Back doing the random thoughts thing here on the blog and I'm as happy as the people of Egypt right now. I caught a lot of stuff piecemeal this weeked as all the boys are burning through reviews like Jonah Hill's character in "Get Him to the Greek" did whiskey and weed. I'll kick it off by commenting on the first half of IWA Mid South's Prince of the Death Match. Their King tourney has always had a stigma, an aura about it as being a big deal in American stylized brutality, but there couldn't have possibly been more than 15 people here for this show. I saw Dixieland Destroyer again, the 600 pound goof who absolutely should be on the Biggest Loser, in a barb wire match, it was decent, it just bugs me because you can tell the guy's a giant pussy, as here he slowly crawls in under the wire while desperately trying not to have it touch any part of his body. Moxley fought Neil Diamond Cutter who I think was handing out key chains before the match that nary a single person accepted. It was like he worked at a flea market or something. This match was titled "the Curt Hennig Drunken Taipei Death Match" way too much going on, Moxley was belligerent, doesn't matter if he was sauced or not, and Cutter's flesh was ripped open like a 6 year old going through his presents at Christmas. Next were two guys I can't recall their names but their match had wire strung across the actual mat, so you couldn't really do too much on the ground and they even had to watch where they stepped. Two obvious rookies although they both tried hard. Finally Simon Sezz against Kyle Threat in a Barefoot Thumbtack match. This is nuts. Wearing no shoes in a match like this, sure, it proves your tough, but in the end, you still have to perform a match and the fans are expecting you to, so why hamper your chances of being able to just to prove your tough? You are in a thumbtack match isn't that enough! I couldn't believe the level of violence these guys unleashed, it was unearthly. I don't see how they got paid more than $10 bucks to do this to themselves. JC Bailey took on some chubby junior champion named Phoenix in a match that put me to sleep twice. Then in a 6 man tag Ian Rotten teamed up with the Hooligans (who I loathe) and this was one of those Ian ground work matches which are mildly amusing just for the sight of it.
The Superstars episode on Feb 10 featured one of the best diva's matches in recent memory featuring two of the most technically sound women in the company, Alicia Fox and Natalya. It was just so good. The in ring ability of both of them puts the rest of the women in the company to shame. Such great back-and-forth mat work featuring some great moves and countermoves on the mat. Fox's kicks are great and they always seem to connect. Natalya really shows that Hart-style of wrestling with really tight holds and hard shots. Natalya botched a suplex but that was forgivable because the rest of the match was just so damn good. I'd give it a 6 -- easily recommendable.
Makes you wonder why the hell Eve just got their belt? I'll have to check it out then. Adam and I just viewed Trish v. Lita on the High Flyers dvd and it's the best women's match I can think of WWE's produced so I'd like to compare the two.
ROH was on my agenda this weekend too, didn't finish the show for the life of me can't remember, but Danielson v. Kenny King was fun, like one of those matches were the young guy can keep up with the veteran so it had that cool back and forth play going for it. I'm quite tired of the droll Embassy, they were fine in 05 but now that they're back, they have no steam even though I think Nana is a good performer in his role. They fought Colt, Grizzly & Necro, whom i'm sure destroyed a Steak n Shake later that night, both in terms of gross appetite and outrageous and over the top laughing at their own jokes.
Speaking of fun, peeped the Godfather shoot interview. Was a fun watch, only 90 minutes long, as they breezed through pedo Feinstein's questionnaried quickly. Godfather, real name Charles Wright came off as exactly the Godfather character was on TV, light hearted, fun, a positive person. He said nearly off the bat, he's never had a problem with anyone in the ring, and only some people outside the business, Johnny Ace, Stevie Richards, among the more prominent. Seemed like a guy who liked being in the business, was all about being paid, and in a very honest admission, said he never took the business serious enough to become a main player, and he now sees how old school guys would always try to give him advice about his career. Talked about being lead through tons of matches, most of his run actually. Spoke at length about Undertaker, one of his better friends in the industry. Some awkward moments when Godfather would refute some of Feinstein's facts, such as he never worked Jericho, or Jarrett much, different angles, or when he was in the company doing what, even though most wrestling fans would remember it more clearly than he could. But he seemed up for whatever question and unfortunately held back a lot of stories, apparently one about Jarrett's late wife a story on a flight where Kurt Angle bitch slapped Big Show who did nothing in retaliation. If you're a fan of shoots, but not necessarily Godfather, give it a watch anyways think you will enjoy it.
I saw that Alicia Fox vs. Natalya Neidhart bout, Geo; it was quite good. I can't vouch for it being better, per se, than the pimped Lita vs. Stratus singles, it may not have had the same emotional wallop, but I'd argue the in-ring portion was just as good if not considerably better. One thing I can definitely say it did better than Lita/Trish was bring the stiffness! Between the rabid ground-work, stiff slaps, and big moves it felt like an American equivalent of quality joshi (minus the screaming). That being said, not even sure if it was the best match of Superstars 2/10/10, as Reks vs. Hawkins, while squashy, was good stuff and rather vicious.
I've been slowly pushing through WWE Raw 4/21/08 which contained the '08 KotR tournament (and has been reviewed twice previously on the blog by Adam and Jessie respectively). I just caught Punk vs. Jericho before bed last night and was surprised neither of my blog colleagues pointed out how dangerously sloppy it was. Chris botched a front-layout suplex onto the ropes twice consecutively.
I've caught the first one-third of Wrestle Kingdom V. I don't want to get into much detail as I believe Jessie will be reviewing it fully later. Yano played a good Rhyno for Rob Van Dam to toss garbage cans at and squish with ladders. It saddened me Koji Kanemoto didn't even make the main card.
I screened Audinwood vs. Makdessi, an unaired undercard bout from UFC 124, which was great albeit one-sided. Makdessi trains with GSP and the crew and had unbelievable stand-up. I'd like to see what else he has up his sleeve and will get the opportunity to do so as he's on the forthcoming Toronto show in another non-televised fight.
I finally pried DGUSA Mercury Rising away from Adam. I figured I'd watch the bonus disc first and started with CIMA & BxB Hulk vs. Austin Aries & Matt Sydal vs. B-Boy & Chris Bosh - Triangle Elimination Tag Team Match 7/10/06 - Wrestle JAM - Kanagawa, Japan. This was kind of fun but not spectacular. It's been a week or more since I viewed it but I recall liking some of Sydal's facials and happy to see B-Boy across the sea.
WWE Raw 2/14/11 was a pretty hit or miss show but when it hit it hit like a Kawada kick to the back of the skull. CM Punk vs. John Cena was just terrific, no two guys are better at making every little thing mater, and that's why this was such a joy to watch. I also dug the hell out of Danielson vs. Miz. Of all of Bryan's WWE bouts save for maybe the pimped Ziggler PPV one from last year this felt the most like this ROH stuff with a few crippling highspots like the bump on the apron and the insane flying knee plus some real nasty kicks. I've never watched Modern Family but the little girl from it dancing Punjabi while Great Khali walked out to the ring was adorable.
I finally started watching TNA Against All Odds '11 -- more on that in my next update.
trying to think of what else i got in over the weekend besides showing my wife "The Secrets in their Eyes." Saw some of a JAPW show that started out with Osirian Portal against the Heavy Hitters. The Hitters were fine with clubbing away at the Egyptian dudes whilst it stole away all their charm and charisma; except for the really poor hypnotizing sequence. After the match they called out Demolition; what Bizarro world was this filmed in? Kevin Steen showed up to play surly prick and play it he did. He terrorized a youngster I believe named Aarbo something, I liked the defenselessness (not sure if that is in Webster's) he showed, just fully giving himself to Steen's whims. There was a 4 way later on featuring Dan Maff who hasn't been seen in years, didn't look any more dangerous especially taking faux bumps for all of Eddie Kingston's back hands and strong style lariats. My memory must be atrociously fuzzy because it was a 4 way and I can't think of who else was in it. Jay Briscoe came stag to brawl with Homicide in a fun match but the fun ended when they wouldn't bring it home soon enough. Briscoe cut a great pissed off promo in the back though.
So, TNA Against All Odds '11, overall, a damn fine show. 8 matches total with the first-half struggling to feel unlike an extended edition of iMPACT! but things ratcheting up in the second-half. Kazarian vs. Robbie E. and Samoa Joe vs. D'Angelo Dinero both felt like TV bouts. Granted, they have credible excuses, as Gen ME had flight issues or else Kazarian wouldn't have even been on the show, and the Joe match ended abruptly but it served as a cog in their ongoing storyline. The other two first-half matches were actively good. Beer Money Inc. and Scott Steiner vs. Rob Terry, Gunner, and Murphy was better than it had any right being, with the returning Steiner especially putting in a good performance, getting off a lot of his signature stuff and the crowd eating it up. Mickie James vs. Madison Rayne - Last Woman Standing match was quite good while it lasted, physical, but could have used some more time to develop and falls behind the Mickie James vs. Tara - Steel Cage match from iMPACT! last year.
Second-half of the show was consistently good to astoundingly great. Matt Hardy vs. Rob Van Dam was miles ahead of their last PPV encounter, got more time, and was Matt's best outing in TNA yet. The Bully Ray vs. Brother Devon - Street Fight was awesome. I don't know what it is, but, every time Ray's in there with Devon he bumps and sells his ass off so I'm all for this feud continuing. The brawling on the floor was firing on all cylinders and this had tons of heat. The post-match stuff with Ray attacking Devon's kids was epic. Meltzer said had this been fifteen years ago it would have been an all-time classic angle. We're too desensitized and overstimulated nowadays. Still, great old school stuff, and Devon was phenomenal in the role of concerned/angered father.
The last two matches were both stellar. Jarrett vs. Angle was very good, as expected, not on par with their Genesis '09 bout, although many consider that to be one of the best in TNA history (myself included), this was still solid. Having Karen at ringside, the storyline stipulations, etc. all just distract from the great wrestling transpiring in the ring. Does Jarrett ever do big matches sans needless ref bumps? Main event, Jeff Hardy vs. Mr. Anderson - Ladder match, was mostly satisfactory with some minor slips. All the bumps on the ladders were suitably gnarly. They botched the finish where, in mid-air, while taking Anderson's "Mic Check" finisher off a ladder, Jeff was supposed to pull the belt down with him, well, he didn't. Jeff sprung back up, scaled a ladder, and got the belt which cheapened the moment as the original finish would have been insane had it materialized. Overall, I enjoyed it, some real highlights, and next month is Victory Road followed by Lockdown in April which I'll be attending live so it's a good time to be a TNA fan. Speaking of, right now, I'm going to watch the 2/17/10 iMPACT!, finish Cyrus, and get to bed.
Smackdown on 2/18 was kind of odd. I enjoyed that opening six man, especially the sprint finish. When they bust out that kind of finish every-so-often, I usually find myself reflecting on the match in a more positive manner. The divas match between Eve and Beth vs. Layla and Maryse didn't really go anywhere. I enjoyed Michelle's selling of the injured foot, though. Found myself laughing at the Kofi/Miz match after the interference by Del Rio. Since when is being whipped by a towel such a distraction? haha. The tag match between Slater/Gabriel and Marella/Koslov was weak sauce as nothing really happened. The Cobra was kind of funny when Santino debuted it, but now it's pretty much dull and boring. I really wish Dolph vs. Edge would've gone longer, but I loved Dolph's sell on the spear. An odd episode with weird ebbs and flows to it, but it was entertaining. Brian, AAO sounded quite solid. I was curious to how Scott would be able to perform in the ring given his absence. I was concerned about ring rust on his end. I really want to see that Ladder Match. Anderson's performance at MITB some years back was impressive and it would be cool to see him in that environment.