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  1. Low Ki defends the ROH Title Man, Low Ki was just killing everyone in 2002. He was just blasting Xavier left and right here. Xavier is someone who is pretty much forgotten. I am not sure if it's unfair or not, as he looked like a good solid pro wrestler, with a tendency to do cool moves and not much of a clue on match structure. Structurally this wasn't great and they started running out of interesting ideas about 15 minutes into it, but Ki walloping Xavier over and over kept this entertaining. Should add Kis subtle leg selling was quiet great. Run in was pretty bad and took way too long.
  2. Well ... would you look at that - today is also April 27th. Huh. There's not much for me to say about this match, but it's one that ultimately disappointed me on re-watch. Everything Styles & Ki do is crisp, tight, stiff, and incredibly innovative & beyond aesthetically pleasing to watch ... but there's nothing for me to sink my teeth into & become emotionally invested in. The transitions feel random and this felt nothing more than a basic your turn-my turn type of match, which is fine, but I usually expect much more from these two. Rating: ***
  3. This is the second match of the Round Robin Challenge. Ki is, as usual, vicious & beats the hell out of Daniels in the beginning. He targets the head with those nasty kicks of his to set-up for the Ki Krusher. Daniels' is simply overmatched when it comes to dealing with Ki -- his wiliness & experience edge all come short when matching up with Ki's brutality. Not only that, but Ki's fresher since this is his first match of the night. Daniels' falls back on the neck work to soften up Ki for the Angel's Wings, but it's not as effective as it was on Dragon. He's slowing the pace down to conserve energy, but the prior wear-and-tear is leaking into his offense & lessening the impact of his moves. The Angels' Wings fail to keep Ki down & Ki catches him in the Dragon Clutch for the submission victory. A tad below the Daniels vs. Dragon match, but still quite good. Rating: ***¼
  4. This was pretty cool and pretty much displayed what JAPW was all about. Despite the size difference, this was worked evenly. Both guys work hard and stiff and you can visibly see the exhaustion and fatigue endured in this. The finishing stretch was crazy -- Ki hitting a Ki Krusher, some brutal strike exchanges, etc. Unfortunately the finish sucked, but it was the right way to keep both guys looking strong. Good stuff. ***
  5. Take away the odd crowd and the horrible obnoxious commentary with someone ragging Puerto Ricans, plus the Iron Sheik constantly saying this was a good match and this was pretty awesome. Xavier and Low Ki go all out and hit all of their stuff perfectly while putting together exactly what you'd expect a good 2000 U.S. indy match would look like. Ki worked really snug here and you could pretty clearly hear the thud of his kicks hitting Xavier. Very good stuff.
  6. Wonderful wonderful match. Based on small show matches like this that no one remembers I think it's safe to say Low Ki is an all time great. This was Bill Watts UWF meets Indy Wrestling, with Hernandez as One Man Gang and Low Ki chopping him down. The first 10 minutes or so Hernandez doesn't even take a bump, it's all Ki trying to chop the giant down and hit the body slam, and the crowd just loves this. Both Kis strikes and crazy ragdoll bumping were worldclass. Hernandez has some sprinkles of cool athleticism of his own, he also uses the canadian backbreaker which rules and even his shoves felt violent. I'm not sure how good Hernandez exactly is but he was really good in this role for sure. Kis athleticism and babyface selling was just off the charts, up there with the best of Rey Mysterio or Steamboat.
  7. Having watched their USA Pro match before this one and having enjoyed it, I had high expectations for this, but I was letdown. Ki wasnt working as stiff as he did in that match here and he worked more underneath here and this felt more of an opportunity for Xavier to showcase himself. I thought he was good here, but the fans didnt seem to be buying into him. The finish was pretty neat with Ki countering a roll up from an over confident Xavier into a Dragon Clutch. Underwhelming.
  8. Borderline great match well worth powering through the absolutely awful commentary. They worked a slightly more intricate version of their usual match here, adding some especially cool counters and cut offs to the mix. The main reason the work between these two guys ages well is that instead of building to thigh slapping flying knee strikes or Go 2 Sleep variations they add stiff kicks to the chest and nasty turnbuckle bumps to the mix. Note how violent something like Kis hair pulling toss felt not to mention the headbutts. Could've gone longer but I guess that's a good thing.
  9. This is a match that got a very bad rep at the time, and in many ways it’s easy to see why – it’s way too long, and as was the case when some FWA wrestlers went up against imports at the time, the crowd didn’t buy them going toe to toe. But while I don’t think it’s very good, it’s not the abomination that it was painted as back in the day. This is for the All England Title – the FWA’s IC level belt – and Vansen has been champion for over a year. He’s just finished his feud with Jack Xavier at British Uprising III. Before the match he complains about being forced to defend against Ki claiming that it’s a vendetta on the part of FWA Commissioner Flash Barker as revenge for Vansen ending his career in storyline terms. I’m not sure if they were trying to build to a match between the two, but that’s where the storyline suggests it was heading. I’ll have to see in my rewatch as I go on if we get that match as I don’t recall it ever happening. As was the way with FWA booking between 02-04 there is nice continuity in the storyline, with Barker being Low Ki’s opponent at Frontiers of Honor back in 2003. At this stage in his career, Vansen was getting over as a cocky prick heel from South London, and while I think he’d had a decent in-ring year in 2004, he was still awkward and sloppy at times, exacerbated when in there with someone clearly on a much higher level than him. The storyline of the early part of the match is art imitating life – Vansen can’t hang with Ki, trying desperately to avoid his kicks but instead getting lit up with chops. This match has a lot of chops. That part is fine – as shown in his ROH run at the time, and indeed his current (2018) reign as MLW Champ, Low Ki is great to watch just battering his opponent. The problem with this match comes when it’s time for Vansen to take control. Despite what I said about the fact he’d been improved a lot in 2004 since being pretty dire in 2003, Vansen just didn’t have the skills at this time to put together a coherent or interesting control segment; there’s a bit of leg work, a bit of neck work but nothing to get invested in. His matches with Jack Xavier and Zebra Kid worked as they were frenzied, brawling type matches, but this just goes far, far too long. What’s more, the crowd had come to see Low Ki – who they perceive as being on a far higher level than Vansen – kicking the cocky heel’s arse, but what they get is having to see him sell in holds for long periods. There’s not really a big changing point in the match, Ki, after some prolonged selling just starts to take back control and hits multiple chops and kicks, as we at last get back to the story they set up at the beginning of a desperate champion trying to survive with his title. A springboard kick to the face gets 2 before Ki is able to lock in the Dragon Clutch, but before Vansen taps the 20 minute time expires. Playing back into the storyline before the match and FWA history, referee Steve Lynskey, just as he did at Frontiers of Honor in Low Ki’s match there denies the fans 5 extra mins, until the Commissioner Flash Barker – who was Ki’s opponent that day – overrules him and we get a restart. Ki immediately hits the Tidal Krush and once again hooks the Dragon Clutch, but with Vansen in the ropes, Lynskey DQ’s Low-Ki for not letting go of the hold, which was played up as part of his ‘heel ref’ persona and feeling slighted at having his authority undermined. It’s a pretty terrible end to a match that’s pretty bad, although not the complete shit show that it was perhaps painted as at the time. It’s not good mind. The simple storyline which they should’ve stuck to was Vansen being the sneaky champion trying every trick to escape with his belt, even if you still have the screwy finish, as at least the fans get the cathartic experience of watching Low Ki brutalise an opponent who the hate. Here they get neither. (**)
  10. About as perfect a 7 minute opener as you can ask for. This was Reds TNA debut and they work a slightly more traditional style (if you can talk traditional when you have crazy moves dished out by the minute) with some arm drags and Ki beating him down good with his awesome neck headbutts etc. They pull out some of their spectacular kung fu sequences later for great effect. Amazing how these two always managed to mix up their stuff.
  11. Talk about it here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJVIjUWTdd8
  12. Major League Wrestling has posted the latest episode of Fusion to their YouTube channel. This show taped on July 12 in Orlando, FL, and looks on paper to be a card with solid potential. The matches: Kahuna Khan vs Kiki Roberts Anything Goes Grudge Match: Tom Lawlor vs Jimmy Havoc MLW World Title: Low Ki (c) vs Shane Strickland You can watch the show below. Let us know what you think in the comments!
  13. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXVpOjuh0K0 This is Low Ki’s return to the FWA after first appearing at the FWA/ROH show Frontiers of Honor around a year before this. He’s matched up here with James Tighe who was the break through wrestler of the year in the FWA in 2003, culminating in him main eventing British Uprising II for the FWA Title. Following that unsuccessful challenge he’d been in a slump and on a losing streak. This match feels very much like a Low Ki/Bryan Danielson match at times, but whereas those matches were much more even, Low Ki is able to dominate much more, especially in the opening stretches. There is some great counter wrestling at the beginning, with everything looking like a real struggle and several times Tighe is just able to escape Ki’s submissions by getting to the ropes, including a hanging Dragon Clutch that is applied over the top rope. As ever, Low Ki brings a real intensity to everything he does, and his kicks and chops are really vicious. Anytime that it looks like Tighe is getting the advantage, Ki’s striking ability is what can get him out of a hole – they are weapons that Tighe doesn’t have. Tighe does though have the slight power advantage, and he is able to catch Ki coming off the ropes into a great looking German Suplex before hitting a double underhook into a power bomb for a nearfall that the crowd really seemed to bite on. Once again though it’s Ki’s striking that is decisive; when Tighe, sensing he has the momentum goes for his Tighetanic finisher Ki hits some nasty looking knees to escape before hitting a rolling koppu kick to the back of the head. From there he transitions to the Dragon Clutch and the ref calls for the bell with Tighe passing out. This is an excellent match, almost on a par with the match that Tighe had with Doug Williams, which at this point in company history I think is the best match the FWA has had. This doesn’t have the nuances of that match, but the early grappling into the progression of high impact moves – without it ever becoming spot, spot, spot – means this is excellent. At a couple of moments, particularly when the match is starting to escalate that Tighe goes back to a chin lock that is slightly jarring, but that is nit picking. Tighe continued his losing streak, but looked anything but weak in this one, going toe to toe with one of the best on the independent scene at that time. (****)
  14. Bully Low Ki against super baby face Generico who's seeking to revenge the beating he suffered at the hand of Da Strong Style Thugz and the unmasking from Ki in said match. Ki walks out with Generico's mask and Generico gets the upper hand as Ki isn't used to work with a mask on. Once Ki unmasks, he tosses Generico's old mask to the outside and the beatdown on Generico begins. Again Ki unmasks Generico and puts on the other mask and Generico slides under the ring and he puts on the old mask Ki had taken from him and again the baby face gets some in on Ki, but the bully is too much and ends up mauling Generico. Really good match -- Ki is great at dishing out a beating and he does a fantastic match unmasking and mocking Generico and Generico is a pretty great sympathetic baby face despite his goofy mannerisms.
  15. Just by looking at the line up of guys in this match, you should know what to expect... Surprising enough, Teddy is the babyface and Da Strong Style Thugz are the heels and for the first bit of the match it's basically a handicap match with them beating up Teddy until Teddy gets his hope spot in which is a... Moonsault! And the lights go out like the usually do and Necro comes out like the toothless, barefoot hillbilly hero to save Teddy from the mugging and turn this into a proper four corners match... Then the match develops with Ki v. Necro and Teddy v. Homicide pairings and it's chaos. Necro takes some nasty double stomps here including one in/off the bleachers and one off the top rope into a bridged wooden panel between the guard rail and the ring from Low Ki. Homicide forks Teddy like he's Abdullah the Butcher and but Teddy doesn't bleed like he's Carlos Colón in Bayamón, Puerto Rico like he did in the cage match against Homicide and B-Boy. There's also a betrayals near the end and confetti flying to celebrate the victory. Pretty great stuff.
  16. Some more utter chaos from Jersey All Pro. Not as great as some of the other matches in the Homicide vs. Teddy feud, but you still get the crazy Teddy Asai moonsaults off the top, mouth punching, Ki stiff kicking people, some bumps through wooden panels and chair shots. Hernandez manhandling Ki is quite the visual, as is Homicide locking a sharpshooter on Teddy. Well worth a watch.
  17. This is built as Fat Frank's Suicidal Games and it's basically a WarGames-style 4 vs. 4 match with weapons in trash cans placed all over the ring. The teams are Dickinson, Jaka, Ortiz and Draztic vs. Homicide, Low Ki, Monsta Mack and Mafia. There's a ton of hate, chaos and violence in this from the get go. Draztic bleeds buckets and blood is splattered across all over the floor. Low Ki's entrance was amazing as he carries this local hero aura around him as he walks out with his Hitman gear to a massive pop. Ki accidentally dropkicks Ki in the corner and later on Mack shoves Ki off the top and turns on him which of course is all part of the build to the crazy year end steel cage match. Joker comes out near the end of the match and he runs over Mack with a brutal knee in the corner which seems like it legit KO's Mack. Truly chaotic and there's a million things going on a time. One of the most underrated matches of the year.