Sunday, August 7, 2011

Your Favorite Wrestlers Ever: Sean Williams

Now that my own favorites list is out of the way, I posed the question to some of my colleagues in the fan/writer community. Who are your favorite five wrestlers?

Next on the list is Twitter-phile and fellow Chikara enthusiast Sean Williams. He likes RPGs, puroresu and busting my chops. Here's his list:

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Two of Sean's favorites, right here
5. TAKA Michinoku - My first ever Japanese tape order was a Best of TAKA compilation that I wish I could find today. Even back in ’97 with the advent of the Light Heavyweight division, as a 12 year old, I knew he was special. He didn’t look like much, but his talent in the ring was undeniable. I devoured his mid-90s M-Pro work, and have followed him since through all of his Japan work. The Michinoku Driver was an insane finisher at 12, and seeing it in Japan where OH MY FUCKING GOD HE JUST DROPPED SOMEONE ON THEIR HEAD led to me being the gigantic eWrestling move whore I am today. Also, his jumping no-hands springboard dive to the floor is a work of goddamned art.

Oh, and the best theme music ever. A good friend of mine (who shall remain nameless) and I spent way too much time enjoying all of its remixes. “TAKA IS COMING. MOTHERFUCKER!” “I GON KICK YOU ASS!”

4. Test - Probably the most “out there” choice on my list, but I was quite possibly the world’s biggest Testicle when he had his biggest run in 1999 with Shane-O-Mac. He had a great look, and in my humble opinion, the best high end offense in the WWE at the time with his gutwrench powerbomb, pumphandle slam, top rope elbow, and later adoption of the big boot. I thought for sure he’d be inserted into the Survivor Series ’99 world title match that the Big Show ended up winning.

Even after he got depushed, he always did something I found entertaining: T&A, his pairing with Stacy, the Unamericans; hell, I even liked his ECW run. I loved when the writing staff would remember how bad Stephanie fucked him over. Wrestling’s lost a lot of great talent far too young, but Test’s death affected me more than all of them, because he was the one guy in the Attitude era I really, really got behind and cheered for, and I miss his work.

3. Christopher Daniels - One of the crispest wrestlers on the planet. Words cannot describe how sad I am that he never got a chance with the E or a TNA World Championship run. The fact that the Fallen Angel character is great and he can talk just makes it baffling to me how no one’s ever strapped a rocket to him and let him really go, not even Ring of Honor. He should have been a world champion by now, and the fact that he will likely retire without a world title to his name is criminal in my eyes. He’s how I got into indy wrestling in America, and without him, I’m not writing this entry on a wrestling blog site.

2. Kurt Angle - I love guys who can tear the house down in the ring that are ALSO great personalities. WWE Kurt Angle is probably my favorite wrestler ever. He loses some points for how he is now, because to me, Kurt Angle will ALWAYS be the purveyor of the Three I’s, the man who offered to flip his gold medal as a coin against HHH, the man who made out with Stephanie McMahon on SmackDown. Just as importantly, he’s the man who has the prettiest moonsault in wrestling, the awesome pop-up belly to belly superplex, and the Angle Slam. He’s the Euro-Continental Champion, and there’s way more that could be said about him, but you already know it all. It’s true. It’s damn true.

Oh, and (Little?) Jimmy crack corn, and I don’t care.

1. R-Truth - WHAT’S UP?!

Just kidding, Tom.

1. Eddie Kingston - This pick is definitely a product of my current fandom. If you asked me this question in 2000, the answer is Vader. If you ask me in 2004-5, it’s Kurt Angle. But you’re asking me in 2011, so the pick is the King of Diamonds, a man who I’m a giant fan of for pretty much every reason possible. His entrance is simply and low frills, but there’s something about Gavin yelling out “THE LAST OF A DYING BREED” that gets me every time, because it’s true. Eddie Kingston isn’t in WWE shape. He looks like a wrestler out of the 1980s, the local NWA territory top guy who’d get a shot at Ric Flair or Kerry von Erich when they came to town. He’s got other cool nicknames (“The War King” comes to mind). He’s tremendous in the Commentation Station when he’s there. And his in ring work is incredible, because he comes to the ring to beat you up.

Very few people love flippy spotfest wrestling more than I do. Selling is usually something I can take or leave if I’ve got a giant spotfest in front of me with guys doing a billion flips and ZOMG MOVEZZ! I love that shit. But Eddie Kingston makes it feel real. I’ve watched so many Kingston matches where I can’t tell if his knee is ACTUALLY shot to shit or if he’s just selling, and I’m really fine with it either way. He is a man who has been in wars who keeps WILLING his body to one more war. His match with Gran Akuma in 2010 was a HARROWING war with both guys just beating the shit out of each other. He had the best five minute match I’ve ever seen against Tursas His match at KOT with Arik Cannon was, again, both guys beating the shit out of each other. Shockingly, he then went on to face Akira Tozawa the next night, and they…no, wait, they ALSO beat the shit out of each other.

His offense consists of strikes that make you cringe and throws that make you do the same. Every Kingston match is a war, which is just how he likes it. And his rise from CHIKARA outcast to grudging acceptance as his role as the new ace of CHIKARA Pro, replacing Claudio Castagnoli in that capacity, has been some great subtle storytelling by Quack and company.

So yeah, I may wave the BDK flag proudly and will continue to do so. But even if Claudio and Ares Germanic invasion crew wasn’t there, I’d happily plop down my $20 to see Eddie Kingston fight someone. And really, isn’t that what it’s all about?

Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein - Please visit his site to view the plentiful amounts of pictures he's taken for DGUSA, ROH and other indie feds: Get Lost Photography

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