Sunday, 20 November 2016

Shoot Style, Memphis and...Paul Roma!

Jerry Lawler, Koko Ware, Jerry Jarrett & Tojo Yamamoto v The Spoiler, Phil Hickerson, Billy Travis & Ron Sexton (Memphis, 8//10/85)

I was smiling pretty much all the way through this. I had no memory of Tojo Yamamoto being babyface. Had no memory of Jerry Jarrett wrestling this late. Had no memory of Billy Travis working Memphis. Jarrett felt like such a random addition to this (which I guess is fitting, because that's a pretty dang random assortment of names). He looks like a total jobber with his bog standard look, skinny frame and all around flimsiness. He tries to backdrop Phil Hickerson at one point and Hickerson just picked him up and dropped him awkwardly across his knee. Tojo wasn't involved much but man was he fun. Basically all he did was chop people, but everyone bumped big for him and he got fired up like a crazy wee gremlin bastard. Billy Travis was in full stooge mode and it was great. It was Travis who bumped biggest for Tojo's chops and he took a cool inside out bump off a Lawler clothesline. Koko did most of the heavy lifting for the babyfaces and he hit one dropkick that was absolutely fucking unbelievable. I legit shouted "look at that fucking dropkick!" and rewound it about six times. He also won the first fall with this awesome mule kick-dropkick thing (a mule dropkick? I guess) off the second rope. Memphis was the funnest. 

The Rockers v Power & Glory (WWF Superstars, 4/15/91)

This wasn't very good. On paper I thought it looked like an interesting match-up, but it wasn't all that interesting in practice. I remember being a fan of Power & Glory as a kid. I don't remember why. Maybe it was the cool tights. Roma is jacked like a motherfucker and I guess he was an okay shithead, but he's pretty cookie cutter in every aspect. He did have one amusing turnbuckle bump at least. Hercules looks kinda rough at this point and works real slow. Jannetty tried to make his clotheslines look good by doing a Billy Travis inside out bump, then later tried it again and landed on his neck, but there's only so much Marty could do. Fairly lackluster shine segment, lackluster heat segment, tepid hot tag and a non-finish. I'd like to think these teams had a decent match in them, but this wasn't it. 

Kiyoshi Tamura v Wataru Sakata (U-Style, 2/15/03)

I thought for sure I'd seen this before, but if I had I forgot how good it was. Because it was REAL good. I don't know if these two ever fought in RINGS, but Sakata has a bug up his butt about something and slaps Tamura cross the face pre-match. In his younger days Tamura would've come out trying to tear off limbs (or he'd be the one doing the slapping), but this time he came out unperturbed and just went about business. Some of the matwork in this was really great, which probably shouldn't be surprising. Felt like Sakata was the aggressor for a lot of it with Tamura playing defence. Tamura's older now but his defence is just as spectacular as it was in the 90s; maybe even more so because he has a calmness about him now, like he's a guy who's seen it all and found a way out of every submission you can put him in. He has a calmness about in general. This is his house now and he has nothing to prove to anybody. As this went on they started to move to the feet a bit more and a few of the exchanges down the stretch were awesome. Sakata is pushing for the KO and Tamura looks like he's barely hanging in there, so he backs Sakata into the corner and throws knees to the body from the clinch. Then he backs up and drops Sakata for a 9 count with a jumping high kick. Match wasn't too long, but it built in drama and reached a hot climax. I wish U-Style stuck around. 

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