Flyin' Solo #08 - Whole Lotta Random
Posted by Mike Campbell on 10.07.2013
Dutch Mantell in Japan! Nakamura in Mexico! Cesaro in NXT!
FLYINí SOLO #08
AKIRA MAEDA vs. DUTCH MANTELL (UWF 4/11/84)
Thatís right. Maedaís first opponent in his new company was Dirty Dutch! This is miles away from being a shootstyle match, but Maeda and co. hadnít exactly worked out what shootstyle was yet. There isnít a point system in place, and there are plenty of pro-style and rope running spots from both. Hell, Maeda gets a near fall from an elbow drop. The work is noticeably tighter than what Dutch was probably used to from working against Austin Idol in Memphis, but itís very basic. The only really flashy things to see here are Maedaís arm drag into cross armbreaker, and the finish, with Maeda cleaning Dutchís clock with a spin kick, and pinning him with a bridging German suplex. Dutch also tries to get some heat with a couple of hair pulling spots. Overall, itís not a bad match, but itís nothing outstanding. Itís interesting, more than anything else, given the context of what the letters UWF went on to signify in Japan.
Tanaka is no prince either. His selling, specifically when it comes to his arm, is atrocious. He falls into the trap of doing a passable sell job when heís in trouble, but when itís his turn to reel of spots, he throws elbows and lariats, and forgets all about Gannosuke working him over. Tanaka blows off a German suplex to hit a lariat, and then sells after the lariat. He also pretty much kills his own finisher by hitting Gannosuke flush with the rolling elbow and getting a near fall, any delay on the cover would explain the kick out, and Gannosuke had given him a reason to delay on that cover. Gannosuke manages to redeem his poor ideas earlier, with some good ideas like getting the knees up on Tanakaís frog splash and going to a small package, and the finish with Tanakaís second elbow attempt getting countered into the Gannosuke clutch is pretty much flawless. Thereís enough good, and smart, work from Gannosuke to make this good, but itís a shame that Tanaka didnít put in the same effort. ***
Once they start heading toward the finish Goto finds his grove, and the match soars. Goto busts out some great spots for some really good near falls, and Okada puts them over as much as possible. Why havenít I seen Goto use this backbreaker into facebuster before? Goto also has his own unique counter to the Rainmaker, and the finish comes down to which big move will connect first, the Shouten Kai or the Rainmaker. Itís so much better to see them go to the finish that ways, instead of seeing them waste the spots. Like he did with Tanahashi and Naito, Okada has to outsmart Goto in order to hit the Rainmaker, and when he does, Goto takes a great bump. Itíd be easy to just marvel at the good, and smart, match that they had, but I want to know why Goto canít put in this kind of effort all the time? ***1/4
The final fall is when they both seem to turn things up, although the match doesnít get all that much better. Itís a decent back-and-fourth affair, with them both pulling out some nice counters and reversals. Nakamura always has a kick or a knee strike ready to take back control, and his usual running knee spot with Sombra on the apron is better in this context since Sombraís neck was already hurt. Nakamura goes for the big Landslide again, but Sombra counters with a powerbomb, and Sombra tries the goofy Ibushi moonsault (where he misses the first one, but lands on his feet and then hits a standing one), but Nakamura drops him with the running knee to the back. The home stretch is their best one by a decent margin, starting with Nakamura trying the Boma Ye, and going into a nice counter exchange that winds up with Sombra cradling Nakamura to take the IC title. Itís not bad or anything, but Sombra/Casas from February 2012 kills this six ways from Sunday.
ANTONIO CESARO vs. SAMI ZAYN (2/3 Falls - NXT taped 7/12/13)
Zayn charges at the bell and cleans Cesaroís clock with a running kick and rolls him up for the first fall. Zayn presses his advantage in the second fall, and is able to stay one step ahead of Cesaro and cut off his attempts to make a comeback. Cesaro finally succeeds by dropping Zayn into the turnbuckle, and presses his own advantage by trying knocking the wind out of Zayn, and keeping him from catching his breath, the diving stomp to the chest was especially brutal, and Cesaroís powerbomb and waterwheel drop are more meaningful in the context. Cesaro gets a little too confident and Zayn counters a suplex for a near fall and tries to mount a comeback, but charges into the swinging sleeper and, knowing thereís still another fall to go, decides to give it up.
Both of them turn things up for the final fall, with Cesaro showing how freakishly strong he is, by doing a deadlift superplex with Zayn on the apron. Zaynís knack for counters and reversals makes for some great near falls, and he nearly wins by count out with his swinging DDT on the floor. But, Cesaro outdoes him at his own game and blocks the second DDT attempt, and throws Zayn up for the uppercut, and the Neutralizer finishes him off for good. This isnít the best match Iíve seen either of them have, but itís worlds better than what Cesaro has been doing on TV as a Real American (save for the Daniel Bryan RAW match). I'll have to hunt down their prior NXT matches and then give this another look. ***
The 411: Lots of fun this time around from some of the usual suspects, a couple of nice surprises, like Goto turning things up for a change.