BOSS LADY RAY: It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, so it’s time to dedicate a song to a wrestler who’ll never read it again. I realise I’ve dedicated a tune to R-Truth before and, contrary to what the Sidekick will tell you, I don’t “lurrrrrve him”. But I do think it’s worth noting just how far he’s come since February.
Just four months ago Truth was botching his lines to the point where he was asking the wrong city what was up, he was misjudging his ring entrances while making John Morrison look a fool in the process, and just generally being a mid-card liability nobody seemed that bothered about losing. We were sure he was being set up to be future endeavoured in the big post-Wrestlemania chop that never really happened.
Somehow, R-Truth managed not just to dodge the bullet, but to find himself in a title match against John Cena at the next pay-per-view. Alright so he’s probably taking the place of John Morrison, who was hinting at a push before he went in for major surgery, but wrestling is full of serendipity. He’s taken a pretty eccentric route to the top of the card with the odd-ball character he’s developed, but hey, he plays crazy well. I don’t always understand his promos, he’s definitely not the best wrestler, but R-Truth is significantly more interesting than he was a few months ago.
Sometimes it’s okay to be a little bit crazy, and with that in mind there’s really only one song I can salute him with. (I expect you all to be doing a fierce backwards nod when that wicked dirty bassline kicks in at 1:02 precisely. Innit tho, bruv?)
SIDEKICK ANDREW: She totally does lurrrrrve him by the way.
I have a confession to make. Some of you will already be aware of this, but I have never watched an episode of the new Dr. Who. I know, shocking isn’t it? I’m a pretty big sci-fi geek, I live in a country where Dr. Who is bombarded at me on multiple channels, I’m a fan of the writers and actors involved… and yet I haven’t watched any of it since Russell T. Davies brought the franchise back.
Now I know what you’re thinking… “Andrew,” you’re thinking, “why the hell are you talking about Dr. Who on a wrestling blog?” And you know what, you’d be right to ask. Dr Who has nothing to do with wrestling…
OK… OK… Timelord themed SHIMMER tag teams aside, Dr. Who and wrestling share no common ground. (Fiiiine, on further investigation Leon “Brian Glover” Aris was in Dr. Who as well, but that’s it.) Anyway, the reason I mention Dr Who is all down to spare time. Essentially, I don’t really have that much, hence my rather sporadic posts on here. I know that if I was to start watching Dr. Who, and I enjoyed it, I would get obsessed. I’d want to watch all the episodes, read all the back story and know all the trivia and details.
Which brings me to wrestling, specifically Japanese wrestling. It’s an area I’m rather ashamed to admit I don’t watch as much of as I would like. While I’ll occasionally catch a Dragon Gate or Pro-Wrestling NOAH match and really enjoy it, I almost have to force myself to hold back from delving into that world for fear it would swallow me whole. Which is a shame as there are some amazing wrestlers and some amazing shows being put on every month. This month, for example, was the New Japan Pro Wrestling “Best of the Super Juniors” tournament (Super Juniors in this case being essentially a synonym for Cruiserweight.) Eighteen wrestlers competed over 2 weeks in a total of 135 matches, eventually resulting in Kota Ibushi getting the victory over Ryusuke Taguchi and being awarded a frankly ludicrous trophy.
Kota Ibushi is someone (like many wrestlers) I was only introduced to by CHIKARA’s King of Trios competition. (As always folks, if you’re not watching CHIKARA, you’re doing it all wrong.) Since that first taste I’ve caught quite a few of his matches online, perhaps most notably against a blow-up doll called Yoshishiko (in case you’re wondering, the answer is always “because it’s Japan.”)
Obviously, as the Super Juniors tournament has only just been contested, I can’t give you the final to watch. But NJPW have released last years final between Ibushi and Irish wrestler Prince Devitt and it’s definitely worth 20 minutes of your time.
So, this week’s Song for Whoever, after a not inconsiderable preamble, is dedicated to Kota Ibushi’s victory in the Best of the Super Juniors 2011. It’s a song that I will always associate with him thanks to a certain highlight video I must have watched 20 times or more (this despite owning the complete match on 2 separate DVDs.) If you know the video I mean, you’ll know the association. But even if you don’t, even if the matches I’ve linked to in this post are your first introduction to Kota Ibushi, I think you’ll still find it appropriate.