Thanks to http://www.digits.com for their badass righteous free counters
Pro 02/24/01 - Indy Report
You are all suckers for not living in Southern California. We gots the fine ladies, we gots the movin' pictures, and we gots the REVOLUTION PRO, which may very well be the greatest indy fed in all the land right now. And they apparantly felt pity for us poor fools what didn't get to go to the Super 8 (although you'll ALL BE JEALOUS when they run their version of the J-Cup in April), so they gave us one big mother bastard of a show, with the potential there for three ****+ matches. Did it deliver? Let's us take a look.
BUT FIRST - THE PRE-SHOW FESTIVITIES
- If I didn't mention that I was a colossal dumbass who didn't read the flyer and frantically drove out the night before during LA rush hour traffic, I'd be remiss. And you know how I feel about being remiss.
- I met Doron Diamond, a cool guy with whom I shall be exchanging both tapes and viewpoints aboot the fed. Tonight was his first show, and he was somewhat peeved that they didn't have the 1/5/01 and 1/12/01 shows on tape there for sale. I, on the other hand, am extraordinarily peeved by their absence, as I was planning to drop a twenty on that tape faster than an epileptic in a porno theater. But they're just available through the site, so I'll have to pay with a money order like a sucker. Doeth.
- For all you out there who complain about it being cold in wherever you're from... just remember - in Los Angeles, relativity makes fifty-eight degrees feel like twenty-two. It was NOT WARM AT ALL.
- Super Dragon busts out the Line of the Pre-Show Festivities, which for discretion's sake I will refrain from relaying.
- The new place is S-M-A-L-L. The old Dojo is palatial and expansive by comparison. There's so little room that the fed actually has to set up a tarp tent outside and have the wrestlers dress there, and all the while motherly types are jovially peeking through the tarp. Inside, the place is about as long, if you remove the back half of the old dojo with the balcony and such and replace it with nothing, and not nearly as wide. In the words of the announcer "everyone be careful...you're all in a crash zone". Oddly, they have four flags hanging up: Japan, Mexico, the USA... and Bolivia. The first three make great good wrestling sense, but Bolivia... in the overheard words of American Wildchild: "I don't know what's happening in Bolivia".
- Why they decided to play about %70 of the Best of Quiet Riot CD before the show started is beyond me.
1. Romeo vs. El Gallinero
(Pre-match, Gallinero cracks me up when, after the ref checks him for international objects, he *checks the ref* for the same. REV PRO ATTITUDE!)
Having only seen Romeo in his match on the 7/7/00 tape, I can't say I'm all too prepared for what he's going to bring. It turns out he brings the Cheap Heel Tactics from Hell (doing things like taunting the audience with threats of inflicting "a lesson in pimpology" on them), which is kind of a mixed blessing; on the one hand, it actually gets people acting like they're actually into the match (as with seemingly all SC crowds, this one was DEAD, no thanks to me of course), but on the other hand, it has him breaking off in the middle of the match to soliliquize about how the audience is a bunch of morons. It was like RVD, except for that the highspots weren't as cool, but the non-match portions were actually intriguing. The match had a build like all hell to the Chicken Run (Gallinero's finisher, a run-up-the-ropes tornado Stunner) from the very start, but in all honesty that was the most notable workrate-related thing about the match. Romeo did bust out some decent suplex & backbreaker variations, but on the whole, the match was just kind of there. Considering that Romeo's main point is his loud asshole heelishness and Gallinero's big point is that he's a wrestling chicken, it wasn't that bad. But from a wrestling standpoint... probably about *3/4, maaaaaaaybe hitting **, which is about as much as I've come to expect from RevPro openings. Of course, if I ever saw a *3/4 match not involving the cruiserweights on Nitro, I'd vomit in surprise, but them's the breaks.
2. UltraTaro Jr. vs. Shogun Disappointing, to be honest. It hurts me deeply to do it, but this just wasn't too great. The talent involved could have had this one at **** or higher, but they just seemed a little out-of-sync. Taro's strikes looked really worked tonight, and Shogun's selling seemed a little off. But more pressing was the fact that the match was just spotty, which is REALLY puzzling considering that both guys are well-versed enough in the fundamentals to know how to tell a consistent story in a match. They kept teasing Shogun going up top, but having Taro block it, which was really good, and gave the match some depth, but other than that... little things like Taro doing a sloppy-looking headscissors takeover or Shogun overselling a floor bump - I thought he was legit hurt because of how long it took him to get back in the ring, not to mention it was inconsistent with his selling for the rest of the match - just made the match flat. Mind you, no match with Taro or Shogun can suck entirely; the aforementioned teased top-rope match focus, Shogun's reversal of a bunch of moves into some AWESOME looking Boston/Half crab holds, Taro's playing to the crowd, Taro's 'rana of Shogun off the top rope, a couple of portions of ridiculous stiffness... by no means was this match bad. But looking at it, it's a lot like Sasuke vs. Tiger from the Skydiving J show - considering who's in it, "not too bad" isn't very good. Call it about ** to **1/4, and it really pains me to say that. I think it was mostly ring rust, as these guys haven't had a show in a month. Give 'em a show or two to get out of the rut and back into the groove, and THEN give me a rematch.
3. B-Boy vs. Rising Son One of the reasons I love RevPro so much is because at just about every show I've been to, there's always a different breakout worker. The January shows saw Excalibur, American Wildchild, and Disco Machine all impress me mightily. Well, B-Boy - I'm sure you're glad to know that you can count yourself in that number. B-Boy ROCKED REALLY HARD tonight - he hesitated a little bit on one sequence at the beginning of the match, and the from that point forward was BALLS OUT AWESOME. I've never seen someone channel the very essence of what being a RUDO is all about like B-Boy did - where CIMA is likeable for his cockiness, B-Boy was just a cocky, cocky badass. From the moment he stepped in the ring, assuming the position as if he were being searched by a cop, then doing it again...you knew you were in for something special. And that something turned out to be one HELL of a match; Rising Son's entertaining to watch regardless of who you put against him, but when you have him go against an opponent who's really good at telling a story or expressing character through wrestling, he just SPARKLES. Everything B-Boy did SMACKED of assholishness, just the way it should. More impressive was the way that he took Rising F'n Son, High Spot Machine at Large, back to 1985 in the Sportatorium by working the shinbreaker->figure four combo, which needless to say, had me going NUTS. And just in case he wasn't sure that I was marking out, he made sure to lean back when he had Son in the Figure 4 whenever Son tried to punch him in the head, resulting in Son doing the smart thing and punching B-Boy's leg in order to get him to release the hold. Simply beautiful. Of course, if you think that he's just another old-school holdover, you couldn't be more wrong; he does some of the most amazing powerbomb variations I've ever seen (his inverted black tiger bomb was just awe inspiring), including the ABSOLUTE NUMBER ONE AND THE BEST WITH A BIG-ASS BULLET variation I've ever seen (and one that I've been wondering if it's even possible): He was facing the ropes about a step away and he picked up Son, dropped him down so that his shoulders hit the ropes, then as Son was rebounding, he turned around and dropped him in a Liger bomb. I'm not sure if it's ever been done before, but it was definitely one of the more impressive moves I've ever seen live. And don't think Son got left out either; he benefitted immeasurably from the fact that B-Boy was playing a HEEL instead of a cool heel as it made all his highspots seem cooler. I'm still kind of pissed that he didn't do his better-than-pretty-much-anyone-on-the-planet Sasuke springboard moonsault, because it's just a thing of beauty. Nobody else makes it look like it doesn't hurt them more than the guy who they're doing the move against. He DID bust out the bomb-ass Tope Atomico which just looked stellar, and the really sweet Swanton (made all the cooler because the ring actually has a light structure hanging down that I'm *SURE* is going to eventually become a point in a match). The match on the whole was very, very good. Matt Sinister gets Line of the Night when Son is trapped in a jujigatami when he calls "Let's see the Backlund ending!", and holds onto Line of the Night for a good twenty minutes. I can't give it any higher than **** to ****1/4 on an absolute technical scale, because there were some moments of hesitation and a lot of spotty selling (in particular, when B-Boy knocked out the ref, then hit three massive moves on Son culminating in the inverted BT bomb, then, when trying to wake the ref back up, got nailed by a few powerful Son moves; it looked like Son was no-selling death). But on the wow factor and coolness factor, this was just really good. Let me say that again: this match was really good. If you can overlook the spotty selling and such and cut straight to the meat of the matter, then you've got a really FUCKING great match on your hands. And B-Boy... I'm officially a Fan for Life. It'll only be a matter of time before the rest of the world catches up, because when someone's this talented, people eventually will find out.
4. Matt Sinister vs. The Hardcore Kid Actually this doesn't happen. I think I'm going to cool it on the Matt-bashing, because I just feel enormous pity for him; when he walks to the ring, he's lucky he has loud music, because the crowd is SILENT. I try to offer a half-assed "boo", which is about as much emotional involvement in character that you'll get from me as I'm a Shitty Wrestling Fan, but nothing. Hardcore Kid doesn't show, and nobody comes forward to challenge him (and American Wildchild is SITTING RIGHT THERE), so we instead get the Twenty Minute Promo. Surprisingly, though, Sinister's pretty competant on THE STICK tonight; he gives what would ordinarily be a face-turn promo about how devoted he is to the sport and how he knows he wanted to be a wrestler since he first saw The Iron Sheik vs. Bruno Sammartino. However, the promo takes a turn for the legendary when, after she hollers for him to "bring it (the promo) home", he just LAYS INTO some full-figured woman regarding her weight. And he does not pull his verbal punches. He busts out the always popular "You talk about restholds... you get blown up on the way to the bathroom" and the "I saw you talkin'... you were all Matt! *pant*gasp*", as the fans get more and more behind him with every putdown. The clincher, of course, comes when she tells him to go suck a dick (something about a RevPro crowd and encouragement for men to perform oral sex on men), prompting him to reply with Your! Line of the Night: "Honey, I'm sure you know something about putting things in your mouth". Even I, who felt sorry for her getting called out so mercilessly, couldn't help but laugh at that one. CLEV-ER. It's essentially a face turn; you know times have changed when a male Britney Spears is the most over face on an OMEGA show and insulting a woman gets you over as a face in SoCal. Of course, he still leaves as a heel. It's a damn shame that this segment was so loud and the B-Boy/Son match was so quiet, relatively speaking.
5. Super Dragon vs. Excalibur
(Pre-match, Excalibur's music plays, but he doesn't show. Eventually, they play the music again, and he comes out with Taro, who proves that he DOES know that I'm comparing him to Owen [and earning my admiration] by using the "I'm a champion, dammit!" line that makes me Clap and Holler. These two then cut a promo, and considering that they're indy workers in a fed where workrate is king, they're pretty good on the stick.)
Here we go... Super Dragon, the Real Fucking Deal, the Complete Package, vs. Excalibur, the guy who seems to have improved with every show. To be honest, this was really Excalibur's match to make or break; chances of Super Dragon ruining his fanbase are pretty slim, but Excalibur's got a chance to shine. I think I went into this with my expectations a little too high; based on what Dragon was telling me, I was expecting an AJPW-ish match with a few highspots thrown in. What I *GOT*, on the other hand, was a very good RevPro lucharesu-cum-American Indies match that was about a trillion times stiffer than normal. I think that my expectations made me a little harsher on the match than I ordinarily would have been, but when it's Super Dragon, you have to look a little harder to find the flaws. They started out GREAT, throwing armbar/hammerlock transitions together as smoothly as silk. It was a thing of beauty, and a thing which would be constant throughout the match: quick, flawless transitions between complex technical spots. And as the match progressed, the body-part-oriented storyline ended up playing a very subtle part; Excalibur, for example, was loathe to go back to the scientific spots after having his arm worked on so severly. And they really did do some cool stuff; Excalibur locked on a CROSS-ARM jujigatami (meaning Dragon was face up, Excalibur was on Dragon's right side, and he locked the jujigatami on SD's LEFT arm. It looked HORRIFICALLY brutal), and Dragon did a bunch of severely head-droppy stuff (including a Psycho Driver that looked unfortunately protected from where I was sitting... of course, there aren't enough tapes on Lynch's list that would make me take an unprotected Psycho Driver, as the move redefines neck death). The problem came pretty early in the match, as Dragon rang his own bell when he screwed up a Space Flying Tiger Drop and deposited himserlf right on his own head. It looked wretchedly painful, and after the match he complained about how his head was still ringing. As a result, although they still did a bunch of retardedly dangerous stuff, it looked like they toned it down a little. Excalibur in particular was good, but not the crotchety rudo he ordinarily is. I happen to think it's ironic that he was being compared to CIMA (and by the way, at the show with the Combate Mortal, some nine-year-old kid was chanting "CIIIIIIMA" at him, which impressed me, if nobody else), because he's got that same surly dickheadishness to him that makes SUWA so great. And while Taro's around to play the role of CIMA and Disco (where were ye, Disco?) is there to play the role of Fuji, being SUWA's a great place to be. At any rate, in this match, he didn't really get to do all the out-of-control things that he ordinarily gets to do; I've seen him murder people with chairshots before, and he didn't get to throw ONE tonight (probably because of the aforementioned bell-ringing). And worse, his tope, which in case you didn't know is beautiful and artistic because he just looks like a missile flying through the air, looked slightly less playeristic than usual tonight; he looked like he had to adjust a little in midair, which cost him a little of the smoothness of the move. Of course, both guys were working stiffer than all hell; they threw lariats around like they had parental permission to decapitate one another, and there was copious face punishment going around. Overall, this was a really good match, but I just can't shake the feeling that it wasn't as psychologically deep as it could have been. I mean, Dragon had to miss the last two shows at the old dojo because of knee injuries, and Excalibur barely worked it at all, where ordinarily you would expect him to target it exclusively. Basically, like Dragon vs. Taro, I think that this was "just" a very good match that will lead to a better one down the road. They teased the knowledge that they had of each other (especially Excalibur of Dragon, when he backed off of a top rope dive and left Dragon to impale his stomach on Excalibur's outstretched knee), but now that they have a singles match to use as a base, they'll be able to have a more effective match later on, assuming that Dragon doesn't go into WCW and leave all we small people behind without closure. In the meantime, we'll have to make do with this ****1/4 match. Postmatch while I was conversing with Doron, Dragon actually stopped by and (IIRC) called the match "terrible". Thank god for perfectionism.
I think I bellowed the word "JEEEEEEEEsus" more times tonight than in the sum total of the previous month. There was some good, good stuff going on, and the only real unexpected lowpoint was the disappointingly average Taro vs. Shogun match that I'm sure will be redeemed in later shows. I can't say enough about how high B-Boy has shot in my esteem. Someone get him some BattlArts tapes STAT. I simply cannot wait for his impending match vs. Dragon. Let's all just hope that it ain't happening at the next show (on Stone Cold's favorite day, 3/16...sorry), as I will be back in Damned North Carolina eating The World's Greatest Barbecue and lamenting over lost wrestling. If you DO live in SoCal or can make the drive, and that match is announced for the show, you better go. On the whole, it was a really, really good show. When half the matches are ****+, it's a show worth buying. And you all better thank your various gods or icons that there were plenty of cameras going around tonight, because it's a sign that eventually there WILL be tape (unlike the 1/5/01 show, which God apparantly doesn't think I deserve to get, unless I get it through the USPS). I think that it's a shame that in the midst of all this (apparently justified) Super 8 madness, we gloss over the fact that we might have seen the last of Super Dragon and Rising Son in RevPro. Well, forty other people and I can say we were there, and it's something that, if true, I'll be very proud to say. But I won't forget any of the rest, either. This was just a good show, and regardless of what you saw tonight, if you didn't see this (and not too many did), you were missing out. Big time.
All content contained herein is © & ® by the author.
Website designed by James Cobo, © 2002. And c'mon, if I can do something this simple, there's really no reason for you to copy it. But just in case, don't. At least without permission.