The SmarK Rant for Wrestling Potpourri – 06.30.19
I don’t really have time to watch all the shows from this weekend and other stuff that people have been bugging me about, but here’s a selection of some of the bigger match requests and such that have dropped in my inbox recently. To be honest, the first attempt at this didn’t do great, but I’m willing to keep trying because people seem to want this format. Pitter patter, let’s get at ‘er!
Matt Riddle v. Will Ospreay (05.12.18)
Back to OTT Wrestling in Dublin for this one that popped up on my YouTube Recommends list. From the charmingly named SCRAPPERMANIA 4. Giant babyface reaction for Ospreay here, as you’d expect. Riddle immediately takes him down and goes for the armbar, but Ospreay reverses to his own and it’s a stalemate. Meanwhile, the crowd is singing a song for Riddle in the background. Surprised this didn’t get a content strike given how YouTube’s policy has been recently. Ospreay hits him with a german, but Riddle lands on his feet and nails him with a knee. Ospreay puts him on the floor, however, and follows with the SPACE FLYING TIGER DROP, then puts Riddle in the front row seat and runs at him with a flying knee from the other side of the aisle in a funny spot. Back in, Ospreay tries a handspring and gets caught in a suplex by Riddle, who follows with a running knee to the head for two. Senton gets two for Riddle. Riddle pounds his back with kicks and chops him down, then follows with a rolling gutwrench that Ospreay manages to reverse into a handspring kick. Will with the 619 and he goes up with a springboard forearm, but tries an inverted DDT and Riddle knees him in the bad neck to escape. Another try hits, however, and the standing shooting star gets two.
Riddle with a rolling fisherman’s suplex for two, however, and Ospreay hurts his neck again. However, he MANS UP and they exchange chops until Ospreay goes down first, but he recovers with an enzuigiri out of nowhere. He tries a rainmaker, but Riddle counters with a knee to the face, and another one gets two. Riddle gets the hooks in and throws the elbows from above, but Ospreay powers up and they head to the top rope for a crazy superplex. Both are down and they slug it out on the mat. Ospreay comes back with a kick to the head, but Riddle throws his own kicks and they’re FIRED UP. Riddle with a deadlift powerbomb, but Ospreay drops him on the top rope and gets the shooting star onto the back. Robinson Special sets up the OzCutter, but he lands in Riddle’s choke in an amazing reversal, and Riddle has it deep. Ospreay makes the ropes, so Riddle kicks his hand away and spikes him with a tombstone for two. Riddle with the senton to the back and Will wisely bails to the floor to escape. So Riddle follows him out and kicks him in the head, and back in for another tombstone, but Ospreay rolls him into a crossface. Riddle reverses out, so Will turns it into a triangle attempt and Riddle slams out of that. Ospreay is still holding the wrist, so he hits Riddle with a Rainmaker and then follows with Storm Zero for the pin at 16:15. These two had a surprisingly cool chemistry together and this was a hell of a fight. ****1/2
OK, now for a couple of notables from the Crockett Cup 86, for fun…
The Rock N Roll Express v. The Sheepherders
Damn this is some nice quality video. Robert gets trapped in the heel corner to start, but the RNR quickly double-team Luke out of the ring. Back in, Robert tries a wristlock on Luke and gets nailed from behind by Butch, but Ricky comes in with dropkicks to clear the ring. Back in, Luke beats on Ricky in the corner, but a crossbody gets two. Robert comes in and hits the corner on the blind charge, and Luke goes to work with an armbar. The Herders trap Robert in the corner and toss him for a shot to the post, and back in Luke gets a forearm off the middle rope for two. Robert comes back with a dropkick and it’s HOT TAG Ricky as he cleans house to set up the double dropkick, but Jack Victory comes in to break it up…at which point Ricky grabs the flag and nails the Sheepherders in front of the ref, drawing the DQ at 7:00. Whoops. So the Sheepherders advance to round 3. Crowd is not fond of that booking. **1/2
The Fantastics v. Tully Blanchard & Arn Anderson
This should be fun! Tully and Arn were just a rando Horsemen team at this point and not, you know, TULLY AND ARN. Tully was National champion and Arn was TV champion, so they had matching belts at the very least. Rogers and Tully slug it out in the corner to start and Tully loses that badly as he flails back into the corner for a breather. Tully gets a cheapshot and tries an atomic drop, but Tommy no-sells it and dropkicks him to the floor. Arn claims he was tagged on the way by but the ref isn’t buying it and forces Tully back into the ring again, which is helped by Tommy slingshotting him in. The Horsemen regroup again and Arn works a headlock and slugs Rogers down, but Tommy comes back with dropkicks to put him on the floor again. Over to Fulton, who works a hammerlock on Arn, but Tully comes in with a knee behind the ref’s back and they beat on Fulton in the corner. It’s so cool to hear the match without commentary so you can get touches like Tully yelling “ARN GIVE ME A KNEE!” before running him into it. They toss Fulton and run him into the railing, but Bobby comes in with a sunset flip on Arn for two and the Horsemen put the boots to him again. Bobby fights back, so Tully dumps him and Arn gives him the BOOT LACES to the eyes, with JJ adding a poke to the eye as well. Bobby’s selling is so fantastic, pardon the pun. Back in, Arn slugs away and hits the spinebuster for two, but Fulton fights back and so Tully switches off and slugs him down for two. Then he works the count while blatantly pulling the tights but positioning himself so the ref can’t see. What a master class this is. Back to the floor and Tully tries a suplex out there, but Bobby escapes and frantically goes for the corner, only for Arn to cut him off again. AA misses a knee in the corner and it’s HOT TAG Rogers, but he walks into the gourdbuster! That gets two, but he goes for a slam and Bobby dropkicks them over and Tommy gets the pin at 11:28 to advance to the third round. Tremendous old school NWA tag team action! I really loved the story of the match was so clear and simple that you didn’t even need commentary to follow. ****1/4
And that sets up this quarter-final match…
The Sheepherders v. The Fantastics
Now the one that we’ve all been waiting for. The Fantastics do the pledge of allegiance for ‘MURICA to really get the babyface heat, and immediately clean house on the Herders with dropkicks. I’ve always found that whole pledge thing kind of creepy, actually. The Herders quickly trap Bobby in the corner and go to work on him, but he fights back with dropkicks and the Herders regroup on the floor. Back in, Rogers gets a headlock on Luke and follows with a sunset flip for two. Butch comes in and Fulton works him over in the babyface corner, but Luke slugs him down, only for Bobby to comes back with an atomic drop that sends Luke into Butch and puts them on the floor again. Back in, Bobby gets tossed, but he fights back with dropkicks on Butch outside and they all have a brawl on the floor that ends with Fulton going headfirst into the post and wearing the CRIMSON MASK. Back in, he fights back with a clothesline on Butch, but the heels cut off the ring and Luke bites the cut for the easy heel heat, sending Bobby to the floor again. They send him into the railing as he does the Ricky Morton sell for the front row, looking right at the crowd with his bloody face to draw sympathy. Back in, Butch brings the flag in, but Bobby runs Luke into him and it’s HOT TAG Rogers, and now Luke is bleeding. Tommy goes after the cut and gets a flying fist before slugging away on the cut, but the ref gets wiped out in the chaos. Everyone slugs it out and Bobby goes after Jack Victory, but he gets laid out from behind and sent into the post again. Back in, Butch nails Tommy with the flag and the Herders double-team him and brutalize him, but Fulton saves and the Fantastics double-team with the flag themselves until a second ref comes out and calls for the bell at 14:38 to eliminate both teams. And they keep brawling and bleeding all over until the heels run away. Also notable, Mad Maxine comes out to help the heels, and she was supposed to be the big heel women’s wrestling star against Wendi Richter before dropping off the face of the earth. Anyway, I’m gonna be the one to say it: It was really good, but it’s nowhere near five stars and I was actually kind of disappointed. I liked the Tully and Arn match WAY better overall. ***1/2
So there you go, some random Monday morning content for you.