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Laz

Member Since 15 Jan 2015
Online Last Active Today, 08:36 PM
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Topics I've Started

2 Cold Scorpio vs. Sexton Hardcastle (PCW 5/16/98)

28 February 2018 - 11:05 PM

This match was given to me by SPS for the review trade.

It's always interesting to see the early work of what one may call a legend. Despite the general opinion here being not particularly high, I've always been an Edge fan (he being the former Sexton Hardcastle). Though the term may arguably be applied quite liberally, Edge was one of THE top guys of his era and has an impressive resumé as both a tag and singles talent in WWE. To me, he's the Brendan Fraser of pro wrestling: a generically charming talent with enough charisma and ability to carry himself even if he's not a true superstar lead. Vanilla, but not offensively bland.

This match, fine as it may be, suffers from a few elements. One being that it happened during a low point in Scorpio's career, where he saw the writing on the wall and phoned it in more often than not. Another being that most mid/late 90s indie work I've seen follows the WWF 1995 midcard formula (arm wringer, clothesline, chinlock, go home), which has to be the most intensely boring type of match I've seen. Finally, Hardcastle's selling is always momentary, a trait that the future WWE HOFer would never really shake.

None of this is to say that the match is awful, though. Hardcastle has always had an appeal to him on sight alone, carrying himself with a very real star presence, and his ridiculous white boy dancing to mock Scorpio only gets better throughout the match. There's also a gorgeous Electric Chair Drop that Scorpio sells like death, only recovering because Hardcastle takes so long dancing. The finishing stretch is fun, too, as Scorpio's moonsault is interrupted by Flash Flanagan (a stable member of Hardcastle), and then the rest of Revolution X tries to interfere (including Reckless Youth and Christian Cage), but they're run off by Brian Lee and a few other faces allowing Scorpio to finish Hardcastle off.

As an aside, Brian Lee reminds me of the trailer trash character Michael McDonald would play on MadTV. He looks like he'd kill you in a heartbeat, he talks like he wants to, but then he throws little sissy punches and the gag is revealed.

Overall, a nice lower card match, and quite a palate cleanser after Tanaka/Murahama.

5/10, **1/2

Ugly Ducklings vs. OI4K (PWX Season's Deletings 12/18/16)

31 January 2018 - 08:22 AM

We start with OI4K's entrance and it's nothing special, leading us to the Ugly Ducklings making their way out. Coach Mikey (team manager) is dressed like an elf since 'tis the season, and riles up the crowd to quack for Colby Corino...who couldn't make it but quickly shows up anyway. No drama, just a brief "he couldn't make it but it's time for miracles." What do ya know, out comes Colby. Possibly stoned.

The Crists dive out and it's Sami Callihan/Rob Killjoy for a moment but a Death Valley Bomb makes it just Sami. Lance Lude in to take Sami out with tilt-a-whirl heasscissors. Dave Crist with a crossbody to Lude and then Colby takes him out with a springboard gamengiri. Jake with a neckbreaker to Corino and then it's dive time.

Colby teases a pair of dives to Dave and then finally does it on the third, taking me out of the match since it defies logic. Hey, Dave, you had two chances to move out of the way and didn't. You're an idiot.

The match quickly breaks down into MOVEZ and spots, one highlight being Sami booting Lude mid-moonsault. A brief skirmish between Coach Mikey and PWX official Anderson devolves into a catfight of sorts, leading to a six-man staredown. Elbow trades and the Ducks take over until Sami and Killjoy trade chops.

A quick rant about how most matches work now: Sami throws wonderful looking strikes, often throwing his entire body into them, and nobody's ever booked it so his shots mean more than anybody else's. I have a problem with FIGHTING SPIRIT~ trades that aren't properly built to or just downright lack logic and this is one of those examples. Sami and Killjoy may be around the same height but Sami has more mass and throws better looking strikes than I'd say the majority of indie talent, so why the hell can't a no-name like Rob Killjoy eat them with pride? He'd look that much better fighting from underneath.

Killjoy kisses Sami and Jake before eating a triple team stomp/Tombstone and then Dave hits useless Colby with a springboard cutter. Killjoy and Lude catch Dave with a Doomsday knee for the finish and all men shake hands after.

PRO:
-Always great to have a hot crowd, and the PWX crowd was hot
-Ugly Ducklings have their own
-Sami Callihan rarely disappoints

CON:
-There was virtually no flow, just spots one after another
-Colby lacks the ring presence of his father or the athleticism of anybody else in the match
-There was probably a total of 10 minutes of action but it felt much longer due to the pacing

**1/2, 5/10

Dory Funk Jr./Terry Funk vs. The Sheik/Abdullah the Butcher, AJPW Open Tag League 12/15/77

08 January 2018 - 02:23 PM

We immediately start with Dory and Terry attacking the opposition, the highlights of which include Terry showing that violent streak he's become legendary for by choking the heel manager (can't tell if it's Grand Wizard or Eddie Creatchman) with his own scarf. What makes this extra special is how Terry shoves his feet against the bottom rope to really wrench it back, and this is followed quickly by Dory stomping a bloodied Abby (surprise!) and dropping elbows, stopping only when Sheik (who's taken a worse beating and sells the hell out of it) kicks him in the ribs.

The pace crawls for a bit as the heels get their shine, but it picks up in no time when Sheik spikes Terry's arm and shoulder as Joe Higuchi just sorta lets it happen. That's one of my few complaints that don't involve Dory's aversion to charisma.

Terry gets taken out and Dory gets double teamed for a bit. Again, Higuchi ignoring the in-plain-view spike is annoying, but all is saved by Terry making his triumphant return. Bandaged, bloodied, but he'll bring the fires of hell if they think they're treating big brother Dory the way they treated him.

The finish comes when Sheik spikes Higuchi in the throat, bringing a DQ. While not a satisfying ending by any stretch, knowing that the feud goes on for a few more years alleviates my issues. Post-match brawl, the heels leave, and the Funks are presented their trophy.

PRO:
-There's a match featuring three of the godfathers of hardcore and it's as bloody as the time period allowed.
-Seriously, Terry Funk is incredible.
-The pacing is nigh perfect, to the point where I completely lost track of time and didn't check until, unbeknownst to me at the time, the finishing stretch was about to kick in. This is something missing from most matches I've seen in the last 5 years.
-BELIEVABLE SELLING. These 4 men are presented as either fantastic athletes or just all-around tough SOBs, and seeing Dory jump right to a sell mid-kick was beautiful. Sheik deserves a ton of love here, too, as he took that early beating and staggered back for more.
-TERRY. FUNK.

CON:
-Higuchi ignoring Sheik's blatant use of a foreign object.
-While the finish may work in the context of the feud overall, I hate screwy finishes to tournaments. Always have, always will.
-Too much Dory, not enough Terry (even if Terry's role was utilized perfectly).
-HIGUCHI IGNORING THE GODDAMN SPIKE.

Overall, this was a blast. It's so odd to hear a Japanese crowd unglued for an entire match instead of key dramatic moments, and the heat definitely added to it. This is exactly the type of wrestling I love the most, Richey, and I'm glad you sent it to me.

FINAL VERDICT:
7.5/10, ***3/4

Dory Funk Jr./Terry Funk vs. The Sheik/Abdullah the Butcher, AJPW Open Tag League 12/15/77

06 January 2018 - 10:06 PM

We immediately start with Dory and Terry attacking the opposition, the highlights of which include Terry showing that violent streak he's become legendary for by choking the heel manager (can't tell if it's Grand Wizard or Eddie Creatchman) with his own scarf. What makes this extra special is how Terry shoves his feet against the bottom rope to really wrench it back, and this is followed quickly by Dory stomping a bloodied Abby (surprise!) and dropping elbows, stopping only when Sheik (who's taken a worse beating and sells the hell out of it) kicks him in the ribs.

The pace crawls for a bit as the heels get their shine, but it picks up in no time when Sheik spikes Terry's arm and shoulder as Joe Higuchi just sorta lets it happen. That's one of my few complaints that don't involve Dory's aversion to charisma.

Terry gets taken out and Dory gets double teamed for a bit. Again, Higuchi ignoring the in-plain-view spike is annoying, but all is saved by Terry making his triumphant return. Bandaged, bloodied, but he'll bring the fires of hell if they think they're treating big brother Dory the way they treated him.

The finish comes when Sheik spikes Higuchi in the throat, bringing a DQ. While not a satisfying ending by any stretch, knowing that the feud goes on for a few more years alleviates my issues. Post-match brawl, the heels leave, and the Funks are presented their trophy.

PRO:
-There's a match featuring three of the godfathers of hardcore and it's as bloody as the time period allowed.
-Seriously, Terry Funk is incredible.
-The pacing is nigh perfect, to the point where I completely lost track of time and didn't check until, unbeknownst to me at the time, the finishing stretch was about to kick in. This is something missing from most matches I've seen in the last 5 years.
-BELIEVABLE SELLING. These 4 men are presented as either fantastic athletes or just all-around tough SOBs, and seeing Dory jump right to a sell mid-kick was beautiful. Sheik deserves a ton of love here, too, as he took that early beating and staggered back for more.
-TERRY. FUNK.

CON:
-Higuchi ignoring Sheik's blatant use of a foreign object.
-While the finish may work in the context of the feud overall, I hate screwy finishes to tournaments. Always have, always will.
-Too much Dory, not enough Terry (even if Terry's role was utilized perfectly).
-HIGUCHI IGNORING THE GODDAMN SPIKE.

Overall, this was a blast. It's so odd to hear a Japanese crowd unglued for an entire match instead of key dramatic moments, and the heat definitely added to it. This is exactly the type of wrestling I love the most, Richey, and I'm glad you sent it to me.

FINAL VERDICT:
7.5/10, ***3/4