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Zine Review!? - Wrestle Void

I need some kind of format or guide to help me talk about this 'zine 'Wrestle Void.' A blog is in the same vein as a 'zine, right? Its me talking about things I find interesting. What interests me with Wrestle Void? So, I suppose that's my hook with this little publication, right?! Let us begin... This is a really fun rag to read -Straight and simple! The letters from the editors/co-founders at the start of each issue are a reminder that we as fans are real people. Gravy's letters especially drive this point home. Wrestling fandom is something we participate in to escape life sometimes but, it is something we use to deal with life as well. In other words, we use pro wrestling as a diversion but, use it as a tool to cope and combat hardships. The performances in and outside the ring are fun but, provide many of us an example of how to deal with loss, how to persevere, how to recognize and overcome our weaknesses, etc. If this wasn't true, the stories of matches and angles would not resonate with us. In additional to these letters or prefaces to the zine are other testimonials by contributors on what wrestling means to them. Many of these deal with the authors coming to terms with their love of wrestling as the enter the adulthood. I find it refreshing to read how others are dealing with this. I really enjoyed Marj's take on how she thought she'd "grow out of it." I'm sure most of us had thought that at one point or another, right? Then, there is usually a local Cleveland scene piece. This is AIW (which I'm pissed that I haven't been to) and has featured Magnum CK Parsons and PB Smooth. I've never heard of either guy until reading but, damn I feel like I'm missing out. I think this local focus is something special and hope they keep this as a featured part of their publication. Next, there is a what I'll call general wrestling talk. Meat and potato opinions/review stuff that we know and love: top 25 wrestlers of 2018, BJW show review and a take on the All-In event. Co-Editor/Creator El Jordano Diablo handles this duty quite well with help from contributors. Issue #3 features more humorous stuff like 'The Struggle of a Fat Fan" by Rev. Jess Smith and Hobo Chef's (Gravy's) Wrestlemania watch party menu - "served with a side of Adam Coleslaw - Baybay!":D The humorous bits in issue #3 are really something I hope they continue! Finally, near and dear to my heart, there is the art! Awesome drawings and collages are there to keep the eye moving from one article to the next but, also to remind you that this pamphlet is a work of love. For instance, Issue #2's centerfold of Marj's "Fight Like a Girl" piece features a simple slightly anime inspired 'poster' of the WWE's modern era of great women wrestlers. I was psyched see Bull Nakano on there! Hells yeah I think graphic art is the one thing that sets an actual publication apart from online content. This is from someone who had a zine all through college and is doing this blog (duh). As an artist, I would love to be able to put all of my wacky ass wrestling drawings up here but, the medium doesn't allow for it in a palpable way. So, kudos to them for doing it right! All that being said, I cannot say that I have the same views, opinions, and taste in wrestling. Wrestle Void does NOT match my viewing habits nor opinion of contemporary pro-wrestling. Nevertheless, I endorse and support their growth! This is a substantive small press publication that promotes the love of pro wrestling. These men and women want to get folks excited about wrestling. Not only that, they want to turn folks on to the awesomeness that is non WWE wrestling (sports entertainment?) whether it be independent or international. I gotta support that shit! I hope you do too! Note: I reviewed issues # 2-4. Looks like 50 copies total per printing/issue. Nice color stock paper cover with art, B&W interior. Costs a few bucks but, how much do you spend on coffee or beer a week? All of the folks contact and social media stuff is in the mag but, I'll say for FB and Twitter look 'em up with @wrestlevoid Thanks for reading!

G. Badger

G. Badger

wXw 2010 - 16 Carat Gold Tournament - Finale & Summary

Booyah! 2010 16 Carat Gold Tournament is a wrap! Let's jump in to the matches for Day 3, Disc # 3 'cause this entry is gonna be a doozy.   Zack Sabre Jr. vs Munenori Sawa: Light Heavyweight strap on the line. A bit of a letdown to get started with. I suppose they were going for a shoot style-ish match but, it came across as winging it. It was fun but, not particularly memorable. Diez minutos.   Matt Jackson vs Nick Jackson - Battle of the Bucks: I have never heard of this happening elsewhere but, second to last match on the final night seems like a fine place to try it out! No worries though. Its 16 minutes of crazy Jackson action...heh you like what I did there? I'm a goofy ass, sorry. This is a great match and one of the best of all 3 nights. The reason it was great was because they didn't have to worry about tournament booking. They could essentially do a PWG match or more fairly a Young Bucks match. Its a quarter hour of moves and counter moves and totally delivers when it needs to.   Chris Hero vs Big Van Walter - Tournament Final: 21 minutes and the match of the weekend. It seems like they saved up all weekend (?) to have a match that told a story. Or at least, a story I could get behind. Hero is looking his best ever, he's got his KO Kid persona in full swing but, Walter is this young, tank who's rolling over his opponents. Hero is the first to show weakness as he injured his hand/arm from hitting Walter in the head. Walter composes himself and methodically clobbers Hero. We're rooting for the golden locked grappler now. It was all fighting spirit chops but, now he's got a Austrian gorilla pummeling him. Of course, it ebbs and flows but, does so in a believable and logical manner. That cannot be said for many of the shows matches...and that's OK. But this is the Finals so, we better see something smart and genuinely dramatic. And we do! It's a near classic match to me. Maybe like ****1/4+ or ****1/2. It was different and not one of those move heavy, oh-shit type of matches. It was closer to something Tenryu vs Jumbo so it's weird trying to measure it against the Bucks match that happened previously. Great finish, great post match...what a final match! Well done wXw!!   So now, I want to do a recap or summary since all of my other blog posts are all over the place. This match list is from Highspots.   DAY ONE - FIRST ROUND MATCHES   Ares vs. Matt Jackson Munenori Sawa vs. Paul Tracey *Martin Stone vs. Yuji Okabayashi- Recommended! Claudio Castagnoli vs. Johnny Kidd KAGETORA vs. Nick Jackson vs Tommy End *Erick Stevens vs. Adam Polak - Recommended! *The Switchblade Conspiracy vs. Up In Smoke -Highly recommended!! *Big Van Walter vs. Daisuke Sekimoto - Highly recommended!! Chris Hero vs. Bad Bones   DAY TWO   Quarter Final Match: Big Van Walter vs. Munenori Sawa *Quarter Final Match: KAGETORA vs. Erick Stevens - Recommended! *The Young Bucks vs. Up In Smoke vs. The Crimson City Saga - Recommended! *Winner faces Switchblade Conspiracy - Highly recommended!! Paul Tracey vs. Johnny Kidd *Strong BJ vs. Oberhausen Terror Corps - Highly recommended to Great!!! *Quarter Final Match: Ares vs. Claudio Castagnoli - Recommended! *Quarter Final Match: Chris Hero vs. Martin Stone - Great!!! WXW World Heavyweight Title Match - Falls Count Anywhere: Steve Douglas © vs. Absolute Andy - ~Avoid~   (As a rule, the tag matches kick ass. They delivered every outing. Going through this I realized I left off two reviews from Day #2   The Young Bucks vs. Up In Smoke vs. The Crimson City Saga. Crimson City is ZSJ and Tommy End. The Bucks win and face Switchblade Conspiracy in a 10 minute Highly recommended match.)   DAY THREE   *Semi-Final Match: Big Van Walter w/Terry Frazier vs. Erick Stevens - Highly Recommended!! Oberhausen Terror Corps vs. Up In Smoke Semi-Final Match: Ares vs. Chris Hero Johnny Kidd vs. Terry Frazier Claudio Castagnoli vs. KAGETORA vs. Paul Tracey vs. Tommy End *WXW World Tag Team Title Match: The Switchblade Conspiracy © vs. Strong BJ - Great!!! Zack Sabre, Jr. © vs. Munenori Sawa *Nick Jackson vs. Matt Jackson- Great!!! *2010 Finals Match: Chris Hero vs. Big Van Walter w/Terry Frazier - Classic!!!!   Overall, its a great DVD set. Its not a purposeful "cream your jeans PWG BOLA" stuff circa now. Its more like 2010 PWG. Its spaced out yet, it's Indy in terms of structure and pacing for the most part. The highlighted matches are obviously better and each night is booked with longevity and endurance in mind. I like this much better.   Impressions: Good: Erick Stevens, KAGETORA, Young Bucks and the tag matches in general, and Hero vs Stone & Walter. Bad: Tommy End, Ares, doing traditional British matches in this setting, the camera angles and black Glad bag canvas take some getting used to. Ugly: Absolute Andy vs Steven Douglas Meh: Claudio, Sawa   Um what else? These are DVD+R so if you're interested in buying from Highspots or wherever, triple check your DVD or computer. This might be downloaded on there too, I guess. This was a really international show and totally worth a purchase especially if there's a sale. It'd be a good weekend viewing...or 5 fucking months in my case Click the wXw tags to get back my older posts if you've not read those.   I've got the 2011 Tournament as well! So, that's on the horizon. In the meantime, I should have Masato Tanaka in the 2010's in a couple days. Fantasy booking moment: Tanaka vs Walter

G. Badger

G. Badger

wXw 2010 - 16 Carat Gold Tournament

Man, it has taken me a long damn time to get through this set. That's on me and not the quality of the wrestling. I've been distracted by the WWE network stuff and YouTube. I've clearly got the attention span of a 3 year old At this point, I don't know what's tournament and non tournament. Also if I skip something it's because I skipped the match intentionally. I'm just trying to get finished...It's like I'm trying for my 16 Carat GED at this point!   Big Van Walter vs Erick Stevens: Tournament match. I've been buying Stevens as a baby face with a chance all tournament long so, I was not disappointed here. His comeback on Walter was fierce. Elbows, chops, slaps, and clotheslines to the Austrian's face. The arc of the narrative should have had Erick go over but, it wasn't to be. Highly Recommended match. Stevens had an awesome showing over all 3 nights.   Oberhausen Terror Corps vs Up In Smoke: Again, OTC has a bitchin' name. Here they're looking to kill Cheech & Cloudy...who have a terrible tag name. Its not as bad as Special K but, are the spiritual successors to the thin highspot oriented drug referencing Indy group. Anyhow, Cloudy gets assaulted by the zee Germans. The Smokers' teamwork gives them a fighting chance and makes this a very, very fun match.   Ares vs Chris Hero: Tournament match. Anything with Hero or Walter in them is a tournament match since they're in the finals. Those are the only fights that I know are part of the tourney. Anyhow, rather than rewrite my summary of this match, I'll say that I fast forward-ed the 2nd half of this. These two have history and probably thought a 22 minute match was a good idea. Fans probably loved it but, this went on too long and Ares just doesn't do it for me this far along in the brackets. Hero has been so-so thus far. The Martin Stone match was great though.   Claudio Castagnoli vs Paul Tracey vs KAGETORA vs Tommy End: This was fun! Good action, exciting and just what was needed. 16 minutes but, sad we didn't get to see Claudio vs KAGETORA in singles competition.   Strong BJW vs Switchblade Conspiracy: wXw Tag belts on the line. They kept it simple and worked their story well. BJW are strong & tough but, if Sami and Moxley could last the punishment and isolate an opponent then, MAYBE they could beat the Japanese team. 20 minutes was perfect timing here...its a highly recommended or perhaps great match. The tag team bouts haven't disappointed all super-show.   This is the end of Day # 3, disc #2. I'm going to get the final disc up and do a run down off all three days since it took me forever to get these watched and the reviews are all over the blog. We're looking at ZSJ vs Sawa, Nick vs Matt Jackson, Hero vs Walter for the final installment.   Addendum: Watched Johnny Kidd vs Terry Frazier as it was listed in the Match Discussion Archives and figured I was missing something. It is a definite change of pace from the entire rest of the card, I'll say that. It goes to 5 rounds, Frazier jaw jacks with the crowd like Larry Z, they do a traditional British match. It was fun but, I would recommend watching it separate from the other matches. It takes you outta the right mind set. Otherwise, well done entertaining stuff but, nothing more.

G. Badger

G. Badger

wXw 16 Carat Gold 2011 - Night 3

Sorry for the delay! Work the past few weeks has been really crazy with the increase in online retail due to the Corona Virus pandemic. So, I didn't feel much like watching another computer screen after staring at my work monitor all day. You didn't come here for excuses though! You wanted to find out about how the 2011 16 Carat Gold tournament wraps up. Well, after a long wait, here we are -the finale! Night 3 starts with a bang! Sami Callihan vs Davey Richards - An all action match to get things rolling. These two hard hitters left tons on the table for a future encounter but, it was still very good stuff. I would have been happy with either man in the finals. Colt Cabana & Emil Sitoci vs Kotaro Suzuki & Mark Haskins - The best Colt match as he was more business plus, he had 3 really good workers to keep him grounded. Therefore, we got a quite good tag match. Some comedy, nice section to build some tension, hot tags, just a fun watch. Good match Go Shiozaki vs Big Van Walter - I was looking forward to this. I was quite disappointed. Let's just get that out of the way. I felt they killed time in a very -ahem- rest hold taking kind of way. I don't like using the term "rest hold" but, that's what it felt like especially in the context of how other matches in the night used holds to move along the action or the story. Here it felt like Go took Walter for a Sunday drive around the town...with no particular place to go. Then they did that long enough and things got interesting. Then, it wrapped up. OK match I suppose but, don't think Shiozaki wanted to go out in style. This was his worse match of the event to me. Axeman vs Yoshihito Sasaki - I doesn't look good for Go to have a guy called Axeman and a BJW wrestler outshine you but, dammit that's what happened. For as much as a letdown Go Shiozaki was Sasaki (and to a lesser extent Axeman) has been a wonderful surprise. These guys went out there like the previous match could have done. Nothing insane in terms of intensity or stiffness BUT they looked like they wanted to finish the event with a win. That crumb of psychology was all they needed to have a very good perhaps even great match. Thank goodness! Jon Ryan vs Johnny Moss - Right now, I'd rather see these type of matches and be pleasantly surprised rather than let down. Fortunately, these fellow kept the good times rolling by having a technical showcase. It wasn't always pretty but, this buttered my bread. Hold and counter hold wrestling is timeless and this was well worth your time. Very good match -There's a tag team match that's really wXw storyline stuff...I'm skipping it- Daisuke Sekimoto vs El Generico - This is Sekimoto's 3rd defense and probably his toughest challenge. You'd think the more muscular Moss or Bad Bones would take that honor. However, if you're familiar with Generico then, you know he can take a beating and come right back and get the win. Daisuke's best defense, Generico's 3rd 4 star match in as many nights. You might even think it was better. Go see this Future Shock (O'Reilly & Cole) vs LDRS of the New School (Sabre Jr. & Scurll): Party Marty in full effect here! Watch for the crowd surfing afterwards. Anyhow, this was your 2010 up and coming wrestlers going to tear the house down type of tag match. Seriously, this was PWG spot fu to keep your jaw on the ground tag wrestling. This could have been a classic had they knew how to edit themselves but, shoot, I won't hate. They have all become smarter workers since then so, as a dream match time capsule, you ought to see it. This was a blast and if you're a fan of these guys like I am then, you'll think it was a great match.  and now, the big match to crown the 2011 16 Carat Gold tournament winner... Big Van Walter vs Sami Callihan - Much like the 2010 Finals, this is your story match. You're using their previous encounters and what you've learned and applying it to this match. Walter is a tank and can finish anyone especially when he hits his powebomb. That move spells DEATH. Sami is a hard hitting dynamo and can finish you with his Stretch Muffler. More importantly, Sami has had a harder tournament - Tommy End, Yoshihito Sasaki & Davey Richards. That's pretty damn good compared to Rico Bushido, Mark Haskins & Go Shiozaki. And you all know how I feel about that last match This was a very good fight where the man who wanted it the most won. That's a feel good story and dammit we need that in wrestling -  Even if it means guys getting put thru tables and clotheslined so hard their heads disappear. Excellent ending to an excellent event. Now to do a little summary and awards (?) I suppose... This was a tremendous 3 night wrestling event that is truly under the radar of a lot of people. I bought this and the 2010 event based on the line-up. Both did not disappoint but, 2011 is the superior show. Every night has at least 2 great matches with some faring better depending on your tastes. This 16 Carat event truly was a world tournament that provided some dream match ups I never knew I wanted to see. Does that make sense? Hahaha maybe! This was a nice change of pace after my NJ '88 project. I was really happy with buying this set and would definitely recommend it to anyone who digs these wrestlers. MVP: Sami Callihan, runner up: El Generico Best Match: Davey Richards vs Zack Sabre Jr., runner up: Sami Callihan vs Yoshihito Sasaki, honorable mention: all 3 El Generico bouts Best Surprise: Yoshihito Sasaki Worst Surprise: Go Shiozaki dogging it (although I will say his one finger was taped each night so, I'll give him that. However, this doesn't excuse slow paced, aimless matches on night 2 & 3) Overall: Night #1 was a breeze to watch, the best night overall. Night #2 had a couple rough matches in the front half but, had the two best matches. Night #3 had a couple great matches and the big finale but, got off track with the Go/Walter bummer and it took me a couple fights to wash the bad taste outta my mouth. Nonetheless, it was everyone's 3rd night so, it can be expected and everything else clicked as expected. Again, I cannot recommend this event enough especially since it is sold in one package. Plus there's a bonus dvd that I haven't watched yet.   I hope you have enjoyed this review and its encouraged you to branch out of your wrestling comfort zone a little. Totally glad that I took a chance with this.   Thanks for reading! Be safe folks! Hoping to do my mid year round up real soon  

G. Badger

G. Badger

wXw 16 Carat Gold 2011 - Night 2

Without further ado, let's take a look at Night #2 of wXw's 2011 16 Carat Gold Tournament! Axeman vs Rico Bushido vs Tommy End vs Bad Bones - Hard hitting wXw guys doing a fun spot match. Jay Skillet vs Jon Ryan - I like Ryan from his match with Davey but, you can skip this match. It wasn't bad. It's nothing special to me though. Colt Cabana vs Marty Scurll - Another outright comedy match. Marty is much better at this than Zack just because he's more vocal and outgoing. Fun stuff  Carnage vs 2-Face - This was OK. They probably didn't need to hit as hard for this kind of match. Post match stuff had storyline stuff so, this was a vehicle for that. Poor use of Carnage IMO. Mark Haskins vs Big Van Walter - A simple David vs Goliath match with Haskins showing a ton of heart. He didn't have the cleanest execution but, it looked natural when going up against the juggernaut of Walter. Good match and best thus far.  Day 2 is OK thus far but we're only half way through. Let's see what part 2 has to offer...It should get better. El Generico & Emil Sitoci vs Future Shock (Cole & O'Reilly) - I was really glad they took their time in setting up heel vs face dynamics here. Sitoci made a great first impression. He reminded me of Paul London. That's interesting because London and Generico had a nice tag team in PWG in 2010. So, that dynamic was here against the cocky upstart team of Future Shock. This was an exciting match with nice offense and fake-out spots. Best match of the show thus far. Great stuff! Sami Callihan vs Yoshihito Sasaki - Man, this looks promising! Sami really looks like he's got a screw loose! He brings so much intensity and bravado to the ring that, I'm invested before the bell rings. A handshake to start the match means Sasaki and Sami are going to be rough. And good gravy, this is violent wonderful wrestling and a near classic bout. This really puts the night back on track by topping the tag match. Go Shiozaki vs Kotaro Suzuki - NOAH match in Germany! This was a very good match but, felt it was lethargic compared to the previous couple matches. Also, the fan cam on the ground wasn't in the best position. So, we could see the action OK but, we were mainly seeing their backs. They were in a different venue and the hard cam and the floor cam were coming from the same side of the ring for this match. These things don't bother me too much but, I felt that because we couldn't see the impact as well as could be expected, we were missing some of the action. The crowd also seemed tired and I could only say it was very good at best. Davey Richards vs Zack Sabre Jr. - I understand the pacing and card placement with the NOAH match now. They wanted to give the crowd a cool down for this battle. The pacing was aggressive from bell to bell and Holy crap, they just beat the slop outta each other! This has grappling, strikes, nice counters & escapes. Up & coming ZSJ vs top tier Richards provided a classic encounter without a doubt. If you're a fan of either guy, you should see this for sure. Daisuke Sekimoto vs Johnny Moss - Match for the wXw belt. This was a good ***1/2 bout to close the night out. There was no way they were going to top the previous match so, they gave the fans a nice hard hitting simple title fight.  Overall, Night 2 was a great show but, really one of two parts. Part one was nothing special although the 4 Way opener and the Haskins/Walter matches were worthwhile. Your best bet is to watch those two and skip to the 2nd half where stuff really picks up with a 3 amazing matches. Davey vs ZSJ is the best bout thus far. Thankfully, the 2011 tourney is sold as a set so, if you're looking to buy this DVD or that DVD, you don't have to choose one night over another What's even better is that we've still got Night 3!  Thanks for reading!  

G. Badger

G. Badger

wXw 16 Carat Gold 2011 - Night 1

I have been meaning to watch this tournament for awhile now. I bought this along with the 2010 tournament so, this has been a long time coming. The box art of the DVD set features all of the participants in this year's event. It is pretty damn stacked even compared to the previous year. We have stars from ROH, Big Japan, NOAH, Independent US talent as well as European wrestlers.  This 16 Carat Gold event may be the most diverse and globally representative tournament assembled in recent memory. Enough fluff! Let's get to the wrestling! Kyle O'Reilly vs Karsten Beck vs Marty Scurll vs Axeman: This 4 man match will determine who will be an alternate for the tournament. Nice to have some incentive for the guys...they surely fought like they meant it. Axeman was a nice surprise. He and Kyle have a similar style. Fast paced fun opening match.  Yoshihito Sasaki vs Carnage: Sasaki is a guy who's name I've seen here and there the past decade but, never knew how he flew under my radar. I mean, I have Fire Pro Returns and don't recall seeing him. Ha! I was wrong. He's listed under the Zero-1 promotion as a low ranking wrestler. That was 2004 in Japan and in 2011 he's made his way in the world. And I have to say, damn! I was missing out. He's got a no nonsense hard hitting style that I appreciate.His opponent Carnage does as well. I remember him from 2010's shows. Very good match here and a proper way to start the tourney. Two matches in and this feels better than 2010. Zack Sabre Jr. vs Colt Cabana: Is Colt NWA champ here!? This was funny at times but, took too long to really go anywhere. This was a popcorn match to me. You'll be OK fast forwarding to the last five minutes or skipping altogether. Much like the other World of Sport style matches (not that this was exactly but, it had that feel and style) of 2010, this feels out of place next to 2010 puro style bouts. Adam Cole vs Mark Haskins: Both dudes have come a long way from here. This was a very scatterbrained Indy wrestling match. Stuff was done with little rhyme or reason. Unlike the ZSJ/Cabana match, this was relatively short and an OK watch.  Go Shiozaki vs Johnny Moss: Thank goodness they got the show back on track. Fans started out pretty much behind Moss but, Go won them over with his hard hitting never say quit attitude...kinda like how Rocky won over the Russian crowd in Rocky IV. This was a very good match and the ending portion was that stuff you want from NOAH's top dog. This was another very good pairing. Big Van Walter vs Rico Bushido: Never heard of Bushido but, he reminds me of how I imagine Ricky Reyes fought and looked like in the Rottweiler days of ROH. That's probably all wrong but, I'm cool with that assumption. He was all martial art kicks and Walter put him down after a few power moves. Short and unoffensive match. I have nothing against so-so matches but, at least make them short like this match. Davey Richards vs Jon Ryan: Ryan has no chance in hell beating Davey...just by the looks of him. But to Davey's credit he gave a lot to J.R. He got some heel moves in and was able to fight Richards and be a credible opponent. So, don't let his cheesy ring gear and physique fool you! I really thought an upset might happen. Another very good match. Sami Callihan vs Tommy End: This was an intense, fast, hate filled match. These guys were wXw regulars and this must have had some back story to it. You don't need to know it though. These dudes were aiming to maul each other. Tommy End is much improved since 2010 and Sami has gotten even better. The best bout so far! Great match with a fantastically aggressive submission finish. Yes! Kotaro Suzuki vs El Generico: This is a pretty high profile match for 2011. It's like an unofficial Best of the Super Jrs. match. It had lots of good action that kept the excitement and drama going. Who would win? Generico is a mega star in indy wrestling and Kotaro is GHC Jr. champ...every nearfall felt like the one that would do it. They both have so many tricks in the bag so, the end was always in doubt. Great match. As good or better than the previous bout for sure. A sweet way to end day one!!  Wait...that wasn't the main event? Daisuke Sekimoto vs Bad Bones (wXw Hvywt. Championship match): This is like the cherry on top of a sundae. It starts of slow but, gets action packed as the match progresses. The last few minutes made a big difference as this was scratching at great match territory. Reminded me of the Hayabusa/Tanaka era FMW matches. Very good match overall...like ***3/4 territory. Then we get a very enjoyable post match with Bones and Johnny Moss comes out to challenge Daisuke. Very psyched to see Night 2! This was a heck of night of wrestling. This was much better than I remember the 2010 Night #1 being. Each match that I enjoyed delivered the excitement and entertainment that I was hoping for. Not one wrestler in those matches dogged it and in many cases they went above and beyond to have the best match they could. If they can keep it up then, this might be one helluva ride. Thank you for reading!

G. Badger

G. Badger

WWE Backlash 2018

I watched this because it's still covered under my free month of the Network from Wrestlemania. Not bad...got 3 PPV shows for free. So tonight, I watched Backlash sorta in passing. It was really clear from seeing the card some of the matches could be good and some sucked at "go."   Anyone that had hopes that this was going to be awesome was delusional to some degree. Here's the card and my brief takes.   Seth Rollins vs The Miz: IC belt. Liked these guys in WM, Saudi Rumble, and liked Tyler Black in the past. Looked good on paper, delivered and then some. Finish could have been less choreographed but, a banger.   Nia Jax vs Alexa Bliss: Raw Women's belt. Dug their WM match. Fuck people who want more "moves", this was really well done. Baby Bliss looked smart & Jax looked vulnerable but tough.   Jeff Hardy vs Randy Orton: Hate Orton, skipped this.   Skipped Elias & Rusev bullshit. I'm too old for that middle school fuckery.   Daniel Bryan vs Big Cass: Was excited to see Danielson in a singles match. Didn't know who Cass was before the Saudi Rumble. Saw that and knew this was a lead turd waiting to drop. Caught the last 5+ minutes for proof of death.   Carmella vs Charlotte: Smackdown Women's belt. Saw Charlotte and thought this had potential. Carmella annoyed the hell outta me and is a step back for the division. Juvenile character. Would have been good if Charlotte won but, finish was flat. Transition champ to give C. Flair time off (fake leg injury?) because of the kayfabe finish?   AJ Styles vs Nakamura: Why they gotta make Nakamura the "nut shot" guy? Stupid and sophomoric at best. Had some moments though especially the chair bits.   Braun Strowman & Bobby Lashley vs Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens: Skipped this. Strowman is alright in my book. What's Lashley doing back? I don't care about Steen & Generico anymore. Great in PWG and 2008 ROH though.   Roman Reigns vs Samoa Joe: Looking forward to this match and it delivered. Anyone who left during this or was bored with it, that's fine but, I suggest you look elsewhere for wrestling. Seriously, if you didn't think this was just going to be a *** affair then, you're kidding yourself. Reigns at WM was one of the worst main events I've ever seen. This was at least pretty good with Joe using his brain to work a smart match. Reigns is on autopilot on the Airship Bland Meathead... that's to be expected though. It's more about how Joe can work within the predictable booking and approved spots than have a great match with the well meaning Reigns. Truth be told Joe's been booked like shit after 2006. He doesn't have "the look" and probably would be best in ROH or AJPW now. I doubt people would chant Rusev Day during his match there...lame as fuck...children.   I'd probably say the top matches are: 1) Rollins vs Miz 2) Jax vs Bliss 3) Joe vs Roman 4) AJ vs Ballshot Nakamura

G. Badger

G. Badger

Why not W*ING? and IWA Japan too!

The Iceman vs Miguel Perez Jr. (02/92 W*ING): Man oh man! We only get clips of this match the worst fact is that all of a sudden both guys are covered in blood. Come on W*ING! If anyone knows of a full or even less clipped version that'd be awesome.   Silver King vs Texano (05/23/94 IWA Japan): Cagematch is showing it as a very early show...perhaps the 3rd and looks to be the first tape they released. It is a highly recommended match. Lucharesu style, Los Cowboys stiffing the heck out of each other, nice sequences, a match like this I would think to see in Michinoku Pro.   Really dug Cynthia Moreno in early 90's AJW so I was pleased to see that she made some appearances in the sleazies...IWA Japan specifically.   Just watched her murderlize Tomoe Araya on the 3/7/95 show opener (not 100% on the date). People clapped for the usual "we admire your toughness" for Araya but man...Moreno brought the Zenjo level brutality here at times.   Then I see there's Cynthia and Araya's first match at Duel of the Wilds, IWA Japan.   Much better match than the above...surprising since you'd think they'd improve. Here they kept everything simple and spaced out the moves better and more logically. Sure, the 3/7 match had Moreno as death dealer at times but, this first match was actually fun for the right reasons!   Then there's one where Cynthia is in a gold singlet rather than black. This one was shaping up to be good but then Tomoe lost her balance on her Yoshida run up turning cross body block move...so she jumped to the floor. Not sure where in this epic trilogy this match fits in but, hey, its been fun.

G. Badger

G. Badger

Why not W*ING? and IWA Japan too!

Akira Hokuto & Etsuko Mita vs Kyoko Inoue & Sakie Hasegawa (W*ING 08/02/92): Who knew this match took place in a W*ING ring? Not I, I sing! Dr. Seuss...It's a pretty darn good match too. Sure, it gets the standard W*ING buzzcut in the middle and it starts raining but, its these 4 in 1992. So, if you ever needed an incentive to check 90's joshi out this might be it: 4 greats, tag match, sopping wet babes, insane dives in the rain, and not a super long epic. Thanks W*ING!   Now over to IWA Japan with a little spotlight on Takashi Okano!   Super Astro vs Takashi Okano (IWA Japan 11/17/94): It was the Super Astro show so, it had lots of junior/lucha spots. Okano was good in hanging with Astro and making everything look good. Plus he added a little humor in as well. At around 9 minutes, its well worth a watch.   Takashi Okano vs El Gran Apache (IWA Japan - 01/08/95): This was much more mat based than the Super Astro match. Okano again hangs in there very well making this a much more substantial match. Its less pizzazz and more of a fight. Highly recommended match. Okano has got talent.   Edit: also watched these two guys from 10/16/94 but, its not paced or laid out as well. Its also in 2 parts on YouTube but, its worth just skipping to the 2nd segment. Its in Korakuen to distinguish it from the other.   Silver King & El Texano vs Takashi Okano & Yoshihiro Tajiri (IWA Japan 03/07/95): Whoa! Let me catch my breath here. Double plus quick lucharesu opening. Tajiri's throwing kicks even in his green pad & trunk days, nice! Texano eats a couple then, says " Hey Silver! You get in there man!"   Eventually chairs are brought into the mix & it gets really good. The native team look dusted but, Tajiri is showing all kinds of intestinal fortitude & our man Okano is busting up pins like a bowling ball. Make no mistake though: This is a chunk of Los Cowboys awesomeness.   Ultimately, I had little clue something this technically outstanding was shown in full in IWA-J. There's no death match stuff here. Had this been viewed by a larger number of folks at the time, it would be considered a great match in the style. I mean its probably as good as any tag from Eddie, Dean, Chris etc. in ECW from the time. Its not the "cleanest" wrestling like NJ Jr. in '95 but, it sure is exciting!

G. Badger

G. Badger

Why not W*ING?

The Japanese garbage wrestling scene in the 90's is really interesting. One that I was ignorant of until a while ago was W*ING. I'd seen the wrestlers before in IWA Japan, FMW, or Big Japan. Honestly, the matches aren't too different as essentially IWA Japan was started from the ashes of W*ING. BJPW upped the kooky death match stipulations but, many of the guys were there in the early days like Mr. Danger Matsunaga & Nakamaki.   W*ING featured some really exciting matches though. I'd like to say the heavy Puerto Rican influence & talent contributed to that. Miguel Perez Jr. & the Headhunters especially...   Here's a few of my favorites with the qualifier- any & every death match has the potential to suck based on the performers relying upon the gimmick (weapons, wire, a fall) to make the excitement and drama. These are not those kinds of matches. The gimmicks only enhances the matches.   Miguel Perez Jr. vs The Iceman (3/13/92) I thought it would be Kanemura or Mitsuhiro Matsunaga so I was surprised it was The Iceman vs. Miguel Perez Jr. duking it out. OK fellas...good luck!   Seriously, its a crane scaffold and they raise it to damn near the ceiling. At start, I'm just thinking 'OK, that looks about right...what!? Why is it going up more..no...no they're going to bring it down a lil bit.' Nope...looks like near death height.   The camera shots were great at playing this up and they were able to actually wrestle & brawl and do a few spots including a insane one by Perez Jr. that I won't spoil.   I'm not a scaffold match fan (who is?) but this is well worth a watch!   Elimination Match Puerto Rico vs W*ING: Mr. Pogo & Super Invader & The Headhunters vs. Jason the Terrible, Masaru Toi, Hiroshi Shimada & Mitsuteru Tokuda from 6/92...this was a really great Korakuen multi-man match and pretty straight for a W*ING match. Super Invader did 3 dives in a row, Toi, Shimada & Tokuda brought the wrestling to the wing-ring, Kanemura was at ringside but couldn't help but get involved as well as a surprise W*ING hero. Oh eliminations can come from getting thrown over the top rope. Surprisingly, shown in full so watch this puppy. Its hard to go wrong with these type of matches in the sleazies...   Shoji Nakamaki, Crash the Terminator, Fukumen Taro, Masayoshi Motegi & Nobutaka Araya vs Freddy Krueger, Jado, Gedo, Invader II & Invader III (W*ING Hollywood Nightmare 08/25/93, Captain's Fall Barbed Wire Bat Bunkhouse Deathmatch):First and foremost, watch Victor Quinones' promo for the heel team. Absolute gold   On to the match: This is all out chaos and I loved it! 4 out of 10 people have masks, 6 out of 10 people are wearing red, Nakamaki isn't wearing jeans and a tee shirt, Crash legit looks like he could win the thing since *ahem* Freddie fucking Krueger is the heel team captain.   All kinds of wackiness but, its the good early 90s Indy puro kind you want in this match. There's wrestling in the ring, brawling around the ring, Freddie in the stands chasing fans, Nakamaki laying somewhere in Korakuen bleeding...All the fans chanting his name despite being only visible to 5-10 of them due to the aforementioned bleeding, Indy juniors trying to shine, Crash no selling like a Road Warrior, a guardrail, seats popping off chairs, more Nakamaki chants...   This is W*ING in the best way.

G. Badger

G. Badger

WAR: 1993 6 man & Tenryu vs Pogo

Super Strong Machine, Tatsutoshi Goto & Yoshihiro Ito vs The Great Kabuki, Shiro Koshinaka & Kengo Kimura (06/17/93 WAR): The inclusion of Kabuki made this one a must watch. Glad that I did! This was a nice quick paced brawling-in-the-ring six man. It was fun but became memorable when Kabuki's team started beating up Ito toward what seemed to be the 2/3rd mark. Koshinaka was elbowing him in the jaw, and 'buki snap punched him the in the same fashion all Strong style as the kids say. Raging Staff (Strong Machine's uncomfortably named stable) was adroit. They kept up their end of the bargain...   Genichiro Tenryu vs Mr. Pogo (04/19/96 WAR): Started pretty good with Tenryu brushing off Pogo's strikes. Pogo responded, 'it's saw time brutha!' He got a couple good scrapes in along with a bulldog on a chair. Then our hero makes his comeback! Stiff chops and punches, yes! This is fun stuff!... And then Pogo quits. No, seriously he gets his shit, gets in a car, and splits. This totally seemed like a shoot...still..there was a car waiting there WCW style.   Its all good because Tenryu beats the ever loving crap out of Pogo's second. The fans cheer this.

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G. Badger

WAR You Might Have Missed

In the grim darkness of the the near past there is only WAR! Yes, I'm back to Tenryu's playground to check out more wrestling that I may have missed or just forgotten. Takeshi Ishikawa vs Great Kabuki (09/15/92): Oh man, so I was hoping this would be a very good match but, eh it was just sluggish. There was no build to a climax just a lot of sleeper work and bleeding. It was OK but, I was disappointed. Let's get this back on track! Same show... Ultimo Dragon vs Negro Casas (09/15): This was 15 minutes of perfectly executed lucharesu. This was a real joy to watch. It wasn't super dramatic with a deep story (now maybe I'm wrong since they had a program going in Mexico at the time) but, sometimes wrestling doesn't have to be more than a contest between two competitors. Add the fact that Ultimo and Casas wrestled fast and smart - and you've got a great match! Genichiro Tenryu & Ashura Hara vs Masa Chono & Shinya Hashimoto (10/01/93): Ten minutes of solid ass-kicking. Hash (IWGP champ) gets on the mic before the bell and talks some trash which kicks off this intense sprint-fight. As much as I love a smooth wrestling match (like above), I love a rough non-cooperative slobber knocker just the same. All four guys use their simple offense and great selling to put on a near classic match. Don't believe me? Watch for Tenryu's chops on Chono...that should get you going... Tatsuo Nakano vs Genichiro Tenryu (05/26/96): Don't think Nakano was safe with Tenryu & don't think Tenryu was safe with Nakano. Five minutes of trying to hurt each other wrestling at its finest. If you need a quick Tenryu fix -  this is your match Thanks!

G. Badger

G. Badger

Wahoo McDaniel, Rick Martel and more!

Many of these matches I have commented on in the Everything Else match archives or the Yearbooks, if you will. I wanted to make a record of them all in one place here on my blog though. If you have similar wrestling tastes or just like to read what I have to say, I thought I would make one entry of my recent wrestling habits. It's pretty 1970's and 80's heavy but, we dip our toes into the 60's and 90's as you'll read shortly. Let's start with a doozy! Johnny Valentine vs Bull Curry (06/20/69 Houston Wrestling):This really is an awesome match and the first time I've seen a full Johnny Valentine bout. He and Bull Curry beat each other senseless here...and I loved it! It was really great, simple yet violent pro wrestling. The quality of the footage is excellent as well. So very glad I watched this! In writing this, I did not put a rating but, at the very least it is a great match. The same goes for Johnny Valentine vs Bill Frazier '62. Ric Flair vs Wahoo McDaniel (1976 Mid Altlantic): This is probably one of the few 70's Wahoo matches vs Flair on YouTube. Like Cornette mentions, his physique, stamina, and agility are much greater than in 1980's. He looks like an absolute beast here. There's no finish unfortunately but, the 8+ minutes are great. Wahoo McDaniel vs Greg Valentine (09/07/77 JCP): Just a fantastic match where Greg takes the place of his dad. And Wahoo is cool with that since he beats the crap outta him. Gregster is no bum as he can take a shot as good as he can dish it out. This is just hard hitting no nonsense wrestling and it's hard not to love it. This was a near classic match. Plus look for promo of Wahoo at home, in a cast, calling out Greg Valentine & Ric Flair. Harley Race vs Wahoo McDaniel (02/10/78 Houston Wrestling):This was great 2/3 falls match.I waited a while to watch this since I'm lukewarm on Harley but, this was a doozy. Wahoo just tees off on the champion and Race's bumps are fantastic. Of course his headbutts and knee drops look vicious as ever. Do watch for the fan wildin' out in the front row on the camera side of the ring. He's the guy the fuzz have to grab in fall #3. It's pretty awesome. If you like to people watch the crowd during matches then, you gotta watch this one. It is a bit of a distraction since it takes like 5 officers get escort the dude but, Wahoo and Race don't let it phase them. Loved the finish! The Chief almost had it!! So close! Great stuff Wahoo McDaniel vs Tully Blanchard - Indian Strap Match (05/14/82 Houston Wrestling): This wasn't a long drawn out match. It was simple and vicious. I especially loved the finish (no pins or submissions, one man must drag his opponent to all 4 corners of the ring and touch the turnbuckle). We really need more matches like this in contemporary wrestling. It emphasizes the rough and tumble violence that I think is lacking in wrestling nowadays. Sure there are street fight and other gimmick matches but, there's too much emphasis on spots and not enough on the intensity. The violence of these type of fights should be at the forefront. We certainly have that here. Very good stuff! Bruiser Brody vs Mongolian Stomper (06/04/82 Houston Wrestling): Pure pandemonium with both guys trying to clobber each other. Brody vs the Stomper truly delivered despite not being very long. This was very much in the same vein as the 1990 FMW stuff. Walloping the heck outta each other but, never backing down...Houston looked like Korakuen Hall. Rick Martel vs Nick Bockwinkel 09/20/84 AWA): I thought the match up looked good but, no idea that there was such praise from the PWO community. I was just thinking "damn this is really good. They've got plans of attack, they're selling the specific damages as well as the overall fatigue. Still, its a heated fight with guys trading great blows and kicking out because the belt is on the line." I think for '84, you could call this a work-rate match but, its deeper than that. The in ring story is so solid and to have it almost spoiled at the end..oh man. Martel whipping the AWA strap around like a wild man at the end just capped off this beauty of a match. Classic stuff! Masa Saito vs Curt Hennig (03/28/85 AWA): What a simple but great match. Curt was very young here but, he and Saito had a little program going. It was pretty basic in that Saito roughed up Hennig and he made a energetic come back only to get shutdown. Maybe its just me but, I prefer 80's AWA Curt to Mr. Perfect. Anyhow, Curt does a fucking tope to the concrete instead of the leaping shoulder miss to ring post spot. That's to say he missed 85% of the ringpost and went thru the ropes to free fall and cement! Awesome!! The best was the finish were Saito and Hennig were just smashing each other with punches. More importantly, Masa Saito was punching Hennig...because there were some nice "punches" earlier but, Saito was like, " let's do this proper! " Yes, please, thank you! Rick Martel vs Mr Saito (04/24/85 AWA): Oh boy, this is a great match. Saito is an absolute beast and Rick Martel is just trying to survive. The part where he is clawing his way to the ropes to escape the Scorpion Deathlock is a new iconic wrestling moment for me. Just brilliant! I think this would be an awesome place to start if you only remember Martel as "The Model" from WWF. Rick Martel vs Terry Gordy (10/03/85 Pro Wrestling USA): Rick Martel is certainly a fighting champion and this fast paced challenge from Gordy is proof. This just checked all of the right boxes in the move and storytelling department for me. The other Freebirds are sent to the back and Terry is OK with that. He's going to beat the champion fair and square. Gordy is matching Martel all throughout but, then brings the power based offense to the table. It looks to be too much with the champ taking some hard slams. Don't count Martel out of the match yet! I just loved this 15 minute match. It truly felt like a title fight. Great stuff Ric Flair vs Ron Garvin (02/07/86-JCP-Superstars on the Superstation): Well, these two really beat each other from pillar to post! So many hard chops that it really is a wonder that their chests weren't red. Oh and the punches and slams...man, this was a heck of an intense TV televised match. 15 minutes of fighting, I loved it. People have said Garvin wasn't selling but, in his role, I think he should have been ferocious. He was taking the fight to Flair. A very good to great match in my eyes. Quite glad that I stumbled upon it.
 
Rick Martel vs Riki Choshu (12/03/86 AJPW): This started out with a lightning pace. Then, they settled down into working over each others legs which was ferocious. I so wish they sold this after the fact since it appeared they were really going to town but, it was a 10 min. match. Evenly fought but a little to soon to finish for me. Very good, intense match. Totally worth watching! Just not the heavenly dream battle I hoped for. But the first few minutes had me believing it was real! Wahoo McDaniel vs Manny Fernandez (09/18/88 AWA):Just two big dudes punching and chopping the crap outta each other for 10 minutes. If you dig Tenryu - Choshu - Hashimoto type stuff check this out. It'd be right at home in '88 AJ or NJ. Wahoo McDaniel vs Manny Fernandez - Indian Strap Match (12/13/88 Superclash III): I think most folk remember the Kerry vs King match but, I think this bout deserves a bit of recognition. Stiff chops, punches and blood abound! The big surprise was that Tatsumi Fujinami was there! Fernandez was working in NJ in '88 I believe so, I think he was there to keep Manny in check or something. Well, he certainly DOES both at the start and finish...yes!  Awesome little interview at the end from Wahoo where he says he wants to literally kill Fernandez. Larry Zbyszko vs Masa Saito (02/10/90 NJPW) I could tell that this was going to be a fantastic encounter from the very first collar-and-elbow! Oh man! Take note current wrestlers, THIS is how you tie up! The match was a fine example of how to create drama and excitement without running through moves. The holds were credible and meaningful towards the outcome of the fight. Their strikes were stiff yet, measured. Larry & Mr. Saito used their body language (and actual language in Lar's case) to convey athleticism, desperation, and that killer instinct. This was a great match. Nick Bockwinkel vs Masa Saito (12/26/90 NJPW): If you like headlock work then this is a match for you brother! I truly dug the simple focus on the headlock and leg locks becuase you felt the struggle was genuine. Man, two masters going at it for the NJ crowd. The finish came a little too quick but, dang this was a pretty good bout. QUICKIE BONUS: Rick Martel vs Naoki Sano (08/09/91 SWS): Roughly 5 minutes of pedal to the metal 80s technical junior offense. I loved it, it was short and to the point and put over the power of a technical pinning predicament. Thanks for reading!!! If I can get my act together, I should have a few posts ready to go in the next few days

G. Badger

G. Badger

Wacky Wednesday: Zero-1 & BJW

Isami Kodaka vs Kenji Fukimoto (03/05/17 BJW) - Gusset Plates & Sawed Off Cans 2-Sided Death Match: Stumbled across this match online and the sawed off cans (as in tin cans) caught my attention. Surprisingly un-gory (as modern death matches go) and tons of fun to watch. A ladder shows up and the tin can board spots are cringe inducing. As an infrequent deathmatch watcher, I would highly recommend this.   I've been watching death matches more since I first watched this and it has been on the short list of must see matches.   Speaking of death matches, we've got the master of the death match, Atsushi Onita, doing his 4th (?) comeback tour. Here are a couple wacky ones:   Atsushi Onita vs Masakatsu Funaki - Triple Weapons Explosion match (07/24/16 Zero-1): I think this is odd for the mere fact that grappling guru Funaki is in a fucking death match. Who would have thought that looking back upon the King of Pancrase, he'd be in an exploding match with Onita!? So, we've got a table, chairs, a barbwire board that explodes, and barb wire bats that blow up! Holy frijoles! Coming in at around 10 minutes, it is all spots...but what spots they are It's a ton of fun. I even had to show my fiance the exploding bats part. Gather the family!   Atushi Onita, Aja Kong & Okamoto vs Bob Sapp, Jaguar Yokota & TARU - Explosion match (05/12/17 Zero-1): I'm going to hazard a guess that the match stipulation is more than just explosion match but, screw it! That's what I wrote down! Ok, so this is the best kind of sleazy that I could hope for. None of that Joey Ryan crap. We've got everyone over the hill first off. Onita is so far over the hill that he's under it. We've got a guy with his name in all CAPS, a chubby dude that I've never heard of, two joshi legends, and then Bob *fucking* Sapp. On top of that we have exploding bats (again), aimless shitty brawling, botched moves, actual wrestling by the joshi, and then Bob *fucking Giant Baba* Sapp. This is the polar opposite of that slick sterile stuff that gets passed off as wrestling today. Bless Onita & bless Zero-1.

G. Badger

G. Badger

Wacky Wednesday: JD' & Dragon Gate

Fang Suzuki vs Sumie Sakai - Chain Rope, Chair pit & ladder match (12/29/2000 JD'): Not sure if that's the official name of the match...but, it presents a helluva visual, right? This was a great match. I'll just say that right off the Louisville. There were dives, blood, moves on the chairs...it was right there with ECW, FMW, or WWF at the time, in terms of inventive gimmick and actual execution. Even better, they didn't give us the fucking tour of the arena as was the fashion of the time. I liked that then, I won't lie but, only if it seemed organic. I've seen quite a few fights where there is pretty much zero reason to traipse amongst the ticket holders. Anyhow, this was Sumie kicking ass and Fang being an excellent foil. The real joy of the match is in the surprises. They had every right to milk the stips and stomp & headbutt their way into a couple highspots and bloodlettings. I don't want to spoil this for anyone. I will say the finish wasn't my favorite but, was an emphatic end to a war. Great stuff.   Susumu Yokosuka vs Milano Collection vs Touru Owashi vs Dragon Kid - 4 Way Elimination Match (08/28/04): Fantastically fun 4 man match! Although it took me a minute to figure out the gimmick w/ the turnbuckle & the hidden golden tickets. What is this Willy Wonka Wrestling!? Really cool match that was pretty crazy once things got goin' and goofy in a good way at times. The stiff lariats from Mr. "Too Many U's in my Name" really helped make this a legit match & balanced the goof troop stuff...so it was real fun, dog

G. Badger

G. Badger

Wacky Wednesday: Jd' & BJW

My first exposure to Japanese wrestling was through ECW. So, it made sense that once I could get my hands on real to life VHS tapes of the stuff, it was going to be hard core death match stuff. The first tape I got was the awesome yet, grainy as hell History of BJW death matches. This had all kinds of insane and yes, wacky stipulation/gimmick matches. The piranha and cactus & scorpion death match stuck out in terms of that "what the hell?" factor. To lose, you have to get dunked in a fish tank with the creatures...its fun in a stupid way. Love the stuff, puts a smile on my face. It's a really awesome niche in Japan's wrestling scene which I'm glad of. I've got a penchant for wrestling with odd rules, props, or people showing up and I'd like to share some every Wednesday.   The Bloody vs Megumi Yabushita (03/23/03 Metal Garage - TWF Title - Jd'): Both ladies start out on the top of cage hell in a cell style. The setup of their cell looks pretty good actually. Its grittier looking than the WWE version but, seems to have better support beams. What the hell am I talking about that for?   So, they pick up chairs then drop the chairs because they want to grapple, I suppose? Ok sure, why not? They then fight on the cage and this looks pretty good where I want to see more...which is a positive since I'm a minute into the match. The one woman almost falls off the top! Then the other climbs into a hole in the corner and looks to climb down a ladder to get in the ring. I believe she then climbs up an A-frame ladder to pull the TWF belt down. In the middle of this she gets middle drop kicked off said ladder. This was pretty cool! Then Clipping! We are now (well, they are...I'm on my couch) on top of the cage again. This time the ladder is up there with them. It is actually in a vertical position too. So picture a ladder onto of hell in a cell. Stuff happens including the ref almost getting knocked off the top! and someone wins. This was clipped down to 7+ minutes of wackiness. Thank you editors! I must assume that the rest of the match is crud if this is what was shown. Nonetheless, this was a trip.   Jaki Numazawa vs. Yuko Miyamoto (03/14/17 Iron Cage & Lighttubes Death Match - BJW): Oh! So there's light tubes in the iron cage! See I thought they had to put the guy in the cage to win the contest. This was shot from a fixed camera so, it wasn't clear. I get it now.   Regardless, there was a single person shark cage (?) in one corner and fluorescent tubes attached to the ropes where, of fucking course, the fans were seated. I suppose they wanted to be sprayed with glass! The thing is- the sides where there were no tubes, no one was sitting!!? If I got to the show and they told me "yes, seating is on these two sides" and then they started putting up fucking glass tubes 5 feet from where I'm sitting, I'm damn well moving to the empty seats. BJW can kiss my ass. Try to move me back! You'll get a death match you didn't expect! I don't like balloons for the same reason. Have some little twat kid pop one at a party and I'm blinded by latex bullet. I've wandered off course haven't I?   This was pretty fun and not too long at 7+ minutes in full. I enjoyed watching the seconds or young boys travel around the ring in a futile attempt to block flying glass from the fans at ringside.

G. Badger

G. Badger

Valentine's Day: Wrestle and Romance

I would have to think that Tenryu's WAR promotion has the most love themed name. Wrestle and Romance...ah yes, that is passion!! I feel like they were also Wrestle and Roses too. I could have made that up, I dunno. I love it anyhow!   Other Valentine appropriate wrestling names in my opinion are the AJW tag teams Tokyo Sweethearts, Crush Gals (crush like a school boy not as in skulls) & Honey Wings.   That was just an aside. Here are some of my favorite Romance matches:   Tenryu, Kitahara & Masao Orihara vs Koshinaka, Kengo Kimura Aoyagi from 10/21/92 War vs NJ. Orihara's awesome opening...hell Orihara's awesome performance overall. The dude made the match. All of the Tenryu vs Koshinaka interactions...straight up windpipe chops. I love both of these guys' enthusiasm/hatred. Kitahara vs Aoyagi kicking the crap outta each other is good. Would like me to see more...The violent chaotic finish...I mean Kimura is eating chops to the face...how is that not fantastic!? Women are crying, men are shouting, Ishikawa comes out, streamers...oh yeah!!   The main event to WAR's 02/14/93 show: Tenryu & Ishikawa vs Fujinami & Hase. This was a dream match for me. Marky Mark for all four wrestlers but, this wasn't some exhibition or feud transition match. This was fiery and exciting as heck!   All four guys were quick and on point all match with that WAR gang rumble pace. Everybody really impressed me...this was a great match. Then when Hashimoto came out after the bell, it sealed the deal. This whole segment, or whatever you wanna call it in today's terms, was classic!   WAR 05/05/97 Tenryu, Kitahara & Jun Kikuchi vs. Abdullah The Butcher & Tarzan Goto & Ryo Miyake Cage Match. Pandemonium from the get go with the heel team waiting with chairs by the WAR team's entrance. Tenryu nearly falls thru the cage at one point, he & Abby have a nifty strike exchange, Goto brings glass into the mix, Kitahara is rocking camo pants and ups his manliness quotient by 10% (like he needed it), and this is random awesomeness.

G. Badger

G. Badger

This Day in Wrestling : Manami Toyota vs Kyoko Inoue

Are you like me and remember important dates in wrestling? Its almost like they are holidays or birthdays for friends past. You're not necessarily celebrating anything but, when the day comes, it feels a little special. Its like the numbers in that particular combination mean something to you and a few others. For everyone else, its just a Thursday. That brings me to today, May 7th or as I have it burned into my brain 05/07. Twenty five years ago AJW's Manami Toyota and Kyoko Inoue had an hour long draw that earned 5 stars from Dr. Dave Meltzer. Ironically, it was probably one of first disappointing big Joshi match I had seen. It was one of the few lauded classics that didn't live up to the praise. As I've watched more AJW since then, I think '95 in general is when AJW started to begin its decline. Don't be mistaken, there are some really great matches and shows in '95. I think the Toyota-Inoue hyper style was becoming the main event norm and 1995 was the break out year. This May match then, the August 08/30 Double Inoue vs Toyota/Sakie 2 out of 3 falls 5 star match are the two major "classic bouts" that both earned big praise and are minor disappointments.  I really do digress...05/07 still sticks with me because, while not a 5 star all time classic, it really is a wrestling tour de force. Both women wanted to show that they were not only the best women wrestlers but, the best wrestlers period. I really would recommend watching this if you're into current Joshi or US women's wrestling. Here's my review of the match and whole show. Yumi Fukawa vs. Yoshiko Tamura -Pretty basic beginner style match. Fukawa (I think) won with 2 consecutive body slams. Tamura was better in execution but Fukawa did a headscissors takedown from one of Tamura's scoop slams and it was pretty cool. Midget Death Match: Atsushi Obuddha (Buddhaman) vs. Tsunokake. -Even without knowing more than 5 Japanese words, this was damn funny. It really goes to show the universality of physical comedy and parody. AJ Junior Title: Chaparita ASARI vs. Nobue Endo (Saya) -An advanced beginners match was marked with ASARI rolling out a couple crazy spin/flip moves for the win. Takako Inoue & Tomoko Watanabe & Kumiko Maekawa vs. Mariko Yoshida & Kaoru Ito & Rie Tamada. A bit rocky in the beginning but the pace was great throughout and it was quite exciting. Could've been better executed at times though. The proper beginning of the show with Takako/Mariko as the focus. ***3/4 Aja Kong & Reggie Bennett vs. Lioness Asuka & Bison Kimura. - It was a very neat match but nothing spectacular other than Aja brutalizing Bison. Bison's quite a fox in this one too despite getting a bloody nose from the spinning back fist... ***1/2 Minami Retirement Memorial: Suzuka Minami & Yumiko Hotta vs. Las Cachorras Orientales. A great AJW style tag match with Minami being in the majority of the match. Hotta was minor in her role...I'm not sure this was because it was Suzuka's retirement match or what. Still it was very exciting and I really wasn't sure who was going to win. Really emotional too which is nice to see. LCO were pretty good here in their berserk heel mode giving Suzuka a tough retirement match. ****1/4 3 Minute Exhibition Match: Marine Wolves vs. Bull & Hotta. For a 3 minute match, this was awesome and actually resembled a match and gave an opportunity for the Marine Wolves to shine one last time. WWWA World Singles Championship: Manami Toyota vs. Kyoko Inoue. This is a gruelling sixty minutes of Joshi action. It was a bit unwise to let two sprinters run the long race since they got injured relatively early. Still if you had to pick two wrestlers from AJW to go 60 minutes it would be these two. They're so full of energy that just when you thought they crapped out they would have a burst of action. The real complaint here is that the quality of the execution suffered as the match progressed. Still it's to be expected and really was quite excusable . Still you can't give something this flawed 5 stars by using the match as an out. Still probably one of the best 60min. draw I've ever seen ****+ Thanks for reading! The 2nd day of the wXw 16 Carat show has been watched and the notes just need to be typed up. Hoping for tomorrow...in the meantime watch some Women's wrestling!   Take care!  

G. Badger

G. Badger

This Day in Wrestling - NOAH - Kobashi vs Akiyama 12/23/2000

This match is now 20 years old -  wow! I cannot believe that to be honest. I can do math and probably can remember a few things from each year to prove to myself that 2000 was 20 years ago but, this still seems somewhat modern to me. Perhaps its the green ring mat? That's probably it. But man what kinda gets me is that I've been meaning to see this match for probably 10 years now. Its one of those matches that doesn't quite reach the essential viewing list of many folk like their 2004 match or the one from 1998 or 1999...I can't remember right now. I want to say its 98 though. I'm getting side tracked but maybe that's the point. The Misawa-Kobashi-Akiyama-Taue-Kawada merry-go-round was pumping out great matches at the end of the 90's but, they all start to run together. I think that may be the case with this as well as the fact that Kobashi was in dire need of knee surgery at the start of NOAH. So, he does a few high profile matches and then goes away until 2002 and I think goes away again until 2003. In that regard, not much gets universal praise until the 2003 Misawa match. I'm getting side tracked again...I guess my point is this bout averaged out to middle of the road in folks reviews. I've seen it around ***3/4 to ****1/2. That can be a pretty big difference. But I wanted to watch it for This Day in Wrestling and I wanted to try and end 2020 with a banger of a match! I think its fair to say everyone has had a crappy year and I guess this was a gesture of ending it with a classic King's Road or Ark Style match. Ah...it was not to be Don't get me wrong it was a great heavyweight match but, I felt it was more of a spot match than anything else. It didn't seem to really grab me with a story I could believe in. It had nice attempts with Kobashi working on Akiyama's neck after a particularly nasty ramp DDT. Then Akiyama was able to find some breathing room by drop kicking Kobashi's knees. He then went to work on the arm, as is often the case, but he added some nice twists I thought. This was a slow burner but, it was picking up and I was invested for sure. I just wasn't sure who or what I was invested in beyond enjoying the match and the moves. That slow burn never really turned to rapid boiling.  It got close especially during some choice encounters - very stiff and head droppy. So, I think ratings may have been inflated back in the day on those 2 things. Kobashi's eye is swollen shut by the end. And you'd better believe Akiyama gets chopped to a pulp. With all that though, I just don't think there was enough substance in between to say there was a purpose to those moves as you would see in a classic match. I don't think there was enough intensity/spirit of competition to make it feel like a brutal fight either. So instead of being slow yet purposeful building to a dramatic ending OR energetic and violent exploding until there is a victor, it came off as above satisfactory. That is to say, I was satisfied with this as a big match Kobashi vs Akiyama match and was overly pleased with a half dozen spots and strike exchanges. But the socks were not blown off Great but not a classic to me. I'll issue a disclaimer now -  I'm pretty burnt out from working customer service and managing late orders and cancellations this holiday season. It has been the worst few months since I've started working this job 8 years ago. If you were waiting on a package or have had some orders cancelled this month, let me tell you there are about a dozen people behind the scenes trying their hardest to get your gifts out. I know its on the news and whatnot but, let me tell you that it has been especially rough with the pandemic both in receiving a flood of online & phone orders and not being able to keep staff or shifting staff because pandemic safety protocols. Let alone the usual Xmas stuff. So, perhaps I wasn't in the best head space watching this match. I am emotionally and mentally dulled right now. Maybe I'm not giving this bout a fair shake. You should take some time and watch this 20 year old match. You may actually be watching it with a clear head. Heck! I might even watch it again after the 25th when my brain can begin to heal Nothing helps the healing process like some lariat-o's! I hope to get my Best Match Watched and other things of note for 2020 together before New Year's Eve! Thanks for reading this year! Stay safe & happy holidays!

G. Badger

G. Badger

The Big 100

This is my 100th blog post! Yay! So, I wanted to make it about something special. An overlooked wrestler, a series of great matches, or something like that. Of course that would take me starting from scratch and I’m just a little busy with my day job & life-things to deep dive into a theme. Damn you Go Shiozaki and Youtube for taking me down a path unfit for this milestone post. So, instead I decided to offer 100 tidbits to you the reader. What’s funny is that I thought it would be a time saver but, in fact it took a shit load of time. I probably could have watched 3-4 matches and gotten a review for each in the time it took me to scribble down & cross out my choices in my notebook. Then, I had to type them out! What a dummy! I’ve got some top 10 and essential viewing lists but, these are by no means comprehensive. Somethings were omitted intentionally and others were omitted due to ignorance. I’ve seen a good bit of stuff but, not everything J Plus most are not in a particular order. “So, what F-ing use are they then!?” you say? Yeah, um see…it’s more like that’s the order that I thought of them in OR they’re chronological. The lists are almost like a peek into my wrestling brain. It’s a little rough and a little hazy at times but, hopefully, it gets you watching, reading, or thinking about different stuff.       Who I watch out for when Youtube Surfing: 1. Los Cowboys (Silver King & El Texano) – Well-travelled team always get the best out of their foes. 2. The Headhunters – Agile big men always down for mixing garbage/hardcore wrestling with highspots 3. Togi Makabe – “Newer” guy brings old school flair, intensity, AND stiffness 4. Masashi Aoyagi – Karate man constantly kicking people and stirring shit up 5. Shiro Koshinaka – 100% effort and charisma wrestler, a utility man who can shine in all settings 6. Masahiro Chono- Trained by Thesz & Inoki, charismatic and believable despite limitations 7. Masa Kurisu – AJPW trained, got kicked out of FMW- yeah that’s right… 8. Kendo Nagasaki – AJPW and Stampede pedigree, early FMW and started BJW 9. Tarzan Goto – Notice a pattern? 10. Jun Kasai – Comedy, violence, sound wrestling ability, death defying leaps, and charismatic to boot!       Iconic Bumps or Moves: 1. RVD’s somersault senton from the top turnbuckle into the crowd versus Bam Bam Bigelow 2. Kawada taking Tiger Driver ’91 on 06/03/94 3. Masato Tanaka taking an Awesome Bomb through a table to the floor with enough momentum carry his head and neck underneath the guardrail. 4. Jun Akiyama riding Akira Taue’s skull off the apron on 01/22/06 5. Kawada getting German suplexed by Kobashi while ‘KO’d’ on 12/03/93 6. Inoki getting German suplexed by Vader, 01/04/96 7. Mr. Danger Matsugnaga’s somersault senton onto his opponent in a Barbwire Net Scaffold match (BJW 98?) 8. Onita shouting “Thunder-Fire-Power-bomb!” as he delivers said move to Hayabusa in the ’94 Cage retirement match 9. Sabu wrapping his legs in barbwire and then Leg dropping Terry Funk at Born to Be Wired, ECW 10. Akira Hokuto doing maybe the 1st reverse frankensteiner to Toyota, all dangerous joshi style too  09/02/95       Most Brutal Joshi Matches: 1.  Lioness Asuka vs Yumiko Hotta 03/26/95 AJW 2. Yumiko Hotta vs Aja Kong 01/24/94 AJW 3. Aja Kong & Bison Kimura vs Grizzly Iwamoto & Bull Nakano 08/19/90 AJW 4. Aja Kong & Kyoko Inoue vs Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda 08/09/97 AJW 5. Akira Hokuto vs Manami Toyota 09/02/95 AJW 6. Manami Toyota & Toshida Yamada vs Dynamite Kansai & Mayumi Ozaki series (92-93) AJW 7. Akira Hokuto vs Shinobu Kandori (April & December 1993) AJW 8. Megumi Kudo vs Combat Toyoda 3/31/96 FMW 9. Crush Gals & Ogura vs Dump, Leilani Kai & Crane – 2/3 Falls (Mid 80’s?) AJW 10. Manami Toyota vs Karou Ito 08/09/97 AJW       Most Brutal Men’s Matches: 1. Sabu vs Sandman – Stairway to Hell match 1998 ECW 2. Jun Kasai vs Takashi Iizuka – Deathmatch TAKA Produce 2018 3. Kobashi vs Misawa 10/21/97 AJPW 4. The Rock vs Mankind - St. Valentine’s Day Massacre 1999 WWF 5. Cactus Jack vs Terry Funk – Duel of the Wilds 1995 IWA Japan   6. There’s some Tarzan Goto glass deathmatch in BJW 1998 or 99 where he carves a notch into Ono’s (I think) arm with a shard of glass. 7. Headhunters Glass Deathmatch 1995 IWA Japan 8. Masakatsu Funaki vs Tatsuo Nakano 08/24/89 UWF 2nd Stage 9. Onita’s main events in FMW (89-92) 10. Terry Funk vs Sabu Born to be Wired 1997 ECW       ECW Memorable Moments: 1. First time the Dudley’s did the Flaming table 2. Seeing Super Crazy vs Tajiri vs Travelling Luchador or Japanese Jr. vs Spike vs Little Guido vs Jerry Lynn every week 3. The “Catfights!!!!”  4. New Jack jumping off the back of a raised basketball hoop backboard through a table 5. Balls & Axl’s chair shots that bent the seats 6. Taz vs The Franchise rematch on TV where Franchise gives this speech about giving the fans a good match and sez ‘whaddaya say Taz?’ Taz, stern as ever, mutters in the mic “Ring the fucking bell…” Aw shit! That was killer!! 7. Sabu’s entrance music 8. New Jack playing Natural Born Killaz throughout every match. Also him hitting people with household items like NES’s and Sweepers 9. Um…Born to be Wired…seriously, it blew my mind. 10. Being able to watch ECW 2-3 times a week (our channel would rebroadcast Hardcore TV) with my Dad during my crappy High School years. It was the perfect escape for me J       Favorite Moves in WCW vs The World PS1 Game (sorry I’m in High School mode right now): 1. Top Rope Powerbomb 2. Steiner Screwdriver 3. Tiger Driver ‘91 4. Akira Maeda’s Capture Suplex when countering an opponent’s kick 5. Jumping DDT (Onita’s DDT) 6. Western Lariat (the best its ever looked in a video game…for reals) 7. Mil Masacara’s Headstand leg scissor takedown 8. Throwing German Suplex (Rick Steiner style) 9. Shinzaki’s Asai Moonsault where he’s praying mid-moonsault! 10. Hayabusa’s Firebird Splash (or whatever that animation is!) Honorable Mention: All strike combos that end in that cool KO animation J       Essential 80’s NJPW: 1. Tiger Mask vs Dynamite Kid 01/28/82 2. Maeda vs Fujinami 06/12/86 3. Koshinaka & Muto vs Maeda & Takada 03/20/87 4. 5 on 5 match 09/16/87 OR Hase vs Takada 03/11/88 (tie for me) 5. Inoki vs Fujinami 08/08/88       Essential Misawa vs Jumbo Feud AJPW: 1. 06/08/90 2. 09/30/90 3. 10/19/90 4. RWTL 12/07/90 5. 04/20/91       Other Essential Joshi: 1. Lioness vs Jaguar Yokota AND Chigusa vs Devil Masami 08/22/85 AJW 2. Crush Gals & Ogura vs Dump, Leilani Kai & Crane – 2/3 Falls (Mid 80’s?) AJW 3. Chigusa vs Lioness 02/26/87 AJW 4. Fire Jets vs Marine Wolves 1989 Tag League (?) 2/3 Falls AJW 5. Plum Mariko & Devil Masami vs Chigusa & Cuty Suzuki (11/18/93) JWP 6. Toyota & Hokuto vs K. Inoue & Yamada (both matches) 12/10/93 AJW 7. Ozaki, Plum & Cuty vs Dynamite Kansai, Devil & Chigusa - 2 Count match 01/1994 JWP 8. Bull Nakano & Kyoko Inoue vs Manami Toyota & Aja Kong 03/03/94 AJW 9. Aja Kong & Akira Hokuto vs Yumiko Hotta & Dynamite Kansai 08/24/94 AJW (24 years ago!?) 10. Manami Toyota vs Aja Kong 11/20/94 AJW       Essential Independent or Other Promotions of the 1990’s: 1. Onita & Tarzan Goto vs Kurisu & Dragonmaster Kendo Nagasaki 04/19/90 FMW 2. Onita vs Goto 02/26/91 FMW 3 Tenryu & Ishikawa vs Hashimoto & Choshu 04/02/93 WAR 4. The Headhunters vs Miguel Perez Jr. & W. Kanemura – Barbwire Cage Match 05/09/93 W*ING 5. Captain’s Fall Barbwire Bunkhouse Match 08/29/93 W*ING 6. Jinsei Shinzaki vs Great Sasuke 04/29/94 Michinoku Pro 7. Sasuke, Gran Hamada & Delfin vs Dick Togo, Men's Teioh & Shiryu 11/12/96 M-Pro 8. Sasuke, Hamada, Super Delfin, Gran Naniwa & Yakushiji vs. Togo, Men's, TAKA, Shiryu & Funaki 12/16/96 M-Pro 9. Yuki Ishikawa & Mohammed Yone vs Daisuke Ikeda & Ikuto Hidaka 06/20/99 BattlARTS 10. Ishikawa vs Ikeda 07/29/99 BattlARTS       Projects I’m Really Going to Get To in the Next 3 Months: 1. Pick back up AJPW Classics 1989-90 (I’ve got a DVD set thick enough to stop a .22) 2. Focus on AJPW 2011-2015 DVDs 3.  Assorted ROH & PWG DVDs from 2014 to 2016 along with some Young Bucks in PWG 4. Looking at some NJPW 1990 tag’s I’ve been wanting to see for YEARS 5. NJPW 1988 – couple discs of some goodies I keep putting off 6. Momoe Nakanishi DVD that I just can’t seem to remember that I have 7. NOAH 2007 – A small sampling, me thinks  8. I’d like to get into 95-98 FMW but, my two big YT sources have been shut down. I’ll scrape through perhaps. 9. I’ve been getting the urge to watch early 80’s AJ & NJ along with whatever AWA stuff I can find 10. More 2010 NJPW multi-mans, tags , and Jr. matches       Thank you very much for reading!!

G. Badger

G. Badger

The 2010's: wXw 2010, AJPW 2011

I'm going to dig into wXw's 2010 16 carat Gold Tournament but, am only a few matches in. This is what I've got so far from Day #1:   Ares vs Matt Jackson: Fun 8 minute match with a bit of comedy from Ares.   Munenori Sawa vs Paul Tracey: I'm not familiar with Tracey. Sawa looked good and Tracey was OK. 7 minutes and better than the first bout.   Yuji Okabayashi vs Martin Stone: Best match so far. Very good to see grappling here in this setting. Simple but, effective stuff. Stone gets the upset with a DDT. Recommended first round match.   So, another project of mine is to take a look at 2010's AJPW. I'm going to try and cover it chronologically but, I've got to go back and rewatch a few things since I've lost my one notebook. Anyhow...   SUWAMA, Masakatsu Funaki & Takao Omori vs Seiya Sanada, Taiyo Kea & Manabu Soya (09/25/11 AJPW): This is exactly the exciting, hard hitting match that I hoped it would be. It never treads into parody of former AJPW or NOAH territory with unneeded strike battles or meaningless machismo. The characters play their part during the 20 minutes of action. Highly recommended match.   Koji Kanemoto vs KAI - Jr. Tournament Finals (09/25/11 AJPW): Holy crap! This was awesome They really beat the crap out of each other. KAI is a guy that I've seen a couple times and liked. I'd not yet say, "Hey gotta search out me some KAI footy!" but, he is one to watch. Koji worked on the leg here, setting up for his Ankle Hold. KAI did very well in selling the leg damage (even though he did do some flying moves). I felt he sold it enough within the narrative: He's young and he's going to work with the moves that got him to the finals.   Koji was punk as fuck and the A+ worker that he can be- especially as the tough vet. The match featured loads of stiff strikes, variety and smarts. Both guys were battered by the end. It was a true contest for something important and a classic match in the Jr. tradition.   Kaz Hiyashi & KENSO vs Minoru Tanaka & Koji Kanemoto - RWTL (11/26/11 AJPW): KENSO is another guy that I've come to watch for. He's kinda a heel and uses his belt to choke guys. I like this kind of guy in the 2010's. He's got some moves but, is much more of a character than a world class athlete. I'm kinda tired of guys that are young athletes but, rely upon a gimmick rather than their abilities. They work a parody gimmick but, have no idea how their work matches up to their character. So, they do a bunch moves that their character would/should not do. KENSO is a guy where he's got a charisma about him without being a cartoon character with a 100 moves.   Anyways, this match was one long finishing run at 11 minutes. Very exciting rush match. Minoru & Koji are cocky jerks taunting KENSO until he has to smack the taste outta their mouths. At this run time, I highly recommend watching this. Its just good stuff.   Takao Omori & Manabu Soya vs Seiya Sanada & KAI - RWTL (11/26/11 AJPW): Here's that KAI fella again! Omori & Soya have teamed up here as Wild Hearts. The thing is Sanada & Soya were tag partners just a few months ago. Not sure who wanted the split but, they square off right at the bell. Seiya goes for speed and shocks Soya. KAI's in there and they go for the double team. These two young guns look dynamic as all get out!   Oh shit! They are fighting in the stands now. Old man Omori's out there choking Sanada with a child's parasol! Hahahaha! Back on inside the ring and KAI's trying Soya but, come on dude! Manabu is a freaking caveman...and not the Fred Flintstone type either.   Omori gets in there and wisely slows things down with KAI. The K man eventually finds an opening to get Seiya, the fire plug, going. Omori's had enough and puts big Soy sauce in there. Hey, deadlift suplex a motherfucker, Soya! This is a real back and forth match. Omori's trying to Axe Guillotine Driver KAI off the top now. Great! erase his head from existence!   Just tons of double team destruction but, surprisingly never goes into bonkers territory. Both teams were very impressive. This was a great match.   Crazy enough, that was not the main event of the night! I'll get to that next week

G. Badger

G. Badger

The 2010's: wXw 2010 & 2011

Finally got back to the 2010 16 Carat Gold Tournament:   2010 16 Carat Gold Show: Day #2   Big Van Walter vs Munenori Sawa: 10:30 run time. David and Goliath match here. It was fun but, nothing too deep or engaging but, good for the opening match. A little disappointing though.   Erick Stevens vs KAGETORA: 8:30 match. Whoa!! This was quick energetic and really good. Lively as all hell. Stevens brings a star prescence that this venue demands. Otherwise the show feels smaller than it is. He & KAGETORA had some very nice sequences. Recommended match right here!   Plus a bonus from 2011 that's free on wXw's YouTube channel:   Zack Sabre Jr. vs Dick Togo (11/24/11 wXw 11th Anniv. Show): This kicked maximum butt! It was near perfect to me. Togo & Sabre scrambling on the mat- in & out of holds, pulling pinning combinations out, fighting for pro moves, and stiff as the day is long. Man, 30 seconds of a little more work and this would have been an all time classic. This was a classic match nonetheless. I could see people not digging this but, screw it if folks aren't digging this then, we're looking at this all different.

G. Badger

G. Badger

The 2010's: wXw 2010

OK so, I've finished Day #1 of wXw's 16 Carat Gold tournament for 2010. Its been a pretty good day or evening for wrestling. Unlike PWG's BOLA the guys pace themselves and the card actually builds to the main event. I'm going to put everything for day #1 in this post.   Ares vs Matt Jackson: Fun 8 minute match with a bit of comedy from Ares.   Munenori Sawa vs Paul Tracey: I'm not familiar with Tracey. Sawa looked good and Tracey was OK. 7 minutes and better than the first bout.   Yuji Okabayashi vs Martin Stone: Best match so far. Very good to see grappling here in this setting. Simple but, effective stuff. Stone gets the upset with a DDT. Recommended first round match.   Claudio Castignoli vs Johnny Kidd: Slower & more cerebral than any match thus far. Wrestled the traditional British style. 13 minutes of light hearted fun.   Kagetora vs Nick Jackson vs Tommy End: Kagetora looks the best to me. Nick did his thing which was exciting but, Tommy was still young here...more like Tommy Beginning. I would have been OK with a Nick vs Kagetora match. 9:30 time and worst match so far.   WXW DAY 1, DISC 2 Adam Polak vs Erick Stevens: Shazam! I haven't heard or seen of Erick Stevens in a while. I liked him as a really solid upper midcarder. Polak reminds me of Moby or perhaps Billy Corgan in a sparkly unitard...Yeah this was pretty fun. They're fighting on the outside. Stevens was charismatic as heck baby face here. Polak whom I've never seen before did well. Nice finishing stretch and probably the 2nd best match thus far in the night.   Switchblade Conspiracy (Jon Moxley & Sami Callihan) vs Up In Smoke: Mox & Sami are tag champs. I'm liking this as I'm watching. It's clear they've got chemistry and experience working together. High energy but Switchblades slow the pace and take control. Hot tag happens but the Knifeboys retake the reigns. Sam's heel work is very good. The babies do all kinds of fun moves which is a shit ton of fun. Highly recommended match. 10 minutes of well worked exciting stuff. Best match of the night so far!   Big Van Walter vs Daisuke Sekimoto: Psyched for this one. 15 minutes of hard clubbering action. I got into this one, I'll be honest. Daisuke, as jacked as he is, is dwarfed by the Big One. It was hard not to get behind Sekimoto when Walter is challenging the Japanese star to give him his best shot and the Austrian isn't even phased. Highly recommended match right here.   Chris Hero vs Bad Bones: Ok, here we are. The closer to night one. Bad Bones brings an axe to the ring. The fans are pumped for Hero. I am as well but, Bad Bones cannot match him in the energy department. So, in my view, it was clear that Hero was coming out on top. This got pretty good in the end and I certainly want to see more of Metropolis' own and perhaps Bad Bones in a tag scenario in the nights to come.   Pretty good wrestling and I'm sure a blast for the live crowd. I'll say I was disappointed by the main event but, I'm liking the potential for Night 2. Those should be some really good match-ups. Not only the tourney matches but, the matches with the losers as well. I think Night #2 will be better than the first.

G. Badger

G. Badger

The 2010's: wXw 2010

Continuation of day #2 of the 2010 16 Carat Gold show:   Johnny Kidd vs Paul Tracey: This a non tournament match in the classic UK style. I wasn't really in the mood for this I hate to say. So, I skipped. Sorry but, it's not the style I'm geared up for when watching wXw.   Oberhausen Terror Corps (Bad Bones & Carnage) vs Strong BJW (Sekimoto vs Okabayashi): This is what I'm watching for and exactly what I wanted especially at this point on the card. Highly recommended match BUT one thing needs to be said. The action was great yet, the character dynamics confused me. From an observational standpoint, OTC are heels. Bones comes out with an axe, their names are Bad Bones, Carnage, and collectively Oberhausen Terror Corps. That's heel as it gets. So, BJW are then de-facto faces, right? They are the lauded high profile guests coming in to work the tourney.   The "thing" is that Strong BJ wrestled this like heels by controlling the Terror Corps with simple moves & quick tags. Carnage even made the hot tag to Bad Bones and they started busting out swanky moves and showing all kinds of gutz.   I watched the first 2/3rd of the match one day and was nonplussed. It didn't quite sit well with me. It seemed OK but, again something seemed off. Now, this time around I noticed this quirk about the face/heel dynamics and it made much more sense.   Treat the native OTC as babyfaces who just act like heels. Sure they're intimidating and look like they're going to jack some Fred Durst looking fan up but, they're just some tough dudes. They're the home team, the native team, and Sekimoto & Okabayashi probably told them to work like this (perhaps). So, the Japanese are not heels perse but, let's say they're the tough veteran team who are going to teach the youngsters a lesson. So, with this mindset, things run much smoother. This is one of the longer matches thus far but, with that narrative creation, this was totally sweet.   Ares vs Claudio Castagnoli: Tournament match. Wikipedia will tell ya that these guys are friends, countrymen and old tag partners. Lots of history especially in wXw. They were the first tag team champs back in 2001. This begins with some lighthearted comedy wrestling...I tune in and out as I wrote the above tag match's notes in my notebook. However, this picks up into a pretty darn good match. Now, my DVD had a technical hiccup that froze the match but, I worked around to see the last few minutes. I think I only probably missed like 30 seconds but, I wanted to say that. Nonetheless, very good match that I'd recommend to fans of either guy. They are booking this tournament and individual shows really well.   And I thought that was the end of Night #2 as it certainly felt like it could have been BUT there's a 3rd disc! Christopher J. Hero vs Martin Stone and Absolute Andy vs Steve Douglas (coming off his loss to Abe "the President" Lincoln) in a No DQ title match. Nice! Hopefully, I'll be able to watch those soon and share

G. Badger

G. Badger

The 2010's: wXw 2010

Missed yesterday's post. I'm running out of suitable material for some of the odds and ends of days like Monday, Wednesday and Thursdays. Or I get distracted trying to find stuff for those days and miss the mark on my projects like today's wXw 2010 16 Carat tournament post.   I came through today though! Before my laptop ran out of batteries   Martin Stone vs Chris Hero (Day #2 tournament match): This was really evenly matched and probably one of the better tournament matches thus far. Starts out with both men trying for hammerlocks or wristlocks and then, the gates to stiff strike city are opened. Chops, elbows (from Hero, duh), and euro's & haymakers from Stone.   Reversals & fake outs are the hallmark of 2010 wrestling and those were here but, not to the extent that they felt contrived. Stone is a fellow I'd like to see more of. 2010 Hero has been pretty darn good.   This was 15 minutes of great stuff. I'd say around the 4 star range.   Started watching Absolute Andy vs Steve Douglas No DQ & Falls Count Anywhere title match. My battery started dying but, this is what I've got written in my notebook:   Starts up on the balcony, a trip through the restroom, up on some tables, Andy takes a tumble down the steps. This is a lot of fun so far! ECW or Attitude era brawl.   Hope to watch the rest later and report it here

G. Badger

G. Badger

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