Thanks to http://www.digits.com for their badass righteous free counters
Pro 02/24/01 - Indy Report
"One more time
- Daft Punk "One More Time"
There comes a time when, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end for three months when you go back to North Carolina and try to get a job at Blockbuster. And I can't say I ever really understood it, until last night, my last RevPro show for about three and a half months. On paper, it didn't look like the strongest card in the world - B-Boy cancelling, Matt Sinister vs. A Random Opponent, and a nagging feeling that everything would lose its luster in the face of the STUPIDLY great previous show. But RevPro ain't let me down yet, and I wasn't expecting them to start now.
1. Shogun vs. C-4 Doing these RevPro reports has made me dig up (and occasionally invent) a lot of ways to say something was great. Therefore, excuse me if I feel thrown up against a brick wall when I say that this match REALLY wasn't very good. Pretty much from the get-go, too - they started off with moves DRIPPING of hesitation, to the point that it was pretty painful to watch. But Shogun kept trying to reel him back in; it seemed like C-4 was lost and Shogun - he who works really well FOR A GUY WHO DEBUTED THREE MONTHS AGO - had to carry the whole match, an overwhelming task. So about three or four minutes in, they just said "fuck it" and started rolling out the move-trading. Move trading can be tolerable, depending on the situation, but the fact that both guys made a bunch of use of counters, it didn't really work - in a way, it disrupted the flow of the match. It also didn't help that C-4's lost-ness made his end of the counters come off as shaky; there was one extended counter sequence where Shogun went from a Diamond Dust attempt to an inverted tornado DDT that would have been REALLY COOL, had C-4 not come incomplete. And the finish was the same - a three-move counter sequence that seemed out-of-place considering the move trading. It's unfortunate, too - Shogun seemed like he was working towards some sort of body-part-based story with a few REALLY choice transitions into REALLY great submissions (probably his biggest strength - HE'S CONSCIOUS OF TRANSITIONS), and got planted on his head with a tombstone that must have made him three inches shorter. But this just wasn't his night, I guess. Probably the worst Shogun match I've seen, including the one where he broke his ankle. Call it 1/2* for Shogun's effort, I guess.
2. American Wild Child/Rising Son vs. El Gallinero/Demento I think it was Doron who used his translation skills to explain that Demento is Spanish for "Demento". Nevertheless, I can't say I had the highest hopes for this match either - the only difference between this match and the exceptionally entertaining one from last show is Son, and I was betting that he'd be out of his league here (he works best when he's got someone to settle him down for his stupefying highspots, and neither Demento nor Gallinero are that person). And the first five minutes REALLY weren't changing my mind; Bizarro AWC (the one who had a pedestrian, eh-evoking match against Taro rather than the one who had a MASSIVE, DWAAH!-inducing trios match on the penultimate show at the Olde Do-jo) seemed to show up and blow an armdrag EXTRAORDINARILY badly, getting calls of "Psychic armdrag!" from the crowd. To his credit, he DID strike the FUCK out of the heels; as much as I like those slaps, it's AWC's bass-heavy kicks to the back that got him over with ME ME ME. But when Son got in, the match did take a turn for the enjoyably-spotty; he hit the World's Greatest Quebrada, he did the into-the-ring Tope Atomico, the frogsplash - y'know, just enjoyable highspots. I was positive that he was going to swing off the lights tonight, though, and I went unfulfilled. To be honest, though, it was Gallinero who made me sit up and take notice (relatively speaking) - he seemed very sound tonight, and was willing to get the crap beat out of him. Plus he finished the match with a move that, for some unknown reason, made me extraordinarily giddy - a top-rope sitout STO on Son, who, after getting AWC somehow dumped on him, got pinned by three people. At the time I questioned the booking, but then I found out that Gallinero was going to be in the Carnivalesque Spirit of the Revolution tourney to crown a cruiserweight champ, and it wouldn't do anyone any good to have one guy who's TOTALLY weak. Not a great match or anything, but perfectly acceptable. After the psychic arm drag, that is. *1/4.
3. Mr. Excitement vs. King Faviano How do I describe this match? You know those TLC matches, where the aim of the participants seems to be to get progressively louder pops from the audiences for the spots? Well, that was this match, except instead of risking their lives, they were doing the absolute, game-over funniest stuff I've EVER seen. I swear to god, I haven't laughed that hard since the last Saved by the Bell marathon. Favi was HILARIOUS - his gimmick seemed to be that he'd curse a LOT in Spanish ("Cabron!") and Spanglish ("Sonuvabitche!"), and insist that Excitement was causing irreparable damage to "his peepees". Excitement, for his part, made a concerted effort to convince everyone that Favi was trying to either deflower him or get deflowered by him, while Favi chimed in with the assist by bumping and grinding at any lockup. Just friggin' GREAT. FUNNIEST MATCH EVER. Well, let me amend that - funniest SPECTACLE ever; the match was kinda there. I think they did five moves over the course of the match, and had no attempt at build, or anything (unless you count the psychology of Favi's shoulder bump as he ran away from Excitement outside of the ring - he ran away and charged a post with his shoulder, which made THIS workrate fan Laugh Out Loud). As a match, it was probably about * - nothing really looked sloppy or anything, it just wasn't there - but as a spectacle, I don't think it's fair to either guy, my sense of humor, or to Pure Art to call it less than a Million Billion Stars. Postmatch, when Excitement did his dance, Favi got behind him to, er, um, be Magnum Tokyo, and for whatever reason, it was the funniest thing ever. I say that because it'd get topped later in the night.
4. Matt Sinister vs. Some Random Guy Or rather, Matt Sinister vs. A Microphone. In all fairness, his promo tonight wasn't bad at all; I think he's not quite willing to go full-bore Bull Nakano heel - wearing the RevPro shirt and talking about "respect" ain't gonna do nothing for heel heat), but the promo was focused and fit the circumstances well. He says something about how he's the best Mexican Lucha Libre Champion ever (again, conflicting story - IIRC, earlier in the interview he said something to the effect of "I don't do that lucha libre crap"), which brings out... DISCO MACHINE! GOD, yes. He's back, and he's full-on face, challenging Sinister to a match TONIGHT. Hell, he even "chokeslammed" Sinister in an impressive visual, then turns to the back to call for a ref (namely Sasquatch), who comes out and meekly informs him that he "ought to turn around". When he does, he gets ANNIHILATED with what has to be the stiffest powerbomb I've ever seen. It sounded like the ring broke. Sinister left, Disco (eventually) got up and challenged for the title on the next show, and danced to end a well-done non-match segment.
5. Super Dragon vs. Excalibur I've made a big deal about how since Restart, the RevPro main events have become all kinds of AJPWish, moving away from the high-end MPro-aping indy spotfests that seemed to charictarize the fed's earlier existence. Well, this match seemed almost like another step in the evolution - the fusing of that Kobashi-w/-highspots style with the WCW Cruiser style of lucha/prostyle amalgamation. The story was DEEP DEEP DEEP - these two have been having matches for over a year now, so they're REALLY familiar with each others' moves - to the extent that they either have to introduce new ones (cf. Dragon's run-up-the-wall moonsault that had me marking out like a 12-year-old, as well as another one that WILL be discussed towards the end) or make the moves that they DO land CHOICE CHOICE CHOICE (Dragon took two or three Boxing Elbows right in the fucking ear). The Nitrolucha part mainly showed in the crispness of the moves - if it didn't look crisp as hell, it looked VICIOUS (Dragon took an unfolded chairshot to the back of the neck and head that didn't make a lot of noise, but bounced off so hard that it bruised my finger in what has to be the funniest fan injury ever. I give Excalibur permission to say he ran me out of town). Hell, the only blown spot in the whole match is my fault - Excalibur grabbed me as a shield from the Impending Dragon Dive, and seeing as how I saw those chairs last week, my self-preservational instincts took over and I got the FUCK out of the way, bruising my arm (in the second funniest fan injury ever - I BLEED FOR REV PRO). But it was the story that made this match; there were counter sequences a-plenty. Even the "obligatory" opening Dragon matwork, which sometimes can look out of place due to the fact that he's better at it than just about anyone else in the fed, worked here - Excalibur was able to hang with him on it and made it look even. It was, as Excitement (I think) pointed out after the show, a diveless Dragon match, which in many ways made it all the more impressive. And don't forget that Dragon was sick - sick in the fucking HEAD, that is. I had a cold a few months back, and all I did was lay in bed, play Dreamcast, and take Sudafed. Super Fucking Dragon, on the other hand, does a Phoenix to nowhere like a MAN, with no knee-raising evident at all, and takes a high springboard knee to the middle of the spine and a bathroom door to the head- in short, takes moves that would have made me sit down Indian-style and cry had I taken them in a more phlegmatic state. The big news is twofold here, though -
(a) The crowd was AWESOME tonight. I mean,
AWESOME. It started out with just Doron and his cru and, about once after
they did it (I fur-gawt the first time), meeeeeeeeeeee, doing the AJPW
count-along-with-the-Ref-and-express- amazement-through-bellowing thing,
but eventually I just started HOWLING like a wolverine at everything,
and the rest of the crowd started doing the counting thing, and people
started going NUTS, and the Rev and Doron started bellowing move names,
O B L I T E R A T E S
Excalibur with what has to be the most impressive lariat I'll ever see. The crowd BLEW THE FUCK UP. Dan replayed the video of it like nine times outside, and people would come from all around drawn by the EXPLOSION of sound from the audience. Fuck the one from the Super 8 (and I mean that in the nicest possible way - it was good, but y'know) - this was the end-all be-all of indy lariats. But just to make sure that the match is OVER OVER OVER, Dragon hands out the Supernatural Driver (or, depending on what he says, the Psycho Driver '67, but if my vote counts for anything...) - a pumphandle psycho driver that plants Excalibur on one of the corners of his head. I mean, JESUS. Where the Burning Oklahoma Driver probably looked more out of control, the Supernatural Driver looked even worse due to the angle of Excalibur's head hitting the mat and the preciseness of it. I'm not even going to attempt to attribute words to how awesome it looked. Needless to say, the pinfall (and further crowd explosion) was academic.
Nevertheless, the match was NOT flawless. They really didn't go for any credible submissions (or rather, go for any submissions in a way that would have gotten them over as credible - I recall a STF and a few other moves), which kind of invalidates the whole submission bent they hinted at in the B-Boy and tag matches. And as great as the Supernatural driver was, it didn't really make sense to debut it then and there - Were I Booking The Match, I'd have had Excalibur kick out of the regular Psycho Driver, then like four minutes later, after mounting a short comeback, have Dragon use the Supernatural Driver. And it would have made a little more sense for, in the "battle of the lariats", them to at least have GONE for a lariat earlier in the match, despite the know-your-opponent factor. Minor, minor quibbles, but those are the kind of quibbles that separate the ***** matches from the ****1/2 matches, which would be what I'd call it. But if it's a ****1/2 match, it's as close to being ****3/4 as the Laws of Wrestling Nature will allow. It was everything that I had hoped the Restart match would be; it showed the next step of evolution in RevPro; it had HEAT HEAT HEAT; and it was really, really exciting to watch. In short - it was everything I could really want out of a RevPro match, and was one motherfucker of an epilogue to my semester of wrestling.
- Doron apparently has a yen for the Triple Ultimate Cheeseburger from Jack in the Box, and fronts me $3.50 so's I can try its heavenly delights. The burger was probably a good ****; a little spotty seeing as how there wasn't any ketchup or sauce (except Damnable Mayo, to which I am allergic, so it weren't on thar). Like the idiot I am, however, I stopped at an ATM and bought ANOTHER one when I got home, which prompted me to put in the third DVD of the Sopranos to watch while I ate, which turned into me watching four episodes, which is why you're reading this at five in the afternoon instead of three in the morning.
- Some five-year-old kid gets an early line of the night when he asks which one's Super Dragon (of the milling youths around). Excitement points me out in TOTAL deadpan, to which the kid replies "He's too fat to be Super Dragon". I, of course, buried my face in my hands, collapsing in laughter. I = A living joke :)
- Shogun apparently saved up enough money to pick up a Shaggin' Wagon/Hotbox Express VW Van, complete with RIOTOUS fold-out top compartment. Anyone who knows where a "If This Van's A-Rockin', Don't Come A-Knockin'" bumper sticker can be procured and wants to pick up one for him should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Attn: Shogun Bumper Sticker" as the subject.
- I *WILL* convince Doron that Buster Time Magazine is a great idea.
- We eventually get to a park to consume beef products. Shogun's already telling the Russian Novelist Version of how he used various and sundry Mexican food products as sexual paraphenalia with his (Steve's) sister, to which Steve just sagely nods. Tom sits in the car and listens to The Living End, or whoever sings that "Roll On" song that bites the Clash too much for me NOT to love. I should have offered to pick up Excitement's game, seeing as how he dropped it pretty emphatically. In Spanish, even.
- But the REAL treat of the night - the part that has me laughing even as I'm writing it, was when everyone descended on the adjoining playground. While Dragon and Doron traded kip-ups, Steve and Shogun went over to the playground. At first, they simultaneously went down the spiral slide (well, sorta - they didn't quite make it all the way down, evoking howls of genuine distress from Steve), then they went to the monkey bars, where relatively nothing happened, then they hit the paralell slides, where Steve apparently misaimed his sliding and crotched himself but good on the divide between the slides. The clincher of the night, though, was when Steve fell, and Shogun dove off of something onto him; Steve started HOWLING, and Shogun wouldn't let him up. Eventually, Dan came over, dropped trou, and Beverly Hills Teabagged the bejabers out of Poor Ol' Steve. To Steve's credit, he held onto Line of the Night for a good five minutes with a very urgent "I've got SAND in my NOSE!", until the punishment continued over in the grass, where he took Win, Place, and Show with a VERY serious "If you think that I'm joking, I assure you - I am not joking!", as Shogun straddled him and refused to get off. In retribution, Shogun's hands were licked, to which Doron supplied his hand sanitizer which Steve immediately rubbed ALL over his face. Of course, about five seconds later, Doron says something to the effect of "You know, you're not supposed to put that on your face. It explicitly says "Don't put this on your face" on the bottle", prompting a screaming Steve to charge off to stick his face in a sprinkler. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I laughed for fifteen straight minutes. Not to mention right now. FUNNIEST THING EVER.
As for the larger issue at hand...
I'm spoiled. No question about it. I'm going to go back home to see SCW, a fed which has not only Cham Pain and a weekly TV show, but a reputation as being a good, solid indy. And all I'll be able to do is bitch and moan about how it ain't Rev Pro, because I've been conditioned to expect deep matches, great spots, and a certain style. RevPro's unique in a number of ways, really - they do better matches in front of smaller crowds than just about anyone going around, and they do it every fucking week. Why? They're devoted to their craft. All of the guys who you expect to put on a show deliver because they love wrestling. And in the end, that's why I go to Rev Pro - because I like hanging out with a bunch of people who love wrestling. I'm sure that there's plenty of love for the art of pro wrestling in SCW - I've said it time and time again, but there's no indy wrestler who doesn't love the art - but I doubt that they'll love the same things about wrestling that I, and RevPro, do. I think that's probably why I pimp Rev Pro so much, and why I'll end up feeling like I'm cheating on them when I go to SCW - Rev Pro is everything I could want to see in wrestling. Why would I want to watch any other indy?
So thank you to everyone who went to the shows and supported the fed. Thank you to anyone who heard about Rev Pro and tried to get their name out. Thank you to everyone who signed that petition in January that demonstrated that there are people out there who DO like that kind of wrestling. And of course, thank you to the wrestlers, for giving me a reason to write seven and a half pages about forty people in a warehouse watching art come to life.
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