Welcome to Random Match Roundup #7! This is the series where I review 5 matches I have recently watched for your pleasure. Lets begin!
Motor City Machine Guns vs. Beer Money – TNA Genesis 2011
This match had the potential to be very good, but it lost a lot of steam. The beginning was filled with nifty technical wrestling, exciting, fast paced offense, dives, and crisp tag team maneuvers. Then Beer Money got the heat, and this match lost all steam. The heat felt slow, plodding, and uninspired; Beer Money did nothing interesting at all. All the cliché tropes of tag team heat segments were here: the heels irking the face on the apron so the face will distract the referee, the face ALMOST making the tag before a heel on the outside pulls him off the apron, and rest holds galore. My lord, there were two extended rest holds in this one heat segment. This felt like a TV match without the commercial. Once Sabin got the tag, it was every babyface comeback ever. There wasn’t much fire or life, it was moves with no fire or intensity. Down the stretch there were decent sequences and convincing nearfalls, but it was too little, too late. The crowd died, and I lost all interest. It’s not really bad, just lifeless and uninspired.
Jun Kasai vs. Ryuji Ito – Razor Cross Board Death Match – BJPW 11/20/09
Most matches, this match included, benefit from mixing multiple styles together. Sure, this is a deathmatch, but it’s not a spotfest deathmatch. It is primarily a brawl, mixed with a little technical wrestling, some strong style psychology, and even shares factors with the WWE main event style. Early on, the wrestling incorporated teases of the razor blades to add drama, but it was still a wrestling feeling out process. This gave magnitude to any spot involving the board, as both guys wanted to avoid the board at all costs. Once they came in contact with the board, it was sold like death to amplify the importance of the board’s role in the match. Not only was the psychology terrific, but the weapons weren’t used as a crutch either. They used weapons to add drama, and suspense to every nearfall. The brutality makes every nearfall matter, since every spot could be a finish. Furthermore, if the weapons were removed, the match would be affected, but it would still be a very good match. The best compliment for a deathmatch is saying that, without the brutality, the suspense and wrestling would still be worthwhile. Also, they never lost their mastery of psychology down the stretch. Sure, it was a lot of move kickout move kickout, but the nearfalls were convincing and brutal, and the crowd was white-hot for the match. I absolutely loved the spot where Kasai had Ito on the mat and placed the Razor Board blades down over Ito in order to do a splash. In order to reverse it, Ito simply reversed the board so Kasai did his splash on the razors. BRILLIANT PSYCHOLOGY! The only issues I have are minor gripes; the barbed wire wrapped cactus was goofy, and didn’t fit the mood of the match, and I wish Kasai sold the big dive more, instead of immediately stand up and bring Ito to the ring. However, even that makes sense, since Kasai nearly killed Ito and wanted to pin him ASAP. Needless to say, watch this match now. It is a clinic in wrestling psychology, and the best deathmatch ever.
Angelo Mosca vs. Ron Bass – CWF Fall 1982
This match began with JJ Dillon irate that Angelo’s opponent wasn’t here, and berates the announcers for it. Bass gets fed up being insulted, and decides to fight Mosca. Mosca attacks him on the way into the ring, the bell rings, and they brawl to the floor and out the door. While the match wasn’t anything great, it was action packed and intense for the minute it lasted. Also, the segment beforehand was very well done, and Mosca came off as a huge heel. I now want to see a Ron Bass vs. Angelo Mosca rematch, so the segment did its job. Ron Bass did well in his role, and cut a nice promo post match, while Angelo Mosca was obviously the best, since he’s Angelo Mosca. Not much of a match, but a very good segment.
Match Rating: *
Segment Rating: ***½
El Hijo del Santo vs. El Hijo del Perro Aguayo – CMLL on Televisa 08/26/06
This match was one everything you could want out of a lucha brawl. The intensity was high, the crowd was rabid, and the competitors took risks, and beat the hell out of each other for our entertainment. Even with the beatings they took, though, they still kept the pace of the match fast and furious. There were great nearfalls, nice submissions, intense brawling, and insane dives mostly all the way through the match. I say mostly because the second fall and the beginning of the third fall pretty much sucked. The second fall started well, but it lasted less than 5 minutes, and only existed to even the odds. Also, the fall made Aguayo look weak, since after beating on Santo for nearly ten minutes, he submits like a bitch. Furthermore, Santo’s submissions throughout the second and beginning of the third fall were headscissors that looked like Perro could escape at any time. That was awful. Other than that poor stretch, this match is intense and great. The only thing keeping this from being a classic is the aforementioned flaws.
The Great Antonio vs. Antonio Inoki – NJPW Toukon Series II 12/08/77
This wasn’t a match really, was it? If you haven’t seen it, let me give you some backstory. Inoki is one of the biggest wrestling megastars in Japanese history, and is a legit badass. The Great Antonio is an American wrestler who was in Stampede Wrestling before being brought in by NJPW. The whole tour he did squash matches against multiple opponents to build him up for this match. I can only assume that Inoki was planned to go over the big American monster, and be a hero of Japan. That isn’t exactly what happened. The Great Antonio (who I will refer to in the rest of this review as Antonio) made a mockery of wrestling, and of Antonio Inoki (who I will refer to as Inoki). Early on he was grabbing at Inoki, and putting him in some legitimate side headlocks. He also mocks Inoki, and his attempt at offense, and no sells his strikes. The primary instance of this is when Inoki dropkicked Antonio, but Antonio completely no sold it and punched his fat belly. This doesn’t even mention how in any moment of separation, Antonio would be flailing his arms and yelling “Heh Heeeeeh!” Antonio no sells some leg kicks, and runs into the ropes. It is interesting to note that Inoki avoided Antonio when Antonio ran the ropes, hinting at distrust. Inoki tries a shoulder block, but there is more no selling and mockery. Antonio then backs Inoki into the ropes and starts clubbing him with overly stiff shots to the chest and upper back. Now it is a complete shoot. Inoki slaps the shit out of him, takes him down with a single leg, and soccer kicks his head. He essentially did Orton’s punt kick, except short-range, and without holding back. Then, Inoki stomps a mudhole in his face, Antonio’s manager runs in and tries to save him, and the referee rules Inoki the winner via KO. This is must watch right here. Apparently this was The Great Antonio’s final match (according to cagematch.net), and I don’t blame him. This was brutal, but Inoki has to be justified. He was in the ring with someone who tries to shoot, so he shooted too. Sure, the stomps may have been excessive, but Inoki’s pride was on the line. This match has a great story when watched carefully, Antonio plays the unlikable dick heel, and Inoki gives him the beating he was asking for. This is a shoot, which makes this impossible to rate, but I definitely recommend watching it.
That was Random Match Roundup #7! I plan to watch Starrcade 1985 soon and have a review out next week. Also, the articles on Lucha Libre 2 out of 3 Falls and Deathmatches will hopefully come out soon. If you want to contact me or follow me on social media, they’re at https://myjourneythroughwrestling.wordpress.com/contacts/. As always, I appreciate your time, and hope to see you back soon!
Best Match of the Roundup: Jun Kasai vs. Ryuji Ito
Worst Match of the Roundup: Angelo Mosca vs. Ron Bass