Thursday, December 29, 2005
2. Tyson Tomko vs. Shawn Riddick - 2
3. Kerwin White vs. Val Venis - 5
4. Koko B. Ware vs. Rob Conway - 4
Shelton and Parisi do the damn thing, and then Tomko squashes Riddick in fairly short order. Kerwin and Val look good together—I’d like to see that match-up evolve into a feud, but that’s highly unlikely. It’s great seeing Koko again; but, it’s not so great seeing Koko wrestle again.
2) Conditioning- 7/10- This may seem like a high score at first glance. Everyone in the world can tell you Mick Foley is not in good shape. He doesn't have much muscular tone, he's overweight and he even seems to walk awkwardly. He'll telll you himself. But, his body has taken many beatings in many long matches with guys like Sting, Rock, Steve Austin, guys that are in prime peak condition, and Foley has went toe to toe with them, breath for breath. His stamina is off the charts and he has no drug or steroid use to speak of. For that, I would say his conditioning is superb, at least it was. I'm not counting that last match with Carlito.
3) Ring Skill- 10/10- Mick Foley knows the ins and outs of a wrestling ring. That is undisputed. He also knows the floor, the announce tables, the back stage area, the parking lot, the guy has been slammed anywhere you could find in any arena, including a boiler room. He knows how to tell a story during the time he's in there from bell to bell. And Foley is the undisputed king of bumps. He's taken them all and he's done it on the huge, grand scale of the global conglomerate of sports entertainment known as WWE. More people have seen Foley mutilate himself around the world than they've seen Evil Keneivel. There's probably not a lot he wouldn't have done if someone asked him to.
4) Character/ Psychology- 10/10- Foley is a master of psychology as well, as if ending up a writer doesn't give you a clue. He knew what role he took on and he engulfed himself in it, just as a method actor would. He used to wear the Mankind mask for hours before a scheduled match just to get a feel of being inside it and knowing that character. He's had huge main event matches that for the most part are world renowned and people still talk about today. That not only comes from knowing what to do inside that ring, but when to do it. That makes a lot of difference and Foley knew how to do that.
5) Interviews- 9/10- Whether they were non-hardcore ECW promos, goofy rhyming SMW promos, screaming, bang-banging WCW promos, or sick, childhood torture promos of WWF, Foley had a clear mission for cutting one: to further tell a story. So many interviews show up on TV, and by the end of them, you wonder why they were necessary. Foley took pride in cutting interviews and had a clear, direct message that he wanted to say in each of them. He worked out what he would say, and really tried to make them fit into the context of a storyline. I didn't give him a ten for a few specific examples( as harsh as they may be): His legendary ECW promos, which they are exactly that, for my taste are a bit too long winded, and the promos themselves are more memorable than the feud he was involved in, which I think shows that he didn't always know when to cook up the good stuff or when to hold back. Then, I think back to all his days of being Commissioner and I just shudder.
6) Face/ Heel- 10/10- Cactus Jack was a through and through heel. He was crazy! He hurt all the fan's favorite guys and showed no remorse for doing it, then again when he turned face, he used that same method and the fans loved him for it. Mankind was a devilish, depraved character who's only enjoyment seemed to be dishing out insufferable pain to others, yet when the fans cheered him, he was a charaicature of himself, a lovable clown, an entertaining and fun guy. Foley clearly defined himself as a face and heel effectively with the same character, which can be hard to do. He understood that they psychology of that character had to be altered and the fans had to pick up on that.
7) Basics- 4/10- While Foley takes a beating like no other in the ring, he's never been a scientific wrestling marvel. Many fans may say "Foley was a different kind of wrestler and it didn't matter that he didn't use them. Look at Hulk Hogan!" Well, I'll get to him eventually. Basic mat wrestling is the foundation for pro wrestling and it's roots are too long to be denied. When every wrestler began their training, they learned the basic tools needed to perform: headlock, takedowns, arm drags, these things are important and while not always utilized or needed over the course of a career, I still deem them important. Foley rarely displayed these and his punches and kicks were atrocious.
8) Fans- 10/10- As I said before, in any incarnation, Foley was either cheered or jeered according to his character, but there is no denying that the fans responded to him regardless. There are a few performers that the fans will take to and react to no matter what they are doing and Mick Foley is undeniably one of those performers.
9) Match/ Opp.- 8/10- Mick Foley has had some classic feuds in this business. Most come from his time in the WWE during the height of it's popularity. Undertaker, The Rock, Steve Austin, and HHH are a few that come to mind, but he also had several memorable grudges in other promotions, for example, Terry Funk, Tommy Dreamer, Sting, Vader, and even Van Hammer. Unfortunately, Foley missed the chance to really get to work some of the biggest names in our sport, at least not in a program of any length such as Hogan, Flair, Savage, Bret Hart, or really even Shawn Michaels. Those would all be feuds that would provide different and probably very exciting memories in the minds of fans. As far as matches go, Foley has done everything under the sun: hardcore, last man standing, hell in a cell, I quit, barbed wire, thumbtack, exploding land mines, you name it and he has endured it.
10) Gutcheck- 10/10- If after all is said and done, you had to point to one thing that made Mick Foley the star he is today, it's heart. He has proved it time and time again in barbaric matches where he has refused to give up. Injuries were a natural part of living this career and he accepted that and worked through it. Maintaining a good family life is another thing that's really admirable about Foley because it's such a hard task in the wrestling business.
Overall Score: 86/100
PO: Thumbs Down
While I say I may not be the biggest Foley fan out there, I know many in the world that are. He may not be handsome, or in shape, or handsome, but Mick Foley in any incarnation is a legend in the wrestling business and there are millions of fans out there that still love and pop for him today. So, for my first career analysis, right here on..(pause for cheap pop) Never Hand Over, this is Jessie Robertson.
1) Innovation- Did this worker break ground, try new things, go places no one before him did, or did he rely on the same old tools?
2) Conditioning- Shape of a worker, stamina, physique, effects of working out, or steroid/ drug use
3) Ring skill- overall ability, work rate, selling, putting a match together
4) Character/ Psychology- the mental aspect of wrestling, did they understand who they were, how to tell a story in ring
5) Interviews- mic skills, comfortable in front of a camera, did they have anything entertaining or prevalent to say? Could they talk?
6) Face/ Heel- Did this worker perform as both? Effectively?
7) Basics- Did this worker have the basic tools of wrestling? Could they strike well, or believable? Could they transition between spot to spot?
8) Fan Believablility- Could they get the fans behind them(face) or boo them( heel)? Did they elicit any reaction? Did the fans care about this worker one way or the other?
9) Match/ Opponent Diversity- Did this worker have a range of classic feuds and opponents/ did those feuds work well? Did those matches work well?
10) Gutcheck- Did this worker show heart? Did they have the passion? Wrestle when injured? Go the extra 110% or slop through matches? Did they care on a night to night basis?
The total of all these scores, if given a perfect, would equal 100. the point scale I'm using is as follows:
Legend- 75- 90
Also, there will be another stat to the analysis, which is The PO( personal opinion.) This has little to no effect on my scores, just my personal preference on a certain performer or not. There's three levels. Thumbs UP: I enjoy the guy's work and love watching him/ her. Thumbs Middle: I don't hate him, but I don't mark out every time I see him. Most people would fall in this category. Thumbs Down: I really don't like watching him, for whatever reason and am not an overall fan of his work.
****Please keep in mind that I respect each and every guy that goes out to the ring and performs, regardless of whether I like him or not.
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
1) Wildman Marc Mero vs. Leif Cassidy - 4
2) Flash Funk, Bart Gunn, & Goldust vs. The Nation of Domination - 4
3) Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Rocky Maivia - 6
4) The British Bulldog & Owen Hart vs. Doug Furnas & Phil LaFon - 4
5) Four Man Elimination Match: Bret “Hit Man” Hart vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Undertaker vs. Vader – 5
Man, did this ever feel like a bad episode of the old Superstars show. There was nothing but a basic set for the entry way and the arena was super small. Speaking of bad TV matches, that’s what the first two bouts seemed to be. Mero vs. Cassidy? Who the hell thought that was a good match to put on pay-per-view? Everyone in the six-man tag seemed lost. My question is who did Funk, Gunn, and Goldie piss off to be forced to job to the Nation? Not even the tag title match was that great. Furnas and LaFon never really amounted to much and were pretty much regulated to Shotgun Saturday Night after their appearance at WrestleMania.
Now then, for the good matches. Helmsley vs. Maivia had a nice flow to it and was actually the first time these two ever met on pay-per-view. Goldust comes out at the end to distract Helmsley in order to set up a WrestleMania match between the two. Chyna actually debuts as an unnamed fan who strangles Marlena. As for the main event, it seemed kinda slow paced. Even though Vader took some juice and bled like a horse, it didn’t help the pace. Hart won the match to be named the WWF champion, but he didn’t hold it for long as he was beaten by Sycho Sid the next night on Raw. This is one event that I’d pass on unless you can find it insanely cheap at the flea market or on Ebay. I suppose that if you’re really, really bored, you could throw it in and kill two hours. Hey, it’s better than lighting your shorts on fire.
Monday, December 26, 2005
2 Rey Mysterio/ Eddie Guerrero v. Basham Brothers- 5
3 Heidenreich v. Booker T- 2
4 Paul London v. Chavo Guerrero v. Shannon Moore v. Spike Dudley v. Akio v. Funaki- Gauntlet Match- 4
5 Luther Reigns v. Undertaker- 2
6 John Cena v. Kurt Angle- 6
7 Big Show v. JBL( Barbed Wire Cage Match)- 3
No Way Out, historically, is known for it's lack of storyline( due to being before Wrestlemania) and for me missing it every single year. Luckily, Brian retrieved it from the local library and from there, we engulfed ourselves in mediocrity. I shouldn't be so harsh. There were two hard fought tag matches( on a WWE PPV?) and a really good Angle-Cena match, one that was better than anything from their latest feud. On the other hand, we had a cruiserweight gauntlet that didn't set high expectations, and still didn't reach them. Then we had two single matches that proved you can feel pain after you've went numb, and then the single worst main event of last year for sure, if not longer: JBL v. Show. The crowd was so dead quiet for this and Show did a huge blade job. How stupid must he have felt. The crowd popped for the ring breaking, which was kind of cool, but other than that, this match got over as much as a John Wayne Bobbit segment on RAW.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
So, Edge and Angle were the last two men remaining in this elimination match, with Edge playing hurt the whole time. They gave this match decent time, especially for TV, but it just came off flat.
I have to say that the opening of this pay-per-view was not only derivative, but also absolutely ridiculous. There was some really bad animation, ending with some robotic creature (think Bionicle) running through a post-apocalyptic landscape wielding a goofy sword. Seriously… what the fuck?
1. Booker T & Goldust vs. Dudley Boyz vs. Lance Storm & William Regal vs. Christian & Chris Jericho – 4
This was horrible. It ended up with the Chris’ versus Booker and Goldust. The first two teams were eliminated unoriginally and far too quickly. What really irked me is, this was the last PPV of the year, and you could just tell these guys didn’t want to actually work. A lot of wasted talent and time was on display here.
2. Edge vs. A-Train – 5
This was surprisingly good. There were only a few blown spots. I actually liked the general psychology of this, but despised the DQ finish, where A-Train just got frustrated and brought a chair into the ring prompting the referee to throw this match out.
3. Eddy Guerrero vs. Chris Benoit – 6
This was pretty good, as per expected from these two, but not their strongest match by any means. There was some decent build, but it didn’t lead anywhere, except a freaking lousy Chavo run-in, and some atrocious spot on the floor I can’t recall.
4. Kane vs. Batista – 2
Some really bad Ric Flair interference marred an already reprehensible match. Batista almost broke Kane’s neck, when he couldn’t keep him up for a powerbomb, and prematurely dropped him on his skull. I blame Kane for this match, too, as he shouldn’t come off looking equally as bad as this obviously green rookie.
5. Trish Stratus vs. Jacqueline vs. Victoria – 4
This started off quickly, with some pretty neat sequences. Trish actually came off looking like the weak link, which was sort of unexpected. Yet another lame finish, as Victoria used the Women’s title as a weapon. Are you noticing a trend? Here’s a hint… the last four matches have had lame interference or lamer foreign object hindrance.
6. Big Show vs. Kurt Angle – 4
Kurt executed the worst tornado DDT I’ve ever seen; it was just so sloppy, and begs me to ask, why try a move when you know odds are it’s going to look like shit? A lot of people remember Brock Lesnar’s botching of a shooting star press that almost broke his neck, well, Angle nearly did the exact same thing here—landing awkwardly on a bungled moonsault attempt. No matter how good Angle is he can’t compensate for how poor Show ultimately is. There was a ref bump, which is another thing I’m sick of, then interference (surprise!) and an eventual title change.
7. Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H – 2 out of 3 falls match – 4
Street Fight – Sucked! This was your typical bad independent brawling fare. They even resorted to using a flaming barbwire board. I like realism in wrestling; so, here’s what I dislike the most about this, given that these two men were in a “street fight”, they shouldn’t be able to really do another match, yet alone two more, where they both perform exactly the same way they did in the aforementioned brawl, discerning any possibility of realism.
Cage Match – Triple H spent a good chunk of this match walking around absently like a kid at his first day in a new school. There was a crappy table spot in here, too.
Ladder Match – The horror! Shawn did a splash off the ladder, Triple H rolled out of the way, and Michaels landed hard and ineptly face first on the mat. Triple H’s pedigree finisher looked revolting. The finish is one of the most laughable, and disgusting in W.W.E. history. Shawn gets knocked off of a ladder, outside the ring, onto four tables. Now, he only really hits two of them, breaking one, another lands on top of him in the melee; now, instead of selling that he was just thrown through tables, and supposedly too hurt to finish the match, Michaels looks like a complete pussy by rabidly kicking the table above him away, in some act of self preservation, I guess—as if the table was going to really hurt him or attack him.
I really don’t like this match. Here, we have two of the biggest egomaniacs in wrestling history in a main event, and they deliver us something comparable to a hardcore match at some random Jersey indy show. This awful show ended 2002, which was a bad year to be a wrestling fan, as the shows were unmemorable, the performances uninspired, and the joke on us.
Sunday, December 18, 2005
2. M.N.M. vs. Hardcore Holly and Charlie Haas - 6
3. Carlito vs. Big Show - 3
4. Chavo Guerrero vs. Paul London - 7
5. Booker T vs. Kurt Angle - 5
6. Orlando Jordan vs. Hidenreich - 2
7. Rey Mysteiro vs. Eddy Guerrero - 7
8. John Cena vs. J.B.L. – I Quit Match - 9
The Nunzio/Akio match from Sunday Night Heat was pretty damn good, albeit awfully short. The opening tag team match was really good, too—with the energy level being through the ceiling. Carlito and Big Show was a waste of time. London and Chavo had a stellar match, and Booker and Angle’s following encounter was good, although I expected better things from those two. Jordan/Hidenreich was a pile of shit. Of course, Eddy and Rey tore it up; and, the main event was a whole hell of a lot of fun. Now, don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a classic “wrestling” match, it’s a brawl, but downright entertaining. Cena bled buckets, and there were a handful of wild spots and bumps that made this match memorable. Overall, one of the better Smackdown! brand pay-per-views ever.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
2. Short Sleeve Sampson vs. Pitbull Paterson - 3
3. L.O.D. vs. Mexicools vs. M.N.M. vs. Burchill/Regal - 4
4. Mr. Kennedy, Bob Orton, and Randy Orton vs. Batista, Eddy Guerrero, and Roddy Piper – 5
The woes of being a Smackdown! viewer have never been more prevalent. Pointless five-way opener, a midget match, pointless four-way tag team match, topped by (yet again) pointless six-man tag team match. It’s like the writers aren’t even trying anymore, and the wrestling itself isn’t helping matters much.
1) B.G. James & Konnan vs. Bobby Roode & Eric Young - 4
2) Kid Kash, Michael Shane, & Frankie Kazarian vs. Hector Garza, Sonny Siaki, & Sonjay Dutt – 5
3) Serengeti Survival Match: Monty Brown vs. Abyss - 6
4) The New York Connection vs. Pat Kenney & Johnny B. Badd - 4
5) Diamond Dallas Page vs. Raven - 5
6) Petey Williams vs. Chris Sabin - 7
7) Jeff Hardy, Randy Savage, & A.J. Styles vs. Jeff Jarrett, Kevin Nash, & Scott Hall – 5
8) Six Sides of Steel Match: America’s Most Wanted vs. Elix Skipper & Christopher Daniels – 9
As you can probably already tell by the ratings, this show was vastly superior in terms of anything put forth by WWE in recent memory. Probably the most amazing match on the card was the Six Sides of Steel match. It was perhaps one of the most amazing matches I’ve ever seen and should definitely be on everyone’s top ten list. If you haven’t seen the match, then I won’t spoil it for you. Just prepare to be amazed. The X-Division title match was stellar as well and showed that the youngsters of TNA will definitely be around for a while. The veterans get a good bit of airtime as well with Jarrett, Hall, and Nash squaring off against Savage, Styles, and Hardy in a six-man tag that had more holes in it than swiss cheese. DDP also returned and rekindled his feud with Raven from WCW. If you have not seen this event, then do yourself a favor and go pick up the three-disc TNA Anthology set at Wal-Mart which also includes Lockdown and Victory Road. This is defenitely an event that is worth your money.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
2. Matt Hardy vs. Simon Dean - 5
3. Rey Mysterio vs. J.B.L. - 4
4. Bobby Lashley vs. Vito - 2
5. Slyvan vs. Hardcore Holly – Hardcore Match - 5
6. Batista and Eddy Guerrero vs. Randy Orton and Mr. Kennedy – 5
Benoit absolutely killed himself on a suicide dive to the floor—landing directly against the announcer’s table at maximum velocity. It’s one of my favorite bumps of 2005. I like Hardy and Dean, and they don’t disappoint for a couple minute long throwaway match. I don’t like watching J.B.L. sell Rey’s offense; don’t get me wrong, I respect Rey tremendously, but Bradshaw looks like a complete idiot. Vito doesn’t deserve having a contract, and proved so in his first televised match in ages. The hardcore match was fun—the guys brawled at the concession stand, down the steps, etc. Although sloppy as hell, I occasionally miss those old W.W.E. variety “hardcore” matches. The main event had the right ingredients, but ended up mediocre.
1) Johnny B. Badd vs. Steven Regal – 4
2) Dustin Rhodes & Arn Anderson vs. Terry Funk & Bunkhouse Buck – 3
3) Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat vs. Steve Austin - 3
4) Cactus Jack & Kevin Sullivan vs. Paul Orndorff & Paul Roma - 2
5) Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair – 5
This was not a good show by any stretch of the imagination. Everything on this show was half-assed, even the main event, which everyone and their brother wanted to see. Match of the night honors, if you want to call it that, goes to the TV title match. Yes, Hogan and Flair got a better rating, but the quality of a Regal match is usually very good. Arn Anderson made a heel turn on Dustin Rhodes and joined with Terry Funk in a rather shocking conclusion to a horrendous tag match. Steamboat and Austin was really bad. Actually, I think it was Steamboat’s last match on a WCW pay-per-view, and after a terrible outing like the one here, I’d leave the company as well. Here’s another thing, not even good ol’ Mick Foley (Cactus Jack) could save the tag title match. Hey, WCW, here’s a hint: when the fans start doing “the wave” during on of your title matches, it’s time to re-think your in ring product. Hogan vs. Flair was so miserable that I feel asleep during it. If you want to see it, buy the Hulk Still Rules DVD. The event must be avoided at all costs and can be described in one word … abysmal.
Saturday, December 10, 2005
2. Kurt Angle vs. Marie – 1
3. Ashley, Trish Stratus, and Mickey James vs. Victoria, Candace Michelle, and Torrie Wilson – 3
4. Shelton Benjamin vs. Trevor Murdoch – 4
5. Kane and Big Show vs. Tyson Tomko and Snitsky – 3
6. Kurt Angle vs. John Cena vs. Chris Masters – Submission Match – 5
Once again, W.W.E. delivers an unimpressive edition of Raw. Michaels and Carlito had the match of the night, and did so prior, about 5 weeks or so back. The match was of a decent length, although the finish didn’t come off real strong. The second and third matches, and I use the term lightly, were as hideous as the film The Day After Tomorrow. Murdoch is a singles wrestler now, apparently, and in his match, Shelton botched at least two spots. Kane and Big Show systematically squashed Tomko and Snitsky in no time. The main event involved too much story, and not enough impact for me; although, I will admit to admiring Cena breaking out the STF to get the submission victory.
1) Booker T vs. Matt Hardy – 6
2) Billy Kidman & Torrie Wilson vs. John Cena & Dawn Marie - 3
3) Crash Holly vs. Funaki – 3
4) Triple Threat Elimination Match: Rey Mysterio Jr vs. Yoshihiro Tajiri vs. Jamie Noble - 6
5) Val Venis & Chuck Palumbo vs. D-Von Dudley & Ron Simmons - 3
6) Rikishi vs. Albert - 2
7) Chris Benoit & Kurt Angle vs. Chavo & Eddie Guerrero – 6
8) Handicap Match: Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman vs. Edge – 6
This show was not memorable by any stretch of the imagination but did feature three solid matches and a suprisingly good main event. Booker and Hardy kicked off the show with a solid contest that was really fast-paced. The mixed tag match was nothing but forgettable, mainly because the divas couldn’t wrestle a lick. The cruiserweight title match was a welcome change from the previous debacles and was an ECW-style three way dance. More garbage followed with another worthless tag match and your standard Rikishi ass-in-the-face match. The last two bouts really blew me away with the effort that was put forth with the tag title match gaining honors for the best match of the night. Overall, half the card was good and the other half was miserable. Good matches from Booker T, Mysterio, Los Guerreros, and Edge make this a decent show. Everything else can be thrown in the trash.
Wednesday, December 7, 2005
2. Matt Bentley vs. David Young - 3
3. Rhino vs. Sabu - 4
4. Christopher Daniels vs. Shark Boy, Sonjay Dutt, and AJ Styles – Ironman Challenge – 5
The talents of Clark and Batts are extraordinarily wasted in an opening squash match. David Young doesn’t deserve a job. Rhino and Sabu have a decent little match, but we’ve come to expect so much more out of these two. There are some definte moments in the “Ironman Challenge”, but as a whole it didn’t do it for me. In the final spot, Styles slipped and fell while attempting his springboard forearm—Daniels just walked away.
1) The Steiner Brothers vs. Scott Norton & Ice Train - 4
2) El Gato vs. Konnan – 6
3) Diamond Dallas Page vs. Marcus Bagwell – 4
4) Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Dean Malenko – 6
5) Big Bubba Rogers vs. John Tenta - 3
6) Falls Count Anywhere: Kevin Sullivan vs. Chris Benoit – 6
7) Steven Regal vs. Sting - 5
8) Ric Flair & Arn Anderson vs. Kevin Greene & Steve McMichael - 3
9) Lex Luger vs. The Giant – 5
The opening match was your basic standard tag match and served nothing more than to get the Steiners over. El Gato and Konnan had a brief but enjoyable match and helped to show that the cruiserweights couldn’t be limited to just their own division. Bagwell had a standard match with DDP. Bagwell, in his youth, was a very well rounded wrestler, but once he became “Buff” Bagwell and joined the n.W.o., he’s sucked ever since. With Benoit and Sullivan, they had a pretty stiff match and fought all around the arena and into the bathroom. Some run-ins at the end brought the rating for it down a bit, but it was still probably the best match on the card, next to Mysterio and Malenko. Speaking of which, I believe that this was Mysterio’s first pay-per-view appearance in the states and with Malenko, you can’t go wrong.
Kicking off the second half of the show was a rather interesting match-up between Regal and Sting. They get really slow and technical but still deliver a solid outing. The great thing about it was that there were no titles or special stipulations attached to it. Just two well rounded athletes going out and wrestling hard for the fans. After this, though, the show begins to deteriorate. The Flair tag match left a lot to be desired as the gridiron gurus of McMichael and Greene were completely out of their league and really had no clue what they were doing in there. McMichael does turn on Greene at the end and joins up with Flair and the Horsemen. Luger and Giant was just a mess but with Sting, Flair, and Benoit already booked, they had to have someone challenge for the title.
I’d recommend trying to find this tape at the flea market or for super cheap on Ebay. Check this out for Benoit vs. Sullivan, Malenko vs. Mysterio, Regal vs. Sting, and Bischoff getting his ass kicked by Hall and Nash. This was definitely one of the better WCW pay-per-view shows I’ve seen and is recommended if you want to see a solid show from beginning to end. If not, well, I guess you can watch an XPW tape then.
Sunday, December 4, 2005
1) The Dudley Boyz vs. Christopher Nowinski & Rodney Mack - 5
2) Scott Steiner vs. Test – 3
3) Booker T vs. Christian - 6
4) Rob Van Dam & Kane vs. La Resistance - 4
5) Bill Goldberg vs. Chris Jericho – 5
6) Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair - 7
7) Hell in a Cell Match (Special ref: Mick Foley): Triple H vs. Kevin Nash – 6
The first two matches were nothing but a total waste. Steiner was barely able to move, but was incredibly over, and had to rely on Test to carry him to a decent match. The intercontinental title match was good but was killed by a cheap finish in order to push a rematch. Goldberg and Jericho fought in a match that had all the drawing power of two-week old bread and, as JR would say, “was uglier than a bowling shoe”. Michaels and Flair had the match of the night. It was old-school all the way and had everything from ground tactics to table spots involved. The continual run-ins by Randy Orton brought it down but the match was nicely done from bell to bell. As for the main event, it was nothing but a old fashioned blood-letting and a rather enjoyable one at that. HHH carries Nash to one of his best matches since 1995 and Foley thrown in, they tease a Nash win.
This was a pretty good event although nothing even remotely notable happened. If you can find it on used on DVD or find the video on a discount shelf, pick it up. Otherwise, leave it where it lies. Everything but Michaels vs. Flair was forgettable and this should be picked up for that match alone.
Friday, December 2, 2005
1. Sting and Warrior vs. "Hollywood" Hogan and Bret Hart (W.C.W. Nitro - 10/11/1998) – 5
There were just too many big names in this one, and I didn’t remember it at all, that I felt incredibly compelled to watch it. I shouldn’t have. Some stalling, lazy sells, and cheap crowd heat outline the overlying structure of this heap of dung. I know Sting and Warrior were a team when they were breaking into the business together, as The Blade Runners, so it was kind of neat seeing them together for nostalgic purposes. Otherwise, I couldn’t help but be extremely disappointed, and felt sorry for Hart, wasting his talents bumping for the languid offense of millionaires.
1. Sabu vs. Flash Funk (Raw - 06/23/1997) - 6
I remember watching this match when it originally aired, and being super excited due to E.C.W.’s exposure on Raw. In terms of wrestling, there’s not a lot of selling going on, as both guys know this isn’t your everyday occurrence, and are busting out some seriously crazy stuff. Flash Funk looks especially solid, looking like he was under the guise of Too Cold Scorpio and back in Japan, flipping and flying. The highlight of this clip, and trust me, you need to seek this out and see it at least once—is Sabu, after the match, attempts to put Funk through what appears to be the oldest table in known existence. He does an Asai moonsault, and it doesn’t break, so, he does a ridiculously lazy ass-first splash off the apron, and it still doesn’t break. What makes the clip even funnier is Vince ribbing Heyman, who was also on commentary, about the more “extreme” aspects of Sabu and E.C.W. as Sabu makes a complete clown of himself.
1. Norman the Lunatic vs. Cactus Jack (Wrestlewar - 02/25/1990) - 5
This match is old as dirt, and with Terry Funk as a guest commentator, it’s worth watching, at least twice. Norman looks like an obese version of Eugene, minus the wrestling savvy. Jack takes some of his trademark bumps, including a couple sick spills onto the floor.
2. Ron Simmons vs. Oz (Great American Bash - 07/04/1991) - 4
This horrible match is only noteworthy due to Kevin Nash’s character Oz and all its absurd glory. You’ll laugh heartedly while viewing this one, most likely.
3. Jushin Liger vs. Dean Malenko (W.C.W. Nitro - 06/05/1996) - 7
These guys tore it up, per my expectations, on a valued yet forgotten Nitro match-up. Malenko looked exceptional, and Liger was years away from jobbing to Samoa Joe on a T.N.A. pay-per-view. I’d suggest watching this, as it’s structure and sequences are some of the more quality offerings showcased in the entire 24/7 online archives.
New in October section:
1. Tajiri vs. Brian Christopher - (Raw - 10/13/1997) – 5
A very young Tajiri, against a very green Christopher. Lawler nearly wets himself on commentary. At the time, this was a throwaway match, but now, its kind of fun too look back on. If I recall correctly, Christopher did too a pretty ballsy guillotine legdrop—and that’s about it for memorable spots.
Monday, November 28, 2005
2. Mexicools and L.O.D. vs. Burchill/Regal and M.N.M. - 5
3. Booker T vs. Christian vs. Rey Mysterio vs. J.B.L. - 6
4. Bobby Lashley vs. Nunzio - 5
5. Randy Orton vs. Eddy Guerrero - 6
I watched this episode several weeks ago and I’m just getting around to writing about it—so, forgive me, I don’t remember it too fondly. Benoit and Jordan finally have a match longer than a minute in length, which is an improvement, but strange, considering their last 10 encounters had ended within 30 seconds. The tag fiasco had some talented people involved, but was your typical TV mess. The four-way dance was my favorite segment of the night, although it too was entirely forgettable. I liked Lashley versus Nunzio more than I should have; it had the right ingredients of stiffness and brevity. Although I was awfully drowsy while watching a tape of this show at 2:00AM, I remember, through my tired eyes, catching glimpses of the main event, and thinking, “this isn’t hideous”.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
2. Matt Hardy vs. Russell Simpson - 5
3. Johnny Parisi vs. Matt Striker - 3
4. The Heart Throbs vs. Rosey/Hurricane - 4
Tajiri and Tomko work surprisingly well together in a short, if not altogether enjoyable match—pitting Tajiri as the underdog, and Tomko playing the role of the bully. Matt Hardy looks exactly how Matt Hardy has always looked, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing; and Russell Simpson, well, let’s just say he’s becoming one of my favorite jobbers—he’s a competent worker, whose style can adjust to suit just about anybody he’s in there with. Give this guy a job, Vince… you toupee wearing tool! Striker and Parisi are all Jim Powers wrestling on W.C.W. Main Event circa 1996 and I’m vomiting a little bit in my mouth. The main event was fun while it lasted, but tag team matches need time to tell a story, and five minutes just doesn’t cut it. For the record, this was the first Internet edition of Heat, after W.W.E. lost their TV deal. They have archives of every online episode, so do yourself a favor, scratch what you were going to do next, and go watch the Tajiri and Simpson matches.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
2. A.M.W. vs. The Naturals - 5
3. Bobby Roode vs. Ron “The Truth” Killings - 3
4. Jeff Jarrett, Abyss, and Monty Brown vs. Jeff Hardy, AJ Styles, and Lance Hoyt - 6
Joe is just so ruthless, and I can’t help but feel for Elix and his subsequent turn from doing main events to opening shows. A.M.W. and Naturals do another in their long series of matches. Will this feud ever cease? Roode and Killings don’t even try, and the main event is your typical crowd pleaser exempt of any deep psychology or quality work.
Monday, November 21, 2005
2. Hidenreich vs. Booker T - 2
3. Paul London vs. Chavo Guerrero vs. Shannon Moore vs. Spike Dudley vs. Akio vs. Funaki – Gauntlet Match - 4
4. Luther Reigns vs. Undertaker - 3
5. John Cena vs. Kurt Angle - 7
6. Big Show vs. J.B.L. – Barbwire Cage Match - 5
7. Bonus: DVD Extra – Charlie Haas and Hardcore Holly vs. Kenzo Suzaki and Rene Dupree - 4
This was a retched pay-per-view. The highlights being Cena and Angle’s hard work, and the opening match for setting the pace. Those are all the nice things I have to say about it. The crowd was dead throughout this entire event. The entire barbwire cage was a flawed idea. Guys like Hidenreich and Reigns were in there with veterans, and still put on atrocious matches. The cruiserweight matches weren’t even up to par. Overall, this was an awful DVD.
Ultimate Warrior vs. Terry Gibbs - 2
This was Warrior’s TV debut and it served it’s purpose to put Warrior over a nameless jobber who actually had a name. Warrior completely destroys Gibbs in under five minutes and embarks on his first run in the WWF.
Utlimate Warrior vs. Hercules (MSG 4/25/88) - 3
Hercules was Warrior’s first big feud in the WWF. Hercules was a strong undercard player and this feud helped the Warrior get name recognition. Since both men were so huge, the match quality usually sucked. This was no exception. Unlike most of their matches, which were less that five minutes and usually painless to watch, this one ran long and sloppy. Did I mention it sucked?
Ultimate Warrior vs. The Honky Tonk Man - 1
How the Warrior scored a shot at the Intercontinental title after having just made his first pay-per-view appearance at WrestleMania IV is beyond me. Honky comes out and issues and open challenge for anyone in the locker room. Warrior accepts and destroys Honky to win his first Intercontinental title
Ultimate Warrior vs. Hulk Hogan - 6
A very entertaining match for what it’s worth. It was probably the best match on the card of WrestleMania VI which was filled with sub-standard wrestling up until this one. Warrior and Hogan bust out a very memorable and historic match but was not the best in terms of in ring action, because both men didn’t have that great of a repertoire of moves. However, because of the historic value of this one, I’ll be generous.
Ultimate Warrior vs. Ravishing Rick Rude - 5
A champion is only as good and the people he defends the title against. This statement pretty much sums up the title reign of the Warrior. After defeating Hogan for the title at WrestleMania VI just four months prior, there were no strong heel contenders lined up for a shot at the Warrior. Enter Rick Rude. Rude and the Warrior had a feud dating back to WrestleMania V where Rude scored a victory over the Warrior to capture the Intercontinental title. The two work through a somewhat decent match and Warrior retains.
Ultimate Warrior vs. Randy “Macho King” Savage - Career Match (WM 7) - 6
This match was marred by interference from Sherri, who was in the Macho King’s corner. The story behind this one is that Savage cost Warrior the WWF Title at the Royal Rumble and Warrior wanted revenge. They put forth a solid effort but the quality was nowhere near what their SummerSlam 1992 match was. Warrior pins Savage who is beaten up by Sherri. Elizabeth makes the save for Savage and hoisted high on his shoulders for a very emotional and memorable moment.
Ultimate Warrior vs. Sgt. Slaughter (SNME 4/27/91) - 5
Not a totally unwatchable match as it was a TV match so things had to move quickly. Interference by Slaughter’s cronies at the end brought the rating down a little but a pleasant surprise on the DVD. Way better than their match at the 1991 Royal Rumble.
Ultimate Warrior vs. Randy “Macho Man” Savage (Summerslam 92) - 7
The best match on the whole DVD but unless you buy the DVD at and FYE store, you won’t be able to get this match. A very, very solid effort by both men. Flair and Perfect run interference about halfway through but that doesn’t hurt the quality of the match in the least. The insanely huge crowd and the rare face vs. face matchup make this a very enjoyable match to watch.
If you have never seen the matches from WrestleMania VI and VII or the match from SummerSlam 1992, or if you’re a Warrior fan, this is well worth checking out then. Also, the main feature on the Warrior’s career is really intriguing and should warrant at least one viewing. This is one DVD I would definitely recommend having, just for the bonus material alone.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
2. Bobby Lashley vs. Partain - 2
3. Slyvan vs. Funaki - 3
4. Stacy Kiebler vs. Jillian – 2
London and Kash had a match that was all sorts of nifty. I’ve never been partial to Kid’s work, but with the right opponent, he can have his moments. Lashley has a super look—he’s just freaking massive. It’s increasingly difficult watching Funaki’s talents be squandered in America; at least he breaks out a neat armdrag every once in awhile. Keibler should stay out of the ring, and while I’m at it, she should go back to her old WCW outfit—with the black skirt and glasses, but I digress.
Friday, November 11, 2005
2. Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka and Eugene vs. Tyson Tomko and Rob Conway - 3
3. Carlito vs. Mankind - 5
4. Kane and Big Show vs. Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch - 4
5. Batista vs. Jonathan Coachman - Street Fight - 1
6. Trish Stratus vs. Ashley vs. Mickie James vs. Maria vs. Victoria vs. Candice Michelle - Fulfill Your Fantasy Battle Royal - 2
7. Triple H vs. Ric Flair - Steel Cage Match - 7
8. John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle - 6
Last year’s debut Taboo Tuesday pay-per-view was one of the least bought in W.W.E. history. To try to improve upon last year’s failure, they loaded this show with the return of Mick Foley, and, it was supposed to also be the in-ring return of Steve Austin; but instead, we got Goldust and Vader as Coachman’s lackeys.
The show opened with a Smackdown! versus Raw match-up, that albeit was disproportionately booked, was up-tempo enough to entertain. The “legend” match, featuring Snuka was laughable, at best. It was cool to see Foley in-ring again, as Mankind, although he wasn’t wearing the old school brown suede outfit I dig so much, but he did have the old music. He took a couple decent bumps, but Carlito didn’t carry his end of the deal, and it ended up flat. The tag team match was relatively short and painless, and featured the big men (Kane and Big Show) winning the belts.
The next two matches were deplorable; first, Batista destroyed Jonathan Coachman (and his aforementioned lackeys) in a horribly sloppy street fight, and secondly, the divas had a horrendous battle royal that had me retching on the sofa. Flair and Triple H had a bloody and barbaric cage match, which easily stole the show, although it wasn’t a certifiable classic by any stretch. The main event was pretty good, although Cena looked out of his league in there with two ring generals, and he took a lame double front layout suplex through the announcer’s table in a ridiculous spot. Overall, the show wasn’t without some merit, but you didn’t miss much at all if you didn’t see it.
Sunday, November 6, 2005
2. Austin Aries vs. Christopher Daniels vs. Matt Bentley – 6
3. Sonny Siaki vs. Abyss – 1
4. Team 3-D vs. A.M.W. – 5
This, the second edition of Impact on Spike TV, didn’t capture the fire of the first installment. The three-way dance was pretty good, and the main event was super over the live crowd. I eagerly anticipate watching this show evolve in the upcoming months.
Friday, November 4, 2005
2. Rosey vs. Snitsky - 4
3. Rob Conway vs. Greg "The Hammer" Valentine - 4
4. Kerwin White and Nick Nemeth vs. Matt Stiker and Shelton Benjamin – 5
The tag team match was good, and Viscera and Val got the surprise clean victory, in an example of good booking. Rosey and Snitsky did your typical “big men” match, but it was a fun ride. Valentine, who I saw live recently (in a show guest writer Adam reviewed) looked marginal, and Conway pounded him. The main event was pretty good; Nemeth, who looks and wrestles a bit like Mark Jindrak, is a bit green still, but has potential and with polish, could be this generation’s equivalent to 80’s Ronnie Garvin and 90’s Ron Simmons, that is to say a career marked by one flash of success and then marred by continued mediocrity.
Thursday, November 3, 2005
2. Christy Hemme vs. Melina – 1
3. “Cowboy” Bob Orton vs. Undertaker – 2
4. Bobby Lashley vs. Russell Simpson – 3
5. Christian vs. Booker T vs. Orlando Jordan – 6
6. L.O.D. vs. Batista and Eddy Guerrero – 5
In this very forgettable episode of Smackdown!, the thing I remember most vividly is certifiable W.W.E. legend Bob Orton’s horrendous punches and comical overselling. We need less Christy Hemme in-ring action, and more fresh faces like Russell Simpson actually displaying respectable wrestling.
Wednesday, November 2, 2005
2. Christian vs. Brian Kendrick - 5
3. William Regal and Paul Burchill vs. L.O.D. - 6
A few weeks back, in a cruiserweight battle royal, Juventud and London were the final two guys remaining, and put on a hell of a show. Their match on this edition was good, too; but perhaps a bit too ambitious, they didn’t quite pull it off as effectively as hoped. Kendrick and Christian are beyond competent workers, but this matched lacked the energy and flash I’d expected. I dug the main event, because Regal and Burchill are just so stiff. Early on, Burchill gave Hidenreich some worked stiff shots, but then Regal tagged in and delivered some legit stiff shots that crumpled hokey Hidenreich. The show ended in a huge melee in the ring, containing 10+ wrestlers; where I usually detest interference, this actually worked, in that it conveyed a sense of urgency and excitement in the tag team division.
Tuesday, November 1, 2005
2. Bobby Lashley vs. Simon Dean - 3
3. Christian vs. Chris Benoit vs. Booker T vs. Orlando Jordan - 7
4. Mr. Kennedy vs. Hardcore Holly - 3
5. J.B.L. vs. Rey Mysterio - 6
6. The Undertaker vs. “Cowboy” Bob Orton and Randy Orton – Handicap Casket Match - 5
7. Nunzio vs. Juventud - 7
1. Batista vs. Eddy Guerrero – 6
My buddy Quiller ordered this pay-per-view a couple weeks back, and we went over the other night and he re-watched it with us. As a whole, this was an unremarkable event. The four-way dance is the highlight of the whole thing, these guys worked pretty well with each other, and Benoit went over. Kennedy and Holly had several miscommunications, and had the ugliest match of the night. Layfield and Mysterio worked surprisingly well together. The casket match had some moments, but there was also a lot of silly slop, too. I was pleasantly surprised and completely enamored by Nunzio and Juventud’s match. Juvie’s looking better than he has in years. The main event wasn’t bad, but the writing of this feud is real flat, and the finish (Batista goes over with a… spinebuster?) was uninspired.
Sunday, October 30, 2005
2. Slyvan vs. Hardcore Holly – 3
3. L.O.D. vs. Paul Burchill and William Regal – 3
4. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper vs. Randy Orton and “Cowboy” Bob Orton - Handicap Match – 4
5. Bobby Lashley vs. Eddie Craven – 2
6. Eddy Guerrero, J.B.L., and Christian vs. Rey Mysertio, Chris Benoit, and Batista – 5
A show blemished by terrible writing, this was yet another bland installment of Smackdown!. It was fun seeing Piper on TV, while simultaneously very difficult to watch. I personally like mid-card feuds, like Slyvan and Holly, think back to the early-90’s, on pay-per-view events there’d be 10+ matches per show, and mid-card talent would be involved in programs, too. Let’s see more of that, Vince! You piece of shit. No, I mean seriously… less divas and more dropkicks.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
2. Jushin "Thunder" Liger vs. Samoa Joe - 6
3. The Diamonds in the Rough vs. Apolo, Sonny Siaki, and Sharkboy - 4
4. Lance Hoyt vs. "The Alpha Male" Monty Brown - 5
5. Team Canada vs. 3 Live Kru - 3
6. Petey Williams vs. Matt Bentley vs. Chris Sabin - Ultimate X Match - 5
7. America's Most Wanted vs. The Naturals - 5
8. Abyss vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Rhino vs. Sabu - Monster's Ball 2 - 8
9. Christopher Daniels vs. AJ Styles - Ironman Match - 8
10. 10 Man Gauntlet Match - Sabu, Jeff Hardy, Abyss, Rhino, Kip James, Samoa Joe, Ron "The Truth" Killings, Lance Hoyt, AJ Styles, and Monty Brown - 5
11. Rhino vs. Jeff Jarrett - 5
Proclaimed to be T.N.A.’s equivalent to WrestleMania, by those standards, T.N.A. fell flat. Don’t get me wrong; there was a lot to like about this show, but it wasn’t their biggest pay-per-view, in fact, their last two pay-per-view outings were vastly superior overall.
The four-way dance, featuring three Ring of Honor mainstays, was exceptional. It was actually aired for free, on the pre-show, and they delivered a fantastic match, with a fast-pace and lots of phenomenal work. The actual show opened up with the international match of Liger versus Joe, unfortunately, not only did we have difficulty seeing the initial airing, but also we even completely missed the replay of the show due to cable difficulties. I only saw the last three minutes of the bout, but it looked uniformly solid, albeit, Liger looked a little slow in his old age. The six-man tag match was mostly forgettable, save the sequence where absolutely everybody did huge dives to the floor. Hoyt versus Brown was surprisingly entertaining, as the crowd was really into it, but it wasn’t anything too special.
The Ultimate X match… wow, what a freaking disaster! If you haven’t read, they had a big “X” hanging up, as opposed to a title belt, and to win the match you had to procure it. Well, the X dropped without anyone being near it, so they had the crew guys put it back up while the wrestlers just watched dumbfounded. Then, mere moments later, it fell again, and Williams nonchalantly caught it in the biggest televised botched ending in years. The wrestlers were visually very upset afterwards, which is understandable yet unprofessional, as it’s exposing the businesses.
A.M.W. and Naturals had a decent tag match that was mostly brawling; they’ve had so many better matches together, though, that it made it less forgivable. Monster’s Ball 2 stole the show, honestly. Yes, it was a hardcore match, so it wasn’t a masterpiece; but it was damn fun to watch. Sabu was nuts, and Hardy did perhaps the sickest swanton bomb he’s ever attempted in a breathtaking spot where he went off the set on the ramp (15+ foot) to the floor on Abyss through two tables. The crowd was exhausted, but Daniels and Styles still put together a brilliant match that’s comparable to their first T.N.A. Ironman match a couple months prior. Styles took a few nasty bumps that seemed to legit effect his work, and scored the only pin in the match at 29:58.
Since Kevin Nash didn’t show up for his main event match, they threw together a 10-man battle royal. It started off entertaining, but most of the guys were gassed, and it started to get pretty awful near the end. Rhino won, and then wrestled Jarrett, in a short match where Jarrett proceeded to beat Rhino up for 6 minutes, hit him with a guitar, but then get hit with a surprise gore (Rhino’s tackle) and lose the belt in an unexpected finale to a borderline-average show.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
2. Big Show vs. Snitsky – Street Fight – 5
3. Shelton Benjamin vs. Kerwin White – 4
4. Viscera and Val Venis vs. Trevor Murdoch and Lance Cade – 4
5. Eugene vs. Rob Conway – 3
6. Carlito and Chris Masters vs. Shawn Michaels and John Cena – Table Match – 6
The street fight was fun in its lameness, but the majority of this show lacked any matches that thoroughly told a story. This was a lot of interference and muddled endings. The main event was chaotic, there were a lot of punches that weren’t sold and mistakes made, but it definitely had the right energy. Michaels bump off the top buckle to the table outside the ring looked nasty.
Lord Alfred Hayes opens the tape in front of Big Ben and informs us of what’s in store for us for the next few hours. He checks back at Big Ben and informs us that it’s time for action.
1) The Mountie vs. The Texas Tornado - 3
An insanely terrible match between these two. Mountie does the usual heel tactics with stalling and such. Unfortunately, we don’t get to hear his signature “IYAMMDAMOUNNNTIEEE” scream. Tornado was nearing the end of his somewhat successful WWF run and would disappear shortly after the 1992 Royal Rumble. Mountie hung around for a bit longer. Slow paced match and Mountie wins with his feet on the ropes.
Al and Bobby are in the Queen’s Box of the Royal Albert Hall. Bobby mentions that he needs to use the throne. Funny segment.
We move into a profile of the British Bulldog, who happens to be one of my all time favorites. The ending of a battle royal is shown with Typhoon, Mountie, and Bulldog in the ring. Looked to be a pretty good match but they only showed the end. Anyway, Bulldog wins by eliminating Typhoon. Alfred then sits down with the Bulldog and his parents. They yack about how he ate steak and milkshakes to get as big as he is. Dear God, I hate these segments! By the way, you don’t get muscle mass from eating those foods, you get fat from eating those foods! I guess they figured that the people watching wouldn’t be smart enough to figure that out.
2) The British Bulldog vs. Irwin R. Schyster - 5
Suprisingly good match. Usual quality performance from both competitors here with lots of near falls. The crowd was seriously behind the Bulldog, being that the match was in Europe and was hot for the entire match.
Another mind polluting segment with Al and the Bulldog. This time they are at a school where they claim the Bulldog attended as a child. Yeah, whatever … next!
3) The British Bulldog vs. Earthquake - 2
Well, that wasn’t worth much. Bulldog comes out with Andre who at this point in time could barely stand let alone walk without a crutch. Bulldog wins after Andre whacks Quake in the back.
We return to Lord Alfred who is in front of Buckingham Palace and informs us that we are now going to visit El Matador at home. Dammit! Does anyone else get the sensation that I’m getting very frustrated with this tape so far?
El Matador yacks about family history and gets edited into a bullfight. Who cares!!! Corny? Yes. Worthwhile? No. Let’s move along.
4) Rowdy Roddy Piper vs. The Barbarian - 3
At least they kept it short and sweet. Not much to see here and the standard outing from these two. Piper sold Barbarian’s moves like a car dealer.
Next, we are graced with a battle royal that is joined in progress. Clipped matches don’t get shit in my book but they do warrant a brief once over. Ten guys are in the ring when we join the bout. Who were they? I’m glad you asked because I have no idea. Eventually, we get down to Bulldog, Slaughter, Mountie, and … Jerry Saggs? Anyway, Bulldog wins again by eliminating The Mountie. It seems to me that this has become a Bulldog love fest.
5) Bret Hart vs. Rick Martel - 5
Very solid match here as Bret and Martel show that technical wrestling is not dead. Even though it’s the standard fare from both men, it’s probably the best match presented thus far on this video. Martel proves that he belongs in the IC title ranks and doesn’t need a stupid male model gimmick to get him there. Good effort.
6) Randy “Macho Man” Savage vs. Shawn Michaels - 4
Michaels comes out with Sherri and you can automatically assume that she’ll be involved. Some nice spots start off and get the crowd into it. Savage is selling a knee injury here and is actually guilty of overselling it at some points. Michaels works the knee for pretty much the whole match. Sherri interferes quite a bit and that really brought down the rating on this one. Overall, not a bad showing from either person here.
Lord Alfred leaves us with some parting thoughts by the Thames River.
Unlike most of these tapes, which contain terrible matches, this one was actually quite good. Three solid outings, especially Hart vs. Martel, make this a watchable tape. However, it’s still filled with the lame segments about superstar backgrounds and all this other garbage. Hart vs. Martel was really good but doesn’t warrant any special recognition nor does it help with the overall product. Not recommended.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
2. Hardcore Holly vs. Steve Madison – 3
3. Doug Basham vs. Michael Patrick – 2
4. Super Crazy vs. Nunzio – 5
It was nice to see Kendrick back on American TV, and he had a nice match with London, although given more time and opportunity, they could have a real amazing bout. The mid-portion of the show was two forgettable squashes. Michael Patrick is the palest wrestler I’ve seen in a decade. Crazy and Nunzio had an enjoyable little match, marred by interference.
2. Animal and Heidenreich vs. two jobbers – 2
3. Slyvan vs. Hardcore Holly – 4
4. Mr. Kennedy vs. Rey Mysterio – 5
5. Simon Dean vs. Bobby Lashley – 3
6. Chris Benoit vs. Orlando Jordan – 1
7. Batista and Eddy Guerrero vs. M.N.M. – 4
We get a very nice video package profiling the history of Raw and move right into the intros. JR, The King, and The Coach are live from Dallas. Piper’s Pit is up first!
Foley introduces Piper. They go back and forth about how each person is sick minded. Piper plugs Foley’s new book Scooter. The Ortons crash the party as Randy insults Piper. A brawl ensues in which Randy gives the RKO to both Piper and Foley. Please tell me they’re not seriously considering an in-ring return for Piper. Not much to see here as it was merely set up to get Randy Orton even more over as the “legend killer” and to let the fans think that he’s actually going to beat The Undertaker in a casket match. Yeah, right.
1) 30-Minute Iron Man Match: Shawn Michaels vs Kurt Angle - 6
These two have battled each other on and off throughout this year. Their match at WrestleMania was timeless and from what I’ve heard, their match at Vengeance pretty much tore the house down. JR kept touting that the winner of this one would be the #1 contender for the WWE Title. Since the match ended in a draw, does that mean that Angle, Michaels, and Cena will battle in a triple threat? That would be awesome! Not as good as their previous encounters but still a quality match nonetheless. They wrestle back and forth and seem to pretty much know each other move for move and hold for hold. Here’s an idea. Give these two an hour and throw it on pay-per-view. That’ll get some buyrates from those of us who tune in to wrestling to see … um, well … wrestling!
Kevin Von Erich is introduced to the crowd to a tremendous ovation. It should be noted that the guy looks in great shape and could wrestle a match at anytime.
Vinnie Mac comes to the ring doing his signature strut and JR wonders if he walks to the can like that. Vinnie shows us some footage where he one-upped Austin. Austin comes out and shows footage where he got the best of McMahon. Vince tries to leave and is stunned by Austin. Shane-O-Mac comes out and is stunned. Same thing happens with Linda and Stephanie. Wow, that was a lame segment that did nothing but hurt the show. It ran really long and was really bad to watch.
2) Loser Leaves Raw Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Edge v. Matt Hardy - 4
I swear that the only reason the creative team gives Edge and Lita screen time is so that they can make out. Hardy has really been stuck in a rut since he came back to WWE and since creative botched the feud with Edge, you gotta wonder how they’re going to bury him even more. The whole concept behind this that the loser leaves Raw. Guess what? That means that the loser will wind up on SmackDown, even the dumbest wrestling fan could figure that one out. Standard Edge/Hardy match here. The ladder didn’t really come into play at all and there were very few cool spots. Being that I’m a sucker for a good ladder match, I’m being generous here. But even generosity can’t save this one. The finish was really terrible as Hardy was wrapped in the ropes and Lita wrapped herself around his arms to keep him from getting free. Can you say lame? Very good, now let’s move on.
Trish tests Ashley’s attire to make sure it’s rip-proof for the Bra and Panties Match. Mae Young walks in bearing one of the leading causes of ticket refunds in the country while mentioning bras and panties. Moolah stops it and shoves her out of the locker room and right in front of Ted DiBiase, Jimmy Snuka, and Hacksaw Duggan. DiBiase offers Mae money to put her shirt back on. Jimmy steals the money and tells DiBiase that he’ll pay him back and chases after Mae. Funny stuff.
3) Triple H & Ric Flair vs. Chris Masters & Carlito - 4
This one was pretty much your standard TV tag match. Not too much to describe in this one as HHH and Flair pretty much school Masters and Carlito. Carlito has a lot of potential and could be big player in the future. Masters, however, as impressive as he looks, moves about like a wall and wrestles pretty much the same way. HHH turns on Flair after the match by hitting him with the sledgehammer. A HHH vs. Flair feud over the IC Title could really help re-establish its credibility and breathe new life into a long suffering division.
Dusty Rhodes and the legends hold court in the ring. Rob Conway comes out to interrupt the proceedings and promptly gets his ass handed to him by Race, Rhodes, Von Erich, and Snuka, who even graces us with a Superfly Splash. The legends celebrate as Conway bails.
4) Handicap Bra and Panties Match: Trish Stratus & Ashley vs. Torrie Wilson, Victoria, & Candice - 1
Oh come on! Do I have to rate this one? This was a pretty pointless match with a pretty pointless outcome and only two good workers out of the five. And they made one of those look like crap. Basic filler right here. Is there even a point to this feud because if there is, then I’m sure as hell not seeing it.
John Bradshaw Layfield, Eddie Guerrero, & Christian fought Chris Benoit, Rey Mysterio, & Batista to a no contest when Bischoff stopped the match immediately after it started and turns the lights out on it. No rating on this one because nothing really happened. This one doesn’t even qualify as a match.
Mean Gene introduces Hulk Hogan who spews his usual mind-numbing crap about how he beat Andre at WrestleMania III, how he fought The Rock at WrestleMania X-8, and how he beat Shawn Michaels. He challenges Stone Cold and proceeds to pose. Spare me. I don’t give a rat’s ass about Hogan anymore and hate that he’s still hogging the spotlight 20 years later!
6) No Disqualification Match: John Cena vs. Eric Bischoff - 1
Bischoff changed it to a No DQ match after McMahon left the arena. This was laden with interference by Angle and did nothing to help the show’s cause because the whole thing pretty much sucked. Cena wins in brief fashion after Angle whacked himself in the head with a chair. We get a Raw vs. SmackDown free-for-all in the ring following the match to set up a feud between the two shows.
After promoting the crap out of this show, you’d think that WWE would deliver a quality program to really set the standard on USA Network. Well, you thought wrong. This was your typical Raw with the typical matches. The only really big thing to come out of this was HHH’s return and the beginning of the Flair/HHH rivalry as well as to further the Cena/Angle feud as well. I should’ve taped the UFC show instead.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
2. Trevor Murdoch vs. Hurricane – 5
3. Tyson Tomko vs. Eddie Craven – 2
4. Carlito vs. Ric Flair – 6
5. Big Show, Shawn Michaels, Matt Hardy, and John Cena vs. Chris Masters, Edge, Snitsky, and Kurt Angle – 5
Fortunately for you I don’t remember much about this particular episode of Raw, besides it was on of the last ones aired on Spike TV. Call me crazy but I’m kind of digging Murdoch, and I liked what he and Hurricane did. Flair and Carlito stole the show, and Flair got legit banged up pretty badly. The main event was fun, but on the other hand also entirely forgettable. Go rent Waking Life.
Monday, October 17, 2005
2. Monty Brown vs. Lex Lovett – 3
3. Alex Shelly vs. Chris Sabin vs. Petey Williams – 7
4. Rhino vs. Jeff Hardy – 5
This was T.N.A.’s first episode on Spike TV and was a very fun show. The opener was flashy and strong, followed be a requisite Monty Brown squash. The three-way match was awesome, these guys busted out a lot of reversals and killer moves. All three of these guys are extremely talented. The main event was pretty average, and afterwards mayhem ensured with Jeff Jarrett, A.M.W., Team 3-D, and Kevin Nash getting involved.
1) 3 Live Kru vs. Eric Young, Bobby Roode, & A-1 - 3
The Kru has run its course in my opinion and I think it’s time for these men to go their separate ways. Killings could be a top contender to either the X-Division or NWA World Title because of his uncanny athletic ability. B.G. James could tag with Kip James and Konnan could … well he could just disappear and it wouldn’t bother me any. As for the match, it sucked.
2) Christopher Daniels vs. Austin Aries vs. Matt Bentley - 4
Not as good as the three way the previous week but a solid showcase to put over Daniels for the Ironman Match at Bound for Glory. This was the first time that I saw Aries in action and I was quite impressed. Bentley has come a long way but still needs to work on polishing his moves a bit.
3) Abyss def. Sonny Siaki - 2
Abyss pretty much destroyed Siaki. Siaki at one time looked like he was headed for the main event scene but now he’s used pretty much as enhancement talent. TNA could us this guy to be their Rock type superstar because he has the look to be a big player. Abyss is just big anyway and with James Mitchell, known as the Sinister Minister in ECW, he can go a long way.
Mike Tenay is in the ring with Larry Zbyszko who announces that Tito Ortiz will be the special referee for the NWA World Title match at Bound for Glory. Ortiz gets on the mic and spews off something about rules. Ortiz is terrible on the mic and really proves that he has no place in a wrestling ring. Nash and Jarrett come down and a brawl ensues.
Shane Douglas is with Christopher Daniels who pretty much says that he’s the king of the X Division. He challenges A.J. to find three guys to face him in an Ironman challenge next week. A.J. accepts and proclaims that he knows exactly who he’s going to pick. He leaves and Daniels looks worried.
4) Team 3-D vs. America’s Most Wanted - 3
This one was dubbed a “dream match” and it pretty much put me to sleep dreaming of a much better match. Team 3D was still stuck in WWE mode with their moves and it’s probably going to take them a while to get used to the way TNA does things. Gail Kim debuted at the end of this one and the ref DQ’ed AMW. Jarrett couldn’t seem to resist getting involved and nailed Devon with the guitar.
After the satisfactory debut show, I thought this was going to be another good show. Aside from the three way match, this show was pretty lame.
1) A.J. Styles vs. Roderick Strong - 5
The fans had voted for A.J. Styles to wrestle in the first match on Impact. Really fast paced match but it felt a little rushed, probably due to the TV time constraints. We get the normal fare from Styles and Strong shows some hints of offense but it’s too little, too late as Styles finishes him off with the Clash.
Shane Douglas is backstage with Monty Brown who graces us with one of the worst promos in the history of wrestling.
2) Monty Brown vs. Lex Lovett - 1
Total squash. Lovett gets no offense in whatsoever and TNA tries to build Brown up as a top contender. The problem with that is because after tagging with Kip James for the past few months, Brown is so far away from the title scene, he’d need to buy a plane ticket just to get there.
3) Chris Sabin vs. Petey Williams vs. Alex Shelley - 5
The insanely long commercial break killed any momentum this match had. Standard X Division fare in this one. Like the opening match, it was really fast paced and looked like the wrestlers were moving on fast forward. Williams has one of the all-time best finishers and hits it on Sabin after the match.
4) Jeff Hardy vs. Rhino - 3
Hardy and Rhino looked sloppy as hell in this one and the interference by Abyss and Sabu didn’t help matters any. TNA used this to hype the Monster’s Ball Match at the upcoming Bound for Glory pay-per-view, which is basically a four way No DQ match.
Jarrett and AMW are in the ring. Jarrett gloats about how he knew he would have the title when TNA hit Spike TV. Team Canada coach Scott D’Amore comes out to tell everyone that he was the one who set up the title match in Canada where Jarrett won the belt back. Kevin Nash comes out and challenges Jarrett for the NWA Title at Bound for Glory. Jarrett accepts and Nash is beat down in the ring until Team 3D makes the save. Good show. Let's see where it goes from here.
Friday, October 14, 2005
2 Matt Striker v. Russel Simpson- Striker seems like an unusual character and that means in WWE, you won't last long, odd match that had a few neat things in it- 3
3 Hurricane v. Johnny Parisi- wasn't much substance, not one punch was thrown- 1
4 Tyson Tomko v. ?- dumbest gimmick ever, the jobber dropped his contacts and got kicked in the back of the head- 0
5 Tajiri v. Kerwin White- without all the gimmick garbage, this worked, of course trying to mire through all the gimmick garbage would take several years; a polo shirt and a wooden hanger were involved, need I say more- 3
1) Road Warrior Animal & Heidenreich vs. MNM - 3
First off, Heidenreich is not Hawk and never will be Hawk, so why must the Animal & Heidenreich be called L.O.D.? Personally, I think it’s blasphemy of the good name of the Legion of Doom. That being said, MNM is a great team with loads of potential so why did they do the title switch? That’s another reason the tag division is in such disarray, the titles switch every three months or so. Animal pins Mercury after the Doomsday Device for the win. I was shocked that they did a title switch here because I thought that MNM was starting to get momentum. While Heidenreich has drastically improved in the ring, I just don’t see the logic behind this title switch.
Steve Romero is backstage with Eddie Guerrero who was a new stipulation for tonight’s match. In so many words, he says that Dominic will be at ringside. Yeah, whatever. I hate this storyline! It would be something if the story was good and the matches were good enough to back it up. Unfortunately for us, that’s not the case and we will be force fed this garbage for the forseeable future.
2) Booker T vs. Christian - 3
There wasn’t really much story going into this one except for the fact that Booker wanted to avenge his loss to Christian on SmackDown. Oh yeah, Booker’s wife, Sharmell, is now accompanying him to ringside. If that’s an effort to freshen his character, it’s not working. These two are capable of way better. It seemed like the whole match was on slow motion. Clearly, they were not putting forth a full effort.
3) Orlando Jordan vs. Chris Benoit - 5
Why give someone a title if you have no plans for them? I think at one time there was a plan for Jordan but once JBL’s cabinet went by the wayside, there wasn’t anywhere for him. This presented a problem since he had the U.S. Title. Another problem is that Jordan has had roughly zero ring exposure so no one knows what to expect. Fortunatley, Benoit is one of those workers who could have a good match with a broom. He carries Jordan to a semi-decent match and helps the meaning of the belt in the process. Probably the best match of the night so far. Benoit hits all of his signatures and Jordan shows a glimmer of the skills that he has. Personally, I think Jordan could be a big deal, just like Shelton Benjamin is on Raw.
4) The Undertaker vs. Muhammad Hassan - 3
Hassan’s character had been banned from television two weeks before this event so that led to very little build-up. Hassan has his mercenaries with him and they surround the ring. Was this turned into a lumberjack match at the last minute? Whatever. Tons of interference from the dudes around the ring (yes, this includes Hassan’s lackey, Daivari). Taker finally pins Hassan to end the misery. Afterwards, Taker brawls with all the mercenaries, tombstones Daivari, and throws Hassan through the stage, thus killing off the character. No pun intended. Crowd wasn’t really into it and only cheered when Taker scored on offense. Since Taker won, I guess he’s the #1 contender for the World Heavyweight Title. As if anyone really cares at this point. By the way, so far this show is only 1 for 4 in the good match department. Hopefully, the second half will make everything balance out.
Paramedics load Hassan onto the gurney and it’s time for a six-man tag …
5) The Mexicools vs. The B.W.O. - 3
This is your standard filler match right here, brother. Mexicools come out on Juan Deere’s and b.W.o. comes out on blue big wheels. Funny stuff. You know what’s sad? That was pretty much the highlight of this one. It was good to see the b.W.o. on pay-per-view. Not so nice to see them job. Next!!
6) Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero - 4
As I said before, I hate this friggin storyline! With that said, logic would say that these two could have a classic match, as was evident at WCW Halloween Havoc 1997, right? Obviously, Vince doesn’t think like you and me and thinks that cruiserweights need to wrestle like the muscle-driven main eventers. That makes for one hell of a boring cruiserweight match. The match starts off somewhat quick but then Eddie takes control and uses rest holds and stalling and rest holds and stalling. This pattern contines for the whole match! Rey finally scores the pin with a small package. This match totally killed the crowd for the rest of the show. So far, this show has been nothing but a waste of time and money. Well, there’s always the main event to save everything. I’m trying to keep a positive outlook but it’s becoming really difficult.
7) Bra and Panties Match (Special ref: Candice Michelle): Melina vs. Torrie Wilson - 0
They claw, they kick, and they strip. This one gets the big goose egg because absolutely nothing happened. Next.
8) John Bradshaw Layfield vs. Batista (c) - 4
This has been one of the most horrid shows on record but hopefully these two can put together a strong showing to save the show. Instead we get pretty much the same thing we got in the Guerrero/Mysterio match. Rest holds, stalling, rest holds, stalling. Then, to put the nail in the coffin, we get a ref bump and interference by Orlando Jordan who introduces a chair. Batista drills both OJ and JBL with the chair. The ref sees this and DQs Batista. A crappy match to cap off a crappy show. Need I say more?
This show was definitely not worth the money I paid for it, even on DVD. Aside from the Benoit/Jordan match, the entire show was a total disaster. Nothing of value aside from the write-off of the Hassan character happened. The entire crowd was dead by the main event thanks to the Guerrero/Mysterio match. Hmmm … I wonder if I can go back to the store and get a refund. I feel hosed. Not recommened.
Thursday, October 13, 2005
2. John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar (Backlash 04/27/03) – 7
3. John Cena vs. The Undertaker (Smackdown! 08/07/03) – 6
4. John Cena vs. Eddie Guerrero (Smackdown! 08/28/03) – 6
5. John Cena vs. Kurt Angle (No Mercy 10/19/03) – 7
I got this DVD from the local library and fellow RTW wrestling writer Jessie and I sat down one night to unabashedly watch it. I wasn’t anticipating liking much of it. Although Cena is obviously carried by all of these superior workers, he holds his own and the end result are some strangely likeable matches. I liked the ones against Lesnar and Angle; they were both from pay-per-views, so they were given more time, and were both intense. The match with Undertaker was probably the most unforeseen treat. I didn’t watch the actual DVD, just the extras, but I’d recommend buying it used for these matches alone.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
2. Orlando Jordan vs. Chris Benoit – 1
3. John “Bradshow” Layfield vs. Batista – Bull Rope Match – 5
This was the first-ever Friday night Smackdown! and it was only an hour in length. The opening cage match provided tons of excitement and was a brilliant opener. A note to the bookers, we’re fed up with the 25 second Jordan squash matches… it was cool once, but lost its luster after the fifth time. The main featuring Layfield and Batista, who’ve had some difficulty working together in the past, was made more entertaining with the bull rope gimmick. It was a pretty fun first show.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
2. Ashley and Trish Stratus vs. Torrie Wilson and Victoria – 5
3. Snitsky vs. Big Show – 4
4. Kerwin White vs. Shelton Benjamin – 4
5. Edge vs. Matt Hardy – Cage Match – 8
6. Rosey and Hurricane vs. Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch – 5
7. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Masters – 6
8. John Cena vs. Kurt Angle – 6
My friends and I weren’t honestly expecting a very memorable pay-per-view when ordering this. We were, however, pleasantly surprised. It was great to see Flair win gold again in the opener, and the following woman’s tag match surprisingly wasn’t that bad. The next two bouts were pretty standard. The cage match stole the show, though; with the highlight being Edge bleeding profusely and Hardy dropping a leg drop from the top of the cage in a career highlight spot. The Michaels versus Masters match contained some pretty good stuff, and the main event would have scored higher, had it not been ruined by a horrible DQ finish.