Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Performer Analysis: Lita

Ah, Amy Dumas, what a career you've had. You wrote a book, got on a TV show, won the Women's Title, had a live sex celebration on TV, where do I begin?

1) Innovation- 3/10
When Lita came to the WWF in the late 90's, she was pulling off high spots that no woman had tried... in America, well, since the Jumping Bomb Angels in the late 80's. But, it was something the new generation of viewers had not seen on their wrestling programs. While her style proved her successful for a while, after injuring her neck on Dark Angel (which got canceled right after) she cut that off. Now, she barely climbs to the top.

2) Conditioning- 4/10
At one point, Lita was in great shape, patented that little thong showing out of the pants, you know, and was in great shape. But, since ruining Matt Hardy's life, she let herself fill out and has barely wrestled. And when she has, she hasn't shown any stamina. Not to mention the rumors of her drug use along with Jeff Hardy.

3) Skill- 2/10
Lita, at once, was considered possibly the greatest women's wrestler WWE had ever seen. That is a harsh farce. She executes the same moves in every match, with varying degrees of success every time. You would think you could at least master a few moves you've done over and over again. Hell, she broke her neck doing a hurricanrana, which was one of her signature moves. Her sells are horrible; she usually gets hit and flops to the mat like a writhing fish. Her work is among the worst of the women currently wrestling.

4) Psychology- 2/10
Lita isn't a story teller. I hope her future kids realize this. She gets great heat usually, but her matches are always duds. She can't pull her audience into the match at all. That is a bad sign. She has been in the business at least ten years now, and should be able to pull her own weight. This is not the case.

5) Interviews- 1/10
Worst mic work in WWE, bar none. She doesn't have a good voice, she doesn't have a good vocabulary, and she never has anything to say. Her acting in vignettes has always been atrocious and I don't see it improving in the future. I literally cringe whenever she gets promo time.

6) Character (face/heel) - 6/10
Lita was largely over as a face, and actually could pull off the face in peril role, and her daredevil tactics worked well. As a heel, she is hated, largely due to her real life drama involving Hardy and Edge, but she tries to play the role regardless and has been consistently hated since. Disregarding her match work, she has pulled off both sides questionably well.

7) Basics-2/10-
Whoever trained her should be hiding their face in shame. I've never seen her pull off any basic wrestling skills. Her punches look like flailing arms drowning in the ocean. Her transitions are non-existent. She is incredibly atrocious.

8) Fans- 10/10-
Wow! I can't believe it either. But, even I, an avid Lita detester, have to admit in an unbiased way that the fans do react to her, until she gets in the ring. When she debuted and then with the Hardy's, she was nearly as popular as anyone on the roster. And now, as Edge's sex puppet, she is incredibly despised. As far as playing the roles up, she is still far off, but as a general reaction from a normal fan, she gets tons of heat.

9) Match/ Opponent- 2/10-
Lita hasn't had any memorable feuds except for the one with Trish that has been dragged on for the last two years. They had one stellar match that actually main evented a RAW maybe last year and that kind of work hasn't been seen from her since.

10) Gutcheck-2/10-
Before Lita's injury, I would give her credit for all the bumps she would take. After her injury, she became nearly a cripple. It took her much longer than usual to recover, and after she did come back, she wrestled part time and half assed. Now, her career in ring is nearly invisible. I don't think she has what it takes to be a full time wrestler and is better off semi retired.
Final Rating: 35
Ranking: Jobber
PO: Thumbs Down

OVW TV - 9/30/06

1) Ryan Reeves & Jon Bolen vs. Eddie Craven & Mike Kruel – 3
2) Oleg Prudius vs. Johnny Punch, Devin Driscoll, & The Real McCoy – Handicap Match – 1
3) Charles Evans vs. Gunner Scott – 3
4) Joey Mercury vs. Paul Burchill – 4
5) Elijah Burke vs. Chet the Jet – 4
6) Cody Runnels & Shawn Spears vs. Deuce & Domino – 4

Reeves and Bolen looked decent in the opening tag match. I find it doubtful right now that they would fit in with WWE right now but with some more refinement, they could be a solid team on any of the three main rosters. I don’t really remember much of what happened except that a run-in by former HWA standout Shawn Osborne cost them the match. Prudius failed to impress me for the second week in a row. Apparently his three opponents were the same three people he squashed right in a row last week. I have a strong feeling that Prudius will the next Great Khali because he’s very limited and is terrible on the mic. Evans and Scott had a rather good match, albeit not as good as the match from the previous week. Scott won by count-out after Evans took a hike to retain the TV title in what is building up to be a nice feud. Mercury and Burchill had the match of the night as far as I’m concerned. This was Mercury’s return match following his stint in rehab. I guess OVW is pushing Burchill as one mean bastard because he sure looked like it. He’s also dropped the pirate gimmick, so now he has some credibility. Burke and Chet had another solid match were Burke worked the heel, unlike last week when they worked face against face. The main event featured nothing to me. I don’t know jack squat about these guys. Deuce and Domino haven’t impressed me from what I’ve seen of them as they’re apparently hipsters from the 50s. Runnels and Spears still looked green so I guess you could say the rating was generous. One thing that did amuse me was their play-by-play guy looks like Captain Kangaroo and their color guy looks like Jabba the Hutt. Now that’s quite a combination.

WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event 11/29/86

1. Randy “Macho Man” Savage vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts – 6
2. Hercules vs. Hulk Hogan – 5
3. “Cowboy” Bob Orton vs. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper – 2
4. Killer Bees vs. Hart Foundation – 4
5. Koko B. Ware vs. Nikolai Volkoff – 3
6. Dick Slater vs. Magnificent Muraco – 2

The opening match pitted two tremendous workers together in a great way to start any show. Jake’s in-ring psychology was unprecedented, and Savage was always a workhorse. Hercules and Hogan wasn’t a technical masterpiece, but the crowd ate it up, and it’s nice to occasionally revisit an old Hogan match during the peak of his initial popularity. Orton and Piper, former friends and teammates, went at it here in a match I was anticipating; unfortunately, it didn’t even last two minutes. Killer Bees and Hart Foundation are two top-notch teams, have had good matches together previously, but that being said, this wasn’t too memorable nor that good. Koko and Volkoff was pretty much a squash for the Russian heel, but Koko was a ball of fire, and a joy to watch, as he seemed to have a tireless energy and ethic that was admirable. Muraco and Slater are two tough dudes, but it was obvious this was a throwaway match. They gave it a couple minutes, basically allowed Slater to get the early offensive, and then the dastardly Muraco got the victory. Apparently, they put the stars on earlier, especially Hogan, so kids could see their favorites before bedtime. I don’t blame ‘em, any kid growing up modeling themselves in their formative years after Dick Slater would be in a world of trouble. The show’s ending credits scrolled by while we were treated to the vocal stylings of Phil Collins.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

WWF Royal Rumble 88

The first every Rumble; let's see how it all got started!

1 Rick Rude v. Ricky Steamboat-7- An absolutely fabulous match that never got ahead of itself. Wonderful basic wrestling that showcased both men. When they finally got to even a power slam, it was as if the wrestling world had never seen one. Excellent match until the DQ finish, which nearly ruins great matches like these.

2 Glamour Girls v. Jumping Bomb Angels( 2 of 3 Falls Match)- 6- The Bomb Angels were ahead of the curve in wrestling, not just women's but wrestling in general. The old Glamour's bumped well for them, and played decently nasty heels. The Bomb Angels won the Women's Tag Belts in a very pleasing encounter.

3 20 Man Royal Rumble-5- The match showcased some great wrestlers, including Tito Santana, Bret Hart, Jim Brunzell, and Jake Roberts. They piled into the ring and kept fighting and fighting until one man was left and that man was Hacksaw!? What? Okay, well, he didn't do much to earn it, and the last six guys or so were all big brawny brawlers. I didn't care for much of it past the middle because it turned into a slow punch fest.

4 Islanders v. Young Stallions( Best of 3 Falls Match)- 4- I don't get why two teams, neither of who are the champs are in a 2 of 3 Falls Match, and why it main evented but it fared decently. The Stallions showed some fire and sold their injuries well and the Islanders beat them down unmercilessly. Both teams pulled off their respective roles nicely.

WWF Raw Hits Video

1) Bret Hart vs. The 1-2-3 Kid – 5
2) Shawn Michaels vs. The British Bulldog – 5
3) Lex Luger vs. Tatanka – Steel Cage Match – 4
4) Alundra Blayze vs. Bull Nakano – 5
5) Bret Hart, Bob Holly, & The 1-2-3 Kid vs. Owen Hart, Yokozuna, & Hakushi – 4

This tape opens immediately with the old Monday Night Raw intro and music and is hosted by Stan Lane. All the matches are clipped in some spots to allow them to fit on this hour long tape. Bret and the Kid had a pretty satisfying match. Kid did a nice senton to the floor but overshot Bret by a bit and landed hard. Bret won with the sharpshooter after a very grueling twenty minute encounter. Michaels and Bulldog had a nice little match which could be mainly seen as the quintessential WWF-mid 90’s TV main event. There was some interference by Sid and Michaels bumped big. The cage match with Luger and Tatanka was kept short and pretty simple. Luger won after a big forearm clothesline from the middle rope. The women’s match was highlighted by Nakano hitting a suicide dive and Blayze hitting a German suplex on the floor. Blayze won the title after another nice suplex. The six-man tag wasn’t anything special, although it was pretty neat to see a young Bob Holly mix it up with Yokozuna. I’d mildly recommend this one for the Bret/Kid match and the women’s match, everything else can be skipped.

WWF Royal Rumble ‘88

1. “Ravishing” Rick Rude vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat – 7
2. Jumping Bomb Angels vs. Glamour Girls – 7
3. 20-Man Royal Rumble – 5
4. Islanders vs. Young Stallions – 4

Rude and Steamboat had a really solid match, minus the ending involving the ref bump and false finish. It went pretty long, mostly with the action surrounding Ricky working Rude’s arm. It was a methodical and well-thought out match, the type you’re not likely to see today, and footage the date rapists in the Spirit Squad should be studying. I’m a big Jumping Bomb Angels fans, in fact, they’re one of my favorite tag teams. There was some pretty fantastic back-and-forth style stuff going on here, denying of tags, etc. What really helped give the match the grade I gave it was the totally rad finish, involving the Angels’ doing simultaneous missile dropkicks from the top buckles, and making it look way cooler than when The Rockers would ever attempt it.

The Royal Rumble was significant in that it was the first, but outside of that history lesson, it wasn’t too climatic. There was no overlying story arch, or crowd favorite to really get behind. Bret Hart stayed in a long time, which was a pleasant surprise, and it was nice to see other guys make appearances like Butch Reed and One Man Gang. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan won it all, though, easily one of his career highlights. It featured a ton of bad brawling, per usual; the award for best elimination was Sam Houston, who took a hellacious bump, and the winner for the worst was Ron Bass, who literally took a couple steps and jumped himself over the top rope. The last match was a throwaway tag, built upon Stallion Paul Roma hurting his leg mid-match, and his partner trying to thwart the crazy foreigners from royally fucking his shit up. My personal opinion is the Young Stallions should have got into the porn industry instead of wrestling; they’d have made more money, exploited more people, got more pussy while rocking Aerosmith b-sides, and wouldn’t have retired having only a story of the time Haku headbutted them… really hard.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

No Prom Date #1

Here's a collection of matches, randomly watched by me over the last few months that have no cohesive place together, but still have earned a review.

1 Van Hammer v. Joe Cruz (WCW Saturday Night- 1992)- 2

Whatever incompetent idiot that was running WCW that week LOVED this gimmick and wanted to push him to the moon. Well, it must have gotten to the rocker's head because he bounced this fat jobber all over the ring like a bouncy ball you get from a 25 cents machine. It was a fun squash match to watch though because Hammer had no remorse that the guy wasn't making anywhere near the money Hammer was, that he had an ugly mullet AND an ugly moustache, plus the fact he was pale and fat and probably had no dating prospects. I hope no one reads this and thinks I hate all of those qualities in a person; I don't: Van Hammer does.

2 Edge v. Christian (Steel Cage Match; WWF Rebellion '01)- 4

Ah, the Brothers Prim! I remember their feud being built up to pretty well, even though anyone with an IQ higher than a 4 could see it coming (my apologies, Test; I'm sure you saw it coming, too) This match was from a PPV in England and I don't know if they though the fans had bad eye sight or what, but these guys didn't sell a single move like it hurt them. They started in on their "big" bumps, but never showed any pain on their face; they simply hit the ground hard and stayed there. It was like watching the 2 Crash Test Dummies do spots with each other, of course, there's would probably be a lot sicker. And they both looked like rejects from a Cats audition, with their silly, mangy blonde hair.

3 Scotty 2 Hotty v. The Hurricane (WWF Rebellion '01)- 5

I was pleased with this match. It got some decent time and they both seemed willing to do something with it other than flinging boogers back stage at the agent's kids. Hurricane wasn't really trying too hard at the time, I recall, but put effort into a throwaway that probably no one would ever see. I like that.

4 Paul Orndorff v. Ron Garvin (Piledriver Match; SMW Fire on the Mountain '92)- 6

Kudos to you, old veterans. You're very smart; you realized you could go to Smoky Mountain and wrestle, and use your mastery at wrestling psychology to get you through a match rather than bumping your ass off for it; and I have no problem with it. You take a match like this, where all you have to do is hit a move on someone; it's every gimmick match you've ever seen stripped down to it's utmost core, it's most vulnerable, it's most naked. Then, you tease it; you tease that piledriver, you taunt it, you fake it, and then you hit it! You hit it! You finally put that guy's face between your legs, then lift him up, ass in the air, so close you can smell what he Shatner'ed out last night after supper, and you thrust him downwards into the mat. It's a brilliant concept and it's exhilirating. It's the best I've ever had. I mean, seen.

5 Sting v. Meng (WCW Bash at the Beach '95)- 5

This show was held out on a beach somewhere in Florida, where the fans could flock around the ring, with suntan lotion in hand. The ring looked really small when these two got in it and they didn't waste any motion. It was all heavy hands and power moves from then on out. Sting won in a decent lengthed match that didn't lose my attention or enthrall me with amazing athletic skill. Sting did take a hell of a kick from the savage Meng, though. His video package before the match was pretty damn scary too.

6 Austin Aries v. Samoa Joe (ROH Escape from New York '05)- 6

These two had a tremendous run with the ROH World Title over 2005 and they didn't stop there. They went Pure. Oh yeah, that awesome belt that took wrestling by storm. It never added anything different to a match, just hindered it, in my eyes. But, you wouldn't have known it to see this match. They barely had to acknowledge the Pure rules during it. Both guys may be at the top of their game against each other because their moves were crisp, their sequences were exciting and they both seem to get off on clean finishes. That really works for me because I get off on them, too, in ways I'm not going to go into here. It's not the appropriate place. Meet me at Pearl's Diner, in Hamilton, Oh. There. That's an appropriate place.

7 Nigel McGuinness v. Colt Cabana (European Rules)- 4

This match is a novelty. It should only be dusted off occassionally, yet every time I turn around and watch a ROH tape, these two are pulling this old trick. Make no mistake about it; they are both very good at this match, but I really would like something more. If I felt like it all wasn't so rehearsed, maybe I would care more.

8 Chris Carnage v. Cody Hawk (HWA Road to Destiny Online PPV)- 3

Carnage (who has the stereotypical lame indy name) came to the ring with Cricket, a midget dressed like a pimp. I guess instead of a slap, you get a shin kick. Anyways, he faced Cody Hawk, the "HWA icon." Yeah, I'm sure a lot of local indy guys were just searching for some old shit kicker wrestler who became a icon only because he couldn't get out of the territory he was stuck in. Ask Cody Hawk if he'd rather be an HWA icon, or a WWE jobber; if he says he turn down the money, he's a liar and a natural for the wrestling business. The match itself was pretty sloppy, especially the finishing Musclebusters that were so horrendously attempted.

9 D-X/ Ric Flair v. Spirit Squad (WWE Raw- Nov. 27, 2006)- 3

This was another ego trip for D-X, masqueraded as a tribute to Flair, but also a proverbial bullet to the heads of the Spirit Squad, who apparently were shipped to OVW on 3 week delivery. Even the toilet paper and Danny Davis' Depends come quicker than that.

10 Samoa Joe v. Kurt Angle (TNA Genesis)- 6

All you marks out there that couldn't wait to see this match actually believe it is the greatest match of all time, or at least certainly match of the year. I disagree vehemently. This was a good match with elements of a great match squeezed into it. It started off with a brawl, then sick spots outside, then Angle bleeding, then Joe punishing him, then finishers, then near falls, then the predictable ending with Angle tapping out Joe. Now, there's a rematch: I wonder who is going to win? These two men are wrestlers, no matter how Vince Russo will portray them on TV, so they should get to wrestle, with no restrictions or time constraints, or storylines. I ordered that PPV on the basis of a "dream match" because there aren't that many left in the Sports entertainment world, yet I was left with blue balls for a quick squirt of a wonderful, wait a minute, what am I talking about? We were left with a rushed version of the match we all wanted to see. Thanks, TNA and Thanks, Vince Russo, you ignorant horses' ass.

HWA World War III: War Games 2006

After holding this event the last three years at the spacious Montgomery County Fairgrounds, they moved to the super small Dayton Gym Club this year. I had a seat in the balcony and my friend chatted for a bit with Jimmy Yang. As is the norm for an indy show, it was very hit or miss. As for what hit and what missed … I suppose you’ll just have to read on.

1) Déjà Vu vs. Quinten Lee – 3
2) Robby Starr vs. Jeff Cannon vs. Christian Vaughn – 4
3) Ala Hussein vs. Tack – 2
4) Ric Byrne vs. Gotti – Naughty or Nice Match – 1
5) Brian Beech vs. Kimera – Hardcore Match – 3
6) 100-Man Two Ring Battle Royal – 3
7) Matt Stryker vs. Jon Moxley vs. Brian Jennings vs. J.T. Stahr – 5
8) Andre Heart vs. Josh Rafferty – 4
9) Heather Owens & A.J. Sparx vs. Naveah & Lexi Lane – 1
10) The Mavericks & Scottie Murray vs. Irish Airborne & Ganger – War Games Rules Match – 5

Lee and big Vu had a match that was a bit better than I was expecting it to be. Vu showed some agility for a big man and Lee worked as a standard heel. Afterward, Lee started a slow face turn on manager Patrick Black and partner Ala Hussein. The three way dance was from the OCW (Ohio Championship Wrestling) promotion and, unlike matches from other promotions in the past, was suprisingly good. I didn’t know who any of the guys in the match were except for Starr because the house mic was a bit muffled. Hussein, who I mentioned earlier, needs to be killed just as quickly as his namesake was. Tack showed some signs of brilliance but mainly came across as a mini-Bryan Danielson. The naughty or nice match looked like something that would be dreamed up in Vince Russo’s head and came across as something that came out of his ass. The object to this clusterfuck of a match was to grab an item from a box and use it on your opponent. The funniest part of the match was were Gotti teased doing a cross body from the top turnbuckle into the crowd and then apparently had a quick case of vertigo and jumped down. The hardcore match was advertised as thumbtacks and barbed wire. I think only the wire was used, albeit very briefly. The rest of the time was spent fighting basically a regular match. There really wasn’t much to it and I was pissed afterwards because they had advertised tacks but didn’t deliver. Closing out the first half of the show was the traditional “Super Indy” battle royal. Aside from the HWA guys, I had no idea who any of these guys were because not only was the house mic muffled like I mentioned before, but there was a really crappy scream-o band playing all 100 guys to the ring. The match itself was better than in years past because they didn’t drag it out and kept it, I believe, under ten minutes.

During intermission, the crappy band played once again as I wondered who was in charge of booking the musical talent. Here’s a quick note to the HWA promoters … rock bands and pro wrestling do not mix! They’ve had bands at every one of these shows except for the first one and every single band has sucked major donkey dick. Now then, the four way match kicked off the second half of the show. I was actually amazed at how good everyone seemed to work together. Moxley returned from Puerto Rico to regain the title and give the match the fire that it needed. The weakest link of the match was Jennings as he was the only one who didn’t really seem to fit in with the rest of them. The match was also advertised as an elimination match but ended up being a sudden death match in the second false advertisement of the night. Rafferty’s match was an elongated squash that furthered his feud with Stryker by making Heart tap out to the ankle lock or, as Rafferty called it, the Stryker lock. The women’s tag match was a sack of shit. The only person who looked like they actually came to work hard was Sparx. Lane looked like an anorexic beach bunny and needs to go back to ramming bums on the street corner for fun. I have nothing good to say about Naveah either because when we tried to have a quick chat with her after the match, she was a total asshole. The main event was good except for the fact that they only used one ring. The thing about war games matches is that they are designed for two rings, because honestly, trying to fit that many people in one ring would be absurd. Anyway, the match progressed rather smoothly but then only five guys came out. I was totally confused because apparently they were trying to sell the fact that one of the Mavericks got beat up backstage, or got stuck in traffic, or some other thing. The missing member, who happened to be Aaron Williams, appeared near the end of the match selling the fact that he got beat up backstage. He came through the crowd and hit a sick cross body from the top of the cage onto the opposing team.

Overall Thoughts:
Like I said in the opening, large indy shows like this are really hit or miss, and this one had its fair share of both hits and misses. The three way from OCW was a pleasant surprise as was the four way match and the main event. Everything else was either just above average or downright terrible. This was an entertaining show and drew a good sized crowd for being up against the giant UFC show. Much like a Ring of Honor show, I would recommend seeing big HWA show like this live but just avoid the DVD release because it really takes away from the environment of being there and witnessing it for yourself.

WWE Backlash ‘04

1. Shelton Benjamin vs. Ric Flair – 5
Shelton and Ric didn’t work together flawlessly, but I still felt this was a pretty solid opener. To this day, Benjamin’s still learning a lot in the ring, and becoming a better performer. Here, a battle weary veteran, the legendary and lumpy Flair, led the youngster to a decent bout. The finish, coming after a less than spectacular top-rope clothesline by Shelton, was pretty weak; but the crowd seemed to enjoy this.

2. Jonathan Coachman vs. Tajiri - 2
Coachman showed that he could wrestle, or at least a little bit. Coming from an athletic background, he managed to not look too bad, nailing a few decent takeovers and armdrags. The crowd couldn’t care less, though; plus, the finish, featuring interference by borderline bottom dweller Lance Cade, was poor.

3. Chris Jericho vs. Christian and Trish Stratus – Handicap Match - 5
This was an average match, at best, but more built around story than action. Jericho did take a decent bump to the floor, though, and did what he could to make this one worth watching. Christian just doesn’t have enough skill, in my opinion, to be a top-level heel, or face, for that matter. Trish didn’t do much, outside of bounce around a lot, for maximum cleavage fun.

4. Victoria vs. Lita - 4
A pretty slow-paced woman’s match, but better than a lot of what we got in 2006. They actually gave it a little bit of time, and although the strikes, like most WWE women’s matches, were incredibly weak, it wasn’t an altogether bad effort. Lita tried to roll out of the way of a top-rope Victoria moonsault, but didn’t move quickly enough, and Victoria ended up landing face first on Lita’s legs. Victoria also did her little jiggle, which looks like Electro is fingering her, before a standing moonsault.

5. Mick Foley vs. Randy Orton – No Holds Barred Match - 8
This was pretty solid for a wild WWE brawl. Both guys bled a lot, used barbwire, chairs, tables, and thumbtacks. Orton earned a lot of people’s respect, after taking a shirtless bump into the thousands of thumbtacks. The end, Foley being pinned after taking an RKO on a barbwire baseball bat, was kind of anticlimactic following such a thrilling build-up. Still, this is one of the more chaotic matches in recent WWE history.

6. The Hurricane and Rosey vs. La Resistance - 3
An unmemorable tag match, that was sadly void of any ingenuity or creativity. I’d rather watch Le Resistance stick French bread up Rosey’s chapped asshole.

7. Kane vs. Edge - 3
This was Edge’s big return match, and boy, did it ever immediately put me to sleep. Kane’s so ridiculously predictable and unappealing.

8. Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Benoit - 8
This was a really good main event, and especially important, as it took place in Benoit’s hometown, so the crowd was extremely hot. Triple H’s contributions were nil, and Michaels, as he sometimes does, had a dumb hollow look on his face, and didn’t perform nearly to the level he’s capable of. Benoit worked hard, though; still, this could have been a lot better. I’d have rated it a little lower, but thought the finish, seeing Michaels cleanly submit to Benoit, was a great ending, and gave the raucous crowd exactly what they wanted for once.

9. Val Venis vs. Matt Hardy - 4
This was a DVD bonus match, from Sunday Night Heat; and, while I like both of these guys, this was wrestled as a Sunday Night Heat match, and nothing more. That is to say, these two have a potentially great match in them, but we were given an eight-minute, moderately enjoyable, yet safe, match.

Overall, I thought this was a pretty solid pay-per-view, and subsequently DVD. I was really enjoying myself watching the first-half of the show, but man, after Orton and Foley’s massacre, things started taking a turn for the suck real suddenly. When this show originally aired, I watched it in a sweltering hot living room, in some godforsaken hellhole neighborhood; I remembered falling asleep during the handicap match, Orton’s big bump, and not much else. So, it was nice to give it another chance on DVD. The bonus features are pretty forgettable, mostly bad pre- and post-match promos, notably a Foley interview, complete with bloody face. I had a bloody face, too; after reading Foley’s novel Scooter.

Monday, January 15, 2007

WCW Bash at the Beach July 7,1996

This is one of the most notorious PPV’s of all time, possibly WCW’s biggest and most famous. They stacked the show and put Tony Schiavone, Dusty Rhodes and Bobby Heenan in the broadcast booth.

Main Event Pre-Show

1 Harlem Heat v. Steiner Brothers- 3
Both teams looked very good, very crisp offensively. They worked a quick pace, probably due to a TV time limit. The Heat always bumped awkwardly, like hitting their shoulders on the mat, but it gave it a very realistic look. Sherri interfered and caused a DQ finish pretty quickly.

2 Bobby Walker v. Billy Kidman- 2
Walker used some good transitions and Kidman was very athletic, although he looked pretty silly with his Dutch boy haircut. Walker had some good intensity, but the match was very quick, so you couldn’t see much.

3 Fire & Ice v. Rock n’ Roll Express- 1
Ice Train danced around in a very suspect manner, they pretty much dominated the match until their partner miscue finish. The Rock n’ Rolls still looked in good shape.

4 Steven Regal v. Eddie Guerrero- 2
Even 10 years ago, Eddie was crazy popular, “Eddie, Eddie” chant went up immediately, They had reversals and a lot of Regal stalling in a short, sort of fun match. The ref botched the finish pretty badly.

Now, the PPV

1 Psicosis v. Rey Mysterio jr.- 7
They start by showing off their scientific skills, but quickly take to the skies. Psicosis truly was crazy in his day, he pulled off a Mike Awesome dive that made him look like a pussy, and a back senton to the floor from the top rope. Psicosis worked a stronger style and Rey tried to wear him down by hit and run. The match had some crazy spots, but didn’t string together as well as most.

2 John Tenta v. Big Bubba( Carson City Silver Dollar Match)- 3
The gimmick is silver dollars in a sock on a pole? Are you kidding? Tenta has a half shaven, half long mullet- there is no more stupid hair style ever conceived than that. Both men were taking bumps from the top buckle trying to retrieve the sock, pretty cool. The pole itself nearly fell over, Bubba looked like a washed up biker. They worked very slow, but actually had some good psych built into such a ridiculous match

3 DDP v. Hacksaw Duggan( Taped Fist)- 2
DDP sold like a mackerel flopping on a pier, it was pretty quick with not a lot of action

4 Public Enemy v. Nasty Boys( Dog Collar Match)- 4
They worked pretty stiffly and sloppily inside of a bad gimmick. They used the beach setting to it’s utmost. “They used a rubber shark!” and “2 count on a surfboard!” were two quotes the announcers said they never thought they would say in a wrestling match. Rocco pulled off a front flip from a lifeguard chair. Knobs was just brutalizing PE with deadly chair shots. One botched table spot, 2 botched table spots and the 3rd time’s a charm! They were using an unbreakable table, I swear to you. Pretty stiff

5 Dean Malenko v. Disco Inferno- 6
Malenko is more intense than I remember. His moves were so crisp and he had such great psychology to everything he did. He never wasted a movement. They worked a great pace, and he let Disco build a good comeback. They used a very simple formula that worked for this match. They had good back and forth and a good finish. I would say this is one of Disco’s better matches, but he was led by the hand by Dean.

6 Joe Gomez v. Steve McMichael- 2
2 strange physique, very cut and dry big man stuff. Not a lot of selling, no finesse. At one point these two guys were flailing around like drunk guys in a riot and Mongo finally hit a move to finish it.

7 Konnan v. Ric Flair- 5
They had some pretty good chemistry, a good mix of scientific and brawling. Flair played a great heel to Konnan’s offense. Even Liz took a bump! Konnan threw a good dropkick, the interference and off pace hurt the whole match and it went way too long.

8 Chris Benoit/ Arn Anderson v. Kevin Sullivan/ Giant- 5
Benoit and Sullivan were rough with each other and it was great fun to watch! Giant was so dominant, and they really pushed him huge, until Hogan decided to make him look like a bitch. Arn still looked sharp, even though he didn’t move as quickly as before.

9 Outsiders v. Lex Luger/ Randy Savage/ Sting- 4
Luger got taken out early, which was probably a good thing. Hall sold good for Savage and Sting. The announcers sold the match flawlessly. Sting worked a good heel in peril, and Hogan got a massive pop when he came out. Not as long as I remember.

WCW Clash of the Champions - 8/15/96

1) Dean Malenko vs. Rey Mysterio Jr. – 5
2) V.K. Wallstreet vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan – 3
3) Ultimo Dragon vs. Konnan – 3
4) Randy Savage vs. Meng – NR
5) Bull Nakano vs. Madusa – 3
6) Diamond Dallas Page vs. Eddie Guerrero – 4
7) Chris Benoit vs. The Giant – 0
8) The Steiner Brothers vs. Lex Luger & Sting vs. Harlem Heat – Triangle Match – 4
9) Hollywood Hogan vs. Ric Flair – 3

Malenko’s match was one of two matches on the show to have a commercial break. His series with Mysterio during this time frame normally produced stellar matches but due to the confines on television, they produced what they could with what little time they were given. The false finish at the end was put in merely to help the match have some meaning but instead, it ended up hurting it in the long run. Duggan once again fought his normal match against Wallstreet (a.k.a. Mike Rotundo) but this time, the evil tycoon upset the retard in a nothing match. Dragon and Konnan was fun while it lasted, which wasn’t too long. Meng was supposed to have a match with Savage but Savage never showed up so Meng won by forfeit and because it never actually started because the bell never actually rang, it doesn’t actually count. I’ve seen Nakano and Madusa have much, much better matches against each other (i.e. SummerSlam 94). Both women looked weak and terrible and Sonny Onoo’s interference ruined it. DDP and Guerrero had a decent and tolerable match but it was so memorable that I’ve already forgotten the finish and I only watched it two hours ago. Giant squashed Benoit in about twenty seconds for some totally unknown reason and the crowd didn’t really seem to care all that much either. The triangle match was fun to watch as everyone seemed to work really well together. The highlight of it for me was seeing Scott Steiner and Booker T wrestle each other, because only four years later, they would be the only ones having quality matches while the company fell down around them. The finish to the match was interesting as Nick Patrick pulled up after a two-count and ruled a DQ finish because Hall and Nash starting fighting the competitors at ringside. Hogan and Flair was mildly entertaining and it seemed that they were the only ones besides Mysterio and Malenko who were attempting to work a somewhat decent match. They teased as if Flair won the belt but because the n.W.o. and the Horsemen ran-in, Hogan retained and Schiavone cried foul and pissed his pants.

ECW TV 12/05/06

1. CM Punk and Rob Van Dam vs. Test and Bob Holly – 2
2. Daivari vs. Tommy Dreamer – 2
3. Ariel vs. Kelly Kelly – 1
4. Bobby Lashley vs. Big Show – 3

Punk was about as disinterested as the fans were during the opening tag match, staring out into space while on the apron, as his partner RVD was working poorly with perennial rigid and uninspired workers Test and Holly. The finish, which came rather quickly, featured a lot of interference. Dreamer was wearing more bandages than the victim of a high-speed car accident, but scored the victory, in another short bout, against despot Daivari. Ariel and Kelly went for only a minute or so, but still scored one solitary point for Ariel’s’ pigtails and Mike Knox tossing a bouquet of roses into Kelly’s face like he was Patrick Ewing slamming a basketball. Lashley and Show wasn’t much of anything, it was obvious Show was suffering from his potentially career threatening back injury, as he didn’t really bump at all. Lashley got the clean win, however, further cementing him in terms of legitimacy. Overall, this was a weak show, with no commendable performances, entertaining angles, or quality work.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

WWF Survivor Series '92

1 High Energy v. Headshrinkers- 5
High Energy wins the 1992 award for most looking like a disco club's decoration, but that's beside the point. They took on the unenviable task of facing a favored(and well liked by Vince) Headshrinkers. Both teams played to their strengths and turned out a good opener that could have been a great tag match with a little more time added to the the match.

2 Big Bossman v. Nailz (Nightstick Match)- 5
This match wasn't long, but it's psychology was right on. Nailz was a former inmate at Cobb County Prison where Bossman used to work the dayshift; supposedly Bossman and his other cop buddies used to beat up on Nailz just to abuse their power( According to Bobby Heenan, Nailz was put in jail because he was buying his mom something for Mother's day, came out of the store and got a parking ticket, then was found out to have a few more.) Well, the seething former inmate (who looks oddly like the villain from the 2nd Ghostbusters movie) wanted his revenge. This match mostly consisted of both men trying to punch the other first the whole time and both guys can throw a decent fist, so it was entertaining.

3 Rick Martel v. Tatanka- 5
Martel was dressed like a male prostitue working a Royal Carribbean cruise ship, with a touch of Native American(Tatanka's feather on his cap) thrown in there for sympathy. This was nearly ten minutes and it was worked perfectly well.

4 Randy Savage/ Mr. Perfect v. Ric Flair/ Razor Ramon- 5
This tag match had a lot of heat and all these guys performed up to their level. Flair and Ramon were a surprising combination and Perfect showed he still had some fire in the tank. This match could have been ranked higher had they not gone with their cop out of a finish.

5 Yokozuna v. Virgil- 3
A devastating squash. Virgil looked like a dying fish with epilepsy under Yoko's giant ham hock of a leg and thigh. 'Zuna had the distincition of wearing the world's largest jock strap ever in wrestling (in sumo, It's not the size that counts, it's how many chicken breasts you can hide in it, but from what I hear, poultry isn't the only things those sumo stars stuffed.)

6 Nasty Boys/ Natural Disasters v. Money Inc./ Beverly Brothers (Traditional Survivor Series Match)- 4
This match was a poor excuse for a Survivor Series match. There could only be a total of 3 eliminations to end it and they all took place, except I don't think one of them looked real or even particularly good. There were some exceptional workers in the match, but the pieces didn't fall together just right.

7 Undertaker v. Kamala (Coffin Match)- 2
This match never got out of the blocks; it was DOA as soon as the bell started. Taker took a few overexaggerated chops from Kamala, then punished him quickly and tossed him into casket. Kim Chee was there for a Taker appetizer, but the main course was his cigar and booze flavored whores he only had for a 24 hour period( so that's how he met his wife!)

8 Bret Hart v. Shawn Michaels- 9
A classic match to say the least. In a perfect sports entertainment world, there would be no egos, no jealousy, no complaning about jobbing, no political manuevering, no sleeping with other men's wives, no divorces, no screwjobs, no gay centerfold photo shoots, no drugs, and no Vince Russo, unfortunately this feud deteroiated into all of that in just a matter of years. But, it is a nice treat to go back to a simpler time when Bret really was the character he has always believed himself to be and Michaels didn't have a Macy's Float size ego. Both guys just worked and it seemed to flow from them with no effort at all. They worked together like cogs in a watch, like valves in car, like lube in Jenna Jameson's stretched out floodplain of a pussy, in complete syncrhonization and it was a treat to watch. A clean, out of nowhere finish helped put a large seal of approval on this match for me.

As far as Survivor Series go, this card offered only nearly half of what makes it such a unique affair: the team elimination matches, yet it succeeds admirably as a card without it's trademark. I was pleasantly surprised with the show and has to be one of the better of this marquee event.

UWF Buckle Up Tour DVD - 1/13/06

1) D-Lo Brown vs. Shannon Moore – 3
2) Sonjay Dutt vs. Matt Hyson (Spike Dudley) – 3
3) Sonny Siaki vs. Ron Killings – 2
4) Abyss vs. Sabu – Hardcore Match – 4
5) The James Gang vs. Elix Skipper & David Young – 3
6) Jeff Jarrett vs. A.J. Styles – 3
7) America’s Most Wanted vs. Team 3-D – 3

Brown is still one of the sloppiest workers in the business and his match here with Shannon Moore, was about what you would expect. Brown fumbled a Sky-High powerbomb and Moore did a rather non-chalant attempt at a corkscrew moonsault in a rather forgettable and anti-climactic match. Dutt and Hyson worked too slow of a pace for my liking and nothing really memorable stood out in the workrate department. Killings and Siaki had another mid-card encounter which featured interference from Moore for some unknown reason. The hardcore match between Abyss and Sabu wasn’t as great as their previous encounters on pay-per-view. Having Al Snow as the referee made for an interesting dynamic but it neither added more or subtracted anything from the match. Following the bout, Snow cut an incoherent promo on Sabu that left Brian and I scratching our heads and wondering what the hell he said.

The second half kicked off with a decent tag match between the James Gang and the Diamonds in the Rough. Once again, like many of the previous matches, there was nothing memorable were workrate was involved. Jarrett and Styles had their standard match but the finish was nothing but a total clusterfuck to make any sense of. The main event of Team 3-D and America’s Most Wanted was perhaps the longest match of the night, clocking in at just about twenty minutes or so. They did a Dusty finish to where Team 3-D looked like they won the belts, but the decision was reversed to give the belts back to the champions in a convoluted finish to a rather unmemorable DVD. The title menu of this DVD had D-Von holding a sign that said “WWE Sux” and after watching this, I realize that Vinnie Mac’s wrestling may not be so bad after all.

WWF Survivor Series ‘92

After a late-night White Castle venture Jessie dug this tape out of an old beat-up cardboard box and we put it in. I hadn’t seen this show likely since it originally aired, and forgot that it was actually a fantastic pay-per-view from start to finish. I remember, as a subscriber to WWF Magazine, getting something in the mail back then offering discount tickets to this show; I wanted to go so badly, but it wasn’t feasible, and to this day I really don’t have any idea where Richfield, OH is, but imagine it’s a swell place to work, fuck, and feast.

1. High Energy vs. Headshrinkers – 6

The opener was a splendid tag team match; High Energy played the lovable underdog faces, and Headshrinkers played the role of crazed savages with dangerously hard skulls. There was some quality back and forth exchanges, good guys in peril, and ultimately, a gigantic Samoan splash to end it.

2. Nailz vs. Big Bossman – Nightstick On A Pole Match – 5

Nailz and Bossman was exactly what it should have been, an ugly brawl, characterized by extreme prejudice and hatred. The story was Bossman incarcerated Nailz, so there was a lot of bad blood between them. If they would have tried to turn this into a wrestling match it’d have defied logic, but they gave us the fracas we desired, and in a satisfying payoff to this feud.

3. Rick “Model” Martel vs. Tatanka – 6

Martel and Tatanka these days would be a three-minute match void of any actual storytelling. Here, they gave it a nice chunk of time, with a slow-paced middle, to build it up which was done well. At first, Martel played the cautious heel, but then imposed his will on Tatanka, until the Native American battled back and got the clean victory in a satisfying bout.

4. Razor Ramon and Ric Flair vs. Randy Savage and Mr. Perfect – 7

This was a really cool match, featuring two unlikely teams of wrestling superstars. Flair and Ramon were the consummate pricks, cocky and coy. Savage was alienated for much of the match, getting worked over by his opponents, until the reluctant Mr. Perfect entered the picture and cleaned house. These guys were all professionals near the top of their respective games, and had a match that deserves more recognition; my only problem with it, however, is the finish that doesn’t settle anything, reminiscent of great sex minus the orgasm.

5. Yokozuna vs. Virgil – 4

This was a total squash, but psychology and story wise, a perfectly executed one. Virgil was recognizable, but had only won moderately, to put it kindly; where Yokozuna was being built as a monster, which demolished anyone that got in his way. So, suffice to say, within a matter of minutes, after toying around with Virgil, Yokozuna crushed him in route to an easy victory.

6. Money Inc. and Beverly Bros. vs. Natural Disasters and Nasty Boys – 5

This match got a decent chunk of time, but also had an ending that wasn’t satisfactory. The battle waged on, until the good guys took the advantage, eliminating the team of the Beverly Bros. Then, after being roughly 15 minutes deep into the match, the second and deciding third fall both happened within seconds. Typhoon was tripped, then hit with an elbow drop, that somehow rendered him incapable of kicking out of a pin, and seconds later, one of the Nasty Boys used a quick rollup to get the victory for the good guys. It was nice to see all of these guys get exposure, but a better structured and executed match would have been a real treat, instead of the average one we got.

7. Kamala vs. Undertaker – Casket Match – 4

This was the first ever casket match, and a pretty short one at that. Kamala worked over the Undertaker for the entire quick bout, until Undertaker bashed Kamala’s cranium with an urn. Having knocked his opponent out, Undertaker then rolled Kamala into the empty casket to score the win. Not a lot happened here, at all, but the historical significance and out of nowhere finish warrant extra consideration.

8. Bret “Hitman” Hart vs. Shawn Michaels – 8

When people usually think of these two, they inevitably think of their huge match at Survivor Series ’97, the infamous “Montreal screwjob.” The only screwjob I’ve experienced in Montreal set me back $50 and a dry cleaner’s bill. This unfortunately forgotten gem is an epic – a brilliantly designed and delivered piece of athletic artwork. This feels like a legitimate contest, a legit fight, and is invaluable to any true fan’s collection. It’s good from start, to the awesome climax, where Hart outsmarts Shawn and wraps him up in his patented submission to score the victory.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Ring of Glory- The Great Commission

This is a DVD Brian got from the library and to say the least was very morbidly amusing. It is promoted as a Christian wrestling promotion featuring mostly old washed up talent from the former Big 2 Federations. But, not only that, but it is run by Vince Russo, yes, everyone's favorite sports entertainment writer. I'm sure it's been said before, but I go on record and say that nearly every idea Vince Russo has come up with has hurt the business and has sucked. He knows nothing of how to book in-ring matches nor has he ever seemed to care about their quality. But, I digress. The back of the case actually said to watch this with an open mind and you will have an experience, as everyone in the audience did that night. Yeah, they were scammed out of their money. Russo may as well have passed around an offering plate and told them to drop their wallets and their dignity. So, based on this promotion, we are thinking this is finally going to be something different, maybe some clean wrestling with no angles, or bad stuff. We shall see.

1 Bo Buchanan v. Rodney Mac- 3
Both of these guys were throwing heavy leather in nearly the only decent wrestling on the whole show. They had some good chemistry and used the ropes effectively. That's where anything resembling good wrestling ceased to exist. Jazz (Mack's real life wife) turned on him, and sided with Paul Bearer in a Dark Side group, although no one in the crowd would know because she was supposed to trip him, but missed. Then, they never got inside the ring- her and Bearer just stood on the outside looking at Mack, both in their own ways: Jazz, as if wanting Mack to stop watching "Friday Night Lights" on NBC and take out the trash, and Bearer as if Mack were a double cheeseburger. This was a stupid waste of time.

2 Mike Sanders/ Erik Watts v. D'Lo Brown/ Glen "Disco" Gilberti- 1
All 4 guys looked terrible and were out of shape. Then, they started wrestling, and the same can be said. Sanders never had it in-ring. All 4 were referred to as "legends and veterans." We are using those words in wrestling as often as Missy Hyatt doesn't use condoms. It's getting a tad overdone. I mean, how could anyone make such a horrible misinterpretation? None of the four have every held the world title, or even come close. None have ever drawn any money and none were ever that good of workers. So, where is Scott Hudson basing this from? I was appalled. The match itself was presented as a four day old salami sandwich wrapped in a Vader turd. Disco turned on D'Lo, then they all cut a promo in the back that was interrupted by Bearer. He actually was recruiting for his "Dark Side." Hopefully that doesn’t mean his affinity for peeping in on the boys changing in the back while desperately searching for his little piddle in his oversized pants.

3 Mark Jindrak v. Matt "Spike" Hyson- 0
Jindrak was probably the only wrestler who looked presentable and he was rolled up in a few seconds by Spike. Jindrak was apparently also part of the Dark Side, even though he was wearing Orange trunks. No thought was given to anything on this show. You don't need angles on a flea market basement promotion with no production that will probably neve run again.

4 Kevin Northcutt v. Syxx-Pac- 2
Northcutt looked like a part time employee at Hot Topic and Waltman looked like a part time sober person. They put together a couple of sequences, but the match ended in some Russo hodgepodge that I don't even recall
5 CJ Sommers v. Sal Rinauro v. Jimmy Rave v. Air Paris (Stairway to Heaven Ladder Match for the Sword of the Spirit)- 2
I'm not kidding. That was what the match was called. There was actually a sword, with edge pointing down towards the ring, hanging from the ceiling. I was praying Russo would errantly walk underneath it. The premise was four guys who have never gotten a chance to succeed got to main event. Well, only two of them had on real wrestling trunks, which says they are definitley dedicated. There's a reason none of these jokers ever made it; 2 of them are ROH openers, Paris at one time looked promising, but now just looks like a Miller and Fritos TV junkie, and Sommers looked like a 40 year old goth stupid fuck. There wasn't a lot to watch in this match, only a couple of neat spots from Rinauro. Of course, there was interference. Rave won and still looked like a boy who got his underwear ran up a flag pole at camp, and then shit his self with none on.

6 Jazz v. Rain- 0
A women's match that ended when Trinity pinned Jazz? Plus, the women came from the crowd. I kept waiting for a green gas to fill the arena in a mass suicide attempt. These fans had to have been brainwashed to stay for the whole show.

Some other notes: Ron Simmons was presented with a Cup of Life trophy, and it was very obvious he didn't know why he was there. He had a fat face and a Cosby sweater on, but got mixed up in a quick fray and threw some lethal punches. At the end, all of the wrestlers got in the ring and beat up on the faces. Well, a ring crew guy that was attacked earlier came back out and was beaten down, but rose up from persecution. Then, he worked the mic and practically called himself Jesus. His name was Asa and if I had his address, I would give it out and encourage any wrestling fan or rational human being to take a drive to his residence, and mount his fucking ass on a cross. We'll see how Messiah like he feels with nails threw his wrists. This piece of human waste, this genetic fart, actually claimed to be Jesus! This was like watching David Koresh put on a wrestling show. And Russo tried to promote as if people had a religious experience. AJ Styles even showed up and gave a mini sermon- lost respect for him, enormous amount of respect. This promotion should be buried in the anals of wrestling garbage and that's just on a sports entertainment level. Not to mention the blasphemy they tried to pull off as people, especially as Godly people, as Russo claims to be. This was just another ratings stunt Russo pulled every week on WWE and WCW. And now TNA brought him back. I see his fingerprints all over Impact now and it makes me hate TNA. I read Vince Russo's book and honestly, it was the biggest pack of lies and half truths I've ever laid eyes on. His religious comments throughout the book can only be described as treason to any sort of values any Christian or any other religious person has. I volunteered when I took the book back to the library to put it on their toilet paper roll for them, because it was only good for wiping your ass with. I don't blame one wrestler for never wanting to work with him; he knows nothing of the sport and has killed a little piece of the industry for good.

Ring of Glory "The Great Commission" DVD

Let’s see … the hard cam is titled to one side, Scott Hudson’s commentary can be heard throughout the whole arena, and a ladder match for the sword from Braveheart, an appearance from Jason Sensation, Ron Simmons in a Bill Cosby sweater, and 200 people in the arena. This can’t be good.

1) Rodney Mack vs. Bull Buchanan – 3
This was a pretty respectable match. Buchanan looked like he’d put on a few pounds but still managed to hit a nice scissors kick. Afterwards, Percy Pringle came out as Jazz turned on Mack with no explanation. Then the lights went out (what is it with indy promotions not paying their electric bills?) and then came back on for a stupid promo. Probably the best match of the whole DVD.

2) Mike Sanders & Erik Watts vs. D-Lo Brown & Glen “Disco” Gilbertti – 1
All four guys worked the stick before the match. That must be some kind of prerequisite. This was beyond bad. Everyone but D-Lo had a t-shirt on and Disco turned on D-Lo about halfway through the bout and I don’t think a finish was ever announced.

3) Mark Jindrak vs. Matt “Spike” Hyson – 2
Not much here. Jindrak beat up the guy who cleans the ring. Spike took an ass bump through a table after the match. I think every heel is associated with Pringle.

4) Kevin Northcutt vs. Syxx-Pac – 3
Pac comes through the crowd and elbows some little kid on the head on his way in. Northcutt is elegantly clad in tights with eyes all over them and, of course, a t-shirt. Pac looked pretty good but Northcutt looked like garbage.

5) Sal Rinauro vs. C.J. Summers vs. Air Paris vs. Jimmy Rave – Sword of the Spirit Elimination Ladder Match – 3
Russo joins Hudson on commentary and puts the match over huge. Four guys start then two are eliminated by pinfall. The remaning two compete in a ladder match to claim the “Sword of the Spirit”, which I’m assuming is apparently the same as winning the title. These four were actually featured earlier on in a very AA-esque roundtable discussion. Anyway, Summers was the first eliminated, not to my surprise because I’d never heard of him. Paris was decked out in jeans and a black shirt while everyone else had actual gear on. The ladders look like they came from Home Depot. Rinauro gets eliminated next. Paris does hit with a very nice legdrop from the ladder. Jimmy Rave eventually wins and no one cared.

6) Jazz vs. Rain – 1
What the hell is this? Rain is apparently one of Trinity’s students as both of them are planted in the crowd. Rain gets her ass beat by Jazz. Trinity comes in and then Jazz jobs? This just reeks. Afterwards, there’s a huge thirty minute promo by a bunch of miscellaneous people, including a ring crew guy who is apparently attempting to portray Jesus, followed by a huge prayer while they crammed most of the fans in the ring.

This was a really bad DVD. Religion and wrestling do not mix.

Ring of Glory – The Great Commission

1. Bo Buchanan vs. Rodney Mac – 3
2. Mike Sanders and Eric Watts vs. D-Lo Brown and Glen “Disco” Gilbertti – 1
3. Mark Jindrak vs. Matt Hyson – 2
4. Kevin Northcut vs. Syxx Pac – 3
5. CJ Summers vs. Air Paris vs. Jimmy Rave vs. Sal Rinauro – Stairway to Heaven Ladder Match – 4
6. Jazz vs. Rain and Trinity – Handicap Match – 2

So, Ring of Glory was Vince Russo’s grand idea of incorporating religion, Christianity to be exact, into wrestling. I’ve got to be completely honest when I say it fucking sucked. It seemed like such an obvious hoax to me, and incredibly disingenuous; I was offended as a wrestling fan, and if I was religious, I’d be doubly pissed.

Bo most of us know as “Bull”, from his short tenure in WWE. Rodney Mac is another Sunday Night Heat mainstay of years past. Their match was arguably the best of the night; it was kept simple without much flash, but done moderately well. There were a couple stiff punches thrown, which I always dig, and Bo’s scissor kick that ended the match wasn’t bad.

The following tag match was an awful excuse for a bout, three of the four participants were wearing t-shirts, and it came off looking ridiculously amateur. All four of their subsequent careers amount to shit. Gilbertti’s “YMCA elbow”, a rip of The Rock’s once popular “People’s elbow”, was an utter joke. But, speaking of the YMCA, I think these guys should consider seeking employment there because their services are no longer wanted in professional wrestling.

Jindrak and Hyson was short and featured nothing memorable or noteworthy. It’s safe to say I was definitely disappointed. Watching Syxx Pac and Northcut was about as enjoyable as being vomited on, something Syxx is undeniably familiar with, given his well-documented history with drug addiction.

The ladder match was full of its own problems, the most evident being that it was contested under the premise that the winner would receive a sword, and be pleased with the outcome. Sal and Jimmy, ROH mainstays, looked the most credible – unfortunately Paris, former independent hopeful pegged for big things, looked clinically depressed and delivered an abhorrent performance.

The last match on the show featured Jazz “wrestling”, and I use the term skeptically, Rain and Trinity, who just happened to be there in attendance supposedly watching the show. The match, or matches, seeing as how Jazz pummeled them both, was void of any structure or plausibility. Afterwards, some inbred idiot with a disturbing pockmarked face named “ASA” not only delivered a heavy-handed sermon; but also, in one of the most revolting things I’ve ever witnessed, claimed to be Jesus Christ. He said while he was being beaten, prior to being crucified, he couldn’t stop thinking of Jimmy Rave, who stood in the aisle looking like an asshole. This faux-religious psychobabble was sickening and insulting. Fuck Ring of Glory, fuck that liar Vince Russo, and fuck that fake prophet ASA. Amen.