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G. Badger

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About G. Badger

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    Viceroy of Catlandia

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    In my chair, listening to Jeff Buckley

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  1. G. Badger

    [1976-MACW] Ric Flair vs Wahoo McDaniel

    This is probably one of the few 70's Wahoo matches 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.
  2. G. Badger

    Spotlight: TAJIRI

    Its been over a month since my last blog post but, I've been watching plenty of wrestling. I'm revisiting Kurt Angle's awesome early years in TNA as well as bouncing around YouTube for classic match ups. My Wahoo McDaniel kick has been a blast by the way! In addition to that great stuff, I've been catching up on some Tajiri stuff that I've missed. Not his WWE stuff mind you but, some odds and ends after he went back to Japan as well as some Tajiri as ECW fan favorite era stuff. So here we go! Spotlight: Yoshihiro Tajiri Yoshihiro Tajiri vs Super Crazy (02/06/99 ECW Fancam Taping - Concord, NC) Gotta start with the classic match-up but, a lesser known one. There's something to be said of these fancam tapings. For one, you're not dealing with the doppy fans that most TV tapings have. These people are just there to see some wrestling. Anyhow, these folks got their money's worth in this match-up. They do their perfect blend of lucharesu here and it really rivals some of their best bouts. It was so fast and crisp and surprising. They did counters here that I don't remember them doing, or if anything this was the first time they did them. Plus the crowd made it great because they were reacting to everything. It reminded me of Tiger Mask vs. Dynamite in Madison Square Garden because these people just had never seen anything like this before...the Japanese Buzzsaw and the Insane Luchador were like something from outer space. They were throwing caution to the wind but, it was a brilliant display of athleticism and spectacular spots. Of course, the selling and development of a story were minimal but, this type of wrestling and the burgeoning feud doesn't lend itself to that type of match. I'm not sure that they ever topped this match in terms of execution, "Toyota" pace, and diversity. This really made both men look like budding superstars. Great match vs Steve Corino (05/14/00 ECW Hardcore Heaven) ECW was on one knee at this point and it's apparent in presentation and the audience composition. It just didn't feel like ECW anymore and this somewhat tame spot match reflects that. However, this still outshines what WWF & WCW were doing in terms of the hardcore wrestling style. I mean, Corino is bleeding bad and that is just damn entertaining to see Honestly, I did not write anything of note regarding Tajiri here so, I figure he was pure babyface spotting in this match with his Tarantula which was as over as ever being the key spot. That's cool. This was a good to perhaps very good match depending if you're giving nostalgia points out. And dammit, I am! BIG JUMP in time here vs Fit Finlay (02/19/12 SMASH 25): SMASH was Tajiri's spiritual successor to Hustle and this was SMASH's final big show. There's a really great lead-in video from Tajiri talking about the importance of this match, as well as, talking about the ferocity of Dave Finlay. It really establishes the drama of this title match in that it is not only about Tajiri having the title at the close of the promotion but, also in proving something to himself. The Buzzsaw looked really good early on getting ahead of Finlay. Of course, Fit came back strong by upping the violence. He attacked our hero Tajiri in the ring and on the floor. Yoshihiro wouldn't quit and tried to mount a counter attack but, the Belfast Bruiser was one step ahead. He blocked, reversed or straight countered Tajiri's signature offense. The Japanese man was in the fight of his life (which played off the lead-in video SO well). This desparation made him doubly dangerous and he finally put Fit on defense. Who would survive? This was such a punishing, dramatic match. It was everything I hoped it would be. A near classic (if not a classic) encounter. It is a must see if you're a fan of either man OR just a wrestling fan in general. Tajiri & Mikey Whipwreck vs Yusuke Kodama and YO HEY (05/26/12 WNC): This is from the 2nd show of Tajiri's new company. Mikey gets on the mic and asks the fans if they want a hardcore match ECW style. They're hell yeah! and so am I. He and T have spikes and give the younger team a tour of the building. The Buzzsaw tries to toss YO HEY from the balcony, oh man! But, I could call this a comedy ECW match but, Kodama and YO HEY aren't having that. They bring the offense that forces the vets to up their game. Sure they get a couple more gags in but, it gets good at the end. This was a ton of fun especially if you miss Mikey, he does great and gives an emotional talk at the end. vs Starbuck (02/17/14 WNC): I'll admit I was never stoked on Starbuck from a name standpoint back a few years ago. Clearly, I could only think of the coffee chain store and I was pretty sure that this dude was some kinda high-flyer. Eh...no thanks. But boy! Was I wrong! He's a very solid back to basic European wrestler. Right on! Tajiri was vicious in his armlocks and kicks so 'Buck had to make space whenever he could - rolling out of the ring, getting a rope break etc. The Veteran would not let up but, Starbuck would turn that aggression against him by timing his counters. This wasn't the most modern match but, it was very good stuff. It told a good story, the execution of moves and body language was spot on. It was simple believable stuff and I dug it! vs Sanada vs Matt Hardy (Wrestle-1): Fuzzy on the date but surely after 2014. Another fun nostalgia match but, with some good wrestling and laughs. It was good to see Hardy and Yoshihiro can put on a good three way dance without having to try for their moves of yesteryear...especially since Sanada was more than happy to do it for them! Man, I dig pre-NJPW Sanada. A total feel good smile on my face the whole time match - right on! That's a good way to close out this entry! Thanks for reading and sorry for the long wait!!
  3. G. Badger

    [1984-09-20-AWA-Winnipeg, MB] Rick Martel vs Nick Bockwinkel

    I just stumbled upon this match on YouTube and had no idea that it was a classic. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. I remember really liking this match from about a dozen years ago. I think it was the first Kerry Von Erich match that I saw. I wanted to use this space to mention the Wahoo vs Manny Fernandez Indian Strap match instead. It's probably not worth making its own topic. We'll just use the King vs Kerry match as a catch all for the Superclash III Anyhow, this strap match was pretty darn good. 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.
  6. This has to be a pretty early appearance for Steiner but, not sure of the significance of this match otherwise. Steiner does a good slam on Garvin but, this is a squash. Check out the Wahoo McDaniel vs Manny Fernandez match from this same show instead. 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.
  7. G. Badger

    [1985-03-30-NWA-Worldwide] Wahoo McDaniel vs Magnum T.A. (Cage)

    This is now up on YouTube to watch. Its a damn fine 11 minute long steel cage match. I wouldn't say its tremendously violent but, its expertly wrestled. It tells a nice story with Wahoo as a bit of a heel, getting Magnum bloody on the cage. TA's selling really made this work so well considering he wasn't gushing. A very good match and short enough to just sit down and watch without blocking out your schedule.
  8. This is still up on the 'tube. Ditto to everything said above. 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. Very good stuff!
  9. This match was a lot of fun and of course had a lot of good highspots with the ladder and penalty box. AJ really put his body on the line as did Christian. I'm watching this as a Kurt Angle retrospective study rather than in context with the day to day booking. El-P's assessment seems pretty spot on. I have to think TNA used the title (the newly created TNA world title rather than the NWA one that they'd used up to this point) to lure Kurt to sign with them BUT also he was the biggest star so, it perhaps would give legitimacy to the title as well as entice new viewers if Kurt was the BIG focus. Anyways, this was a very good match with a ton of action and excitement.
  10. G. Badger

    [2006-12-10-TNA-Turning Point] Samoa Joe vs Kurt Angle

    I gotta say that I liked this match more on the 2nd viewing. Everything leading up to the end was pretty damn awesome. The Angle heeling was probably unnecessary from an overall match standpoint but, from a storytelling perspective, Angle had to resort to cheating in order to overcome the Samoan Submission Machine. I didn't mind the chair rebounding into Kurt's face as a setup for a struggle rather than a knock down. It was clear that it was only a slight blow compared to getting hit on the top of the head by someone swinging a chair. A little 3 Stooges but, the finish justifies this all IMO. Its probably on par with the previous month's encounter...great stuff Edit: I also wanted to mention the importance of the fake-out on the cheap finish. I think stylistically TNA wanted to show that (in this feud at least) they weren't going to resort to sports entertainment type finishes. People have always used the threat of a cheap win only for the babyface to pull victory out of the jaws of defeat but, here TNA wanted to continue to differentiate themselves. Because for all intents and purposes, a ballshot and a roll up would have worked and only added fuel to the rivalry. I think we see it too much nowadays where we don't actually believe that a cheater is going to win but, in '06, it certainly was likely especially for more mainstream wrestling. Also, I just finished Angle vs Joe's 30 minute Iron Man from Final Resolution 2007. I thought it was pretty good. It played off their previous stuff and was well wrestled. I particularly liked how the finish was done. It wasn't breaking any new ground so, it seemed like a good way to wrap up this chapter of the rivalry.
  11. Pure pandemonium with both guys trying to clobber each other. Brody vs the Stomper truly delivered despite not being very long. As far as an FMW comparison, this was very much in the same vein as the 1990 stuff. Walloping the heck outta each other but, never backing down...Houston looked like Korakuen Hall.
  12. Excellent write-up! This was just a ton of fun from beginning to end. All the guys coming out at the end made the DQ finish enjoyable rather than a let down. I haven't seen a Duggan match in a long while but, this was a fine one with Dusty The more Dusty I watch, the bigger fan I become. He really was a performer in the truest sense.
  13. 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!
  14. G. Badger

    [2006-11-19-TNA-Genesis] Samoa Joe vs Kurt Angle

    I disagree with the criticism regarding the lack of struggle and think trying to directly compare this with shoot style and counter wrestling in general is off base. TNA was like WCW in that it nearly approached post Inoki NJPW style at times. This match would be a great example of that Choshu style main event. Some wrestling but mainly punches, a couple throws, and fighting for the signature submission win. But getting back to the lack of struggle, I think the key thing to realize/remember is that no one had beaten Joe. Heck, Kurt just looked like another contender ready to get shutdown...The struggle was in the story and the cutoffs, comebacks, and counters. No it wasn't necessarily slick or quick on the mat at the end but, it shouldn't have been. As stated, it was Clash of the Titans done in a Choshu big match way and for that, it was great. ****
  15. Here's my take on some semi-recent NOAH stuff: Doug Williams vs Yoshinari Ogawa (12/16/18): Gosh remember 2018? Man, where has the time gone? Seriously, I know a lot happened last year but, we're a quarter of the way thru 2019 and I'm still trying to get used to that, aren't you? In the same vein, Williams and Ogawa let you know that the past is present. This was like a 1988 AJPW Jr. title match with holds, counters, and good old fashion wrestling. Hey it might be slow for some but, damn this was a fun match!! What a breath of fresh air in this smoggy decade's end! This Decemeber 16th show was a big one for NOAH but, man- I wasn't feeling it...although there was one other match that caught my attention: Kotaro Suzuki vs Daisuke Harada. This match was good but, the last 5 minutes were especially enjoyable. Then we get some post match madness and I always dig that!! The follow up is: Kotaro Suzuki, Yoshinari Ogawa & YO-HEY vs Daisuke Harada, HAYATA & Tadasuke (01/06/19): This is Korakuen Hall six man action and damn it is very good! NOAH still knows how to do this 17 minutes of excitement that cuts out all of the slow extemporaneous bits of of the Kotaro vs Harada match out. This had heat and the tandem moves most notable Ogawa and Kotaro (Misawa's other protege besides Marufuji) doing Untouchables moves - Oh man! so cool to see 20 years later! This was just a great follow up to the above match in more ways than one. SO then I decided to back track: Daisuke Harada vs Kotaro Suzuki (10/30/18): There was a Halloween in 2018?! When the hell was that!? Oh wait I remember sitting in my house with the lights off until 8pm...occasionally glancing out the window making sure no teenagers were fucking up my shrubbery. Ahem...anyhow...We get a much better match than their Jan 2019 encounter. This baby has intensity, the fans were into this, and maybe the moves came across better. I dunno but, this was some very good stuff! I liked this! Trick and treat perhaps? Ehh, that doesn't work in March but, dammit if I'd been on the ball a 5 months ago, that joke would have been spot on! Spot on, I say!!! Hahaha! So, my ever-so-often check up on NOAH was fun. I totally avoided the Go Shiozaki & Nakajima matches since they are the same damn chop-kick matches for the past 10 years. But, I found some fun stuff with Ogawa, Kotaro, and Daisuke Harada and his gang. It's a very Indy feel over on the Ark but, it's fun. I'll be sure to check it out some more this year and maybe you will too! Peace!