Sunday, May 28, 2006

Performer Analysis: Val Venis

Val Venis was born Sean Morley on March 6, 1971 in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. He was trained by the Missing Link and the Robertson Brothers in Hamilton, Ontario before making his debut in March of 1991. In 1997, he signed with World Wrestling Entertainment and was then trained by Dory Funk jr. and Tom Prichard before making his debut with the company as Val Venis on May 18, 1998. He has competed in Canada, Mexico in the CMLL, Puerto Rico in IWA, and all over the US as a member of WWE. This is his analysis, Ladies!

1 Innovation- 4/10- As far as innovation, Ol' Val is a meat and potatoes kind of guy. He uses a flying splash as his finish, and during a time when wrestlers can do anything off the ropes and use fifteen variations on a single move, Val seemed to revert the other way and utilize the basics as far as his in-ring work, so i give him points for being a traditionalist. His Val Venis gimmick, while given to him, was very innovative and in my opinion, one of the standouts in the Attitude era in cementing what exactly it would stand for.

2 Conditioning- 10/10- Val is a top conditioned athlete. He is always in great shape, has a good physique, and has worked long matches, as well as went the distance in several Royal Rumbles. The guy does sweat more than anyone i've ever seen, but his cardio is also in top condition.

3 Ring Skill- 8/10- Val is an exceptional performer. In his early days, he was not much to watch, but there was a youthful energy in his wrestling. During his time in Mexico, while not a luchadore style wrestler, he could keep great pace with all the performers he was in the ring with. His career in the WWE, he has displayed that he can hold his own with almost anyone in the company. Val is one of the guys that can make any one else look good, and he continues to do so. One complaint that I had with his work is that he moved too slowly in the ring, not just his pacing because there's something to be said for that, but his overall movement, in executing offensive manuevers and running ropes and so forth. But, I think in recent years, he has shed some excess body weight and moves at a much brisker pace. I honestly think with the right tools behind him he could play with the big boys in the fed.

4 Character/ Psychology- 8/10- It was going to take a special kind of indivdual to play Val Venis when Vince McMahon created him. At that time, wrestling was being watched by more people than it ever had been and Val Venis would be one of the characters that was watched more closely because of the adult nature of the character than a lot of the other guys. And Sean Morley played him exceptionally. The lady fans really did seem to like him and to a smaller extent still do today. But, Val also is a great psychologist. He exceeds in selling a body part; he's a student of the game, and like i said earlier, now a days, most guys are putting on high spot matches every weekend just to get over(ex: ROH), but Val has broken his game back down the basics of wrestling: punching, kicking, fighting and selling that you're in a fight.

5 Interviews- 5/10- When in character, with what's most assuredly scripted, Val can deliver his dialogue with great enthusiasm and belief. When not in Val Venis character, he struggles. I think he isn't afraid to speak, but i wouldn't rank him with the best mic workers in the business, even though i enjoy most of what he does.

6 Face/ Heel- 6/10- Val has played both roles in a variety of angles and characters. His heel comissioner Chief Morley was a stooge at best, and didn't offer much excitement. Val as a heel was never believable to me; he burnt Mick Foley's book; Why? He should have been a woman abuser, it would have made more sense given his porno movie character. Val is best as a face because more or less the fans decide whether they like or dislike someone despite what role they play. The fans like Val better when they are supposed to, and he plays a good face in peril.

7 Basics- 7/10- As previously stated, Val is a big proponent of the basics in wrestling. He got his fundamentals in Canada, which are high on them. When he signed with the WWF, he was thrown back into a developmental camp at the Funkin' Dojo, and mixed it up with some great wrestlers and future stars there and really had a chance to pick up new things and hone what skills he had. In 2002, he suffered an injury that sidelined him for a few months but before returning, he stopped off in HWA and really refined where he was going for the next phase of his career: back to the basics.

8 Fans- 5/10- The fans like Val; they like him better when he's being pushed, and not too much when he's not, but they like him. He now has a name recognintion, he has a schtick that they're used to and he has good facials which is something that plays a more important role than you would think in wrestling.

9 Matches/ Opponents- 4/10- Val has taken on just about everybody that's walked through the doors of WWE in the last 8 or so years, but over that time he was randomly pushed and rarely spotlighted. His best time in WWE was in early 98 and 99, when he feuded for the IC title with Riksihi, Edge, Billy Gunn, Kurt Angle and others. But, I couldn't really point to a money making feud that really helped to put him over.

10 Gutcheck- 5/10- Val is a tough guy and a great worker, but his injuries have seemed to plague him over the years. He has lost a considerable amount of ring time due to his injuries and such, but I've never seen him give up during a match no matter how bad the opponent he was putting over.
Overall Score: 62

Ranking: Superstar
PO: Thumbs Up
Personally, he's one of my favorite performers to watch and he wish him well in his career, but his time may have came and gone and came again, and gone again, just like Val Venis may have done in his hit movie, "Saving Ryan's Privates."

WCW Starrcade '88 - True Gritt

1. Fantastics vs. Steve Williams and Kevin Sullivan - Clipped - 4
2. Midnight Express vs. Original Midnight Express - 3
3. Russian Assassians vs. Junkyard Dog and Ivan Koloff - 2
4. Mike Rotunda vs. Rick Stiener - Clipped - 5
5. Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Barry Windham - 8
6. Dusty Rhodes and Sting vs. Road Wariors - 6
7. Ric Flair vs. Lex Luger - 7

The Fantastics are fucking fantastic, with their trend setting offense and charm; Williams and Sullivan represent the complete opposite, ruthless brutes that aren't afraid to throw you on your head and stomp your stomach. The battle between the two Midnight Express teams wasn't pretty, but fun in an erstwhile way. I'd never seen Randy Rose work before -- his gigantic mullet and ability to suck astounded me. Dennis Condrey should have been cleaning drains, not putting guys in chinlocks. Lane and Eaton's trunks with the fluorescent stripes are ridiculously sexy.

Seeing Koloff and JYD teaming together almost caused my brain to explode. I have no idea who the lanky Russian Assassins are, but they must have been pretty good at fellatio because they got put over here. Rotunda and Steiner was pretty awesome -- I wish it wouldn't have been clipped. These guys were drilling each other and looked at their best -- I was totally digging it.

Bam Bam and Barry stole the show in my opinion, although the main event has more historical significance. These guys worked a tight and solid match, one that I'd easily watch again and again any day of the week. There was one spot where they both took a nasty spill to the floor that requires repeated rewindings to truly appreciate. This is just awesome and you should tattoo flames on your skull and watch it with your pants off.

Dusty and Sting versus the Road Warriors is your classic tag team encounter. You know the drill, the heels destroy one of the good guys until, believe it or not, they’ll tag in their partner who like a man possessed saves the day. At least I think they used that trusted formula in this match, I can't remember though, as my short-term memory was erased when Dusty Rhodes busted out a motherfucking dropkick. Flair and Lex is a testament to how a good worker can carry a subpar worker to a quality match. Lex looks like a million bucks and performs like $7. His offense is so limited, his face so elongated, and he'd sooner retire than take an actual bump. Flair is obviously tremendously gifted, carrying Luger for 40+ minutes in a watchable, albeit not perfect main event.

WCW Slamboree 2000

1) Chris Candido vs. The Artist - 5
2) Norman Smiley & Ralphus vs. Terry Funk – Handicap Match - 3
3) Curt Hennig vs. Shawn Stasiak - 4
4) Scott Steiner vs. Hugh Morrus - 4
5) Mike Awesome vs. Chris Kanyon - 4
6) Buff Bagwell vs. Lex Luger - 3
7) Shane Douglas vs. Ric Flair - 4
8) Sting vs. Vampiro - 6
9) Billy Kidman vs. Hulk Hogan (Special referee: Eric Bischoff) - 6
10) Diamond Dallas Page vs. Jeff Jarrett vs. David Arquette – Triple Cage Match – 5

To say that this show was a let down would be an understatement. The opener was a decent contest that saw Candido retain the cruiserweight title. Funk and Smiley had a horrible contest which saw minimal involvement from the fat tub of goo named Ralphus. Stasiak and Hennig was terrible. The sad fact is that Hennig was still in great shape and couldn’t even carry Stasiak to decent contest. Steiner and Morrus blew harder than Lita does in a hotel room after Raw. Awesome and Kanyon was terrible and served absolutely no purpose whatsoever. Bagwell and Luger was the epitome of terrible. Douglas and Flair had an incredible build up but the delivery was terrible. Flair was working in street clothes and Douglas had no room to work. Sting and Vampiro can only be described as a miracle. They worked a pretty fast match which could easily be described as the best match of the show. Kidman and Hogan had potential but because Hogan refused to do the job, he killed any luck Kidman had of getting a decent push. It was nice to see Hogan use tables and step into the 21st century finally. The triple cage was not a good idea at all and came from the dumbass movie Ready to Rumble. It you haven’t seen this contraption, imagine a Hell in a Cell cage with a smaller cage on top of it and a smaller cage on top of that. Basically the idea was to start in the ring and climb up to the top of the third cage and retrieve the belt. Thankfully, Arquette got bumped out early on and left the work to the Jarrett and DDP. The finish sucked and Awesome and Kanyon interfered for some unknown reason and featured Kanyon taking a Foley bump from the top of the first cage onto the rampway. Aside from the opener and the two matches that received a six, I’d skip everything else.

Friday, May 26, 2006

WWE Survivor Series '05

1. Chris Benoit vs. Booker T - 6
2. Trish Stratus vs. Melina - 5
3. Triple H vs. Ric Flair - Last Man Standing - 4
4. John Cena vs. Kurt Angle - 5
5. Eric Bischoff vs. Theodore Long - 1
6. Team Raw (Michaels, Kane, Master, Carlito, Big Show) vs. Team Smackdown! (Batista, Lashley, Orton, JBL, Mysterio) - 5

I didn't get to see this pay-per-view live, but boy, did it ever get bad reviews. Although it's not particularly good, I didn't think it was horrible, just not worthy of much mention. Most of the matches didn't quite feel "big" enough, and I don't mean the card that was booked, I mean the performances of the talent didn't reach the level you'd expect, and a lot of stuff seemed not too far off from your basic TV match given more time.

Benoit and Booker was really good, really solid wrestling--although if this was the last match in their best of seven series, instead of the first, they would have pulled out all the stops and really put on a show. Trish and Melina was exceptionally good for what it was, especially considering Melina never wrestles. Triple H and Flair was nothing more than a glorified bloodletting. Flair bladed early, and proceeded to crawl and stumble around everywhere as Hunter methodically punished him, and us, with bad weapon shots. Cena and Angle had serious heat, as the Detroit crowd was fanatic, and it started off good; the end, though, deteriorated into absolute trash, involving 5 separate ref bumps in a complete mess, thus killing the earlier work and making this a stinker. Bischoff and Long didn't deliver any of that things that make wrestling great, like intensity, brutality, athleticism, technical prowess, savvy, etc. I don't want to ever see either of these guys attempting to wrestle again. The main event wasn't bad, although again, it didn't seem like it was on the level it should have been. Some of the eliminations were uninspired, and the whole match was booked around The Undertaker's return at the end. I'd like to have seen some of the guys have more of an opportunity to mix it up a bit, but the structure of the match was choreographed and translucent--meaning I could see right through this shit.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Super Brawl 3

1 Chris Benoit v. 2 Cold Scorpio (9)- This match ended at 19:59; one second before the twenty minute time limit. This helped Scorpio, but it also helps put over the other guy, who no one had seen much of. It was a whole big helping of great action and moves, and athletics. Man, does anyone have matches like this anymore? At the beginning of a pay per view? No, because the guy in the main event writes this shit and doesn't want to be upstaged. That's smart actually.

2 Davey Boy Smith v. Bill Irwin (3)- Irwin was bumping big for Bulldog, but he visibally looked uncomfortable in WCW's ring, which was smaller than the WWF's.

3 Paul Orndorff v. Cactus Jack( Falls Count Anywhere) (6)- a fun match to watch. Cactus did all the crazy stuff, but Orndorff worked Jack's knee over the whole time in brutal ways. Orndorff also attempted to suplex Cactus back first on a standing guard rail, as well as the ring post in the ring! It was pretty ballsy to try and fun to watch. Cactus got over and the fans appreciated it.

4 Dustin Rhodes v. Maxx Payne (5)- Payne was really out of shape, but could bump for a big guy. They were having a competitive match until the end when a DQ was called. Rhodes worked hard in his rookie days and I think earned all he got, in that respect.

5 Great Muta v. Barry Windham (6)- Windham happens to be one of my 5 favorite workers of all time. Muta is in my top 20, so I was excited to see this because they were both still semi-young at this time. One thing I didn't like: Ric Flair had just came back to WCW and was at ringside. The fans just chanted for him for the whole first half and I'm sure he played it up. They worked a side headlock for 8 minutes. This was old school. They picked up the pace at the end, but not too much, and never got ahead of theirselves. Some good near falls and Windham becomes a World Champion. Well desereved, in my eyes.

6 Vader v. Sting( White Castle of Fear Strap Match) (8)- The promos leading to this match had been playing between every match and every interview and they were bizarre. Sting took off in a helicopter to go find Vader in some secret location. He ended up in a castle, that wasn't white. Vader was there and he had prepared a feast. His helmet was in the center; a jello mold, perhaps? Anyways, a midget with an eye patch and some 80's rock video girls egged Sting on to have a face to face with Vader and they did and that was the build up. In real life, they had feuded for the last year in WCW and had great matches, so now WCW wasn't sanctioning this violent match. They wasted no time. They hit all their big moves from bell to bell. There were no rest holds in the match. Vader's back was bleeding badly; Sting was bleeding from the head( one of the only times I can remember that happening) and by the end, following a vicious beating from Sting, Vader's ears were gushing blood. It ended with the ref out, and Sting carrying Vader on his back and right before he touched the last corner, tripped over the ref, so Vader then hit all 4 of them. It was a bloody, brutal encounter and a great match that I'll never forget.

WWE Smackdown! 1/6/06

1. JBL vs. Matt Hardy - Falls Count Anywhere - 3
2. Mark Henry vs. three jobbers - 2
3. Kid Kash vs. Juventud - 6
4. Chris Benoit vs. Randy Orton - 5
5. Brian Kendrick and Paul London vs. Gymini - 2
6. MNM vs. Batista and Rey Mysterio - Cage Match - 4

The first match was a sloppy brawl, including the thus far worst table bump of the year. They were both standing on the table, and JBL was teasing a powerbomb, Hardy grabs him by the back of his ankles and just pulls, like a schoolyard trip, and Bradshaw does a back bump, collapsing the table and sending them both awkwardly to the floor. The Henry squash was pretty forgettable, as expected, except Rob Eckos' (one of the jobbers) amazing sell of Henry's bonzai drop, as he sold it like he was just shot through the heart with a harpoon. Juventud and Kash tore it up, and had a really good match together. The most insane spot was Juvi doing a huge flip off the top turnbuckle onto Kash on the floor, landing on the debris of the aforementioned broken table. Juvi did some good psychological stuff, selling the injured leg. Benoit versus Orton was good, but the finish was so bad, and took an entire point off its grade. Orlando Jordan randomly interfered, ruining the match. Booker T was watching at ringside, and as a side note, I think Sharmel is easily one of the most attractive women in the company. Orton's dropkick kicked looked good, but not much else was notable. Fanboy favorites London and Kendrick did this double plancha over the ropes onto Gymini near the beginning of the match, where the muscleheads were supposed to catch them, well, one of them dropped London sloppily, completely ruining that spot. There was no finish, which really hurt the match's score, as after getting themselves over at the expense of London and Kendrick, they just tossed them to the floor and that was it. The main event was a cage match, on free TV, which is rare, but it wasn't as memorable as expected. MNM looked really off and sloppy to start. Rey took one of the nastier bumps, a back bodydrop into the cage. Rey did a crossbody off the top of the cage, in the most visually memorable spot. The finish killed it, though, as Mark Henry waddled down to ringside and interfered. A slightly above average episode, although, booked a little differently, could have been a terrific show.

UWF Beach Brawl PPV - 6/9/91

1) The Black Hearts vs. Jim Cooper & Fire Cat - 3
2) Johnny Ace vs. Terry Gordy – Street Fight - 4
3) The Power Twins vs. The Killer Bees - 3
4) Candi Devine vs. Rockin Robin - 4
5) Paul Orndorff vs. Col. DeBeers – Strap Match - 4
6) Ivan Koloff vs. Bob Backlund - 5
7) Cowboy Bob Orton & Cactus Jack vs. Sonny Beach & Steve Ray - 2
8) Bam Bam Bigelow vs. “Dr. Death” Steve Williams – 6

If you were to look up the phrase “shit terrible”, this event would be listed as a reference. All four people involved in the opening fiasco are probably either bagging groceries somewhere or parking cars at the county fair. Ace and Gordy fought a fairly decent bout but the absurd booking totally destroyed any hope this had of getting a positive rating. A double count-out in a street fight? Who booked this shit? Moving along, The Bees and the Twins had and absolutely terrible match which happened to be the only match on the card that went over ten minutes. I can’t remember who won and quite frankly, I don’t care. Devine and Robin had a decent women’s match which was probably the best match on the show up to this point. Wait, did I just say that about a women’s match?

Starting off the second half of this beleaguered show was a strap match. They showed the events that led up to it but nothing made a bit of sense (as if I was expecting anything else by this point). The second absurdity was that Orndorff made his way to the ring to M.C. Hammer’s infamous U Can’t Touch This. As for the match, well … who cares. I’ll let the rating speak for itself. Backlund and Koloff had the match of the night, by far. While it only went two and a half minutes in length, Backlund looked to be in decent shape and beat Koloff clean. The legends Orton and Jack teamed up to take on the rookie team of Beach and Ray, collectively called Wet N’ Wild. Hmmm … Wet N’ Wild … that kinda sounds like a Girls Gone Wild video. The only problem is that these weren’t girls, they were guys, and largely untalented ones at that. The only thing that needs to be said about this one is that they made Jack do the job. Yes, you read that right. Jack did the job to two guys who are probably bussing tables at the local Denny’s. Bigelow and Williams had a hard-hitting contest and a fairly short match. Williams beat Bigelow and the 500 fans who bothered to show up promptly headed to the box office for a refund. Let us never speak of this event again.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

New Japan Dontaku 95

From the highlight video, this seemed to be a big show for them. They showed clips of the prior two years, with huge fireworks displays and grand entrances, as well as bringing in huge stars, like Hulk Hogan, Sting, and the Road Warriors. This year seemed to be no different. Let's go over the card.

1 Hiro Saito v. Takayuki Iizuka (2)- I'll try to briefly summarize the competitors for those fans who are not familiar with any Japanese competitor. Saito is related to Japanese legend Masa Saito, who worked for the WWF and AWA. He's a renowned toughman. Well, Hiro has the same stocky leaning towards fat build, but has none of Masa's skills. Iizuka was a young up and comer being groomed by New Japan, but who never became the star they wanted. Anyways, this match lasted two minutes, literally, and not a lot happened.

2 Sabu v. Koji Kanemoto (7)- Kanemoto is one of the best junior heavyweights to ever come from Japan, and was even the third Tiger Mask. This match was fun to watch because they combined Koji's stiff kicks and slap contests along with ground work, with Sabu's shitty table messes. Both men dove into the other's world and mixed a great goulash of wrestling fun.

3 Ric Flair v. Hiroshi Hase (6)- Hase was a great amateur and technical wrestler who once competed in the Olympics and was even a member of the Japanese version of our Senate, their Parliament. Hope that wasn't too confusing. Well, this was two great wrestlers hooking it up for the first time, and to be honest, it didn't seem like either knew what the other would do. It was a hard fought match where both men struggled to hit moves and lock in finishers, but it gave the match a very realistic feel the way you would want when it's a first time match.

4 Hiroyoshi Tenzan v. Kensuke Sasaki (5)- This match was all about two big stars on the edge of breaking through to the main stage in New Japan and the match shows it in parts. They both are moving fast and hitting hard but the match really loses steam towards the end and they fall through the finish line like P Diddy did in the New York Marathon a few years ago. Years later, Tenzan would go on to become one of the greatest Tag Team stars ever in New Japan while Sasaki would become one of the greatest singles stars of all time.

5 Shinya Hashimoto v. Keiji Muto (8)- If you want to know how to run a successful wrestling feud, you should watch this match. Hashimoto, at the time, was a dominant champion. Muto, a legend and fan favorite, tries his luck but gets smoked by Hash. Muto starts doubting himself. He goes on a losing streak and the final straw is against slightly less than average Scott Norton. After that embarrassing defeat, Muto takes a sabbatical. He goes to an ancient Japanese monk who teaches him to look inward. He makes him train and meditate, day in and day out. He makes him wash windows left to right and right to left. Muto even embarrasses his master by catching a fly in chopsticks before he can.., okay, got a little off track here. Anyways, Muto came back with long hair and a beard, looking very different. His first match back was against Scott Norton, and Muto wiped the mat with him. Muto then avenged his other losses until the Championship match, which was this one. It was a classic battle with great psychology(of Hashimoto working Mutos knees, which were bad, and Muto knowing every move Hash did, and having a counter for it.) Muto won the title for his 2nd of 3 eventual reigns.

6 Manabu Nakanishi v. Yuji Nagata (5)- this match was not much to sneeze at and why it went on after the title match was a complete brainfart on whoever edited this tape. It was a struggle but not a lot of impact. very average match.

TNA Sacrifice '06

1. Petey Williams vs. - Jushin Lyger - 4
2. AMW vs. AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels - 4
3. Raven vs. A-1 - 2
4. Bobby Roode vs. Rhyno - 3
5. James Gang vs. Team 3-D - 3
6. 16-Man X Division Gauntlet - 6
7. Sting and Samoa Joe vs. Jeff Jarrett and Scott Steiner - 5
8. Christian vs. Abyss - Full Metal Mayhem - 4

Growing up I practically idolized Lyger -- now I turn my head in shame when he makes TNA appearances. This was no exception, as he and wily Canadian Williams offered us a poor excuse for an opener. There was no passion on display here, just routine stuff that was largely poorly done.

AMW and Style and Daniels are all obviously talented, although they failed to display their skill here in a horrible match. This was the laziest AMW has possibly ever looked, and the majority of the match's key sequences were hackneyed.

Raven looked so awful that I secretly hoped he'd injury himself so we'd be spared his horrid visage on our TV in the future, and to save him from future embarrassment. His green dyed hair looked like pea green soup with turds floating in it -- his match was the equivalent of what that would taste like. A-1 is a complete joke, he should spend more time studying Arn Anderson tapes and less time in the tanning salons, giving employees handjobs for discounts.

Roode and Rhyno both are capable of giving inspired performances with the right opponent and setting -- this night wasn't an example of that. This was the most boring and plodding match on the show, saddled with a tame storyline to boot. I'd rather watch Rhyno later that night giving a prostitute a nude gore in a public restroom.

James Gang and Team 3-D are both established tag teams. We know them well, and we stop caring for them both years prior. This match started off all right, but deteriorated like the quality of Roman Polanski's films. I don't want to see B.G. James selling Team 3-D's weak offense, I want to see him selling them pain pills and rolling papers.

The X Division gauntlet/battle royal was the most fun thing to watch on the entire pay-per-view. It wasn't groundbreaking, but was way more entertaining than anything else offered. In my opinion, Team Mexico looked the best, bringing the most energy to the match. In the end, Petey Williams went over (for the second time in the show) which is a decision I argue; worse than that, after the match egotistical Kevin Nash came down to the ring and cut a promo ridiculing the match and the entire X Division. If I were one of the 16 participants in this match I would have spit in his face for shitting on my livelihood.

Everyone's been waiting to see what Samoa Joe would do if he ever got a chance to work with some of the bigger names in our industry. He's been squashing small guys for months, to the enjoyment of fanboys nationwide, but amounting to very little. I made a claim -- if Joe worked stiff with these veterans like he did everyone else, I too would be part of his fan club, but if he cheapened his style after working so hard to get to this point, I would call him out on it and lose my respect for him. I lost my respect for him. This match was fun to watch only due to its bizarreness and the potential for things going wrong. Sting further made a mockery of himself, Joe looked chubby and lost, Steiner's offense was further exposed as being tremendously limited, and dare I say it, Jarrett was the best thing about this.

Christian and Abyss -- just wow, this match wasn't a main event at all. It was convoluted and contrived. The match's structure was built around a couple big bumps, which had they came off well helped matters, but resulted only in further hurting the match. Christian's frog splash (which I dubbed the tadpole splash due to how pussy it truly is) off of a ladder barely even put Abyss through a table in a hysterical spot. This shouldn't be allowed to main event a show at a backwoods carnival for $5 a ticket -- let alone a major pay-per-view event. How does TNA management expect to ever compete with WWE when they present us a show as horrendous as this? This sucked harder than Jackie Gayda did on Jarrett's dick to get off of TV. I know I sound pissed off, that's only because I am -- truthfully, how can't you be ashamed if you had anything to do with this wretched show.

ROH Weekend of Champions: Night 1

1) Colt Cabana vs. Jimmy Jacobs - 4
2) Jay Fury & Spud vs. Irish Airborne - 6
3) Jimmy Rave vs. Delirious - 0
4) Christopher Daniels vs. Nigel McGuinness - 6
5) Flash Flanagan vs. Apocalypse - 4
6) Bryan Danielson vs. Jimmy Yang - 6
7) Austin Aries & Roderick Strong vs. Samoa Joe & Matt Sydal - 7
8) Necro Butcher, Claudio Castagnoli, & Super Dragon vs. Ace Steele, Colt Cabana, & B.J. Whitmer – Street Fight – 5

Colt and Jacobs had a forgettable match in which Colt went over in order to begin his journey back to the top. Irish Ariborne, who some of you might know as Lotus and Crazy J, had a great, risk-filled tag match with Fury and Spud, who I believe was making his ROH debut. All four guys looked really good and all four have a solid future ahead of them in ROH. Rave and Delirious was absolutely terrible. They went to a 15-minute draw and killed the crowd at the same time. It was perhaps the worst match that I have ever seen at a live event and definitely the worst match I’ve seen since I’ve been writing these reviews. Hopefully, ROH will edit this out of the video release. The only highlight came when I blurted out “Denny’s called. They need you for third shift!” Nigel and Daniels attempted to pick up the pieces and re-excite the crowd. They succeeded, but not in the way they wanted. To say that the crowd came unhinged at the finish would be an understatement. A lame count-out finish after a superb techincal match pretty much pissed off those who weren’t already pissed by the Rave/Delirious match. Flanagan battled a guy no one has ever heard of in a pointless filler match. Danielson once again stole the show is his match with Jimmy Yang. There were some stiff shots and sick bumps involved in a fun-filled match that more that made up for the weak first half. Did I say sick bumps and stiff shots? That more than describes the tag title match. Joe and Sydal damn near upset the champs in a fantastic match that went above and beyond anything I though it would be. Afterwards, ROH brawled with CZW in a convoluted match that spent maybe two minutes in the ring. Truth be told, I’m not sure it was even an official match. There was some pretty sick shit involved though. The second half of the show saved it from being a complete snoozer. It wasn’t quite as good as the 1/27 Dayton show, but once again, I’d recommend any ROH live show over anything WWE has offered lately.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

WWF In Your House: Beware of Dogg

1 HHH v. Marc Mero- 7- A match where Mero tried to become a star, and for all intents and purposes, deserved to be. He did some things that most I would say were unwilling at the time. Exactly what a opener should do: set the pace and tone of the show.

2 British Bulldog v. HBK- 5- Tsk, tsk, tsk, Shawn. Shouldn't let your temper get the best of you? That results in the worst match of your career, or so you say? I've seen oodles worse. Do you have any tapes of your matches from RAW the last 4 years? Yeah, no one else does either. This is not what these two were capable of, but it certainly wasn't a complete disaster either.

3 Steve Austin v. Savio Vega( Strap Match)- 7- These two really whipped each other bad! Some great old school NWA psychology, and some real good action.

4 Vader v. Yokozuna- 4- short and sweet, everything these guys are not, but maybe their girlfriends are. Vader worked Yoko's leg the whole match, then put him away.

5 Undertaker v. Goldust( Casket Match)- 5- Goldust botched his quota of spots for the month in one match. Amazing! An entertaining match, but very odd choice for a main event.

Rob Van Dam - One of A Kind DVD

1. vs. Scotty Flamingo - WCW Worldwide (2/8/93) - 3
2. vs. Axl Rotten - ECW Hardcore TV (1/5/96) - 4
3. vs. Sabu - Hardcore Heaven (6/22/96) - 6
4. w/ Sabu vs. Elimanators - Crossing the Line Again (2/1/97) - 8
5. vs. Jeff Hardy - Raw (5/12/97) - 4
6. vs. Tommy Dreamer - November 2 Remember (11/30/97) - 5
7. vs. Bam Bam Bigelow - ECW Hardcore TV (4/4/98) - 5
8. vs. Jerry Lynn - Living Dangerously (3/21/99) - 7
9. vs. Jeff Hardy - Invasion (7/22/01) - 6
10. vs. Chris Jericho - King of the Ring (6/23/02) - 5
11. vs. Christian - Ladder Match - Raw (9/29/03) - 7
12. vs. Pat Rose - WCW Saturday Night (1/23/93) - 2

First off, I don't like Rob Van Dam. I think is weak forearm shots are some of the worst strikes in the business. I think is often sloppy flashy offense exposes the industry and he often makes a mockery of his opponents and himself. Yes. Van Dam is certainly one of a kind -- let's hope it stays the way. Yet, those things being said, I'm still often drawn to his work because of his unpredictability. I watched this DVD around the holidays last year; it wasn't my favorite, but surpassed my somewhat limited expectations.

The first match features Van Dam and Raven before they were hardcore, wrestling on an episode of WCW Worldwide that nobody watched. Afterwards they probably talked of aspirations of one day wrestling for the coveted TV title, while eating lasagna and thinking of ways to suck up to corporate. The match with Axl is Van Dam's ECW Arena debut, back when he was still a fresh-faced martial artist, and not a sparse beard sporting stoner. Sabu and RVD bring the best out of each other, as is the case in their match. They trained together, traveled together, and quite possibly, slept together. My favorite match of the entire DVD is their tag match against the Elimanators. Sure, with those four guys involved, it's bound to get a little sloppy, but takes little away from how hard-hitting and physical it is. Truth be told, off the top of my head, I can't think of any other ECW tag matches that compare to it. I'd recommend seeing it, it's intense and there are even some innovative ladder spots, unlike the last dozen ladder matches WWE has given us. The match with Jeff Hardy on Raw was just thrown on there for some unknown reason, showing a very young, skinny, and high on gas fumes Hardy bumping for the "invading" Van Dam.

The match with Dreamer isn't too bad, and I think it's a shame that the two of them never really got to work a major program together. Hell, I'd have even liked to see them two feuding for the World title -- instead of watching Shane Douglas get carried in forgettable title bouts. The match with Bam Bam is pretty cool, and their feud was a fun one to watch. I think Bigelow's veteran presence helped keep RVD grounded and focused, and they worked well together. I think the Lynn and RVD series of matches are a bit overrated, but I liked this one more than their match at Guilty As Charged '01. The match with Hardy was from the much-maligned Invasion pay-per-view, and may or may not have been a ladder match, I don't recall, because it's all been done before. I'd rather see those two compare secret stashes than wrestling holds.

I was actually at the RVD versus Jericho match in-person. It wasn't spectacular live, and definitely doesn't hold up on DVD. This match is quite controversial, actually; as after it, many Internet fans complained about its quality on Jericho's website. Jericho had a fit, said he hated Internet fans, and that he wasn't going to be writing about wrestling any more online. Sorry, Chris, but Shannon Moore wrestling a condem onto his tiny dick after bad Omega shows in North Carolina would be more entertaining than this hackneyed shit. Fuck the lionsault. The ladder match with Christian from Raw wasn't bad, and makes me think Christian should have stayed around WWE where he could have had more opportunities, instead of short-lived success in TNA. The last match, with Pat Rose, stunk worse than a bathroom after the Awesome Kongs demolished it.

WWE Monday Night Raw - 5/8/06

1) Rob Van Dam vs. Chris Masters vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Charlie Haas – Fatal Four Way Match - 4
2) Matt Striker vs. Carlito - 3
3) Tommy Dreamer vs. Mick Foley vs. Edge – Triple Threat Hardcore Match - 1
4) Mickie James vs. Maria - 1
5) Umaga vs. Kevin Martinson & Tommy Wilson – Handicap Match - 2
6) The Big Show vs. Kane - 1
7) Shawn Michaels & John Cena vs. The Spirit Squad – 5 on 2 Handicap Match – 3

If anyone ever wondered how bad WWE can screw up a show, then look no further as this edition of Raw. The four way match wasn’t as good as I had hoped it would be. Masters belongs at Globo Gym and not in a wrestling ring. Striker and Carlito had a solid affair while it lasted. Eugene had to ruin it by running in and attacking Striker. It was from this point on that they did everything and explained nothing. Foley vs. Edge was hyped the whole week on their website and raised the stakes by bringing in Dreamer and then promptly screwed it up. Foley turned heel with no crowd reaction whatsoever. Then they pissed all over the turn with a sorry excuse for a match between Mickie James and Maria. Mickie beat Maria and then was attacked by a “fan” from the crowd. Ok, so they didn’t explain why Foley turned on Dreamer and who the “fan” from the crowd was. I’m totally confused and extremely pissed.

Umaga is the Monty Brown of the WWE and I don’t mean that in a good way. Every week on TV, he’s involved in squash matches just like Brown. In six months, he’ll either be in the curtain jerker on Heat or doing gigs on the indy circuit. Big Show and Kane attemped, and somewhat suceeded, in wrestling a techinical style match. However, just like their match at Backlash, it ended in a no contest when they did the May 19th. The main event went nowhere and the whole show ended with about 15,000 pissed off people for shelling out $40 a ticket for this garbage. George Carlin once wrote, “We’re all fucked. It helps to remember that.” If you watched this episode of Raw, then you were just fucked by the chick who fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down. I really don’t want to remember that.

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

XWF: Lost Episodes

Episode 1
1 Big Vito v. Buff Bagwell (2)
2 Marty Jannetty v. Hail (0)
3 Horace Hogan v. Ian Harrison (1)
4 Cruiserweight Battle Royal (4)
5 Nasty Boys v. Shane Twins (1)
6 Curt Hennig v. Vampiro (1)

Two squashes, Bobby Heenan without mic time, and everything else that makes wrestling great. It's a good idea to have all this talent, but there's no storyline for anyone and the matches are short and there's no thought put into it. Sable and Piper start out the show as dueling commissioners or CEO's, whatever. Neither has managed anything in their life, even a Wendy's and some brain trust put them in charge of a foundling wrestling promotion who is supposed to make money the day before they start to break even? I don't buy it, and I didn't buy this set, thankfully.

Episode 2
1 Juvi/ Psicosis v. Konan/ Ray Gonzalez (5)
2 Simon Diamond v. Jerry Lawler (1)
3 Hail v. Knuckles (1)
4 Johnny B. Badd v. Norman Smiley (3)
5 Shane Twins v. Road Warriors (3)
6 Curt Hennig v. Buff Bagwell (2)

This had two squashes also, but at least gave time to a couple matches. The Luchadores match worked well and was about six minutes, even though Gonzalez looked out of shape. Hawk killed himself during that match and their tag division was a mess. Hennig looked pretty good, but there's only so much you can do with Buff. And of course, Rena and Hot Rod took up some more valuable TV time. This was on par with the sub standard writing of another Episode 2( I'm sure someone gets my meaning.)

Episode 3
1 Marty Jannetty v. Drezden (1)
2 Horace Hogan v. Josh Matthews (1)
3 Shane Twins v. South Philly Posse (3)
4 AJ Styles v. Kid Kash (5)
5 Vapor v. Jimmy Snuka Jr. (2)
6 Curt Hennig/ Ian Harrison v. Buff Bagwell/ Vampiro (2)

I'm enjoying seeing some of these names, but it looks like WCW before it collapsed. All the wrestlers, the announcers, the commentators, and the stage(they used to film Saturday Night there) and was really bland. That's a problem with TNA: every show looks the same because they're always in the same arena. Hulkster talked about all the problems and why it didn't get picked up: well, beat around the bush all you want, but it sucked.

1 Hulk Hogan v. Curt Henning (3)

The Lost Episodes of XWF - Disc 3

1. Drezden vsv. Marty Janetty - 3
2. Horace Hogan vs. Josh Matthews -1
3. Shane Twins vs. South Philly Posse - 3
4. AJ Styles vs. Kid Kash - 5
5. Vapor vs. Jimmy Snuka Jr. - 3
6. Curt Hennig and Ian Harrison vs. Vampiro and Buff Bagwell - 2
Bonus Match: Hulk Hogan vs. Curt Hennig - 4

All I remember from the first match was Janetty was high, and Drezden wished he were. I had trouble watching teenager Josh Matthews beat Horace, whom bumped for Mr. Pogo and company in FMW, when he hadn't even had his first taste of pussy (or dick) yet. I secretly love Public Enemy (South Philly Posse) even if their work sucks--maybe one day I'll wizen up. Still, their match here was atrocious in every sense of the word. AJ and Kash looked pretty good together, all things considered, this was the best singles match on the entire three-disc set. I still think AJ's large forehead is revolting, but not when compared to Kash's dirty hair. By watching the way Vapor moved around the ring, I knew right away he was Sakoda, his silly name didn't fool me. Jimmy Snuka Jr. should have been famous, but he now works at a swimwear shop on a beach somewhere, playing his Gameboy Color to kill time. The main event tag match was as hard to watch as the sex video featuring Kamala and Slick tagging some prostitute in Reno that appeared briefly on eBay last year--I've got my copy. In fact, I'd rather view Slick watching Kamala hit it from behind, contemplating why it's not as easy getting an erection as it used to be, and why he's sold out to being a stereotypical character for McMahon's empire than see guys bumping around the ring for Harrison's lethargic offense. The DVD ends with a bonus match, featuring Hennig and Hogan in an encounter that's worth watching just for its rarity. It's the typical Hogan match, where he gets his ass kicked, comes back, and scores a victory with a horrible leg drop--except he's now much flabbier and rigid. After the match, Hogan gives this interview where he even refers to himself as "blown up" and "fat", which is a side of Hogan we're not used to seeing, but then again, he probably didn't think many people would ever see this. The highlight of it is this face he makes, for just one second, where he sticks his tongue out of the corner of his mouth and tilts his head to the side like some kind of carnival goon or serial rapist, I freeze framed it and laughed hysterically looking at it for several minutes.

The Lost Episodes of the XWF - Disc 3

1) Marty Jannetty vs. Drezden - 1
2) Josh Matthews vs. Horace Hogan - 2
3) The South Philly Posse vs. The Shane Twins - 2
4) Kid Kash vs. A.J. Styles - 5
5) Jimmy Snuka Jr. vs. Vapor - 2
6) Buff Bagwell & Vampiro vs. Curt Hennig & Ian Harrison - 3
7) Hulk Hogan vs. Curt Hennig – 4

Jannetty was involved in yet another squash, this time losing to the no-name Drezden. You may know Josh Matthews from SmackDown! or Velocity, but did you know he actually wrestled at one time? Indeed he did and promptly handed Horace another loss. Speaking of Horace, I’ve come to the conclusion that the only reason he has a wrestling career (or lack thereof), is because of his uncle Hulk. The Shane Twins seem to be getting a moderate push here as they’re presented here in yet another match against an aged tag team, The South Philly Posse (a.k.a. Public Enemy). Kash and Styles was a fantastic encounter and I only wished they were given more time to craft a much better match. The remaining bouts on this disc were not pleasing at all. Hogan and Hennig was a bonus match and featured Hogan sticking his tongue out while making a silly face during a post match interview with Mean Gene.

Overall, this three-disc set reeked of WCW. The majority of the matches could’ve been seen on Thunder or Nitro during the dying years of WCW. The best matches were the cruiserweight matches, which weren’t given near enough time to be as good as they could’ve been. The longest segments on any disc featured Rena Mero and Roddy Piper arguing back and forth in what can only be described as 15-20 minutes of sheer boredom. If you were a fan of WCW, then swing over to Wal-Mart and grab this one up, otherwise you should probably avoid it.

The Lost Episodes of the XWF - Disc 2

1) Juventud Guerrera & Psychosis vs. Ray Gonzalez & Konnan - 5
2) Simon Diamond vs. Jerry “The King” Lawler - 1
3) Hail vs. Knuckles - 1
4) Johnny B. Badd vs. Norman Smiley - 4
5) The Road Warriors vs. The Shane Twins - 3
6) Curt Hennig vs. Buff Bagwell - 3

How do you follow up a terrific opener which involved four of the top Mexican superstars in wrestling? Why you follow it up with two downright wretched matches. Simon was headed for a good push in the tag division until he was pinned and subsequently buried by Lawler. By the way, Lawler is one of the announcers at ringside along with Tony Schiavone. Hail was successful in yet another squash. Norman Smiley is quickly becoming one of my favorite wrestlers and his match with Johnny B. Badd was a rather pleasant surprise. The Road Warriors stumbled quite a bit in their match with The Shane Twins. Hawk took a shoulder bump into the ringpost and damn near broke his neck when he took a spill to the floor. Hennig and Bagwell was yet again unmemorable, as is most of the matches on this set. Overall, this was much better than disc one.

The Lost Episodes of the XWF - Disc 1

1) Big Vito vs. Buff Bagwell - 3
2) Marty Jannetty vs. Hail - 1
3) Horace Hogan vs. Ian Harrison - 2
4) A.J. Styles vs. Kid Kash vs. Psychosis vs. Billy Fives vs. Prince Iaukea vs. Juventud Guerrera vs. Low Ki vs. Christopher Daniels – Battle Royal - 5
5) The Nasty Boys vs. The Shane Twins - 4
6) Curt Hennig vs. Vampiro – 4

Well, this is off to a rip-roaring start. Bagwell and Vito wasn’t great. It would’ve gotten a higher grade had Bagwell not totally screwed up his finisher. Jannetty and Hail was a total squash, as was Hogan and Harrison. The battle royal was a pleasant surprise but would’ve been better if more time was given to it. The Nasty Boys didn’t look as bad as I thought they would in their match against The Shane Twins, who you might recognize from Velocity as the Gymini. Hennig and Vampiro capped off this disc and presented yet another lackluster effort.

Monday, May 8, 2006

The Lost Episodes of XWF - Disc 2

1. Juventud Guerra and Psychosis vs. Konan and Ray Gonzalez - 3
2. Simond Diamond vs. Jerry Lawler - 1
3. Hail vs. Knuckles - 1
4. Johnny B. Badd vs. Norman Smiley -2
5. Shane Twins vs. Road Warriors - 3
6. Curt Hennig vs. Buff Bagwell - 2

The four guys in the opening tag match would have done this exact same match anywhere in the world, with little changes, as long as they were getting compensated for their efforts with fat checks and fatter burritos, and fat women, if at all available. Diamond and Lawler was easily the worst constructed excuse for a wrestling match I've had the displeasure of viewing in some time. Hail is back for another squash match, this time against unknown Knuckles, who has a floor to mop some place. I can't recall if Badd and Smiley was interesting or not, as I wasn't feeling it, but they both have homosexual tendencies and I think I'd rather watch what these guys do after the shows than during them. The only thing I want to see the Shane Twins and Road Warriors wrestling over is a bottle of pills. I can't forget the bump Hawk took, though; where he went to shoulderblock one of the Twins in the corner, they moved, he drilled the ringpost, and toppled out of the ring upside down, landing right on the back of his head and neck in a brutal folly. Later, Hawk is stumbling all over the place, either intoxicated or suffering from a mild concussion--or both. Curt can make most opponents look good, but you'd need a miracle to make Buff look like he's in a legitimate athletic contest.

Sunday, May 7, 2006

The Lost Episodes of XWF - Disc 1

1. Big Vito vs. Buff Bagwell - 3
2. Marty Jenetty vs. Hail - 2
3. Ian Harrison vs. Horace Hogan - 2
4. Cruiserweight Battle Royal - 4
5. Nasty Boys vs. Shane Twins - 2
6. Curt Hennig vs. Vampiro

These episodes should have stayed lost. Vito and Buff have arguably the most competent, albeit lackluster, match of the show. It's not unlike a match these two would have done on Thunder, and wouldn't have been that bad, had Buff's finisher looked even remotely believable. Jannetty comes down to the ring in shades, and you know it's because he has bloodshot eyes from partying the night prior. Hail is a muscle-bound moron, one of my least favorite categories of professional wrestlers, and looks in desperate need of a lobotomy. Ian Harrison looks partially pit bull, which doesn't say much for his mother and her sexual habits, and squashes Hulk's nephew Horace in a laughable encounter. The cruiserweight battle royal is entertaining, albeit short; none of the guys truly get chances to shine, with the exception of Low Ki (under the name Quick Kick) got in a tight sequence of kicks on Kid Kash at one point. I like tag team wrestling, and I must admit a strange fascination with Nasty Boys matches, only due to their stiffness and willingness to absolutely murder your head. Shane Twins suck something fierce, though, even if their look is a throwback to the days of the old, their ability is nil, like their rep with the ladies. Curt is a gifted performer, too bad he didn't feel like showcasing his talent on this occasion, as he puts over the always-unusual Vampiro.

Friday, May 5, 2006

ECW: It Ain't Seinfeld!- May 14,1998- Queens, NY

No, it certainly was not.

1 Justin Credible v. Jerry Lynn- 4- Lynn's first match in the Extreme wrestling world. It was short, but not without a glimmer of hope for what they could do in the future.

2 Sabu v. Danny Doring- 1- a ripe, pagan, bright yellow squash that's not good for consumption

3 Jamie Dundee v. Chris Candido- 2- Dundee tried to get some good ol' Georgia sun heat, but really couldn't. Another short match that didn't have any substance.

4 FBI v. Nova/ Blue Meanie- 1- a danceoff? a Freakin' danceoff? I'm so sick of seeing this shit! God, i really didn't like this.

5 Lance Storm v. Balls Mahoney- 4- They mixed well together, for a few brief moments, but i found it funny that you have one of the best steel chair strikers and one of the pussiest in the same match.

6 Mikey Whipwreck v. RVD-3- RVD uses every move he has in his arsenal in every match, and it gets old. He never learned not to do that. he should have had to sit in the corner or something. Mikey sucks.

7 Bam Bam Bigelow v. Axl Rotten-2- yet another squasharoo!

8 Dudleys/ Big Dick v. Sandman/ Dreamer/ Spike- 1- a mild, bland brawl that left a sour taste in my mouth, like i was the one who had to lick Buelah's tits. I mean, there's been more beer swilling rednecks on those things than at their local Wal-Mart.

ECW It Ain't Seinfeld 5/14/98

1. Justin Credible vs. Jerry Lynn - 4
2. Sabu vs. Danny Doring - 2
3. Jamie Dundee vs. Chris Candido - 3
4. Blue Meanie and Super Nova vs. FBI - 1
5. Lance Storm vs. Balls Mahoney - 3
6. Mikey Whipwreck vs. Rob Van Dam - 4
7. Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Axl Rotten - 3
8. Tommy Dreamer, Sandman, and Spike Dudley vs. Bubba, D-Von, and Big Dick Dudley - 3

Lynn and Credible have arguable the best match of the show--sadly, that is saying very little. Sabu squashed Doring in a lackluster bout; Sabu was more worried about setting up his lame garbage spots to even attempt selling Doring's putrid offense. Jamie Dundee is the definition of lazy indy worker, and Candido carries him to a almost watchable match. I hate when the BWO and FBI work together, it ends up breaking down into a total comedy spot fest, complete with atrocious dancing contests and wrestlers selling for referee's unbelievable offense. I lost interest in watching Storm sell Balls' punches after about two minutes in their dreadful encounter. Mikey bumped all around for Van Dam's patented offense; at one point while straddling the top rope, Van Dam gave him a spinkick right in the face that sent him flying to the floor in my personal favorite moment. I was strangely looking forward to Bam Bam and Axl, but it ended up being a rather quick squash so those hopes were dashed rather unceremoniously. The main event was a six-man brawling blunder--they should be ashamed of themselves, and by "they" I'm referring to the crowd who actually applauded such an insulting excuse for professional wrestling.

WWF Saturday Night's Main Event - 11/2/85

1) The Junkyard Dog vs. Terry Funk - 5
2) King Kong Bundy & Big John Studd vs. Hulk Hogan & Andre the Giant - 6
3) Randy Savage vs. Tito Santana - 3
4) Ricky Steamboat vs. Mr. Fuji – 4

Man, was this ever a hidden gem! I liked the JYD vs. Funk match more than I should have. It was a really interesting match to watch because of the clash of styles. The tag match wasn’t really that memorable but provided for another fun match to watch. The final two bouts were nothing short of standard TV bouts which ran less that five or six minutes. Now then, this was a Halloween themed show which meant there some pretty funny skits were included in the program. Probably the best one was when Roddy Piper was handing out Halloween candy to kids. It was an absolute smash to watch and proves that vintage WWF programs such as this are just as fun and ten times better than what you see on Raw or SmackDown today.

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Performer Analysis: Raven

Raven was born Scott Levy on September 8, 1964( which yes, does make him 42) He has competed in every major promotion in North America for the last 15 years, including WWE, WCW, ECW, TNA, & ROH, and has enjoyed great success in all. He was trained by Larry Sharpe, Charlie Fulton, The Shiek, and Jake Roberts at different times in his career. He made his debut on March 20, 1988 for PNW.

1 Innovation- 5/10- There is one category where Scott Levy made some innovation in professional wrestling: that would be in character. He, assuredly along with Paul Heyman, created his most successful incarnation in Raven, a depressed, self destructive, masochist that sought out attention where ever he went. It was something very new and innovative and the fans hated him with a passion, but as time grew over the years and the promotions, he achieved a small following, that was cult like and is heralded as one of the more original and bizarre, as well as cutting edge characters in wrestling.

2 Conditioning- 3/10- Scott Levy has never been a body builder, or a gymnast or even in that great of shape. That's no secret; part of the reason was his devotion to his nihilistic character, and part was his problems with drug and alcohol addiction. But, he has had some long hard fought matches, and has moderate endurance, but the physical aspect of wrestling was not his strong suit.

3 Ring Skill- 6/10- Scott Levy as Raven was known for taking punishment and he did so for many years in ECW. He has punished his body in many ways and done so for the apreciation of wrestling. He isn't the best bumper ,and in recent years, has been hard fought to gel with most of his opponents. But, he has good facials and knows that everything in a match means something, and you don't have to kill yourself each time out there to put on a great match.

4 Character/ Psychology- 10/10- Raven is Scott Levy and Scott Levy is Raven. That was what he realized he had to do to make that character a success in wrestling. Raven is very knowlegeable in the business and took his character the other way instead of trying to be the biggest or the prettiest. He engulfed himself in Raven and really made the fans believe that he was that person. He continues to dig into the depths of solitude to this day to get that same effect.

5 Interviews- 10/10- He is gold on the mic. His TNA promos have become much more entertaining than his WWE stuff. His violent descriptions of what he will do to his opponents is very entertaining and enjoyable and he seems to really get into his interviews. Raven is said to have an IQ of 143 which is really high, and he plays on that as well by using vocabulary that the common fan wouldn't know or understand; another great nuance of his character.

6 Face/ Heel- 6/10- Raven's ECW Heel was, to me, one of the best they had ever had, surpassing Shane Douglas. Raven in WCW as a heel, was not as entertaining. Raven as a heel in WWE was stale and boring, and Raven as a heel in TNA was a little more exciting. Raven as a face has been few and far between, but is never recognized as being very effective. The fans have gotten behind him in WWE and TNA, but those pushes were really not paid attention to. His unique vocab and odd quirks are what makes him a good heel, but i wouldn't say he's one of the best.

7 Basics- 3/10- I've never been impressed with Raven's basics the few little times i've seen them. He has mainly relied on hardcore wrestling for most of the last ten years. His punches are not that good, and his transitions haven't changed much over the last ten years either.

8 Fans- 7/10- Raven can get a crowd to hate him, as he has over the last decade, but he does it with not much effort. He's not as over the top as some heels, and he mainly works his opponent instead of the crowd. In TNA, he has received the most cheers of his career, in my eyes, and has played up to rather well.

9 Matches/ Opponents- 9/10- His two most historic feuds were big career makers for Raven. His mislead youth campaign against Tommy Dreamer that stemmed from a bad teen camp experience lasted two years with Raven only being pinned once by Dreamer in the finale. Then, there was his feud with Sandman that saw Raven brainwash his wife and child against him until it concluded in a series of violent matches, including a barb wire match. Raven had several other feuds in his career of note like DDP, Chris Benoit, Saturn, and James Mitchell, and has faced most top names in the last 10 years, although he never really broke into the upper echelon and faced the Hogans, the Flairs, the Rocks' and Harts. So, missed points for not having faced the main stars of wrestling.

10 Gutcheck- 5/10- I wouldn't classify Raven as a gutsy performer, even though he has been involved in violent hardcore wars. He has had a noted foot problem and been plagued with minor injuries over the years, but nothing that i would classify inspirational.

Final Score: 65
Ranking: Superstar
PO: Thumbs Middle

Thanks for reading and also like to thank and for help on my last two analysis.

TNA Lockdown '06

1. Team USA (Dutt, Shelley, Lethal) vs. Team Japan (Goto, Tanaka, Black Tiger) - 6
2. Christopher Daniels vs. Shinshi - 6
3. Bob Armstrong vs. Konnan - Arm Wrestling - 1
4. Chase Stevens vs. Petey Williams vs. Puma vs. Chris Sabin vs. Elix Skipper vs. Shark Boy - 4
5. Sabu vs. Samoa Joe - 4
6. Team 3-D vs. Team Canada - Anthem Match - 3
7. Christian vs. Abyss - 5
8. Sting's Warriors (Sting, Styles, Truth, Rhino) vs. Jarrett’s Army (Jarrett, AMW, Steiner) - Lethal Lockdown - 5

Last year's Lockdown ranked right behind WWE's New Years Revolution as the worst pay-per-view of the year -- it was insultingly awful. I'd rather be locked in a cage myself, devoid of food or human contact, than attempt to rationalize why someone thought a show containing nothing but cage matches is a wonderful idea. The opener was fun to watch, but I did to say a couple things before moving forward. First off, Black Tiger isn't Japanese guy -- he just brought a picture of a one with him when he went to Supercuts. He really wants us to believe he is, but he's about as Japanese as 10-inch penis. To top it off, Black Tiger was Eddy Guerrero's gimmick in Japan -- how dare they disgrace his memory with this loser. That aside, this was the most fluid and worthwhile wrestling on the entire show. Shinshi (formerly Low Ki) was a pleasant surprise -- too bad he was extremely toned down, and yet still, Daniels couldn't hang with him. These guys have worked far better matches together, that being said, this was still one of the highlights of the show. Armstrong should have left the wrestling scene after SMW folded in the 90’s; instead, we're forced to watch this old bastard eat up valuable time. He should be at Bob Evan's eating pie, not strapping Konnan's back. The cruiserweight match could have been awesome, but it was mostly forgettable, save for Chase doing a shooting star press off of the top of the cage and absolutely nobody catching him.

Sabu and Joe was thoroughly disappointing -- in an interview, Joe said he was going to try and have the match of his career. Instead, we got a uninspired squash match, and I'd rather watch Joe's early stuff in UPW than see him further disgrace the legacy of Sabu. The anthem match was the worst thing on this show, containing sloppy work, ridiculous story, and a retched finish. Eric Young's flying elbowdrop through a table looked like shit -- and he knows it. Abyss pummeled Christian for most of their match, and I have to be frank, I'm not buying Christian as championship material. His defenses thus far have been lackluster, and this only further cemented my suspicions. I won't even get into how Abyss was the only guy here who took decent bumps, and Cage's splash off of the top of the cage didn't impress me very much. The main event could have been a classic; instead it bombed like Hogan's acting career. It started off good, AMW methodically working over AJ, but as it progressed it got more congested than New York traffic. Sting and Jarrett, the veterans, looked especially bad. By the end of the match, we were looking around at guys who were crawling across or lying on the canvas, wondering how in the hell they got there, and what exactly it was they were doing there. Style and Storm got on top of the cage, which had a roof, and subsequently did one of the more bizarre spots I've seen in quite some time. AJ put Storm on a table on the cage's roof, then used a ladder to hang from the lighting grid, where he fell off splashing Storm through the table. Interesting? Certainly. Believable? Most assuredly not. This was supposed to be a bloody fight -- a war, in fact, but was instead a poorly designed, constructed, and executed farce. Shame on you eight men! You stained the memory of the classic War Games matches of WCW, and made a mockery of the business we love. Please go back to retirement, Sting; and take your Warriors with you.

TNA Lockdown 2006

1) Sonjay Dutt, Jay Lethal, & Alex Shelley vs. Black Tiger, Minoru Tanaka, & Hiroki Goto - 6
2) Christopher Daniels vs. Senshi (Low-Ki) - 6
3) Bullet Bob Armstrong vs. Konnan – Arm Wrestling Match - 0
4) Elix Skipper vs. Petey Williams vs. Puma vs. Chase Stevens vs. Shark Boy vs. Chris Sabin – Xscape Match - 6
5) Samoa Joe vs. Sabu - 5
6) Team Canada vs. Team 3-D – Anthem Match – 4
7) Christian Cage vs. Abyss - 4
8) Jeff Jarrett, Scott Steiner, & America’s Most Wanted vs. A.J. Styles, Ron Killings, Sting, & Rhino – Lethal Lockdown Match – 5

Now honestly, does TNA really think that an all cage match pay-per-view will sell? It’s obvious that they do because it’s the second year they presented this lackluster event. The opening match was really, really good. It wasn’t groundbreaking and contained a lot of stuff that everyone who follows TNA has seen before but for some reason, maybe it was the international flavor of the match, made it really fun to watch. Daniels and Senshi was once again very intriguing but once again featured everything that you’ve seen before. Arm wrestling in a steel cage? Give me a fucking break! I don’t really need to explain any further do I? Now then, in an attempt to revive the crowd from the previous snorefest, the Xscape Match was once again a solid match. Some cool spots made it worth watching but the finish was totally uninspired.

Kicking off the second half of the show was the match that I was looking forward to, Samoa Joe vs. Sabu. I was expecting these guys to go at least 15-20 minutes but instead we get a ten-minute squash that absolutely helped no one involved. When it was originally booked, it was supposed to help elevate Joe into the heavyweight division, but that idea was totally killed when Joe won the X Division title on the 4/13 episode of Impact. Team 3-D vs. Team Canada was the basic meeting between these two but the stipulation here was that the winner could sing their country’s national anthem. For the record, 3-D won but they never showed the crowd singing the anthem on TV. Christian had another subpar title defense against Abyss. Unlike his previous defense against Monty Brown, there was some chemistry but Christian totally refusing to take a back bump on the thumbtacks really makes me wonder about him. Hey, at least Edge went through a flaming table at WrestleMania! Take a hint Christian. The main event was similar in style to a War Games match but without two rings, the action is severely limited. Styles and Storm did a spot on top of the cage in the highlight of the match. Overall, the show as a whole was a bit of a let down and Time Warner Cable should really owe me $30 for this fiasco.