Quebrada Pro Wrestling, Puroresu, & Mixed Martial Arts Reviews by Mike Lorefice

OPW Osaka Hurricane 2005 PPV 2/13/05 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukan

Yutaka vs. La Uchida 6:51. They largely kept it simple, doing a competent match. Yutaka, who has a few years experience, looked very comfortable. He showed most of the offense, highlighted by some crisp kicks . Uchida, who debuted 3 months earlier, was too green to have much of an opinion on, but didn't do anything to hurt the match. A passable opener.

Beautiful Joe & Takaku Fuke vs. Azteca & Densenman 10:36. Clumsy comedy match. They had the atheticism, but you felt as though they didn't put more effort into applying it because they'd screw something up before long. In this setting, you didn't really care that they just waited for Joe's second attempt when he slipped off the rope trying a quebrada. They were already selling imaginary moves by that point, anyway. There were some highlights such as Joe's standing moonsault and Densenman floating to the floor with a hip attack, but a lot of it didn't work and wasn't funny, and it was sad to see longtime shooter Fuke reduced to hitting people with a helmet. 1/4*

Kendo Kobayashi Debut Match, 2/3 Falls 1 vs. 2 Tag Match: Tigers Mask vs. Hysteria & Kendo Kobayashi 3:52, 3:18, 1:49. Kobayashi is a comedian turned actor from Osaka. Hysteria gave him a bit of training to get him ready for his big challenge, or at least stretched his muscles. Luckily, outside of a few double teams, he did little more than stay out of the way, talking for a few seconds then tagging back out. The actual wrestling was spectacular, as Hysteria was on top of his game, moonsaulting all over the place. Tigers was pretty good too, though his execution wasn't perfect, and it was a fun little athletic match. Hysteria won the first fall with his Hysteria special, consecutive moonsaults off the 1st, 2nd, and top rope, but was too cocky when he hit it in the third, trying to allow Kobayashi to get the glory, but by the time he covered Tigers was able to reverse him for the win. Obviously it would have been better if they just gave Tigers and Hysteria 15 minutes, but they deserve credit for making a tough situation work. **

MWF World Junior Heavyweight Title Match: Oriental vs Kabuto-O Beetle 17:18. Miracleman was getting a big push here in his new Kabuto-O Beetle, or Beetle the Horn King superhero gimmick. Developed by manga legend Go Nagai, Beetle was set to star in his own minor movie in 2005, which also featured Nagai's legendary Jushin Thunder Liger character as well as Super Delfin, Ebessan, & Bill Robinson. Oriental seemed to bring the MWF title to Osaka Pro to give him credibility, and this unfortunately turned out to be Oriental's last appearance in Osaka Pro for 3 years, as he began wrestling for NOAH when he was in Japan. It wasn't quite major league wrestling, but certainly a great example of good indy wrestling. While the execution wasn't perfect, that was relatively easy to forgive as both men went all out, doing everything they could to entertain. Oriental was on the move from the outset, and you began to wonder if it was going to be a one man show as it seemed like 5 minutes before Beetle did anything, but he was ultimately the slightly more impressive of the two. Highlights included Oriental doing a tope atomico and Beetle hitting a quebrada, Shiryu style tope con hilo through the middle rope and maximum drive (avalanche style falcon arrow). ***

Osaka Meibutsu Sekaiichi Title Match: Kuishinbo Kamen vs. Ebessan 11:23. Kamen vs. Ebessan is the best comedy fued of all-time, but this particular entry was considerably lackluster. What I loved about this program is they actually took the wrestling seriously, and incorporated funny spots into it. Today, they just seemed to make a farce of things, not bothering to put any real effort or impact into the blows/moves during the first half of the match. I felt earlier Ebessan was better because he was doing a lot more than Damian 666 style parody tributes. Today, as is too often the case with his Kikutaro character, these seemed to make up the body of the match, including spreading some of Muto's puroresu love by kissing Kamen. They did get serious toward the end, but it never quite clicked. There was a storyline where the ref was out to get Ebessan, and his powerbomb set up Kamen's kankuu tornado finisher. *

Tsubasa Return Match: Jushin Thunder Liger & Tsubasa vs. Super Delfin & The Tiger 2nd Generation (Ultimo Dragon) 14:32. A nice match from the veterans led by a strong performance from a motivated Liger. Liger was not only on his game, but his work ethic was carrying over to the others. Tsubasa actually worked the hardest of the four, but it seemed to be about him when he was in. He was also rusty, and doesn't execute as well as the others anyway, so while there was some high quality stuff, it was also rough going at times. Dragon did the Tiger Mask spots competently, but obviously wasn't as comfortable as just being himself, seeming a bit stiff at times (but some of the other Tiger Masks are guilty of that as well). He was fine, but there was no magic. Delfin was happy to be along for the ride. He did everything well, but made no effort to stand out, content to allow the others to try to shine. ***

Osaka Puroresu Tag Title Match: DAIO Quallt & Black Buffalo vs. Billy Ken Kid & Perro 17:24. Billy Ken rose to the occasion, not only making the match but stealing the show. What's really notable, I suppose, is how good Quallt was, as he was paired with Billy throughout, and his great effort to step up his level allowed Billy to wrestle to his potential. These two pulled out all the stops with Quallt even pulling out a Guerrero special and taking an avalanche style Frankensteiner. Buffalo was good when he was in, but they kept Billy in and Perro out to improve the match quality, so that wasn't as much as I would have liked, although I'm not sure Buffalo would have been better with Billy than Quallt was on this particular night. Perro didn't bring anything to the match, but you couldn't say anything negative about his performance beyond the obvious of him simply not being as talented as the others. The rudos did some double teaming, but were clearly there to wrestle to the point there weren't really faces and heels. Billy started fast, and never slowed down, showcasing his athleticism at every turn. The match was the right length because it allowed Billy & Quallt to do their thing, with Buffalo & Perro simply giving them some breathers. ***1/2

Osaka Puroresu Title Match: "Big Boss" MA-G-MA vs. Super Dolphin 16:47. Delfin kept trying to convince his former protege to leave Kishiwada Gurentai, who would attack Delfin for his meddling. Goa eventually turned face saving Delfin, and after some beach training with WBC Super Flyweight boxing champion Masamori Tokuyama, Delfin presented him with a new mask for the Super Dolphin character. This was the match where Demekin truly became the second coming of Delfin. He was never going to be as good as Delfin in his prime, but he rose to the occasion and fulfilled the potential he had to be a worthwhile substitute. Magma isn't a good big match wrestler because he can only do his thing, totally lacking any variation. More importantly, he isn't the right opponent for this sort of match, as he is just a mark for his own offense who isn't going to tell the story of Dolphin taking the next step or make Dolphin look better. Neither set the other up much, at least not in a way that took any particular skill, but it was an entertaining back and forth match where they rolled out every move in their arsenal. There were several near falls, and they were generally good ones that were adding to the drama. Both would be a lot better with a little more body control, but they did everything they could to make it memorable. Dolphin had an interesting double swing version of the swing DDT, first swinging onto the middle rope and then right off. The finish came when Buffalo's interference backfired then Tokuyama decided to put an end to that possibility, surprisingly having to hit him three times to knock Buffalo off the apron, while Dolphin gave Boss a big punch of his own then won with the Dolphin magic (shiranui). ***


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