT OFF!  WOO-HOO!  He hits his really sweet no-hands Tope Con Hilo Into a Diving Senton To The Floor and tops THAT with the (I swear to God and I've seen every Doctor Cerebro match and almost every Mr Niebla match ever) the most ridiculous Niebla Lock Variation I've ever seen.  It was eye-moistening in it's true elegance and grandeur.  The rest was a game of Bludgeon The Rookie and you know how crappy that is if it ain't Jun Kasai in there.  And he wasn't so this succumbs to its original reasons of SUCK.

Abdullah the Butcher/Crazy Shiek vs. Kamikaze/Shuname Matsuzaki and then there was Abdullah the Butcher/Crazy Shiek vs. Kamikaze/Shinya Kojika:
Abdullah The Butcher- who once stabbed Robert E Lee in the forehead at the BattleOf Cold Harbor-  and the Crazy Sheik- who appears to be third of the PN News/ Mantaur brothers- knock out Shunme with an offense so crappy- especially when compared to the other Shunme matches on this tape- that you laugh out loud when they stretcher him out.  Kojika is incensed and takes his place, teaming with Kamikaze.  I stare at my remote and wonder what kind of magic can it summon to rescue me- it's supplier of sweet, sweet batteries.  I fast forward, Kojika looks like one of those old folks who always dance to the Blue Grass band at Virginia County Fairs and I ask myself the big question:  Can it make it to the swanky Tag Tourney final before those Cheez-its I had for lunch enter my world a second time?

Tomoaki Honma/Ryuji Yamakawa vs. Shadow WX/Winger:
Oh, thank God.  This match is fucking insane.  The Honma and Yamakawa procession to the ring is as spectacularly weird as it always is- except this time they are a tagteam and so the weirdness and freakish over-and-undertones are compressed and multiplied and amplified.  If I were to dress as anyone this Halloween, I'd go as pre-match Yamakawa, what with the cool-ass White leather coat, the yellow pants and the cowboy hat.  It would be dangerous actually, because I would then  wear it every day of my godforsaken life and I'd lose my job and my wife would leave me - so, actually,  maybe it's all for the best.  This match is pretty fucking brilliant for a Garbage match- I'd say definately in the top five that I've ever seen.  The coolest part is that they spend the first ten minutes of the match having a New Japan-style power match to set up the fucking GREAT assortment of Death Match Spots- many of which BLOW THE FUCKING DOORS OFF THE JIMINY CHRISTMAS  WHAT THE FUCK ARE THEY THINKING-O-METER.  Anyway, the first part of the match starts with Shadow WX and Honma doing lotsa powermoves- with Honma doing his Masato Tanaka Aping Mitsuhara Misawa schtickt- which is becoming far more effective than his futile forays into psuedoBattlARTsia.  They lay the ground work of the whole match as Yamakawa and Honma can never gain an advantage over WX but set-up Winger to take the pin by hitting big nasty neck-breaking moves in the pro style section- including two Memphis Piledrivers.  They foreshadow the ending by trying to do a Double Decker Brainbuster on young Shadow Winger- as Yamakawa is on Honma's shoulder's while trying to get Winger in a toprope Brainbuster.  Winger does the really fun Two Man Sunset Flip as a counter- as the truly elaborate goofball spot gets a two-count and- with the psychology of the match established- these four say "LET THE BLOOD-LETTING BEGIN."  Shadow WX fires the first shot by smashing a flourescent bulb over Honma's head to set-up a PSYCHO Powerbomb over the toprope through a barbed-wire board, with the added bonus of you being able to see Honma blading in mid-air and, consequently, he comes up looking like five Carlos Colon bladejobs mashed into one.  Honma crawls into the first row of chairs and creates a limpid  pool of blood- and it is as repellent as it is compelling.  Yamakawa and Winger set up the most visually stunning spot in all of Garbage Wrestling after WX piledrives Yamakawa on the floor and then smashes two flourescent bulbs on him while he prone on a table- a spot that provides the fabulous footage of yamakawa picking broken glass out of his forearm.  Honma, who has been crawling on the floor leaving a trail of blood, recieves a flaming Lariat by Shadow WX to keep him out of commision long enough for Shadows Winger and WX  to ascend to the top of the balcony.  Once at the top, Shadow Winger is perched over the edge like Bono with his foot on the monitors, sizing up Yamakawa who is still laying prone on the  two unbreakable half tables- still picking glass out of his arm.  Shadow WX throws a fireball onto Shadow Wingers back, setting the back of his shirt on fire and a flaming Dragon Winger flies off the balcony into a picture perfect Senton through Yamakawa and the tables.  They show a replay in slow motion and it so fucking surreal looking: they show the shot from the floor looking up to Shadow Winger.  Winger is perched perfectly still waiting, this huge flash of fire engulfs him and he jumps gracefully off the balcony and they capture the moment all the way through impact- it's absolutely visually stunning.  At this point, Honma and Yamakawa are pretty much destroyed and Winger isn't doing so well either- so Shadow WX is the key to his side's chance of winning.  They drag Yamakawa into the ring and throw a barbed-wire board across him and Winger Sentons off the toprope and Yamakawa sells like a monster to get it all across that they have ripped his frickin soul out of his body and impaled it on barbed wire.  WX hits the NASTY Brainbuster on the boards but Honma makes the blood-coated save.  After setting up a flourescent board across four chairs, WX attempts to Superplex Yamakawa through it, but Honma crawls in with a flourescent bulb to make the save, grabbing WX off the second rope and powerbombing him through the boards in yet another spectacular spot: glass flies fucking everywhere and wood is splintered and the fat of WX splats against the mat and shit.  WX crawls under the rope to escape the pin attempt from a weakened Honma.  Yamakawa hits a missile dropkick on Winger since he was in position and Winger was heading for Honma and is unaware.  Yamakawa hits a TRULY HIDEOUS face-buster on the barbed-wire and covers Winger with a barbed-wire board to get a two count-as WX makes the save with a big elbow, cutting a big gash in Winger's wrist in the process.  Honma smashes a flourescent bulb over WX's head and WX heads out of the ring in a vain attempt to reach Honma's blading count.  Honma and Yamakawa concoct a makeshift flourescent bulb board in the middle of the ring while Winger is writhing around trying to figure out how badly he's fucked up his wrist.  Honma and Yamakawa hoist him to the toprope and Yamakawa gets on Honma's shoulders again and this time they hit the Double Decker Brainbuster onto the flourescent bulb boards for the win and, buddy, it looked pretty fucking gnarly.   My only beef with the match was that there was too much time between Yamakawa being put on the table before Winger lands on him- since they do that flaming Lariat spot.  But other than that- this was another great fucking wrestling match from Big Japan.  Yamakawa and Honma are a great fucking tagteam and Winger has raised his level of play to the point that he can carry his side quite easily.  Winger's fearlessness and psychotic garbage-drenched high-flying brings a whole cool element to this really inspired division.  I love the fact that Winger did a picture perfect Tope Con Hilo over the Ringpost during the Pro Style first half and I forgot to mention it because of all the other crazy shit they did in this match.  But either way, they wrap so much fundamentally sound wrestling around these truly State-Of-The-Art garbage matches that they have deeply transcended the style and created a whole new realm of caustic, insane wrestling.  There is something truly revolutionary going on in Big Japan and it has started within the last twelve months.  GET ALLLLL THIS.

[email protected]~


[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected]! Onita Pro 8/22/99
(PHIL SCHNEIDER)
Rey Pandita/Saturn (maybe) vs. Bird Guy (who looks like Hayabusa) and Marabunta ( not the luchadore another Hayabusa looking Japaneese guy):
This match was a pleasant surprise, I mean- when you see a wrestling Panda suit, you know the match is going to rule- you just donít expect it to rule in a wrestling sense. Pandita is the best worker of all the sleazy indy guys in animal costumes. When you see a guy dressed like a Panda take it to the mat with a third rate Hayabusa knock off, you know you are in THE INDIES, this ainít RINGS  MUTHAFUCKA!! The Panda, who moonsaults with a grace not  usually seen in his contemplative jungle brethren , was teaming with a guy Jeff Lynch listed as Saturn, but who had combat fatigues and a mustache mask (anybody? Pogo Pete? Victor?) they were facing off against two Hayabusa looking guys with a bird mask and a bug mask respectively.  Lynch had one guy listed as Marabunta, but it was some scrawny 17 year old Japaneese kid, not some 56 year old tubby luchadore, both fauxBusaís were fun in a crazy-guy-who-doesnít-really- know-how-to-do-the-move-he-is-trying way. The guy with the mustache mask turns on the guy in the Panda suit, and assists the Bug Hayabusa and the Bird Hayabusa in pinning the game Panda. Lots of actual wrestling mixed in with your sleazy fun.

Shark Tsuchiya/Yoshika Maedomari/Miss Mongol vs. Rie Nakamura/Keiko Iwami/Tsuppari Mack:
Let me preface this review by stating that I am all for Joshie Puroresu violence.  If you look at my Comp Tapes, you will see a paucity of Double Inoues v. Yamada + Toyota workrate fests and a whole bunch of Yumiko Hotta and Lioness Aska shoot punching each other in the face, and Dynamite Kansai chain kicking a bloody Mayumi Ozaki. I donít have any antiquated Victorian notions about a womenís place in the wrestling business, and the womenís wrestlers have proven even tougher than the men. However there is something sleazy and repulsive about Shark Tsuchiya and her crew, most of her matches consist of big butch-looking women taking knives and slicing up small pretty girls. It appears to be nothing less then sausage manipulation material for future serial killers. I think they appeal to the dark side of Japanese sexuality and I always feel dirty watching them. This match was a departure from the norm as it was the  whimsical and funny Mad Dog Military.  Instead of carving pretty girls with knives in matches which border on repulsive sadism porn, Shark and pals make with the comedy jokes. They all share a bunch of noodles, they comedy sell, itís all wacky and crap. This didnít make me feel like I had to take a bath like most Mad Dog matches, but it was still far from something I ever wanted to see.

Takeshi Sasaki / Kyohei Mikami vs. Asian Cougar / Kurokage:
After years of existing on the fringe of the collective Death Valley Driver wrestling consciousness, Dramtic Dream Team wrestling has thrust itself into the forefront. Now it seems that every tape I pop in has Mikami and the boys rocking the house. This match was the fucking bomb. We have already pontificated on the virtues of Asian Cougar, and he rules  in this, doing all of his asstomping legdrop variations, including an over the top to the floor, onto Sasaki who is in a backbreaker position. Sasaki is very kicky with a really great baseball slide kick to the face. Mikami is rad too, as he is really graceful (he has one of the best standing ranas I have seen), has some rocking shootstyle submissions, and isnít afraid to take a big asskicking. I was most impressed with Kurokage in this, as the masked man has a really highgrade power offense, with lots of suplex and powerbomb variations, along with the world greatest moonsault. Really fast pace, with too many great moves to name. D2T is the WAY.

Katsuji Ueda vs. Nise Onita:
Ueda is some fossilized kickboxer, who throws a bunch of poorly pulled punches at Fake Onita who sells like he was being hit by Ike Ibeabuchi. This was a Katsuji sqaush and really, really stunk

Super Delphin/Naohiro Hoshikawa vs. Bufallo/Virus Policeman:
This was my first look at the Osaka Pro product and it was quite the decent bit of professional wrestling. Buffalo and Virus Policeman, were very mid  grade rudo, kind of like Dr. OíBorman Jr. and Karloff Lagarde Jr. respectively.  Buffalo seemed the crisper of the two, while VP had the only highspot with a top rope Asai moonsault. Delfin looked like he dropped some of his roid weight  and moved around pretty good, although he still did his weak shotays. Hoshikawa looked real good, as he was connecting good on his kicks, not showing the daylight he had in the past. This match was fine and all, but it was just kind of there, the action was brisk but unremarkable, and it was totally smoked by the D2T match which was basically the same style.

Atsushi Onita/Sambo Asako/Sanshiro Takagi/Mitsunobu Kikuzawa vs. Genricho Tenryu/Shoji Nakamaki/Hiroshi Ono/Ichiro Yaguchi:
This was a No Rope Barbed Wire Explosive Land Mine Double Hell Death Match, with the old gang from the early 90ís back together again. This was a very 1993 FMW match with the basic semi-talented shmoes doing crappy brawling and blowing themselves up, but with the bizarre addition of Tenryu. I mean here  is a guy who is one of the biggest legends in Puroresu, who is one of the only men to hold the Triple Crown and the IWGP title and would end up holding the IWGP title a couple of months later, and he is wrestling in an explosions match in freaking Onita Pro. That is like if Ric Flair decided to work some Combat Zone Wrestling cards. Tenryu really stinks up the joint too, not taking any bumps (which you really canít blame him for, although if you ainít going to bump, get the fuck out of the match) and working embarrassingly loose.  I mean there were some Brickhouse Brown on Frank Dusek level chairshots, and some Nova level punches, shit Tenryu if you arenít going to show up, donít show up.  Ichiro Yaguchi brings his ministry for Jesus into the world of Garbage wrestling, Ichiro comes with a big cross along with a guitar which makes him the Puroresu Stryper, praise the lord and pass the exploding barbed wire. The big bumps in the match are supplied by DDT boy Sanshiro Takagi (sporting the Sanshiro 4:69 T-shirt) and especially Hiroshi Ono who makes up for the years he lost as a teacher by going face first into exploding barbedwire, and get dropped into the double hell landmines. Welcome back Hiroshi weíve missed you. Onita does his shtick, but leaves the big bumps for others.  Not horrible except for Tenryu, but nothing we havenít seen a million times
~+~
@#@#@#@#@#@#@#WCW Handhelds
(PHIL RIPPA)
These are the random matches left over from the tape I did a couple of weeks
ago.
~#~
Kensuke Sasaki vs. Diamond Dallas Page - 10/28/92:  
This was held in some high school gym in Jacksonville, Indiana. I have been to OMEGA shows where there was a bigger crowd. Poor WCW. Didn't learn from the past,  so know they are repeating it. Anyway, I will give Page credit. If you look at him now and then go back and look at him in 1992, you can see that he worked his ass off to get in shape. The spare tire that he is carrying around during this match would make Dusty himself blush. Page was still in the early stages of making the transition to wrestler so his MOVE SET is very, very basic (ie: punch, chinlock, headlock, clothesline, roll to the outside). Page doesn't embarrass himself and Sasaki is more than willing to FEDEX this baby in. There is about six minutes of various armbars, chinlocks and headlocks before Page misses a charge into the corner. Two clotheslines and a powerslam later and Sasaki walks away with the victory. Perfectly acceptable but dull. Still better than anything that was on Nitro during the Russo era.

Kensuke Sasaki vs. Diamond Dallas Page - 10/29/92: 
Second match, same as the first. A little bit longer, a little bit worse. They don't even bother to work on the arms opting to go straight to the extended headlock. Finish was exactly the same.

Vader/Steve Austin vs. Marcus Alexander Bagwell/Tom Zenk - 10/29/92: 
The first four minutes or so are pretty unwatchable thanks to the yutz he was video taping this. He gets so wrapped up in talking to his friend that the camera slowly pans to the ceiling. The audio is cranked up so you can hear him talk about the posters and videos he bought. He also recites his full address so I am thinking about having Hangman Tim send him some pointers on how to film a match. It turns out that the few scant seconds of the match that I catch involve three blown spots so I start paying even more attention to the conversation. Eventually, the friend leaves and the camera gets back to the action. All the heels decided to work fairly stiff including Harley Race. If you look up "glorified squash" in the wrestling encyclopedia this match would be one of the examples. Zenk gets the token offense while the pre-calf implant/post-steroid Bagwell does nothing. Which is remarkable considering that the match went 12 minutes and Bagwell was in for a decent portion of it. It would have probably been even closer to a full squash except Vader oversold EVERYTHING which always confused me during the Monster Heel push. When you start selling Bagwell dropkicks like you were passing kidney stones (or some other painful simile) then it diminishes your aura when Sting comes to kick you ass and make the crowd happy. Maybe I am just nit-picking or it is my hatred for Bagwell but that it something that bothered me.

[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected] The Birth Of Muta  Vol 1
(REV RAY DUFFY)
This features skits inbetween the match highlights that are very much like
the the formation of the Dungeon of Doom as Muta "hatches" out of a pit of
webs and slim and runs around a cave as Curtis Ieakeau yells "SULLIVAN!".
They do some camera tricks with Muta's face paint changing a bunch of times
and have Muta face off with a demon like thing.

The Great Muta vs. Hiroshi Hase :  9/14/90 :
The annoucers say "Super Heel" about 80 times in the first 5  minutes of the match.  Pretty slow at the start with both exchanging holds, a lot of side headlock work by Muta.  Hase hits it in gear first with a weird sort of flip him over out of an Exploder suplex set up, a hook kick and a rolling senton.  Muta responds with the handspring elbow and then follows with his bridged chinlock/indian deathlock move.  They start trading chops at one point and Hase literally slaps the paint off Muta's face.  Hase gets sent to the floor and I think pops a vein following a chop off the apron.  This becomes the focus of the match as Hase bleeds like a stuck pig and Muta chews on his head and rams him into the the buckles.  Muta gets 2's on a flashing elbow and a cradle piledriver.  Hase sells a bunch and muta mixes up chops and kicks with the sleeper hold or two.    Hase reverses a sleeper into a suplex and hits an off the top rope knee drop for two, followed by a Northern Lights Suplex for two.  Hase knocks Muta out to the floor and gives him a suplex.  They go back in and Hase hits an Uranage.  As he goes up top, he jumps off into a mist shot.  Muta hits a back suplex and throws the ref out of the way and gets a stretcher from under the ring and beats up the ref and some other people, getting DQed in the process.  Muta puts Hase on the stretcher and moonsaults him.  Hey, this didn't age well at all.  But Hase bleeds a whole bunch.

Ricky Steamboat v. The Great Muta :  9/30/90
They have a cool entrance with a bunch of ninjas rolling around and they lower Muta down from the ceiling in a harness.  What happens next is what Pogo Pete called the worst Steamboat match in history and I don't think Ricky's to be blamed for that.  Muta attacks at the bell and chokes steamboat with a belt.  After a minute of choking him in and out of the ring, Steamboat takes over with some chops and a drop kick, causing Muta to roll out to the floor and stall some.  Ricky controls a bit with some armdrags and arm bars.  They do a quick segement where they both drop kick each other a few times.  Muta breaks Steamboat's momentum with an inverted atomic drop and then crotches him on the railing twice.  Muta works Steamboats leg, we even get the stinky "My
hands on the rope so now it REALLY hurts" spot on a toe hold briefly.  Muta works the leg a whole bunch more, sets up for the moonsault, but Ricky drop kicks him onto the post and kicks a back drop supler plex for two.  Steamer tries to throw in a bunch of quick pin attempts, but everything seems to be off.  Muta bodypresses Ricky and both go sailing to the floor.  When they get back in, Ricky hits a top rope chop.  He goes up for another but Muta sprays him.  Well, Muta tries to spray him, but Ricky sells it anyways. Muta hits the moonsault for the win.  So not good.

The Great Muta vs. Sting :  3/21/91 Starrcade in the Tokyo Dome :
They have a neat thing where they have Samurai and a knight fight on the stage as part of Muta's opening.  Hey, you know, if they only had Muta's ring entrances, this might be a really good tape.  But then they include the matches and it's all downhill from there.  Anyways, Muta attacks at the bell, hits the handspring elbow.  He goes for the moonsault, but Sting rolls away and Muta lands on his feet, he hits jumping back kick, which Sting no sells, but hits an enzugiri and a plancha.  Sting takes over hitting a press slam to the floor and a plancha of his own.  Muta lands face first following a monkey flip which doesn't flip him over.  This matchi s a bit better as they don't seem to stay on the mat a lot and keep the match moving and as a result, I didn't feel the urge to lean on the fast forward as I did in the first two matches.  It's also fun the the announcers talk about Sting and the Warrior as Power Team USA and the Blade Runners.  Muta blocks the scorpion by a rope break.  Muta misses the handspring elbow, Sting uses it to go for the Stinger Splash, but Muta gets out of hte way.  Moonsault attempt only flinds knees.  Muta ends up winning when Sting attempts a Stinger Splash and eats mist and then post.  Muta hits him with a cross body for the win.  Post match, sting beats up Muta as the Steiners, Pillman and Tim Horner try to pull him off.  Not a bad match, they didn't do anything ultracomplex or spectacular, but it had a good pace and was enjoyable.

Great Muta/TNT vs. Hiroshi Hase/Kensuke Sasaki 7/19/91 :
Both Muta and TNT spray mist prior to the match, though the camera man AAA's the TNT mist.  Muta and TNT control early.  They do a neat spot where Muta hits the handspring elbow on Hase and then sets him up for TNT's spinning heel kick over the ropes.  Muta crotches Hase on the rail and gives him a piledriver on the table.  Muta posts and hairs Hase a bunch, the goes after him with the bell hammer.  Hase blades big enough to make TNT feel like he was at home in Puerto Rico.  TNT hits the double chops in the corner sending a cloud of blood off Hase's chest.  Sasaki gets the hot tag and works on Muta. Hey, you know, Sasaki didn't suck in '91.  Hase comes in for revenge and goes for the scorpion, but Muta mists him, it looks like mostly in the chest.  TNT hits some nice kicks, but runs into a Sasaki powerslam and gets pinned.  Post match, Muta and TNT double mist Sasaki and beat up a bunch of people.

Super Strong Machine vs. The Great Muta : 8/25/91
This is at an outdoor show.  Machine attacks first on the floor.  Muta goes after Machine's mask and rips it open a bunch.  Muta attacks Machine with a plastic bucket and then pours water in the hole in his mask, then attacks him with a table.  Feel safe in the knowledge that you really aren't missing much in this match.  Muta attempts to counter a diving headbutt with a mist shot but i have no idea if it came close to hitting.  Muta rips off Machine's mask and is DQed.  What is this?  Mexico?

During the next break, they show Muta flipping the bird.  Hey, right back at you after that last match pal.  Followed by a musical interlude featuring a bunch of matches not on this tape.

The Great Muta vs. Tatsumi Fujinami :  9/23/91
Muta does the mist spray and Fujinami attacks him immeditately.  Fujinami hits him a few times, sends him to the floor and hits him with a tope.  Muta removes the corner pad, but ends up getting run into it by Fujinami.  Muta reverses a Fujinami chinlock by running into into the exposed buckles and then runs him into it again.  Muta brawls on the floor.  Posts Fujinami, attacks him with the bell.  Muta uses about a stretcher and a tool box as weapons as well.  Fujinami bleeds.  Fujinami counters a kick with a dragon screw, but his scorpion is blocked with a mist shot.  This is a whole lot of nothing special.  I lean on the fast forward a bunch.  Muta misses a handspring elbow, Fujinami hits the dragon back breaker and the dragon sleeper, but Muta rope saves.  Fujinami pounds on Muta in the corner, ref keeps trying to break it, Fujinami pushes him away.  The ref ends up getting misted, Fujinami gets near falls, but no one is there to count it.  Muta hits Fujinami over the head with a water bottle.  Muta revives the ref to see him hit the moonsault for the win.

The Great Muta/Sting vs. The Steiner Brothers :  1/4/92
Muta's working as a face because he comes out to his Mutoh music.  They do have some ninja acrobats do tricks before Muta comes out.  And your friend and mine, Bill Alfonso is the referee.  Hey, it's Scott Steiner before he started injecting Ape growth hormone.  Rick Steiner hits the top rope bulldog as his 3rd offensive move.  So as you can imagine, this match was all about building to spots.  This is actually a disappointment.  All 4 guys were at a point in their career when they could go.  The Steiners just come in and hit big power spot after big power spot.  Which sort of is real goofy when you consider they'd finish with a belly to belly suplex at times.  This was kind of like a Takaiwa match without the annoying Road Warrior selling and the same 4 moves over and over again.  Steiner pulls out the german suplex counter of the handspring elbow which was probably a brand new counter to the move at the time.  Sting busts out the off the post plancha onto Rick. This also ends witha  lame double pin finish as Rick pins Muta, at the same time Sting counters a tilt-a-wirl slam into a pin.

The Great Muta vs. Demon
Demon looks like the thing that looks like it was taken from The Return of Swamp Thing.  Demon over powers early.  Muta responds with a lariat and chops.  Demon fights back with punches.  Muta does the mist, charges and runs into a back fist and gets choked out.  The sad thing is this is probably the 3rd best match on the tape.

To be continued in Vol 2.... not if I have anything to say about it.
~%~
YOUR WRESTLER OF THE WEEK..... THE GREAT MUTA!
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Arn Anderson v. Great Muta  (1/02/90)-WCW-(PHIL SCHNEIDER) :
This match was on the Power Hour and was for Mutaís TV title. This was near the end of Mutaís tenure in WCW as Gary Hart was on the outs, and the J-Tex corporation was represented by Buzz Sawyer (sporting possibly the worlds worst haircut ever: bald on top, rattail in the back, and lines on the side) and Dragon Master  (Kendo Nagasaki BTW). The presence of Nagasaki allows porcine dirtbag Jim Ross to offhandedly comment ďAre there any nice looking Oriental guys?Ē  Place a personal ad, J.R.- you xenophobic cock smoker.   Kenji Muto is criticized by the Puroresu dork contingent for being a lazy slob in recent years, one thing I noticed in this match  is that he was working the same deliberate style back in 1990 that he is getting pilloried for in his contemporary work. The big difference is that his style works in the setting of a 1990 NWA TV title match against Arn Anderson, but looks half-assed in a 1998 IWGP title match with Masa Chono. Really good build in this match, with Arn working as a babyface and taking a beating from Muta, with Muta breaking out some neat submissions including a dope chicken wing bridge. Arn works on the arm, per usual. Slow build to a hot ending, with Anderson hitting the spinebuster, but Sawyer interfering, Muta takes over and  hits the backbreaker moonsault combo, but Arn gets his knees up, he then hits the DDT for the pin and the title. Great match, Muta was really in his element, as he is a better 80ís  style U.S. wrestler  than a strong style New Japan heavyweight.

############## Great Muta/Masa Saito vs. The Steiner Brothers (NWA Starrcade 90 - 12/16/90)-(DEAN RASMUSSEN)
I figured since we're gonna have Keiji Mutoh for Wrestler of the Week next week also, I'd do the Puerto Rican Death Match next week, so I'll have a week to figure out somekind of time frame for it before I make up a bunch of crap about it's significance.:)  This week, I was going to go down my tapelist and pick the fifteenth Muta match I came across and examine it or some shit when I came across the "Best Of The Steiners" tape that I had and had never actually watched.  I figured that this was from a time in my life when I had fled Richmond for immense poverty in chesapeake- as I killed time at the tail-end of the horrible Reagan Era- drunk, alone and filled with hate.   I was also cable-less so I didn't ever see this match before this lovely night in a different millenium in a different, more-contented state of mind.  It's a great little match.  I haven't seen much Saito but I know he's a legend and was one of the pioneers of the use of dangerous moves in Puroresu and was a big Japanese influence- especially because he was so successful in the US as well as reaching legendary status in his homeland.  If there is a direct line between the Steiner's style of high-impact/low selling power wrestling and the innovations that Saito trailblazed then you see why Muta is maligned in Japan.  Muta is all about building up to the Dynamic Spot and the style that the Steiners' created is the the democratic idea of spots- all spots mean the same thing and should be sold exactly the same amount of time; a certain amount of spots should add up to the time when you hit your protected finisher and then you win.  It's basically a bad Sabu match but with more presentable moves and the veneer of the Strong Style label to give it a false credence.  The problem is that Mutoh is not coming out of this background.  he is king of US Pro Style and Puerto Rican Pro-Style-as this match amply shows, as he and Saito get the crowd absolutely NUCLEAR with Old School heat-gathering heel tactics mixed with some  highgrade spots for the time.  Saito is a bunch of chops, a nervehold and two Dangerous Backdrops in this match but he works the crowd into a frenzy.  Muta is the same way with the crowd but he is more impressive in the match because he sets up his Handspring Elbow to make a real transition to offense and the momentum visibly and definately shifts and the match is advanced clearly as a story.  Meanwhile, the Steiners are throwing a zillion suplexes at Muta and Muta has to rush to his feet get ready for another one.  Any of them could be as dangerous as the next- the Steiners don't set them up to MEAN anything and that's why they might as well be chinlocks because they are as psychologically unsound and renderedas irrelevant as Sabu racing from one table spot to the next.  Muta is differently geared- he isn't gonna use dangerous moves, he's gonna work on your leg and expect you to sell it and expect the crowd to understand the psychology of the match.  I'm not saying that Mutoh wasn't afraid to be the laziest wrestler on earth, but he is also one of the most psychologically skillful wrestlers on earth when he is on- and this match is his style clashing with everything that killed his style in Japan.  Strong Style begets All Japan's larger extension of said style and Mutoh is as much of an anachronism as Dory Funk Jr in 2000.  Mutoh is basically a lazy version of Flair trapped in Japan and that is why he is so frustrating most of the time and so awesome when he can get himself in a situation where he can work a match that he is comfortable working.  And all those ones in Japan- the Hase and Chono matches- will be next week.   Plus the match from Puerto Rico where he learns how to blade like a motherfucking freak.
~+~
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
NEXT WEEK:  DRAMATIC DREAM TEAM  MOTHERFUCKER. And more of the GREAT MUTA.
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THE DEATH VALLEY PLAYBOYS.
seven fists in the face of wrestling
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I used to your baby, I used to be your pride and joy-
you used to take me dancing just like any other boy-
but now you've found another partner, left me like a broken toy...
-Freddy Mercury
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