PAS: Mistico v. Memphisto was pretty fun with out being any good. Mistico is a guy who is really hot right now, in a way that doesn't feel like it is going to last. So he is working 10 shows a week to try to cash in while he can. While last years Mistico matches were really problematic because he didn't sell much at all. This match was all about selling, and he was selling like a guy who is working 10 shows a week. Working matches like he is a pitching prospect being coached by Dusty Baker, he still has moments of explosiveness, but his rotator cuff is ripping because he is throwing 200 pitches a game.
TKG: So is Mistico legit fucked in the leg? Is it selling? Is it selling based on Mistico being legitimately fucked in the leg? Who fucking cares? Sometimes he looked to be legit fucked, sometimes doing realistic selling, sometimes stylized. This is the first time I’ve watched a Mistico singles match and been impressed by Mistico. If he continues to wrestle like this, like a banged up guy he might figure out how to work a tougher compelling face style .Working gimmick of "broken down"guy may give career more longevity than working style that will break him down. The leg based bumps weren’t as nasty as some of the giant bumps he normally takes but they were more compelling. Mistico’s leg is hurt and Mephisto is just working it over throwing it into the ringpost, etc. and where normally Mistico eats a beating kips up and then hits his superkick….here Mistico just sold for the whole thing. And Mistico hitting his offense was actually really compelling. Can he still do his spots despite being that fucked in the leg? It was really compelling and you rooted for him when he hit it. If Mistico can work like this regularly I could actually kind of see a future for him. I kind of look forward to a couple years down the line reading how Mistico did his stupid shtick where he pretends his leg is busted up and plays hurt even though everyone knows he is alright.
What Didn't Work
PAS: The eight man tag had a bunch of guys who I have liked in the past. Great Muta v. Arn Anderson is one of my favorite NWA matches, Universo 2000 is one of the best wrestlers in the world, I liked Ultimo Dragon v. Bestia Salvaje in WAR, Mark Jindrak had an amazing Velocity run including a great match with Doug Basham, Lizmark Jr. had some fun WCW trios matches, Black Warrior has a really nice tope, Super Porky is the one of the most charismatic wrestlers I have ever seen live, and I liked Stamboli Velocity FBI tags. However all of them together is fucking rough. Jindrak was working as Marco Corlenone a fake FBI member, but didn't even bother to get trunks that didn't say Mark Jindrak across the ass. That lack of effort was pretty much across the board. Universo looked like Cien here, probably the worst I have ever seen him look. Porky looked okay, he had a nice superkick, but this was about as bad of a match as I have seen in 2006
TKG: YOWZA! I thought All Japan had no money. This really felt like Otto Wantz buying the AWA title as no other explanation for Muta getting the win or the match for that matter. Jindrak looked to be the only guy in this working hard. Don't know why they gave Jindrak the Corleone gimmick. With the shaved head, he looked alot like Robson from Oz and you really need a German if you're going to do an Axis foreigners stable.I did like Universo stopping Ultimo's fast kick combo spot by stepping on Ultimo's foot. In the first fall the Non-Mexican team pinned/eliminated Black Warrior (not the captain) and then there was a couple more minutes of action and the refs just decided "fuck this shit, we're calling this fall over". Yeah that's right the refs just decided they had seen enough and decided to end the fall. They should have just called the whole match.
The Iraq piece was well done, and I liked the look back at that event. The New Year's resolutions and Evolution bits were decent fare, and the best part was Batista trying so hard not to crack up as Orton got into character.