GENRICHO TENRYU! Bump Machine PAUL VARELANS! Takes up space! WILLOW THE WISP! and SURGE! Wrestle at a Crush Party! PHIL! Hands out some awards! DEAN! Proves his an idiot and other stuff from the new playerz on the Death Valley scene....


GENRICHO TENRYU! Bump Machine PAUL VARELANS! Takes up space! WILLOW THE WISP! and SURGE! Wrestle at a Crush Party! PHIL! Hands out some awards! DEAN! Proves his an idiot and other stuff from the new playerz on the Death Valley scene....

If you are expecting a geriatric pervo discussing GAEA in the context of his Japaneese schoolgirl fetish, or some dateless wonder taking cheap shots at women's wrestlers because he had to go to the prom with his cousin, you are in the wrong place. This ain't your grandpa's Death Valley Driver, this is DVDR Foghat baby where it's 4/4 time all the time. This week the #3 on your mama's speed dial aka Phil Schneider takes on APW, New Japan and Sweet BattlARTS, The Mack of the Year aka Mike Naimark travels to the former Soviet Union for the IFC, and International Ladies Man and Professional Man of Leisure Phil Rippa handles the defunct Lucha supergroup Promo Azteca and some craziness from a bar in North Carolina.

New Japan TV
(Phil Schneider)

Don Frye vs. Yuji Nagata

Don Frye is about the funniest wrestler in New Japan. He isn't that great of a worker, but his pure shootstyle dickishness makes him worth watching. Nagata has been feeling it, since returning from WCW and he carries Frye to his best pro-wrestling match. With stiff kicks and punches, an inexplicably huge bump by Frye and a dominating punch out finish, this was nine minutes of quality professional wrestling. Plus it had the added j'ne ce qua of all Don Frye matches, as Frye and former buddy Brian Johnson have a pull apart brawl where they scream and curse at each other "You don't know about friendship, your in Inoki's pocket". I haven't actually seen any UFO tapes, but I already love it. It so USWFI, shootstyle wrestling booked straight out of Tupalo, MS. Frye is such a bastard and when he is on the screen it is just good television.

Kenji Muto + Satoshi Kojima vs. Genricho Tenryu + Shiro Koshinaka

This match wasn't that great as Tenryu didn't beat up Kojima enough, and Koshinaka has atrophyed so much that his is nearly unwatchable. However Muto isn't afraid to feel it, and it does have one huge, HOLY SHIT, moment. Kenji Muto (who has been historically one of the laziest talented wrestlers in the world), takes Genricho Tenryu, (who has been know to be nearly as lazy, and is also a million years old), and gives him an Ace Crusher from the top rope to the floor. You read that right, I don't need to retype it. Tenryu lands face first on the floor, Muta lands on his hip, I rewind about a half a dozen times. With this move and Tenzan's Moonsault to the floor at the Dome, it looks like New Japan Heavyweights are moving into big highspots. I await the Hash- con-hilo with baited breath.

Tatsumi Fujinami + Shinya Hashimoto vs. Kazuo Yamazaki + Kensuke Sasaki

This match was pretty darn great even though it had the fossilized Fujinami and the suckass roid monster Sasaki. This match was basically Hashimoto destroying the leg of Yamazaki including a top rope double stomp on the knee, nasty sweep kicks and side kicks and various other orthopedic alterations. This reaches his apex as Hashimoto drapes Yamazaki's leg over the ropes and runs the ropes, and sits his big fat ass down right on Kazuo's knee. The end was cool too, with Fujinami slapping on a kneebar and Yamazaki tapping out immediately, which is exactly how you should respond in that situation.

Tatsumi Fujinami + Shinya Hashimoto vs. Kenji Muto + Satoshi Kojima

The renergization of Muto continues in this match, as he was all fired up in this baby. Hashimoto uses his fatness to his full advantage giving the big top rope double stomp and the world's most gelatinous senton to Kojima. Kojima who turned his back on New Japan to join the NWO, gets jumped by Fujita and other young New Japan punks on the outside. Fujinami dragged the match down a bit, but it was still fine professional wrestling.


International Fighting Championship

LIVE from the spacious National Sports Palace and Flea Market in the "Land of the Sooty Smile", Kiev, Ukrane! Its the IFC! No! Not the UFC! Even though they have the same Octagon, it ain't the UFC! See how the promoters cunningly put a mohawk on the bald head of the UFC mascot in the center of the Octagon! The banner bearing the words, "Ultimate Fighting Championship" has been neatly covered with black electrical tape! But this ain't the UFC!

Your hosts are UFC president Ron Van Clief, and recent UFC competitor and former King of Pancrase, Bas Rutten. Your referee is none other than UFC4 veteran Andy Anderson, famous for losing the eye-gouge-a-thon to Jon "SAFTA" Hess, and also for owning the best topless steakhouse in all of,er, wherever the hell it is.

But this ain't the UFC! NOPE!

Quick trivia question for you folks - Who is the largest man to ever compete in NHB? Here's a hint for you Japanamaniacs - it AIN'T Koji Kitao! First answer gets a tape of his choice, now that all the winners of the first contest should have received their tapes.

So here we go, out of the steamy hottie-infested jungles of Brazil, to the smoggy industrialized concrete crater that is Kiev, Ukrane. Instead of heaving Latina cleavage, I get Olga and Svettelana, the Buttinski twins, and their matching, color-coordinated mumus. Oh, how I suffer to bring the best of the mixed-martial arts (MMA) to you, dear reader! This event features a handful of singles matches and a 4-man tournament, and marks the MMA debut of one of my all-time faves, Igor Vovchanchin. But more importantly than all of that, this event features one of the great underground heros of the fighting world, The Polar Bear himself, ECW veteran Paul Varelans! He lost to Taz in the UFC, but a badass like Paul can afford to lose a worked match! Look below, gentle reader, and observe the legend of Varelans as it grows to cover the globe!

Dmitri Eliseev (5'9 170lbs) v Justin Martin (6' 190lb TKD)

Martin, a Texas native who came to the IFC as part of the American contingent, is making his MMA debut tonight against a guy who looks like he's fighting in exchange for toilet paper and chewing gum. Dmitri shoots, Justin sprawls, grabs a guillotine choke, and falls to his back. So far, so good, kid! Eliseev wiggle from the guard and gets the side-mount where he fires a few elbow strikes to the back of Martin. Dmitri frees his neck and raises up to throw a couple of wild fists as Martin struggles to regain his feet. Now Dmitri has the guillotine choke and drops to his back to crank it. After a few seconds, he releases the hold and resumes his striking at the bufuddled rookie. Martin manages to grab an ankle and tries to lock in a heel hook, a very dangerous submissions hold that can really pop the old medial ligaments of the ankle. Eliseev does the only thing he can do, which is roll in the direction of the pressure, and manages to get Martin to loosen up enough to wack him in the skull with a heel kick from his other leg. A few more kicks, and Dmitri is in Martin's guard, a much safer place to be! Because this chump from the land of steers and queers has no guard whatsoever! Dmitri with a few elbows to the head, but he's no groundfighting wizard either and gets rolled over to his back. Justin Martin decides to stay "turtled up", crouched in a pseudo-fetal position, while Dmitri throws some elbows. Eventually Martin gets tired of the punishment and staggers to his feet. He shoots for a double-leg takedown and catches Dmitri's knee straight in his face. Martin hits the ground and Eliseev proceeds to stomp on his head a few times until Andy "King of all Topless Steakhouses" Anderson stops the fight.

Your winner by TKO, DMITRI ELISEEV!

Ruslan Krivivy (5'9 176lb karate) v Peter Khmelev (5'9 202lb JKD)

JKD is "Jeet-kun-Do", the legendary martial-art of Bruce Lee. Now, Lee was famous for saying that "No one way is the way", and imagined a vital, living martial art where various techniques would be incorporated based on their efficacy. Unfortunately, because there are no "official" JKD standards, the term is almost interchangeable with the other "bogus" arts like SAFTA and Trapfighting. Yeah, this Khmelev may SAY he's a JKD master, but one look at the pudgy physique and sneer will tell you he's just a bully-boy used to beating up old ladies and stealing their vodka. Ruslan opens the match with a couple of leg kicks, but in contrast to the sharp whip-kicks used by fighters with Muay-thai experience (eg Maurice Smith, Marco Ruas), Krivivy's karate kicks looks technically beautiful and tactically worthless. Hey folks, we got a DOJO QUEEN in the ring tonight! Whipasstic! The two fighters close and brawl a bit, revealing quickly that Khmelev is left-handed as he lands a couple of wild lefts in all the flailing. Peter follows up with another hard left hand, dropping Krivivy to one knee. Ruslan grabs Peter's legs to tie him up and stop the beating; they grapple briefly just to remind the crowd that they can't do THAT well either. Back on their feet, Khmelev counters a missed Hollywood-style flying kick from Ruslan with a swift and painful groin kick. Khmelev follows up with some flailing left hands, a couple of which bounce loudly off of Krivivy's noggin, probably breaking a couple of knuckles. Ruslans backpeddles before throwing another one of those useless Hollywood chop-socky kicks (which misses, of course). Khmelev counters with, what else, ANOTHER kick to the groin, this one landing dead-solid-perfect on "Little Ruslan and the Twins". Ruslan yelps in agony and keels over, where Peter follows up with a few head stomps before the referee can stop the fight.

Winner by TKO, "Kick him in the" PETER KHMELEV!

Igor Akamedov (5'7 160, JJ) v "Red" Heard (6'3 230lbs Kung Fu)

Akamedov looks like he's just jogged home from 10 years in the Gulag. Red Heard is a huge, bald-headed chump who looks like he could be Ron Reiss' little brother. Igor shoots immediately as Red grabs a guillotine choke and cranks on the neck of the smaller man. Igor appears to tap out, but the referee apparently doesn't see it. Red loosens his hold and Akamedov slips out and steps back. Now he shoots again. What does Red do? Yeah, he catches him the in SAME DAMN MOVE and cranks the choke again. This time, the ref is on the ball and sees Akamedov tapping out. Heard shoves him away distainfully and screams, "Thats TWICE!" while giving poor lil' Igor the famed British "Up Yours" sign.

Winning by tap-out, RED HEARD!

Tournament time! 8 men dueling it out for the chance to play for a years worth of cabbage and potatoes! Yeah!

Alexandar Mandek (5'8 176, JJ) v John Dixon (6'1 275lbs, kickboxing)

John Dixon hails from Biloxi Mississippi, a foul-smelling little hamlet where you can always smell the aroma of petroleum products drifting east from Galveston. To cover his jiggling man-breasts, Dixon wears a slimming black t- shirt. Alex must scrap without his droogs, but he's a right tough malcheck. The men trade leg kicks in the middle of the ring before Mandek attempts a weak shoot, straight into a guillotine choke. C'mon you bezoomy petitzer, didn't you viddy any of the earlier fights? Fortunately for our comrade, he escapes and Dixon backs him against the fence where he unleashes some wild punches, none of which land cleanly. Dixon throws a round kick to the head that gets blocked, but follows it up with a straight right that connects solidly. Alex falls forward and tries to grab Dixon's legs, but Big John is holding on to the fence to maintain his balance. He tolchocks wee Alex on the gulliver with some elbows before sinking in the guillotine choke once more and forcing the submission. This is the real sad and weepy part of the story, oh my brothers and only friends. Winner by submission, JOHN DIXON!

We now take a break to show the US fighting contingent hobnobbing with the locals in Ukrane. Rod Van Clief haggles with a toothless old Babushka lady over the price of a smoking pipe. He won't pay a nickle more than $4! Hey Rod you skinflint, this lady probably has a PhD in astrophysics and could kick your ass to boot! Pony up the extra buck, you stooge! Further in the background, some clod in a Shocker mask is trying to negotiate with a toothless old crone to acquire her collection of crappy Russian heavy metal band albums. You can clearly see he glee as he shouts out the names of his favorites. "Gorky Park! Aftagrev! Utter Crapski!" He finally agrees to exchange his well-worn Levi blue jeans for the albums, and disrobes right there in the middle of the frigid outdoor plaza, to reveal his sequined underwear and Norm Smiley elf boots. The Russian crone takes one brief whiff of the jeans and collapses as the camera fades back to the arena.

Igor Gueras (6' 176) v Gerry Harris (6'8 270lb, Kyokushin-Kai Karate)

If Igor Gueras is 176 lbs, then I'm John Tenta. This guy looks like he just got rescued from a desert island. Gerry Harris is a MAN in my book, because he got his ass kicked in UFC7 by the King of the Clods, Paul Varelans! This is the MMA equivalent of Nash v Misterio! The two men circle, with Harris keeping his hands at around waist level, figuring that HIS waist is near Gueras' head. With one mighty uncoiling, Gueras seems to leap halfway across the ring and land the most picturesque punch in the history of MMA! A lightning-quick right cross that catches Big Gerry right on the tip of his chin! Harris collapses like he was hit with a taser gun, and the referee immediately stop the fight. Harris stands to argue with the ref, but loses his balance and drops back down to one knee. Harris still can't believe this little scrub knocked him on his ass in 30 seconds.

Winner by KO, IGOR GUERAS!

Valery Nikulin (6'4 230lbs, "Close Combat") v Paul Varelans (6'8 330lbs,Freestyle)

Alright! Its PAAAAAAAUL VAAAAAARLANS! Varelans is BIG! And, uh, um, er....Yep. He's big alrighty! Varelans made his debut at UFC6 where he was bludgeoned by Tank Abbott (Abbott called him a "big pussy" after the fight). Varelans returned to compete in UFC7 where he reached the finals, only to lose in spectacular fashion to Marco Ruas, who landed some 30+ unanswered leg kicks before Varelans collasped. But this time will be different! Varelans charges out of the corner and drives Valery to the fence before collapsing on him and driving them both to the ground. Nikulin tries to work from his guard, throwing weak punches from his back that bounce harmlessly off Varelans' helmet-like skull. Referee Andy "Two Boobs and a Ribeye" Anderson stops the action to have Nikulin's hands re-taped. On the restart, Varelans lands a thunderous knee to the ribs of a charging Nikulin. Nikulin crumbles to the ground and Varelans leaps to the side mount where he prepares to unleash the awesome power of his technique! For five minutes, not a damn thing happens as these two clueless putzes try and catch their breath and pray for a hint of what to do next. Varelans throws a couple of thudding punches, but he really does punch like a girl, a big, 330lb sissy. Finally, Varelans starts to grind his forearms across the bridge of Valery's nose, just like Tank Abbott did to Varelans at UFC6. Nikulin is hanging in there, but his corner throws in the towel to protect his handsome face. Varelans wins! Varelans wins! And the fans are going mild! Varelans wins!

Igor Vovchanchin (5'9 207lbs, Muay Thai) v Fred "Mangler" Floyd (6'4 340lbs Kung Fu)

Fred Floyd was rumored to have earned him nickname after he demolished a vending machine that refused to spit out his Twix bar. Fred wears boxing- style trunks emblazoned with the word, "Budokan", which complements his swaying bosoms nicely. Floyd charges in with wild swinging punches, most of which are deftly dodged by Vovchanchin, who offers some sharp counterpunching in return. Floyd uses his jiggling bulk to drive Igor back to the fence, then drags the Russian to the ground and apparently attempt to suffocate him with rolls of flab. I say "apparently" because thats sure what it seems like he's doing. I mean, he ain't punching or going for submissions or trying the "Dim- Mak Touch of Death" or anything cool like that. Igor eventually reverses from his guard and gets the mounted position, but just as he's about to whale on Floyd (get it, whale, not wail? Aw C'MON! Its funny!), "Tit freak" Anderson stops the action to have Vovchanchin's hands re-taped. On the restart Floyd catches Igor flat-footed with a powerful leg kick, but Igor dances out of trouble and starts popping his left jab. As Igor dances back, you can clearly see that Fred Floyd is totally bushed from exhaustion. Igor darts in with a great left/right combination, punctuated by a couple of body shots to the gelatinous glob that is Fred Floyd. Floyd lumbers forward, but is neatly sidestepped. Igor lands a nasty lead right hand that snaps Fred's head back. Igor flurries with more punches from different angles, finsihing off with a winging right hook that gashes Fred over the eye. Floyd tries one last-ditch rush, but catches a muay-thai kneestrike to the gut followed by a series of brutal punches before the referee finally stops the carnage.


GRUDGE MATCH - John Lober (5'11 202 JKD) v Eric Hebestreit (5'11 205 wrestling)

How can you have a grudge match without Jesse Ventura and that fat John Pinette? I don't even know what the grudge is! John Lober is probably best known as the guy who beat Frank Shamrock (via decision) in Shamrock's NHB debut (Frank got his revenge in the UFC). Hebestreit immediately shoots for the double-leg, and Lober gladly slips into the guard. Hebestreit, being a wrestler, gets his man on the ground nothing. Lober uses his feet to push off the fence and reverse his guard into the top mount position, sitting on Hebestreit's chest. Lober throws a few strikes before Hebestreit flips on to his stomach to protect his Tom Selleck-esque good looks. Lober works his forearm under Hebestreit's chin and sinks in the rear naked choke. Hebestreit taps out. Some grudge match. They didn't even throw pies.

Winner by submission, JOHN LOBER!

John Dixon v Igor Gueras

Hey, it's Lil Igor the Giant Killer! And John Dixon, the Buffer Killer! Both men charge to the center of the ring, where Gueras misses his chance to repeat history as his right hand sails over Dixon?s shoulder. Dixon gets a sloppy takedown and manages to gets his blubbery carcass into the mounted position. A couple of punches later and Gueras is tapping like Gregory Hines.

Winner in two minutes by submission, JOHN DIXON!

Igor Vovchanchin v Paul Varelans

Man, Varelans is one big goon. Varelans always does this bit where he stands in the corner at tall as possible with his hands on his hips, trying to intimidate his opponents and assuming that it would be possible to intimidate anybody who has seen him fight before. Igor looks predictably bored. And speaking of predictable! Varelans plods forward with all the agility of Paul Wight on Quaaludes, and Vovchanchin is more than happy to plant his fists on Paul's gigantic head. Jabs, hooks, crosses, uppercuts. Body blows, kneestrikes, leg whips. Igor does 'em all, and does 'em so fluidly and often that I'm not even going to bother with the play-by-play. Suffice it to say that when he finally lands a devastating right hand that drives Varelans to the mat spitting blood, Varelans' face is so battered that the left side looks like a lump of cauliflower, or perhaps a slightly more handsome version of Jon Merrick, the Elephant Man. In his post-fight interview, Varelans tells Ron Van Clief that "I need to work on a few things". Yeah, you big galoot, like punching, blocking punches, ducking punches, grappling, submissions, and just about every aspect of fighting you can imagine that can't be compensated for with freakish size. OR, you could go wrestle pro full-time! Even jobrones get a few wins here and there, and they don't have to spend the rest of their Russian vacations with icepacks on their bloated and disfigured faces! Hail to thee, Polar Bear Paul Varelans! What you lack in skill, you make up for in amusement value!


APW Gym Wars 8/7/98

Frank Murdoch v. "No Chance" Chris Ward

I was really digging Murdoch in this match as he was old school as hell taking Ward down and working on the arm most of the match. Bunches of armbars, hammerlock slams and knees to the elbow. Ward sold a lot and didn't really stand out with his offense. I am really into Murdoch. With so many Indy wrestlers perfecting their tope-con-hilo before they know how to put on an armbar it is gratifying to see someone work a classic style so well.

"Hollywood Gigolo" Ric Turner v. Boom Boom Comini

This ... wasn't .. very .. good, Comini looks exactly like the fat bald guy from 120 Minutes on MTV and wrestles like a fatter Balls Mahoney. Turner is a skinny black kid who does a Ric Rude thing, they blew a bushel basket of spots, and Comini did a lot of sundry King Kong Bundy offense. They had some screw ending were some guy ran in and sprayed Comini in the eyes with something. Quite a turd of a match.

"Brown Bomber" Robert Thompson v. "Gigolo" Vinny Massaro

These two have been some of the more hyped APW wrestlers by various net dorks, however this match just was kind of there. Thompson had a nice headlock takeover, but Massaro with his Rassmussenesque physique didn't do much of anything in this match. This wasn't bad like Turner v. Boom Boom but it wasn't anything special either. This is the second Robert Thompson match that has underwhelmed me, so I have yet to see his appeal. Thompson won with an only- slightly-better-then Misawa frog splash.

"Real Suicide Machine" Jason Clay v. El Chicano Flame

I am assuming these guys are really green. I got problems with a guy who uses a Suicide moniker and doesn't take one bump or do one dive or anything. Since this was probably one of there first matches they have some mitigation, I still wouldn't want to watch it again. Still better then the lodestone of APW crap Turner v. Comini.

"Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels v. Suicide Kid

Here we go, Christopher Daniels bounded up my list of favorite wrestlers by ruling the Super 8. Suicide Kid is sort of the Malenko to Daniels' Guerrerro, the Venom to his Cham Pain, the Misawa to his Kawada, the Wallstreet to his Duggan. (i.e. they have worked each other a lot.) Because of that, and the overall rulingness of Daniels, this was the best match of the night. The spots were very similar to the BOSS Daniels v. Jeff Peterson match from the Super 8, but this was a lot more crisp. King-sized stuff included: stereo kip ups and head flips, fake neckbreak with elbowsmash to the nose by the Angel, Tope con hilo by the Kid, reverse Superplex by Suicide, Merosault by Daniels and more. The ending was fun with multiple reversals into a choice reverse neckbreaker. My only quibbles are that both guys were playing the face, so you didn't have the extra Daniels dickishness. Plus there was no long priest coat and collar outfit by the Fallen Angel, so he was not in his full sartorial splendor.

"Shooter" Tony Jones v. "Suicide Machine" Donovan Morgan

Big style clash here. Jones is kind of like a tall Taz who sells and doesn't stink, while Morgan is kind of a midgrade armdraggy highflyer so this match ended up kind of like Alex Porteau v. AAA Mosco De La Merced . Jones started with some choice amateur throws, but the offensive transition is kind of nonexistent as Morgan starts throwing a lot of armdrags and hits a nice tope con hilo from the top rope. Then there is a quick section where they blow everything including a horribly botched second rope rana by Morgan. Then they kind of rush to the finish which has Jones rolling through on a Michinoku Driver II. I actually wouldn't mind seeing both of these guys again, but they didn't mesh at all, and ended up having a pretty bad match. I have a feeling Jones vs. Modest or Jones vs. Murdoch would rule, while Morgan v. Boyce or Morgan vs. Daniels would be damn good, there shall be NO REMATCH though.

"Natural One" Michael Modest v. "Mack Daddy" Jimmy Ripp

Modest is my favorite APW wrestler, so I was a little disappointed to see him in a glorified squash match with a guy who looked like a pipehead Shiga. Ripp was kind of agile and did a couple of counters, but this was basically Modest kicking his ass, winning with a nice running Death Valley Bomb. Kind of fun but I would have much rather seen Modest wrestle somebody else, and have Ripp in a base rock on a pole match against Ric Turner or somebody.

"Bad Boy" Boyce LeGrande v. "La Migra" Maxx Justice

I dug the beginning as Boyce did a bunch of spots from a headlock, which is an old Ricky Steamboat thing that I always like. Justice, who kind of looks like a taller less roided Ludvig Borga, did a couple of power moves which Boyce took some athletic bumps on. Justice gets knocked to the floor and LeGrande hits a mid-grade tope. Justice slams his head into the garage door, and gets back in the ring, where he is distracted by Michael Modest, Justice turns around and gets hit with a springboard somersault stunner and gets pinned. Okay match, but it was way too short for the build they gave it. It is perfectly fine to have a long headlock section at the beginning of an 18 minute match, but the headlock section was as long as the rest of the match. I liked Boyce though.

Promo Azteca (1996?)
(The Other Phil)

Aaahh.... Promo Azteca. Gone from the face of the earth. Leaving behind memories of some really great and some really, REALLY bad Lucha Libre. I am taking a stab at the year which I am pretty sure is '96. (I think around September). The show I stumbled on had some great wrestlers and some .... well people who were trying.

Torero vs. Ultimo Rebelde

The basic story is that Ultimo Rebelde and his boys (which include Damien 666) are doing a NWO style invasion. They have their black T-shirts (AZTECAS RULE!) and kilts. The match is really not a match but more of a contest into who can jab who more with this scepter. All the seconds brawl with everyone else. Konnan makes his ubiquitous run in, which is NOT set to "Another One Bites The Dust". Instead, he meanders around to a knock off to what becomes his music video, slaps hands with the fans and starts gulping down air before he throws his first punch. Both Torero and Rebelde do really impressive blade jobs. Since Rebelde is wearing a mask, there is the cool moment where Torero rips of Rebelde's mask and shows Rebelde's bloody head to the crowd. Torero wins with a rana which was the only wrestling move of the night.

Tinieblas Jr./Lizmark Jr./Tarzan Bou/Zorro vs. "Black Magic" Norman Smiley/Jerry Estrada/Villano III/Juventud Guerrera

I have a bias towards the rudos because Juventud is head and shoulders above everyone else in this match and any Villano has a soft spot in my heart. I am not a huge Smiley fan but he can wrestle and I got no beef with that. Of course, the match was terrible though; just to spite me. The first caida was horrible with bad lucha brawling (Hey! there is a redundant statement.) ruling the day. Somehow the rudos take the fall and we move on. The second caida is more along the lines of what you expect. The pairs as they breakdown are: Juvetund/Tarzan Boy, Estrada/Zorro, Smiley/Tinieblas and Villano III/Lizmark Jr. The ladder pairing was probably the best as III was not afraid to sell like a mother for the elaborate armdrags that Lizmark kept pulling out. Smiley and Tinieblas did nothing since the continue a story line of Smiley not wanting to wrestle Tinieblas so he keeps running away. Zorro rolls up Estrada with a cruxifix and we go to the third caida. With the third caida returned the not-so-good lucha brawling Somehow. Somewhere. Tarzan Boy started bleeding which was really weird but hey, good for him. Juventud pulls out a reverse DDT to give the rudos the win and I am left very disappointed. No Jerry bump from Estrada which was strange. Juvie was really subdued in this affair as I can remember him doing nothing. Zorro didn't impress me at all and Smiley annoyed me with his cowardly rudo act. Oh well. Not everything is going to be perfect.

Mr. Aquila/Venom Black/Shiryu vs. Super Crazy/Jurasico/Colt

A whole lot of people like to get all highflying and try to kill themselves in this match. (I'll give you a hint. It wasn't Jurasico or Colt. THEY STINK!) The synchronized 450 splashes that Aquila and Venom Black hit to end the first caida was great. That got rewound a few times. But nothing beat the absolutely DEVASTATING MD#2 that Super Crazy killed Shiryu with. It was waaaaayyyyyy unprotected. It gave me this weird Terminator type feeling with Super Crazy being sent from the future to kill Shiryu so Kaz Hayashi never exists. Cool. The pace is really quick, at least when Super Crazy is in the ring because Jurasico and Colt STINK! STINK! STINK! Like a resident of Richmond who hasn't bathed in awhile. Man, if you are into watching for potential Death and Destruction, watch this because there was a big batch of guys trying to cash in on their life insurance.


BattlArts on Samurai TV 2/9/97

Shoichi Funaki vs Ikuto Hidaka

This match was back before Hidaka became one half of the Japanese Midnight Rockers with Fujita. He looked exactly like a scrawny Alexander Otsuka, bald head and all (which confused the bejeesus out of me at first). This match was also before Funaki was reduced to jobbing to Victor Quinounies?s latest oiled boy toy on Super Astros. This may have been Hidaka?s debut match as his parents were in the crowd, and Funaki was being all nice and shit. Good short match, Hidaka was more shootstyle back then, as the first part of the match was normal shootstyle mat wrestling. Hidaka flew around a little more near the end, including a nice standing rolling senton, Funaki slapped on a rolling kneebar to get the tap out.

Alexander Otsuka vs Naohiro Hoshikawa

Quite the tale of two matches here. Otsuka has been notorious for his inconsistency, delivering a gem and then a turd. Here he turns the turd into a gem mid-match. The first part of this match stunk, with some listless mat wrestling, and Otsuka busting out his dreaded airplane spin, and Hoshikawa dropping his lame ass spinning sleeper. But then Otsuka dumps Hosh on his neck with a released German suplex, and the match got real dangerous and real good. Hoshikawa unleashed some spicy kicks including one to the mouth that was down right Meadeish. He also did the best jumping DDT I have ever seen him do. Otsuka got the duke with a spine fracturing released Dragon Suplex. Fast forward to the German Suplex and this is one hell of a match. It could have used the NJ TV treatment, though.

Great Sasuke/Gran Hamada/Gran Naniwa/Masato Yakashiji vs Dick Togo/Shiryu/Mens Teoh/TAKA Michinoku

This was one of the spectacular 8 and 10 man matches this crew had during the last months of 1996 and the first months of 1997. This was before Great Sasuke went completely insane driving KDX into the world of jobberdom, before Naniwa broke his leg and came back crappy, before Yakashiji was exposed as a spot machine who was carried by Dick Togo. It was a great time for fans of wrestling and this match is probably the least seen of the bunch. Each of these matches placed the focus on a different wrestler or pair of wrestlers, Naniwa v. Shiryu was the focus of this one. About 10 minutes into the match Shiryu rips off Naniwa?s mask, and crab boy gets draped over the ropes, and apparently gets bladed by Dick Togo. Now as a rule it is much easier to screw up a blading when you have someone do it for you (see Transit, Mass and Hokuto, Akira) that wrestling axiom is born out here as blood starts shooting out of Naniwa's forehead like a spigot, covering the ring in actual pools of blood. It was Puerto Rican in it's bloodletting. This led to the coolest visual in the match, as Shiryu gets Fisherman's suplexed into a pool of Naniwa's blood covering his entire back. Naniwa comes back sans mask with a towel around his head to pin Shiryu with a Doctor bomb.

Michinoku Pro 8 man Awards

Best Highspot: Great Sasuke with his crazier-then-his-plan-to-headline-MSG tope con hilo

Coolest Fashion Accessory: TAKA Michinoku's sweat pants

Guy most needing Dick: Masato Yakashiji who worked with Men's Teiho and sloppized the hell out of his spots.

MIA: Dick Togo who was very lo-key in this baby (except for cutting the artery in Naniwa's head)

Carlos Colon Memorial Award: Gran Naniwa for dropping a pint for the cause

Tiger Mask Sayama vs Minoru Tanaka:

The fattest of the Tiger Masks, Sayama has been pretty poor during his comeback. However in addition to revolutionizing junior heavyweight wrestling in Japan he was one of the first shoot style wrestlers, so a match up with the best of the young shootstyle boys Tanaka delivers his best comeback match, although the match still had some big flaws. This match told a pretty simple story, with Sayama landing some stiff kicks to the thigh, and Minoru going for arm submissions. Sayama looked credible with his strikes, but the selling and psychology were a little suspect. Sayama sells a fully extended cross- armbreaker like a front face lock which sucks no matter how big the legend is who does it. Plus after all the work on the leg of Tanaka, Sayama gets the tap out with a crossface chicken wing. In hindsight it wasn't very good, but it didn't make my fast- forward finger itch like most fat man Sayama matches.

Daisuke Ikeda/Katsumi Usuda vs Yuki Ishikawa/Takeshi Ono

This is exactly the kind of tag matches that turned me into such a big BattlARTS fan. You get four guys, let them beat the hell out of each other with kicks and punches and you just sit back and watch. These matches are similar to regular tag-team psychology, with the nearfalls being replaced by 8 counts, and submission holds broken by a partner (usually with a kick to the head). In previous tag matches I have seen, there is usually two or three asskickers and some dead weight (usually Mohammed Yone, or an uninspired Alexander Otsuka). However all four of the guys in this match deliver the pain. Ishikawa doesn't really kick hard like the rest of the guys, but he is good on the mat, and he isn't afraid to punch someone right in their face. That willingness is what makes Great BattlARTS so great. They aren't going to demean their craft, by pulling their punches and kicks, if they are going to throw a punch they are going to hit you as hard they can, but it isn't all phoney like RINGS, this is pro-wrestling they aren't pretending they are anything else, they are just going to be as hard and brutal as they can be. The awesomeness of this match was too much to catalog, Usuda continued to be Toshiaki Kawada's more serious older brother, Takeshi Ono was at the height of his dickishness (before he got really into bad masks, worse Lucha and hair gel), Ikeda was Ikeda with all that entails, and Ishikawa was apeing Jumbo during his kill Kikiuchi years, rather the Inoki during his beat the dutch kickboxer years. This was truly 20 minutes of wholly enjoyable wrestling, a great finish to a great tape.

@!@!@!@!@!@! Dean Rasmussen Braying Jackass @!@!@!@!@!@!@!

Everyone thinks that just because the prince of portly Dean Rassmussen watches an ungodly amount of professional wrestling, he must actually know something about Professional Wrestling. We here at DVDR FOGHAT wish to dispell that illusion, we should let the man's words speak for themselves.

Death Valley Driver Video Review #4

"-I watched Akira Taue vs Tommy Dreamer (PHIIIILLLLL!) in All Japan and YEP! I can see why Dreamer isn't gonna threaten anybody for the Triple Crown any time soon, in that he was squashed in four minutes by the then-lethargic Taue. Dreamer looked as uncomfortable in All Japan as Akira Taue would look in the ring with El Hijo del Santo so I don't wanna come down too hard on our boy Tommy. I then watched Dreamer's match with Funk against Raven and Cactus Jack in ECW and- c'mon gals and guys!- Tommy was born to be a garbage wrestler. He was brilliant in that match! Funk and Cactus did their usual world class brawling and Raven did the touching halo of barbed wire Tribute to Matsunaga.:) From a wrestling standpoint, Dreamer is Onita-like in the feigning of technical wrestling but you can tell he is really into the violent end of it. I'm just glad that Tommy Dreamer has found a niche that he finds rewarding and that he realized his lot in life before did something really stupid, like wallow in midcard status in the big two in Japan and The US of A for the rest of his career. The world can use an American Masato Tanaka, but, hey, one Tom Zenk was enough (God bless him). We're looking at a new worldwide trend of better wrestlers getting mixed up in the garbage leagues and,hell, I'm all for it. Garbage wrestling isn't going to go away so they might as well try and make it into something cool (as opposed to just sick); if you stick enough talented and semi-talented guys into it, an actual, credible style may come out of it. If that ever reaches fruition, then FMW and ECW won't be so apologetic to the normal organizations when it comes to defending the more excessive aspects of their matches and can say it works on its own terms. I don't see people coming down on Lucha Libre because three guys sometimes pin one guy at one time. It works in the realm of Lucha Libre so to hell with everybody else; it works on its own terms, it doesn't matter if anybody thinks it's wrong, that's the style and that's that. It's a staple of the style. If these talented young punks in ECW and FMW work out a credible style over a period of time, they can have the same privilege and it won't be compared to regular pro style. It will be its own style and have its own rules. It has to get past the point of being chumps who can't actually wrestle so they hit each other with chairs; It has to reach the point where it is wrestlers who decide to expand the repertiore at there disposal to include violent elements outside the normal pro style, but use them in addition to, as opposed to "as in place of", wrestling skill. FMW is reaching that point with its young guys, why shouldn't the US have its own vanguard, with Dreamer at the point. "

American Masato Tanaka huh?

@!@!@!@!@!@!@!@ SINGLES GOING STEADY @!@!@!@!@!@!@!@!@!@!@!@!

Willow The Wisp vs. Surge (National Championship Wrestling - 1997)

Hey, the Hardy Boys are wrestling each other in a really tiny bar somewhere in the middle of North Carolina. The frat boys are not afraid to be really drunk and the ceiling is not afraid to be really low. This turned into the freakiest pseudo death match every. It was a normal match but because of the ring layout, the fans would be dangling over the ring ropes, randomly sliding objects into the ring for the wrestlers to use. This match ruled. Of course, Matt vs. Jeff is going to be the best wrestling that these drunk college kids are every going to see is a start. The brothers work a 10 minute wrestling segment which is OFF THE CHARTS! Then as the crowd starts to get fired up, they switch over to a hardcore match with chairs, kendo sticks and other assorted plunder getting involved. The fact that the ceiling is one foot above the ring made for the interesting spectacle of the Hardy's modifying their normal spots so they would not crack their skulls open. Of course, Jeff found other ways to do so. Like the time he jumped off the stage and into the ring. How can you not love when stupid fans are taken out because they want to get too close to the action. Darwinism at its finest. Matt manages to squeeze off a Megahurtz in the close quarters near the end of the match. After the match, Venom runs in to attack Surge while a 4-year-old Kid Dynamo makes the save. You need to watch this match. OMEGA! at its earliest stages.

So in closing, Foghat fans, remember the sacred mantra of the Fogheads!

4/4 time, ALL THE TIME!


Me and Marcus Allen went to see Nicole
Heard a knock on the door must have been Ron Gold
We wen a put the orgy on hold, killed them both and smeared blood on the White Bronco

World's Greatest Rapper

DVDVRs #86 - 90

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