Thanks to for their badass righteous free counters

There was a time, Dear Reader, when I wasn't such a stuck-up ponce about wrestling. Believe it or not, I actually used to make JOKES during matches and such and treat stuff for what it was. Since then, of course, I've become a loathesome Wrestling Aesthetician, some dong who talks way too much about stuff.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to my penance. For tonight, I am doing a real-time review. For the next two hours and change, I will voluntarily subject myself to...

ICP Stranglemania Volume 1.

Yes, really. YES, REALLY. To be honest, it's been a while since I got a chance to just be totally, completely mean-spirited about wrestling, and if anyone deserves it, it's these two chuds and their "hardcore wrestling" tape. But hey, at the end of the day, this will at the very least be something different. Hell, maybe I can even shed this Beacon of Positivity thing I've been on lately.

9:30 PM, PST: I'm actually turning off Pop Stars for this. Christ, out of the frying pan into the fire. Hey, look! They have a copyright warning, but it's full of profanity! It threatens women with titty twisters and calls people gay! I hate life!

9:31 PM: Ad for ICP's music. Jesus. Not that I was expecting anythig else, but you know how sometimes you get that sinking feeling?

9:32 PM: Wow, this opening video looks really awesome. No, seriously; I've never been so impressed in all my life. Seriously. Incidentally, I have travelled back in time to 1985. AW FUCK, Tarzan Goto's on this tape. FUCK.

9:33 PM: The ICP address "wrestling fans" to open up the tape, and then procede to talk. And talk. And fucking TALK. Cripes, who told these guys they were funny? ARG ARG ARG


9:35: Cactus Jack is one of the dirtiest players in the game? Didn't that guy hire him? And oh ho, hahaha, hold on a second, they're calling Nakamaki "Lama Namanumi". Oh, my sides, my sides they are a-splittin'.

9:37: The match actually starts with a collar-and-elbow lockup. No, seriously.

9:38: God, I forgot about Foley's punches. Man, when he wanted to punch someone in the head, he'd just punch 'em in the goddamn head.

9:39: Hey, remember clutch-and-grab? Well, here you go. Wow, that really wa s a decent snap suplex by Nakamaki. This tape can only go downhill, man. HEY - one of the dongs almost called it "ECW Style"! AAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAA.


9:40: Wow, they hit the spikes less than five minutes into the match. And then they hit 'em again. And againandagainandagain.

9:41: Nakamaki loses ALL goodwill stemming from the snap suplex by doing the Worst Kickout Ever. It looked like he tried to make a right angle with his leg verrrrrrry slooooowly. And then Foley - FOLEY! - does the Worst Bodyslam in the History of Recorded Time, and just starts tumping stuff over onto Nakamaki. I have bitten off far, far more than I can chew.

9:44: CHRIST RIDING THE RAILS. I mean, it looks painful enough when someone's got barbed wire sticking in 'em, but DAMN, man, when you see them trying to pull it out and it *pulls the skin up*..arg.

9:45: THAT'S who Nakamaki reminds me of - he's like Ernest Borgnine in Airwolf, only Japanese and bleeding.

9:45: Jesus, is Foley actually trying to put some semblance of psychology in here? I swear to god, he's actually working over Nakamaki's head to neutralize the headbutt. FOLEY FOLEY FOLEY. And SHEEIT - it just hits me that working the head makes the double arm DDT even more effective.

Yeah, this match wasn't anything very good. Foley did his best...eventually, but

9:47: Cactus Jack's promos are alternatively very good and very bad. This one Am Bad.

SWF Battle Royal

9:49: Joy of joys, it's an indy battle royal! Wheeeee! Jesus christ, I could have sworn that one guy did the Bionic Elbow. *THE*BI*ON*IC*EL*BOW* on an ICP tape.

Headhunter A vs. Headhunter B

9:50: Man, I forget how fat the Headhunters really are. But they do hit the shit out of each other.

9:53: I can't decide what to key on - on the one hand, they really are belting each other in the face, but on the other hand, MAN is this a match between two six hundred pound brothers. OH CHRIST, the red one's stabbing his brother in the head. This is ridiculous. This is just goddamn horrible. I wish I was dead; why in the name of god did I pick this tape?

9:55: To the ICP's credit, they're kinda funny when they don't even try to make sense. (The names of the Headhunters are apparently "Sweden House" and "Ponderosa").


9:56: I swear to god, one of the Headhunters just did a slam that was a bajillion times better than Foley's. AND THEN HE DIFVES OFF THE TOP ROPE. AND THEN HE DOES IT AGAIN. What the FUCK?

9:57: You know, if you can get the head-stabbing, this is actually oddly compelling. I mean, it's basically the worst possible Viscera vs. Haystacks Calhoun on Jakked ma - HOLY MOTHER OF JESUS CHRIST, HEADHUNTER A JUST DID A NOT TOO SHABBY CONSIDERING HIS BULK TOPE CON HILO! - and now we get back to stabbing.

9:59: To quote one of the ICP dongs, "I'm gettin' ready to go shove cameras into assholes, mothefucker!" Um, yeah.

9:59: The glass-stabbing has lost all importance to me. I just don't ever want to see it. So naturally we get Stab-A-Thon 2002. GRR.

10:00: We do get the awesome visual of the giant chunk of glass stained with blood. Like I said, this match is oddly compelling in a horrifying sort of way. WHAT IS THIS TAPE?

10:00: CHRIST - Headhunter B just dropped a leg from the top rope DIRECTLY on top of A's face.

10:01: Some guy actually has to sweep the glass off of the match while it's going on, a job that ranks only below the guy who has to use forceps to remove Negro Casas' tights.

10:02: Quote the ICP: "This isnt' wrestling; this is hell in the ring". What's that saying about a broken clock?

10:03: ARE YOU KIDDING ME? DID HEADHUNTER B JUST ACTUALLY DO A MOONSAULT? MOTHER OF GOD, by all rights Headhunter A shoulda exploded all over the arena.

10:04: A suplexes B into the glass. This is, of course, de rigeur by this point, but what makes it is the ref jumping back to sell it. GOD BLESS THAT REF.

10:06: Headhunter A goes up top and - whoa-up-wh-up-hey-up-wha-the-WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAH, yeah, he falls right on off. One "frog splash" later - which is exactly as good as you'd expect from a six-hundred pound man - the brothers reunite and blow a fireball in Shoji Nakamaki's face for good measure. I am...nonplussed.

10:09: And of course we get a promo. The Headhunters are surprisingly high-voiced - they sound not unlike a pair of guys auditioning for the role of Leader of Gang of Fat Guy in the only-in-dreams Breakin' 3: Electric Booga-er, um...whee.

Shoji Nakamaki vs. Some Dong

10:11: Apology if I'm missing the name of some deathmatch icon. I must confess I don't pay too much attention.

10:12: Yep, time to pail out of the ring. BOO ON YOU, world.

10:13: Christ, Some Dong just carried Nakamaki for like a country mile before throwing him over the guardrail. That is not, incidentally, an impressed "Christ".

10:14: Apparently Nakamaki/Lamanamanumi is world-renowned for his "wrestling diversions." Every time I think that I couldn't hate the ICP any more, they talk.

10:15: I will give props for a very nice lariat. But I should mention that it came RIGHT on the heels of me thinking "Jesus, They sure aren't throwing any decent strikes at all."

10:16: Thumbtacks. I have a distinct feeling that they won't be used as well as in Foley/HHH. AN STF!!?!?!?!!? ARE-YOU-KIDDING-ME?

10:17: It's official - I am sick of doing this review.

10:18: They;re backdropping each other into the thumbtacks. Checking the box, I see that Some Dong's name is "Deadly Fred", which I suppose is better than both of the other things I heard ("Deadly Friend" and "Deadly French", for posterity). Sadly, I miss the finish of the match, and WOE IS ME, as the Real Time Format forbids me from rewinding. Well, I am nothing if not married to the format, I tells ya what.


10:21: What the hell? They're playing an ICP music video? AGH AGH AGH AGH AGH AGH AGH AGH AGH AGH AGH AGH x ELEVEN BILLION

10:22: Another Cactus Jack promo - apparently Some Dong's real name is something Ono. Bla bla BLAAAAAAAAAH, and Leatherface has a chainsaw. Methinks this doth not portend well. ICP: "This guy's the fuckin SHIT!"

Cactus Jack/Leatherface vs. Shoji Nakamaki/? Ono

10:27: The final piece of the Ono puzzle is revealed, as his shirt says "Hiroshi Ono" IMSMR on it. Sleep easy, all.

10:28: Oh GAWD - were the ICP just actually making fun of Leatherface for wearing a stupid-looking mask? My oh my, if that isn't the pot calling the kettle retarded.

10:29: Wow, Leatherface may be the worst wrestler I've ever seen. I've never seen such bad bumping; I betcha money that the only reason he doesn't put his hands down on back bumps is because he's landng on barbed wire. Nakamaki, of course, is more than willing to put sharp stuff in his face, but GAWD, he could jump off of my roof onto a fork face-first and Leatherface would STILL suck.

10:30: Yeah, when biting is the highest-end move you've done, you really suck. FUQ U LEATHERFACE.

10:31: IWA's company shirts look entirely too much like CMLL's. In terms of heresy, this is the equivalent of something like Five For Fighting shooting a cover exactly like that of Who's Next.

10:33: Foley will DIE for your pleasure. I'd forgotten how effective the Cactus Clothesline could be, especially back when he REALLY didn't give a fuck about his safety. And GOD, here he goes again with the kicking up on the psychology - since the lariat gave him his biggest advantage in the match, he wraps his arm in barbed wire and does lariats like a sonofabitch. I mean yeah, it ain't Misawa/Kawada, but to a beggar, a crumb is a feast.

10:36: Wait a second - Foley's promo before the match said something about how they douuble suplexed Nakamaki into thumbtacks...but then they go and do it here. Could that be a continuity error on the editor's part? Could the ICP *really* bear to have their name emblazoned upon such a flawed product? COULD...THEYYYYYYYYY!?

10:37: I have seen two garbage matches which I'll cop to liking, and both of them feature selling. This has Hiroshi Ono jumping up and giving people headbutts. BALLS TO THIS MATCH which goes on forever.

10:39: JEBUS CRIPES, *someone* fucked up on that one. Your everyday partner-assisted powerbomb can go easily, horribly, ganso-y wrong, especially when you're doing it onto barbed wire. Naturally, Ono jumps right up and gives out lariats.

10:41: I swear to god, I have seen wrestlers ranging from Billy Gunn to Mike Samples to Matt Sinister telegraph a clothesline less.

10:43: The ICP's commentary has me fearful of the one aspect of NWA-TNA that I was actually looking forward to - Don West's commentary. The gap between "OH MY FUCKIN' GOD THAT FUCKIN' BITCH IS A FUCKIN' WOMAN GET BACK IN THE KITCHEN" and "OH MY GOD, IT'S A GEM MINT TEN" is shorter than I would particularly like to acknowledge.

10:44: On the off chance that Ricky Marvin reads this, congradulations - you're off the hook; Shoji Nakamaki does THE. WORST. MAJISTRAL EVER.

10:47: Well, the battle royal winds down and the mayor of Some Dongville takes it. And gee, for a guy from Mexico, he sure does sound like a white guy doing his best impersonation of a subcontinental convenience store clerk.ICP = Class.

Cactus Jack vs. Terry Funk

10:50: Yes, this would be the final of the King of the Deathmatch tournament. CAN - YOU - FEEL - THE - EXCITEMENT. And hey! Concentration camp humor from the ICP!

10:51: All I want is to see these two punch the shit out of each other. I'll take what I can get. And actually, at this stage in the game, they do it pretty well - the punching is used to transition into the first explosion board, since they wanna save the wrestling moves into the boards for later. And I forgot how great Terry's strikes were; his headbutts don't look shitty in the least, and, well, his punches are just really, really great.

10:55: The ICP shill some indy on cable access in Michigan. Quick! Someone tell Scrub to send 'em a few of those "Support Indy Wrestling" stickers!

10:56: Wow, Foley just seriously took the best bump over the guardrail that I've ever seen. He looked like he was diving and got caught on the rail; it looked out-of-control and really, really cool. GOD BLESS MICK FOLEY.

10:57: And just to make my life complete, we get a run-in from what's-his-name with the sword, the guy who Foley ragged on endlessly in his book. Boy, forgot about that.

10:59: Wow, they weren't lying - that ring explosion really licked my hinder. I think Gillberg's entrances might have been more impressive. The fans are actually BOOING, if you can believe that.

11:00: Foley grabs a ladder and puts it right in the middle of Terry's face, and for the first time Terry puts his hands up to protect himself. It's weird, but this match has me suddenly lusting to see Terry in All Japan; somehow I get the impression that wrestling Harley Race and Jumbo Tsuruta leads to better wrestling than shit blowing up, and Terry Funk really did show me a decent amount here (well, as much can be shown in a match like this, where basically you could put on a show of Me vs. Chris Lening vs. A Large Rock and people would still love it because of the explosions). Maybe this tape wasn't such a waste of time after all.

11:04: Wait, what am I saying? Yes, yes it was. I'm an idiot for owning this tape, and the best warning I can give against it is that as asinine as this review was, the actual show was like a bajillion times worse.

Say it with me, folks: BAH, FOO, ICK , and FNYEH.

Digably Yours,
Digable James Cobo

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