Scarlett Bordeaux, Keyra & La Hiedra vs. Lady Maravilla, Lady Shani & Vanilla (AAA September 7, 2018)

I’m not even going to front. I totally watched this because the preview image on YouTube was Scarlett Bordeaux sticking her ass out at some luchadora. The match itself wasn’t that great. The luchadoras worked hard, Bordeaux was hot and did some basic pro-wrestling moves and took a sloppy looking armdrag and then got out of the ring while more accomplished grapplers did flips and shit.

The middle section of the match had Bordeaux’s trio clear the ring and beat down anyone who tried to get back into the ring. They eventually get sent out to the floor by Maravilla, Shani and Vanilla who then more or less repeat the spot.

The finish of the match saw Keyra hit Lady Maravilla with the Code Red to get the pin.

Winners: Keyra, Scarlett Bordeaux & La Hiedra

Like I said everyone worked pretty hard here. Scarlett Bordeaux was probably the worst worker, but did what she needed to do and then got out of the way for the most part. [**]

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Jay Lethal vs. Sonjay Dutt vs. Jimmy Rave vs. Alex Shelley vs. Chris Sabin vs. Curry Man vs. Johnny Devine vs. Petey Williams vs. Shark Boy vs. Super Eric (TNA Bound For Glory IV October 12, 2008)

Oh how I love me some gimmick matches. What we got here is a 10 Man Steel Asylum Match from TNA’s 2008 Bound For Glory. What’s a Steel Asylum Match you ask? It’s really quite simple, it’s WWE’s old big blue cage with a curved roof on it and a hole at the top of the roof. To win the match you have to climb the wall of the cage, monkey bar over to the hole in the center and pull yourself out.

All ten of the dudes in the match are pretty solid workers, but with ten dudes and a wonky gimmick to boot this is a clusterfuck from the get go. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fun clusterfuck, but it’s basically dudes doing crazy looking moves at a million miles an hour so you don’t even have a chance to register half the stuff that’s happening.

The finish sees Curry Man of all people scale the wall and make his way towards the hole only to be cut off by Sonjay Dutt and thrown from the top of the cage down into the ring. Jay Lethal comes up behind Dutt and they have a fistfight that leaves Sonjay dangling from the roof of the cage by his legs, leaving Lethal free to pull himself out of the cage, securing victory and a shot at the X-Division Championship.

Winner: Jay Lethal

This was an all action match. The ten dudes involved worked hard and the crowd was really into the high spots. As an opening contest this worked. As I’ve said before, I don’t need tons and tons of this sort of match, but it’s a fine thing to have on a wrestling card. [***¼]

BC Killer vs. Ruby Raze (SBW Brawl In Newhall February 28, 2015)

Time for some random intergender wrestling. I’ve never seen Ruby Raze before but BC Killer showed up in my new favorite terrible wrestling promotion, Urban Wrestling Federation.

I guess the story here is that Ruby Raze is undefeated in this promotion and asked for a match against BC Killer.

The match begins with BC (who appears to be wearing a garbage bag) telling Raze to go back to the locker room. She responds by forearming him in the face. He says she gets one of those. She responds to this by unloading on him with forearms.

She runs wild for awhile, hitting a big spear for a near fall, but ultimately gets cut off. BC Killer does some power moves on her and some clubbering, and some fat guy wrestling moves and ultimately picks up the win after hitting a Vader Bomb.

We get a bit of the post match as well where Raze offers a handshake as a show of good sportsmanship only for BC Killer to take her head off with a clothesline.

Winner: BC Killer

Ruby Raze looked pretty good on offense and I wouldn’t be adverse to seeing more of her matches. BC Killer on the other hand didn’t really show me anything here that I haven’t seen countless other “big man” wrestlers do before. [*½]

Grim Reefer vs. Lowlife Louie Ramos (USA Pro St. Valentine’s Day Massacre February 14, 2004)

So I watched a couple installments of Urban Wrestling Federation and decided to check out some random matches of some of the dudes who showed up there that I was unfamiliar with and found this 2004 match between Grim Reefer, who looked pretty good in UWF First Blood and Lowlife Louie Ramos who bled a lot.

Ramos comes out with a barbed wire bat and plastic bag of other gimmicks so I assume this is just going to be a lot of brawling but surprisingly the first half of the match is a pretty straight forward early aughts indie style in-ring encounter. Reefer does a lot of moves and then starts focusing on Ramos’ arm.

The action eventually spills out to the floor where Ramos grabs his bat, but he’s ultimately cut off by Reefer with more wrestling moves. They head back into the ring and things take a turn to the extreme. Reefer gets the barbed wire bat and works Ramos over with it before going to Ramos’ bag of gimmicks and getting the requisite bag of thumbtacks which he dumps in the middle of the ring and slams Ramos into.

He continues to work Ramos over with the barbed wire bat and randomly blasts the referee in the head with it as well. Reefer then goes back into Ramos’ bag of gimmicks and takes out a power drill and proceeds to “drill” Ramos in the head with it. He repeats this on all four sides of the ring so everyone in the audience (which includes a surprising number of children) can get a good look at it.

Ramos eventually makes his comeback by getting a fork from his bag of tricks and stabbing Reefer in the face with it. Everyone in the ring (including the referee) are now bleeding profusely.

Ramos looks like he has the match won when a trio of dudes known as the Knight Life hit the ring and work him over. This is all legal apparently since the referee watches it happen. Ramos sends them out to the floor and then comes off the ropes but gets clonked in the head with something by one of the Knight Life guys. Grim Reefer then locks on a barbed wire bat assisted Crippler Crossface and Ramos passes out.

Winner: Grim Reefer

The first half of this match was actually pretty good. Reefer looked decent in the ring and Ramos served as a good base to catch for him and bumped pretty well. The back half of the match was not particularly good. The powerdrill spot looked cheesy as hell and all the other hardcore spots are things I’ve seen done a million times before by guys who understand ring psychology better than these two. The run-in at the end probably would have made more sense if I had some knowledge of USA Pro storylines from 2004, but I don’t so it was just more random stuff in a match that was already kind of overbooked. [*½]

The Conquistador vs. Baron Corbin vs. Dr. Winston Von Voorhees vs. El Hombre Sin Nombre vs. Franz The Belgian Waffler vs. Gregor Valkan vs. Stanislav The Squeezer vs. The Chilean Sea Bass vs. The Sultan of Shawarma vs. Thunder Montgomery (WWE RAW October 8, 2018)

So the WWE is heading back to Saudi Arabia for some more of that sweet, sweet oil money and this time around they’re apparently having a tournament to determine who the best wrestler in the world is. Baron Corbin, the Raw GM, decided to hold a ten man battle royal, the winner of which would get a spot in that tournament.

He put himself in the match and then filled the remaining nine spots with enhancement talent in 1980s style ethnic gimmicks. The match would see the return of WWE Legend The Conquistador alongside this bevy of local talent pretending not to be local.

The match was pretty much exactly what you’d expect. Baron made short work of the job guys while the Conquistador chilled on the outside. Conquistador then came in at the end and laid waste to Corbin with German suplexes and tossed him out of the ring and then revealed himself to be none other than Kurt Angle who picked up the win and qualified for a chance to get that Saudi money!

Winner: Kurt Angle

On occasion I like goofy bullshit like this. For an angle this match did it right since they kept it short and had the heel end up looking like an idiot. It also gave a bunch of dudes a chance to get on TV which is good for young dudes (and Flash Flanagan) trying to get that money! [NR]

Sumire Natsu vs. Kana (Pro Wrestling Wave October 30, 2013)

So this is Sumire Natsu’s debut match and she’s going up against the woman who would become Asuka, Kana. Talk about a trial by fire.

We get a little pre-match promo from Natsu before the bout, though what she says I could not say, since my knowledge of Japanese is pretty much non-existent. After that she makes her entrance, getting the Goldberg treatment, as she she shown walking from the backstage area out to the ring (she lacks Goldberg’s phalanx of cops).

Kana, still in her Nazi zombie phase, heads out next and the match gets underway. Sumire offers a handshake, but Kana does not wish to abide by the Code of Honor. Sumire unloads on Kana with a bunch of forearm strikes that Kana just kind of shrugs off before unloading with strikes of her own.

Kana spends the bulk of the match toying with the rookie, swatting her out of the air when she goes for dropkicks and halfheartedly kicking at Sumire when she ends up on the mat.

Sumire gets a couple near falls that basically do nothing but fire Kana up who tosses her around a bit and then gets her to tap out with an armbar about eight minutes into the match.

Random ladies hit the ring with icepacks and stuff to tend to Sumire and then Kana kneels down and shakes her hand. I guess in taking a hellacious beating, Sumire Natsu earned Kana’s respect.

We then get a post-match promo thing from Sumire recorded backstage, but again, I’ve got no idea what she was talking about.

Winner: Kana

I guess for a debut match it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Sumire was good on the sell, but a lot of her offense looked kind of sloppy and it looked like she botched a couple things. Since this match took place five years ago, I know she gets much better than she was here but as a stand alone match this wasn’t particular inspired. [*⅔]

Atsushi Onita vs. Masahiro Chono (NJPW Strong Style Symphony – New Japan Spirit 1999 April 10, 1999)

I suppose a little backstory is in order. In 1998 Atsushi Onita left FMW after being told by then owner, Shoichi Arai, that due to Onita’s attitude towards other wrestlers on the roster and FMW’s shift away from deathmatch wrestling, he needed to leave.

Somehow this lead to Onita showing up in New Japan and challenging Riki Choshu to a barbed wire deathmatch. Choshu, who was serving as booker at the time, was retired and so in January 1999 booked Onita in a match against Kensuke Sasaki. Onita lost that match but still persisted and demanded Choshu come out of retirement to face him which brings us to today’s match.

Again, Choshu refused to face Onita, instead booking him in a match against former IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Masahiro Chono…in a goddamn exploding barbed wire match.

The match begins with a pair of the greatest ring entrances I’ve ever seen in my life. Onita is out first. He saunters down to the ring with a folding chair slung over his shoulder while “Wild Thing” blares. The normally staid Japanese audience gives him the WCW audience treatment and pelts him with trash as he walks down the aisle. At one point he stops, unfolds his chair and after lighting up a cigarette slumps down into it and smirks while the fans continue to hurl garbage at him.

Chono then proceeds to roll in a goddamn Humvee and march down to the ring with a cigar clenched between his teeth. He seems to be unsure of how to actually get into the ring since this is his first time in an exploding barbed wire deathmatch, but ultimately rolls into the ring and it’s time for the match to begin in earnest.

Like most Japanese deathmatches of yore, this begins with some basic wrestling and punch-kicking with teases of guys getting thrown into the barbed wire only for them to throw on the breaks at the last second. Eventually Chono gets Onita in the STF and some sirens sound which I guess means the bombs are now activated or something.

Chono releases the hold and grabs the chair that Onita had brought out with him and hurls it at him only for Onita to duck. The chair flies into the barbed wire, setting off an explosion that knocks both men and the referee on their asses in one of the best spots of the entire match.

We then get some back and forth with both guys ultimately ending up in the exploding barbed wire. Onita’s arm is opened up pretty good after he goes into the ropes so Chono beats on and yells “This is not wrestling!” at him in English for some reason.

Eventually there’s a ref bump that involves the referee, Onita, and Chono all going into the barbed wire and having it explode. A new referee, who had been out on the floor wearing ski goggles for the entire match, hops into the ring and checks on his fallen co-worker (the other ref was wearing a completely different uniform which said WAR on the back of his shirt so I don’t know if they actually worked together or not) while Chono has a visible pin on Onita.

Onita manages to kick out by the time the new ref realizes there’s a pin to be counted. Chono spams Yakuza Kicks on Onita but Onita keeps kicking out. Onita gets back to his feet and grabs a side headlock. Chono tries to get out of it with a backdrop suplex but Onita holds on and gets back to his feet driving Chono back into the barbed wire for another explosion.

Both men are down so the referee begins to administer a ten count. Onita staggers back to his feet, but then promptly collapses and the match ends with a double knock out.

Winner: Double Knock Out

Aside from the twin novelties of seeing a No Rope Explosive Barbed Wire Deathmatch being contested in a New Japan ring and Masahiro Chono in a garbage wrestling match this match is not particularly good. As is generally the case with these things there are a couple high spots but the bulk of the match is just mediocre brawling while guys attempt to push each other into the barbed wire.

The ending was kind of a disappointment too but I guess it lead to Chono and Onita respecting each other and teaming up with Chono to take on nWo Japan later that year because NJPW in 1999 was insane. [**]

Hiroshi Wajima vs. Tom Magee (AJPW April 22, 1988)

I love me some awful wrestling, so I’ve decided to watch all the winners of the Observer’s Worst Match of the Year Award. Hell, I’ve seen the bulk of them already, but this one I hadn’t seen before and it’s only like two and a half minutes long so here we go.

Tom Magee was a former bodybuilder turned pro-wrestler who was apparently on track to be the “next big thing” in the WWF, but it was not to be. Perhaps because of the fact that in spite having the right look, he never really learned how to work. Perhaps its because Vince thought he sounded too girly when he spoke. Who knows?

What we do know was that in April of 1988 he went to Japan to wrestle for All Japan Pro Wrestling. In this match from April 22 or maybe April 21 (I’ve seen both dates online) he faced a former sumo wrestler named Hiroshi Wajima in a rather awful encounter.

Magee comes attacks before the bell with some weak looking chops and knees that Wajima doesn’t really sell. Magee tosses him out to the floor and whips him into the guardrail and again Wajima doesn’t sell.

Magee does some flips and poses in the ring, as you do. Wajima climbs back up on the apron and Magee hits some ridiculous looking kicks that, you guessed it, Wajima no-sells. Magee hits a scoop slam and then a surprisingly good looking legdrop that he gets some insane height on and covers, but Wajima kicks out at one.

Magee goes for a belly to belly suplex, but Wajima doesn’t go up for him at all so they just kind of fall in a heap on the mat. This also only gets a one count. Magee then whips Wajima into the corner and unleashes a fury of more weak looking kicks and chops that draws laughter from the crowd before Wajima fires up.

Wajima hits some chops of his own, a hiptoss, a clothesline before slapping on the Boston Crab to pick up the win.

Winner: Hiroshi Wajima

While Tom Magee was clearly not the best wrestler and didn’t seem to understand the psychology of a match, with a different opponent, one who might have sold for some of his offense and made it look less ridiculous for example, this wouldn’t have been as bad as it was. Early in the match when Wajima kind of sold Magee looked competent and when he hit the legdrop he actually looked good, but when Wajima just stood there no-selling stuff it ended up making the entire match shit. [-***]

 

Gary Hart vs. Victor the Wrestling Bear (Houston Wrestling 1979)

Don’t know the exact date for this one but it shows up on a tape from Paul Boesch’s Houston Wrestling with a bunch of matches from 1979 so I’m assuming that’s when it went down, though I can’t find any evidence online about this match other than stuff saying that Gart Hart once wrestled a bear and isn’t that what really matters?

As far as matches go this one is wilder than the match I posted earlier of Gene Dubois taking on Terrible Ted. While Ted kind of wrestled with Dubois, hitting some snapmares and stuff, Victor just bowls everyone over, including the man with the fastest three count in professional wrestling, Referee Bronko Lubich.

Victor wins the match, but that’s beside the point. This is a man wrestling a bear in a cage of some sort because professional wrestling is goddamn ridiculous and that’s why I love it.

Mascarita Sagrada & Octagancito vs. Jerrito Estrada & Espectrito (AAA When Worlds Collide! November 6, 1994)

Another request. This match comes from a show that AAA co-produced with WCW and held in Los Angeles. I don’t think any guys who were actually contracted with WCW at the time were actually on the card (though 2 Cold Scorpio might have been since I’m pretty sure he left WCW in ’94 for ECW but don’t recall exactly when). A bunch of people on this show would go on to be big names in WCW and the WWE following this event, but none of those guys are in this match unless you count being on WWF Los Super Astros in 1998 or being part of the Juniors’ Division on Velocity in 2006 as being a big name in the WWE.

What we have here is the minis tag team match that opened up the show. In the US, minis or midget wrestlers are generally involved in comedy matches, and not really taken seriously and while I think that is sometimes the case in Mexico as well, this match was a pretty serious, competitive bout.

Professor Iron “Mike” Tenay and Chris Cruise are calling the action and are honestly a pretty great commentary team. Tenay does a pretty great job of explaining the different rules that American audiences unfamiliar with lucha libre might not understand (the lack of tags when someone goes out to the floor, 20 counts, why certain wrestlers are classified as minis, removing a mask being an automatic DQ, etc.) and Cruise has a pleasant enough sportscaster voice that gives an air of respectability to the proceedings.

All four dudes in this match worked hard and we got a lot of very fluid back and forth wrestling between the two teams, a lot of good high flying action, and about a bajillion arm drags. Much like WCW would start doing on Nitro with the cruiserweights opening the show. This was a fast paced, exciting match that got people amped up for what was to follow. I’d honestly be inclined to seek out the rest of this show and check it out after this match.