Last week had a theme, this week it's all over the place. I'm flying by the seat of my pants. This is spanning decades and promotions and all kinds of crap. WILLY-NILLY!
As an aside, I watched last weekend's NJPW show and was pretty danged into it. Ishii-Ibushi was magnificent, probably the best match I've seen this year, and Styles-Okada wasn't far behind, but I have to note that I love AJ Styles when he's doing his best stuff, which is being a prick heel, and he's getting to do that in Japan. Great fun.
ON TO THIS WEEK'S THING
The Great Kabuki vs Al Madril (WCCW #50 - 12/2/82)
I'm always into World Class, as prime World Class might be my favorite promotion and weekly show ever, and lately I've been really into watching Al Madril when I come across him. Madril's one of those solid operators you might not notice right away, but eventually you start realizing he's always in some pretty solid matches. I don't know if this really holds up for young cats these days, which I don't mean to sound like a half-insult or anything. Wrestling has eras. I have a hard time with a lot of 1970s stuff, especially anything to do with Bruno Sammartino.
Owen Hart & Davey Boy Smith vs Doug Furnas & Phil LaFon (WWE Old School - MSG, 3/16/97)
Furnas and LaFon didn't do a damn thing in the WWF, which was not an issue with their talent, but they just didn't have any "wow" factor that made them pop, they weren't charismatic -- both Furnas and LaFon were just good wrestlers. In many ways, they were just a babyface version of Owen and Davey, but without their charisma, and perhaps far more importantly, without their history in the WWF that made them work for fans.
This is a fun show, really, particularly because we get JR and Cornette on commentary calling a wrestling show like it's a 1989 NWA show, but with Flash Funk and The Sultan and whatnot. This is a solid match -- Furnas and LaFon got to work with Owen and Davey a lot to try and get them over, but it never worked. Not because they had bad matches, either. It just wasn't a right fit for either side. Furnas & LaFon : WWF :: Casey Wilson : SNL.
Kwee Wee vs Jason Jett (WCW Greed 2001)
The final WCW pay-per-view of all-time was bittersweet, and it was also kind of hilarious. Why hilarious? Because it showcased the sort of stuff that might have helped WCW stay alive if only they'd never gone through two years of increasingly awful everything. This show is rock solid top to bottom, one of the best WCW pay-per-views in years, with some really good matches, including this opener. There's really nothing on the show that flat out sucks. And it's a wrestling show, not a booking display with some matches mixed in.
If you've never watched this show, I do seriously recommend it. WCW still had some great talent on hand, and they had young guys with futures. But they always had those things. If Bischoff and Fusient had wound up buying the company, and it had stayed on TBS & TNT, or gone to FX, or whatever, Bischoff would have screwed it up anyway.
Watch Greed and ponder what WCW could have been going forward. Then remember that it only could have been that in a perfect world where no Bischoff, no Russo, no other dumb-dumb would have used it as a toy for their buddies.
Chris Jericho vs William Regal (WWE Insurrextion 2001)
Jericho and Regal had the contrasting styles, but both were well-traveled, seasoned veterans by this point, and they had some damn good matches together, this one included. Some folk don't like their matches, but some folk are very weird, and sometimes, folk just happen to not like something, or they happen to like something. I included this one mostly to see what y'all think of the Jericho-Regal matches in general. Hit me up with your Jericho-Regal thoughts. Let's rock talk.
Edge vs Matt Hardy (WWE Unforgiven 2005)
"Men have fought over women since the beginning of time," Jerry Lawler says. Yes. Look, I'm of the belief that personal issues make money and make for the best stories, generally speaking. That said, I LOVED the Edge-Matt Hardy feud. It was pure old school wrestling, and had the weirdness of there being some actual, real life issues, but the two of them in the end just went, "Let's make some art out of this, at least." So Matt and Edge did so. Both of them were great when they were at their best, and I really think this is one of the better cage matches in WWE history. I think we all wound up richer when Lita and Edge porked behind Matt Hardy's back and betrayed his trust and put him through one of the most difficult ordeals of his life. Just my opinion, you guys.