Wednesday, April 28, 2010

2010 WWE Draft Analysis

As we did last year, the fine crew here at NHO has decided to offer up our opinions on the 2010 WWE Draft. We also invited our friend "Geo" to offer his views as well. Enjoy!

To Raw

Chris Jericho
J: So they want their best utility guy back on the main show, he will probably succeed on whatever show he's put on, love for him and Cena to renew their rivalry
B: I'd like to see Jericho, coming off real solid feuds with Michaels and Rey (and a considerably less quality one with Edge) continue getting involved in longstanding programs. On Raw, preferably in fresh match-ups with guys like Tatsu, Henry, and Primo, or if retreading, with Cena.
G: Like Jess, I honestly don't think it matters what show he's on. Jericho has a way of pinning the spotlight on himself so much so that you want to watch him, even if you hate him. Personally, Jericho is my favorite and I think it will be a fresh start with some unique matches just waiting to happen.
A: I like this as well ... I would definitely dig an Orton/Jericho feud or a feud with Morrison. Jericho is a great addition to any brand. He'll probably get the title at some point this year.

J: I just want him to find his f'n passion again, but I don't think it will be on this usually angle heavy show, would have left him where he was and moved Orton who I absolutely thinks needs something fresh besides HHH and Cena
B: So, apparently he's heel again? Much better served than as a face -- save for the fact Raw is now desperately in woe of strong faces. I'd stick him in a mid-card feud or just use him as a utility guy, but, think they feel they've spent so much time on him that they need to keep him a major player when his work doesn't evidence he deserves it.
G: Edge's home is SmackDown. I honestly was digging his comeback in a show that right now is doing ten times a better job than Raw. I look forward to matches with Orton. Possibly a revival of Rated RKO only now as faces?
A: Haven't been too high on him since his return. What's with the random heel turn? Will probably wind up an upper card utility guy.

John Morrison
J: He's here for backup, in case a headliner goes down, may slide into open spot left by Big Dave as top guy
B: I'd like to see him get pushed, possibly up to the top tier, liked his energy in the match w/ Swagger on the draft episode and think it'd be something fairly fresh.
G: Dislike this idea of moving him to Raw. There were still a lot of match ups I would rather see on SmackDown -- a show that seems to be more focused in-ring rather than backstage. His mic skills need work.
A: This could go one of two ways ... either he gets a big push and works near the main event or he gets the MVP treatment and gets stuffed down the card.

J: Not sure about this, seem him jobbing soon, and most likely no Pretty Ricky
B: His act is stale and woeful -- fire him.
G: Don't care.
A: Don't care about him either.

J: His main purpose: skits/ promote his upcoming book, probably end up with Tourettes again
B: Hope to see him on Superstars regularly working Regal, Ryder, etc.
G: Agree with Brian. As long as he keeps up the matches on Superstars, I'm happy. I dig the 'Dust.
A: Would like to see him with a decent run instead of stuck on Superstars, but I'll take what I can get.

Ezekiel Jackson
J: Guy needs someone to lead him, still not a good worker, should be packed down to Florida
B: Loved him vs. Christian at Rumble '10, needs to harness that intensity and become the monster we all want him to be. Maybe a feud w/ Bourne?
G: Potential is there, but all I can honestly see is a continuous push as a monster that squashes smaller guys.
A: Ok, so he's injured and still gets drafted? Don't think he'll make much headway.

The Hart Dynasty
J: Interesting move, think they're slowly getting over, and have the talent
B: I dig this act -- Tyson has had lots of underrated performances already in '10.
G: They are by far my favorite tag team, but they belong on a show that focuses on wrestling and not angles, as stated before.
A: Yaay ... my favorite team! Nice to see them get some love by getting the tag belts and sent to the "muthaship".

J: If they let her wrestle, she's great
B: I'd like to see her get active as a wrestler again, too.
G: Like you guys said: hopefully becomes more than just eye-candy. Needs to take Kelly's spot.
A: Really underrated. Would like to see her wrestle more.

The Great Khali & Ranjin Singh
J: Not really sure how much he has left to give
B: Another guy that should be fired -- let Inoki sign him for IGF.
G: Khalgruber doesn't do anything for me.
A: Who cares? Not me.

To Smackdown

Kelly Kelly
J: Less viewers watching her, good for less stalking, bad for her website hits
B: Seems pointless -- couldn't care less.
G: Least favorite. Can't work.
A: Will probably be stuck in the same spot on the blue brand that she was on Raw.

Kofi Kingston
J: We'll see, stop/start pushes are good for no one, seem him as next Shelton
B: I'd like to see him work a feud with Ziggler, think this is a better fit for him, a more athletic-based show.
G: I'd love to see my boy get a push for the IC title. Drew McIntyre vs. Kofi Kingston? YES PLEASE.
A: Let's see if this goes anywhere. If he gets a push, I think he could have some good upper-card matches but I get the feeling he'll be Shelton 2.0.

Big Show
J: Clearly on the backside of his career, think he was put here to do less damage to main event scene as they haven't let him headline in a while
B: I don't think I'd make him a headliner again, maybe work halfway up shows with guys like JTG and Matt Hardy.
G: I can see him becoming lovable Show again. No thanks, no thanks.
A: Interesting move here. We'll have to see what happens but please don't let him near the title.

J: Best move for him, can step up to main event, matter of time before he goes heel
B: If he stays face love to see him and McIntyre have a summer-long feud.
G: Punk vs. Christian is something I want to see more of... hopefully it happens.
A: Was stuck in purgatory on Raw. Really hope he can step up his game being on the blue brand. I would dig another Christian/Swagger feud.

Chavo Guerrero
J: Could he redeem himself, or will he be carrying Vickie's bedpan again
B: We'll see him on Superstars working Masters and Reks -- his best days are behind him.
G: Sad because he'll probably continue his shtick as a punching bag for a dwarf
A: Only reason he's still employed is because of Vickie, otherwise he'd probably be working AAA.

Cody Rhodes
J: Good spot for him as well, distance from Legacy is what he needs to set himself apart, he'll get a decent push, up to him if he can make it work
B: I really like this movie, would like Finlay to return so he could beat some experience into him.
G: Glad to see Legacy demise and go their separate ways. I've always enjoyed his mic work and he seems like he will be able to have some good matches on SD.
A: Hopefully he can have a good run here as a mid-card heel. If he switches to face, then he'll lose any momentum he had with Legacy.

Chris Masters
J: A nothing pick, haven't liked much of his work since he's been back, probably a jobber
B: Had a couple decent matches on Superstars but doesn't belong anywhere near a top position -- I'd stick him in feud with Shad over a female.
G: Can't really think of anything I'd be interested in seeing him in. Never liked him.
A: Has this guy ever had a good singles match? Can't work a lick and is nothing but a meathead.

J: Why he continues to get drafted i have no idea, could someone get him a voice, kind of useless w/o Finlay
B: Fire this stupid fuck.
G: No in ring performances. If anything, stick him as a manager with some face.
A: Please, somebody, anybody ... get rid of this useless little fuck.

Rosa Mendes
J: I see upside, she's hot, has character, now she just needs to learn to actually wrestle
B: Stick her with Barreta and Croft.
G: Solid as a valet, but that's about it. The only thing that would be promising is her role as a valet for Shad.
A: She's still employed? Don't see much in her.

J: Well that year on Raw sucked. He needs to go back heel, pronto, i don't care about his face run at all
B: Always liked him more on SmackDown! -- gets more of a chance to shine. If he stays face would like to see him work a minor program with Vance Archer.
G: Feud with Dolph Ziggler would be interesting. He's always kind of just been there in my opinion, stuck in mid-card. Hope things look up for him in a new environment.
A: Needs to go heel and work with Christian. Had an awful 2009 and a rough beginning to 2010.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Takashi Okita/Kento Miyahara/Kensuke Sasaki/Katsuhiko Nakajima v. Atsushi Aoki/KENTA/Akihiko Ito/Kenta Kobashi - 5 (Kensuke Office, 08/17/2008)

This was a match where each squad had 4 guys but it was run as a tag match the whole time, so 2 vs. 2 and when one man was pinned, the next guy from that team would join the match until the final 4 (wonder who those were) were in for the tag portion. 1st section was Aoki/ KENTA v. Okita/ Miyahara, which was worked as a juniors style Japanese tag. It was filled with all your usual slap fests, power ups from being crushed with a finisher and strong style no selling that's been accustomed. It's gotten better but 2008 and the year before were filled with these exact type of matches done on every undercard on most every Japanese show. Aoki was still seasoning at this point, looking much more aware and skilled in the Juniors 09 tourney but was good for a perfunctory player. Liked the use of submissions as nearfalls though throughout the whole heat section. Ito takes the fall.

Kensuke comes in to join Miyahara and for some reason he gets his ass kicked immediately by the NOAH boys for the first 5 minutes of the bout in a really strange bit of match psych. Miyahara starts shining here as a backup for Sasaki's heavy offense and doles out some of his own. Aoki goes down to a badly worked crab submission as Ito joins the fray but doesn't last long at all, not enough to give much of an effort and the legend himself, Kenta Kobashi comes in. He exudes a presence just standing in the ring and there's meaning to almost everything he does while he's performing which is at a much slower and deliberate pace than half of what the other guys were doing in the beginning, although i question why his 2nd move of the match is a top rope superplex to Miyahara?

A note on KENTA: I hate proving all those forum Internet wrestling stooges right to boost their already inflated (but astoundingly lonley) egos, but KENTA's selling was as emoting as a dead horse. You can see him take a Samoan drop and instead of acknowledging what just happened to his body, you can see him thinking aloud in his head, as if he's going through his next spot, balancing his checking account or trying to figure out where that extra condom went from his nightstand drawer after his girlfriend "got angry" and left abruptly before their Friday night date. Worst thing was he was involved in the match for the whole 70 minutes it went on. Kobashi also got Miyahara out with a submission he rarely ever uses in poor planning of a spot. And in comes our final entrant: Nakajima, the KENTA clone and rival, I think they're working a Jacob-Man in Black angle that is going over the heads of even the most harcore Lost fans.

One thing I like is the feud those two guys keep up everytime they get in the ring together though; they always show this dire hatred against each other and despite the lack of selling, pour everything they have into breaking each other down with terrible slaps and furious kicking. This round consists of the bulk of the match, over 35 minutes dedicated to the top 4 guys invovled. Sasaki and Kobashi ring each other's ears several times but nothing captures the level of magic they had in their singles match in 2005. As fun as Kobashi is to watch, his mobility is deteriorating before our eyes during this match, even though I still liked the various head dropping suplexes they would try on each other as their partners would kick them in the face inadvertantly. As for the majority of the offense, it got a little repetitive, Just a lot of kicking and big suplexes galore, it all became sort of a sour mash I just couldn't stomach to eat anymore even though there was a lot of high level athleticism being displayed. Couldn't help but compare this to nearly the same match but with Go in Kobashi's place and that one worked better than this. KENTA was not only selling throughout most of the last 20 minutes but could hardly throw a potent strike or kick he was so winded, and I wanted to see some of his cumulative damage take it's toll because he had been dropped on his head at least a half dozen times by Kensuke.

As I stated, run time was an hour and 10 minutes in this and the crowd was worked into a frenzy through the whole ending portion but it felt retread and tired and very self-gratifying from most of the guys in the match. Unique concept but overall i couldn't really recommend this over a lot more Puro stuff that's out right now.

Monday, April 12, 2010

NHO Hall of Fame Fight

As we near our 5 year anniversary of the blog, we decided to do a quick fun tournament featuring all the members we've added to our own Hall of Fame, which happened over the course of a few days and some emails. We simply voted who we thought the better worker was in each matchup, which is why you'll see the 3 vote tallies on each side. it's fun for a quick read; enjoy!

Opening Round
Bracket 1:
1) Great Sasuke over Sabu, 3-0
2) Ted Dibiase over Billy Joe Travis, 3-0
3) Mick Foley over Giant Baba, 2-1
4) Great Muta over Ultimo Dragon, 3-0
5) Kurt Angle over 2 Cold Scorpio, 2-1
6) Andre bye
7) Butch Reed over Kerry Von Erich, 3-0
8) Mitsuharu Misawa over Owen Hart, 2-1

Bracket 2:
1) Shawn Michaels over Terry Gordy, 2-1
2) Chris Benoit over Kenta Kobashi, 2-1
3) Rob Van Dam over Roddy Piper, 2-1
4) Barry Windham over El Hijo del Santo, 2-1
5) Bobby Eaton over Megumi Kudo, 3-0
6) Flair Bye
7) Shinya Hashimoto over Tommy Rogers, 3-0
8) Davey Boy Smith over Warlord, 3-0

Bracket 3:
1) Rick Rude over Terry Funk, 2-1
2) Steve Austin over Jerry Lynn, 2-1
3) Negro Casas over Tatsumi Fujinami, 2-1
4) Nick Bockwinkel over Kevin Von Erich, 3-0
5) Aja Kong over Stan Lane, 3-0
6) Bret Hart over Curt Henning, 3-0
7) Dusty Rhodes over Dynamite Kid, 3-0
8) Antonio Inoki over Ron Simmons, 3-0

Bracket 4:
1) Tito Santana over Bobby Fulton, 3-0
2) Eddie Guerrero over Steve Williams, 2-1
3) Tiger Mask Sayama over Viscera, 2-1
4) Manami Toyota over Jushin Liger, 2-1
5) Ricky Steamboat over Rey Mysterio, 2-1
6) Low Ki over Brian Pillman, 2-1
7) Randy Savage over El Samurai, 2-1
8) Barbarian over Ray Stevens, 2-1

Bracket 1:
1) Ted Dibiase over Great Sasuke, 2-1
2) Great Muta over Mick Foley, 3-0
3) Andre the Giant over Kurt Angle, 3-0
4) Mitsuharu Misawa over Butch Reed, 3-0

Bracket 2:
1) Chris Benoit over Shawn Michaels, 3-0
2) Barry Windham over Rob Van Dam, 2-1
3) Ric Flair over Bobby Eaton, 2-1
4) Shinya Hashimoto over Davey Boy Smith, 2-1

Bracket 3:
1) Rick Rude over Steve Austin, 2-1
2) Negro Casas over Nick Bockwinkel, 2-1
3) Bret Hart over Aja Kong, 2-1
4) Dusty Rhodes v. Antonio Inoki, 2-1

Bracket 4:
1) Eddie Guerrero over Tito Santana, 3-0
2) Manami Toyota over Tiger Mask Sayama, 3-0
3) Low Ki over Ricky Steamboat, 2-1
4) Randy Savage over Barbarian, 2-1

Bracket 1:
1) Great Muta over Ted Dibiase, 2-1
2) Andre the Giant over Mitsuharu Misawa, 2-1

Bracket 2:
1) Chris Benoit over Barry Windham, 3-0
2) Ric Flair over Shinya Hashimoto, 2-1

Bracket 3:
1) Negro Casas over Rick Rude, 2-1
2) Bret Hart over Dusty Rhodes, 2-1

Bracket 4:
1) Eddie Guerrero over Manami Toyota, 2-1
2) Low Ki over Randy Savage, 3-0

Elite 8
Bracket 1 finals:
Great Muta over Andre the Giant, 2-1

Bracket 2 Finals:
Chris Benoit over Ric Flair, 2-1

Bracket 3 Finals:
Bret Hart over Negro Casas, 2-1

Bracket 4 Finals:
Eddie Guerrero over Low Ki, 2-1

Final 4

A) Chris Benoit over Great Muta, 2-1

B) Eddie Guerrero over Bret Hart, 2-1

Chris Benoit over Eddie Guerrero

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

UWF 8/4/07

This is my final month of college and we're expecting our first child, too; I may be a bit elusive on the blog for awhile, but rest assured, I'll be popping in when time allows, watching footage whenever I get a spare minute, and, as always, never handing over!

Hermie Sadler's UWF 8/4/07
Jacksonville, NC

1. Caleb Konley vs. Scott Steiner - 2

It's interesting seeing a six-sided ring inside a school gymnasium, it's not quite Dali's dripping clock, but visually arresting none the less. Konley's open challenge is accepted by the Big Booty Daddy. Caleb sells a belly-to-belly suplex like he just got shot with a civil war canon. Steiner throws a referee's shirt (with the Dick's Sporting Goods tag still attached) onto a security guard that looks like Uncle Fester, the inept, elderly man counts Scott's pushups a la a pin to the befuddlement of everyone. A squash that lasts a couple minutes, fun for Caleb's enthusiastic selling and Scott's genuine craziness.

2. Jake Manning vs. Human Tornado vs. TJ Mack - 3

The next match starts with a bad dance-based comedy routine. Manning does a powerbomb variation where he sticks his knee out and drops Mack on it in a gnarly spot. TJ, not to be outdone, innovates with a series of three consecutive rolling Northern Lights suplexes on Tornado, the last seeing him tossed into the turnbuckles. Manning, working an Eagle Scout gimmick, does a good job of generating crowd heat, earning some "Girl Scout" chants and bringing the crowd into an otherwise by-the-numbers independent three-way collection of spots. Tornado moonsaults off of the apron on the other two on the floor, Mack stops punching Manning to stand there and watch blankly as Tornado flies towards him. The ending is a mess of ill conceived stuff ending with an embarrassing swanton attempt by Tornado.

3. AJ Styles and Joey Silvia vs. D-Lo Brown and Ron Killings - 3

I'd never seen Silvia before but in appearance he's similar to a more rotund and chunky AJ Styles with David Flair's facial features. AJ plays the pussy role early for heat tagging out quickly. There's lots of stuff on the microphone early as well and general stalling, fine for the Carolina crowd, but doesn't translate very well on DVD. Another strike against Silvia, he's got a lower-back tattoo, I'm sure Vance Archer would approve. D-Lo's work on the apron is pretty rote, looking unmotivated working in a sleeveless t-shirt over a singlet. The storytelling in this one is about as deep as what you'd find in child's pop-up book. Brown does an ode to Mutoh after a lousy moonsault and I choke on my turkey pastrami sandwich. The match finally breaks down and gets active near the end, unfortunately I'd seen better selling earlier that day by guys in monster suits in Gamera vs. Guiron so wasn't impressed.

4. Sonjay Dutt vs. Chris Sabin - 3

Sabin's eschews telling a story to the whole crowd, his body language and facials would only be effectives for those at ringside as he doesn't emote particularly well. I think the alien face he used to have on his trunks often was more expressive than him. The alien? I want his backstory. Sabin? I want to know why he isn't installing my cable. Chris' stomps are also problematic, real light, not doing the match any favors. Sabin does a Rick Rude impersonation -- didn't know he was a fan. They could have shaved a few minutes off of this, picked up the pace, built with some believable near-falls, and it would have worked much better. The commentator calls it "innovate and hard-hitting" but I call it a poor facsimile of a Devon Storm vs. Ace Darling bout.

5. Triple X vs. The Naturals and David Young - 4

Chase Stevens trying to exchange strikes with Low Ki as about as big a faux pas as Matt Lindland's wearing of the wrong gear. Skipper sells a David Young dropkick like a Slime in Dragon Warrior. Elix jawing with the crowd is reminiscent of Reggie Miller inciting a Knicks crowd. Why didn't anybody ever tell David Young it wasn't a good idea to pattern his offense off of APW highlight videos? He's trying to call to mind Morgan, Quance, and O'Grady yet most resembles Roland Alexander. Daniels' face in peril section leaves much to be desired, but I'm always a sucker for the Space Tornado Ogawa, and not many people pull it off any better. The ending is all three of Triple X executing their trademark flying finishers in sequence, unfortunately Skipper's first, and terribly botches his spot, he's supposed to walk across the top rope like Philippe Petit in Man on Wire, but falls awkwardly for a real hoot.

6. Steve Corino vs. Dustin Rhodes vs. Sabu - Monster's Ball Match - 3

Corino drug Dusty Rhodes into one of the worst Dusty matches I've seen, so I had low expectations that he'd do much better with his son. We get some real uninspired WWE hardcore division-style brawling to start, with foreign objects ranging from barbecue tongs, to cookie sheets, to Allison Danger. Corino wraps a chain around Dustin's bloody head in a cool visual. I haven't seen someone so at home with a garbage can since Valerie Vomit in '87's cinematic masterpiece The Garbage Pail Kids Movie. Sabu runs out halfway through and starts running through his usual routine of hackneyed spots. Dustin's the only one with interesting histrionics, taking a pratfall on the floor that would make Shemp blush. Sabu's idea of selling is making a profit off of a dime bag he acquiesced from a native teen. I don't know how Corino's made a career out of shitty punching and shoddy selling, if he's a good brawler than Uwe Boll is a brilliant filmmaker. My wife comes into the room and I tell her that's Goldust, her response: "Why's he so fat?" I wish I had an answer. Sabu throws a ladder across the ring that Corino hoists his shoulder up to take the impact on, sort of pussy, but gives it the same loopy sell he's given everything else. There wasn't anything redeeming here, in fact, trading in fifteen prize tickets at Chuck E. Cheese's would be more so, at least you'd get a stupid bracelet and Tootsie Roll.

Wrestle Mania 21

1) Eddie Guerrero v. Rey Mysterio- 5
Their famous match at Halloween Havoc went nearly the same length, but this match couldn't really hold a candle to what they pulled off there. Story was in tact though, Eddie was frustrated that Rey was beating him weekly, so he kept him grounded for most of the match but I wasn't a fan of some of his rest holds, just kind of laying on Rey at one point like he was a sleeping bag, with a super loose chinlock. The opening spot was crazy fast and Eddie whipped out a Steamboat armdrag faster than the Flash could take off his costume to get brains from Selina Kyle. Flying corkscrew, brutal powerbomb and Eddie's crazy stuntman sell of the 619 were match highlights but this felt more like going to a restaurant and ordering a 21 oz. steak and lobster tail and you only get a few bites of each and a crappy overcooked veggie side. Plus no Comic costume for Rey, big downer there.

2) Money in the Bank Ladder Match feat. Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, Christian, Shelton Benjamin, Edge, and Kane- 6
I have to think the guys were happy with this one, the beginning was robotic preplanned spot after spot but after they kind of worked in there for a few minutes it felt more organic. Shelton was not the star of Internet video series "Botchamania" as he has been, being in the right spot at the right time on most everything. Jericho was taking bumps on his neck left and right and kind of being traffic director; seemed as if he was having more fun than on his cell texting the night before at the HOF. Benoit was an animal; nasty gash on his head and mouth, his swan dive off a wobbling ladder was the highlight of the match. Kane seemed as awkward using the ladders as weapons as he would be trying to give a gopher a cathoder. Nasty chair shot to Benoit's arm and his selling of it was on another solar system; i mean post match he was biting the apron he was selling his pain so well, just phenomenal. Fun match.

3) Undertaker v. Randy Orton- 7
This match was the surprise of the show; right from the get go it just worked. Taker grinding on a headlock while Orton struggles against it feels real to me here. Orton is just phenomenal on everything, his punches, his timing, picture perfect dropkick, selling the big legdrop. Loved the Old School, it engulfs Orton like a fireball. The pace is so much faster than a normal Taker match and he's game for all of it. Cowboy makes a cool apperance and gets a nasty boot for his efforts (which he's still selling during his HOF walk out). RKO out of chokeslam- fuck yes! Damn fine match and well worth another viewing.

4) Trish Stratus v. Christy Hemme- 2
The company had a lot of faith in Trish here because Hemme was greener than the fake Easter grass you're about to line your kid's basket with. She just didn't know how to react to violence and you could tell from her body language and selling, getting kicked from the left side and falling the wrong way, etc. That being said, good things I took from this was Trish's vocal selling, very heelish, and easy to identify exactly what's going on in the match. Lita was n't even eye candy at this point; she was like a half eaten Blowpop when you don't even care about the gum anymore and just spit it out.

5) Shawn Michaels v. Kurt Angle- 6
When you have a match like this and people expect it to be something it couldn't be, your already setting the bar too high. Some of the major stuff in this match just didn't work for me, such as Angle late in the match just starts going on a streak of all his stuff with no context to what they had been building up towards, which was the back work, the moonsault being the prime example. Also, the Angle slam into the post, which was a nasty bump, but it didn't look good at all. Both of Michaels' dives were ill advised and just sloppy really. The push off superkick spot was a neat concept and the top rope Angleslam conceivably should have been the end. Then you have Michaels' selling of the anklelock at the end and the teases which was all really well done, if there's one thing you have to credit Shawn for is the emotion he can pull out of the crowd. Their chemistry was fine but this doesn't compare as highly to the rematch or for that matter a large body of both men's work.

6) Akebono v. Big Show (Sumo Match)- 1
Not much to say here really, strictly worked as a sumo match with the ceremony and everything but entertaining it was not esp. since the camerman had the long steady shot of Akebono's backside and what lurked beneath that large velvet jock strap. Show did take a nasty Paul London bump off the side of the ring though.

7) JBL v. John Cena- 4
JBL really doesn't have a lot he can do in the ring, sure he can hit hard but as far as controlling a bout he's pretty lousy. Cena wasn't really able, for whateve reason, to convey that great face in peril selling that draws you into his matches here either. He took a nasty boot in the corner twice though with that completely washed over face where you think he's out. Highlight was the intensity he had in his comeback, just rawbone man-fire in dispensing, at that time, a completely absurd move set but he just did it in style. Didn't last long but got the Cena war machine rolling, their Judgment Day match would put this to shame.

8) HHH v. Batista- 6
The element of this match that pushes it into recommended territory is to watch HHH just go up and above the call of his normal duty to put over Big Dave here. High backdrop, nasty bump outside, brutal clothesline where he sells it like a Michaels or Ray Stevens, and a massive bladejob; these are all things that wouldn't garner much interest from the Game in a normal match but here he does so with delight. Batista, for his part, played the big man power game strongly and his selling was admirable, a particular amusing facial was after a low blow where Batista's mouth went agape as if he was Daffy Duck about to take a face full of gunpowder when he was sure that rascally rabbit was dead in his sights. Flair is usually a lot of fun at ringside but was somber for Flair, Good ole JR called it like a big title match of old days and Lawler was annoying enough with his slight heel points he'd been recycling for years to get a good report going on that end. Overall, i'd say this angle and match made Batista the star he is today so it's a good sampling of how far he's come.

XIX= 54%
XIII= 49%
XXI= 46%
XIV= 44%
VIII= 43%
II= 43%
XVII= 43%
X= 42%
XX= 20%
XII= 40%
III= 39%
XVIII= 39%
VII= 34%
IV= 34%
V= 34%
XI= 34%
IX= 33%
I= 32%
VI= 32%
XVI= 30%
XV= 29%

Saturday, April 3, 2010

TNA Impact - 03/22/10

1) The Beautiful People/ Daffney v. Tara/ Angelina Love/ Taylor Wilde/ Sarita- 2
2) Tomko v. Rob Terry- 1
3) Jeff Jarrett v. Mick Foley (No DQ Loser Leaves)- 4
4) Hernandez v. Matt Morgan- 2
5) Beer Money v. Rob Van Dam/ Jeff Hardy- 5

First match of the show is an 8 woman tag that became a sloppy brawl before the commercial break kicked in; one thing funny was Tara being held down on the ground but she still threw an errant fist at Madison's face. Overall the match itself was kind of a mess; Most of the faces looked good when in control, Angelina blasted Maidson with a great clothesline at one point, but the heels were off; Daffney really did nothing but put a spider in Tara's face and get the duke. I know people said the Peeps are improving, but Madison was just off, wrong position every time she turned around; Velvet and Lacey had charisma, and Velvet seemed to have the basics down. They tried a TLC match type ending where one person after another comes in and hits a finisher but the timing was off, and you could see diff. women waiting for their turn outside like standing in line for a ride on the Diamondback.

2nd match was a complete squash; Terry is Hulk's new steroid project and while he looks like a WBF champion, he has zero intensity, his finisher was a Kidman bomb, not exactly the type of power move that breeds winners. Tomko was probably the highest paid jobber in years.

This match determined who would lose their job, but you couldn't tell by the pace of this; it moved slower than Chris Masters did going to his latest Wellness test. I usually loathe Foley's terrible forearms but they were killing Jarrett here, and JJ was selling his heart out. The content was just so bland it was hard to get much enjoyment out of the match but their ending sequence came together nicely; Beer Money as ref's was patently dumb but you could tell they were happy to earn their paychecks that night. Great emotion of the two guys hugging after the match, made you actually believe this stip might be true, even though there's a better chance of Dixie Carter getting a Playboy spread.

This wasn't really a match, more an angle, that being said both guys showed some fire in slapping skin with each other on painful strikes. Hernandez took a dangerous "Test-like" bump over the top, which isn't a checkmark in the positive column. Can't score this too highly considering a serious neck injury is nothing to scoff at and this one was inserted in the show like a pandering cigarette ad in a People magazine.

Our main event was the one thing on this show that was really generally more match like than just an extension of an angle and it was a fun watch. You could tell all 4 guys were just enjoying working while in there. Beer Money really is one of the few things that's worked in TNA for some time now, as they're timing on moves and cutoffs as a team is quite great. Love their nearfall stuff too, Storm also has a great right hand and superkick. Hardy's selling was here and there, but he plays face in peril better than most. RVD isn't good for much in my opinion, but he can get a crowd pretty amped up. The ladder shot might make you take an extra stiff shot at the bar later and the finish was, sounding like a geek, pretty damn cool.

A quick note about the various angles and such on the show; they, inherently, were all over the board, made no sense or had context and were some of the silliest pieces of footage i've seen in a while but i did sure enjoy them! Bischoff playing a Mariachi solo, Hulk and Abyss wheeling Flair down the ramp to take that sick clothesline and Foley's forearm smash that ko'd Bubba were all doubly enjoyable and it was a nice change to hear unscripted promos from different guys.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Hall of Fame Pick 2010 #4

Here he is, Captain America himself: