Friday, June 22, 2012

Scott's Professional Wrestling YouTube Travels Special Edition: Old Wrestlers Still Wrestling

Dave Finlay vs TAJIRI (SMASH, February 19, 2012)

It is 2012 and this matters. Yes. Stall stall start and then into some rough n' ready matwork with the struggles for your positioning and the like. Some of these takedowns from Finlay are goddamn beautiful in their violent design. Tajiri has to head out to ringside to hack up some phlegm as Finlay has worn him out with legal wrestling. It's physical domination again upon Tajiri's return to the squared circle, and then they lay in with a strike exchange, forearms from Finlay winning the day. Tajiri goes for the tarantula, but it does not happen.

Finlay is too much of a man for poor Tajiri these days. Finlay speaks with the referee when a chinlock's legality is checked: "It's fine."

The pace here isn't quite to my liking in any way, but it is a very good match as it is well-worked by a couple of true veterans of the ring. Tajiri gets a nearfall on his patented Kick to Fucking Head. Finlay retakes the advantage, as we begin to wind this thing down. Tajiri sizes up another Kick to Fucking Head, but it is ducked and Finlay delivers a lunging headbutt to the gut, followed by a short-arm lariat for two. Finlay goes for tombstone, eats kick instead. Tajiri sizes up yet another, Finlay spinebusts him. Finlay grabs his shillelagh and manages to land a couple blows with it, the dirty foreigner. Tajiri having some sort of convulsion, and tries to fight away from the tombstone, but cannot do it. It lands and Finlay retains his belt and SMASH stops happening. Match was good but not something I feel like a better person for having seen.

Ricky Morton vs George South (EWA, February 4, 2012)

George South makes his way to the ring to a CD skipping out "Welcome to the Jungle," probably the most up-to-date music he is familiar with that doesn't come with a crisp new cowboy hat on Today's Country 10Whatever FM. George South grabs the microphone and makes clear that he likes nobody in this stinkin' building. A woman a few feet away cradles her child, but not in some romantic THE WRESTLING~!~!~! way but more in a "don't worry, sweetie, this is all a buncha bullshit and I know the stupid fucking microphone is too loud" sort of way. South talks jive on the Rock n' Roll Express and some hipster-bearded fellow in the first row makes a spectacle of himself for a yuk. Another man shouts "I love Jesus!" South, if you are not aware, really does love Jesus.

Ricky Morton is out to Poison's "Nothin' But a Good Time," and I guess you have some story there. Morton, who had a far longer relevant career than did South, is probably more broken down at this point than South is, because of that longer, more relevant, higher-impact career. More pussy also equals more child support and more miles. And while Axl Rose devolved into a hopeless eccentric, there was something iconic about Rose. Bret Michaels never really devolved -- he was a bottom-feeding dipshit fucking around at the surface at his alleged best, and then just stayed that way, getting re-famous because a bunch of fat chicks will still pay for his garbage music, and a bunch of decent looking chicks will still blow him.

Realistically one expects South to be in better shape today, in the way that GNR plays better today than Poison. Poison skips, too. Morton brings out some kid -- maybe one of his, maybe not -- and some other little kid keeps trying to hug him -- maybe one of his, maybe not. "How y'all doing?" Morton asks the crowd. In Seagrove, NC, ain't nobody feelin' no pain right now. Rock n' Roll is alive and well. And that is good to know.

Morton needs to talk to a microphone. Ricky's kid (?) is already working the crowd. That's gotta be his. Morton has a surprise. A WWE Hallafamer. A special referee. It's Jimmy MOTHERFUCKING Valiant! This is the best match of 2012 and it hasn't even started. Little kids follow Boogie around ringside and all is right with the world except for this motherfucker's Macbook.

Morton has another surprise. A woman. Babydoll is here. Is this the best match ever in history? Babydoll still looks pretty good, takes better care of herself than any of the boys.

And there's a match here too apparently. Children and a few weird older folks get up to the ring apron to pound on it and get everyone excited. This video is 18:30 and at 12 minutes George South doesn't even have his ring jacket off. Hey, it don't get better than that. We get a couple little jumps and come back to South being admonished for pulling hair or some shit - who cares? The match isn't even important. This is pure love -- purer than any of the 9 million Shane Douglas ECW exploitation bullshit reunion shows where you have to drag Sabu's ass out there in hopes that enough of the Philly idiots from 15 years ago still care and will give you $15 for a seat and another $20 later for a cheap ass DVD. ECW was briefly pure and then became what it became, and it crawled along and limped to its finish for the last two years of its miserable existence, a shell of a shell of itself. Ricky Morton and George South still have the wrestling in them. Shane Douglas knows how to say he does but one suspects any purity was beaten out of him years ago due to his own failures and the failures of those who failed him.

This match barely exists on the video and it's hard to figure out what happened in it since it's so cut up (Babydoll turned of course), but I'm glad I watched it. George South and Ricky Morton trade words on the microphone after. Ricky thanks the crowd for coming out after he's done not caring about George South not liking him. I think Ricky's setting a match up for next year like it's Rock and Cena, challenging George South to find a partner for a tag team match. Match was not very good but something I feel like a better person for having seen.

Ricky Morton vs Chris Hamrick (MACW, February 25, 2012)

Hamrick stalls, pretends to leave, Morton breaks a countout at nine, and then we get a little action before Hamrick stalls some more. I almost forgot Hamrick's threat to backhand a child when he was walking back to the ring after leaving. All things considered I hope top row of the bleachers was more expensive than four-five rows back where the fat ladies sit in the section of chairs since it's a way better seat. The overall setup here is really nice, perfectly comparable to ROH when they run in Chicago Ridge, probably better even. Same type of building, but this one is just a better fit. Match is OK -- Morton wins and Hamrick heels it up the whole way and Rock n' Roll is alive in Cheraw, SC.

2 Cold Scorpio vs Vordell Walker (PWE, January 28, 2012)

Jackass fans threaten to ruin this so hard. This makes me chug half a Miller 12 gauge in disgust. I do like the belief that 2 Cold Scorpio has an agent. Like he's one of those guys way down Jerry Maguire's list or some shit. "Oh yeah, Scorp, yeah, good to hear from you" and then the agent is pissed because the new secretary put him through against orders given to the old secretary.

These are the type of guys I hated sitting anywhere near at wrestling shows. The dudes at IWA Mid-South going "Botch! Botch! Botch!" to shit that wasn't even botched, just wasn't executed well because Trik Davis was green, or the virgins at ROH who, between gulps of Sprite (the soda fatass nerds drink so that they feel like they're being healthier than drinking Coke) and face-stuffings of shitty hot dogs and alleged nachos, would bust out some killer HHH jokes. Actually, to be fair to these guys, they are better than those people were even if they are greasy Floridians.

Vordell and Scorpio turn it up trading chops at ringside and Scorp lands a right hand that brings the wiseasses back into a true love affair with what they are seeing. You can hear the change in their voices -- the love coming out. It goes from "LOL Flash Funk" to "Scorpio you're still a badass!" And he is.

Scorpio stops the brawl around the ring to ask Vordell, hey, let's go back in the ring, and they do, and Scorpio has stopped flippin' and a flyin' and turned into a mean son of a bitch the last few years, totally changing his style and becoming a different man, so he rips Vordell with a lariat. OH SHIT, some voice even says, "I only have a Sprite." Get real.

Scorp does go up top but gets head-kicked back to the canvas, taking a face-first fall from up top, and it is great. Walker is a veteran himself, of course, an early woulda-been TNA guy (probably better he didn't stick). Vordell tries to play heel to the only responding section of the audience and fails. Walker laying in the kicks and calling Scorpio an old-timer, which pisses Scorp off and he's laughing off forearms. Scorpio with three jabs and a hard right hand to put Vordell down. Scorpio is just nasty in there, throwing himself into everything he does.

The match goes into 50-50 war of attrition type of pace and it's very, very good. Scorpio goes up top after he starts gassing out pretty good, gets thrown off, and eats a brainbuster for the finish.

Vader vs Heath Slater (WWE, June 11, 2012)

Lawler says Vader looks just like he did then. My ass. Cole and Lawler play "remember when?!" and speak only of his terribly disappointing WWF time. Huge "Let's go Vader" chant. Slater with a couple rights and then he runs into Vader's lariat, and then another one. Vader hammering him down with clubbing right forearms. Vader swings his rights, not what they used to be, but solid. Slater goes for a slam, gets him up, and gets squished. All in all Vader looks pretty great considering he's 57 years old and about 450 pounds. Slam and Vader Bomb and well Heath Slater is shit and he gets squashed by 57 year old Vader.

Jerry Lawler vs Tommy Dreamer (WrestleWar, March 16, 2012)

15 years after that time Lawler caned Dreamer in his ball sack and wrestled Dreamer at Hardcore Heaven, here they are for yet another go-round, by now familiar rivals who have barely ever wrestled on TV, what a world. This is some kind of joint NWA/other indies show in Nashville, and it's funny (not ha-ha) to think of how these old dudes travel different paths and pretty much wind up at the same destination. Lawler really did think ECW sucked, which was hilarious given he came from Memphis (where ECW drew a lot of its inspiration, either on purpose or by accident), and Dreamer really is Mr. ECW in good and bad, and here they are now, two guys no longer needed in the ring by WWE, still plugging along, doing their thing, remembering the glory days.

Dreamer may never have been a great wrestler, but he is smart enough to know that in Nashville, with N W A on the turnbuckles, he's gotta lead a clap. Lawler stalls and avoids locking up. It's Tennessee so there are plenty of Lawler supporters, and Jerry makes sure to make himself look cowardly and cheap, but that can't get anyone who supports him to turn right off. Lawler with a right to the mush and Dreamer feels it. They reverse the roles in the other corner, and both are selling single punches as if they matter, which you don't see a whole lot. Then they trade shots, with Dreamer getting the better of it, and I realize that right now, here in 2012, I would rather watch Jerry Lawler than just about anyone on TV, save for your Dolph Zigglers or Daniel Bryans or the like.

It's Lawler who brings a chair into play, and they start to brawl around ringside, so the PA man warns the fans to stay back, and someone's dad yells out, "REALLY? THEY'RE OUTSIDE THE RING? I DIDN'T KNOW THAT. THANKS, CAPTAIN OBVIOUS." Whenever someone uses a "Captain Obvious" joke, I'm like, ooh, shit, sick burn. What a cutdown. I bet that guy lists "Sarcasm" as one of his languages on Facebook.

Then some other guy yells, "Kick his ass, Seabass!" and once again wrestling fans make me want to die. But then motherfuckers are swinging chairs at each other and you can barely see a damn thing, and Dreamer hits Lawler with a drink, and we've got ourselves an old-fashioned "walk around and hit each other" match, and I am down with that. They get back to the ring and Dreamer takes over, and Lawler smashes his head into a chair. I await the sweet crimson's flow, but I don't think we're getting it. Jerry has TV work to do after all. If Dreamer doesn't bleed then I give up.

Dreamer goes to the second rope and some bald guy is on the apron yelling at him. The referee is yelling at the bald guy. Is that CW Anderson? Is that Amish Roadkill? Is that just some other jackass? Anyway, Lawler rolls him up for ... three. What? Fuck yourself. Awful ending to what had been a fun match. Was everyone too proud to job? Someone yells "five more minutes" as if the match has gone to a draw. that's ... it's not ...fhqwhgads

So Dreamer and the baldy are still arguing in the ring and Dreamer gets shoved a couple times, then puts him down with a right hand the guy makes no effort to block, and then Lawler throws that guy back into the ring for Dreamer, so FUCK WHAT IS THIS. I wish I knew how this made sense in the context of this show. Standing alone it sucks, maybe it's better in reality. Now Lawler's going to kick ass too -- he drops the flying fist, which is what he does now that he doesn't piledrive anyone.

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