The Prussia-born Friedrich Wilhelm Müller (Eugen Sandow, 1867-1925) was an iconic professional wrestler, nude model, and bodybuilder during the late 19th and early 20th century, an era during which the three industries had significant overlap as part of what at the time was called "physical culture". Heralded as the "Father of Bodybuilding", Eugen Sandow was a groundbreaking figure who established and published training methods still used by professionals today. He is largely credited with popularizing fitness and is often attributed with the quote, “What I live to teach is the gospel of health, and the bringing of the body to the condition to which Nature intended it.” Sandow had an impressive physique, even by today's standards, that he intentionally cultivated to resemble Greek and Roman sculpture, and he released several publications detailing how he achieved his look, all while advocating socially and politically for health and fitness causes.
In 1894, as part of the first commercial motion picture ever released, Sandow flexed his muscles in a short Kinetoscope film. He would appear in additional films in the coming years, including the oldest known professional wrestling footage in existence, 1895's Ringkampfer, where Sandow grappled with John Greiner. Sandow started off performing impressive feats of strength -- he held a world record (later broken by George Hackenschmidt) for pressing 224 lbs with one hand -- but promoters quickly realized that fans, particularly women, were more interested in watching him pose than in seeing him perform a strongman act. His drawing power peaked in 1901 when thousands of fans were turned away from a sold out bodybuilding event that he headlined at London's Royal Albert Hall.
Wilhelm Baumann, generally considered the first booker in pro wrestling history, adopted the ring name Billy Sandow in tribute. Outside of pro wrestling and bodybuilding, Sandow counted Thomas Edison, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and other celebrities as friends, with King George V even designating Sandow as a "physical culture special instructor" in 1911 after being happy with his own bodybuilding success following Sandow's teachings. Sandow's legacy lives on primarily in the bodybuilding world, as a bronze statue in his image (simply called a "Sandow") has been presented to the winner of the Mr. Olympia contest every year since 1977.
Sandow was born on April 2, 1867, in Königsberg, located in the Kingdom of Prussia, to a Russian mother and German father. Sandow's parents hoped that he would become a Lutheran minister, but he left Prussia in 1885 to avoid military service. Upon leaving home, Sandow joined a traveling circus where he adopted his stage name, which helped mask his identity and thus avoid consequences for avoiding the Prussian draft. He soon fell under the tutelage of Ludwig "Professor Attila" Durlacher. At Durlacher's urging, Sandow competed in and won a strongmen competition in London in 1889, where he became a viable attraction known for his incredible feats of strength. In 1896, Sandow married Blanche Brooks of Manchester, England; the couple had two daughters, Helen and Lorraine. On October 14, 1925, Sandow died of at his home in London from what was certified as an aortic aneurysm, but is believed in some circles to have been syphilis; despite his marriage, Sandow enjoyed the company of the many women who showed interest in him during his peak as a sex symbol. Sandow was 58 at the time of his death.
One of the most popular aspects of the Pro Wrestling Only forums is the match reviews written by our members. To faciliate this and encourage discussion, PWO Database Plus has a section called The Matches. We encourage you to peruse the matches from August 22 to discover new wrestling or remember some of your old favorites. We have places to discuss over 75 matches from this day in history alone! If you don't see the match from this day in history that you'd like to read or talk about, become a member at PWO and start the thread!
In light of the sad passing of wrestling legend Villano III, we thought it might be a good idea to put together a YouTube playlist that shows the buildup and fallout from the most famous match of his career: the mask match against Atlantis from March 17, 2000. We have curated this playlist for you and hope you enjoy it.
Last year, a group of us walked through the week-to-week TV of this feud. The matches, all of which are on the above-linked playlist, are also listed below with links to their respective discussion threads at PWO. We hope you'll check out the matches and chime in with your thoughts as we celebrate the life and career of Villano III.
Villano III, Dr. Wagner Jr. & Pierroth Jr. vs Atlantis, Negro Casas & Mr. Niebla Jr. (01-14-00)
Villano III, Dr. Wagner Jr. & Shocker vs Atlantis, Mr. Niebla & Emilio Charles Jr. (01-21-00)
Villano III, Bestia Salvaje & Fuerza Guerrera vs Atlantis, Emilio Charles Jr. & Negro Casas (01-28-00)
Villano III, El Satanico & Fuerza Guerrera vs Atlantis, Emilio Charles Jr. & Tarzan Boy (02-01-00)
Villano III vs Atlantis (02-11-00)
Villano III & Atlantis vs El Satanico & Tarzan Boy - Parejas Increibles (02-18-00)
Atlantis, Mr. Niebla & Rayo de Jalisco Jr. vs Dr. Wagner Jr., Bestia Salvaje & Scorpio Jr. (02-25-00)
Atlantis, Tarzan Boy & Rayo de Jalisco Jr. vs El Satanico, Cien Caras & Bestia Salvaje (03-03-00)
Villano III, Shocker, Bestia Salvaje & Scorpio Jr. vs Atlantis, Perro Aguayo, Mr. Niebla & Rayo de Jalisco Jr. (03-10-00)
Villano III vs Atlantis - Mask vs Mask (03-17-00)
Villano III, Shocker & Bestia Salvaje vs Atlantis, Perro Aguayo & Rayo de Jalisco Jr. (03-24-00)
Villano III, Shocker & Bestia Salvaje vs Atlantis, Perro Aguayo & Rayo de Jalisco Jr. (03-31-00)
Villano III, Fuerza Guerrera & Gran Markus Jr. vs Atlantis, Brazo de Plata & Rayo de Jalisco Jr. (04-04-00)
Villano III, Pierroth Jr. & Fuerza Guerrera vs Atlantis, Negro Casas & Rayo de Jalisco Jr. (04-14-00)
Villano III, Atlantis & Mascara Ano 2000 vs Mascara Ano 2000, Pierroth Jr. & Shocker (04-28-00)
UPDATE: A little bird pointed me to the one missing match from the series, which was on 02-18-00 when Villano III and Atlantis teamed in a Parejas Increibles match against El Satanico and Tarzan Boy. It's been added both to the playlist and the list above.
Daniel Bryan vs The Miz
WWE Summerslam PPV
August 19, 2018
Brooklyn, New York
The match between The Miz and Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania recalled a match that happened nearly 35 years earlier under similar circumstances.
1984, whether surprisingly or not, was a real slump of a year for Jim Crockett Promotions. After the overwhelming success of Starrcade '83, perhaps they had nowhere to go but down. It didn't help that they lost so many top stars to the WWF, including Roddy Piper and Greg Valentine, fresh off of the biggest grudge match on their biggest show in history. It also didn't help that Ric Flair was in such high demand as NWA World Champion that he was no longer a regular, week-to-week fixture on JCP television. Perhaps the biggest factor of all in JCP's lull was when Ricky Steamboat announced his retirement from pro wrestling during spring.
The Steamboat-Jay Youngblood duo might have been the hottest in the history of territory, a major accomplishment since the Mid-Atlantic area spotlighted tag team matches over singles matches. The very success of the team, culminating in a Greensboro match in March of 1983 where Steamboat and Youngblood would have to break up if they couldn't become tag champions, was so successful that it became the inspiration for Starrcade, itself the inspiration for Wrestlemania. In the wake of wrestler defections and the rise of the WWF and Hulk Hogan, the landscape became even more challenging for JCP when in early summer, Steamboat announced his retirement from wrestling, presumably to spend more time running the Carolinas-area gyms that he owned. In Steamboat's absence, Tully Blanchard debuted in JCP. Tully was quickly teamed with Wahoo McDaniel to give him credibility and the two raised as much hell as they could in the hopes of reversing JCP's fortunes. Their efforts were futile until optimism was restored at the end of the year. Dusty Rhodes, a megastar in his own right, was the booker and was building to a "$1 million challenge" match with Flair, which would have "Smokin'" Joe Frazier as a referee. The second-annual Starrcade was coming up. Steamboat also returned to the ring and was immediately programmed against Tully Blanchard.
In a move met with controversy at the time considering their relative stardom, Dusty used Steamboat to put over Tully Blanchard; for the finish, Tully punched Steamboat in the face with a hidden foreign object to get the win. Many theories have been espoused over the years as to why Rhodes made this call, with the most popular take among the anti-Dusty crowd being that Rhodes saw Steamboat as a threat to his spot as the top babyface and wanted to take him down a peg. Steamboat caught the next bus out of town, perhaps seeing the writing on the wall, and became a star in the WWF. Blanchard stayed behind and was one of Dusty's most effective heels for the next few years, proving the decision right in hindsight. When Daniel Bryan's wrestling career came to a temporary halt because of a high-risk style that was finally catching up to him, he studied the wrestling of this era in the hopes of establishing a new and more sustainable style for himself, all for a return that he wasn't even sure would happen. Bryan has cited Jerry Lawler and Nick Bockwinkel, great workers well into their 50s, as influences for creating a new in-ring style, a gradual change still in progress. The Miz, much like Tully Blanchard, was also casually dismissed as a credible rival when the two were first paired off. In the same way time proved Dusty right in setting up Tully Blanchard for a run as one of his top heels, time has also proved that Miz is a viable star, one who has been a foil for Daniel Bryan since Bryan's 2010 company debut.
The credibility gap was in fact one of the reasons they were paired in the first place. Billed as "American Dragon" Bryan Danielson, Bryan had just wrapped up a decade-long run as arguably the best independent wrestler (some would just say "best wrestler") alive just before stepping into a WWE ring. He made his name by working a stiff, mat-based style, which was inspired by training with William Regal. His size was never really a deterrent to being a dominant, aggressive champion, just as much because of the hard-nosed way he presented himself as because wrestlers on the independent scene were usually smaller than their nationally televised counterparts in WWE. Meanwhile, The Miz debuted in wrestling in a way that even the advantages he had served equally as disadvantages. Because he first received television exposure on MTV's The Real World, he was viewed, fairly or not, as someone playing a pro wrestler more than he was simply being one. It didn't help matters that he was seen as the living embodiment of WWE's sports entertainment philosophy, from the character bias toward being "charismatic" and making a grand, choreographed entrance all the way to using a variation on his real name that mirrored Dwayne Johnson's variation on Rocky Maivia -- Mike Mizanin was simply The Miz. Frustration mounted. Miz actually became very good in the ring but because he was viewed as a wannabe -- he was even calling himself "The Miz" when play wrestling in his bed during his reality TV star days -- he had a label he couldn't quite shake.
Perhaps Daniel Bryan could relate, albeit from the opposite end of the spectrum. If fans saw Miz as a poser, Vince saw Bryan as a smallish great worker who had no other positive attributes and smothered him with "help" in the hopes of making him a bonafide WWE superstar. Some would argue that help was backhanded in the days when Bryan used a non-rock version of "Flight of the Valkyries" as his entrance music while wearing reading glasses and carrying a book to the ring, or when WWE "divas" debated whether he was a virgin. Over time, Bryan, along with CM Punk, would achieve superstardom in well-documented fashion, changing at least some ideas in WWE, historically a land of colorful giants, of who could and could not get over. He did that in part by working a more action-packed style, not only because it was his preferred style, but also because it was a surefire guarantee for crowd reaction. In a company where smaller wrestlers have to prove all over again in every single match that they are viable, that crowd reaction held his career in the balance.
This match suggested that Daniel Bryan is a victim of his own success. While hardly the sole benefactor, he did play a key role in shifting fans to those who pop for action away from those who pop for characters, even while receiving huge character reactions himself. Bryan's 2013-2014 success is something WWE still struggles to reconcile and perhaps that's because it's bogged down by so many contradictions -- there was a dose of comedy in Team Hell No that was key in his rise to stardom, but he was mostly beloved for his ability in the ring, making him a true main event mechanic, so to speak. The days of WWE fans caring most when their favorites had the advantage in the body of the match seem to be, at least for now, in the past. What we have instead is an athletic pseudo-meritocracy, one where reactions are primarily driven by highspots and nearfalls. This match was part of a longer-term project to undo what Bryan had already helped undo, as Bryan encouraged fans to cheer when he balled up his fist to punch Miz in the face or to rally to his side while he fought to reverse a figure-four leglock. It was an interesting role reversal for someone who, when facing HHH at Wrestlemania four years earlier, saw the early quick rollup attempt off of HHH's trash talk as a bit passe and encouraged HHH to modernize his game by throwing in a tiger suplex or two. The Brooklyn crowd came along on this night, but not always with as much gusto as Bryan and Miz probably hoped for, which can partially be attributed to shifting norms, just as it can be attributed to WWE's current feud storytelling that no one really believes or to being in the middle of a card twice as long as most seemed to want it to be.
In the post-match segment, Bryan begrudgingly admitted Miz was right, but the match itself doubled as a similar confession. The popular argument is that Miz was the moral victor with part of the crowd here because he's gotten the best of Bryan at every turn of this feud so far. However, it's also true that in the end, Miz's supposedly "soft" style has already won the war of ideas. The sports entertainer tried to mentor the wrestler; the wrestler refused to listen and instead carved his own path; and the fans decided they liked the wrestler's ideas better, only for the wrestler to realize he'd reached a physical dead end and needed to sports entertain if he wanted to continue at all. Bryan's desire to punch Miz in the face and settle a grudge was the "story", but like any effective WWE feud in 2018, the meta story occupies equal space in the zeitgeist.
The final installment of my 2006 NOAH Navigation. It is pretty stacked so let’s get on with it!
Takeshi Morishima & Mohammed Yone vs Takeshi Rikio & Takashi Sugiura (11/17): To be up front, I was not excited about this match. 3 out of 4 of the guys are good only in tags or short matches so, I’m tuning in for Takeshi M. Frankly, this starts out bland as unsalted popcorn. Even the Korakuen krowd were not into this! Business eventually picks up and this is actually fun to watch. Wait a minute! This is actually something I’d recommend to fellow Morishima Maniacs…damn this just gets better & better. False Finishes & saves abound! It’s a blast! Both teams really worked their butts off to put on a great match. It wasn’t really deep or anything but, their effort really made this something special.
Shinjiro Otani, Kazunari Murakami & Tatsuhito Takaiwa vs Jun Akiyama, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Makoto Hashi (12/02): Akiyama vs Otani is dream match-up stuff to me. I’m excited. Also I’ll say that I miss Makoto Hashi. He was a tough impactful scrapper type of guy. Sort of a utility wrestler who go in any spot he needed to. I will say that I don’t miss his bouncy bosom though :I Its here in full effect but, shit he gets hardway juice from a Murakami headbutt and gets his face eliminated by Otani so, jiggle away my man!
In all seriousness, this is some very nice 6 man wrestling. Once Akiyama gets in there to save Hashi, this opens up like a cheap bag of chips. Akiyama is directing rush hour traffic here and it’s wonderful. Guys are going everywhere, Hashi’s bleeding from the head and mouth- this is Sterness vs Zero-1 for sure! This never steps outside of it’s place on the card and that is a testament to Otani & Akiyama. It’s something I’d highly recommend checking out.
KENTA vs Bryan Danielson (12/02): 2006 methodical surgeon, Bryan Danielson? Yes, please! Oh man it’s been awhile seeing Dragon work this style and it is a joy. He takes the reigns here and forces KENTA to restrain himself- both real and in-ring. This is brilliant because it only magnifies KENTA’s explosive ferocity. When he gets an opening, he’s like a Tasmanian Devil. That being said, this is more of a dry athletic contest than their ROH title fight in October. I could watch this forever though. It was really perfectly executed and perfectly matched competitors. For that I’d say it was a near classic encounter and should be watched right along with their others.
I will say this style really shows the limitations of KENTA however. He doesn’t seems to really add much of anything different to the bout despite this being a different style. He just does his thing when he gets a chance. This is OK but, it does really show that Danielson (and Marufuji indirectly) are superior workers. Nonetheless, these two work so well together, it was just an awesome competetive match.
Takeshi Morishima vs Go Shiozaki (12/10): This starts really solid with Go being like 1995 Jun Akiyama. Morishima is a generous fellow here but, that soon wears thin. Its time to show Go who’s the Tag Champ. This is over way too soon for my liking but, got the point across with both guys. Recommend this match to fans of either.
Akira Taue, Mushiking Terry, Taiji Ishimori & Atsushi Aoki vs SUWA, TARU, Shuji Kondo & "brother" YASSHI (12/10): This is a fine match to show friends and loved one who are used to traditional heel/babyface dynamics. Taue is the man in this and the younger babyfaces bring all kinds of fireworks when its their time to shine. The heels are dastardly and feed the faces at just the right times. This is fun, fun stuff for non-fans and wrestler dorks alike
Naomichi Marufuji vs Mitsuharu Misawa (12/10): GHC belt is on the line. A quick cardio opening shows us that not only can Misawa go but, much better than his peers (see 03/05 & 04/23 Marufuji matches). ‘Fuji baits Misawa to gain control and locks in a fierce stepover facelock. Misawa again uses his elbows to create space but, the champ is using his brain and is damn quick. He focuses in on the challenger’s legs like a laser. Naomichi is almost heelish in his ruthlessness. Misawa calls for the ref to break Marufuji on two occasions. This appeal to the official is a clear departure from the collected Mitsuharu of youth. Further, Naomichi seems to welcome the legendary elbow strikes. He’s proving that Misawa is no longer the invulnerable hero & that he IS the rightful holder of the GHC championship. Of course, our Emerald Hero finds an opening and hits back hard. He has to or this is going to be over before it begins. They’re both wounded and desperate- shit gets good!
An organic, excellently executed and paced bout. The escalation of violence and the moves chosen have contextual significance. They wrestlers don’t just do things because that’s when they’re supposed to do the big moves. Additionally, the omission of some key attacks are also significant. The finish was just fantastic as well- Very reminiscent of Hansen/Kobashi 07/93 in my opinion. It felt like a struggle up until the end. And let’s be honest- that’s how it is supposed to be! The fans storm the barricades after the bell like White Walkers at Hardhome. Classic match man.
Tatsuhito Takaiwa vs Takashi Sugiura (12/23): GHC Jr. belt on a SEM show. SEM was (is?) like a 205 Live of NOAH shows. This is fought like a NJPW NEVER championship match. Seriously…stiff as a starched shirt, good power moves, and transitions of control based on toughness/powering through more than finding openings. Sugiura eventually has to use his Cro-Magnon brain to save himself from the Japanese Karl Pilkington Terminator. But damn if, Sugiura isn’t a beast himself. Holy Shit! No doubt this would be a 4.5-5 star match if this were in NJ today. I’ve watch a nice chunk of the G1 and this fits right alongside the touted matches from the tour. Likewise, I don’t think it was classic stuff nor even a great match on the whole. It WAS a great display of toughness & neck-death though! Highly recommended.
Pro Wrestling NOAH 2006 is completed in my books! Woo-hoo! It’s been one of those watch-projects that I’ve been putting off for about 3-4 years. I had seen a few matches that I really dug back then and heard about on the NOAH USA website. Plus this year was really strong in various opinion polls and boards. So, I got a few DVDs with the purpose of watching the stuff that seemed most interesting to me but, like all of us, got sidetracked.
I think what was most interesting was that I realized I hadn’t seen a Misawa singles match in probably a couple years. That is so strange considering he was ubiquitous in my formative puro watching years and even in those early NOAH explorations. So, I was pleasantly surprised with his classic bouts against Morishima & Marufuji. He really still had “IT” in 2006. Unsurprisingly, Morishima & Marufuji’s stock went up with me as well. I’ve always liked them but, they had some high quality performances this year. Naomichi especially shone bright. I think his big push to be champion was well deserved despite it being so short. Takeshi Morishima had one classic singles match but, felt like the glue and future star of NOAH in 2006. KENTA is one person whose stock fell a little bit. He seemed really one dimensional. It’s a good dimension to have in pro-wrestling but, other than his match with Danielson, he didn’t show a lot of variety. This is not terrible since he frequently brings the intensity of the Sun at noon in the middle of July. Still, I would put him below Marufuji & Morishima at this point. This is a big shift in perspective for me since KENTA was near the top of my list for the 2000’s for a long time. He’s most likely top 10-15 still but, that’s still a downgrade. Also want to mention Taue & Akiyama being really fantastic as well. 2006 was about the elevation of the Marufuji, KENTA, and Morishima so, these two legends played a great supporting part in that as well as delivering some standout performances both in singles and tags.
I want to see what ’07-’09 holds although probably not as in depth. I’m really interested to see Go Shiozaki develop to challenge Morishima, KENTA, & Marufuji. Sugiura gets pushed but, that seemed to be out of necessity than talent. I’m hoping that he gets a bit better in crafting his matches since he does play a big role in the GHC title later in the decade. Also, I want to see more of Taiji Ishimori. I remember not really caring for him at the time but, in today’s puro climate he’s relatively moderate.
Top 5 Matches of the Year:
KENTA vs N. Marufuji 01/22
KENTA vs K. Kobashi 03/05
T. Morishima vs M. Misawa 03/05
N. Marufuji vs KENTA 10/29
N. Marufuji vs M. Misawa 12/02
Biggest Letdown: N. Marufuji vs K. Kobashi 04/23
Misawa/Akiyama vs Takayama/Sasaki 07/16
Shiozaki/Taue vs Shibata/KENTA 09/09
Morishima/Yone vs Rikio/Sugiura 11/17
2006 Akira Taue in general
Big take away from this venture- 2006 NOAH is comparable to contemporary NJPW in my eyes. The crowd excitement, atmosphere & presentation may not be as slick as NJ but, the quality and style is very similar. I’ve said this in various reviews yet, I think it’s worth stating again especially coming of the 2018 G1 tournament where people raved about similar or lesser matches. Seriously…go back to NOAH 2006, it’s just as good or better.
So, I decided to make this a 4 parter after all. There was way more NOAH that I wanted to watch than I thought. So, this installment will cover July to October. There's a ton of stuff at the very end of the year so, I figure that can have its own entry.
Takeshi Rikioh & Takeshi Morishima vs Naomichi Marufuji & KENTA (07/16/06): This is a tremendously exciting match where they did a sprint without going over board with moves or sequences. Morishima vs. KENTA was of course the sweetest thing here but Rikioh was a good partner for him while Marufuji was um not as good as could as he could have been. He was best during the double team segments but his super complex spots were just silly in a hard-hitting match like this. It helped that Rikioh usually made 'Fuji pay for his trickiness. Once the match picked up both were pretty awesome in their roles as back-ups. A good way to get past Marufuji is to consider him as this generation's Yoshinari Ogawa: weak strikes but speedy, crafty & exciting. It harkens back to the late 80s/early 90s when you didn't need to kill the guy to have a great match. The main difference is that Marufuji indulges in the unnecessary or esoteric where Ogawa "Keeps It Simple Stupid." There are some cock-ups that keep this from being a classic encounter. The stuff with KENTA & Morishima was awesome. Great match
Jun Akiyama & Mitsuharu Misawa vs Kensuke Sasaki & Yoshihiro Takayama (07/16/06): Takayama return dream match. Kensuke is filling in for the ill Kobashi. Everyone looked really good in this hard hitting, action filled NOAH big time tag match. They didn't exactly empty their tanks but, fantastic effort and nice Kobashi tribute spots helped make this a great match. 16 minutes in duration. This doesn't get the talk like the Kobashi return but, man this is still a nice dream bout. It delivers like Dominoes, fool! ...man, that's lame. Ah screw it, I'm going with it!
Katsuyori Shibata & KENTA vs Akira Taue & Go Shiozaki (09/09/06): Shibata starts with Taue and gets all karate on the old timer. Taue is like, "Fuck yo' karate, man!" Yes! Akira Taue don't fake the funk, Shibata or not. This reminds me of when Baba would fight Tenryu in a 6 man match. Tenryu (like Shibata) would open a can of whoop ass on Baba...to the extent that Baba might get hurt. But! It would only turn Grandpa Baba into Badass Baba who would just hit some indignant mean ass chops and neckbreakers. So, yeah this is Taue. Everything is up in the air with this puppy. A slept on great match. 15 minutes of action.
Jun Akiyama vs Naomichi Marufuji (09/09/2006): GHC belt is on the line. Spoiler in this review so, skip to end of this if you'd like to see this match. I've come to like this match a bit more than when I first saw it. I "get" 'Fuji now and the look on their faces after the bell is rung for the win is timeless. Marufuji is elated and Akiyama while upset has got a grin on his face like, "I can't believe he beat me without beating me." The thing is Akiyama in AJ held the same spot Marufuji does...the guy who got elevated quick and has to take his lumps in the ring but is damn athletic & damn talented. The ring work is mostly spots akin to a RVD/Jerry Lynn match so; it's entertaining and amazing but also not capable of "greatness." Akiyama is like Jerry Lynn in giving the match a skeleton from which to operate. It's more like, "Did you see that move? I can't believe he did that!" Still it's really fun and probably a neat way to start someone out on puroresu especially someone who's younger and wants to see wrestling instead of crud. It bit off more than it could chew at times but it's still quite good. Highly recommended
KENTA vs Bryan Danielson (ROH 09/16/2006): ROH title match. This probably is the closest thing to prime 90's junior puroresu that we'll see in the United States. Both men brought everything to the match- intensity, stiffness, psychology, & pacing. The only reason it's not rated any higher is because there is some noticeable stalling, especially for the top rope moves. When put in comparison to the rest of that night's card & ROH in general, this flaw is barely noticeable. In an era where legends are fading away and style is valued over substance, it is reassuring that wrestlers like KENTA & Danielson are out there. This match had its goofy American-indy moments and the aforementioned stalling but, its greatness cannot be diminished. In a post-Baba, post-Misawa world, this is required viewing.
Jun Akiyama vs Tsuyoshi Kikuchi (10/13/06): Jun's in his old AJ gear. This is a pretty entertaining match where Jun destroyed Kikuchi and that gravel throated bastard shows how tough he is. I'd recommend this if you're coming home after a long day at work and you wanna grab a beer, a sandwich, and some simple but, entertaining wrestling.
Naomichi Marufuji vs KENTA (10/29/06): Title match ya'll. This certainly wasn't your typical NOAH main event and looked so far away from traditional AJPW it was astonishing. This style they were wrestling or maybe always wrestle with is more a derivative of Michinoku Pro or even Ring of Honor than AJPW. It's no secret that both were in the midst of their ROH touring and which direction the influence rubbed off...well, I debate that with myself sometimes. They always seem to want to go back to the spectacular spots which is unfortunately the legacy of their seniors but hopefully is not the legacy that 90's AJPW has left the wrestling world. To speak more specifically about KENTA & Marufuji, they are Junior wrestlers not apt to use deep tactics in their offense. They play with the idea but, tend to go for the high-impact moves when push comes to shove. With all of that said, this was an excellent display of skill & athleticism and even a bit of psychology. Of course, they didn't sell it once it was time to do the spots but neither did 90% of the great NJPW Jr. wrestlers. So with that in mind, like many of the great Jr. matches the work done cannot be denied it's due.
Re-Watch: I'd have to say this stands up with the best Jr. matches that NJ produced. Seriously, I can only think of a couple matches that were as satisfying as this one. Granted I don't know as much about stories in NJ as I do with Noah but, from a wrestling standpoint this was pretty awesome and about as good as you can get. So, I go back to a point that I made in a post on the main page that the 2000 Juniors were more influenced by NJPW Jrs. There was a little overkill at times but they brought it back so that the finish was believable and logical. If you could shave 5 minutes of it would have been better but, as it stands it's still fantastic and one of the better matches that the 2000's had. I'd keep the rating and call it the Jr. version of Misawa/Kobashi 03/01/03. Not the BEST but, still a classic.
Whew! Some heavy hitters this round! Last but not least, November and December in part 4. Thank you for reading! Hope this helps you get excited to watch wrestling.
Installment numero dos por la lista de la lucha libre NOAH en 2006. No idea if that is correct. It sounds sorta right. Spanglish perhaps. I took a lot of Spanish in middle school, high school, and university. That's all I've got left. Terrible. Absolutely terrible. And I blame myself really. I'm not going to claim that the 'system' failed me or such nonsense. I was an average student in middle school. High school, I actually did really well. Well enough that my college courses in Spanish were after thoughts really. In fact, I got an A on a test that I studied only 30 minutes for! Plus I had a bad case of diarrhea!
On to the wrestling!!!
KENTA vs Naomichi Marufuji (01/22/06): GHC Jr. belt is on the line, KENTA defending that. From the first few minutes, we can see why Misawa & co. pushed Marufuji ahead of KENTA. Naomichi has a brain for crafting a match whereas KENTA chooses his opportunities for spots and kick assaults. This starts with Mr. K doing just that until it's Marufuji's chance to take the match. Here he uses his agility and brains to attack his opponent's leg. Sure, that's run of the mill in 2006 but, his flair for offense make this something special to watch.
Eventually, KENTA comes back and blows through his moves, not once showing that 'Fuji did damage. Now, I'd like to think that 'Fuji realizes that his game plan of hobbling the champ has failed. Plan B is to go for the knockout. Maybe Maybe Not? The fact that they never return to the leg gives some credence to that story. From here on out, we get a competitive, explosive Jr. title fight. Each man having the same plan - go for broke. I like that Marufuji still keeps his wits about him and tries pinning combinations in the middle of a fire fight. KENTA on the other hand is fully on the warpath. An honest NOAH Jr. classic and more streamlined than their better known October match. This may be the superior encounter.
Yoshinari Ogawa vs Takeshi Rikio (03/05/06): Ogawa gets the jump on Rikio but, the big man can squash the Rat Boy in an instant. So, the vet needs to use all the tricks he can muster to stay alive & maybe pick up the victory. This isn't quite a comedy match but, dang if Ogawa isn't funny! Totally different match for '06 NOAH plus it's under 10 minutes. Go watch this!
Akira Taue vs Naomichi Marufuji (03/05/06): Taue is limber as the Tin Man in the early goings. Seriously, Marufuji is doing like 85% of the moving! He eventually loosens up or perhaps I'm just used to it because this gets good. I'm talking about clever cut-offs and shoot holds from outta nowhere by both competitors. The finish works perfectly as well. 15 minute match that may be Taue's final standout singles match. It's a goodie and surprising since Taue doesn't always work well with others. Highly recommended and perhaps a Great match for the books. I think it really does stand the test of time.
Mitsuharu Misawa vs Takeshi Morishima (03/05/06): Takeshi brutalizes Misawa. Plain and simple. But, Misawa is always selling that fact. He's not trying to be a tough guy...acting like it doesn't hurt or that he's unbeatable. It's easy to see this as skill especially after watching a load of 2010s stuff. Misawa may have been one of the most dominant aces in puro but, man did it look like he was in trouble often. He's selling the moves but, also the story they're trying to tell. This bout was no different.
I'm guessing he told 'Shima to go nuts but, when I come back hard, you've gotta push even harder. So, Morishima is absolutely barbaric with his Vader forearm shots & lariats. So, when Misawa gets his opportunity to turn the tide, he busts out. Picturesque tope elbow where Misawa just dives into the void. But, the big TM unloads with suplexes from H-E-L-L!!! But then, it's on more than Donkey Kong. That is how you strike battle!! Berserker mode Misawa is something the youngster didn't expect. Can the bloodied behemoth defeat the hero & legend? Classic match in my book.
Kenta Kobashi vs KENTA (03/05/06): I believe this was the final Old Guard vs New Generation match from this show and at 22 minutes, this was about as perfect as the NOAH Ark style gets. A mash of hard as oak strikes and spine smashing suplexes. I cannot believe that I hadn't seen this earlier. I cannot recommend watching this back to back with the Misawa/Morishima bout. It's a little too much honestly. I think the impact of the fights will be lessened if watching these sequentially. That's my opinion Classic NOAH.
Taiji Ishimori vs KENTA (04/23/06): Title Fight! A damn impressive fireworks match. Ishimori is like a ninja or something here. Of course Kenta Kobayashi comes with the kicks! My reservation with calling this a great match is the lack of storytelling. KENTA's Jr. Champ and we wants to keep the title as well as prove that he's a worthy threat to the heavyweights. Ishimori is a recent roster addition who's looking to make a name for himself here. That certainly came through but, it didn't reach it's dramatic potential. The selling of fatigue or injury was minimal here and that hurt the bout. For as gnarly as the moves looked, they could have taken this a lot further had they put over the moves. Nevertheless, this was a really exciting fight but lacked a certain depth akin to a G1 match perhaps. I'd highly recommend it for those looking for a 20 minute move fest. We all need one of those now and again
Naomichi Marufuji vs Kenta Kobashi (04/23/06): I certainly appreciated Marufuji doing legwork but, it was as feather soft as his hair. I did not like this segment save a few moves. This got good once Kobashi took over and Maru had to make his big dive comeback. It looks like Kobashi got hit in the eye, perhaps...Whatever! Take it Marufuji! Kobashi is gonna kill you! :@ Good start and strong finish but, the middle is kinda like unflavored Quaker Oats. It's gotten a lot of talk in the past so, I'll still recommend it.
KENTA, Naomichi Marufuji & Taiji Ishimori vs Low Ki, SUWA & Yoshinobu Kanemaru (05/19/06): 23 minutes of NOAH Junior mania in Korakuen Hall. They displayed near flawless execution at a machine gun pace. Certainly, extended selling is out of the question but, for sheer athleticism and technical percision, this is is your ticket! This IS what earns 5 stars from Dr. Dave and the Academy nowadays. So, if chronological relativism is an argument as to why matches today are getting 4.5-6 stars then, I present this match. This did not receive those ratings and in fact, I've never heard of this match before surfing the 'Tube. However, this thing does stand the test of 12 years time. I think it's a great match and not a classic BUT if the modern INDY or NJ style is your cup of tea then, check this out. This might be a great introduction into mid 2000's NOAH for you. Great match
OK so, that's all for now but, Part 3 will wrap up the 2nd half of 2006. It's been a doozy thus far
If you've ever wanted to write video game reviews, PWO might be the place for you. We're looking for at least one writer to review both new and classic pro wrestling-themed video games for all consoles. This also includes mobile and PC games. If you're interested, send at least one sample review my way. Gaming is not really my forte, so I don't have a format in mind, but I'd prefer to get an idea not just of your writing style, but what you think is the best way to actually structure a game review - a rough outline that could be applied to all gaming reviews. If there are non-wrestling examples of great gaming reviews that you think capture the tone well, include those links in your submission as well. The review should be relevant both to people are into gaming and diehard wrestling fans, so write that audience in mind. There is absolutely no reason for a review to ever exceed 500 words -- in fact, I think 200-300 words per game (with an overall rating on a scale of 0.0-10.0) is the sweet spot. I'd prefer to read a review of a game you like, but sending both a positive and a negative review is a huge plus. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
With the infrastructure for PWO Database Plus more or less established, I thought this was a good time to share both my ultimate vision and an explanation of the layout. What follows is a description of what type of information you'll be able to find in each section, and guidance on how you can directly engage the content as it's added.
When most of us think of a database, we think of something that we access more than we think of something with which we interact. It's one thing to have a lot of wrestling information conveniently stored in one place; lots of sites do that (and I recognize the inherent contradiction in what I just said as well as anyone). It's another to have the ability to share your own thoughts on that information and also see what others think. That's why we refer to this as PWO Database Plus -- you can quickly check dates, numbers, and match listings when that's all that you need, but you can also provide your own thoughts and see what other PWO members think as you go. If The Rock was endorsing this, he might call it The People's Database. Now, let's go through each section of PWO Database Plus.
Nearly a decade ago, an affable fellow from Chicago was impressed with the Death Valley Driver Review approach to community projects that involved watching matches. The site had an effective way to faciliate both macro-discussion and micro-discussion. Just as there was a place for DVDVR message board members to share their thoughts on the project at large, there was also a place for members to comment on each match that project participants were watching. As more footage became available, this super nice guy thought it would be cool to expand on that idea by making threads available for thousands of matches from the 1990s. A couple dozen people were often commenting in the individual threads. It was, and is, a hit!
A few years later, posters Ditch and Superstar Sleeze approached this incredibly nice guy and asked him about expanding the scope of this part of the message board to include all wrestling from all eras. This sounded great to this sweetheart of a dude and soon this section of the board, previously branded "Yearbooks", was now called the Match Discussion Archive.
The Match Discussion Archive has become the most visited and active part of the board, averaging over 50 posts per day since late 2010. Only two small changes have been made to this section of PWO Database Plus, now simply called The Matches. The first is that new topics now require approval. The reason for this is not to discourage new threads in any way, but rather just to ensure consistent naming conventions and accurate spelling and dates, and also to make sure there is not a thread that already exists for the match in question. The second change is that threads will now be defaulted to chronological order, based on when the match happened. (For matches from the current month, the most recent replies will still be the first threads you see instead of the chronological sort.) You can discuss matches going all the way back to 1895, when the first known pro wrestling footage exists on video, all the way to the present.
Shows & Full Releases
Where The Matches intends to zoom in on one specific matchup, this section is a place to discuss entire cards, TV shows, and more. It follows the same principle as The Matches and is organized into the following sections:
PPVs and Supercards
Films and Documentaries
Wrestlers & Other Personalities
In this section, shift your focus from the message to the messenger, as we are developing individual pages for, at a minimum, every wrestler that has a match in The Matches. Over time, you'll find a biography of each wrestler on these pages as well as an at-a-glance look at all of the matches that exist on tape for a wrestler. You'll also see links to any articles about the wrestler, magazine covers, merchandise, and lots more. You can even get tiered match recommendations and learn about wrestlers who work similar styles, including predecessors, peers, and successors.
As for the "Other Personalities" part of Wrestlers & Other Personalities, you should be able to find similar pages for promoters, writers, managers, announcers, and other people directly involved in pro wrestling, even if they don't have any matches in the ring. This will all be filled in over time.
Over time, you'll see a dedicated thread for every wrestling company or territory. This will include a history of the company, a list of recommended matches in tiers from that company, their publications, their TV shows and commercial releases, and more.
If you've ever wanted to learn more about the history of pro wrestling in a specific city, this is the place for you. If you click on, say, the thread for Chicago, Illinois, you'll get a full list of every match available on tape that has ever happened in Chicago. Likewise, in some markets that have a rich wrestling history, you might find a written history of pro wrestling in that city.
Get a list of all the matches that exist on tape where a championship was defended. Also get tiered match recommendations of championship matches. This makes conversations about just how the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time, for example, really was much easier.
Interviews & Promos
This is a place to celebrate and discuss the best interviews and promos in pro wrestling history. If quotable wrestling is your thing, you'll enjoy this section immensely.
If you can imagine Discogs for pro wrestling "stuff", you can imagine The Merchandise. The goal, which it will take time to reach, is to have an individual thread for every piece of official (and even some "unofficial") wrestling merchandise ever released. Categories include but probably won't be limited to:
Action Figures & Toys
You'll be able to use this section to log what you already have, track what you want, and even initiate requests from other PWO members through our Classifieds section.
This is a place to really immerse yourself in wrestling media of all kinds, including entrance music, podcasts, YouTube videos released by wrestling companies, and mainstream magazine and newspaper articles about pro wrestling. See what's out there and learn how to access it.
This is the section of the board where you can discover new wrestling that you might enjoy, which could be based on a mood. For example, if you're a sicko and like wrestling tragedies where heels win in the end, you might find a list of those here. If you like watching shoot-style matches, for example, the Styles category will provide more information there. Finally, if you like cage matches, or Texas death matches, or any other specific type of gimmick match, you can learn about its history and all the versions of it that exist on tape in this category.
So there you have it. My goal, from now until the end of time, is to fill in as many gaps as possible, eventually turning this into the most definitive and badass pro wrestling resource that exists on Planet Earth. If there are gaps that you think you'd be great at closing, I'd love your help. Please reach out to me and explain what you'd like to do, whether your desire is to write, research, organize, catalog, or provide me with much needed (pro bono) tech guidance.
Full speed ahead!
PWO Database Plus is coming along nicely! We have found a way to leverage our old Match Discussion Archive and the informed, thoughtful voices in our community by adding a one-stop shop for wrestling information. We hope you'll follow along as we continue building and expanding on this resource.
The newsreel archive is in progress. This will be a full archive of all of the pro wrestling newsreels, mostly from before the 1950s, that we know about, compiling information from the Moving Image Research Collection, Associated Press, MyFootage.com, Getty Images, and other newsreel databases in one searchable place. The newsreels from British Pathe before 1930 have been catalogued with the film numbers, official titles, and when possible, embedded video here!
While many of the clips are wrestling related but do not contain matches, in cases of actual matches, we've also added topics to the Matches section so that you can watch and share your thoughts. We also have threads for all pro wrestling footage that we know of before 1930 added to this section.
Stay tuned for more updates!
Pro Wrestling NOAH was probably the first puro promotion that I actively followed in "real time." They had an English language website, top talent appearing on ROH DVDs, and of course Misawa, Akiyama, Taue & Kobashi. Having never seen any of their 5 star classics, keeping tabs on NOAH was the closest thing for me at the time. They had great photos of fights & a nice archive of results. Looking back, I think I got in at the tail end of their golden period in 2006. However, it wasn't until years later that I got to see the actual matches from that year. I'd like to sort of pull back from the 2010's for a bit and this seems like a good start...even if it is just 4 years earlier
Naomichi Marufuji & Kotaro Suzuki vs KENTA & Ricky Marvin (01/08/06): This match was just what I wanted. It was really quick and right on point with execution. The middle segment controlling Marvin and breaking apart his knees fell a little flat because the crowd wasn't really buying it. Marvin was screaming though which was a nice touch. Of course, as most of his offense is dependant upon his legs, the long term selling of the damage wasn’t great. Still, he limited his activity to one or two bursts of energy. Plus he did hobble and slow his running down…so I think this was more of an “audience not getting it” situation. Ricky did what he needed to in order to keep up the excitement level but not brush off the damage. The small town fans just wanted to see Marufuji and KENTA. They were not disappointed.
Akira Taue vs Jun Akiyama - (GHC Title) (01/22/06): This was as fantastic as it needed to be. It was very brutal in the spot oriented match sense. Two of my Dad’s least favorite (in a sense) wrestlers murdering one another. It was fun to show him this one! This was quite gruesome at times especially when there were a couple occasions where I thought each guy was crippled. Still, I admire both guys and it warmed my heart when people were cheering for Taue at the opening. Here we saw Akiyama as dominant ace...if only for a moment. Yeah NOAH, yeah! Great match
Low Ki vs Kotaro Suzuki (02/17/06): A fun Junior contest between two guys who are brilliant on offense. Their defense was less than developed although Low-Ki showed an avenue of genius. Still this was a fun, highly athletic and competitive bout. Ki was going to win because he out ranked Kotaro but, it was dramatic and exciting.
Kenta Kobashi, Tamon Honda & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs Takeshi Morishima, KENTA & Mohammed Yone (02/17/06): Oh sweet Jeebus this match was all kinds of fun. It was a drag with Yone as the crowd seemed to collapse when he was in there, the same with Honda & Kanemaru too for that matter. Eventually, it turned into K-Hall pandemonium. It was as if the Funks with Jumbo were fighting Abby, the Sheik and Brody. I never thought that they’d get back in the ring! The highlight and focus was KENTA vs. Kobashi, they brought Budokan level stiffness for sure. Oh my goodness this was brutal. Eventually, Honda and Kanemaru were getting hot and Morishima was pure ruler here too. I mean, Morishima vs. Kobashi seemed just as great. If they could have held the excitement in the slow parts in the beginning, this would have been one of those secret Korakuen gems. It’s one of those matches where Kobashi is Mr. Puro!
Austin Aries vs KENTA (ROH 06/24/06): My formal introduction to the awesome talents of Austin Aries and KENTA and boy, is this a match! Just an athletic Jr. weight match that is so damn stiff at just the right times. And the crowd is electric and both guys just eat it up and go for broke. The commentators make note that they’re mirror images and I was thinking, “Now let’s get real…” but, man Aries is great here and matches the future Mr. Itami. This truly may be one of Aries' best bouts. A proper "swing for the fences" match with a great enthusiastic crowd. Nice build, great crowd reactions, beautiful execution; just an awesome match…this is an overlooked ROH classic. I loved it the first time I saw it but, was surprised just how good it is on the rewatch. See this if you want to remember who KENTA was!
More 2006 NOAH rewind to come! Gonna try to be a chronologically consistent as I can Thanks!
16 months before the first Wrestlemania, Jim Crockett Promotions decided to go big, broadcasting Starrcade '83: A Flair For The Gold on closed circuit in eight states and flying in talent from the Puerto Rico and Florida territories to really give this the ultimate supercard feel. One could argue the first Starrcade as the night wrestling stopped being what it was and started being what it is, since from here on, the biggest and most notable shows were delivered to a much broader audience than just those attending live. It was a card that predicted the pay-per-view model for pro wrestling, even if it wasn't a pay-per-view itself. Soon after, the famed "War of '84" hit pro wrestling with Hulk Hogan (who was briefly advertised to appear on this card) debuting on WWF television as the WWF began an aggressive national expansion campaign, making this show the end of something every bit as much as it is the beginning. Roddy Piper and Greg Valentine, both of whom would be in the WWF within a few months, stole the show with a bloody dog collar match and the popular Ricky Steamboat-Jay Youngblood tag team regained the NWA World Tag Team Titles from Jack and Jerry Brisco in a very good semi-main event. However, it's the main event that's the most memorable match from the show, with Ric Flair winning his second NWA World Title from Harley Race, ostensibly a full passing of the torch. While Flair was already established as the top NWA star and had great success, this title win was much higher profile than his first one and is arguably the point when he truly became The Man. The show is a bit clumsy in its audio problems and excessive backstage interviews, just as Gordon Solie's performance isn't his best. Those issues fall aside as the historical importance and audacity of even doing the show take center stage; an idea that was prompted by a massively successful Greensboro card in March became an annual staple in JCP and WCW that continued until the company's final days.
The Assassins vs Rufus R. Jones & Bugsy McGraw
Kevin Sullivan & Mark Lewin vs Johnny Weaver & Scott McGhee
Abdullah the Butcher vs Carlos Colon
Wahoo McDaniel & Mark Youngblood vs Bob Orton Jr. & Dick Slater
NWA TV Title, No DQ, No Time Limit: Great Kabuki vs Charlie Brown
Dog Collar: Roddy Piper vs Greg Valentine (Discuss)
NWA World Tag Team Titles No DQ: Jack & Jerry Brisco (c) vs Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood (Discuss)
NWA World Heavyweight Title, Cage: Harley Race (c) vs Ric Flair (Discuss)
Bold matches are PWO Recommended.
Provide your comments in the Show Discussion thread.
Powerbomb.tv has uploaded a limited-time free show to their network: Alpha-1's Battle by the Big Apple from July 15 in Colbourne, Ontario, Canada. The card:
Brett Michael David vs Justin Sane
Jody Threat vs Gisele Shaw
Gregory Iron vs Kobe Durst vs Mark Wheeler vs Space Monkey
Bushwhacker Luke vs Dr. Daniel C. Rockingham
A1 Zero Gravity Title: Alex Daniels vs Eric Cairnie
Monster Mafia (Ethan Page & Josh Alexander) vs Riot Makers (Holden Albright & Stratos Fear)
A1 Alpha Male Title: Rickey Shane Page (c) vs Shane Sabre
Watch the show here, and let us know what you think in the comments.
Gold Rush Pro Wrestling has added a match to their YouTube channel from their archives. On May 4, 2014, Dynamite Division Champion Will Rood defended the title in a four-way match against El Chupacabra, Jeff Cobb, and the late Virgil Flynn.
Gold Rush Pro also added a description to the video that included ways to support Flynn's family:
"Help support the family of Virgil Flynn during their time of loss by either donating to the GoFundMe page or buying Virgil's merchandise along with numerous other wrestlers who have graciously donating all their merchandise to Virgil's family!
If you want to donate directly to the Flynn family, you can.
Their @PayPal is [email protected]
Watch the video below and share your thoughts in the comments!
YouTube user FanCam Guy has uploaded a new Jerry Lawler match to his channel from Memphis Redbirds Wrestling Night on July 6. Lawler's opponent is Kevin Thorn, formerly Mordecai in WWE. For many PWO readers, "The King" is a bit of a timeless wrestler who can still go in his 60s. If you're a fan of Lawler, this channel has plenty of under-the-radar matches featuring Lawler and other Memphis talent that you might find interesting. Let us know your thoughts on this or anything else on this channel in the comments.
New Japan Pro Wrestling has uploaded a match to their YouTube channel from one of the earliest Tokyo Dome shows, this one on February 10, 1990. In this match, Larry Zbyszko defended the AWA World Title against Masa Saito, who recently passed away. Here are some testimonials from the thread in PWO's Match Discussion Archive.
"I really love the matwork they pull off in the early stages of this and how Saito is able to get the crowd so solidly behind him while he has Larry tied up like a pretzel. Zbyszko heels it big time with a low blow on Saito right after he's pumped up the crowd in such a big way. The nearfalls in this are really good. Short match, but not a wasted moment." -- Me
"How was this match completely slept upon (to my knowledge) until now? Zbyszko kicking out of *two* Saito suplexes and then getting in another run of offense of his own gave this a downright AJPW feel. The very closing stretch had that feel too, with one suplex not putting him away but the second being enough. Also I can't say enough about Saito's little running-man dances to pump the crowd up. Worth watching just to see Saito working as a gladhanding babyface but the match holds up, too." -- PWO member Pete F3
"Fun match with both guys really knowing how to rile up the crowd and get them invested. Zbysko's timing of the low blow was magically done and Saito getting the crowd behind him was really fun. I have not seen the Saito AWA stuff yet but of what I have seen of him this was my favorite match of his." -- PWO member soup23
"This was not just a neat toss-off between two guys who have gained esteem in our little circle. It was an excellent match that built from nicely contested matwork all the way through some great near falls at the end. I loved Saito's expressiveness as a babyface, which really seemed to pull the crowd into the match. Then I got even more fired up by Zbyszko's series of punches near the end. Loss called this a short match, but it actually felt longer and more epic than I expected." -- PWO member Childs
"Felt this was going to be a flat match but they manage to turn this into a good match. Larry goes all heel with the low blow that the fans don't like. They really had me on some of the later small package pinfall attempts. Nice moment for Saito." -- PWO member Kevin Ridge
"Good, borderline great match. Zbyszko doesn't do much on offense, but like Loss said, there isn't any wasted movement either. He has almost a Jimmy Connors thing going with all the screaming and yelling he is doung, both on offense and while he is selling. Saito as a babyface is interesting, and he does a great job getting the crowd behind him. Maybe the last truly great AWA World title match?" -- PWO member Cox
"I really dug this match. Some wonderful classic wrestling matwork here which is refreshing to see considering today's trend of doing MMA style matwork. Crowd was really into this as well and Zybyszko did a good job of hitting a low blow, which isn't done too often in Japan. Nicely worked match here and one I would probably view again." -- PWO member Laney
Check it out and let us know what you think in the comments, or add your thoughts in the Match Discussion Archive!
YouTube user Master of Muppets has added a match from last night's house show in St. Louis to his YouTube channel. This appears to be the first Daniel Bryan vs The Miz singles match to make tape since Bryan's comeback, even though they've been slowly gearing up the rivalry at arena events for months. Pretty good camerawork considering that it was shot via smartphone in the audience. You can watch it below. Let us know what you think!
Reader Wahoo's Leg pointed out that this also hit YouTube a few months ago. The Miz vs Daniel Bryan from Newcastle, England, on May 17.
The Charlotte, North Carolina-based Premiere Wrestling Xperience has uploaded PURE 3 to their YouTube channel, which took place on June 23. The card appears to be a strong one for fans of the current Southern indy scene:
Jake Manning vs Mykrin Ballard
Joey Lynch vs Patrick Scott
Big Country vs Elijah Proctor
Ugly Ducklings (Lance Lude & Rob Killjoy) vs Mason Myles & Mr. Sleaze
Ian Maxwell vs Andre Guhn vs Cam Carter
John Skyler vs Drew Adler
Slim J vs Darius Lockhart
Check out the full card below and let us know what you think in the comments.
Major League Wrestling has posted the latest episode of Fusion to their YouTube channel. This show taped on July 12 in Orlando, FL, and looks on paper to be a card with solid potential. The matches:
Kahuna Khan vs Kiki Roberts
Anything Goes Grudge Match: Tom Lawlor vs Jimmy Havoc
MLW World Title: Low Ki (c) vs Shane Strickland
You can watch the show below. Let us know what you think in the comments!
CWF Mid-Atlantic has posted two new episodes of Worldwide to their YouTube channel. The match lists looks like this.
Kernodle Cup Semi-Finals: Trevor Lee & Chet Sterling vs The Carnies (Nick Iggy & Kerry Awful)
Kernodle Cup Semi-Finals: Redemption (Michael McAllister & Nick Richards) vs The Closers (Sloan Caprice & Rick Roland)
RGL Title Match: Kool Jay (c) vs Mace Li vs Jeff Castro vs John Castro
Roy Wilkins vs Dirty Daddy
Kernodle Cup Finals: Trevor Lee & Chet Sterling vs The Closers
Mike Mars vs Aaron Biggs
The Gym Nasty Boys (White Mike & Timmy Lou Retton) & The Cross Brothers (Aden Cross & Christian Cross) vs Corruption (Cain Justice & Ethan A. Sharpe) & High Profile (Shea Shea McGrady & Will Demented)
Anything the rest of us should go out of our way to check out? Let us know what you think of both episodes in the comments.
Beau James has recently launched the Southern States Wrestling network on Pivotshare, which should be a nice addition of some classic pro wrestling many of us haven't seen. One of the most recent additions that is likely well worth checking out is a Best of Sherri Martel in SSW video, which includes footage of her both wrestling and managing and includes her induction in the East Tennessee Hall of Fame.
Sherri is most remembered for her run as a WWF manager from 1989-1993, first paired with Randy Savage and then with Ted DiBiase. When Shawn Michaels became a singles heel, he was quickly paired with Sherri, perhaps as a signal to fans that Shawn was someone worth watching, as she only managed top heels in the company. Sherri would go on to manage Ric Flair in WCW after Hulk Hogan jumped ship and she later managed Harlem Heat as well.
Despite mostly being remembered for her work as a manager, Sherri was also a more-than-capable worker in her own right, with a frequent line from Wrestling Observer Newsletter correspondents in the late 80s and early 90s being that on WWF house shows, even just in the corner, she was often the best worker on the show. In a bit of trivia, Sherri was also the first wrestler ever to be managed by Jim Cornette. Before coming to the WWF, Sherri also worked as a ringside second for Doug Somers and Buddy Rose in the AWA during their legendary feud with Michaels and Marty Jannetty in 1986-1987. During the USWA vs WWF feud of 1993, she returned to Memphis to briefly reunite with Savage for his feud with Jerry Lawler.
Other recent additions to the SSW channel include:
Death and Destruction (Roger Anderson and Frank Parker), a great and overlooked Southern tag team, against Ricky Morton and Dan Cooley
Two episodes of SSW TV from the summer of 2003
SSW's 1999 International Wrestling Cup
Have you watched anything on the SSW channel yet? If so, we'd love to hear from you in the comments.
Real Pro Wrestling has published episode 14 of RAMPAGE to their YouTube channel. This week's show:
Alexander Zane vs Omar Amir
Dax vs Michael Kai
NO DQ: Joey Ozbourne vs Sideshow
You can watch below. Is there anything we should all check out? Let us know in the comments.