It’s that time again, as we continue our search on the world wide web for the freely available gems of matches that can provide a quick distraction from what the current wrestling scene. This week, most of our action comes from the United Kingdom, featuring a British legend and a former TNA champion.
Daniel Bryan vs. William Regal (WWE Superstars, taped October 8, 2013; aired October 11, 2013 – viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHuLxV5Eiu0 – starts at 22:42)
Coming towards the end of William Regal’s in-ring career, this match is more memorable for the stunt that happened before it – namely, Regal’s ring music morphing as he was halfway down the ring, and switching to his old “Real Man’s Man” song that he used back in 1998. This match was held in Liverpool during a European tour, so of course Regal got a hero’s welcome – in spite of his opponent, with Daniel Bryan oddly being on Superstars despite being the holder of the Money in the Bank briefcase (and about a month off of cashing it in at WWE’s TLC pay-per-view).
The match begins as a World of Sport tribute of sorts, with Regal and Bryan working armlocks, arm wringers and hammerlocks, before they move to strikes as they trade European uppercuts with each other. In the early going, they’re telling the story of Bryan going toe to toe with his mentor, but things go sour when Regal powders to the floor, only to eat a running knee to the face as Bryan comes off the apron.
Back from a (non-existent) commercial break, and the duo are back in the ring, with Regal fighting out of a rear chinlock, taking Bryan to the corner, where he follows up with shoulder charges to the midsection and a few punches. As the referee admonishes Regal, Bryan charges out with some kicks, before trapping Regal’s leg in the rope, allowing Bryan to charge in with a dropkick to the body part. Somewhere in here Matt Striker reverted to type on commentary and threw in a completely random reference to the Smiths. Bryan keeps on top of Regal with some uppercuts and kicks to the wounded knee, but Regal manages to get behind Bryan and take him down with a half-nelson suplex.
Regal locks in a Dragon sleeper on a kneeling Bryan, but lets go and starts clubbing on Bryan’s chest, sending him to the mat. More knees to Bryan’s midsection follow, but Bryan takes down Regal and slides out of the ring, smashing Regal’s left knee into the ringpost. Returning to the ring, Bryan wrenches at Regal’s knee, but Regal pushes away from a toe-hold, only for Bryan to sink in a half-crab.
Regal fights out and takes down Bryan, landing an elbow to the ground before they go back to the boo/yay European uppercut fight, which Bryan brings to an end with a stiff kick to the head, before going for the Lebell lock and a quick tap-out win.
A pretty good Superstars match, with the backstory of Bryan overcoming his mentor on his journey to the top. This probably should have been on Raw instead of Superstars, but you can’t have it all.
Chris Andrews vs. Gunner (Plymouth Wrestling Alliance; May 4, 2014 – viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xYhR9RS360)
One of the benefits of being an independent wrestler is that you can take dates anywhere you want… within reason. Whilst working for the likes of TNA, Ring of Honor or Lucha Underground do preclude you somewhat, it’s still better than WWE if you’re the kind of performer who just loves to wrestle.
Former TNA performer Gunner made an appearance in Plymouth, England for this show, taking on Chris “The Shark” Andrews during the Plymouth Wrestling Alliance’s fifth anniversary show. Andrews seems to have made a copy of Rob Terry’s body for this match, which weirdly looks like its been held in a church (it’s not, but the stained glass windows do make for an odd visual!)
After the two guys are done appealing to the crowd, we start with a lock-up (of course), with Gunner eventually forcing a clean break after charging Andrews into the corner. Andrews then goes for a headlock, before being shoved into the ropes and sending Gunner to the mat with a shoulder block. Wash, rinse repeat, but this time Gunner takes down Andrews with a drop toe-hold. They continue to work over the headlock, as I quickly get irritated of the PWA’s default hard camera spot of seemingly being an isometric view of the ring post. Fire Pro this ain’t!
Gunner works in a headlock on the mat, and after being pushed into the ropes, takes down Andrews with a shoulder block. Repeating the spot, Gunner blocks a hiptoss, only to take down Andrews with one of his own, as Andrews powders to the floor in frustration. Andrews takes his time returning to the ring, and cheapshots Gunner as he offers a handshake, and this is where Andrews goes to work, taking down Gunner with a dropkick before some ground and pound.
Gunner fires back with some chops, but gets whipped into the ropes for a back elbow strike that gets him a one count. A body slam, followed by a standing leg drop similarly only gets a one, as Andrews takes Gunner into the corner and kicks away at his midsection. The crowd continues to chant for Gunner as he’s whipped into the rope and met with a knee to the gut, before Gunner blocks an attempt at a suplex from the outside back in, instead opting for a sunset flip which gets the former TNA tag champion a two-count.
Andrews wrings Gunner’s arm and connects with a Northern Lights suplex for a two count, before going to a rear chinlock as the camera zooms in on the pair breaking kayfabe. Andrews whips Gunner hard into the turnbuckles, before ramming his head into the top turnbuckle, with Gunner no-selling increasingly after each buckle. Gunner hulks up with some punches and a double axe-handle to Andrews’ chest, before connecting with a slingshot suplex off the ropes after originally signalling for a DDT.
Gunner picks up Andrews for the Gun-Rack, but Andrews elbows his way out and shoves Gunner into the corner, before hitting a fallaway slam with a bridge for a two-count. Andrews gets caught with a spinebuster off the ropes by Gunner, who then looks to go for a spear, but Andrews sidesteps it and Gunner takes the middle turnbuckle. Andrews quickly grabs a stunned Gunner as he looks to capitalise, and hits a Fireman’s carry into a TKO for a very near-fall.
Andrews waits for Gunner to get back to his feet, and promptly takes him back down with a powerslam, before going up top, only to miss with a Tennessee Jam legdrop off the top. This time it’s Gunner who’s waiting in the corner, as he connects with a spear at the second attempt and gets the three-count for the win.
Both men worked well together, even if you couldn’t really tell who the face and who the heel were. These sort of matches are always weird, “big name star vs. local favourite”, as the imported star invariably has attracted some people to the show, but the from a personal standpoint, the result of these matches should always see the local star get the win.
Triton vs. Kamaitachi (CMLL; February 10, 2015 – viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVsJBmou6vM)
On the front page of Back Body Drop, you may have noticed that we’re keeping a list of our top matches that we’ve seen in the past few months. Kamaitachi’s match against Dragon Lee during the New Japan/CMLL Fantasticamania shows in January will likely be very high up in my thinking for match of the year – so we’re going to go back a year, with a match from Kamaitachi’s currently “home” group, CMLL.
Triton comes out in a mostly-white tights and mask, wearing a black vest, with Rammstein’s “Du Hast” as his theme music. Kamaitachi, on the other hand, appears in a red/black/silver attire, with a furry red/black half/half mask finishing it off, as the cameramen seem to focus a lot more on the ring girls than they should.
Kamaitachi immediately takes down Triton with a headscissor roll-up, but gets a near fall as Triton goes to work on a STF-come-headlock that he keeps on for a matter of seconds. Kamaitachi gets up and is armdragged into the ropes, before returning the favour with a STF-set up that Triton gets out of. Triton chops Kamaitachi in the middle of the ring, and Kamaitachi returns fire, before eating a boot to the midsection, and finally a huracanrana that sends Kamaitachi out of the ring. Triton follows up with another, but Kamaitachi catches him and powerbombs him in the ring, before exiting the ring and using the aisle to have a run-up to dropkick Triton in the ring.
A body-press follows from Kamaitachi to the floor after Triton had left to try and regain his marbles. Back in the ring now, and Kamaitachi tries to remove Triton’s mask, but fails and instead goes for a sitout suplex which gets him a two count. Triton whips Kamaitachi into the ropes, but he slides out to the floor, followed by Triton as the pair play chase with each other. Kamaitachi makes it back to the ring first, but his effort to charge Triton off the ropes fails when Triton pulls the top rope down, sending his foe crashing to the floor.
Triton hits an Asai moonsault to the floor, taking out Kamaitachi, and as the match hits the five minute mark, the pair make it back into the ring. Kamaitachi again baseball slides out of the ring after Triton whips him into the corner, but that only sets up Triton to successfully hit a tope con hilo. Triton throws Kamaitachi back into the ring and delivers a stiff chop to the chest, then picks him up in a Fireman’s carry and dumps him to the mat. A standing moonsault follows, getting Triton a near-fall.
Triton repeats the spot with the Fireman’s carry, but instead follows up with a senton bomb off the top rope that gets him a near fall. The pair exchange more slaps to the chest afterwards, with Triton connecting with a rear spinning kick, then a tiltawhirl backbreaker on Kamaitachi. Yet another Fireman’s carry drop puts Kamaitachi to the mat, and Triton goes up top once more, but he misses a corkscrew moonsault as Kamaitachi rolls out of the way into the corner.
Kamaitachi grabs the rope and “skins the cat” to get himself onto the top rope, diving into the seated body of Triton, as both knees smash into his face, and that’s all she wrote. A win for Kamaitachi, despite having been on the losing side for the vast majority of this one – and I don’t think I’m being too unkind in saying that this was nowhere near the same league as his match with Dragon Lee in Korakuen Hall!
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