Monday, October 30, 2006
This was the infamous "Shoot" of Vince Russo on live PPV directed at Hulk Hogan and Hogan's ego.
1 "The Juice" ( Juventud Guerrera) v. Lt. Ridiculous Gimmick (Chavo Guerrero)-2
2 Big Vito v. Norman Smiley/ Ralphus( Hardcore Match)- 0
3 Daffney v. Miss Hancock( Wedding Dress Match)- 0
4 The Perfect Event v. Kronik- 3
5 Booker T v. Kanyon wearing a stupid blonde wig- 5
6 Mike Awesome v. Scott Steiner- 3
7 Vampiro v. The Demon( Graveyard Match)- 2
8 Shane Douglas v. Buff Bagwell- 2
9 Kevin Nash v. Goldberg( Scott Hall's contract)- 3
10 Booker T v. Jeff Jarrett- 5
The show began with cruiserweight action that was worlds away from what they were doing five years before. Nearly ten people interfered in this match and almost all of them were wearing Halloween masks... in June. Let your neurons absorb that. I know this sounds like a synopsis for a bad teen WB drama, not professional wrestling. The hardcore match was ludicrous; I remember one actual wrestling move: an elbow through a table on Ralphus. Smiley was screaming louder than usual. He must've known he had to watch the replay of this PPV later. Then, the Wedding match. This was one big punchline that I didn't get. Everyone in the match, the two participants, David Flair, Crowbar, and even the Referee were in their underwear by the end of it. The beginning of it was Stacy making out with David; a perfect example of Daddy's little angel becoming a dumb bitch over "love." Don't worry; I use that word as loosely as Konnan used Tygress' pussy as chap stick later that night. There were two matches that didn't have any interference the whole night: the tag title match was the first, and god, was I praying someone else would come in. Kronik stumble bumbled over the ring like drunken bar patrons and they certainly didn't bump like guys who had been in the business for ten plus years. They did pull off a sick finish though; but the effect was worn off. Booker and Kanyon had a perfectly fine match with some good back and forths, then Jarrett interfered as if the whole scenario involving Hogan was staged? Steiner and Awesome was pretty plodding; Steiner hit some tough suplexes and Awesome showed small twinkles of his high flying, risk taking style that he was once known for. That guy's prime was over before it ever began. Then, the graveyard match. This has to be seen to be believed. Tell me, why would you wear your wrestling gear and face paint into a graveyard? We've practically blown the back stage curtain off of wrestling, told every secret available, yet this dumb shlameel wants to stay in character. It was very characteristic of Demon to strap on a dreaded rear chinlock in the middle of the dark graveyard as well, considering I hadn't ever seen him use it in a ring. Later, he was knocked into a swamp and then a coffin and a grave. An hour later, Vampiro showed up in the ring- that was how you won. You had to come back to the arena and get in the ring. Genius, wouldn't you say? Douglas and Buff worked a pretty predictable match that featured Torrie Wilson getting over on both of them. That's what the business is all about. As long as you got some fake hooters, you're going to be more of a draw than a 15 year vet. Of course, most people would probably rather see Torrie's two enormous breasts wrestle with a bikini top than to see two of Russo's so called "New Blood" stars. The only thing about either of their blood that is new was the shit they bought off some nerdy teenager to pass a regular drug screen. Nash and Goldberg went to the extent of their abilities in a five minute match that was briefly stiff. Then, Jarrett and Booker T put together a pretty basic match that had it's high points, with Booker winning his first WCW Title. Then, of course, earlier in the night, was Russo shooting on Hogan, who had decided to play his creative card on Jarrett and take the WCW title. If he let him, they may have still had a company. But, who knows? I'm just a former fan.
After an accidental replay of the first weeks episode, the HWA is back with all new programming this week. How did they fare? Um … well … not good.
1) Pepper Parks, Dick Rick, & Cannonball Callahan vs. Brian Beech & Ben Kimera – Handicap Match – 3
2) Tarek the Great vs. Scottie Murray – 4
3) Heather Owens vs. Naveah – 0
4) Dr. Bones vs. Tack (clipped) – 1
5) Chris Carnage vs. J.T. Stahr – 2
6) The Mavericks, Pompano Joe, & Jesse Hyde vs. Foreign Intelligene & Irish Airborne – 4
The first bout was supposed to be a six-man tag but Chad Collyer decided to no-show. Hey, that’s an automatic termination where I come from! Anyway, it was pretty much a total brawl from beginning to end with nothing of note to speak of. Tarek and Scotty had a fantastic match but the crowd wasn’t really into it and JT Stahr ran in and hit Murray with the TV title belt. I would like to see Tarek stick around and work with the youngsters to really help them. Naveah won by count-out after Owens was attacked backstage by Irish Airborne. Yeah, that’ll get them over. Bones should be nowhere near a ring. He looks completely out of shape and greener that a leprechauns dick. Tack is a decent wrestler and needs to learn more skills to be a better overall performer. Carnage squashed Stahr and effectively killed his push. The main event 8-man was a fun match that featured some fast-paced offense and a more that formidable showing by Hyde. This really was not a good show and made the debut show look like and episode of ECW.
2. Paul Orndorff vs. Ricky Steamboat – 6
3. British Bulldog vs. Lord Steven Regal – 4
4. Steve Austin vs. Dustin Rhodes – 5
5. Nasty Boys vs. Marcus Bagwell and Too Cold Scorpio – 5
6. Sid Vicious vs. Sting – 6
7. Rick Rude vs. Ric Flair – 7
8. Cactus Jack vs. Vader – Texas Death Match – 7
The show opened with a bunch of brats trick-or-treating, mysteriously arriving at the front door of none other than Tony Schiavone, where he ultimately turned into a gigantic monster. No, I’m totally not making this shit up.
The opening six-man wasn’t horrible, but, I’ll be damned if it wasn’t very good either. The worst part of the match was anything involving Equalizer (Dave Sullivan) as he was just absolutely worthless. Ice Train was too muscular for his own good, and was the main target for the heels. Stevie Ray potentially hard a shit stain on his trunks, but I can’t confirm it.
Orndorff and Steamboat was really good; I was surprised that these two veterans, at their age, put forth such a tremendous effort in a match drenched in physicality. There was intense brawling and solid matwork, and Steamboat’s yellow trunks were hot. Bulldog couldn’t really hold his own against Regal for whatever reason, be it laziness or drug-induced lethargy. They did the customary time-limit draw shtick that Regal did to death during his TV title reign.
Austin and Rhodes work very well together, and while I may have not liked this as much as their match two years prior at Halloween Havoc ’91, it was still moderately good with flashes of excellence. It didn’t seem to carry the weight or importance of the aforementioned bout between them, but was still perfectly okay. I think I liked the concept of Bagwell and Scorpio against the Nasty Boys more than I actually enjoyed what it truly was. I liked the dynamic of the big burly brutes against the clean-cut, highflying youngsters. The good guys wore the Halloween colors of orange and black, and did a little dance before the match; which strangely made me happier than I’ve been since Bob Orton Jr. got his “injured” arm x-rayed in that ridiculous skit long ago. They neutralized Bagwell for much of the match, and he took a couple of nasty bumps, including a particularly revolting spill to the floor, and subsequently a hard slam on the ground. Missy Hyatt was at ringside wearing her bra, barely covered by a tiny white denim jacket, and sporting a heinous short haircut. Later that night she’d do the monster mash – and by that, I mean she got nailed anally by a half-dozen of the boys in the back… simultaneously.
Sid and Sting started off tame, but Sting’s epic comeback was near perfect, as the crowd was ravenous as if their face-painted hero could do no wrong. It totally reminded me of the monster heel against the underdog face scenario, which was made popular during this era, and was a great bit of nostalgia wrapped up into a passable 10-minute match. Rude and Flair was fantastic, and should have scored an 8, had it not been for the horrible finish featuring bumbling prop guys, confused refs, and a foreign object that looked like fake vampire teeth. Rude’s signature trunks were great per usual, featuring a gigantic jack-o-lantern on his ass. Rude’s selling of his leg throughout the match was brilliant psychology, and he was certainly worthy as their major champion.
Unlike the last match, the main event should have likely scored lower, say a 6 or so, but it was such a spectacle that I couldn’t help but give it props. The main thing you need to know about this match is Cactus bumps like a madman. Then you’ve got Vader throwing deadly shots, Jack bumping on the concrete, they’re using goofy stage props, plenty of steel chair goodness, Harley Race’s rugged manliness at ringside, an unbreakable table, a massive moonsault, and so much more. The ending, where Race supposedly shocked Jack with a cattle prod-like instrument was laughable, as it was clear he didn’t really shock him, and Foley sold it like he was being murdered. Overall, I enjoyed watching the show, and deeply miss Halloween Havoc in general, arguably the best concept pay-per-view series ever.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
I really loved the spirit of this show, when they kept it really light and fun. There was a haunted house backdrop that some of the matches used for entrances. They also had a lot of Styrofoam graves up, with stupid epitaphs, such as “Keith, we all called him Ken.” The punchline must have been hidden under JR’s hat…or his sagging waistline. On to the action.
1 Abdullah the Butcher/ Cactus Jack/ Diamond Studd/ Vader v. Sting/ El Gigante/ Steiner Brothers (Chamber of Horrors)- 3
1st thing is 1st: 5 matches were cut from the tape I watched and I didn’t like it. Besides that, this was a match of such design cancer that has to be seen, because it will never be done again. The cage itself was massive and had litters of foreign objects laying around. Then, from the top, another smaller cage, this one with an electric chair in the middle would float down. The object was to get an opponent into it then pull the switch to juice them. Basically playing a county sheriff inside a wrestling ring. The match itself featured little to no moves at all, but there was some brawling. There was a lot of brawling, but most everybody was throwing real shots. At one point, a random masked wrestler popped from inside a casket, but then got slammed on top of it by Scott, much like he would slam many a cocktail at night, or his droopy “freaks” on long road trips. Cactus was basically the only person bumping plus Sting and Vader would plant the seeds for their awesome feud down the line by basically seeking each other out to pummel on. Abby eventually got put in the chair, as Cactus waited near the switch forever, and looking quite ridiculous doing it. Not as ridiculous as he looked hanging out with a clown, or kissing McMahon’s ass, but still quite ridiculous. After the match, a gaggle of white face painted jobbers who were titled “Ghouls” played Tina Turner to Abby and Cactus as they turned them into potato salad down the aisle.
2 Jimmy Garvin v. Johnny B. Badd- 5
The crowd was really hyped up for this match, and rightfully so. Garvin primped and posed around the ring, but got right down to business with the nastiness, in the form of a flying forearm. Badd was bumping all over the place and Michaels Hayes stood on the outside, trying not to look like he had an experiment with a man in the late 70’s even though it’s all over his face. The finish was pretty good, and both guys looked really crisp.
3 Dustin Rhodes v. Steve Austin- 6
The first few minutes they went through the paces; running the ropes, armdrags, hiplocks, arm bars, all the basics and they made them look good. Then Austin threw Rhodes outside the ring and pummeled his face in, like Andrew Dice Clay did in the movie “Brainsmashers”. Rhodes was cut after that, and then Austin was. Lady Blossom was at ringside, and I was sure by looking at her that she blossomed quite early. The match went to a 15 minute draw (the angle they always used for the TV title) and featured great near falls and wonderful psych by both men. A sign of good things to come for them later in their careers.
4 Tom Zenk v. Halloween Phantom (Rick Rude)- 2
The Phantom was in the most basic ring attire ever; black shirt, black pants and half white/ half black mask. He must’ve felt like Quentin Tarantino, or Bill Cosby for you older fans. Rude was briefly stiff and that was the match. His moustache rivals any thing Tom Selleck ever had on his putrid face and that’s cool with me.
5 The Patriots v. The Enforcers- 3
Anderson and Zybyszko tried to keep these two youngsters in line, but It just wasn’t happening. The match featured very little tag teaming, and mostly just them switching the advantage a few times before a lackluster ending. Firebreaker Chip has to go down as one of the all time lamest names for a wrestler.
6 Lex Luger v. Ron Simmons(2 of 3 Falls)- 6
The psychology of this match soared it to a good rating. Simmons won the first round early, with dominance. Then, Luger come back and worked over him slowly for almost the entire 2nd round, w/ his wonderfully cast manager Harley Race, helping him get thrown over the top rope and get a DQ for that round. Then, Luger scammed his way to a win with an UGLY piledriver. I don’t mean UGLY as in stiff, I mean UGLY as in Sapphire naked coming towards you. REALLY UGLY. But, overall a very commendable match, possibly some of their best each.
1) Chad Collyer vs. Dick Rick – 4
2) Heather Owens & A.J. Sparx vs. Hellena Heavenly & Naveah – 1
3) Chris Carnage vs. Ed Gonzalez – 2
4) Irish Airborne vs. The Mavericks – 3
5) Quinten Lee, Ala Hussein, & J.T. Stahr vs. Jesse Hyde, Pompano Joe, & Scottie Murray – 2
Collyer and Rick had a solid TV match but why the color commentator kept talking about Rick’s ass every five minutes is beyond me. Interference at the end by some goofball named Callahan and Pepper Parks ruined any chance of a better rating. The women’s tag was a total joke as none of these women know how to efficiently work a match and tell a story. The muscle bound Carnage came out with a midget for some reason and destroyed, and this is a direct quote from the play-by-play announcer, “the used car salesman of the HWA.” Carnage looked damn impressive and should be a top star with HWA soon. Irish Airborne (they seem to keep popping up on these reviews don’t they) brought a rule-book out to ringside with them and told the announcers to read it. Hooks, the color guy, said “I prefer Dr. Seuss.” So, that tells me two things. First, the Irish Airborne are working heel and second, the announcers never read. The match, however, turned out to be pretty good but it wasn’t the best match they put out. The main event was a total joke. Everyone but Stahr needs to hit the stairmaster like now! The face team of Hyde, Joe, and Murray didn’t do shit for me. Come to think of it, neither did the heel team. Lee has been an HWA mid-carder for so long he needs to go back to Perkins and flip pancakes. The finish was a joke. If the heel team signed all of their names to a contract and lost, then the tag titles went to Joe and Hyde and the TV title went to Murray. Guess what, they lost so in theory all titles changed hands. Wrong. Stahr signed the contract so he lost his title, but the executive assistant who looked over it was too dumb to realize that Hussein and Lee wrote different names on the contract. What a pile of shit and sometimes I wonder why I even bother.
2. Johnny B. Badd vs. Jimmy Garvin – 6
3. Dustin Rhodes vs. Steve Austin – 7
4. Tom Zenk vs. Halloween Phantom – 2
5. Enforcers (Arn Anderson and Larry Zybszko) vs. Patriots – 3
6. Ron Simmons vs. Lex Luger – 2 out of 3 Falls Match – 7
This bootleg DVD only featured 6 of a total of 11 matches, which thoroughly disappointed me. If anyone’s got the full show, and be willing to dub it for me, than feel free to holler at your boy. The opening featured an iniquitous angle that I recalled fondly from childhood, where Barry Windham was attacked as he pulled up in car, having his hand brutally smashed in his car door. I miss these types of skits.
The opening match is infamous, as it features the unlikely gimmick of having to put one of your opponents in an electric chair inside a steel cage, and shocking the holy shit out of them. It’s a pretty sloppy brawl, but features a few inspired shots, and lots of blood from the hodgepodge collection of combatants. Not good in the classical sense, it is morbidly entertaining at least once through, and gets a little bonus credit for its originality, even if its an absolutely ridiculous concept.
I was really impressed by Johnny B. Badd’s willingness to put forth the extra effort, and make his match with Garvin go from easily forgettable to definitely memorable. The pacing and Badd’s performance are top-notch, and the finish, a knockout punch, is enough for me to grant this match a positive score. Next up, Rhodes and Austin go to a time-limit draw in another solid bout. These guys bang it out for 15 minutes, working well together and totally selling us on wanting to see a rematch.
The absurd Halloween Phantom is actually none other than Rick Rude, who makes very short work out of Zenk in an absolute squash. I’m a tag team wrestling fan, and although I didn’t mind watching the following tag match, I couldn’t rightfully give it a decent score. The veterans led the Patriots through a match that was reminiscent of a WCW Saturday Night main event; but, not without their share of miscommunications and misfires.
The main event was totally awesome, and I’d highly recommend seeking it out; especially to those like me, who don’t believe Luger is often capable of quality work. The back-story and booking are exceptional, building up Simmons as all-American athlete, and Luger as a deplorable and dastardly douchebag. Simmons gets the first fall surprisingly quickly, and Luger later evens up things as his manager Harley Race helps him score a dirty victory of his own right. Luger later scored the final and deciding fall with a piledriver that was ugly as Liz’s body after Lex killed her. Far from a perfect match, it’s a great finale for the pay-per-view; a good back-and-forth bout, with a first-rate build and lots of audience interest.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
1 The Naturals v. Mikey Batts/ Jerelle Clark-4
2 3 Live Kru v. Team Canada-3
3 Kid Kash/ Kazarian/ Michael Shane v. Sonny Siaki/ Hector Garza/ Sonjay Dutt-4
4 Abyss v. Monty Brown(Serengeti Survival)-3
5 NYC v. Johnny B.Badd/ Pat Kenney-3
6 Raven v. DDP-4
7 Petey Williams v. Chris Sabin-8
8 Kevin Nash/Scott Hall/ Jeff Jarrett v. AJ Styles/ Jeff Hardy/ Randy Savage-5
9 AMW v. XXX(Cage)-9
TNA's 2nd PPV attempt started out with an averagely exciting escapade of energetic ergonomically correct acrobats. 3 Live Kru is any thing but lively and fell through a match marred with no expressions on any one's face except Mike Tenay's which was him holding his chin and thinking really hard. The six man X division match was led by Garza and the other kids kept up well, except Garza's team, Siaki and Sonjay, who showed little except that Siaki could probably make better money as a Rock impersonator and Sonjay is the president for India's hair club for men under 30. Abyss and Brown was as plodding as a cow tilling a field, and featured a tack bump by Abyss' ridiculous hair. The NYC match was a gimmick for Jacqueline to beat up Disco; need I say more? Raven and Page were having a pretty decent match until Erik Watts interfered for like 6 minutes!, including beating up two druids wearing Nike's. Petey and Sabin definitely upped the ante with some sick spots and super fast paced action that delivered. The only thing I can take away is a little less selling than I would like and a foreign object finish. The Dancing Elvises took on the Phenomenal One and The Charismatic Enigma( someone tell TNA having nicknames that are longer than six syllables don't exactly roll off the tongue) in a well paced match that the heels actually bumped in. Savage came in at the end and looked like a fucking zombie! Or at least the closest thing to it I've ever witnessed in non-Hollywood life. And he got the pin with a punch. The main event cage match was a classic to be sure! It had a great story, buckets of blood and some awesome double teams. Throw in much cage use, a Tower of Doom from the top of the cage and the highlight of Elix Skipper's career: walking the cage and hitting a hurricanra from the top( the spot that should have made him a star) and the end of XXX as a team and you have a very special match that stole the show and the year from anything TNA had done.
1) Chris Sabin & Jay Lethal vs. Petey Williams & Senshi – 4
2) Eric Young vs. Shark Boy – 4
3) Brother Runt vs. Abyss – 10,000 Thumbtacks Match – 3
The tag match didn’t do much to excite me. There was a missed spot where Sabin tried a baseball slide and the finish was not properly booked. Sabin should’ve pinned Senshi and not Petey in order to give the fans a chance to think that he might be able to beat Senshi at the pay-per-view. Young and Shark Boy was decent and did two things. First, it got Young over again and second, it continued the ludicrous feud between Larry Zbyszko, Earl Hebner, and referee Slick Johnson. Runt and Abyss was nothing. They teased a spot where Runt was going to bump through two thumbtacks covered boards and tables but it never happened and the match ended without one crazy bump. Raven came down afterward and knocked Abyss through the aforementioned boards and tables. The final segment was Jeff Jarrett repeating everything he’s ever said this year in any promo he’s done about Sting. It was a lackluster ending to a forgettable episode.
Monday, October 16, 2006
RVD. Mr. Monday Night. Mr. PPV. Mr. ECW. Mr. Minor Drug Felony. He's been called many names but dear ole' Momma Van Dam he is Robert Alex Szatkowski. Rolls right off the tongue, doesn't it? RVD was trained by the legendary Shiek( don't you see the similarities?) and made his debut in my home state, Ohio in 1990. There's no doubt he is one of the most popular wrestlers in the world, but how does he measure up?
There's no questioning RVD's contribution to innovative wrestling. He is famous for his one of a kind(no pun intended) ring style of high risk acrobatic moves and hard hitting style. He is a true risk taker and I give him all the credit in the world for that. But, you could also say that some of the things he does inside that ring are pretty unnecessary, such as rolling across the ring to jump on a guy and monkey flip them. Is that roll necessary? I never thought I would write that line in an article and I'm not really sure why it bothers me so much. But, back to my analysis, RVD helped create the mythos behind his home promotion ECW and helped create the style that supports no rules and no limits( and with the new ECW, no shame.)
A nearly perfect score for RVD in this department. He is a trained and disciplined kickboxer, he stretches before each and every match and he even invented his own weight lift, the Van Dam lift which consists of doing the splits on two chairs and lifting weights. I'm surprised you haven't heard of it; it's sweeping the whole weightlifting world. Maybe not. He's rarely been plagued with injuries due to his peak physical condition. So, why wouldn't he get a 10? Because his role model is Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High. And I emphasize the word "high" in that sentence. If you don't believe me just go look in the Ironton, Ohio police files.
3 Ring Skill-6-
According to my standards, this category is ranked by several criteria: overall ability, work rate, selling, and putting a match together. Van Dam does all those things moderately well, but none of them great. He is a natural athlete, documented by his past martial arts endeavors and some amateur wrestling in high school. He can bump and has proven it on many occasions. His flaw comes into really selling. He instead, as many before him have, opts for the take a move and fall down. You need to show emotion when you get punched. Act like it. There's definitely room for improvement there.
Van Dam in ECW: a pothead who was extremely cocky.Â Van Dam in WWE: a strange guy who says "cool" a lot and is ranging on the cocky side. Horrible. If he didn't have a recognized name before coming to WWE, he would've never got his foot in the door. In ECW, he shows range and seems comfortable on camera. In WWE, he seems lost and strangely half retarded. And the funny thing is he has acted in B Movies and canceled TV series. What did they see in this guy?
Can RVD cut a promo? ECW loyalists would have you believe he could. He certainly did have his share of them. But, they mostly consisted of him sitting in some silly, smoky room talking mad shit about the jobber he was about to go 15 with. In WWE, RVD promos are almost non-existent. I understand if they are trying to shield him from embarrassing himself, but even comedy mid-carders get more mike time than he does. Well, at least Vince has done one thing right: silencing RVD. Now, if he could only get his own putrid face off camera.
6 Face/Heel-6- This is an interesting category. RVD plays a good heel. He has all the natural inclinations: he knows he's better than you, he knows he's going to put on a better match than you, and he relishes in it. But, by God, do wrestling fans love to cheer for him. They have made him a face, but he does nothing for it. He has no dimensions as a face character, but he does get over, so he has remained so.
a difficult category to rate. RVD has some of the more natural looking kicks in the WWE, but most of them are spotty and off target. And his punches are horrid. I've seen female McMahons throw better strikes and I'm not talking about HHH. Also, RVD isn't a good chain wrestler; he's a good sequence wrestler, it's not the same thing. He can put planned out spots together, but try to let him make a transition on his own and he looks indy. This is probably one of his biggest weaknesses in my eyes.
Like I said, there's something about RVD. The fans go nuts for him. From my point of view, he doesn't do much to garner their attention, but they eat up everyone of his redundant spots that he's done so many times over.
9 Match/ Opp.-
5- RVD has taken on just about anyone that has walked into ECW and WWE's doors in the last ten years and that's a lot of people. He has usually tried to blend well with them ,and work a decent match. He has had different feuds in the past, but hardly any are memorable. His rivalry with Jerry Lynn almost made ECW a credible promotion, but they ran it into the ground during their dying days. He and Sabu, before they teamed, had a good thing going. In WWE, he has basically moved from mid card feud to mid card feud with really no main event matches, and even less world title programs. He only recently got the top prize to help fuel the fire under an ECW return.
I give him a high score because even though what he does is very sloppy at times, he is a hard worker and will put his body through hell to have a good match. I think he has decent work ethic, but I'm definitely not joining his fan club.
PO: Thumbs Down
1) Johnny Nitro vs. Jeff Hardy – 5 – This was a fairly acceptable match, albeit with quite a few miscommunications. Their match on Raw before this wasn’t as sloppy but it was entertaining as hell. This one was still entertaining but was pretty damn sloppy. As with all Johnny Nitro matches, it is mandatory that Melina interferes and interfere she did, as she took off one of her boots and whacked Hardy in the head with it. Um, yeah.
2) Umaga vs. Kane – 4 – This was pretty hard-hitting. I can’t remember a thing that happened except for the fact that their move sequences went like this: punch by Kane, shoulder-block by Umaga, repeat as desired. They did have some degree of stiffness to their punches and chops and blocks, but that kind of stuff seems out of place in WWE. Oh yeah, the finish? Double-countout to protect both men and have Umaga remain undefeated.
3) The Highlanders vs. The Spirit Squad – 3 – I half expected Mel Gibson to come out in his garb from Braveheart and yell “Freedom!” Anyway, the Squad is still annoying as all hell and needs to be shot out of a high speed cannon right into a brick wall. I love the Highlanders gimmick but they need to learn how to work a little better. That being said, this was still one of the better tag matches that has come out of the Raw brand in quite some time. For some unknown reason, the Squad retained to further de-value the titles.
4) Shawn Michaels & Triple H vs. The McMahons & The Big Show – Handicap Hell in a Cell Match – 2 – The new cage they used was pretty cool but the crossbar kept getting in the way of the wide shot. Why the hell do they keep putting Big Show in these stipulation matches? First, the lame Punjabi Prison, now this? He didn’t bump or sell worth a damn and the whole match came across as a total clusterfuck. Vince getting his face shoved up Big Show’s ass? Please!! I don’t want to see this bullshit mixed in wrestling, or sports entertainement, or whatever it is nowadays. Hell in a Cell is meant to be the ultimate feud-ended in WWE. Instead, it turned into an ultimate disaster and a twenty minute waste of time.
5) Trish Stratus vs. Lita – 4 – Aside from Mickie James and Victoria, Trish is the only other female who can put on a decent match. Lita is so broken down now, she shouldn’t even attempt to wrestle. I remember when she first came in, she was a freakin’ daredevil! Now, the only chances that she takes are when she tries a new position in bed. Trish won the match and the belt and retired. They made no mention of this the next night on Raw and magically the belt is now vacant.
6) Randy Orton vs. Carlito – 5 – I was expecting a show-stealing match, not a lame-ass squash. When they first announced this, it looked to me that Carlito was getting the big push he really deserved. Instead, they had Orton squash him on worldwide pay-per-view. Carlito moves back to the mid-card as a generic face to feud in silly matches with Nitro and Masters. Orton moves on to work with DX. Lame.
7) John Cena vs. Edge – TLC Match – 5 – I still hate Cena. The match they had at SummerSlam was much better and it seemed as if they finally clicked. Here, however, it seemed like the chemistry just wasn’t there. They kept the match pretty simple with Edge doing two big bumps and Cena doing one. The FU off the ladder through two tables was pretty cool but it lacked the fire of previous TLC matches. Cena’s the champ again and goes onto feud with … Umaga? What the fuck? Why do I even bother sometimes.
1. Mike Knox and Test vs. Rob Van Dam and Sabu – 5
Van Dam doesn’t sell Knox’s strikes worth a damn. Later, RVD does a running spinkick in the corner, has too much momentum, and ends up flipping over the top rope and landing awkwardly on the floor. They did a four-man table spot that was obviously orchestrated. Test’s chair-assisted bodyslam was a highlight for me. At one point, Van Dam was running the ropes, and upon hitting them he stalled strangely, as if he was just shot, then regained composure and finished the poor sequence. My theory is that the ropes kicked his ass. Air Sabu looked like United 93. The finishing spot was Van Dam and Sabu doing simultaneous top-rope legdrops on Knox who was lying on a table; as cool as it could have been, it wasn’t, and Sabu completely missed his target. Pretty sloppy match, but it was fast-paced enough to keep me moderately entertained, and that’s about as much as you can ask for out of an ECW television bout.
2. Balls Mahoney vs. Steven Richards – 3
Richards’ reverse neckbreaker was scary, as their timing together was way off. I loved the way Balls sold Richards’ knees to his back; showcasing the pain verbally and by over exaggerated facials. Somebody needs to tell Richards to leave the X Factor to Sean Waltman and Marvel Comics.
CM Punk smacked Shannon “The Reject” Moore in the face like he was a bitch in the back during a vignette. I wanted to do the exact same thing to Moore; several years ago, while I was working at a movie store in a shopping mall, Moore, who was working for HWA at the time, approached me and asked me if Evil Dead was “any good?”
3. Big Show vs. Degeneration X – Handicap Match – 3
Triple H attempted to rip off his t-shirt, and his subsequent wrestling with it was the best battle of the show. Shawn Michaels’ sells of Show’s headbutts were about as convincing as his denying involvement in the ’97 Montreal screwing of Bret Hart. This match could have evolved into something a littler more satisfactory, but they were content on working minimally, and the Hardcore Holly interference officially designated it as a stinker.
Monday, October 9, 2006
Our opening match for this massive show, coming from Tokyo Dome, was a six man with a few young bloods and a few oldies put in for our enjoyment. No one really pulled out their top shelf stuff probably because the young guys don’t have top shelf stuff yet and the old guys can’t even reach it anymore. But, all six men gave a decent effort.
2 Tamon Honda/ Go Shiozaki v. Mohammed Yone/ Takeshi Morishima-4
Yone, as you might say, is your Japanese Carlito, with his trademark afro. He was the veteran in this match, but didn’t indicate it to anyone. Another decent match featuring slow tagging, and good strikes.
3 Akira Taue/ Naoki Sano/ Jun Izumida/ Haruka Eigen v. Akithoshi Saito/ Shiro Koshinaka/ Masao Inoue/ Kishin Kawabata- 3
The slowest, and most non action match of the night. It featured a ton of vets but the only one truly exhibiting any effort was Taue, who hit a cool chokeslam or two. This match never really picked up, possibly due to the amount of people involved.
4 Mushiking Terry v. Mushiking Joker- 4
These guys looked like two Power Rangers wrestling, but they actually had some pretty good moves. This was a match for the kids, but they didn’t totally dumb it down; they pulled out some decent action.
5 Yoshinobu Kanemaru v. KENTA- 7
KENTA is going to be a huge star in NOAH one day, and this match is a good example why. Kanemaru is also a very talented guy, who doesn’t look like a “model” wrestler, but he has some great moves, and high flying skills. They worked a brilliant match that had an amazing pace. The guys in NOAH are taking junior wrestling where it needs to go; working a heavyweight, hard hitting style. That way, they translate into the singles heavyweight division when the time for them to move up comes about. I like the junior style here more than in X-Division. Because honestly, Petey Williams is never going to be competing with the heavys of TNA. But, look at Marufuji; he just won their World Title.
6 Minoru Suzuki/ Naomichi Marufuji v. Jun Akiyama/ Makoto Hashi- 7
Suzuki is a nut; he looks like a nut, and he headbutts like one. It was magic when Marufuji and Akiyama got in the ring, and still hot and stiff when anyone else was in. The match was great, but it went on too long. Everyone got sloppy and a little lost near the end, but Marufuji pulled it back in for the finish.
7 Takeshi Rikioh v. Hiroshi Tanahashi- 5
We have the NOAH champion and the New Japan champion going one on one, and it was decent. Rikioh was a large man with limited mobility and limited selling ability. I’m not sure why he even won the title. Tanahashi is a young man, a very skilled wrestler who will be very good in a few years. He still has a green stain on him though, and working with someone who looks like a midcarder, it really came out in the wash. Tanahashi overshot two crazy suicide dives in the most entertaining spots of the night.
8 Yoshinari Ogawa v. Genichiro Tenryu- 5
Tenryu is getting so old, his cheeks had bunched up into his nose. But, he was still fairly active. Ogawa is such a scrawny guy to be in Japan main events. He has been carried by Misawa for years, and as a heel, he looked like a punk rocker from the UK in the 70’s. Their match didn’t really get off the ground, and ended in a very undramatic way.
9 Kensuke Sasaki v. Kenta Kobashi- 9
These two men trade chops for six minutes! That says it all. Their chests were purple and bruised and it was such fun to watch. This was the best match I’ve seen of Sasaki and Kobashi is possibly the greatest wrestler alive. They dropped each other on their head plenty of times and pulled off some great moves. Sasaki really impressed me; he has stepped up his game in the recent years and is helping to carry some of the load that the Japanese wrestling industry is feeling, and so is NOAH. This match bordered on the 10 range, which my only one has been a Kobashi match, but there were more emotional factors built into that match, giving it that little extra special feeling. This one was a pure match, and had every thing you could ever want built into one single match.
10 Mitsuharu Misawa v. Toshiaki Kawada- 8
One of the most classic feuds to have ever taken place in wrestling. Misawa is your classic, tough guy, strong and silent hero type and Kawada was always the brash young upstart who was supremely talented, but now, he is playing the wily veteran who knows all the tricks of the trade. But, he still cannot beat his old rival. These guys at their age, after all the years of punishment, were throwing elbows and kicks like someone was mugging their wives. They hit all of their signature spots and relished in it. The crowd was in the palm of their hands even before they came down to the ring. They weren’t as fast as they used to be, but they still had the guts and will to put on a classic encounter and most likely their final singles match. It was an honor to see it.
I took notes on this show while I watched it live. Everything you see here is pretty much how I wrote in down my notebook. Let’s see what happened …
Show starts with a moment of silence for the victims of the 9/11 terror attacks. Fink introduces the USMC color guard and Lilian who sings “America the Beautiful”. JR and King welcome us live and we start off with a Backlash rematch.
1) Ric Flair vs. Umaga (w/ AAE) – 1
Flair starts with chops. Umaga wins by DQ after about two minutes when Flair uses a chair. Samoan drop on Flair on the floor post-match. Umaga and Kane then brawl. Kane throws the ring steps from the ring and clonks Umaga in the head.
NYPD pipes and drums are introduced as the play The Highlanders and Roddy Piper to the ring! Piper pimps the new WWE magazine special and has a slapping contest with Highlanders. Squad interrupts and berates everyone’s kilts. Piper challenges Squad to a six-man. Squad accepts.
2) The Highlanders & Roddy Piper vs. The Spirit Squad (Johnny, Kenny, & Mikey) – 3
Joined in progress from commercial. Highlanders are straight out of the 80s. Squad controls until hot tag to Piper. Squad gets worked. Highlanders double team with nice slingshot reverse vertical suplex. Piper pins Johnny for the win.
Johnny Nitro rambles about something while Jeff Hardy paints something in the background. Nitro gets pissed and knocks over the painting. Hardy gets pissed and throws blue and yellow paint all over Nitro and Melina. Nitro looks like a Michigan Wolverines superfan!
3) John Cena, Jeff Hardy, & Carlito vs. Randy Orton, Johnny Nitro, & Edge (w/ Melina and Lita) – 4
I fucking hate the spinner belts!! Edge cuts another worthless promo before the match and attempts to rap. Cena gets a mixed reaction from the NYC crowd which is super hot. Orton screws up going over the top via clothesline. Hardy totally fucks up a jump over the top when he slips off Carlito’s back. Carlito lands hard after going through the ropes. Decent match with some slow builds and good time. Cena and Edge never touched legally during the match. Cena makes Nitro tap for the win. Orton can’t sell Carlito’s back-cracker worth a damn.
Cryme Time vignette. They chase a white guy who gets lost in the hood and steal his wallet. This is touted as endurance training. The dry narrator was amusing. I’m looking forward to their debut.
Vinnie Mac spews something about his legacy. He calls NY sports teams losers for some cheap heat. Why are the McMahons still polluting my TV every week?
4) Chris Masters (w/out steroids) vs. Super Crazy (w/out lawnmower) – 3
Crazy comes out to zero reaction and the crowd is super dead. It’s almost like the McMahon thing before the match sucked the life out of the crowd. Crazy accidentally knees Masters in the stomach while attempting a standing moonsault. Crazy beats Masters again. Decent match but not as good as last week’s encounter. Masters is much leaner now since he was back earlier in the year. Hopefully that means he’ll be able to put together a decent match. Crowd didn’t care but I smell a third match at the pay-per-view.
More pimping for The Marine. I kind of wanted to see this movie until they pushed the shit out of it. Now, I couldn’t give two halves of a fuck about it.
5) Mickie James vs. Trish Stratus – 3
Trish has a scrolling marquee for a belt buckle. Nice headscissor takeover by Mickie. Trish’s forearms are weak shit. Lita interferes and Trish uses her as a springboard on the Stratusfaction for the win. I’ve seen better matches between these two (i.e. WrestleMania). Just so everyone knows, the women’s division, or what’s left of it, will be totally dead after the pay-per-view.
JR and King hype the pay-per-view on Sunday.
Cade, Murdoch, Shane-O-Mac, and Big Show attack DX in the back. HHH gets his head slammed in a car door. Vinnie Mac makes the main event a no holds barred match.
6) Vince McMahon vs. Triple H – No Holds Barred Match – 0
Vince’s chest looks like it could explode at any minute. HHH bleeding bad from the ear after the backstage assault. Vince’s top is bright red and looks really stupid. Vince controls early. Vince runs the ropes and looks like shit. Interference by Shane, HBK, and Big Show. Same old shit from every week this crappy feud has been going on. Vince wins and no one gives a shit. Hopefully the pay-per-view on Sunday is the end of this crap because this whole thing started with Vince and HBK last fucking December!!!
This was a good show until the main event. Hot crowd mainly for the six-man tag with Cena. Very solid build for the Unforgiven pay-per-view on Sunday.
2. Brian Kendrick and Paul London vs. KC James and Idol Stevens – 7
3. M.V.P. vs. Marty Garner – 2
4. Undertaker vs. Mr. Kennedy – 5
5. Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero – Falls Count Anywhere – 6
6. Chris Benoit vs. William Regal – 8
7. Booker T vs. Fit Finlay vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Batista – 5
First off, I think that negativity has become pervasive in wrestling journalism. Whether it’s the supposed “smart” individuals, writing hackneyed newsletters to loyal followers void of a social life, or just mean spirited fans who’ve lost their love for wrestling and continue to watch it for unknown reasons. I’m all about bucking trends, and I say nay to this line of thinking – I mean seriously, fuck, I want to enjoy what I’m watching! I don’t want to meticulously pick apart each and every performer and match, and have some bullshit sense of entitlement like these guys owe me anything. There’s nothing worse than watching wrestling with people that are negative and completely shitting on the product. Also, another revelation I’ve had – wrestling doesn’t have to be pretty to be good. In ’99, I was a huge mark for flashy sequences and flawlessly executed moves. But, to err is human, and fighting isn’t ballet, it’s supposed to be caustic and unpredictable if reality is to be emulated. So, for all of you nitpicking fans and writers who spend all of your time on the Internet swapping second-hand bitter opinions on forums with other virgins, it’s time to grow the fuck up. Don’t watch wrestling if all you’re going to do is complain about it. Here’s a tip, look for the good and positive qualities while you’re watching a video or a show; who knows, you might actually enjoy yourself!
(Note: The following review was a quickly typed up summarization of the pay-per-view I sent to Dave Meltzer for inclusion in his usual feedback section. It’s not as lengthy or in-depth as my usual fare, but does an adequate job I feel in displaying how I truly felt about the show.)
I thought that this was a really tremendous show. On paper, it may have not looked like a lot; but, they gave the matches decent time, there was a lot of physicality, and it kept my attention and interest throughout. Hardy and Helms was a fantastic, hard-fought opener, and the following tag match with London and Kendrick was fast-paced and exciting. I think that they’re a great team, and a breath of fresh air, being that they’re hardworking performers that seem to genuinely enjoy their craft. The M.V.P. squash was quick and rather painless, although, wouldn’t it have been better to have him beat Scotty 2 Hotty or Tatanka, as to help him establish some credibility and rapport with the fans?
Undertaker and Kennedy was surprisingly solid, and had some excellent psychology. It was well structured and executed. Rey and Chavo was awesome, too; finally, unlike Jarrett’s crowd brawls, we actually had a wild fight that meant something. They took some nasty bumps as well. It was a true shock to see Benoit return, and he and Regal had a stellar match, just so incredibly stiff and physical. They both bleed in a terrific pleasant surprise. The main event may have seemed haphazard in sections, but overall, it laid the groundwork for some upcoming storylines, and was ultimately a satisfying finale to what’s arguably the best pay-per-view yet this year.
Friday, October 6, 2006
1 Tajiri v. Super Crazy- 5
These two have fantastic chemistry. They were using that cool ass ramp they build sometimes for shows. It's so stiff, how can you not enjoy it? They took it slow, really giving the sense they were building for something. They worked a great pace, but seemed a little too rehearsed. They each blew a big spot which hurt it, and they played it up pretty big with the fans. The finish came out of nowhere, but was enjoyable.
2 Steve Corino v. Balls Mahoney- 2
Corino does not bump well. This match was mostly comedy except I wasn't laughing.
3 Antifaz del Norte v. Little Guido- 4
Guido played to the fans a lot. I felt sorry for them/ they were working pretty hard for a very small reaction. Even a table spot by Sal E. didn't pop them. A horrible looking finish.
4 Rob Van Dam v. Jerry Lynn- 7
The much hyped about match between these two; I watched it with new eyes because once you've seen one of their matches, they all seem to blend together. The fans were absolutely in love with RVD. At least in ECW, he had the time to be RVD; the chance to work longer matches with more hot-dogging. Both of their sells are pretty accurate. This match, unlike some of their others, had a good build. The time limit came out of nowhere. At least 2 of their spots came off looking sloppy, out of about eighteen big ones. I've never seen a ref give a belt to the challenger when the time limit expired; makes no sense. The crowd adopted Lynn halfway through the match. Definitely some magic here.
5 Mustafa v. New Jack- 1
Neither of these guys were selling shit for each other. New Jack did his usual comedy stuff, then his guitar broke. He chose to simply ignore it and told a fan to throw it back while Mustafa stood around dazed like he was a poisoned character in an RPG videogame and then took the guitar shot. Crowd brawl( of course); Mustafa measured an elbow drop on the concrete( very odd to show your love for Greg Valentine in the middle of a mad cap shit house brawl like this, but I respect it). New Jack hit a clumsy balcony dive, breaking the very edge of the table, then they were both carried back to the ring for the pin.?
6 Dudleys v. Spike/ Nova- 1
This wasn't really a match; I'd define it as a simple, boring beating. Sid interfered and they were communicating about as well as Stevie Wonder and Helen Keller could with each other. Sid was monstrously over, though. Strange.
7 Douglas/ Dreamer v. Credible/ Storm- 5
Credible was greener than fake Easter grass. Douglas and Dreamer pulled off some good double teams and Storm and Douglas were working great together. The match had an old school feel to it, and didn't really offer weapons at all. I did like that aspect of ECW; that you never knew what you would get with some of the guys, sometimes it would be just a straight match or sometimes it would be a crazy, all out war. The match started losing steam towards the end when all four guys got in the ring. Credible and Storm were both taking protected bumps on simple moves, then your usual bread and butter catfight. Credible sold the DDT and Belly to Belly like he was paralyzed! This guy sucks bad, I mean David Flair bad!
8 Taz v. Sabu- 6
Some decent wrestling to start, but it quickly faded into a silly, sloppy crowd brawl( if I had a dime for every time I wrote that, well, you know the rest). They took turns pulling off "Hardcore" spots, which were really pseudo attempts at being extreme. A crazy straw is more extreme than anything they were doing in that crowd. Taz put Sabu over the ropes through a table with a sick overhead belly to belly in the spot of the night. Taz then started beating Sabu in front of the camera and called out Flair and Hogan, blantantly no sold Sabu's defensive punches. The crowd was really tired during this match, but finally woke up when Taz went on a suplex spree and hit the choke out finish.
2. Lance Hoyt vs. Matt Bentley – 3
3. Naturals vs. Eric Young and Bobby Roode – 4
4. James Gang and “Bullet” Bob Armstrong vs. L.A.X. and Konnan – 3
5. Chris Sabin vs. Puma vs. Sonjay Dutt vs. Petey Williams – 6
6. Team 3D, Rhyno, and Ron “Truth” Killings vs. Jeff Jarrett, America’s Most Wanted, and Abyss – 5
7. AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe vs. Christopher Daniels – Ultimate X Match – 6
8. Christian vs. Monty Brown – 3
I was actually in Orlando, FL when this event happened. I remember at the time considering attending, but little was announced in terms of what matches the show would consist of. Watching it now, that’s evident, as you typically expect TNA to deliver upwards of 10 matches – here, you get only 8, many of which seem unnecessarily stretched to fill time. The card is largely sufficient, for a one-time viewing, but there’s not a lot of memorable or special stuff worth seeking out on this ultimately forgettable show.
Shelley and Lethal start it off right, with arguably the most pleasantly surprising match of the show. The pacing and overall performances were hard to take issue with, and this was definitely a fun and enjoyable opener. Hoyt and Bentley wasn’t offensive, but hardly engrossing. The same can be said about the subsequent tag match, which like the proceeding bout went a tad longer than anticipated and desired. The six-man match was a big mess, much akin to the one Bob Armstrong left in his adult diaper before leaving the locker room.
I rather enjoyed the International four-way match, featuring fast-paced action we’ve grown to expect from the X division. There wasn’t a ton of psychology, but lots of eye candy. Don West is babbling incoherently per usual, just like he was the first time he was caught downloading and subsequently masturbating to a random of pornstar Gauge’s tasteless videos. The eight-man tag started with sloppy brawling throughout the crowd, but ended up eventually back in the ring, where it settled into a decent little match, highlighted by the last few minutes where Killings worked his ass off. The Ultimate X was a disappointment, as we’ve seen these three guys deliver such great performances in prior matches, it’s hard to accept anything less in latter higher-profile bouts. Daniels takes an awkward spill over the ropes onto AJ on the floor at one point – watch closely as Daniels grabs a handful of Styles’ ass and jiggles it, in a moment of either comradely or blatant homoerotic tendencies. The main event was absolutely awful! I’ve been a big detractor of Christian and his title run, and this match further proves my point of it being a mistake of the highest order. This match, trudging on for what feels like eternity, is certainly not what I’d want as my premier match, should I be running TNA. Even the typically hot Orlando crowd is about as into this as Sable was into Marc Mero’s bright idea of having threesomes with random college sophomores. But, against better judgment, both Sable and us, loyal wrestling fans, were subjected to such offensive and distasteful strikes against our intelligence and pride.
Sunday, October 1, 2006
This is continuing our little Dusty Rhodes tribute, with the release of his DVD. There is a lot of subject matter relating to Dustin, his son, so I thought I would take a look at his career.
1) Innovation- 4/10- In his first years in the wrestling business, Dustin used to cut interviews and talk with a lisp, an effect he used to sound like his father even though he could talk perfectly normal. He became a very good worker and used a pretty basic style, implementing fast paced action and heavy attacks, much like a Barry Windham. He also put on the Goldust costume and conveyed the character, and as I said with my Val Venis analysis, you need a certain kind of performer to pull off a character, so he gets points for taking the job.
2) Conditioning- 5/10- Dustin never had a million dollar body, but neither did his father and look what it did for him. But, Dustin did not have too many hour long matches, and did not have many brutal bloodbaths or cage matches or barb wire matches. His conditioning isn’t one of his strengths, but it’s also not a hindrance to him. He has always been in good enough shape for the job. His body is so tall, and seems awkwardly proportioned.
3) Skill- 7/10- When Dustin first started out in the business, he was very green, but had some raw potential that could be harnessed given the right influence. When his father brought him into WCW, he fell under the wings of Ricky Steamboat and Barry Windham, two great teachers for any young and up and comer. He formed tag teams with both men and they paid off big time. Three years after being in the company, during pre-Hogan era, he was headlining shows with Sting and Steamboat as partners and had become a guy ready to break through to main even status. In WWF, he got a chance to compete against the up and coming cream of the crop, wrestlers who now are considered the greatest of their generation, like Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Undertaker, and Mick Foley and Dustin was right in the thick of WWF in their “New Generation” phase.
4) Psychology- 9/10- Dustin always had big shoes to fill being the “son of a famous wrestler who was the son of a plumber. When Dustin finally arrived in WWF after almost six years of being a pro, he had gained some experience, enough to undertake the arduous role of Goldust, a character obsessed with movies, who dressed in a skin tight gold leotard and a wig, and was incredibly homo-androgynous. Was he gay? Was he straight? It was very controversial stuff and Dustin played it to the hilt. He employed mind games as part of his in-ring arsenal; it was as important as the moves he did. He freaked out many opponents and gained quite an impressive win streak. In his WWF prime, he main evented several PPV’s with the likes of Undertaker and Michaels.
5) Interviews- 6/10- Goldust cut some very strange promos in his time as Goldust, but when he’s not Goldust, he rarely has anything interesting to say. The character affords him some creative liberty, which he has taken in every direction and had a great deal of fun with. As Goldust, he cuts a very entertaining promo, but as Dustin, we simply wish he was wearing Gold.
6) Character- 7/10- Dustin has put a stamp on Goldust, and laid his place in the wrestling world. He has played him both effectively as a face and a heel, more notably as a heel when he first debuted. But, when he was brought back in 2002, he pulled another side out of Goldust, a character that would mock other’s identities and became one of the better tag teams WWE had at the time with Booker T. Their comical timing and creativity made them the team to watch.
7) Fans- 6/10- In early WCW, Dustin eventually garnered the respect and admiration of the Southern fans the promotion played to. In WWF, Dustin got under everyone’s skin as the mysterious Goldust and the fans desperately wanted him off their TV’s and booed him unmercifully and called him every name in the book. But, since, I would say he garners a mild response at best as Goldust, and would probably elicit very little response as Dustin. His last run in WWE should be the indicator of that, as he was brought in with Coach, then very quickly pushed down to opening status before being released.
8) Strikes- 6/10- Dustin has a great uppercut and throws a mean elbow, just like his dear old daddy. His basics are pretty good, even though he rarely implements them in his Goldust matches. I would give him an above average ranking in this category because his basics aren’t horrible.
9) Match/ Opponent- 7/10- Dustin was given a lot of meaty feuds in WCW mainly because of his father. He had notable feuds with Barry Windham and Rick Rude during his tenure, then on his way to WWF, he got feuds due to the controversial nature of the character, including his more famous ones with Razor Ramon and Roddy Piper, as well as Undertaker and Ken Shamrock. I wouldn’t say he has had classic matches, per say, probably his most famous would be the infamous Hollywood Back Lot Brawl with Piper, which is a stiff classic to say the least.
10) Gutcheck- 5/10- Getting into the wrestling business was probably more than Dustin every bargained for. The American Dream casts a large shadow and earning the respect of his peers was not going to be easy. But, Dustin persevered. I think that alone shows a lot of determination on his part.
Final Score: 62
PO: Thumbs Middle
1) Rob Van Dam & Sabu vs. Mike Knox & Test – Extreme Rules – 5
2) Balls Mahoney vs. Stevie Richards – 3
3) D-X vs. The Big Show – Handicap Match – 3
The extreme rules tag was sloppy as hell but fun to watch, as was the case with most old-school ECW matches. Sabu took some pretty decent bumps and Knox and Test did their share as well. Balls and Stevie had a decent match but was marred by interference by Kevin Thorn. D-X main eventing was a total joke and an insult to everything they’re trying to do with the new ECW brand. I never want to see Triple H or Shawn Michaels in an ECW ring ever again. Also on the show, Matt Striker did another one of his classroom things and CM Punk bitch slapped Shannon Moore and called him a poser. Now would someone explain to me how this was supposed to help the ECW brand and why should I give two shits about John Cena’s movie?
Thankfully, this lasted all of a few seconds. Torrie did a little striptease, similar to the one she does when she’s trying to get some extra spending money out of Billy Kidman. When Kelly started disrobing, Mike Knox and Test arrived and disrupted the putrid proceedings.
2. Sandman, Tommy Dreamer, and Torrie Wilson vs. Mike Knox, Test, and Kelly Kelly – 1
The only things weaker than Knox’s stomps are Sandman’s punches. Dreamer sells everything like he’s being punished, and by that I mean, his exaggerated acting brings to mind a poor guy being whipped in some hellhole of a jail, where they feed you bread and gasoline. Sandman’s “Rolling Rock” somersault from the top is absolutely awful. Kelly’s not even standing on the apron with her teammates. Sandman gets knocked backwards off the top by Knox, and oddly uses his feet and legs to break the fall before doing what you’d logically do, and landing on his back. Knox sells Dreamer’s DDT like Val Venis would, and that’s a compliment.
3. Kevin Thorn vs. Balls Mahoney – 3
Thorn’s in a “bite club?” To quote Little Pete, he can “bite my shorts, blowhole!” Low-impact brawling on the outside; can somebody tell Balls hitting someone in the head with a bottle of distilled water is totally not hardcore? Balls’ sit-out spinebuster is a step in the right direction, though. Thorn almost loses Balls, nearly dropping him, when doing his lame finisher.
4. CM Punk vs. Christopher W. Anderson – 3
Anderson’s cross-armbreaker was the highlight of this particularly quick squash, seeing Punk get yet another win. Punk should leave the running bulldog (or bulldogging headlock as it’s referred to on WCW Wrestling for the NES) to the Texans.
5. Rob Van Dam vs. Danny Doring – 2
A short and completely tolerable squash, I’d have liked to seen it go another 8 minutes or so, and have Doring get in at least a little offense.
6. Sabu vs. Big Show – 3
Sabu’s pre-match promo was about as awkward as going out on a first date with a beautiful girl, and vomiting all over her while eating dinner at a fancy Italian restaurant that you’d saved your allowance to take her to. Show hoists Sabu up, then drops him stomach-first on the ropes in an ugly spot. Sabu’s punches, and Show’s subsequent sells are totally unbelievable and ridiculous. Ref bump, shortly followed by Show delivering a hellacious fallaway slam. Sabu “goes nuts”, which is stupid, and gets himself disqualified for repeatedly drilling Show in the head with the ringbell, leading to some pretty heavy bleeding by slob Show. After the final bell shot, Show clumsily falls out of the ring, and through a nearby table that was against the apron, in the laziest and lamest table bump in quite awhile.