Saturday, December 29, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
2 John Morrison/ The Miz v. Shannon Moore/ Jimmy Wang Yang- 5
3 Kelly Kelly v. Layla/ Victoria- 2
4 Batista v. Elijah Burke- 3
I (obviously) don't see this team of Punk and Kane lasting and i'm glad for that becuase they seem to not have any chemistry or anything in common at all, unless you count their monthly subscription to Justice Society of America. The Greasers are effectively a one legged team- Deuce took some nasty kicks from Punk and sold well for Kane on big spots, and looked like the leader where as Domino sold for Punk as if he were bored on a Friday night, making no attempt to convey any kind of emotion on his really grotesque face. Their double finish at the end was cool, but that's about as far as it goes. The following tag was fun and fast paced; Smackdown's cruiserweight division looked really inspired and this was probably the most work i've seen Moore do in a few years. Yang continued to impress and meshed well with the unorthodox style of the champs. As high as Vince was on Morrison, i continue to like Miz better, although the monkey flip from the corner sell by Morrison was as exciting a prospect as mounting Melina's backside, which is to say would be pretty nice. The ending got a little rushed, but all the performers hearts were in the right place. I gave this an extra point for being an unexpected surprise of a good match.
As happy as i was about the preceding tag, this handicap bout was as enticing as eating moldy bread. Victoria, who is a competent performer, didn't even seem to care and she was the only one who could have dragged this to a decen score. Kelly Kelly looks highly untrained and i wouldn't recommend her getting back in the ring. The main was built up to be a big match for Burke and Batista seemed willing to take his licks for him, including a stair bump and a great high kick. This didn't go very long and their chemistry isn't top notch, but i would like to see them have more time to work a singles and Burke taking the Batista bomb looked much like the guy who fell out of Top Gun at Kings Island all those years; straight down on his dome!
1) Innovation- 5/10
While a very skilled competitor, Storm's contributions to the overall progression of wrestling can't be measured very high. He was a big part of ECW as it broke through to the mainstream and was recognized as one of the company's most solid performers. He was part of the contingent that got some very valuable experience in Japan before making his foray into the US indy scene. Other than that, I'd say one of Storm's biggest contributions is his website, even though it came online years after the Internet had blown up and become a major part of the wrestling world. And he was the first guy to strike a blow for the Alliance, or the Allegiance or whatever the hell that shitty faction was when WCW invaded.
2) Conditioning- 10/10
Storm has always been in excellent shape, not bulky or super muscular but trim and cut. His body frame isn't built to hold mounds of muscle, but his cardio is peak condition, even though i'd say he rarely wrestled long matches in most of his US stints. His cardio workout (published, again on Stormwrestling.com) is pretty comprehensive and intense. One thing you'll notice in Lance's matches is his ring pace and that comes from good stamina, he rarely ever works a slow pace, even if the match is taking place on the ground. Another factor to consider is the ever increasing steroids and drug abuse factor, to which Storm is not known for taking any other than prescribed and it shows in his work. His best category.
3) Skill- 8/10
Storm is an excellent ring technician. His move set has been fine tuned over the years, including his superb superkick and his rolling boston crab. His athleticism is pretty high grade too, with his leaps to the top turnbuckle and planchas to the outside with showing a lot of grace. Storm is also quite a bumper and makes guys look pretty good, no matter the skill level or lack there of of his opponent. Most importantly, he's a ring leader and perfectly comfortable being one. The only gripe I have is his sometimes robotic bumping method, where he blankly looks straight ahead, throws his feet out and falls to the mat and quickly gets up again several times without showing any damage.
4) Psychology- 10/10
Storm knows his ring psych, a less is more kind of school of thought. Storm is a high risk taker but he's never been that flashy one. He has a great facial expression on his sells that really show the pain and he knows how to work an armbar. In WWE style, he was a perfect mid card guy because he knew how to make his opponent appear like a great worker without overshadowing him, and in many cases, he clearly could have. Storm's timing is also impeccible, a great asset to him in the ring; it helps moves come off looking great and good timing makes the audience react positively.
5) Interviews- 7/10
Storm was presented as a guy who was pretty boring, but he was very adept at speaking in front of crowds. He did some great stuff in ECW, where his presence seemed as if he were a professor and had something intelligent to say to the crowd. He was often the mouthpiece for factions he was involved in, ex. Team Canada, Impact Players, Anti-Americans and he did well in the role. His famous catchphrase "If I could be serious for a minute, " was pretty smart and worked wonders for him, when he was actually given the chance to speak. His mic time was severely diminished during his WWE stint, but hey, who's wasn't?
6) Character- 7/10
Typically, young, technical wrestlers are always portrayed as a heel, and Storm was no different, rarely ever straying to the face side of this large equation we call wrestling. But, he was a pretty effective one. He received great heel heat, using a cocky side to himself without being over the top with it. You knew he was a great wrestler, probably a better one than the guy he was facing, but that made you want him to lose all the more. His characters have generally been a version of Bret Hart's heel in '97, a proud Canadian who likes to rub his country's positives in any American's face who will listen. It's garnered him a lot of success and he has been a great wrestling heel. He's only shortly played a face in his career, and it was nothing to write home about, but man, did i have a good laugh at seeing him do the Cabbage Patch and the White Man's Overbite with Goldust on Raw.
7) Fans- 6/10
While Storm has been a great heel wrestler over the years and a well known name in one of wrestling's biggest boom periods, I'd say he still doesn't have that superstar quality that the average fan will pick him out of a crowd and really be excited or the name that a huge crowd would pop big for should he return, although he got a great reception at the ROH show he competed at. I think more smart fans and older fans appreciate Storm more than the average fan and those would probably be the ones that would cheer him. But, he's definitley not a person that would go unnoticed.
8) Basics- 10/10
Storm got his training in the Dungeon of Stu Hart, a wrestling legend known for stretching young students and teaching them the fundamentals of the wrestling business, which is wrestling holds. Storm is an expert on his ground game and can hold his own with anybody, i'd say, in the business today besides maybe Angle or Lashley. His punches are nothing you'd use in a real fight, but their sharpness is perfect for pro wrestling. His reversal and counter wrestling are also very good and he can work sequences with anyone.
9) Feuds/ Opponents- 6/10
Storm has traveled the globe and fought many of Japan's top stars in WAR, like Liger, Samurai, U. Dragon and more. He worked probably every top guy that came through ECW, like Dreamer, Sabu, RVD, Taz, at least got in the ring with every top guy in WCW during his short tenure there , like Sting, Goldberg, DDP, and gotten to work a variety of people in WWE, like the Rock, HHH, Hulk Hogan and Edge, but as far as feuds, Storm's been pretty light on them. He had a lengthy feud with Tommy Dreamer in ECW and a lengthy feud with Hugh Morrus in WCW, but that's been about it. Storm was deserving of more money programs and could have even been a bigger star than he was.
10) Gutcheck- 7/10
In the wrestling business, guys work till they die. That's just a fact. Lance Storm was smart and saved his money and can work when he wants to or when there's a great opportunity. In a business that heralds you when you're on top and walks on your face when you're down, Storm managed to avoid most of the pitfalls that hit superstars of yester-year. It's a sad time in the industry for me, personally right now because all the great performers i saw when i was a kid and loved are dying, or in bad shape, or looking for that next big break and the industry that made them who they are doesn't have a bit of compassion for them. A lot of guys, i think, have a hard time letting go of their career, maybe they didn't accomplish all they wanted to, but Storm bowed away gracefully, even though he may not have made that Wrestlemania stage like he should have or become a World Champion like he should have. He'll join names like Brian Pillman, Owen Hart and Arn Anderson who never won World Titles when they so richly deserved them, but he still stuck it out in the business that mostly forgets it's fallen sons and that takes guts and heart. Another aspect of this category is Character, which Storm has a lot of, never having been arrested or caught with pills in his gymbag, so i give him extra points for that as well.
Final Score: 76
PO: Thumbs Up
1 Christopher Daniels v. Eric Young- 2
2 Abyss v. Chris Sabin- 4
3 The Truth v. Kenny King- 1
4 Chris Harris v. Christian Cage- 4
Daniels and Young, while 2 talented guys, can't make much happen in 2 minutes. Young's backne was quite disturbing. Everything looked crisp in this squash, and Daniels doens't unleash his whole arsenal in a throwaway match, which is smart. Sabin is good at getting built up and Abyss will probably be an enhancement talent for years to come. His timing is pretty good with powerspots, but his sells are pretty absurd. He gets kicked in the head and pulls his hands up to his face in a cringing motion. Truth comes out and does the same 3 moves he always does and puts away King in a completely forgettable waste of time. Cage really doesn't look like he could beat anybody up, but he effectively vanquishes Harris and his Spanish swordsman's moustache. Both guys have a good rhythm with each other but ultimately there are no high spots in this match and the finish is pretty flat. Can't recommend it.
1 Monty Brown/ Jeff Jarrett v. Kenny King/ Shark Boy- 1
2 Rhino v. A1- 2
3 Roderick Strong v. Samoa Joe- 3
4 James Storm v. AJ Styles- 4
Man, i hate this Jarrett squashes nobody shit but i kind of long for it with all the nonsense Russo has on his show. Monty effectively explodes into King's body with a Pounce and i wonder why he wasn't made a star, because lots of people have gotten over with less. Shark Boy bit Jarrett's ass as he was hanging over the guardrail at one point. Love to hear the backstage story on that one. If you've seen one Rhino squash, you've seen this one. A1 doesn't really sell anything as much as just takes a move and falls down. Strong gives Joe a spirited squash and dishes out some brutal chops. He takes all of Joe's stuff the way you should: hard and painful. This is short but fun while it lasts. Meanwhile, back when AJ was still taken seriously.....He stiffs it up with Storm, TNA's perennial jock strap, in a well paced main event that has a DQ finish. Storm is 207th on the list of all time best superkicks but AJ's kick-ass sell of it could shoot it quickly up near the #76.
1 America's Most Wanted v. AJ Styles/ Christopher Daniels- 5
This was a fun tag match that spanned 3 commercial breaks on TNA's New Year's special. The storytelling was pretty good, as Daniels and AJ had apparently pinned both of these guys on seperate shows in singles matches but they couldn't match up to them in a tag atmosphere. AMW was a pretty good team, they could read each other and they knew how to build to some great spots. AJ was the stiff one here, laying in killer forearms to Storm's face at one point. Daniels was the glue of the match and took all his licks very professionally. I believe this was the start to a pretty good feud, and i would like to have seen this have a little more time, although it wasn't your usual AMW crowd brawl, or your usual AJ spot fest, just a basic tag match with sweet cutoff sections and a Daniels' moonsault that made me cry in my Fruity Pebbles.
1 MVP v. Rey Mysterio- 4
This match started out at fast pace, with Mysterio flying early and MVP doing some ground work. Rey hung with him for a little bit, then took back to the air where he botched a flying splash and i got my first laugh of the night. I could see age taking a toll on Rey, as now he has to grab the guy's neck before he can execute his famous hurricanrana, although he did pull off a really awesome one off the apron to the outside. MVP's big boot and Rey's sell of it looked a Rey got pulled back by a giant steroid magnet. They worked a really fast pace but the ending ruined it; a shitty countout where MVP just left. One of my biggest rules when watching a match: The finish is supremely important because it's the last thing that happens and how you will remember the match. Bad finishes would become a theme for the night.
2 Mark Henry/ Big Daddy V v. CM Punk/ Kane- 5
Henry and V looked like 2 hulking gorillas foraging in the Amazon looking for food. Punk worked well around them, kicking at their legs like he was trying to knock water out of a Redwood. Kane was throwing some stiff uppercuts, but when all 4 of them got in, it was a mess. It looked like people mis-directed in an airport, just guys milling about not knowing where to go. Punk had an awesome hot section where he was handing out kicks and big knees to the gargantuans while Kane and Henry took a nasty spill to the outside. The finish was pretty sweet: Punk springboarded into a Samoan drop by V, and i was surprised this match wasn't bad, and it had some time to it too.
3 Shawn Michaels v. Mr. Kennedy- 4
I'm a Michaels mark from way back, so it's always a treat to see him work, although it seems hard pressed to pull anything good out of Kennedy and I'm proven right for the 2nd time (the 1st time is when i knew there was no possible way to get up that closed off staircase in Maniac Mansion for the NES.) Michaels took some really nasty bumps, including one where they both spilled out of the ring and he hit his back on the apron. I loved when he was doing some '97 heel stuff, like stomping Kennedy's fingers on the steel stairs. The crowd seemed to be asleep during this match, especially when Kennedy took control. i still hate his punches. This should have been a 5, but the finish was ridiculously business exposing, as Michaels was a good 3 feet from connecting with the superkick. Guess no replays of this match. Shucks!
4 Jeff Hardy v. HHH- 3
This was supposed to be Hardy's big breakout match and it flopped bigger than David Caruso's film career. Hardy was just off; he was stumbling around the ring, just fell off of the railing outside for his big dive spot, and all his offense looked completely inferior to Trips. HHH gave him a pretty hellacious slap at one point, which i took as saying "get your fucking act together." HHH barely bumped in this one and for a pretty good run since his comeback, this was a bad performance. They had a DDT sequence that worked and Hardy gave some aftersell on a few things, but the finish was a quick rollup that wasn't very quick at all.
5 Finlay v. Great Khali- 2
Thank god this was short. Finaly could get a good match out of a dead horse, but call Great Khali a rotting corpse of a horse because this was pretty awful. Luckily it only lasted a few minutes. Khali trying to get his leg up for a back kick was funnier than Dane Cook's Tourgasm and seeing it flop right onto Finlay's head and him sluggishly slump over had me groaning and wishing i had ordered some food to distract me from this mess.
6 Randy Orton v. Chris Jericho- 6
I had been looking forward to this one for a while, Jericho isn't as fast as he used to be though. These guys had some great chemistry and Orton continues his reign as King of Selling in this match, ex. Jericho does a crazy splash to the outside and Orton holds his head after wards because that's what hit the ground first. The Walls is just as good of a high spot as it always was and Jericho still knows how to use it well. Jericho runs into that oversized ego in a cowboy hat JBL on the outside and gets a laugh out of me. Orton's dropkick rivals any i've seen in this match, perfect, right on the button accuracy. Hardcore Holly can go sit on a fork and spin if he thinks his limp-dick of one is any good compared to Orton's. Jericho took a nasty corner bump and i think KO'd himself for a second. Jericho finally brings the crowd out of it's nap since Big Daddy V won and he locks in the Walls and drags Orton away from the ropes. Jericho is just seconds away from winning WHEN THAT WASHED UP DICKWEED JBL drags his 50 year old tired saggy ass into the ring and kicks Jericho for a DQ win. Orton hits an RKO post match and the camera gets a close up of Jericho's face, which everyone around the world can read: "Why did i come back for this shit?" and you could actually see his push die right there on camera. This would've been a 7 easily, but i have to knock it down for that.
7 Beth Phoniex v. Mickie James- 3
This was 5 minutes of fun, these two work well together, but Mickie's usually stiff kicks came off looking really weak against Phoniex. She had a crazy submission hold that hurt Mickie pretty good and we all enjoyed seeing her nipples through her velvet costume. Then, we were discussing how she makes Trish and Lita on last week's Raw Anniversary look like old hags. Phoniex hits a weak ass brain buster for 3 and it's over. The crowd wasn't any more dead than for this match; everytime the women played to the crowd, you could hear crickets chirping and if you really listened, you could hear Dean Malenko's voice behind that.
8 Batista v. Edge v. Undertaker- 3
This was a really unfunny joke of a match. Batista couldn't have hurt a fuzzy bunny rabbit with the really weak strikes he was utilizing in this match. Taker still knows great spots and was playing up really well how badly he wanted to kick Edge's wretched ass. Taker in a cool spot, missed the legdrop on the apron and hit hard on his back. Edge looked like Captain Jack Sparrow selling Taker's punches and i wished he find World's End and take a leap off of it. About halfway through this turned into a singles match where Edge was just laying on the ground outside staring up into the ring. He wasn't even selling anything or pretending to be hurt; I was thinking "This is one of your fucking stars?" Meanwhile, Taker and Batista try to pick things back up again and do their usual stuff (spinebuster from Old School, and Taker's nifty triangle choke) then Edge has 2 lookalikes (presumbly the Major brothers) and he misses a chair shot at Batista's head and wins the belt. Thinking back, 3 points is generous but it's Christmas, so i guess i'll let it fly.
Tully Blanchard vs. Mike Nichols – Georgia Wrestling ’85 – 3
We’re in a dimly lit studio and Blanchard’s accompanied by his “perfect ten” Babydoll. Tully starts it off with some fantastic amateur-based stuff; it looks realistic because it is, as he clinics Nichols on the mat. Back to their feet, Tully delivers a few hard forearms; Nichols sells them like absolute death as he falls backwards like a tree toppling in a forest. A devastating knee to the gut makes Mike roll backwards, rolling on his head, and shortly after Blanchard finishes him off with the slingshot suplex, his signature move, done to near perfection. The match lasts under two minutes, but is sheer beauty as it makes Blanchard look like a brash badass who can back up his boasts.
Well, that’ll do it for this edition of The Contents of Tully’s Pockets; we’ll see you again next time for more analysis of one of wrestling’s premier icons.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
2. Kelly Kelly and Balls Mahoney vs. Victoria and Kenny Dykstra – 3
3. Shelton Benjamin vs. Jimmy Wang Yang – 3
4. Jeff Lewis vs. Kevin Thorn – 1
5. CM Punk vs. Mark Henry - 2
This was a fairly fast-paced and relatively enjoyable episode of this perennial loser of a show. The opener was a decent competitive tag match, with highlights being Brian Major’s exquisite dropkick, Miz’s facials during sells being particularly good showcasing the pain, and Brett Major making Morrison’s corkscrew neckbreaker actually look hurty. The mixed tag was kept thankfully short. Dykstra kneed Balls hard right in the face early, which I loved, but later, Kenny had trouble executing a tilt-a-whirl headscissors that looked nice until the release, where he got all tangled up like a snotty kid on a playground in his shoelaces. Balls got the win with an inside cradle, I suppose to keep some of the heels’ heat, but I’m puzzled as to why even bother?
Shelton cut a promo trying to make himself seem like an impact player in ECW. He did throw a boot at one point against Yang that’d make Hiro Matsuda blush, if he was still alive. Benjamin busted out a powerbomb into the buckles that was devastating. Shelton countered Yang’s aerial arsenal by blocking a flying crossbody with a gutbuster. Shelton’s finisher was bizarre, the announcers coined it as a “bulldog into a DDT” but it looked nothing like either maneuver to me. Jobber Jeff Lewis looked like former NBA player and current Chicago Bulls head coach Scott Skiles, while Thorn, sporting his new look, came off like a guitar tech for Monster Magnet. This sucked, but the tortue rack/backbreaker finish was painful enough to warrant a satisfactory smile. The main event didn’t go long. Henry was selling Punk’s leg kicks like he just snorted some wasabi. Big Daddy V interfered, ending this utterly forgettable atrocity, and ending the show.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
1 Donovan Morgan v. Navajo Warrior- 3
2 Evolution (Kazarian/ Tech 9) v. Cubanitos (Ricky Reyes/ Rocky Romero)- 4
3 Texas Outlaws v. Shchwag's Army (Keiji Sakoda/ Drunk Irishman)- 1
4 Mikey Henderson v. Taka Michinoku- 5
5 Ballard Brothers v. Smelly/ Chris Bell v. Tom Howard/ some muscle bound roid freak- 1
6 Vic Grimes v. Hardkore Kidd (Hardcore Match)- 4
7 Smooth Billy D v. Damien Steele- 2
8 Prototype v. Bad Boy ?- 2
9 Samoa Joe v. Staj the Russian Nightmare- 2
10 Kurt Angle v. Christopher Daniels- 6
This show opened with the owner dancing around with a midget and 2 Ho's (one was Victoria) in a daunting red light. If i wanted a hallucogenic experience, i would have paid good money for it from this guy i know who gets his shit from downtown- but i wanted wrestling, damn it, so bring someone out who will punch another guy in skimpy shorts in the face!
The first match featured perennial NOAH grappler Morgan against the latest stereotypical Indian warrior. The match was centered around both guys trying to work the other's legs but nothing was done with crispness or with any emotion. The following tag was really fast paced and had tons of innovative moves and double teams. Nice to see the Rottweilers pre-ROH. Schwag's army was a joke- Sakoda has had far too much time in the sun for so little skills and his partner was actually called the Drunk Irishman- as if he had no other name. He stumbled around the ring like Scott Hall in his holding cell waiting for his wife to come bail him out so he can ulimately slap her around and get incarcerated again.
It was nice seeing Taka in action and he got a lot of musclebound Mikey, who could fly and bump pretty well. Makes you wonder where he is today. Taka's palm heels are a must see, but the cheap finish was pretty indy. The 3 way tag featured a manager, some token Canadian hockey players in the wrong sport, a musclebound circus freak who belongs on the show "Carnivale" and a guy named Smelly in track pants. This made me want to shut mouse traps on my pupils. This was a fucking insult to wrestling fans everywhere to try and pass this off as a Tag Team Title Match. I nearly turned off the DVD. Vicious Vic tries to squeeze what's left out of the Hardcore scene in wrestling and finds....an Ironing Board! Congrats, Vic,you schelp! He grabs an overweight foozeball Champion right out of the "Ultimate University" this fed's training school and parades him through a few weapon shots. All in all, Grimes bumped well but this match was about as fresh as Grandma's diaper.
"Smooth" Billy D looked like Shelton Benjamin's lankier brother who sits at home and plays World of Warcraft all day. His gimmick is he wears a fake Afro and it gets him pumped up to do a top rope dropkick. Steele is a pretty plain villain with not much going for him, so he can't lead this rookie punk to anything resemebling a good contest. A chair shot finish wins. My God, Cena is so incredibly juiced up, i can't even believe it's the same person. He has definitley cut back since making it to the big leauges. Cena is so large he's nearly immoblie and his opponent looks like they've shared a few needles. This barely resemebled an athletic contest. I'm going to steal an line from an old UPW review i wrote: "Just because he's wearing a tropical shirt with palm trees on it, are we supposed to believe this guy is Samoan?" Guess i was wrong because he actually is. This Russian prick is all kinds of pumped, like a young Brakus and Joe is bumping all over for him like his name was Mikey Whipwreck circa '96. The Schwag Army was at ringside, making fan boys all over the arena feel manly. Joe hadn't figured out his bad ass character at this time, instead opting for college hippie messed up haircut and thrift store ring gear. This was short and pretty devoid of anything fun. Daniels and Angle meshed supremely well together, as you would imagine, and this was one of the few matches missing interference or foreign objects. They actually let the guys do their damn job! Both men have great reversals and they put together some nice sequences. They looked like professionals, where as most of the talent looked like green, wet behind the ears rookies. It probably went around 12 to 13 minutes, which could have been longer, but they didn't really work much technical, so it paced out nicely. One of the sole bright spots of this pretty wretched show.
The Guerreros were the focus of the match; it was built around what amazing feats they could pull off on the heels. I didn't think they were that extraordinary; Chavo looked pretty spry for a tan guy and was the most impressive. Foley took a concrete bump, per usual. The RPM's didn't do much of anything besides show no teamwork, no continuity and no fashion sense. This didn't take long but served it's purpose as a fast paced opener.
2 Eric Embrey v. Jeff Jarrett- 4
I would be willing to be that there is a line of heels in wrestling that would pay good money and crank to be able to have the demented facials that Embrey has. plus from what Foley says, he's packing some heavy sausage. Besides that he and Jarrett have a pretty good wrestling match full of counters and quick pin attempts. Embrey's a pudge, but his weight doesn't slow him down. It was interesting seeing a young Jarrett, who was a pair of boobs away from being a Barbie doll with his long feathered blonde hair. The match ended though before it really picked up steam so i couldn't rate it too high.
3 Wayne Bloom v. Jimmy Valiant- 1
Why is Valiant getting squash matches when he's 92 years old?
4 Brick house Brown v. Iceman King Parsons- 4
I don't know if i enjoyed their dance moves or their wrestling more? Parsons is one of my old school favorites but Brickhouse isn't bad either. They kept this pretty simple, but both men could fly (Brickhouse's dropkick, Iceman's Butt-Butt) We had a cheap ending but this kept my interest.
5 Derrick Dukes/ Ricky Rice/ Wendi Richter v. Bad Company/ Madusa- 4
Bad Company were bumping pretty well and having seen some Tanaka recently, he was a pretty good heel, he just didn't get much heat. DDP was managing at ringside, rat's nest mullet and all. The women were pretty lackluster and Madusa was wearing a outfit that only had one leg on it. The faces were pretty bland too, having nothing in common as far as styles. Dukes looked like he had just taken a bath in Soul Glo.
6 Greg Gagne v. Ron Garvin- 3
Normally i'm a sucker for Garvin and his punishing right hands, but he had already put a stamped envelope on his career because he didn't bring the pain here. Gagne never had it, just got it handed to him by his decrepit old papa who was doing the world's worst color at ringside. This had a BS finish too( becoming a theme of the show) and was pretty much a waste of time.
7 P.O.W.W Lingerie Street Fight Battle Royal- 2
I give this points only out of morbidity. There were some real hags in this one and the wrestling was at an all time low. The Terrorist (imagine this gimmick today; a women speaking in foreign tongue, planning her next attack) won the thing, but by the time it was over, we had all lost. Peggy Lee Leather, the poster child for big dicked biker Lesbos came out of her shirt in a massive pile of bodies that were all dumped over the top rope at the same time. Her breasts flopped up and punched her in the chin in one of the stiffest shots of the night. This also had us laughing our asses off because one of the announcers sounded dead on Larry David.
8 Sgt. Slaughter v. Col. Debeers (Boot Camp Match)- 3
I was really hoping for one of those classic Slaughter bloody boot camp brawls, but what we got was a one sided pummeling. Debeers was pretty pathetic and Slaughter had to bump around him, which he did exceptionally well. There was a bunch of interference and Slaughter fought them all off successfully. This was pretty short, just like Adnan Al-Kasie's member
9 Samoan Swat Team v. Michael Hayes/ Steve Cox- 5
Watching this, i started realizing that the SST's were an overlooked team in the overall scheme of great tag teams. They worked snug, had good timely tags, and traveled multiple promotions and had varying degrees of success. Hayes was playing the crowd pretty superbly as usual and then you have Cox, another mullet wearing blonde babyface, but this guy had a lot of fire! He was very aggressive and worked well with the Samoan's style. The swerve ending, again, was a little repetitive but both teams had good chemistry and you have to love Hayes' left hand if you love anything about wrestling at all.
10 Manny Fernandez v. Wahoo McDaniel (Indian Strap Match)- 5
This was a good old fashioned fight. Both men were way past their hey day, physically, but they knew how to tell a good story within the confines of the match. Both guys could chop a fencepost in half and they both knew that red equals green because the blood was flowing. The pace worked for this too because every match on this show seemed really short, except this one. Fernandez was great when Wahoo dragged him to the corners, wrapping his feet around the ropes, but Wahoo would just stomp his face like a remorseless Nazi. good stuff
11 Kerry Von Erich v. Jerry Lawler- 5
First the good: Both men could punch like they had been fighting for food since they could learn to bawl a fist together. That part I enjoy. Both men give brain busting piledrivers too and Von Erich bleeds as if no one had ever seen a match from Puerto Rico. Now, the bad: Techincally, there wasn't much wrestling in this match. They pretty much punched around, then went into finishing moves with very little substance. There was tons of confusion near the end and in the middle a little bit, as well as the ref looking as lost as me on a road trip. Now, the strange: Von Erich appears to slice into his arm before the match even starts!? He stares at it multiple times in the first few minutes as if he needs to go home and get a Band-aid and a popsicle from his mommy, then he forgets it's even there. I wanted to like this, but it just didn't have what it needed to be a good match.
(Note: i copy and pasted my review for this match from the Spectacular Legacy of the AWA DVD set review i did back in Sept.)
12 Stud Stable v. Rock n Roll Express- 4
Not sure why this main evented but it had the makings of a classic tag match that the R n'R's do so well, with great bumping heel team playing to their every whim. Golden and Fuller were quite the ugly pair but they were a perfect poor man's Midnight Express except they didn't do those funny spots where they would slap each other really hard or give hugs in the corner. This ended in a big shmaze less than 10 minutes in and ruined any aspirations of a lost classic
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Thursday, December 6, 2007
2 Roddy Piper v. The Mountie- 3
3 Bushwhackers v. Beverly Brothers- 1
4 Legion of Doom v. Natural Disasters- 3
5 30 Man Royal Rumble- 8
I love a good tag match, the back and forth, the cutting the ring in half, the matching tights; there's just something very appealing about it to me. This one wasn't bad. It had all of those elements integrated into it, but it felt like the Orients were outmatched through the whole thing. Anvil never struggled with them at all and even though Owen played great face getting beat down, he seemed over qualified as well. Tanaka threw some nasty kicks but his partner Kato ( a guy in mask with really wrinkled skin) looked like a gangly teenager from off the street. He didn't have any good offense and his team suffered for it. Piper's first singles title win is a major milestone even if it comes from this 5 minute dud with perennial goofball Mountie. Piper's punches are real enough, but Mountie's sells are more like he's running from an angry wasp than selling real pain from getting a knuckle sandwhich in the cheek bone. Jimmy Hart tries to get some "heat" by attempting to take a bump, but he looks like a scared child in the process.
I love a good tag match and that's why i hated this one. All 4 of these guys were pansies! Despite all the obvious Bushwhacker homoerotic comedy spots, you still had two teams in there that should, by now, know what they are doing but the Whackers were selling forearms to the back like they slipped on a banana peel. The Beverlys brought absolutely zero realism to their movements as well, opting instead to perform at least 4 double ax handles from the top buckle (which was the fin). the only moment that got a rise out of me was when The Genius slapped Jamison and he sold it afterwards by looking at the camera and saying "He slapped me...really hard....and it hurt." Sometimes the most obvious things can be funny. Animal and Hawk were continuing their dominant ways and just bulled over the Disasters. Both of these big mammoths brought no teamwork to this match, but Quake effectively sold everything being done to him with believable facials. A countout finish where Typhoon outsmarts two other men doesn't fly on this place i like to call Earth.
The famous 92 Rumble match where Ric Flair went over 60 minutes and wins the WWF title- it's a damn fine Rumble and has some really good ebbs and flows during it. It essentially broken up into 2 sections- you have a lot of midcard guys coming in at the beginning, then they all go out except Flair then your top tier guys all fill in during the 2nd half of the Rumble. Some highlights from the first half were Haku's piledriver on Bulldog, Tito's flying forearms, the close up on Flair and Kerry Von Erich when they face off, and Bossman's homicidal elimination, probably one of the sickest in Rumble history. The 2nd half featured a lot of big brawny brawlers, including Duggan, Snuka, Undertaker and Piper. Slaughter took a great elimination during this section and Flair giving Taker a low blow and him no selling it was a funny moment. Hogan and Sid's chemistry was lacking at the end and even though Flair wins, it's almost as Hogan gives it to him, so it's a little soured to me, much like Hogan's marriage and his daughter's proverbial "cherry" after WCW's the Demon popped it like a bubble backstage at a Nitro in Lowell, MA.
Show’s working the effects of an angle where Kane tried to take his eye out a couple weeks earlier, so they’ve got make-up making it look all pink and enflamed, like the girl next door’s in the summer of ’91 when I told her if she poked herself in the eye with my penis it could change her eye color. She was hoping to go from brown to green – but had to settle for red and watery. Moxley gives some effort, eating some of Show’s shitty spots. Big Show does the big open hand chest slap to both in the corner, steps on the guys, dishes out short clotheslines, and eventually chokeslams the piss out of them to end this.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
From where else but Orlando, Florida ... your hosts are Tenay and West ... as usual.
1) Team 3-D & Johnny Devine vs. Alex Shelley, Chris Sabin, & Jay Lethal - Tables Match - 3
This started off okay with Team 3-D running down everyone in the arena and on pay-per-view. Bubba looks like a bloated fish and D-Von looks so roided that he can't bend over to wipe. I just couldn't get excited about this mainly because we've seen 3-D in these matches over and over and over. It's starting to become a nasty habit. TNA production sucks because they missed a ton of stuff, most notably a dive to the outside that was missed by the first camera and had D-Von's shoulder blocking the view of the other. The finish was lame with Devine going through a table and then 3-D putting Devine on top of Lethal on the broken table after a ref bump. Ref calls it in favor of 3-D. Decent bout but the stupid finish cost it a point.
2) Roxxi Laveaux & ODB vs. Angelina Love & Velvet Sky - 1
The crowd reaction to ODB was about as big as her funbags. This was all comedy and I wasn't laughing. Love tags in near the end and cleans house. She looked the most competent of any of them. Velvet Sky looked terrible and her ring attire and entrance are blatant rips on Stacy Kiebler. Love and Sky score the upset win. Yawn.
3) James Storm vs. Eric Young - 3
This went a little too long for my tastes. Jackie wouldn't let Storm have any beer until after the match with apparently puts Young at the advantage. Storm takes a nice bump on the ramp. They keep it pretty simple and mainly worked armlocks and rest holds. The finish saw Storm chug a beer for courage and then Jackie standing on the apron for the finish spot in which she inadvertenly spit beer in Storm's face. A pretty standard match with no one really putting on a standout performance
4) 14-Man Feast or Fired Battle Royal w/ Senshi, Christopher Daniels, Elix Skipper, Sonjay Dutt, Shark Boy, Lance Hoyt, Jimmy Rave, Petey Williams, Chris Harris, Voodoo Kin Mafia, LAX, & Scott Steiner - 3
The object of this brilliant brainfart is to climb a pole and grab a briefcase that is atop the pole and then climb back down to the floor with said briefcase. The briefcase will contain either a shot at one of the three titles or a pink slip. Kip James looked like a peppermint bitch and I was so hoping that either Scott Steiner or Senshi would beat the queer out of him. People were getting thrown out of the ring left and right but they don't get eliminated. That's dumb. Those who grabbed cases were Steiner, B.G. James, Petey, and Senshi. And who got what? We don't know because we were told to watch Impact for the payoff. What an abortion. The worst part? This ran 22 minutes.
5) Gail Kim vs. Awesome Kong - 5
This is the best match of the night. Kim was bumping her ass off and making Kong look like a legitimate monster. Kong was no-selling Kim's offense. The crowd is hot! Kong was throwing stiff clotheslines and Kim couldn't knock her down. Three dropkicks from the top rope finally knock down Kong and hits a fabulous senton. Kong beats down Kim in the corner and throws the referee aside for a DQ finish. Fantastic match but the finish cost it a point. Afterwards, Kong continues to beat down Kim. Velvet Sky and Angelina Love run-in and get destroyed. Kong powerbombs Kim on a chair and surveys the damage.
6) Abyss & Raven vs. Black Reign & Rellik - 10,000 Thumbtacks Match - 3
Raven is a last minute replacement for Rhino. This was a bloodbath. There are four beds of tacks laying around the ring and also a bag of tacks on a pole. What is it with TNA and putting crap on poles tonight? I wonder if there are actually 10,000 tacks. Wouldn't you hate to be the guy who had to count all those? This was the standard TNA arena brawl with tables and crap. Reign takes a bump through a table with a bed of tacks on it. Rellik actually looked the best out of everyone in the match. Abyss slammed Rellik on a pile of tacks for the win. Another near fifteen minute match.
7) Booker T & Kazarian vs. Christian Cage & Robert Roode - 4
Kaz works the first half of the match mostly by himself and gets beat down by Cage and Roode. This feels like an Impact main event. Kaz hit a nice springboard, though. Booker doesn't get involved until the last five minutes. He pretty much destroys Christian and Roode and then gets the pin. The match was pretty much a paint-by-numbers thing and very, very long for a match so simplistic. I can't even think of one outstanding thing that happened that I didn't have to look up.
8) Kurt Angle, A.J. Styles, & Tomko vs. Samoa Joe, Kevin Nash, & Eric Young - 4
Joe cut a pretty controversial shoot promo before the match started to explain Hall's absence and then introduce Young as the third man. A.J should never be allowed to have promo time ever again. He's got the same problem that Mike Awesome and Chyna had ... no, not drugs ... but, it's the fact that his voice doesn't really click with his look. I find it really hard to take A.J. seriously with that southern accent he has. I digress. The story on team Joe was that Joe would only tag in to Young because he was pissed at Nash. Young didn't really do much to get the fans interested, probably because he had fought James Storm earlier on. The only people in the whole match who seemed motivated were Nash and Joe. The finish saw Joe pin Tomko following a muscle buster. A dud of a main event to cap off an ever bigger dud of a show.
Saturday, December 1, 2007
So, anyway, Harley Race does the ring introductions and even he, a legend in his own right, and also a chili wizard, says that this is one of the biggest honors of his career. Then, Benoit comes down to the ring, sporting what can only be described as an Owen Hart t-shirt that was designed and created using a teenager’s desktop computer. Bret comes down to ringside, in the arena that, gasp, his little brother died tragically in. The poetry of this is too good to be written, which is all right, because this drama isn’t scripted, unlike a ten-minute in-ring promo by The Rock that was likely airing on another channel at the same time.
They start off doing some amateur wrestling, jockeying for position, etc. There are some good reversals, realistic cinching on holds, and so forth. I kind of look at this match like a three-act play. The next act is when they start ratcheting it up a notch, tempers start flaring, and things take a more physical tone. Strikes are being used now, and we’re starting to see these guys’ competitive urges manifest themselves. For me, the third act is ushered in by a scintillating suicide dive to the floor by Benoit, that just absolutely drills Bret in the face, and Hart flies backwards about ten-foot down the entrance aisle.
There’s a lot of money stuff in this last section, namely a picturesque superplex that gave me back pains by proxy. The whole time Benoit’s just drilling Bret with chops, showing no remorse for the grieving Hart. The finish is sublime, transcendent some could argue, as Hart finally sinks in “The Sharpshooter” and Benoit taps in the middle of the ring. After the match, Bret looks up at the rafters that his younger brother Owen fell to his gruesome death from, and in that moment, this is cemented as one of the most priceless pieces of wrestling footage ever. Thank you Bret and Chris, as well as Harley for the priceless introductions, and most of all, to Owen.
1) Michael Hayes/ Tracey Smothers v. Marcus Bagwell/ Jimmy Garvin- 2
We have the Freebirds on opposite sides in this one. They tied up a couple times and tried to really play up that they were wrestling and the fans actually seemed to eat it up. Smothers just got off the very unsuccesful comedy tour The Original Kings of Stalling, featuring himself, Larry Zybyzsko, Jerry Lawler and Paul Orndorff. I mean, it took forever for this match to ever get physical. You could tell this match was thrown together because no one wanted to do anything because no one knew what to do. Bagwell does a pretty good hiptoss/ dropkick/ armdrag combo (which we'll see in almost every match on the show) but Smothers does a bad job of selling it. I was watching his face while he was being wrenched in an armlock and he was biting his lower lip like he was trying to remember if he took the trash out at home or not. The finish was appalling as the Freebirds bickered over a miscue in timing and Bagwell hit a ugly Perfectplex.
2) Steve Austin/ Rick Rude v. Big Josh/ Van Hammer- 5
The heels carried these two walking sideshows to a respectable match, and probably the best tag on the show. Austin and Rude had stellar team work and knew how to effectively keep both men in their corner when they wanted to. But, they also sold big for the Village People rejects and made it look believable. Van Hammer trying to do an escape on a armlock was pretty comical. There was a silly spot where Josh was attacking Rude's abs and it didn't faze him because he's in such good shape. The finish came off a blind tag and they didn't drag the match on longer than it needed to be.
3) Dustin Rhodes/ Richard Morton v. Larry Zybyzsko/ El Gigante- 1
This was one of the more bizarre matches of the night, there would be many. Gigante barely did anything besides choke out his partner 5 minutes into this. I thought Morton was a great prick heel, coming in on a tag then immediately U-turning when Giganted tagged in. Then, after the match the 7 foot bowl cut shook Dustin's hand then went to shake Morton's but he was already down the aisleway. Nothing really happened in this so there's not much of a grade to give out.
4) Bill Kazmaier/ Jushin Liger v. DDP/ Mike Graham- 4
Wow, interesting match. The pacing was all off, Liger and Graham had some good chemistry together, Liger was throwing some great kicks and Graham was kicking it old school with fireman's take overs and single legs, but he couldn't keep up with Liger's rollups and stuff. Then Kazmaier who was slower than a salted slug and DDP had no chemistry and it's like each pair would tag in and out and the pace would go from fast to slow. A double team press slam using Liger as a torpedo was the finish.
5) Lex Luger/ Arn Anderson v. Terrence Taylor/ Z-Man- 4
Anderson is really just as good as you remembered. He was already sweating and grinding away on restholds like he was going an hour broadway not even 5 minutes into the match. Z-Man was a really good face in peril and probably tied with Steamboat for best dropkick. Luger was pretty shitty as he refused to sell any of Taylor's offense. Taylor went on an offensive rip against Luger at one point and Luger just horsefacing it the whole time, making everything look really weak. Arn hit a DDT that made my breeches warm with joy. Damn, that should have been the finish.
6) Ricky Steamboat/ Todd Champion v. Cactus Jack/ Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker- 2
Parker was already standing up waiting for his name to be called before they even announced him.Then he got thrown around the locker room like Stevie Richards' penis pump. then, in the aisleway, he got worn out by Abdullah the Butcher with a giant cane. I'm talking about mulitple shots,all to the head and FOR FUCKING REAL! it was a spectacular beating. This left Cactus alone; he and Steamboat had no chemistry together and Champion didn't look like he had chemistry with anything. Steamboat did a pretty cool suicide dive but that was the highlight of this dud.
7) Sting/ Abdullah the Butcher v. Brian Pillman/ Bobby Eaton- 3
Abby was the star of this show! He came running down the aisle, smiling ear to ear, really excited to be Sting's partner, then he just started beating him down. Pillman was next down and he tackled Abby then took his cane and beat the Sudanese piss out of the fat bastard! It was crazy! Eaton and Sting worked the whole match together, and they had some good spots. Eaton's right hand is pure sex. Pillman bodyslams Abby and the camera doesn't even show it- i wanted to see a best of 7 between those 2. This wasn't the best match by far, but probably one of the funnest.
8) Rick Steiner/ Nightstalker v. Vader/ Mr. Huges- 2
I wanted to rank this higher, but it's pretty hard considering the finish. Vader and Steiner were absolutely killing each other with clotheslines and suplexes and it was fun as hell to watch. Nightstalker (wearing tan colored trunks and boots?) did one move and fucked up the ending. He was pretty useless.
9) Scott Steiner/ Firebreaker Chip v. Johnny B. Badd/ Arachnaman- 5
This match had a really good pace to it and it was given some time. Steiner was the superstar here with Badd being built up as someone with potential and Chip and Arachnaman audibly being called the weaker links of their teams. This was done pretty well as everyone had a definable role in the match. Steiner was just killing guys with his power moves, Badd was knocking out everyone with hooks and Chip was selling pretty well for a guy who had the stupidest name in the business. Arachnaman was wearing a Spider Man costume but instead of being red and blue, it was yellow and purple. I don't know who came up with this gimmick, but it was pretty pathetic, although he had a good dropkick. Not worth seeking out, but a decent enough match.
10) Ron Simmons/ Thomas Rich v. PN News/ Steve Armstrong- 4
I've read a lot of places that people don't agree with putting the belt on Simmons years ago, but after watching this show, he was the most over on it except Sting. Anytime he tagged out, they were chanting "We Want Ron!" As far as his work, he doesn't figure much psychology into it, he just pummels people. It was fun when he and News got in because they weren't pussy footing around, they were going toe to toe. News had some really credible offense for such a big guy. Armstrong was a poor man's Tracey Smothers for the stalling (can't begin to describe how desperate that makes him) and he and Rich basically just punched each other like it was a Raw main event anywhere from 99- 03. Again, no real pacing in this match, but fun while it lasted.
11) 2 Ring Battle Royal- 3
This wasn't very good at all. Some highlights were Vader, who was pummeling everybody, and even took a few people outside. Steamboat and Arn were "wearing each other out like rawhide" as Jim Ross called it, yet the camera was nowhere near them so we couldn't see a damn thing. Liger and Morton had some good sequences, but Morton thought he was 20 years younger because he tried keeping up with Liger, but to no avail. Trying to throw a guy between 2 rings in the first place is an asanine task but some of the jokers involved in this made it even harder to watch. When it came down to the 2nd ring, the final four guys put together some good spots, who were Sting, Rude, Steamboat, and Austin. Other than that, this was probably worse than your average battle royal.
12) Lex Luger v. Sting- 3
For some reason, this wasn't a match, the only way to win was to throw the guy over the top rope? i didn't write it, i just watched it. anyways, they did some decent brawling out in the aisleway and Luger even took a ramp bump, albeit a pretty shitty one. This was short and not a lot happened, but the crowd was 100% into Sting and helped make what would probably otherwise be an eyesore and 7 minutes i'll never get back become something i'll just promptly forget and not be the worse for.