Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Spectacular Legacy of the AWA

This 2 disc set certainly didn't show much of a legacy to me. The video feature was interesting to watch and see some inside on how the old territory system worked and to learn about how the promotion was started. Verne and Greg Gagne both seemed very bittersweet about how the place ended, and Vince and Jim Ross both were highly critical and absent minded about big details (such as Vince not remembering if he told Hulk to work the rest of the AWA dates or not. Right.) Now, onto the matches. Keep in mind that all but the last 3 were clipped,so there's not much analysis you can do on a 5 minute highlight.

1 High Flyers v. Nick Bockwinkel/ Ray Stevens- 4
Your classic babyface against heel tag match; not much was shown and that which was had the heels bumping quite well, if not over theatrically.

2 Verne Gagne v. Baron Von Rashcke- 3
Gagne impressed me in his video clips in the feature, but all he seemed to do was a body rake in this match. He looked like a mentally handicapped Freddy Krueger walking around with his hands extened, chasing the ugliest man to ever step foot in a wrestling ring, Baron. He looked like a Hewitt family member.

3 Pat Patterson/ Ray Stevens v. Billy Robinson/ Frankie Hill(2 of 3 Falls) -4
Just as on the Dusty Rhodes DVD, Billy Robinson is a freaking god of the squared circle. His presence alone kept this stinker from getting a one. He was a phenomenal athlete and was doing things not seen for the next ten years in the ring. The Heels bumped all over, as if slipping on banana peels through the whole match and Frankie Hill was a balding, fattening Native American. He may not have even been Native American; I shouldn't assume just because he was tan, wearing a feathered head dress and seemed to be completely intoxicated.

4 Verne Gagne/ Mad Dog Vachon v. Jesse Ventura/ Adrian Adonis- 0
Whoever put this set together, do me a favor and burn this footage. Ventura was absolutely fartsuck. His sells were way overdone and very protected. He sold a phantom dropkick from Gagne (that only got as high as Bret Hart's dick as he watches his overweight wife strip at night). Completely awful. Mad Dog was a shell of himself by that time and looked more like Docile Puppy Vachon.

5 Verne Gagne v. Nick Bockwinkel- 3
There wasn't much of a match left; probably only 5 minutes after the footage was re-edited for this release. Bockwinkel seemed destined to be Gagne's flag bearer in this match, out selling him, and doing it with poise. Gagne's performance didn't improve, even with such a superb competitor against him.

6 High Flyers v. Jesse Ventura/ Adrian Adonis- 1
Another desperate attempt at Ventura wrestling. I am not convinced he should have ever worn boots and tights, even one's as homo-sympathetic as his gear. It's like he became a wrestler just long enough to establish a personality, then retired. So, he becomes an annoucner in WWE and everybody assumes he was this great performer, but how wrong they were. Even Adonis out shows him here, and he was carrying fifty extra pounds, with none of it in his jock.

7 Nick Bockwinkel v. Hulk Hogan- 2
A few minutes of action were shown; both men were sweating like they were on trial for steroid abuse in the early 90's; wait that happened to one of them. Well, serves you right for not letting Verne make some money off a few lousy T-shirts (supposedly the reason Hulk decided to leave AWA.)

8 Jesse Ventura v. Baron Von Raschke- 1
Have you ever blocked out something as it was happening, like when you get your first prostate exam, or get caught jerking it by your mom, then the dog comes up and tries to make a meal of your baby batter- yeah, this was that moment for me.

9 Hulk Hogan v. Masa Saito/ Mr. Hatori- 1
This potentially could have been a fun match, although it look like curdled milk in ring. Saito actually won the AWA title years later in it's dying day, but that wasn't mentioned in the feature.

10 Legion of Doom v. Crusher/ Larry Henning/ Curt Henning- 3
Curt showed some wisps of his later brilliance in against the MOST NO SELLING MOTHER PUNCHERS THIS SIDE OF NASTY ASS CRACK STREET CHICAGO in the visages of Sir Hawk and Lord Animal. Crusher had a tough reputation but by this time in his career, he had the temperment of the Grandmother from Looney Tunes. And he was oddly wearing that same shawl.

Complete Matches

11 Midnight Rockers v. Buddy Rose/ Doug Somers (Steel Cage)- 5
The Rockers beat the fatboys asses for the first 10 minutes or so, then they split Shawn open like a decaying pumpkin. The end of the match saw a Janetty comeback, then a sloppy free for all to pull the velvet curtain. It was more like a fight than a wrestling match, which wasn't necessarily a bad thing, but the Rockers hadn't matured into a very good psych team yet. And I think their opposition were mostly concerned about whether it was Ponderosa or Cracker Barrel after the show.

12 Curt Henning v. Nick Bockwinkel- 6
These guys went roughly 26 minutes and it was quite brilliant, my favorite match on the tape. It was the one that most resembled old school wrestling. They built very slowly with headlocks, takedowns and both guys were bumping brilliantly. Bockwinkel was the Ric Flair of AWA and quite an excellent performer. Henning won with a punch you just have to see to believe; it would have made Mike Tyson in the 80's look like Richard Simmons (I don't mean appearance, I mean in punching power.)

13 Jerry Lawler v. Kerry Von Erich(Title Unification Match)- 5
First the good: Both men could punch like they had been fighting for food since they could learn to bawl a fist together. That part I enjoy. Both men give brain busting piledrivers too and Von Erich bleeds as if no one had ever seen a match from Puerto Rico. Now, the bad: Techincally, there wasn't much wrestling in this match. They pretty much punched around, then went into finishing moves with very little substance. There was tons of confusion near the end and in the middle a little bit, as well as the ref looking as lost as me on a road trip. Now, the strange: Von Erich appears to slice into his arm before the match even starts!? He stares at it multiple times in the first few minutes as if he needs to go home and get a Band-aid and a popsicle from his mommy, then he forgets it's even there. I wanted to like this, but it just didn't have what it needed to be a good match.

The Spectacular Legacy of the AWA DVD

The first disc was a near two-hour look at Verne Gagne and the promotion itself. Like most documentaries that WWE does, it was very well done. The one complaint I have with this particular one was that the background music was a little loud at points and I couldn’t make out what people were saying sometimes. Aside from that, the doc contains interviews with such AWA notables like Verne Gagne, Greg Gagne, Nick Bockwinkle, Larry “The Ax” Hennig, Eric Bischoff, and Hulk Hogan, along with comments from Vince, Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, and others. There were also some interesting parts such as Bischoff saying that he had nothing to do with the infamous Team Challenge Series (to which he is credited in many books), Vince not recalling exactly how Hogan came back to the WWE after leaving AWA, and Hogan talking about contract disputes. There aren’t any matches on the first disc but the extras consist of some candid comments by Bockwinkle and some miscellaneous promos such as Mad Dog Vachon building a pine box. Enough blabbing … let’s get on to disc two and the matches!

1) Nick Bockwinkle & Ray Stevens vs. The High Flyers (uncut) – 6 – I think I rated this as high as I did mainly because I was so enthusiastic to watch this DVD. This was the match were Bockwinkle and Stevens introduced Bobby Heenan as their manager. It’s also a TV match from 1971 which makes it one of the oldest matches that WWE has ever released on DVD. The Flyers were the team of Greg Gagne and Jim Brunzell. Stevens and Bockwinkle made the Flyers work hard and the result was a good match.

2) Verne Gagne vs. Baron von Rashcke – 5 – Like a few of the early matches on the Dusty Rhodes DVD, this was back when they used film to record the matches. I’m not sure what caused me to rate it as high as I did. Perhaps it was the fact that it was Gagne and Baron beating the crap out of each other for the eight minutes this ran. That’s good enough for me.

3) Pat Patterson & Ray Stevens vs. Billy Robinson & Frankie Hill (uncut) – 5 – Unlike the match he was featured in on the Dusty DVD, Robinson’s star didn’t shine quite as bright here. I couldn’t tell Patterson and Stevens apart during the match (yes, they looked that much alike) and I thought that Hill was Wahoo McDaniel at first. Formalities aside, this was another well done tag match.

4) Verne Gagne & Mad Dog Vachon vs. Jesse Ventura & Adrian Adonis – 2 – Now we get into the stuff that’s clipped. While I admire Ventura’s contributions to wrestling while he was an announcer, his contributions as an active wrestler left a lot to be desired. Adonis never really did much for me either. This may have looked good on paper but the result was slow and prodding and the finish was a mess. I have to agree with Jessie when he said that Mad Dog looked more like a neutered puppy.

5) Verne Gagne vs. Nick Bockwinkle – 3 – Gagne does a promo with Mean Gene in a studio before the match about the importance of the date May 10th. This was Gagne’s retirement match and he beats Bockwinkle to win the AWA title in his last match. Not much to this one and pretty much a standard early 80s style of wrestling.

6) Jesse Ventura & Adrian Adonis vs. The High Flyers – 3 – I have a comment for Ventura … overselling is not good! He did a super oversell of a wishbone and sold a phantom dropkick like he was shot. This hurts a little thing called credibilty. There wasn’t much to the match itself either.

7) Hulk Hogan vs. Nick Bockwinkle – 2 – I believe that this match is on the spankin’ new Hogan DVD in its entirety, but don’t quote me on it. Heenan throws a foreign object into Bockwinkle but Hogan grabs it and nails Bockwinkle. He gets the cover and there’s a new champion until a graphic comes up and explains that how two days later the title was given back to Bockwinkle.

8) Jesse Ventura vs. Baron von Rashcke – 1 – Sure this offered up two legends but that’s about the only nice thing I can say about it. The rest of it was just as bad as I envisioned.

9) Hulk Hogan vs. Mr. Saito & Mr. Hatori – Handicap Match – 0 – Why the hell was this even included on the DVD?!! It wasn’t even a handicap match! All that was shown was the closing moments of a Hogan/Saito match and then a ref bump and tons of interference by Hatori (who was on the outside and not even a legal participant) and David Schultz.

10) The Legion of Doom vs. Larry “The Ax” Hennig, Curt Hennig, & The Crusher – 3 – Glad to see the Crusher made the cut on this one. L.O.D. is not just Hawk & Animal here but it’s their manager Paul Ellering as well. I couldn’t really make out much of what was going on due to the clip job but from what I saw, I didn’t care for it much.

11) The Midnight Rockers vs. Buddy Rose & Doug Somers – Cage Match (uncut) – 5 – This was a bloodbath. Sherri was screaming bloody murder at ringside when Somers and Rose were getting hammered. There were several huge bumps into the cage and the crowd was way into it. The after match brawl was pretty intense as well. It was fun watching this and seeing Michaels before he hit the big time.

12) Curt Hennig vs. Nick Bockwinkle (uncut) – 6 – This was quite possibly the best match on this DVD. It was 25 minutes of good solid back and forth techinical wrestling until Zbyszko got involved with the finish. The only huge bump was Hennig taking a nasty spill onto the floor and whacking his head on the rail. Zbyszko loitered at ringside throughout the whole match and took away from the importance of the match at times. The finish saw Zbyszko handing Hennig a mysterious object with which he nailed Bockwinkle upside the head for the pin. The post match antics really took down the rating for me for what was otherwise an enjoyable match.

13) Jerry Lawler vs. Kerry Von Erich (uncut) – 5 – First off, I lost a little bit of respect for Von Erich here. You can clearly see him reach into his ring robe and blade his underarm and then toss the evidence before the fucking match even starts. He actually does this twice because apparently he didn’t get it right the first try. The damn referee spent too much time checking on Von Erich’s eye instead of counting the fall or checking Lawler when he was in a hold. Von Erich ends up bleeding so badly above his eye that the referee stops the match. A good match aside from the problems with the ref.

Overall Thoughts:
The documentary was good but the match selection left a little bit to be desired. I would've liked to have seen more complete matches instead of five minute clips of stuff. Still, if you are a fan of old school wrestling then I would recommend picking this up. Not so much for the bonus matches but for the documentary about a federation that many have forgotten and few know the story of.

WWE No Way Out ‘07

1. MVP and MNM vs. Chris Benoit and The Hardyz – 5
2. Gregory Helms vs. Scotty 2 Hotty vs. Daivari vs. Funaki vs. Shannon Moore vs. Jimmy Wang Yang vs. Jamie Noble vs. Chavo Guerrero – Guantlet Match – 4
3. Fit Finlay and Little Bastard vs. Boogyman and Little Boogeyman – 2
4. Kane vs. Booker T – 3
5. Paul London and Brian Kendrick vs. Deuce ‘N Domino – 4
6. Bobby Lashley vs. Ken Kennedy – 3
7. John Cena and Shawn Michaels vs. Batista and The Undertaker – 6

The opening six-man tag match was a waste of talent. The pace wasn’t bad, for an opener, but it got awfully sloppy in parts, and didn’t do anyone involved any favors. The cruiserweight gauntlet was filled with largely rushed work, a shame, but completely expected. Helms’ epic run, in terms of length, not quality, finally came to an end, in a match nobody’s likely to remember next year. The next match was as insulting as Vince Russo’s book – a real mess of poorly executed comedy spots. All I wanted was to see Finlay get physical, and really work over Boogeyman; sadly, that never occurred.

Kane versus Booker T’s psychology was about as existent as God, which is to say, completely fallacious. I’m all for clean finishes, but this match’s ending was brutally anticlimactic. Not a lot to say about the tag match, except, Deuce ‘N Domino still need a ton of work. Perhaps, instead of buying breast implants for their valet Cherry, corporate should have used that money to continue the team’s training in developmental territories.

Kennedy working over the leg was old school, and fantastic; but Lashely’s complete disregard of selling it was horrid. Lashley still needs someone talented to carry him – that’s why his only successful program thus far has been with veteran Booker T. Kennedy needs to work on his punches, too; they’re almost as weak as Van Dam’s awful forearm shots. The aftermath featured Lashley delivering some of the laziest and most tame chair shots in wrestling history. The main event was decent, not spectacular, and the ending conjured up some excitement. Michaels’, maybe a decade ago, would have worked wonders in this bout, but wasn’t able to pull off the performance capable of making this a truly memorable main event.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

WWF Junior Title Tournament 1984

1 Davey Boy Smith v. The Cobra- 5

2 Dyamite Kid v. Davey Boy Smith- 5

3 Dynamite Kid v. The Cobra-6

This was a fun little tape to watch. Dynamite was at his most brutal and showcased it every time out. Davey was a strange mix of dynamics; he was strong, quick and could bump well and Cobra was a great aerialist and tough little hooker. The first match was very creative, but fell short of expectations. I think they wanted more out of it than they could get. Davey and Kid stayed on the mat a lot, but mixed in some stiffness. The finals pulled together science and selling and threw in some cool dives to the floor and some extra snug suplexes for a good mix of wrestling. Very agreeable.

Best of Intercontinental Title Matches DVD

1) Shawn Michaels vs. Crush – 4
2) Bret Hart vs. Skinner – 2
3) Shawn Michaels vs. Marty Jannetty – 5
4) Shawn Michaels vs. Mr. Perfect – 5
5) Shawn Michaels vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan – 5

Michaels and Crush was a decent match from England. Actually, I think I touched on it when I reviewed that WWF Global Warfare tape many moons ago. But, for the benefit of those who don’t read the archives, I’ll elaborate briefly. Crush did his part and worked good and Michaels sells were good as well. They did pretty much what they did all the time back then where the champion walks out on the match and keeps the belt. Bret and Skinner had many miscommunications as well as a totally botched leapfrog within the first 30 seconds in a match that was ultimately disappointing. The remaining matches all involved Michaels and the match with Jannetty was ultimately satisfying but had its downfalls at points. Jannetty initially won the match but then the ref used the instant replay rule and restarted the match. Michaels won after Jannetty killed himself by free-falling from the top to the outside. The match with Perfect was from SummerSlam 93 and was pretty standard and simple. Michaels won by count-out after Diesel interfered. The final match against Duggan was a pleasant surprise and a nice way to close out the DVD.

WWF 1984 Jr. Heavyweight Title Tournament

1. Davey Boy Smith vs. The Cobra – 4
2. Davey Boy Smith vs. Dynamite Kid – 5
3. The Cobra vs. Dynamite Kid – 6

This was an unusual unmarked DVD that Adam gave me. It features, presumably, the final three matches of aforementioned tournament. The first bout has its ups and downs. There are a few moments of good, fast-paced stuff; like Cobra’s insane dive to the floor, etc. But, Davey looked uncharacteristically lazy a couple times. There were a few sequences that he totally ignored, or just sidestepped entirely, leaving my dumbfounded. It was fascinating watching Cobra, though; his style was unique, an uncanny and almost polished wildness. The finish, a double countout, was pretty lame, even if we got to see Cobra nearly kill Smith with a tombstone piledriver on the floor.

The second match, a battle between longtime partners, was slightly better than its predecessor. The build was marginally slower, but it amped up the intensity level a bit. I was kind of digging where it was going, when suddenly; we were subjected to another rotten countout finish. The last match was definitely the highlight. Cobra was getting nutty like a child at Chuck E. Cheese’s, especially with the awesome cartwheel-back handspring-moonsault from inside the ring to the floor. These guys worked splendidly together, and delivered a fast-paced finale to one of the more forgotten tournaments around.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

WWE No Mercy 2006

1 Gregory Helms v. Matt Hardy- 8
This was a phenomenal match, another in their series. All the strikes were stiff, as if both guys were in a life and death fight. I mean, the story is that they both had one win and they were trying to win the rubber match. Also, both guys won their matches with low blows and rollups, which they worked into this match effectively. They hit all their signature moves and had very close near falls. Then, a clean pin, which is always a welcome change. This absolutely kicked ass.

2 Kendrick/ London v. James/ Stevens- 7
Another awesome match that was fast paced, fluent, and great tag wrestling. Both teams exhibited very competent tag work, with innovative double teams that made sense in the match. London took some hellacious bumps and the last few minutes of action was high intensity and the finish worked wonders. It was very exciting to watch.

3 MVP v. Marty Gruner- 1
I give this match a one because of the stiff slap that MVP laid on this guy at the sound of the bell. His spaceman outfit is ludicrous.

4 Undertaker v. Mr. Kennedy- 6
Taker has a habit of working these very psychology based matches with a slow build and a definite direction. To do so with Kennedy is a bigger task. I hate Kennedy’s strikes, which are like a kid flailing his arms, but his basics are wonderful. He broke out the most kick of ass piledriver witnessed on American TV in some years. Taker landed his patented legdrop on the apron, but it had some extra stank on it. Disappointing dq finish, though.

5 Rey Mysterio v. Chavo Guerrero( Falls count Anywhere)- 7
They really used the gimmick up to it’s full standards. The match shortly was contested in the ring before it was taken to the outside. They brawled to the entrance, up through the crowd down the stairs and into the back area. They were both taking unprotected bumps on the outside and Rey hit a crossbody from the top of some stairs for the win. It was wild and stiff.

6 William Regal v. Chris Benoit- 6
God, I missed Benoit! He was a surprised guest on the show and it was very welcomed. He and Regal got stiff the right way; both men were busted open from the mouth. They worked the mat and each other’s various body parts like a surgeon with 25 years of experience. This was a fun match to see.

7 Booker T v. Batista v. Finlay v. Lashley- 6
A pretty good four way, as four ways go. Finlay was beating all 3 other guys for the first little bit, controlling them with rigid ground attacks and holds, but the match turned into a free for all. Batista didn’t look particularly sharp, then again, when does he, even though he did pull out the blade. Just like the rest of the night, every guy in the match was throwing stiff shots and working really hard. A pretty good main event, and I was glad Booker retained.

WWE No Mercy 2006

1) Gregory Helms vs. Matt Hardy – 6
This was a fantastic way to kick off the show. The two had a history dating back to their days in the OMEGA promotion in the Carolinas and knew each other move for move. The only fault with I had with the match is that it was non-title. Helms has had the Cruiserweight title since January and hasn’t defended it on a regular basis since early in the year. It got some good time and really got the crowd excited with two hometown boys having a show-stealing match.

2) K.C. James & Idol Stevens vs. Brian Kendrick & Paul London – 6
Another solid encounter with both teams working very well with each other. London & Kendrick remind me a lot of the Rockers with their great double team moves. They compliment each other really well and with them holding the titles, the tag division on Smackdown is finally starting to get some traction behind it.

3) Montel Vontavious Porter (M.V.P.) vs. Marty Garner – 1
M.V.P. was less than impressive in his debut and his outfit looks absolutely ridiculous.

4) Ken Kennedy vs. The Undertaker – 6
This was a great match that had a totally different pace than the first two matches. The pace was slow and methodical and featured Undertaker hitting a sick leg drop on Kennedy while he was hanging over the apron. Kennedy came back to hit a sickening and outstanding piledriver. While everybody else online is complaining about the DQ finish, I though that it was necessary in order to protect both men. It was definitely the best match Undertaker has had since his series with Angle back earlier in the year.

5) Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero – Falls Count Anywhere Match – 7
This match didn’t spend much time in the ring but it told a tremendous story. Both men wanting to fight for the honor of Eddie Guerrero and willing to defend that honor at all costs. The crowd brawl, for once in a long time, had a point. Both bumped big and Rey hit a flying body press from the railing of a staircase to score the fall.

6) William Regal vs. Chris Benoit – 6
A fantastic surprise encounter which did nothing but add enjoyment to an already stellar broadcast. Both bled the hard way and beat the ever loving crap out of each other. They may have not of had the longest window to work with, but made the most of the time given.

7) Bobby Lashley vs. King Booker vs. Batista vs. Finlay – Fatal Four Way Match – 5
There some faults but came across as a tolerable main event. It also set up potential feuds down the line and maybe some eventual turns as well. The tease was well done at the end for Batista marks where he hit the powerbomb on Finlay and then got speared by Lashley. It worked because it teased both a Batista and Lashley title win but eventually Booker pinned Finlay.

Overall, this was a highly enjoyable pay-per-view (except for the MVP squash and the crap with Miz that I won’t even bother to mention) and is quite possibly the best Smackdown show of the year.

WWE Backlash '06

1. Carlito vs. Chris Masters – 5
2. Umaga vs. Ric Flair – 3
3. Mickie James vs. Trish Stratus – 2
4. Shelton Benjamin vs. Rob Van Dam – 7
5. Big Show vs. Kane – 2
6. Vince and Shane McMahon vs. Shawn Michaels and God - 5
7. John Cena vs. Triple H vs. Edge – 6

The youngsters Carlito and Masters mustered up an opener worthy of watching, complete with Masters’ powerbomb on the turnbuckles, a spot he doesn’t break out too often. Umaga destroyed Flair, essentially a squash, deserving of a little credit for Umaga’s physicality. James and Trish were on the path to perfunctory, until Trish suffered a legit injury, blowing out her shoulder taking a stupid bump to the floor. Shelton and Van Dam tore it up, taking match of the night honors, in a competitive and compelling bout. They gave this one some time, RVD bled from his face, and I was perfectly content, much like Shawn Michaels was when he coerced Bret Hart’s wife to let him jerk off in her mouth, seven months prior to her husband’s WWF departure. Big Show and Kane’s matched ended abruptly, and oddly, when Kane started hearing voices, which were supposedly in his head, although everyone in the crowd could also hear them over the public address system. Speaking of that aforementioned scum, Shawn Michaels, here he and his equally fake partner God battled the millionaire McMahon’s. Michaels tried to compensate for the utterly reprehensible storyline by working hard; he bled decently, killed Shane with a somersault, and even went flying off of the entrance stage with Vince through some elaborate structure posed as otherwise. Near the end, Shawn “leapt”, and I use the term lightly, as he basically fell, off of a gigantic ladder onto the awaiting Spirit Squad on the floor. The end of this train wreck featured more interference than OJ Simpson’s trial. The main event, pitting the current big time players in the industry, was enjoyable overall. It was basically little more than a brawl, but an entertaining one, with Edge being the weak link in my opinion. You could definitely do without ever seeing this show, but if you’re into intelligence insulting, subtly homosexual, poorly written and worse conceived sports entertainment than by all means buy it immediately.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Ring of Honor Final Battle 03

1 Bryan Danielson v. Jay Briscoe- 6

2 John Walters v. Xavier-6

3 Matt Stryker v. BJ Whitmer- 5

5 Mark Briscoe v. Samoa Joe-5

5 CM Punk/ Colt Cabana v. Tomaoki Honma/ Kazushi Miyamoto-5

6 AJ Styles v. Kaz Hayashi-6

7 Satoshi Kojima v.Homicide-4

8 Great Muta/ Arashi v. Christopher Daniels/ Dan Maff-4

This was the final show of the year, and ROH decided to co-promote with All Japan. The results were mixed. Danielson and Briscoe started the show off with a hot opener, a match that really set a pace and a stiff deliberate style that should hold up the rest of the event. Walters and Xavier was a crazy match that got a higher rating due to sheer number of insane spots, some of which, including the finish bombed worse than Jack Black hosting the VMA's. Stryker and Whitmer had a slow match that never really got exciting, much like their respective high school social lives. Mark B and Joe went at it for the world title, which wasn't really a high caliber title match, but they had a great dynamic. The next tag match was a joke that had some good spots, but mostly filled with mis communication. AJ and Kaz had the best match of the night as their styles meshed well. I was a little skeptical because I had heard such bad things about the match, but it really worked. Kojima and Homicide didn't have the stuff in their match. It lacked killer instinct and the believability both have shown in the past. And the main event was a dud. Muta showed nothing of the legend he is and Maff wimped out a performance worthy of someone with the last name of Armstrong. Overall the show declined in excitement, largely due to the inclusion and mis matching of All Japan's talent with ROH's.

Wrestling Society X - Episode #1

MTV doing a 30-minute pro wrestling show? Bands playing during wrestling shows? A ring announcer that yells like Don West on speed? I have a feeling I’m not going to enjoy this.

1) Jack Evans vs. Matt Sydal - 4
Two ROH stalwarts open up this interesting concept and that’s all I’m going to call it for now because that’s pretty much all it is until I see more of it. Anyway, this turns into a three-and-a-half minute spot fest, which for these guys, isn’t a bad thing. Evans wins with a sick twisting splash. Both guys looked good here and this was just a way to showcase their talents.

2) 10-Man WSX Rumble Match - 5
Participants: Justin Credible, Teddy Hart, Kaos, Puma, Vampiro, New Jack, Al Katrazz, Youth Suicide, 6-Pac, and Chris Hamrick
This is a Royal Rumble style match in which participants enter every 45 seconds. Set up at ringside are loads of tables, electrified cage, and electrified wire or some shit that will apparently explode upon impact. To win the match, after all ten men enter, then you have to grab a ladder and climb up and grab one of the contracts that are hanging from the ceiling. This was definitely original, I’ll give it that. Once someone hit the exploding or electrified stuff, the camera would shake and edited in effects would occur. Suicide ends up bumping into some tacks, Jack dives off something very high and Pac and Vampiro win the match.

I definitely liked this a hell of a lot more than I thought I would. The wild matches were a perfect fit for both this type show and MTV. I also think that 30 minutes is perfect for this because if it had lasted an hour, then I probably wouldn’t have a somewhat high opinion on it. I was also afraid that it being MTV, they’d focus more on the music than on the wrestling. However, the band played for only about 90 seconds and then the craziness ensued. I’d say check out at least one episode of this just to see how wild it is. I think it’s only scheduled for ten weeks so you might want to check it out sometime soon.

ECW TV – 1/9/07

1. Hardcore Holly vs. CM Punk – 4
2. Great Khali vs. Tommy Dreamer – 1
3. Kevin Thorne vs. Shannon Moore – 2
4. Rob Van Dam vs. Bobby Lashley – 4

Holly beat Punk clean; notable mainly because it’s bound to piss off a lot of Internet idiots void of a sex life, as far as the match went, it was pretty good for five or so minutes it lasted. Khali beating Dreamer was about as big a squash as the plastic one on your Grandma’s kitchen table as part of her cornucopia. Thorne also made short work of Moore, in another basic squash. RVD and Lashley put forth a commendable effort, but ultimately, the heinous finish, involving interference by chronic masturbator Test, overshadowed their work. Tazz’s commentary was more obnoxious than usual, Elijah Burke was blasted by a unconvincing cane shot by Sandman, and that’s about all the analysis I can muster up on this rancid pile of road kill.