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Matt D

Member Since 15 Jul 2008
Offline Last Active Today, 10:41 PM
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Topics I've Started

Gino Hernandez in Houston article

11 October 2017 - 06:29 PM

A few months ago, I put together a textual analysis of the uncovered Gino Hernandez footage on NWAonDemand for Mark Coale's publication. I just had Mark post it on the website now that we're a few months down the line and with the official transfer of the NWA.

 

The formatting's just a bit off at the end, but it's more than readable I think.

 

Here it is if anyone's interested:

 

https://winterpalace...es/gino-houston

 


The Stupid Ganso Bomb Argument

19 June 2017 - 08:46 AM

I'm sorry everyone:

 

32 Second Mark:

 

http://www.gettyimag...otage/594658907

 

I was just looking for Nick Kozak footage. I swear. (The finish of that match looks awesome by the way)

 

This is something else, but it's got such a cool finish too: http://media.gettyim...deo-id594666469


Dr. Cerebro vs Hechicero (Lucha Memes - Chairo 8 - 01/29/17)

30 January 2017 - 08:39 AM

I caught a blurry, single angle, fan cam on youtube where the sound cut out for two minutes at the start of the last third of the match. I don't care. It was still great for what it was, which was pretty much exactly what you'd want it to be: two of the best hybrid style luchadores (maybe the best of such of the 00s vs the best of such of the 10s) going at it with tricked out twisty submissions, solid rope running, some nasty shots, and transitions that made sense, even though it was very back and forth and evenly worked. The camera was just far back enough that you lost some of the intricacies of the matwork, but you get the broad brushstrokes. Holds were complex enough that they looked painful but allowed for openings. Those openings led not just to an escape but to the next hold. Maybe because Cerebro isn't as young as he once was, some of the rope running sequence wasn't as smooth as it could have been, but it was smooth enough that the slight roughness added a sense of struggle instead of detracting. They looped in some fun big moments, like a Hechicero Backlund deadlift out of an armbar that popped the crowd and a really well executed rolling tapitia. I thought the selling was generally appropriate. They had some pop ups in an early bomb exchange, but it was early enough that I was fine with it and they made sure to take their time and balance the explosiveness with a methodological moment to let what just happened sink in. In general, I love how good Hechicero's gotten at working the hand-motions/crowd interaction into his matches. That character mystique implanted directly into his ringwork is his biggest development as a wrestler since moving into CMLL. If you're a fan of this style, this is well worth fifteen minutes of your time.


La Fiera vs Kahoz (CMLL 7/9/1996)

27 January 2017 - 09:12 AM

Edit of my Segunda Caida review. Someone check this out (it's currently on youtube) and tell me if I'm way off in the comparison or not.
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This was a poor man's Sangre Chicana vs MS-1. That said, even a poor man's Sangre Chicana vs MS-1 is still a rich man's match. 
 
I'm not entirely sure what the backstory was here. Kahoz had lost his mask to Shocker in 1995 (which seems very early for Shocker to pick up that sort of a win even if it was December and after he won the Gran Alternativa). I'm sure everyone knows that Kahoz was a gimmick that Pena himself had used but had given to Astro Rey in the 80s. I hadn't known that until now. Anyway, it doesn't look like there was a ton of build to this. It really doesn't matter.
 
This followed the beautifully minimalist Chicana vs MS-1 format, though here Fiera was a full tecnico. That meant that Kahoz took over early, spent long minutes beating Fiera to a pulp, bloodying him all around the ring and the ringside area. This was where Fiera shined, selling broadly, bleeding huge, drawing a ton of sympathy. There was little attempt to fight back but that just build up the pressure for the eventual comeback all the more. Kahoz ended the fall with three pick-up/drop downs in a row (which I'm not sure I've ever actually seen. He could have finished him but kept picking him up; more on that later), and a stepover submission. As a primera, it was just as good as MS-1 vs Chicana, I think, a bloody, brutal beating.
 
The segunda and tercera were still solid, even at times transcendent, but there just wasn't quite enough there to match the very best bloody one-sided brawls. In the moment, like with all Fiera tecnico performances, I kept waiting for the trademark spin-kick to signal the comeback. As a single move, it's not quite as good as Chicana's punch, but it's more stylized, flashier even if less visceral. He hit it early in the segunda, but not until countering a caught kick into an vicious enziguri. From there it was a short but utterly triumphant revenge beating, capped off with a picture perfect frog splash. The tercera was more of the same, awesome punches, blood and selling, a spot-on kick to the back of the head to send Kahoz to the floor followed by exactly the tope the match needed, all capping with a finish that called back to Kahoz arrogantly picking Fiera back up in the primera.
 
Like I said, if you like MS-1 vs Sangre Chicana, you'll probably like this too. Even though it's not as good, that's still as good a company as a hair match can be in.

Pro Wrestling Noah (Matt D version)

03 November 2016 - 07:16 AM

I'm not sure how frequently I'll do this or how far I'll get but I am going to watch some Noah. I have seen >5 Noah matches and could not tell you what they were if you asked. Except for Marifuji vs Taue. I'm pretty sure that was Noah.

 

Young GOTNW has sent me a list of things he thinks I'd like. I'll do a write up, include my real time notes in a spoiler tag (probably best not to read those), and then conclude with a 1-5 Noahs ranking based on the following criteria solely: "How glad am I that I saw this match?"  Don't look at them like star ratings. They're not.

 

Let's begin.

 

Kenta Kobashi vs Masao Inoue - 3/1/2009

 

This felt like Jerry Lawler returning to the Mid-South Coliseum in December, 1980, if he was ten years older and up against Carl Fergie instead of Dream Machine. That's a bit of a stretch. Maybe it was more like if 1980 Jose Lothario was up against 1980 Rip Rogers? We learn by building off of our pre-existing knowledge and that's where my mind went first. This was the returning babyface king, tough as nails, absolutely deadly, perhaps a step slower but as tough as ever against a stooging heel well over his head. 

 

It was pure Memphis to begin, with Inoue, who has a sort of jovial, friendly look to him, dodging an early chop. That's how the match began, with a lock up and the duck of a Kobashi chop. It was all heightened reality. The chop was a home run swing. The duck was exaggerated. The reaction from the crowd and Inoue was if he dodged a bullet. Realizing the climb before him and the fact that the last thing he wanted in the entire world was to get hit by one of those chops, Inoue, no longer jovial but instead a man with his own doom upon his mind, went straight for the eyes. He utilized these long, extended (again over-exaggerated in the best way) rakes and followed with some World of Sport styled positioning of the ref so as to punch repeatedly in a headlock (the ref didn't play along). He tried some shoulder blocks to no avail (selling the difference between the two with comedic running in place before the second one). When that didn't work, he went back to the eyes. Kobashi, partially blinded, responded with another home run shot, this time a spinning back chop. Inoue ducked it and then powdered hitting the floor to stall. The fans responded exactly as they should, seeing full well the symbolic value of every swing. Kobashi was patient and stoic, sitting upon the ropes, opening them to goad Inoue back in (another gasp). 

 

They reset and locked back up, but only for a moment, as Inoue went back to the eyes. This led to some comedically ineffective clubbering, a futile kick, and a second attempt, which Kobashi, perfectly serious and unaffected, caught. He slammed the foot down temporarily immobilizing Inoue, and the entire world came to a halt as the chops began. Kobashi knew 100% the value of his every strike here, built up both over the years and within this match itself. His windup was huge. Inoue dropped like a brick and rolled out to delay the crowd's gratification for just another moment. The tide had shifted though and the genie was out of the bottle. Kobashi immediately pressed Inoue into the ropes upon his entrance back to the ring and the chops continued, slow, methodological, paced with big set ups and time given for their effect to settle in. Standing, falling, to the throat, with a suplex and a few pins interspersed. At one point, Kobashi, having Inoue in the corner after a failed attempt from the latter to fight out, even hopped from foot to foot (small motions, but measured ones) in order to set up a chop. Inoue collapsed, sold and begged off but I would have liked to see a bit more active flailing. At times, it seemed like he almost went catatonic from the impact. It was effective and perhaps didn't take attention away from Kobashi, but I would have liked to see something a bit more broad and visual from him to get across the severity of the blows. In general though, it was a hugely effective opening that allowed for the establishment of symbolic meaning, anticipation and then satisfying payoff.

 

The rest of the match was centered around Inoue doing anything in his power to get an advantage but being completely unable to capitalize. His lone advantage was his youth, shown first and foremost in his ability to reverse Kobashi's whips. One of these, into the guardrail, gave him his best chance. He was able to keep control for a minute after that by working over the back, but abandoned it after Kobashi decided to do some push ups out of a Boston Crab (Inoue's stooging facial reaction to that was great, it's worth noting). I'm guessing his finisher was some sort of contrived 2009 head drop out of a torture rack. He went for it twice only to have it fail and cost him each time. On the second, Kobashi reversed and went for the half-nelson suplex. Inoue gasped and escaped but at the cost that he was finally opened up and trapped in the corner for the rapid-fire chops. This felt like an almost religious experience for the crowd, who clapped along. The most striking image of the whole match to me was a middle-aged (maybe even older) man in a suit with glasses and a giddy look in his face as he clapped to the oscillating speed of the chops. Kobashi followed this by hitting the half-nelson suplex. Inoue took it like a champ but did make it back to his feet for one last eyerake (which I was okay with because he'd mostly taken pain but not punishment in the back so far), before eating a huge Kobashi clothesline for the win.

 

Inoue played his role well, looking for any opportunity, treating Kobashi with the proper fear and respect. The one moment in the match where he dared to stand up and even ask for those chops, he could only take two (to huge effect; no no-selling here) before begging off in the corner (that didn't work). He was more comedic than credible but was persistent and frenetic enough to bring movement to the match and he made sure to react for the back row to every situation he found himself in. I appreciated how he let Kobashi embrace him after the match but continued to sell and almost melted out of the ring after a few seconds, letting Kobashi seem magnanimous while not making it about him at all.  Kobashi's restraint was admirable and it more than paid off. He garnered a lot of value from almost every chop and the end result felt, as I indicated, almost like a religious experience for the crowd. 

 

I enjoyed this a lot. I loved the thought put into the opening of the match, and thought most of what Inoue did throughout the match as he tried to deal with the monolith that was Kobashi made sense and had meaning. They went home exactly when it should have. It had to be, more or less, what people wanted out of a feel-good Kobashi return match.

 

Four and a half Noahs (not a star rating).

Spoiler

Notes (I don't suggest reading these):

Spoiler