Sunday, April 23, 2017

MVP vs. Jimmy Wang Yang

MVP vs. Jimmy Wang Yang - WWE SmackDown! #467 8/1/08 - 3

Jeff Hardy is ringside popping a squat on an unforgiving chair (of the steel not lawn variety). Anybody remember MVP’s Beat Down Clown in TNA? Listed on Wikipedia as a “villainous stable”. Foley on commentary says it took “great restraint” for Hardy to withstand MVP’s verbal abuse pre-match. Ross suggests perhaps he’s “filing it away for later” like that Juelz Ventura clip Shannon Moore showed him on the long car ride to the Giant Center in Hershey. MVP does some nice vocal work on his sells and dug him targeting Wang’s abdomen. He got in a nice series of knees to the mid-section early and later caught Yang coming off the top with a gut-buster. The Drive-By Kick ends it with finality.

Now hop on the Network and relive the Hardy & MVP feud which began in earnest the week prior when MVP cut a promo on the untimely death of Jeff’s dead dog that burned in a fire. Jeff’s threat post-match “If you ever mention my home, the fire, or my dog again I’ll prove to you what kind of man I am” had me guffawing.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Chris Jericho vs. Paul London

Chris Jericho vs. Paul London - WWE Raw #790 7/14/08 - 4

Slotted in a relatively dead spot in a really odd episode of Raw (which saw new champ CM Punk buried not once but twice, and Cryme Tyme main event) this match was fuel for the ongoing "Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels and Jericho program that was really heating up. I was in the audience in Indianapolis a month later when Jericho "accidentally" punched Michaels' wife Rebecca in the face.

London was a trainee of Michaels' and idolized him making him a perfect target for antagonism and anger from Jericho. What made this stand out was a rare look at Jericho as aggressor. It was almost as if he was stepping into the role of one of his career best opponents Chris Benoit. He marches London back into the corner to start and just starts attacking amid the referee's pleas to separate. And Jericho was getting legit heat. At one point outside the ring you could actually see some drunken stepfathers swiping at him from across the barrier! Not to speak ill of the dead but Jericho was seconded by his stooge Lance Cade who was useless at ringside playing the muscle but felt as out of place as Uwe Boll at the Oscar's. After punishing Paul a bit Jericho made him tap like he was Harold "Stumpy" Cromer.

Post-match HBK came out on the ramp looking old and as leathery as the jerky he surely makes from all the elk and deer he murders in the name of sport. Delicious postscript to this is a month later at a house show Paul London broke Cade's nose as a receipt for getting busted open by a botched move. All's fair in love and WarGames.

Monday, February 6, 2017

D.I.Y. vs. Tajiri & Akira Tozawa

D.I.Y. vs. Tajiri & Akira Tozawa - NXT 370 - 12/28/16 - 6

The yellow brand invaded Osaka and while the D.I.Y. versus Revival feud found prominent placement on many fans’ Best Matches of the Year ballots I wanted to look back at this intriguing match-up. At this point Tozawa hadn’t made his debut on 205 Live where he’d been heavily promoted so this was many fans’ first glimpse. I came to know him through his vocal performances in PWG and elsewhere. Some grappling to start with Akira and Johnny. Akira wants the left arm of Gargano but JG uses his speed to keep things cooking leading to a “respect face-off” spot earning a 6.5 on the RVD/Lynn scale.

Tommaso and Tajiri enter but Tajiri quickly breaks the lock-up to spray green mist into the air in a visual spectacle. Not sure I dig the goofy emoticon-like trunks on D.I.Y. Tajiri starts pretzeling Ciampa up. This pair also does a slightly less elaborate “respect face-off” spot. Make Wrestling Choreographed Again t-shirts are sent to the printers by Robert Szatkowski in Battle Creek.

I wonder if Tajiri ever got Tozawa booked in SMASH. Advertisement airs for merchandise including Bayley and New Day ugly Christmas sweaters surely the belle at the ball at many a holiday family get-together. Pecan log and abdominal stretch tips by the fireplace. JG targets Tozawa’s back with some elbows and a mean backbreaker. Akira’s mouthpiece looks like an old Dentyne gum ad. Tozawa wakes up with a pump-kick out of the corner into Ciampa’s face then Tajiri storms in and starts targeting D.I.Y. with a vicious kick assortment. Tajiri holds both foes in-place outside the ring while Tozawa does two consecutive suicide dives.Tozawa teasing his world famous German suplex but Ciampa fights out with ablomb leading JG to Spear himself back into the match.

Tajiri kicks JG in the arm which he admirably sells then Gargano gets locked in the deadly Tarantula. JG nimbly dodges a killshot headkick. Forearm exchange by JG and Tozawa. Camp gives Tozawa a taste of his own medicine with Rolling German suplexes which possesses Akira who quickly rips off his own patented German suplexes onto both of D.I.Y.

Great nearfall off a brutal-looking Project Ciampa (powerbomb dropped into a double knee backbreaker) by Ciampa on AT. Tajiri made the save. Finish is the D.I.Y. special move Meet In The Middle (running knee smash/superkick combo). Don’t agree with Tozawa taking the fall when it wouldn’t have hurt the vet but enjoyed it overall.