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[2001-02-24-IWA-MS] Chris Hero vs American Kickboxer (2/3 Falls, Submission Only, Mexican Death Match)


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I love the way on the words “I need a hero” on his entrance Hero looks directly into the hard cam.  Fuck, he starts cutting a promo on Kickboxer when a fan yells “shut up you cocksucker” and Hero jumps out the ring and squares up to the fella begging him to touch him.  Kickboxer with the first submission attempt, a Fujiwara armbar that Hero rolls through on and out to the floor.  He want a test of strength on his return but gets annoyed by the fans heckling and makes out as if he’s going to leave.  A different fan gives him the finger so he’s in this ones face, even spitting at him which is totally out of order  Back at the test of strength he’s getting the better of things so Kickboxer leaps into a bodyscissors and takes him down with an arm drag.  Hero charges, he’s snatched with a Fujiwara armbar takedown and taps furiously for the flash first fall. 

Knowing he can’t lose another Hero has his fists clenched ready to fight.  That doesn’t make much difference, Boxer locking in another armbar, only they’re too close to the ropes this time.  He kicks Hero around the head although this isn’t even Ric Blade let alone Tajiri levels.  Hero blocks the leaping rana and turns it into a high angle Boston crab.  When it looks like he’s about to escape he lifts him up and hits a slingshot sit-out powerbomb.  More working over the back, even doing the old Mike Rotunda tactic of using the ropes for additional leverage on the abdominal stretch.  Hero did himself no favours earlier the way he reacted to them but this is another awful crowd when it comes to throwing gay slurs out.  Jumping piledriver.  Kickboxer can barely stand and Hero gives him a second.  He doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to finish him off, happy to climb the turnbuckles or just wait in the corner.  Eventually he applies a camel clutch and Boxer gives it up immediately, tying us up at one fall apiece.  Hero jokingly questions what the bell ringing means, allowing him to keep that hold applied for a few seconds longer doing yet more damage to Kickboxer’s back.

The crowd are doing their best to encourage Kickboxer here.  Every time he would get to his feet though, Hero decks him and he falls back down.  That happens one time too many for the referee’s liking, hooking Hero’s arm to stop him connecting on the shot.  Hero gives the ref a shove wondering what he’s playing at.  Me too.  The ref dropkicks Hero in the back sending him tumbling to the floor and hits a pescado.  Oh dear!  As he then checks on Kickboxer, Hero spears him before tossing him outside.  With Hero more interested in the official than his opponent he fails to notice Boxer up and perched on the turnbuckles.  Tornado DDT onto the concrete!  I think Hero accidentally kicked a blonde lady in the crowd on that as she’s having to be held back from going after him.  Another IWA-MS match where rows of unoccupied chairs gets wiped out.  Boxer is up in the balcony and jumps off, catching Hero perfectly with this incredible leaping rana.  Cross armbar submission on the floor and Hero taps.  Did I miss this was falls count anywhere then?

A soft spoken Hero, almost apologetic in his tone, says that it was an honour to wrestle Kickboxer and how he was someone he looked up to a lot.  The fans are clapping his words but I’m waiting for a double cross.  He gets everyone to stand up and applaud him while he wants to shake his hand.  The two hug, Hero raises his arm and then clocks him with microphone busting him open.  Jumping piledriver onto a chair and finally a frog splash off the top.  Hero says how he’s done all kinds of matches but challenges Kickboxer to a straight up technical match next Saturday.  Boxer sells the piledriver being carried out of there on a stretcher.

I enjoyed Hero’s performance here, there was a method to what he was trying to do, concentrating on the back.  It all felt a lot more random when it came to Kickboxer who’s Martial Arts didn’t look good and neither did his submissions either.  His high spots were bang on mind and that rana off the balcony was crazy, Hero based him perfectly.  Naturally they lost me when we got the fighting referee, although at least that was towards the end of the match.  The post-match stuff was all way too predictable and obvious.

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