Friday, September 30, 2005

Wrestling Gold: Vol. 2

This is a DVD Series my friend Brian purchased, featuring insider commentary by Dave Meltzer and Jim Cornette, which becomes annoying because they truly are the 2 biggest wrestling fanboys in the world and they argue incessantly about when Shiek was his most popular or what tights Angelo Poffo wore in 1971. I'm not going into detail on all these matches, just the worthwhile ones.

1 Rock n' Roll Express v. Randy Savage/ Lanny Poffo- I still say "The Genius" is one of the all time best gimmicks and would still get over today, Pofffo sells like a wounded old woman, there is a brutal table bump by Morton that was really famous, needed more time- 5

2 Nick Bockwinkel v. Manny Fernandez- Bockwinkel leads Manny through this and was a good seller, Manny bled well, and they have a false finish, good match- 5

3 Sheik v. Mark Lewin- neither man has anything resembling a physique, not a single wrestling move was executed in this, Lewin over acts more than Catherine Zeta- Jones, pencil shot after pencil shot, huge fireball ended this- 3

4 David & Kerry Von Erich v. Yates/ Killer Karl- Kerry kept all his work on the mat, amateur style, Yates and Kerry aren't communicating whatsoever, Yates has no skills, period, Von Erich's were very hungry, but completely unpolished, Yates is one of the worst wrestlers I have ever seen!- 1

5 Fabulous One's v. PYT's- good back and forth action, stiff table shot, Koko botched something, Keirn was pretty decent in his youth, horrible finish- 5

6 Road Warriors v. Jerry Lawler/ Austin Idol- Warriors are greener than cholorphyll, but stiff, they do sell for Lawler, the crowd was bananas, if you don't learn anything else from Memphis, you certainly learned how to punch- crazy finish into a wild brawl- 4

7 Randy Savage v. Jerry Lawler- Steel Cage- a chicken wire cage looks cheap as all fuck, Savage is killing himself for Lawler, Lawler sells like a broken mailbox, they both bled buckets, interference from random baddies brings down a pretty good match- 6

8 Samoans v. Ted Dibiase/ Bob Roop- Dibiase looked good, the Samoans have the same offense as every other Samoan team in the history of wrestling- 5
9 Bruno Sammartino/ Bruiser v. Ernie Ladd/ Baron Von Rashcke- now, these are some old legendary fucks, Bruiser is stiff, Ladd is stiff, Sammartino is stiff, and well, you get the point, they loved Bruno!, Ladd took a backdrop and he's at least 6'9, the heels are good bumpers, fun to see these guys work- 6
10 Tully Blanchard v. Manny Fernandez- work holds pretty good, Manny bled again, not much here- 4

11 Rick Rude v. Jerry Lawler- Rude was pretty stiff, always was, you can see he was going to be big in this, very short- 3

12 Crusher/ Bruiser/ Little Bruiser v. Blackjacks/ Bobby Heenan- comedy galore, Heenan was running around the ring like the Road Runner on speed, he took some big bumps and bled- 3

TNA Sacrifice – 08/14/05

1. Sonny Siaki and Apollo vs. Mikey Batts and Jarrel Clark – 5
2. Simon Diamond, David Young, and Elix Skipper vs. Sonjay Dutt, Shark Boy, and Chris Sabin – 6
3. Alex Shelley vs. Shocker – 7
4. Lance Hoyt vs. Abyss – 4
5. Kip James and Monty Brown vs. Konnan and The Truth – 3
6. Christopher Daniels vs. Austin Aries – 6
7. Sean Waltman vs. Jerry Lynn – 8
8. Team Canada vs. A.M.W. and The Naturals – 5
9. AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe – 8
10. Rhino and Jeff Jarrett vs. Raven and Sabu – 5

This was on of the better T.N.A. pay-per-views to date. The first two matches were small glimpses of largely talented guys. Shelley and Shocker work so well together. Hoyt and Abyss was your typical big man match-up, and the tag team fiasco afterwards was abysmal. Daniels and Ring of Honor mainstay Aries brought the wrestling back to the forefront. Jerry Lynn versus Waltman? Wow! These guys were wrestling each other 10+ years ago in Texas, and still, a decade later they busted out an absolutely fantastic match. Lynn hit a suplex from the apron, pulling Waltman from inside the ring all the way to a brutal landing on the floor. The eight-man tag match was decent, with a few nice bumps highlighting it. Styles and Samoa Joe wrestled an intense and physical match that was great to watch. The main event was such a clash of styles and wrestling backgrounds; Jarrett bled, Sabu blew spots, and Rhino just blew.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

WWF Global Warfare Video (1993)

The tape opens with Jimmy Hart yapping incessantly and we go to the first match …

1) Crush vs. Shawn Michaels - 4
A semi-decent match to include on this tape. Being the Michaels fan that I am, I’m always on the lookout for a good match. This is not one of his best, though. It’s a house show match from Europe, so you can’t really expect anything more.

2) Yokozuna vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan - 2
Why was this match even included on this tape? I’m not even going to waste space on notes for this one. The best thing about this is that a French crowd chanted “U-S-A” for Duggan.

Jimmy Hart returns to talk about songwriting and introduces our next match …

3) The Steiner Brothers vs. Money Inc. - 4
A somewhat decent match between these two teams. Money Inc. consisted of Ted DiBiase and Irwin R. Schyster (I.R.S.) and they were starting to near the end of their year-long domination of the tag team division. The Steiners would eventually capture the titles in the late summer of 1993 after DiBiase and Irwin went their separate ways.

4) Mr. Perfect vs. Samu - 4
While Mr. Perfect constantly delivers solid performances, the same can’t be said about Samu. Whoever had the brilliant idea of putting Samu in a singles match needs to have their employment rethought. Trying to get a decent singles match out of Samu is like trying to get a cat to fetch a stick, it just doesn’t happen.

Jimmy returns and this time he’s on his deck doing a lame white-boy jam to really cheesy music.

5) Bret Hart vs. Bam Bam Bigelow - 3
Yes, there is such a thing as a bad Bret Hart match and this one is living proof of it. Like I mentioned before, this is a house show match in Europe, so you can’t really expect any classics at this point.

6) Crush vs. Doink - 3
For the record, Doink ruled the earth as a heel. That being said, I was somewhat expecting this to be a good match because I rather enjoyed their contest at WrestleMania 9. Doink bails at Crush gets the cheap C-O win.

More Jimmy Hart. I’ve given up at this point to even try to figure out what he’s talking about.

7) Scott Steiner vs. Irwin R. Schyster - 3
Pretty much a rehash of the earlier tag team contest, not that it was bad by any means. Steiner and Irwin are mainly tag wrestlers so it really makes no sense to me to put two tag wrestlers against each other in a singles match.

8) The Undertaker vs. Yokozuna - 1
Two words: pure garbage! Nothing more, nothing less. Yoko hits UT with the salt bucket for a DQ and no one even remotely cared.

Jimmy closes out the tape by ranting and raving something about Hogan and flexes. Spare me.

This was a little better than the Smack Em Whack Em tape. That being said, it’s really nothing to write home about. There were more matches on this one a less “who gives a crap” segments. Overall, the match quality was better but the final product still sucked. Not recommended.

WWF Smack 'Em Whack 'Em Video

The video opens with Lord Alfred Hayes in a dilapidated building. He says he’s here because The Bushwhackers are going to give us some home improvement tips. Oh dear. Cue the morons and here they come. They strap a pair of oversized goggles and a tool belt on good ‘ol Al and stuff a hard hat down on his head. Whatever. Lord Alfred and The Bushwhackers in hard hats? Kill me now. Plus, whose brilliant idea was it to give the Bushwhackers some tools? That person should be fired immediatley!! Anyways, on with the match-ups …

1) Crush vs. The Berzerker - 2
Yeah, I hate Berzerker as much as you do. Crush was okay in his Hawaiian tough-guy gimmick. Pretty much everything you would expect in a match this bad so I won’t go into great detail. As if I really need to, neither man has that great of a work ethic.

We return to the charade that is Bushwhackers Home Improvement and now they’ve got a sledgehammer. Quick! Everybody duck!! One of them puts a hole in the wall. Which one it is I’m not sure because I never gave a shit about them. Next match … pleeeeaaase!

2) Earthquake def. The Repo Man - 2
Rating: 2 – Well, this tape is off to a rolling start. We’re two for two in the crap department. Props for this match because it’s from Dayton and that’s pretty much the only highlight. No one cared, no one attempted to care. Quake sits on Repo. Next!

More Bushwhackers. Alfred gets electrocuted which sadly is the highlight of the tape so far. Time to fast forward … to …

Cooking Tips With Yokozuna and Mr. Fuji
Gene is with Yoko and Fuji at the local Benihana’s. Need I say more?

Bret “Hit Man” Hart Profile
Now we’re talkin! Gorilla is with WWF Champ Bret Hart outside of some unnamed arena-type building. They talk about how he fought to gain the WWF Title and his ladder match with Shawn Michaels while he was still the Intercontinental Champ. Guess what, that segs perfectly into …

Match #3
3) Ladder Match: Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels - 6
For those of you who thought Shawn vs. Razor at WrestleMania X was the first-ever ladder match, think again. This was the first ever ladder match and was actually Bret’s second ladder match as he had competed in one while with Stampede Wrestling up in Calgary. Not the best Bret Hart/Shawn Michaels match ever but not too terrible either. Action starts to heat up and Bret wins? Come on! I definitely was left wanting more out of this one. The shortness of the match brought down the rating somewhat but it’s a recommended match due to historic value and that’s about it.

Gorilla and Bret talk it up again. Banana man (gorilla … banana, get it!) mentions Bret’s tough challenges while defending the WWF Title and Kamala. Aw shit.

4) Bret Hart vs. Kamala - 3
Hey, Kamala gets bumped up from shitty to forgettable. Once again, though, it’s a Kamala match so no one really cared. Thankfully, Kamala did the WWF a favor and jumped to WCW, where no one still cared! That makes this tape 3 for 4 in the crap department.

Back to Gorilla and Bret where the G-Man hypes the upcoming match and gets Bret’s thoughts.

5) Bret Hart vs. Ric Flair - 6
This match was held in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Savage, Undertaker, and others were not viable championship options at this point so the decision was made to put the title on Hart. The reason they took it off of Flair was because he had been suffering from an equilibrium problem for the past few weeks. So we get Flair vs. Hart for the WWF Title. Should be a good match, right? Wrong. They manuever through an average match and Hart defeats Flair to win the title in his home country and gets a mega-pop from the crowd. I believe that this was the first time that Flair and Hart ever met. Don’t quote me on it. Like I said, an average match and I was expecting lots, lots more from this. Just like the ladder match that was shown earlier, this bout is recommended for historical value only.

We close out with Gorilla and Bret and go back to …

Lord Al and The Bushwhackers. Al is pissed about being electrocuted. Bushwhackers decide to give up electricity for plumbing and drench Al with ice cold water. He gets pissed again and rightfully so and we get …

6) The Undertaker def. Razor Ramon - 3
At this point, I don't care about this because the tape has been so horrid. Razor opens up a can of haul-ass and Undertaker wins by the big C-O.

The Bushwhackers sit Alfred down in front of a TV and and promise him all his favorite matches. Hopefully, for his sake, the matches on this tape aren’t included that group. Thankfully, just like an Ernest Miller match, it’s over.

If this tape cost anything more than what I paid for it I would’ve left it on the shelf. This tape is only recommended for Hart vs. Flair and for the Ladder Match, which also happens to involve Hart. If you have some insane desire to see these matches, then you should own this tape. Otherwise, avoid at all costs.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

WWE Sunday Night Heat – 09/04/05

1. Rob Conway vs. Matt Striker – 4
2. Rene Dupree vs. Michael Patrick – 3
3. Kerwin White vs. Tajiri – 5
4. Eugene vs. Johnny Parisi – 2
5. Viscera and Val Venis vs. The Heartthrobs – 4

Two relatively forgettable squashes followed by a fair Tajiri versus Kerwin rematch. Eugene is a horrible character, and this match is a great example why they should pull the plug on it. The main event was fine for a short tag team bout, but didn’t have enough to it to warrant a higher rate.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

WWE Sunday Night Heat – 08/28/05

1. Antonio vs. Val Venis –4
2. Matt Striker vs. Russell Simpson – 2
3. The Hurricane vs. Johnny Parisi – 2
4. Tyson Tomko vs. Maleek John – 0
5. Tajiri vs. Kerwin White – 4

This was a pretty average edition of Sunday Night Heat. Tomko got zero points in his quick squash; his finishing kick was brutal, but the construction of the match was pathetic. Some decent workers got screen time, but not enough to warrant anything worth watching. Tajiri’s kicks were nice per usual, but the rest of his match was forgettable; thus giving Antonio and Val the honor of the best match, a relatively decent little bout with few highlights.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

WWE Smackdown! – 08/25/05

1. Randy Orton vs. Hardcore Holly - 5
2. Johnny Nitro vs. Heidenreich - 1
3. Christian and Booker T vs. Super Crazy and Psicosis - 3
4. Mr. Kennedy vs. Funaki - 3
5. Batista, Rey Mysterio, and Chris Benoit vs. Orlando Jordan, John “Bradshaw” Layfield, and Eddie Guerrero – 6

Orton versus Holly was a very nice opener; they started off with some rest holds, but ended up doing some nice build-up stuff. The finish was weak, but otherwise I liked it. Nitro and Heidenreich had a horrendous excuse for a match, with Heidenreich looking completely goofy marching around the ring totally ignoring Nitro’s offense. The tag team match features four talented workers I enjoy, but it was disappointing, thus since it was so below my expectations I felt I grade it deservedly. Kennedy and Funaki was usual squash fare. The main event was entertaining, but only gave us a glimpse of each guys’ talents. I would have rated it lower, but enjoyed the unexpectedly clean finish.

WWF Survivor Series 1992

1) The Headshrinkers vs. High Energy - 4
High Energy consisted of Owen Hart and Koko B. Ware. Headshrinkers consisted of Samu and Fatu. This was the Headshrinkers pay-per-view debut and they would eventually go on to become Tag Team champs in the summer of 1994. High Energy would go on for two more months. Pretty solid in ring action and a good way to kick off the show.

Mean …. Whooo! By God! … Gene is with the Big Boss Man who sees that Nailz is in the ring during his promo. He hauls ass to the ring and we get …

2) Nightstick Match: The Big Boss Man vs. Nailz - 3
Thankfully Boss Man went over but he would be out of the WWF four months later. Nailz was gone four days later and no one seemed to care.

The footage of Mr. Perfect completing his face turn by pouring a pitcher of water over Bobby Heenan is shown.

3) Tatanka vs. “The Model” Rick Martel - 5
Doink debuts on pay-per-view during the match and makes balloons for the kiddies. Tatanka wins and Doink breaks the balloons.
Definitley left me wanting more. They really didn’t focus on the match all that much and when they did, it seemed like the wrestlers were primarily using rest holds. For the record, the WrestleMania 8 match between these two was way better in terms of ring action.

4) Randy Savage & Mr. Perfect vs. Ric Flair & Razor Ramon - 6
Perfect was a replacement for Ultimate Warrior who walked out on the WWF ten days before the show. Luckily for us, the match is much better with Perfect involved because this would lead into a heated Flair/Perfect feud which on eventually culminate in a Loser Leaves Town Match on Monday Night Raw. This is Razor’s pay-per-view debut after coming off a run in WCW as The Diamond Studd. Savage didn’t have much left in his WWF run at this point and would soon be relegated to announcing, something he wasn’t too awful at but wasn’t great at by any stretch of the imagination. Ref bump leads to a DQ finish. Had Flair not been involved in this, this match would’ve sucked severely. I call it a transition match for Flair because it ended his feud with Savage and began his feud with Perfect. Razor was just starting to get heat as a heel. Would’ve been better if it wasn’t for the finish.

5) Yokozuna vs. Virgil - 2
This is Yoko’s pay-per-view debut and squashes Virgil to put over his size. Virgil was really nothing more than a glorified jobber at this point anyway. I though Virgil was decent in the ring but I'll be damned if his music wasn't flat out awesome! Yoko flattens Virgil and embarks on his reign of terror in the WWF.

6) Tag Team Elimination Match: The Nasty Boys & The Natural Disasters vs. The Beverly Brothers & Money Inc. - 3
Very forgettable and ran seriously long. Move along, not much to see here.

7) Coffin Match: The Undertaker vs. Kamala - 1
Yes, the first casket match was billed as a coffin match and involved pinfalls. Kamala is scared shitless by the casket and anyone watching this match should be scared shitless because it’s a Kamala match. Bad Kamala matches have been known to cause nightmares for those foolish enough to watch them.

8) Bret “Hit Man” Hart vs. Shawn Michaels - 8
Who’da thunk it? Just one year prior, Bret was the IC champ and Shawn was still part of The Rockers with Jannetty. My how times change. This was the first meeting on pay-per-view between these two and it would showcase just a tad of what they were capable of. Shawn was just starting to find his niche and a singles wrestler and Bret had just recently won the WWF Title from Ric Flair at a house show in Saskatoon. They put on a clinic and prove that the days Hulk Hogan and his cronies were long gone. The only downer to this match is that they seemed to use a lot of rest holds but hey, I’m not gonna complain, it’s Hart vs. Michaels and nowadays, you just can’t get much better than that. A stellar match and by far the best match of the show.

This was not a terrible show and is recommended only for Hart/Michaels. The rest of the card is watchable. But overall, this was a transition show, the “Hogan era” was starting to be phased out and “new generation” of stars such as Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Yokozuna, The Undertaker, and Tatanka was being phased in. Recommended.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

ECW One Night Stand '05

1. Lance Storm vs. Chris Jericho – 6
2. Tajiri vs. Super Crazy vs. Little Guido – 6
3. Psicosis vs. Rey Mysterio – 5
4. Rhyno vs. Sabu – 5
5. Chris Benoit vs. Eddy Guerrero – 7
6. Mike Awesome vs. Masato Tanaka – 7
7. Dudley Boyz vs. Tommy Dreamer and The Sandman – 4

This was the huge E.C.W. reunion show put on by W.W.E. The overall feeling of the show was pretty electric, with a mostly hot crowd throughout the night. The wrestling left a little bit to be desired, though. Storm and Jericho was good, but was only a tiny glimpse of what they can do. I liked the international three-way. Rey and Psicosis disappointed thoroughly, and the crowd was real harsh. Although not an instant classic by any means, I liked Benoit versus Guerrero; their capable of a lot more, but this was simple and solid, with a clean finish. Awesome and Tanaka put on a brutal match, per their usual fare. However, their signature spots were rushed, and it hurt the structure of their match. The main event was easily the worst match in terms of work rate, although it was entertaining in regards to sheer violence. Overall, it was great to see the E.C.W. crew back together; but if they were running shows like this consistently, I’d rather them stay a fond memory.

Friday, September 23, 2005

WCW Halloween Havoc 1991

JR and Tony welcome us to the show. We cut to Eric Bischoff in an obviously taped segment as he is outside the arena welcoming superstars as they arrive. I’m sure he’s the first person that the wrestlers wanted to see when they arrived at the arena. DDP and The Diamond Studd pull up and DDP assumes that Bischoff is the valet. Good stuff. The real reason they do this segment is to show that Barry Windham was attacked by Arn Anderson and Larry Zbyszko.

1) Chamber of Horrors Match: The Steiner Brothers, El Gigante, & Sting vs. Abdullah the Butcher, Cactus Jack, The Diamond Studd, & Vader - 3
This is one of the goofiest matches I’ve ever seen. All the participants were confined to the cage which included a smaller cage with the chair of torture inside. The object was to put one of the opponents into the chair of torture and pull the lever. God bless ring announcer Gary Michael Cappetta for trying to sell this mess to the crowd. The competitors do what they can to make it watchable but it’s just not working. Abdullah tries to put Rick Steiner in the chair but Steiner reverses and put Abby in the chair and Jack pulls the lever. Well, at least that’s out of the way. A completely forgettable match that had no redeeming value except for star power and even that didn’t help much. I sure hope the rest of the show isn’t this bad.

2) Johnny B. Badd vs. Jimmy Garvin - 4
Not a bad showing here by both men and definitely a welcome change from the previous debacle. We actually get some wrestling in this one as opposed to what the WWF was doing at the time with squash matches and cartoon characters. Badd finishes off Garvin with a left hook after Teddy Long distracts the ref. Not that bad, but I’ve seen a whole lot worse.

Missy Hyatt asks Bobby Eaton if he knows who the Halloween Phantom is. Bobby steals a pumpkin and Missy whines.

3) Steve Austin vs. Dustin Rhodes - 5
I was expecting a slow-paced and somewhat boring match. Man, was I ever wrong. These two let it all hang out in probably one of the best matches of either man’s career. Both were busted open by the end and everything clicked really well. Best match of the night so far. Rhodes and Austin would continue to feud on and off over the next few years over various titles but none of their other matches was a good as this one.

4) The Halloween Phantom vs. Tom Zenk - 1
Nothing much to describe here as going into this story was that no one knew who the Halloween Phantom was. He would be revealed later in the show by Paul E. Dangerously. Who was it? Well … I guess you’ll just have to read on. Total squash.

5) Arn Anderson & Larry Zbyszko vs. The Patriots - 3
How Cappetta can announce The Patriots hometown as “WCW Special Forces” with a straight face is beyond me. The Patriots consisted of Firebreaker Chip and Todd Champion and were the United States Tag champs, having recently defeated The Freebirds. Anderson and Zbyszko, known collectively as The Enforcers, won the World Tag Team Titles by recently defeating … well … no one in particular. Not much to see in this one as Anderson and Zbyszko pretty much control the whole match. A forgettable match in which Zbyskzo & Anderson went over and thus lessening the value of the U.S. Tag Titles and the Patriots, both of whom were pretty much worthless anyway.

Eric Bischoff is at ringside with Paul E. Dangerously and Madusa. Paul brings out the Halloween Phantom and reveals him to be Ravishing Rick Rude. They make their intentions known that they want to take apart WCW from the foundation by going after Sting and the United States Title. Really, really good promos by both Paul and Rick Rude.

6) Best of Three Falls Match: Lex Luger vs. Ron Simmons - 6
I find it interesting to note that Luger would be gone in February and by this same show a year later, Simmons would be champion. Anyway, these two have a nice little match here and it’s two out of three, which is nice. Simmons won the first fall by pinfall. Luger won the second by disqualification after the ref thought that Simmons threw Luger over the top. Yes, this was still during the time of the over-the-top DQ. Luger won the third after Simmons went shoulder first into the ringpost and was pinned following a piledriver. Wait, you mean Luger went two straight over Simmons? That was bad booking right there. You should’ve had Luger win the first so the fans think that Simmons doesn’t have a chance. Simmons wins the second to prove himself as a contender and Luger wins the third so the face can challenge for a re-match. Not a classic by any means, but a fairly decent main event in which Luger actually has a good match and Simmons proves that he could be World Title material, if pushed properly. I found myself completely surprised by this one and enjoyed it thoroughly. Aside from bad booking, it wasn’t bad.

JR and Tony close it out and congratulate Brian Pillman on becoming the Light Heavyweight champion by defeating Ricky Morton. What?!! Where the hell was that match?! Oh well, the show’s over so I won’t complain. I enjoyed what I saw.

Aside from Rude’s debut, nothing really notable happened at this show. However, the in ring action was really good. I was suprisingly pleased with Rhodes vs. Austin and Luger vs. Simmons. Actually, I was suprisingly pleased with the whole event. Recommended, if you can find it.

WWE Velocity – 08/27/05

1. Simon Dean vs. Russell Simpson – 6
2. Doug Basham vs. Caprice Coleman – 4
3. Vito vs. Brad Taylor – 2
4. Scotty 2 Hotty vs. William Regal – 5

Dean and Simpson had, arguably, a near-perfect squash match. It was physical, Dean used some innovative stuff, and it came off pleasantly well. Basham and Coleman wasn’t too bad; in fact, if it wasn’t for Coleman’s inexperience (which revealed itself in a couple botches) they looked good relatively good in there together. Vito squashed Taylor, there wasn’t anything of substance here; the finish, however, Vito’s DDT variation, came off well. Scotty and Regal was the main event, they got a decent amount of time, and put on a nice little match for the most part. Regal stole the show, he delivered tons of knees that just looked brutal; the finish was marred by interference, though, prohibiting what could have been a good little match.