February 09, 2018

WrestleParty 2018: Delayed Gratification

Buddies, pals, countrymen,
I know we were all over-the-moon excited at the prospect of getting together to watch some weird old wrestling this evening.  As usual, it's been too long.  I wonder how often an ideal amount of time between marathons would be.  Maybe two or three months apart?  Maybe even six apart, but only once a year or less is a shame.  Such are the pangs of adulthood, as our elusive confluence of schedules sluggishly continues to narrow.  I expect this will make future marathons all the sweeter, as the hours of whimsy and silliness will be the hard-won reward for our patience.  In the deficit of our cancelled wrestlethon, and in spirit of its wouldabeen levity, I'd like to share this post.  Ya see, when we started planning the get-together just a couple days ago, I immediately began formulating a viewing plan, and much downloading ensued.  Don't worry, my ratios are healthy as fuck.  But now I have all this cool stuff that I can't wait to watch, but don't want to watch by myself!  To somewhat alleviate my curiosity, and to give me a sense of socialization in lieu of there being actual people in my house, I'm going to give you guys a series of imagined descriptions of shows and matches which we might watch together someday, but until then will wait un-watched in a folder in my computer called "WrestleParty 2018".  Til then, a fantasy, my friends.

AJ Styles vs Jerry Lynn vs Low-Ki Triple Ladder Match: TNA 2002
This was great.  When Low-Ki did the backflip butterfly kick right into Mr. JL's inner heart area I thought I was gonna be sick, but 10 minutes later he did that package megadriver on the pile of ladders with Ki and I was all like, damn paybacks a bitch, and we laughed.  It was especially interesting to be able to compare AJ's working punches from 16 years ago to today.  Everything else is the same, but his working punches are so "nice and snug" now.  This was also fun because we were each rooting like crazy for a different competitor.  Poncho's favorite won, predictably.

Bryan Danielson vs Tommy End: wXw 2010
This 9-minute match is an interesting time capsule for this German promotion which for many years has been bringing in top guys from all over the world.  Our biggest takeaways were how cute DBD was/is, and what excellent decisions the young Aleister Black will make in his future selection of tattoos.

Manami Toyota (pack of 13 matches, 8 of which were Meltzer-rated 5 stars)
I brought this to our last Wrestlethon in Eugene, and it didn't make the cut.  We didn't get to it this time either, mostly because of Rusty's insistence that "all women are a bitch" and "girls can't wrestle shit".  Someday we will watch this and it will blow our minds.  Especially Rusty's.

New Beginning in Sapporo: NJPW 2018
This was just so Poncho and Marshall could mark out about the recent New Japan show in front of Rusty, who is aware of it but I'm guessing hasn't seen it.  We skipped through every match to get to the break-up, the save, and that magical fucking hug that I made Alice watch last week while I raved about it's implications. 

Kota Ibushi vs Kenny Omega: DDT 2012 (2 seperate matches)
As the Golden Lovers are now the most interesting thing in wrestling, it seemed very time-appropriate to pull out some of the highlights in these guys' long back catalogue.  These matches were the only ones I could find to download, and I think they were fantastic but all I really remember is how we talked about gay stuff the whole time.  Did every match end with red confetti, or was that in my dreams?

Kenny Omega vs Chris Jericho: NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12
More New Japan that Poncho and I have seen (in this case, together), but if Rusty hadn't gotten to it yet, was well worth re-watching because there's a lot to appreciate, especially in the sharing.  Even if Rusty had also seen this already, I think we might all have re-watched it anyway.  This is a great match to watch in a group.

Kazuchika Okada vs Katsuyori Shibata: NJPW 2017
Yeah, again, seen it already, Poncho's seen it too.  I've cited it as my fave of the year, so wanted to have it available to suggest if you guys were into it.  Didn't happen this time around.

Kazuchika Okada vs Tomohiro Ishii: NJPW from G1 Climax 26, 2016
The final thing which I'm sure both Poncho and I have seen.  This was a phenomenal tournament match, and a singles pairing which had only happened (I think) once before, and never since.  The dominant faction leader Okada against his game stable-mate who brought the fucking NOISE!  I think Meltzer gave this one five, but who cares.  I refused to let anyone go to bed until we watched this and it put goosebumps up our arms and we stayed up gossiping until dawn.

The Latest Episode of iMPACT
Too busy gossiping, don't remember.  Something something Austin Aries?

WCPW Refuse to Lose, October 2017
The last time we did a wrestlethon, Rusty was real keen to hear what was going on with his favorite dude from the wrestlethon before that- Speedball Mike Bailey.  Unfortunately, in the interim he'd been barred from entering the US, majorly hampering his visibility.  Since then, he's wrestled for DDT in Japan (as I learned from a recent Botchamania, here's a link, skip to 7 minutes, 37 seconds) and probably a bunch of other promotions outside the US.  He's on this British show, across the ring from the one and only Jay Lethal.  We loved it.  It was great to see that he came up with so many cool new signature moves that Naomi hasn't wretchedly co-opted (yet), and maybe even greater to see that he's wearing shoes now.  Blinking neon light-up shoes.  You go, Mike Bailey.  It was also great to see him face, of all people, the ersatz gatekeeper of ROH, which would be the perfect company to help grant him a work visa to get him back into our fucking country.  My, what a tangle!  The great wrestling continues!

Keiji Mutoh vs Genichiro Tenryu: NJPW 1999
The moves, the moves the moves.  I mean, I could list all the moves we saw (95% coming from Great Muta) but what's the point.  We will never forget the experience of watching this match together.  I could just close my eyes and let it wash over me.  Dean Ambrose eat your heat out.

All-Star Weekend 13: PWG 2017
This was a double-card, a two-night, two-DVD affair, but we just skipped to the final three matches of night two- Zack Sabre Jr vs Walter, Rey Horus vs Matt Sydal vs Trent, and Chuck Taylor vs Ricochet.  Poncho and I calmly but pointedly debated the idea of competitive legitimacy in PWG as compared to WWE while Rusty quietly marked the fuck out.

Portland Wrestling: December 3rd 1977
I got this because during a promo some dude eats glass.  He died a couple months later.  Also I got it because it happened in Portland, where we all met each other.  Smiiiiiles!!!!  :)  :)  :)  :D

NWA Pro 1990
The icing on our wrestlecake, this proto-WCW show on TBS featured tons of stuff we're all familiar with but hadn't yet seen in this format.  The torrent I downloaded from had almost every week from that year of show, and all the files were huge, so I cherry-picked 10 episodes.  We're talking Black Scorpion promos, the original Horseman lineup, an El Gigante promo, Mike Thor jobbing to JYD, Bob Holly jobbing to Ric Flair, a cherubic Tony Schiavonne happily announcing matches, Mark Callous vs jobbers, Doom vs jobbers, Steiners vs jobbers, Freebirds and Rock and Roll Express vs jobbers, I mean if you like jobbers you can't go wrong with these wrestling cards, Stan Hanson vs jobbers, Lex Luger vs a jobber called "Death Row", Sting promos, Teddy Long promos, Sid Vicious promos, Tom Zenk and Brian Pillman tagging, a fucking Johnny Ace match...  so obviously we got sucked into the vortex of this wrestling dreamgasm, and I'm writing this post from the ecstasy of postNWApro existence, on the far side of what might popularly be referred to as the "real world", where we all now reside, frozen in giddy hysteria, and I'm writing this not to you, my friends, but on our behalf, to the world at large, should anyone take notice, please you gentle reader heed our cry for HELP.

That was fun to imagine, but I know that the real thing would be even funner because you two make me lose control laughing from outta nowhere, which I can't say about many people.  I was especially looking forward to regaling Rusty with tales of the indy shows that Poncho and I have been going to together.  For a while I've even been thinking of doing a Greatest Hits blogpost for the stuff that's made me laugh most from those shows (it'll be 80% Poncho Man heckles, chants, and antics).  As I told him after the most recent show we attended together, it took me a couple shows to understand how to appreciate the experience to its fullest.  It's not like watching WWE or NJPW or ROH or PWG or whatever other indy.  And forgive me if my newfound perception is banal, but I'd never really understood how to approach an indy wrestling presentation before, it had always felt awkward to me, like, too-close physically.  So I had stressy second-thoughts about going for the first several times, and once (I don't remember the specifics) didn't make it a priority and didn't make it to the show.  Now it's probably my favorite social thing to do, even if "social" means going to an Elk's Lodge a quarter-full of obese hillbillies and openly, hypocritically laughing at them while they aborb the thing that I also love.  So instead of telling an NWWA:Corvallis story, I'll tell you guys a non-wrestling story that happened today.  Please promise not to tell anyone.

I work in a small office.  A couple other people there usually.  There are about 50 people who work for the company though, some out at rock quarries, some out at machine shops, some driving trucks, blah blah whatever.  I like it, it's fine, again, whatever.  A mechanic comes into the office for paperwork blah blah, just got back from hip surgery.  Nice guy as I am, "How ya doin man, good to see you again."  He says the pain is gone.  He's a really nice, quiet, simple-seeming dude.  Doing real well, they did a hell of a surgery, take a look.  Out comes the phone, here, take a look at this picture.  Now I'm looking at a frontal XRay of this dude's pelvis, from hip to hip, navel to mid-thigh.  I was pretty stunned at first, I didn't say anything for a couple seconds.  If I had, I might've said something to the effect of "Damn [name redacted], your dick's as big as your femur."  to which he may have responded "Um, huh huh yeah".  But instead he realized what I was looking at, smartly used a pointing finger to both cover the central bits of the image and point toward the off-center site of the surgery.  This is the story.  I saw an XRay of a nice big old dick this morning.  Little did I know it would be the highlight of my day.  QM out.