SLEAZE:  sleaze n : tastelessness by virtue of being cheap and vulgar [syn: cheapness, tackiness, tat]
That's what the dictionary says. Vulgar, tasteless and cheap. Wrestling that is so rare even Jeff Lynch and Steve Freidlander could say "What the...?" when asked about this. Sleaze is everywhere, in every angle of the earth, ready to catch your eye, ready to impress you. We, the ORDER OF THE BLUE WOLF, love sleaze with a passion, we worship the hero that is Ken The Box, but we've assembled this wacky video review to show you that there's more than Ken, ohhhh boy a lot more. We have an awful lot of sleaze for y'all but we'll provide, for you conservative wrestling fans out there, the usual array of "normal" rasslin extravaganza. Enter the dungeon.....i present ME !

Wrestling From Mors Hand Held 10/7/00 [@K&D@]

About the creation of Mors an old  legend tells: When the Lord wanted to create Jutland he decided first to make a model. The Model was so good that he found the very best place to put it, and that was as the largest island in the beautiful Limfjord. A lovely place with all the contrasts of nature. Mors has through the years produced and inspired many great artists. Also the many artisans and craftsmen on Mors put their mark on the island contributing to a thriving and creative environment of applied art. Why all this sentimental crap ? Well, i don't know nothing about the fed i'm about to review but i need some filler for the intro or it wouldn't be cool, right ? Mors is a little island in Denmark, and the day i saw "Wrestling from Mors" in one friend's tape list, i screamed: "Mors ! That's...what i always wanted to see !". I sincerely NEVER heard of this fed or any of the wrestlers, and that's no "you just didn't get the tape, it's sleazy, everybody talks about that in the DVD chat" fed. Nobody has ever heard of this ! Well, i guess we can only go ahead and see what's inside this little jewel.

I pop in the tape, and the first thing i notice is:
1) it's DAAAARK in here, i had to adjust the brightness because you couldn't see shit
2) it's a handheld, and the "arena" looks to be a small basement with about 5-6 people in it, all assembled in old sofas (think like a bunch of people had a party, a few people slept there, woke up and decided to have a wrestling show in the afternoon. That would explain the workrate, too) and a ring set up in the middle. Since we're in Denmark, obviously everybody speaks english (ahem), instead of the expected native language. The ring announcer is quite cool though, sounds like one of those off-the-screen voices in horror movies.

I thought this was some professional fed from Denmark, but at first it seemed like a pseudo-professional semi-backyard fed, and seeing as i HATE HATE and HATE every form of backyard wrestling, i was ready to throw this in the trash at the first "hardcore must see action ! A fat guy with diabetes and zits stabs his 2 years old brother in the back with.....a vacuum cleaner !" or something like that. AT LEAST, these guys seem to have spent at least the first day in training school, and they didn't do any of that "violent crap, Chico" (Tm Larry Rivera). This seems to be a USA vs. Denmark deal, as in every match there's an american wrestler vs. someone from Denmark. Interpromotional feuds~ ! So original.

Tractor Beam is just a big lumbering guy with a white t-shirt, but the real surprise is mr. Orange, i expected something like the guy coming out dressed like an orange and stuff like that; well, all i can say is he comes out with an orange sweatshirt ! sunglasses ! Since he's an agent, he comes out to Triple H's music, so we can confirm that music has been played for three different wrestlers in three different continents. (Sakura Hirota: Japan, Agent Orange: Denmark, Triple H: USA) Gotta love it. The match consists of lots of really basic moves, nothing special, the only funny thing about it is Tractor selling a stomp like a top rope powerbomb and screaming throughout the whole match. You could say "been there, done that" looking at Screamin' Norman Smiley but hey ! This looked convincing; either that or the guy is out of his mind. Orange establishes he's the heel in this situation by saying : "Who's bad ?" and laughing like a maniac. Orange cuts the crap pretty soon as he DDTs Tractor, who sobs and says a lot of "shit" and "ouch". Maybe he's hurt, in fact Orange picks him up and seems to say "Sorry" (could be something else, but that's what i heard, blame the tape's sound). Orange wins with...something at the 5:00 mark. I wouldn't know how to call that, and it wasn't a move either. This was.....there. Not really Sid-"tries"-to-"work"-with-Scott-Steiner bad but nothing good either.

NIGHTMARE (Denmark) vs. MR. RIIS (USA)
Mr. Riis comes out to ICP's "Fuck The World" (Eh) and is dressed like your average backyard fed wrestler, he looks like he's 13 and just had his first day of training ("See momma ? I don't do that hardcore stuff in my backyard anymore !"). Nightmare, well, he's SLEAZE at its best. He's got a Scream mask on his face and is dressed all in black. We start with crappy knees to the midsection in the corner and the world's worst suplex. This beats anything i've ever seen. Hell even calling that a suplex is a disgrace. A "Nightmare sucks" chant begins, FEEL THE HEEL HEAT ! Or maybe the fans are smart and they realized he REALLY, really sucks (mmmh, i don't think so). To show he's a real heel, Nightmare DDTs Rjis and i thought Hogan's "ok brother, you ddt me, 5 seconds later i come down, brother" DDT this year was bad. To top all this the man with the Scream mask follows with the worst clothesline to ever grace an 8mm. Think like 24 Luger (that would mean 24 times worse than Luger ! AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH). You'd think the guy could at least reverse an irish whip, right ? No sir, Riis and Nightmare for a moment look like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing, then they probably tried the hiptoss to outside-but-opponent-hangs-on-the-apron thing. No luck, Nightmare falls down to the floor. Oh boy, this is like the worst wrestling match i've ever seen so far (i watch wrestling since 1986. Ouch). I love this. Nightmare improves his clothesline as this time he aims directly to Riis' stomach, then stomps Riis on his..ahem..lower abs area; Riis either sells it like a god or he REALLY got stomped on his nuts. Even the camera man cracks up. Mr. Riis hits a really shitty kick on Nightmare and a kid screams "That's really good Riis !", a theme we will see pretty often repeated tonight (go ahead and read, you'll know why). We go home finally and Riis stuns Nightmare (KICK WHAM ! STUNNER ! Only in slow motion and Nightmare probably hit his nose instead of his chin), the crowd (all 6 of em) erupts and Riis goes to acknowledge his fans on the 2nd turnbuckle, while this happens Nightmare gets up and hits the STUNNER ! on Riis, followed by a Rings of Saturn like manouver for the tap out at 7 minutes (JA ! JA ! ICH TAP OUT or something like that). Crowd totally turns on Riis and chants "Nightmare ! Nightmare" Hey, after all he stunned him. This was the worst match in the history of wrestling, forget Heroes of Wrestling, forget Sid vs. El Gigante. This is it. 5 billion stars, Sid is Kawada compared to Nightmare.

JACKSON (?)  vs. BENNY RAY (?)
Benny Ray comes out to classic country, a country jacket and cowboy hat, so he's probably from Denmark. Underneath all of this goodness he's got a fabulous "Benny Ray 3:16" t-Shirt. Jackson comes out to Slipknot i think, they all play the same shit anyway. Nobody cares until he does the Raven pose in the ring, then ONE guy screams "booooooo" (at least he can claim 1/6th of the crowd hated him). The only "wrestling" move i can recall from the first 4 minutes was a top rope elbowsmash (uuuuh yeaaaah) from Benny Ray, the rest was...i...don't know, they rolled on the mat a lot, let's call it matwork ;). Benny Ray wants to get the crowd more into the match and he screams "Tuuuuurnbuckle" and hits Jackson's face twice on the top turnbuckle, but Jackson blocks the third attempt and hits the usual Top-Middle-Bottom turnbuckle hits. We get a nice "crossface" from Jackson, so i guess the guys did their homework and watched Raw (now they are ready for an audition for Friends probably). Benny Ray with the figure four on Jackson ! (Whoooooooo) which Jackson sells better than Russo against Flair even if that ain't saying much, but still, he's trying. The same kid says again "That's really good", and i think that's really the only thing he knows in english at this point. 7 minutes into this disgrace we get....wait for it....a REF BUMP ! Yay, they definitely watched Raw. Jackson with the bulldog (more DOG than bull), then self counts 1-2-3, gets up and waves at the crowd. Evil american (but is he really american ? That's the cool thing about this show. You never know) Benny Ray takes advantage of this and hits Jackson with a boot, the ref magically wakes up and counts the 3 for the win at 8:00 or something. This was your 3 minutes Metal match shown in slow motion. HA ! At least there's no Kevin Kelly here

MORTIS (USA)  vs. INZANIAC (Denmark)
Inzaniac is a psycho ! He's....mad ! Dressed like Axl Rotten at a picnic with his drug de...wait, HAHA you didn't read that. He takes the mic and graces the "crowd" with these lovely words: "I'm so glad to be here in this country that is full of wonderful, beautiful, stupid people. There's only one good thing about Denmark: that there are only 5 millions of idiotic morons in it. Let me tell what's the new national anthem for Denmark, it goes something like this, DENMARK SUCKS, DENMARK SUCKS. You know who sucks the most tho, MY OPPONENT !" Hey, maybe interviews are not his forte, maybe he's really good in the ring ! Maybe i can sell you a bridge in NY if you want. Crowd is hating him at least. Mortis comes out with a long white coat and sports the biggest sideburns-goatee combo you'll ever see. Inzaniac keeps talking while doing lame elbowdrops on Mortis (this is for Denmark ! This is for the USA)), then he says "Watch this" and Mortis reverses his...something into a nice flying headscissors. Whoa ! This was like the first wrestling move of the show that didn't blow. After a shitty Banzai drop, Inzaniac puts Mortis in the boston crab of doom and Mortis sells it like he just woke up and was going downstairs for breakfast.. They do some shitty brawling outside the ring until Mortis decides to put Inzaniac in his deadly Boston Crab and Inzaniac taps out. This was baaaaaaad, really bad.

Inzaniac is shocked at the referee's decision and challenges Mortis and his friends to an 8 men elimination match. Oh boy.

TEAM DENMARK vs. TEAM USA [Eight Men Elimination Match]
So, it looks like Team Denmark is Tractor Beam, Mortis, Jackson & Nightmare against Team USA's Inzaniac, Agent Orange, Benny Ray & Mr. Riis. Could be wrong, tho ;) This is an elimination match, and it's REALLY confusing because the camera man decides to get a wide shot so i can't see too much due to the camera angle. Let's try anyway: Tractor & Orange start, continuing their "awesome" feud from earlier on, Orange goes for a dropkick but it misses by at least 3 feet, and Tractor falls anyway, so this gets .99 in the Erik Watts scale. Mr. Riis seems to be the first eliminated, probably 'cause it was getting late and his mom called in wanting his boy to go to bed (or his dad found out the guy stole his pants). The camera man seems drunk as he jiggles for a couple of minutes totally missing the ring, i bet it's the hangover from that party. Jackson with a really shitty clothesline on Inzaniac for the elimination (FEAR THE POWAH OF THE CLOTHESLINE !). The one thing i didn't notice during this mess is....there's A 10 YEAR OLD KID AS REFEREE ? WHAT THE F... ? He's all bitchy and stuff and tries to keep everything into control. Weird. Nightmare is eliminated, Jackson and Benny Ray try to do a powerbomb-reversal thing but Benny can't lift Jackson and fakes a back pain, Benny Ray eliminates Mortis (i think) with a cross body block and stands cheering the crowd, meanwhile TRACTOR BEAM ! wins the match with a schoolboy and finally puts and end to this tragedy. I knew he was a star. This was like the strangest 8 men tag i've ever seen. Doesn't make it good sadly.

Overall: advice #1: i watched Heroes of Wrestling before this so watch anything REALLY bad to lower your expectations, and i can guarantee you "i have a snake in my pants" Jake Roberts made it really easy for me. Advice #2: DRINK A LOT before you watch this, it'll be a lot easier to swallow this garbage. Advice #3: unless you want every sleaze ever made on this planet, avoid this truckload of cow excrement like the plague. This is really really sleazy, as in if-it-wasn't-for-Tobita-and-Ken-it'd-outsleaze-Saitama but the wrestling is really OFFENSIVE in its suckiness (is that a word ?); at least this ain't "hardcore" backyard wrestling, the guys looked like they had fun doing it and i don't think anybody got hurt. That's how it's supposed to work. You...don't want this, probably (Well, if you really want to, e-mail Jeff Lynch and tell him i sent ya. He'll reply to you with "Who ?" and maybe sell you the tape ;)

New England Championship Wrestling 10.27.2000 [@Dan The Masked Graduate@]

So I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to handle the theme of this STVR and still be Mr. Old School. I want to talk about wrestling, not sleazy gimmicks, and I know all the good sleaze will be taken by someone else first. I also prefer to talk about historic importance and things like that, which sleaze doesn’t really have. So I think to myself, well, sleaze is sometimes just a synonym for indy, even if I can’t wax historic maybe there’s an indy out there that has an old-school flair.  That’s when I remember NECW, owned and operated by historian Sheldon Goldberg with many wrestlers trained by Killer Kowalski. The ingredients seem to be there. I actually got two shows, and the other one was notably sleazier, even including a midget match. It also included a really good match with Maverick Wilde and Doug Williams (yes, the UK worker) and the tournament final where Mike Hollow beat Bob Evans for the NECW heavyweight title. The wrestling on that show wasn’t bad, but I chose to do this show instead as my silent protest to an all-sleaze edition. Okay, it’s not silent any more. Okay, I just liked this show better. I procured these tapes from, which is the official source.

The ring announcer starts by introducing Fred Curry Sr. and Killer Kowalski, both are here as interested parties as well as legends. They then do a 10-bell salute to Yokozuna.

Kurt Adonis v. Fred Curry Jr.
Adonis has a gimmick that’s not unlike Trent Acid’s, only more heelish. When he’s being a heel he’s golden, but he also goofs on his own gimmick a bit, not caring about his dance steps, singing badly on purpose. To me, if you don’t take yourself seriously, you hurt your gimmick. Or course, Adonis still gets killer heat, so maybe I’m wrong, or maybe he’d start a riot if he took himself seriously. Fred Curry Jr. is the son of Fred Curry Sr. (duh) and grandson of Wild Bull Curry, as well as a NECW mainstay. Adonis is from Backstreet, USA? Okay, that’s funny.
Adonis stalls for a bit before the lock up and the crowd now really hates Adonis. They trade some arm work before Curry gets the upperhand and dropkicks Adonis out. They brawl on the floor, well Fred does and Adonis takes it. Back in the ring, Curry goes back to the armbar. Adonis takes control by dodging Curry and hitting a superkick, followed by a dive to the crotch. He goes for a chinlock and his control ends when Curry elbows out. It’s just a hopeback, though, as Adonis regains control with an Enzugiri. Curry regains control for real with a Mil-style plancha and a rana, but Adonis gets out of that situation with a lariat. WOW-esque splash gets too (okay, it wasn’t that bad, but I wanted to use that adjective) and Adonis calls for a senton, which misses. Both men are counted down for five and Curry regains control with strikes and dropkicks. Low-blow puts Adonis back on top, but he gets thrown off during a Hurancanrana attempt and Curry hits him with a missle dropkick for the pin in 10 minutes 13 seconds. Hot opener.

Zachary Springate III v. Luis Ortiz
Springate is dressed like the old Hunter Hearst Helmsley on his way to the ring, same robe, same hair, even the noses are similar. He has a British accent, though, and he runs down the audience and jaws a bit with Sheldon Goldberg. Springate’s interaction with the ref is absolutely hilarious (“check my boot… that’s enough!”).
They start with Springate hitting an armdrag and then demanding approval from the crowd, which he fails to get. Ortiz then gets two armdrags and Springate bails. Springate is working the crowd very well. They both work the arm; Springate moves his hammerlock into a headlock and then tosses Ortiz away. He hits a drop-toe-hold and then simply walks on Ortiz. The story developing is that Springate can outwrestle Ortiz, but his cockiness stops him from following through and may be a weakness. He gets a lariat as a result of just that. Springate rolls outside and rings the bell to fool the ref, which doesn’t work. Back in the ring, Ortiz takes over, even hitting a hairpull throw, following it up with a split-leg moonsault for two. Some genius in the crowd decides this match is boring, and Springate’s heel tactics stop me from agreeing with him. Springate ducks a dropkick in the corner and takes over with a choke and a double-underhook suplex, but gets shoved when he complains to the ref. Ortiz controls briefly, but Springate gets his knees up to block a Vader-bomb. They exchange some nearfalls and Springate’s pants are falling down. A Springate DDT gets two, and gives him the opportunity to pull his pants back up. The match slows a bit. Ortiz hits the Taijiri springboard elbow and they fight into the corner. An Ortiz Hurancanrana gets two and he misses the follow-up split-leg moonsault. Springate jumps to action and hits a swanton for the pin, and the crowd is not happy. 12 minutes or so. I really enjoyed Springate here.

Derik Destiny / Dan Hawk v. Johnny Idol / Mike Steel
Destiny has a very weird kinda-goofy heel gimmick going on. Idol and Hawk start and Idol wins the initial exchange. Destiny is reluctant to enter, but when he does he demands that Steel be tagged in. He gets control with an eye-gogue and goes to town with strikes and chokes before Steel hits a Diamond Dust for two (already?). Destiny comes back and hits a very comic people’s elbow and then tags out. The heels cheap-shot like heels should, but Steel takes control and tags in Idol. Heels control for a bit as Hawk wrestles while Destiny riles up the crowd, a combination that works well. Steel gets the hot-tag to Idol who fights with Destiny as Steel and Hawk brawl on the floor. Destiny gets a few two-counts, but a tomikaze is stopped when Steel gets back in the ring and turns it into a weird double-team for the win.

We get an interlude as Bud Girl Ivey tosses hats and shirts into the crowd. Then someone in a dread wig comes down and reggae raps, very badly, and noone can understand or hear what he is saying. I have no idea what the point of that was, other than to play on black stereotypes.

Slyk Wagner Brown v. Jason Knight (yes, that one)
Whoa, I stumbled into an unfortunate segue there. Brown’s manager, J-Wood, is a Fred Durst dress-alike with a red New York (baseball team) cap, so the crowd goes apeshit. Got to love Boston’s constant inferiority complex about its sports teams. Brown, who is reminiscent of Battledome’s T-Money, gets told he sucks by a fan at ringside, so Brown spits on him. Thankfully security is right there to grab the guy as he looks intent on doing Brown harm. Knight comes out to Tool’s “Sober” and I wonder what a song about being impotent because of alcohol says about him. Actually, I shouldn’t joke, since it fits criteria theme music should fit (IMO), namely it’s familiar but not overplayed so it makes it easy to associate it with the wrestler. Knight carries a black Kendo stick. He brings out Joel Gertner, who makes a rhyme about getting blowjobs. (In a side note, I find it disturbing that Microsoft just informed me that blowjob is preferred over blow-job.)
Brown armdrag, stall, JK armdrag, stall, Brown tells the ref that Knight pulled his hair, despite having none. They lock-up and go to the corner. Brown toys with Knight a bit but Knight takes over with some kicks. That doesn’t last too long, as Gertner chases Wood into the ring and Wood grabs a mic. Wood brings out his special enforcer, “Nightlight” Nick Curry, Fred Jr.’s toddler son. Nick seems a bit unhappy about this, though. They get Nick in the ring and Gertner kneels down and tells Nick to give him his best shot. Wood slips Nick some knucks and Nick punches Gertner who sells it by rolling across the ring and to the floor. We now return you to the match portion of the match. They exchange supleces and near-falls. Brown goes for a chin-lock, Knight elbows out. Brown regains control with a low knee-lift, and goes right back to the chin-lock, which Knight elbows out of. Brown yanks Knight down, but misses a plancha. Knight makes a comeback. Some geniuses in the audience call this match boring, and the kiddy segment did disrupt the pace. Knight takes out J-Wood, but Bob Evans runs down and crowns Knight with his own Kendo stick. Brown gets him in a fisherman suplex for the pin at an announced 8:36.

The next segment is a “Brutal” Bob Evans interview. The audience gets up an “Opie” chant. Evans obviously doesn’t come from the mid-west or anywhere that has Bob Evans restaurants and sausages, because the image of a country breakfast doesn’t exactly strike fear in the hearts of men. Well, it is brutal on your cholesterol. He has his second rematch tonight, and there’s no more excuses. He then cuts a promo on Jason Knight, calling him a broken-down pretender.

“Sudden Impact” Dylan Kage v. Tiger Del Ring
Yes, that’s Tiger, not Tigre, at least according to the ring announcer. His mask extensions block his name on his shoulder-pads, so I can’t tell for sure. Kage looks no older than 16. When I first watched this match, I thought that both men were high-flying above their head, my opinion changed the second time. Kage brings it to the mat and looks good down there. He also hits a missile dropkick to Tiger’s head that looked a little too stiff. Tiger looks a little off, though. Kage finishes him off with a rube-goldberg powerbomb in four minutes. Kage looked very good in this, which is the point of a squash.

Maverick Wilde v. “The Golden Greek” Alex Arion.
Wilde walks to the ring like he doesn’t want to be there and insults some audience members. Both men are wearing tiny pants, and Wilde’s are especially tiny, maybe .85 Zenk. His color of choice tonight is purple, and it doesn’t take long for the crowd to start up a “purple panties” chant.
They start with a knucklelock and already I like this match. Wilde bridges down, but gets back up and pushes Arion into a bridge. Arion gets up and breaks one hand, runs to the ropes and hits an arm-drag. He hits a dropkick, but misses a second one and Wilde tries for an early pin. That gets reversed, but Wilde reverses it again and Arion reverses it into a cross-arm-breaker. Wilde eventually breaks out of that, but he misses a dropkick and Arion decides to try a quick pin, which Wilde bridges out of. They have a little back and forth, and Arion goes back to the arm. Maverick suplexes his way out of hammerlock, but Arion comes back with a head-scissors for two. Crowd tears into Wilde. Arion pulls him up from sitting near the ropes and into a powerbomb. Wilde scoots back so Arion does it again, but Wilde lands on his feet and hits a lariat. This was a really sweet series of spots, and I didn’t describe it well at all. Arion manages to maintain control and introduces Wilde’s head to each of the turnbuckles. Majistral gets two, so Arion goes back to the arm, but gets caught in a neckbreaker giving Wilde control. He shoulderblocks Arion in the corner and continues to the floor. He follows that up with a rolling dive to the crotch. He then targets Arion’s leg with a knee-drop and an Indian deathlock, with bridge. Arion elbows out of that, so Wilde elbows him back. The crowd fires up again. Wilde gets a figure four, and uses the ropes to his advantage. Arion slowly rolls him over, bringing the crowd with him, forcing Wilde to grab the ropes for a break. Wilde pounces on Arion, though, and gets another deathlock, this time with a chinlock. The ref makes him break it, so he goes for a backdrop. Arion kicks him to block it, and then clutches his leg. They collide, and Wilde rolls to the floor. Arion climbs to the top, but Wilde shakes the ropes. He goes up and attempts a superbomb, but Arion backdrops him off. He gets caught when he follows up. Wilde grabs him and charges the corner, but the camera misses what happens. Wilde appears to have gotten the worst of it. Arion hits a super-spinebuster, but can only get two. Some geniuses in the crowd declare this match boring, they are wrong. Wilde tries a tornado DDT, but Arion puts him back on the corner and hits a hurancanrana for two. Locomotion supleces ending with a fisherman only get two for Arion. He then goes up and hits a splash, but lands wrong on his injured knee. Wilde grabs him, and hits him with an Uncle Slam for the win in 13:58. That was a great match. I thought it was longer the first time, and I wish it was. Arion gets an ovation as he leaves, he deserves it. He deserves a bigger one, at that.

Mike Hollow (w/ Killer Kowalski) v. “Brutal” Bob Evans
Hollow, the champ, comes out first, and wants to know who let the dogs out. Killer speaks, but I can’t make a word out.
They feel each other out and Hollow eventually comes out on top with an armbar. Evans reaches the ropes and complains to the ref. More feeling out, as these two know each other well, and Hollow goes shoulder-first into the ring post. Evans dives on Hollow and attacks the arm, bouncing it off of the apron and a column near the ring. Back in the ring he hits the arm with knee drops and armbars. Hollow comes back with a plancha, but it’s a brief comeback as Evans lariats him and goes back to the arm. Each time Hollow starts to regain control, Evans hits him with a lariat, even asking the audience “why won’t they ever learn?” at one point. They go outside, and Evans continues to work the arm. As they come back in, Evans pins Hollow, but has his feet on the ropes. The ref sees this and stops it, so Evans spins around and says “I won’t use my legs this time” and uses his arms instead; priceless. Evans hits a brutal looking over-the-shoulder arm buster. He is ruthless, but Hollow punches his way back into control. Hollow tries a superplex, but Evans makes it a super face-buster. They are feeling fatigue now. Evans does no favors for himself by missing a plancha, going over the ropes to the floor. He gets control back quickly with a  well timed chair-shot and a New England Jam for two. An Evans blind charge meets foot and Hollow hits a diving cradle, the same move he won the belt with, but it only gets two. Evans comes back with a superkick, but he can’t capitalize. He hits a back-breaker and goes up to the top turnbuckle, but Jason Knight is there and returns the favor from earlier. Hollow then hits a diving sunset flip for the win at 13:20.
After the match Slyk Wagner Brown runs down, and they beat up the faces before the faces come back and clean house. They set up a tag match at the next show.

NECW didn’t disappoint. Both shows featured good work and this show featured a great match. I may very well wind up pimping NECW in the future. The average person probably doesn’t hear about it that often since APW seems to get all the attention (of the TV-less indies, anyway). I definitely recommend this, although, if you don’t trust my word, I’m putting copies in the hands of Phil Rippa, who may review a show for an upcoming DVDVR.
They’re running a show in Somerville very soon ( for details) and I’ll have to look into tickets.

Feedback is always appreciated ( ), although I realize this review is drier than I like.

King of the Cage 3: April 15, 2000 [@Thomas Hackett@]

Just a step below PRIDE and the UFC in terms of prestige, King of the Cage doesn’t have to take a back seat to anyone in terms of putting on a solid show. This California MMA promotion has featured Ricco Rodriguez, Jerry Bohlander, and a “who’s who” of rising talent in the US. A key to their success is making a reputation for awarding aggressive fighting. This is just basically a rock solid show—all kinds of weight classes, all kinds of skill levels, and all kinds of finishes.  It’s a nice change of pace.

The commentators are Don “The Dragon” Wilson and Eddie Bravo. They sound awkward a lot of the time, but are both knowledgeable and are clearly trying.  They are joined by various guest commentators who help spice things up.

Jeff Cahill (5’11”, 140, Gentleman’s Grappling) vs. Mike Barazza (5’8”, 130 Kurt Rojo Jiu Jitsu de Brasil)

Ref wears a beanie (knit cap). Ah, this feels like an indy, and it feels good.  Barazza wears a jail suit to the ring and an afro wig. Cahill, well, he’s real skinny, but he is the bigger of the two and is able to wrench Barazza down against the fence, and they fall with Cahill in mount. Barazza fights up and gets Cahill in a sprawl, but then falls to guard.  Barazza tries to pass the guard by advancing to a side headlock position, effectively giving his back. Barazza slips around beautifully to take the rear naked choke and the win. Smooth ground fighting by Barazza—Cahill seemed to be trying to just bull him around, and got caught quickly, only two minutes in.

David Stepp (5’9”, 140, Monsourri’s Combat Grappling) vs. Mondo (5’7”, 152, Scorpion Combat)

Stepp misses a left round kick and gets dropped by a round kick to his right leg. He bounces right up for a shot, drives Mondo into the cage, and bounces him to the mat in side mount.  Mondo slips his way out and does well in another exchange of strikes, but off a clinch falls to the mat with Stepp in full mount. Mondo bridges him off nicely, but leaves his arm extended as they roll to the mat. Stepp hits a perfect arm bar from guard to get the tap out.  This was Stepp’s third KOTC win in a row, with each win coming via a finishing hold in about 90 seconds. He’s part of a growing weight class that’ll be very exciting this year, along with Hawaii’s Barrett Yoshida, and about a million fighters from Japan.

Duane Ludwig (5’10”, 160, Bas Rutten) vs. Jason Maxwell (5’7”, 165, Neutral Grounds)

Rutten accompanies Ludwig to the ring.  Maxwell closes the distance right away and gets a single leg takedown, and advances right to side mount, then full mount.  Ludwig fights though, and gets a nice bridge. Scramble, and Maxwell catches Ludwig in a guillotine choke. He never sinks it though, so rather than trying to fall to guard and crank it, he releases and hits another single leg takedown. Again, he gets side mount and full mount, but gets bridged off.  Ludwig, in the top position for the first time, hits a few nice punches in Maxwell’s guard, but gets caught in an armbar… which Maxwell releases? Back up, Ludwig hits a few strikes, but is taken down again as round one expires. As round two begins with another Maxwell takedown, Don Wilson brings up that in his 150 plus street fights, he was never taken down, but of course, he was an amateur wrestler. Thanks, Don.  We basically see a replay of round one, but Ludwig gets the best punches of the fight and thus gets the decision.  Bravo and Wilson can’t believe it, but I see it as consistent with KOTC judging criteria: no points for positioning. If you get superior positioning and don’t do anything with it, you may lose points. It’s strikes and submissions that count, and according to this school of thought, Randleman vs. Rutten was the best decision in UFC history.  Anyway, at 20 and 21, both guys have some good weapons to develop.

Joe Stevenson (5’7”, 173 lbs., Tedd Williams Combat Grappling) vs. Tobey Amata (5’9”, 183 lbs., Neutral Grounds)

Stevenson takes Amata down repeatedly and stays in control, hitting occasional punches in the guard and knee strikes from side mount and the north-south position. Amata fights to his feet and tries to stay active, even uses some rolls to try and and catch Stevenson, but the Joe Charles protégé tires and loses the decision.  Luckily a hyper Frank Juarez Shamrock joins on commentary and livens this fight up, because it was pretty dull.  Still, impressive wrestling skills by Stevenson, and strikes well from the top position.

Tim Konrad (6,0”, 180 lbs., Combat Grappling) vs. Jim Abrille (6’0”, 195, Joe Moriera Jiu Jitsu)

Konrad comes out wildly, taking Abrille down to the mat with a pair of takedowns. He follows neither with good positioning though: Abrille bounces up from one and on the other hooks a foot for a slick heel hook as Konrad stands, trying to pull him around. 38 seconds is all it took to separate the brains and the brawn here.

Sean Sullivan (5’11”, 180 lbs., Caesar Gracie Jiu Jitsu) vs. Curtis McWatters (5’10”, 180, ??)

Wilson is rooting for McWatters, because he’s 37.  But the blue-haired Sullivan hits the better strikes early. (on this subject, why doesn’t a female wrestler dye her hair blue for that Nova Satori from Robotech look? Remember her? Eh, never mind…)  McWatters slips to the mat and tries a sloppy heel hook.  Sullivan quickly counters with a heel hook of his own at 1:43.  McWatters unfortunately suffered a broken leg here.

Will Ascencio (6’1”, 200 lbs., Freestyle Jiu Jitsu) vs. Rick Kerns (6’1”, 190 lbs., Tedd Williams Combat Grappling)

Ascencio is only 18, and trains with Todd Medina. Crisp strikes from both to start, Ascencio then rolls through a takedown attempt nicely to take the top position. He tries a heel hook but fails. On the ensuing scramble, Ascencio gets way too aggressive and gives an arm as Kerns drops to guard. Kerns takes the “gimmie” triangle choke for the win.  A solid win for Kerns, but I’m hoping to see Ascencio again, too.

Javier Vasquez (5’7”, 150, Millenia Jiu Jitsu) vs. Antonio Emae (5’11”, 165 pounds, ???)

Emae claims to be a second degree black belt in Gracie jiu jitsu and a big time Tae Kwon Do fighter with a bunch of NHB experience. I’m afraid none of the three are true—there’s just nothing I’ve found about the guy before or since this fight.  Vasquez has apparantly done some Pancrase fights (?) and is making his NHB debut.  He has a cool pink robe and cowboy hat.  Ken Shamrock joins us for commentary, which is a good thing because this fight sucks.  Vasquez scores a takedown after some circling, and goes right to mount, where Emae taps all the sudden.  I’d like to give this guy the benefit of the doubt, so it anyone out there knows something, drop me a line with the story here. Shamrock chalks it up to just knowing that you’re in a bad position. Bravo mentions how Emae seemed like the most confident fighter, out of all the KOTC participants. Bizarre.

Shad (5’6 ½”, 168 lbs., Team Tap Out) vs. Kelly Delante (5’8”, 175 lbs, Frank Shamrock)

Frank’s in Delante’s corner. Shad comes out swinging with impressive boxing skills, rocking Delante with hooks.  Kelly gets a Muay Thai clinch going a couple times for a few knees, and they separate where Kelly grazes a high kick.  Shad continues the big punches, but Delante goes Lumpanee Stadium on that ass with another clinch around the neck and a pair of knees. Shad goes down and the ref steps in.  Way early stoppage! This fight started so strong but ended up the show’s low point, as we had a nice boxing vs. Muay Thai standup display going.  I was looking forward to seeing Frank’s protégé on the ground too. Oh well. I’d like to see both again, preferably in a rematch.

Stan Treadwell (6’2”, 280 lbs., 3rd Master Martial Arts) vs. Mike “The Rhino” Bourke (6’0”, 275 lbs., Freestyle Grappling)

Mike “The Swedish Chef BORK! BORK!” Bourke is a PRIDE veteran and he’s looking to avenge an early loss, an 8 second K.O. at the hands of the JiuBoxFu fighter (whatever that is).  The big boys clinch and start letting the punches fly. BOURKE! gets the better of the exchange and whips Treadwell down.  Bourke floats over (!) to side mount and mount nicely, where a series of big punches end it at 1:26.  Mark Kerr assists with commentary to help liven things up. An interesting, if brief, conversation with Kerr follows and he talks about learning jiu jitsu. Bravo mentions his belief that as soon as wrestlers learn to pass the guard, they will dominate like never before.  While some lauded this rennaisance fighter idea, others wonder if Kerr weakened his game when his focus drifted from a classic ground and pound style. Either way it’s a cool interview, and Syracuse graduate Kerr is very well spoken.

Antonio McKee (5’9”, 162 lbs., Combat Grappling) vs. Chris Brennan (5’8”, 175, 2nd Generation Jiu Jitsu)

McKee calls himself “Mr. Mandingo” in his pre-fight interview, and remarks: “I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, and I’m a straight vegetarian, so I don’t have to prepare myself for a fight the way some guys do.”  He beat a Brennan student to set up this fight, and has a good MMA record.  Brennan of course is the UFC veteran who had recently aligned himself with Marco Ruas—he calls himself Ruas’ only Vale Tudo Team member from the US.  This relationship has since gone sour, but for this fight, Ruas wears the Ruas Vale Tudo T-shirt.

Ricco Rodriguez is helping on commentary. He says “unbelievable” every other word, but livens things up a bit too:

Rodriguez: “OK now, for the folks at home, McKee is the African American. And Brennan…

Wilson: “He’s the guy in the T-shirt. Let’s not go by race, huh?”

Oh yeah, the fight.  McKee hits a solid takedown but Brennan positions him in guard right away. McKee’s attempts to pull Brennan against the cage are thwarted by nice defensive skills, as Brennan kicks off from the fence nicely.  Brennan keeps McKee from getting anything all round, except maybe a short punch or two.  Brennan spins to his feet a few times and almost gets an arm bar, causing McKee to back out of the guard. Nice leg kick from Brennan but he gets taken down again. A little clubbing blow to the back of the head to end the round, but we look dead even, and “Tree-Huggin’” McKee looks tired.

Round two begins, and McKee tries a shot, but Brennan shrugs it aside. McKee backs away to retain footing WITH HIS HANDS DOWN!! SWEET JESUS!! Brennan tries his first high round kick of the fight and it tags McKee right on the tip of the chin.  HUGE KO!  A good technical fight that ends on an explanation point.

Vernon “Tiger’ White (6’1”, 207 lbs., Ken Shamrock’s Lion’s Den) vs. Todd Medina (5’10”, 190 lbs., Freestyle Jiu Jitsu/Carlson Gracie Team)

White, who of course has had long technical fights with Kazushi Sakuraba and Mario Sperry, mentions how Medina took another fight just days prior to this show. He also gives props to Ken for—I swear I’m not making this up—taking him in from “a lowly Tae Kwon Do instructor to who I am today”. Ouch. Medina unfortunately looks like hell. His eye and nose are messed up and he speaks in a slow, low tone.  The Carlson Gracie purple belt (who makes no reference to Jeet Kune Do in his interview, strangely describing himslef as going from “street fighting” to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) tries to get psyched by headbutting team mate Wallid Ismail before the fight.  But it’s to no avail… he’s almost staggering in the ring.

White walks across the ring, throws a bunch of hooks. One of them hits Medina, and that’s all she wrote.

Well, it was a KO, and I can see how that’s exciting, but it’s still a weak end to the tape.  I’d really like to see a rematch, and it’s good to see that Medina came back strong. Medina will headline a show in Hawaii in March, as well as Rage in the Cage next month. White lost to Allan Goes at PRIDE, but still remains a solid fighter that almost never gets finished.

To conclude: Despite the Medina/White fiasco, this promotion is an MMA success story.  Call the Brennan/McKee fight the main event, and get this baby. Suncoast carries their tapes at any mall in the country for 15 bucks or less. With a new partnership with PRIDE, expect to hear even more from KOTC in 2001.

Battle Station BattlArts BATTLE MANIA 8/30/00 Young Generation Battle 2000 [@K&D@]
Taped 8/20 Hokkaido Sapporo Teison Hall

We open the show with a short Ishikawa interview and images from the Teison Hall with the Bat Bat wrestlers signing autographs.

RASTAMAN vs. RYUJI HIJIKATA. ~JAMAICA~ ! The man with the beer gut of doom continues to get pushed, for no reason known to man, if not because he's got a menacing look (too bad his goofy catchphrase and the fact that he's blown up after 3 minutes totally kill his "dangerous" image.). Hijikata is one of the young punks who's starting to get pushed, the other being Alvin Ken. We start with basic hip tosses and clotheslines, then Rasta is already tired and throws Ryuji out of the ring to taunt his loved fans (guess what ? ~JAMAICAAAA !~). Since we're in a really small hall (announced attendance is 932. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA) and we've got only two cameras, the poor man holding the camera near the ring has to walk around it to find Ryuji, he's hiding behind the's him ! Camera man earned his meal today. Rastaman has his back turned and Ryuji jumps in the ring and surprises him with a low blow. Rastaman attempts a suplex turned into a sleeper hold by Hijikata, then, Rastaman follows his blockbuster with the Jamaican Clutch (torture rack, fallaway slam combination) in 4:10. Kind of entertaining, this was a "serious" match with pretty much no comedy. *1/4

Tierney ! Our boy Mick looks pretty stoned, think like the love child of Scott Steiner (big roided body) and Johnny Ace (face and haircut). Really...strange. He's got the italian flag in his lil trunks i think so he gets my hate in about 3 seconds. We start with a few knees to the midsection by Mick followed by a joint lock, then Tierney goes for the udehishigigyakujujigatame but Junji reaches the ropes. Mick locks Junji into a kneebar but he reverses it into a kneebar of his own, then Tierney goes for the cloverleaf, but while he lifts Junji, the orange haired dickhead punches him. That was pretty cool looking. The match continues along the lines of the usual BattlArts undercard match, some good stiff moves (Junji's German Suplex) and cool submission holds (the sasorigatame that Tierney sold like he needed urgently to go to the bathroom). Mick tries to finish Junji with the meltdown and chokes out Junji at 6:00. Decent little match, Tierney is pretty bad, but Junji surprisingly didn't look that bad in this one. *3/4

Ono begins the match punching Saito straight in the face for the KO, Saito gets up at 5. Welcome to Bat Bat, junior !  We follow with some brawling outside the ring, Saito sits on a chair and Ono kicks him again STRAIGHT IN THE FACE and he falls over. Ono continues in the ring with a flurry of good looking kicks, but Saito blocks one and takes down his opponent to the mat, while turning it into a reverse indian deathlock (again stretching his arms). Ono gets the rope; Saito keeps working on Ono with his creative submission holds (repeating his really cool looking move that looks like an indian deathlock only he ties the legs with his hands and kicks Ono in the face), Ono instead catches him in a camel clutch and eventually a triangle choke but Saito reaches the ropes. Submission holds continue as Ono applies the udehishigigyakujujigatame and then a really cool looking bow and arrow lock around the ropes. Saito is really becoming accustomed to BattlArts' style in fact he's turning his lucha oriented offense in something that mixes with the shootstyle flavour of BattlArts, thus becoming a mini-Hidaka with less highspots and more submission oriented work. He puts Ono into a full nelson, then from that position German Suplexes him and turns it into a Full Nelson choke (still keeping the hold). A rare nearfall follows with Saito's La Majistral for 2, they keep reversing each other's attempts to German Suplex the other, until Ono catches Saito with the uraken and two punches, then puts Saito in the Octopus Hold for the win at 12:31. Saito is really getting good, his submission holds are even more creative than Hidaka's, he just needs to get some credible striking ability and maybe he'll get a bit of a push. Really fun match with Saito looking really good and Ono looking better than usual  **3/4

We begin the big Young Generation Battle Digest festival. All the following matches are shown in digest form (from 4 seconds to 45-50, pretty much only the major points of the match and the finish). It would be too long to mention everything. The highlights are Rastaman missing a twisting senton off the top rope (FAT ASS FLIES !), Nagai killing everybody with the stiffest moves allowed on earth, Tanaka looking really good with everybody, Hidaka doing the same and Otsuka demanding Ishikawa to take off his kneepad, then kicking him in the injured leg and apparently Ishikawa loses via forfeit (i think he injured his leg, that's why he closed the tourney with 5 losses, i guess it was one bye after another.). Weird match as Rastaman and Junji brawl in the parking lot (WTF?) of the  Hokkaido Iwamizawa Sports Center for a no contest.

Malenko comes out to Prodigy's "Firestarter"; eh. Usuda's music plays for 45 seconds before the man comes out, i was already afraid that the music would play twice, then we'd see Usuda come out in street clothes and lay on his back for the 3 count...wait, that's another world. Anyway, the match starts with the usual excellent matwork from both, with the main story being that they're trying to get in the mount position. Malenko gains the position and eventually puts Usuda in a triangle choke. This was a slow paced, smartly worked, submission oriented (let me breathe for a second......done) UWFi like match, where both try to tire the other with submissions but also weaken the legs for the eventual kicks coming. Usuda with a good flurry of kicks stuns Malenko for 7, then Malenko follows with a great kick to the head, then later puts Katsumi in the udehishigigyakujujigatame for a rope break. The match gets really good with Usuda's great kicks and Malenko's awesome selling, basically Usuda is trying to knock the hell out of Malenko but the gajin keeps fighting and avoids the KO every time getting up at 8-9. Usuda urakens Malenko and wins with the sleeper at 9:15. Really good match, the second half was getting really great but it suddenly ended. Malenko is getting great, mixing his carney work learned from Joe with the stiff BattlArts shootstyle. Usuda and Carl work well together because Usuda is really good on the mat so when he goes down what he does actually means something unlike Yone who just puts a submission here and there and most of the times takes a breather. This looked like your classic UWFi match, big 1st part of the match on the mat trying to weaken the opponent, then strikes, kicks to wear him down and the final submission or KO attempt. Really enjoyable match. ***

Looking at the Lynch list, i read a Sano/FUJITA vs. Tanaka/Otsuka match and i was ready for a great one, but guess my surprise when i see young lil punk IKUTO HIDAKA on my screen, JOY ! Hidaka is even better and Tanaka vs. Hidaka is a great match anytime.

Oh, btw, what do i have to do to get Otsuka's intro in MP3 ? Hey, i could send you a 8 hours tape with the best of the WWF in 2000, then you need to e-mail me back to tell me what do you want in the other 7:30 of the tape.
Hidaka and Otsuka start off things with some really great matwork. You can see the great versatility of Mr. Otsuka here: he basically adapts to every style and tries to tell a story and get the crowd into the match, wether he's getting his ass kicked in Pride, getting spiked by Mitsuhiro Matsunaga or even working lucha spots in Michinoku Pro, that's why he' s a cult hero in Japan. (No, that ain't it, it's because he's THE COOLEST ! Plus he wears those adorable AC>DC outfits with the Diet Butcher ads in the back, now with the addition of A.D.S ! I wonder when they'll start putting magazine ads in his outfit). Tanaka welcomes Hidaka to his kneedrop (the joy of every dentist in Japan) that makes you smile, then they both decide to -the hell with it- pass on to some lightning fast lucha armdrags where Tanaka holds his own pretty damn well. Otsuka and Sano tag in, Alex gets the mount on Sano, but Naoki smartly turns it into a triangle choke. Hidaka follows with a great top rope hurracanrana that sends Otsuka out of the ring, Sano with a tope suicida. Otsuka does a FLAWLESS no hands tope con hilo, then back in the ring, he sells Sano's quebradora like Naoki's leg was a bed of nails. Otsuka puts Hidaka into a german suplex position and Tanaka follows with the dropkick to his face..COMBO ! Mini giant swing goes into a cloverleaf but Hidaka reaches the ropes. Tanaka comes in with a great spinkick and even better enzuigiri, then puts Sano in his own version of the Shawn Capture (rolling takedown into a kneebar), but Sano can escape from it and do the same. Hidaka tags in and puts Tanaka in the Shawn Capture, Tanaka sells it like a god, but can reach the ropes (i really thought the match was gonna end here). Tanaka MURDERS Hidaka with a great kick to the face and turns it into the Minoru special in lightning fast motion, but Sano breaks it. Tanaka is trying to knock out Hidaka, so he follows with his fantastic kicks + spinkicks that all hit Ikuto, but Tanaka falls down to the mat exausted, the ref counts till 8, then both get up slowly, Minoru again tries with kicks, Hidaka catches the last one and turns it into  dragon screw. Tanaka has Hidaka in a Full Nelson, Otsuka is laying outside, Sano has the time to dropkick Tanaka from the top rope and break the full nelson, Hidaka takes the opportunity and stuns Tanaka putting him in the Shawn Capture for the tap out at 17:58. Fantastic match, all 4 worked really well and mixed the right amount of shootstyle striking, carney matwork and even some lucha highposts. Tanaka vs. Hidaka looked AWESOME, and i'm expecting a really good match in their September show. The only flaw would be that Sano wasn't in it enough and Otsuka's offense got kind of disjointed near the end, but all in all, this was a really great match, one of the best of the year and definitely one of the best i've seen from BattlArts. You wanna get this tape for this bad boy. ****

YONE ! BOM-BA-YE ! YONE ! BOM-BA-YE ! Why the hell is Yone still using Inoki's music anyway ?
Nagai is getting a megapush, let's face it. It seems that president Yuki is a big mark for outsiders from shoot companies. I don't have a single problem with that, since the people he brought in all got eventually good (Malenko, Nagai, Taira, Murakami..). The thing is, Nagai is still pretty green as far as pro wrestling goes, even if you consider BattlArts' shootstyle+US Pro style hybrid. He's a fantastic striker, he's really good on the mat, but still lacks something in between, that something Malenko seems to have learned, something that makes you a great BattlArts worker. I said in the last review that he's not capable yet of carrying someone. This might be true to an extent, but this was the proving ground, it was a little test, to see if he's starting to pick up pro-style psychology and is starting to understand how that mixed with his shootstyle background can make for an exciting match. Yone is a worker that like many others in Japan (Tenzan, Naniwa & Sasaki are BIG examples) has really two faces: when he's working with a capable worker, who can carry him he actually looks good, tries to work at his best and not drag down the match, instead when he's against someone who's supposed to be at his same level or below, he just mails it in and works a stinker. Let's say it once and for all, Yone SUCKED in this match, want a few examples ? First one: in this environment, getting up at 9 after a KO makes the match "dramatic" and helps psychology. Well, Yone tried that, too bad instead of staying down till 8 then slowly trying to get up and shaking even after that showing that he was exausted and almost done with it, he basically laid on the mat DEAD, then at 9 he popped up like the match just started. Also, instead of using the submission holds and inserting them into the build of the match by making them mean something, he just applied some chinlocks and lazy kneebars to rest, nothing meant anything. Nagai was another story, he started slow, with pretty good matwork, tried to work  a little storyline in the match, that emerged after a few minutes, he was working Yone's arm, he tried to apply the udehishigigyakujujigatame several times, and used different moves all going back to his main goal: weaken the arm. Eventually, when it was probably too late, Yone woke up and started improving at least his striking, and that made the match a bit more exciting. The match ended in a 20:00 draw. The finish was kind of good (Nagai trapped Yone into a rear naked choke), at least the idea, but Yone wasn't selling shit so the crowd didn't believe that was going to be the finish and suddenly the bell rings and it's over. Nagai is starting to show potential as far as carrying people goes. Mind you, he's still a LOOOONG way to get there, but he's trying, he works hard and he's getting really good in the ring. One of the most improved workers of the year. Match was two stories, when Yone was carrying it was a nothing match, when Nagai took the ball, it changed and became actually really good. **1/2

Yone gets the mic and Screams: "SAPPORO TEISON HALL ! KONBANWA !!!!", and continues screaming while saying what seems to be "thank you for coming, good night". The kid needs help, oh, his afro is getting out of control too.

Overall: this show rocks. There's a fantastic match and except the opening and the following match, everything is good to great. This is better than the July show and one of the best shows of the year overall, get it for the Tag match anyway. Next one will be the conclusion of the Young Generation Battle and a card that looks fantastic on paper (BattlArts September). I think i'll avoid for now the October show (Roid Warriors and Osamu vs. Tsubo Genjin in THE SAME CARD is too much for me ;) unless the holy sources pimp the hell out of it. GET THIIIIIIIIIIS

DDT Jr. Tournament - 4/27/1999 [@Ohtani's Jacket@]

Takashi Sasaki vs. Akinori Tsukioka:
The match began with both wrestlers circling each other. When Tsukioka went for a lock-up, Sasaki cut his opponent off with kicks to the chest and pressed his advantage.

Sasaki's decision to forgo the lock-up was a mistake and the mark of an unschooled wrestler, as young wrestlers should always start from a shoulder and collar position. In terms of match structure and framework, a s&c lock-up supplies the means for young wrestlers to work their way out of a standing position and into exchanges that provide a base for the rest of the match. When opening a bout, every move should become a beat that turns the story of the match, forming successions of beats that culminate with greater impact than any move before them. In this case, Sasaki's kicks led to the outside, where Tsukioka hit a Quebrada off the ropes. It should've been a culminating move that shifted the dramatic line of action, but they didn't build to its climax, and hence it was meaningless. Drama is conflict; without conflict there is no action. Therefore, a pro-wrestling match needs the dramatic context of confrontation to work. Why should the crowd care that Tsukioka is being struck down with kicks? Why should they spurn the aggressor? When a wrestler imposes his will upon a weaker opponent - it angers the crowd - because they feel helpless. There's nothing they can do to stop the defenceless wrestler from being victimised. It's a type of sympathy or animosity that can't be worked. Wrestling is about the connection between wrestlers and their audience. It's about what happens when great storytellers draw you into where they are.

Since its Greco-Roman origins, the lock-up has been metaphor for what pro-wrestler Mike Quackenbush calls: "the primordial conflict of man against man; two equal creations testing courage, spirit, strength and skill." If your wrestling isn't exploring these themes, is it truly pro-wrestling? In the literal sense - whereby wrestling is defined as two opponents grappling and trying to throw each other to the ground - of course. But figuratively, the answer is no.

At one point, the wrestlers moved into a headscissors spot. Sasaki turned into his man, trying to flip the move over, but Tsukioka kept the hold clinched on. It amounted to little more than a resthold, but it could've been a base to work from. You can tell a story in five minutes. You don't need to sprint; sprinting leaves a match truncated. Unfortunately, these wrestlers were more concerned with execution than build, which led to an over-investment in offensive manoeuvres, and when you trade offensive manoeuvres with reckless abandon; you never reach that event or point of greatest intensity.

Boston Idol made a great point about Indy wrestling in a recent discussion. Whenever Indy wrestlers use bridging manoeuvres to transition from defence to offence, they launch straight into offensive flurries, "forgetting" to sell the damage they've sustained. Sasaki makes that mistake here, and Tsukioka does the same thing. Idol maintains that nobody wants to be the victim. Hence, there's no momentum. Wrestling is supposed to be about limited opportunities. Competitors waiting for a gap and seizing it. This is meaningless "tit for tat" wrestling until it's time to wrap it up. These guys would have better matches if they behaved more like nervous, young wrestlers, who anxiously obey the rules and less like unschooled wrestlers, rebelliously breaking them.

Kiyohei Mikami vs. Tanomusako Toba:
This was a shoot style pro-wrestling match.

It only took them a few seconds to put in a better effort than the previous bout.

Mikami grabbed the kick boxer's arm, and flipped him over with his feet, scissoring the arm into a Jujigatame (Crucifix armbar or cross arm breaker).
Mikami was trying to neutralise Toba's knockout punch, through hyperextending his elbow, because whenever Toba was in a standing position he dominated with rights and lefts. It wasn't a great story, but effective.

Mikami moved in on Toba's striking kicks, forcing him to the mat in a single leg takedown. From a mounted position, he punched Toba in the ribs. During a standing exchange, he kept his head down and doggedly held Toba's leg to prevent kicks from landing. Toba wailed incessantly on his head, and Mikami took rights and lefts, before Toba knocked him down with kicks to the back and chest. The ref stepped in, but Mikami was back to his feet at the count of nine. Mikami's selling was non-existent, which hurt the realism of the knockout, but at least they'd built to something. It was a unit of dramatic action that set up the story. They introduced the wrestlers, established the dramatic premise and created the situation. Working a match is all about laying out the successions that build and expand the information of your story. This was a work in progress, because there wasn't really a story behind the base, but it was the type of start I was looking for.

Toba held his opponent in close, where he drove knees into his chest. Mikami reversed the attack into his Jujigatame, but Toba flipped out of it, and punched his opponent in the head. Mikami held his arms up to guard the side of his head, but it was in vain. When he stood up, Toba came in with a knockout blow. Mikami was out on the canvas. The ref stepped in again, but Mikami jumped to his feet at eight. I mean he literally sprang. From a shoot style perspective, this made the knockdowns seem "goofy," but the ending featured a great succession of moves that showed Mikami is an intelligent young worker. It began when Mikami scored another take down, hooking on the Jujigatame and applying a headscissors to prevent Toba from punching his way out again. Sure enough, Toba tried to turn into his man with punches to the head, but Mikami turned away from Toba and into a triangle scissor lock for the submission victory.

An Indy wrestler showing the ability to chain wrestle; making it appear as though the successive Jujigatame, into the counter, into the "triangle scissor lock" counter-reversal are interconnecting, will have enthusiasts jumping up and down proclaiming it as great wrestling. I agree. What impressed me about this succession, however, wasn't the chain wrestling or technique as such, but the way Mikami drew upon his "Jujigatame vs. Knockout Punch" base for the submission finish. It was the right thinking for wrestlers so young, and made for a better bout. Mikami would go on to impress...

Asian Cougar vs. Super Cacao:
Lucha Libre is a beautiful, exquisite art form, which features intricate, lightening quick mat work, but when slowed down, it loses its mystique.

A slow arm wringer reversal or armdrag takedown is all right if you don't want your wrestling to be pretty, but Lucha Libre is all about aesthetics. It's about the grace of easy, refined motions. This match suffered from slow matwork. Hesitant exchanges that stripped back and unravelled the trappings of an otherwise complex and sophisticated wrestling style. Asian Cougar working the arm was a good base to build from, but the work needed to be seamless. Lucha demands its participants have the ability to float from spot to spot. You can't let people see you feeding your opponent an arm or a leg. That's when Lucha fails to challenge or inspire the viewer. When wrestling under the pretence of Lucha Libre, your wrestling shouldn't feel like sequences. Everything must appear as though it's in succession. It has to be natural, not forced. This match felt like an illusion where you could see the sleight of hand. Cacao didn't have the speed that Lucha requires to be dazzling. He could execute a sound snapmere, but not an elaborate one. That's why the match wasn't challenging to the viewer. Lucha Libre needs to be amazingly quick. When Lucha is quicker than the eye, it reaches that higher, "ethereal" state, where it becomes sublime.

When they tried to move out of the arm work and into something more substantial, they struggled, because they hadn't built to anything. They tried to reprise the familiar pairing of technico (or cientifico) against rudo, but weren't able to express it through their wrestling. Their mat work should've been loaded with implicit meaning - honour and self-sacrifice, truth, justice and righteousness vs. oppression, dishonesty and corruption - but this match, more than any other on the tape, epitomised a lack of knowledge.

Onryo vs. Mitsunobu Kikuzawa:
It would be fascinating if Onryo could build the traditional belief in, or fear of, spirits of the dead into his matches. I've been reading an Anglican Theological Review article about traditional beliefs in Japan, which explains that spirits are believed to be haunting and vengeful until they finally become sorei (ancestor spirits) or hotoke (Buddha), either thirty-three or fifty years after death. In Japanese legend, when a hero kills his enemy, he must construct a memorial shrine and give the gift of a memorial ritual for the person he has killed - because his victim is onryo - a type of vengeful ghost. Unless the defeated enemy is buried and faithfully remembered, the spirit will return and bring unhappiness.

It would be intriguing to see how far Onryo could incorporate Japanese/Eastern mythology and theology into the stories his matches are trying to tell. He already walks a fine line with his gimmick, but this could provide something different in terms of wrestling storytelling. A reprisal of ancient Japanese storytelling to go along with the adopted motifs already found in puroresu.

As it stands, Onryo does a pretty good job of incorporating his character into his wrestling. He's closer to "deliberately slow" than vengeful; but then again, he's trying to wow the crowd rather than scare them. An obvious example of this crowd-pleasing is his springboard plancha into an empty ring, where he lies sunken in the canvas before rising again. A more clever use of his character, however, comes from his methodical pacing. He brings a crouched stance to a lock-up, pushing back on his opponent with a sort of lifeless aura. His matwork is "possessed," or at least tries to be. It's completely character driven wrestling, which means self-imposed limitations, but Onryo is all about restricted movements and hindering your opponent, which is what these younger wrestlers need, instead of charging into an endless barrage of highspots. Of course, wrestling is about knowing the right thing to do at the right time and that's just as true of the "slow build" as it is of anything else.

In that respect, Onryo is a relief - a young wrestler who is working on his mental game and learning how to implement the psychology of a "vengeful spirit" into his disposition and movement. He knows the highspots have to come eventually, but while he's grounding his opponent and keeping them from moving anywhere - it's great to see him turn his opponent over into a half crab and think: "how can I do this in a way that reflects what I'm about?" Onryo is worth watching for the little things, but in terms of the bigger picture, his matches remain poorly constructed. It seems the best you can hope for in Indy wrestling is to see something promising.

Asian Cougar vs. Takashi Sasaki:
The match began with Asian Cougar posing on the turnbuckle. Sasaki attacked him from behind and nailed him with a dropkick. Cougar fell to the outside, and moments later, Sasaki launched himself over the ropes, coming down on his opponent with a knee to the back.

Now jumping your opponent before the bell seemed like something they could work with. Sasaki could've whipped Cougar into the railing, ramming his head into the ringpost. In the ring, he could work him over with punches, kicks, chops and rakes to the face - drawing heat onto the side of his opponent. Cougar could've done a blade job through his mask, putting over the monstrous beating. The idea would've been to build the match towards Cougar's fight back. He fights through exhaustion, fatigue and blood loss, while the aggressor demoralises him with chokesleepers, etc., before building to a piledriver spot, where Cougar puts everything he has into an almighty body drop. As long as Cougar continued to sell on offence, he could've hit a succession of highspots, before scoring a flash pin. The end result: Cougar shows his fighting spirit, which builds sympathy for the final.

Instead, they started out fast and never slowed down. I didn't enjoy their wrestling whatsoever, because I'm interested in what these wrestlers can do between highspots. The bridging manoeuvres between spots were missing from this match. They're such young, erratic wrestlers. They think that they can compensate for build by putting dozens of near falls into their match. Sometimes watching wrestling that is so flawed can be a valuable experience, because it enables you to learn why a match isn't working. The hope, however, is that you'll enjoy at least some of what they're doing. I might have enjoyed the occasional move with these guys, but that's it. At this point, the matches were becoming increasingly frustrating. The worst thing about their wrestling is the way they insist on modifying their moves. At one point, Sasaki does a vertical suplex into a type of neckbreaker variation. It's ridiculous, because they can't even build to a vertical suplex and make it mean something, yet they're trying to be inventive. I wish these guys wouldn't wrestle over their heads, because, honestly, they can't do it.

Onryo vs. Kiyohei Mikami:
On the contrary, I enjoyed a lot of this match.

The match began with a lock-up, where Mikami moved Onryo into a side headlock. He took his opponent to the mat in a headlock take down, but Onryo countered with a leg scissors. Mikami flipped out of the hold and both men were back to their feet. Onryo charged in, and Mikami caught him with an armdrag. Mikami is head and shoulders above everyone else as a worker. He kept Onryo's head down with a knee, while he barred the arm. Onryo stood up and turned into his man, before hitting an armdrag of his own. He barred the arm, moving the wristlock into an armwringer. It was the best wrestling so far, and I was excited about whether it was going anywhere. Mikami turned Onryo's hammerlock into a cool struggle over an elaborate Lucha snapmere. Onryo scuttled out of the ring, but Mikami kept on his man. He went for a pescado, but Onryo slid back in. Mikami's fall looked nasty. His knees were up and it was a big drop. Onryo topped that by pulling out a crazy springboard somersault plancha that barely connected. He hit the concrete hard.

They fought on the apron, but Mikami flipped over his opponent and took him down with a flying head scissors. Mikami trapped Onryo in submission work, including an STF, which stopped the insane, suicidal dives. The matwork in this match was encouraging - not because it had implicit meaning - but because you could feel they were trying to build to a crescendo. In other words, they were progressing towards a climax. The thought and the effort were definitely there.
Onryo bit Mikami's arm, which Mikami sold well. He was down on one knee, and Onryo worked the arm with punches. Mikami feigned a nice collapse off a shot to the head.

After Mikami faked a plancha, and Onryo pulled off a strange disappearing act, reappearing on the other side of the ring, they raced down the homeward stretch. Onryo feed off Mikami's capabilities and opened up his offence. He hit a spinning shoulderblock off the ropes that levelled his opponent, before drilling him with power bombs. They worked some pinning manoeuvres into the closing minutes, including sunset flip reversals and grounded or standing crucifix pins. Mikami showed a lot of restraint - working his offence into the match in a logical manner that lent itself to spots further down the line. A swinging DDT set up a tombstone, which set up a diving headbutt off the ropes, which set up Onryo catching Mikami with raised knees. When you tracked the spot back to its conception, you could tell Mikami was thinking about how the highspot should be positioned. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Hence, Mikami was supplying straightforward wrestling that made the other matches seem like exercises in lateral thinking.

Unfortunately, the match really fell apart at the end, as Mikami botched a flip through then tried a neckbreaker, which he couldn't get, because his screwy flip through had left him too far out. After some awkward enzuigiri attempts, he pinned Onryo with an ugly crucifix pin. The match really petered out in the dying seconds, but there were too many positives to complain.

Takagi/ Exciting Yoshida/Kurokage vs. Yasaku/Daisaku/Kengo Takai:
This match was amateur hour crap.

Asian Cougar vs. Kiyohei Mikami:
This final was absolutely terrible. I don't know how anyone can think Asian Cougar is capable of working a good match.

At one point, Cougar lifted Mikami into an atomic drop, but turned the move into a spine buster. This left him in a position where Mikami was laid out, and Cougar had him by the legs. Cougar felt the need to do something from this position - but instead of something logical - like folding him over into an ebigatame cover, he turned him over into a scorpion deathlock.

It didn't make sense, because Cougar wanted to sprint. Sprinting should be about constant pressure. You knock your opponent down - lateral press. You have him by the legs - two-leg pick up. Obviously, Cougar felt that the scorpion applied pressure, but there was no struggle, no drama, because nothing was at stake. Mikami reached the ropes, Cougar let go of the legs and the move was never touched on again. The hold had nothing to do with anything that occurred before or after he applied it - the same can be said for every move that followed. This meant the bout was a collection of different approaches, truncated into one or two spots. If they'd expanded on a particular spot, they could've had a good match. You don't have time to do anything else. You have to set up your story immediately - from the first hold. Using different approaches is cute and clever content, but what a match needs is context.

Cougar sprinting could've worked if Mikami had been able to absorb the pressure and spot a lapse in his opponent's concentration, instead of getting up and walking over to him. It's important to convey a sense of desperation in wrestling, because in doing so wrestlers are able to take the gaps or openings that occur within a match and give them meaning. In my mind, every transition Mikami made should've been through Cougar's legs - a drop toehold, a short dropkick, or a dragon screw leg whip. His approach should've been to cut off Cougar's sprint, because so much of Cougar's offensive attack depends on leg strength; hence the way to beat him is to weaken his legs.

A match should follow the logic and rules it sets up for itself. Absolutely no thought was put into this final. It was the epitome of doing moves for execution's sake. Every action was a gaping hole in that internal logic. Why was Cougar working his opponent's back, when Mikami's arm was injured coming into the final? A good worker knows how to utilise his moves better than that, because he understands them. He wrestles from the inside out of his holds. He works in and out of holds that turn the match. Young wrestlers who are trying to put together a framework in their matches will always be ahead of their peers, because when you master the basics of structure and form, the rest comes in time.

As a wrestler, Cougar can do all sorts of impressive moves - like his Guillotine legdrop over the top rope, off the apron, and to the floor or the corner leg lariat into a springboard Guillotine. But in terms of pacing, psychology, selling, whatever element of "working a match" you can think of - he's grossly inadequate. He needs to work on his mental game. Unfortunately, he seems fixated on coming up with new and extravagant ways to spin a variation on the same old Guillotine legdrop. With those priorities he'll never progress. Somehow he's been misguided into thinking that a match should be built around his legdrops, instead of towards them. He should endeavour to build his matches to a single Guillotine legdrop, which is hit at the greatest point of intensity. That's how you become a good worker.

Not that the quality of the match was entirely his fault. I was disappointed in Mikami, because I felt he was good enough to reel Cougar in and make something of the match. He seemed to hand the reigns over to AC, and just like this final, he was barely there.

Overall: There's too much great puroresu out there to bother with this.

GWAS Zona De Muerte PPV 8/26/00 [@Alfredo Esparza@]

GWAS spent an entire month building up this show. At the start, the show  lineup was suppose to include EMLL talent that would be involved in yet  another "Ruleta de la Muerte"-style match.  However, word came out that GWAS  would be airing on TV Azteca (Televisa's rival network in Mexico) and that forced EMLL (who's shows air on Televisa) to remove their talent from any GWAS shows.  The PPV was still open to consideration, but EMLL figured why bother.  There were other "independent workers" like La Parka, Silver King and El Dandy who were asked to appear, but only La Parka decided to work the show. What you got was a mish-mosh of workers from all over Mexico.  Not to mention about three-quarters of the guys involved being very indie level guys.  Oh yeah, Jake Roberts, Marty Jannetty and Doink where suppose to be on this show.  This brought about rumors amongst lucha enthusiast that it would be one last blow-out party for The Snake and The Other Rocker!!! NOTE: I will not drink any alcoholic beverage as I watch this!

COOL Intro with the Metallica song that I have on tape, but I'm too lazy too look for.

1. Los Nuevos Fantasticos - Blackman, Kung Fu Jr. & Kato Kung Lee Jr. beat  Cripta, Negra Peralta & Diamante Blanco
- We start off with a new incarnation of Los Fantasticos with the sons of the original cast.   GWAS is pronounced (jee-waaaaassss) by the lady
announcer. Blackman starts off with Cripta (IWRG fame). Cripta so sucks! Why GWAS didn't ask for the better workers in IWRG, I dunno.    Negro Peralta enters the ring and begins to yell at the fans...He's MAD! Kung Fu Jr. and Peralta lock up.  They exchange holds with both going after each others legs.  NOTE: The bad stuff doesn't start just yet!  This is actually one of the good matches.:-)

Diamente Blanco comes in and he and Kato Kung Lee Jr. have a good exchange. Diamante falls to the outside and Kato goes with a sliding headscissors to the outside. Kato Jr. comes in and gives a crotch chop. Blackman's pretty good as he comes in to face off with Cripta.  Blackman's very athletic. Nuevos Fantastics (New Fantastics in case you didn't know) look pretty good. First fall goes to the tecnicos as they force Peralta and Cripta to submit.  Blackman uses a variation of a "Nudo Lagunero" with a headlock. Very cool submission hold.

Second fall continues with the rudos arguing..  From the looks of their tights, I think Peralta and Diamante are a regular tag team.  Oh they are
and they have a cool name, "Los Compadres Del Diablo!"   Rudos take over with lots of double- and triple-teaming on the tecnicos. They get the pin on Kato Kung Lee Jr. and force Kung Fu Jr. and Blackman to surrender.

Third fall starts with the rudos still in command of the match. Diamante Negro goes with an elbow off the top rope on Kung Fu Jr. Still very much dominated by the rudos.  Rudos go for a "careta" (spot were the rudos pose by having two of them holding the tecnico and the third rudo climbing on top of the tecnico to pose.), but the tecnicos make the save.  Double diving headbutts from Kato and Kung Fu on Negro Peralta.  Cripta suffers through a double legdrop and he's thrown out.  Kato Kung Lee goes for a 450-splash on Diamante Negro, but doesn't go for the pin.  Match continues and it's going a little too long.  "Los Compadres Del Diablo" go after Kung Fu and Blackman in the ring, but Kato Kung Lee Jr. finishes the match by doing a moonsault press on Cripta for the win.

Went a little too long, but decent opener.

2. Sismo, Chicano Power & Maniac Cop w/El Inocente beat Trueno 2000, Aguila Solitaria & Thor
- Okay, Chicano Power and Maniac Cop are in this, so I automatically know the rudos are going to suck.  Chicano Power worked for AAA in the mid-90s.  Maniac Cop works for IWRG, but for some reason I don't see him on there as much now.  Aguila Solitaria is an old luchador.
El Inocente is the rudo team's slave as he's chained to the ring and gets beat up by the rudos.  Aguila Solitaria starts off with Chicano Power.
Trueno 2000 has a ring outfit similar to superhero, Flash. Not Flash Gordon, but the guy with the red suit that runs real fast.  Aguila Solitaria goes after Sismo and throws him to the outside. So both Sismo and Maniac Cop kick El Inocente for no reason. Trueno 200 comes in and he's quite athletic for a somewhat heavy-set guy. Trueno 2000 dazzles the fans with his quickness and goes to the outside to monkey flip Maniac Cop on the floor.  Aguila Solitaria and Chicano Power go at it and Aguila botches a quebradora. Thor and Trueno 2000 are kind of fun to watch, but everyone else is quite bad.  Actually, Aguila's just old, but not bad. First fall goes to the tecnicos as they all pin Sismo.  Thor decides to get all flashy on us and does a headstand for the pin.

Second fall starts with all the rudos doing the "missing spots" spots! They go to the outside and beat up on their own guy, "El Inocente."  CHICANO POWER BUSTS OUT A DROPKICK!!!! That brings this match up a half star!  Thor over-exaggerates selling everything like a fish out of water. It's ridiculous.  I think its Yun Yang under the mask.  Rudos end the second fall with a win. Thor decides he wants to try to help "El Inocente,"  but he's chained to the ring post.  There's just something funny about watching Trueno 2000 wrestle in that outfit. Way too much brawling is killing this match, but I wouldn't expect any big highspots in this.  Aguila Solitaria gets posted. They get the match going again with comedy. Thor does a couple of flips and goes to the outside. Then all of a suden he hits Maniac Cop with a tope.  Thor hits Sismo with a tope that the camera doesn't catch.  Aguila Solitaria pins Chicano Power.  Maniac Cop powerbombs Trueno for the deciding win as Trueno 2000 was the captain.

3.  Super Muñeco, Enrique Vera, Negro Navarro & Maquina Salvaje Jr. beat Espanto Jr., Big Warrior, El Indomito & Doink The Clown by DQ
- Here it is! A really bad match.  The only highlight in this match is Maquina Salvaje Jr. (Yes, there was a Sr.).  The character is from a Burt
Reynolds movie and its suppose to be someone known as "Mean Machine".  Anyways, Maquina Salvaje Jr.'s ring gear is that of a New York Jets player. Quite funny!  Guy's mask is a helmet. This was suppose to be U.S.A. vs. Mexico, but the U.S. Team is made up of Mexicans. Go Figure.  This Doink is someone else.  Indomito looks like Adrian Adonis from the late 80s.    You might have seen him on a few AAA shows as either one of Los Payasos or last year as El Indomito.  The female announcer tries to sell us on this Doink being a big star in the WWF.
Maquina Salvaje Jr. and Espanto Jr. get in, but the heels are quick to go after Maquina Salvaje.  Espanto Jr. is actually a good worker from seeing this match.  Not only does Maquina have a Jets outfit on, but he's actually got a belly. Super Muneco does his head bobbing when he's in.  That was kinda cool when I was 5 years old. Enrique Vera comes in to go against Doink, but everyone comes in and this looks like it will be finishing up soon! WOO HOO!!! Rudos double-, triple- and quadruple-team the tecnicos.  Big ol' Clusterf*** going on! Vera does a blade job. Match ends with a foul by Big Warrior on Enrique Vera!!! Yay!!! I survive!

Incredibly bad match. Reminds me of a few 8-man tags that AAA and EMLL have with the older guys and the awful workers.

4. Los Destructores - Tony Arce, Rocco Valente & El Vulcano beat Halcon Dorado Jr., Andy Barrow & Drako - Hair vs. Hair match
- Drako dropped his mask in early 2000 to La Parka Jr. from AAA.  Andy Barrow's the guy who use to appear on AAA with Killer. Los Destructores were a good trio. Ring Announcer mentions Conde Bartock, but that guy was replaced by Drako.  Fans demanded a refund due to no Conde Bartock...Okay, I'm kidding. Barrow is the shits in the ring. Awful worker. Halcon Dorado was shoved down everyone's throats a few years ago in AAA.  Destructores foul Halcon Dorado pretty fast, but the refs don't see it.  It's funny that Los Destructores are working their asses off to get this match over, but the three guys going against them are just awful. Barrow goes for the quick blade job.  Destructores dominate this match and I'm glad because I'd hate to see the other guys on offense.  Destructores force Halcon Dorado Jr. to submit.  They superbomb Drako for another pin and immediately go after Andy Barrow.  We get a close up of Barrow bleeding and it's mixed with his face paint.

Second fall starts with lots of brawling.  You know, if it wasn't for Los Destructores going with the brawling, this match would be much worse.
However, the brawling by Los Destructores is at least cool.  Barrow throws Vulano over the rail and they brawl near the crowd. Ha! The commentator mentions Bartock...I guess it's Antonio Schiavone announcing!  WHOA! This is just brawling.  Second fall is won by Barrow's team. Barrow's team goes with planchas with Drako screwing up his plancha and the fans laugh at him.  Halcon hits the ref with a chair and gets his team DQ'ed.  Lame finish to a pretty bad match.  Barrow's team gets their hair cut.  The barber doesn't cut it all off, which is yet another bad thing about this PPV.

5. La Parka vs. Mascara Sagrada (Original) vs. Shu El Guerrero vs. Fishman - Mask match
It's an elimination match, so if someone gets a pinfall or submission, he saves his mask.  Match continues until the final loser drops his mask.
La Parka gets the loudest response from the crowd.  La Parka is way more over than anyone else in this match.  Shu begins by arguing with the fans.  All four start in the ring with Sagrada going against Shu and La Parka and Fishman go at it.  La Parka will need to work miracles to make this match watchable.  They break up various pin attempts.  I could give all the ways the four guys are going for pins, but there's one right after another and they've had at least 20 pin attempts in about 5 minutes.  Sagrada, Fishman and Shu throw some weak punches and almost all their offense is slow.  Unfortunately, La Parka can't do anything to save the match since these are guys who probably wouldn't take some of his spots.  La Parka reverses something into a Russian legsweep and then everyone starts ripping each others masks. LA PARKA REMOVES HIS GLOVE!!! This means he's going to be throwing hard chops and he definitely does.  Sagrada decides to throw some harder chops too, so that's good, but this is taking forever.  The referee actually helps Shu El Guerrero by holding Mascara Sagrada.

Fishman pins Mascara Sagrada, so he goes to the mask match.  Fishman and Shu double team La Parka.  Fishman grabs La Parka and Shu tries to kick La Parka, but accidently kicks Fishman.  La Parka quickly goes for the pin. Shu El Guerrero and La Parka must wrestle to decide who is the absolute winner of the match.  This stuff doesn't make sense.  La Parka busts out the comedy and this part of the match gets the fans to react.  La Parka dances for the fans and even busts out the "spineroonie" and a crotch chop. La Parka struts out as the winner of the match.

Fishman vs. Mascara Sagrada.
Fishman gets things started with a bulldog.  He follows it up with a closed fist on Sagrada and that sends Sagrada to the outside.  Fishman throws chops and punches on Sagrada on the outside.  Sagrada is bleeding.  Fishman rips apart Sagrada's mask and then goes to a modified Boston crab.  Sagrada reaches the ropes to break the hold.  Sagrada takes control of the match and goes for a tope suicida to the outside onto Fishman. Sagrada grabs Fishman in the "Swastika" (Abdominal stretch combined with grabbing your opponents leg for more leverage), but he doesn't give up.  They go with some nearfalls.  Sagrada gets Fishman in a couple  of neckbreakers.  Sagrada climbs the ropes and misses a splash on Fishman. Fishman attempts a camel clutch, but Sagrada doesn't want to give up.  Sagrada breaks the hold and goes for "La Tapatia," but Fishman doesn't let him get him in the hold.  Fishman and Sagrada both go for armbar submission holds, but they each break the moves.  Sagrada applies "La Cavernaria" on Fishman, but Fishman breaks the hold.  Fishman clotheslines Sagrada to the outside and follows with a tope.

They get back to the ring, but Sagrada hits a top rope dropkick on Fishman.  Sagrada puts Fishman in a Figure-Four Leglock and Fishman struggles in the hold and finally gives up.  Good main event if your a fan of old-school lucha.  Not to mention Fishman was a big star in the 80s and him losing his mask was pretty big news.  His son (who's wearing a Fishman mask as well) helps him by loosening the strings of his mask.

Overall: this show was quite bad.  I kind of liked the last match since I grew up near Juarez (spent 10 years in El Paso, Texas), so I saw Fishman at his peak and being a top star in that city.  Both guys do more than you'd expect.  Not a show I'd recommend to a newbie though. The matches in the middle are quite tortureous (sp?) and will make you hate lucha.  If you like seeing outrageous lucha outfits, then you'll love seeing fat guys in body suits...Trueno 2000, Maquina Salvaje Jr. and WHOA! the main eventers must spend more time at the buffet line than at a gym.

PLUGGAGE: Buy Alfredo's tapes at

Saitama Puroresu 2/20/00 [@Scott "King of Sleaze" Mailman@]

Daisuke Ichikawa vs Esmelarda
Ickikawa is a veteran of many SPWC battles, but never has he ventured into the seamy underbelly of the SPWC world. This is a world dominated by Primitive Apes, Robots gone awry, Karate Devils, and of course Forest Guardians who dance when angry and shed blood tears, this my friends is the world of the SPWC Monsters. Ichikawa has wandered into a world where he is not welcome, the gatekeeper of this world is Esmerelda, who is here to teach Ichikawa a lesson and send him back to facing the lovable Naoshi Sano. Esmerelda is one of the oddest monsters; picture a plump Royce Gracie with purple hair, a female kabuki mask, and a lit cigarette. The match starts when the official SPWC Pan is banged and the match begins with Ichikawa charging in on Esmerelda and pelting its chest with slaps. Esmerelda shakes off the slaps and channels Naoya Ogawa, going all out with Judo throws on little Daisuke. A flurry of varying throws leaves Ichikawa loopy and begging
for the weak offense of Edward Sexton. Esmerelda locks on a jujigatame and Ichikawa looks for a rope, but this is SPWC, and ropes and rings are notpart of the equation. Esmerelda seems to have the victory in hand, but Ichikawa was obviously studying the SPWC rule book before the match and spralls off the tatami mats and onto the gym floor, thus breaking the hold.
Esmerelda is enraged by the turn if events and goes at Ichikawa full bore, unleashing some more very good looking throws, until Ichikawa manages to block one and turn it into a choke. Esmerelda, ever the smart worker, realizes that it is right on the edge of the tatami mats, so it gently rolls over and onto the gym floor to break the hold. Ichikawa gets his second wind and hits the move that Billy Gunn uses. You know, the one with the stupid name that does not deserve to be written here, but actually does it WORSE than Gunn! Of course when Ichikawa screws up a move, his opponent does not have to fear for his life as with Mr. Gunn. Ichikawa follows up with a dropkick that sends Esmerelda sprawling into the front row of the gym bleachers where there are plenty of good seats still available. Esmerelda seems fed up with the spunky human and hits a nasty STO on Ichikawa and cinches in a triangle choke for the victory. Esmerelda casually walks off and Violence Ki-Ranger (who pulls double duty as a ref and a worker from time to time) helps Ichikawa to the back, sans his Violence Ki-Ranger mask, but still with the signature horizontal striped Polo shirt.

Naoshi Sano vs The Pervert
Naoshi Sano is of course the man with the greatest T-Shirt ever, the knock off of the great Tobita shirt: Knock Out Me, My Girlfriend is a Monster. He is also a good little worker, who wrestles anywhere and everywhere, but usually against men and monsters beneath him as far as wrestling goes, so his talent usually goes unnoticed. The Pervert is most famous for coming out in the EWF Battle Royal, walking around ring side and then going back home. It was very hard to get a read on exactly what his gimmick was there, because he didn’t do anything. Of course The Pervert is a name that can easily give insight to what his gimmick is, but all he did was walk around ring side looking very drugged. In this match, we finally get to see just what The Pervert is all about. Perv is summoned by the sounds of Benadictine Monks and he comes out dressed just as he did at EWF, short shorts and not much else. The most notable addition to his wardrobe is the fishnet stockings he is wearing, first spotted by eagle eyed TomK at the EWF show, but so blurred and small that it was very tough to spot. Pervert stalks to the ring as only he can do and the two combatants circle each other with Perv looking quite smitten with young Naoshi. Sano locks in a side headlock and Pervert likes it a little too much.
Sano gets the subtle hints from The Pervert and releases the hold and runs away as swiftly as he can. They lock up again and this time Sano is on the receiving end of the side headlock and Perv takes him down to the ground for some “matwork.” The two roll around with Perv having the upper hand, not really looking for a submission, and Sano trying to escape from whatever The Pervert was trying to do. Eventually, The Pervert gets the rear mount on Sano, and I come to an epiphany, The Pervert and Lazz need to be a team. They’d be way over in places like San Francisco and Fire Island, not that there’s anything wrong with that. Sano escapes the mount and puts on a Fujiwara armbar, the first wrestling move of the match. The Pervert quickly escapes and they both get to their feet where Sano takes The Pervert down with a shotay. A second
shotay attempt is countered into a choke sleeper by The Pervert, who chokes out Sano for the win brotha. This was typical SPWC fare and a veritable Dream Match of Indy stars. Not much wrestling, but how can you not get jacked about seeing Naoshi Sano vs. The Pervert?

Ligira vs Man Eater
I’ve never seen Ligira before, though I have seen him on results from feds ranging from IWA to Eagle Pro. He looks like a conglomeration of all the masked indy guys from Cosmo Soldier to Shinobi. Man Eater is decked out in a FUBU football jersey, with cammo shorts, a bucket hat, a skeleton mask, a chair around his neck in an homage to Flavor Flav, and yellow hair. Just why he is called Man Eater is unkown, and I don’t think I really want to know. The match starts out with actual matwork, unheard of in SPWC. It’s obvious that Ligira is not the normal SPWC worker. Ligira runs as if he were attempting to run the ropes, but this is SPWC and of course there are no ropes. He gets a head of steam and hits a beautiful spinning headscissors on Eater, followed by a Mysterio-esque armdrag. Already this is the best wrestling SPWC has ever had. Man Eater brings in his chair neckwear and wallops Ligira with it, then places him on the chair. Eater charges, but Ligira gets up and pulls out the drop toe hold onto the chair. Good thing Eater has a mask on, or he could’ve lost his vision. Ligira then positions Eater in the chair and lands a drop kick on Eater. They both get all Van Dam like with the chair tossing it to each other until Ligira hits the Ligiranator. Ligira then pulls out a great jumping rana using the chair as a springboard.
They trade kicks and Man Eater plants Ligira in the tatami mats with a Liger Bomb. These two have been so active that the tatami mats are out of place, but Naoshi Sano is on the job and he rearranges the mats neatly and makes sure that the show will go on. Eater lands some punches but
Ligira regains control while Eater fumbles around looking for the chair. A bodyslam leads to Ligira hitting a spinning senton, followed by another rana. The fact that this guy can pull off these moves on tatami mats, makes me really want to see this guy in an actual ring, though maybe he’s better suited for mats and the ring and ropes would throw him off.  Eater then makes me think that it’s really Kanyon under the mask as he hits a tilt-a-whirl jawbreaker, and then a pumphandle german suplex, neither of which look good, but get big pops from the packed house. Ligira manages to get up and attempt another rana, this time Eater has learned his lesson and reverses it into a Liger Bomb, but that can’t put away Ligira. Ligira gets up and goes to the well again attempting a rana, or at least that’s what everyone, including Man Eater thought. Instead Ligira grabs Man Eater by the head and grabs him around the neck and smothers him, forcing Eater to submit, in easily one of the oddest and most unexpected submissions I’ve ever seen.
This is easily the best wrestling match ever in SPWC. The fact that Ligira could pull off these moves under these circumstances is incredible. He’s not on par with the best of the indy flyers like Cougar, Taro, Yoshida, and Onryo, but then again I wonder what those guys could do
on tatami mats. After this match I really want to see more of Ligira, whether it’s in a ring or back in SPWC.

Survival Tobita vs. Azteca Kendo
If memory serves me right, Azteca Kendo, today’s challenger is head of the National Kenjitsu Academy in Mexico City, Mexico. He has honed his skills against the best fighters in Mexico, but has come to Japan to test the top fighters Japan has to offer. He has chosen Iron Ch…err….Survival Tobita as his first challenge. What new techniques will the challenger bring? What will Survival Tobita do to combat it? Who will take it? Whose technique will reign supreme? The heat will be on! Allez Sleaze! Tobita comes out first to a big pop from his legions of devoted followers. Kendo quickly follows and he has the largest feet I have ever seen. Seriously, he must be size 17 at least. Tobita will not let such things enter his mind as he is totally focused on defending his honor and preventing Kendo from getting the victory, and thus opening the door for all past monsters to come back and run roughshod over SPWC and eventually all of Japan. The match begins and they both circle, Kendo uses his kendo stick like a tall boxer uses a jab, keeping Tobita from getting inside and allowing his vast wrestling skills to take over. Tobita has cat like reflexes and is able to avoid the kendo shots, until he gets he stumbles on the tatami mats leaving him wide open for caning. Kendo does not let the opportunity slip by as he pounces on Tobita laying in stiff kendo stick shots. Kendo keeps the pressure on Tobita and whips for the meat of the match.
Tobita is unable to muster any offense, but you can see a glimmer in his eye, he looks like a man with a plan. Tobita is Ali to Kendo’s Foreman in this version of the Rope-A-Dope as Kendo is visually exhausted from throwing continuous stick shots, while Tobita looks winded, but still spry after absorbing all the shots. Tobita sees his opportunity and grabs the tatami mat that Kendo is standing on, and pulls it out. This causes Kendo to stumble allowing Tobita the opportunity to land his patented tatami mat attack, which drops Kendo to the floor in serious pain. Tobita moves in for the kill and plants Kendo with a fisherman buster then cinches in a triangle choke for the win. Sano comes out and helps Kendo
limp to the back while Tobita gives an Onita style interview, minus the water and most of the screaming. This was Tobita by the numbers J. Kendo is at the bottom of the “Kick Ass Opponents for Tobita” list, he’s just missing something that guys like Bauxite, Virgon, and of course KEN had, a little panache.

This is far and away the best overall SPWC show ever. Two undercard matches that that register high on the sleaze meter, and one that is a very
entertaining match. The main is a little lackluster as Kendo is not a very good monster, but how can you go wrong with a Tobita main event. This is highly recommended for the sleaze veteran and sleaze newcomer alike, but the straight Tobita marks may want to try a different show.

PLUGGAGE #ZWEI: buy Scott's sleazariffic and fabulous tapes at

Battle Station Big Japan 9/27/00 Dai Nihon Saikyo Tag League Part 1 [@K&D@]

Big Japan was arguably one of the best 10 promotions overall (joshi included) in the period between the summer of 99 and february 2000: they had good to great matches, a really hot feud in Tomoaki Honma vs. Ryuji Yamakawa for the Death Match title, a little inter -promotional feud with FMW (Kanemura had a nice feud with Yamakawa over the WEW Hardcore title which Ryuji won in his home turf, establishing himself as a "big deal" to fans of death matches, because Kanemura until then was arguably the king of hardcore to the hardcore wrestling fan) and even better, the promotion was directing its attention toward a more wrestling oriented product, or at least including actual wrestling moves and psychology in their bloody death matches. They drew pretty well considering Dai Nihon is still a small independent, the figures were around the 1500 to 2000 mark, and Korauken Hall always around the 1800 which isn't bad at all nowadays. The cool thing about the promotion back then was that it mixed a lot of different styles so every kind of fan could watch Dai Nihon for a reason: they could please the blood freaks with the Honma-Yamakawa feud and Matsunaga, Kasai, Shadow WX and Co. spilling blood like Stone Cold spills beer; they had a small amount of joshi workers with good and spectacular matches, the workrate fan had his good matches with Honma, Yamakawa, Winger, Kasai in it, they even had a really cool "old school" tag team in Shunme Matsuzaki & Kamikaze. Fantastik was the fish out of water doing lucha highspots and a great tope atomico/tope con hilo combination....all in all, Big Japan was a fun little place to be in and every time there was something cool about the show, be it the sheer brutality or just all around good matches. One good day, in march i think, president Kojika thought that "Big Japan ain't enough, it's not good enough", so what does the big dog do ? Enter C.Z.W.
CZW is a New Jersey garbage "wrestling" promotion known for its violence, blood and -fanboy heart attack alert- suckass matches with no psychology, transition and stupid, career threatening bumps off 345 story buildings to please a bunch of 12 years old vampires. There you go
I think the stipulation was "the federation winning more matches in the year will win 50000$ from the loser". Assuming that was really the stipulation, i'm REALLY looking forward to 4/5/01 (take or give one, one year from the first interpromotional match), the day when CZW will get the FUCK OFF MY TV.

Abby Jr. comes out and says something on the mic, then we follow with highlights from
8/29 Korauken Hall show:

Dai Nihon Nintei Junior Heavykyu Senshuken jiai: ONRYO (Wrestle Yume Factory) vs. MEN's TEIO.
This was short highlights, but hell, it's ONRYO ! HE's......DEAD!!! All i see is a cool top rope hurracanrana from Onryo, two nice high kicks, Kawada-style from Teio and MEN's winning with the hadakajime (zzzzzleeper). 0:56 was shown

Teio taunts the crowd and, wait for it, TRENT ACID comes out and attacks Teio from behind,  then grabs the mic and screams a lot, the only word you can understand is "Fuck", so i'll take that as a challenge, unless something happened in between that the nice nice fellas at Samurai tv didn't bother showing us.

taped 9/15 Tokyo Korakuen Hall

CZW Junior Title Ketteisen: MEN'S TEIO vs. TRENT ACID
Hey ! Acid is one of the best in CZW (i know that sounds like saying "Sid is the best worker compared to John Tenta, Koji Kitao and Abby, but he REALLY is a decent worker), and from all accounts he performed pretty well at this year's Super 8. His match with Winger was cool so i was expecting a good match here. He's got a GIGANTIC FLAW: he comes out to the Midnight Express' music so i take off ****1/2 for blasphemy and ******* because i don't see no f'n Jim Cornette around...just kidding ;). Teio's music resembles more one of those lil porn intros, but i digress. We start with some good lucha sequences of armdrags, hiptosses, false pinfalls and such, all executed well and pretty fast paced. The crowd applauds the two punks as we begin to rumble. In a pretty nifty move, Teio locks Acid in an Octopus Hold coming off of an irish whip, all without stopping or losing a step; clothesline over the top gets both out of the ring (Kojika screams on the ref's headphones: "WHAT IS THIS CRAP, GO OUT AND DO SOME CRAPPY BRAWLING FOR GOD'S SAKE !!") they oblige and go out and actually do...some crappy brawling.
Teio is all cool with me because he locks the figure four on the floor (whoooooooo!), and Acid seems to sell it pretty well. Teio begins working Trent's leg as following the fig4 he locks Acid in the figure 4 around the post ! Bret Hart style. Trent gets up and puts Teio on a chair for the obvious tope, which looks a bit scary because he almost gets stuck on the ropes and lands in front of Teio, who's got to (kind of) kick himself and fall over.
Trent follows with a nice top rope quebrada, and then back in the ring he tries to go for a slingshot DDT, and Teio has to move forward if he doesn't want to get his head sliced off. Ouch. Double jump moonsault by Trent gets two, then he puts Teio in the SLEEPER OF DOOM ! Teio sells it the american way and the ref goes for the ridiculous 1-2-3 arm routine and the crowd laughs. Teio turns Trent's cross body block into a powerslam and locks the Teio lock (full nelson choke) but Acid gets the ropes. Full Nelson into chokeslam and Teio lock again by Teio. They have a really nice i-reverse-your-backslide-you-reverse-mine sequence, then Teio hits Trent with two rolling elbows but Acid stops the third and superkicks him. Trent with the Acid Drop for 2, he wants to try again but this time Teio backflips and lands on his feet and chokes out trent with the Teio lock for the tap out at 14:44. All in all a good match, pretty good pacing and some exciting moves. Teio was good as always, Acid was a bit sloppy but he worked hard. Crowd liked it. **3/4

We follow with some really short highlights of the recent tours. Nothing really to see here. CLIPPAGE~

I figured this would be a cool match. We all know Yamakawa rules, Kamikaze is one of the hidden gems of the indie circuit because he can actually work other than slice his forehead and bleed. Shadow is the perfect Big Japan worker: takes bumps, bleeds like a pig, is an adequate brawler and is not clueless doing the rest. Kobayashi is pretty cool. Yamakawa comes out with a green wig and does the best Elvis impersonation ever (that's the way AH HA AH HA i like it ! AH HA AH HA !), tho that could change if one day Hashimoto ever thinks of exploring that side of entertainment, since he's the real Elvis. DIZ IZ A LIGHTBULBZ BOARDZ DEATH MATCH ! Yamakawa cuts the crap and tries to push Kamizaze on the bulbs, answered by a nice roundhouse kick in the mush and a tag in to Abby Jr. Abby Jr. begins with a nerve hold (is he a MONSTER like Meng ?) then hits Ryuji with a pretty ridiculous flurry of "punches" that thank god Yamakawa blocks. Abby Jr decides to go the easy way and kicks Yamakawa in the nuts. Shadow tags in, his works is really basic, we're talking "G'day, i'm Sam Greco and i never worked a pro wrestling match, where do i begin mr. Orndorrf ?" basic. Yamakawa starts the funfest stabbing Kamikaze in the back with a lightbulb, then they run around Korauken Hall to show the paying viewers who don't know yet how or can't find a map of the building how to get in and find the entrance way. How nice of them, there are always people who want to know that, in fact, they do it every time, gotta love Dai Nihon. Back in the ring, YamaShadow with a double drop toe hold and double legdrop on Abby Jr. for 2. Yamakawa gets one lightbulb from the board and gives it to Kamikaze, then gets one for himself. We now experience a very emotional and intensive STAREDOWN that reminds me of Kurosawa movies and the art of Samurai, then Kamikaze drops the bulb, spinkicks Yamakawa in the face and we're all happy. Shadow gets the board and sets it on top of two chairs; Kamikaze avoids a powerbomb on the board by small packaging Shadow after a suplex attempt gone wrong, but eventually WX powerbombs Kamikaze STRAIGHT TO HELL ! LIGHTBULBS ! HARDCORE ! BLOOD...fanboys ! Err.
Ryuji stabs Kamikaze in the back with a broken lightbulb and it's pretty sick and disturbing, it seems that he's trying to write: "I'm sorry, i wanted to work a perfect carny matwork exhibition à la Joe Malenko with you, it's those damn two that always want to mess up with the blood and shit, it's not my fault, forgive me !" with the bulb on his back. Shadow with the Fireman's Carry into Stunner (Hawaian Crush for Taiyo Kea, i guess Shadow Crush or something for WX) for 2. Yamakawa disappears in the back and he emerges with a TABLE with LIGHTBULBS on ! Good jolly ! Wattcha gonna do with that, brother ? The big spot takes weeks, months and years to set up, and this is a flaw some joshi "hardcore" matches don't seem to have (see Free Weapons matches in GAEA, well, some of em. KAAAAORU). Basically, to cut short, Yamakawa suplexes Abby Jr off the little stage onto the table with lightbulbs. Shadow gets the other board and puts it in the middle of the ring, but gets tricked by Kamikaze and powerbombed on the board. Kamizaze follows with a cool moonsault on Yamakawa for 2. Kamikaze with some sort of twisting senton off the top for two. Yamakawa tries his spinning facebuster but Kamikaze grabs the legs and turns it into a rollup for 2. Kamikaze finally puts his opponent away with a german suplex at 27:27 for the win. Kamikaze and Abby Jr. win the belts. This was a cool match. The wrestling sequences weren't top notch and rather pedestrian, but they made up for that with three big bumps. Kamikaze was the best of the bunch and Yamakawa didn't disappoint. Shadow looked pretty bad, maybe the bumps are taking its toll on his body after years and years of this style, as he seems slower every day. That and working for the past six months with slobs who belong to the closest gas station you can find. Abby Jr. and Kamikaze are a cool team together, and they could have good matches if the booking doesn't get too CZWized. **3/4

BJW Battle Flash (Highlights of Tours in Digest form)
We get some Abdullah the Butcher crap as Madman Pondo spikes Matsunaga with a sword and listen to this: Pondo is sitting on the top rope waiting for whatever Matsunaga was cooking for him, Abby was just there and i guess he thought: "Hey, i've got a sword, why not stick it up Pondo's ass ? Why not" and he does it, and i don't want to see another sword in my life. EVER
Some highlights of the joshi matches follow, and sadly for us watching, this looked really cool, so obviously they clip the hell out of it. Genki Misae is a pretty good worker and she shows it here carrying Chihiro Nakano.
A big highlight (relatively, still 2 minute-ish stuff) is for Yamakawa vs. Zandig from the 8/29 show at Korauken Hall. Yamakawa breaks a guitar over Zandig's head, and unlike those heavily gimmicked guitars in WCW, this looks real. Great great great no hands flawless tope con hilo by Ryuji who goes flying on some of Tokyo's finest folks while trying to hit Zandig. We play WRESTLING MEETS BOWLING as Zandig puts Ryuji in Bronco Buster position and does a perfect 110 strike on Yamakawa with his big black bowling ball. WTF ?
Abby Jr., in the next big batch of highlights, jumps off a scaffold onto Jun Kasai laying on a table....Jeeezus.

Dai Nihon Nintei Death Match Heavykyu Senshuken Cactus & Yuushitessen Death Match: ZANDIG vs. TOMOAKI HONMA
Take a pic of Honma in his Summer 99 match with Yamakawa and one for this match: we go from the UWFi-ish little yellow pants and spunky little face look to the black trunks-no kneepads-Takaiwa lookalike image. Quite scary what this style does to your body, Tomoaki looks totally different. Zandig looks like white trash, that's about it. Honma starts off things with another backflip off the board, and even though i'm not as shocked as the first one, this is still a pretty fucking great move. The cool move is followed by Zandig who catches him and "german suplexes" him, and that looks pathetic. Honma avoids a clothesline and send Zendig crashing outside the ring on the board he set up beforehand (HA ! Sucker). Zandig is busted open. Honma uses the big cactus off the top rope to hit Zandig's face. Zandig does the shittiest Samoan Drop i've ever seen and while Honma tries to sell it anyway like the champ he really is, Zandig takes his time to lace his boots since his opponent can't get up anyway. Wanna kleenex or a drink too ? Zandig with a decent top rope suplex plus a falcon arrow (sort of) on Honma for 2, then a vertical suplex on the barbed wire board. Zandig goes ahead and spiral bombs Honma on the board (and finally this looked cool, but more because of Honma going forward an awful lot more than he really needed so Zandig could spin around all he wanted). Honma turns the second powerbomb into a sunset flip for 2. Zandig goes for a lariat and Honma, in another HOLY SHIT move, more than any other scary bump from this show (which says it all about this style) does his own backflip because Zandig is Luger #2 and can't even do a decent clothesline and IN MID AIR flips and gets Zandig's arm for the udehishigigyakujujigatame. Just awesome looking. Honma deserves better. Honma with two elbows to Zandig's face, but Zandig turns the third one into a DVD variation (see: he can't do the real one so he does his fucked up version) Honma avoids Zandig's finisher (Shitmaster ? The DUD ? How does he call it ?) and throws him out of the ring, then follows with a tope con hilo. Honma and Zandig exchange nice presents as Tomoaki powerbombs Zandig on the cactus and gets suplexed by Zandig on the barbed wire board for 2.
Trent Acid sets a table on the top rope, then in a scary spot Zandig military presses Honma from the top rope (standing on the table) on the board for 2, then Zandig finishes off Honma at 17:09 with the Shitmaster (ok, call me back when you find out how he calls it) at 17:09. Honma is INCREDIBLE. He can carry a watchable match out of anybody (see: Mike Samples), and this was a watchable, perfectly acceptable match. The problem is Honma did everything here, all Zandig tried to do either sucked or involved Honma's help. Zandig is really a disgrace and one day he'll cripple somebody because he can't do anything (and he's not even the worst of the CZW workers). Honma showed in this match that he belongs to the big leagues, because he carried Zandig even in normal wrestling sequences so yes, Choshu, if you're reading, he can job to Kenzo Suzuki in 4 minutes and carry him anyway. Honma deserves at least to end up in NOAH or FMW and work a safer style, have good matches and be eventually considered for a jump to the big two. **1/2

Overall: Hey, this show was good ! Surprise surprise. Even if you don't like garbage wrestling or have despised the Dai Nihon/CZW project, take a look at this because nothing sucks and there's a good amount of nifty and cool stuff. One side note: CZW, get the fuck back to New Jersey, bunch of no talent-no selling-pseudo professional-backyard white trash  . HA ! Sayonara


IN STVR Number DREI: Again BAT BAT with the YGB Finals !!! Ryan Faulconer debuts with Osaka Puroresu goodness !!! A tale of EnerX Commercials and maybe some wrestling with the first WOW PPV !!!! Vader wishes you a merry fucking christmas as he kills Misawa in the first NOAH show where even an Eigen match on the card will be bearable waiting for the dual main events !!!! your monthly MMA fix !!! INOKI slaps the hell outta people in BOMBAYE !!! EC DUB when it was good and well..not dead !!! The New Japan PPV with a potential kick ass main event ! AJW girliez go crazy in a cage match !!! DBVR reunite !!! HERE !!! SOON !! Maybe....


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