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[1991-06-10-PWA] Lightning Kid vs Wellington Wilkins Jr

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Meet Sean Waltman - shoot style worker! There are some incredible exchanges here, with Kid keeping up with Wilkins on the mat, and mixing in high flying and footwork that doesn't look the slightest bit out of place. Check out that victory roll! He also is still a total heel in PWA, yet manages to get over as this amazingly sympathetic babyface through his outstanding selling and near-perfect bumping. The way he keeps building momentum for a comeback over several minutes, only to finally pull one off as we approach the end, is awesome, as he's selling like he's just about dead. He looks like a million bucks for surviving such a beating from such an animal for 20 minutes, as he just barely manages to hang in there all the way to a draw.

 

The announcer frighteningly predicts that Lightning Kid won't have much of a career past 30 years old working this style, and it's a shame how right he would be -- the guy looked on track to be the best worker in the world for the decade to come in 1990, and has been the single biggest "discovery" (if you can call Waltman that) of the year. If you have never seen Sean Waltman work in 1990, you have never seen Sean Waltman work.

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For the 1st 15 minutes I was totally blown away by this. The last 5 minutes kinda limped to a conclusion. I'd still have this in the 4 1/4 * range.

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Neither here nor there, but Lenny Lane has nothing good to say about Wilkins as a worker

The episode of the Slam Bam Jam podcast with Superboy has alot of amusing Wilkins talk including Perro Ruso saying that Finlay and Wilkins were the two best wrestlers he'd ever seen.

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I know he had appearances for PWFG and Michinoku Pro but my only knowledge of Wilkins is as a WWF TV jobber with Vince audibly recoiling in disgust when he heard his name announced. I find it rather amusing that he turned out to be an accomplished shoot-style guy.

 

I can see why Wilkins would be a divisive guy among other workers--he's clearly an accomplished technician but also seems to be a sandbagger. It doesn't detract from the match i this case as it just makes Kid look like he's got an even bigger hill to climb. Wilkins has some phenomenal takedowns and ghastly-looking holds, while Kid seems to legit knock himself silly on a missed dropkick in a way that goes beyond even Kid's great selling. Some moments that would clearly be finishes in the UWF are holds that the Kid fights through on his way to a 20-minute draw. Announcer calls it a "submission only match" after the fact but the referee was clearly counting pinfalls. Another feather in the cap of the Kid, who looks like the most promising athlete you'll ever see in wrestling for being this much of a pro at age 18. U.S. match of the month, hands down.

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Great gritty match seeing Kid go from being a dick heel bullying around Lynn to a great underdog selling the fuck out of his leg. Really amazing performances by him from this set.

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This was different from anything else on the yearbook. One of the cool things about 1990 Waltman is that the promotion trusted him to go all the way with some match concepts that might have seemed out there for your average rookie. In this case, he endured a hellish stretching/beating from an accomplished shoot stylist and just made it look like death. Waltman not only kept up with Wilkins technically, he showed a command of teasing and pacing that you wouldn't expect from an inexperienced worker. He was so good that he easily made himself a babyface for the night. Total prodigy stuff.

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Kind of dark in the building especially on far side of ring from camera view. Don’t know who Wilkins is. He likes to grind things out on the mat with submissions. Another impressive performance by Kid who is on the defense in this match compared to the Lynn matches where he is the aggressor. Waltman should have had a much better career.

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I loved this. Wilikins was such a violent bastard,very Fuchi or Finlayish, as he just twisting Lightning Kid into knots and pummeled him with headbutts and forearms. Waltman had some awesome moments of firing back too, really timed his hope moments great. Can't believe he was a heel coming into this match as his babyface performance was off the charts. Nifty discovery.

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This was interesting. It didn't seem like anything else from the US in 1990. It was like a worked shoot cum puroresu love indie match a decade before you'd expect one. I didn't think it was all that well worked. Wilkins has always been average and the Kid still looked green to me. Some of the transitions were incredibly awkward and the selling was weak. Waltman wasn't really that good on the mat and Wilkins wasn't capable of carrying a guy there. Still, it was interesting to see tape watching experimenting this early in US indie wrestling.

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This was very good. Wilkins shows that he can be a real asskicker despite his average look, and Waltman's selling is unbelievable here. He wrestles a completely different style than he does in the Lynn matches, and shows himself to be excellent in it. If Verne had had access to talent like this in the dying days of the AWA, he might have been able to hang on at least regionally for a few more years.

 

Kudos to Karch and his partner; they really did the homework that clued the viewers in to what type of bout they were seeing. It's tough to put over shootstyle to people who haven't seen it before, but they manage it quite well, constantly selling how much of a stretching Waltman's taking, even telling the audience that Wilkins asked for the match to be stopped at one point. They're also instrumental in making Waltman the babyface while not completely ignoring his recent heel past, which is another difficult line to walk. They miscall the occasional move, calling a Wilkins headbutt a shoulder and saying that a Waltman enziguri hit Wilkins in the jaw instead of the back of the head, but they're on point otherwise, even comparing the respect Waltman's gained over the last few months to that of the Crusher back in his heel days. The only negative in their performance is the constant shots at the AWA, including calling referee Stan Gagne "one of the last working Gagnes". That wasn't necessary, especially in the context of a match like this.

 

I don't know where Vince got off burying Wilkins, because with a few of his tweaks I think Wilkins could have had a shot in the WWF, possibly as Doink the Clown with the "psychotic clown who can wrestle" gimmick. I guess it was the bald, pasty look that scared him away, and that's a shame. At least Waltman got his due on the big stage, even if he wasn't quite the can't-miss superstar he seemed to be here.

 

All in all, I'm sorry to see the PWA go. It had a lot more action than your average indy, and Karch and his partner may be the best indy announcers I've heard yet despite their flaws. It might have been a worthy successor to the AWA in the Twin Cities if it had been able to escape the bars and get some dates in small arenas, or even some area high school gyms to draw the family audience.

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http://placetobenation.com/countdown-top-500-matches-of-the-90s-150-101/

 

#150

 

I checked this out not too long ago, and I'm glad it made the list. Really enjoy this era of Waltmen, and this was a good performance by him. I always enjoy hearing him talk about it when he has the opportunity on podcasts. I believe this, along with the awesome Lynn matches, are all I've seen. Hopefully, I'll run across some more at some point.

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