Defrost Reviews…CHAMPION VS CHAMPION

Was going to write a big overly dramatic opening going on and on about the importance of this and that. Then I went to work and boy was this disappointing.

1

All Japan Pro Wrestling 13th Anniversary Show (Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan)
NWA World Heavyweight Championship/AWA World Heavyweight Championship
NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair vs AWA World Heavyweight Champion Rick Martel

Built as the match to find the strongest wrestler in the world. They start out mat wrestling, but Martel seems to get the better of things early. Like almost a tamer non heel version of Flair’s normal matches around the loop with local babyfaces. That’s the vibe early on at least. You also get the vibe that this match will be going longer than it actually is. The first ten minutes scream broadway when really this going half that. At that point Martel starts tossing Flair around, Flair starts begging off, and Flair cheats for the heat making it not so much a vibe, but a straight up prototypical Ric Flair match. There is a real lack of intensity to this match though. There is never really a point where either guy felt like they could win. They had the prerequisite flurry of pinning attempts by Martel mostly near the end, but that felt more perfunctory than anything else. Then they both fall out of the ring and lay there for the finish. Very meh.

Result and Rating:

NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair fought AWA World Heavyweight Champion Rick Martel to a double count out at 34:31. Both men retained their titles (Star Rating: *1/2)

Wrestlemania VI (Skydome)
World Wrestling Federation Championship/World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship
WWF Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan vs WWF Intercontinental Champion Ultimate Warrior

The basic idea of this match is to portray Warrior as Hogan’s equal to propel him into becoming the new face of the WWF. A lot of power stuff early. Both men get their time to power the other around. But Hogan is not getting the better of it in the early going. Hogan actually has to resort to using an actual wrestling combination. Or a sequence where Warrior no sells a Hogan bodyslam and the follow up spot is Hogan very much selling a Warrior bodyslam. Then there’s that weird segment where Hogan sells a blown out knee which goes nowhere, and is never referenced again. Was it Hogan trying to save his heat? Or is that too cynical? The visible pin was. Hogan got his first if you notice. This is a good match that does tell the story it set out to tell. Hogan did mostly put over Warrior and the conspiracy bit is a touch overrated. While it is good the match is overhyped. Probably because of expectations given who was involved. It is more than solid, but doesn’t approach great, and some people would argue otherwise.

Result and Rating:
WWF Intercontinental Champion Ultimate Warrior defeated WWF Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan via pinfall at 22:50 with a Big Splash. The Ultimate Warrior won the World Wrestling Federation Championship (Star Rating: ***)

Wrestling Dontaku 1993 (Fukuoka Dome)
World Wrestling Federation Champion Hulk Hogan (w/Jimmy Hart) vs IWGP Heavyweight Champion The Great Muta

Hogan in Japan. The legend of Hogan in Japan. The legend being that Hogan always had to work harder in Japan than he did in his heyday run in the World Wrestling Federation, and was a much better wrestler than he was given credit for. How much of that is true? How much of that is working with Tatsumi Fujinami and Great Muta is much easier than King Kong Bundy and what was left of Andre the Giant? How much of it is was just not dealing with the WWF’s infamous travel schedule? These are questions left to the void. No one knows. Starts off with Muta stalling and Hogan pulling off a fewnifty chain wrestling combinations. Yeah, you read that right. Keiji Muto is a big fucking dude. He is not that much smaller than Hogan at all. They do some crowd brawling 5 years before it became popular in America. Then Hogan starts suplexing Muta all over the place. I swear to God this is what happened. Oh no Muta has got himself a hammer. Super Ramp Run of DEATH and DOOM! Now Hogan has gone all heel and is cheating all over the place. This match is something. And now an enziguri from Hogan for a near fall. Moonsault only gets 2. Muta did the moonsault not Hogan. In this match that feels like it needs to be specified. Muta just grabbed a rope ladder and swun himself halfway across the building slamming himself into Hogan. That’s unique. Hogan has a chair but gets misted. Hogan dodges a top rope dropkick and comes off the ropes for the big Leg Drop! Muta out at two! Both men back up and a big boot followed by an Axe Bomber Lariat finishes it for Hogan and we get the usual Hogan posing routine. That was a hell of a match. Has to be close to the top of most fun match Hogan ever had. Good stuff.

Result and Rating:

World Wrestling Federation Champion Hulk Hogan defeated IWGP Heavyweight Champion The Great Muta via pinfall at 15:55 with the Axe Bomber. (Star Rating: ****)

Pro Wrestling World Championship: Takada vs Super Vader (Jingu Stadium)
UWFi Real Pro Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship
UWFi Real Pro Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion Nobuhiko Takada vs WCW World Heavyweight Champion Super Vader

And now we enter the world of shoot style wrestling. The UWFi was a sequel promotion to the original UWF. It would build itself as “real” as opposed to other promotions including making grandstand challenges that would eventually bite them in the ass, and lead to its downfall and the creation of Pride. At this point in their history Lou Thesz was the figure head of the promotion and the championship belt used was Thesz’s from when he was NWA World Heavyweight Champion. The champion and Ace Nobuhiko Takada would go around challenging everyone including IWGP Heavyweight Champion The Great Muta and NWA World Heavyweight Champion Masahiro Chono so needless to say they had heat with New Japan. The man who took the challenge up, or took the money really, was WCW World Champion Big Van Vader. However, NJPW owns the copyright on Big Van Vader and due to the aforementioned heat were less than pleased. Hence why Vader in UWFi was called Super Vader.

I’ve never been a big fan of this style. If I want to watch something like this I’ll watch a real fight. All that really happens is Vader corners Takada, slaps him a bit, takes him down, repeat. Takada throws a few kicks in there. This would be considered really boring if it was in the UFC. Dana would be burying guys on Twitter. Well maybe not. Takada drew so he might have gotten the GSP treatment.

Result and Rating:

UWFi Real Pro Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion Nobuhiko Takada defeated WCW World Heavyweight Champion Super Vader via submission at 14:23 with a Cross Arm Breaker. Nobuhiko Takada retained the UWFi Real Pro Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship (Star Rating: **)

Superbrawl V (Baltimore Arena)
WCW World Heavyweight Championship
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan (w/Jimmy Hart) vs UWFi Real Pro Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion/WCW United States Heavyweight Champion Vader

Hogan says Brother more times in his pre match promo than most people say it in their lifetimes. Mean Gene has a weird wide eyed not blinking thing going on at the end of it too. The match does have a big time feel to it at the start. Hogan is getting booed. Heenan tries to cover it by saying that crowd is yelling, “who? who?” Weird way to go with that. Vader chants now. Keiji Muto is in the crowd. Don’t know why. This plays like every Hogan vs monster match. The monster no sells. Hogan gets him down. Monster gets the heat. Hogan Hulks Up. You’d think that because Vader is way better than the monsters Hogan had been set against this would be better than the average one of those, but no it really isn’t. A very meh match. Complete with a politically driven finish where Vader kicks out at the count of one, and Flair runs in for a schmoz.

Result and Rating:

WCW World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan (w/Jimmy Hart) defeated UWFi Real Pro Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion/WCW United States Heavyweight Champion Vader via disqualification at 15:09 when Ric Flair ran in. Hulk Hogan retained the WCW World Heavyweight Championship (Star Rating: *1/2)

Starrcade 1996 (Nashville Municipal Auditorium)
WCW Cruiserweight Championship/J Crown Championship
WCW Cruiserweight Champion Dean Malenko vs J Crown Champion/WAR World Six Man Tag Team Champion Ultimo Dragon (w/Sonny Onoo)

No Mike Tenay? This could be an issue. Oh Tenay is here. Thank God. So far this match looks a lot better on paper than what we’re actually getting. Lots of nothing holds and stomps from Dragon early on. Halfway through I am kinda bored. Now I am more than kinda bored. Finishing stretch saves this one from being a disaster, but I would not call this one good at all.

Result and Rating:

J Crown Champion/WAR World Six Man Tag Team Champion Ultimo Dragon defeated WCW Cruiserweight Champion Dean Malenko via pinfall at 18:31 with a Tiger Suplex. Ultimo Dragon won the WCW Cruiserweight Championship (Star Rating: *)

Nitro 3/22/99 (Club LeVela)
WCW World Heavyweight Championship
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair (w/Arn Anderson) vs WCW Cruiserweight Champion Rey Mysterio Jr

This one is about as fun as a 7 minute match can be. Rey goes a bit fast for Flair at times, but for the most part this one works. It is Flair being Flair and Rey Jr in his prime. Fun is really the best way to describe it. Enjoyable. An easy watch. Then Flair ended up in the pool.

Result and Rating:

WCW Cruiserweight Champion Rey Mysterio Jr defeated WCW World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair via disqualification at 7:37 when Arn Anderson ran in (Star Rating: ***)

Raw 1/16/06 (RBC Center)
WWE Championship/TLC Match
WWE Champion Edge (w/Lita) vs WWE Intercontinental Champion Ric Flair

Ric Flair was 56 at the time of this match. How he is not broken I will never understand. This match is awesome. Flair is amazing. Years later you still really want to see him win this one. There is a terribly placed commercial that comes right after Edge splashes a bloody Ric Flair through a table and when they come back Flair is standing in the ring and Edge is crawling on the floor. No context for that. Ric Flair gets superplexed off the ladder. Man is insane. Edge almost dies falling from the ladder to the floor. His feet almost caught the ropes and that would have been all she wrote. Lita saves and Edge wins it. Really wanted Flair to win. Crazy match. Crazier than you’d expect except you really shouldn’t. Flair is batshit and Edge was trying to prove himself as champion so a perfect storm really.

Result and Rating:
WWE Champion Edge defeated WWE Intercontinental Champion Ric Flair at 16:40. Edge retained the WWE Championship (Star Rating: ****1/2)

Wrestlemania 23 (Ford Field)
WWE Championship
WWE Champion/World Tag Team Champion John Cena vs World Tag Team Champion Shawn Michaels

Shawn totally carries this match. The match really is an indictment to how unadaptable Cena really is. Crowd hates his guts he works a match the exact opposite to that. He’s programmed. Like a robot. There is no art there. Hey Shawn’s bleeding. No real reason for it. Oh good a ref bump. I am starting to recall why I was not a big fan of this match. Cena starts bleeding from the top of his head after a piledriver on the steps. That makes sense. I’m kinda bored. Having a hard time paying attention now. Ok now done. Meh.

Result and Rating:

WWE Champion/World Tag Team Champion John Cena defeated World Tag Team Champion Shawn Michaels via submission at 28:22 with the STFU. John Cena retained the WWE Championship (Star Rating: **)

 

Tagged ,

Leave Your Message At The Beep

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: