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  1. WWF Intercontinental Champion Ultimate Warrior vs Rick Rude - Wrestlemania V If there are two things that go together in wrestling it is Rick Rude and Warrior. I gotta say Warrior ain't the greatest but at least he brings a ton of energy to the ring. Warrior coming in like a whirlwind and Rude kneeing the belt was funny. Rude was a ready and willing bumper. That is what Warrior needs. Warrior just crushed him with whips, tackles and clotheslines. The tackles towards the end looked really good. The bearhug was fine first time second time was pointless. The eyepoke/missile dropkick was a great, great heel hope spot. Warrior splash eats knees and finally slows down the Warrior. Pilederive for two but can't complete hip swivel. God bless Rick Rude. Warrior misses charge, Rude Awakening but Warrior blocks. They do the famous Heenan trips and holds foot for three. Loved how chaotic this felt because Warrior is just this ball of unstoppable energy. Give me this over well-rehearsed gymnastics routines anytime. Rude was foreshadowing 1992 as a superworker here as an excellent heel in a bump 'n' run match but with the offense to match. ****
  2. 1 Fall match going about 15 minutes. Humez is one of the great French boxers. OJ theorized that this may be his debut match, and it had the feel of a debut match. It felt like French pro wrestling, but there was no overlay elaborate stuff. Feels weird to see a middle aged guy with bald spots working a rookie match. Instead the match just turns into this nasty fight with Humez reacting to Debusne's shenanigans by tagging him and Debusne trying to gouge Humez eyes. It wasn‘t a Roger Delaporte level eye gouging, but it served to get Humez sufficiently fired up. Debusne ends up busted open and Humez takes him to the pay window. Humez has these cool left-right european uppercuts and Debusne was really good doing some noodle legged selling. It wasn‘t an epic spectacle, more like a fun way to debut Humez as this no-nonsense hitter, but it was really enjoyable and not having more Humez feels like a big miss.
  3. 2/3 Falls match going roughly 30 minutes. Karl von Chenok was another Hungarian wrestler, although he was billed as „the German strangler“ here. His son, Jörg Chenok, was a decent middleweight working the German scene in the 1980s and early 90s and appeared on British TV at least one time. As far as evil fake-German guys with strangler gimmicks go, von Chenok sure was no Dr. Adolf Kaiser, as he reeeally liked the nerve hold, but he looked a decent grappler and his european uppercuts sure were stiff as hell. Tarres was a Spanish worker with the legend saying he had metal plates implanted in his head, giving him the nickname „Iron Head“. His headbutts in this were tremendous. This was even further removed from typically beautiful French style pro wrestling than the previous match between Debusne and Humez. It was basically scrappy and uncooperative the whole way through and built around von Chenoks nerve hold vs. Tarres‘ headbutts, with both guys having good ways to avoid the other signature moves. Tarres was really brutalizing von Chenok with those, including a spot where he had him in a surfboard and rammed into the back of his head. Tarres also did a great job fighting out of von Chenoks nerve holds and tossing him around by his bald head. Von Chenok ended up busted open and KO‘d losing the first fall. Through this we learn that unlike in a British wrestling, in France a KO doesn‘t end a 2/3 falls match immediately. If the match had continued in the vein of that 1st fall I could have seen this being really great, but instead we were subjected to a lengthy nerve hold routine from von Chenok. Tarres sold like an absolute champ and you could tell he was a superstar quality worker though. If he had mounted some kind of epic comeback against von Chenoks tactics this really would‘ve been awesome, but I guess it wasn‘t in the books that night. At least we get some more matches of Tarres, including one against Dr. Adolf Kaiser who is the rich mans evil German strangler, so that is something to look forward to.
  4. Few guys have undergone a more beneficial transformation during this time period than Chono. Only Doc's transition from tag wrestler to singles star compares, but Chono's career was in worse shape than Doc's. This starts off great, with Hash psychotically kicking Chono to death in the corner and abusing Tiger Hattori in the process, with Chono having to fight back just as hard. But then this just dies, with a lot of meandering and punch-kickery. Chono is charismatic in this role but this really feels like a WWF or AAA-style New Japan match. Lots of playing to the crowd between moves clubbering, and Hash does an unconvincing Hulk-Up routine. The crowd seems really restless, too. Hiro Saito's interference isn't appreciated, either. This has the attempt of an intense no-frills war, but it comes off about 1/3 as convincing as a Hash/Tenryu match would be in this setting. This isn't a BAD match, but it seems these guys expected to just walk in and have a really good match, instead of doing anything particularly special as befitting either this setting or this feud. It's just another routine Hash title defense with a routine layout and routine finish. Reaction to this match was negative enough--to say nothing of the the realization that AJPW had outclassed them in their own backyard--that NJPW basically pulled their support for this show as soon as it was over. So no home video release, no sequels (even though Mutoh was supposedly willing to put Misawa over in a singles dream match had they run this again in '96), or anything else. Too bad, because this show ultimately did live up to its hype, providing a little something for every wrestling fan without overstaying its welcome the way Big Egg did.
  5. Well, this is going to be the most balls-out TV match of the year, I expect. This is worked at a joshi-level pace the whole way, for better (the advanced moves, the pacing not seen on WWF TV) and for worse (Bull takes a German suplex on the floor and sells it like a hip toss). Not much of a psychological masterpiece but for a 7-minute TV sprint loaded with big moves, this is fun as hell and a must for any supplemental set. Blayze regains the Women's title and has her nose broken afterward by a debuting Rhonda Singh. Singles match of Madusa's career?
  6. This is the tag title match that was setup after Matsumoto trash-talking at the end of the last Korakuen Hall show. They don't mess around here, during a breakdown after the intial feeling-out, Hiroyo grabs Iwatani off the top rope for a powerbomb on the apron while Kagetsu lines up Io along the ring post and starts drilling her with kicks. The challengers then turn their focus to Iwatani and this allows Mayu to show off some awesome selling. The thing I like the most about her selling in this match is that she isn't instantly back to normal after tagging out, if she gets back involved too early she pays for it. That being said Hiroyo Matsumoto is the real star of the match. She lives up to her "Lady Godzilla" nickname as she is just a monster here. She's great at using her strength to count both Mayu's and Io's flashy offense, plus bringing some really nasty strikes to the table. This is the best women's match of the year so far, and if your a Stardom World subscriber, pretty much makes this month's payment worth it by itself. ****1/2
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