Archive for October, 2012

Barry Windham was a natural athlete and prodigy in the world of professional wrestling. Windham was born in the wrestling industry thanks to his father Blackjack Mulligan and has capitalized on his family heritage to it’s fullest and achieved numerous goals in his career. The second generation wrestler possessed amazing athleticism for a man of his size which made him a very lethal competitor. Many titles were under his possession wherever he went along with the membership of the prestigious and legendary group, Four Horsemen.  Barry has competed all over the world and has represented many NWA territories and WWF on more than one occasion. This 90 minute compilation profiles some of Windham’s best matches from Land of the Rising Sun.

 

1. Barry Windham vs. Genichiro Tenryu – December 5, 1983

First off in the compilation is Windham facing a former sumo wrestler and one of the hardest hitting competitors out of Japan, Tenryu. This was highly enjoyable to watch with both applying scientific wrestling with one another. Good things happened in under 10 minutes.
Grade: B-

 

2. Barry Windham & Ron Fuller vs. Bruiser Brody & Stan Hansen – 1983

Next up is Windham teaming with the Tennessee Stud Ron Fuller against one of the most feared and dangerous combinations in  Stan “The Lariat” Hansen and Bruiser Brody, With only taking a loot at the team of Brody and Hansen on paper you can imagine how this one went. Imagine a huge bar brawl with four men who wouldn’t die. I’m surprised that Brody and Hansen didn’t kick the living shit out of Windham and perhaps is attributed to two things, 1. They took him lightly as he’s Mulligan’s kid or 2. They trust in his abilities. Nevertheless, fun match.
Grade: C+

 

3. Barry Windham & Ron Fuller vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Genichiro Tenryu

Once again Windham and Fuller team up to face this time the team of Tenryu & Tsuruta who are at their very prime during this time period which made things interesting from the start. This was a nice back and forth hard-hitting contest. Those flying knees by Tsuruta were sick.
Grade: B-

 

4. Barry Windham vs. The Great Kabuki

Up next is Windham vs. Kabuki, who has gained huge notoriety in the western hemisphere. It was very decent and enjoyable match that could have kicked it up a notch knowing the talent involved but I’m no one to complain.
Grade: C+

 

5. Barry Windham vs. Keiji Mutoh

Windham now the less ominous counterpart of the Great Muta in Mutoh. This match was joined in progress and ended a few minutes away but for what was seen it was very good.
Grade: DUD

 

6. Barry Windham & Arn Anderson vs. Masahiro Chono & Masa Saito – March 21, 1991

The Horsemen battle two of New Japan’s top performers in Chono & Saito. This took place during a pay-per-view called WCW /New Japan Supershow in Tokyo. It was OK for the most part but it was mad slow on the beginning but it took on towards the end. Not a bad match by any means but just average.
Grade: C

 

7. The New Blackjacks (Bradshaw & Windham) vs. Johnny Ace & Kenta Kobashi – November 15, 1997

While in the WWF for the second time, Windham was lost in the shuffle as the Stalker and never lived up to the hype; However, he was later paired with fellow Texan Justin Hawk Bradshaw who was also lost in the shuffle and they became the New Blackjacks as a tribute to his father Blackjack Mulligan and partner Blackjack Lanza. In a special invitation match they face Johnny Ace (PEOPLE POWER!!!! LOL) and the Great Kenta Kobashi. This was very intense with the Blackjacks letting loose from their strict WWF playbook along with Ace’s impressive brawling and Kobashi’s legendary tenacity. Great stuff!
Grade: B+

 

Final Thoughts:

We all know how Barry was in America and we always recognize him as the Fifth Horsemen. This DVD profiled his work in Japan which was quite impressive facing great names in the Land of the Rising Sun. The last match really takes the cake and I advise you all get this for that match specifically. It’s great seeing IVP Videos providing these rare matches from Japan that we can’t get anywhere else as we get great wrestling from our favorite stars.

Verdict: 7.25/10

You can get this DVD and many more at IVP VIDEOS. They also provide downloads as well.

Harley Race is a wrestling legend. An 8-time World Heavyweight Champion, Race dominated many territories such as Georgia, the Carolinas, Florida and his home state of Missouri. Not only that but he has traveled all over the world and has met the best of the best in Canada, Australia, Puerto Rico, England, Germany & Japan. Now that we mention that, Japan is considered by many wrestlers,past & present, that Japan is the mecca of the sport of professional wrestling. The fighting spirit that is seen over there has been adopted by a great number of performers in North American and Harley was one of them. This DVD profiles some of Race’s matches in the famous All Japan Pro Wrestling  facing off against some of the all-time greats.

 

1. Harley Race vs. Giant Baba – December 9, 1975

Race steps in to face an individual who is almost the size of Andre the Giant and as popular as Hulk Hogan. Baba is an iconic figure in the Puroresu history books as a wrestler and promoter of the legendary All Japan Pro Wrestling. I’ll be completely honest with you, this match is a total snooze; However, wrestling around this time and age was like this. If you’re familiar and appreciate the “ancient ways” then you’ll find it intriguing.
Grade: C-

 

2. Harley Race vs. Abdullah the Butcher – May 13, 1976

“Handsome” squares off with a mean, nasty and dangerous individual in Abdullah. Abby is known worldwide for his unorthodox style and constant use of his trademark fork, in which he stabs it in his opponents forehead. This was quite short but a brutal war that started  before the bell even rang. Abby has always been overweight and not a quick guy but this was almost 40 years ago and the Butcher can move like if he was a 200 lbs. which made him even more dangerous and enjoyable to watch. This match didn’t have a finish but this is a must watch for everyone.
Grade: DUD

 

3. NWA World Heavyweight Championship
2 out of 3 Falls
Harley Race (c) vs. Jumbo Tsuruta – June 11, 1977

Race is at the top of his game as the NWA World Heavyweight Champion. He defends the prestigious belt against AJPW’s then poster boy and Puro Legend, Jumbo Tsuruta. This was pretty good and you can see both Race & Tsuruta showing a lot of courage and desire to pick up the W. Tsuruta was still an young gun and was years away from his unimaginable peak but you can tell that he was born to wrestle.
Grade: B-

 

4. NWA World Heavyweight Championship
Harley Race (c) vs. Mil Mascaras – September 12, 1980

This time around “Handsome” Harley defends the his title against perhaps the greatest wrestler/luchador to every come out of Mexico, Mil Mascaras. This one had a bit of everything like high-flying, dirty tactics, brawling, submissions, etc. Highly watchable and a hidden gem for those collectors out there such as myself. I think everyone has come to know Mil Mascaras or at least can identify who he is but if you’re unfamiliar with his work then I suggest to take a gander at this match.
Grade: B

 

5. Harley Race vs. Ric Flair – May 22, 1984

I believe there should be no need for introductions here as we know Flair very well and the history these two have. Definitely one of the greatest rivalries in the history of professional wrestling. This was 5 months after their famous cage match at the first ever Starrcade. With all that being said, this match showed how well they can work together and get that respectfully silent Japanese crowd roaring for 19 minutes.
Grade: B+

 

Final Thoughts:

Harley Race has had a legendary career in professional wrestling and you can see why. I highly suggest everyone to get this DVD to experiment on many elements in pro wrestling such as the Hall of Famer’s career, Puroresu, the 70’s & 80’s wrestling, other featured Wrestling Legends, etc.

Verdict: 7/10

You can get this DVD and many more at IVP VIDEOS. They also provide downloads as well.

1. Low-Ki vs. Ahtu w/Larry Dallas

Unbelievable Squash
Grade: DUD

 

2. Cheech Hernandez vs. K.C. “Cloudy” Day

Up In Smoke are no more thanks to Cheech turning on Cloudy and now we got this sorta of a grudge match. Nice back and forth action but Cheech didn’t show much character with his heel persona which could have been appreciated and would have helped everyone. Still this was a good match.
Grade: B-

 

3. John Silver & Alex Reynolds vs. The Scene (Scott Reed & Caleb Konley) w/Larry Dallas 

Disappointing performance I would say. Everyone had way better days but hey not everything is a classic.
Grade: C-

 

4. Jigsaw vs. AR Fox

This was right on the money like I would have expected it. Fox is definitely the future of the business and Jigsaw is an amazing talent. Positive + Positive = Positive.
Grade: B

 

Segment: The crowd gave both a standing ovation. Jigsaw gave his respects to Fox and all was going well. Until Sami Callihan shows up to bring out their Dragon Gate USA rivalry to EVOLVE in an effective way. Nothing but good things should happen with both of them working together again.

 

5. Uhaa Nation w/Ricochet vs. Pinkie Sanchez

Very impressive and effective Squash!
Grade: DUD

 

Segment: Nation was announced as a member of Blood Warriors in Japan. Rich Swann shows up and cuts a promo on the Warriors and does his Ronin shenanigas to humor everyone.

 

6. Ronin (Chuck Taylor & Rich Swann) vs. The Super Smash Bros. (Player Uno & Player Dos)

Phenomenal tag team match with SSB proving why they are more than just video game enthusiasts. Great back and forth action with lots of team work. Still boggles me why SSB aren’t regulars in a big promotion but I can attribute it’s their choice of not doing so.
Grade: B+

 

7. Jon Davis vs. Kyle Matthews

Squash
Grade: DUD

 

8. Bobby Fish w/AR Fox vs. Sami Callihan

This was alright but and I tip my hat off to both but that crowd was so unwatchable  It felt like they were wrestling in an empty arena or  a forest full of corpses.
Grade: C+

 

Segment: After the match Fox & Callihan started with the mind games and were milking to beat the crap out of each other but neither wanted to pull the trigger cause of the Discipline policy in EVOLVE.

 

9. Open the Freedom Gate Championship
Johnny Gargano (c) w/Chuck Taylor & Rich Swann vs. Ricochet w/Uhaa Nation

This was going fantastic but Gargano’s injury drastically slowed down the match. The kid has balls and a lot of heart and for that I give him even more respect that what I’ve given him before. Ricochet was a total pro and handled the pressure like a natural, CIMA has taught him well.
Grade: C+

 

Segment: Lenny Leonard is in the ring to commence the ECW Arena tribute. Leonard introduces Bob Artese, the first ever ECW ring announcer, who introduces Joey Styles to a standing ovation. Styles thanks the crowd and shares a story regarding the building citing that it’s his favorite place in the world and even better than any WrestleMania. He then proceeds to introduce Pitbull #1 Gary Wolfe, JT Smith and ECW founder Tod Gordon. In the process, CZW talent led by owner DJ Hyde crash the party and threaten the ceremony and claim that the it’s their arena. When tension got high, “Big Balls” by AC/DC started playing and Balls Mahoney came out and cleaned some house but it wasn’t enough. However, an infamous gunshot was heard and to the roar of the crowd came New Jack and finished the job by cleansing the ring from CZW personas, to only be caned by Justin Credible. But then Sabu came out and proceeded to the final match of the ECW Arena.

 

10. Justin Credible vs. Sabu

This match was very nostalgic with all the ECW throwback memories. In respect to talent involved and the occasion, refuse to grade this match but have in mind that it’s well worth the watch for one final dance at the Arena.

 

Segment: After the match Styles and Leonard were giving a speech and Sabu wanted to speak for the first time to the roar of the crowd. Unfortunately, Sami Callihan had other plans and took out the Arabian daredevil. Callihan cut a huge and historic promo, reminiscent to a Shane Douglas promo, that should be heard by everyone to end the show in D.U.F. fashion.

 

Final Thoughts:

Despite the nostalgic moments and wonderful segments, this was an average show. Let me put it this way, first it was drowning then it was saved but a cramp made it drown again and so on so on. The DGUSA title match was not what it was expected due to Gargano’s injury slowing things down and some matches weren’t even matches to begin with. Good show nonetheless.

Grade: 7/10

You can get this DVD and many more at Dragon Gate USA Store. All Evolve & Dragon USA shows are also available On-Demand  at WWNLIVE.

 

Segment: Colt Cabana interrupts the Six Woman Mayhem pre-show match and addresses his hometown crowd and calls out Homicide to end the score once and for all. He says that tonight someone is gonna die. To the humor of everyone Homicide hasn’t arrived yet to the building and an ROH student informs Cabana that and he finds himself in confusion as is holding his head as his concussion has taken a toll on him.

 

1. Six Man Mayhem
Jack Evans vs. Dave Crist vs. Jake Crist vs. Matt Sydal vs. Ace Steel vs. Jimmy Jacobs w/Lacey

This was alright but nothing memorable took place. For being an opener it met the standards.
Grade: C-

 

Segment: ROH Commissioner Jim Cornette comes out and is in a very happy mood and puts over Adam Pearce. Colt Cabana comes out and asks Corny to sanction a Chicago Street Fight between him and Homicide to which the Comish happily granted. Corny calls out Delirious and informs him that this is his last chance if he wants to be on the ROH roster and must get a win in the following contest.

 

2. Delirious vs. Ricky Reyes w/Julius Smokes

This was a short match but it was very effective for it’s purpose. Reyes played the part well to get Delirious popped.
Grade: C

 

3. The Embassy (Alex Shelley & Jimmy Rave) & Masato Yoshino vs. Do Fixer (Ryo Saito, Genki Horiguchi & Dragon Kid)

This might not be a Blood Generation vs. Do Fixer rematch but Shelley & Rave are no slouches and can play ball when needed. Great six-man tag with all the Embassy keeping it up with the Dragon Gate guys. Yoshino & Kid were the highlight of the match with that inhuman speed.
Grade: B

 

4. Four Corner Survival
AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe vs. Christopher Daniels vs. Jimmy Yang

Jesus Christ! 3 out of 4 in this contest had one of TNA’s greatest matches in history and now there’s a fourth addition with Jimmy Yang. This will be marked as one of my favorite Four Corner Survivals of all time. It’s almost impossible not to enjoy.
Grade: B+

 

Segment: Joe takes the mic and lets the world know that he wants his title back and wants Danielson. Dragon comes out and begins cracking jokes making fun of Joe’s weight and ethnicity. Eventually Chris Hero & Necro Butcher crash the party and took over and left everyone helpless. Neither Castagnoli, Whitmer, Pearce nor even Corny with a baseball bat could save them.

 

5. ROH Tag Team Championship
Generation Next (Austin Aries & Roderick Strong) (c) vs. Blood Generation (CIMA & Naruki Doi) w/Masato Yoshino

Aries & Strong must have had the toughest reign as tag team champions than anyone in history. Super teams like The Briscoes, KENTA & Davey Richards, AJ Styles & Matt Sydal & Kings of Wrestling have all been challengers for their titles. This challenge wasn’t any easier with Dragon Gate’s top two in Doi & CIMA. Amazing performance by all of them.
Grade: A-

 

6. ROH World Championship
Bryan Danielson (c) vs. Lance Storm

Storm comes out of retirement to get the gold. Such an amazing contest that is Scientific Wrestling 101. Very similar to Storm vs. Jerry Lynn at Anarchy Rulz 99, ironically in Chicago. Storm still has it’s no surprise as he’s always a in great shape and for his age it’s a blessing. Danielson was a total pro working with the veteran that made this match very well put together with little to no effort.
Grade: A-

 

7. Chicago Street Fight
Colt Cabana vs. Homicide w/Julius Smokes

This feud was very well put together with the jolly happy nature’d Cabana and the tough evil motherfucker in Homicide. Cabana was no longer the comical goof we all know him best as and was in full assault mode and didn’t mind getting his hands dirty against the Notorios 187. This was a nasty bloody war with little to no regard for their bodies and matches like these done appropriately turn successful. Great way to end this chapter of their careers.
Grade: B+

 

Final Thoughts:

Stage 6 of 7 and the final show of the three night extravaganza. I though Supercard of Honor was hard to follow but this one took the cake. One great feud was put to an end in great fashion, an amazing performance from Japanese visitors, a legend comes out of retirement and give one of the best performances of his career with the company’s ace, a new challenger emerges after being lurking in the shadows for over a year and a rival invades again and seems to have ROH’s number. What more can you ask for?

Verdict: 9/10

Segment: Several announcements were made. Colt Cabana will not be able to compete in his Fight without Honor match with Homicide. Also BJ Whimter is now on the I list for the attack received by the CZW invaders. Jim Cornette shows up and puts over the crowd and takes a shot at WWE, who was in town for WrestleMania. Cornette brings out some “Hardcore Guys” in masks for a match.

 

1. Samoa Joe & Adam Pearce vs. Two Hardcore Guys

SQUASH!
Grade: DUD

 

2. Four Corner Survival Match
Delirious vs. Ricky Reyes vs. Shane Hagadorn vs. Flash Flanagan

This was short but it was enjoyable for what was seen. Delirious is definitely getting a push in ROH. Ricky Reyes is not impressive at all and it’s a shame.
Grade: C-

 

3. The Embassy (Alex Shelley & Jimmy Rave) w/Prince Nana vs. Claudio Castagnoli & Jimmy Yang

Pretty fun match although there were bits and pieces that I wish that wasn’t present.
Grade: C+

Segment: Chris Hero comes out, grabs the mic, bitches about Claudio not joining him on the cause and then is ran out by the ROH students. That’s it.

 

4. First Blood Match
Ace Steel vs. Chad Collyer

These two are very talented individuals but they’re clearly not individual leaders. This was a mess.
Grade: D

 

5. AJ Styles & Matt Sydal vs. Generation Next (Austin Aries & Jack Evans)

The first time they met, excluding Evans, they were outstanding. This time was no exception, Evans squared off with Sydal in an amazing chain-spotfest. Aries & Styles are two aces that neither can outdo the other ending in lots of stalemates. Simply perfect.
Grade: B+

 

6. Dragon Gate Grudge Match
Blood Generation (CIMA, Naruki Doi & Masato Yoshino) vs. Do Fixer (Ryo Saito, Genki Horiguchi & Dragon Kid)

The trios match is a Dragon Gate trademark as they are influenced by Mexico’s Lucha Libre. I’m just gonna put the grade and see for yourself.
Grade: A+

 

7. Six Woman Mayhem
MsChif vs. Rain vs. Lacey vs. Allison Danger vs. Daizee Haze vs. Cheerleader Melissa 

Fun exposition of the literal sister promotion, Shimmer. Wonderful performance by the girls showing they are just as good as the guys.
Grade: C+

 

8. Homicide w/Julius Smokes vs. Mitch Franklin
The future Grizzly Redwood takes on the Notorious 187……SQUASH!
Grade: DUD

 

9. Homicide w/Julius Smokes vs. Colt Cabana

Immediately after the Homicide/Franklin encounter, Cabana showed up and wouldn’t let this feud go and went immediately on the offensive as this brawl went all over the building and everything but the kitchen sink was used. There was never a finish nor an official match so this gets the DUD.
Grade: DUD

 

10. Adam Pearce vs. Necro Butcher

Another war that didn’t get a finish but the shenanigans of Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli are definitely worth the watch. Also Jim Cornette, Samoa Joe & a crippled BJ Whitmer headed towards the ring and cleaned house with ROH finally fighting back and winning this encounter against CZW.
Grade: DUD

 

11. Samoa Joe vs. Christopher Daniels vs. Jimmy Jacobs w/ Lacey

Short match considering the talent involved but it was very well put together and Jimmy actually had good momentum going at par with the elites.
Grade: B-

 

12. ROH World Championship
Bryan Danielson (c) vs. Roderick Strong

This is their third encounter for the World Title and each match is more grueling than the last. The world title has elevated to another level in prestige with this encounter. Both went almost the full hour and not slowing down one bit keeping the pace consistent. Roddy gave it his all here and this is perhaps his greatest match ever along with their second encounter. There’s a reason why Danielson received the “Best in the World” moniker and it’s that he can create a masterpiece in that ring with just about anyone. Amazing contest.
Grade: A+

 

Bonus Features:

Jerelle Clark vs. Erick Stephens
Full Impact Pro Wrestling – April 08, 2006

This was very solid and it felt like a tease because I wanted to see more. 5 more minutes could have been wonderful.
Grade: B-

The Ballad of Lacey – Jimmy Jacobs fell in love with his valet, Lacey and is trying very hard to woo the girl so he makes a music video dedicating his love for her. Great stuff for what would eventually happen to Jimmy later on as the leader of the Age of the Fall.

 

Final Thoughts:

Stage 5 of 7 was another success. This would be the innovator of a yearly ROH tradition where they find the best of the best and make a super card. This was an amazing show and despite some low grades and DUD’s they all served a purpose in entertainment and pretty much pulled off some how like a WrestleMania show. It was fitting since WWE was in town for Mania at the time in Chicago and ROH wanted to introduce it’s product to a new fan base which in my opinion was a success. This would also be the innovator of what now you call Mania week in which the nation’s top promotions do wrestling shows in the same city as WWE’s WrestleMania and capitalize on the festivities also by treating the fans with a meet & greets and what not. While everything here is the utmost positive it has it’s flaws. Most notably the timing, this puppy went almost 5 hours long. Longer than any WrestleMania. This isn’t much of a factor but it’s quite noticeable. This DVD along with the rest of the Milestone Series is unfortunately Out Of Print and it’s a shame as this Milestone Series is what put them on the map entirely. If you manage to stumble upon this gem around Ebay, Amazon or anywhere at a good price, PLEASE DON”T HESITATE.

Verdict: 9/10