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  1. This is for the vacant CWA Intercontinental title. A fancam from germany where the crowd is hot for Fujinami as the babyface. Really awesome savage massacre. Vader was just obliterating Fujinami, like only Vader can, just trying to bash his skull in for the entire duration of the match, but eventually Vader ends up with a bloody eye and Fujinami gives it back to him, punching and chopping the cut, including a big leaping forearm smash right to Vader's eye. Vader is great as a wounded monster who can come back and crush his opponent anytime, and they work a nice finishing run where Fujinami looks really great, landing a GAEA Girls missile dropkick on Vader and catching him in believable fashion while remaining an underdog. This went 20+ minutes with no rounds and really could have been worked the exact same anywhere else in the world and would have worked. Best 90s Fujinami match I've seen and maybe the best Vader has had in Germany, depending on how much you like Otto Wanz.
  2. Good to know I can STILL thrust myself from 6 years ago. This was awesome, bloody and ass-stomping indeed. The cool thing about these 80s main events from germany/austria is that you get to see guys like Slaughter stretch out and do these ultra simplistic carnage ladden main events with no fluff whatsoever. So, after some warm up stalling and heat mongering, this is largely Slaughter wasting Wanz with punches and awesome knees on the ground. We also get Slaughter throwing chairs and bashing a bloody Wanz's head into the glass barrier. The announcer was telling the fans to stay in their seats for their own safety at that point. Wanz didn't get a lot of offense which is not a huge problem, and when he did something Slaughter would bump like a motherfucker. Another strong finish. This type of super minimalist wrestling is not anything that will blow people's minds but still extremely enjoyable.
  3. This is a No DQ, Tap Out and Knockout Only, Loser Leaves Town match that goes about 35 minutes. Despite the length it's a real goody, maybe the best match of the year. Dieter is the local babyface technician who can kick ass if necessary. Morowski was a canadian worker who is used to these stipulation matches. No gimmicks required, they just beat the shit out of eachother. The technician vs. brawler story makes this unique as it leads to some unusual matwork and struggling. Dieter wants to do holds and takedowns into a pin, but Morowski throws punches and pulls his hair. This leads to Dieter visibly aquiring Morowski's tactics over the match and fighting fire with fire. It develops into a really compelling bout with great selling. Dieter has this great punch drunk selling and at one point does this ridiculously great sell of a Morowski heart punch. Morowski on the other lands punch after punch and does a very convincing job selling that he is slowly punching himself out. After 7 rounds with no winner, the announcer says the 8th. round will be endless until there is a decision. At this point both guys look like they have been beaten past the point of human tolerance. It builds to really nifty, albeit clunky finishing sequence. Great bout, one of the best from germany, and according the Dieter himself the best of his career.
  4. The Most Ultimate of Warriors goes to germany and do battle for the Power Wrestling Trophy (amazingly pronounced by Manfred Koch). This is more fascinating than good - altough it's probably one of the more fun matches the Warrior has been in. If you are not familiar with Ulf Herman: he is basically the most pro-wrestler looking dude to come out of germany. I mean, if you had a sitcom or something where a guy who you look at and makes you go "Yep that is a pro wrestler" was supposed to appear as a spoof pro wrestler Ulf would be the guy. This is from some commercial tape - I assume the CWA organizers were getting desperate and trying to cash in on the WWF fanbase - this match didn't even have rounds, altough there are still fines. I am sure the Warrior immediately regreted smashing Herman's head into the announce table when he was given a fine of 200 Deutsche Mark. The Warrior is all energetic and Herman and the insanely hype crowd makes this really fun. Herman busts out dives and actually gets to have somewhat of a match against Warrior, but ultimately falls victim to the Ultimate Splash. Also the commentating Peter William does is hilarious, if you speak the language. You can tell when Peter is really hype for a match (e.g. Finlay vs. Mile Zrno) and when he is trying his darndest to sell something.
  5. Kind of a formative match for these two. The story is that Bull shocked the world and took the title off of Wanz, now the question is can the old champ withstand the beast and take his title back? Wanz was already pretty slow and couldn't do much anymore, and this wasn't as violent as some of their matches, but it was a fight like all their matches are. You could argue that there were a lot of restholds, but they always moved right back to beating the snot out of eachother. Vader was mostly interested in bashing Wanz's skull in, while Wanz for some reason did a lot of knee strikes and european uppercuts. These super minimalist, long Wanz matches really make you appreciate the most basic spots, such as getting the boots up in the corner or catching a charging opponent with a clothesline. And the crowd really loved every single thing Wanz did. I can't think of 5 more beloved babyfaces of the top of my head. Folks were jumping up and down and waving the austrian flag at the most simple things. The recurring theme of the match was a) things kept spilling to the outside (something that seemed to happen a lot more often in the brightly lit Graz Ice Skating Hall) and guys kept getting safed by the bell. I think both themes were solved nicely in the finish, altough it would have looked dated even in the 70s. Still, Otto Wanz vs. Bull Power is always a special match.
  6. This is for the European Middleweight title and something I've had for years, but never actually watched. Foolish me, because this is an utterly fantastic match, maybe the best match I've seen for either guy. Mile did some brilliant stuff here, some of which I haven't seen in any other match. Which is crazy considering he would hang up his boots soon after this - I guess all these maestro type guys all get better with age. He may be one of the most underrated bridge users. Seriously his neck bridges and maneuvering around on the mat in and out of pin positions were amazing. If you like awesome wrist lock and neck chancery work, painful leg snapping techniques aswell as a variety of bridge spots this is your match. Collins at this point was an experienced pro and game for this kind of contest. He did some good stuff, unique stuff (dug his falling headbutt) but Mile was the king of the mat here. Of course both guys like to get aggressive too and weren't afraid to lay in the european uppercuts, and they moved back and forth from holds and matwork to beating the piss out of eachother nicely. The weak point of the match is the finish, as Collins blew a couple rope running sequences and they just ended the match. Still, totally kickass bout, the best from these VDB discs and a hidden gem.
  7. Nominate: Terry Rudge vs. Franz van Buyten, Hamburg 10/1/1987 I re-watched this classic. Still a kickass match. These Hamburg shows were much more rowdier than the tame british TV wrestling, so Rudge was allowed to go all out. Of course the main selling point is that this is a match to see Rudge at his most aggressive and violent in an important match against the top babyface. But this match also has a simple, effective structure going for it, where they make the most out of using the round system. The first round is the feeling out and establishing of the characters. In the second round, they do some really slick wrestling about arm whips and a headscissor. Simple stuff executed great and done neatly. The third round Rudge is finally fed up with Van Buyten and so begins one of the baddest ass stompings I've ever seen in a wrestling ring. The following rounds eventually have the big, slowly built up Van Buyten come back and several nearfall attempts and back and forth in the last round. After the last round, they do an extra, 10-minute tie breaker section (because this is some kind of decision match) which is a fractal of the whole match. Like I said, the aggression and sheer fury Rudge shows here is off the charts. He looked like the single baddest dude on the planet and was attacking Franz like a machine. Even during the early feeling out and wrestling sections, he is constantly aggressivly shoving his opponent in the face, manipulating the fingers or bending the wrist in really painful ways like he was Gene Lebell. The heat section is off course utter pain, with the highlight being the hammerlock/head shove to face combo. You can totally see Fit Finlay being inspired by Rudge. Franz, on the other hand, is a guy with really great selling (especially love his shoulder bumps which make it look like he was being launched back with a ton of force), takes a reckless bump at one point and gives Rudge back as good as he can. That rope tie up/crossbody spot is something a lot of babyfaces in germany and austria did, but nobody made it look as good as Franz as he just rams into his opponent with his entire weight. So there you have it, a simple match built around a great face vs. a great heel to give the 2000 folks at the Heiliggeistfeld a good night.
  8. I haven't watched this one in years, and since OJ relieved my nostalgia for middle european pro wrestling, I gave it another spin. The first trivial observation is how much more play matches like this would get had they been filmed professionally. After watching so much different wrestling over the years I can say that the quality of these vienna handhelds is the dirt worst. Bad camera angle, unnatural colors, clips, crowd noise eating up most of the sound, you may see footage like this as an experimental foreign arthouse film. That aside, this being a rare 30 minute middleweight title match from austria with absolutely no shenanigans is worth powering through the video quality. And let me tell you, there is some quite fantastic stuff here. You didn't see these kind of faster paced lightweight matches much in germany/austria, and clearly they were going out of their way to make this special. People have their issues with Steve Wright, but I felt his flashiness was well integrated here as the much more down to earth Zrno is a great counterpart to him. These matches were worked much rougher in germany than in the UK. No cute stuff, just fierce takedowns, twisting on the mat and constant trading of stiff as hell european uppercuts and headbutts. They really go hard at it and just back and forth with mat stuff, rope running and laying into eachother with shots. It almost feels like a workrate match at times, but the constant stiff shots and battling over basic throws make it quite the engrossing, gruelling battle. Highlights include Steve countering a takedown attempt by turning Mile inside out, aswell as both of them turning seemlessly into an amateur sequence after a missed pin attempt. Steve really shows his wares in this match and seems to be constantly advancing. You won't be blown away by this if you've watched a ton of euro stuff, but for the time (late 80s when brit wrestling was winding down) this is really good stuff that exudes charm especially with the fans being behind their respective favourite all the way and yelling Bravo! in genuine amazement at every throw. The finish feels like a triumphant victory appropriate for a classic wrestling bout, along with the tremendous endurance displayed by both contenders adding greatly to the match.
  9. Koko took had the standard Memphis shine with a couple of armdrags and a Dropkick. He tagged in Hutchinson who was soon cut off by Buddy Wayne while bouncing off the ropes and was then easily disposed off. Hutchinson and Ken Wayne's stuff looked fine but continue being very impressed with Buddy Wayne, just an old fat dude that will beat the shit out of people with punches and knees, kinda like the 1979 Memphis Takayama. Fun little tag.
  10. First fall had some shine, and Lawler and Dundee cleaning house with punches is as fun as you'd expect, but was mostly Freebirds double teaming before getting the pin. Loved Lawler's face stomp that almost broke the pin, it looked brutal. Second fall had more Freebirds working over Dundee, constantly working, lots of punches, gut kicks, knee drops and elbow drops, all of them nice and snug. The comeback was great, though it does stick out how bad Lawler's downward punches after a Snapmare look when everything else he does looks so great. Third fall has some nice back and forth action, I loved the spot where Dundee cornered, urgh, one of the Freebirds and he tried to run away from Dundee by running the ropes as well as the Freebirds buying time by going out of the ring. What really puts it over the top is the amazing post-match brawl, things completely disintegrate, no one can do chaotic brawls quite like Memphis. It's not just that the action is great and they find natural and logical ways of working something like a chairshot in in a way that it would be used in a fight, the production and the time running out also add genuineness to the whole thing. ***1/2
  11. I sure as hell won't complain about a much with one control segment, that's how it should be. Bass and Austin just decimated Hutchinson, who played his part well, really leaning into everything whether it be a knee strike or a flapjack on the ropes. Fun squash.
  12. Match started out with basic shine, Morton and Montgomery taking the arm and the heels stooging. Ferris failing to break up the pin was hilarious, couldn't tell if he tripped on the bottom rope or was just completely wasted in general. Montgomery's attempted comeback was terrible, his mannerisms and strikes were embarrassing. Morton played a real good FIP, he totally convinced you a back elbow and a gut kick could kill him. Latham/Ferris may not do much but the matches are structured interestingly enough it doesn't really matter, and their offence is good enough to carry the FIP sections. **3/4
  13. First fall had Morton get some shine with Armdrags, Hiptoss and classic face offence before Ken Wayne hit a nice Elbow Drop for the flash pin. Second fall had Dundee and Morton get some more shine on followed by a long Morton FIP segment, Buddy Wayne wrestles exactly like an old fat parent should, only punching and hitting knees/gut kicks, only gets in the ring when his opponents are down and gets out as soon as he can. He spent the second fall helping his son double team on Morton and running away from Dundee, which was paid off by Dundee laying his hands on him at the end of the fall. Dundee's punches are as great as you'd expect but his Dropkick is amazing as well. Aaaand then the video cut. Well what we got was very good.
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