Necro Butcher vs. The Predator (IGF Genome5 ~ Hokkaido Genki Summit 6/23/08)

Match Reviews

This review was commissioned by Mason Rollyson over on my Ko-fi account. As of this writing commissions are still open, they’re going for $10 a pop. If you want to seek out my specific thoughts on a match that I haven’t gone into yet, this is the way to do it.

I’m going to take a wild guess and say that if you’ve found yourself on this website, odds are you’re familiar with the Necro Butcher. Scruffy hair, bare feet (for free no less), and a CHOOSE DEATH t-shirt, Necro always delivers generally on what one expects from him. There’s a sort of reckless physicality to his movements in the ring, even at his freshest he seems punch drunk already. He’s a dirtbag brawler that can bring a lot of charm to his performances when necessary, and that’s what made him a legend of the 2000s super indie era.

The Predator, on the other hand, might be more of a novelty here even for those of you in deep enough to be on a review blog like this. I myself can’t speak to a great familiarity with him. I know him best from his most infamous moment, wrestling a match against Luke Gallows that was so horrifically bad that the legendary Antonio Inoki himself stormed down to ringside to shout them out of the ring. Not the most auspicious legacy to have.

That being said, let’s start with The Predator’s contributions to this match. It’s clear from the go that he’s going for the classic monster foreigner in Japan vibe here. He cuts a pre-match promo from a hotel room through a grimace and gritted teeth, he comes out with a chain that he swings wildly while stomping through the crowd, he even pays very clear homage to Bruiser Brody in the final moments of the match. All the textbook stuff is there and it fits well enough on a guy as large as The Predator is. The guy absolutely towers over everyone in the building, and he’s a broad, beefy man to boot. It’s all generally a hotpot of classic tropes that come across just generic enough to fit on The Predator.

As for the man’s performance in the match, he’s not awful. Perhaps my favorite offensive weapon of his are the double fist sledgehammer blows that he aims at Necro’s chest in this match. Beyond that, there’s a decent enough hands with weapons too. I give him credit for going after Necro with the metallic side of the padded chairs in this venue, and he’s not too bad with the chain he brings to the ring either.

We get a cool hangman spot with the chain on a bleeding Necro, and Predator even follows it up with a barricade to the throat. It’s such a strange moment because Predator swings the barricade over his head before going into the choke that one actually questions what it is he’s going for in the moment. I thought he did the swing to potentially ram the barricade into Necro, but then he ends it in the choke position. At the same time, it’s not the most graceful arc either, so I can’t quite tell if he just lost his balance or not. Whatever the mysterious thought process lurking behind The Predator’s mind in this moment, it is a moment in the match that has haunted me since.

The highlight for The Predator though is about halfway through the match when Necro buries him under a pile of chairs. The Predator bursts out of the metallic pile like some horror movie monster (more Jason than his namesake, but still). It’s a neat little moment, and perhaps a demonstration of what could have been with someone a little more vicious.

The Predator isn’t that though. There’s some awkward choices offense-wise like his big knee strike to the head. He also doesn’t use his size in the most compelling ways. There’s some power moves here but it’s not like he’s hoofing Necro around all that much in this. Perhaps the most interesting use of The Predator’s size is his bumping. I especially enjoy his tumble to the floor after he gets caught up in the ropes.

This is not a great match, but it’s certainly not without its charms. Necro’s pretty reliable even though I doubt anyone would rank this among his all-time performances. He bleeds buckets still, even drawing awe from the Japanese commentators when his forehead leaks onto the floor. He still punches well and his selling still puts over the beating that The Predator’s meant to be dishing out here.

Best thing I can say about is that Antonio Inoki liked it enough to let it wrap up on its own.

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