Re: Official Puro Match/DVD Discussion Thread (NO SPOILERS)
Michinoku Pro - 10.10.1996 - These Days!
1. Johnny Saint vs Naohiro Hoshikawa
Really cool little technical exhibition match wrestled under "British Rules" (using a Boxing-like round system) that also serves as Johnny Saint's retirement match. This match is a ton of fun and filled with heaps of exciting and interesting holds, transitions & interactions that kept me entertained the entire time. I think I would of enjoyed it more as a regular match, but it also gave them a good reason to keep starting fresh and ending up somewhere different each time.
Johnny Saint is a class act, his antics and unique style always amaze and surprise, he seems to pull stuff out of thin air, while also making most wrestlers look like they're wrestling in stop-motion. Hoshikawa is also very impressive, more than holding his own against Saint, both men do a great job at keeping the match flowing while keeping things different. A real gem of a match.
2. Wellington Wilkins Jr. vs Lenny Lane
The biggest problem with this match was the clipping, it was very jarring at points, especially the ending. This match was for the PWA Heavyweight Championship and there isn't too much to this match as it is pretty short with a post-match fight going for just as long. Still, I had fun watching this as Wilkins opens the match with a combo of takedowns really taking Lane by surprise right from the start, following that are some heavy hits and an exchange of sick looking tombstones, not to mention a late/falling avalanche suplex that has wild force behind it, whipping the guy across the ring. All in all, I can't really complain, it was quick, had some cringe worth action and an interesting post-match segment. Just wish the clipping has of been smoother.
3. Daisuke Ikeda & Satoshi Yoneyama vs Yuki Ishikawa & Alexander Otsuka
Great, great stuff right here. This is something of a BattlArts skirmish match featured on an M-Pro show. Ikeda & Baby Yone are fired up and let the kicks fly right from the start, just mincing Otsuka as if they were at the end of the month and still had $200 kick credit left..... And it wasn't going to carry over to the next month. Otsuka & Ishikawa don't take long to wise up and start trying to rip the legs off of Yoneyama & Ikeda, it's great stuff and just an awesome hate fight, plenty of closed fist shots, headbutts and nasty suplexes, this is pure action and an absolute blast to watch with all men putting on a great show and making everyone want to go and find their BattlArts DVD collection.
4. Dynamite Kid, Don Caras & Kuniaki Kobayashi vs Mil Mascaras, Tiger Mask & Great Sasuke
Now here is a special match featuring many all-star classics, including a unheathly thin Dynamite Kid in his final match. A special mention needs to go to Sasuke's bad ass "Gold Class" entrance which features ladies carrying out his many many belts that he held at the time. This was a solid tag match, but it really wasn't about the match quality as much as it was seeing all these classic stars going at it, it's much more of a spectacle than anything else, but it still offers some cool in-ring action, so it's not all for show.
Of course, there were some awkward moments here and there and Dynamite Kid is well beyond past it to a point where he hurts the match, but just the imagery of Dynamite Kid vs Tiger Mask or Dos Caras vs Mil Mascaras conjures up a feeling inside you. I think taking it in as a total package, this is an iconic match that delivers in creating a great moment with all the guys that they have, it's not going to blow you away, but it is a solid effort and an awesome moment to see in Pro Wrestling.
5. TAKA Michinoku, Shoichi Funaki, Shiryu, MENíS Teioh, & Dick Togo vs Super Delfin, Tiger Mask 4, Masato Yakushiji, Gran Naniwa & Gran Hamada
The most iconic match in Michinoku Pro history and considered to be one of the greatest multi man tag matches of all time. Compared a Dragon Gate multi man tag match, this comes across as very grounded and "sensible". Kaientai DX heel it up and taking every inch they can get, totally abusing the rules and working like a street gang to try and put down the M-Pro's Heroes. This match features a ton of quick tags and everyone get's a good showing and when it really picks up, you have people flying all over the place and the big moves some rolling out with some great near-falls that you can't believe didn't get the win. This match is an all time classic and one that I feel only gets better with a second viewing as there is so much to take in.
As a side note. Yakushiji plays the elusive man in this match, taking almost no damage besides a kick to break up a pin and Michinoku diving on him.
6. Hayabusa vs Jinsei Shinzaki
Now this was just an odd match, it was the most methodical spot match I remember seeing, right from word go it was big move after big move, it felt like when you're looking for a finishing move for a Create-A-Wrestler and you're scrolling though a list, watching the animations, odd ending also that features a Undertaker/HBK Mania-type moment. It was just a bizarre match, there isn't a whole lot to see, it was just moves, felt like a PWG DVD trailer. It doesn't go for very long and is worth watching just to stroke your beard and ponder as to what exactly is going on.