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Buster Time Digest #3 - Part 3
Lynn v. Chris Candido (W/Francine & Bam Bam Bigelow)
ECW TV - 9.5.97 or thereabouts
This is Lynn's ECW debut. Candido has the Fargo strut going before the match even begins. Anyway, they lock up and Candido grabs an armbar. Lynn rolls through and grabs one of his own. He armdrags Candido, nearly sending him to the floor. Candido complains about a pull of the tights. They lock up again and Candido takes Lynn down with a side headlock. Lynn counters into a headscissors, but Candido kips out. He goes for a dropkick, but Lynn swats him away. He grabs a side headlock, but Candido shoots him into the ropes. They crisscross for a bit and Lynn finally hiptosses him. He follows up with a forward victory roll and gets a nearfall. He dropkicks Candido, sending him to the floor. Candido stalls, slowing the pace. He rolls back in and goes back to the side headlock. Lynn shoots him into the ropes.
Candido goes for a rollup. Lynn tries to counter into a wheelbarrow suplex, but Candido gets him over for two. They get into the same position again, but this time Lynn counters into a sitout facebuster. He goes for a whip, but Candido reverses. He goes for a clothesline, but Lynn ducks it and scores with a headscissors takedown. Candido bails out once again. Lynn doesn't feel like waiting though. He climbs to the top and dives onto Candido, catching him with a crossbody. He rolls back into the ring and nails Bigelow with a baseball slide dropkick. He gives one to Candido and goes for a pescado onto Bigelow. He gets caught though. Bigelow posts him. Candido rolls him back in and knees him in the head. He works him over in the corner and gives him a nice vertical suplex.
He gives Lynn a snap legdrop and goes for another suplex. Lynn blocks it and reverses into one of his own. He charges directly into an eyepoke though. Candido slams him and drops a forearm across his throat for a two count. He grabs a rear chinlock. Lynn gets to his feet, but Candido backs him into the corner. He drives a few shoulders into Lynn's gut, then sits him on the top rope. He goes for a 'rana, but Lynn holds onto the ropes to block it. Then he comes off the top and gets a sunset flip for two. They do a brief Malenko/Guerrero rollup series, with nobody coming out on top. Candido nails Lynn with an enzuigiri and picks up another nearfall. He goes back to the rear chinlock. Lynn elbows free and grabs a side headlock. Candido shoots him into the ropes and ducks down. Francine grabs Lynn's leg, distracting him.
Candido charges, but Lynn backdrops him over the top. Candido lands on the apron and drives his shoulder into Lynn's gut. He tries to suplex him to the floor, but Lynn blocks it. Candido goes for a second attempt, but Lynn manages to land on his feet on the floor. He pulls Candido's legs from in under him, causing him to hit his head on the apron. He rams him into one of the equipment cases at ringside. Candido climbs onto the stage, with Lynn in hot pursuit. They have a brief brawl and Lynn hiptosses Candido off of the stage and onto the hard wooden floor. Candido gets back up and Lynn hits a somersault plancha off of the stage. He can't take advantage though, as Bigelow tackles him. Both guys roll back in.
Candido powerbombs Lynn and goes up top. He misses a diving headbutt, though. Lynn goes for a whip, but Candido reverses. He goes for a clothesline, but Lynn ducks it and nails him with a back elbow. He follows up with a backdrop and adds a dropkick for good measure. Candido staggers into the corner and Lynn follows him in with another dropkick. He sits him on top and gives him a 'rana. He sets up for a second, but Candido headbutts him away and comes off the top, looking for a 'rana of his own. Lynn catches him and counters into a powerbomb for two. He whips Candido into the corner, but misses a charge. Candido quickly sits him on the top and scores with a double underhook superplex to get the win.
Great debut by Lynn. This was fast paced and everything they hit looked crisp. People sometimes forget that Candido was one of the better workers in the business at one time, focusing instead on his outside problems. But then he bulked up too much and wasn't able to work the same matches. He was too small to be a power wrestler, so he pretty much just fell off the map. Last I heard, he did some stuff for New Japan. Haven't seen any of his recent work, so I can't say how he's doing.
Guerrero vs. Hijo del Santo/Negro Casas ©, CMLL Campeonato Mundial de
Parejas (Aired 6/15/02)
Yeah, I prolly messed up the name of the belt. Oh well, it's the CMLL Tag Titles, and if you've ever heard me speak about them, you've heard me scream about how they were the best belts in the entire world last year. These two teams have fought three matches for them since the December 2000 PPV, and they haven't ever had a bad match. They haven't even had a "Good" Match-They've all been great. The Halloween Episode one is arguably the best match they put on in 2001 (There's a challenge from Juicio Final's big two and from the Early Candidate for 2002 MOTY at the December 2001 show which we will have Giant Coverage on when BTM goes in search of the Match of the Half-Year). So this would figure to be real good or something.
And so it is. The only major fault is that parts of the first and second falls are clipped, because AAA always haunts me. But beyond that, these four guys do about what you expect, which happens to be better than 95% of everything. Let's break it down.
For those of you who pay attention to crowd heat, well, it's a Santo match in Arena Mexico. That'll do. I remain convinced Santo can punch Vicente Fox in the face and the President's approval rating will go down.
On a work level, everyone comes up big. Casas is quite possibly the biggest surprise here, as he came to play like he hasn't in a long time. He dies all over this match, taking most of the big bumps, which almost seems impossible when Rey Bucanero, king of ligament death, is across from you, and he seems livelier than I've seen him in a while. Santo reminded me of why I have trouble watching Indy Wrestling sometimes: they do all the neat-looking moves, but they lack grace. They just do a flying head scissors; Santo does a few that are just stunning. There can't be another man in the world that close to 40 who moves so easily. Guerrero and Bucanero are almost automatic at this point, although here they only have one of the trademark GdI knee-destroying maneuvers (and oddly, it's done by Ultimo). Their double teaming lacks some of the showiness it can have sometimes, but it's replaced with more efficient stuff: the setup for the finish, when Rey puts Santo on the turnbuckle, setting up for Ultimo's Reverse Suplex finisher, and then immediately runs across to take care of Casas, gives you one last reminder of just how good a team they are. They don't just have a couple of double-team moves and a wacky group pose (though the GdI are kings of the Wacky Group Pose); everything is a team effort. Bucanero trades in a chance to maybe polish off Santo to set up his partner, just because the odds of them winning increase that way. There just aren't enough teams that do that.
Even if you hadn't known of the three previous matches (and on the off chance you didn't, go see them now. Alfredo, Barnett, either one works), they work to show a familiarity between these teams. They are shown shaking hands before the match and raising them after it, and so it might seem like they are fond of each other or something. Until they start murdering each other in the ring. It's more like a grudging respect, appreciating the effort of the opponents while still badly wanting those belts and a win over the others. Even more, as the match progresses, they begin to adapt to each other's moves. Santo rolls up and over to get a nearfall in the first fall, but the GdI counter into a doubleteam in the second fall, making Santo go splat, but in the third Santo does the same motion, only to turn it into a diamond cutter midway through. Basically they give the impression that they can run this match over and over again and it'll just keep evolving. If CMLL wants to do that, by the way, they have my sincerest thanks.
The theme here seems to revolve around Guerrero and Bucanero proving themselves as a team for the ages, which in theory they've already done, since they're already about ten miles beyond everyone else exclusively tagging currently. But they treat the win over the champions like the biggest victory of their lives, breaking out the full on We're Going to Disneyland group mobbing. Kinda gives a significance to the Prematch skit thing, which was all World Cup-oriented. More importantly, they take the third fall with their own moves-especially Ultimo's Reverse Superplex. In the Halloween match and here, they take the first fall by putting the Caballo on Santo and the Casita on Negro. Essentially, the only way they were able to get one past the tecnicos was to put them in their own moves. But the third fall here sees Rey and Ultimo do it all their way. The fabulous thing is that they manage to tie in the history of the earlier matches with a setup to the next big phase of their hopefully neverending feud: Ultimo vs. Santo, mascara contra mascara. Santo proposes it as Negro is being led out on a spineboard, in what I can only assume is the "You killed my partner the day before retirement. Now I will turn into El Santo, Vigilante Cop out for revenge" angle. (No, Negro's not hanging up the tiny pants-if you watched enough cliché cop films, you'd understand.) Ultimo cements himself as a viable threat to Santo (even though he's not), by beating him in a big match and establishing himself as one half of one of the best teams of all-time. (3:01 shown of the first fall, 1:14 of the second, and the third seems mostly intact at 7:51; 12:06 shown)
In comparison to their other stuff, it's hard to place this: it's not as good as the Halloween match, but some of that might be due to the cliptastic bastards of Televisa. It's closer to the other three, but they just don't lend themselves to direct comparison that well; that evolution thing just keeps on happing. Get as much of this feud as you can so you can be properly stoked to see what Ultimo's face looks like. They might have established him as the most viable contender to the Richest Prize in the Game in some time (most of Santo's mask vs. mask matches are against lesser opponents), but ultimately it's Santo's mask.
And since the GdI have the belts now, they could always fall back on their other eternafeud, as that Satanico guy and that Shocker dude seem to have a bond.
v. Bret Hart -- WWF Title Match
They give each other a high five before the match as a sign of mutual respect, I guess. They lockup to start. Diesel shows off his power by shoving Bret across the ring. Bret comes right back, getting a rear waistlock. He grabs a leg and trips Diesel. They fall into the ropes though, so the ref (Earl Hebner, of course) tries to pull Bret away. Tempers flare early as Bret and Diesel get into a shoving match and start trading punches. Diesel quickly gets the upper hand. He whips Bret into the ropes and goes for a clothesline. Bret ducks it and hits a crossbody. Diesel catches and slams him. He goes for an elbowdrop, but Bret rolls out of the way. He fires back with a clothesline that barely even staggers the big man. He tries again, but runs into a back elbow. Diesel then clotheslines him over the top rope and to the floor. Bret gets back onto the apron and they have another slugfest. Diesel takes control with a series of forearms and knocks Bret back to the floor.
As he tries to take a breather, Diesel reaches over the top and tries to yank him back into the ring. Bret grabs one of his legs, taking him down. He pulls Diesel into the corner and crotches him on the post. He wraps his knee around the post several times as well. Back in the ring, he goes to work on the knee. He drops an elbow on it and locks in a leg lace submission. He only releases it so that he can drop a knee across Diesel's leg. The big man fights back to his feet and Bret starts kicking him in the back of the knee. Diesel goes back down and Bret locks in a sloppy figure four (looked like he was going for the hold but was so used to doing the Sharpshooter that he automatically went for that before realizing the error). It takes him awhile, but Diesel manages to make it to the ropes to force the break.
Bret pulls him to the center of the ring and goes right back to the knee, dropping a series of elbows and knees on it. He gets him in the figure four again. After another lengthy period (about two minutes or so, I'd guess), Diesel makes it to the ropes. Doesn't really matter though, as Bret refuses to release the hold. Hebner warns him, but eventually has to pull Bret off himself. Bret stomps away at the knee and Diesel rolls to the floor. Bret argues with Hebner for a bit, then turns and dives onto Diesel with a nice tope. He rams him into the ringpost and starts punching away at him. Diesel comes back though, reversing an Irish whip and sending Bret into the steps. He rolls Bret back in and whips him into the corner.
As you might expect, he follows up with a trifecta of back elbows (He doesn't frame them though. That must be a WCW thing). Then he takes Bret down with a sideslam, getting a two count. He chokes Bret in the ropes and hits him with a vertical splash. A backbreaker is next and he holds onto Bret, stretching him across his knee. Bret rolls backwards to escape and Diesel covers him for a nearfall. He tosses Bret into the corner and drives a series of knees into his gut. Bret fires back, but Diesel stops his momentum by raking his eyes. He adds a few punches and whips him to the opposite corner. He gets him in position to deliver the Jacknife. The crowd pops, but Diesel decides to use an over-the-shoulder backbreaker instead.
Bret breaks his grip and slips away, grabbing a sleeper. Diesel quickly snapmares him to escape. The match clips here and Diesel is suddenly back in the figure four. He escapes by repeatedly punching Bret in the ribs. Bret backs into the corner, drawing Diesel in as well. He kicks him in the knee and stretches it out in the ropes. He refuses to break once again. When he finally does, he goes right back to kicking the knee. He suddenly backs off, then charges Diesel in the corner. Diesel avoids him and Bret takes one of his patented chest-first bumps. Diesel returns to his game plan, working on Bret's ribs and back. He gives him a pair of kneelifts and a gutwrench suplex for two. He backs Bret into the corner once again, this time choking him with his boot.
Like Bret a few moments earlier, he backs off then goes for a charge He misses a big boot, hitting the back of his knee on the turnbuckle. He goes down and Bret wraps his knee around the post once again. He grabs a chair and bashes the knee. Even from the horrible camera angle, you can tell that the chair didn't come within a foot of his leg. He rolls back in and locks the Sharpshooter to a big pop. Suddenly, Owen Hart runs out. He nails Bret, breaking the hold. Then he pulls off one of the turnbuckle pads, exposing the bolt. He whips Bret into it sternum first. Having done his damage, he hightails it to the back. Hebner decrees that the match must continue!
Diesel is up first, doing a really good job of selling the knee. He crawls on top of the apparently unconscious Bret. But I guess that he was actually awake, since he kicked out at two and all. Diesel then tries to ram Bret into the exposed turnbuckle. Bret blocks it and kicks away at the injured knee. Then he rams Diesel into the turnbuckle. He's staggering and Bret is nailing him with punches. By this point, the ropes are the only thing holding Diesel up. He finally goes down to one knee and Bret drops him with one more punch.
He turns his back to celebrate and Diesel gets back to his feet. He nails Bret with a series of forearms, eventually knocking him out of the ring. Bret ends up hanging upside down off of the second rope. Diesel goes to the outside and grabs a chair, but Bret manages to pull himself back into the ring before he can use it. Bret is clutching at his knee. Diesel comes in, looking wary. Hebner backs him off, but Diesel finally goes in and picks him up. Bret quickly rolls him up in a small package, but Diesel escapes at two. They go on to use that as the finish at Survivor Series, when Bret regains the belt.
Diesel tries to slam Bret, who slips away from him and grabs a rear waistlock. He shoves Diesel forward, going for a rollup. Unfortunately for Earl Hebner, he's standing in the way and gets run over. Everyone in the ring is down. Then we cue the overbooking. Shawn Michaels runs out and attacks Diesel. Owen comes back out with Bob Backlund and they jump Bret. Jeff Jarrett and the Roadie (Road Dogg to those who became fans in the heyday of DX. Or, "that guy on Ebay" to even newer fans.) come out as well, helping HBK attack Diesel. Hebner sees the chaos and has no choice but to call for a no contest…
This was an awesome match marred by a crappy finish. Maybe the finest match that Kevin Nash has ever had. The psychology was spot on, with both guys working on one area and sticking to it throughout the match. They also did the quintessential "big man versus little man" match, as Bret was unsuccessful almost every time he strayed from technical wrestling. Vince was getting that over big time in his announcing. Bret simply couldn't brawl with Diesel and come out ahead. But when the match settled down, Bret was in command because he's a much better wrestler than Diesel.
It seems so easy to get stuff like that across, but people rarely even seem to bother these days. The art of subtlety has been lost in today's world of pyro, promos and monthly PPVs. It's a shame that so many fans have never gotten to see that aspect of wrestling, instead being fed short, interchangeable brawls that fill the time between promos. For the most part, anyway. I'd be doing a grave injustice if I were to say that nobody tries to wrestle the "old school" style (for lack of a better term). It's just that those guys are becoming the exception, instead of the rule.
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