KAI-EN-TARY #14 (1/9/02):
This coming weekend is sure to spurn a lot of conversation amongst US indy wrestling fans with three big shows taking place on opposite coasts with USA Pro in Queens Friday night (w/ Eddie Guerrero vs. Crowbar and Ki vs. Homicide on top), ECWA on Saturday in DE (w/ 2 big cage matches including The SAT vs. Ki & American Dragon vs. The J-Team for the ECWA tag titles) and also MPW runs a loaded line-up in California (with the interesting B-Boy vs. Samoa Joe match, Super Dragon vs. Spanky, The Cubanitos, Chris Daniels, Rising Son & Excalibur all in action as well). I’m looking forward to seeing how all these shows play out.
The ECWA show is of particular interest because the participants in the annual and highly anticipated ECWA Super 8 2002 will be announced. As long as I had the time, I thought I’d throw my hat in the rings with my choices of who I’d like to see make up the field (though I’m sure any suggestions I’m making are flying out much too late in the process – none-the-less)…
: AJ Styles – Styles is crisp, innovative and bumps like a maniac. His matches in 2001 against Chris Daniels were great and word has it his NWA Wildside matches were better and better as the year went on. Many consider AJ the odds on favorite to win this year, and I think he would be very deserving.
: Red – The third member of the SAT who possesses un-real flying skills and quickness. He bumps big (like his teacher Mikey Whipwreck), has shown growth in the ring since hitting the northeast scene and looks to be a lock into the semi-final.
: Reckless Youth – OK, this pick may be a stretch since no one knows if Reckless will be able to come back in 2002 or not after his serious back injury, but if he is coming, this would be the place to do it. I think the crowd would be very supportive with Youth’s ECWA Super 8 history and even if it were only for one match – it would be a start on his comeback road.
: Anarchist Doug Williams – Come on, spend the money and fly him in from the UK, it would be worth it just to see him and Reckless take it to the mat for 15 or 20 minutes. Doug has the European style firmly in his grasp working a great ground game complete with beautiful submissions and counters. Williams’ performance at the King of the Indies 2001 (and poetic roll through German suplex) has left me hungry for his return to the US and this could be a great showcase (by the way, I’m counting on APW bring him back to face the American Dragon, Bryan Danielson in 2002 if Doug doesn’t make the Super 8).
: Super Dragon – Rev Pro’s top talent deserves to come east to prove himself once again – in 2001, Super D had outstanding indy match of the year matches candidates with Low-Ki, B-Boy, Rising Son and Excalibur. He brings an All Japan style psychology to the ring mixing it with junior style flying and lucha stretching.
: Xavier – Xavier definitely works the heel side of the street and can take a pounding (see his matches against Low-Ki and Homicide in ICW & JAPW). In the ring, Xavier is underrated as he brings quickness combined with interesting power moves and throwing the occasional big air into the mix. He could be a real sleeper in the tourney and turn some heads (whether he works heel or straight up).
: The American Dragon, Bryan Danielson – Saving the best for last, Dragon is last year’s runner up and MVP in the Super 8. Bryan really delivered in 2001 building on his Super 8 showing and carrying the momentum by having many great indy match of the year caliber performances culminating in being crowned King of the Indies 2001. Dragon throws a brutally stiff elbow and brings a Japanese style submission and suplex game to the table. Obviously Dragon is the other odds on favorite to capture the crown this year, but I’m not sure if he’ll be invited back to the tourney because of his King of the Indies win combined with the fact maybe ECWA has another special booking for him in mind on that show.
And the fabled 8th slot could be filled by a long list of people all of whom are very deserving, these are my favorites in random order –
: B-Boy – Japanese suplex and submission based with some stiff ass kicking power west coast style
: Chad Collyer – Spent time in the UK and Japan this year, always delivering on the Malenko-isms
: Jay Briscoe – The senior Briscoe, has a lot of raw talent and is not afraid to bump mightily
: Excalibur – Rudo who brings that great Rev Pro Japan/Lucha mix to the table
: Tony Kozina – Has Super 8 history, strong on the mat and in the air
: Homicide – If he can work it straight, could bring it hard hitting and STF tying to the tourney
: Virus – He is fast becoming a lucha favorite of mine being smooth as hell in the air or on the mat
There is always the random guy the Jim Kettner seems to dig up to blow people away as well – I’m always up for that possibility. We’ll all see (or hear) on Saturday as the anticipation will begin to build towards what is sure to be another great ECWA Super 8 in 2002. Thanks for the read and next time out some major Japan thoughts and maybe some year award giving as well…
6 CROWN CHAMPION!!!
Hashimoto brutalizes Corino 12/16/01!