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Charles (Loss)

[1998-01-03-NWA 2000] Cham Pain & Venom vs Surge & Kid Dynamo

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Took me looking up Kid Dynamo to realize it was Shannon Moore. Hardy as Surge towers over him even at this point. Him and Cham Pain have a flashy opening segment of armdrags. Venom and Surge get tagged in and the match slows down to a more formulaic standpoint. This doesn't last very long and Moore is used as a weapon to dive on Pain and Venom on the outside. Hardy was clearly the best guy in the match doing everything cleanly and with emphasis. The standouts where his fist drop and his elbow drop from the top. Moore hits a lot of flippy dives but they have little to no impact behind them and as a result look very loose. The match took a weird structure in the beginning with the faces getting a ton of the early going and I thought Matt was foreshadowing a turn on Dynamo with quick tags in and out and at one point outright refusing to tag in. I don't know if he was blown up or what. Cham Pain took no less than three crazy dives and bumped big. Him and Venom take over on Dynamo for a couple of minutes leading to the hot tag. They end having some miscommunication and Venom decks Pain allowing Matt to hit the springboard moonsault for the pin. Not an awful tag but not a great one either in 2014. The crowd was hot and this was mainly interesting to me to see these individuals at this point in their careers.

 

**1/4

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Moore looks like a child.

 

Also, it's weird how little Matt's act changed on the way up... it's like he stopped developing sometime in 2000.

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Lady in first row jumps out of her seat the beginning at the first arm drag. What was there for the fans seemed to enjoy it. Some clunky stuff in ring though. There was an exchange in the corner that looked really off. Then Moore tries to tag in Hardy later and Matt nods his head as if we aren't at that spot yet. Matt tags in moments later, does a body slam and then tags right back out. Moore looks so tiny though. I'll give credit for Venom for at least trying to interact with the fans during the match.

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16 years later and Matt Hardy is still going strong. I managed to guess Moore correctly, as noted, he's really small here. Cham Pain seems pretty decent and that twisting corkscrew dive late in the match was crazy. Lot of big bumps for a small indy crowd in 1998. I'm around **1/2.

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Hello, 1998! Early glimpse of Matt Hardy and Shannon Moore. Moore took some impressive bumps in this one and his offense is really suited for a babyface. It's weird to me that he ever worked heel in a major promotion. This is very indy, but it's also not filled with a bunch of dumb stuff with green guys either. This was nothing special overall, but it was hardly bad. I'm looking forward to watching the Hardys in 1998.

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I find it hard to watch '90s U.S. indy stuff with any sense of context. It was just so bad compared to almost everything else in the world, which wasn't the case in the aughts. I agree this wasn't the worst of the worst, but it was still full of poorly timed, overly elaborate spots. I'm still hoping to love a match or two from the OMEGA guys. We shall see.

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What year was it that internet fans started taking a big interest in US Indy stuff? I know it got big with ROH launching in 2002, but what about the years preceding that? My general reading of the situation was that with 3 major companies running, all the young talent got snapped up quickly in the 90's. Once it went down to 1 then you had a much better talent pool working the indies.

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I would say 2001 Zenjo turned the corner with the Super 8 final being Low Ki vs. American Dragon. It may have just been the area i was visiting at the time (czwfans.com, dvdvr) but that was really when I heard about a ton of different guys instead of just the usual Don Montoya, Reckless Youth, etc.

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A year and a half later, I want to say the first vestiges of indy love really came from the DVDVR around '99...which would make sense, since there was little wrestling to be found in the Big Two by that point and ECW was pretty much finished as any kind of revolutionary territory.

 

This is a marked improvement over the '97 OMEGA stuff. It's sloppy at a lot of points and both these teams appear to be not on the same page as well, and some of the big moves are rushed through too quickly. Nonetheless, that's all part of the growing pains of developing as a worker. They do attempt to work psychology, particularly big-vs.-little psychology when Venom is in. They work a structured, FIP-based tag match with high-flying but also some southern-fried cooking. There's a semblance of build to the big high spots. Definitely not something to change the world but there were certainly far worse big indy matches the previous year.

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This match pretty much defines Indies in general. One guy tries to get all of his stuff in that mostly contains of moonsault variations (Moore). One guy is polished, looks like a wrestler and is just waiting to be discovered (Hardy). One guy looks good, but is green as grass (Venom). One guy is an aging indy vet who does ridiculously risky moves to get noticed (Cham Pain). Moore is lost and tries to tag in Hardy after about 30 seconds of being in the ring, to the point Hardy shrugs him off twice before giving in. This had the most indy finish ever with Cham Pain running into Venom, but instead of the recipient of the errant blow, the perpetrator gets mad and it costs them the match. Then the babyface gets on the mic and panders to the fans.

 

Rating: Nothing I'd need to watch again.

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