Tuesday, October 30, 2007

WWF Royal Rumble '89 Co-Review

Jessie: Another Never Hand Over First: The Co-Review! Brian and I will both be adding comments to the same show, after we've both seen it. Since we'll be tag teaming this thing (not unlike Nick's Cherry popping, tits sagging, cock blowing for rent paying, slayed every Van Bever brother in 4 generations friend, Vicky, right, Ed?) , look for either me or Brian's name for comments. Onto it!

1. Hart Foundation and Jim Duggan vs. Fabulous Rougeaus and Dino Bravo - 2 out of 3 Falls Match (B:6 J:6)

Brian: I could see some thinking 6 is an awfully generous score, but in reality, everybody in this match did what it was we expected and anticipated. The Rougeaus were fabulous pricks, just being completely coy and smarmy. Duggan’s timing was impeccable and I was downright surprised, and Hart ate a bunch of stuff, including his patented sternum-first bump into the turnbuckles. The first fall was won when Raymond pinned Bret after the “Bombe de Rougeau”, an incredible double-team maneuver that made the Road Warriors’ “Doomsday Device” look pussy in comparison. Duggan evened things back up in the second fall, and in the third and deciding fall, we got some hokey stuff involving Duggan’s 2x4 but it didn’t deter me from loving this.

Jessie: 6 seems just right to me; 2 out of 3 falls is such a great concept and they used it to their advantage. The heels were awesome, with the Rougeaus really nailing that aspect of the French that we Americans hate so much. I loved Bravo celebrating after every move like he won a Publishers' Clearing House. Bret was the selling meat of the match and had a kick ass hooking clothesline. Yeah, that 2nd fall was a great finish and the crowd was addicted to cheering USA, even though only 2/3 of the faces were in fact American.

2. Rockin' Robin vs. Judy Martin (J:3 B:3)

Jessie: Rockin' Robin is the reason Vince gives all his Divas new breasts. She had a lot of fire, threw a lot of wild punches and clotheslines, sort of agile as well. Martin noticeably had melonoma growing on her arms but she threw some decent hooks with them. If any lady described the term "Grizzled Veteran" it was her. The scientific stuff looked bad, like the small package but Robin had some nuance to her performance, a few very realistic sells, so I was impressed slightly. The finish was pretty unmemorable but there were small spurts of enjoyable action.

Brian: I think Robin with big, gnarly fake tits would potentially be scarier. This would have benefited had the Houston crowd gave one iota, but most of them were running to the restroom or the merchandise booth to get “Macho Man” Randy Savage shades. The highlight for this for me was Sensational Sherri doing color commentary. Robin’s match winning flying crossbody didn’t even warm Houston’s hearts.

3. King Haku vs. Harley Race (B:5 J:5)

Brian: This was pretty awesome in that is was rare during these days to see two heels go at it, especially at such a high-profile show, and they were both seconded by Bobby Heenan. The crowd didn’t seem to care much for this either, but I was enjoying it immensely. Race’s first couple clotheslines looked much weaker than I’d hoped for, but both guys eventually got some steam behind them and started laying stuff in. Race took multiple hurty-looking bumps to the floor. It’s sad Harley didn’t get a more memorable run during his WWF stint. Haku won with a reverse thrust kick that could kill a small child.

Jessie: I leaned on this one, hovering over a 4 but this was just a fight and i can't believe the crowd couldn't respect that. yeah, you never saw heel v. heel during this time, but Race is a bad dude even if he was wearing purple trunks. I thought Race was bumping just for the sake of it after a while because he fell out of the ring so much, but him tipping Haku's ceremonial throne was a true pleasure. That finishing Kick was enough to kill me! Two gnarly old bruisers just beating away and i think Brian,you said it best that those were probably two of the toughest guys in the business, ever, period.

4. 30 Man Royal Rumble (J:6 B:6)

Jessie: I will give this a slight thumbs up. The Rumble is always a fun match to watch because there are so many guys in there and this was no exception. Seeing as it's 18 years old, there were tons of great legends coming in every 120 seconds, so it was a real treat to see some in their prime. The Rumble is usually divided up into a few different groups: the first group is the core group of guys that are going to hold it together but not be a big threat, usually a seasoned vet. Andre the Giant, Curt Henning, and Greg Valentine provided a lot of direction in the first half and kept the match going. The problem with the second half is you had Big John and Akeem and neither were directing traffic very well. Then, you have your playmakers (if I can borrow that express from Montel Vontavious); these are the top favorites who come in and dominate. Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan were the two most noticeable here. Then, you have the largest group which is everyone else, mostly guys just milling about and exchanging punches with a few quick eliminations. There was an endless array of talent to watch and most of it ranging from decent to pretty good workers; the only really off guys I noticed were the Bushwhackers, Honky Tonk and Beefcake. Best elimination went to Rooster, who fell flat on his face after tumbling to the ground and pussiest elimination went to either Akeem or Hogan, both who were practically already out of the ring when they fell a mere few inches to go out. The finish of the Rumble came down to Big John and Million Dollar Man. Dibiase is usually a great guy to have in the Rumble but his skills were wasted as he came in #30 and barely engaged anyone. Studd wins after a lackluster toss of Dibiase over the top rope. It was a pretty anticlimatic finish to a Rumble that started out pretty damn exciting and lost a lot of sizzle as the match progressed. The last 6 or 7 guys were mostly midcarders that no one cared about so it was kind of hard to get into the match even though some of them were pretty competent. I would still recommend it over all, in the scale of Rumble matches.

Brian: I think Jessie did a good job of covering this from all the angles, and I agree with his sentiments. While the ending wasn’t spectacular or really memorable, overall, there was enough solid stuff to warrant seeking this out, and placing it nearer the upper echelon of Rumble matches than anything WWE has produced lately. When Butch Miller had the third longest amount of in-ring time, clocking a little over 18 minutes, you know this isn’t going to be a technical masterpiece. Mr. Perfect lasted the longest; a couple seconds shy of 28 minutes, and was arguably the MVP of the match. He took a couple of his trademark bumps. Hogan eliminated 9 people himself, nearly one-third of the competitors, including Koko B. Ware who barely lasted a minute (damn it!) and Warlord, who lasted literally 3 seconds! Props also are necessary for Andre the Giant, who lasted nearly 15 minutes, and had some of the best facials and selling psychology of anyone on the entire show. I agree with Jessie on the best elimination being Red Rooster, as I just loved seeing Terry Taylor eat a face full of ground.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

WWE Great American Bash '07

1) Matt Hardy v. MVP- 4

I'm a huge Mattitude follower, and parts of this I really liked, like the beginning arm lock sequences, especially with the Konnan roll throughs on the hammerlocks, but utimately, MVP was bleeding green through his violet-hued ring attire. His top spots looked sloppy and uninspired and he noticeably was confused during a few sequences. Kudos to Matt for taking a nasty bump on his head from the 2nd rope though.

2) Cruiserweight Open- 3

I feel like this has been done to death, like Survivor. You get a general idea how it will go before it even starts, no one will have a chance to shine and no one will set a pace. Chavo as the veteran did a poor job of establishing that. Funaki threw several great enzugiri's but that's as much as I remember. Except another McMahon wins a title, this time it was that little green leprecauhn.

3) Carlito v. Sandman(Cane on a pole)- 2

The novely of this drunk gimmick wore off years ago. Why on earth you have Sandman wrestle a normal match is beyond me. Carlito threw some decent dropkicks but these two together was a horrible mix. Sandman's strikes looked like a broken golf club trying to hit a 350 yd drive. Thankfully it was short

4) Candice Michelle v. Melina- 4

Up until this point in the show, this was the best match. Melina had some really innovative offense and they were both throwing their stuff at full force. Candice played face in peril quite well and I was legitimately worried about her breasts popping. The finish was flat (a bulldog) but the match had fire and that was something largely lacking from the other matches.

5) Umaga v. Jeff Hardy- 7

Jeff is back in a big way. He sold all of the Samoan's stuff like he got in a wreck on the highway and flipped three times from the driver's side window. Umaga even showed some good pacing in the match and Hardy didn't do anything too wreckless aka unnecessary. The Swanton bomb was one of the great nearfalls of 2007. Umaga's finishing sequence was right out of ROH, fast paced and devastatingly effective.

6) John Morrison v. CM Punk- 4

Who thought a Doors gimmick would get over in 2007? Who's brainchild was that? Anyways, Punk and Morrison both worked good and bad. Morrison was bumping like a madman for some moves and others, he pussed out for. Punk was working stiff at some points and others really held back. I couldn't get into the match due to the fact that they both wanted to make the match legit but then again, they didn't. Some of Punk's bumps were largely neutered for less impact and Morrison covered up on a lot of strikes. Plus, the finish was kind of dumb, I understand his stomach was being worked over, but unless you had a massive back up of turdage in your system I don't see how a knee strike (that missed regardless) would finish you.

7) Dusty Rhodes v. Randy Orton (Bullrope Match)- 5

This was simplistically fantastic. Orton's slow no hands up sells when he hits the mat are so fucking real. Dusty had the crowd hyped and Orton knew exactly how to get the most out of Dusty's goofy offense with Dusty doing as little as physically possible. I loved the bell shot he gave him to win, righteously stiff. For what this was, it was almost as tasty as Pam Sanders' Pumpkin Mousse….almost.

8) Great Khali v. Kane v. Batista- 1
Kane blows Khali's Punjabi Peehole- most pointless table spot in 10 years

9) John Cena v. Bobby Lashley- 6

This match had a big time main event feel to it, Cena needed to reign in all he knew to make it worthy. They started out very basic and got the fans into early with very simple exchanges. Cena's facials showed the true struggle of fighting a stronger black man who has more up's than you and a bigger cup size. Of course, Lashley's middle class white man's voice kind of balances all that out. The problem with this match is the problem with a lot of younger guys main eventing is when it gets into later time, Lashley doesn't have a move set to use. He virtually hit nothing in the last few minutes of this match where as Cena knows all his big spots and has impeccable timing with all of them. The finish was sloppy as hell and really was a letdown but most everything leading to it was good. This match was kept short, wisely.

William Regal vs. Super Crazy – (WWE Heat 6/22/07) – 5

Here’s a forgotten gem from the summer of ’07. Regal ate a couple really nice Crazy dropkicks early on. Later, Regal exudes his superior psychology, selling an arm that had been worked over prior, wincing and extending it to gauge the damage done. There’s a great sequence where they both start throwing wild punches in the middle of the ring. I love the way Regal kills himself on backdrops, and then showcases pain so well with his distinct facials. The ending saw Crazy miss a moonsault then Regal came off the ropes for momentum and nailed him with a brutal knee. Forgot that bootleg of Sydney White and go download this.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Performer Analysis: Tommy Dreamer

Tommy Dreamer The "heart and soul" of ECW- sounds like an oxymoron to me. Besides that point, it's time for Tommy's N-H-F'N-O's Analysis!

1) Innovation- 8/10

Let's see how innovative the "Innovator of Violence" really is: (sidenote: because coming up with cool weapons, while very appealing to my eyes, does not entitle you to be labeled innovative)- wore lime green suspenders, check - used real life canning of stupid fuck in Singapore to exploit as an angle and get the snot beat out of him with said singapore cane, check- embroiled in long blood feud with cutting edge character for his time, check - ate Undertaker's chaw on live TV, check He's pretty high up there! Dreamer, whether you can credit him or not, was the performer in 2 of ECW's most famous feuds, the kinds of feuds that made it the sleazy, violent, kayfabe-less garbage wrestling that fans were clamoring for at that time. He made them work as a face the people could rally behind because let's face it, he wasn't pretty (let me use that in the present tense) he's never been pretty, not in good shape, not a great technician, he was more like the person sitting in the front row than a wrestling superstar. That's what made him and ECW innovative.

2) Conditioning- 6/10

Dreamer isn't the most muscular specimen on any roster, and I'm sure he'd be the first to admit it. He has significant muscle tone on his arms, but there's a reason the guy has worn a t-shirt to wrestle in for the last 15 years. And while I have no doubt his long and brutal career has most definitley warranted him a few lonely nights with some bottles of painkillers and prostitutes, I've never known them to be a hamper to him or heard of him using as frequently as others in the business. His doughy physique shows the effects of choosing not to work out as much as most perfomers. But, Dreamer has went the distance in some other matches, but has slowed down considerably in later years.

3) Skill- 7/10

I'm going to give Tommy a seven, not mostly for his wrestling prowess, which is covered in Basics but for his incredible heart in the ring. He used to be a glutton for punishment and has taken too many sick and nasty bumps to account for in his career, albeit if most were sloppy. Tommy is kind of like a DDP, an older guy who still seems to care about what he puts out in the ring, but he never seems to try as hard as when there are no rules involved. Tommy in a regular match can pass through it, put together some decent spots, but in a hardcore match, he's definitley more motivated and it shows.

4) Psychology- 8/10

In years gone past, I would have given Tommy a 10 because he learned precisely how to get into the minds of his fans and get them to rally behind him like no other. He uses very good facials when he takes a dramatic bump and can sell a body part, as opposed to his recent stint in the "new" ECW. But, as with every athlete, age takes it's toll and Dreamer has lost a step in this department, I'd say for one factor that it probably isn't pushed as much or emphasized despite JR's claim that it is still important to key people in WWE.

5) Interviews- 6/10

Dreamer isn't a great talker; he's decent, he can cut a face promo, with a little twinge of disturbed in it and he can sell a match really well too, but that's about it. He has a clear voice, one that's easy to listen to but I don't think he has the kind of commanding presence on the mic that he requires at some points. I don't hate him on the mic, that 's for sure but I wouldn't call him a stand out either.

6) Character- 6/10

Tommy's character, "the Innovator of Violence" was cleverly crafted by Paul E. to help get Dreamer over and not expose his weaknesses, as Paul did with everybody in ECW. Dreamer can take a tremendous beating and can get the fans behind him in a good face comeback sequence and did it numerous times in the old ECW. He took some hellacious bumps, got lacerated severly, beaten with a chair and he kept fighting, he didn't always win, but he did keep coming and that was the lifeblood of the character. Nowadays, as ECW Original, heart and soul of ECW, he's actually kind of pathetic. He still doesn’t' win matches, but now, sometimes he doesn't even put up a fight. None of the tools that helped make him into a star are given to him anymore and he looks lost without them. Dreamer never worked heel in ECW, any incarnation and that also takes away points, even though he has been an extremely successful babyface.

7) Basics- 5/10

Pure scientific wrestling is one thing you can't count on in a Tommy Dreamer match. You just won't see it. He can work a side headlock take down and some other little things but that will only be against someone pretty proficient in that style that he'll do it with. Dreamer has never campainged that this was his strong suit and to boot, his basic wrestling punches are nothing to write home about and his kicks are lazy. His brawling,bloodlusted punches are pretty spot on but when does he have a chance to use them now?

8) Fans- 8/10

Several years ago, I may have registered him at a 10, but when you really look at it, the ECW populous has dwindled and they don't account for the majority of the wrestling fans in the world; most of those are WWE fans, and they are kind of indifferent towards Tommy nowadays. The only reason I would give him this high of a score is because he can make the people pop with his hardcore stylings and he is and will probably always be associated with the name ECW. It's very rare, outside of an old ECW fan cam video that you will ever hear a 'Tommy' chant, but anytime Dreamer comes out, you'll be sure to hear an "ECW,ECW" chant.

9) Feuds/ Opponents- 8/10

Dreamer, as I stated previously, had some of the biggest wars in ECW's bloody and violent history. His feuds and angles with the likes of Sandman and Raven and his Flock were some of the most brutal and well planned out storylines that have come around the world of wrestling in a long time and will always be remembered. It took a lot of careful planning and cultivating to use that Dreamer v. Raven feud for the better part of 2 years and despite both men's wayward careers these days and the lack of WWE-influence in them, it was a damn hell of a great feud and Dreamer gets points for it, as did Raven in his analysis. Dreamer has wrestled in every kind of stipulation match and battled almost everyone that entered an ECW ring from Jason to Sid. During his 2 WWE runs, he got to tangle with a variety of new opponents and while I wouldn't call anything he's done memorable, he has gotten to face the gammet of great, not so great and current superstars like Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, Booker T, Big Show, Bobby Lashley, Undertaker, Edge, Mick Foley as well as the 7 foot shit-sicle Great Khali.

10) Gutcheck- 10/10

If Tommy Dreamer didn't have tremendous heart, he would have been Barry Horowitz. I just don't mean Jewish, I mean a floundering wrestler who never found an ioata of success. But, Dreamer does have that and a willingness to push his body to the limits of pain and see how far it will take him. He has broken his back and his neck in the name of ECW and continues to punish his withering body. I don't know if anyone is calling for one last comeback for him, but I'm sure Tommy has it in him to pull one out if need be, even though he looks mechanical and unengaged in almost every match he's nowadays. But, it's not just heart, but his guts and even though I don't get into all of his matches, or would put him in a Hall of Fame, I respect Tommy Dreamer because I see something in him that I feel and that is a love for this fucked up business that eats up bodies and spits them out for breakfast. It takes courage to love something that doesn't give a shit about you and that's a harsh reality but it's become more and more apparent in recent times. Sorry to go on a rant there; Tommy Dreamer, good luck.

Total Score: 72
Ranking: Superstar
PO: Thumbs Middle

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

No Prom Date #4- Hall of Fame Edition

Remember how proms had themes? Mine was Millenium, whatever the hellthat was supposed to mean? It was decorated in space suit silver, as if we really were all going to be donning that same strange outfit in the future, like that old Jerry Seinfeld joke. Made no sense. Well, the theme to this review is Hall of Famers, I'm speaking of course of NHO Hall of Famers, our latest class. Basically the premise is I went to everyone's favorite video distribution site, You Tube and put in a name of one of our prestigious HOF's in the search tool and watched the first match that popped up under that performer's name. Here are the results:

1) Mankind v. Shawn Michaels (Extreme Rules)- 5

This starts out with a garbage spot, literally. A big plasticrolling garbage can was dumped all over Foley's head; wonder if hespotted his 3rd autobiography in there? Foley took a nasty suplex on ashitty announce table and had to have been all kinds of hurt. Michaelsthen dove off the apron with an absolutely crazy elbow drop that knocked both men in the floor. They tried to break the table, yet again, and failed, but they did succeed in furthering Foley's continuous neck problems by falling awkwardly on the wooden surface. The end of this match is the set up to DX forming, with HHH, Chyna and alumni Hall of Famer Rick Rude coming down to ringside. Rude obliterated Foley's already horrifying face with a chair shot and DX is born. This match wasn't really a match at all, it was like the beginnings of WWE's faux hardcore division except for a few of the spots in this one actually seemed inspired and didn't involve a trash can lid. I can't score it extremely high because not a damn bit of wrestling went on but both guys took some punishment that was well worth watching.

2) 2 Cold Scorpio v. Shane Douglas (A Matter of Respect- 05/14/96 ECW)-7

When I first clicked the video for this, I wasn't expectingmuch, I mean come on, It's the coke head Shane Douglas, but I'll bedamned if I wasn't surprised. This match started out with somewrestling, something Douglas needed some coaching on, but they wereplaying more of a one upsmanship game with both men giving really goodfacials. 2 Cold was an underrated heel. Their chemistry was evidentthen it went outside and Douglas executed a plancha that resembled adead body being thrown into the Boston Harbor by a mobster. After that, I wet myself because 2 Cold took an absolute sick ass Fangoria horror makeup Gunnar Hansen's a Girl Scout compared to this- slingshot suplex off the ropes onto the guardrail! It was by god one of the craziest guardrail spots I've ever seen and that's saying a lot. After that, they went into the normal ECW bad crowd brawl section and both men their wind back as fat asses in New Jack T's chanted "ECW" whileslurping on a stale Coke and wishing they knew how a girl's touch felt.Back at ringside, Douglas powerbombed 2 Cold on the concrete, kind ofstiffly. They brawled back inside and 2 Cold showed off his diplomafrom the Lance Storm School of How to Swing a Chair, meaning he did itlike a nutless stooge. He made up for it by hitting a back flip kick on the apron that looked better than any stunt in the last 2 Matrix movies. The finish was really awesome, Douglas and 2 cold fought for supremacy on the top rope which is 2 Cold's domain, but Douglas got the better and hit a bootyful Belly to Belly for the win.

3) Barry Windham v. Steve Austin (TV Title) - 3

Alright, my #1 pick Barry Windham, this should be good. Theyare working at a slow pace and Windham is using an armlock that looksmore painful to him seeing as how his wrist is tied up behind his ownarm. Strange. BAM! He does his car crash bump to the outside where his hip hits the ring apron and absolutely kills him. Austin is prettynimble back in the day, a far cry removed from his WWE main events ofsloppily punching and trading barbs with HHH about Vince's soggygrapefruits. Austin then works a bearhug....what a minute, what thefu... why is Austin working a bearhug... for 4 minutes? He's anythingbut a power wrestler and Windham looks like Baby Huey in Austin's arms.Windham belts out a few decent punches before a bullshit title beltfinish caps off this lame duck. Pretty disappointing, albeit not asdissapointing as the live action "Transformers" flick which sucked a lot of COCK!

4) Roddy Piper v. Shawn Michaels (1992)- 4

Another Michaels match. I never knew these two wrestled so thisshould be interesting. Sherri looks under Piper's kilt and laughs.Heenan laughs. Michaels laughs. Piper slaps her on the ass andMichaels gets pissed. Heenan laughs. Piper gets the crowd fired up and Michaels tries some over hand wrist lock thing that Piper reverses and uses the Piper Poke. I laugh. Gorilla laughs. Heenan laughs again. They do an awesome reversal pin out of an atomic drop that I've never seen before. Piper makes out with Sherri. Gorilla laughs. I vomit. Heenan is still fucking laughing. Piper makes some strange faces and sells like he was squirted with a water bottle when Michaels transitions into his false finish, that Piper blocks. Bret comes down the aisle and throws a wet towel into Piper, who looks utterly confused. Heenan laughs OUT FUCKING LOUD! Did the Joker spray some green gas through the ventilation in his dressing room? Piper get's DQ'd. Bret smiles. Gorilla complains. Sherri laughs. Michaels laughs. I say "what the fuck?" and Heenan won't stop laughing. I went to bed.

5)Jushin "Thunder" Lyger v. Samoa Joe (Bound for Glory 2006)- 3

I thought I missed this when it originally aired because the ppvcompany's feed went out. Now, I'm glad I did. This was short andawfully low impact. Joe actually worked a chinlock from the 5:30 mark to 7:30 in a 9 minute match. The end came after Lyger himself had justdone a superpowerbomb, which looked weak. You know how hard it wouldhave to be to make that move look weak? Well, it certainly happened.Lyger's palm thrusts were on, but he looked as uncomfortable in the sixsided ring as Michael Richards would at a 50 Cent concert. This reallymissed the mark and Tenay's shilling as a "dream match" felt forced andmade him look stuipder than his ridiculous monkey lips do already.

6)The Great Muta v. Jushin "Thunder" Lyger (10-20-96)- 5

Whoa, okay, I'm not really sure how to describe this match foranyone that hasn't seen it. It's kind of crazy, but not altogether in a good way. First, off Muta did his finest Larry Zybyzsko impression of stalling for long periods of time, but he went into the crowd and scared small Japanese fan boys out of their seats. They came back in and worked some classic shoulderblock stuff, then Lyger got his high flying advantage. Muta gets superpissed then piledrives Lyger through a ringside table and I feel like Muta had been studying some Memphis tapes because he's playing just like Lawler. Muta then just assaults Lyger with the table throwing at him on the outside. Then he starts tearing the mask off of him! Muta just seemed so pissed, but once the mask come off, Lyger was wearing Muta face paint underneath then went nuts and started tearing his entire suit off. He was completely tattooed up underneath and started beating Muta's ass like his name was Chuck Norris. They played hide and seek under the ring and then they both brought in weapons and it turned into a WWE hardcore schlock fest with Muta gaining the win after another table spot and his famous moonsault. This match was an oddity, and I have to give it an extra point just forhow bizarre it was.

7)Steve "Dr. Death" Williams & Terry "Bam Bam" Gordy v. SteinerBrothers(Beach Blast 92)-8

I love this match. We just watched UFC 74 (where Randy Couture defied the odds again)and this match had a feel like a UFC fight, whereas all 4 guys would go into sequences where they were jockeying forpositions, trying to out do each other, the patience and positioningmade this feel like a real fight. Doc and Gordy were stiff as all hell, stiffer than I remember. Even with submissions, when Gordy grabbed an ankle pick late in the match, he jerked all the way back and yanked on it like it was the last drumstick on Thanksgiving. He could have pulled Excalibur from the stone with the strength he used on Scott's leg. The story was the Steiners were the most dominating, destuctive team of all time, until Doc and Gordy showed up (in their black Japanese kimonos)and they absolutely beat the dogshit out of the Steiners until they could barely walk. The ending sequence was great and Rick Steiner played a better face in peril than his over roided brother and made an awesome comeback. They were rushing to get all their spots in for the finish, but it didn't deter me from being a huge fan of this shit. Both teams brought their sneers and snarls and neither team was going to back off an inch. Seek this out, it's for your own good.

8) Davey Boy Smith v. Owen Hart (night after Summerslam 96)- 4

This match took place in a very bouncy ring; I noticed both guyslanded awkwardly on several bumps and didn't look happy about it. Davey looked incredibly thin and younger, photographic evidence of his drug abuse. Davey had a great forearm but the shoestrings tied to his boots is reminiscent of streamers hanging from a little girls bike. Both guys seemed really comfortable with each other and what I saw of the match was quite solid. I was bombarded by a managerial war by Sunny & James E., who was sweating much like Sunny would later that night when having a slop pen 3-some with the Godwinns. They pulled off a great spot on the outside where Owen hit his Spin kick but Davey was obviously setting himself up for Sunny's coffee spot which was about as lame as anyone of Puff Daddy's 8 nicknames.

9) "Ravishing" Rick Rude v. "Gentleman" Chris Adams- 5

This is early in both men's careers yet Rude still had anaffinity for abstract tights, this particular pair was neon rainbowstriped, like the background for those Max Hedrome ads. I think I justdated myself. Anyways, Adams also was adorned with his own ghastlyaccessory, a massive mask that was supposed to be a nose protector, asRude had broken it previously. Rude was bumping all over the arena like a madman in a wild brawl and I liked his psych because he tried to fight back but sold it like Adams was just too incensed to feel it. Percy Pringle was at ringside and he actually wasn't 700 pounds of butter and grits, for once. They worked an extended chin lock sequence and Adams tried his superkick about 70 times, his only go to spot. By the end of the match when he finally hit it, it was more worn out than Madonna's wooly carpet which probably more resembles a doormat. You could tell by watching this that Rude would become a star and Adams would become a coked out gardener in his later years.

10) Bret "Hitman" Hart v. Will "Skitman" Sasso- 1

SOMETHING'S WRONG! (inside joke), no, something is seriouslywrong. This whole Youtube experiment just went drastically wrong whenthe first match that pops up under Bret "Hitman" Hart is one againstperennial un-funny man and fat ass Will Sasso. I can't believe this was even a match. Tony Schiavone sounded as enthusiastic as if he had just found out his grandmother was euthanized. Sasso took a good clothesline bump though and it was funny watching him hit the cement ground hard. Bret tried to hit him with a chair and the ugly skank from Mad TV, no not the pudgy white one from Scrubs, the skinny black club rat from the Sprite commercials took the chair away....then, a SWERVE! She hit Sasso with it: this has Russo's name written all over it. I can't believe this actually fucking happened. I'm truly sorry Bret, not that Goldberg kicked you in the head, not that Vince screwed you over, not that your brother died a very tragic death doing what he loved best, but that you had to lace up your boots to go fight a D-List canole stuffing comedy skit actor on prime time TV. We are all sorry.

Bonus match:Hey, everybody loves a Bonus! This was a match emailed to me by ourvery own webmaster Brian featuring 2 of the new HOF class members:

B) Barry Windham v. Keiji Mutoh- 5

I've seen this spot in another one of their matches, this longdrawn out headlock sequence and they work it like Necro takes garbagebumps, or Pavarotti hits a high note, or DeNiro puts the emphasis on the sharp "f" when he says "FUCK YOU!" in a great scene. The match is slow, but you can see that every move means something. Just because Muta misses a dropkick doesn't mean Windham hits 6 crazy power moves in a row, he punches Muta, and takes his time doing it. Windham has a great lariat, unless he slips like he did off the 2nd rope nearly. Muta finishes strong with a accurate moonsault and all the Japanese fans clap politely. I'm in the mood for shrimp all of a sudden.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Top #100 Matches of WCW Saturday Night ‘99

This list was originally going to contain all matches from WCW Saturday Night in ’99. But, after a few weeks of watching stuff, Jessie moved out of his apartment, got married, and I’m taking classes at three different campuses simultaneously so this got put on indefinite hold. I didn’t want our rankings and analysis to go waste, so here’s what we did watch and what we thought of it:

1. Devon Storm vs. Chuck Palumbo (12/04)
2. Chris Benoit vs. Devon Storm (12/11)
3. Devon Storm vs. Jaime Howard (11/13)
4. Konan and Billy Kidman vs. El Dandy and Silver King (11/13)
5. Silver King vs. Eric Watts (2/27)
6. La Parka vs. Lash LeRoux (11/13)
7. Barry Darsow and Bobby Eaton vs. Dave Taylor and Lord Steven Regal (8/14)
8. Lord Steven Regal vs. Steve Armstrong (12/11)
9. Texas Outlaws vs. Lord Steven Regal and Dave Taylor (11/13)
10. Perry Saturn vs. Chris Adams (11/27)
11. Jeremy Lopez vs. Kid Romeo (11/20)
12. Lenny Lane vs. Juventud Guerrera (2/27)
13. The Armstrongs vs. Nick Dinsmore and Mike Sullivan (1/9)
14. Chris Adams vs. Eddy Guerrero (8/7)
15. Sonny Siaki vs. Chuck Palumbo (11/20)
16. Chris Benoit vs. Scotty Riggs (12/04)
17. Fit Finlay and Dave Taylor vs. The Armstrongs (1/30)
18. Lash LeRoux vs. Villano IV (12/11)
19. Devon Storm vs. Booker T (12/18)
20. Silver King vs. Villano V (12/04)
21. Elix Skipper vs. Brian Bernick (11/20)
22. Villanos vs. Disorderly Conduct (12/18)
23. Bull Payne vs. Bobby Duncum Jr. (1/9)
24. Mike Enos vs. Lash LeRoux (8/14)
25. Chris Adams vs. Curt Hennig (11/20)
26. Kaz Hayashi vs. Evan Karagias (11/20)
27. Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Psychosis vs. Kidman (1/30)
28. Buddy Lee Parker vs. Perry Saturn (2/27)
29. Disorderly Conduct vs. Fit Finlay and Dave Taylor (1/9)
30. Chuck Palumbo vs. Mark Jindrak (12/18)
31. Villano IV vs. Juventud Guerrera (11/27)
32. Norman Smiley vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr. (1/30)
33. Van Hammer vs. Johnny Swinger (2/27)
34. Bobby Blaze vs. Perry Saturn (1/30)
35. Chris Benoit vs. Barry Darsow (11/13)
36. Chris Adams vs. Dean Malenko (12/18)
37. Lizmark Jr. vs. Jerry Flynn (11/13)
38. Bad Barry Horrowitz vs. Eddy Guerrero (11/20)
39. Kendall Windham vs. Meng (2/27)
40. Dave Burkhead vs. Ernest Miller (8/7)
41. Jerry Flynn vs. Disciple (2/27)
42. Scott Armstrong vs. Dave Taylor (12/18)
43. Disorderly Conduct vs. The Armstrongs (12/04)
44. Dave Burkhead vs. Juventud Guerrera (11/20)
45. Kenny Kaos and Bobby Eaton vs. La Parka and Silver King (1/9)
46. Barry Horrowitz vs. Hardwork Walker (8/14)
47. Perry Saturn vs. Bad Barry Horrowitz (12/11)
48. Chris Adams vs. Lenny Lane (1/30)
49. Vampiro vs. Villano V (11/20)
50. Curly Bill vs. Lash LeRoux (11/27)
51. Harlem Heat vs. Disorderly Conduct (8/7)
52. Chris Jericho vs. Manny Fernandez (1/30)
53. Allan Funk vs. Evan Karagias (12/11)
54. Steve Armstrong vs. The Cat (2/27)
55. Mikey Whipwreck vs. Bobby Blaze (8/14)
56. Glacier vs. Lash LeRoux (1/9)
57. Barry and Kendall Windham vs. B.A. and Swoll (8/7)
58. Brian Knobbs vs. Villano V (8/7)
59. Sonny Siaki vs. Disco Inferno (12/18)
60. Elix Skipper vs. Kid Romeo (12/11)
61. Glacier vs. Barry Horrowitz (1/30)
62. Sonny Siaki vs. Rick Cornell (11/27)
63. Steve Armstrong vs. Kidman (8/14)
64. Creative Control vs. Lord Steven Regal and Dave Taylor (12/04)
65. Silver King vs. Horace Hogan (8/7)
66. Disco Inferno vs. Adrian Byrd (8/14)
67. Elix Skipper vs. Allan Funk (11/27)
68. Elix Skipper vs. Allan Funk (12/04)
69. Disciple vs. Barbarian (8/14)
70. Barbarian vs. Meng (2/27)
71. Al Green vs. Bam Bam Bigelow (1/9)
72. Mike Enos vs. Villano V (1/30)
73. Al Green vs. Norman Smiley – Hardcore (11/13)
74. Hugh Morrus vs. Emory Hale (1/30)
75. Berlyn vs. Johnny Attitude (11/20)
76. Jerry Flynn and Hugh Morrus vs. Public Enemy (8/7)
77. Rick Cornell vs. Allan Funk (11/13)
78. Meng vs. Dave Burkhead (12/18)
79. Chad Fortune vs. Kendall Windham (1/30)
80. Berlyn vs. Frankie Lancaster (11/27)
81. Juventud Guerrera vs. Psychosis (8/7)
82. Mike Sanders vs. Rick Cornell (12/11)
83. Erik Watts vs. Disco Inferno (11/13)
84. Jeff Jarrett vs. Johnny Attitude (12/11)
85. Meng vs. Johnny Attitude (11/27)
86. Spyder vs. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan (8/7)
87. The Wall vs. Dave Burkhead (12/04)
88. La Parka vs. Evan Karagias (12/04)
89. Buddy Lee Parker vs. Mongo McMichael (1/9)
90. Norman Smiley vs. Fidel Sierra – Hardcore (12/04)
91. Jeff Jarrett vs. Adrian Byrd (11/27)
92. Creative Control vs. Texas Outlaws (11/27)
93. Adrian Byrd vs. The Wall (12/11)
94. Dave Burkhead vs. Bobby Blaze (1/9)
95. Eric Watts vs. Al Green (8/14)
96. Sid Vicious vs. Al Green (12/18)
97. Chase Tatum vs. The Gambler (1/9)
98. Sid Vicious vs. La Parka (8/7)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Ring of Honor: Live in Tokyo- Tokyo, Japan 07/16/07 (DVD)

1. Rocky Romero & Davey Richards vs. Jack Evans & Kotaro Suzuki- 5

I like the team of Richards and Romero; they both have a good look and they work very snug, Richards especially. I really have a hard time swallowing Jack Evan's offense against Richards because he's such a thick brute and Evans stuff just looks like bullets bouncing off Superman's chest. Besides some ill advised planchas to the floor, there are not many mistakes made here. Suzuki and Richards look more like partners, nearly having identical tights. I thought this match was way too long for an opening tag because I had a feeling it was going to have the same extended "everyone kicks out of everyone elses finishes" sequence that is a ROH staple, and I was right. I don't want to see that in the first match of the show.

2. Shuhei Taniguchi vs. Akihiko Ito- 5

While not worked in the same style, this dojo boy match seemed to have more passion in the right places. Even though I couldn't pick these two's faces from a lineup, I remember the fire they brought, especially in a chop fest sequence and some dangerous Germans. It was quite simple and that was a refreshing change from the usual back and forth spot fests ROH produces.

3. Jimmy Rave vs. B.J. Whitmer- 2

Jimmy Rave reminds me of my step brother when he was younger and all I ever wanted to do was punch him in the teeth. BJ reminds me of buying some Noxzema at the grocery store. There was a pretty neat suplex spot over the top rope but again I stress, was that much of a high risk spot really necessary in a throwaway midcard match? I get scared that when this crop of ROH guys are the veterans in wrestling, the steroid problem will have continued because everyone is constantly trying to top each other, even these two uninspired Munsons.

4. Bryan Danielson vs. Go Shiozaki - 8

I want to stand up and clap thinking of this match. This was Go's coming out party and he was certainly a Dapper Dan Man at this showing. As I stated earlier, this match stood out because there was that high intensity showdown of moves against each other but also some wonderful story telling shown. Danielson is quite the great worker and was on here. Go looked like a younger Kobashi and his strikes were something to fear; the psych they worked with Danielson blocking those and eventually hurting his own arm was fantastic. This was a huge war and the finish paid divedinds. Great submissions and transitions from both men and Danielson's super back suplex had the couch cushion under me wetter than Kelly Kelly at a dildough shop.

5. Roderick Strong vs. Delirious (Fight Without Honor)- 5

Delirious and Strong's styles didn't seem to gel for me. In a match where you can do anything, I really wouldn't think this would even be a beliavable match up as Strong is much stronger and tougher. He gave Delirious a backbreaking slam on a ladder propped between the ring and guard rail at one point that had everyone in the room cringing. Both men have a great move set but the match didn't live up to the hype I was hoping. And not one spot on the awesome Japanese style runway ramp was disappointing.

6. Jay Briscoe, Mark Briscoe & Naomichi Marufuji vs. Matt Sydal, Ricky Marvin & Atsushi Aoki - 7

There is some amazing talent in this match from the ever improving Marufuji and the two brothers that could be their uncles because their mother fucked their cousins Briscoe Brothers and on the other side, Pegasus Kid lookalike Aoki, the awesomely agile Marvin and the heterosexual (I use that term extremely loosely) Matt Sydal. This was a great match in terms of style because everyone matched up so well. The Briscoes and Marufuji seemed poised to win because they had more triple team moves cooked up and made better tags as the other team just seemed to be thrown together. This was fast paced and hard hitting, much like the rest of the show.

7. Takeshi Morishima vs. Nigel McGuinness (ROH World Title Match- 4

Not a lot to this match, there was a sick, sick, sick falling side slam to the floor from the apron by Morishima, speaking of, his offense was very eclectic in this match. Nigel did his offensive routine but not to the effect I thought he would. He has a thick forearm and I feel like these two could have a very good brawling sequence if they so desired. The finish was nothing to write home about and I felt like we were getting a "main even lite" in this affair and would have hope for more.

Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs. Shinya Hashimoto – (NJPW 9/23/93) – 4

I downloaded this out of morbid curiosity. You know what they say, right? Curiosity killed the cat – but Edwin fucked it. But, I digress. Jake is rocking a tubby gut, and Shinya sports man tits, so this is a real fleshy treat. Actually, it lasts less then 10 minutes, and not much happens. They’re both going for front facelocks throughout, which is good psych, as it plays into the story Roberts just wants to hit his patented DDT and get the hell out of Japan as quickly as possible. But, Hashimoto knows better, he caught an episode of WWF Superstars one morning after crashing on Jumbo Tsuruta’s couch in Yamanashi after a night of heavy drinking. Shinya was the first of the group to pass out, so of course, that rascal Yoshiaki Tatsu laid his nuts on Shinya’s face whilst he slept, and the Polaroid image is floating around the Internet to this day. Long story short, Hashimoto won, unconvincingly, then ran to the back as Roberts unveiled an albino snake he flopped around the ring limply like it was his pud while he watched his daughter’s scenes from Beyond the Mat.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Performer Analysis: Christopher Daniels

Dan Covell,
age 35
Professional wrestler
"King of the Independents"
His Analysis

1)Innovation- 6/10

Daniels' innovation is not earthshattering; he wrestles a very fast paced, late 90's indy style that has moved to the forefront of mainstream wrestling now (ex. X-division) He has patented some very unique moves, such as the Angel Wings and the B.M.E, which I'm sure will be stolen by man a wrestler after he is retired. He also has created not one but 2 very unique characters to play: the merciless "Fallen Angel" in the States and the zany "Curry Man" in the Orient. He has not changed the landscape of professional wrestling but has certainly carved out his own unique niche in the pros and will be remembered for it.

2) Conditioning- 10/10

Daniels isn't the biggest or the best built, but he is in tremendous shape, especially for a wrestler near 40, and to my knowledge (although you can never be sure these days) Daniels is not a pill head and not a juicer. He has wrestled extremely long physical matches with the likes of Samoa Joe and CM Punk and be none the worse for it. Daniels could go any length of time with any one in the wrestling world and hold his own. Being the biggest isn't an instant 10 on this scale, as evidenced here but having a great physique and excellent stamina will take you to higher ground in the wrestling business.

3) Skill- 9/10

Few in the industry come better prepared for war in the ring than Daniels. After years of traveling the indy circuit, he made a mark by being a constant high level performer. His reputation is known as being a consistent, hard working athlete inside the ring and it shows. Daniels has excellent knowledge of how to work in a ring, he can bump quite well, he has a very solid move set that he has used for years and gotten done to a science. It's highly unlikely Daniels at least won't give you a match that is fun to watch, no matter the opponent. He's a little old school in his methods, but infuses newer theories into his game nicely. One of the most solid performers currently wrestling today.

4) Psychology- 9/10

The level of functionality is high with this one. Daniels is a very subtle psychologist. He's not an outward person, and doesn’t have a magnetic personality, but there are things those kinds of people can do. Quick transitions, stiff moves on face comebacks and brilliant matwork. Daniels uses every smart trick Arn Anderson ever did and it's working for him. He's great when juicing; he knows enough to get money shots in the camera, but enough to not hog it like HHH and give away the obvious intention for more drama in the match. He also doesn't forget about it; he plays it up and is very skilled in it. Daniels will be a great teacher after his in ring career is over.

5) Interviews- 5/10

Daniels is an articulate man but some people just don't have that effect on people that makes them want to listen. He is well spoken but there isn't much past his normal speaking voice that he delivers and sometimes you need to inflect on certain things and tone other things down. Delivering promos in the same characteristically low, dull voice does nothing for the viewer or the performer. As with most very talented in ring performers, this is their weakest point and I would have to agree with that for the Fallen Angel.

6) Character- 7/10

Daniels, as I've already said, isn't the most flamboyant person in the business, but his Fallen Angel character doesn't have to be. It borders on mystical fantasy and non-sectarian beliefs with out being heavy handed for the normal viewer sitting on his butt at home with Cheetos in his hand and for the kids who watch for fun. Then, for his flamboyant side, Daniels can hide behind a mask and be as goofy as he wants as the Curry Man. And as I should have said before in the Skill category, he has had some seriously outstanding bouts in Japan under this very guise. I like Daniels as a heel better, but not as this silly nomad with ridiculous face paint on his left side. His greedy and competitve thirst for X division gold suited him better, especially since he could get the job done in the ring.

7) Basics- 10/10

Daniels is a well schooled professional wrestler. He was trained in Windy City Wrestling by former partner and perennial back seat performer Kevin Quinn. His name isn't synonomous with success for a reason, but he helped sculpt a fine hand in-ring in Daniels. His strikes are perfunctory wrestling punches but his knowledge of holds and varied submission manuevers (from his time spent in Japan) serve him well and he's not afraid to work a chinlock in the middle of a big time PPV match because he knows how to work it without boring the crowd to death.

8) Fans- 7/10

Daniels has fan support because of his many years trying to make it up in the rankings, the cult following that ROH has created and Daniels amazing athletic ability in the ring. When he's working heel, he has that quality that allows you to still cheer for him because it's not that he doesn't like you (the fans) it's that he doesn't need you to win matches. His abilities are enough for him to become a star. He's usually cheered except for his current stint where he's just met with a whole lot of indifference.

9) Feuds/ Opponents- 5/10

Daniels, as I've mentioned, had worked the indy circuit for years and years, facing the best upcoming talent that generation had to offer; of course many of them have not made it to the big time. What casual wrestling fan has ever heard of Twiggy Ramierez or Ace Darling? My point exactly. While Daniels may have had some compelling matches with them, it doesn't really add up to the grand scheme of things. While in ROH, he faced many of the top names in the sub-TV land of wrestling and with TNA, finally he has had the chance to mix it up with some top names, such as Sting, Jeff Jarrett, Samoa Joe, and AJ Styles. With the latter 2 men I mentioned, Daniels had some amazing wars and long running rivalries and his devotion to the withering art of tag team wrestling has kept my hope alive for the 2 man teams to survive but as far as great rivalries, Daniels has had surprisingly few. Low Ki and CM Punk in ROH and Joe, AJ and America's Most Wanted in TNA are the ones with the most exposure. But I look for Daniels to get better with time, like an aged cheese, if he escapes bad gimmick hell where Vince Russo has stuck him.

10) Gutcheck- 6/10

To make a living in the wrestling industry is extremely hard and to be successful is even harder. To stay on top I believe you must stab several people in the back on the way up and have some kind of an ego, or just be a once in a lifetime performer. To be discredited because of your age is another harsh blow to deal out to someone and for Christopher Daniels, he overcame that sentiment that the WWF handed him years ago. He didn't need them to invest in him because he would invest in himself and believe in himself. If you are truly that talented you will be noticed. That in itself is a hard thing to overcome and Daniels has become a name worthy of recognition in the ranks of the wrestling world. It was a hard struggle for him, I'm sure, but having the heart and will to make your dream come true is what living is all about. For that, I award him the following 6 points.

Total: 74
Ranking: Superstar
PO: Thumbs Middle

No Prom Date #3

Back again....lonely as anyone could ever be in a $140 rented tux.

1) Tommy Dreamer v. Brian Lee (Scaffold- High Incident)- 3

Brian Lee...how did he ever get in a main event, not dressed like a motrician? Well, anyways, he had an affinity for the camera as he kept staring into it like he was a hypnotist during a very sad crowd brawl. The only thing that made me react was Lee getting hit with a pumpkin. He could punch though, ensuring the fact he'd been in several bar fights. Dreamer took a painful powerslam to the concrete in the best spot of the match. He also blocked every weapon shot with his hands and didn't try to hide it. They fought hard for a few minutes then went up to the scaffold and teased it for a few seconds before Lee took the fall from grace. It was kind of nasty looking and completely awkward, like the first time the gruff biker stepped into a gay bar, a place he had been magnetically and sexually drawn to.

2) Kerry & Kevin Von Erich v. Chris Adams/ Gino Hernandez (Lumberjack Match)- 7

Kerry and Adams start off with a fast paced reversal spot until Kerry gets superkicked and sells it like a hundred M-80's went off in his pants. I never took the Von Erich's for bumpers but Kerry made that superkick actually look dangerous. No, they proved me wrong- soon after both men took their bumps like they were little boys who couldn't stay up when their little sister pushed them down, like they weren't supposed to fall. Kevin was super aggressive, like a wolverine on heroin and got the crowd amped. Gino Hernandez had some good heel tendencies but his plain moppy hair and white trunks and boots did little to gain him favor in the role. The lumberjacks were only utilized a few times which is kind of refreshing because they're so damn annoying anyways. Everyone went for a standing splash at one point (?) then Kerry and Adams came in for another good sequence just like they started off with except this time it was Kerry who hit an atomic discus punch. Talk about a Climax! Great bookends for this match but I probably would have even ranked it higher had they had a true pinfall, but a wild brawl is what is expected out of a lumberjack match, so no worries.

3) Dean Malenko/ Satoshi Kojima/ Shinjiro Ohtani v. El Samurai/ Yuji Nagata/ Tatsuhito Takaiwa- 3

Takaiwa was the greenest person I've ever seen in purple tights. He just didn't look like he knew what was going on. Ohtani was his usual self, although his supply of springboards were not used. Malenko was definitley the ring general and he and Samurai put together some nice reversals. Most of the match was people doing bad power moves until Malenko won with a beautiful German suplex.

4) The Patriot v. Cactus Jack- 4

This was a brawl, for the most part. Patriot and Jack traded concrete bumps while mean mugging for the camera. Jack executed a completely sloppy version of his flying elbow off the apron and would have look better suited in a BBQ restaurant than a wrestling ring at that point. Both guys were shelling out potatoes left and right until a wave of people interefered, as if Moses had led a mass exodus of jobbers, cretans and never were's across the locker room and out to the ring: "Let my regional mid card jobbers Go!"

5) Tajiri v. Kid Kash (Heat; 06/19/05)- 3

Tajiri made quick work of Kash and brutalized him with kicks throughout their little match. Kash looked so bad, though, during theTarantua, he reached up to move the hair out of his face, as if that was the foremost thing on his mind while you're getting your whole body stretched. It was bush league and I'm glad he''s off my TV screen, at least for now.

6) Blood Generation v. Do Fixer- Dragon Gate 6 man (ROH Supercard)- 7

This was an awesome match no doubt and had tons of really cool moves, especially double team moves. We were talking about how Toryumon was so revolutionary and new and fresh and had so much potential when it first came on the wrestling scene then it seemed to go quiet for years so I was much surprised when I realized Dragon Gate is Toryumon and all was good in the world again. This match was worked with Japanese offense and Mexican psychology with WWE pacing because you had the hard hitting moves combined with the Lucha rope running and various people coming in and out and the WWE style of tag match where there's only ever 2 guys in the ring and the others magically knocked each other out of the ring. It's a good 7; hot, fast paced action with little or no meaning behind it but a big spectacle and something worth watching. These are like those old Michinoku Pro 6 mans with the same guys that had been doing that match for years like taka, sasuke, naniwa, funaki except these guys are still way younger. I'm kind of proud, in a way, because Toryumon was a fed Brian discovered, then shared with me and we kind of embraced it as the best kept secret in the world and now it's blown up and guys are getting coverage in America.

7) Santino Marella v. Ron Simmons- 1

The One Word Wonder (further playing into the stereotype that African Americans have a poor vocabulary) and the Milan Mohawk (who further perpetuates the stereotype that Italians are always on the fence of whether they are great romanticists or closet ass waxers) This was a poor excuse for anything athletic, as Santino, week after week, boggles my mind as to how he was put on Raw and Simmons throws punches that looks like he's hitting a force field in front of him. Simmons basically crawled on his stomach as if looking for his lost quarter under a pop machine and Santino dropped sloppy kicks and forearms on his back. During the match I received a text message from my TV and it said "I'd rather watch Gilmore Girls."

Friday, October 19, 2007

WWE No Mercy '07

1 HHH v. Randy Orton- 5
2 Cade/ Murdoch/ Kennedy v. Hardy/ London/ Kendrick - 5
3 CM Punk v. Big Daddy V- 1
4 HHH v. Umaga- 4
5 Finlay v. Rey Mysterio- 5
6 Candice Michelle v. Beth Phoniex- 4
7 Batista v. Great Khali ( Punjabi Prison) -4
8 HHH v. Randy Orton (Last Man Standing) - 8

It was a bittersweet show because there was no Chris Jericho but they still put forth a pretty good effort. the opening match kept a good pace, and Orton was spot on with every single sell during it. They used a roll up fin, a fresh of breath air compared to the usual pedigree. It was kind of like an extended squash for the most part because Orton's offense was little to none, but still enjoyable. the Six man tag was also fun, with the high flyers doing just that and London going on a tear was a pleasure to watch. Kennedy still leaves green tracks all over the ring and his finisher is going to cripple someone someday. Any chance he'll do it to Vince? well, one could hope. The end got some slop points, but the match kept a tight package and Kendrick took a car crash bump over the top to put a smile on my face.

ECW was further buried as two completely different styles went face to face. Big V's massive mound of boobage is among the scariest images in my nightmares. Striker, looking like a greasy gangster, interefered for no reason at all and V dropped a couple of sloppy elbows post match. Our 2nd World Title match did nothing much except further devalue Umaga. They had some good sequences worked out but overall it felt a little flat to me. HHH's fake tan spray began to wear off and they teased him having a rib injury. The Irish brute Finlay and Luchadore turned bodybuiler Rey had great chemistry in their match and Rey threw a nasty forearm, reminiscent of a back alley fight. Finlay was taking some brutal bumps and seemed to be enjoying it. The stretcher swerve is feeling a little played out, much like the Resident Evil film series, but at least Finlay put the hurt real good on Rey Rey; Booyaka, Booyaka, 6-1-oh, fuck Finlay just kicked me in the face 7 times!!!! I'm glad to see a lot more mid to upper card feuds are being booked more seriously with more story to them than just throwing two guys on PPV to wrestle and then they are on to the next guy.

I thought the women had good chemistry but Candice needs to lay her shit in because it looked weak sauce. Phoniex doesn't impress me one way or the other, but she has some good strength. Her fisherman buster was pretty ugly and Batista was glad to see someone else can't do their finish properly. Speaking of Dave, he had the unenviable task of fighting Khali again, but this time it was in the Punjabi Prison, a leftover from the set of No Escape, a 1994 Ray Liotta thriller. Nothing good can happen inside that ridiculous structure, but at least they had a unique ending with Batista chasing Khali as he climbed over both cages, incred-ib-ly s-l-o-w-l-y-y-y-y-y, and he tried to show Vince he was a better action star than John Cena.

Then, our main event, most people could say this whole show was a giant HHH ego stroke, and there would be a good amount of evidence to support this theory, but i think this night belonged to Orton. He was masterful in both of his performances and it seems he has finally lived up to his potential. He'll still throw used condoms on Melina backstage, but he's a damn fine performer. HHH stepped up his game in this match too, taking some crafty and painful bumps and working great near falls the whole time. Both men had a couple of awesome false finishes throughout. I loved the table bump at the end and it's one of the rare occasions where the table not breaking worked better and Orton's timing on his RKO's should keep DDP in Yoga classes for the rest of his life instead of contemplating a comeback. This was a awesome main event and one of HHH's hardest working performances in a long time. now, if he can only (as a former friend of mine said at one point) "leggo his ego" people wouldn't be so hard on him before he even steps into the ring.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

My response to: "Cyber Sunday Picks (a.k.a. Why Should I Care About the WWE?)"

This was originally intended as a comment on Adam’s last piece, which was posted directly before this one, but due to length and relevance, I thought it worthy of its own post.

Just thought I’d play the devil’s advocate and take a closer look at your thoughts:

“it actually wasn't too nauseating but there was that Mickie James/Lita match which sucked”

While I agree that match certainly sucked something massive, the Spirit Squad versus Flair/Piper match was really sad, too.

“It's the same old tired stuff WWE has been putting out in recent months.”

While that’d be hard to argue in terms of writing, as hell, the shows have been pretty horrendously written off-and-on since ’95 – the reason you should care isn’t about the storylines they market to get rubes to buy shows and merch, it’s the wrestling itself that should keep you caring, the art form and the efforts of the performers themselves.

“if it takes ol' HBK to get a decent bout out of Orton then so be it”

Orton’s been so good lately; he could likely work a decent match with any of these guys. I think anyone who’s seen his work lately can attest. He’s definitely toned down his oversells, too; no longer playing it up for the cheap bastards in the nosebleed sections.

“Batista is still the worst champion in the industry today.”

I’m not quite convinced on this point – anyone else feel like chiming in here?

“ECW has been so bereft of anyone resembling decency recently”

I’d put guys like Punk, Burke, Dreamer, and Nunzio in the above-decent category. Hell, arguments could be made for the same on Richards, Miz, Big Daddy V, and Morrsion. Sorry, Mahoney.

While I agree with you that Triple H’s stuff has been overbooked the last couple years with McMahon, I can’t concur on your low level of excitement on both Mysterio/Finlay and Hardy/MVP. You really think MVP and Hardy has been going on for too long, and for that matter, has nothing to be shown for it? When all the Internet has been ablaze in years past over us not getting feuds that have had time to properly develop? I’d compare this feud comfortably alongside any of TNA’s better programs, including Storm/Harris. Not to mention, their work together has been outstanding.

“it's the same old stuff”

This is the mentality of a lot of people who aren’t even giving the product a chance, figuring their worst assumptions are correct, and missing out. Again, I think this goes back to the original concept of what’s important: wrestling or storylines?

“I haven't really watched any WWE TV programs at all recently.”

More so than anything else, I really disagree with this sentiment. How, as a fan of wrestling, can you justify ignoring all the work you’re not even making an attempt at seeing? Strip away all of the goofy theatrics and bad writing… you’re still left with wrestling, and whether it’s in-front of an armory in a small town, or broadcast on cable television, it’s the work of the wrestlers that should be valued and analyzed, not that of the writers. The psychology and sequences of all matches are important and worthy of consideration. Last year Smackdown! featured some of the best matches to ever be given away for free. Rey/Orton and Rey/Henry were easily MOTY-worthy. Too bad you didn’t see them due to a bias that doesn’t seem particularly well-thought out.

Instead of jumping on the pessimistic bandwagon, I think I’ll go into Cyber Sunday with clear and open eyes. Maybe, as my pal 7 Digits would say, “I’m the king of wishful thinking”, but then so be it, because at the end of the day, I enjoy wrestling and appreciate all the industry’s workers, just don’t waste my time gripping about the writing (which isn’t wrote for me, or us, anyhow… but to try and make money).

(Now I know why we switched over to having a forum, the intelligent discussion of ideas, thoughts, and opinions. May the battle royal begin!)

TNA 2 Hour Impact Debut- 10/04/07

TNA 2 hour Impact Debut- 10/04/07

TNA expanding to two hours is something hardcore wrestling fans have been clamoring for, thinking this will surely help them climb up WWE's giant wall of sports entertainment supremacy. Of course, two hours doesn't impress me if they are both as equally bad as the old one hour show. but, we review matches here, so let's do it....
1)Rhino v. Black Reign- 2
This match had no heat, Reign looked blown up before first commercial break and Rhino's offense was as pussified as ever. This guy actually used to be feared? i thought this was a lousy match to put on first and both men further cemented my point. Dustin was a great competitor at one time (check out his performer analysis if you don't believe me) but those days are far gone, as the days when Terri Runnels would put his gold face paint on with her vagina skin. a poor, poor effort.
2) Jackie Moore v. Gail Kim- 2
if you're going to have a women's division, oh, sorry a "Knockouts" division, show fans you actually care and let them wrestle This was shorter than Jerry Jarrett's remaining lifespan. and these two women can actually go, but not that we had time for that when there was a voodoo queen and a playboy model to get involved. another waste.

3) Team 3D v. Team Pacman- 0
How many times do i have to write how stale the Dudleys are? Even they know it, you can tell by watching them. D-von used to grease up his incredibly distracting large man boobs, but he doesn't even do that anymore. Adam "Pacman" Jones is a prime example of why TNA doesn't know how to run a "wrestling" company because they give a buttload of money to a football player who got suspended and he isn't even allowed to make physical contact with another wrestler, and the kick in the nuts is the fans know it! So, why even put his stupid, no emotion ass out there? Ron Killings has some good skills, but again, complete waste of time. This match was atrocious, even by fairgrounds indy standards. The gags they were using haven't worked since the Bushwhackers were rookies. I'm embarrassed to have watched the animated "Pac-man series" now.

4) Gauntlet Battle Royal- 5
This wasn't bad. I think the reason it wasn't was because you had a surprise winner, you had a lot of guys who don't get a lot of ring time, and it had absolutely no reason for happening therefore nothing was at stake and they didn't care to let them go out and have a decent match. Eric Young looks like he took a Ben & Jerry's vacation. The match was well paced and there were some false finishes. A lot of the eliminations come out of nowhere and you didn't know who was going out next so that was fun.

5) LAX/ Junior Fatu/ Samoa Joe v. XXX/ AJ Styles/ Christian Cage- No Grade
Unfortunately, i cannot grade this because i didn't see all of it, my DVR cut out, but what i saw was more like the match that would have opened up any TNA show a couple of years ago. A fast paced match with a lot of cool spots and a lot of young talent, (Save for Rikishi who was wearing a jock strap that said "Bootylicious") AJ looked well motivated and this made me actually want to see a Christian match again, when he fights Joe at the PPV.

the Kurt Angle-Sting video segments were some of the most insipid pieces of video i have seen in some time. Kurt Angle believes his wife when she says Sting slapped her (ever heard of instant replay?) so in retaliation, he STALKS Sting's high school football player son at his football game. ???????????????????????? These vignettes come off as creepy and borderline criminal. and did anyone think that Angle might get his ass whipped if he messes with a high school football player, not to mention his large group of friends (the rest of the team?). you telling me crippled, coked out Kurt Angle can dismantle an entire high school football team? not in his wildest dreams. as long as TNA continues to put on such unmitigated, brainless and completely un-entertaining shlock like this, they will remain 2nd rate.

HWA TV 7/28/07

I’m pretty sure on this show’s date. I can say factually that this is from the dying days period of HWA and their TV show. I’ve followed HWA in some capacity for over a decade now, from their inception, to their glory days when WWE (their former parent company) bought WCW, and as a result, a bunch of WCW workers like Meng, Dave Taylor, Shannon Moore, and Kaz Hayashi started wrestling right down the road from me, and now, their death which happened during the course of this past summer.

Production value on their show was always low, but occasionally, you’d get some really good action. This, warts and all, was my favorite episode of their show in its last days.

1) JT Stahr vs. Dick Rick – 3

Sean Casey came out and declared himself special guest referee. These two worked well together. JT has some very interesting blocks and counters; he’s really developed a fascinating set of them that aren’t like anything else I’ve ever seen. He’ll block punches with his legs, catch strikes with his thighs, etc. Stahr did a pretty cool curb stomp titled “Stepping Stone.” Stahr hit his “Salutations from Saskatchewan” finisher, but Casey did a slow count, shortly after doing the opposite and giving Dick Rick a fast count for a tainted victory. Casey’s involvement hurt this, but it was still decent.

2) Island Boys vs. Sean Casey and Val Venis – (Old Skool Throwback) - 5

They’ve been showing old matches from past shows lately, and this one’s from their old building, circa the aforementioned period where a lot of great talent was coming through. I couldn’t believe it at first, but there we were, fellow writer Jessie and I, in the second row. We had attended this show live, way back when. It was kind of distracting at first, as I was watching us sometimes over the action. It was just surreal, seeing us have a conversation that was now airing on network television years later. But, it was also a good indicator of what was good, as Jessie and I politely clapped (like Japanese fans) for the impressive spots, which included a stiff sidekick by Ekmo (now known as Umaga) and Val hefting up fatty Samoan (formerly WWE’s Rosey) for a back suplex. This wasn’t real long, but impactful and a nice treat.

3) Kimara vs. Big Vu – 3

Vu is gigantic and moves at a languid pace. Kimara’s back senton splash looked real weak. But, this was billed as a battle of two, big bruisers, and delivered in that capacity. There was a good near-fall off a Kimara big boot. For both being semi-immobile, this wasn’t half-bad, until interference ended it, leading us directly to our next match.

4) The GP Code (Andre Hart and Big Vu) vs. Cody Hawk and John Moxley – 6

This started off with the wildest crowd brawl I’ve ever seen in HWA. There was a DDT on a steel chair, a tornado DDT off the apron, backbody drops over guardrails, and Andre leaping off of a seated chair in a decidedly backyard spot. Moxley delivered a flying knee off the apron on Hart on the floor, which catapulted him face-first into the ring post in a spot I loved. Andre busted out a corkscrew off the top onto the floor, making me miss Hector Garza. The handheld camera goes out for a while, leading me to chant “can’t see shit!” at my TV like I was at an ROH show. Finally, the bell rings and the official match started. Hart got whipped into the ropes, and tried to springboard off of them backwards, Moxley ducked his head and Hart drilled him awkwardly ass-first against the skull, compressing his neck for sure. There was a really inventive spot where they did a drop toehold on Hawk where he fell face-first into Moxley’s ample crotch, and then Hart did a curb stomp to Hawk pressing his face against Moxley’s squalid phallus. The finish saw a “piggyback splash,” where Andre held onto the gigantic Vu who did a splash off the second buckle. It’s a very cool team finisher, and a great capper to this most excellent of tag matches. Even though it was a mess at parts, the finale really won me over.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

ROH: Driven (2nd PPV)

1) No Remorse Corps (Davey Richards/ Roderick Strong/ Rocky Romero) v. Delirious/ Erik Stevens/ Jason Cross- 5

Man, this was completely action packed like one of those Saturday night Marathons on TBS promises to be but never is. Dives, powermoves, huge spots, one after another, like a hurricane of men in tights throwing each other blew right through my living room. I like the Corps, Richards and Strong look to be born and bred for Japanese action and Romero grew on me last month with his great match against Marufuji. Stevens also looks to have potential, he traded chops with Strong and had some awesome power moves. This was a perfect way to start a show.

2) Claudio Castagnoli v. Matt Sydal- 5

Sydal has loads of athletic ability and Claudio has loads of Rogaine he needs to try. This was also a fun match and had a great ending with a hurricanrana flipped into a sunset flip. Sydal is learning when to turn it up and when to turn it off. He constantly goes balls out on every sell and you have to learn to pace yourself. He reminds me of a young AJ Styles except AJ works a lot more snug. There was a lot of arial acrobatics in this match but they left out all the near falls that RoH tends to over due. Good match.

3) BJ Whitmer v. Noamichi Marufuji- 4

If anyone can bring Marufuji down to a 4, it's Whitmer. The Budweiser logo on the tights isn't appealing to anyone. The match seemed to be in a lower gear than the rest of the show, and I don't think either man was really putting all they had in there. BJ's forearms have potential, but his face had nothing on it the whole match. Marufuji's superkick is enough to bring Chris Adams from the grave and bow at the Japanese sensation's feet. A clean finish with Marufuji's sliced bread signature move was the right call for a midcard bout like this.

4) Pelle Primeau v. Brent Albright- 2

This was a fun squash. Primeau looks like a crack addict. His pasty white body made me feel tan. Albright's suplexes were on target and this was a brutal beatdown that did what it was supposed to.

5) The Briscoes v. El Generico/ Kevin Steen- 6

This was a good example of what tag wrestling has evolved into. We didn't see any splitting the ring in half, or close tags, or working over a bodypart, but we did see was back and forth action with both teams demonstrating they can work as a team. It's innovative, highly painful double teams that are the back bone of tag wrestling in our current day and age and I applaud it. Mark has a decent dropkick, but I'm not convinced either of them are good punchers. Steen looks like his exercise bike has long been in the dark corner of his basement. The outside stuff was brutal as all hell: Generico's hiptoss bump was one of the most scintillating I've seen in a long, long time. And he took it like a straight man too! I think Jay Briscoe, also took a nasty lump by spilling into the front section of Philly fans and just splayed himself all over some chairs. We had a great finish and it felt like a war. Steen did a decent job of setting up for the next match and I'm stoked to see it.

6) Takeshi Morishima v. Jimmy Rave- 1

This was as unimpressive as a Side Salad at McDonalds. Rave taking Morishima down with a pansy ass spear? That's what you're subjecting your World champ too? Pitiful. I don't even recall the gist of this match because it was so short and unmemorable. Next.

7) Bryan Danielson v. Nigel McGuinness- 9

This was the much talked about bout that had early MOTY written all over it. Clearly, these two are much better opponents for each other than either of them are for Morishima. This was everything I thought it would be and more. Danielson has stepped his game up to top level since coming back from his injury. His facials are among the best in the business now. I can tell exactly what is going on in a match just by watching his expressions. Nigel knows his routine quite well now and has narrowed it down to the basics and it works, wonders.
These guys have great chemistry and the MMA stuff was really fun and scientific and they didn't lose the crowd. They both put on holds that had me happy I don't wear tights and McGuiness seemed to excel with the submission holds. Danielson's top rope back superplex is the stuff dreams are made of and Nigel's running uppercut on the outside was knockout quality. The ending sequences, starting with the chops, the slaps and then the headbutts, then Danielson's transitioning to finisher to finisher was absolutely amazing and my jaw dropped to the floor like that Tom when he sees that giant white pit bull and Jerry snickering like a son of a bitch in the palm of his hand. This absolutely lived up to the hype and I can't wait to see the next match these two have.

Great American Bash '88: The Price for Freedom

This is when wrestling was wrestling- this crowd was super hot all night long, as if someone promised the loudest fans a million dollars at the end of the night

1) Sting/ Nikita Koloff v. Arn Anderson/ Tully Blanchard- 7

the match started out in a pier sixer, for you Gordon Solie marks, with Sting and Tully bitchslapping each other. This trend continued throughout the whole match, as neither guy seemed to give an inch against the other. Anderson was smoother than a frappachino during this one and kept a great pace. Nikita bumped like a madman especially on an Arn DDT that made me squirt. They had complete control of the momentum of this match and they took the fans on a roller coaster ride before settling on a Dusty finish that actually worked. I'd be remissed if I didn't mention Sting's Balls to the Wall plancha that set me on fire so bad I wanted to paint me and my friends' faces right then and there.

2) Midnight Express v. The Fantastics- 8

I hope I'm not jocking Brian's review but he made a great point to me yesterday after watching this tape; the higher the points we give, the bigger recommendation we are making for YOU to see this match. Well, I have to put my stamp on this one as my favorite match of the show because it best exemplifies tag team wrestling to all the morons writing the weekly sports entertainment programs these days. Both teams had matching trunks and chemistry Albert Einstein couldn't create. The Fantastics gel better than Siamese twins here, everything they do compliments each other and they have some really neat spots where they tandemly whoop ass. When whipped into each other, they both do a baseball slide, meet each other's feet then kick off each other and kick the Midnights. It was fanta….man, that would have been horribly unoriginal. Glad I avoided that. Stan Lane pulled Tommy Rogers off a pin from the outside and powerslammed him on the concrete. Now, Tell me you would rather watch another Carlito's Cabana that that shit and I'll have you committed. The pace and the electricity in this was frenetic, absolutely full tilt boogie and it was a treat to see. The finish was your usual 80's foreign object spot but it was the only thing that felt like retread in the match.

3) Tower of Doom Match: (Kevin Sullivan, Mike Rotunda, Ivan Koloff, Al Perez, & Russian Assassin v. Jimmy Garvin, Ron Garvin, Dr. Death & Road Warriors) - 5

This match got extra points for just being so damn strange and something each and everyone one of you should witness. This was the original 3 tier cage you saw in that shitty WCW produced flick "Ready to Rumble." Okay, maybe you didn't see it but don't worry, you're not in the minority! Anyways, two teams had a guy come in after 5 minute periods through a small cage at the very top. After each period, trap doors would open on each level and you could escape down until you got the ring where Precious, who was barely wearing a top, would let you out. The pysch of the match was pretty hard to swallow and the first cage looked like an overcrowded prison cell someone had just thrown a steak into. There really wasn't much you could do except throw sloppy punches and hope you didn't trip. Ivan took some nasty back sells onto the mesh floor but other than that, not a lot happened. The match ended unceremoniously as Sullivan locked himself and Precious inside the cage so he could maul her like a badger. Hawk and Jimmy Jam scaled the ladder and went through the whole cage again just to save her and Hawk completely decapitated Sullivan with his flying clothesline. Trust me: That clothesline was nothing to fuck with.

4) Barry Windham v. Dusty Rhodes- 5

A wildly different match than we had seen all night, while the first 7 minutes or so was pretty good stuff including a nasty front somersault bump over the top rope to the concrete floor below by Windham, they worked a Von Erich claw spot for over half of the match. Dusty played a comeback up better than even Stallone could and the fans were digging it a lot. It was strange watching a rest hold take up most of a match's time but it didn't hinder my viewing of it. I had magazines in the bathroom I could have looked at, but the match didn't lost my interest plus they are mostly my wife's and I really don't care who Nicole Richie is dating as long as it isn't me. We had a Ron Garvin heel turn (?) which Dusty sold like ice water to someone roasting in Hell.

5) Ric Flair v. Lex Luger- 5

It's always a delicious treat to get to watch Flair in his prime but surprisingly Luger was an agile, fun babyface during this and had a very confident smile on that horseface the whole time. Luger's dropkicks looked really springy and Flair knew how to sell every nuance of it. You could see in his head he was constantly working out a game plan and that's one of the reasons Flair was so successful. In the botch of the night, Luger tried to tackle Flair over the top rope in what ended up looking like two men trying to have sex while falling out of an airplane. The finish was bad too, and it was of the Dusty variety. Luger did a completely obvious blade job that the camera caught and the Athletic State Commission of Maryland stopped the match but Luger's blood was equal to that of a child's skinned knee after wrecking on his bike. Flair's chops were as golden as ever and I think even stopped Luger's heart at one point like when Elizabeth's heart stopped after Luger shot a needle of cocaine into his cock and ear fucked her. I heard that online.

TNA Bound for Glory ‘07

1. LAX vs. Senshi and Elix Skipper – Ultimate X Match – 7
2. Eric Young vs. Jimmy Rave vs. Lance Hoyt vs. Havoc vs. Shark Boy vs. Petey Williams vs. Kaz vs. Alex Shelley vs. Chris Sabin vs. Sonjay Dutt vs. Kip James vs. BG James vs. James Storm vs. Robert Roode vs. Chris Harris vs. Junior Fatu – Fight for the Right Battle Royal – 4
3. Tyson Tomko and AJ Styles vs. Ron “The Truth” Killings and Rasheed “Consequences” Creed – 5
4. Jay Lethal vs. Christopher Daniels – 6
5. Stiener Bros. vs. Team 3-D – 2 out of 3 Falls Table Match – 4
6. Gail Kim vs. Roxxi vs. Jackie Moore vs. Tracy Brooks vs. Christy Hemme vs. ODB vs. Angel Williams vs. Talia Madison vs. Shelly Martinez vs. Awesome Kong – Gauntlet Battle Royal – 3
7. Christian Cage vs. Samoa Joe – 7
8. Abyss vs. Raven vs. Black Reign vs. Rhyno – Monster’s Ball – 2
9. Sting vs. Kurt Angle – 4

The show started off hot, with a fiery Atlanta live crowd, and thrilling opener. The audience was eating up all of the bumps and signature spots, and the performers were definitely feeding off their energy. Elix is patently inconsistent, but didn’t look bad here, and Senshi is always going to deliver. The second bout featured three stipulations, each directly leading into eliminating down the group involved, eventually culminating in a singles bout with Roode and Young. Despite itself, this was pretty fun, thanks in large part to the exceptional work from guys like Shelley and Kaz. The tag bout was real good, with newcomer Creed holding his own, and kept me compelled.

Lethal and Daniels was real solid, treating it like a big match, and it was good for Lethal to have someone with some veteran presence in there to lead him to something not just interesting, but actively good. The tables match featured tame crowd brawling, on top of disappointing table spots themselves. One table “accidentally” broke, but since the Stieners were booked to win, they didn’t acknowledge it whatsoever. Scott Stiener was the only guy who stood out at all. The women’s match was a real laugh, with most of the girls being indiscernible from each other, and nothing of real note, save for the elimination of gargantuan Awesome Kong, where her gladiatorial battle armor lifted up and we saw her cringe-inducing chest bared.

I dig Joe as much as the next guy, but his last year of stuff, largely five-minute TV matches, has failed to impress. This was him in classic Joe form, bringing the battle to Christian, and doing all of his signature shit, like diving to the floor and hitting a barrage of open hand slaps. This was arguably the best match of the show. I thought the Monster’s Ball was a monstrous piece of shit. It was the same tired, clichéd, passé hardcore garbage that’s so damn hackneyed. And, even the hardcore elements weren’t done well, like Raven’s sloppily executed elbow drop through a table, and tame weapon shots. I was thoroughly disappointed in the main event, too. I was anticipating a classic match – what I got was an overbooked, overblown, veritable mess. Russo’s fingerprints were all over this. Keep an eye out for this big-time botch, as Sting’s supposed to block Angle’s baseball bat shot, but doesn’t properly, and ends up taking it to the face (which he ignores) and starts bleeding the hard way during his triumphant winning sequence.