I remember when this show originally aired. Back in 2003 I ran heavily with a group not all too dissimilar from the guys of Jackass, stayed up all night just about every night, was having wild, experimental sex, and generally fucking off and not taking anything very seriously. I remember sitting in a former friend's room watching this show as it aired live on pay-per-view and very vocally bemoaning all of it. My distaste for the show even birthed a lyric I used in a rap song: "Which idea was worse? / Eric Bischoff in a belching contest, of course!" Now, six years later, my life is completely different, but would my opinion on this show have changed as I have myself?
1. Dudley Boyz vs. Christopher Nowinski and Rodney Mack - 2
This had a lot of slop in it, timing miscues, etc. Being a Harvard graduate doesn't really translate well into being a worker, Nowinski looked lost here, and even botched a single line three consecutive times in a promo earlier in the evening on Sunday Night Heat. The finish was dumb as Teddy Long stood on the apron trying to convince D-Von he was being racially abused by always being the one sent to get the tables by his white "brother". If he really wanted to prove racial stereotyping was happening he should have just snuck a cassette recorder into a booking meeting. This confusion allowed Nowinski to hit Bubba with a "steel mask" which is as dumb as it sounds.
2. Test vs. Scott Steiner - 4
Scott was supposed to leap off the apron to attack Test from behind in the aisle to start but slipped and crashed face-first into the ground. That was almost as big a shame as Test leaving a half-finished pizza and two-liter when he died. Steiner eats a whip into the steel steps good. Scott almost kills Test with an ugly belly-to-belly suplex. The score may seem a bit generous but the physicality helped here as it was sorely lacking most of the show.
3. Christian vs. Booker T - 3
They were in Booker's hometown of Houston so was over. Booker was so much more explosive and fast than nowadays in TNA. Booker had some good slams and power offense, but really didn't do much in the way of transitions, this could have used some more meaty strikes of which it had little. Booker's missile dropkick was solid and better than Jericho's later. The finish was lame, Christian gets intentionally counted out, referee won't allow it, so Christian comes back and gets intentionally disqualified instead.
4. La Resistance vs. Rob Van Dam and Kane - 2
I don't have much to say here. It only lasted six minutes or so. RVD ate a DDT by Dupree well. The double chokeslam La Resistance used for the victory and subsequently the belts wasn't bad but the rest of their stuff was tepid. A pretty awful outing.
5. Chris Jericho vs. Goldberg - 5
It starts with some hard knees and Goldberg tossing Jericho around. It's weird as Goldberg just doesn't have that magic chemistry with the crowd he did in WCW. Goldberg does a spear on the floor that Chris dodges and he blows through a security wall. Wait, he's bleeding? From running into a padded wall? Goldberg is so loose and sloppy, you can tell it's hard for Jericho to work around, but his lack of style is kind of entertaining in a car crash sort of way. Goldberg actually sells his arm pretty damn well for the entire second-half of the match, including remembering not to use it on stuff and it actually being a factor in the match itself.
6. Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair - 5
Some nice slaps and chops to get things started. Both guys look much better than they did at WrestleMania 24 in Ric's "retirement" match. HBK sells being stomped on his legs like his kid accidentally knocked his plate of pancakes and sryup all of Shawn's lap at the kitchen table. The patented "Flair Flop" flopped, as Ric nearly didn't get over, then he ran to another post to where he could hardly climb the buckles, only to jump off face-first into Shawn's fist in a terrible looking sequence. Michaels gets out a table and sets it up on the floor. Wait, why'd he do that? You'd figure he could leave the cheap garbage heat for mid-card acts that need all the help they can get. Shawn does a crossbody off the top onto Ric driving him through the table in an admittedly explosive spot. Orton comes in and uses a chair to get Flair the tainted victory while the ref completely misses the entire incident while it happens, loudly, mere inches from him.
7. Kevin Nash vs. Triple H - Hell in a Cell - 6
HHH eats a couple whips into the cage well, then later, a backdrop onto the floor. Hunter is screaming in anguish like a girl after Max Hardcore got done with her. Foley as guest ref looks like a guy that just went dumpster diving. Nash bleeds from a shot with a hammer. The use of a barbwire board makes me bored. HHH pulls out a wooden crate straight out of Double Dragon and busts it on Kevin's head. It starts drifting rapidly into overkill when both guys and the referee have bladed. I think for the two guys involved this was a satisfying match although suffers from being overbooked and Nash's knobby knees.
DVD Bonus: Ivory vs. Molly - 2
From Sunday Night Heat earlier in the night, gets three minutes, but on that scale, arguably better than the majority of the '09 WWE women's TV output. Molly does these great rag doll sells that I didn't remember her for. Ivory is mostly on the defensive, but gets the victory with the "Poison Ivory", or a facebuster.
Overall, still as shockingly disappointing as recognizing your parents' voices on the other side of a glory hole. I didn't even recap or give my thoughts on the atrocious "Redneck Triathlon" bits between Austin and Bischoff. It seemed like most of these guys were just coasting on this show and there's nothing worth actively seeking out here.