Monday, November 28, 2005

WWE Smackdown! – 10/14/05

1. Chris Benoit vs. Orlando Jordan - 4
2. Mexicools and L.O.D. vs. Burchill/Regal and M.N.M. - 5
3. Booker T vs. Christian vs. Rey Mysterio vs. J.B.L. - 6
4. Bobby Lashley vs. Nunzio - 5
5. Randy Orton vs. Eddy Guerrero - 6

I watched this episode several weeks ago and I’m just getting around to writing about it—so, forgive me, I don’t remember it too fondly. Benoit and Jordan finally have a match longer than a minute in length, which is an improvement, but strange, considering their last 10 encounters had ended within 30 seconds. The tag fiasco had some talented people involved, but was your typical TV mess. The four-way dance was my favorite segment of the night, although it too was entirely forgettable. I liked Lashley versus Nunzio more than I should have; it had the right ingredients of stiffness and brevity. Although I was awfully drowsy while watching a tape of this show at 2:00AM, I remember, through my tired eyes, catching glimpses of the main event, and thinking, “this isn’t hideous”.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

WWE Heat – 09/30/2005

1. Tajiri vs. Tyson Tomko - 5
2. Matt Hardy vs. Russell Simpson - 5
3. Johnny Parisi vs. Matt Striker - 3
4. The Heart Throbs vs. Rosey/Hurricane - 4

Tajiri and Tomko work surprisingly well together in a short, if not altogether enjoyable match—pitting Tajiri as the underdog, and Tomko playing the role of the bully. Matt Hardy looks exactly how Matt Hardy has always looked, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing; and Russell Simpson, well, let’s just say he’s becoming one of my favorite jobbers—he’s a competent worker, whose style can adjust to suit just about anybody he’s in there with. Give this guy a job, Vince… you toupee wearing tool! Striker and Parisi are all Jim Powers wrestling on W.C.W. Main Event circa 1996 and I’m vomiting a little bit in my mouth. The main event was fun while it lasted, but tag team matches need time to tell a story, and five minutes just doesn’t cut it. For the record, this was the first Internet edition of Heat, after W.W.E. lost their TV deal. They have archives of every online episode, so do yourself a favor, scratch what you were going to do next, and go watch the Tajiri and Simpson matches.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

TNA Impact – 10/22/05

1. Samoa Joe vs. Elix Skipper - 4
2. A.M.W. vs. The Naturals - 5
3. Bobby Roode vs. Ron “The Truth” Killings - 3
4. Jeff Jarrett, Abyss, and Monty Brown vs. Jeff Hardy, AJ Styles, and Lance Hoyt - 6

Joe is just so ruthless, and I can’t help but feel for Elix and his subsequent turn from doing main events to opening shows. A.M.W. and Naturals do another in their long series of matches. Will this feud ever cease? Roode and Killings don’t even try, and the main event is your typical crowd pleaser exempt of any deep psychology or quality work.

Monday, November 21, 2005

WWE No Way Out '05

1. Rey Mysterio and Eddy Guerrero vs. Basham Bros. - 5
2. Hidenreich vs. Booker T - 2
3. Paul London vs. Chavo Guerrero vs. Shannon Moore vs. Spike Dudley vs. Akio vs. Funaki – Gauntlet Match - 4
4. Luther Reigns vs. Undertaker - 3
5. John Cena vs. Kurt Angle - 7
6. Big Show vs. J.B.L. – Barbwire Cage Match - 5
7. Bonus: DVD Extra – Charlie Haas and Hardcore Holly vs. Kenzo Suzaki and Rene Dupree - 4

This was a retched pay-per-view. The highlights being Cena and Angle’s hard work, and the opening match for setting the pace. Those are all the nice things I have to say about it. The crowd was dead throughout this entire event. The entire barbwire cage was a flawed idea. Guys like Hidenreich and Reigns were in there with veterans, and still put on atrocious matches. The cruiserweight matches weren’t even up to par. Overall, this was an awful DVD.

The Self Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior DVD

Ultimate Warrior vs. Terry Gibbs - 2
This was Warrior’s TV debut and it served it’s purpose to put Warrior over a nameless jobber who actually had a name. Warrior completely destroys Gibbs in under five minutes and embarks on his first run in the WWF.

Utlimate Warrior vs. Hercules (MSG 4/25/88) - 3
Hercules was Warrior’s first big feud in the WWF. Hercules was a strong undercard player and this feud helped the Warrior get name recognition. Since both men were so huge, the match quality usually sucked. This was no exception. Unlike most of their matches, which were less that five minutes and usually painless to watch, this one ran long and sloppy. Did I mention it sucked?

Ultimate Warrior vs. The Honky Tonk Man - 1
How the Warrior scored a shot at the Intercontinental title after having just made his first pay-per-view appearance at WrestleMania IV is beyond me. Honky comes out and issues and open challenge for anyone in the locker room. Warrior accepts and destroys Honky to win his first Intercontinental title

Ultimate Warrior vs. Hulk Hogan - 6
A very entertaining match for what it’s worth. It was probably the best match on the card of WrestleMania VI which was filled with sub-standard wrestling up until this one. Warrior and Hogan bust out a very memorable and historic match but was not the best in terms of in ring action, because both men didn’t have that great of a repertoire of moves. However, because of the historic value of this one, I’ll be generous.

Ultimate Warrior vs. Ravishing Rick Rude - 5
A champion is only as good and the people he defends the title against. This statement pretty much sums up the title reign of the Warrior. After defeating Hogan for the title at WrestleMania VI just four months prior, there were no strong heel contenders lined up for a shot at the Warrior. Enter Rick Rude. Rude and the Warrior had a feud dating back to WrestleMania V where Rude scored a victory over the Warrior to capture the Intercontinental title. The two work through a somewhat decent match and Warrior retains.

Ultimate Warrior vs. Randy “Macho King” Savage - Career Match (WM 7) - 6
This match was marred by interference from Sherri, who was in the Macho King’s corner. The story behind this one is that Savage cost Warrior the WWF Title at the Royal Rumble and Warrior wanted revenge. They put forth a solid effort but the quality was nowhere near what their SummerSlam 1992 match was. Warrior pins Savage who is beaten up by Sherri. Elizabeth makes the save for Savage and hoisted high on his shoulders for a very emotional and memorable moment.

Ultimate Warrior vs. Sgt. Slaughter (SNME 4/27/91) - 5
Not a totally unwatchable match as it was a TV match so things had to move quickly. Interference by Slaughter’s cronies at the end brought the rating down a little but a pleasant surprise on the DVD. Way better than their match at the 1991 Royal Rumble.

Ultimate Warrior vs. Randy “Macho Man” Savage (Summerslam 92) - 7
The best match on the whole DVD but unless you buy the DVD at and FYE store, you won’t be able to get this match. A very, very solid effort by both men. Flair and Perfect run interference about halfway through but that doesn’t hurt the quality of the match in the least. The insanely huge crowd and the rare face vs. face matchup make this a very enjoyable match to watch.

If you have never seen the matches from WrestleMania VI and VII or the match from SummerSlam 1992, or if you’re a Warrior fan, this is well worth checking out then. Also, the main feature on the Warrior’s career is really intriguing and should warrant at least one viewing. This is one DVD I would definitely recommend having, just for the bonus material alone.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

WWE Velocity - 10/28/2005

1. Paul London vs. Kid Kash - 6
2. Bobby Lashley vs. Partain - 2
3. Slyvan vs. Funaki - 3
4. Stacy Kiebler vs. Jillian – 2

London and Kash had a match that was all sorts of nifty. I’ve never been partial to Kid’s work, but with the right opponent, he can have his moments. Lashley has a super look—he’s just freaking massive. It’s increasingly difficult watching Funaki’s talents be squandered in America; at least he breaks out a neat armdrag every once in awhile. Keibler should stay out of the ring, and while I’m at it, she should go back to her old WCW outfit—with the black skirt and glasses, but I digress.

Friday, November 11, 2005

WWE Taboo Tuesday '05

1. Snitsky and Chris Masters vs. Rey Mysterio and Matt Hardy - 5
2. Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka and Eugene vs. Tyson Tomko and Rob Conway - 3
3. Carlito vs. Mankind - 5
4. Kane and Big Show vs. Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch - 4
5. Batista vs. Jonathan Coachman - Street Fight - 1
6. Trish Stratus vs. Ashley vs. Mickie James vs. Maria vs. Victoria vs. Candice Michelle - Fulfill Your Fantasy Battle Royal - 2
7. Triple H vs. Ric Flair - Steel Cage Match - 7
8. John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle - 6

Last year’s debut Taboo Tuesday pay-per-view was one of the least bought in W.W.E. history. To try to improve upon last year’s failure, they loaded this show with the return of Mick Foley, and, it was supposed to also be the in-ring return of Steve Austin; but instead, we got Goldust and Vader as Coachman’s lackeys.

The show opened with a Smackdown! versus Raw match-up, that albeit was disproportionately booked, was up-tempo enough to entertain. The “legend” match, featuring Snuka was laughable, at best. It was cool to see Foley in-ring again, as Mankind, although he wasn’t wearing the old school brown suede outfit I dig so much, but he did have the old music. He took a couple decent bumps, but Carlito didn’t carry his end of the deal, and it ended up flat. The tag team match was relatively short and painless, and featured the big men (Kane and Big Show) winning the belts.

The next two matches were deplorable; first, Batista destroyed Jonathan Coachman (and his aforementioned lackeys) in a horribly sloppy street fight, and secondly, the divas had a horrendous battle royal that had me retching on the sofa. Flair and Triple H had a bloody and barbaric cage match, which easily stole the show, although it wasn’t a certifiable classic by any stretch. The main event was pretty good, although Cena looked out of his league in there with two ring generals, and he took a lame double front layout suplex through the announcer’s table in a ridiculous spot. Overall, the show wasn’t without some merit, but you didn’t miss much at all if you didn’t see it.

Sunday, November 6, 2005

TNA Impact – 10/08/05

1. Team Canada vs. 3 Live Kru – 3
2. Austin Aries vs. Christopher Daniels vs. Matt Bentley – 6
3. Sonny Siaki vs. Abyss – 1
4. Team 3-D vs. A.M.W. – 5

This, the second edition of Impact on Spike TV, didn’t capture the fire of the first installment. The three-way dance was pretty good, and the main event was super over the live crowd. I eagerly anticipate watching this show evolve in the upcoming months.

Friday, November 4, 2005

WWE Heat - 10/22/05

1. Trevor Murdoch and Lance Cade vs. Viscera and Val Venis - 6
2. Rosey vs. Snitsky - 4
3. Rob Conway vs. Greg "The Hammer" Valentine - 4
4. Kerwin White and Nick Nemeth vs. Matt Stiker and Shelton Benjamin – 5

The tag team match was good, and Viscera and Val got the surprise clean victory, in an example of good booking. Rosey and Snitsky did your typical “big men” match, but it was a fun ride. Valentine, who I saw live recently (in a show guest writer Adam reviewed) looked marginal, and Conway pounded him. The main event was pretty good; Nemeth, who looks and wrestles a bit like Mark Jindrak, is a bit green still, but has potential and with polish, could be this generation’s equivalent to 80’s Ronnie Garvin and 90’s Ron Simmons, that is to say a career marked by one flash of success and then marred by continued mediocrity.

Thursday, November 3, 2005

WWE Smackdown! – 09/30/05

1. Mr. Kennedy and J.B.L. vs. Hardcore Holly and Rey Mysterio – 5
2. Christy Hemme vs. Melina – 1
3. “Cowboy” Bob Orton vs. Undertaker – 2
4. Bobby Lashley vs. Russell Simpson – 3
5. Christian vs. Booker T vs. Orlando Jordan – 6
6. L.O.D. vs. Batista and Eddy Guerrero – 5

In this very forgettable episode of Smackdown!, the thing I remember most vividly is certifiable W.W.E. legend Bob Orton’s horrendous punches and comical overselling. We need less Christy Hemme in-ring action, and more fresh faces like Russell Simpson actually displaying respectable wrestling.

Wednesday, November 2, 2005

WWE Velocity - 10/22/05

1. Paul London vs. Juventud - 6
2. Christian vs. Brian Kendrick - 5
3. William Regal and Paul Burchill vs. L.O.D. - 6

A few weeks back, in a cruiserweight battle royal, Juventud and London were the final two guys remaining, and put on a hell of a show. Their match on this edition was good, too; but perhaps a bit too ambitious, they didn’t quite pull it off as effectively as hoped. Kendrick and Christian are beyond competent workers, but this matched lacked the energy and flash I’d expected. I dug the main event, because Regal and Burchill are just so stiff. Early on, Burchill gave Hidenreich some worked stiff shots, but then Regal tagged in and delivered some legit stiff shots that crumpled hokey Hidenreich. The show ended in a huge melee in the ring, containing 10+ wrestlers; where I usually detest interference, this actually worked, in that it conveyed a sense of urgency and excitement in the tag team division.

Tuesday, November 1, 2005

WWE No Mercy – 10/16/05

1. L.O.D. and Christy Hemme vs. M.N.M. - 4
2. Bobby Lashley vs. Simon Dean - 3
3. Christian vs. Chris Benoit vs. Booker T vs. Orlando Jordan - 7
4. Mr. Kennedy vs. Hardcore Holly - 3
5. J.B.L. vs. Rey Mysterio - 6
6. The Undertaker vs. “Cowboy” Bob Orton and Randy Orton – Handicap Casket Match - 5
7. Nunzio vs. Juventud - 7
1. Batista vs. Eddy Guerrero – 6

My buddy Quiller ordered this pay-per-view a couple weeks back, and we went over the other night and he re-watched it with us. As a whole, this was an unremarkable event. The four-way dance is the highlight of the whole thing, these guys worked pretty well with each other, and Benoit went over. Kennedy and Holly had several miscommunications, and had the ugliest match of the night. Layfield and Mysterio worked surprisingly well together. The casket match had some moments, but there was also a lot of silly slop, too. I was pleasantly surprised and completely enamored by Nunzio and Juventud’s match. Juvie’s looking better than he has in years. The main event wasn’t bad, but the writing of this feud is real flat, and the finish (Batista goes over with a… spinebuster?) was uninspired.