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Found 7 results

  1. Steven Regal vs Fit Finlay - WCW Saturday Night 4/13/96 Coming out of the violent Uncensored match where Regal's nose was demolished, Regal felt like the more sympathetic character and I feel like they played that up with him being more of a babyface here. He takes the match to Finlay early and it looks like he may trying to go for a nose for a nose with those nasty palm strikes. Finlay actually begs off before he gets a vicious elbow to the nose and he looks to keep grounded. He misses an elbow and Regal pounces with a double wristlock. It does not last long as Finlay gets a nasty thumb to eye and a wicked headbutt. Finlay looks to take Regal's arm off and beat him with it. The Blue Bloods come out to bail out Regal. I did not like the finish. Regal is a much better face than Finlay, but Finlay was over. I liked Regal as the fired up babyface and the finish just felt totally out of place. It even seemed the way Regal reacted that they may be teasing a face turn. Good set up for more matches. ***
  2. 2/3 Falls match over about 25 minutes. Browsing through hundreds of French matches, and just out of nowhere a 22 year old Dave Finlay pops up in what is maybe his first ever televised match working like a seasoned veteran heel. Pretty cool. The saying about European tag wrestling is that they didn‘t quite know how to do it, but this match had pretty much the kind of structure you want: Fun babyface shine segment, followed by a heel beatdown before a series of cut offs before a comeback succeeds and then a finish. They fool you a bit here by doing a really long shine with the heels making several attempts at starting the beatdown and being cut off, but in the end the structure is there and even the 2/3 Falls formula is integrated well. This was a bit more holds and takedowns based and less about armdrags and ranas, similiar to what we know from British wrestling, but don‘t be fooled the pace in this match was lightning fast. These guys really do an absurd amount of stuff even in a long match, but everything is executed effortlessly. Guy Mercier is a former European champion and legit Greco roman wrestler with a look and aura that just screams tough old man, and while there wasn‘t a ton of extended wrestling in this match he looked like a classy worker. It speaks for the creativity of these old workers just how much they could do with moves like a body slam or hip throw. Finlay also did this cool thing where he misses a big splash in about the first minute of the bout and spends the next few minutes scurrying away while the faces twisted up his leg and launched him into the ropes. It didn‘t pay off in the long run, but it was a fun bit of selling to make the opening minutes more interesting. Once the heels got something going after what felt like 15 minutes of highly entertaining bumping and stooging, they basically focussed on getting the faces to the corner and stomping the crap out of them. Really simple and effective stuff that made me wish modern workers paid more attention to making simple things like a stomp look good, because Finlay had damn great looking stomps here. Another layer to the match was Michel Saulnier, who was grey and a referee by now. The match had some heel ref antics and comical amounts of babyface retaliation against Saulnier, while that is something that can ruin a lot of these Euro matches it was actually executed in a really fun manner here. The thing I loved most how delighted the fans were at the trick the heels used to get a pin here. No hard feelings, it‘s all good fun in France.
  3. 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!!
  4. ShittyLittleBoots

    [2011-11-24-SMASH] StarBuck vs Dave Finlay

    Fantastic match. Finlay didn't come to Japan to play games, he came in to beat the shit out of StarBuck, and that's exactly what he did. Finlay was awesome working the heat on 'Buck, and I loved StarBuck's comeback - those punches of his are so, so, so good. Finlay got the control back very quickly by starting to work over the champs leg, which I thought StarBuck sold pretty well, could've been better, but he did fine. Finlay pretty much controlled the rest of the match, with StarBuck busting out some hope spots - but every time he did that, Finlay got something to counter them. The post-match moment with Finlay offering to shake hands with StarBuck, only for him to headbutt the man back down was awesome. ****1/4
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