Thursday, December 29, 2005

WWE Heat - 10/28/2005

1. Shelton Benjamin vs. Johnny Parisi - 3
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.

Performer Analysis: Mick Foley

1) Innovation- 8/10- Foley, even early on in his career, realized that he didn't have a great body, but knew he had a high threshold for pain, and he utilized that to it's greatest potential. His high impact style and car wreck bumps would be something that many other wrestlers would use to get over once it was apparent Foley was a star. He led the way, along with many other wrestlers, for the industry to develop the "hardcore" style which was to use any and absolutely everything that wasn't nailed down in a wrestling match. To take it outside, to the hot dog stand, to the fans, to the alley, where ever it may go and really shake things up. Another thing I think Foley did that was innovative was to show the fans that he is just a real guy when the whole Dude Love scenario came up. We saw video of him and his friends jumping off their garage when they were younger. We knew this guy wasn't a sick, tortured figure who lurked in dungeons, as we thought of Mankind, and we knew he wasn't some bad ass dude from Truth or Consequences, those were just characters he played. Foley let the fans in and they understood him and appreciated him for that.
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

Ranking: Legend
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.

Performer Analysis Info

This is a new article I'm going to try and undertaker( sorry, I won't be reviewing him!) where I look at a wrestler's career and grade them from 1-10( ten being the highest, we all know how this works) in ten different categories. I'm going to list them here and the things I will look for in each.

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:

Icon- 91-100
Legend- 75- 90
Superstar- 60-74
Midcard- 40-59
Jobber- 0-39

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

WWF In Your House: Final Four

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

WWE No Way Out 2005

1 Bob Holly/ Charlie Haas v. Rene Dupree/ Kenzo Suzuki- 4
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

WWE Armageddon - 12/15/02

DVD Extra – Edge vs. Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit vs. Eddy Guerrero (12/05/02 Smackdown!) – 5
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

WWE Judgment Day – 5/22/05

1. Bonus: DVD Extra – Nunzio vs. Akio - 5
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

WWE Smackdown! – 10/28/05

1. Christian vs. J.B.L. vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Matt Hardy vs. Hardcore Holly - 5
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.

TNA Turning Point 2004

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

WWE Smackdown! – 10/21/05

1. Chris Benoit vs. Booker T - 6
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.

WCW Bash at the Beach 1994

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

WWE Raw – 11/28/05

1. Shawn Michaels vs. Carlito – 6
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.

WWE Rebellion 2002

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

TNA Impact – 10/15/05

1. Monty Brown vs. Jarelle Clark/Mikey Batts – Handicap Match - 2
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.

WCW Great American Bash 1996

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

WWE Bad Blood 2003

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

WWE 24/7 Online

So, for people who ordered the offensively bad Taboo Tuesday pay-per-view, W.W.E. offered an entire month of free of their W.W.E. 24/7 online service. Occasionally, while bored on campus, I’d look through their archives and watch random matches. Below are my findings:

Sting section:
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.

E.C.W. section:
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.