Doug Williams vs. Michael Modest - 6/15/02 Irish Whip
Williams and Modest feel each other out earlier on with some seriously smooth arm work being the focus, and Modest coming out on top out countering Williams efforts capping things off with his nasty arm whips to the mat perhaps trying to take some steam out of William’s European uppercuts. Modest uses this technical run to establish him as the face in the match, and Williams picks up the heel heat blasting Modest with a forearm after a second handshake. Williams begin to pick apart Modest targeting his upper back and neck for some serious pounding and stretching (cool cobra twist variation the nastiest half crab I’ve ever seen). Some nice psychology on Williams part considering his Revolution DDT or Chaos Theory (roll through German) finishes. Modest even steps up to take the head and neck first turnbuckle bump off the whip. Modest plays the good face getting his ass beat and trying the occasional offensive run only to be cut off quickly by Williams on several occasions. The big offense starts to come out with Modest busting out a big exploder, Williams reverses a corner whip hitting his Revolution DDT, Modest counters a turnbuckle leap by Williams catching him a big Ace Crusher, Williams crotches Modest on the top rope and picks him up hitting a crisp sit-out powerbomb with a few near falls in the mix. Williams hits a tight German with a bridge for a two count, but as Modest is picked up following the near fall he drops behind Williams rolling him up with a hand full of tights for the desperation flash win (coming off as smarter than your average face). This was an excellent match and a great base to build from for what I hope are future match ups whether it be for Ring of Honor, Pro Wrestling Iron or even in NOAH – next time I’d like to see a more All Japan style finish though – the more suplexes the better. I match worth going out of your way to see.
American Dragon, James Choi & Jardi Frantz vs. Super Dragon, Tony Kozina & Robert Thompson – 7/5/02 APW Gym Warz
I downloaded this match, which I was very excited to finally see released, from Clickwrestle.com (before they removed the download option which sucks for those of us without DSL connections). This was the lead in match building towards the what turned out to be a very overbooked APW Deception show, thus this match is a near 30 minute gem delivering big where that show failed to realize its’ potential in my view. The offensive highlights of the match from the face side included American Dragon countering a Kozina attempted counter out of headlock with Dragon hooking Kozina’s leg into the headlock, Dragon then busts out the Regal palm strikes on Kozina for good measure, American Dragon has some heated chop/elbow exchanges with Super Dragon before they trade some smooth stretching ending as American Dragon lands some wicked crossfaces to punctuate the exchange and American Dragon hits a huge tope suicida sending both he and Super Dragon nearly into the APW garage door. The rookie James Choi held his own early in the match, but his inexperience was taken advantage as the heels took control of the match about 15 minutes in working Choi’s back which he sold quite well. The heel offense stayed mostly focused on the back and neck, although they did bust open Choi’s face at somewhere in the beatdown, including a Kozina modified surfboard, the Super Dragon double stomp while Kozina had Choi laid out across his knees and a wicked Super Dragon Capo kick followed by a baseball slide dropkick into the corner. Choi rolled out of Super Dragon twisting senton and made the hot tag and things started to break down into a flowing string of big offense with each team trying to put each other away. Amongst the highlights were a Kozina spinning heel kick taking both he and American Dragon to the floor, Super Dragon hitting the PsychoDriver on Frantz then picking him up before the three count trying to damage Frantz further for their upcoming mask vs. hair match and Choi landing some crisp high kicks on Super Dragon only to have the last one get caught then transitioned into the SupernaturalDriver ending the hotly contested match. A match that came together well between the great action, strong tag team psychology and hot crowd – find it.
~More Reviews To Come~