Thanks to http://www.digits.com for their badass righteous free counters
Pro Wrestling 2/24/02
No long-winded pretentious blabbin' this time - I got Charles Dickens to tackle. I shall cut right to the quick. THE QUICK, I say.
Alright, I'll stop.
1. Top Gun Talwar vs. Sgt. Stryker See, this is why I'm glad we have such fine resources as This Fine Site providing the match results, because up until I read the official results I could have *SWORN* that it was "Tough John Talwar". Well, whatever his name was, I got moded by him. As for the match, it was perfectly serviceable - nothing that'll set the world on fire, mind you, but perfectly serviceable. It was pretty much a straight rookie match - neither guy really tried to do anything too advanced (though Stryker kept breaking out some fairly elaborate submissions) - but unlike most rookie matches where they spend the sum total of the match building to a highspot, here the emphasis seemed to be mostly on counters, which ALWAYS makes me a Pleased and Rotund Critic. Of course, the match had all the flaws that tend to go along with rookie matches - directionless, and lots of hesitation - but I tend to be pretty forgiving of that kind of thing, as I'm confident that they'll improve with time.
2. SoCal Loco vs. Cyberspace More of the same. The ring ropes seemed REALLY loose during the show, to the point where if there was something else that was fucking up the wrestlers running up the ropes, I didn't even notice it. Loco IMMEDIATELY got himself over as the babyface of the frickin' SHOW simply by bellowing "VIVA MEXICO", which got him over like CRAAAAAZY with the La Raza guys (which is good, because my Silent Bastard Wrestling Fan tendencies are exacerbated when I'm one of like eight people there to actually SEE THE SHOW [as compared to everyone else, who seemed like they were in the neighborhood and noticed a wrestling show]). The match itself was fine, mostly thanks to Cyberspace selling Loco's offense convincingly (if not consistently). Cyberspace was also more than up for diving from the top rope down to the ground - the UNPADDED CEMENT GROUND, that is, and on loose-ass ropes no less. If it were up to me, I'd have shaved like two or three minutes off this one, since I think if they'd done the same spots at a moderately higher pace it'd have been much more impressive, but then again there you go. Loco seemed like he was hitting his big spots before his segments on offense were peaking, so he'd seem kind of lost for a little while. Other than that, this was Perfectly Acceptable Free Indy Outside With Eight People And The Looming Threat Of A Million Bees There Wrestling.
3. Excalibur vs. Shogun A disappointing match; arguably the worst Excalibur match I've ever seen. And it was STILL eminantly watchable! Aside from a few somewhat ugly spots, execution was pretty spot-on, which, as far as the live experience goes, is usually enough to keep me engaged. I also thought it was paced pretty well; Excalibur's getting to the point where he's got a wide enough range of credible finishers that he's always got the ability to inject some drama into a match (although I do question the necessity of him busting out the TD '98 in this match, in front of eight people etc etc etc). Mostly this match fell apart in terms of selling; both guys seemed overeager to pull off their moves and on multiple occasions just jumped up. Nevertheless, disappointing though the match was, it was Perfectly Fine, and I stand firm in my belief that Excalibur's low-end stuff is a billion times better than Ric Blade (/Red/And so on)'s high-end stuff. I AM SALIVATING FOR THE TWENTY-SECOND.
And if you thought I was going to go without mentioning the Other Thing that happened during this match, you are NUTS. Like I just done said ad infinitum, this match wasn't their best, but I think I had a better time during this match than in any other one of theirs. Consider the outside circumstances:
cuts a pre-match promo where he basically calls the entire audience stupid.
Ah, fuck you, I'm a sucker for cheap heel heat.
I HEART INDY WRESTLING. Call me when Edge does something half that funny.
4. American Wild Child/Goalie Howe vs. King Faviano/Buddy George IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII'm not so sure about this here match. Everything stays decidedly to the low end, with all four guys tending to play to the crowd instead of structure the match. By the end it basically turned into the Mathematically Least Tantalizing ECW Brawl Ever, as there was plunder (in the form of a trash can), a piss-poor catfight, and as screwy an ending as you're probably likely to find in a match under the aegis of Ron Rivera these days. Eh, but then again I wasn't here to see these guys.
5. Disco Machine/TARO/Street Style vs. Rising Son/Pinoy Boy/Super Dragon This certainly wasn't their best match, but for what it was, it was perfectly fine. I started liking it a LOT more about a third of the way through, upon realizing that it wasn't going to build like the classic RevPro matches, but instead was basically going to be all six guys getting a chance to show off what they could do. By that measuring stick, it was pretty good, especially considering that they seemed to be saving their best stuff for next month. I was most impressed by Disco Machine, who in my absence got Real Real Good. Honestly, right now I'd probably rather see him in a match than, say, Frankie Kazarian. He was hanging with everyone else in this match in terms of execution and selling - although, come to think of it, a six-man might not be the best place to judge selling - and never seemed to be lost whenever he was in the ring. He also bled like a stuck pig from the eyebrow, which is a first for me to see live. TARO also seemed to be back to his old form, which is AWESOME since I haven't seen him wrestle at what seemed to me to be %100 in many a moon. He sold like a champ, and as usual was more than willing to eat a big bowl of death in terms of taking moves. I call for a best of a billion and one series with Dragon NOW. On the tecnico side, Dragon was, well, Dragon. He didn't hit any of his big spots, what with the ropes being too loose for him to do the Leg Lariat of Incredible Awe or any big dives, and fuck, like ANYONE ON EARTH would endanger someone's life with a Psycho Driver in front of like eight people, so he compensated by working STIFF STIFF STIFF. I mean he fucking WASTED Street Style with a lariat toward the end, and was throwing elbows like nobody's business. And Pinoy Boy continues to impress the holy hell out of me. Honestly, if I'm him at this point in time, I'm trying to think up a finisher - his matches are always technically good, but they all feel like they're building toward a big, emphatic finish which, due to him not having a consistent, memorable finisher, always comes off as somewhat anticlimactic. Simply having something to put in that slot would do WORLDS for him, sez I. Son was Son; always willing to die, but here he really was held back not just by the loose ropes, but by the size of the ring. Son's always at his best when he's got more room to add all sorts of embellishments to his moves; here, confined not just in a miniscule ring, but in a miniscule ring with *five* other guys, he just wasn't able to do his thang like usual. I was greatly encouraged to see that instead of just throwing his usual stuff out there and seeing what he COULD do, he instead changed his game, putting increased emphasis on his "Ivy League feet" (the finisher actually came off of one of his new jumping roundhouse kicks) and on making his "regular" moves look more damaging (viz. his WIIIIIIIIIIIICKED El Samurai Reverse DDT). And Street Style was perfectly competant; I don't remember him blowing any spots or anything, but he seemed to be relatively interchangeable (in comparison, the match would have changed dramatically if, say, Excalibur or Yakuza had been added in his stead). He's very talented, and I think in time he'll be a valuable addition to the RevPro roster (assuming, of course, that he keeps working with these guys), but here...eh, you know the drill.
I key on the performances so much because the match was basically structure-free once you get past the bare minimum (i.e. heels try to cheat their way to victory via cutting off corners, double-teaming behind ref's back, etc) - just six guys hitting their spots, building to a finisher-intensive conclusion. Was this bad? Hell no - the match as a whole was fun, and at times even got pretty good. But fun doesn't necessarily equal good. This felt like a test run, frankly. And of course the good news is that if the test-run is this fun, the real deal's gonna ROCK.
Post-match, Shogun reappears in the La Raza area and starts screaming about how "if you ain't brown, you ain't down", and I lose it all over again.
I dunno. My expectations weren't high for this show, what with the outside and the free and the car show and the bees and everything. But I did have a good time, and even speaking objectively, even if the wrestling isn't within a shadow of what I've seen most of these guys do, that doesn't mean I didnt' enjoy it. It was fun; I had a good time, and that's all I really wanted out of the show. I didn't feel cheated one bit.
VIVA SHOGUN. VIVA LA RAZA.
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