RD : I head over to Bayonne and meet up with Pete
at the Charity Hall.
Things are pretty subdued and the place seems pretty empty prior to bell time as I figure it was a combination of it being nice out, plus Spider-Man was opening this weekend and Homicide, the Hit Squad and American Dragon were all off the show. It seemed like things filled up right before bell time, but it wasn't as crowded as it has been in the past. Pre-show we talk a little with Buck Woodward and Jess McGrath.
PP: I spend the day home from work as the apartment is getting painted for the first time since the Reagan Administration. It’s hysterical watching the dog interact with the painters as she spends most of the morning barking at them, but the second they go on their lunch break she becomes their bestest pal in the whole wide world. “I’m sorry I barked at you before, friend. Is that a Tecate you’re drinking?” I finally escape at 4:30 and eventually christen the new Steak Escape at the mall in Jersey City. Good-natured ribbing abounds at the Hall as Buck bitches at us about Marufuji not making the list while we ask him if he remembered to mention Dick Togo’s college football background at Hokkaido Tech during his JR-like announcing job on the last JHW PPV. I agree with Ray that there were way too many mitigating factors for them to have much of a crowd tonight… Ray Sager was overheard mentioning “the summertime blues” in describing the sparse crowd. There’s maybe 150 people by bell-time.
RD : The show starts with a TV opening with The Bald Guy and Mark Clemson. They bring out Dixie who's there to talk about his title defense against Deranged. Dixie comes out on a crutch with his arm in a sling and makes fun of Deranged, claiming that he injured himself "tripping" over himself trying to avoid having to face him. It had been posted in several places that Deranged had injured his ankle a few weeks ago and might be out a few months. Deranged comes out on a cane and Dixie gets in his face. Deranged turns out saying that he was already healed and attacks Dixie. Dixie eventually hits him with the cane and the crutch before Insane Dragon runs him off.
PP: Way to go, Deranged. You worked yourself off the 500. ;) Dixie gets in a great line about there being three people in attendance before Deranged comes out.
MATCH 1 : THE SHEIK vs. ROACH
RD : This is Roach's debut match on a major show. Buck Woodward comes over to us and says that the Sheik looks like a young Haku with his fro. I opt to go with him being the Arabian Afro Thunder. This match is eh as the Sheik hasn't really done anything to impress me yet. He takes a nasty bump to the floor when he gets clotheslined over the top and his knee his the apron and he lands with a resounding thud. Roach laid into him with some chops. At some point, Roach misses a move in the corner and the focus of the rest of the match is Sheik working it over for a while and Roach selling it for the rest of the night (unless he really got hurt). The Sheik won with a camel clutch, I think he keeps on beating up Roach until J-Train does a dance in and gives the Sheik a nasty looking piledriver. During this match I checked the time and it was 8:20, so I guess the show started late as the opening interview wasn't that long.
PP: “Major” show is hardly an apt description for the show tonight… I prefer “A-show” in describing the non-student shows, especially since the students have drawn more fans for their shows than were here tonight. Roach is better than Sheik and he gets props for continuing to sell the arm all night long. He also blitzed Sheik with some mega-stiff chops on the floor. Afterwards J-Train comes out all pimped-up and hits that great piledriver. It was one of those old-school “drill-a-hole” piledrivers where you lift the victim up by the waist belt of his pants. J-Train has a ton of charisma.
MATCH 2 : THE CHRISTOPHER ST.
CONNECTION (Mace Mendoza & Buff E) w/ Chris Cabanna vs. THE SHAOLIN
WRECKING CREW (Magic & Suba)
RD : Buff E and Mace argue over who gets to start as Buff E wins after insisting he get to start with the "cute one", which is Suba for the record. This was kind of eh. Both teams for the most part seem over, but they didn't really work well together. Mendoza really laid into Suba with some elbows and Suba took some evil clotheslines too, which if he wanted to no sell them, I give him all the credit in the world for being able to pull it off. The Christopher St Connection pulled off a new double team where Mace dropkicked the guy into a Buff E Flatliner. Mendoza also busts out Space Tornado Mendoza. The finish comes as all 4 guys are fighting with Mendoza and Magic in the ring. Mace tries to wave in Cabanna a few times before he notices. Magic ends up hitting the hellsmasher on Cabanna and pins him, even though he's not in the match. Lame finish, SWC are now in the number-one contenders for the titles.
PP: This went insanely long for the result they gave us, i.e. pinning someone who wasn’t even in the match for the win. If you want to elevate the SWC, then either put the SWC over a different team or just have them beat Buff and/or Mace. I wasn’t aware they felt the need to protect the CSC that badly. I agree that if Suba can no-sell those shots, more power to him.
MATCH 3 : GHOST SHADOW vs. ELAX
THE EXPLOITED CHILD
RD : This is the first time I had seen Ghost Shadow's new outfit. It looks like it's missing a belt or something. This was kind of eh, though Elax did hit a pretty great tope suicida at one point. They end up double clotheslining one another and both being down and there's a run in by Rick Silver and Just G, the Big Black Unit, who formed on the last student show when G turned on his partner Johnny T. Silver gets the mic and challenges Elax and Ghost Shadow to a tag match. He grabs Elax's hair and pulls it repeatedly into the mic and tells the referee that he accepted.
PP: Silver: “DO WE HAVE A MATCH?” Elax: (moans indecipherably while Silver pounds him with the mic) Silver: “He said yes!”
Match 3(v2.0) : GHOST SHADOW/ELAX
vs. THE BIG BLACK UNIT (Rick Silver & Just G)
RD : The Unit controlled early on, hitting one of the old Big Unit's moves the side russian leg sweep/clothesline combo. I forget when or where, but Shadow and Elax turn the tables. I recall G getting wiped out with a german suplex, much like last month. I'm pretty sure they ended up pinning Silver as Shadow hit a lyger bomb, let go, Elax hit a frog splash and then they combined into a quasi-double team Delfin Clutch to get the pin. This was eh. I really would have it just been a straight tag match from the start, but I'm guessing the reason they had the Unit sneak into the match is that Silver is doing a "born again student" gimmick since they wouldn't book him on the main shows anyway, so that sort of plays a long with that.
PP: I have no problems with them booking “Back to School” Silver on the A-shows as he’s a great talker and bumps like a champ. G hits a cool rolling dropkick on Elax in the corner at one point. Other than that there wasn’t much to this. They seem to be teasing the return of Jay Lover based on the student show angle with Louie Ramos calling Johnny T “Jay Lover Jr,” which scares the hell out of me.
Match 4 : "SHOOTER" MIKE KRUEL
w/ Allison Danger vs. STRYKER
RD : Mike Kruel is the new name for Kid Kruel. He's accompanied by Allison Danger who's wearing a red cat suit which must have a wonderbra in the ass, because it lifted and separated her cheeks. This was a fun match as both guys bring the fun mat work, Kruel the more traditional style while Stryker brings the quasi-lucha. Stryker at one point busted out a version of El Nudo, not quite the Laganero style as he didn't pull up Kruel off the mat. He also pulled out his move which I think he call the Happy Monkey or something which is like a weirdo surfboard where he scissor locks the guy's head from behind. This was focused on Kruel working the arm, Stryker at one point hit his Overdrive but Kruel kicked out, I forget if it was Danger making the save or not. Stryker ends up countering a Kruel corner whip into a second Overdrive attempt, but Kruel counters that and eventually catches Stryker in the cross arm breaker for the tap out. Fun little match, I think Kruel should rip off the Minoru Special II (Northern Lights Suplex float over into the cross armbreaker) as it would be a nifty spot for his offense. I think this was the match which was the turning point of the show as things really picked up during this.
PP: Alison actually distracted the ref after Stryker hit the first Overdrive… then again, with that outfit she probably could’ve distracted Ray Charles. Ô_Ô This was a really good match. Everyone pimps Stryker for his selling and his theatrics, but he brought boatloads of sharp-looking offense here as well.
Match 5 : SEDRICK & RODERICK
STRONG vs. JAY LETHAL/RAINCHILD :
RD : The Strongs are from IPW Hardcore in Florida. I think this match happened after Fat Frank announced that the Hit Squad had dropped the JAPW tag titles to the Shane Brothers in Florida. The Strongs rudo it up by running down the crowd and putting over how IPW was better. Jay and Rain come out as the rookie's representing JAPW and get a brief JAPW chant going from the otherwise subdued crowd. The JAPW crew tapes over doing a bunch of mirrored stuff (drop kicks, back drops, arm drags) though not quite in synch, leading to the spot where there Strongs are sent out to the floor on the wall side and Rainchild hits his Sasuke Special moonsault plancha to the floor which was once again really smooth. A little later I think Sedrick gets revenge by hitting a nice somersault dive onto the pile on the other side of the ring. The Strongs eventually isolate Jay and make him the face in peril, doing the cutting the ring in half and cutting him off from making tags. I think Jay did a good job in this as in earlier matches, I've felt he didn't get the whole concept down as there were clear point where he was getting has ass kicked that he really should have gone for the tag but didn't. In this, he was a lot more focused. I think they overplayed the cut off spot as they did it 4 times in the match. I think they had the 4 way, Jay magically recovers a bit quick as well, but this is nit picking, it was an improvement over their past tag work. The JAPW guys got the win when Jay caught Roderick in the Nakano lock and Rainchild hit Sederick with a wheelbarrow suplex and gets the pin. Post match, the Strongs get their heat back by laying the rookies to waste, includings an awesome set up where they do like a double hip toss lift, they flip the guy back onto his feet and with one fluid motion hit a double STO on both guys.
PP: The Strongs are stupendous at heeling it up and heating up the crowd for seemingly the first time all night. They were definitely good enough that they didn’t need to drop a million F-bombs during their mic performance like they did. This match is great as Jay and Rainchild take it to the Strongs early with their hot moves until the Strongs slow it down and it turns into a Southern-style match with the missed-tag sequences. They probably should’ve stopped the missed tags after the first two times, but that’s a minor quibble. In the scheme of things this was fantastic in that everyone looked good, the match ended clean and both sides got their heat on the other in an enjoyable manner. I have no problems with them doing a rematch.
Match 6 : "TORNADO" TONY KOZINA
vs. LOW KI
RD : This was a really fun match, but the crowd was dead for the most part. The match pretty much builds around Kozina working on Low Ki's leg in hopes of taking out his kicking offense. Kozina keeps trying to set up the figure four, but keeps getting kicked off with Low Ki's other leg. After a few times of this, Kozina seems to be setting up the hold again, looks down and then just opts to work over Ki's leg with other moves rather than eat another kick. Kozina hit one top rope rana, he tried for a second, but when he tries it there's a weird spot where either Low Ki either tries to powerbomb him or stun gun him on the buckles. It was weird looking and we're not sure it if was an accident or on purpose, but everyone seemed ok. Ki tries to go for a top rope rana of his own, but Kozina blocks it and applies a figure four on Ki as he's hanging upside down and then leans back over the ropes which looked awesome. At one point, Ki was in control, but his knee wouldn't allow him to hit the Ki Krusher. Kozina ends up putting Ki into an reverse indian deathlock, then lifts Ki up onto his knees like a surfboard move and then puts on a full nelson. Ki basically has no place to go and taps out, surprising the hell out of everyone who though Kozina had no chance of going over. He goes over clean as a sheet in a really good match.
PP: I won’t make any jokes about Kozina not knowing what the fuss is WRT the short ceiling at the Hall. =D Great match marred only by the complete lack of heat as no one in the building (us included) thought Kozina had a snowball’s chance in hell of winning here, clean or otherwise. Kozina sells the submission like this is the biggest win of his career, like he just tapped Nagata in the Tokyo Dome. It’s a shame Ki has such a problem with doing jobs- oh, did I mention that according to Frank, Ki ASKED to put Kozina over? Ki haters can KMA because he taps out clean in the middle of the ring… in front of JAPW’s smallest crowd in months… to a guy that was a complete unknown to 95% of the fans going into the match.
MATCH 7 : THE SPANISH ANNOUNCE
TEAM (Joe L & Jose Maximo) v. THE BRISCOE BROTHERS (Jay & Mark
RD : The Maximos were really over as heels, though I think it's more a matter of the JAPW fans not forgiving them for bailing on the promotion in the past. The S.A.T.'s call out the Hit Squad who obviously aren't there and then proclaim because the Hit Squad is afraid to face them, that they are the best team in the Independents. At this point the Briscoes come out and the match is on. Well, I can finally tell the Briscoes apart now that Jay is growing in his beard and is noticeably bigger than Mark now. They did a mix of whacky double team spots where Jay put Joe L into a camel clutch, Mark then puts Joe L's legs into a reverse indian death lock and catches Jose's legs into it so he has the hold on Joe L, he then gives Jose the Kawada/Tenryu style chop them down and pull them up stop so Jose's leg is cranking on Joe L's every time he gets knocked down ala Inoki putting the move on. He then slaps on Octopus Hold on Jose and when he breaks it drop kicks Joe L in the face. The Maximos get revenge by putting them in a similarly whacked out combination move where the Briscoes were damaging each other, but I forget exactly what they used. The finish was like a domino effect as one guy would hit a finish on one guy, but their partner would break up the pin and then hit their finisher, be saved by their partner. I forget the order, but I'm pretty sure Jay hit the J-Driller on Jose as one of the spots and it finished with Joe L hitting the Firestarter (Whipwreck's face first Hellsmasher powerbomb) on Mark for the win.
PP: Jay seems to be picking up that polish that the WWF and Da Meltz are so fond of… and with the beard he looks eerily like Edge if he were to lose the hair match against Angle at the PPV. This was my first chance to see the Maximos work heel, and they got good heat just because people hadn’t forgiven them for bailing out on JAPW back in December. The match was great and probably would’ve been off the hook if there’d been a bigger crowd actually popping for their stuff.
MATCH 8 : RED vs. INSANE DRAGON
RD : Red opts with his old jumpsuit outfit, Dragon comes out with Greendexter and beats him up and sends him to the back. I don't really remember a lot about this as I'm writing this on Tuesday. I don't really recall anything really getting horribly blown in it, but my socks weren't knocked off either. I do remember Red hitting a really great brainbuster in this. Insane Dragon got the win with something that was sort of like a reverse of Deranged's high speed sunset flip move. It was more or a high speed roll up with Dragon on Red's back and doing a reverse rana type move but with a body scissors instead of a head scissors for the pin. OK match.
PP: This is worth seeing just for Red’s kick-ass brainbuster. Other than that there wasn’t anything here you couldn’t live without… I think both of these guys’ stuff tends to work better when they’re in there against a good rudo catcher like Homicide, DHS or even Scoot. Red gets brownie points for leaving the RF duds at home.
MATCH 9 : DERANGED vs. DIXIE
for the JAPW Triple Crown
RD : Before the match starts, the referee checks Deranged and first finds a pair of scissors, he checks him again and finds a big ass butcher knife which sends Dixie out to the floor to grab a chair. This was a fun match, though it did have a bunch of comedy in it as Deranged does his Street Fighter II fireball spot again in the match which Dixie sells once. Deranged goes for it again and Dixie blocks and counters with a sonic boom complete with Guile victory pose afterward. Early in the match, they fight on the floor and Dixie gets sent over the rail. He actually pulls his younger sister (who's probably like 10) in front of him so Deranged wouldn't punch him. Dixie does work on Deranged ankle for the rest of the match and ends up getting the win with a reverse cloverleaf hold. Post match, Dixie continues to work over Deranged, Insane Dragon runs in for the save and Dixie hits him with a title belt. As he's beating up Dixie, the Briscoes come out and it looks like they're going to make the save as they get in Dixie's face, but when Wasted Youth recover and seem to go after the Briscoes, Dixie gets between everyone and seems to challenge everyone to fight him, but the Briscoes end up punking Wasted Youth and leave with Dixie. I guess this pretty much is the end of the Hit Squad as heels as Dixie's still working as a heel and now he's aligned with the Briscoes.
PP: The SFII bit is bust-a-gut hysterical (“HADOKEN!”) as is the shtick with Dixie using Kimberly (his little sister) as a human shield to ward off Deranged. If she were the same age as Dixie and ID the three of them would be the greatest Hardy Boyz ever… as it is I expect her to follow her bros into THE BIZ! before too long. Ray forgot the bit where Dixie gets pantsed and spends a couple of minutes wrestling in his thong before pulling his tights back up. Obviously he’s bucking for that lucrative ROH gig, although if he really wanted to heel it up with that spot he should’ve gotten an all-over tan first. I would’ve had real problems with this if it were the main event on a big show, but as the main event of a “TV taping” this was fine.
RD : You'd think that'd be it, but as we're getting up to leave we get…
MATCH 10 : WK Media's Kevin Walters
vs. RF Video's Rob Feinstein :
RD : Well, out of nowhere, we hear yelling behind the booth between Rob and Kevin. The were some words exchanged and a minor shove, the WK guy flips over one of Rob's trays of tapes. At this point Doug's heading over to back up Rob, but the cops and security take the WK guy out of the building as Rob says about 50 times "I'd like to press charges." We try to figure out what the hell was going out. Personally, I'm going with Kevin working the Elliot Ness gimmick, breaking up Al Caponestein's illegal tape hooch. I don't know who's in the right or wrong, but I find it kind of funny that Feinstein's spin monkey's are showing up all over the net putting over how "professional" Rob is, when anyone who reads this or anyone's board knows how Rob will troll it and threaten people and the tape trader's he's trying to rally behind him.
PP: *Walter Winchell voice* “Kevin Walters and his Untapeables tracked Robert Caponestein’s Big Japan-dubbing hoodlums to a speakeasy in Berwyn!” This was… interesting. My gut feeling is that it was a work due to the fact that Walters was hanging out with Buck all night and didn’t choose to confront RF until after the show was over. You also had Frank’s complete lack of concern at this brawl breaking out on his show as he was joking about selling tapes of the impromptu for $5. (I immediately pony up the fiver, but that’s neither here nor there.) Between that and the fact that WK Media cut a deal with Highspots, my guess is that this is just going to lead to them “patching things up.”
RD : This was a long show by JAPW standards, it really felt like they started late or something. The show was lacking some heat during some points, but I think from the 4th match on it was a solid show, especially given that a 3 of their key guys were off the show. We end up watching about 7 work trains go by before we get into the city. Ah, the joys of first of the month subway maintence. I wonder if they're hiring.
PP: This was fine for what it was as they’d smartly been billing it as a TV taping from the date the show was announced. You can really see where Homicide and DHS are the “aces” of the group, as the crowd heat took a big hit without any of them on the show, but the rest of the crew stepped it up to the point where this was still a good show. Afterwards we head back into town with MKJ where we immediately work him into thinking I’ve got Meltzer on my cell giving him details of the RF/WK altercation.