Wednesday, June 28, 2006

WWE Judgment Day 2004

1) Rob Van Dam & Rey Mysterio vs. The Dudley Boyz - 6
2) Torrie Wilson vs. Dawn Marie - 3
3) Scotty Too Hotty vs. Mordecai - 3
4) Hardcore Holly & Billy Gunn vs. Charlie Haas & Rico - 4
5) Chavo Guerrero vs. Jacqueline - 1
6) John Cena vs. Rene Dupree - 4
7) The Undertaker vs. Booker T - 5
8) Eddie Guerrero vs. John Bradshaw Layfield – 7

The opening tag match was decent. RVD and Mysterio hit some cool double team spots and some nice single spots by themselves. Overall, it was a really good way to start the show and the crowd was really into it. Torrie and Dawn had a miserable match that actually could’ve been worse. Mordecai squashed Scotty. The funny thing was that even though the build up for Mordecai was incredible, the gimmick sucked and all his matches subsequently blew. I’ll give him credit though, he had enough brain power to counter that stupid ass move known as The Worm. Haas and Rico were perhaps one of the oddest combinations to hold the belts but they worked suprisingly well together. I’ve always thought that Gunn and Holly had a future as a tag team, they could’ve even called themselves Hardcore Ass. Now, that would sell some t-shirts! Anyway, the match itself was pretty basic as the champs retained. Chavo and Jackie was downright terrible. The stipulation was that Chavo had to wrestle with one arm tied behind his back. There was interference and cheating galore and was just pretty much a horrid match. It’s amazing to look back just two years and realize that at one time Cena was actually a decent wrestler. He did what he could with the very young Dupree as the match itself was your basic TV main event. The story going into the Undertaker/Booker T match was just downright insulting. Booker claimed he was bigger than the Undertaker. When UT showed up, Booker went to a psychic to get advice on how to beat Undertaker. Ummm … yeah. The match itself was basic and Booker, the heel, tried to win by throwing sand or some shit in ‘Taker’s face. ‘Taker promptly no-sold it and defeated Booker. The main event told a hell of a story. JBL played the “Ugly American” role perfectly. He chased Mexicans back to the border, gave Eddie Guerrero’s mother a heart attack, and numerous other things that made him an over-bearing asshole. Eddie, the fighting champion, promptly started the match by kicking JBL’s ass. The match spilled outside the ring numerous times and about halfway through, JBL hit Eddie with one of the most vicious chair shots I’ve ever seen or heard. Eddie, at this point, was literally gushing blood and fought the last half of the match covered in his own blood. JBL won by DQ when Eddie nailed him with the belt. This solidified JBL as a main event player and saved the show from being an otherwise bland pay-per-view.

Best of Chris Candido in WCW

1 The Artist v. Psychosis- 3
2 Lash LeRoux v. Candido- 4
3 CC v. Chavo Guerrero jr.- 4
4 Michael Modest v. The Artist- 3
5 CC v. Chavo Guerrero jr.- 2
6 CC/ Juventud Guerrera/ The Artist v. Lash LeRoux/ Crowbar/ Shannon Moore- 3
7 CC v. Shannon Moore v. The Artist v. Crowbar v. Lash LeRoux v. Juventud Guerrera- 2
8 Tammy Sytch v. Paisley- 0
9 New Blood v. Billionaires Club Battle Royal- 1
10 CC v. The Artist- 1
11 CC v. Crowbar- 3
12 CC/ Tammy Sytch v. Crowbar/ Daffney- 2
13 Daffney v. Crowbar- 0
14 CC v. The Artist v. Daffney- 0
15 CC v. Terry Funk- 5
16 CC/ Bam Bam Bigelow v. Kronik- 1
17 Triple Threat v. Buff Bagwell/ Kronik- 3
18 Buff Bagwell v. CC/ Bam Bam Bigelow- 4

Wow, there's so much to go through here. I'll start with the four's and single five, I think. When Candido first arrived, he had two pretty good TV matches with Lash and Chavo and they were really building his program with Chavo up on every Thunder. Him and Funk's famous stable brawl was the highlight for me; especially when Funk got kicked by a nearby stallion, and he cursed at it. The handicap with Buff had several decent near falls that entertained.

the 3's: Two matches involving the Artist that had botches that took away from the final score in otherwise good encounters. A six man tag, Russo style, that certainly entertained, so much I forgot they were supposed to be wrestling. Then, Candido and Crowbar tried in the midst of their respective slutty managers having a tame "catfight". Then, another six man that Candido did nothing in because he was wearing an air cast.

The 2's: CC and Chavo went for two minutes before a huge brawl ensued. The six way was where he won the Cruiserweight title, but was really only a vehicle for Tammy to get over. Then, there was a mixed tag that would have made Kamala wince at the work rate, but maybe had a stiff chair shot.

Now, the 1's: The New Blood- Billionaires Battle Royal: a complete and utter cluster fuck brain fart of an idea. First, random wrestlers were just running in the ring during the battle royal and were allowed to compete. Second, the ring was filled and no one would go out! It looked like someone dropped a hundred dollar bill on a New York City Street. It was an abolishment of the rules and regulations of battle royals. Andre the Giant probably would've shit himself had he been alive and been wearing Depends. Candido and Artist had a chicken shit match for 30 seconds and then let the women go at it. Whoopee! And Kronik managed to stink up another encounter, much like they did in their one night at WWE and at the EconoLodge the night before with Howard Finkel and a rubber dick.

And alas, there were some zeros: Tammy and Paisley, the night after a PPV? Who thought that would be fun? Russo? That fucking mark makes me sick! I read his piece of shit book and it frankly made me sick. He ruined what was left of WCW and I loathe him for it. Then, in a storyline that happened to have a match go along with it, Daffney and Crowbar were star-crossed lovers competing over the Cruiserweight belt, first against each other and then in a three way with Artist. What a gothic queen who has a hearing problem and a demented mechanic who got hired by a multi billion dollar company for no apparent reason(remember that horrible idea?) have in common, other than living in roach motels and eating the same undercooked Mexican food in the shithole restaurant next door is beyond me. RIP Chris.

Best of Chris Candio in WCW

1. Artist vs. Psicosis - Uncensored - 3
2. Chris Candido vs. Lash Leroux - 4
3. Chris Candido vs. Chavo Guerrero, Jr. - 3
4. Artist vs. Michael Modest - 4
5. Chris Candido vs. Chavo Guerrero, Jr. - 2
6. Lash Leroux, Crowbar, and Shannon Moore vs. Artist, Chris Candido, and Juventud Guererra - 3
7. Chris Candido vs. Shannon Moore vs. Lash Leroux vs. Artist vs. Crowbar vs. Juventud Guererra - Spring Stampede - 2
8. Paisely vs. Tammy Sytch - 0
9. 20+ Man Battle Royal - 1
10. Chris Candido vs. Artist - Slamboree - 1
11. Chris Candido vs. Crowbar - 3
12. Daphne and Crowbar vs. Chris Candido and Tammy Sytch - 1
13. Daphne vs. Crowbar - 0
14. Chris Candido vs. Artist vs. Daphne - 0
15. Chris Candido vs. Terry Funk - 5
16. Bam Bam Bigelow and Chris Candido vs. Kronic - 2
17. Triple Threat vs. Kronic and Buff Bagwell - 3
18. Buff Bagwell vs. Bam Bam Bigelow and Chris Candido - Handicap Match - 4

This homemade compilation features largely uninspired wrestling, but still manages to be fun in parts, if not altogether absurd in others. I've never been too big into Candido, and now he'll never get a chance to persuade me otherwise, but rediscovering his past work does make me appreciate some of his quirks a little more.

Artist and Psicosis started off with promise but eventually deteriorated due to silly interference by Paisely and Juvi. The first few matches are arguably the best on the tape, as bad angles and storyline plague most of the rest of it. Lash looks sloppy, but Chavo still had heart back then. It was cool seeing a modest Michael Modest stint, even if it only lasted a few shows. There was a scuffle with a bunch of guys after the second Chavo/Candido match that featured some of the most comical brawling I've ever seen up the aisle, not that the product at that time didn't incite genuine laughter on a weekly basis anyway.

The six-man tag team match, and six-way match were both about as big a mess as Tammy Sytch vomiting after a gin and chilidog binge. Paisely and Sytch were completely awful. The battle royal featured about 30 guys in was realistically one of the biggest messes in TV wrestling history. There were more egos than I could count, from Luger, Hogan, Sting, Jarrett, and Hart -- to mid-carders like Duggan, Hugh E. Rection, Norman Smiley, etc. I was excited to see the pay-per-view match between the Artist (great gimmick) and Candido, but it ended up being a major letdown.

Crowbar had a couple nice spots he'd always bust out, but was pretty rough around the edges. The three matches with Daphne, and seeing her win the men's cruiserweight championship, were horrid and I wouldn't even force my worst enemy to sit through them. The Candido versus Funk match is legendary -- you need this in your collection! They end up getting in the back of a truck in the middle of it, drove to a stable in the middle of Idaho, and brawling all over the place. Funk gets his face stuffed in manure, Candido bumps off of the stable through a table ass first, and here's the spot that makes this a certifiable classic... a horse kicks the shit out of Terry Funk! It's one of the most hilarious things I've ever seen; especially since it was unscripted and freaked Funk’s old ass out.

Even though Bam Bam looked a little sloppier than I'd like to admit, being a fan and all, I still thought the last couple matches helped bring the tape out of total mediocrity. Kronic sucks really, really hard though. Surprisingly, the handicap match was totally watchable, even if Buff cares more about his looks than craft, and Candido would have rather been eating pills instead of right hands.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

ECW on Sci-Fi - 6/13/06

1) The Sandman vs. The Zombie - 0
2) Kurt Angle vs. Justin Credible - 2
3) 10-Man Extreme Battle Royal - 4

Apparently they picked up The Zombie from the local crackhouse. Hmmm, a crack head against a drunk. It lasted all of 15 seconds and the Zombie went back to his … umm, grave. He actually kinda looked like Dick Slater in drag. Angle and Credible was another squash which Angle won with a variation of the Tazmission choke. The battle royal was kinda cool but the violence was really, really scaled down compared to the One Night Stand show. To be honest, this is what would’ve happened if a one-hour program was devoted to the hardcore division when that title was still active. However, I’m going to remain positive and we’ll see how it plays out over the next few weeks.

ECW One Night Stand 05

What can I say? ECW is back, so I took a look at what started it back again.

1 Chris Jericho v. Lance Storm- 6- A good back and forth, scientific match with great crowd heat. Both men were on par, shorter than I would've liked.

2 Little Guido v. Tajiri v. Super Crazy-4- This was an appetizer, a sample, a finger sandwhich of the matches they used to have in ECW. Another short match that with more time could have stolen the show.

3 Rey Mysterio v. Psicosis- 4- A two spot match with a weak finish. These two also had much better matches every where else they've competed and the ECW fans booed the 619 like they would a Shane McMahon promo. A toothpick match.

4 Sabu v. Rhino-3- What would ECW be without a thrown together match? It was short, and it wasn't pretty, but Sabu and Rhino did manage to get a little stiff.

5 Chris Benoit v. Eddie Guerrero- 6- Eddie stayed in character and Benoit stayed on point. A good, clean match that had a build up, but I felt it was rushed. Another match that's been done before and better that had more time. What is so important that they keep cutting time from these matches? Another invader promo? JBL makes me vomit on my first born. That's how sickening he is to me, to make me hurl on the most sacred thing in the world. I would love to tar and feather him, then drop him in an alligator pit.

6 Masato Tanaka v. Mike Awesome-6- Another good match between these two, but am I a broken record, "another shorter version of something they did that was great." Still, they put it out there, and both men had nothing to lose. They weren't going to be signed by WWE, so why not try and upstage their boys?

7 Dudleys v. Sandman/ Tommy Dreamer- 5- I found myself listening to the play by play in this match, when it actually got started and I remember when i originally saw this show, I got wrapped up in the BWO, the Buelah-Francine, all the guys showing up and the nostalgia. This time I really didn't care for all that, or really even the wrestling( which was as light as crumb cake in this match), but I gave credit for the heart displayed. Dreamer bled buckets, and took a sick fire bump and the other three fought hard, so i got drawn in a little. I applaud that ECW meant something so dear to them, as it did other people and they showed me that it did. But, again, well, actually this is the same match these guys used to have in ECW. What am i saying? So, love it or hate it, this was a success and ECW is back. In the immortal words of the Zombie, "ERreerrrrererrererrrrrr!"

WWF Armageddon '99

1. Hardyz vs. Edge and Christian vs. Dudleys vs. Acolytes vs. Too Cool vs. Mean Street Posse vs. Headbangers vs. Mark Henry and The Godfather - 16-Man Tag Team Battle Royal - 4
2. Kurt Angle vs. Steve Blackman - 2
3. Miss Kitty vs. Ivory vs. Jacqueline vs. B.B. - Four Corners Evening Gown Match - 0
4. Hardcore and Crash Holly vs. Viscera and Rikishi Phatu - Super Heavyweight Match - 3
5. D 'Lo Brown vs. British Bulldog vs. Val Venis - 3
6. X-Pac vs. Kane - Cage Match - 3
7. Chyna vs. Chris Jericho - 2
8. New Age Outlaws vs. Rock 'N Sock Connection - 5
9. Big Bossman vs. Big Show - 1
10. Vince McMahon vs. Triple H - No Holds Barred Match - 3

There wasn't much that worked in the opening battle royal. It helped dawn on me, though, that today's WWE is desperately lacking in tag teams -- which obviously wasn't an issue in '99. "Mean Street Posse weren't Valedictorians at Battle Royal School,” quips Ross. Where the hell is that campus? I'd like to pull a "Columbine" there. Bubba hit a wicked fisherman buster on Jeff Hardy. There were some ridiculously weak strikes, mostly punches, thrown by a handful of the guys in this. The saving grace of this bout was the Acolytes and Hardyz doing some believable teasing of eliminating each other near the end.

Angle and Blackman both looked incredibly green. Loud "boring" chants throughout this one. This went a little longer than I expected, with the only minor highlight being a decent missile dropkick by Blackman. Angle has come such a long, long way.

The women's match takes place in a pool -- but they're wearing evening gowns? Fuck Vince Russo. B.B. looks ridiculous, like she was something created in Jim Henson's creature shop. "Greco Roman zipperlock" says one of the overpaid announcers, further making a mockery of our beloved business. Kitty gets her small tits out afterwards. I recommend that you fast-forward through all of this.

I don't have much to say about the next match. Ross states "No one does pay-per-view like the WWF!" and I'm thinking thank God for that! Only highlights were Rikishi tossing one of the Holly's in the air and catching them in a Diamond Cutter, and later hitting his signature Rikishi Driver that always looks pleasantly nasty.

The three-way was an absolute mess. These guys had no chemistry together, kind of like Bulldog and the hooker who gave him a blowjob while he was enjoying cocaine later that night. Why in the hell was Bulldog wrestling in tight jeans anyway? D 'Lo hits a tasty dive to the floor, but later on botches a springboard so badly in a spot that left fans worldwide scratching their heads in bewilderment. "Val used to wet the bed from the hallway,” says Lawler, the pervert who later that night ate green olives off of Miss Kitty's butthole. In the nastiest botch of the night, Val and D 'Lo almost kill Bulldog when they attempted to do a double hiptoss and Bulldog lands directly on the top of his skull instead of his back. Near the end, Val and D 'Lo consecutively hit their trademark top rope moves the Money Shot and Lo Down in one of the only memorable spots in this stinker.

X-Pac looks like a complete idiot in a bucket hat. X-Pac doesn't sell his head being slammed into the ringsteps whatsoever. This match was so unbearable I blocked most of it from my memory – there was a pretty swank clothesline from the top of the cage.

Chyna and Jericho was an awful business-exposing match that did little in neither progressing the art form nor entertaining fans. The only highlight was Jericho giving Chyna a tasty front-layout suplex on a table.

Ross calls the Outlaws the "best tag team ever" which is boldface lie. Foley is a mess, but does a nice piledriver on Road Dogg -- later Gunn gives Foley a decent piledriver, too. Rock couldn't clothesline Gunn over the top rope. Al Snow runs out and gives Foley head -- which he would do again later in a Marriott. Foley backbody dropped Gunn then stumbled backwards over him, looking like the buffoon he so totally is. This was the best match of the card, even if it contained a wretched finish.

Bossman and Show is easily one of the worst World title programs in wrestling history. Albert comes out and takes a tame table bump. They felt it was necessary to put that in for a four-minute match, so you can see they didn't have any confidence in this. “Boring" chants are heard again. One chokeslam later, and this dud is over.

McMahon starts off the match by throwing powder that totally misses Hunter's face but he sells it regardless. Vince's swiping right hands are atrocious. There's a low blow -- that's not the first time Vince's hand and Hunter's dick have met. Next up, an uninspired crowd brawl sequence. It was fantastic to see someone drill Hunter in the head with a 64-ounce Big Gulp soda. Foley wheels out some garbage -- thanks slob. Hunter ran a shopping cart into a prone McMahon's face in a spot that looked painful. Too many tame weapon shots to count. They brawl back to the military set-up near the end of the aisle way then do nothing there. This is frustratingly plodding. McMahon puts a garbage can on Hunter's head then throws one of those weird swiping right hands, hurting himself upon impact worse than his opponent. He goes to hit Hunter with a pipe, as Hunter tries to punch him at the same time, leading to him falling face first on top of Vince. This is so bad it's almost comedic. Back to the military set -- Hunter swings a machine gun into Vince's forehead. Hunter takes off, leading to Vince stumbling around a parking lot forever, until Hunter tries to hit him with a car. A fan tries to commit homicide by chucking an un-opened 20-ounce bottle from a bridge as if they were Nolan Ryan; coming about an inch away from drilling the referee in the face. They brawl on a limo. Back in the arena, they brawl on a tower that's about 20-feet from the ground -- of course, McMahon bumps off of it, which would kill an ordinary man, but he somehow is walking only minutes later. You have to see this match, though, and then try to figure out whom in the world thought this was an acceptable main event.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Pick Your Poison: Jake "The Snake" Roberts DVD

Adam let me borrow this DVD--the feature was very good, and the matches, although not good for the most part in the classical sense, were still enjoyable in their own way. I was working in a deserted calendar store at a mall during the holidays when I had this, I stole my niece’s portable DVD player and watched all the matches during a few boring shifts. Oddly enough, I'm now writing this months later, on the clock in an office at another job. In an odd way to look at it, I've been spending far too much time getting paid studying Jake Roberts.

Disc #1
1. vs. Ricky Steamboat - Snake Pit Match (The Big Event 8/28/86) - 7
2. vs. Honky Tonk Man - (Wrestlemania 3 3/29/87) - 5
3. vs. Rick Rude - Rude Awakening vs. DDT Match (MSG 10/24/88) - 5

You need to see the Snake Pit match--I always thought Cobra Commander was the coolest thing related to snakes, that and the Wild Boyz, but this match takes the cake. It's old school, the psychology is near perfect, and plain and simple, Steamboat just rules. The match with Honky Tonk from Wrestlemania isn't too special, besides historical significance, with it being one of the biggest shows in wrestling history. I'm not a betting man, but if I were, I'd predict Jake and Alice Cooper shot up heroin after the match and listened to Twisted Sister b-sides. I don't remember a ton from the Rude match, but let's be honest, it's "Ravishing" Rick--it's certainly worth a viewing.

Disc #2
1. w/ Ricky Steamboat vs. Jim Nelson and Mike Miller - (Mid-Atlantic 9/9/81) - 5
2. vs. Ronnie Garvin - (Georgia Championship 12/3/83) - 3
3. vs. "Leaping" Lanny Poffo - (MSG 3/16/86) - 3
4. vs. Earthquake - (Superstars 4/27/91) - 1
5. vs. Sting - Coal Miner's Glove Match (Halloween Havoc 10/25/92) - 5
6. vs. Dirty White Boy - (Smokey Mountain Wrestling 5/7/94) - 2
7. vs. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin - (King of the Ring 6/23/96) - 4
8. vs. Jerry "The King" Lawler - (Summerslam 8/18/96) - 2
9. w/ Tommy Dreamer vs. Justin Credible and Jack Victory - (November 2 Remember 11/1/98) - 2

I liked the Mid-Atlantic match far more than I should have, something about watching grown men roll around a tiny TV studio that just warms the heart. Jim Nelson and Mike Miller are probably serving chili, or stealing wallets somewhere near Iowa. I met Ronnie Garvin when I was a kid at a local bowling alley, he asked if I wanted an autograph, I declined--but I did ask him if I could shake his famous "hands of stone". His match with Roberts here soils that memory. In the biggest botched spot of the DVD, Poffo tries to do some dive over the ropes onto Jake on the floor, gets his legs caught up, and tumbles over roughly landing on Jake's head in a nasty looking bungle. This was Jake's first official match for W.W.F.--hey Roberts, welcome to the big time! You know how Scarecrow, of Batman lore, can put a mask on anyone and it will show them their worst fear? If he put that mask on me, Earthquake versus Roberts from Superstars would be on constant replay.

I remember watching the Coal Miner's Glove match live on pay-per-view when I was growing up--so for nostalgic purposes alone, I had a blast watching this. Performance wise, I wouldn't put it on my resume, but it's a spectacle regardless. It's hilarious watching Jake literally apply the snake to this throat at the end, practically forcing it to bite him. According to unnamed sources, he did the same thing to many women while on the road in the early 90's. I was very disappointed in the Smokey Mountain match; Jake looked pathetic, he was so obviously under the influence of narcotics during this bout that it's undeniable. He was sucking down booze, pills, and chilidogs before this match--I guarantee that! The Austin match is notable as directly after it, Austin gave the "3:16" speech that birthed the phenomenon. Jake was selling the "injured ribs" heavy, and Austin basically punished him. The match with Lawler is equally disturbing as the match in Smokey Mountain, as the storyline around it was Lawler using Jake's former problems with drugs as fodder for a bad angle. After the match, Lawler poured real whiskey all over Jake's face--Jake said on the DVD that this pissed him off, as he was legit clean at this point, and it burned his eyes. All I remember about the E.C.W. match is I forced myself not to remember anything about it.

WCW SuperBrawl III

1) Chris Benoit vs. Too Cold Scorpio – 8 – This was absolutely amazing! If you want to see professional wrestling at its finest, then watch this match. Both men wrestle back and forth for twenty minutes and neither of them give an inch to the other. Scorpio would fly and Benoit would match him. Benoit would work submission and Scorpio would match that. It was just a great, great match between two gifted competitors who were eager to make their mark.

2) The British Bulldog vs. Wild Bill Irwin – 4 – For those of you who survived episodes of WWF Superstars from 1996, you might recognize Irwin as the ill-fated character, The Goon. Anyway, Bulldog was making his debut here and made short work of Irwin in a basic match.

3) Paul Orndorff vs. Cactus Jack – Falls Count Anywhere Match – 6 - Orndorff and Jack had a downright brutal match. Jack went for a sunset flip from the second turnbuckle to the outside on Orndorff and took a sick bump on the landing. Orndorff worked Jack’s knee for the duration of the match while Jack worked his spots in. The match ended with a shovel to the face. Yes … a shovel to the face! A super fun match to watch with a great old-school mentality.

4) Dustin Rhodes vs. Maxx Payne – 3 – Well, we go from a brutal fight to brutal to watch. Payne looked terrible and had some very limited offense. Rhodes worked hard but just couldn’t pull out a decent match. By the way, the ring annoucer says that Payne’s hometown is, and I quote, “a state of euphoria.” Now if that doesn’t reek of stupidity, I don’t know what does.

5) The Great Muta vs. Barry Windham – 6 – Wow, when was the last time you saw a headlock worked for ten straight minutes in a world title match? These two had another fantastic match that tore down the house. Personally, I think that Windham has always been underrated as a fantastic wrestler and never got the respect that he deserved. If you want to see what a world title match should be like, then check this out. It should be noted that Ric Flair provided guest commentary for the match because he made his return to WCW before the match began.

6) Sting vs. Vader – Leather Strap Match – 7 – Not as crazy as I though it would be but still a hard-hitting match. Vader was bleeding from the back and the ears, Sting was busted open on the forehead, and both guys whipped each other into oblivion. Again, this wasn’t anything like today’s strap matches where trash cans, cookie sheets, and other odd assortments of paraphernalia are used. The finish was creative as Sting tripped over the downed ref which caused Vader to touch all four buckles. This will probably go down as one of the best strap matches I’ve ever seen.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

WWE Amargeddeon 2005

1 JBL v. Matt Hardy- 3
2 MNM v. Mexicools- 5
3 Booker T v. Chris Benoit- 7
4 Lashley v. William Regal/ Paul Burchill- 2
5 Juventud v. Kid Kash- 5
6 Big Show/ Kane v. Batista/ Rey Mysterio- 2
7 Undertaker v. Randy Orton(Hell in a Cell)- 7

Traditionally, this show bites the big one, and it had its share of stinkers. JBL and Hardy worked stiff, but ultimately Hardy gets buried again. The tag match was a real exciting one and the teams worked well together. Booker and Benoit had another steallar encounter, this one going at least 20 minutes. The Lashley match was a squash; an unnecessary one in my opinion, we know he's tough and over, so why kill one of your few tag teams left just to get him over? The cruiserweight match was cool, although Kash needs a complete makeover. He has no character or exudes no charisma; his whole gimmick back in the day was he looked like Kid Rock, now he just looks like a pudgy alcoholic. The Raw v. Smackdown tag match was a complete mis match of styles that on paper looks like shit, so why even put it in front of us? The Hell in a Cell match I was looking forward to, because despite horrible interference from Cowboy Bob, these two have had some great matches and this one was no different. They used the cage, they had near falls, and there was some blood, so all in all a pretty good showing for both men.

WWE Armageddon '05

1. Matt Hardy vs. JBL - 4
2. Mexicools vs. MNM - 5
3. Chris Benoit vs. Booker T - 7
4. Bobby Lashley vs. Paul Burchill and William Regal - Handicap Match - 3
5. Juventud vs. Kid Kash - 5
6. Big Show and Kane vs. Batista and Rey Mysterio - 3
7. Undertaker vs. Randy Orton - Hell In the Cell - 6

I must admit that I enjoyed watching Smackdown! brand pay-per-view shows in '05; with the exception of their announcing team of Tazz and Michael Cole, they're usually entertaining shows. On paper, this doesn't look like an especially spectacular event -- but the live crowd in Providence, Rhode Island was into it for the most part, and the final product was pleasantly surprising.

I only liked the first match because it was very physical -- otherwise, it was just JBL squashing the talented Hardy, in a forgettable lopsided match. I saw a Mexicools versus MNM match on an actual Smackdown! broadcast a few months ago -- it was arguably one of the best WWE tag team matches I'd seen in at least two years. Their match here wasn't as pretty as that one, it was slower and rougher around the edges, but still quality regardless. I like the dynamic of these teams together, and wish that they'd have been given a chance to work a lengthier program together.

I loved Benoit and Booker -- these guys have worked each other so many times, and always provide solid matches. On the surface, you wouldn't think their styles would mesh, but they always manage to deliver. This match was allotted a decent chunk of time, and they utilized it successfully having a great back and forth battle. The handicap match was a complete throwaway, which would have been disappointing on free TV, making it doubly offensive offered as a pay-per-view bout. It was quick and a waste of the talents involved.

Juventud and Kash also had a superior match on an episode of Smackdown! but that's not saying this wasn't good. I enjoyed it, but the crowd was dying at this point, after being forced to endure a Tim White suicide skit and a Vito Claus and Nunzio the Elf in-ring abomination, which hurt the match's impact. Juventud and Kash were both standing on the top turnbuckle at one point, and Juvie jumped up on Kash's shoulders delivering a massive hurricanrana in an awesome spot.

The tag team match was a severe disappointment. With the guys involved, I wasn't expecting a classic, although I figured it'd be entertaining if nothing else. But man, this absolutely sucked hardcore. It was lazy and uninspired – apparently like Batista in the bedroom. There was no chemistry or cool sequences, just suck piled on more suck.

Undertaker and Orton may have disappointed a few people in terms of comparison to past Hell In the Cell matches -- but I kind of liked it. Sure, it got a bit sloppy and convoluted in parts, and Orton's attempt at splashing Undertaker through a table was laughable, but I still found it strangely watchable. They gave it a lot of time, there was a decent amount of blood (again, think Batista in the bedroom) and the hatred between the two was palpable.

WWE Armageddon 2005

1) John Bradshaw Layfield vs. Matt Hardy - 4
2) The Mexicools vs. MNM - 6
3) Chris Benoit vs. Booker T - 6
4) William Regal & Paul Burchill vs. Bobby Lashley – Handicap Match - 3
5) Juventud Guerrera vs. Kid Kash - 5
6) Rey Mysterio & Batista vs. The Big Show & Kane - 5
7) The Undertaker vs. Randy Orton – Hell in a Cell Match – 6

This felt like a really elaborate episode of SmackDown. JBL and Hardy was the same as every other match they’ve had. JBL got Hardy’s head trapped in the ropes and worked it with kicks for the majority of the match. MNM’s match against The Mexicools was probably the best tag match in the WWE in the last two years. It also served the purpose to get MNM over as the top contenders for the tag team titles. Benoit and Booker went about twenty solid minutes and would’ve garnered a higher rating had Sharmell not gotten involved. It was basically the same match they had at Survivor Series. Lashley got over by beating the two Brits in under five minutes in a totally unimpressive handicap match. Juvi and Kash didn’t put for their best efforts. The match they had three weeks after this on SmackDown was a much better effort on the part of both men. What was the point in putting the Raw team (Big Show and Kane) over the SmackDown team (Mysterio and Batista) when Survivor Series was dominated by SmackDown? It was the capper to a bland “inter-promotional” feud that had been going since October. By the way, Mysterio was wearing white lipstick to match his white mask. Personally, it looked like as if he’d just eaten a dozen bowls of vanilla ice cream just before making his way to the ring. The main event was a bit of a let down as well. Whenever I hear the words “hell in a cell” it makes me think of violence and brutality, not slow, psychological wrestling. Yes, it had its share of blood but will not be remembered as an essential match. Also on the show, The Boogeyman beat up Vito Claus and Nunzio the Elf and Tim White drank liquor and shot himself in the foot. Honestly, I wished he would’ve shot that idiot kid Josh Matthews. Until then, well, one can only hope that Velocity gets canceled.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

ECW One Night Stand ‘06

1. Jerry Lawler vs. Tazz - 1
2. Kurt Angle vs. Randy Orton - 6
3. Tajiri and Super Crazy vs. FBI - 4
4. Sabu vs. Rey Mysterio - 5
5. Tommy Dreamer, Terry Funk, and Beulah vs. Mick Foley, Edge, and Lita - 5
6. Balls Mahoney vs. Masato Tanaka - 3
7. Rob Van Dam vs. John Cena - 5

I don't think I really need to get into the specifics about the rebirth of ECW, etc. If you're a wrestling fan, it's safe to assume you're already well informed on the subject; whether you love it or hate it, at least temporarily, ECW is back. Last year's One Night Stand pay-per-view didn't feature too many inspired performances, the matches were far too short, but regardless, the crowd was ecstatic and it was an enjoyable event overall. This year, the crowd was hotter than ever, and for the most part, this show delivered in many ways last year's simply didn't. Neither shows will be remembered as great, although both generated a lot of excitement and fan interest.

Lawler and Tazz lasted all of 15 seconds, and only generated a score because I've always been a fan of the Tazmission submission -- even if Tazz is an angry midget, who was only ever half as good as he thought he was. Angle's working a more mat-based style these days to mask his banged up body, which isn't entirely a bad thing, as he looked great here as the viciously intense grappler. Orton generated a ton of heel heat, too; the New York crowd hated his guts, and made him well aware of the fact. I hope the future holds more matches between these two individuals, as this was a joy to watch.

The tag match featured the signature spots we've come to expect from these guys, and little else. Not to say it wasn't a fun match, it just wasn’t engrossing, in that, as good as they are together, we've seen it all before. I was looking forward to Sabu and Mysterio and it was all I had hoped for while it lasted, which wasn't very long. Still, it had the energy and impact I was craving, and featured a few wild bumps that had me knocking tortilla chips and lemonade all over Adam's living room in pure ecstasy.

The tag match featured some nasty bumps, but I felt at best, it was a halfhearted effort -- which isn't to say it wasn't mostly entertaining. My main problem was the major bumps weren't built into the match, but that the match was built around these major bumps. It goes without saying we've seen all four of these guys take nastier shots, but still, it's mildly amusing watching Funk stuck to a barbwire board, withering in excruciating pain, even if we’ve seen it a dozen times before. The last minute inclusion of the women in this match only satiated perverts and pedophiles, as I doubt true wrestling fans welcomed the addition. I hope it's the last time we see either Foley or Funk in a ring, as they're disgracing what remains of their legacies, but I doubt it will be.

I was looking forward to Balls and Tanaka beating the hell out of each other; instead, we got some relatively tame shots with cups of beer and soda outside the ring, and ultimately, a quick and forgettable match. You flew Tanaka, a guy who used to bump into electrified barbwire cages, all the way to New York for a four-minute match? This was like the Date Movie of hardcore wrestling -- a poorly done parody. We knew RVD and Cena was going to be fun for the crowd reaction alone, and they didn't disappoint, hating Cena with all they could muster. In terms of wrestling, there wasn't much of note on display here; in fact, it's fair to say that most of this stunk. I despise both of these guys' strikes. It's hard to gauge who's more overrated overall. Edge interfering while wearing a motorcycle helmet that was right out of Excitebike further tarnished any decency in this one. Rob Van Dam "won", letting the fans in attendance leave happy, and those watching at home the opportunity to put in a video of superior wrestling.

ECW One Night Stand 2006

1) Jerry Lawler vs. Tazz - 1
2) Kurt Angle vs. Randy Orton - 6
3) Super Crazy & Yoshihiro Tajiri vs. The Full Blooded Italians - 5
4) Rey Mysterio vs. Sabu - 7
5) Tommy Dreamer, Terry Funk, & Beulah vs. Mick Foley, Edge, & Lita – Mixed Tag Team Match - 7
6) Balls Mahoney vs. Masato Tanaka - 3
7) Rob Van Dam vs. John Cena – 6

Before I get to reviewing the show, I want to get up on a soapbox and talk for a moment about the people who continually trash ECW. You know who you are because you’re the ones who will kiss Vince’s ass and will continually praise any product that Vince puts out. You’re the ones who bash TNA and say that a 60 year old man making out with a diva every week on TV is pro wrestling. You’re just the kind of marks that Vince loves and are nothing but well trained zombies. Let me say that the stuff on Raw and SmackDown every week is not pro wrestling. ECW is professional wrestling. TNA is professional wrestling. The indies are professional wrestling. Anyone who says otherwise is completely and utterly full of shit. Don’t give that “Oh, ECW is a branch of WWE” crap. I know it is but it’s way, way better than Raw or SmackDown. If you want to see pro wrestling, you need to watch this show and look at the effort that everyone puts out. From the announcers to the wrestlers, everyone busted their ass and put on the best pay-per-view of the year.

Now that I’m done lecturing, let’s look at the matches. Tazz came out to his old ECW music and squashed Lawler in about 30 seconds and then joined Joey Styles on commentary. Angle and Orton had a great match that was mainly highlighted by good solid wrestling, something that is really lacking on TV these days. They worked about 15 good minutes and the crowd just ate it up by riding Orton the entire match. The tag match with the F.B.I. was the standard cruiserweight tag match and wasn’t really anything new or groundbreaking. It was nice to see Tajiri again but I’ve got the feeling that he’s not back for good. If I said that Mysterio vs. Sabu was crazy, that would be an understatement. They threw chairs at each other, flew through the air, and damn near broke each other’s necks. In a match that was filled with sick spots, the first one where Mysterio through a table on the outside was nuts but I’ve never seen anything like the finish. Basically, Mysterio was standing on a table that was bridged between the ring apron and the guardrail. Sabu ran the ropes, jumped onto Mysterio and DDT’ed Mysterio through the table, damn near breaking his and Mysterio’s neck.

The mixed tag match was nothing but a bloodletting. Funk was busted good right by his eye and was taken out for medical treatment. He later returned with a barbed wire board that was eventually lit on fire. The match itself was sickening. There were garbage cans, street signs, and sheets of plywood covered in barbed wire used during the match. It was one of the most, if not the most violent, bloody, and brutal match I’ve ever seen. Balls and Tanaka was filler in between the big matches and wasn’t their best encounter and would’ve probably been better off on the ECW show on Sci-Fi. RVD and Cena wasn’t great in terms of wrestling quality but the crowd more than made up for some of the lackluster ring action. It’s a good thing they decided to put the belt on RVD because I honestly believe that the Hammerstein Ballroom would’ve been burnt to the ground if they hadn’t. As I was watching it I noticed that Cena was covering up quite a bit whenever RVD would do a move with the chair. The finish was kind of screwed up because two refs were down and Heyman counted the fall. A great win for RVD to cap off an incredible show that I will never forget. This was one of the greatest nights of professional wrestling, and not sports entertainment, that I’ve ever seen.

Friday, June 9, 2006

Great American Bash 2004

A storied event with great tradition, the GAB was along with Starrcade, the flagship for WCW and even the NWA who began the event in 1985. Since the WWE had purchased WCW, the Bash lay dormant. But, as a grand phoniex rising from the ashes, The Bash spread it's wings and bestowed wrestling magic on us once again. Could the WWE relive some of those classic Bash moments and after watching this you'll ask, would they even try?

1 Jamie Knoble v. Spike Dudley( Heat Match) (4)- a hotly contested match with near falls and crowd involvement. A good indicator on how the show would go.

2 John Cena v. Booker T v. RVD v. Rene Dupree( 4)- Elimination match, okay this is different. Well, Booker is just watching from the floor with no emotion on his face. Maybe he accidentally sharted. Dupree is running the ring with short forearm lunges at Cena and RVD's face. RVD hit two frog splashes and then gets rolled up, but his shoulder wasn't even down. okay. Cena hits a sloppy, sloppy joe of an FU(I'm sorry, why did I tarnish the food or Adam Sandler's brilliant song with that kind of a description; let me try something else) Cena hits a Hot Lesbian Action of an FU(okay, that's better.) and pins Dupree. Later, Booker got beat after a going through the motions finishing sequence.

3 Charlie Haas v. Luther Reigns(2)- This was basically a squash for Reigns, a sure sign that Hass was moving up the rankings. Both men would be fired in a mere few months anyways.

4 Chavo Guerrero v. Rey Mysterio (6)- Assuredly, the best match of the night. Both men worked innovative spots, and some cool technical. It had depth too; maybe almost twenty minutes.

5 Kenzo Suzuki v. Billy Gunn (2)- Ooh, wow, that one hurt. I love a slow, plodding, action-less match just as much as the next person that doesn't exsist, but why be that slow and plodding and action-less?

6 Sable v. Torrie (0)- not a match, not a good idea, I'd rather they stay in the hot tubs.

7 Mordecai v. Bob Holly (2)- What was Mordecai supposed to be? Did anyone really know? Well, I know my answer isn't a good wrestler. These two bumbled around, falling into each other, and what have you for no apparent reason. The only lime light was Holly visibly getting angry and getting ruthless with that rookie ass.

8 Eddie Guerrero v. JBL(Bullrope Match) (5)- first the positive: JBL took a great chairshot and bled well. Eddie sold good for JBL. They tried to do a cool table spot. They played the gimmick of hitting the buckles well. Now, the negative: THE MATCH DIDN'T WORK. The rope was in their way the whole match. The lights signifying who had touched what buckle worked sporadically. And the rules didn't make sense. It seemed to me that through the whole match, only one guy can touch buckles at a time, but JBL hit every one Eddie did until the end when he got knocked into it. OH, yeah, and the screw job finish.

9 Undertaker v. Dudley Boyz(Crypt match) (1)- Bubba bumped hard. That's why a 1. You might ask: where did the other 9 points go, Mr. Reviewer? Well, Paul Heyman lost 3 for being bald, boring, and talking during the action. Taker lost 2 for not selling and not bumping. The Dudleys lost 3 for talking and not even wrestling. okay, 3 + 2 + 3= 8. There's still 1 point missing. That's for making this the main event at a show that used to have prestige and value. Thanks for flushing that down the toilet; I only wish you had room for Vince McMahon's ego. But that's too busy making out with every Diva ever hired. I wish phoniex's could catch on fire and burn to the ground.

WWE Great American Bash '04

1. Rene Dupree vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Booker T vs. John Cena - 4
2. Luther Reigns vs. Charlie Haas - 3
3. Chavo Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio - 6
4. Kenzo Suzaki vs. Billy Gunn - 2
5. Sable vs. Torrie Wilson - 1
6. Mordeci vs. Hardcore Holly - 2
7. Eddy Guerrero vs. JBL - Texas Bullrope Match - 5
8. Undertaker vs. Dudley Boyz - Concrete Crypt Match - 2
9. DVD Bonus: Jamie Noble vs. Spike Dudley - 4

I remember when this pay-per-view originally aired I was on vacation in Miami, FL. I went down to the hotel's lobby late one evening to check my e-mail and the results of this show. I couldn't believe my eyes. I seriously thought it was a joke -- I mean, this was just surreal, and I couldn't help but wonder, who booked this shit? Green rookies that had no connection with audiences like Kenzo Suzaki and Mordeci were squashing longtime veterans and locker room leaders like Billy Gunn and Hardcore Holly in throwaway matches? It looked like the writers literally booked the show the night before, that is, after a night of filet mignon and prostitute ass.

The four-way match didn't work on a couple levels for me. First off, the concept of these types of matches doesn't fly in terms of reality. We're supposed to believe these guys are actually fighting each other, competing in an athletic contest in attempt at gaining a victory, correct? But, in these types of matches, you'll constantly see guys moving out of the way of other guys' offense, placating to each other so they can get their spots off. That's why spotty indy workers love four-ways, because you don't have to have any talent as a storyteller to pull one off that'll make the marks cream their pants in psuedo appreciation. All that being said, nobody shined in this match; even the usually solid Booker T even fumbled through a couple sloppy sequences that made me wince.

Although I scored it low for being altogether unspectacular, Reigns and Haas wasn't bad by any means, just not noteworthy whatsoever. There were a few miscommunications, but they kept a nice pace. Chavo and Rey was the match of the entire show. During the first-half, the wrestling was perfectly acceptable, but neither the crowd nor I felt involved or absorbed in what was happening. The second-half really picked up, though, and they delivered a satisfying match with a quick surprising and believable finish.

I tried to get into Kenzo when he debuted but it's hard to find anything nice to say about most of his matches. I thought this one was especially bad. Gunn got in almost no moves, and Suzaki's offense was slow and plodding, like his mother's descent into alcoholism. Sable and Torrie went longer than I anticipated, which was a bad thing, as they actually attempted to wrestle -- earlier in the show, there was a backstage skit with Torrie in a hot tub with three guys, not the first time I'd bet she was wet with three shirtless man surrounding her.

Mordeci and Holly was an absolute mess. Holly slingshoted him on the top rope at one point, Mordeci oversold it and flew back into Holly who was facing the opposite direction, leading him to flail across the ring like he'd just seen a ghost. This was your routine TV squash, not suitable for pay-per-view exposure in my opinion. Eddy and JBL was something I looked forward to watching, but it left a bad taste in my mouth, not too different than the one Vince deposited in Sable's mouth later that night in a hotel room. JBL took a brutal chairshot and did a great blade job, bleeding tons, but not much else was memorable, at least not in a positive way. They bungled their first table spot, neither the rope nor the scoring lights used in this gimmick match worked correctly, and the finish was atrocious, where Kurt Angle rolled down the aisle in a wheelchair and reversed the decision, giving JBL his first major championship, leading to a reign that lasted forever and forced many fans to consider suicide.

You may think I'm just being harsh, but seriously, the main event was easily the worst pay-per-view headliner I think I've ever seen the WWE offer. There were so many gimmicks blatantly overshadowing the wrestling, with Paul Bearer being trapped in a glass box in the aisle as Paul Heyman systematically poured wet concrete on him. The actual wrestling itself was pathetic -- this proves the Dudley Boyz were never main event material, and Undertaker should be ashamed of himself. The DVD bonus, from Heat, was surprisingly awesome. These matches usually follow a format of rushing to an uninspired finish after about four minutes. This, albeit short, showcased both Jamie and Spike's attributes well, and was fast-paced and enjoyable.

3PW Blood, Brawls, and Broads

1) Pitbull Gary Wolfe vs. Rockin Rebel – Dog Collar Match - 2
2) Josh Daniels vs. Rob Eckos - 4
3) Danny Doring vs. Devon Storm - 3
4) The Blue Meanie vs. Christian York - 2
5) Public Enemy vs. The Bad Breed - 1
6) Pitbull Gary Wolfe vs. Christian York - 3
7) Sabu vs. Syxx-Pac - 5
8) The Sandman vs. Sabu vs. New Jack – Three Way Body Bag Elimination Match – 2

Wolfe and Rebel had a totally miserable match. Wolfe tried to put Rebel through a table two times and it didn’t break on either try. Daniels and Eckos tried the hardest out of any wrestler (and I use that term very loosely) featured on this DVD. The problem is that nothing really impressed me about either guy. The announcers were trying (and failing) to put Eckos over as the anti-cruiserweight but yet he does the basic cruiserweight, high spots just as they say it. Whatever. At one time, Doring had good matches in ECW but since then, his work has really taken a tailspin. He mails in a 15-minute snoozer with Storm and hits an insanely weak stunner to send Storm back to the used car lot from whence he came. York totally fell on his ass while attempting some kind of running move off of the apron onto Meanie. That was about the highlight of that one as yet another performance is mailed in.

Hey, remember that scene in ECW where the fans are throwing chairs into the ring? Well, it’s recreated here in a very lame fashion as the capper to a very lame bout that is put over as a tag team match for the ages. Yeah, the old ages. The teams bleed all over and the match ends … in a no contest? As if I really need to expend the brain power to try to figure it out. Gary Wolfe makes another appearance against Christian York, who’s also pulling double duty. You can probably guess what happened here. Syxx-Pac and Sabu seemed to be the only ones who cared about what they were doing. Every other match on this DVD was mailed in so why should I expect any more from these guys. The announcers put this over as the match of the century. Who are they kidding? Syxx-Pac couldn’t main event a wrestling show at a flea market! I digress. In a complete shocker, Sabu jobs to Pac and thankfully this DVD is over … or is it?

As much as I’d like to forget about the so-called “bonus match”, I guess I have to subject myself to yet even more torture. At this point, I’d rather burn my eyebrows off with a blowtorch, then have to watch any more of this. However, as I’ve told my fellow reviewers here many times, everything is worth a review. So, therefore, three certifiable hardcore “legends” are presented here in this one-of-a-kind body bag match. The rules are … um … yeah … they never explained the rules and seemed to make them up as they went along. After about fifteen minutes of all three stapling and stabbing each other, New Jack is finally shoved in a shower curt … err, I mean body bag and hauled away. Sabu and Sandman are left to settle the score as Bill Alfonso interferes and battles with Tod Gordon who helps Sabu and then they walk away and another match ends in a no contest. Thankfully, this DVD is finally over and unfortunately, I have no more eyebrows.

Thursday, June 8, 2006

TNA Genesis- Nov. 2005

1 Shark Boy v. Nigel McGinnis- 2- a very clipped version of a match they've had before that was much better.

2 Diamonds in the Rough v. The Naturals/ Lance Hoyt- 2- They came in with their game faces on, but they quickly wore off after Skipper got in his token botch of the night. The match ended with little enthusiasm.

3 Raven v. PJ Polaco- 3- What a big return for this schmuck! I've never been a fan of his work, and this was no different. Both men took the shortest route to selling a move, and the result was piss poor wrestling.

4 3 Live Kru v. Team Canada( Hockey Stick Fight)- 4- There was some spirited team moves in here, but mostly sloppy brawling and the usual cheap heat spots that most of these participants are known for.

5 Jeff Hardy v. Monty Brown- 4- a blase attempt at bringing something new to the table; actually, what am i saying there was no attempt! i almost gave them credit for something they didn't do. what was i thinking? Note to self: stop taking those kindness courses at the University. It hasn't gotten me laid and it hasn't really helped my self-esteem.

6 Samoa Joe/ Christopher Daniels/ Alex Shelly/ Roderick Strong v. Chris Sabin/ Sonjay Dutt/ Austin Aries/ Matt Bentley( Elimination Match)- 7- A strong showing from the X Division in the longest match of the show. It was so long i kept expecting people to be eliminated and they weren't. I'm a fan of most all of these guys, and they put on a hell of a match. My only complaint: went too long. I lost interest in the match after a while, but the ending was pretty exciting.

7 Abyss v. Sabu(No DQ)-7- Another wonderful encounter in these two's hardcore series. Sabu seems to care about wrestling again and tries to bring the pain against the big man. There were some brutal thumbtack and barb wire bumps in this and it was exciting.

8 AJ Styles v. Petey Williams- 7- Wow! not usually does a match exceed my expectations, but these guys really tore down the house. There was an awesome plancha to the outside that hit all guardrail and a ton of innovative spots in ring. a great effort.

9 Rhino/ Team 3-D v. Jeff Jarrett/ AMW- 6- This was very fun to watch. Jarrett actually took a cool bump on the aisleway, and the cowboys got their backs broke from 3-D, but there was no mountain, unless you count the pile of semen Mike Tenay released while marking out for this match. It's something different for a PPV main event, and i definitely wouldn't want it every month but this was cool.

Monday, June 5, 2006

TNA Genesis 11/13/05

1. Shark Boy vs. Nigel McGuinness - 2
2. Diamonds In the Rough vs. Lance Hoyt and The Naturals - 4
3. Raven vs. PJ Polaco - 3
4. 3 Live Kru vs. Team Canada - Hockey Stick Fight - 3
5. Monty Brown vs. Jeff Hardy - 4
6. Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe, Roderick Strong, and Alex Shelley vs. Chris Sabin, Matt Bentley, Sonjay Dutt, and Austin Aries - Elimaniation X Match - 5
7. Sabu vs. Abyss - No DQ Match - 5
8. AJ Styles vs. Petey Williams - 8
9. Jeff Jarrett and A.M.W. vs. Rhino and Team 3-D - 6

I've seen Nigel and Shark Boy so many times live at local H.W.A. shows, that I know they're capable of much more and won't accept this poor excuse for an athletic contest. The six-man match was your basic TV filler bout, minus the commercial breaks, and lacking sorely in the psychology department. Raven and Polaco slopped their way through a forgettable brawl--I saw these two do the same exact match at Pillman ‘99; it sucked then, and still does. Things like the hockey stick fight fiasco is why T.N.A. is still considered minor league. On paper, Brown and Hardy is a disaster, in actuality, it's a disaster. Elimination X was decent, if not a little underwhelming. It didn't have the "impact", pun intended, I'd wished for; these guys were going through the motions, and my mind was wandering like Silver Surfer traversing the galaxy. Sabu and Abyss was fun, in a disturbing sort of way--watching Sabu bump is a secret pleasure of mine, that and playing Dig Dug. I was really impressed with Petey and AJ, I liked their first pay-per-view match way back when, and this one was just as awesome. They really worked hard, and stole the show hands down. The main event could have been horrible; we all knew it was going to be a wild brawl, but it was actually entertaining. These guys were fighting all over the place, and Jarrett was even bumping like he was Shadow WX, taking a nasty suplex on a chair that was lying on the steel ramp. As far as overbooked main events go, this was a pretty fun one.

TNA Sacrifice 2006

1) Petey Williams vs. Jushin Liger – 4
2) Christopher Daniels & A.J. Styles vs. America’s Most Wanted – 4
3) Raven vs. A-1 – 2
4) Bobby Roode vs. Rhino – 3
5) The James Gang vs. Team 3-D – 4
6) Team USA vs. Team Mexico vs. Team Japan vs. Team Canada – Gauntlet Battle Royal – 6
7) Jeff Jarrett & Scott Steiner vs. Samoa Joe & Sting – 5
8) Christian Cage vs. Abyss - Full Metal Mayhem Match - 4

Petey and Liger stunk the joint up so bad that I had to open a window just to get the stench out. Liger is getting really, really old and does not need to be competing on any level, save for a county fair where aged ring vets are welcomed with pride and free corn dogs. The worst thing was that the satellite feed cut out in the middle of the match so no one was able to see the finish. All four guys in the tag bout looked totally lost. AMW looked sloppy as hell and didn’t sell a damn thing from Styles and Daniels. Gail Kim threw a nightstick down from the catwalk and we presumed that Bossman threw it from the heavens. Since that wasn’t a viable option, we concluded that Abyss had just gotten his “big wiggle” on with Gail and that was one of the toys they didn’t use. The champions (AMW) retained the belts and pissed on the legacy so much that I’m surprised that James Storm didn’t whip his schlong out and let loose in the middle of the ring. Raven needs to realize that he’s a wrestler not a float in the Macy’s parade. When you can’t even make it over the guardrail for your entrance, it’s time to give it up. As for A-1, it looked like they pulled some musclebound meathead off the beach in Orlando and threw him in the ring. Oh yeah, the match sucked ass. Roode and Rhino was another unsteller encounter. Roode came out in a Paul Orndorff-esque robe and I’m surprised that they didn’t tout him as the long lost son of Rick Rude. This was a shitty match and makes me wonder why they gave this twelve and Petey vs. Liger only seven.

Team 3-D had another bad showing against The James Gang. These teams were good in their prime but that was six years ago. Now, the only common thing between them is the bottle of ‘roids that Kip and D-Von share before each show. Half of the guys on Team Mexico I’d never heard of but they were by far the most energetic. I didn’t quite understand the booking, though. If you’re supposed to be giving each team an equal chance, why not save the eliminations until all competitors are in the ring? Anyway, it was a decent match but not the best battle royal ever done. Joe worked good with the likes of Steiner and Jarrett and the match was mainly used a vehicle to bump Joe up to the NWA World Title division. Steiner looked like he had hitched himself up to an airhose just before the match. Cage and Abyss was a God-awful excuse for a main event. Christian only did one decent spot the whole match while Abyss bumped his ass off. Cage is just not getting over as a face champion, plain and simple. You know, I used to have faith in the TNA product as an alternative to the crap WWE has been putting out recently, but if this is any indication where TNA is headed, I don’t want to be along for the ride.

Thursday, June 1, 2006

ECW: A Matter of Respect '98: May 16,1998- ECW Arena

There's just so many jokes coming to my head, but i will refrain.

1 Justin Credible v. Jerry Lynn( 2 out of 3 Falls)- 5- One of my favorite stipulations. i enjoyed this match to a degree; Lynn did a terrific bladejob, and they both wrestled like they didn't know they wren't in the main event, but Lynn botched a flip into the crowd larger than Kong's erection and Credible was his usual non-selling ass.

2 Jamie Dundee v. Chris Chetti- 2- not good, Dundee can really insult some rednecks though.

3 Mikey Whipwreck v. Mike Lozansky-3- this guy had some spirit, but he was too white washed babyface and the crowd ate him alive.

4 Danny Doring v. Kronus- 1- my god, they reached a new low.

5 FBI v. Balls/ Axl- 2- I forgot to rate this match at the time, so this was my best guess. i knew it was born of a bad brawl, and the content was as uninspired as the ring announcers' wardrobe..

6 Al Snow v. Bam Bam- 5- a unique mixture of wrestlers, that actually was decent. two veterans not concerned with, well, really anthing except putting on something watchable.

7 Sabu/ Candido v. Storm/ RVD- 3- an overblown masterpiece of miscues and promotion. i love when the hype overexceeds the match and everyone looks foolish.

8 Dudleys/ Big Dick v. Dreamer/ Sandman/ Spike(Stairway to Hell)-3- I give them credit for using the wire and really going all out on the bleeding at a house show, but it was at the arena. I faintly didn't mind sitting through this.

ECW A Matter of Respect '98 5/16/98

1. Justin Credible vs. Jerry Lynn - 2 out of 3 Falls Match - 5
2. Jamie Dundee vs. Chris Chetti - 2
3. Mike Lazanski vs. Mikey Whipwreck - 3
4. John Kronus vs. Danny Doring - 2
5. Balls Mahoney and Axl Rotten vs. FBI - 3
6. Al Snow vs. Bam Bam Bigelow - 4
7. Rob Van Dam and Lance Storm vs. Sabu and Chris Candido - Dream Partner Tag Match - 3
4. Sandman, Spike Dudley, and Tommy Dreamer vs. Bubba, Big Dick, and D-Von Dudley - Stairway to Heaven - 4

I don’t have any respect for A Matter of Respect ’98. Credible and Lynn may have deserved a higher grade, but as solid as this may have been, Credible never makes me really feel anything when he's in the ring. The only thing greener than Chetti at this point was Dundee after trying to out-drink local union workers after USWA tapings. Lazanski had credentials, worked All Japan and was trained in the infamous Hart "dungeon", but he was still fodder in a squash against Whipwreck. Who thought it was a good idea to ever give Mikey squashes? Kronus and Doring had a laughable match, stinking it up like Beulah was in the locker room. Balls and Axl versus the FBI was a disappointment. I was hoping they'd elevate themselves and try to get across to us how much they loved their craft... boy was I ever wrong. Al Snow was on his way back to W.W.E. here, and the crowd had violently turned on him. They were chanting "fuck the head", which was worth a chuckle, and that was about the most entertaining thing coming out of this. Bam Bam is a talented big man, though; too bad he never really got his due in the industry. The "dream partner" tag match, that should have been noteworthy, was a jumbled mess of a match. I spent most it discussing Tony Atlas' pecs with fellow writer Jessie. The main event featuring ladders and barbed wire actually started off with... wrestling? This was largely uninspired hardcore garbage, but still somewhat entertaining in a humorous way. I think Bubba put more effort into eating Philly cheesesteaks after the show than his actual in-ring work.

WWF Bashed in the USA Video

1) The Big Boss Man vs. Razor Ramon - 3
2) Koko B. Ware, Owen Hart, & Tatanka vs. Ted DiBiase, Irwin R. Schyster, & Rick Martel - 4
3) Shawn Michaels vs. Kamala - 1
4) Shawn Michaels vs. Skinner - 5
5) Shawn Michaels vs. Virgil - 6
6) 40-Man Battle Royal - 3
7) Bret Hart vs. Rick Martel - 6
8) The Natural Disasters vs. The Beverly Brothers - 3
9) The Undertaker vs. Yokozuna – 1

Bossman and Razor barely touched each other in their incredibly boring bout. Razor won with his feet on the ropes and sent Bossman packing. The six-man bout focused mainly on the Martel/Tantaka feud that was happening. It was fun to watch mainly because there aren’t many six-man tags nowadays. The ring action, though, was for shit. Michaels and Kamala was beyond terrible and I’m not even going to waste space talking about it. Skinner got a rare shot at the IC title as did Virgil. I enjoyed both matches and they are recommended just for their rarity. The battle royal was a waste of time. Normally, I don’t mind battle royals so much, but the number of guys involved made for some very limited action. It gets some props because it was taped at the Cincinnati Gardens, but that was about the only thing good about it. Hart and Martel was another pleasant surprise but was marred by interference from Michaels at the end. The Beverlys did what they could with the large duo of the Disasters. Looking back now, I realize just how good of a team the Beverlys were, even though they weren’t brothers. Closing out the tape was another snoozer between ‘Taker and Yoko. Mr. Perfect hosted the tape from the friendly confines of a stamp-collecting store and traded some very wooded dialogue with a “clerk” whose acting was worse than Ben Affleck in the movie Gigli. Most everything on this tape had been done before although Michaels vs. Skinner, Michaels vs. Virgil, and Hart vs. Martel were pretty decent.