Sting vs. Robert Roode – (TNA Impact! 7/26/07) – 2
We’re off to a bad start as Sting starts off in a tee. Sting’s offense has lost believability over time, which coupled with Roode’s preposterous selling leads to a jejune affair I’d rather soon forget. Traci Brooks is ringside, chest looking more inflatable than ever, and further soils this bout by her incessant interference. I’d much rather see Sting work Rick Rude any day of the week.
Diasuke Ikeda vs. Glen Jacobs – (PWFG 8/3/94) – 2
This is interesting seeing Jacobs (Kane) in Japan. It’s also my first look at PWFG, which is basically a worked MMA federation. They kind of tiptoe on the line between professional wrestling and organized MMA, leaning more towards the stagy stuff upon a real close look. Ikeda starts off going for a Jacobs’ legs a lot, and aggressively attempting various submissions from different angles. I like that part, but then the short match changes tides and Glen gains advantage by utilizing his strength and hitting a few slams and suplexes. Of course, this is supposed to be “real”, so Ikeda tries to sell the slams as if he’s really shaken up by them. Ending comes after Jacobs hits a powerbomb that looked like a clumsy neighbor dropping their groceries, and then quickly applied a half-Boston Crab for the tap-out victory.
Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes – (WWE Raw 7/23/07) – 3
Orton played the consummate, calculating prick to Cody’s noble yet naive persona. While Cody is still relatively new, from watching him weekly on OVW I know that his selling is years ahead of a lot of other guys under developmental contracts. Just watch his agony when Orton stomps on his fingers – it’s excellently done. This match gave mainstream fans a glimpse of Rhodes, furthered an ongoing program, and saw one of the best-delivered RKOs in recent memory.
Christopher Daniels and Donovan Morgan vs. SATs – (ROH Unscripted 9/21/02) – 4
Jose and Joel work a lot of their patented double-team maneuvers in a pretty fast-paced and fun bout. There are a couple ugly spots, like an attempted Morgan clothesline on one of the SATs over the top rope, and a female “fan” from ringside hopping the rail, climbing onto the top rope, and moonsaulting onto a dumbstruck Daniels and his valet Simply Luscious. Still, while not the most engrossing, it’s a harmless opener with enough action to get the crowd excited.
Chono and Nakamura vs. Giant Bernard and Tyson Tomko – (NJPW G1 Tag League Semi-Final 11/06/06) – 3
Chono whispers in Bernard’s ear pre-match, leading to Bernard lying on the mat, presumably to hand over the match to his opponents. But, he kicks out at two! What a clever ruse. Tomko and Bernard combined have about as many tattoos as that girl with the nonexistent morals from my dream last night, but I digress. Chono’s age is finally caught up to him, proving the old adage of life’s only two certainties, death and taxes. They’re trying to push Bernard and Tomko as these big bruisers, but they’ll never be the Road Warriors, or even as imposing as Mortis and Wrath for that matter. This match is a lot like Andrew “The Punisher” Martin’s recent TNA stint, short and easily forgettable.