Sunday, May 14, 2006

Rob Van Dam - One of A Kind DVD

1. vs. Scotty Flamingo - WCW Worldwide (2/8/93) - 3
2. vs. Axl Rotten - ECW Hardcore TV (1/5/96) - 4
3. vs. Sabu - Hardcore Heaven (6/22/96) - 6
4. w/ Sabu vs. Elimanators - Crossing the Line Again (2/1/97) - 8
5. vs. Jeff Hardy - Raw (5/12/97) - 4
6. vs. Tommy Dreamer - November 2 Remember (11/30/97) - 5
7. vs. Bam Bam Bigelow - ECW Hardcore TV (4/4/98) - 5
8. vs. Jerry Lynn - Living Dangerously (3/21/99) - 7
9. vs. Jeff Hardy - Invasion (7/22/01) - 6
10. vs. Chris Jericho - King of the Ring (6/23/02) - 5
11. vs. Christian - Ladder Match - Raw (9/29/03) - 7
12. vs. Pat Rose - WCW Saturday Night (1/23/93) - 2

First off, I don't like Rob Van Dam. I think is weak forearm shots are some of the worst strikes in the business. I think is often sloppy flashy offense exposes the industry and he often makes a mockery of his opponents and himself. Yes. Van Dam is certainly one of a kind -- let's hope it stays the way. Yet, those things being said, I'm still often drawn to his work because of his unpredictability. I watched this DVD around the holidays last year; it wasn't my favorite, but surpassed my somewhat limited expectations.

The first match features Van Dam and Raven before they were hardcore, wrestling on an episode of WCW Worldwide that nobody watched. Afterwards they probably talked of aspirations of one day wrestling for the coveted TV title, while eating lasagna and thinking of ways to suck up to corporate. The match with Axl is Van Dam's ECW Arena debut, back when he was still a fresh-faced martial artist, and not a sparse beard sporting stoner. Sabu and RVD bring the best out of each other, as is the case in their match. They trained together, traveled together, and quite possibly, slept together. My favorite match of the entire DVD is their tag match against the Elimanators. Sure, with those four guys involved, it's bound to get a little sloppy, but takes little away from how hard-hitting and physical it is. Truth be told, off the top of my head, I can't think of any other ECW tag matches that compare to it. I'd recommend seeing it, it's intense and there are even some innovative ladder spots, unlike the last dozen ladder matches WWE has given us. The match with Jeff Hardy on Raw was just thrown on there for some unknown reason, showing a very young, skinny, and high on gas fumes Hardy bumping for the "invading" Van Dam.

The match with Dreamer isn't too bad, and I think it's a shame that the two of them never really got to work a major program together. Hell, I'd have even liked to see them two feuding for the World title -- instead of watching Shane Douglas get carried in forgettable title bouts. The match with Bam Bam is pretty cool, and their feud was a fun one to watch. I think Bigelow's veteran presence helped keep RVD grounded and focused, and they worked well together. I think the Lynn and RVD series of matches are a bit overrated, but I liked this one more than their match at Guilty As Charged '01. The match with Hardy was from the much-maligned Invasion pay-per-view, and may or may not have been a ladder match, I don't recall, because it's all been done before. I'd rather see those two compare secret stashes than wrestling holds.

I was actually at the RVD versus Jericho match in-person. It wasn't spectacular live, and definitely doesn't hold up on DVD. This match is quite controversial, actually; as after it, many Internet fans complained about its quality on Jericho's website. Jericho had a fit, said he hated Internet fans, and that he wasn't going to be writing about wrestling any more online. Sorry, Chris, but Shannon Moore wrestling a condem onto his tiny dick after bad Omega shows in North Carolina would be more entertaining than this hackneyed shit. Fuck the lionsault. The ladder match with Christian from Raw wasn't bad, and makes me think Christian should have stayed around WWE where he could have had more opportunities, instead of short-lived success in TNA. The last match, with Pat Rose, stunk worse than a bathroom after the Awesome Kongs demolished it.

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