Real Canadian Wrestling
Glengarry Community Center (Edmonton, Alberta)
RCW Heavyweight Championship (vacant)
A clipped version of this match is on You Tube. Chris Masters has been talked up the past couple of years, first for turning himself into a good wrestler in the WWE and then continuing to have good matches on the Indies. It could be argued that this as made Masters a tad overrated. He is a perfectly fine wrestler but the fact that he went from pretty bad to good AFTER the WWE halted his big push as possibly colored perceptions. It doesn’t really matter though. Masters is a good wrestler these days and deserving of a higher profile.
The match here is pretty basic. Masters’ selling of the leg was really good early on to the point where it would have been cool to see it stretch throughout the entire match. Wavell is just a guy. Masters teases the Master Lock late in the match, before finally hooking it. This allows Wavell to sell the move by running in place and flailing is arms like a little kid that really has to pee, which was easily his highlight of the match. He gave up about two seconds later.
This match would not be out of place on Main Event but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a match worth tracking down unless you are looking for a quick Chris Masters fix.
House Show Match | Skippable | Individual Performance (Masters)
Hakata Star Lane (Fukuoka, Japan)
You will remember Xtra Large as the standout of the 1/5 Xplosion Nacional de Lucha Libre (Chile) match written about here. This would be his fourth match from NOAH’s ongoing tour, but the first to surface online.
The match is clipped down by a couple of minutes but you can easily get a good feel of it by what’s there. Xtra Large looks comfortable working a singles match sprint versus Nakajima. He hits everything crisply and doesn’t try too much. His selling – which was difficult to get a read on in the not-well-lit match from Chile – impressed me. He has a real natural and believable way of selling.
The match is a short sprint without much substance, but I wanted to take a look at Xtra Large in NOAH because I am a sucker for any pro wrestling with a global feel to it. Chilean wrestler in Japan certainly fits that bill. I was also interested in seeing how he looked in the ring with a more polished opponent. The answer is that it definitely helped, as even though he seemed like the most polished in the three-way tag from Chile, I could definitely notice an additional step up here in the ring with a ten year veteran like Nakajima.
Juniors | Skippable | Individual Performance (Xtra Large)
Westside Xtreme Wrestling
Turbinenhalle (Oberhausen, Germany)
wXW Heavyweight Championship
I watched this match twice because I really did not know what to think of it the first time.
First time through, I really dug the opening 5 minutes of mat work and got all giddy hoping the match would build off of the early groundwork and turn into something great. The transition from holds to the true body of the match was accomplished via what I thought (and still think) was sort of a neat, if not perfectly-executed sequence. End and Sabre Jr. traded forearms and kicks at ringside before the ref told them to get in the ring. They moved to the apron, where they again traded strikes. The ref again admonished them, so they got in the ring where they continued going at it. It was played for half-comedy and half ramping up the action from holds into something more heated.
From that point on – as the match moved into near falls – it was not as good as the first few minutes, but at just about 10 minutes total match time, it never really felt apart either. I watched it again later hoping I would enjoy it more the second time, but got less out of it the second go-around. Sabre Jr.’s weak strikes (forearms and uppercuts) stuck out to me more, especially in relation to how stiff he worked in the opener. The opening mat work did less for me the second time around as well, perhaps because this time I could no longer hang my hope on the match blossoming into something even better in the second half.
These two had a fine match in the finals of the 2013 16 Carrot Gold Tournament last March would I would seek out well before this one where something – like most of the matches from this card – was just a tad off.
Nondescript Singles | Skippable | Title Match
Ring of Honor
January 19th (Taped January 4th)
Tennessee State Fairgrounds (Nashville, TN)
Top Prospect Tournament – 1st Round
The first of two Andrew Everett matches from the 19th of January is a taped first-round match from Ring of Honor’s 2014 Top Prospect tournament versus The Romantic Touch, who I assume is Rhett Titus under a mask until told otherwise.
The Romantic Touch gimmick is the kind of opening match, harmless fun gimmick that modern day ROH is lacking. In re-watching ROH for the ‘Best of 2000’s Indies’ project, it has become clear how important Special K was to all of the 2002 – 2005 cards. They had a fun gimmick and produced fun – often times very good matches – to boot. Giving an actual push to someone like Romantic Touch low down the cards is a lot more preferable than watching guys like Adam Page, Tadarius Thomas, or whoever wrestling in openers.
Anyway, this is a showcase match for Everett or flips and flies around the ring like usual. Corino mentions on commentary that Everett is only 21 years old but has been wrestling for nine years. The nine years part checks out, although the internet has his age as 24. Regardless he has been wrestling on actual shows since he was 12 to 15 years old, so no wonder he had to wrestle under the Chiva Kid goat-mask. Everett’s experience shows. He is very smooth in all of his flying and has a good grasp of the basics. Not sure if he has put it altogether yet, but the tools are certainly there.
TV Match | Skippable | Individual Performance (Everett)
Big Japan Wrestling
Korakuen Hall (Tokyo, Japan)
Not unlike the Sato vs. [Daichi] Hashimoto bout from the prior day in ZERO1, this match is all about a veteran (Kanemoto) delivering out punishment to the youngster (Hashimoto). The comparison sort of ends there as this match is less-strike oriented, a little longer, and a little less one-sided. It also is not as good as the ZERO1 match, I thought.
Kanemoto played veteran, surly ass-kicker last year against Fujita Hayato in a match that was really fun in some spots but too long and ultimately too boring. Here he does much of the same things – as you would expect – like kick Hashimoto hard and face wash him a bunch. Hashimoto’s best attribute in this match is his fire. He jumps Kanemoto before the bell and plays the underdog role in a much different and more effective way than Daichi did versus Sato, even if his offense is probably not as good. I’ve admittedly never been very high on Kanemoto as he just comes off a bit bland even with the stiff kicks. I felt the same way here to the point where I was into Hashimoto fighting back to some extent but the rest of the match left me underwhelmed.
Hashimoto has potential and is still very young, but seems to still be finding his niche. Coincidentally, he teams up with the other Hashimoto (Daichi) on February 7th and Korakuen to face Shuji Ishikawa and Sato. That match will almost certainly be wrestled in a similar style to this match and Daichi’s match versus Sato on the 1st so it will be interested to compare the three.
Stiff | Skippable | Quality