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Stinko Malenko




American Dragon v. Low Ki: ECWA Super 8
Finals - Feb. 14, 2001

Yes, Believe It Or Not, I Too Get Letters: Props to Albert Lopez for sending me good 'ole feedback. Regarding Single Shot #3 - Dynamite Kid v. Tiger Mask:

I'd like to start off by saying that I myself began to purchase tapes from private collectors only recently. I recieved my first tape 2 days before Christmas and was simply amazed by what I saw. The tape I ordered featured the matchup between TM and DK from Feb. '82. ( It also also featured a tag match pitting Tiger Mask and Kantaro Hoshino vs. Dynamite Kid and Bret Hart) So imagine my delight when I saw your column pop up. I really enjoyed your article and hope to see more.

Indy wrestling. It can be a mixed bag of sorts. When it's good, it's REALLY good and when it'a bad it's REALLY REALLY BAD. You either love it, or you hate it. In my case, I love the stuff. It gives you a chance to see some of the best up and coming talent in wrestling without leaving the country. Today we'll look at one of the best Indy matches from 2001.

The Participants: First off, we have American Dragon. Dragon is one of the first graduates of the Shawn Michaels Wrestling Academy. Before he hit big on the Indy scene, he was a big star in the Texas Wrestling Alliance. He's even worked a few matches in the FMW promotion in Japan. He was also the 2001 APW King of the Indies.

Next we have Low Ki. Now I'm not too familiar with Ki, as this is the only match of his that I have, but I hear word of mouth on him is he's VERY good. But, as Chris Protege says, "he'll get old, quick."

Entrances: Nothing too flashy, really, but it *is* an Indy show. Dragon comes out to "Self Esteem" by The Offspring and Low Ki comes out to his own produced music.

The bell rings and we're on our way! Low Ki stretches Kawada style before they start to circle each other. Right off the bat, Dragon nails Ki with on of his tremendous kicks to the leg. They continue to circle and Ki nails Dragon with a kick of his own. Dragon answers back with another kick and Ki again nails him. Now they're just trading kicks in rapid fire succession until Dragon takes Ki down with a double leg. Dragon holds Ki's shoulders down, but Ki tries to bridge out of it. Dragon will have no part of it, however, as he headbutts Ki back down to the canvas. Ki bridges back up again and nails Dragon with a Lyger backflip kick. Now they decide to trade chops for a while. Ki finally gets the advantage and tries an Irish Whip on Dragon, but he reverses it and brings Ki back towards him and backdrops him over the top. Ki manages to land on the apron but Dragon nails him with a Kawada-esque kick to the head that sends Ki flying into the guard rail. Dragon bides his time until Ki reaches his feet and then comes flying at him with a tremendous suicide dive!

The camera pans over just in time to see Dragon reach his feet and toss Ki back in. Dragon takes him to the corner and chops away at him and whips Ki to the other corner. Dragon rushes in, but Ki catches him with an absolutely STIFF kick to the face of Dragon. Now Ki's in control and he goes to work on Dragon in the corner. Ki whips Dragon into the opposite corner and proceeds to his one of the coolest moves I've seen in a long time and one of his signature moves, the Cartwheel Enziguri. Dragon falls to one knee and Ki starts to kick the everloving crap out of Dragon. Ki kicks one too many times, however, as Dragon catches his leg and hits a sort of a twisting dragon screw leg whip. It's in No Mercy, check it out. Dragon takes Ki to the corner and drapes his leg over the second rope and starts to wrench it. Ki then falls over with his leg still wrapped around the rope and Dragon goes to town on it and stomps away. Man, I love psychology. Dragon drags Ki from out of the corner and snaps on a leg grapevine. With Ki's leg still grapevned, Dragon mounts Ki and punches away at him. Ki tries to chop back, but Dragon beats him back down. And now Dragon's just GRINDING his forearm into Ki's face. Now that's just mean.

Ki says "enough of that" and finally fights out but as soon as he does, Dragon nails him with a Yakuza Kick. Dragon picks Ki back up and follows up a leg breaker with another leg grapevine. Man, Dragon is simply relentless on the leg. Which is a good think seeing as most of Ki's offense comes from his kicks. Ki even tries to use his free leg to kick Dragon in the back to release the hold. Dragon then takes Ki's arm and singlehooks it and his head while still applying the leglock. Dragon lets go of the arm and leans over, with the leglock still in place, and leans over for the first pin attempt of the match and Ki kicks out at two. Dragon gets up and stomps the inside of the leg for good measure.

Ki finally gets to his feet and Dragon gives him a mighty chop but Ki comes back with a VICIOUS chop that floors Dragon. Ki picks up Dragon and nails him with a series of elbow smashes, but Dragon takes him down and goes right back to the left leg. Man, Dragon's relentless.It doesn't last long, however, as Ki chops away at Dragon and used his free leg to kick Dragon in the back of the head. Ki gets up and slouches in the corner, feeling the effect from the punishment on his left leg. Dragon charges in, but Ki tosses him over the top, but Dragon lands on the apron. Ki sees an opening as he nails Dragon with a jumping roundhouse (wih his good leg) that sends Dragon to the floor.Ki heads to the top, and in a great selljob, he drags his left leg up the turnbuckles. He heads to the top and flies off and hits a PHOENIX SPLASH TO THE FLOOR!! And now the camera switches to a far away view for some reason, so I see no action. Ok, here they come.

Ki tosses Dragon back in the ring and covers, but Dragon kicks out at two. Both men struggle to get tho their feet but Ki gets control. He attempts the Ki-Krusher (Fisherman Buster into a Michinoku Driver) but Dragon counters and goes behind, drops Ki down into a sitting position, and kills Ki's back with a kick. Now Dragon slaps on the Dragon Sleeper! He's just wrenching back on Ki's neck. Ki finally breaks out of the sleeper with a few right knees to Dragon's FACE. Ouch. Both men back to their feet now, as Dragon goes for a Dragon Suplex, but Ki counters it into a jumping roundhouse, and God bless'im, Dragon sells it like he was just shot in the face. Nice. Ki rises to his feet and nails Dragon with the Ki-Krusher! But he can't cover! Both men are down! Ki slowly goes for the cover, 1, 2, no! Dragon kicks out! Ki picks up Dragon and chops him to the corner where he whips Dragon to the other corner. Ki's going for anothee Cartwheel Enziguiri, but, no! Dragon catches him in a full nelson! Dragon Suplex!! Cover, 1, 2, no! Dragon slaps on this really funky submission, but before I can tell what Dragon's doing, the camera cuts wide again. NOOO! Why must they torture me with really bad cuts!?! I mean taping a show with two cameras is ok, but make sure we get a good angle for the crucial parts of the match.

Anyway, Dragon finally lets go of the submission and both men rise to their feet. They trade some STIFF kicks and elbows before Dragon can hit the ROARING ELBOW~! As a Masato Tanaka mark, that makes me proud. Dragon with the cover, One, Two Thre.. NO! Man, that was close!.Dragon rips off his elbow pad signaling that he's going for another Roaring Elbow. Here it comes, no! Ki blocks it and hits another Ki Krusher!! Now Ki slaps on a Full Nelson Camel Clutch and Dragon taps!!! It's OVER! Low Ki is your 2001 Super 8 Champion!

Final Reflections: Man, this match OOZED with psychology which always makes me happy. An awesome match. I'd give it ****. And Dragon and Ki had a even better match in the middle of 2001 where the one and only Ricky Steamboat was the special referee. Which I don't have in my possession *hint, hint* ;) Plus the King of the Indies Final bwtween the two was also said to be real good. AND they're set to go at it again on March 30 at the Ring Of Honor show in Philly which Edge and Snooge are going to. Me = Jealous.

Stinko Malenko

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