Saturday, July 11, 2015

Rhodes/Funk vs. Flair/Luger

Dustin Rhodes and Terry Funk vs. Ric Flair and Total Package - WCW Thunder 2/16/00 - 2

The star's of the '80's (and Dustin Rhodes, gallant in leather pants that see him continually adjusting his junk) invade the 2000's in this "star-studded" main event.  The 5,500+ in attendance at the Spectrum were in for a "teat" as they suckled from the mammary gland of Russo and company. Flair looked surprisingly spry and fit especially in contrast to his TNA run where he looked like 200 pounds of sand poured into a trash bag. Funk on the other hand moves with the stealth and speed of a zombie or roadside possum after an encounter with a semi-truck. Terry dishes out some left hands that make me yearn for the combat stylings of The Miz. With black bandana and in need of a decent shave Rhodes is clearly on the tail-end of a three-day cocaine bender. I'll never tire of the way Luger sells basic back bumps by flailing backward like someone's grandma seeing the specter of her lost love the war took from her. Elizabeth sliding a bat into Lex's hands eerily calls to mind him sliding pills into hers as he allegedly assisted in her death. Total Package clobbers Dustin in the head with the bat (likely permanently erasing the memory of the past night's prostitute and diner dinner of corned beef hash) and even though Rhodes is unconscious Flair adds insult to injury by applying the FIgure Four while Rhodes' shoulders are counted to the mat.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Saturday Night's Main Event Project

Being that NHO cohort Adam and I are both loyal WWE Network subscribers it seemed fitting we'd eventually do something Network-related here on our esteemed wrestling blog. And while my more obscure and esoteric suggestions of tackling either the complete 2014 run of Superstars or Main Event were summarily dismissed Adam had no such reservations about tackling all of the Network's archived Saturday Night's Main Event episodes. And I've got to say I'm pretty excited too. SNME exists mostly for me through the lens of foggy nostalgia. So it's overdue to reexamine the show and its matches and see it for what it was really was/is. We're going to be doing this as a long-term, ongoing project, not adhering to any strict posting schedules, etc. just working our way through the history of SNME as time allows. We hope you'll enjoy this look back at the hottest thing happening on Saturday nights this side of Ms. Zuzu's Psychic & Tarot Card Readings.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Atlantis, Panther, Stuka vs. Casas, Shocker, Cavernario

Atlantis, Blue Panther, Stuka Jr. vs Bárbaro Cavernario, Negro Casas, Shocker - CMLL 4/21/15 - 6

Spring is in the air, the neighborhood has come alive with trees radiantly green, and lucha is cued up. Past versus present gets things underway as Panther's face has more crags in it than Edward James Olmos' and the caveman Bárbaro is game to test his mettle against the legend. Nicely done short segment has Panther get dominant position on the mat but young Cavernario was too spry to be held down and would pop right back up. I wonder if McMahon paid for Shocker's breast job. Stuka wrestles in a cut-off t-shirt with his own visage on it. Atlantis schools the opposition making all three members of the opposing team look foolhardy. Stuka gets decent air on a splash off the top on Cavernario to take the first fall. I nominate Atlantis for the next Avengers movie.

Back to Bárbaro and Panther to get us underway on the segunda caida. Bárbaro utilizing his speed and unhinged wildness. Shocker takes down Stuka and starts karate posing and thrusting like he's vintage Ricky Steamboat. Stuka goes to dive out to the floor but Shocker and Cavernario race out of harm's way. Finally Casas enters the action and goes right after Atlantis' mid-section and then his leg. Negro wastes zero movement then tags in Shocker to capitalize on the wounded prey. Oddly placed commercial disorients me but it appears Atlantis tapped to Shocker to tie things up.

Apparently my video drops audio during the last fall. Casas is great taunting Atlantis then we pan over to Bárbaro wildly stomping Panther like some sort of mugging. Cavernario is so good -- definitely in my Top 20 WotY list. Things breaking down as Casas tries to get distance from Atlantis, there's brawling on the floor, and general chaos. Stuka hits a big tope on Shocker on the floor. Atlantis and Casas exchange strikes. I really liked the slick, quick ending, as while grappling Negro lifts his leg up behind him directly into Atlantis' gonads, then Casas spins around rapidly hitting a lariat to end thing suddenly. Really good trios action and what has been a real fun first third of lucha in 2015.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

2001: A WCW Odyssey - WCW Thunder 1/24/01

25 days and counting to SuperBrawl!

1. Cruiserweight Contender Countdown Match w/ Shane Helms, Elix Skipper, Evan Karagias, Billy Kidman, Jimmy Yang, Jamie Noble, Rey Mysterio Jr., Lash LeRoux, Shannon Moore, and Kaz Hayashi - 4

For once, we don’t open the show with a long winded, circle the wagons style argument, we actually open with a match! This consisted of pretty much every cruiserweight under WCW contract at the time and the rules were that of a gauntlet match, you fight until you lose. Opening portion was good with Helms and Skipper as the action was brisk and set a good pace but after a short while, Helms advanced with the Vertebreaker, and dispatched Evan Karagias in short order as well with the same. Kidman was next and held up pretty well until he was eventually sent packing by Jamie Noble. Kidman was probably the MVP here and had good segments with both Helms and Noble, including a nice spot where Kidman reversed a Vertebreaker into a Kid Crusher on Helms. Lash, whose contributions were some god awful punches, and Moore were quickly eliminated at the end, leaving the final as Rey against Kaz. Kaz hit a stiff ass powerbomb on Rey. Rey came back though with a second rope bulldog for the win. Fun match to start out with but it felt like it dragged a bit towards the end.

Our weekly talking segment is next with Cat in an odd shirt, ranting about stupid shit and announcing a main event of Steiner & Animal against Kronik as the announcers cream their pants

2. Norman Smiley vs. Mike Awesome - 2
3. Jeff Jarrett vs. Hugh Morrus - 2

Norman wiggles in front of Awesome and gets leveled by a clothesline for his efforts. Before the match, Norman ran into Glacier backstage and acted like he had just observed the second coming of Christ. Awesome destroys poor Norman while Glacier returns and glad hands and poses for pictures around the ring, getting a reaction as cold as the arctic he represents. Not a whole lot too this except for the Glacier stuff. Jarrett did his typical pre-match schitck on the mic. They had a brief brawl on the floor with Jarrett jamming a chair into Morrus’ ribs. Morrus sells everything with zero emotion. If I would’ve know I was treading water, I’d be pretty emotionless as well. We get a mid-ring collision that was super clumsy. Wall saunters down to ringside, blatantly interferes in front of the ref, and Jarrett gets a win with that shitty looking leg sweep. I’ve seen better matches on shit-level indy shows.

4. Crowbar vs. Ron Harris - 2
5. Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Rick Steiner - 3

Completely random match here with Crowbar and Harris that amounted to exactly nothing. Tony mentions Crowbar’s former career as a gas station attendant in Maryland. That’s odd to say the least. Everything here has been really non-descipt. Crowbar got in a few good shots right at the end but damn this was boring. Was sort of hoping that Bigelow and Steiner would be somewhat violent. Steiner just deadlifted Bigelow on a big suplex. Action here has been pretty good, nothing great but certainly not as bad as some other stuff I’ve seen on this project. Steiner has been just a wrecking machine since coming back. Bigelow was good doing his trademark spots. Second rope bulldog laid out Bigelow for a pinfall. Always enjoy two big dudes pummeling each other.

6. Road Warrior Animal & Scott Steiner vs. Kronik - 3

Pretty sure this is Animal’s first actual match since showing up as the black and white clad mystery man at the Sin PPV. Animal looked pretty good in the first exchange with Adams. Steiner gets tagged in and gets a full nelson slam for his efforts. Clark does another one of his wild running front flips off the apron. Still can’t figure out what prompted him to start doing that. Damn, Clark got Animal up in a big pumphandle slam. What the hell is going on here at the end. Kronik seems lost trying the high tide double chokeslam, Cat runs down after Bagwell and Luger interfere and disappears into a void along with Scott Steiner. Ending is just what has been seen the past couple shows with Flair’s cronies beating down all the good guys.

This wasn't as bad as the episode of Nitro before this but it still felt really stale. Same dudes every week, same ending. It's like the movie Groundhog Day. You know, where Bill Murray keeps repeating February 2nd until he actually learns from mistakes and redeems himself to get out of the time loop? Yeah, it's pretty much exactly like that except I feel like I'll never get out of the stupid time loop as these people will never redeem themselves.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Bravados vs. AR Fox & Uhaa Nation

Bravado Brothers vs. AR Fox and Uhaa Nation - EVOLVE 36 - 6

Almost went higher on my score and this was just a midcard bout. I imagine had this gone on in the main event slot they'd have ratchet it up another gear. Hadn't seen the Bravados in awhile but they're still rocking the plaid kickpads so that's aces. Although, aesthetically, not a fan of Harlem's new look, bald head and long beard, looks way too much like Necro Butcher during his maligned run in The Embassy and that's never a good thing. AR Fox is one of the few guys that genuinely wows me just about every time I see him perform. Not only is he as smooth as it gets with his aerial stuff but he also busts out crazy spots you wouldn't even think up with your WWE action figures. Fox and Nation got plenty of opportunities to bust out swank offense but the Bravado boys weren't helpless, putting up a good fight, and even nearly procuring a win including one section where they did multiple moves on AR Fox onto Nation who was crumpled in the corner in a neat sequence. Fox shocked and awed as he's wont to do, from somersaulting over the turnbuckle and out about 8-foot from the ring crashing into a lighting grid and plenty more. Nation is going to be a star in WWE if utilized correctly. He's got the musculature of Bobby Lashley but much more explosive athleticism and great agility. Let's hope they don't stick him with New Day and let him work a US title program with Luke Harper, eh? Fox and Nation pick up a hard fought victory but post-match the brothers' muscle Moose ruined the celebration allowing the Bravados to hit the "Gentlemen's Agreement" on Nation. Excited to finish the rest of this show and catch up to EVOLVE 37 & 38 soon too. With CZW having a lousy 2015 so far EVOLVE is pushing toward the top of the independent pack presently.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

WWE Main Event 3/6/15

1. Curtis Axel vs. Fandango - 4
2. Zack Ryder vs. Adam Rose - 3
3.Paige vs. Summer Rae - 3
4. The Ascension vs. The Usos - 4

Main Event got pulled from the WWE Network, but come one, us real, hardcore fans aren't going to let that get in the way of us getting our wrestling fix. Fandango's tights resemble a Magic Eye puzzle. Is this heel versus heel? Surprisingly sound and snug arm work done by Fandango which Axel remembers to sell when he later goes on offense. Biggest knock on Curtis is he always has such a vacuous look on his face. Fandango countered what appeared to be the early stages of a Perfect Plex into a quick match-ending roll-up. Better than you'd expect.  Oh, weird, I just watched Ryder and Rose's match from Superstars (which aired the same day here domestically) earlier this morning and thought it was pretty decent. Curious how this'll compare. The feud is built on a Twitter flame war (#badidea). Rose is getting pretty handy at taking nice spills out to the floor in-front of the Rosebuds. Ryder takes an apron bump -- guess he'd been watching some ROH TV since it seems like you'll get one of those per episode. Rose chinlock looked looser than Sunny. Ryder reversed a suplex into a neckbreaker then got adequate air on a missile dropkick. Rose caught Ryder coming through the ropes with the Party Foul for the win. This may have been a bit more athletic but the Superstars counterpart was superior and better received by its live crowd with Ryder getting a rare victory. Speaking of Superstars, it's usually only 2 matches, but Main Event generally has 4. Damn you, international copyright law strictures.

I actually think Summer would be a better fit in TNA (who'd also be best suited throwing their checkbook at Veda Scott, Mia Yim, Kana, Tsukasa Fujimoto, and Candice LeRae to rebuild their Knockouts division but I digress). Paige threw a nasty side kick and I really dig that aspect of her game. Paige wins with the PTO and I hope to see her go over with it again at WrestleMania. Main event on paper has me colored curious. Random Big Show vignette airs. Konnor can't hit the ropes for shit (noticed that during their match with Prime Time Players on Superstars too). I do like that they're both vocal in the ring. I'm not as cold on them as a lot of people but they definitely have a ton of work to do. Really hyped on this reaching "5" territory but so far they're skating around a "3" like the number of dicks Missy Hyatt can fit in her mouth. Guessing Ascension works Los Matadores on the WrestleMania pre-show and they get 4 minutes. Jey pops Konnor so hard that Jim Ross' face momentarily straightens out. Jimmy's rolling senton is a 5.3 on the Shannon Moore scale (and that's being generous). Viktor clearly looking for Konnor to break a pinfall when he should be selling was bush league. Samoan Splash gets the Usos the win. Very good for Main Event "main event" and would feel even fresher had it been on a Raw. I don't give half-points or else this would be a 4.5. This is scheduled to post hours before I attend UFC 185 live in Dallas so greetings from Fuel City Tacos and stay tuned to NHO for more analysis and Bob Roop jokes!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Leatherface vs. Freddy Krueger

Leatherface vs. Freddy Krueger - IWA Japan '97 - 2

60 minute time-limit? Oh, the horror. Leather busts out a damn Japanese leg whip that Freddy sells like an old man tripping over a antique radio and splitting his pantaloons. Match spills outside quickly and Leatherface bumps off the stage at Kōrakuen Hall. They brawl up through the bleachers as Wes Craven and Tobe Hooper smoke a joint and watch together in a palatial suite somewhere. Leather back to working the leg in a plot twist. Wish this was in 3-D. I was really waiting for a run-in by Leather's supercentenarian Grandpa. Freddy uses some dominatrix's whip as a noose to strangle Leather into unconsciousness for a cold and flat denouement. I'm much more interested in the post-match hijinks as Freddy holds the prone Leatherface's head allowing the dominatrix to pour some green liquid down his gullet leading to him to vomit profusely resembling an imposed turd muching in the vein of Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom.