Paging Mr. Rasmussen....
CANADIAN CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING (6/29/01 - Handheld - Surrey, British Columbia)
(by DEAN RASMUSSEN)
I love Canada. I don't know why, I just find it fascinating. That would make me a freak, but being a freak means you have no control over it, so I'm just rolling with it at this point in life. Tina sent these back during the last 500 update and then I realized that I should actually reveiw some of these because, hell, Tony Kozina should get much pub as humanly possible because he motherfucking rules. This ECCW is like the most active indie IN THE WORLD. They run like 900 times a year it looks like. Anyway, today's Tom Sawyer mean mean stride and all that...
Average Joe vs Southern
Comfort Ray Brooks
Southern Comfort Ray Brooks is a cowboy dressed in black, but looks more like the bastard son of Johnny Paycheck than a young Johnny Cash. Average Joe has the indie getup, the indie tattos and the indie facial hair, the indie physique of senior tour pro golfer far beyond his young years- but his tights have the stripe up the side like all the Stampede Wrestling faves of old, so hope springs eternal. They keep it basic and first match on the card in every sense of the words. Average Joe has a fun little offense based on legdrops and some of the goofier lucha submissions- including a completely top drawer Pendulum Hold. Brooks hits a Rocker Dropper that looked as indie as a Ace Darling polaroid. Average Joe gets the win with a swanky Pendulum Hold that he just sits down on- crushing the pasty Southern Comfort like a untanned Canadian bug, which is a clever variation on an already beautifully preposterous submission. KUDOS,YOUNG NORTHWESTERNERS! Being that it is modern indies, Ray Brooks says something indecipherable ON THE STICK~! Whatever he garbled pisses off Disco Fury and he runs in and also beats on the pasty young cowboy.
Wrathchild vs The
The Count has a plaque that says "The Count" and who am I to argue? He also has the music store ponytail, so he has built in heel heat. His pants are GREAT- all Powerplanty plastic and satanic. He gets on the stick pre-match and garbles something indecipherable. The crowd chants something indecipherable and I then realize that maybe Canada is a foreign country. Then I realized that shitty PAs are universal. The ref is a little fella.
I've brushed up on my Canadian and I will now try to transcribe what he says:
"Thank you. Naa, whale unter international awards for world class athlete I am also and reciepent a hoseband trimmyard. Toopacappa lumst anymore. Toomba goll my ability. So in the next few weeks heesa youll see me hunka volla chicken wall pigeon as well. undead wattle now."
Wrathchild is all crazy and INTENSE! and Jesus do I hate a Nash-wannabe. He wears make-up but not really in a gay way- not that it makes any difference to me one or the other. He's sporting the suede hippy boots that kinda undermines the goth-metal thing he's shooting for, but I have to let Wrathchild be Wrathchild. After winning a test of strength, WC lets out a warwhoop. The Count is bumping round the ring for the ungassedpower wrestler. The Count is a keeper- as he bumps like a freak for WC comical Mabel-like offense. WC hits the Nash moves and my interest begins to wane. The Count goes all BATTLARTS with a kneebar that WC no-sells and I believe the hate can finally begin. WC teases a claw. I will now think good Canadian thoughts as this match mercilessly drags on: Rausdauer saves us and saves all the world./ Red Barchetta/ coins called Loonies/ gallons upon gallons upon gallons of fabulous beer/ John Candy/ the Montreal Allouettes/poutine n pogos/ curling. This match is over and boy oh boy did it suck the meat rocket. WC is very bad but being a pseudo-Nash kills you to begin with. WC then gets ON THE STICK~! "Loogsey bumps thin they ca wrestle. KIGGEN azzen taking names. Rrrrrrrrrung rung rrrrunrrrunruung!"
Chance Beckett vs
Chance Beckett is a good little worker and he's in with Scotty Mac- who is also a good little worker. They are all in the mode of the nouvelle North American Junior That isn't From New Jersey- smallish with athletic builds, good on the mat, perfunctory vestigal highflying, works the ropes well, sells well. The Colt Cabana/ CM Punk/ William Wealth mode in full effect- as they are just really good in the ring and really good working good matches. Sorta like every junior in North America is trying to develop into little Tony Kozinas which is where all these guys will be when they are really good in the ring and know how to create GREAT matches. Anyhoos, Northwestern Canadian and/or Pacific Northwesterners all hop on THE STICK! and after a few minutes of muffled garbling (I think they were SHOOTING! but who could tell?), we have a match. This match is really cool for such a wee wisp of a match. Scotty Mac throws really good punches (which will get you a lot farther in the eyes of real wrestling fans than a thousand perfect Skytwister Presses) and they uses these punches to project the brawling through the crowd, which is fucking top-drawer for the basis of a match. They sprinkle in big hurty as all get-out spots between the brawling, the pinnacle being Scotty Mac making it too the ring first in a Double Skin-The-Cat spot and then dropkicking through the first and second ropes into the face of Beckett who is standing on the floor. Beckett leans into it facefirst like a champ. They take it to the ring and the matwork is funtastic. Beckett brings the second cool ass submission variation of the night as he whips out this Inverted Texas Cloverleaf Hold- which is applied from the front of the opponent and you would push your weight down- as opposed to pull back on your opponent if it were a regular TCL. Beckett stretches Mac like Mac is an AJW rookie as Beckett assumes the role of Aja Kong- as Mac’s knees are in a knot and touching the back of his own head. Beckett then catapults Mac away from the ropes and rolls into a half-crab and I’m all over this Chance Bekett. He drops a knee and does a few kicks to the head, but Mac gets in a surprise roll-up that Beckett kicks out of and goes straight back to offense. I dig the slow building comeback by Mac because you never see it in the indies. When he does finally get the transition he works from an armbar and continues to work on the left arm in a key/keel lock. Beckett sells it as it hits the floor and escapes. Beckett tries to facebust young Mac off the floor onto the apron but Mac lands on his feet on the apron and dropkicks Beckett in the face AGAIN! Both are selling the damage as they roll in the ring. Mac hits a nice superkick and tries to perch Beckett on the top turnbuckle but Beckett reverses out and hits a SWANKY Quebrada Blockbuster for the pin. Postmatch, Beckett and the other member of the Pretty Boys Club- Rockford- do the heel beatdown until Christopher Daniels makes the save. Christopher Daniels is from the Midwest and he is as indeciphable as anyone from the True North ON THE STICK! On this handheld. I assume there will be heel to pay and that’s the gospel according to the Fallen Angel or sumthin. Beckett and Mac rock. They need to be in the Super 8, the Sweet Science 16 or something. They rule.
Michelle Starr and Johnny Canuck are G.O.D. I’m assuming that it doesn’t mean Guaranteed Overnight Deliver. The gimmick rules. They kiss and everything. Backwoods Militia wear… the camouflage that… the militias would wear. Johnny Canuck did this thing…. where he like… humped this guys head while… doing the Powerbomb… and it scared me…. Michelle Starr feigns butt-fucking another member of the militia. I can see why they stay on the encampment and don’t venture out. "Every time we go outside the gate, this big fella with dyed hair puts his funny bizness in my be-hind! Where’s the bottled water?!" The militia do a bunch of perfectly fine double team moves. G.O.D. are fun because they bring the gay gay gay gay gay! You probably never want to see this. I couldn’t look away. Johnny Canuck blades for some reason. Michelle Starr does the most joyous Testicular Claw in the history of the move. Okay, this is best shitty match I’ve ever seen. It goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on…. They set a land speed record for low blows. It keeps going and going and going and going. It’s like one of those ECWA batle Royals except longer. It’s like Wagner’s Ring Cycle but longer. WAITAMINNUT! THIS IS FUCKING GENIUS- Michelle Starr has one of the Militia in the double underhook for a Tiger Driver so Johnny Canuck starts GETTING SOME- putting his junk right on the militiaman’s keister. I forget who wins. We all won. There was some kind of run-in. And then! SOMEONE GOT ON THE STICK! Butt-fuckin’ and ball-grabbin’ galore~! 2 jillion stars. Ooooooo Canada…..
Rockford 2001 vs Skag
Skag is a big boy. He does the fatboy sex machine thing while working the crowd that all us fatboys do so well. Rockford come out with the PBC and it’s on like… something. Of course, being indie wrestling in the new millenium, Rockford gets on THE STICK! YES! THE STICK! He talks on the microphone! I can’t really make out what they are saying anymore but I’m guessing- just by the body language- that he is shooting! This is basically a squash, with Rockford getting 95 per cent of the offense in. Rollins’ punches suck but the phat ass bump he takes on the powerbomb more than made up for it. Yes, folks get on the stick yet once again. Postmatch, Skag tries to place the blast on the PBC valet so GODSPEED~! Young Skag! Somebody runs in and spears our rotund lothario- making with the cockblock right in the ring. Some people…
Chance Beckett vs
The Fallen Angel Christopher Daniels
Christopher Daniels 12,000th match of 2001 was this one- smackdab in the middle of his highly successful (from a cool matches in warehouse and rec centers on tape standpoint) Canadian Swing. He hops on the stick. Yes he does. Chance Beckett comes in and is all about working the crowd and he’s got the Jr Hvywt belt. Chance takes a moment to address the crowd on the stick. Christopher Daniels opts to rebutt on the stick. Anyway, the match starts with the usual fast mat stuff of a Daniels match with neither getting an early advantage until Daniel goes all flippy into a headlock and it works out of a headlock for a while. Beckett goes all Mid-Atlantic Paul Jones by doing the textbook head scissors reversal out of the headlock and Daniels reverses it back. After getting back to a vertical base and stalemate, Becketss hits a Snap Suplex and few punches. Daniels goes on offense with a forearm and a hiptoss out of the ring. At this point, I ‘m wondering if this is actually going to follow the pattern that Idol pointed out to Schneider at the KOTI- where neither will actually ever go on offense but will just reverse each other moves all match (thus shaving Schneider’s buzz for the match). They lock up and Daniels powers out of keylock and starts working on Beckett’s arm- doing the cool spot of holding onto the armbar while being snapmared. Beckett reverses into an arm-wringer and then they hit the ropes- with Daniels hitting a dropkick and Gorilla Slam and a DDT that Beckett does a full Greg The Hammer Valentine sell. Then Daniels gets ten punches in the corner and dropkick into the corner. Then he goes after the valet which allows Beckett to hit a FAT ASS Pescado. Beckett hits the Eddy Catapult Senton into the ring and a Quebrada for two. Daniels mounts a little come back, but Beckett cuts him off with a nice short lariat and into a chinlock. Daniels Dustys out and shoots into the ropes to get hooked into a Sleeper which he shoots Beckett into the ropes and reverses into his own Sleeper that Beckett cuts off again with a Jawbreaker. Daniels punches to offense but is cut off again by a reversal and kick to the head by Beckett who follows up with a weak K-Driller for two. Daniels counters a corner charge with an elbow and a big boot , leading up to an Enzuguiri and back drop. A leg Lariat for one and Beckett does a last ditch throw into the corner and hits a Springboard Splash. Daniels counters off the ropes with German and a Nodawa which sets up his beautiful Moonsault for two. Beckett does the Mike Graham counter of falling on his back and catching Daniels in a rolling backwards Halfcrab. This Beckett is nifty. Daniels ducks an Enzuguiri and does that Forward Roll Into A Romero Special. From there it goes into the mandatory Malenko-Guerrero roll-up sequence. The finish is not very smooth as they can’t get into position for Beckett’s Quebrada Blockbuster. After En Foule, Beckett hits his finisher for the three. This was really good. Idol would like the fact that most of the match was Daniels being cut off by Beckett until he could slowly build to a comeback.
You want this tape.
^*^*^*^* Jersey All
Pro-Wrestling: Here to Stay 6/15/2001, Bayonne, NJ
(by REV. RAY DUFFY)
The show opens with angle with Dixie and Insane Dragon with their belts. Fat Frank tells them they've got title matches upcoming vs. the Briscoes and the Back Seat Boys. They set up a sparring match which results in Youth Gone Wild beating up the trainees- complete with the comical bodies sprawled out everywhere before they go to highlights from the previous arena show.
I think this was JAPW's first tv taping and pre-show Fat Frank does a spiel and also explains that Ric Blade had injured his leg at a CZW show and thus had vacated the Light Heavyweight title due to injury.
Dirty Don Montoya
vs. Jerry Da Bull Todisco w/ The Gooch
Todisco does a mafia gimmick. This is a lot of Don fighting both buys and for the most part controling on both. Todisco... not good. Don wins this a chokeslam. I was leaning on the fast forward during this.
"Superstar" Dave Grecco
Callahan is a fat undercard guy in JAPW, I think he does impersonations. On this card he's doing the American Dream gimmick. Ref Hanson runs out and bribes the current ref to do the match- as I think Callahan had laid him out on a previous show. This is built around super evil Ref Hanson doing slow counts and looking the other way when Grecco would cheat. The finish was Callahan setting Callahan on the top rope and going for a punch, Hanson hooks his arm while Callahan is distracted and then Grecco catches him in a neat armscissors into a crossarm breaker for the win. Hanson called for the bell with the claim Callahan didn't tap out. Post match, Hanson eats a few bionic elbows including a Bionic Elbow into a chair.
JAPW New Jersey State
Champion Skinhead Ivan vs. JT Jobber
Ivan does his usual racist cheap heat spiel. JT controls early in a few reversal spots before Ivan dumps him out to the floor and hits a plancha on him. Ivan controls for the rest of the match with JT getting in one or two following flash pin attempts. Ivan hits a cobra clutch leg sweep, a somersault leg off the ropes that Scott Taylor used to do. He keeps pulling up JT after hitting some moves. They do a ref bump spot where JT goes for a clothesline off the ropes and its the ref. During the bump, a big black guy runs in and choke slams Jobber leading to the pin. Eh. I've seen JT look better in other matches, this is pretty much a squash. Post match Ivan introduces his bodyguard as Slugger.
Da Hit Squad (Monsta
Mack & Mafia) w/ Johnny D vs. Supreme Lee Great & Tommy Suede w/
Pre-match Da Hit Squad do a promo blaming the fans for Ric Blades injury and blame Suede and SLG for costing DHS the belts. The match opens with Suede hitting a bunch of quick pinning moves on Monsta Mack before tagging out to SLG. Mack challenges him a lariat duel that SLG loses. SLG gets to be whipping boy for a while, Suede gets a tag in and gets in a surprise release German on Mafia. For some reason, Lee and Suede argue about a move- which results in a shoving match and SLG eating a half nelson suplex from Mafia. SLG finally makes the tag to Suede, Suede gets in some drop kicks and does a corner back flip kick before dying from a clothesline from Compton. Suede goes for a tag, SLG ditches. Monsta Mack ended up hitting an ugly looking run up the ropes into the Hamada Cutter (still pretty amazing given his size) before they take him out with a Burning Hammer. Post match, the Hit Squad tease that they're going to powerbomb Ariel off the apron onto a chair, but Dixie and Dragon make the save. Afterwards, Monsta Mack does an interview, a "fan" says they suck so they beat the guy up in the ring.
Low Life Louie Ramos
vs. Homicide for the JAPW Heavyweight Title
Louie was one of the old workers in JAPW back when they were really working garbage style matches. He's perhaps best known for appearing on an MS-NBC news show and stapling his own arm with a furniture staple gun (a regular one wasn't good enough) around the time of the JAPW 2nd annual show. I was at that show with the news crew taping, almost all the footage was of the 3 cage main events despite the fact there was a perfectly fine undercard with the wrestling. Homicide bumps a bunch for a few arm drags and a bodyslam, forcing him to roll out to the floor and say "Where the fuck did you learn that, you don't know how to wrestle!" and make Johnny D question if it actually was Ramos. Homicide bumps a lot for Louie and they tease a few near falls following a stampede style death valley driver. Eventually, Homicide takes control with a chair shot, they tease the cop killer, but Homicide can't lift him. Homicide works on his legs and eventually gets the tap out with an STF.
Chino Martinez vs.
Nick Berk vs. Billy "Highlight" Reil w/ KAT for the JAPW Light Heavyweight
Originally this is Berk v. Martinez, but Reil comes out and challenges them both. He has Kat who he's said he met about 5 minutes before. Keep that in mind. They do sort of spare us the goofy 3 way lock up and triple sleeper. Berk probably looked the best in this as Chino and Billy had some rough and sloppy looking exchanges (including an attempt at the Malenko-Guerrero pin counter spot the kids now a days love so much... and Tom K hates). Reil at one point hits a DDT and Stunner on both guys at once. Chino and Berk later hit a pretty evil looking double back suplex (close to a double back drop driver to tell the truth). The finish to this is majorly fucked up as Kat is supposed to turn on Reil, but she's out on position so Hanson is yelling at her for no good reason to break up a pin attempt (more like "Why aren't you in your spot?"). Kat powders Reil, Berk sneaks in and hits the Berk Driver (Lash LeRoux's Whiplash, Chris Chetti's Amityville Horror) and Kat heads off with him.
Low-Ki vs. Minoru
Ah, Minoru Fujita, the scrawny Japanese indy guy who wormed his way into our hearts. And what a wonderful world it is when he has to come to the United States and not be the smallest guy in a match. I've noticed that Fujita has hammed it up a bit with his facials and some of the stuff he's done in the U.S., but he still brings the wrestle. This is a fun a match. They both work a few counters to each other's attempts to work the arm. Ki goes for the Dragon Clutch early, but Fujita fights out. Fujita hits a real pretty Dragon suplex during this, and teases doing a super version. Ki knocks his way out of it and does a flip over into the clutch for the win. The match was good, but I would have liked to see it go about another 5 or 10 minutes.
The Briscoe Brothers
(Mark & Jay) vs. Youth Gone Wild (Insane Dragon & Dixie) for the
JAPW Tag Team Titles
This was my first time seeing the Briscoes in action and I thought they looked good. They have a pretty solid base of technical wrestling and some nice double teams, including a back breaker/second rope knee drop and an Indian Deathlock with a chinlock followed by a drop kick to the head. Insane Dragon seems like he spends most of the time in the ring and pretty much plays the face in peril. He also gets in a few crazy spots including a Frankensteiner off the apron to the floor and a shooting star body press to the floor off the apron. I was sort of bugged by the fact that as the face in peril, there really didn't seem to be a lot of Dragon trying to make the tag during the match as it seemed he'd get back in control and rather than tag, he'd go for a big spot, which sort of killed the big moves and offense the Briscoes were getting. Eventually, Dixie gets the hot tag. Jay Briscoe gets a near fall with a Tiger Driver, the finish Jay gets hit in the back by Dragon on the apron and then eats a rolling elbow from Dixie for the pin. This was OK, I think this would have been a little better with more Dixie. Post match, the Hit Squad run in and lay both guys to waste as they hit dangerous suplexes on YGW and then hit a Burning Hammer and Ganso bomb on the Briscoes.
Overall, this wasn't a bad show. Ki and Fujita was good but short. The tag main event was good, but had some psychology flaws, but given how old some of the guys probably are it can probably slide. They do need to see some Fantastics and Rock 'n Rolls v. the Midnight Express matches though. The Hit Squad match was ok, Tommy Suede looked better than he did in the other match I had seen him in, but they have had more entertaining squash matches to their credit as well.
On to NIGHT 1
We have swearing and almost nekkid college girls. This is IWA-MS
Hy-Zaya is quite the enigma for us here at the DVDVR. Some times, we are like “Hey, Zaya ain’t too bad and is fun too watch.” There are other times were we scratch our heads and wonder what the fuck went wrong. I do know that Zaya recently came back from an injury so that might have been part of the deal. Hey, Uncle Honkey. You just stay there and don’t think about wrestling. The thingy on the TV called him only Dysfunction but the announcers keep saying “Dysfunction” Kurt Krueger so who knows. Dysfunction is what I thought it was to begin with so that is what we are going with. Of course, I could be thinking of the other Dysfunction. There is another Dysfunction, right? Jesus, someone needs to great a giant wrestling IMDB. Along with the sports IMDB. Anyway, very basic match as Dysfunction hasn’t been wrestling terribly long (since he is billed as an 18-year-old rookie). There is some obvious spot calling but what can you do. Dysfunction has some nifty little moves including this stomach buster out of a DVD. He also isn’t afraid to get splattered against some chairs and dumped on his head. My biggest problem with this match – if you want to call it that – is that a lot of Zaya’s offensive is really countering something elaborate into something else elaborate. Now we all know that these things always sound good when talked about but never look great because they are so hard to pull off. One example would be when Dysfunction tries a rana off the ring apron and Zaya turns it into a powerbomb onto a pile of chairs. It came off more looking like Dysfunction decided to take a back bump onto some chairs while Zaya spread his legs. Of course, this is a problem with lots of the wrestling today – offense is not really offense but I am getting onto a rant and there is a whole lotta wrestling left to watch. Zaya wins with the Ric Blade death wish looking swanton from the top turnbuckle to the floor.
“Rugby Thug” Trent Baker (12th seed) vs. Nova (5th seed)
Its these moments where we clearly see why Schneider is much better suited to write the reviews of Ian Rotten’s fed. Because he would bust out some of his creepy rugby stories and then he would make lots of Nova in his gay pants joke. In turn, I fight the urge to pass out at my computer screen (also known as pulling a Jeff Strauch). Okay, does Nova always point at his dick this much and I never noticed or is this a new thing? Things break down early as they blow one of the carefully crafted Nova organized wrestling sequences – which actually seemed to be Rugby Thug’s fault. There are a lot of decent attempts at wrestling here, the execution of it just stinks. The basic story of the match is that Rugby Thug – your World Heavyweight Champion – is not used to this wrestling thing, so he struggles in this tournament. Still, I don’t agree with jobbing your champion in the first round but I ain’t the booker. Now, I know why my body kept putting me to sleep. Besides the fact that the wrestling got worse and worse, I get ominous feelings as Chris Hero’s run in is thwarted by Nova applying Hero’s own finisher. So Nova gets to go over the Heavyweight Champ and down Hero with Hero’s own move. Not good. Not good at all.
C.M. Punk (4th seed)
vs. Dino Bambino (13th)
This is an example of why TomK is so much better to write these reviews than I am as he could bust out a classic line about the creepy at-full-attention nipples of C.M. Punk. Punk is so my new favorite heel right now. I so want him to punch the kid in the ICP face paint but alas it is not to be. Bambino does a ton of fruity embellishments but he also works stiff so I can ignore the splits. Punk is great at selling – especially remembering to sell his own body parts on suplexes and back breakers - and he does the coolest tied in the ropes spot that all cowardly heels should steal. Dear God, these two decide to redden each other’s chests and I love it. Punk also does a pump-handle piledriver that doesn’t expose the business and I am so digging this match. Add taking a huge beating to the pluses of Dino Bambino. Someone needs to teach him that he can protect himself somewhat on the ring post bumps. He also has a guillotine leg drop centered offense – including a cross the ring one that appears to legit knockout C.M. Punk. Punk’s loopiness causes a little confusion as he can’t kick out like he should (awkward moments abound.) This causes Bambino to use a shooting star press to the groin as the finish. I enjoyed this thoroughly.
BJ Whitmer (6th seed)
vs. Mike Quackenbush (11th seed)
BJ Whitmer was the source of much entertainment during the compiling of the 500, as Dean could never remember his name as ended up calling him like 17 different names. (BJ Whitmer, Ryan Whitmer, Chris Whitmer) At one point, I think he occupied at least 5 different spots at once. Whitmer is also replacing Chip Fairway in the tournament. I have never seen Fairway wrestle so I can’t pass judgment on if that is a step up or down. It is rather amusing to see Quack work as a pure face in front of a crowd that is more interested chanting for ICP or watching Ian Rotten jam thumbtacks into people’s nipples. Two kicks and a tricked out lucha submission later and the crowd loves Quackenbush. That is another reason I love Quack. He started out as the guy on the indy scene who was gleaming things from Japan left and right. Well now everyone is doing it and some of them can do it better, so Quackenbush changed his style to being the guy who does the freaky lucha submissions. Fun little match. Goes about 11-12 minutes. Whitmer wins with a punch to the groin and a frog splash as Quackenbush continues to basically be the Negro Casas in Japan of the US Indy scene (And if that isn’t a Meltzer Observer sentence, I don’t know what is.)
Chris Hero (3rd seed)
vs. Adam Pearce (14th seed)
I really need to stop thinking that Hero is Christian York when I quickly glance at the screen. Because then I start to go “AH JESUS! I have to watch another indy fed with York in it”. For those that need to know these things, Hero is your defending Sweet Science champ. Despite the separated at birth feelings, Hero continues to be one of favorite wrestlers and we eagerly await the comp tape. (Hero vs. Cash Flo for 60 MINUTES! DADDY!) Ah, little did we know that Pearce was going to be retiring a few months after this tournament. And the most ironic thing is that I have never been impressed with Pearce, so Dean watched this show and Schneider watched the KOTI and both were like “We don’t know what your problem with Pearce is.” Pearce finally impressed me and now he is retired. Oh well. I really enjoyed this match. Full of big bumps, stiff strikes and superior selling. This is the Adam Pearce I wanted to see. Not the one wrestling Josh Wilcox or the one who might have punked out Stan Lane. You really want to see this. I really don’t want to spoil this finish but that is the problem with reviewing tournaments; you are going to know one way or the other. I will just let you know that Pearce goes over in the upset. And this tournament is absolutely not going as I expected it (well, except the Nova win).
Tarek the Great (8th
seed) vs. Colt Cabana (9th seed)
AWESOME! This tournament just keeps on giving. Geez, you always forget how tiny Tarek is. (and against the 6’ foot Cabana he looks down right Abdunaiesqe) Thank God, he is a motherfucking great wrestler. We are told that Cabana is the 9th seed and Tarek is the 8th seed. So that means that I now need to find out all the other seeds. Stupid crappy announcers. Hate World. Revenge Soon. (Give me a sec as I go back an add everyone’s seeds in – of course, half of them are done by process of elimination. Carry the 1.) Lots of professional wrestling to love including the Cabana fist drops that we have heard Dean fawn over already. (Side Note – C.M. Punk is doing color for this match and mentions he got a concussion in the match against Bambino. And then I found on the net an interview where he said he was K.O.ed so that explains that). Still, this isn’t a good as it should be. Plenty enjoyable but not without its flaws (too much chin lock as restholds, some blown transitions). Plus there is an unnecessary ref bump. Tarek goes over with a chair shot and a brainbuster.
Non-Tournament - Cash
Flo vs. Psycho Patrick w/ the Insane Clown Posse
Ugh! This is what I was dreading, the ICP sighting. And speaking of the aforementioned Cash Flo. There is lots of mic work with Patrick talking about how he isn’t “the greatest motherfucker in the world. But I’s got to do this shit on my own.” Or, something to that effect. He could have been talking about getting a haircut or taking a shower. What do I know? This isn’t very good. Patrick still doesn’t know how to apply a collar & elbow properly. That is leading me to believe that he is Violent J trained.They try lots of wrestling that doesn’t go very well. We get to the brawling, which is just an excuse for Flo to miss a legdrop off the top of the bleachers. Back to the “wrestling”. I mentally begin to organize my sock drawer. Flo eventually wins and then we get a round of everybody gives Patrick verbal felattio as they talk about how much heart he has and how he can wrestle in IWA anytime. I look at it as an opportunity for Ian to come out to show everyone that he was in the building.
Mitch Ryder (#1 seed)
vs. Mark Wolf (#16 seed)
Okay, let me try to sum this up. Ryder is the replacement for Reckless Youth – who was the #1 seed. So that makes Ryder the #1 seed by default and I do start to wonder if he is now going to win the whole thing. Wolf has been only wrestling like a year. He has wrestled Ryder a lot so they have some issues. Wolf supposedly demanded this matchup and vowed to retire if he didn’t win. I am floored that Wolf doesn’t spell his name with an E just like Maverick Wild doesn’t spell his name with an E. Don’t these people know the goofy unwritten laws of wrestling? Ryder looks like the mutant offspring of Brian Christopher, Nightmare Danny Davis and Doug Gilbert in one of the creepier wrestling manage-a-trios you could think of. Ryder jumps Wolf at the start and Wolf blades about a minute in. And then Ryder blades too. And this match is just a garbagy brawl, which goes completely against the point of the tournament. Glorified squash but Ian does the run-in because he is best buds with Wolf and because he needs to mess up the tournament. Wolf moves on. Ryder sure did bleed a lot and sure did take some unprotected chairshots from Ian. Better man than I.
Danny Dominion (#15
seed) vs. American Kickboxer (#2 seed)
Finally. I have been waiting for the Kickboxer match. We work a big man/little man match here. So Kickboxer kicks the hell out of Dominion’s legs and uses the highflying to take down Dominion. Dominion sells the leg for a little bit and I start to get happy and then he doesn’t and I get bitter again. I also would point out that you need to listen for the creepy Colt Cabana commentary. I have seen better Kickboxer matches and I think part of the problem was that Kickboxer was less than motivated because he was getting eliminated in the first round. I wonder what the fuck Kickboxer did to piss Ian off because it seems like he is doing a million jobs now. Dominion’s valet strips to distract Kicboxer and Dominion wins. So I wonder why have seeds when you are going to have the 14th, 15th and 16th seeds win. Because instead of having one underdog, you have three and you have overkill
More swearing and nakedness.
Ace Steel (10th seed)
vs. Suicide Kid (7th seed)
Why the E hate? Why does no one love the E? Kid is working with a bum shoulder because he got jumped the week before. Boy, for a guy with a bum shoulder he sure is doing a lot with it. Steel is fun and delivers bunches of selling. Kid pisses me off by not selling the taped shoulder and throwing terrible strikes. Oh and the headbutt to the groin. God, I hate that spot. JESUS CHRIST! Kid misses a charge into the corner, slams his taped shoulder into the buckles and then he completely no sells. Enough of this shit. Steel is doing his best but now I am just disgusted with Kid and his titanium shoulder. I could site a million different examples of how Kid's lack of selling the shoulder destroyed this match but this review is already going to be plenty long. Steel wins when Kid blows another spot – this time probably legit injuring his shoulder. Ace Steel is good. And I hope someone had a little chat with Kid.
Man Pondo vs. Ian Rotten – Barefoot Thumbtack Death Match
Oooh… I am so not in the mood to review this right now. AND the ICP are back. FUCK THAT! I will be back. (Watching the Jets lose terribly didn't help.) Hey, Ian appears to have well manicured feet so it seems odd that he would book himself in this match. Ah, THERE’s the thumbtack to the nipples that we have been hearing so much about. Well, does Indiana have a pasty law? Because if they do, that would explain why they did that spot. Lord knows I wouldn’t want to have to pay the fine for having Ian’s man boobs uncovered. You know how some death matches are pimped because they have lots of wrestling in between the death spots? You know how some death matches have lots of brawling and craziness in between the death spots? This has neither as it basically “Oh, it’s my turn to put my face in the thumbtacks? Okay.” “Oh, it’s my turn to jump in the thumbtacks? Okay.” If you have seen one death match where guys jab things into each other, you have seen them all. Blood and stabbing. Blood and stabbing. Oh this is what we needed. Three girls remove their shirts AND the ICP turn on Mad Man Pondo. At least Shaggy 2 Dope – always the bumper of the duo – gets powerbombed into the thumbtacks by C.M. Punk. All so Rotten can win another death match. Completely stupid to run a match like this on a card where you are pimping a “scientific tournament”. But I am not Ian. Thank God. I will be on later with Night Two.
Mike Naimark's Top
20 Shoots of the 90s.
(by MIKE NAIMARK)
Greetings fight fans, and welcome back to the most recent long-overdue issue of the revered Death Valley Driver Video Review, a two-fisted bare-knuckle assault on the sissified sensibilities you’ve been subjected to since the North American pro-graps scene went straight to hell. The good news is that you can start wearing that old ‘N-W-O’ shirt that’s been sitting on the bottom of your drawer since the first Clinton administration. Fat chance it’ll still fit you after all these years of delivery pizza and ‘fried whatever’, but that’s what being an old-timer is al about. You signed on when it was still ‘4-Life’, and now it’s time to collect, brother!
Presented for your distinguished approval today is my long overdue ballot of the ‘Best MMA/NHB of the 90s’. You still remember the 90s, don’t you? Power Rangers, grunge music, pierced everything, and having to explain to Chinese graduate students why everybody is talking about this Lewinski lass (thank goodness I found a Chinese-English dictionary with an entry under ‘fellatio’ – I would have thought that word would be expelled as a result of the Cultural Revolution); how long before the creatively-impaired FOX network starts pushing ‘That 90s Show’? I think they should go ahead and do it, but throw a new spin on this tired format by making it, “That 1890s Show”. The dialogue would be the bee’s knees! “Consarn it, who took my chamber pot? And what the heck is this clogging up the butter churn?” Ah, so wacky.
But enough! Let’s get back to one of the best things to happen during the 1990s, the emergence of MMA shootfighting as a viable spectator sport in the 1990s. Ranging from bare-knuckle brutality in Brazil to fluid no-punching grappling clinics in Japan, MMA cast a wide net from coast to coast and looks to be here for the long haul. Choosing the 20 best fights is a daunting task, but I’ll take my overdue crack at the task, and await the chastisement of our dedicated and educated readership.
#20 – Masa Funaki
vs. Frank Shamrock, (Pancrase “Eyes of the Beast’ tour).
A short but fun match that kept the action moving and manages to hold up well despite the presence of rope-breaks and the exclusive use of open-handed slapping. Some fluid matwork and a crazed tumble from the ring make this a memorable match worth watching again.
#19 – Murilo Bustamante
vs. Tom Erikson (MARS)
One of my all-time favorite matchups from an ill-fated flop of a PPV. For perhaps 30 minutes, the wiry 188lb Bustamante fended off the powerful ground-n-pound of a 280lb world-class freestyle wrestler in an astounding display of pure jiu-jitsu technique. Erikson shows a keen intellect to match his physical prowess, however, and spends the final 15 minutes of the fight on his feet, diving on to the grounded Bustamante, throwing some hard hammer fists to the head, and backing away before Bustamante can counter. 45 minutes of pure intensity and skill in a match that appeals to the serious MMA aficionado.
#18 – Jose ‘Pele’
Landi-Jons vs. Jorge Patino (Brazil Vale Tudo Fighting #6)
A fight with everything – grappling, escapes, punishing striking, and a serious personal grudge to motivate both men to new heights. Both men leave everything in the ring in an incredible display of heart and skill, while trading taunts and insults between exchanges. Pele eventually gets the upper hand and forces a stoppage after almost 15 minutes of action in one of the best fights to ever come out of Brazil, the MMA capitol of the universe.
#17 – Royce Gracie
vs. Kimo (UFC3)
Considered an amazing test of wills at the time, this fight hasn’t aged well and can now be viewed as Kimo beating on Gracie up until the final moments of the match, and Gracie using every trick in the book just to survive. Of course, Kimo gave Royce the toughest test he’d face until Kazushi Sakuraba nearly 10 years later! Kimo has since been exposed as a one-dimensional brawler, but was a sensation at the time.
#16 – Maurice Smith vs. Conan Silviera
As prequel to Smith’s now-legendary battle against Mark Coleman in the UFC, this fight carried the same back story as the Coleman match – a dominant grappler as the heavyweight champ, and a kickboxer challenger who is widely viewed as a sacrificial lamb fighting for a moral victory at best. Smith showed all the elements that made him a superstar in the martial-arts world after 15 years of kickboxing competition – stamina, patience, and basic anti-grappling. The first Hollywood-style KO kick to the head puts the cherry on top of this classic battle.
#15 – Renzo Gracie
vs. Eugenio Tadeau (Pentagon Combat)
A fight that has become best known for it’s ‘extra-curricular’ activities in the crowd, but what has become overlooked was a fine battle between two seasoned MMA stars in the MMA capitol of the universe. Tadeau’s unorthodox approach to the Vale Tudo style gave the technically superior Gracie headaches all night and led to level reversals at moments when you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking the fight was about 10 seconds from being over. Easily the best moment of Tadeau’s career, and one of the numerous MMA rematches that should have happened but never did.
#14 - Danny
Bennett vs. J.R. Palmer (Superbrawl 3)
Proof that mediocre fighters can engage in classic battles. Palmer was a poster boy for the Hawaii-based Superbrawl promotion, a wiry bundle of energy possessing little if any pure technique but ample amounts of athleticism and intensity topped off with stubby dreadlocks. Danny Bennett was a total unknown in this, his first fight. Palmer had been overwhelming opponents with his buzzsaw style, but Bennett stayed cool and survived the early assaults. On the ground, Palmer escaped numerous submission attempts with his flailing and bucking defense. The match ends in dramatic fashion as Bennett pursues a tiring Palmer and literally knocks him out of the ring with a flashy round kick to the head. A great fight most people haven’t seen.
#13 – Vanderlei Silva
vs. Arturo Mariano (International Vale Tudo Championships #3)
Bare-knuckle Brazilian battles don’t get much more brutal than this outstanding fight from early in Silva’s career. Mariano opens up a huge gash on Silva’s ape-like brow in the early going, but Vanderlei shows enormous fortitude and continues to press the action. As the fight wears on, it seems that Silva is just a few shots away from overcoming Mariano’s early advantage, but the cut begins to run and the fight is stopped to protect his health. Silva showed all the tools he needed to reach the lofty status he occupies now, while Mariano faded into obscurity almost immediately after the fight.
#12 – Bas Rutten vs.
Tsuyoshi Kohasaka (UFC 18)
A match with highlighted the all-around skills of the former King of Pancrase Rutten and RINGS star Kohsaka on the biggest MMA stage in North America. This match had it all – active groundwork, powerful striking, and two fearless veteran fighters willing to leave it all in the ring. The fight is marred by two perplexing standups ordered by referee John McCarthy, which may have allowed Rutten to survive until the overtime, where he unleashed a brutal flurry of strikes that crumbled Kohsaka.
#11) Don Frye vs.
Tank Abbott (UUFC’96)
The best 2-minute match you’ll ever see, with the 215lb Frye standing toe-to-toe against the 270lb wrecking machine Tank Abbott, with neither man taking a backwards step in the finals of the Ultimate Ultimate tournament. Frye gets the worst of the punching exchanges and is bloodied, but Abbott suffers some ill luck and slips before he can finish his opponent. Frye take advantage and chokes Abbott out to win his second UFC tournament victory in a match of pure adrenaline.
#10) Randy Couture
vs. Vitor Belfort (UFC15)
Belfort was ‘The Phenom’ of the UFC in 1997, a powerfully built young Brazilian whose blazing handspeed overwhelmed every foe the UFC put in his path. After demolishing top UFC heavyweights Tra Telligman, Scott Ferrozo, and Tank Abbott with effortless ease, Belfort faced the veteran Greco-Roman wrestler Randy Couture in a match which many predicted would mark the debut of Belfort’s amazing groundfighting technique. Instead, a stunned audience was witness to the unveiling of Couture’s brilliant boxing abilities, as the seasoned wrestler utilized every basic boxing technique available to frustrate and tire Belfort, who came into the match much heavier and more muscular than in previous bouts. When Belfort’s handspeed deserted him, Couture closed the distance and controlled the fight, until Belfort collapsed in a helpless heap at his feet.
#9) Pete Williams
vs. Mark Coleman (UFC17)
Coming off the first loss of his MMA career, 2-time UFC tournament champ Mark Coleman vowed to reestablish himself as the most dangerous heavyweight in the world, and his first victim would be unheralded Lion’s Den fighter Pete Williams. Williams, an unimpressive physical specimen, presented a stark contrast to the overmuscled bulk of the Coleman juggernaut. Once the fight began, however, Coleman showed once again the limited nature of his skills, while Williams excelled defensively and withstood Coleman’s onslaught without injury. The fight ended when Williams blasted a tired Coleman with one of the most violent kicks in MMA history, a crushing round kick that impacted the center of Coleman’s face with an unforgiving shin.
#8) Matt Hume vs.
Erik Paulson (EFC3)
A great evenly-matched war between two of North America’s most experienced light-heavyweights. Paulson, a shooto star known for his diverse abilities, and Hume, a kickboxer who learned grappling the hard way against the submissions specialists in Pancrase, put on a MMA clinic, demonstrated an encyclopedia of both standing and grappling techniques to the delight of the audience. Hume’s unpolished groundwork proves a perfect foil for Paulson’s silky technical expertise, while Paulson shows the American audience that he can strike with the more experienced kickboxer and get the best of many exchanges. This thrilling match ended when the attending physician ruled Hume was no longer able to continue as a result of a cut, and once again, no rematch occurred, robbing fight fans yet again.
#7) Pedro Rizzo vs.
Tra Telligman (UFC20)
An outstanding match between two good-sized heavyweight who decided to stand and brawl. Telligman took the early edge with an opening flurry that had Rizzo reeling and covering up, and it appear the fight was on the verge of stoppage as Telligman threw everything he had at Rizzo. But the Marco Ruas student survived with some deft boxing defense and a smidgen of luck, and after some recovery time launched his counter-assault and pounded Telligman with strong kicks to the leg and stiff punches. The end came when Rizzo landed a stinging whip kick to Telligman’s leg, followed up beautifully by a straight right hand that dropped Telligman in a dazed heap.
#6) Mario Sperry vs.
Igor Zinoviev (EFC1)
The debut PPV from the Extreme Fighting promotion featured many of the kind of mismatches that were the hallmark of early North American MMA, but this gem still stands out today. Sperry, a Brazilian fighter with formidable ground skills, was pushed to the absolute limit but the relative unknown Zinoviev, a former Russian Olympic judo star. Sperry gets position on Zinoviev and appears close to ending the fight on several occasions, but the spry Russian manages to find an escape each and every time. The end was mired in controversy, as Sperry attempts to leap on Zinoviev’s back for a rear-naked choke, only to sail over his shoulders and eat a knee to the head which opens a nasty cut. Did Sperry tap? Was he just wiping blood from his face?
#5) Karo Uno vs. Rumina
Sato (Shooto 10th Anniversary)
Shooto fighters are well-respected internationally for their dynamic style and unsurpassed conditioning, and they didn’t come any more exciting or rugged than these two champions. Sato, a mainstay of Shooto since its inception, plays the grizzled veteran against he babyfaced Uno in a match with non-stop action in every aspect of the fight game. Sato uses every technique in his vast arsenal and Uno matches him hold-for-hold in a match so filled with drama and intensity that whispers of ‘work’ would have surrounded it if it had occurred in PRIDE. After almost 15 minutes of non-stop action, Uno finally manages to put Sato away with a choke, and a new star is born for the Shooto promotion.
#4) Jerry Bohlander
vs. Kevin Jackson
At the same time some ignoramuses were tarring the UFC as ‘human cock fighting’, 1996 Olympic gold medallist Kevin Jackson was taking his all-world wrestling skills and making mincemeat of his opposition. Frank Shamrock put an end to Jackson’s reign of terror with a flash armbar in less than 20 seconds, and Jackson hoped to exact his revenge against Shamrock student Jerry Bohlander. Bohlander, in his first fight since being knocked out by Murilo Bustamante in Brazil, demonstrated remarkable poise as the stronger and quicker Jackson dictated the early going of the fight, scoring takedowns at will and attempting to submit Bohlander with a series of neck cranks and punches. Unlike Mark Coleman’s figth against Pete Williams, Jackson’s conditioning was equal to the task as the fight stretched to ten minutes without a let up. Finally, after several near-misses from the guard, Bohlander manages to invert himself and lock in a picturesque armbar. Jackson refused to tap, even as his arm was being painfully hyper extended, but referee John McCarthy stepped in and saved Jackson from a broken arm to give Bohlander the nod.
#3) Frank Shamrock
vs. Enson Inoue (Japan Vale Tudo ’97)
Another well-rounded matchup between two outstanding young fighter with no glaring weaknesses, this fight featured both heated striking exchanges on the feet and fluid maneuvers on the ground. After a torrid exchange in the third round, Shamrock landed a mighty kneestrike that sent Inoue crumbling to the canvas. Shamrock continued his assault even as the referee tried to separate him from Inoue, leading to Enson’s brother Egan jumping into the fray. The official verdict for the fight was that Enson was DQ’d for Egan’s interference, but Shamrock had the fight won fair and square.
#2) Maurice Smith
vs. Mark Coleman (UFC14)
The first UFC match that can really be labeled as an epic confrontation, this match was everything that MMA could promise to a curious world. Awesome wrestler Coleman was so overwhelming in his two UFC tournament wins that he was widely thought to be unbeatable on the ground; even UFC champion Don Frye seemed helpless to defend against Coleman withering assault. Maurice Smith was brought in as the reigning champion of the defunct Extreme Fighting promotion, and had already proven himself as a foil to grapplers with his knockout of Gracie fighter Conan Silviera, but very few people gave Smith a chance to even be competitive in this fight – lasting 10 minutes would be a huge moral victory in the eyes of the pundits. Not only did Smith survive, he thrived against Coleman’s bruising ground attack using skills gleaned from intense training sessions with Tsuyoshi Kohsaka and Frank Shamrock, deftly thwarting Coleman’s ground-n-pound with movement and an almost zen-like calm in the face of danger. Soon, Coleman was exhausted and Smith was pressing the action, tagging the bulky wrestler with stiff punches and clubbing whip kicks to the legs. When the final overtime ended, there was little doubt that Maurice Smith had shocked the MMA world and proved the legions of detractors wrong with a thrilling and brilliant effort against an undefeated champion.
#1) Frank Shamrock
vs. Tito Ortiz (UFC22)
The only match from the decade of the 1990s that could rival Smith v Coleman for drama, intensity, and backstory. Tito Ortiz rebounded from an early controversial loss to Lion’s Den fighter Guy Mezger by launching an all-around physical and psychological assault on the Shamrock camp. After beating Jerry Bohlander, Ortiz smirked and flipped the middle finger to Bohlander’s corner, which included Ken Shamrock. In a rematch with Mezger, Ortiz dominated the fight and pounded Guy into submission before donning a t-shirt which claimed, “Gay Mezger is My Bitch”. And so it fell to the Lion Den’s reigning light-heavyweight, Frank Shamrock, to defend the honor of his team against the cocky young fighter from Huntington Beach. In a thrilling war, Shamrock found himself working from the guard for most of the early going against he powerful Ortiz. Patient and methodical, Shamrock chose his spots and absorbed punishment as the minutes ticked by. Sensing his advantage over Ortiz growing as the fight dragged on, Shamrock soon began to dominate position, and at the very end of the 4th round, some 20 minutes after the start of the fight, Shamrock began to pound an exhausted and helpless Ortiz into submission. Since that fight, Shamrock has essentially retired from active MMA conpetition, while Ortiz has gone on to dominate the division, but on this particular night, Frank Shamrock was in no mood to pass the torch, and Tito Ortiz, now famous for his flaming ring gear, was the one who got burned.
And there you have it fight fans! The 1990s are just a distant memory, but these matches have stood the test of time and shown the world the best MMA combat easily rivals the greatest legendary battles in any sport, bar none.
And now that we’ve entered the 2000s, how has MMA evolved? Come back next time as I review my predictions for 2001, The Year That Wasn’t, and run down my top performers of the year. Until then, keep your hands up and your chin down, and don’t insult Tank Abbott in a hotel elevator!
South Sweet Science 16 – 9/8/01, Charleston, IN (NIGHT 2)
(by PHIL RIPPA)
I really really should have just stuck with the tournament. There is a ton of talking to open Night 2. All I know is that C.M. Punk is now wrestling in a three-way against Tracy Smothers (YEAH!) and Sabu (BOO!). I am so glad I stopped to listen to Ian talk because you gave never here him drop the word “faggot” enough. UGH!
Tarek the Great vs. Mark Wolf
I really like Tarek but he does look like he just stumbled out of Middle Earth (Come on. You knew someone had to make the bad Lord of the Rings reference.) We are back to the wrestling and Tarek isn’t afraid to bring the motherfucking pain. He crushes Wolf with some kicks and lariats and finishes him off with a nasty, nasty Tarek Buster (Ki-Krusher). Wolf wrestling is better than Wolf brawling. He takes a beating and has some basic offense. Tarek takes Wolf by the hand and leads him to a very watchable match. The ref bumps and valet interference are kept at a minimum and I have no problems with this match.
Dino Bambino vs. Nova
This was good. The execution of moves was much better than it was in the first Nova match, partly because I think Bambino is a stronger wrestler than Rugby Thug. One of the better Nova matches I have seen as there wasn’t a ton of comically bad punches and the elaborate jazz hands routines were cut down to a minimum. Nova didn’t sell enough to really put this over the top but I have seen plenty of Nova matches that have made me want to break the TV. Nova advances with an inverted Pedigree.
Hero/Mike Quackenbush vs. American Kickboxer/Colt Cabana
Hero is wearing very, very bright pants. Quack and Hero are working the “partners don’t get along” gimmick for this match. On paper, this should be great but it seems that nothing is going my way on this tape. This takes a little while getting started but it has got plenty to love. Hero gets his jaw broken by some Kickboxer kicks and Quackenbush busts out the Cerebro Submission. I could have lived without the Cash Flo/Hy-Zaya commentary but the commentary is a big problem throughout the tape. Actual is US Indy wrestling in general. Let’s focus on the Actual Wrestling. Everyone needs to steal the freaked out Hero DDT (which is like a reverse Russian Leg Sweep/DDT combo). Kickboxer and Hero work really well together despite the giant size difference. There is even a spiffy spot where Kickboxer does a rana off the top of the entranceway on Hero that I certainly would not try unless I had 110% confidence in the guy I was working with. Hero and Quack probably do too much of the bickering duo – and they fail to slap each other in the face when tagging each in (they just slap each others hands really hard) – at least for my tastes, they might have done it an a little more subtle way (reluctant to tag in or out. A missed punch or kick here or there.) Anyway, Cabana and Kickboxer work well as a team and Hero and Quackenbush don’t. Quack gets fed up and turns on Hero, which leads Hero to taking the out-of-control Harlem Hangover from Cabana for the loss.
Ace Steel vs. Danny
When tag teams partners collide. Steel and Dominion, whilst tag partners, suddenly have lots of issues and we get to hear all about it. And of course, it basically is accusing the other of being gay. The basic info to get out of the way now: Dominion is the face because he has the valet. He is also the “power” wrestler of the two, despite the two men having similar jacked physiques. I could see the Meltz toweling himself after watching this. This is way better than I thought it would be. Dominion is the best Lex Luger I have ever seen as his forearms and clotheslines actually look credible and he drops his good buddy right on his head a few times. Plus, his selling was better than the previous round. Steel unveils the Terry Funk sell that the kids love so much. Hell, he even sells his forearm after delivering a five arm. Full Worldwide point there. Steel has by far and away impressed me the most out of everyone in the tournament so far. The ending is about as clean as it is going to get as Steel hits a springboard swinging DDT for the 1-2-3. Of course, the person who looked the strongest at the end of the match is Dominion’s valet, Adira James (or something), because she takes Steel out with a head scissors and a swinging DDT of her own. She even shows off her boobies. As per usual, the Fans are the real winners. (Was there enough dripping sarcasm there?)
BJ Whitmer vs. Adam
Whitmer is a Benoit clone and that is a big load to shoulder. But he looks real good in this match. That does have a lot to do with the fact that Pearce brings the wrestling too. (You can mark this done as the moment that I go full on revisionist history mode with Adam Pearce). The power slam and the spinebuster. Geez, this is the Adam Pearce that I always wanted to see. Whitmer takes a whipping for the first part of the match and then adeptly works on Pearce’s knee during his offensive portions. The one problem was the application of the knee bar and figure four were a tad balky but that is splitting hair. Can’t complain about focusing on a body part. The frog splash that Whitmer went for (and missed) seemed out of line with the flow of the match but that can be blamed on poor planning. Neat ending as Pearce does three powerbomb variations to finally put Whitmer away. AND he sells the knee all the way to the back.
Flo vs. Pyscho Patrick
Fuck no. I already suffered through this match once.
Tarek the Great vs. Nova
Much like with Doug Williams, this is a great example of why we love Tarek the Great so much – dragging a good match out of Nova. Unlike the last match, Nova isn’t afraid to bust out his comical martial arts. Tarek, though, makes him look like Bruce Lee instead of Bruce Vilanch. There are times when I wonder if Nova watches tapes of himself because no sane person could look at his strikes and “oh yeah, they don’t expose the business.” Because there has been FAR too much other stuff on this night, this match is way shorter than a semi should - around7 minutes. Nova counters the Tarek Buster into the Kryptonite Krunch for the win (which he also doesn’t protect Tarek on so Tarek loses about 2 years worth of memories.)
Ace Steel vs. Adam
I was stoked about this match because these two were having the best tournaments. But Pearce is selling the knee so he has to modify the way he is wrestling. What they did was still quality - don't get me wrong. It was just a different kind of quality. Pearce’s knee keeps betraying him so he can’t sustain long bouts of offense and Steel – understanding the idea of the match – does nothing but work over the knee (including a neat dropkick to the knee from the top). Since he has had previous knee injuries, Pearce can draw of real life experience in his selling and it shows because he does an outstanding job of getting over that his knee is toast (complete with the smacking his own leg to get feeling back into it). Steel advances with a vicious looking side single crab. Really really good. Probably the match of the tournament.
Punk vs. Tracy Smothers vs. Sabu
Man, I haven’t seen Smothers in forever (one of the reasons that Tracy had to be dropped from the 500. Damn you Rasmussen.) Insert standard 3-way hatred here. Ugh. Not only does Sabu show up but Bill Alfonso AND the Insane Clown Posse wander to the ring. Won’t this night ever end? Punk talks shit about everyone so that leads to him getting double teamed by Sabu and Smothers. That lasts for a while until the first pinfall attempts happen, from there on it is the standard three way spot-a-thon. Smothers might have lost a step but he still knows how to throw a punch and properly construct a match. Unfortunately, when you have to set yourself up for the usual "Sabu with a chair" spots the love from me is minimal. The Punk/Smothers sections are fun but not outstanding (too sloppy and too slow). Smothers will still oversell two crowd bumps into the chairs and you just want to run up and give him a hug for being such a fucking man. Sabu on the other hand blows the same leap off the chair spot twice in quick succession. Boy, I am really starting to drag and the table is brought into the ring so I am moving onto the end. Man, break the God Damn table already so we can take this sucker home. There we go (of course, Smothers is the one who takes the brunt of it.) Punk steals the win as Sabu clutches and grabs.
Man Pondo/Mitch Ryder/Adam Gooch vs. Ian Rotten/Shaggy 2 Dope/Violent J
This is the longest fucking card EVER. I have to check that there aren’t wrestling on an Island. I ain’t fucking reviewing this shit. Especially with the SHOOTY~! Promos at the start. You can write your own review. Liberally use the words “crappy”, “blood”, “suck” and “brawling” along with your own choices of cuss words and you are on your way.
Sweet Science 16 Finals
Ace Steel vs. Nova
Such a scatter shot affair. Steel is a really good cowardly heel and he has a strong enough offense to carry the match. He busts out tons of submissions and you want to like the match. But you get comedy spots, a huge Zybysko stall at the beginning and Steel just applying holds for the sake of applying holds. Then there is the totally unnecessary ref bump. Steel wins the whole sha-bang. So your 2001 champ gets laid out by a valet and gets laid out by a guy who doesn’t work for the promotion (Nova) after the match. That is some quality booking.
Mean Mitch Page vs.
Corporal Robinson – Barbed Wire Pool of Leeches Death Match
Two shows billed as the “Sweet Science 16” and the main eventers are…. THE LEECHES. Oh yeah, this is what I wanted to finish up this Bataan Death Match of a review. I laugh uncontrollably as the announcers talk about how since the show ran long it is now after 1 am and so to save time they didn’t make it a no-rope Barbed Wire match. And the explanation takes a good two minutes. We get right too the jabbing of each other with barbed wire. They hit each other with stuff and bleed into the pool. Again, there is no real rhyme or reason to anything. We tease spots into the kiddie pool (the humor of a kiddie pool with frogs on it being used in a Death Match is not lost on me.) Now, since the crowd has been here for like 14 hours, all they want to see is someone take the bump into the leeches. So no one gives a rat ass when light bulbs and barbed wire crutches are used. And they are less then pleased when the participants brawl out of the ring. I, because I have lost the will to live, fast forward to the leech bump. Corporal Robinson takes a Rock Bottom into the leeches and the leeches no sell everything, refusing to attach themselves to Robinson. I have seen monkey shit fights at the zoo more organized. This goes on for ages as each guy miraculously recovers from various beatings. One leech finally decides to go along with the plan and attaches itself to Page’s back. IWA~! IWA~! IWA~! Damn, is this a ten-hour tape? Robinson shoots on the leeches by stapling one to Page’s head. Robinson wins and Dean and Tom can argue some more about who is better.
The tournament is fun is spots and I stoked to have discovered Ace Steel and happy that Adam Pearce finally delivered the goods. I should have just watched the tournament though as I am really down on Garbage Matches in general right now. I can't imagine how I would have been able to sit through both shows live (Thank God, Schneider quickly gave up his dream of doing the super road trip to see the show). Both nights filled up an 8 hour tape and the double intermissions each night (along with the dead time between matches) edited out, so who knows how long the crowd was really there each night. There are still plenty of good wrestlers in IWA-MS that will keep watching the tapes that Chris Trimborn keeps sending me.
%^%^%^%^ FUERZA MEXICANO
de LUCHA LIBRE - El Monte, CA 6/23/01
(by DEAN RASMUSSEN)
Bix sent me this and it has a lot of the wrestlers who morphed WPW into this indie Lucha. Lucha is a many splendored thing but Indie Lucha can be a terrifying and painful world of listless, endless caidas, horrendous undercard… AH FUCKIT! Real time review for YOU, FMLL! Burning Mexico indeed!
It is 8:19 pm.
Matt Sinister vs.
El Gallinero/ Shogun
Matt Sinister is a rotund man wearing a W*A*S*P t-shirt- so I wonder why he is here and not in a warehouse in Indiana wrestling Deranged in a barefoot glass match. This is a handicap match and there’s nothing I hate more than that, no-sir-ree-bob. I gnaw on my Jolly Rancher lolly and get on with it anyway. Shogun wears a blue gi and has trouble with the power of Matt Sinister. Sinister goes to the mat for a while. Shogun goes on offense and fearlessly avoids even attempting to touch the stiffness barrier. Sinsiter feigns a foule and I try to figure out if this Wedding Present version of "She’s My Best Friend" by the Velvet Underground is better than the original or not. It’s pretty close- Gedge makes the "seeeeeee me" part all tender and beautiful like Lou Reed did, but more breathless and personal. Whereas Reed is almost ironic in his delivery of a true pop song, David Gedge goes for sincerity and it makes it tender and loving, not cloying or precious. Sinister with a foule after a half-assed knife-edged chop dealy. Sinister with a legdrop. The Loud Family’s version of "When You Sleep" is on and it’s kinda the opposite of the Wedding Present thing. Nice powerbomb by Sinsister and that’s all she wrote. Scott Miller makes an overly precious song bigger and more direct and the rock edge makes me love this cover more than the My Bloody Valentine Original. This match was a batch of nothing.
Super Dragon/ Excalibur
vs. Rising Son/ American Wild Child
Hey! It’s all the indie beloved joined by financier of the indie beloved all in a match. Wild Child is a little more portly than the last time I saw him- on the Blitzkreig WCW tryout match- but hell, aren’t we all a little more portly. They start on the mat and then WC does the Naniwa/ Kendo comedy spot . Super Dragon decides to die early with the Psicosis shoulder bump to the ringpost to the floor. Excalibur is drop toe held across the second rope as if set for the Big Bossman second rope sit but Rising sun hits a MORTAL~! That is actually a sideways kick to the head of Excalibur. That’s FUN! Lemme rewind. Rising Son with the Tope Con Hilo and Excalibur misses a few charges and is drop toe holded to set up Rising Suns swanky senton. Wild Child lives to see another by missing a fulling out-of-control Cappou kick by Super Dragon. SD with the Quebradora! They are going all native on the Lucha crowd and the Michinoku Pro spots make it nuttier. They do the Super Delfin "I a-Stand Onna you BELLS!" spot. Lemme rewind- they are spots spots spots in this. SD hits the Crazy Max dropkick to the face of Rising Sun in the Camel Clutch. Rising Sun goes on offense by doing a BEAUTIFUL flying Headscissors on SD. He follows up with a comical Sayama kick series approximation then does a bouncing rana off the top. The highspot train pulls into the station as WC eats hot death going facefirst onto the apron, SD hits the gigantic twisting Asai Moonsault. RS does the Orihara Twisting Moonsault. WC does the annoying elaborate legdrop on the opponent holding himself up on the second rope. RS hits a Missile Dropkick on SD for two. SD hits a Towerhacker Powerbomb for two. RS hits a very undangerous looking enzuiguiri and perfectly fine vertical suplex to set up a toprope Swandive Senton for two. Excalibur makes the save and hits an Air Raid Crush for two. He then hits a FABULOUS Screwdriver variation for two. WC makes the save and Ex Shiryu Topes him. RS and SD in the ring and RS misses a Quebrada and SD hits an Emerald Frozien for two. Annnnd it’s BROADWAY DADDY! This was pretty neat to see them do straight luch… well strraight Lucharesu, though I prefer their own fucked up hybrid that they’ve created for themselves. This was neato if not anything great.
El Cholo/ Palomino/
Fantasma de Blanco vs. Leon del Ring/ Lobo Salvaje/ Rosa Salvaje
Hold on. Who the hell are these guys? Let me go to the internet and find out.
[At this point my comical computer goes out for two hours. I figure it’s a .dll file to my Media Player triggering all the pornography masking software I secretly installed to give me the Blue Screen Of Shame. I await the computer to magically fix itself so I turn it off for an hour. I watch the Mark Twain documentary and get really moved by the Huckleberry Finn section. "Well then- I guess I’ll go to hell." That is usually spoken by a guy in his 30s, because that’s usually when a man has lived long enough to say that in earnest. Schneider calls a few times and gets overly excited about Regal beating the fuck out of RVD and suddenly he’s in love with the WWF all over again. The Jazz argument over the Joshi 100 gets murkier as her match with Jackie sucks it, according to reports of those on my phone. I figure my computer is toast for the evening and start drawing FMLL Comix and realize that drawing luchadores isn’t quite existential enough to support my horribly deteriorated drawing skills. The first page is nice though. I’ll post here. It is now 10:55 PM and Tommy James and the Shondells speak of the Crimson and the Clover on the new version of the Media Player I installed. And now it’s the Shop Assistants and I’m stoked to watch the Indie Lucha... then my computer crashes again. I'm going to bed.]
I'm now at work, writing this in hotmail so this whole real time review concept has become the New Coke of the Death Valley Driver Video Review #133. Let me go find out who these guys are. After watching the match a few times while I try to work out my little problems and light this candle, I notice that this is a really fun little match. Lemme go try to figure out who is bringing the fun. None of the names really scream out "exotico" but there is one and she is Linda Tripp-esque in make-up, bady type and wrestling ability. El Cholo is unmasked and wearing a Billy Kidman costume- which has cultural significance here I'm guessing.
[ This gets ever better. I go home and watch this match again while I'm at lunch hour eating the fabulous vegetarian chili from last night. I figure out who everyone is, analyze the indie love within and then figure out everyone in the next match- describing their masks and everything. For some reason, it won't save the draft and it is lost forever. Will this... Odessey ever....end........... ? I will now use my lethal weapon (my mind) to recall all the details.]
El Cholo takes lotsa weird bumps and does the pinnacle of indie indieness- the Tope With Foot Caught In Second Rope To Land On Your Shoulder All Wrong. He also does the fun Tope Con Hilo over the guardrail from the floor/ground onto SOMEONE. Possibly Lobo Salvaje- who could be sure? The Exotico is Rosa Salvaje- she wears a pink get-up, has a Divine wig and make-up concept. He's actually perfectly fine running the ropes and brings the funny when all the technicos torment him in the keister like technicos are wont to do those young men step out of the norm and declare their true essence. It's like Santa Clause being a dick to Rudolph for being born handicapped. The fat motherfucker. Fantasma de Blanco is a smaller can of ham than Super Astro but their is a strong resemblance. It ends when you realize that Super Astro's gut towers over Fantasma's less manly girth and that Super Astro's highflying skies over Fantasma's highflying- as Fantasma de Blanco hits the most tentative Asai Moonsault on video record. Palomino is maskless and resembles a gone-to-seed Mark Spitz. His sole purpose it seems is to be kicked in the groin by the existential figure that is Rosa Salvaje- thus bringing our match to an end. Leon del Ring made fun poses after armdrags and had a non-descript mask. Lobo Salvaje so very deeply rounds out the cast.
[I am home again. 7:56 PM.]
Libre Shamu Jr./ Profeta
II/ Vision vs. Acero Dorado/ Mariachi Loco/ Zarco
Hey! Mariachi Loco! We watched him work three quarters stiff with Low-Ki in New Jersey last year. I could tell by the mask he is wearing here that he is telepathically telling me that he didn't appreciate Low-Ki's request for a resume. Libre Shamu Jr is fatboy with a Lizmark-styled mask. Profeta II is a fat guy without a mask. Vision is a scrawny guy with a pseudo-Hysteria-crossed –with- a – Chivas- Ryada mask. Zarco has the swank midnight blue mask and matching body suit. Acero Dorado has a mask like one of Los Orientales- complete with ponytail. Let’s analyze the match, shall we? The heel heat starts early as Profeta II accuses Mariachi Loco of pulling his hair. Profeta must be Spanish for "zbysko". Profeta is actually pretty agile for a big tub O gutz. God, Libre Shamu is pretty nifty on his pins also for a bemasked tub O gutz. Fat rudos ROCK. Acero and Vision do all the fast rope running stuff that all lead to every "rudos in turmoil with each other" spot in the Lucha handbook (it’s right between "rudo points to groinular area" and "repeated replay of en foule with coach’s clicker") . Vision hits the first highspot with a moonsault off the seond rope to the ground. Mariachi does the tope and THEN IT GET’S GREAT- Profeta hits super fatboy tope- Zarco cleanses the pallet with a perfunctory plancha- and then LIBRE SHAMU DOES THE FATTEST ASS TOPE CON HILO EVER. It was like someone threw a sleeper sofa over the toprope. FUCKING BILLION STARS and it hasn’t even finished yet. The technicos no longer wish to be alive. Vision hits a toprope Van Daminator to set up a pretty moonsault and we have a winning team! WOO-HOO! This rocked the motherfucking world in the lard asses dominating your skinny ass world with their lard ass mackiness. Motherfucker.
Battle Royale: Chilango/
Durango Kid/ Super Boy/ Poison/ Huracan Ramirez Jr/ Sombra de Dolor
This is one of those confusing Lucha Libre battle royales that decides who tags with who depending on the order of elimination. I'm assuming that the final match is the dead losers in the tag tournament that have to wrestle each other mascara-contra-mascara, but who can be sure? Either way, I'm torqued about seeing Hurrican Ramirez Jr, to see if he is anything like the fabulous, felonious manslaughtering stylings of his sangre- Ciclon. One can only hope. Poison is good and I remember him from the 57 WPW tapes I got from So-Cal Steve a while back and from a couple of the Barnett Lucha Loonies tapes. Super Boy is cosmically fabulous and isn't in one of his gas-huffingly weird gimmicks. The human soccer ball in Michinoku Pro was the best. The Convict outfit was the most slimming. Either way, here we go. Hurrican isn’t nearly enough of a fatboy to be considered a TRUE Ramirez but he is the biggest guy in the match overall. Durango Kid does one of those pretty boy gimmicks. Sombra de Dolor breakdances into his intro. Super boy has the cool ass gold mask and is fatter than ever. Chilango and Hurrican Jr have some actual wrestling moments as they run the ropes. Sombra is areally neato and little ball of fire. He and Super Boy have a nice batch of lucha headscissors and armdrags. Chilango and SB bring it again with the elaborate armdrags and headscissorsrses and we all rejoice in the glow of the lucha goodness. Sombro de Dolor is fun. He bounces all over the place and does the Twice Round The World Rana on Super Boy. I couldn’t quite figure where everybody got eliminated, but there was plenty of cool stuff in this to make it a fun precursor to the actual matches. So off we go.
Super Boy/ Huracan
Ramirez Jr. vs. Chilango/ Sombra De Dolor
Chilango is all about the beautiful headscissors to kick off their section and Super Boy is a completely king-sized rudo so he makes the in-ring stuff look hurty and then leans into Chilango’s barrelroll Piscado. The tchnicos miss the double dropkick and the rudos take over but it gets weird as Super Boy rolls up Ramirez for kicks. Sombro hits a Jumpoing rana off the topr rope and pins Super Boy with a Quebrada into a roll-up. Baffling more than anything, though I dig Sombro de Dolor.
Super Boy/ Huracan
Ramirez Jr. vs. Poison/ Durango Kid
Ramirez is fun in this. He does the armdrag coming off the top and does the cool Run To The Toprope armdrag and all to set up an Old School Quebradora. Durango Kid and Super boy do all these flippy, jumpy spots in the corners. Hurican turns on Superboy and Poison turns on Durango Kid. Super Boy misses Hurrican and hits Poison, sending Poison to the floor. Super boy shoots Hurrican into the ropes and Hurrican jumps over Super Boy and CRUSHES Poison with a "Not Quite Ciclon But What The Hell IS?" Tope. Super Boy reverses a Durango Kid attempt at an armdrag by turning it into- YES!- a reverse Rydeen Bomb to get the pin. A lot of booking at the last minute there.
Poison vs. Durango
Since they are the last two standing, they wrestle mask versus hair. They start by smacking each other in the head and ya gotta love that. I love the whole psychology over this match, Durango Kid gets pinned by Super Boy and is thus endangering Poison’s mask. Talk about instant built-in hate. Poison armdrags Durango to the outside and tries real hard to paralyze himself by his tope landing directly on his neck, but he rolls through- thank God. He gets up and starts smacking Durango around some on the outside. They do some lowgrade brawling at ringside until Poison runs out to the parking lot to get a table and throws it into the ring and sets it up in the corner. Poison gets the nearfoule and the rudo ref call. He throws Durango into the table a few times until Durango reverses it and throws Poison into it a few times. Durango sets the table up in the middle of the ring and en foules Poison as the ref is distracted and powerbombs Poison through the table. Super Boy is aghast and tries to get the ref’s attention but Durango shoulderblocks him off the apron. Durango rolls Poison into a Mexican Ceiling Hold and the ref calls for the bell. People are filled with hate and Super Boy is incensed until the ref raises Poison’s arm in victory! He had seen it after all. Let the cuttin and struttin begin. I guarantee that was better than Super Calo vs Winner’s, mascara contra mascara. Yes. Yes it was. They shave the refs head at the end.
This tape has a few cool things on it- most of them involving morbidly obese rudos flying through the air and crushing pipsqueak technicos but nothing you couldn’t live without. Except the fat rudos match. You need every second of that.
Thank GOD that review is finally over….
NWA Wildside TV (9/1/01)
(by PHIL RIPPA)
It is funny. I now watch Wildside the same way I used to watch ECW TV in college. In giant 8 hour blocks. Anyway, this was the last tape I had left so I am killing to birds with one stone. Of course, the quality on this tape is the worst of the lot. I am focusing on the matches and will only note when one of the promos or other extra curricular activity catches my eye.
T’n’T (Todd Sexton/Tony
Stralin) vs. The Kohl Twins
The Kohl twins aren’t very good and I am still not taking the time to figure out who is Keith and who is Kent. Todd and Tony are another of the boy band gimmick clones with Tony looking way way too much like Evan Kouragious for my tastes. Basic story is that T’n’T were the young unheralded team that gets upset wins and are now a “force” in Wildside. (I guess you could consider it the Tag Team version of the Mikey Whipwreck story). The match consists of the Kohl Twins squashing the little guys but picking them up at two counts. The Lost Boyz run in which allows Tony and Todd to get the fluke win and the NWA Wildside Tag Titles. Blah.
It is too bad that Blackout isn’t too good at the professional wrestling because they cut some mean promos. “Whatcha going do punk, when you ain’t got no tongue? Whatcha going do when we get your brother in the corner and beat him done and split his damn head to the white meat?”
William Wealth III
I am already pissed because we have Ed Ferrara commentary and I hate Ed Ferrara. Wealth has come along way since he was getting his ass beat by Jeff Hardy in OMEGA. He has turned into quite the fine wrestler that I need to see more of. He also is a doughy fellow but that is why he is wearing the shirt and pants. This is a quaint little match in that it has some good wrestling but a touch too heavy on the comedy spots (most of them being the usual Lazz gay antics). It also has a terrible ending as Ferrara gets involved and everything is overbooked to hell and takes way to long to set up. Damn Sports Entertainment. Hate World. Revenge Soon.
vs. Caprice Coleman/Sweet Dreams
No, this is not the good Homicide. Again, the actual wrestling part of Blackout’s repertoire is lacking but they do other things great. The do the best “let me go (hold me back)” act and some portly 15-year-old kid craps his pants at the thought of talking out of his ass. The man formerly known as Ice hasn’t really impressed me – mainly because his strikes are just terrible. Sweet Dreams is the original OMEGA Heavyweight Champion. He is now amazingly fat and out of shape. He does a nifty reverse slingshot suplex but that is all she wrote. He gets blown up fairly quick so the match is filled with Coleman’s RVD offense and Blackout’s wrestling effort. For two guys doing gang member gimmicks, they sure throw really really bad punches. Coleman is fine in the Ricky Morton role but he looks out of place in this match. When Dreams and Coleman do one of the most asinine moves I have ever seen (the use their wonder twin powers to roll up into a ball and doing this rolling splash) I start to give up on the match entirely. THEN there is a run in by Havoc to cause a DQ finish. Beatdowns ensue.
Okay, the tape has gone south and I don't have the patience to sit through the rest of it (there is a tag match that ends this hour but time runs out and they show it next week.) Next time, I will bust out one of the other tapes. DAVID YOUNG~! DADDY~!
World Order, Same Old Bullshit?"
(by Anthony Gancarski)
Everyone is cashing
in on the so-called War On Terror, and why shouldn't they be, what with
the exhortations from on high to spend as much as possible during these
troubled financial times? If you buy a SUV, you are
Some will say
this is as it should be. Leaving aside the rightness of "strongly encouraged"
patriotic sentiment, or the rightness of a military action against an Afghan
people who were not at all represented in the list of 9/11 airplane hijackers,
or the odd coincidence between the release of Osama's "doubt removing"
promo and the revelations of Bush ties to Enron or the announcement of
the scrapping of some treaty, shit, I cain't remember
Why hasn't Vince McMahon cashed in yet?
The current White House occupant and his coterie, most of which has been close to power for decades, has lifted its script from professional wrestling in many respects. We see the way W smirks during his promos as if he's Arn Anderson getting ready to squash George South. We saw the long corridor shots at the Republican Convention that brought to mind CRZ's "______ walking!". We see the Manichean dualities drawn, relentlessly. Good V Evil. Christian virtue V Islam gone wrong. The stoned Arabian playboy sheik turned militant evildoer V the statesman who may once have dabbled in cocaine use in a fit or two of youthful indiscretion, never mind the people in jail currently who endure forced labor and forfeiture of suffrage for the same crimes.
There's no need to go on. The only thing the Bushes and bin Ladens have in common are those Carlyle Group ties and a couple of business deals here and there. So, again, why isn't Vince hopping the bandwagon?
It's ready-made for a huckster with his demonstrated skill. Flags are everywhere, yet Kurt Angle is a depoliticized heel. Flags are everywhere, discontent sublimated into bloodlust all around us, yet Vince wastes our time with silicone and the Kiss My Ass club?
So many opportunities, pissed away. The easiest thing in the world would be to have Flair funded by Saudi evildoers, yet we don't get that, or anything even close to it. The greatest tragedy of this whole fabricated bombing campaign on the starving and the damned the world over, ultimately, may be that we won't get Vince's version of the Mid-South usage of the Soviet Flag. While crappy indies take the lead on exploiting a very real cultural thrust toward xenophobia, Vince opts out, as if he's bucking for a spot on All Things Considered.
I guess I expected
more from the man who rendered every other wrestling promoter in this country
irrelevant. I expected a bit more than murky allegory and masturbatory
self-aggrandizement. What good is a ready-made
#$#$#$#$ All Pro Wrestling
- King Of The Independents Tournaments 2000
(by MARCEL HILLIE)
With all that has been said about APW’s 2001 King Of The Indies show, Let’s take a look at APW’s last crack at doing a big Annual single-elimination tourney, shall we? We take it from the top, right in front of a 5-on-5 basketball game. I start hoping for a highspot to coincide with a tomahawk dunk.
Robert Thompson vs.
And we start with a mini-promo by Thompson. And then a hot coffee spot. Yeah. Rock. The match? Not very good, every bit the opening match in a tournament featuring a guy that has to work a couple more times that night. Mostly punching and kicking, but with a couple of nice things thrown in, like Modest taking a corner bump on the back of his neck (like an arrow) and an okay-looking Thompson Frog Splash. Modest with jumping takedown into Waki-Gatame submission. Wish he’d gotten into the move some other way after blowing it the first time, though. Eh. Just eh. I was more into the hoops game in the background - the point guard for the team in the black tank top was playing well.
Vic Capri vs. Donovan
This is much more like it - better match. Good matwork to start, which I always love to see. Because his night ends here, Vic busts out the whole moveset here, including a nice Exploder, two rolling NLS into a Facebuster, and his Springboard-Kneedrop-to-Springboard-Moonsault. Morgan’s right there too, contributing some nice suplexes to the affair (I’ll just ignore that one German Suplex he threw for the sake of discussion). After Morgan kicks out of Capri’s Shiranui, Morgan gets the duke out of nowhere with a Double-underhook piledriver. A bit too poppy-uppy soon after kicking out of what looked to be Capri’s finisher, but that’s probably nitpicking. And you can see Capri’s neck compressing - yowch. Fun match.
Vicenzo Massaro (w/consigliere
Buddy Cotello) vs. Scoot Andrews (w/Jason Deadrich and Jeri Nicole Bass
I’m a bit bummed because the hoops game knocks off around the time this one gets started - I guess they wanted to watch the matches, too. A little back-and-forth to start here, which eventually leads to the world’s most unsure Tope Con Hilo by Scoot. Might wanna keep it on the ground if you’re not sure about it. Anyway, Scoot eventually gets Vinnie hurt and goes to town on the knee, which Vinnie does a fine job of selling. Vinnie comes back and goes for his second-rope moonsault, which I question with his knee having been worked on, but at least he sold properly after missing it. Scoot then gets a tap with something resembling a Nagata Lock. Schneider says his Irrational Hatred Of Scoot Andrews starts on this show. There’s no real reason to hate him in this match, at least.
Boyce LeGrande vs.
Nice matwork to start here. This is Chris’ match all the way to carry as a heel, with Boyce chipping in with the babyface offense as needed, which included working the arm for a couple of seconds and then not going back to it. A few missed lariats, some nice big bumps by both guys, and we arrive at the point in the match (like most Daniels matches, this and all the lariats can annoy me) where the face ends up having the opponent in position for an inverted DDT or some other move that he ordinarily never does, which gets turned into the Last Rites - this is often teased earlier in his matches as well. As you could guess, this is the finish. Chris carried the match, and it worked out well for the most part..
Boom Boom Comini/Super
Destroyer 2000 (w/Buddy Cotello) vs. The Snott Brothers (w/Little Peter
Snott and Patty Pigpen)
The fact that they felt the need to clip this says something, I think. I did like how one Snott straightened his tie before coming off the ropes for a double-team, though. Long heat segment on the Snotts, who blow their big double-team during their comeback. SD2K with a reversal of a rope whip into a Heart Punch. Somewhere in Northwest Washington DC, TomK’s heart skips a beat. SD2K was laying in some nice forearms there. That said, let’s keep moving, shall we?
Scoot Andrews vs.
Christopher Daniels (w/Jason Deadrich and Jeri Nicole Bass)
Punching, punching, and more punching here to start. Then, a fairly secure Tope by Scoot. (Less insecure than the Tope Con Hilo he did in the first round, but not quite……ah, you get my point) Whole lotta brawling here. Not as good as their Super 8 Final from earlier in the year - both guys are contributing to the match and all, but Daniels is doing more with a more varied offense. Daniels does throw some pretty bad corner punches at one point though, so he ain’t perfect here. Heel miscommunication between Scoot and Jason leads to a far better application of the Last Rites on Scoot and Daniels is through to the finals. I’ve seen better out of both guys.
Donovan Morgan vs.
You ever been in a situation where you know you should be more excited than you are? That’s me here. This is a good, competitive match, but it just didn’t do anything for me. Modest heels it throughout, mocking the fans’ clapping for Morgan with some funny-looking taunts. Not terribly exciting here. Nice Tiger Driver into Hiza-Juji-Gatame by Morgan. I don’t get the fact that Morgan went to the Hiza-Juji-Gatame three different times in the match (once off a straight leg-lace, the instance above, and once off a nice little Tatarkin roll) without working the leg at any other point. Eh, I dunno. The vast majority of this crowd is sitting on their hands until the very end, where Morgan wins with the Double-Underhook Piledriver. Fine match, but color me apathetic about this one.
The Ballard Brothers
(w/Cheerleader Melissa) vs. Kamikaze Kid/Kid Chrome
Ah yes, the match to give the boys some rest before the finals. The Kids take it to the air early, doing some not-so-good dropkicks and then a decent pair of Tope Con Hilos. The Kids aren’t, ya know, good workers or anything, but at least Kamikaze (who looks to be Myaki Frantz, I think) was willing to take this ugly-looking Pescado to nowhere and had some decent spots. The Ballards are fun , with all kinds of double teams, and triple-teams with Cheerleader Melissa (who shows off a shapely pair of legs and looks to be quite the attractive young lady). Methinks the Slap Shot gimmick flies way over the heads of some folks, though. Kamikaze turns another Ballard double-team into a Double DDT. He then finshes things with a 450 on one Ballard. I hear that Myaki’s not working a heck of a lot right now, but I hope that if he’s doing anything that requires theme music, he’s found some other music to use besides Hayabusa’s.
vs. Donovan Morgan
This is the Final Round and is for the Beautiful Four-Foot-High Trophy And All The Prestige That Goes Along With It that the announcer has blathered about on and off during the show. Some nice matwork to start, but then that Choreographed Sequence To Tease The Last Rites rears its ugly head. These over-choreographed sequences are my only problem with Daniels’ work. Well, that and all the missed lariats. But that’s my only complaint about this match. Nice pace, lots of matwork and wrestling, and very competitive. Nice finish as well which was a counter of a counter of a backslide, assuaging my fears that they were going to do the finish out of the Malenko/Guerrero series of rollups that they were going through right before this. Of course, all the boys get into the ring to congratulate the finalists. I really could have done without the shilling for in-ring polaroids after the match, but that’s just me - I’ve never been one for that kinda stuff.
Well, this was a nice little show on the whole and would have been well worth the trip had I been in CA at the time, but with those Super 8s out there on tape and the most recent KOI out there, you might wanna go pick those up first. But if you’re getting a tape and have some space left, go ahead and stick this on there. There’s enough good stuff to keep you interested, even if there was no slam dunk to go with a high spot. I want everything though, so I quibble about these things.
$%$%$%$% EXTREME CANADIAN
CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING- 6/30/01 EVERETT, WA.
(by DEAN RASMUSSEN)
I love the United States of America. I find it fascinating. I don’t know why- I’m just a freak, I guess. Being a freak, I ‘m gonna roll with this feeling because this match takes place in the United States- the Pacific Northwest to be more specific. Everett, WA to be superspecific. Being that I’ve never been to the Pacific Northwest, I cannot tell if the price of admission was 3 beaver pelts or if there was a log-rolling exhibition before the matches started. Who could be sure? Either way, fine fine booze is brewed there and I’m hoping that the indie cards are as off-beatly fabulous. So anyway- in the day we sweat it out in the streets of a runaway American dream, at night we ride through mansions of glory in suicide machines and what have you....
Average Joe vs Damon
Damon Scythe has the goth undead vampiry type gimmick. I can’t ever pronounce "scythe" properly and it bothers me- I'm the same way with the word "lithe". Perhaps they both rhyme but I try not to hold it against the young man in the opening match. He does these weak looking kicks that I will hold against him, but other than that, this is a perfectly fine little indie match. Average Joe is growing on me and dig the armdrag-intensive opening of this match- the neato part being Average Joe not rolling with an armdrag at the right but covering for it by spinning really fast in midair into a counter-armdrag. He goes all high-flying with the Quebrada Reverse Cross Body. I await the Pendulum Plunge and Average Joe delivers. Rippa has just hipped me to the fact that A.J. Styles. Postmatch, Scythe attacks and gets his Sisters Of Mercy-tinged revenge and returns to his... coffin or castle or something.
Bulldog Bob Brown
Jr. vs Skag Rollins
I never saw Bulldog Brown other than one thing on an old IWA Hardcore Canada tape- which was Brown twenty years after the fact. I remember Bulldog Brower. He stuck his lit cigar in the Mighty Igor’s eye and destroyed a cake that the girlscouts had made for the Mighty one and all the girl scouts cried and I hated him for that. I don’t know if this here guy is actually the son of Bulldog Brown, but since I’ve never seen Bulldog Senior wrestle, I’m coming at this with a clean slate. Skag Rollins is large and macks on the ladies again so mad phat props to a fellow rotund brotha not afraid to feel the true sexuality of his largeness. Everyone is warbling on the stick and time on my vcr stands still a-waiting. Let me recite some Johnny Cash while we wait for the garbled promos to cease: Time stands still while you’re a-waitin’- sometimes I think my heart is stopping too! One lonesome hour seems forever, one more minute not to be with you…. OOP! Here we go. It seems whatever they are arguing about is getting the crowd all riled up, so mission accomplished. Brown is portly in a Sweetanish way and has the rad crewcut- he sells Skag’s offense all funny- all elaborate and big. Skag shakes his pecker area at Brown’s manager which allows Brown to cheat cheat cheat! He uses a foreign object and everything so he is a fun heel of intense evil. He kicks Skag right in the store like a good heel, but his lariat ain’t so good. It goes downhill from there. Way downhill. We’ll keep a-rollin’…
Blake Kruel/ TornadoTony
Kozina vs Disco Fury/ Ladies’ Choice
Yeah DADDY! Tony mfn KOZINA! I’m suitably torqued. This match is all fun. Lady’s Choice has one of the all-time great indie robes ever- a sort of knock-off/TJ MAXX version of the hallowed Greg The Hammer Valentine robe. The shitheads in Everett won’t shut the fuck up as a stylish man TRIES to take his glasses off. They chant unforward things out of jealousy. Ladies’ Choice is sooo the bastard son of Jimmy Valient and I’m instantly a fan. Tony Kozina comes in and gives LC the ass-beating he so richly deserves- as they have odd stipulations that it’s kinda like a Royal Rumble but it’s just a tag match so it just kinda gives one team the advantage for two minutes. Disco Fury comes in and right off the bat hits a gnarley Lyger Bomb on young Tony and the heat is put upon our man Tony- as they give him the business- the kicks, the spike Piledriver. LC chokes him with an ascot and then AC/DC starts playing. Blake Kruel makes the save as he can enter the match now- looking all the world like the older brother of Glenn Kulka of the Saskachewan Roughriders (I told you that I’m a freakishly pathetic Canadophile.) Blake then- sweet JESUS will it ever stop?!- gets on the stick midmatch. Boy, that’s annoying. Anyway they start wrestling each other and Kozina and Disco are fucking great. Kozina is an animal in the ring hitting a fabulous Vertical Suplex to set all the kicking and punching by the Tornado. Disco holds up his end like a champ. Blake Kruel wrestles like Jim Powers kinda. It then goes all Southern as LC and DF can’t get anything to work legally on Kruel and Kozina comes in and beats the crap out of them. It’s super old school in that the babyfaces get the extented offense in first and then they have the extended HEAT SEGMENT ON THE BABYFACE~! After a save after a Kozina Vertical Suplex pinning predicament, Kruel runs DF out after the save and LC uses the opening to throw Kozina to the ropes- who is a king-sized bumper and makes it all look super nasty. Kruel gets double teamed on the outside and it allows DF to try a Spinning Stone Cold Cutter- but Kozina lands on his feet and hits a picture perfect dropkick, but the double team by LC and DF cuts off his comeback and they cheat like motherfuckers and it’s beautiful. Kozina sells all of it like Ricky Morton would sell and they do all the staples of the match- the false tags, the luring of the lummoxy Kreul into the rig to distract the ref to CHEAT CHEAT CHEAT! LC and DF bring the heel ass-beating who are good at working the crowd and Tony Kozina sells it well enough to get the crowd behind him. Kozina will bump like a freak to make LC and DF’s brawling look pain-inducing and hatefilled- it’s everything you want. Tony gets the hot tag by ducking a Toprope Axe Handle and forward rolling for the tag (RnR fans would weep). Kruel cleans house and hits the perfectly fine Nodawa for the pin. Postmatch, Disco Fury and Ladies’ Choice tease a break-up but hug and make-up. Somebody watched their 80s NWA and it made this a fine little match. Everybody on the stick postmatch. Weeeeeeee!
Scotty Mac vs The
Fallen Angel Christopher Daniels
Scotty Mac I’m digging and I heart Christopher Daniels, so this match is pretty exciting for me. They take it the mat right off the bat, with Daniels procuring the frontfacelock that Mac counters out of and gets into an armbar. Daniels counters with a Drop Toe Hold and they work headlocks into pin attempts until Daniels gets him into a headscissors. Mac bounces out and gets his own headlock and Daniels reverses back to a headlock so they hit the ropes into a bunch of armdrags and the crowd POPS~! Mac gets the armbar and makes with the elbows and Daniels can’t flip out of it and can’t hiptoss out of it and can’t run Mac into the ropes out of it. I love this shit. Daniels sells it as being slightly perplexed and then hits a bunch of forearms to the head to… NOT get out of the armbar. Mac drives Daniels' shoulder into the mat, reapplies the armbar and legdrops the shoulder. He moves it into a keylock and this match is ruling it. Daniels picks up Mac to Powerbomb him out of the Keylock but Mac jumps out and lands on his feet- hitting the ropes and hitting a dropkick. Daniels escapes to the floor but Mac dropkicks him through the 1st and 2nd rope and then hits a rana off the apron. Mac then goes back to the shoulder by dropping a Springboard Legdrop across the shoulder. Daniels starts his comeback back running a throwing a forearm into Mac’s face as Mac is climbing the toprope. Mac lands shoulder first on the floor and Daniels starts beating on him on the floor. Daniels drags him in and starts working on Mac’s shoulder, all the while selling his own shoulder like a champ while trying to bodyslam Mac and getting a few nearfalls before a series of kneedrops and a backbreaker submission. Mac is flexible as hell and makes all these submissions look freaking hellish. Daniels misses a cornercharge and Mac gets back on offense for a moment by going back to the arm and shoulder he was working on earlier. Daniels cuts him off by turning a Hurricanrana attempt by Mac into a NASTY fucking Powerbomb and latches on a half-crab until Mac hits the ropes. He follows up with a reverse Quebradora Faceplant into that cool as fuck Roll-through Romero Special Surfboard Hold that he does, but Mac is too close to the ropes. They are both selling the shoulder as Daniels starts dropping elbows across Mac’s back and puts on a Sleeper. Mac escapes and hits the ropes, hitting a Rocker Dropper for two. He follows up with a Rolling Elbow and a Back Elbow. He hits a Blockbuster for two and then an STO for two. Daniels counters out of a Rana by turning it into a Japanese Ocean Cyclone Suplex for two. Daniels hits a Nodawa with authority to set up his BREATHTAKINGLY beautiful Moonsault. Mac kicks out at two. Daniels goes for the kill but Mac turns it into a Crippler Crossface before one can figure out what Daniels was going for. They fight at the Toprope and Mac lands feet first on the mat, allowing him to hit a big Powerbomb on Daniels for the three. This was a good little match. It had too many finishers at the end, but it wasn’t like a zillion finishers. The mat work at the beginning was sold throughout the match and they kept going back to it, which is so actually super cool. Scotty Mac fucking rox. Christopher Daniels fucking ROX.
Tornado Tony Kozina
vs Adam Firestorm
You deeply need this tape- primarily because it has TWO Tony Kozina matches and it also has the match with Scotty Mac and Christopher Daniels. Adam Firestorm looks like Dr Luthercito. Kozina starts by dropkicking him through the ropes to the floor and beating the shit out of him while they are down there. Tony mauls him in the ring and Firestorm looks great bumping for him. Kozina counters out of a German by turning it into a roll-up but catches a Superkick on the way up. Firestorm hits a spinkick and a low blow that looked perfectly hateful. And then hits a backbreaker AND A FUCKING BEAUTIFUL SECOND ROPE FISTDROP. FIRESTORM RULEZ~! Kozina is fucking great so he bumps like a complete weirdo through the ropes to the floor, taking the Piscado like Tony fucking Kozina. And THEN Tony takes the hard slam to the floor. Kozina earns his money, folks. Firestorm continues with the really DVDVR-Friendly offense with Snap Suplex to set up the nice Quebrada. He misses the toprope Senton and Kozina makes him pay with an STF. Tony cuts off a Firestorm comeback with an leg-lariat but Firestorm hits a lariat to get back on offense. Kozina fights out of a Powerbomb attempt and starts punching Kozina in the face and hits a SWEET standing Frankensteiner. Firestorm catches him on the toprope but Kozina headbutts him to the mat but misses a Flyiong Crossbody. Kozina catches Firestorm on the toprope and hits the Toprope Frankensteiner for the win. This was a good little match. Adam Firestorm is a good little wrestler. Tony Kozina is the motherfucking bomb.
Dr. Luther vs Tommy
Remember when all you jerks gave me shit back in the day for saying that Tommy Dreamer was going to be the new Masato Tanaka. Well, it finally happened and you can all send your apologies to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. No hard feelings. REALLY. Dreamer on the indie tour was a great thing, better than most anything he did in ECW past 1996 anyway. This match was a basic old school brawl but Dreamer starts off with the fricking shoulder bump into the corner and then they trade beautiful punches (okay, Dreamer’s punches still suck but Luther’s fucking rule.) and they do some knife edge chops. They take it to the floor and Dreamer throws Luther into the garage door and the wall. Kuther throws Dreamer through the door but they fight the urge and stay inside the building, beating the hell out of each other. Dreamer falls off the top of some low bleacher but recovers in time to throw Luther off the top of the bleacher and into the wall. Dreamer rings the ringbell on the lil Dr Luther and fun is officially had by all. Dreamer misses with a chairshot and gets Scorpion Dethdropped on it. A few nearfalls later and Luther does the chair assisted kneedrop which looked really great. Dreamer then took the Drop Toehold onto the wrong part of the chair- which always looks great. Dreamer hits the Tree-of-Woe VanDaminator. Adam Firestorm distracts Dreamer and the ref and Luther hits him with the ringbell for two. The whole lockerroom runs in and everything leads up to a two count one way or the other. Luther and Dreamer each miss spots that make their heads bounce off the naked chair. Luther hits the DDT on the chair and the match is over. Fine match. Not a classic or anything, but Tommy Dreamer is soo suddenly watchable now. GO FIGURE!
GOT ALLLLL OF THIS MOTHERFUCKING TAPE.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!There's no turning back now- I'm under attack now- I see the skies are open
And I hear the word spoken- SINGLES GOING STEADY You only perceive
what you believe- You need only believe to believe- What do you know?- What do you know?
Exploited Child Elax vs. Dixie - Jersey All Pro Wrestling
(by PHIL SCHNEIDER)
These two are both homegrown JAPW talent who are both in their second year. Dixie is turning into one of my favorite workers to watch. He has great heel charisma, bumps huge and executes his moves very sharp and well. Elax is pretty hit or miss, but he is about the biggest bump freak on the indies and will virtually always deliver a steaming plate of white hot death. This was for the NJ State title, and easily the best match of Elax's career. Dixie plays a Tully Blanchardish smary smart ass heel, who just begs you to kick his ass. It isn't really a cowardly heel, but more of a little punk who thinks he can kick the bar's ass, he has great comic timing my favorite spot of the match was after he slammed Elax he does a goofy looking back flip while yelling "I'm Insane Dragon" (his brother who he is feuding with, then instead of hitting something elaborate he just drops a picture perfect fistdrop. Dixie also has some of the best facial expressions and reaction selling around. Elax does a goofy rolling thunder and Dixie makes it tollerable by doing a super fun shreking in pain sell of his ribs. The match was all about solid work but it did have a pair of fun highspots. After knocking Dixie to the floor, Elax runs the ropes to set up for a tope, but instead of hitting Dixie he heads to the other side of the ring and wastes Valentin, Dixies Valet. A couple of minutes later Dixie uses a chair for a Sabuish springboard but slips on the top rope and twists slamming his ass into Elax's head (which actually looked really cool). He then sells this by rubbing his ass, while whining about Elax's hard head and then exclaiming to the camera "See I told you, flips don't get over." The end was pretty choice with Dixie placing Elax's mouth so he is biting the top rope, and then dropkicking him in the back of the head which looked brutal, then hitting his finisher which looks like a Kryptonite Krunch with Elax's head hitting Dixies knee. Fun, fun title defense, which was a nice look at Dixie who I think is the next big Indy superstar.
Lazz vs Dvaid Young
- NWA Wildside (5/19/01?)
(by DEAN RASMUSSEN)
I ask Rippa - who is on phone - for the LAST TIME! For the last time ever - "What was the name of the tag team?" "BAD ATTITUDE! With Rick Micheals Goddamn!" he yells through the phone. Lazz rox- he's FLAMBOYANT! David
Young SUPER ROX! David Young is in the CW Anderson/ Roger Anderson/ Eddie Golden/ Frank the Tank Parker mold of Southern Ass-Kicker who can carry anyone to a good match. Lazz is a whole lot of gimmick but he can work some too so this was pretty good workwise, but beautiful in a whole other way. The STORY is that Lazz is a lil fella compared to one half of BAD ATTITUDE, so David Young uses his size advantage to beat the poo outta the colorful
dancing machine. Lazz offers his ass up to David Young as the bell rings and we all weep loves easy tears. This upsets David Young who decides to bullrush the beautiful Lazz, so Lazz armdrags him, ducks clotheslines, hits dropkicks. Young, flustered by the libertine stylings of the wrestler called Lazz, takes to the floor to get his head straight. The ref starts the count on Young by leaning between second and third ropes, foolishly allowing Lazz to place his loinular region on the ref's presented keister. The ref, not accepting of such love at least not in such a public way, is appalled and mortified. This is great psychology on Lazz's part because now David Young is suddenly deeply insecure and full of fear of the fabulous creature who is outsmarting him and trying to touch him with his (possibly painted and tassled) funny parts. Lazz tries a knee lift and Young counters it into a Sidewalk Slam. David Young- full of testosterone rage- then
starts beating the living fuck out of Lazz- using these motherfucking GREAT looking punches. David young regains his composure and decides to go back to the sweet science. Lazz tries to power out of a chinlock but Young pulls him down by his pigtail and procures another chinlock. Lazz is beloved by all and the crowd gets behind him- as he makes like a slightly fruitier Dusty Rhodes making with the arm waving to get the crowd going in support- because Lazz feeds off the love of the crowd. He hits a Flying Headscissors and throws very comical punches when compared to those of whom he is in with. Lazz tries a monkeyflip but Young puts him on the toprope instead. Lazz takes these lemons and makes a Whippersnapper out of them. He then throws a very shitty lariat that he follows up with some nice knife edge chops. David Young shoots him into the ropes and looks to be going for the Southern As A Magnolia Spinebuster- but Lazz escapes and hits his own, the fabulous, the devastating Britney Spear. He is slow to cover and Young grabs the ropes at two. While Lazz is arguing with the ref - the same ref that he had shared such a tender moment with earlier in the match, David Young gets up and CRUSHES our beloved Lazz with said Spinebuster and that is all she wrote. Lazz is fun. David Young is motherfucking GREAT.
Doug Williams vs.
Maverick Wild - New England Championship Wrestling
(by PHIL RIPPA)
Fudge, I forgot to jot down the date. I will get that for you (or Dan will). Meanwhile, you can just refer to this match as Williams/Wild II. I would have also reviewed III but that tape is somewhere buried in my room (I blame the wife) so it will have to wait for now. The review of their first match can be found in DVDVR #127. Wild is wearing some hideous tights. What is it about yellow that makes people think they can wear it to the ring? While the first match was fun, this match is great. Now, a lot of that it because Wild has gotten a lot better. There is maybe one blown spot (if that) and the transitions and counters are a lot smoother (one example would be the wristlock/Russian Leg Sweep combo that Wild does that looked shitty last time looked real good this time.) Plenty of that carny mat work that we have grown used to seeing from Williams. What I was more excited about were the nasty ass suplexes that Williams was throwing. He still does the roll-through German but there were a bunch of other ones including a great Fisherman Buster Suplex. Wild, being the spunky babyface, isn't afraid to sell everything like he is taking his last breath. My new favorite Wild move is the elbowdrop to the nose. He used this to counter the second roll-through German that Williams tried. I still wish Wild would stop taking back bumps on his neck. Though, if it knocks the annonying babyface out of him, I am all for it. We go BROADWAY~! which is why match III is either a no-time limit match or a Iron Man match (I am suddenly blanking). The only real negative to the match was the crowd who I guess was "into it from start to finish" in one of those Jason Powell sorts of ways.
Red vs. Low-Ki - UCW
(by PHIL SCHNEIDER)
Probably the most contriversial placement in the bi-annual DVDVR 500 was putting Low-Ki at #7. This brought out defenders and attackers out of the woodwork, even sending some into quasi hysterical breakdowns or idiotic psudeo insider ramblings. Probably more then any match we saw over that time period, this match was the match that opened our eyes to the idea that Ki, and by extension the rest of the of the New Jersey Puerto Rican wrestling mafia (Homicide, Hit Squad, Xavier, Deranged, Don Montoya, Ghost Shadow, SAT's) were doing something pretty special up in New Jersey. The big thing that puts Ki above indy compatriots like American Dragon and Chris Daniels, as well as similar Puro workers like Minoru Tanaka is that while Ki's series with American Dragon was worked in a BattlARTA style, he also had a great US Juniors style match with Christopher Daniels, an almost NJ worked shoot with Samoa Joe, straight Southern Tag match with Homicide against the Hit Squad, WWF main event style title match versus Homicide, an awesome ladder match with Xavier and this match which was a tricked out super stiff Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Juventud Guerrerra lucha match.
The atmosphere of this show was very odd, as it took place on September 14th in New York City which probably makes it one of the first public entertainment events in the city after the terrorist attacks. This match was the main event and the only nod to the events in this match was Ki coming out with a folded American flag tucked into his belt. They start out with a totally tricked out counter section which resembled Jet Li more then Harley Race. The speed and intricacy was incredible, absolutley the fastest wrestling I have ever seen, what was even more amazing is that this was only the second time they had ever worked each other. My favorite part of this was Red dropping to his back to duck a high kick, hitting a leg sweep, kipping up and hitting a standing shooting star press for a two count, all in one fluid motion. After the breathtaking first five minutes, the match slows down a bit with Red doing a great job of selling Ki's offense like it killed him, and Ki doing a great job mixing in some of Red's hope spots, but reigning it in and always keeping control. Red takes a big time beating, but dishes out some nice shots too, including a spinning flip kick while Ki is perched on the top rope, which just wastes the worked concussion machine. The ending is pretty choice too, as Ki powers out of a top rope rana attempt and turns it into a brutal top rope Ki Crusher. Slight step below match of the year quality, but still better then anything say Naomichi Marifuji wrestled in in 2001. Awesome stuff, and some promoter needs to book the rematch already.
Xavier vs. Chris Hamrick
- USA Pro - New JERSEY
(by DEAN RASMUSSEN)
I love both of these guys. Chris Hamrick wrestled David Jericho in Waynesboro, VA in some high school gym, hit his Superior Vena Cava to bleed nine buckets and won with a toprope gutwrench suplex. Tim Noel showed it on Wrestling Power 95 (before I ever met young Tim) and I was amazed that such a bump freak/wrestling machine was wrestling in the great state of Virginia. Xavier I first saw in the truly great ladder match against Low-Ki- getting pelted by hellacious kicks to the face but standing right there and taking it. I dig the whole rudo aspect of their work- as both of these guys will take the bumps to make the work and both can make an opponents offense look completely hellish. Here, it was all about the matwork and regular wrestling- sorta- and that's a-okay with me. They announcers for USA Pro are really annoying- what with the funny accents and all. Hamrick starts by wrenching Xavier's arm after reversing Xavier's attempt at said staple of the beginning a wrestling match time eternal. They hit the ropes and do the monkey flips into a headlock into a shoulderblock thing into an Xavier counter out of a Full Nelson into a monekey flip. Hamrick hits a dropkick and escapes to the outside. We are so in the Worldwide Zone at this point and you love that. Hamrick goes all matworky by rolling into a Lucha Grounded Surfboard Submission. Then Hamrick starts smacking him across the chest and we are still at the full Worldwide point. Hamrick opts against the Worldwide style match and THUS! when Xavier drops out of the way while running the ropes, Hamrick just flies feet first through the ropes to the floor onto his head because- lemme think- oh yeah BECAUSE HE MOTHERFUCKING CRAZY. Hamrick gets on the apron and Xavier hits him with a forearm so Hamrick FLIES OFF THE APRON AND SOMERSAULTS ONTO HIS BACK ONTO THE CONCRETE. THIS MOTHERFUCKER IS MOTHERFUCKING CRAZY. Xavier stomps on him on the floor- like Hamrick needs Xavier to have damage inflicted to his body. Hamrick goes on offense by countering a backdrop with a DDT that Xavier bounces nine feet off the mat for. He gets a two count and misses a second rope Moonsault but catches Xavier with a Superkick for two. Hamrick hits a Second Elbowdrop in some kind of odd Ode To WCW Bill Watts- as two second rope moves is just puzzling. Xavier crushes Hamrick's testicles to transition to offense and starts pounding on the Southern bumpfreak. Xavier with a nice backbreaker for two but he procures the sleeper. Hamrick gets the crowd into it and FEEDS OFF THE ENERGY! and reverses it into his own sleeper. Hateful of the crowd's support, Xavier turns it into a Side Suplex for two without ever waving his hand to get the crowd to clap. Xavier hits a Superkick to the back of Hamrick's head and hits the ACE CRUSHER for the three count and we have Worldwide Point Beyond. Let me stress this: CHRIS HAMRICK IS OUT OF HIS MOTHERFUCKING MIND.
Shirley Doe vs. Chris
Hero - I Quit
(by PHIL SCHNEIDER)
The Pittsburgh Indies have the hidden great wrestling in the Indy scene. The tapes aren't nearly as excessable as the stuff from the East or West Coasts, but the wrestling is hard ass, brutal and solid. These are the two best workers in this area and Doe is a hell of a brawler, and fits really well in an I quit style match. Hero is one of the only "innovator" wrestlers whoes innovations I actually like, unlike say Nova or Kanyon, he doesn't just add a pumphandle for no reason, his big innovation for this match was a reverse chinbuster which ended up looking like a super nasty neckbreaker. Doe takes at least one huge ill-advised bump per match as this one was a suplex back first on the ring steps. You can tell Shirley watches alot of tapes as he busts out a super nasty STO, and the best male Shining Wizard in the world (totally smoking Muta's, but slighty worse then Aja Kong's) he should probably leave the Tarantula at home if he is wrestling some one as big as Hero though. Despite all of the great wrestling, Pittsburgh has some shitty, shitty booking and the ending sucked eggs, with a big run in, and the heels threating Hero's valet to make him say I quit. Still a fun match from two guys who are legit heavyweights, which is a nice trend in the previously junior dominated indy scene.
~ THE DEATH VALLEY
8 FISTS IN THE FACE OF WRESTLING....