Hello, my name is Matthew and I LOVE professional wrestling. I apologise for the twelve step style of the introduction, but it really is an addiction. I was recently asked about the possibility of contributing my meandering thoughts to the fine folk here at the Indy Corner and I was pretty stoked on the idea, so having been given an inadvisable amount of freedom to approach this piece however I might choose I decided to cast my mind back a few weeks, to see what I had been blabbering about on the internet. And in doing so I came across some inspiration, in the form of a recent comparison I made between the incendiary latest addition to the tag arsenal of two brothers from Southern California and the seldom used tactical nuke of a retired Japanese super heavyweight legend.
POTENTIAL SPOILER ALERT: On August 30th this year, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla held night 2 of it’s annual Battle of Los Angeles tournament. But what really made the collective Kool Aid of the IWC hit the ceiling fan was a new move that the Young Bucks debuted while trying to best the worthy opponents of Daniels and Kazarian. They themselves acknowledged they were bringing out the big guns when they had to resort to using a 450 springboard assisted spike tombstone piledriver to finish the match which they decided to call, in truly hilarious and outstanding Bucks fashion, the ‘Meltzer Driver’ (in honour of Dave Meltzer, legendary wrestling journo).
Now, at this stage of the game I need to point out that the nature of this whole column is not a critical one. I too went ape and furiously watched and then re-watched gifs of said move with reckless abandon over and over and over again, until it was burnt onto the back of my retinas. The one concurrent thought that went through my head at the time though was that this was indeed something fresh, and very special. So my instant go-to was the hope that it didn’t end up being thrown about like confetti.
Which brings me to the Japanese super heavyweight. I am a huge fan of the Burning Hammer. If anybody is unaware it was made famous by Kenta Kobashi, and looks like an inverted Death Valley Driver. Kobashi only used it a total of seven times in his career with a few added variations (like incorporating a wrist clutch), and only when he absolutely had to, when it was the only thing that could put away an opponent. This added so much legend to the move that when it did get busted out you knew that things were serious. It also had the benefit of being hugely complimentary to the opponent because in being used it acknowledged that they were a (kayfabe) force to be reckoned with.
And this brings me back to the Bucks and my hopes of restraint for the use of the Burning Hammer of tag moves, which lasted about two weeks when they used it again in ROH. I had so hoped that the Jackson brothers would have waited and allowed the move to breathe like a fine wine, and created their own legend. It was difficult to not be a little disappointed, even though it was only in relation to my own expectations. But am I judging them too harshly? In the fierce competition of indy wrestling do you always have to have the loudest cannon out of the rack? The Bucks are a made name, internationally so. Surely they don’t have to oversell themselves now?
I personally could have waited more than a year to see another Meltzer driver. And when they hit it then it might have meant even more to me. As is stands I think it highlights the creative genius of the Bucks (looks badass too), but it cannot be called the Burning Hammer of tag moves anymore. And maybe nothing should really ever be compared to that most legendary of last resorts.
But what do you think? Is there a need for more restraint sometimes on the indy scene? Or is the relentless action and non-stop crazy spots why we all love it as much as we do? Look me up on Twitter (@ribs_fitton) and let me know if you agree or if I’m just plain talking out of my ass. Just please don’t track me down in real life and hit me with a Meltzer Driver – that thing looks like it hurts.