Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Dusty Rhodes: The American Dream

There's not much to say about him that hasn't already been covered. But, now is the time to really look at his work, and judge him. (Just being honest; that's what we do.)

Disc 1
1 Dusty/ Dick Murdoch v. Bruiser/ Crusher- 5

2 Dusty/ Dick Murdoch v. Bruiser/ Crusher- 3(Best of 3 Falls)

3 Dusty/ Dick Murdoch v. Don Muraco/ Billy Robinson- 7(Best of 3 Falls)

4 Dusty/ Pak Song v. Eddie & Mike Graham- 3

5 Dusty b. Terry Funk- 3

6 Dusty v. Harley Race (Lumberjack)- 4

7 Superstar Graham v. Dusty- 6

The first match featured the always ultra stiff Bruiser and Crusher, and this match was no exception. There were some solid punches being thrown and no one was giving into the others. The 2nd match was of the same material, except a little messier and this time there was some blood thrown in. Billy Robinson is a wrestling god! ( not that fake cowboy that puts himself over in commentary every week.) His technique was as sharp as any professional I've ever seen work, and he could throw a great suplex. Muraco gets taken out by a crazy bump( he was really green at the time, but had a lot of energy) and Robinson comes back to win the match alone. After it, he takes a sick, bleeding head hemorrhage brain buster and a knee drop that would make federal prison inmates cringe. The match against the Grahams was short and void of much except some decent tags. Dusty loved to bump when he was a lot smaller. Dusty and Funk was a classic Dusty finish: the good guy wins a title, or a match, but actually had broken the rules earlier in the match, then gets the decision reversed. This seemed like an annotated version of a much better match they could have. Race and Dusty had a unique match; it featured very little memorable moments. Then, Rhodes and Graham built up to a great match, that featured Graham not wanting to lose cleanly and another Dusty finish.

Disc 2
8 Dusty v. Stan Stasiak- 6

9 Dusty v. Johnny Rodz- 3

10 Dusty v. Superstar Graham( Bullrope Match)- 5

11 Harley Race v. Dusty- 6

12 Race v. Dusty- 5

13 Tully Blanchard v. Dusty( Cage)- 7

14 Ric Flair v. Dusty( Cage)- 8

15 Lex Luger v. Dusty( Cage)- 7

16 Dusty/ Road Warriors v. Ivan Koloff/ Powers of Pain( Barb Wire)-3

17 Dusty v. Ivan- 5

18 Tully & Arn Anderson v. Dusty/ Sting- 7

19 Road Warriors v. Dusty/ Sting- 5

Stasiak had the physical attributes of a decaying corpse, but he could sure tell a story. I liked this match; it had a slow build and a clean finish. Rodz offered little in this brief encounter and I am surprised he's been a trainer for so long. Graham again proving that he had an ego. The fans were clamoring for Dusty to be champion, and they teased it again, but could not give them the pure satisfaction. Another false finish, but Dusty held his end of it up well. The first of these two Race encounters featured blood by the buckets and tons of great stiff moves. Race was very calculating and never wasted a single motion. The second match was Dusty actually winning the belt and was mostly him being pummeled which he did well, then hitting a great elbow for the belt. Very important match. Tully and Dusty had a hatred that up until then had only existed in the mind of the Nazi's. They ripped each other's flesh in Dusty's TV title win and fueled the fire for a great feud. Then, Flair and Dusty met head to head in his 3rd World Title win. It was different than he and Tully's encounter. This one went nearly 35 minutes, and yes, of course, more blood. But, it wrapped a great story in the long history of Flair-Rhodes. Ric did his best to put over Rhodes and his unique offense despite being the top guy in the business and not needing to. Rhodes and Luger was another great offering, another cage, but stayed mostly off the steel. They had some tremendous near falls and Luger was pretty mobile in his younger days. The barb wire match was brutal, albeit short and really didn't feature any moves, per se, but had some barbarism equal to a Kane Hodder performance. Dusty and Ivan by themselves fared better in some ways; they had a better face/heel chemistry that the fans can get behind. Tully and Arn's jobs were to take huge bumps for the fan friendly but sometimes over done offense of The Stinger and Old Dust( clever, huh?) and they did it quite admirably. There were some great double teams from the Horsemen as well, and a DQ finish. The Warriors did the complete opposite for the faces that Arn and Tully did, but it kept the match a bit more physical and brutal, which was fun while it lasted.

Disc 3

20 Dusty v. Honky Tonk Man- 5

21 Dream Team v. The Enforcers( Survivor Series Match)- 7

22 Dusty/ Sapphire v. Savage/ Sherri- 3

23 Dusty/ Dustin v. Dibiase/ Virgil- 3

24 Dusty v. Steve Corino( Bullrope Match)- 2

25 Dusty/ Dustin v. Flair/ Jarrett( Kiss My Ass Match)- 5

This final set of matches is the latter day of Dusty's career. He and Honky deliver a perfectly fine match that had great heel facials by Honky and beautiful, wobberlegging elbows by Dusty. The Survivor Series Match featured plenty of old great favorites( Santana, Martel, Bossman, Taylor) and a lengthy pretty well scripted match. The mixed tag was the match we've all seen from a pretty well known show( a little thing called Wrestlemania). Sapphire goes over with the "booty bump." I wanted to see what she knocked over later that night in her local Pizza Hut. A young understudy Dustin teams with his daddy to meet the Million Dollar Man and Dusty's own personal rib Virgil. They kept the rookies in the ring for the majority of the match, which ensured a low rating and many awkward moments where no one was doing anything. Dusty's ECW run was mainly for nostalgia: it certainly wasn't for ring work. He and Corino walked slowly around the arena and traded weak forearms while leaning on each other for support. A real waste of time. The Kiss my ass match was worked as a normal match and built up some excitement that the fans appreciated. It was neat to watch Dusty and Flair mix it up again after all those years.

Dusty Rhodes DVD - Disc 3

Disc 3:

1) Dusty Rhodes vs. The Honky Tonk Man – 5
2) Dusty Rhodes, Red Rooster, Tito Santana, & Brutus Beefcake vs. The Honky Tonk Man, Bad News Brown, Big Boss Man, & Rick Martel – Elimination Match – 5
3) Dusty Rhodes & Sapphire vs. Randy Savage & Sherri – 3
4) Dusty Rhodes & Dustin Rhodes vs. Ted DiBiase & Virgil – 2
5) Dusty Rhodes vs. Steve Corino – Bullrope Match – 2
6) Dusty Rhodes & Dustin Rhodes vs. Ric Flair & Jeff Jarrett – 5

Polka dots and tubby athletes do not mix. Rhodes and Honky had a typical excuse for a late-80s WWF pay-per-view match and not much more than that. The elimination match was formidable and it may not have featured crisp wrestling, it certainly featured some interesting teams. Damn, the mixed tag match sucked. Everyone mailed it in and Sapphire couldn’t wrestle a lick to save her life. Oh wait, she’s already dead. Never mind. Dustin Rhodes was so terribly green and tossing him in with Virgil was a very bad idea because the final product was enough to lull you to sleep. In the documentary, Rhodes’ stint in ECW isn’t even mentioned so why his only ECW pay-per-view match against Corino is on here is anyone’s guess. Rhodes bladed and the referee taped a cowbell to Corino’s head. The final match I already touched on in the review of WCW Greed. Looking at it on paper, you may scoff, however, everyone tried and the result was a very acceptable match which ended with Jarrett’s head up Dusty’s ass.

More from Dusty:
“Livin’ … on the end of a lightning bolt.”

The matches aren’t the only highlight on this set as peppered throughout are an astonishing 48 classic Dusty vignettes and promos along with a 90-minute look at the man himself. This three-disc set is a must have for any wrestling fans DVD collection. I found mine at Wal-Mart for less than $20 and I recommend that if you see it anywhere, no matter what the price, that you put down the baby butt-wipes and buy the DVD!

A final word from Dusty:
“Ow! That’s funky! That’s the American dream!”

Indeed it is.

Dusty Rhodes DVD - Disc 2

Disc 2:

1) Dusty Rhodes vs. Stan Stasiak – 4
2) Dusty Rhodes vs. Johnny Rodz – 4
3) Dusty Rhodes vs. Superstar Billy Graham – Texas Bullrope Match – 5
4) Dusty Rhodes vs. Harley Race (MSG) – 6
5) Dusty Rhodes vs. Harley Race (Atlanta) – 5
6) Dusty Rhodes vs. Tully Blanchard – Cage Match – 6
7) Dusty Rhodes vs. Ric Flair – Cage Match – 7
8) Dusty Rhodes vs. Lex Luger – Cage Match – 6
9) Dusty Rhodes & The Road Warriors vs. The Powers of Pain & Ivan Koloff – Barbed Wire Match – 3
10) Dusty Rhodes vs. Ivan Koloff – 5
11) Dusty Rhodes & Sting vs. Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard – 7
12) Dusty Rhodes & Sting vs. The Road Warriors – 5

The match with Stasiak once again used the slow build technique which is forgotten nowadays. It was definitely and interesting match, especially since the referee looked like the local mechanic. I have no idea why the match with Johnny Rodz was offered up as it was definitely out of place. The only cool thing about it was that Gary Cappetta was the ring announcer. In the rematch with Graham, it didn’t seem like they had the same chemistry that they had in the match on the first disc. The thing that really irked me was that it had the same exact finish as the previous match. The match with Harley from MSG is something that you will never see again. It was a match for the NWA World Title contested on a WWF card in Madison Square Garden. The crowd didn’t really know what to expect as it seemed to me that they wrestled an NWA style match and not a WWF style match. It was definitely different than the match with Race from Atlanta that really didn’t offer much because, once again, it was on film. The cage match with Blanchard was decent as all they did was punch and shoulder each other. The crowd itself was really into it, as an old school NWA crowd was and absolutely loved it. What can I say about the cage match with Flair except that it was phenomenal. Nowadays when titles and cage matches don’t mean shit, both men busted their ass and produced one of the finest world title matches ever. Watch this match now! Luger, who needs some help sometimes to get over the hump, was guided by Rhodes and had another phenomenal match. The barbed wire match was a pile of crap and one of the worst matches presented. I’m not sure exactly what the point was but six men lumbering through a five-minute debacle isn’t any incentive to stay up until 2am. Rhodes and Koloff was your standard TV match from late-80s NWA. The fans were sent home happy with a Rhodes victory over the Russian Koloff. Rhodes and Sting against Anderson and Blanchard was pure magic and another essential match to watch. The same can’t be said about the Road Warriors match. It was good but if your miss it, you’re not missing much.

Dusty says:
“The man of the hour, the man with the power! I am the hit-maker, the record breaker. I got smile and grace and a lovely face. I’ll make your back crack, your liver quiver. If you don’t dig this match, your at the wrong address. And Superstar, when all the wrestlers in the back laughing and jokin’, the Dream’s out front … whoo … cookin’ and smokin’!”

Dusty Rhodes DVD - Disc 1

Nine hours of Dusty Rhodes matches and promos? I’ll need lots of caffeine.

Disc 1:
1) Dusty Rhodes & Dick Murdoch vs. Dick the Bruiser & The Crusher (3/9/73) – 6
2) Dusty Rhodes & Dick Murdoch vs. Dick the Bruiser & The Crusher (3/24/73) – 6
3) Dusty Rhodes & Dick Murdoch vs. Billy Robinson & Don Muraco – Best of Three Falls – 7
4) Dusty Rhodes & Pak Song vs. Mike & Eddie Graham – 4
5) Dusty Rhodes vs. Terry Funk – 5
6) Dusty Rhodes vs. Harley Race – Lumberjack Match (Florida) – 6
7) Dusty Rhodes vs. Superstar Billy Graham – 7

The first two offerings served up four certifiable legends. This was back when they actually used film to record the matches with. Rhodes and Murdoch were fairly new at this time and got worked pretty good by Bruiser and Crusher. Rhodes also bled buckets to add some authenticity as if the matches needed any extra to be good. The tag match against Robinson and Muraco is essential viewing for anyone who loves wrestling. It’s the epitome of the perfect tag match and Robinson’s death sell of a knee from the apron after the match was pure gold. I don’t know much about Pak Song, or as Dusty called him “the Korean from Korea”, but he really didn’t impress me. Why the match was on this DVD is beyond me. The match against Funk, was laden with interference from a gentleman commonly known as The Spoiler. Aside from spoiling milk, he definitely spoiled the makings of a good match. The lumberjack match from Florida was also on film and from a historical perspective was really fun to watch, although I’m sure the two had better matches. Our first offering from the WWWF was against Superstar Graham. It was a fantastic match and I was definitely digging the super slow build and the psychology they used. Although the count-out finish protected both men, I would’ve preferred a pinfall or submission finish.

And now, a quote from Dusty:
“I have obtained the goals that many men only lay in bed and dream about night after night. I have wined and dined with kings and queens, and I’ve slept in alleys and dined on pork and beans.”

The American Dream: The Dusty Rhodes Story (3-Disc Set)

1. Dusty Rhodes and Dick Murdoch vs. Dick the Bruiser and The Crusher - 6
2. Dusty Rhodes and Dick Murdoch vs. Dick the Bruiser and The Crusher - 5
3. Dusty Rhodes and Dick Murdoch vs. Billy Robinson and Don Muraco - 2 Out of 3 Falls Match - 8
4. Dusty Rhodes and Pak Song vs. Mike Graham and Eddie Graham - 3
5. Dusty Rhodes vs. Terry Funk - 3
6. Dusty Rhodes vs. Harley Race - Lumberjack Match - 3
7. Dusty Rhodes vs. "Superstar" Billy Graham - 7

I think it was just a burst of energy and excitement that led me to grade the first match as highly as I did. I was so eager to watch this massive collection of Dusty footage in one sitting, and nothing was going to deter me. Both matches against Bruiser and Crusher were good, of course, as seeing these four rugged pricks beating the hell out of each other is endlessly entertaining. One of the hidden gems on the entire set is the unbelievably beautiful tag match featuring Billy Robinson (my new wrestling God) and a very young Don Muraco. It’s shot in a dingy TV studio, but these guys give it their all, in a perfectly executed batch of phenomenal professional wrestling. It’s all there, you’ve got great story and psychology, manly mustaches, and Muraco taking a hellish bump against the ring post that’d make Mick Foley piss in his sweatpants. The following tag match isn’t worth noting, but is significant because it’s the bout where Dusty turned into a good guy and became wildly successful, and because Pak Song is referred to as the “Korean from Korea”. Pak looks like Antonio Inoki’s rebellious cousin, who’d never join the other siblings in games of Twister because he was too busy putting an iron claw on the family dog. I was expecting a war between Rhodes and Funk, but it was about as intense as Scott Hall passing gas on Sunny’s face on an international flight. The lumberjack match was ludicrous. The match with Billy Graham in MSG is legendary, as for one of the first times; McMahon featured a star from the south in the main event of one of his shows in New York, and boy, was it ever worth it! These guys tore it up, and had just a fantastic match that the crowd ate up like it was filet mignon.

Disc 2:
1. Dusty Rhodes vs. Stan "The Man" Stasiak - 5
2. Dusty Rhodes vs. Johnny Rodz - 3
3. Dusty Rhodes vs. "Superstar" Billy Graham - Texas Bullrope Match - 4
4. Dusty Rhodes vs. Harley Race - 5
5. Dusty Rhodes vs. Harley Race - 5
6. Dusty Rhodes vs. Tully Blanchard - Cage Match - 7
7. Dusty Rhodes vs. Ric Flair - Cage Match - 8
8. Dusty Rhodes vs. Lex Luger - Cage Match - 7
9. Dusty Rhodes and The Road Warriors vs. The Powers of Pain and Ivan Koloff - Barbed Wire Match - 4
10. Dusty Rhodes vs. Ivan Koloff - 4
11. Dusty Rhodes and Sting vs. Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard - 6
12. Dusty Rhodes and Sting vs. The Road Warriors - 5

I don’t know exactly why I gave Dusty’s match with Stasiak the score I did, since I currently can’t recall anything from it, but to play it safe, let’s just say I did because Stan “The Man” is that damn consistently super. Rhodes squashes Rodz like he squashed hookers in 46 of the states in the continental United States. Although on the documentary on the DVD, they put over the Texas bullrope rematch with Graham as something special, it fails to live up to the hype or quality of its predecessor. Both matches with Harley Race are really cool, and for separate reasons; the first, in MSG, is a slow paced psychologically-heavy match that’s overwhelmingly orgasmic, and the second, isn’t as good to me personally, but notable as it was the first time Dusty won the NWA championship. I also can’t recall a lot of the cage match with Tully, but I am a sucker for Blanchard, as well as blood, so that justifies the good score it received.

The second cage bout, with legendary Flair, is nearly perfect. I can’t even summarize it, you just simply need to seek it out and add it to your collection, as Farrooq used to say, “by any means necessary!” Hell, Rhodes even carried Luger to a stellar cage match. The six-man barbed wire match was reprehensible, and a big mess; honestly, I only gave it points because seeing one of the Road Warriors wearing a hockey mask made me giggle. Rhodes beats Koloff in perfectly acceptable squash. I really loved the tag match against Arn and Tully, as Dusty and Sting make an interesting team, and all of these guys were so good at what they did during this time. The match with Sting and Dusty versus the Road Warriors wasn’t bad either, but I’d have loved to seen it develop into something much more.

Disc 3:
1. Dusty Rhodes vs. The Honky Tonk Man - 5
2. Dream Team (Dusty Rhodes, Red Rooster, Tito Santana, and Brutus Beefcake) vs. Enforcers (The Honky Tonk Man, Bad News Brown, Big Boss Man and Rick Martel) - Elimination Match - 7
3. Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire vs. "Macho Man" Randy Savage and Queen Sherri - 4
4. Dusty Rhodes and Dustin Rhodes vs. Ted DiBiase and Virgil - 2
5. Dusty Rhodes vs. Steve Corino - Bullrope Match - 1
6. Dusty Rhodes and Dustin Rhodes vs. Ric Flair and Jeff Jarrett - Kiss My Ass Match - 5

Dusty and Honky from Summerslam, we all know it, we all recall it being extraordinarily passable. Next, we go from just tolerable to totally awesome, with a vintage Survivor Series match that was totally better than I could have ever predicted. It’s not noteworthy for breaking any new ground, but everybody worked hard, and delivered. It’s just fun, and harkens back to when this concept actually worked, as today’s Survivor Series shows pale in comparison to the first half-dozen. The mixed tag isn’t very good, but as about as much as you could have hoped for. Savage is always a force to behold, and there’s something morbidly fascinating about watching Sapphire execute the most basic of maneuver. The next tag, featuring Dusty and his deadbeat son Dustin, was just awful. Dustin was greener than George “The Animal” Steele’s tongue. There were a lot of miscues and miscommunications in this retched pile of suck. That leads us to the absolute worst match on the DVD, and one of the shittiest excuses for wrestling I’ve possibly ever encountered. Here we have Corino, who’s supposedly a huge fan of old school wrestling, in there with a legend, and dragging him through a painfully sloppy brawl that’s insulting to everyone involved. I can’t stress enough how bad the finish is, and will go on record right now, and say that it’s one of the all-time worst fucking endings to a match. Dusty tried to tape a cowbell to Corino’s head, does a hideous job, and the referee (who’s supposed to be an unbiased official) has to hold the fucking prop on Corino’s head, so Dusty can elbow it and get his lame spot off. Now, this essentially denies any logic whatsoever, and totally shits on the rules and regulations that the sport is built upon. Just the principle of it kills me… how are you going to have a ref hold a foreign object on one competitor’s head to further his opponent’s attempt at bludgeoning their skull? ECW presented some of the most illogical and irrational wrestling in the history of the sport. Finally, the last match is from Russo-era WCW, which is scary. However, given all the circumstances working against it (Flair wrestling in the same clothes he went shopping at the mall in earlier) it’s still surprisingly decent. Plus, anytime you can get a chance to see someone rub their smelly ass all over Jarrett’s face is totally worth it.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

WWE Vengeance 2006

The long awaited DX reunion … does anyone care at this point?

1) Kurt Angle vs. Randy Orton – 5
2) Umaga vs. Eugene – 1
3) Mick Foley vs. Ric Flair – Best of Three Falls Match – 4
4) Johnny Nitro vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Carlito – 5
5) Rob Van Dam vs. Edge – 6
6) Kane vs. Impostor Kane – 2
7) John Cena vs. Sabu – Extreme Lumberjack Match – 4
8) Shawn Michaels & Triple H vs. The Spirit Squad – 3

The Angle/Orton rematch wasn’t quite as good as their match at One Night Stand, probably because they were wrestling in front of a WWE crowd and not a rabid ECW crowd. They teased a spot where Angle was going to suplex Orton from the apron through a table, which was probably the high point of the match. Umaga and Eugene was on the show for some unknown reason. To further add to the stupidity of the match, Eugene brought out Doink, Kamala, and the walking human wasteland himself, Hacksaw Duggan. Boo for Eugene’s burger flippers and boo to WWE for insulting our intelligence with this match. To be honest, I can’t remember a thing from the Flair/Foley match except for Foley intentionally getting himself DQed. There’s only so much you can do with seven minutes on a pay-per-view and they pretty much did it, much to the disapproval of everyone watching at home. The three people involved in the triple threat match tore the house down. They did a swank tower of doom spot which pretty much had JR at a loss for words and everyone in the stands creaming their pants. RVD and Edge had a good match and one of only two matches on the card to go over 15 minutes in time. While it wasn’t groundbreaking, it was refreshing to see someone other than Cena work with Edge. The Kane match was beyond bad and the crowd booed it out of the building. The funny thing is that they killed the program off on Raw the next night with no explanation whatsoever. Cena and Sabu had a standard hardcore brawl which featured Cena giving Sabu and FU over the top rope and through a table. The problem was that Sabu almost missed the table and almost killed himself. The highly promoted reunion of DX was a letdown and working with the very untalented Sprit Squad didn’t help any. Vinnie Mac needs to realize that nostalgia only works for so long and right now, I’m sick of it.

9th Annual WWE Unforgiven (Sept. 17, 2006)

1 Johnny Nitro v. Jeff Hardy- 5

2 Kane v. Umaga- 3

3 Spirit Squad v. Highlanders- 3

4 Degeneration X v. McMahons/ Big Show (Hell in a Cell)- 4

5 Trish Stratus v. Lita- 4

6 Carlito v. Randy Orton- 4

7 John Cena v. Edge (TLC)- 5

The event was pretty okay; not to say there wasn’t a lot of effort put into the matches. Hardy and Nitro put together a lot of innovative spots and Nitro was working a body part. They had a good teased ending, a few of them, that paid off, but we had Melina interference. Hardy bumped pretty good and seems to have adopted his old style back. Kane and Umaga were swinging leather and having a decent match. They were both throwing big punches and kicks, but the ending came quickly; a double countout. The tag match had a cool feel to it, kind of an old school tag match that never truly got started. It didn’t have any memorable spots or really hot tags so I couldn’t rate it too highly. The Hell in the Cell was pretty damned violent. Big Show absolutely looked atrocious. He didn’t take one real legit bump the whole match; instead he relegated himself to the big goofy guy who gets outsmarted. Shane was putting in one of his hardest nights of work in years, but Vince didn’t seem to be a big factor. HHH got his ear cut pretty severely and Michaels was working pretty hard, so the match had it’s ups and downs. All the big spots did seem pre-planned( as Brian pointed out to me), and I would have enjoyed it more if some of it seemed more off the cuff. It had the feeling of a culmination of a feud, which is hopefully what this was. Trish’s last match had some decent spots, and was given more time than it usually would be. They teased her not winning, but I think it was the right call to give her a little recognition on the way out; after all, they have treated her, at times, pretty badly( of course who haven’t they done that to?" Carlito and Orton could’ve produced a pretty good match, and were even said by JR to try and steal the show, but they did nothing of the sort. They didn’t even go ten minutes, yet they put in some decent wrestling, finished with a RKO off a springboard. The TLC match featured several, several table bumps, yet I think the single table one Cena took was the best; definitely the stiffest. Cena winning the title was a shot to the Canadian fans, yet I think it is the best move for their long term plans, although I think Edge could probably have better matches with more people. A very acceptable PPV.

WWE Unforgiven ‘06

1. Johnny Nitro v. Jeff Hardy - 4
2. Kane v. Umaga - 3
3. Spirit Squad v. Highlanders - 2
4. Degeneration X v. McMahons and Big Show - Hell In A Cell Match- 4
5. Trish Stratus v. Lita - 3
6. Carlito v. Randy Orton - 3
7. John Cena v. Edge – TLC (Tables, Ladders, Chairs) Match - 5

I watched this pay-per-view from the confines of a loud sports bar; granted, I wasn’t able to jot down any significant notes, outside of my waitresses’ phone number, but I did watch the show pretty closely (when I wasn’t distracted by the pinball machine or eating teriyaki wings). Ultimately, it was a passable, if not slightly above outing – although rife with problems as expected.

They gave Nitro and Hardy more time than I’d assumed they would, which wasn’t bad, and with the exception of some sloppiness they built a pretty decent match. The finish, featuring lame interference as Hardy got hit with a shoe, killed any chances it had of being truly recommendable. Kane and Umaga was destined to be ugly, and it was, but strangely enjoyable in a perverse way. Again, the ending, a double countout, definitely hindered any chance of me remotely finding this memorable. Spirit Squad and Highlanders gave us the most insufferable match of the event, not because it was particularly bad, but because nobody put forth an iota of effort. I should also mention that it was the third match in a row that was spoiled by a horrible finish.

The Hell In A Cell match was a bloodbath the likes of Linda McMahon’s final period, and as equally grotesque. The pace was very plodding, and albeit there was a spectacle unfolding before my eyes, I found it hard to get engaged in whatsoever. You’ve got five guys involved, two of whom aren’t wrestlers, and another, who’s a giant sack of shit – need I say more? I found it patently insulting.

Trish’s farewell match wasn’t too bad, but we’ve seen her and Lita have superior matches on multiple occasions. Lita doesn’t have the courage or heart she once possessed, and Trish attempting her headstand headscissors 4 times was 3 times too many. Carlito and Orton are talented guys, but their match amounted to squat. With the exception of Carlito’s shoddy springboard moonsault, the only thing I’ll likely remember about this match is how much better it should have been. The main event was a watered-down homogenized version of the once famed TLC match. The structure of the match was non-existent, with both guys basically moving from one poorly conceived garbage spot to the next, eliciting little more than cheap heat and the occasional gasp of shock and stupidity. Personally, I thought the table spots they so desperately wanted us to like were uninspired, and the match as a main event a failure to put it mildly.

Monday, September 18, 2006

HWA Cyber Clash

1) Ben Kimera & Brian Jennings vs. Ric Byrne – Handicap Match – 1
2) Matt Parks vs. Brian Beech – 2
3) Jesse Hyde vs. Dick Rick vs. Brad Smith – Triple Threat Match – 2
4) Matt Stryker vs. Tack – 4
5) Alan Wasylychn & Aaron Williams vs. Bull Pain & Michael Todd Stratton – 3
6) Foreign Intelligence vs. J.T. Stahr & Eric Darkstorm vs. The GP Code vs. T.J. Dalton & Matt Dillenger – Four Way Elimination Match – 2
7) A.J. Sparx vs. Hellena Heavenly – 1
8) Crazy J vs. Lotus – Ladder Match – 6
9) Nigel McGuinness vs. Chad Collyer – 5
10) Pepper Parks vs. Jimmy Yang – 6
11) Jon Moxley vs. Cody Hawk – Cage Match – 5

This was touted as the biggest night in HWA history as it was their first online PPV. By that acclimation, they fell short but still managed to put on a somewhat entertaining show. The first three matches were from the preshow. They were filled with undercard talent that had no talent at all. The ratings speak for themselves as they were filled with supremely sloppy wrestling and wasted youth. Kicking off the main show was Stryker vs. Tack. They had a perfecty acceptable opening contest and was probably one of Stryker’s better matches of the past few years. The tag match with the veteran Bull Pain was decent with the only highlight being Pain giving one of the rookies a Liger bomb on the floor following the match. The four way match started off good but ran way too long and the two teams left at the end seemed totally gassed and lost. The women’s match was a total joke and they looked more eager to go backstage and jerk off their boyfriends than putting together a decent match.

The ladder match had some nice and intriguing spots but was a disappoinment overall. It is recommended if you’re a fan of the Irish Airborne, as it features the two members fighting each other, but otherwise I’d pass. Everytime I see Nigel in action, it seems like he’s either teaming with Collyer, facing Collyer, or washing Collyer’s car. Now, I’m not saying they had a bad match but it seemed to me like it was a little out of place. It was, however, the best match I’ve seen with these two. Parks and Yang had a satisfying match that was short and sweet. Yang looked a little out of shape but fit in quite well in the surroundings. Moxley and Hawk had a really good match until the finish totally screwed everything up. All the referees got knocked out and Hellena Heavenly interfered for some unknown reason. The match itself was pretty fluid with lots of blood. If you can get someone to copy it for you or find it for cheap in the trading forums, I’d get it, otherwise you didn’t miss much.

HWA Cyberclahs- March 19,2006

1 Buffalo Bad Boy/ Kimera v. Ric Byrne-0
2 Matt Parks v. Ryan Beach-2
3 Jesse Hyde v. Dick Rick v. Brad Smith-1
4 Matt Stryker v. Tack-3
5 Wyashlychn/ Aaron Williams v. Bull Pain/ M. Todd Straton-3
6 Foreign Intelligence v. Dalton & Dillinger v. GP Code v. Stahr/ Darkstorm- 2
7 Helena Heavenly v. AJ Sparx-0
8 Crazy J v Lotus(Ladder)-5
9 Chad Collyer v. Nigel McGuiness- 6
10 Jimmy Yang v. Pepper Parks-4
11 Cody Hawk v. Jon Moxley(Steel Cage)-4

I'm feeling particularly mean writing this one. First, the staff. Our two announcers, one who looks like a Joey Styles rip off who hasn't hit puberty yet, and the other feigns alcoholism, as if it is something cool and fun, but who probably does the majority of his drinking alone, in his room, with one hand on his flaccid penis and the other on the remote, rewinding the scene in Teen Wolf where a guy flashes during the big game in the back of the stands. Then, the ring announcer. I've never seen a better candidate for suicide than this fat oaf. He was wearing a bright white ring jacket that was supposed to make him look trendy, something he never quite got in high school when he was wearing Monty Python T-shirts and making Star Wars fight scene compilation tapes. By the way, I was shocked when I saw the ring announcer because he brought my fish sandwich out to my car at that waiting point in front of the drive through at McDonalds. Now, the "wrestling."

The opening match made me want to swallow Draino. Ric Byrne is the ugliest, droopiest, oldest, most unathletic sad sack of fairy crap I've personally ever witnessed, but I knew the show had just started. He was called a veteran at one point. That's like calling Jesus a philanderer. It's like calling Tom Cruise normal. The second match I actually don't even recall and I watched it less than a week ago. That's bad. Jesse Hyde, you've really done something with your life. I'm sorry you can' even get a fast food job with that putrid hair, but I'm sure there's an available homeless person needing a bath at your local shelter. Stryker and Tack had a shitfest of a match, interspersed with a few good moves. Bull Pain looked particularly nasty, albeit not selling a single shot, he did put the hurt on their "To be a star" contest winner. He could sue for that fucking absurdity because he's not making it out of the Midwest working for that hick promotion. The four way tag was way too long, bordering on over thirty minutes and not a damn memorable thing happened, except the teams receiving blowjobs from Patrick Black on the way through the curtain as they were eliminated. The women's' match( using both of those words loosely) was an abomination of an athletic contest. Helena was growing some kind of live mold on her hips that had become cottage cheese and AJ looked like a mustard stain in her ring gear. That's easier to get out of your clothes than the cum stains left on her back by Matt Dillinger earlier. He calls it art; I call it desperation.

Now, the "main events." The ladder match was over thought, actually it wasn't given the right amount of thought. There were some painful spots, and they did do their same opening technical routine they always do, but I liked seeing the ladder draped over the ropes and then the leg drop onto it. The ending was thoroughly ruined, and I cringed watching it. Two young men, such promising careers... at Denny's. (That was for you Adam!) Collyer and McGuiness, two men very familiar with each other, seeing as how they wrestle at every fucking show around this area, decided to throw some good psych into their match and serve up an actual treat as opposed to their usual fish-sauerkraut and sour lemon soufflé of stink-saddled wrestling. Yang and Parks worked a decent match, but not worthy of a World Title match. Yang looked pretty bored. And the main event cage was heading towards promise, and that really pains me to say considering Cody Hawk's presence. But, they used the cage, they bled, the teased the end, and the end actually came and it was worse than I thought. So much convoluted run in BS hurt the match rating. Overall, as HWA's first online PPV, I would suggest putting more thought into the next one as opposed to just naming how many relatives you've all had sexual relations with, then looking around the room and realizing that they are all standing in front of you.

Bret “Hit Man” Hart DVD – Disc #1

1. Hart Foundation vs. British Bulldogs – 7/13/85 – 4
2. Hart Foundation vs. Killer Bees – 2/17/86 – 7

The match with the Bulldogs is very monotonously paced, and far from either teams best efforts. There are a couple highlights, though; ranging from Bret’s typically high impact sternum-first bump into the buckles, and a Dynamite Kid missile dropkick. The majority of the match focuses on the Foundation keeping Davey Boy from tagging out, which is general tag team psychology, and done for the most part admirably. It runs nearly fifteen minutes, but not a lot happens. The finish is very bizarre, as a “curfew” hits leading to the bell ringing instantaneously, and hundreds of fans hurriedly getting out of their seats and rushing to their nearest exit.

The second match is actually really great in some ways. It starts off similarly to the first one, and the Foundation has the role of being absolute cheating pricks down perfectly. The match has much better energy, however; plus, the Bees’ aren’t lazy in the selling department, either. The biggest hindrance is the referee, who does such an obviously bad job, that even the announcers are forced to question his scruples. I liked this a lot, even though Bret totally slipped off the second buckle in-route to doing a flying elbow, looking totally amateurish and much more akin to Bruce Hart. I need also give credit to “Jumpin’” Jim for taking a horrific bodyslam on the floor. The finish was odd here, too; as apparently the time limit expired. I could have sworn they announced a thirty-minute limit beforehand, but after approximately twenty minutes the bell rang, declaring the bout a draw and leaving the crowd audibly displeased.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Pro Wrestling NOAH Spring Navigation 2006

1) Takuma Sano & Akira Taue vs. Eddie Edwards & Scorpio – 4 – This was a brief three minute encounter which was full of stiffness and energy. Scorpio looked to have taken Edwards under his wing and they looked like they worked pretty well together. On the opposite end, Taue hit some nice chokeslams and showed that he can still work despite his age.

2) Kenta Kobashi vs. Naomichi Marufuji – 7 – This was a match that looked like a solid nine on paper. Although a bit underwelming, this was a solid contest nonetheless. Kobashi worked very stiff and Marufuji hit a sick dropkick that left everyone who was watching this in disbelief! This was a very acceptable match and recommended viewing if you’re a fan of Kobashi’s work.

3) Taiji Ishimora vs. KENTA – 8 – The hell with American cruiserweights! This is how a junior heavyweight match should be! Aside from the fact that Ishimora looked like a Japanese rock star, he flew around the ring with flips and dives that were incredible. KENTA (and yes, it’s supposed to be all caps) worked his traditional style which included stiff kicks, high flying of the highest magnitude, and his trademark “Go To Sleep” maneuver. Seek this match out now, you will not be disappointed.

4) Jun Akiyama vs. Masao Inoue – 5 – Not quite as spectacular as the other uncut matches, but still it was a worthwhile encounter. It seemed like they just didn’t gel together quite well. I would only recommend this match if you’re a fan of either man, otherwise pass it up.

There were quite a few other matches presented on this DVD which were so clipped up, it was impossible to rate them. From what was shown, they looked like formidable encounters but the clip jobs rendered them totally unwatchable. In case you’re wondering, here are the matches from the DVD that were edited:

- Akihito Ito & Misuo Momota vs. Ricky Marvin & Yoshinora Ota
- Atsushi Aoki, Kentaro Shiga, & Junji Izumida vs. Shuhei Taniguchi, Takashi Sugiura, & Yoshinobu Kanemaru
- Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Tamon Honda vs. Kishin Kawabata & Akitoshi Saito
- Takeshi Morishima, Muhammad Yone, & Takeshi Rikioh vs. Keith Walker, Nigel McGuinness, & Doug Williams
- Yoshinari Ogawa & Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Minoru Suzuki & Suwa

In the future, I think it would be a good idea to leave everything unedited for these DVDs. I would’ve like to have seen the McGuinness match in full but no dice I guess. I would recommend this DVD as a good introduction to Japanese wrestling and NOAH in particular but not for the avid collector like myself.

NOAH: Spring Navigation 06

Note: There were several matches on the show that were clipped, which would be unfair to rate since I didn't see the full matches.

1 Takuma Sano/ Akira Taue v. Eddie Edwards/ 2 Cold Scorpio-4- Taue is still fun to watch because he likes to get beat up and likes to beat on young guys. 2 Cold has looked fabulous in all of his NOAH outings and did not disappoint here. His partner looks like a rookie he has taken under his wing who has promise.

2 Kenta Kobashi v. Noamichi Marufuji-9- This was an awesome match! It was thirty plus and featured two different styles duking it out. It featured some great working over of the arm and some stiffness from both men. Marufuji has a great career if he can keep up with the hard hitters in the heavy division.

3 KENTA v. Taiji Ishimori- 8- Ishimori looked like a manga loving teen geek at first look but proved he can bust mouths as well as his opponent. KENTA is more dangerous than Steven Segal forty years ago and definitely has better kicks and potentially a better ponytail. Another long match that had tons of hot spots and devilish strikes.

4 Jun Akiyama v. Masao Inoue- 5- Inoue is a pudgy worker that I don't think is main event. Akiyama seemed really sub par against him and may need a great opponent to excel. That scares me.

FIP Emergence – Part One

1. Kahagas vs. “Black Nature Boy” Scoot Andrews – 4
2. Joshua Masters vs. Lex Lovett – 3
3. Slim J vs. “Mr. 630” Jerrelle Clark – 6
4. CM Punk vs. “The Shooter” Vordell Walker – 5
5. “The Role Model” Jason Cross vs. “The Soul Assassian” Rainman – 4
6. “The Wrestling Machine” Austin Aries vs. “Master of the Backbreaker” Roderick Strong – 6
7. Justin Credible vs. “Roughhouse” Ralph Mosca – 2
8. “The Notorious 187” Homicide vs. “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles – 6

This was the initial effort by relatively new promotion FIP. Essentially, they used a crop of talent from other, better known and established, independent companies, such as ROH and NWA Wildside. This was the first round of a tournament to crown their first champion. Right off the bat, I need to tackle the pros and cons of this freshman effort. Let’s get the bad out of the way first; well, it looked like only about 75 people showed up for this event. The announcers tried to use an excuse of an ongoing hurricane to deflect the minuscule attendance, which is worse than telling the truth, and that’s that they didn’t market, nor promote, this show properly. The good news is that the set-up and production are pretty smooth, if not altogether indistinguishable from the average independent group, and the roster is pretty varied and talented. Another good thing, for me, is that although there are several similarities to ROH, FIP doesn’t strike me as nearly as pompous as them, and there’s no built-in base of fans that brainlessly cheer whatever they see.

With the exception of sumo competitors, Kahagas is easily the fattest Asian I’ve had the displeasure of seeing in quite some time. In the debut match of FIP, he and independent mainstay Andrews had a pretty bland match, all things considered. There were some miscommunications, and Andrews disgraces the “Nature Boy” moniker every time he puts on a pair of trunks. Masters’ was probably the worst guy on the DVD, looking like he should be swapping dated VHS tapes, and history books, to losers at a flea market somewhere. His opponent, Lex Lovett, is the poster boy for generic muscular wrestlers void of any natural talent or charisma.

Slim J kind of impressed me, he looked a lot like Jack Evans, but is everything that hopeless idiot is totally not. He’s still young, and a little rough around the edges, but he’s got potential and loads of agility. I really dug the pace of his encounter with Clark, and feel it flowed easily and was one of the more effortlessly enjoyable matches of the entire show. CM Punk played the role of the pussy heel as good as most, but his match consisted of killing a lot of time, and not amounting to a whole hell of a lot. I was interested in seeing Walker, as having the moniker “Shooter”; I’d hoped he was a guy whom incorporated MMA into his work. Boy, was I ever wrong! He looked like a graduate of the Lex Lovett school of mundane, and only showed any emotion when doing horrible Lil’ Jon impersonations randomly. Cross and Rainman had arguably the most forgettable match on the show. Cross played a cocky heel, and Rainman, who looked akin to headliner Homicide, didn’t showcase any character or creativity. It was a pretty one-sided and unspectacular throwaway bout.

I lost a little respect for Aries; when on the way to the ring, cut a short promo mentioning how disappointed he was in the turnout for the show. It wasn’t in character, either, he was genuinely showing his bad attitude and it made him look like an asshole. That aside, he and Strong, who are very familiar with each other, had the most solid wrestling match on the DVD. The build was extremely slow, almost brutally so, but the match was ultimately satisfying. There were some nice chops and forearm shots, innovative submissions, and a semi-surprising finish. I’ve harped on Credible before, and wow, did he ever further diminish my opinion of him in this utter load of shit! His opponent Ralph Mosca, a big burly guy, looked totally out of place next to all of these skinny dudes on the roster that wear hair gel and listen to Kayne West on their iPod, but he threw a pretty decent punch and was strangely not that bad. Credible immediately turned this into to a very sloppy brawl, where they ventured into the crowd, and Credible even tried to bump down some bleachers, not doing it half as successfully as Raven did back on poor ECW handheld tapes in ’97. AJ and Homicide didn’t totally disappoint, although their match was marred and essentially ruined by crappy interference. It was kind of pleasant seeing them beat the shit out of Joshua “I’d rather be beating off to Tina Turner videos while wearing my Dad’s sweatpants” Masters afterwards. I’d recommend this not to the mainstream fan, but to anyone who’s ever enjoyed an independent show at some point during their stint as fans. Apparently, independent wrestling isn’t dead.

Saturday, September 9, 2006

WWE No Mercy 2005

1) MNM vs. Heidenreich, Animal, & Christy Hemme – 4
2) Simon Dean vs. Bobby Lashley – 3
3) Booker T vs. Chris Benoit vs. Orlando Jordan vs. Christian – 6
4) Ken Kennedy vs. Hardcore Holly – 4
5) Rey Mysterio vs. John Bradshaw Layfield – 6
6) Cowboy Bob Orton & Randy Orton vs. The Undertaker – Handicap Casket Match – 4
7) Juventud Guerrera vs. Nunzio – 5
8) Eddie Guerrero vs. Batista – 5

When the card was first announced for this show, I had little interest in it and now I know why. The opener was a decent bout but Heidenreich still looked sloppy. The only highlight was when Christy attempted her lame-ass Doomsday Device. Dean and Lashley was fun to watch, if for nothing else, just to see how green Lashley was at this time last year. The four way dance was an interesting mix and all four guys seemed to work really well together. I can’t really remember any major spots in it, maybe because it was the standard fare that was presented on TV leading up to it. Kennedy and Holly was on there just for filler mainly and got Kennedy over on pay-per-view. Rey and JBL had the match of the night as far as I’m concerned. Rey took a sick-sounding head bump into the steps and JBL took a bulldog on the floor. No interference and a clean finish also helped its cause. The casket match wasn’t bad … but it wasn’t that great either. It ran a little too long for my tastes but it served its purpose and helped continue the Orton/Taker feud. After the match, they reached into the past and lit the casket on fire the exact same way they did at the 1998 Royal Rumble. Juvi looked better than he has in years and had a respectable match with Nunzio, which is just about what you can expect from them. Eddie and Batista had an acceptable main event for a rather mediocre show.

Performer Analysis: Dusty Rhodes

It's the Dust, man, if you will! He's a common man, working hard with his hands. He's got a new DVD out (which my review for will be coming soon) and he's a bonafide legend in the wrestling industry. But, how does he rank?

1) Innovation- 7/10- Dusty created a style that has been copied by so many young up and coming wrestlers it's ridiculous. His mannerisms and hip gyrations were the precursors to The Rock's people friendly offense. Dusty's bionic elbow is forever lodged into wrestling history and no one could perform it quite like the Dream. It didn't consist of much, but it had style and the people really responded to it. Dusty was a performer who definitely innovated.

2) Conditioning- 7/10- You may think a seven is high, considering his rather obese physique and it possibly is, but there are more factors than your body type in this category. Dusty has been drug free; at least, it hasn't affected his career at all. He has stamina like no one else his size, often doing 60 minute showdowns every night of the week with the best in the business in the seventies and eighties. In his day, he could go with anybody and could last the duration of any match.

3) Skill- 9/10- Again, Dusty may not have had the best build, but he had the ring prowess to back it up. His move repertoire wasn't very big either, but it's proven that you don't have to know every move in the book to work. Dusty was a great ring leader and excelled at drawing people into his matches. He sold great; his facials were priceless and he even liked bumping in his younger days.

4) Psychology- 10/10- The Dusty Finish. It's famous for screwing with the emotions of the fans. Dusty created it and knew exactly what a wrenching experience it is for a fan and it helped get him and many other baby faces over in the eighties. Now, it can be overdone and has been to the tenth degree, but that is just a point to illustrate how Dusty could be in the heads of the fans as they watched his matches.

5) Interviews- 10/10- " I've wined and dined with kings and queens, and I've slept in alleys and ate pork and beans." A famous line from a Dusty promo, one of many famous Dusty promos. He is one of the best mic workers ever in professional wrestling and his magic came from pulling the fans into them, getting them involved and making himself one of them like no one else in the world could do. It was also from not knowing what he was ever going to say. No one ever turned the channel on a Dusty promo because they were so exciting and fun to watch.

6) Character(face/heel)- 6/10- In the beginning of his career, he was "Dirty" Dusty Rhodes, teaming with Dick Murdoch and for a brief time he joined the NWO, thus marking his only heel roles in his career. For the brief time he did both, he got great heat, as would be expected. His hallmark is his baby face. He is the perennial baby face and the fans absolutely loved cheering Dusty. He was a lot like them; out of shape, not very eloquent, just a normal guy who happened to be a great performer.

7) Fans- 10/10- There's no doubt about this one. The fans believed every thing Dusty told them and he usually held his word. They cheered him against Kevin Sullivan when he worshipped the devil, they wanted him to take the NWA title from Harley Race and Ric Flair, and they hated the Road Warriors for putting his eye out with a railroad spike. The fans beheld Dusty and loved him every time he showed up and he gave them great love back.

8) Basics- 10/10- I've already touched on the bionic elbow, but Rhodes could also punch. He knew his stuff, he had great teasing ability, and the way he could tease spots and make an elbow dropped that missed make such a huge impact on a match. He worked matches that had only the most basic of wrestling and punches in it into a dramatic encounter.

9) Match/ Opponent- 10/10- Dusty has fought them all and feuded with them all. Terry Funk, Harley Race, Kevin Sullivan, Erik the Red, Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard, Ted Dibiase, Big Bossman, even Steve Corino and he has made huge money doing it. All of his feuds had high stakes, and Rhodes was a great shiller, who could always pump his matches into huge events.

10) Gutcheck- 10/10- A man that weighs over 300 pounds that has given his life to the business he loves, wrestling for more than thirty years and for most of those, working 300 days a year. Dusty personifies the dedication it takes to become a staple in this sport, he has been every where, WWE, WCW, NWA, AWA, ECW, TNA, and he has brought his fans with him wherever he has been.

Final Rating: 89
Ranking: Legend
PO: Thumbs Middle

WWF In Your House: Breakdown ‘98

1. Owen Hart vs. Edge – 5
2. Too Much vs. Al Snow and Scorpio – 5
3. Marc Mero vs. Droz – 3
4. Vader vs. Bradshaw – Anything Goes Match – 4
5. D’Lo Brown vs. Gangrel – 4
6. Ken Shamrock vs. Mankind vs. The Rock – Steel Cage Match – 4
7. Val Venis vs. Dustin Runnels – 4
8. New Age Outlaws and X-Pac vs. Southern Justice and Jeff Jarrett – 3
9. Undertaker vs. Kane vs. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin – 3

Owen and Edge had a really fun match; although some things didn’t go off as smoothly as hoped, it still had a good energy and flow to it. I’d forgotten how beautiful Owen’s missile dropkick truly was. Too Much are too horrible for me to usually stand, but here, they held their own in a good, albeit flawed tag match. It got really sloppy in parts, but they gave it more time than I’d expected, and kept it moving along nicely. Mero and Droz was a nothing match, and only memorable in that Mero’s shooting star press was utterly breathtaking.

I was hoping Vader and Bradshaw would beat the holy hell out of each other – and while it is stiff, it wasn’t the war I’d anticipated it being. D’Lo and Gangrel was surprisingly better than I’d assumed. I didn’t remember Gangrel ever being as quick and fluid as he was here, especially in the beginning stages of this match. Thus far, the show was quite enjoyable but then we come across the cage match, which ended up being a major disappointment. The guys involved had no chemistry together; take for example, Shamrock making Mankind’s hiptoss look like Foley was trying to toss a refrigerator over his shoulder, as Shamrock sluggishly flopped over like he was wearing concrete boots. The finish didn’t come off well, either – some convoluted mess that probably seemed ingenious at the time, came off looking as unbelievable as Paris Hilton’s supposed singing career.

Val and Dustin was perfectly fine wrestling, although the storyline was absolute garbage. Dustin was working the preacher gimmick, and wearing some idiotic sleeveless white top with all kinds of random text on the front that looked more akin to Kerry Von Eric’s suicide note than a coherent statement. You have to see Dustin’s sell of a clothesline in the entrance aisle on the floor – it’s priceless. The six-man tag just didn’t do it for me, I dislike most of the guys involved, and had a hard time being unbiased while viewing it. I wager you’ll likely think its sub par at best, too. The main event was absolutely awful, and a reason why I sometimes harbor a hatred for WWF during this era. It was a too long, poorly executed, meandering brawl that was the epitome of shitty and lazy wrestling. They unconvincingly punched, punched, and punched some more – repeat ad nausea, etc. I’d rather watch hidden camera footage of Austin hitting ex-wife Debra in the stomach, than throwing sloppy haymakers at Kane’s eyesore head.

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

ECW on Sci-Fi - 8/1/06

1) Tommy Dreamer & The Sandman vs. Mike Knox & Test – Extreme Rules Match – 3
2) CM Punk vs. Justin Credible – 3
3) Kurt Angle vs. The Brooklyn Brawler – 3
4) The Big Show vs. Batista – 1

The opening tag match had promise but it was quickly flushed away when Paul Heyman and his security team interfered. Dreamer taking a back bump into a barbed wire board was pretty gusty on his part. Punk’s debut didn’t impress me one bit as he soundly defeated Credible in a somewhat decent match. Angle and Brawler had a one-minute squash that was highlighted by a Brawler promo and a sick headbutt from Angle. As for the main event, remember that case of crabs you got from that prostitute in Atlantic City? Yes? Well, multiply that by two and that’ll tell you how bad the main event was. ‘Nuff said.

TNA Hard Justice: How would you Plan it?

Okay, TNA just had a monthly PPV on that could have really done them some good instead of just raked in enough money to pay Christian, but it dropped the ball. So, I'm going to rate this show, but also show how I would have done it. It'll be fun. Watch.

1 Truth v. A-1(preshow match)-1
What Happened: This was a creme de la shit. Two minutes and two botched spots. I guess a half ass attempt at giving A-1 a push.
WWJD(this stands for What Would Jessie Do?, so back off Jesus Freaks): A-1 sucks, and I would never push him, and Truth is staler than that fruitcake your wacky aunt gave you last year for Christmas. I would've thrown a net down on both of them, and then had them finish the match.

2 Cassidy Reilly/ Sonjay Dutt v. Jimmy Jacobs/ ?-2
What Happened: Not much. Reilly returned, Jacobs debuted, and Sonjay looked more foolish than Tom Cruise as he pretended he was a human lawn sprinkler.
WWJD: Jacobs debuted in absolute lackluster fashion to the delight of no one. If I ran the show, he would've stood out, by injuring the returning Cassidy. He's no good and he'll never be over, so make an angle out of it. And Sonjay would immediately cease and desist acting like a human lawn sprinkler. What a turd.

3 Johnny Devine v. Eric Young-3
What happened: The flipping roof caught on fire! TNA has managed to boner a PPV during the first match. It usually happens when they do that match with the rubber X that hangs from those cables above the ring. Wait a minute! Why are wrestlers climbing cables in a wrestling match? Can someone explain that to me?
WWJD: They would've wrestled, and Young would win because he's more over. Devine actually had some talent. I would've filmed a skit where he was caught on the camera trying on some of Nash's old ring tights, like he's a sick freaky guy. I know, I have issues.

4 Chris Sabin v. Alex Shelly-4
What happened: Nash didn't want to wrestle, so they threw this one together. Neither man had the match they usually do and the stupid building caught on fire! What a boner!
WWJD: Let Shelly win. He's a new face, and Sabin has gotten so many shots at the X title. And Nash would've interfered. He just sat at ringside in a wheelchair, pretending to be hurt and collecting a check. Sometimes I hate democracy.

5 Abyss v. Runt-5
What Happened: These two tried to bring the energy up a bit with a sick hardcore match that showed Runt getting his face stomped into thumbtacks. Truly sick.
WWJD: Abyss was the right guy to go over, but maybe to keep it going I would have had Spike, sorry, Runt, what is he a fucking sick puppy? Anways, maybe Runt could've not given up, kept coming after the match, something like that.

6 Monty Brown v. Rhino v. Samoa Joe-7
What Happened: These guys had the best build up and the best match of the night. It was wild, hard hitting and it really looked like they didn't like each other. I enjoyed.
WWJD: They did this one right. These are all three guys they are grooming for top spots, so they gave them a high profile match. It was sloppy as pig shit, don't get me wrong, but Joe was the right guy to win.

7 Gail Kim v. Sirelda-3
What Happened: No one taught Sirelda how to wrestle. Gail Kim, who normally is a fantastic performer, showed some ring rust. UGLY.
WWJD: There's not much you could do with this besides cancel it. Kim won, and that was the right thing, but other than that, fire Sirelda.

8 Senshi v. Petey Williams v. Jay Lethal-5
What Happened: A good three way, that had it's share of cool spots. It lacked storyline, emotion and real, true selling, which Petey is usually good with and that brought it down for me.
WWJD: This wasn't usual X-Division Balls to the Walls fun. It was a three way, with some very solid wrestling, but this "new X-Division" you can leave it on the curb with your old NWO shirts because I don't want it.

9 AJ Styles/ Christopher Daniels v. LAX-4
What Happened: A hot buildup with a new team, and great potential, spoiled like the milk you should have thrown away yesterday. Seinfeld posed a great question, that will be asked generations from now: How good is milk the day after the day? Anyways, LAX looked pretty good and Hernandez has the most potential of any big man I've seen in a while. AJ and Daniels had their bumping boots on, but the finish was rushed and could've been executed better. WWJD: LAX title change. They had more heat coming in to the match and they're both young guys. I figured they let the TNA golden boys retain since they set fire to their building and needed the crowd back into it. I heard Borash was asked to pull a random ticket number out of a hat and had to give that person oral sex, but when he drew a woman, he refused. He was given a raise.

10 Jeff Jarrett v. Sting-1
What Happened: Holy shit, I hate wrestling! TNA thinks any emotion is good emotion. Well, I'm sure that theory holds up for whenever Mike Tenay's wife gets a little liquid down in her unmentionables, but for wrestling, no. Generally you give the fans what they want, sometimes you can screw with them, and even less can you really swerve them, but never keep doing what they tell you they hate time and time again, what they hate more than teeth during a blowjob, what they hate more than Drew Carey, never do that. And Jeff Jarrett being NWA champion is that. The Christian turn was as noticeable as Don West's oncoming heart attack and Scott Steiner's daily shrinking penis from years of steroid abuse. It was horribly contrived and I took a big heaping warm Shatner all over it. Not to mention Jarrett and Sting's ring work(I feel like a hypocrite even reviewing this as wrestling), when they were in the ring. Of course TNA booked a shabby crowd brawl with no intensity and no fire. This came off as quite possibly one of the most ill-conceived concepts in TNA's 4 year history.
WWJD: Christian turns during mid-match, but gets his ass whipped by Sting anyways. Then, Steiner botches his interference and hits Jarrett, then he gets dumped out and Sting wins the belt, setting up Sting vs. Christian and Jarrett vs. Steiner(believe me, I don't want this anymore than you do; I just think you pile the shit with the shit) at the next PPV. Oh yeah, and the stip on the Jarrett vs. Steiner match is participants get fired match.

NWA Great American Bash '87

1. Ric Flair, Lex Luger, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, and J.J. Dillon vs. The Road Warriors, Dusty Rhodes, Nikita Koloff, and Paul Ellering – War Games Match – 8
2. Rick Steiner vs. Barry Windham (clipped) – 3
3. Lex Luger vs. Nikita Koloff – Steel Cage Match – 5
4. Dick Murdoch vs. Steve Williams – Texas Death Match (clipped) – 2
5.Fabulous Freebirds vs. Manny Fernandez, Paul Jones, and Ivan Koloff (clipped) – 2
6. Dusty Rhodes vs. Tully Blanchard – Barbed Wire Bunkhouse Ladder Match –
7. Ric Flair vs. Jimmy Garvin – Steel Cage Match (clipped) – 7
8. The Midnight Express vs. The Rock 'N Roll Express – 6
9. Ric Flair, Lex Luger, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, and War Machine vs. The Road Warriors, Dusty Rhodes, Nikita Koloff, and Paul Ellering – War Games Match – 7

The first of two War Games on the show is unquestionably a pinnacle of violence, mayhem, and dramatized hatred; and I’m digging it the most. The crowd’s absolutely ecstatic, and it’s easy to discern why – this is professional wrestling at its finest. The Windham versus Steiner match was surely fodder for many young males’ daydreams circa ‘87; unfortunately here we just get a clipped glimpse of what promised to be a stellar bout. I don’t like the majority of Lex or Nikita’s work, and even though this is arguably one of the best matches of Koloff’s career, I still can’t wholeheartedly recommend it. Murdoch and Williams are surly enough to beat each other’s asses into oblivion, and it looks like that’s exactly what they did in this Texas Death Match, although I’ll never really know, as the match was completely fucking clipped to pieces.

Freebirds were the upper echelon of tag team wrestling at this time – but even they couldn’t pull out a decent match out of the makeshift squad of deteriorated slobs they were paired off against. Rhodes and Blanchard break out the wire, but even that promising gimmick isn’t enough to warrant giving this match your time. Flair carries Jimmy Garvin to his best singles match ever, like a true professional, making both himself and his fervent opponent look like a proverbial million bucks. The Midnight and Rock ‘N Roll Express tag feud is legendary, and this match is the perfect example of why their series is so revered – just awesome near falls, psychology, teamwork, heat, etc. Lastly, the second War Games lacks a bit of the fire and immediacy of the prior one, but is still spectacular in its own right, and a fabulous ending to a relatively solid tape. Unfortunately, the War Machine featured wasn’t the one of Marvel Comics fame; although I would have loved to see Dusty sell his shoulder cannons.