1) Erik Watts & Zandig vs. Tommy Rogers & Adam Pearce (WXO, 1/16/00) – 3
I found this match online and immediately had to download it just because of the odd teams involved. Don’t know much about WXO but it featured Chris Cruise and Stan Lane on commentary. Rogers and Watts are your workhorses as they work the majority of the match against each other. Zandig and Pearce had a couple exchanges that didn’t light the world on fire. Watts was working great as a cocky heel. Odd quip on commentary where they mention that Pearce was training to be a plumber if his wrestling career didn’t work out. Not sure about the relevance of that at all, probably just so they could get a “flushing the competition” reference in. Pearce looked lost in a couple of places, most notably a spot where he hit the ropes, stopped, and starting clapping his hands to excite the crowd. Legal man issues were abound at the end where multiple switches were done with Watts getting the pin. Decent match. I would like to see more WXO, though.
2) Demolition (Ax & Smash) & One Man Gang vs. Larry Sweeney, Mitch Ryder, & Shayne Hawke (CHIKARA King of Trios ‘08 – Night Two, 3/1/08) – 3
Mega sympathy pop for Demoliton and Gang as the come out to the awesome “Here come the Ax/Here comes the Smasher” theme. How awkward must Smash feel wearing the old-ass Demolition attire while sporting a beer belly? Gang and Sweeney start off with a “strut off” to Slick’s old music that gets over huge with the crowd. I’m not normally a fan of stuff like this but I’ll be damned if it wasn’t a fun way to start the match. Hawke bears a very close resemblance to Opie of the Andy Griffith Show. He was bumping and selling his little stick figure ass off to make the old dudes look as great as possible. Smash worked the majority of the bout for his team, mainly because he was the only one who could wrestle. Ax and Gang got a couple shots in but it was to no avail as Sweeney, Ryder, and Hawke got the win. Fun match and it was great to see Demolition one last time. Watch this for the fun factor if anything.
3) The Undertaker vs. Yokozuna – Casket Match (WWF Royal Rumble ’94, 1/22/94) – 3
This was lamer than the latest Hallmark Channel made for TV movie. Started off nice with Yoko bumping himself into a ringpost and taking a couple chair shots from Taker. Taker got off a chokeslam that was somewhat sloppy, but really, Yoko is one heavy dude. Yoko was bumping around fantastic for a man his size and sold the frightening aspect of the casket great as well. Once Taker got Yokozuna in the casket, that’s when the utter stupidity started. Crush ran in and started pummeling Undertaker. was then joined by Tenryu, Great Kabuki, Bam Bam Bigelow, Diesel, and Jeff Jarrett among others. What proceeded was one of the longest and most terrible heel-on-face beatdowns in history. I mean this damn thing ate up a good ten minutes. The urn gets opened up and green smoke pours out, supposedly signifying the end of the Undertaker. Then we’re force fed a promo from Taker and a levitation sequence in which you can clearly see the cable lifting up whoever it was. I liked the first part but the interference and lame effects ruined this for me.
4) Kevin Steen & El Generico vs. The American Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards) – Tables Match (ROH on HDNet, 5/30/09) – 6
Lots of table spots and double team moves with very minimal selling. The Wolves work over Steen’s bum knee and keep that as a focus for the rest of the match. Generico takes a superkick/german suplex combo from the Wolves that ends rather badly as the table doesn’t break on the suplex. Steen is then put knees first through the same table. Steen’s on-again/off-again selling of his knee was actually the best selling of any of the four combatants. We get a double stack from Steen & Generico (and I don’t mean the one you get at Wendy’s) on the floor. Steen shouldn’t have slept through Tables 101 in wrestling school as it clearly states on page 424 of that textbook that “he who stacks the tables shall receive them.” This rings true as at the end of the bout Steen is shoved off the top turnbuckle by Richards and through the tables. Generico got some nice hangtime on his areial moves, including a splash from the top turnbuckle to the outside through a table. Richards worked his usual balls-out style and took an ultra sick powerbomb on a table from Steen which did not break the table. I guess ROH tables are indestructable. The finish saw the aforementioned spot where Steen went through the double stack and the Wolves busted out an Ace Crusher through a table on Generico for the win. Recommended if you’re a fan of these types of matches where there’s no selling and wild table spots.
5) Hollywood Hogan & Bret Hart vs. Randy “Macho Man” Savage & Rowdy Roddy Piper (WCW Great American Bash ’98, 6/14/98) – 2
Had all four of these guys been in their prime, this would’ve been a hell of a match. Instead we get and very immobile Piper, Randy Savage with a bad knee, and Hogan who does as little as possible. The only person who seemed to be intact and functioning fully was Bret and he spent the first half of the bout on the apron. Piper and Hogan stall to begin things, then there are atomic drops, and some more stalling. Piper spends the match playing the face in peril but I wasn’t buying it. His sells were weak and I felt sorry for him when he tried to roll Bret up in a small package. Savage gets a belt shot to the back from The Disciple, who was loitering around ringside, and Hogan wraps the bad knee around the ringpost. Bret locks Savage into a sharpshooter for the win after about eight minutes of utter crap. Nothing here to even get the least bit excited about.
6) Kenta Kobashi & Yoshihiro Takayama vs. Keiji Mutoh & Akira Taue (NOAH, 9/27/09) – 6
I was torn on what score to give this … debating either a “5” or a “6”. I think the fact that it featured the long awaited moment that many Japanese fans were waiting years for, Kobashi vs. Mutoh, helped push it into the recommendable category. That being said, this was a let down. I expected these four to beat the holy living hell out of each other but they never really seemed to “level up”, so to speak, and get into that upper realm of awesomeness. Taue was not the Taue I remember. This version is old and bloated. When Taue did a sloppy shining wizard, Mutoh had this look on his face like “really dog? WTF?” and proceeded to show him up by doing one way better. Kobashi was his usual self. The chops were on target and cringe inducing. Takayama, well he’s never really done anything for me and his kicks looked really subpar. The exchanges between Kobashi and Mutoh were the focal point here. Mutoh got so pissed in the first exchange that he jumped into the crowd and grabbed a chair. Mutoh didn’t look like he was really laying anything in or it could be the fact I’m just used to the super physical NOAH style. Taue hit a couple nice chokeslams during the bout but it wasn’t enough as Kobashi and Takayama triumphed in the name of Misawa. Afterwards, Mutoh bowed out and let Kobashi and Takayama have their moment. Decent match that puro fans would enjoy for the Kobashi/Mutoh stuff. I still would like to see a 20-minute single between those two.