Sunday, August 26, 2007
Damn! (turning into the most overused catchphrase in all of WWE) This was a quick, quick match; quicker than Vinnie Mac lasted with Sable in bondage. None of the legends, save Flair albeit briefly, got to do anything except look old. It was nice to see AA out and about at ringside, and even sneak in a cheap shot, but other than that, this match said nothing. The Sprits, who they have been teasing as breaking up, all united in an attack on Flair at the end. I'm as bewildered as Flair is the first time Missy Hyatt squirted on him.
2 Chris Benoit v. Chavo Guerrero- 6
This was a dogfight full of stiff shots from both men. This was the Chavo I've been wanting to see for a long time. I absolutely hate these Edddie angles and am apalled that they are on my TV, but it's argubly Chavo's best in-ring of his career. And Benoit was at his most brutally finest. A cool finish capped off this match, even though I would have liked to have seen it go longer.
3 Lita v. Mickie James- 4
Lita has finally retired?! Are you kidding me? Who have I been nice to to receive this generous award? Thank you, God, Buddha, Ali, Santa Claus, Kwaanza Tim, Leah Remini, Pedro Cerrano, and Fry Guy, or anyone else in the world who had anything to do with this! Now, the top of my 5 most hated WWE performers has left the promotion, (now, if we could get JBL, Kane, The Miz, and Stephanie McMahon to pack it up, I'd be one happy camper.) And her last match was decently passable. These two were not working together well, but a nice series of several near falls and reversals bumped this gem up to a four.
4 HHH/ Shawn Michaels/ CM Punk/ Jeff Hardy/ Matt Hardy v. Edge/ Randy Orton/ Johnny Nitro/ Gregory Helms/ Mike Knox (Traditional Survivor Series Match)- 2
This one really had some potential, but instead we'll just put DX over. God, I would be totally offeneded if I had ordered this PPV (instead I watched it from the loud luxury of a local BW-3's, kept busy by some chicken and shrimp.) This wasn't really a match at all; it was merely an unfunny, show fest for Team DX. They all got over, HUGE and the heels in this match looked like idiots. They were swept and swept easily. This booking is hurtful to the couple of up and comers on the heel team and did nothing for DX, except give them another easy night off where they stepped into the ring and did nothing athletic.
5 Undertaker v. Mr. Kennedy (1st Blood Match)- 3
Another disappointment. I was really enthralled with their No Mercy match, but this was just one big gimmick. MVP was involved for 2/3 of the very short match and I don't like him or his involvement. I realize Taker was hurt and I think that is the reason this was such a stinker. Taker was split with a chair shot that he completely blocked, but Kennedy took one of the stiffest chairs in recent memory, where the chair actually got wrapped around his neck. That bumped this up from a 2.
6 Big Show/ Umaga/ Finlay/ Test/ MVP v. John Cena/ Lashley/ Kane/ Sabu/ Rob Van Dam (Traditional Survivor Series Match)- 4
The eliminations went quiclky in this match as well. Finlay worked the majority of it for his team and showcased some of his punishing offense. Umaga, RVD, Test, Sabu, and MVP all went out rather quickly. Kane did nothing but get eliminated and then we had a few minutes of action. Lashley and Cena, the two survivors, were the only ones who looked like stars. Lashley for being so dominant during the match and Cena, for hitting a monstrous F-U on Show to win the match.
7 King Booker v. Batista- 4
A losing effort for Smackdown's best competitor right now, King Booker. We're back to Dave as champion. Batista's lacking performances are so bad and so evident, they were turned into an angle, yet he still wins the World Title. There's something wrong here. His showing in this match was quite awful, but Booker managed to pull some things together to make it a passable effort. After such a bland show that had a lot of hype and intrigue, I was hoping for something special from these two and they just didn't have the goods. Batista's title run will be as short Little Tokyo's dick, or Scott Hall's life expectancy.
1) Greg “The Hammer” Valentine vs. Chris Adams - 5
2) Koko B. Ware vs. Cowboy Bob Orton - 4
3) Sgt. Slaughter vs. Tommy Rich - 4
4) Curtis Hughes vs. Tito Santana – 4
Valentine and Adams put together a fairly standard match. While it wasn’t groundbreaking, it was still pretty technically sound. Orton and Koko lasted about five minutes and featured Orton winning with a three-quarter stack in a really cool finish. Really … it was. You just don’t see professional matches won with amateur moves anymore. Slaughter and Rich was fairly unmemorable and ended with the ref DQing Slaughter after he thought Rich was thrown over the top rope. Hughes and Santana featured a convoluted finish. The AWF lasted about two years from 1994-1996 and with the majority of the show featuring WWF cast-offs and squash matches, it’s hard to believe they even lasted that long.
2. Charlie Haas and Viscera vs. Cryme Time vs. Highlanders vs. Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch – Texas Tornado Match – 3
3. Jeff Hardy vs. Carlito – 3
4. DX vs. Randy Orton and Edge – 5
5. Lita vs. Mickie James – Divas Lumberjack Match – 1
6. Ric Flair and Roddy Piper vs. Spirit Squad – 2
7. Big Show vs. John Cena vs. Booker T – 6
What I Liked:
Kane and Umaga brought the big men beatings. DX versus Orton and Edge, albeit a stale feud, were capable of having a decent heel versus face structured tag bout. Lita’s DDT to score the win was vicious, and the only highlight of a horrifying women’s match. Triple threat matches can often be overwritten, contrived, and an excuse to mask inability to wrestle by having meandering brawls – this match just skirted those offenses, though, and delivered a pretty enjoyable finale.
What I Disliked:
Umaga’s blatant refusal to portray pain; I get it, his character is inherently tougher than the average bloke, but we’d still like to see him flinch when a guy as big as Kane is socking him in the face. Four tag teams involved in a match that barely lasted four minutes? Carlito and Jeff had an off night, both throwing terribly executed dropkicks, and generally looking shitty. Lita and Mickie didn’t work well together, either. They severally botched a few key sequences. Piper looked like he needed a bra. Big Show, at one point, was knocked out of the ring and subsequently disappeared for a long stretch of the match. Not that I was dying to see him, but what in the hell happened?
This show was held nearby in Cincinnati, OH, and after watching it, I’m glad I didn’t make an attempt to see it live. It was largely uninspired, not too unlike your typical episode of WWE Raw, just with a longer running time. Some matches were disappointing that I’d expected more of, namely the Hardy and Carlito debacle, the dreadfully dull women’s match, and the far too short tag team bout. The concept of allowing fans to vote on the matches needs to be done away with, too. They steer the brainless masses to vote for the carefully orchestrated matches they want you to pick. Sadly, more people voted for something titled “Divas Lumberjack” than my country’s last presidential election.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Garbage. Let me start out by saying that. Let that set the mood for a worthwhile trip down Rumpke Dump Lane. Hope you're wearing plastic gloves.
1) Black Machismo/"Guru" Sonjay Dutt v. XXX v. Motor City Machineguns- 5
2) Raven v. Frankie Kazarian- 3
3) James Storm v. Rhino- Bar room Brawl- 3
4) VKM v. LAX- 2
5) Black Reign v. Chris Harris- 0
6) Eric Young v. Robert Rood- Ultimate Humiliation Match- 3
7) Team 3-D v. Steiner Brothers- 3
8) Abyss/ Sting/ Andrew Martin v. Christian Cage/ AJ Styles/ Tomko- Doomsday Chamber of Blood- 2
9) Kurt Angle v. Samoa Joe- 3
Machismo can't drop the Randy Savage elbow thus negating the whole gimmick, I don't care how well he can contort his lower lip. He and the Guru were throwing some lousy weak punches throughout the whole match. XXX and the Machine guns both had some good team work, but the majority of this match was spent working Lethal's arm. Towards the end of the match, the pace picked up and we got a great series of nearfalls. The finish was a little unexpected and seemed to kick this thing off in the right direction.
Raven tried to do a springboard drop kick. Need I say more? Yeah, of course I do, or else he would get away with so many crimes against humanity, like bleaching ones' hair until it slowly erodes away and we have to stare at the burned surface of your bald head on a wrestling PPV> but it's not just Raven's baldness I don't like, it's his fat physique and his continued drug use for the last 20 years. He deftly defends himself by not bumping in this match, but Kazarian pulled off a psychotic "frankensteiner" from behind one buckle over to the next side of the ring. He sold his ass off to make Raven's worn out offense look credible- need to take some serious acting lessons for that to come true.
James Storm engages in his 128th crowd brawl in the last 5 years and it doesn't feel any fresher than the last 20 times he did it. The props around the ring were fun, especially Storm selling a shot from a rubber dummy wearing a SWANK Hard Justice Tee. Bet that was flying off the shelf, especially in it's chosen color, sunburst orange. The finish was the same Rhino misses gore through table then gets pinned with heel finisher we've already seen from this bloated toad and I'm tired of the uncreativity flowing from him like his name was Vince Russo, who by the way, can suck my ass.
Kip James wore some blantantly excellent bell bottoms and continues to further push himself into homosexuality just for some attention. How long has this cry for help been going on? Hernandez was null and void for this whole affair, save a burst of energy at the end and Homicide and BG didn't do a lot while in ring together, which consisted of the majority of the match. Restarted match finish and I'm bored.
Dustin Rhodes continues to whore himself out to Vinnie Ru by donning the Goldust getup, this time it's all in black face pain and large garbage bags. This isn't really even a match, even though a DQ decision was rendered in it. Rhodes looked visibly disgusted with himself and im' sure the snapshots taken from this PPV will not be hung in Dakota's room.
Rood v. Young for the 100th time and yet again, settles nothing. I think this was supposed to help Rood get over at first, but now Young smells more like roses to me. He's a competent performer who can hold his own and his punches were on target the whole match, as were his big sells. While I can't say I enjoyed the match, I think with some better competition, Young could do something in TNA>
I love that Rick Steiner has never gotten his tights resized and are stretching the limits of what spandex can hold in. Meanwhile, Bubba's jeans look comfortable. He's only been wearing them for the last 2 years. D-Von dispenses with his shirt rather quickly, opting to show off his oddly distracting man-mammories. Big Poppa Dump is great with accessories and proved that with his goatee chain. All in all, they represented the redneck gay biker population quite well.
This match gets one point shaved off it's score because it was a big match with main event status that should have delivered more and absolutely didn't show up in time. We should be getting free PPV coupons for months, but alas Time Warner and Domino's don't share the same business motto. Let's look at everyone's contributions: Abyss did the least brawling but got the bloodiest. Sting was not ready to work and stayed out of the event for the most part except for his big heat comeback spot. "The Punisher" Andrew Martin absolutely lived up to his moniker by showing up on a TV screen and punishing me for being a wrestling fan. On the Heel side, Tomko was delivering some brutal chair shots throughout the troubled affair. AJ wasn't bumping, so I barely noticed him. And Christian delivered a decent tad pole splash and ran off halfway throught he match. This had some potential but it was squandered.
You would think in a match for all the belts in your promotion, you wouldn't need a secondary angle to sell this thing: but no, let's do a divorce angle and then swerve everybody into thinking it's real, then we'll screw Joe out of the title, the only thing TNA fans have cared about for more than 5 minutes. Angle looked unhealthy and both men, while working snug and executing some good sequences, ran through the same routine match they've already done in the past. As another fellow reviewer once said, and I'm paraphrasing, " I'd rather drink green liquid vomit out of a bull's dick." (AVGN)
The title Burger Kang is a play on words – crossing the name of nefarious Marvel villain Kang the Conqueror with fast food franchise Burger King. I like to think, as the series’ logo suggests, somewhere Kang recently had Burger King for the first time, and posed briefly for this moment to be immortalized forever.
Taka Michinoku, Shocker, and Negro Casas vs. Arkangel, Black Warrior, and Violencia – (EMLL 9/19/99) – 6
The beloved good guys, who were just quicker, more efficient, better looking, and all-around superior to the bumbling baddies won the first caida, rather effortlessly. The second caida went to the rudos, and got notably sloppier. All hell broke loose, of course, in the the third and final caida, with Negro Casas out on the floor getting double teamed and repeatedly punched like a tranny Tijuana hooker gone good, Taka goes springboard crazy, etc. Violencia sells like a baby having their bottle taken, extremely animated kicking and squirming, and I truly dig it in an uncanny way. The story was rather simple and straightforward, and the wrestling, while not groundbreaking, was definitely on the enjoyable side.
Takeshi Morishima vs. BJ Whitmer – (ROH Respect is Earned 5/12/07) – 2
This was Ring of Honor’s first match on their debut show, and was a little bit lax. The crowd was hot, and likely would have been for anything, but we all know Morishima could have murdered him much worse, and Whitmer, to his credit, would have graciously ate all of Takeshi’s ferocious offense. Granted, Morishima would go on to main event the show later, but I’d have loved to seen him really punish BJ. Speaking of BJs, I was in a public restroom in Philly the other day and I saw this crudely scrawled message: “Are you a youngish boy? Want to empty the contents of your baby batter in my throat? Call Rob Feinstein”, well, I won’t list the number, but what’s wrong with the world? Wait, you’re telling me that former ROH head honcho is also named Rob Feinstein? Small world.
Patriot and Kobashi vs. Abdullah the Butcher and Kamala – (AJPW ’92) – 3
This isn’t your daddy’s Kamala, that’s to say, it’s not the WWF-variety, as this version throws a pretty mean dropkick. What’s with the heels working all these nerve holds? I know Abdullah isn’t accustomed to actually wrestling, just brawling and stabbing, but surely he knows at least one other move besides a neck pinch? Patriot’s “suplex” on Kamala looks akin to someone tossing a bag of sand, as Patriot doesn’t even try to properly execute or follow through. Oh wait, Kamala is dazed and Kobashi and Patriot both go up top… Kobashi hits a missile dropkick, and Patriot, wait, well, what the fuck was that he just did? Good idea to let the less credible guy get pinned, that being Kamala, as this was essentially a squash, and there was no reason to further diminish Abby here.
Ishii vs. Black Tiger – (clipped – NJPW 3/11/06) – 2
I would like to see this complete, to get a fuller idea of what they were attempting to construct. If anything, I doubt it’s the blatant bastardizing of his name that has Eddy frowning up in heaven, nor the usage of his wife in the industry that drove him to drugs, I think what brings him to tears is someone donning his former guise of Black Tiger, and not doing it justice whatsoever. Besides an attempted, but missed, DiBiase falling back elbow from the buckles, Tiger didn’t do a lot to neither impress nor interest me here. Ishii looks like the equivalent of an all-grown up Japanese jock, and I definitely didn’t buy his brainbuster as a finish, cause it came off as child’s first suplex on Macho Man wrestling doll circa ’88.
Naomichi Marufuji vs. Rocky Romero – (ROH Respect is Earned 5/12/07) – 5
A good, athletic, but not marvelously mind-blowing match. Story was, from my impression, Romero trying to prove that he could hang with Japanese journeyman and former GHC champion Marufuji. And, to that effect, Romero worked hard, and looked like a competent opponent. I saw him wrestle KENTA, also from NOAH, in Dayton, OH awhile back and that match smoked this one, both matches are pretty similar, but the intensity was less here. Romero’s kicks were crucially crisp, and Marufuji’s win came off believable, and didn’t hurt Romero to boot.
Greg “The Hammer” Valentine vs. Hisakatsu Ooya – (BattleARTS 10/5/98) – 4
Hold on a minute – the Hammer in Japan? No way! I saw Valentine looking exceptionally crusty wrestling at the local fair a couple summers back. Little did I know, in the fall of ’98, he was beating the holy hell out of Ooya. Valentine has the style partially down, I mean, he’s stiffer than all hell, just relentlessly chopping Ooya and dropping devastating elbows on his skull; but his methodical offense doesn’t really ever differ. Ooya, out of the blue, gets the win with a roll-up, making Valentine look like some monster who lost by a fluke. McMahon never booked him that strong, leaving me to wonder what could have been had he pushed Valentine a little more, and say, George “The Animal” Steele a little less.
Great Sasuke vs. La Pantera – (EMLL 6/04/95) – 4
This is all kinds of awesome… it’s balls, it’s tits, or whichever body part you prefer to substitute for the word awesome – I guess it depends largely on your sexual predilection. Sasuke was taking a break from Japan, hanging out drinking cervazas and eating pork tacos, enjoying a change of pace and scenery. Gone were quaint diminutive women in kimonos, replaced by young and cheap Mexican prostitutes. He was springboard moonsaulting them in fits of passion in smelly hotel rooms all night. Sasuke won the first fall with an unbelievable powerbomb that blew my mind. La Pantera then stole two straight, saying in essence, “you may be world-renowned, but this is my house.” EMLL is love.
Giant Bernard vs. Tenzan – (NJPW 8/13/06 G-1 Semi-Final) - 4
Bernard plays the big bully, and does so extremely well. The story behind this match is that Tenzan refuses to shake Bernard’s hand pre-match, so Bernard basically annihilates him. The finish comes out of the blue, as Tenzan hits a moonsault (not bad for such a big guy) and then locks Bernard (sounds like a science teacher’s name, not a tattooed behemoth) in a submission for the tap-out.
Brutus Beefcake vs. Black Cat – (NJPW 9/23/93) - 1
Oh, goodness no! This was horrific. Their styles blended together about as seamlessly as fresh tomato and gravel. Beefcake was wearing that stupid fucking yellow facemask he was donning around WrestleMania 9. He looked so clueless. At one point, he tried to go for a really clumsily American lock-up and Cat just punched him directly in the jaw – hilarious! Cat pretty much controlled him, until Beefcake randomly gets the win with a sequence of poorly delivered headbutts, which were supposedly enhanced, since he used his VR Troopers facemask instead of his head when executing them. This is easily the worst match I’ve seen in 5 years.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
2 LAX v. Christian Cage/ Tomko- 2
3 Samoa Joe v. Sting- 3
This opening tag match left much to be desired, the same as when Christy Hemme opens up Hoyt's pants at night. Kip James continues to straggle the line between pitiful veteran or misunderstood never was. The Bashams exude absolutely no emotion whatsoever, like me when I look at the art piece "American Gothic" or when anyone watches a Halle Berry drama. LAX continue on their downward spiral, losing to Cage and Billy Goat Gruff. Christian and Homicide worked a few sequences, but neither did any kind of selling for the spots. Tomko displayed some power briefly and Hernandez stood on the apron like a scolded child. Joe and Sting could have been a huge sell out for TNA on a PPV show, but instead they squander both men in a 6 minute snore fest on Impact. Joe sold a rear chinlock like he made squishee in his shorts and the death valley driver finish left me puzzled, wondering how often these men are laughing at their banks depositing their next paycheck.
In honor of the fabulous 'fros of Mohammed Yone and Carlito ... behold the first edition of Fro Picks!
1) Hollywood Hogan vs. Lex Luger (WCW Nitro – 8/4/97) – 5
Hogan dominated most of the match and let Luger get some offense in here and there. Hogan’s posturing and preening during the early stages of the match made me wince. Once Luger gained the offense, there was a massive n.W.o. run-in from Hall, Nash, and Savage with Luger fighting all of them off in order to get Hogan in the torture rack and win the title. Yes, you read that right. Lex Luger beat Hulk Hogan by submission on free TV to win the WCW Title. The actual match was the shits but it gets a bonus point for historic significance. Hogan would regain the title five days later at the Road Wild PPV.
2) Ric Flair vs. Randy Savage (WWF Prime Time Wrestling – 9/14/92) – 4
Right off the bat, Savage is selling the knee injury from SummerSlam 92. Flair spends the majority of the match working over said body part with occasional help from Mr. Perfect. The story of the match seemed to focus around Savage’s knee with the main question being “can he successfully defend the WWF Title with a torn up knee?” The answer would be … um … no! The moment Savage turns the match around, Razor saunters to the ring and aids in assisting Flair’s cause. Flair held the figure-four on Savage for somewhere around three minutes before Savage “passed out from the pain” and his shoulders were counted down. Flair gets the WWF Title for a second time but would lose it to Bret about a month later. Savage’s constant over-selling and the slow pace of the match really hurt the score.
3) The Dynamic Dudes vs. Cactus Jack Manson & Lee Scott (WCW TV – 1/13/90) – 2
Jack was nothing more that a jobber with talent at this point. This was a pleasant treat because of the extreme rareness of a very early Foley match from WCW. The Dudes, which consisted of Johnny Ace and Shane Douglas, were mad over but they would eventually turn to suck. Jack spent most of the match yelling at his partner and beat the shit out of him after the match for losing. One point for the match and one point for Jack kicking the ever-loving piss out of Scott afterwards.
4) The Fabulous Freebirds vs. Brad Armstrong & Tim Horner (WCW TV – Early 1991) – 3
This is one of only a few matches on here I couldn’t find an exact date for. I know it’s from early 1991 because it’s for the tag belts which the Freebirds won at Wrestle War 91 from Doom. Anyway, this was your basic Freebirds match with Hayes doing lots of stalling and Garvin doing the work. Armstrong stuck around WCW until just about the end and Horner had a run as a heel in Smoky Mountain. This was given more time than the previous match from WCW TV but still loitered around the area of “blow” and “suck” on the scale.
5) Kevin Von Erich vs. Michael Hayes (World Pacific Wrestling TV – Mid 1980s?) – 2
I have absolutely no idea on the date on this one. The only thing I could gather from watching it was that it had to be from the mid-80s because Hayes was still wrestling in short trunks. Both guys ran the ropes very delicately because they were so loose. The single camera angle was so terrible I had trouble telling what was going on when the action went outside the ring. From what I was able to tell, though, things were kept pretty simplistic. These guys are capable of so much better.
6) Terry Taylor vs. Matt Borne (WCCW on ESPN – 2/26/88) – 4
Ah yes, late 80s World Class, when nothing but drunks, derelicts, and the occasional wrestling fan were the only people able to find their way into the hallowed halls of the famed Sportatorium. Both guys came across pretty generic and didn’t really deliver anything out of the ordinary. There really isn’t anything to see here unless you’re a mega-fan of World Class otherwise I’d say skip this one because both guys have had way better matches. It seemed to me as if they were just going through the motions here.
7) Mike Rotunda vs. Jimmy Garvin (NWA World Championship Wrestling – Early 1988) – 0
Early 1988 is the best I can do on a date for this one. The match itself never actually got started as Kevin Sullivan grabbed Garvin’s valet, Precious, and then beat the holy hell out of Garvin and broke cinderblocks over his leg. Damn! Afterwards, all the faces come out to assist Garvin, including Sting who was sporting a ridiculous outfit that featured bright orange short-shorts.
8) Brutus Beefcake vs. Tom Burton (WWF Superstars – 8/27/88) – 1
Beefcake’s favorite vegetable must be squash because that’s all that this was. Burton was over-powered, over-matched, and under-educated for this. For his finisher, Beefcake must’ve chosen the easiest move he could find. Ron Bass runs in and destroys Beefcake while he has the sleeper on his hapless victim. Bass slices Beefcake with a spur and a giant red “X” with the word “censored” appears on the screen. One point for the Beefer juicing, everything else was crap.
9) Justin “Hawk” Bradshaw vs. David Haskins (WWF Superstars – 10/27/96) – 2
Bradshaw destroys Haskins with sheer brutality in about three minutes. Remember what I said before about vegetables? Good, because that’s what Bradshaw turned Haskins into. Two points for Bradshaw just being himself.
10) Jerry Lynn vs. Taka Michinoku (WWF Friday Night’s Main Event – 8/29/97) – 5
A very rare Jerry Lynn WWF match. This is back when the WWF was trying to start up the light-heavyweight division to counter WCW. The problem was they paid attention early on but then de-emphasized it to where it was the main title being defended on the long forgotten Jakked. The match itself features a super-cool springboard plancha by Taka and nice ending sequence. It was nice to see that the WWF cared about the light heavyweights at one time.
11) Kerry Von Erich vs. Al Perez (WCCW on ESPN – 3/6/88) – 4
This is another bout from the waning days of World Class. Perez is your generic 80’s heel while Kerry is still mad over with most of the coherent crowd who bothered to find their way into the Sportatorium that day. The announcer is a total shill machine by constantly reminding the viewers of show dates, big matches, and where to get tickets for said event. Anyway, these guys spend roughly 15 minutes doing absolutely nothing except for headlocks, punching, and brawling on the floor. At the end, Kerry wins the WCCW Title and celebrates in the ring while Perez goes to the back to get his daily succubus.
12) The Nacho Man vs. The Huckster (WWF WrestleMania XII Pre-show – 3/31/96) – 1
This was the culmination of the wacky Billionaire Ted skits that appeared toward the end of 1995 and early 1996. Vince and Lawler take shots at Hogan, Savage, Okerlund, and Ted Turner. At the end, Vince utters “watcha gonna do when Billionaire Ted’s wrestlers croak on you.” Good stuff. One point for the comedy value.
13) The Body Donnas vs. The Godwinns (WWF WrestleMania XII Pre-show – 3/31/96) – 5
I’ve been seeking this bout out for a while now as it seems to be hard to find in certain circles. To say any of the competitors were well versed in complicated moves, save for Candido, would be a laughable statement. The Godwinns worked the power game and Dr. Tom worked armbars. Candido held his own and at the end Sunny used her assets to distract Phineas and win the titles for the Body Donnas. I can’t really justify the score on this one, except for the fact that I felt generous.
Most of these bouts are admittedly pretty lame. The Lynn/Taka match and the Hogan/Luger match I would recommend on the sheer fact of their rarity. Everything else is pretty much a waste.
2. Tyson Tomko and Christian Cage vs. L.A.X. – 3
3. Sting vs. Samoa Joe – 3
This pestilent pile of putrid pathetic product comes from the swell chaps down in sunny Orlando, FL. What the hell is Hoyt doing with a “tramp stamp”? You know, those tacky lower-back tattoos that are all the rage for desperate destitute despots? Hoyt’s looks incredibly ridiculous, as does Kip James when he tries to effectively sell the offense of their unremarkable opponents. Tomko teaming with Giant Bernard in NJPW I can handle, but working throwaway bouts with Jay Reso? The burial of L.A.X. can only be seen as comparable to that of Melquiades Estrada – and I’m thinking Adam will be the only fortunate soul that gets that righteous reference. Sting and Samoa Joe are two bona fide superstars, so, you’d expect them to have a great main event match together, right? Well, you’d be sadly mistaken my friend, as this was the proverbial salt on the open wound on your cock come honeymoon night.
Sunday, August 5, 2007
Pillman is from Cincinnati, OH (where I hail from) and even went to school at Miami University(where I went to school, too.) He had a throat affliction called polyops that put him in the hopsital 30 times as a young kid, but he never gave up. He was a walk on at Miami and made All-American teams twice, then without being drafted, made squad on the Cincinnati Bengals as a nose guard. Pillman then went through the toughest wrestling school in the last 30 years at the Hart Dungeon and gained his professional training. Although he died tragically, only after eleven years in the business, he is still remembered fondly by all who knew or watched him perform. This is his analysis.
1) Innovation- 10/10- Springboards.
Flying body presses. Air Pillman. He revolutionized and objectified highflying wrestling more than anyone in the US scene until that time. He was the biggest small man to become a star over night in NWA and it was his determination and amazing high flying that took him there. That alone is enough to warrant a high score. But after he became severly injured around '95, Pillman created his "Loose Cannon" persona and again, changed the landscape of wrestling single handedly.
2) Conditioning- 7/10-
During the fist half of his career, Pillman looked in great shape and his athletic prowess showed it. He was a fiend in the gym and had great stamina. As his years wound on, and injuries piled up, his conditioning became half of what it once was. Pillman still went above and beyond his capacity, but his body couldn't do the things he wanted it to. He turned to pain medicine and also suffered a career ending car wreck, which to anyone else would have finished them off for good, but Pillman rebounded and still performed in ring.
3) Skill- 7/10-
During his younger years, Pillman honed his skills and developed a ring style that worked for him and was fun to watch. He worked all the top stars of NWA during the first half of the 90's and succeeded admirably against them, providing great matches. After his injury and car accident, Pillman's ring work was cut in half and his mobility was severly severed. Most matches, he barely did anything but play to the crowd. But, he could bump and still did all the way up until the end of his career.
4) Psychology- 10/10-
No one could get in your head like Brian Pillman. He put everyone on edge during his "Loose Cannon" days. His erratic behaivor in and out of the ring threw off friends, family, reporters, everyone that was around him; he actually seemed to be "living his gimmick." He had his opponents thrown off even before they got to the ring. When he walked out on Kevin Sullivan during that famous match and uttered the words, "I respect you, booker man," that proved that there was no length Pillman wouldn't go to, in or out of the ring. In ECW, he threatened to pull out his manhood and piss all over the ring, and some (as told on the feature) swore that they saw him do it. His in ring work and psych was just as crazy. His facials showed extreme pain at all times, except when he was on the offensive. You couldn't see behind his eyes because they were bulging out of his head and he was smiling whenever inflicting damage on an opponent.
5) Interviews- 7/10-
Pillman was never afraid of being in front of the camera. He cut a lot of promos very early on in his career, despite his voice not sounding as clear as most. He showed a lot of passion and character during his face run in WCW on the mic. When he became a Hollywood Blond, he showed a different side with more fire and a witty side. Then, when he became "The Loose Cannon", it all went out the window. Even if the content of his promos wasn't good, no one noticed because everyone was too concerned with what he was actually going to say. But, nonetheless, keeping in character, Pillman was liable to say anything and everything and it was usually entertaining.
6) Character- 10/10-
"The Loose Cannon." It's a one of a kind in this business and that is rare. No one will be able to pull this off again, for one reason, is that it will always be compared to Pillman and called a complete rip off. Another is that who could possibly do what he did: he had every major wrestling company in the world wanting him and the guy was basically a cripple, but he was turning heads and making ratings and keeping everyone guessing. He was a leged years before he should have ever been one and all because of the idea of that character.
7) Basics- 10/10-
Pillman knew his stuff; he came from the Hart Family Wrestling School, so you know he was well versed in the mat game, but he didn't hide it. Even though he is known for his high flying style, if you go back and watch his old matches, you'll see tons of mat work. Pillman had some matches that weren't high risk at all, but some very basic wrestling matches. His chops rival Flairs, and if you don't believe me, go back and watch the matches from his DVD release. He Kept great pace and could go with anyone. Pillman knew his stuff.
8) Fans- 8/10-
As a face, he was cheered and for a consistent amount of years. He wasn't just a flash in the pan like a lot of young, good looking faces. But, keep in mind, unlike most of those guys, he could wrestle and he did it damn wel. Then, as a heel, both as Hollywood Blonde and Four Horsemen, he was booed and jeered appropriately. I think there were quite a few people that still cheered him as the Loose Cannon because the gimmick was so original and cutting edge, it was hard not to get into it, but no matter how "cool" it became, he stayed heel and always found another reaons ot make the fans hate him.
9) Feuds/ Opponents- 7/10-
While Pillman has had his share of great feuds, there weren't that many that set the world on fire. But don't take away the fact that he worked extensive programs with Jushin Liger, Lex Luger, Barry Windham, Ricky Steamboat, Steve Austin, Goldust, and several others. And as evidenced on his DVD, he has competed in several different big matches, including War Games and excelled in those arenas.
10) Gutcheck- 10/10-
this is the easiest score to give out for Brian Pillman. His whole life is about guts. Everything he accomplished before his death was about his guts and his heart and he displayed them every time he went out to the ring. I believe he truly loved the wrestling business and that could be why he became so enraptured with it during his last few years and became his character. Even before he entered wrestling, the odds were against him. First, his polyops, then his size, his lack of scholarships or respect on the gridiron and earning his stripes the hard way in the wrestling business. Brian Pillman becoming a success was a gutcheck in it's own right.
PO: Thumbs Up
Uncensored was usually the worst pay-per-view of the year for WCW. Let’s see how bad this one turns out to be.
1) Eddie Guerrero vs. Konnan – 6 –This was a perfectly acceptable little bout to open the show. It was amazing to see how good Konnan was before he joined up with the n.W.o. and how hard Eddie was trying to make his mark in WCW. It was about what you would expect from two of the top cruiserweights in 1996 and, to my amazement, was for the United States Title (you know, since the cruiserweight title wouldn’t come along until the early summer).
2) Lord Steven Regal vs. The Belfast Bruiser (Fit Finlay) – 6 – Regal and Finlay, who was working as the Belfast Bruiser during this time frame, just beat the ever loving piss out of each other. They chopped, punched, and slammed each other until they couldn’t take it anymore and then they did it even more. Finlay was working extremely stiff and even busted Regal open the hard way with some hard shots. Neither man pulled any punches and both were definitely on top of their game. This would’ve gotten a higher score if not for the run-in by Dave Taylor and a cheap DQ finish.
3) Col. Robert Parker vs. Madusa – 3 – I don’t remember much about this match except that Parker looked like shit as always.
4) Diamond Dallas Page vs. The Booty Man – 5 – This wasn’t as terrible as a thought it would be. Booty Man, by the way, was one of many failed gimmicks that Brutus Beefcake had in WCW. Either way, both men had their working shoes on as they busted out a match that could only be described as a modern-day miracle.
5) The Giant vs. Loch Ness – 2 - The Giant almost got eaten by the mammoth Loch Ness but managed to win in decisive fashion in a match that featured nothing more that two big guys pushing each other.
6) The Road Warriors vs. Booker T & Sting – Chicago Street Fight – 8 – This must be seen to be believed! The four punched, kicked, chopped, smacked, and piledrove each other until there was nothing left. Hawk wasn’t selling shit, Sting was swinging brooms all over the place, Animal was nailing people left and right with chairs, and Booker was holding his own in a massive, unmitigated, wild, wooly, pier-six, and downright crazy street fight. It was a very old-school style brawl that lasted damn near thirty minutes. At the end, I was exhausted just watching it. I can only imagine how spent the actual competitors were.
7) Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage vs. Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Lex Luger, Kevin Sullivan, The Barbarian, Meng, Z-Gangsta, & The Ultimate Solution – Doomsday Cage Match – 3 – What can I say about this that hasn’t already been said on the other sites that have wrestling reviews. How about the biggest ego stroke since Vince McMahon’s last masturbation. Yeah … that’ll work. Great workers like Flair, Sullivan, and Anderson were forced to take a backseat to the massive egos of Hogan and Savage. The cage was a giant three level cage with minimal room to work. Hogan and Savage had to start at the top and work their way down to the bottom were the likes of The Ultimate Solution (Jeep Swenson) and Z-Gangsta (Zeus, a.k.a. Deebo from the Friday movies) lurked. You can pretty much figure it out from here. Hogan and Savage defeat the upper level competitors such as Flair, Anderson, Luger, Barbarian, and Meng, the shamelessly brawl with said competitors on the floor and then get back in the cage to finish off the … ahem … competition. You know what’s even worse? This whole damn thing lasted almost 25 minutes!! And people wonder why I hate Hulk Hogan sometimes.
As much as I don’t want to, I have to give this a thumbs up. The first two bouts are recommended viewing to anyone who’s a fan of either cruiserweight wrestling or stiff rugged matches. The middle three, although Booty vs. DDP was admirable, can be skipped. The street fight is essential to anyone who’s a fan of any of the guys involved. I would recommend it for the physicality and for being the first time Booker stood out on his own. The main event, regardless of what you’ve read above or on other sites, should be seen at least once because it’s the prime example of Bischoff feeding the mega-egos of Hogan and Savage.
Jesus Christ, this is awful. Smothers' stomach looks like cheddar cheese dipped in desert sand. Tracy working the stick to start. I wish he'd don his old Young Pistols drunks and fuck-start Doyle's Irish face. Smothers' perm hair is stiffer than his punches. O'Doyle falls for all of Tracy's old tricks, making him look like a bigger moron than his neon green boots do. The ref is wearing a ball cap? Send him back to his job at Pacific Sun at the mall, and take O'Doyle with him to the middling mall nail salon so they can give him a manicure because he's a bitch. O'Doyle is selling like Ed Munster on weed brownies. When did Smothers start doing a spear, and why's it better than Edge's? 2 Tough Tony interferes, mercifully ending this awfulness.
Highlights of Nosawa versus Mad Man Pondo, and boy, does this look shitty. Nosawa's got green shit all over his face, looking like an extra from Troll 2. At one point, Pondo sloppily somersaults from the top buckle onto Nosawa whose sitting on a stool in the middle of the ring. I'd rather watch highlights of the Holocaust than this awful excuse for wrestling.
2. Trent Acid vs. Cpl. Robinson - 1
I skip past Acid's mic work because it's comparable to passing turds through your pee hole. Acid's dressed like the long lost 4th member of Green Day and Robinson's rocking a orange jersey and camo shorts, both about as fashion conscious as a blind guy wearing a blindfold. Robinson botches a spinebuster, so since he couldn't grab him properly the first time, Acid jumps into his opponent's arms making it easier for the move to be executed to him. Acid's big boot is mild compared to Kazarian's. Acid gets disqualified for throwing holy water into Robinson's eyes. You're telling me tap water can incapacitate him, when I'm positive he's had eyes full of piss and narcotics on a regular basis? Corporal is selling it like he just got Tabasco in the cornea, but unlike The Dudesons, Robinson is just acting, and doing so badly.