"Where it all begins.....Again"*
*what does that mean.....again?
1) The Big Show v. John Cena- 4
The shocking thing here was even 6 years ago when Cena was still starting out, his selling carried a pretty slow drab affair into something I liked watching because of his performance. Story of the match was mindless caveman beating from Show with Cena expressively showing his pain then hitting a big finish out of nowhere. Loved him repping the 1-Up wristbands.
2) Booker T/ Rob Van Dam v. La Resistance v. Dudley Boys v. Garrison Cade/ Mark Jindrak- 3
Book and Rob were wasted here as neither got significant ring time to showcase their talents, but at least they got a pay check to pay their rent for another further month on both of their specialty stores they own. Bubba was stiffing people but his short shorts were an eyesore, mainly due to his knobby knees. Resistance were the beating dummies here and when it broke down, whatever thread of a storyline they were trying to build went right out the window. Did any of the failed Hollywood writers know what Garrison meant before they saddled him with that moniker?
3) Christian v. Chris Jericho- 5
Two of my definite faves in the sports entertainment landscape did battle here to mixed results. They got some time for sure, and for once, I liked Jericho's punches, balled up looping Fred Flintstone shots that told you he was pissed. They totally flopped on the buckle trying to set up for a superplex, so they worked together to get back up in a strange scene. Loved the Impact DDT Christian crushed Jericho's skull with near the end, and the Trish turn was done pretty well, save for Jericho's sloppy sell of the Unprettier after match.
4) Evolution v. The Rock & Sock Connection - 4
Before this match took place, Orton (standing next to partners Flair and Batista) delivered a long winded wooden promo in front of the stairs that they threw Foley down months prior to start the angle. Even more obvious cue card reading than on Jay Leno's faltering mishap of a show.
Foley was super over with the crowd but his performance sadly didn't warrant that adolation. Crowd heat was actually quite good here and everyone was filling in their roles nicely, everything flowed together well, but my glaring problem with this match is was completely made up of punches and clotheslines, i'm talking about to a ridiculous degree. It felt much like what Tiger Woods went through, when all that money and fame and carte blanche got to him, how else was he supposed to blow off steam but have sex with low grade strippers and partime model/cocksuckers? It wasn't his fault, as was the case here, even when a moment would happen where the pace picked up and guys were thinking on their feet, half assed clotheslines or punches like some unseen force was causing them to do it. Inconceivable!
5) Sable/ Torrie Wilson v. Miss Jackie/ Stacy- 1
Not sure what agent's job it was to put this together, but looked like they just watched some WCW Nitro 98 cruiserweight stuff because they had them doing rollup reversals and sunset flip reversals. Dear God I miss Stacy's lower half.
6) Cruiserweight Open (involving Shannon Moore, Ultimo Dragon, Jamie Knoble, Funaki, Nunzio, Billy Kidman, Rey Mysterio, Tajiri, Chavo Guerrero)- 3
If this had gotten some decent time involved could have been something. Dragon finally made it to WrestleMania and MSG and he totally eats it on the way to the ring in a sad but funny moment. Funaki and Akio both neither got one move off before being eliminated which is a shame. Kidman (w/ Dr. Pepper gut) looked like a jumping Marlin trying to execute his Shooting Star splash outside. Rey was on as usual busting out some great shit for his 3 mintues of work, just piss poor how little anyone in the company was behind this match.
7) Bill Goldberg v. Brock Lesnar- 2
One of the greatest examples of two guys shitting all over the fans, people were really keen on watching two of the most dangerous men in the sport (for hurting guys un/or intentionally) do the same to each other but they tried to work a 1981 power man match that had MSG booing out the building. Goldberg hit one cool spinebuster but other than that this was a woesome 17 minutes I spent in front of the TV while Super Mario Brothers Wii was staring me in the face saying " You know you wanna?" " I wanna, Mario, I wanna."
8) Rikishi/ Scotty 2 Hotty v. World's Greatest Tag Team v. APA v. Basham Brothers- 3
Another hodge podge 4 way which saw Faarooq and Rikishi work for about 20 seconds a piece. Felt identical to the one that took place before hand. WGTT pulled off a couple nice sequences but other than that, this was as convoluted and pointless as 10 picks for Best Film Oscar.
9) Victoria v. Molly Holly - 4
I was actually digging this for the most part but again, no time to develop it fully. Molly and Victoria were good on the ground and always enjoy a Northern Lights suplex thrown in there for some Hase love. Neither girl had really good strikes though and the finish was hackneyed at best, Molly selling her haircut while some schmuck dressed like a barber from the 60's complete with candycane pole stood idly by, wondering if his paycheck would cover this months' rent, child support and menthol cigarettes.
10) Eddie Guerrero v. Kurt Angle- 6
Kind of a cool match that never fully reached it's potential. Lots of time devoted to Angle just grinding away on Eddie on the mat, the fast sections were much better becuase Angle can keep up, love how he sells a DDT, probably speaks for why he has such a useless body these days. Both guys execute stuff with a snap and I loved Angle's reaction to the finish afterwards.
11) Undertaker v. Kane- 4
This was kept short, like any kind of government apology and it was for the better. Kane was completely inside his character's mind, despite how requistely screwed up it is (guess i'll have to read that paperback novel to fully find out) Taker wasn't at his peak but much faster than he is these days. Lot of the same recycled spots they used throughout their whole 10 year feud together, watch this match eating some delicious Silician pizza from Bravo's and it will go down even smoother I bet.
12) HHH v. Shawn Michaels v. Chris Benoit - 9
I am shocked myself how great this was, first time I saw this show was in my buddy's sweltering apartment after having wrestled a backyard match myself earlier in the day where I received a nice goose-egg over my eye which had grown to the size of a Reese's Easter Egg cup, so it was hard to gauge it. People might also be turned off by the emotional factor invoved here as this was Benoit's culmination to an 18 year journey of becoming the true top dog in the world of wrestling, so to glorify a psychotic murderous bastard by giving acclaim to this match isn't my point, only to judge on what the match itself consisted of.
I think the thing that most worked in this match's favor is with it being a 3 way, which more often than not, are hurried and obviously ran like 3 seperate singles matches and while this had elements of this, timing was crucial because it helped them never lose their way and keep the 3 men invovled at most times, like it wouldn't just be a clothesline that had someone knocked out for 10 minutes, it would be significant like a table bump. Benoit was pouring on the punishment, chops and headbutts and violent kicks, Trips was selling submission attempts like scorpions were in his underwear or Steph's lawyer just served him with divorce papers and Shawn was kind of the glue that did his usual stuff but didn't take away from the match. Funny how crazy MSG was for Benoit and hated that Shawn could take the belt home instead of the Canadian. Cool moment when Shawn tries the triple German, but he's so largely booed he gives Benoit the reversal to take over and they pop huge. Messy bloody scalp of Shawn was a sight to behold, felt like a German torture flick and was pouring from his balding head like the green goo from Troll 2 and one of his better moments was calling Trips out in the center of the ring. The finish could have been badly executed but another piece of business that worked really well and i def. have to give kudos to all three for pulling it off so well. Still love Eddie coming out to share the spotlight with him at the end, despite either man's pharmaceutical problems or lounge chairs reserved in Satan's den in Hell.