The whole Magilla is on the DVDVR board. Here's what I wrote: ---------------------------- A Round Table Discussion JUSHIN LYGER/WATARU INOUE vs. TSYOSHI KIKUCHI/YOSHINABU KANEMARU - NOAH (2/7/02) JUSHIN LYGER/MINORU TANAKA vs. TSYOSHI KIKUCHI/YOSHINABU KANEMARU - NOAH (4/7/02) JUSHIN LYGER/MINORU TANAKA vs. TSYOSHI KIKUCHI/YOSHINABU KANEMARU - NEW JAPAN (8/29/2002) YOSHINOBU KANEMARU/TSUYOSHI KIKUCHI vs. EL SAMURAI/ MASAYUKI NARUSE - NOAH (9/23/2002) (by TOM KARRO-GASSNER, DEAN RASMUSSEN, PHIL SCHNEIDER)
DR: Dean Rasmussen TKG: Tom Karro-Gassner PS: Phil Schneider
DR: The best fued of the year has been the really great old Southern feud of New Japan Juniors and the NOAH juniors beating the living dogshit out of each other- especially with Lyger and Kikuchi having a deep and meaningful historically-drenched hatred that they play to perfection as grumpy old motherfucker punches grumpy old motherfucker in the mouth. What I want to concentrate is the four tag matches for the IWGP Jr tag belts, since those tell the best and most fun stories and they have the widest disparity of opinion of which one is the best.
TKG: When the AJ/NOAH split happened the most interesting thing to watch was Fuchi and Kikuchi. Both were guys who had been relegated to comedy matches for a while, both put in new serious position as a result of split. Both stepped up in different ways. Kikuchi at first tried to go back to his old role as spunky underdog. It was fun to watch as he could still do it, but he was physically slow and well, after seeing all the abuse he had taken from Jumbo, it was hard to believe that Hashi's offense was doing that much damage. We had seen Kikuchi go through too much to buy him as Ricky Nelson. I kind of thought that he would end up becoming dependant on the blade to dramatize his underdogedness. The way wrestlers can or can't adapt to age/physical change is always interesting (or disappointing). Kikuchi seemed to try to deal with the problem in his Noah match versus Hoshikawa. Kikuchi said fuck Ricky Nelson, I'm gonna sell like John Wayne and just move around slow, old craggily and tough and dare folks to hit me. The problem with selling like John Wayne is, well, the audience doesn't buy anyone being able to hurt him. Burdette's men can't credibly hit Wayne, they can only hurt Wayne by having Wayne hit his own head. No one can credibly hurt John Wayne...well, that is no one but Dean Martin. Dean Martin, the most broken down, pathetic guy in town... the guy even the cripple feels comfortable mocking... the guy most in touch with his own mortality/vulnerability... he is the only man who is credible hitting John Wayne in the face, the only man who is credible busting Wayne open.
TKG: Kikuchi gets all this and has evolved into the Dude - the neatest babyface trick ever. It means Kikuchi simultaneously seems to no-sell (refuses to be hurt) and yet be always selling (is hurt beyond anything you can imagine); never a Hulk-up/Kobashi up/HBK up moment. No no-selling of earlier work. The Dude is broken beyond repair and everything that happens just does more damage, he sells being broken during all his offense. Lots of guys can be intense on offense, it's a neat trick to be both intense and broken beyond repair. The matches aren't constructed to hide the fact that Kikuchi moves like a fifty year old, they're designed to highlight that. I think my favorite sell is when Kikuchi takes a backdrop on the floor and looks at his arm and hand and checks it for mobility. Opening and closing his fist, he looks down, "good it isn't paralyzed". I doubt he'll ever be able to roll his own cigarettes. Kikuchi's response to every time he gets dumped out of the ring is a combo of "fuck I'm too old to be doing this" and "fuck where does Inoue get off doing that".
PS: It is really hard to pick which one of these matches I loved the most, as they all have things about them that stand out, and fill ones heart with joy and love for professional wrestling. If you took a a pair of needle nose to my nuts and made me pick a favorite, I would probably say the first of the four (Lyger/Inoue vs. Kikcuhi/Kanemaru). Inoue is great as the fired up youngster getting the shit pounded out of him by Kikuchi, basically doing an homage to all of the great matches Kikuchi had except with Kikuchi playing the Fuchi role. Also, the heat was psycho as this was the first time Liger had ever faced Kikuchi and every time they interacted the crowd just went apeshit. Liger is the best heel in wrestling, and he is such a magnificant bastard here. Plus the work was super with lots of big nearfalls and flawless exchanges, the young guy battle between Kanemaru and Inoue made you want to see the singles match, and Liger vs. Kikuchi made you want to see those two feud for the rest of their career.
DR: I also dig the Wataru Inoue match because he is a rookie but fights like a motherfucker and doesn't get smoked when Lyger and Kikuchi go all Mad Dog Buzz Sawyer vs Wildfire Tommy Rich on everyone's ass. The ones with Minoru Tanaka are great too, but aren't as OVERTLY filled with hate. Minoru is a fucking GREAT heel, though.
PS: The second match (2/7/02) was more about the non-wrestling parts of the feud then the ring work, but the non-wrestling parts were fucking awesome. Tanaka is such a spectacular Gino Hernandez pretty boy cocky fuck, that any other role he ever played (including his stupid ass AAA undercard Heat gimmick) is an utter waste. He spends the whole match preening and posing, and making you hate his guts. My favorite Tanaka moments were him fouling Kanemaru and then taunting him by miming testicular pain, and him making the "come here" motion with his middle finger during the post match pull apart. Liger is amazing here too- as post match he goes fucking crazy as they have a huge pull apart in the ring. As he is going to the back, he takes a swing at a female NOAH fan and curses and flips off the crowd. Then he and Tanaka jump Kanemaru back stage, and he destroys the NOAH press conference set. The match was really great too, but was really secondary to all of the spectacular heel heat generated by the NJ two.
PS: The third match (4/7/02) was great for Liger and Tanaka playing heel in front of a New Japan crowd against outsiders. Kikuchi may be the greatest babyface in puro history and will never be booed, even if you put him in a suit and make him Thomas Kikuchi. So Liger and Tanaka decide to heel it up, and few do it better. This was the longest of the three, and probably the best in the ring, as they work a long great match, and then climax in a mini singles match between Kikuchi and Liger with the seconds running in and making saves. Kikuchi kicks out of a top rope fishermans buster, which I usually hate to see, but it is fucking Kikuchi, I can see what he can take, so I buy it. Crossroads was the best card of the year by far, and this match had a bunch of great matches to follow and it exceeded them.
DR: I personally would say that the Kikuchi/ Kanemaru vs El Samurai/ Naruse match is the greatest for a couple reasons: El Samurai is ALWAYS the greatest when he is being a dick and he is such a thorough dick in this. Lyger is a second at ringside in this and he is the greatest second EVER. EVER. EVER. EVER. EVER. EVER. EVER. motherfucking EVER. And Kikuchi goes beyond his usual amazingness in the fued to take it to another area. Point one, El Samurai has been on one of the biggest slides of a major career for a while now. The best rebound from having to put over the worthless former HHH semen receptacle is to get into a giant interpromotional fued that Lyger is booking - and is booking at the height of Lyger's booking ability. Here, El Samurai is renewed as he makes Kanemaru's fabulously seedy highflying look all devastating while laying the assbeat on the NOAH Junior Heavyweight Elderstateman, Kikuchi. Since El Samurai is such a great heel, he works the crowd into a frenzy through his work that is only matched by the face attributes of Kikuchi.
TKG: Samurai this year has not only jobbed to Chyna, but he's also sold for a TAKA trained valet, and was squashed - SQUASHED - by B Brian Blair. Its bad enough to be booked to get no offense against B Brian Blair in 2002, but there were also times this year where Samurai was wrestling like a guy who SHOULD be booked to get no offense against Brian Blair. On 9/23 El Samurai looks like he should be beating all three Killer Bs in handicapped matches.
DR: POINT TWO works along this last idea, Lyger as a second is SUCH a TOTAL PRICK that I thought my head was going to EXPLODE. First he taunts the NOAH faithful in the audience- doing the fucking SUPER-SOUTHERN HEEL thing of finding the most unstable person in the audience and gets them riled up by getting in a extended shouting match with them. Then Lyger SPITS ON HIM. The place goes through the fucking roof. Greatest Moment In Japanese Wrestling Ever.
TKG: I should point out that I think the guy who Dean refers to as "the most unstable person in the audience" is my favorite fat drunken NOAH fan who fell asleep and pissed himself during Sano vs. Suzuki.
DR: POINT THREE is all about Kikuchi during the face beatdown. Kikuchi sells the beatdown NOT like Ricky Morton. Kikuchi sells the beatdown NOT like Dusty Rhodes. Kikuchi sells the beatdown like Jimmy Stewart in IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE. It's fucking awesome. Each setback, he is completely broken as a man and has to find some glimmer of hope to continue. His survival is an odyssey and his face tells the story the whole way, the struggle etched on every line in his face as he ties his manhood to the sticking place and fights through with his completely broken down body and you see as he sees when he has the slightest glimmer of hope. The joint erupts at his comebacks. You cry when he makes the tag - as if he were running past the Bedford Falls movie house, and when they get the pin, it's like his brother flew in through the blizzrd to toast Tsuyoshi Kikuchi, the richest guy in town.
TKG: Aww. Fuck. There I was all ready with my "Kikuchi sells like a movie star" analysis- like Dean Martin in Rio Bravo-and Dean goes and pulls out fucking George Bailey. I can't follow up George Bailey with the Dude. Dammit. Dean's right in picking up the whole Capra-esque thing. Bah!
PS: The Naruse and Samurai match was probably the least of the three, as it had a lot less of a big match feel than the Liger vs. Kikuchi matches. However, it was all kinds of fun. This was Kikuchi's match, as he went back to his roots and took a monumental ass beating from Samurai and especially Naruse. Naruse just beat his ass, as if Jumbo Tsuruta had been reincarnated in a tiny Japaneese man with a great Afro. Kikuchi does an amazing selling job, as he doesn't hulk up or no sell anything, rather he just absorbs the beating telling the world he will not be broken. He sells like the stories you read about Medal of Honor winners: you may have gut shot him and destroyed his arm, but he is going to take out that foxhole full of Germans while carrying his two dead buddies- one on each shoulder- so their mamas can have a Christian funeral. Throw the world at me, Naruse, I won't stay down.
TKG: I should mention some of the non-Kikuchi folks in this tag feud. You walk away from these matches and often only remember Kikuchi and Lyger. That's a mistake. Cause what makes this feud work so well is that it is a tag feud. This feud here demonstrates how much can really be done with a tag. There is a way that the tag format allows for a lot of things that just don't happen in singles. The tag format allows for matches to start as all out brawl, settle into mat matches, turn back into brawls, settle into something else and then push up a notch again. In a tag you can establish a mood and then change it and change it again and again. I really liked Fuchi vs. Samurai a year or so ago but that was a singles match, you get the impression so much more could happen in the context of a tag even if the other guys in the tag suck. In the NOAH vs. NJ jrs its not just that no one sucks but everyone contributes bigtime.
TKG: My favorite of the four tags is the New Japan one from Crossroads show. I remembered it as being essentially a Lyger vs. Kikuchi singles match where the other two were relegated to the role of seconds. And that's really far from the truth a good portion of the match is Tanaka and Kikuchi, and Tanaka and Kanemaru- Lyger isn't involved for most of the match at all. Minoru Tanaka steps up big, and for a guy who I always though of as being a natural babyface, is an amazing heel. Him mocking the way he got Kikuchi to tap in the 4/7/02 match is just amazingly assholeish- you watch that and you can't imagine him ever having worked face. Kanemaru is a guy who has always looked a little too sleazy to be in NOAH, he looks like a guy who would be teamed with Hido vs. Orihara and Takeshi Ono in a fed run by Chocoball Mukai. And he works a kind of sneaky, whiley, sleazy guy style. That paired up with broken down Kikuchi makes for a really compelling pairing (I don't think Marafuji would have been anywhere near as effective as Kikuchi's partner in these matches). Kanemaru in matches with New Japan guys consistently comes across as the flashiest guy in all the matches.
TKG: While the other participants spend a lot of time working the match, the audience realizes that the match is all about Kikuchi and Lyger and so any time they're in the ring together its molten. The most memorable spot is Kikuchi refusing to release a figure four on Tanaka so Lyger just picks up Kanemaru and repeatedly bodyslams him ontop of Kikuchi until Kikuchi is forced to release the figure four. It's awesome. Kikuchi won't give up the figure four no matter how many times his own partner is bodyslammed onto him- and I think Dean's right with the Capra idea but he may have the wrong Frank Capra Christmas movie. As at that moment, Kikuchi isn't Jimmy Stewart in "It's a Wonderfull Life". He's Bette Davis struggling to maintain this fašade in "Pocketful of Miracles". HOLY FUCK!!! THAT'S IT!!! See at the end of the match when Kikuchi and Lyger finally do meet in the ring...Kikuchi is there as Bette Davis in "Pocket Full of Miracles" and Lyger comes in all and he's all like Bette Davis in "Man who Came to Dinner". And suddenly it's BETTE DAVIS CONTRA BETTE DAVIS with the True Spirit of Christmas in the Balance. And all of Budokan realizes that this world is barely big enough to hold just one Bette Davis... uhh, I think its possible that I like this match too much to be able to write anything sensible at this point.
~!~ GAEA G-PANIC! - 8/23/2002 (by DEAN RASMUSSEN)
God, GAEA is in it's seventh year of existence. I am the oldest man in the world. It seems like just yesterday when I got the tapes from Ollie and we were all into this promotion that had all these tiny teenage girls that fought with vim and vigor while being beaten to death by an aging and more and more lunch ladyesque Bomber Hikari. The charismatic Chigusa Nagayo showed that her wrestling moxy extended far past her declining ringwork and excelled in the booking aspect - as she took a promotion of rookies and castoffs and - from jumpstreet - made some of the most compelling or, at worst, most fun wrestling to hit the sacred soil of America on videotape from the empire of Japan in quite a while. Almost eight years down the road, GAEA is now the top of the heap, with the brightest young stars and best of the old guard - with more improvements to the roster happening all the time as talented young ladies desert the sinking ships of their floundering promotions to latch onto the stability of the GAEA machine. This episode is important because it is the introduction of the final big star from golden era of All Japan Women, Manami Toyota, who finally defected to the greener pastures of GAEA. It is important to trace how Chigusa handles the entry of Manami Toyota into GAEA and how she integrates her into her roster - as this is a true coupe, in that Chigusa has created stars and has stolen many stars but, when they face Manami Toyota, all of these will be fresh matches in GAEA. How will she build up feuds with her new stars and how she can reignite long dead feuds stemming from and playing off Toyota's fabled and legendary career in All Japan Women should be a good gauge on how Chigusa ranks in the Pantheon of Pro Wrestling Bookers.
With this episode, it touches on the Women's Issues that will explode into several different and varied realizations in the coming episodes. The themes are the usual GAEA subjects - love, honor, duty, loyalty, freedom, sexuality - all manifesting themselves in a variety of subtle and none-to-subtle manifestations. GAEA becomes universal through these manifestations and transcend the local issues that are addressed more directly when one notes that GAEA booking and storylines deal with women in groups or in individual situations fighting against Japanese society and the roles this society expects them to assume, or how these women in groups or in individual situations find grace and peace in the role society has assigned them. The fact that it sometimes also produces some great wrestling is a giant added extra.
Aja Kong vs Dynamite Kansai These two are the ones that seem the most energized by the arrival of Toyota. Their tag match later in this episode makes this match look like Obacchi Iizuka and Tanny Mouse trying to approximate one of the classics these two had in the mid-90s. It's technically fine and nothing looks horrendous but it is quite pale shadow of Aja at the height of her carrying of Kansai - as Kansai is an elderstatesman now and no longer is being completely led by the masterful hand of Aja - and thus it is a lesser match. Kansai does kick Aja right in the face like it is old times and Aja sells it like Aja Kong, which means "perfectly", crawling around for an 8 count and selling it well after she gets back to her feet well into Kansai's first flurry of offense up to when Kansai goes for too much by heading to the top where Aja cuts her off. They fight out of the corner, landing heavy strikes, but it doesn't have the violence or urgency of Aja fired up against Satomura or of Kansai when she has looked good in tag matches with Yamada as of late; there's nothing harrowing or compelling like you are wont to find in an Aja match. It's perfectly fine wrestling but when aligned with their body of work against each other in the recent past, this is quite the WHO'S LAST of a string of diminishing returns. I dunno. Kansai is better now than she has ever been. Aja still has it - just go back and watch her matches against Satomura and Nagashima. It's just that the chemistry was perfect in 94 and the matches were big matches. Now, it's a pedestrian (in comparison) monster heel vs. monster heel match. These two get better quick on this TV program.
MANAMI comes in and sides with Aja. Yamada is in the ring with Kansai and she completely loses her shit at the sight of her old partner who then became her hated rival. Yamada is so perfect as the jilted lover who has gotten on with her life in a different town who's life is suddenly turned upside down when her old flame moves next door and flaunts her new love in Yamada's face. Yamada, empowered by rage and jealousy mixed with beaten down love and affection, is a fucking powderkeg and she is MAGIC as she tries to rip Manami Toyota's eyes out. It parallels the psychosexual explosion that the lesbianic undertones of the Super Star Unit invasion achieved in terms of Chigusa and Lionness having a similar history and such a compelling collision when old love got turned into brand new hate - and the new, more intense emotions it can bring to the surface. Yamada stares powerlessly into the abyss of her dead love for Manami with the exact face of empty-love-that-is-now-filled-with-wreckless-hatred that Chigusa wore as her complete betrayal by Lioness became slowly more and more apparent. The richness of Chigusa's storytelling is especially sharp here because you have Manami the total opposite of how she was when she would try to sacrifice her own hair rather than harm Yamada anymore than she has by forcing Yamada to live up to her stipulation after losing their hair-vs-hair match- in the 1992 match where Yamada first used a highly empathetic undertone lesbian lover betrayed - an undertone that Toyota picked up on and squeezed the dregs to death as she portrayed herself as the lover who has broken the union but who still has enough love to no longer inflict any more pain on Yamada. The schoolgirls understood back then and the women they have grown into understand the callous disregard that Manami the Beloved feels towards her old flame. Manami sees her as a parasite that has been to long away from her host, which is Manami's spirit. Yamada's rage is self-loathing and powerlessness in the face of her suddenly shattered little world of self-reliance she has created in GAEA. It's a great story. Chigusa is a genius when it comes to telling this kind of story as a booker.
They then show clips of matches I would want to see: Sugar vs Toshie Uematsu, Eccentric vs OZ/KAORU in singles matches, LCO vs Ayaka/Meiko- okay maybe not that last one. If it ain't with Mariko Yoshida blading like a super hot Sabu and Lioness punching Mita directly in the face or Tomoko Watanabe working her ass off, the LCO are pretty useless to me.
Dynamite Kansai/Toshio Yamada vs. Aja Kong/Manami Toyota There is no happiness in this world, just contentment interjected with moments of joy or restlessness interjected with moments of despair. Yamada had settled into a life of contentment in GAEA and was beginning to find moments of joy tagging with Dynamite Kansai, as they have found an odd gimmick by dressing like American football players and doing a lottta spears. Yamada had settled into a midcard groove smartly working as hard-edged as she could with what was left of her crippled body. The contentment is now turned to restlessness - as anger has unsettled her world and all Yamada knows how to do is to fight like a motherfucker and strike out at Manami Toyota and all the emotional baggage she entails- knowing that nothing good will be accomplished by acting on her hatred, but it is no longer about love and building and good, it is now about hatred and violence and vengence and evil. The match begins. Yamada starts early by hitting a big lariat on Manami before the bell and Manami does a great job of looking shocked and scared as she rolls out of the ring. She does a really great job of leaning into Yamada's Spinning kicking to the face seconds later to instantly make a hate-filled yet aging Yamada a threat to the new fair-haired girl in the promotion. Manami armdrags to offense and tags in Aja who just fucking PULVERIZES Yamada - as they double team with dropkicks and avalanches in the corner. Yamada has TRUE, DEADLY contempt in her eyes as she is completely defiant and hateful while in Aja has her in a Camel Clutch and she must absorb the humiliation of being completely helpless while being kicked by Manami Toyota. Manami follows up with a clapping Calf Branding - as if to prove to Yamada that she can come into Yamada's world, destroy the life of contentment Yamada has created for herself, and destroy all of it all the while being a FACE while doing it. Yamada escapes and tags out and Kansai comes in and wrestles like John Nord - with full lumbering power offense in full effect. Kansai then switches into a bunch of submissions on Manami and uses stomps to the head as a way to cut off any comebacks by the new comer. Manami finally gets in a bunch of roll-ups to escape the submissions and tags in Aja. Aja is DEEPLY feeling it in this match, as she and Manami hit the completely balls out Rock And Roll Express double dropkick with Aja getting as much height as Gibson would have. Kansai and Aja then proceed to beat the living breathing dogshit out of each other with 9 times the vim and vigor that they had in the singles match earlier on the tape - as both rise to the big match occassion. Aja tops off their fun exchange with a TRUE Murdock Brainbuster. As Aja goes to the toprope, Yamada stops her and it sets up a fabulously ringdestroying Kansai Niagra Driver that Aja takes like Spike Dudley right on the base of her spine. Aja struggles for a tag and Manami hits a toprope dropkick for two but Yamada interferes and she and Kansai take turns kicking Toyota's lungs out of her chest. Aja breaks up their momentum and drags them to the floor to set up Toyota's breathtaking dropkick to both on the floor from the top turnbuckle - just CRUSHING both Yamada and Kansai. Yamada tries to cut off Toyota in the corner and Manami reverses it and shoots Yamada into the corner and charges Yamada. Yamada jumps out of the corner with a spinkick that Manami just FUCKING LEANS INTO AND FUCKING TAKES LIKE A MOTHERFUCKING QUEEN. Yamada counters out of a Japanese Ocean Cyclone Suplex attempt but Yamada then misses on a spin kick and Toyota hits an Electric Chair to make an opening for Kansai to interfere and start in with the comical American football offense. Yamada hits a toprope Spinkick and Toyota completely no-sells it. Aja hits a Urican on Yamada and Toyota finishes her off with a Queen Bee Bomb for the pin. The no-selling sucked and leaves a bad taste in your mouth for a minute because the rest of the match is so much fun but overall Manami fired EVERYBODY up. Yamada looked better than she has in years. Postmatch, Aja talks shit leading up to EVERYBODY in the back coming out to talk shit to Toyota and the fun of GAEA just keeps on rolling on.
Eccentric (Chigusa/Hirota) vs Ayako Hamada/ Chikayo Nagashima If it isn't a bloodbath with Hirota fighting like a motherfucker with TRUE HATE in her eyes against KAORU and Mayumi Ozaki - as Oz is carving her up and KAORU is killing Chigusa outside the ring, then I really can't possibly give a shit about Eccentric matches. Comedy hijinx ensues. I dunno. This is like if someone in Japan was getting all these great Smackdown episodes and whoever was sending it to him was also sending a few episodes of FAMILY MATTERS. I mean - WE would all laugh and laugh and laugh at the madcap hijinx of Steven Erkel, but it really wouldn't translate to a foreign culture. This is how I feel when I see the hilarious-in-Japan hijinx of Hirota in this match. The fact that Hirota can be a great fucking face tag wrestler when the situation arises make these matches easier to stomach. Ayako and Chigusa going all Lucha with the spirited rope-running was neat, I guess. The next actual serious match with Eccentric is when I can expound on Hirota getting as much as possible out her role which fits into the context of acceptable roles in Japanese society. Here, it would be a comparison to her role vs Jack Tripper in THREE'S COMPANY and nobody really wants that.
80s UK WRESTLING- PART 1 (by DEAN RASMUSSEN) Rippa got all this British stuff from Lynch and then he got a huge batch of Euro-Grappling with WELSH commentary and stuck on two 160s and sent it all to me. I've watched bits and pieces, but now I will review it all. The Finlay vs Kojima match is SOOOOOO the greatest match ever....
UK 10 (5/88) Marty Jones vs Bernie Wright The announcer has a FLY AS SHIT metallic gangster jacket. Marty Jones is good lookin' fella. The commentator is that guy I fucking love with the golf call of everything. They start at the armbar and work to the headlock and into the turnbuckleand they do a SHOOTANGLE~! where Marty Jones - the face- leaves the ring and they readjust the rope while Jones' shoulder is checked out. They shake hands and get back to it- with Bernie Wright doing the cartwheels out of the armbar that say "British Wrestling". Wright starts working on the shoulder and and they do the nine step roll up out of a reverse body block into a roll-up. Wright starts the second fall by charging in and the lines are drawn- Wright is EEEVIL! Wright starts bumping like a freak, taking the full charge into the corner and falling into a kneedrop so they have now toasted each other's shoulders. And they go back to the armbars into kneelifts and Jones hits the beautiful Vertical Suplex. Wright fights to offense by hitting these nasty looking forearms to the back and goes straight into a Boston Crab that Jones works out of until Wright can turn him again. Jones hits a fat ass bodyslam and hits and fucking GNARLY toprope dropkick to take the second fall. Oh fuck, Bernie Wright is Steve Wright's brother, so the evil bastard is actually Alex Wright's Uncle. Awesome. That can't be right. But anyway, the third fall is pretty quick with Jones hitting a dropkick and a bodyslam and we move on to wonder if there are two Steven Wrights in Euro-Wrestling.
Ray Steele vs Col. Brody Rules are knock-out or submission to win. Ray Steele is the most English-looking person I've ever seen- sorta like Prince Charles Gone Manchester Blue Collar Steelworker. Colonel Brody looks like a South African heavy from a Fu Manchu movie- what with the bald head and handlebar moustache and olive drab tights. Imagine my delight. Ray Steele is superfun with the fucked-up Anglo Matwork that makes all true wrestling fans cry. Brodie is EVIL with the Full Nelson that Steele keeps reversing. They do all the cool ass Snapmares out of armdrags out of armbars all fluidly and it reminds me back when I used to dig Mid-Atlantic matwork like I dig Lucha matwork now. British Matwork is just as fluid and graceful as Lucha matwork, but it's funner because the Brit matwork is pasty guys with bad teeth being all graceful- not the expected grace of their Latin counterparts. Hey, a countout. Brodie doesn't answer the count and he is filled with moustached rage.
Skull Murphy vs Marty Jones: Skull Murphy CAN'T be the same Skull Murphy but I can't remember what Skull Muyrphy looked like. Oh fuck that- this isn't the Skull Murphy that Ted Lewin talks about from 1953 in his great book "I Was A Teenage Professional Wrestler". He is old though and Murphy is spry in his old age, bumping around the ring and taking the big bump to the floor. He does the cool-ass Cobra Clutch over through the ropes 15 years before the Tarantula-mania kicked in. Skull does the fabulous catapult splash but Jones gets the drop on skull with a Superplex and the Commonweath Title goes to young Mary Jones.
Alan Kilby vs. Steve Logan: Logan is 14 stone 4 from Birmingham. 14 stone means light heavyweight, it seems. Logan is the Pride Of The Midlands (I think he said Midlands. Is Birmingham like the English version of Chicago? I should go over there and find out.) 8 rounds for the title. Kilby is from Sheffield- where Judas Priest was from. Def Leppard too. Black Sabbath was from Sheffield or Birmingham. They do a lot of handshaking and British wrestling is the only place where that doesn't annoy me. Kilby wrestles the Elder Mentor match- with him fighting off the youngster's spirited attack. Kilby starts with the Cravate into the Head Scissors so guess who loves Alan Kilby- that's right, it's me. Logan does the headstand out of the head scissors and you forget that there is a gigantic basis of Euro in Japanese Junior style wrestling. They do the great spot where Logan jumps over Kilby's double leg takedown attempts until he succumbs to the Indian Deathlock five seconds before the end of the third round and they are throwing forearms quietly before the bell rings. Kilby throws really great forearms and they take turn kicking each other in the stomach until Kilby throws him into the ropes and hits a fucking BEAUTIFUL Missouri Mulekick almost as beautiful as the Missouri Mauler would have, hits the bodyslam and gets the first fall. Second fall, Kilby is all about the rough tactics and Logan returns the kicks and forearms. It goes all Memphis as whoever is throwing the forearms is on offense until Kilby does a Sleeper that Logan writhes out of but Kilby turns into a roll-up that Logan bridges out of until the end of round six. The cool thing is the weird psychology you can do with a 8 round 2 out of three falls match. Kilby can win by stalling two more rounds. Logan can tie it at two falls and they can draw or they can do the unlikely thing of Logan getting two falls in two rounds. 35 seconds into round 7, Logan gets a fall with a flying headbutt, so now the psyche is Kilby the champ can coast to the draw and Logan has to go after him. instead, Kilby is the fighting champ and goes toe-to-toe. Kilby does all these great elbows and forearms while Logan will fly into a pinning attempt in desperation. The last minute is Kilby bridging out of a pinfall and Logan trying to get the pin by fighting like a motherfucker for the pinfalls, but Kilby has too much toughness and offense and it goes to a draw. God, they need to do rounds and falls in the US. It makes for such deeper stories in matches. They go to the ref's decision and the ref goes with the champ.
Wayne Bridges vs. Baron von Schultz: Baron Von Schultz has the greatest hair in the history of evil nazis. It's kinda like 1973 Tom Jones crossed with 1979 Dennis Condrey. Schultz is 18 stone. I'm guessing that I am 167 stone. Wayne Bridges is a thick fella who does the whole acrobatic escapes from armbars and what have you. Schultz cheats like filthy stinking nazi and Bridges is pissed off as they go to the second round. This match is for the title against Kendo Nagasaki at some point. Bridges was champion for 8 years. Why is there only like 30 hours of this stuff available in the world? Bridges is kicking the nazi fucker across the throat and follows up with a chinlock. Von Schultz has one public warning against him as he doesn't give a clean break. Bridges crushes his skull with a forearm at the next ropebreak and the fun is kicking in. Von Schultz is a load and really isn't very good, but his hair is so EVIL you can't help but get into it. By round three Von Schultz is Heil Hitlering and cheating like a fucking Axis shithead. Kick him, Wayne! Kick him in his stinkin' head! Bridges gets the first fall with a flying Body Tackle. Von Schultz has two public warnings and only gets one more. These rules make for fun wrestling: he can only cheat so much now or he gets disqualified. I get the feeling that I want to see Wayne Bridges wrestle someone who doesn't look like the white Artis Gilmore doing a nazi gimmick. Bridges is nifty when he can get anything out of Schultz. (Bridges is from Killingham in Kent. 17 stone. I love that shit.) Schultz gets worse as the match goes on. Bridges gets another flying body tackle for straight falls. Fucking nazi....
Danny Collins/Peter Collins vs. Robbie Brookside/ Steve Regal What the FUCK?!? This is like watching one of those Stampede Classics tapes - as they show you the last four minutes of a 15 minute match - including 20 seconds of a bleached blond Steven Regal, looking all the world like the drummer for Sweet. The rest of what they show is a 12 year old Robbie Brookside and a 13 year old Danny Collins trade roll-ups.
Fit Finlay vs Johnny Saint The mysterious Fit Finaly Indian Maiden is present in full effect. People get all warm and runny talking about Johnny Saint and God knows I love the old guy, but he was basically a Greatest Possible Matwork-based Combination of Edge and Rob Van Dam in that he is a good wrestler but he has these five or six hokey spots that he HAS to stick in every match. That out of the way, lemme say that this is the best Johnny Saint match I've ever seen, and that includes every match on the Best of Johnny Saint tape that Yohe so generously made for Schneider - as Yohe truly is a mysterious and benevolent God. THAT out of the way, let me say that Saint as face needs a strong-as-hell old style heel like Finlay to make crowd give a shit in a REAL wrestling fans giving a shit about someone getting their ass-kicked by somebody good and just kind of way. That out of the way, lemme discuss the particulars of the match. Finlay starts out of a wristlock that they both trade fun Brit-based reversals on. Fit doesn't give you a break clean, he won't shake your hand, he won't give you the indie hug. That's why Fit Finlay rules and everybody else in the wrestling world sucks. I'm banking on the fact that Dick Murdock never gave anyone a postmatch indie hug. Fit switches to an ankle lock and Saint is nifty reversing out of it - as Fit is really great at making this a match that is more than a match Saint's Edge-like Offensive spots - as Fit makes them work in context and makes the crowd pop like freaks when they would usually kinda politely applaud after Saint and his opponent get back to a vertical base and shake hands. Finlay will get the heel heat that keeps the crowd involved and helps Saint's offense pop out - it's beautifully old school, really. It isn't maturbatory scientific matwork, it becomes Saint assuming the role of the honorable alternative to the base and unscientific brawling of Finlay. Finlay sells each move like it means something - Saint's techinico tricked out offense is neater because Finlay is the British Fuerza Guererra and Finlay puts the screws to Saint to make the crowd get behind Saint and gives Saint a reason to struggle and be intense. It isn't math, it's a fucking fight. Saint avoids 1993 Rey Misterio spotmachine status by actually being masterful in his psychological end once the psychology of the match is established - looking inquisitive before reversing into his own somersaulting wristlock as if he had to find a way to counter the hold and thatto do so would require Saint to weigh a few options at hand. Second round, Fit doesn't give a fuck about trying to match wits with the technician and just starts pounding the fuck out of the old fella. The crowd goes apeshit as Finlay gets his first warning for rough tactics from the ref and Saint sells the EVIL like a king and gets the crowd squarely behind himself by taking it to Fit with a series of backdrops and Irish Whips into the corner. Fit reverses a Backdrop into a Samoan Slam for the first fall. (Indian gal talks shit to Saint between falls.) Crowd is Chanting "Johnny" so Fit realizes that they will get completely frothing if he REALLY starts beating the shit out of the babyface. This is Johnny Valentine level psychology and it works like a motherfucker here. Saint does a series of standing dropkicks to transition and hits an armbar into a roll-up for the pin. The crowd is MOLTEN as Johnny gives Fit a TASTE OF THE SPOILER by punching him in the face postfall after Finlay is all up in Saint's shit after the flashpin. Saint gives the ref the really great, "Fuck you, get him out of my face" look when the ref admonishes the face for his rough behaviour. Fit can't keep his squaw in line as she is giving him the business after the fall and Finlay would have been the greatest Memphis heel ever. Third fall is Saint completely highflying and Fit begs off with full Flair handshake offer and everything. Fit uses the stalling to get a keylock and punch to the kidneys. Saint rolls to counter but Fit makes the ropes. Fit with hyperbolic Tony Atlas chops and Saint dodges and Fit bumps like a fucking FREAK to the floor. Saint and Finlay go at it after the bell for the round sounds and the crowd is going apeshit as Finlay throws Saint over the toprope to the floor after they have a scuffle trying to make it back to their corners. When Johnny crawls back in devastated from the bump to the floor, allowing Fit to procure the armbar for the submission and Fit gets the tainted victory to loud displeasure of the crowd. Postmatch, Fit talks shit to the rubes and it's great. Fit fucking rocks. Fit vs Saint REALLY Rocks. I'm assuming they wrestled 1,000 times and I want all 1,000.
ARSION- 8/15/2002 (by DEAN RASMUSSEN) ARSION got all Sports Entertainy with the skits and the creepy owner segments and the ilk- and they also brought in Emi Toyjo to help every 14 year old Japanese boy have the opportunity to have a bit of explaining to do to the wash lady- hell, I may have some explaining to do if Tojo ever wrestles Mariko Yoshida when Yoshida is wearing the red spider suit. Plus, Taylor opted to go for the full Rasmussen Old Creepy Guy Point by wearing the bra-less halter top. God, I'm spent already.... did I tell you that ARSION is the greatest wrestling promotion my pants has ever seen?
Emi Toyjo vs Rena Takase Emi has had a couple sammiches since last we saw her - making her all curvaceous and wood-summoning - and now she has a whip. Spunk coats the tv screens of teenage boys in Japan even before Rena Takase can hit the ring. Emi attacks before the bell; she is all evil in fishnets. Rena fights back for the honor of her local chapter of The Legion Of Gals With Personalities with a dropkick on the painted-up FLOOOOZY that has entered her ring. Rena takes a long seat in the Boston Crab and talks some shit.
"Emi, you slutty HOOCHIE, guys just call you cuz you're easy. You should have some kind of self-esteem. Look what you are wearing."
Emi is taken aback. "I'm using my sexuality as empowerment. A great man once said, 'You gotta use what you got to get what you want!' You're just mad because I've already done a nudie book and all you've done is become, like, a really good wrestler."
"Empowerment, my Aunt Fanny. You're just a toy for pathetic perverts to jack off to."
"Rena, you don't get it. WE ALL ARE. It's our job as women to use the weakness of men to seize power and opportunity."
"Emi, you are simply a skeezah that read too many books written by feminist sociologists. You can say what you want, but you are just prostituting yourself because you can't win a wrestling match..."
"I just DID."
And there were sixty-seven close-ups of Emi's cooter during roll-ups because September must be a big sweeps month in Japan. Then, later, Taylor doesn't wear a bra.
Commander Boirshoi vs Baby A Boirshoi in JWP is the real deal but here she eschews her usual ARSION comedy stylings and guides Baby A to a fine little bit Joshi Lucharesu. Baby A is the best lil luchadorette in allllll of the Island of Japan and most of Mexico. Commander Boirshoi is all heelish and dominant to the lovable underdoggedness and technico stylings of young Baby A. Boirshoi is good in true rudo mindset, establishing a base of offense that the technico can fight out of and garner HEAT as she struggles to escape Boirshoi's octapus hold. Boirshoi works on Baby A's back with a series of straitjacket variations on an Argentine Backbreaker - a move that Baby A keeps countering out with super technico agility and guile. Then Boirshoi goes more direct with knees to the back until Baby A armdrags to and rolls-up to offense. Boirshoi is great as the rudo rolling with the roll ups and then cutting her off before the crowd gets too happy. Baby A goes to higher level of highflying to match the higher level backstomping what with the missile dropkicks for two. Boirshoi elbows out of a bunch of standing switches switches and hits some big elbows into German. Baby A counters the Boirshoi's Better Than Super Delfin At Least Running Shotay with her own German and goes up top allowing for Boirshoi to cut her off with a supernast looking Toprope Nodawa to get the pin. Baby A is still pretty limited at this juncture in her development but a true Mexican rudo like Lady Pentagon carried her to a bit more than this, but Boirshoi acquits herself well as a nouvelle part-time rudo since her role is usually one of underdog face or- her odd role in JWP now- of Elder Stateswoman. Either way, Baby A didn't get off half of the cooler shit she can do in and kinda kept this match pretty shallow and forgettable.
Taylor vs Rie Tamada Taylor was in ARSION wrestling these folks and that's about all it takes to make you go from hideous US Woman Indie worker to THIS - fun-filled US Ass-stomper - because she 1looks 45 times better than she did before she left. A lot of it has to do with Rie Tamada, who fucking rules in her ability to put a match together. Here she pretty much figured out what Taylor could do that looks good and worked around that. They brawl through the stands and it is superfun as they both fly through the chairs - with Taylor looking like a vet as she hits the fifth row of chairs like El Hijo Del Santo in need of a sports bra. DDT to the floor by Tamada leads to a DDT in the ring and Tamada goes up top. Taylor ducks a splatty bodysplash and hits a Sidewalk slam into an STF and looks really good applying it - her eyes filled with hate, her halter top jiggly with Future Supervixen Of America Evil. They worked on her kicks while she was there or just told her to lay them in because they looked good as opposed to the shitty one's from the New Jersey boardwalk show I saw last time period. That and her Sit-Out Powerbomb from the corner looks great. Taylor misses the big splash of her own and allows Tamada to try Locomotion Butterflies but Taylor reverses it into a backslide. She then hits two more backslides for two and this is becoming a good little match. Tamada takes out Taylor's knee with a dropkick and hits a Capture Suplex for two. Tamada hits a nice two fisted spinning roundhouse and gets the win with a German with Bridge. Tamada was pretty masterful in guiding this along. Taylor looked green but also looked VASTLY improved since last we saw her and was easily carried to fine little seven minute match by the vastly underrated Rie Tamada.
Mari Apache vs AKINO It's waaaay early in the beloved and misunderstood Death Valley Driver Video Review Joshi 100 Update Veiwing Period to say one or the other - but so far this is the best match I've watched. Tim Noel was telling me that this was Mari's first couple of matches back from having a youngun and GOLLY does she wrestle like quite the angry sleep-deprived mom because she fucking rules on this - working so stiff that you would think that she were Apache's daughter or something. Akino is always irritating because she can be so good at points and then have giant lapses in selling. She avoids her lapses in this and may have actually turned the corner on annoying me - which is the important thing. They go to the mat early with both showing their Lucha Love though it drifts from lucha submissions to harder less tangly puroresu submissions. Mari justifies my love with a Regal Stretch which she procures with hateful vim and vigour - plus Akino sells it while in it and then hits the greatest dropkick ever after escaping- knocking Mari's head clean off her shoulders and into the 9th row. Akino slaps on a Boston Crab - Mary bulls out of it as they have a little story here that they adhere to all the way through: Speed and submissions of Akino vs Speed and Power of Mari - all mixed with a Lucha base = fun. Akino is really agile and technicos herself into position to crush Mari with the SWANKY Tope Con Hilo. Mari looks like she is throwing up into a bucket but maybe I've watched too many Necro Butcher matches recently as she was prolly just doing the boxer betwixt round water spitting thing. AKINO follows up with a Springboard Missile Dropkick and she looks fantastic in the air and on the mat - a sort of Nagashima Lite. AKINO goes for a Side Suplex (or dangerous backdrop if you will) but Mari throws Finlay-esque elbows to escape. Akino cuts her off with a forearm and then leans into a Mari Apache Flying Spinning Heelkick to the mouth and you begin to truly love both of these wrestlers. AKINO tries to cut off Mari's comeback by catching her going up top but Mari overpowers her and throws her to the mat and AKINO just FUCKING LEANS INTO a toprope heelkick LIKE A MOTHERFUCKING QUEEN and she is sooooo dead from the dying and pain to the face. They fuck up a slingshot powerbomb but Mary gathers herself up and hits a Released Slingshot Powerbomb for two. Mary kicks Akino in the head and goes up top, missing a phat ass somersault senton that looks fucking motherfucking great in it's horrendous backmanglingness. AKINO hits a Dangerous Backdrop and then goes back to selling the damage of being slaughterized by Mari, allowing Mari to hit her GNARLY lariat over the toprope that AKINO bumps for like Terry Funk in 1977. Mari hits a somersault Plancha off the toprope and just fucking RE-DESTROYZ Akino, especially her ankle - which they tape up. Mari dropkicks her and bodyslams her and then hits FUCKING GNARLY SOMERSAULT SENTON FROM THE TOPROPE which re-re-destroyz AKINO and you and I both hug and cry and weep at the horror and fun therein. Akino counters out of a bodyslam into a desperation Cross Arm Breaker and then a Fujiwara Armbreaker into a Crippler Crossface. Mary makes the ropes and Akino makes with the comical pumphandles on Mari's arm which Mari sells it like the queen rudo that she has become. Akino hits a missile dropkick and goes for a hurricanrana that Mari counters out of and follows up with a fucking Hansen-level Lariat and I weep and weep and weep love's easy tears at the beauty of new mother killing motherfuckers with bad ass old school offense. Akino counters an attempted something by Mary with a roll-up into a desperation Cross Arm Breaker. Mari tries a Diehard Kansai but AKINO mysterios out of it with a hurricanrana half the way down and they go into roll-ups. AKINO finally gets the win with the SWEET Hurricanaran into Cross Arm Breaker. Jesus Christ, Mari and Fabi are like Venus and Serena. This fucking rocked.
Takako Inoue vs Mariko Yoshida As you can imagine, this match works on every level. Takako the ultra-vixen. Yoshida the ass-stomper. Both working submissions and start early to make my pants submit to the merciless onslaught of sauciness. I shall now put my dick away and speak on the match. Mariko ROX IT on mat getting the first Cross Armbreakah. Takaoko kicks Mariko in stomach and DDTs to offense and does the really great kicks to the face - THEN they start punching each other in the face, with Yoshida getting the better AND THEN they get to a stalemate and both go back to a vertical base - as the late great Gordon Solie would note. This is important. Yoshida keeps schooling her on the mat- working Takako into a Cobra Clutch to set up a DDT to set-up an Inverted Indian Deathlock. Takako crawls to ropes and Yoshida follows with even cooler indescribably cool submissions. They keep going back a stalemate and Takao finally gets the advantage by FABULOUSLY kicking Mariko in the head as the story early is that Takako is gonna hang on the mat with Mariko but it's fucking Mariko Yoshida and you are going to lose on the mat - thus, let the punching and kicking and cheating begin. Hey! The oldest story in history of worked Professional Wrestling. Anyhoos, Mariko cuts her off by forearming her in the head and getting a headlock. Takako gets in another kick to head and goes up top more than likely for her eternally crappy Destiny Hammer but who can be sure? Yoshida catches her but cannot overpower her and Takako slams her hard to the mat. Yoshida ducks a Destiny Hammer and procures that cool ass rear naked choke combo with the leg pushing into the choke hold where you always go, "Jeez, that's a cool ass hold." Takako escapes and Yoshida starts kicking her in the face and hits a face crusher to set up a supernasty Air Raid Crash. Takako uricans to offense and whips out her tazer and you and I, as viewers and wrestling fans, no longer like this match. Takako tazes Yoshida and does a lot of suplexes and it sucks because it's so fake and stupid. Yoshida figures out how much selling the tazer makes the match suck and decides to move on with her life and wrestle and we all thank her for it. Takako punches her in the face and the match has ground to a halt. Yoshida somehow gets the tazer away from her and uses it to choke her out in the aforementioned submission hold which breathes a little life back into the aforementioned killed match. Takako gets back on offense with assorted punches to the head and kicks to the head. Yoshida rolls up to offense and they start punching each other in the face a whole bunch and the match has recovered it's steam as they flail around punching each other in the face and true lovers of the Professional Wrestling are glad to see the vim and vigour. Takako counters out of an Air Raid Crash into a Urican. Yoshida gets pissed off and decides to keep Air Raid Crashing Takako and lifting her head at every two count until the time limit is up. Odd match. Tazer gimmick MUST DIE NOW.
Lioness Asuka/GAMI vs. Bionic J/ Melissa vs. Ai Fujita/Omukai Three ways suck and so I assumes this one would too, but it has Melissa so we are filled with delight for another other our compatriots to prove herself in a distant land. Actually, Bionic J is a compatriot - for you gentle readers that live on the sacred soil of the United States, I forget that we are Bad, we're Worldwide - also so HEAR HEAR! At least it isn't like a scramble match or something, it's like a regular tag match with this extra tag team. GAMI and Omukai do some stuff and then AL Fujita comes in and does some strangely sloppy matwork. AL tags Melissa and she does a People's Elbow and it just seems right. Bionic J hits a Texas Cloverleaf and I'm wondering if this will be the greatest gimmick ever - a tag team that lives the USA gimmick by only doing moves that have US cities in the move. You and I await the Boston Crab and the Pearl City Plunge with breathless anticipation. Melissa hits the toprope Frankensteiner and cons Lioness into kicking GAMI in the head to set up a two count. J hits the SWANK lariat and Beating of GAMI never ends- as I notice that The Bionic J has lost even more weight and has really mastered the US Big Gal Ass-beater role and is superfun to watch these days. Lioness finally tags in for the bludgeoned GAMI and kills Bionic J with lariat and does a Table-Enhanced Double Stomp. Melissa is all intense while interfering and getting J on the O before Lioness kills the Bionic one with kicks. Omukai tags J and beats on Lioness and it's fun as they kick each other really hard. Omukai punches Lioness in the face a lot and Lioness counters with a bunch of spin kicks to the face. Omukai looks reeally good in with Lioness because Lioness is so tough as nails that Omukai can completely tee off and allow Lioness to set up Omukai's offense like Lionness was the best wrestler of the last 20 years or something. Omukai has a GREAT Shining Wizard and uses that to set up her Lyger Bomb to kill Lioness but good. Melissa comes in with a Nodawa after Bionic J spears Omukai to save Lionness and a small alliance is formed betwixt Lioness, GAMI and the Americans. AL comes in and punches Lioness before missing a moonsault to get a kick in the head and then another and then another and then another and then another. Lioness tags GAMI as AL and GAMI have a very okay exchange - what with GAMI doing the cool counter to a Springboard Elbow by ducking down and pulling the pad off the metal turnbuckle allowing AL to break her tiny elbow into kindling. GAMI crushes AL's elbow some more while Melissa and Lioness give Omukai the business out in the stands - with Melissa working all stiff as shit and looking like it even surprised Omukai. Lioness does the table doublestomop on AL's elbow and it looks NASTY. They finally take it to the ring and they continue to break AL's elbow. Melissa does the Double Arm Chickenwing Leg Scissors that Rippa would gladly pass out to. Lioness uses the Giant Swing to set up Cross Armbreaker. GAMI tags in and Fujita gets a slight comeback with a German with a Bridge but GAMI reverses it into a key lock as AL sells the damage to the elbow like a very hot, velvety champ. Omukai has a really great Destiny Hammer and Omukai uses it to become a house afire trying to save Fujita but GAMI is just killing Fujita. And then Lioness REALLY KILLS Fujita with a lariat. And then GAMI kills her again with a lariat - BUT but Fujita gets one final kick out before GAMI hits the cool ass Figure Four ARM Lock for the submission. It became a four on two "Omukai and her side are underdogs to evil Lionness" like these Lioness vs Omuikai things become. GAMI looked fucking great on offense and AL Fujita sold everything like a highly fuckable Ricky Steamboat. (Not that the Dragon isn't a piece and all...) This actually didn't suck. It was just kinda odd. Melissa and Taylor need to go back because their progress from tapes of Indie shows last time period of the DVDVR Joshi 100 and this tape is like fucking night and day. Fabulously oddly sexually charged little tape. You should get it because it has some good wrestling on it. Mari Apache is fucking AWESOME.
Oh yeah. In the BEST of the 3 good matches in the history of AWF- Chris Adams vs Tito Santana for the belt, the round system was utilized as well as anything I've ever seen from Europe. I need to go find that and watch it again. (And the other two matches were Fidel Sierra against Chris Adams ((I think)) and that trios match with Billy Two Eagles and those other two good-lookin' Native American guys whose names elude me.
It was Charlie Norris, Billy two Eagles and somebady against THE TEXAS motherfucking HANGMEN and a SuperDestroyer. And I remember the Tito Satana match being better than the Fidel Sierra match. Not hat I've actually reserved much brainroom to remember most of any of it.
It seemed as though Shawn Micheals was using this match to demonstrate to everyone that his back *was* A-Ok - using kippups, ladder topes, etc. Kind of ironic considering the career-injury job he did at the end.