Thursday, November 29, 2007

ECW on Sci-Fi 9/25/07

1. Elijah Burke vs. Kevin Thorne vs. Tommy Dreamer – 5
2. Mike Knox vs. Nunzio – 2
3. Miz vs. local worker – 1
4. CM Punk vs. Matt Striker – 3

This was a fairly enjoyable show as far as ECW on Sci-Fi standards go, at least as a momentary amusement, but per usual, was void of much actual substance. It started with some momentum but that faded prematurely. Burke and Thorne had some miscommunications early in their bout. Dreamer looked ridiculous wearing a red bandana, but it was obvious why the new choice in wardrobe, as after it was knocked off it revealed the most unsightly balding spot these eyes have ever seen. The opener did feature some nice, physical work, as there were a handful of decent shots and bumps. Dreamer drilled Thorne with a DDT, but Burke, ever the opportunist, tossed Dreamer’s carcass out of the ring and capitalized getting the pin. Knox made short work of Nunzio, whose body is quite odd to watch when he’s bumping around and selling. I’d rather watch Nunzio wrestle with his inner-demons over bad career decisions and squandering his chances at leaving a mark on this business.

Miz beat a local worker, and even on the official ECW website, they’ve simply got the guy listed only as “Local.” Miz delivered some pretty nasty stomps in the corner, but otherwise, this was real short and forgettable. Punk and Striker was our main event but was basically used to springboard the impending Big Daddy V versus Punk feud. My favorite botch was when Punk tossed Striker over the top rope where he was supposed to land on his feet on the apron, but gravity intervened and he slipped and landed awkwardly. After getting the victory with the “Go To Sleep” Punk stood around waiting for Big Daddy V to attack him, thus giving us our one moment of poetry in this whole show as a ferocious Big Daddy V stands over the fallen body of champion Punk.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Performer Analysis: Kenta Kobashi

Born March 27, 1967 in Fukuchiyama, Kyoto, Japan Trained by Giant Baba and Dory Funk jr., among others, Made his professional debut against Motoshi Okuma on Feb. 26, 1988 for All Japan Pro (credit to for this info)
Kobashi is about to make his grand return from his tumor-removing surgery on Dec. 2. I felt there was no better time to look at his career.

1) Innovation- 9
Kenta Kobashi was chosen, years ago, as the heir to the Japanese wrestling throne by Misawa himself. When Misawa branched off and created Pro Wrestling NOAH, he brought Kobashi with him to further cement his legacy. Kobashi and Misawa's feud in All Japan created and distinguised Kobashi as a star on par with Misawa, but one with a brutal style and thirst for competition. The fans embraced him and he took NOAH on his back after defeating Misawa in a instant 5 star classic. After that Kobashi did what so many great Japanese wrestlers have tried to do and traveled to America to cement his legacy. He succeeded and he did so by changing his wrestling philosophy and style very little. His match against Samoa Joe showed the wrestling world that the Japanese athletes and Kobashi could main event in America and that their style is the true strong style of Pro Wrestling. Kobashi was the forefront of the the current generation's strong style wrestling in Japan and will continue to be, I predict, for many years to come.

2) Conditioning- 10
His stocky frame isn't the most toned, but it works for him. He is incredibly muscular, but not so much that it bogs him down and makes him slow. He has incredible stamina, especially for working at such high levels of competition. He often goes 30 to 40 minutes a night, doing things to people's bodies and his own that should be criminal just to watch. He's even worked longer matches than that. Kobashi at 40 years old isn't getting any younger, but he also doesn't appear to be slowing down. He works great with younger talent as well and keeps great pace with them. He is a real thoroughbred.

3) Skill- 10
His wrestling acumen is unparalleled. He has had classic matches with almost everyone he has stepped into the ring with in Japan from Misawa, Akiyama, Kawada, Vader, Williams, Taue, Takayama, and Samoa Joe. He is hard hitting, has a great move set and knows it well. All of his stuff comes off looking real and incredibly painful. He will take a bump, a huge bump sometimes and works pain very realistic on his face. And he can fly, at 40 years old, despite all his injuries, he can still pull off a clean moonsault. He's had nearly 20 5 star matches in his career as rated by Dave Meltzer and has won Wrestler of the Year as voted by Wrestling Observer for the last 3 years. His resume speaks for itself, but his matches speak even louder. Probably one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, bar none.

4) Psychology- 10
Japanese pyschology is so different from the way American performers utilize it. Kobashi has mastered the Japanese art. He knows the fans like hard hitting action from him and he delivers it to a tee. He knows pacing very well and knows when to be explosive and when not to be. There's something about the way the Japanese put a match together when it's done correctly, the back and forth, the will, the guts, the strength to absorb 6 blows just to get one in, the passion to finish an opponent, Kobashi knows it and uses it almost better than anyone.

5) Interviews- 6
Thankfully, NOAH releases all their DVD's with English commentary and subtitles. It's not that Kobashi is a bad interview, the thing I like about what he does is shows a lot of passion and anger and enthusiasm even though he's not particularly enigmatic like a lot of performers. He's the strong silent type and his promos don't linger on or meander. In his world, there's nothing much to talk about besides fighting and I like that.

6) Character- 9

In Japan, it's all about character, not a guy dressed in a goofy jump suit, or wearing a chicken costume, or a catchphrase, it's about your character. Kobashi is the man who has succeeded Misawa; that's who he is. He was a young upstart that had potential, then he became the "Burning Hammer" a man whose passion was undeniable and whose attacks could break bones. Harley Race has now dubbed him "Mr. Pureoseau" which means Mr. Pure Wrestling, a namesake reserved for Genichiro Tenryu now passed on to Kobashi. He is a fighting spirit and fights for the fans of NOAH. He never has an off day, or mails in a performance. That's his character and I actually can get behind this more than 90% of any other gimmick out there.

7) Fans- 10

"Ko-bosh-ee! Ko-bosh-ee!" You can hear the rafters come unglued and hear the fans screaming his name in those 3 famous syllables when he enters an arena. He has earned the respect of the Japanese fans and fans worldwide. He is a huge star there and garners massive reactions anytime he walks the aisle and sells out major arenas all over the company. Even when he came to the states to ROH, the fans erupted upon seeing him and had waited for hours and weeks and months to get to see him compete. I think at this point, only your most surface fan doesn't know who Kobashi is, despite the face that he is one of those "foreign wrestlers" and if you claim to be a wrestling fan and don't know who is, you deserve to be the next guy in line to get crabs from Lita.

8) Basics- 9

Kobashi knows his stuff. He went through the grueling All Japan dojo and was trained by one of the great scientific wrestlers of our time, Dory Funk jr. He doesn't go to submission moves a lot, even though it's a way of life in Japanese wrestling, but he has some good transitions. His chops and ridgehands are among the most brutal strikes in all of combat sports anywhere. Kobashi is spot on and can do almost anything he wants in the ring.

9) Feuds/ Matches- 9 All I need to do is give you a list of matches that were voted their respective matches of the year and you need to seek them out, IMMEDIATELY:
92- w/ Kikuchi v. Furnas/ La Fon

95- w/ Misawa v. Kawada/ Taue
95- v. Kawada (1 hr. draw)
98- v. Misawa
99- v. Misawa
03 v. Misawa
04 v. Akiyama
05 v. Joe
And the list could go on and on, he's feuded with the biggest names to ever grace Japanese wrestling. The only drawback is he missed competing with a lot of the great wrestlers that have come from New Japan Pro as those would have been classics.

10) Gutcheck- 10

Simply put, the man has more courage than most competitors out there. He just underwent surgery to remove the cancerous tumor in his brain. The man survived brain cancer and now, less than year later, he's climbing back into the ring. Just the guts and love of this sport to do such a thing is miraculous, to bounce back successfully is iconic. It's an inspiring story of a man who is trying to fulfill his destiny and that is to be remembered as one of the greats of all time. And he's well on his way.

Final Score: 92
Ranking: Icon
PO: Thumbs Up
(Thanks to Wikipedia for the info and good luck to Kobashi Sunday Dec 2 on his return)

ROH Unscripted - Philly, PA 09/21/02

This was a tag team tournament show to provide Ring of Honor with Tag Team Champions. The show clocked in at just under 3 hours and was loaded with matches and a bunch of other bullshit I didn't want to see. Let's get into it:

1) SAT's v. Christopher Daniels/ Donovan Morgan- 4

I love tag team wrestling and when done right, there's nothing like it in the world. I was praying for some really good tag action but the whole show was filled with ROH singles matches thrown into tags. The SAT's were looking like they've had one too many churros lately and were off at points. We got to see Trinity make her debut and moonsault onto Daniels and his current roadhouse slut, whatever her name was. The SAT's had some good teamwork but they have the RVD problem of using every single tag move they have in one match and therefore burning themselves out.

2) Ikuto Hidaka/ Dick Togo v. FBI (Mamaluke/ Guido)- 4

I was liking different sections of this match because Mamaluke really wanted to work over the Japanese contingent's arms and was doing a commendable job. Unfortunately, they were doing a arguing partners angle with the FBI and it was going nowhere. Guido looked a step below what he's capable of, no doubt readying himself for his WWE run, which due to my dismay, still continues. I tried liking this and Togo's back senton is always a treat.

3) Tony Mamaluke v. Guido Maritato- 2

Right off the bat, Guido takes a brutal fall on the piece of fencing ROH was using as guard rails in a nasty spill. This lasted all of 50 seconds of two little guys doing a sloppy brawl. It meant nothing and was better left off the card.

4) Chris Divine/ Quiet Storm v. Bryan Danielson/ Michael Modest- 5

I loved Modest laying in forearms like he was in a Scorcese flick in the corner. He was brutally stiff here and continued the trend throughout the show. Danielson was still young and it's funny to see him in his rookie days. He was definitley loaded with potential and put a hurting on the jobbing tag team, who didn't look bad. Storm and Divine were good bump guys and even had some good tag stuff they used. I was pretty happy with this match overall.

5) Da Hit Squad v. Natural Born Sinners- 0

This never got started. I couldn't even tell who was in either team but I did see that meathead DeVito from ECW out there.

6) Christopher Daniels/ Donovan Morgan v. Ikuto Hidaka/ Dick Togo- 5

This had a great pace to it and everyone was working really hard, except Morgan who looked like someone just slipped him a Ruffie. He was pretty sluggish during the match, which I think Daniels picked up on because he worked most of it, including the guy getting beat down for long periods of time. There was some pretty good near falls and the Japanese guys seemed really comfortable with Daniels and Morgan.

7) Dunn v. Alex Arion- 1

A squash for a cronie of Nana. Nothing noteworthy to say here except Arion is probably making Frulatti's at a mall food court somewhere.

8) Low Ki v. Xavier- 4

What a disappointment. I'm convinced that Xavier is garbage. Everytime I see him I see bad work and I was wondering why he had such a bad rep as a shitty ROH champion but now I see why. Low Ki hooked his dragon sleeper from the top and seconds later, Xavier was standing up as if nothing had happened. What a fucking moron. These two had problems communicating the whole match, with several plain as day blown spots. Low Ki is rare to have such an off match, but Xavier was lost. And the Daniels interference with the block of cement was really Indiana farmhouse-indy level shit and it had no place on this show.

9) Takao Omori v. Sonny Siaki- 5

This was a pretty basic back and forth match with nothing really offensive at all. They seemed like they had just met behind the curtain, therefore neither really went out of their way to make this match stand out. Omori had some pink face paint under his eyes like a bad extra from Hook. He threw some pretty swank kicks to Siaki's face though.

10) Amazing Red v. Jay Briscoe- 5

I've never been of that mold that says "that wrestler is too small to be a star" but I found myself wondering how Red saw over the steering wheel to drive to the show. He looked like a little child with corn rows. They had a awesome sequence of reversals on the ground and the Code Red from the top rope was pretty cool. This match didn't have a lot of substance but it was a sight to watch and pretty entertaining. Red's strikes looked as competent as OJ's alibi.

11) Michael Shane v. Paul London (Street Fight)- 8

This was a crazy ass fight! I'm not really a Shane fan (except for the Bentley bounce, which I break out as often as I can) but I am a London supporter and he just went balls to the wall in this one. Both men did juicy blade jobs and took some crazy risks; Shane by flipping out onto London's head with a chair in the middle and London doing an absolutely skitso flip from the top rope halfway down the damn aisleway! DO THE DAMN THING, BOYYYY! I was pretty fired up for this match. Shane's supposed "picture perfect elbow" would look better as a child's Crayloa drawing. London winning with a shooting star from the ladder was about as cool as you could get for a finish. It wasn't all brawling, and some of the spots told a good story like both men doing their finishes normally and the other kicking out, so then they both did them from the ladder. See this match.

12) Christopher Daniels/ Donovan Morgan v. Bryan Danielson/ Michael Modest- 6

Before this match gets started, we see a CM Punk and Colt Cabana promo which I promptly fast forwarded through. They looked like two goofy high school kids talking shit to each other. Punk looked strung out. But, onto the main event: This was a good finals for the tag tourney. All 4 guys seemed really familiar with each other which really helps the dynamic of the match. Danielson was really great at selling his knee being hurt, even when he was getting in offense. They had a good tag dynamic going for a while and Modest continued his streak of dealing out punishing forearms while I sat and ate Oreo's and milk with glee. The dive section was pretty sorry and could have been left out. Modest and Morgan slinging each other into the guard rail half heartedly was piss poor and lazy, but Daniels and Dragon worked out the finish in ring nigh any major problems. I enjoyed this as a main event but ROH in it's early days had many, many problems that needed to be worked out.

The Retro Raw Recap: WWF Raw - 1/10/94

It's the Raw one-year anniversary special and we are live from Richmond, VA! Your fabulous hosts for the evening are Vinnie Mac and Randy Savage.

1) The Quebecers vs. Marty Jannetty & The 1-2-3 Kid - 5
This is for the tag team titles. The story behind this is that two weeks ago, Quebecers manager Johnny Polo cheated to beat Jannetty in a singles bout. Last week, Jannetty and the Kid forced Polo to make the match we have before us. Jannetty and the Kid are like a second coming of the Rockers. Their fast paced style throws the Quebecers off guard. During the commerical break, there's a false finish and the crowd goes apeshit. The Quebecers controlled the late stages of the bout but eventually Jannetty and the Kid regained control. The finish saw Jannetty and Kid win the titles with a vertical suplex/top-rope cross body combo move and the crowd explodes! It was as good as you could get on Raw in 94 and no one gave Marty & Kid a chance in hell to win the gold.

2) Ludvig Borga vs. Brad Anderson - 2
I really can't believe how hard Borga was getting pushed by the WWF! He makes quick work of Anderson with a torture rack type move for the finish. Borga would eventually sustain a career-ending ankle injury during a match with Rick Steiner at MSG a week before the Royal Rumble. He would eventually pop-up in the early days of the UFC where he managed to suck even worse.

3) The Undertaker vs. Ray Hudson - 2
Is it wrong to feel sorry for the jobbers because I really feel sorry for Hudson right now. The poor scrub has to fight the Undertaker for God's sake! Vince makes mention of a weird smell being either formaldehyde or Hudson. Taker wins with one of the most vicious tombstones I've ever seen. Hey Hudson ... what do you want on your tombstone? Me personally, I'll take pepperoni and extra cheese.

4) Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Bastion Booger - 2
So this is it, huh? This is the big main event on Raw. Believe it or not there's actually a story behind this. Bastion and Bam Bam teamed up last week and Luna began to rub Bastion's hump after he got beaten up by the Smoking Gunns. Bastion started to hug Luna, Bam Bam got pissed, and they starting brawling. There wasn't really much to note except for the fact that Bigelow took a sick bump on an Irish whip into the buckle. Booger was pretty immobile and Bigelow made quick work of him and blew him into a snot rag.

We wrap up with Vince and Randy preparing to cut the cake when they are interrupted by Irwin R. Schyster. IRS runs down Savage in preparation for their match next week and Savage throws the entire cake in his face. Wait ... the candle was still lit!!

Next week, it's the final Raw before the Royal Rumble and Savage takes on I.R.S. in the main event!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Performer Analysis: Jerry Lynn

I was looking through some basic house show results from around the country and found Lynn's name semi- main eventing at some local Pennslyvania booking and became incredibly sad. A man who has been working in the business for 20 years is relegated to working with Mr. Booker-man's 400 pound chaw spitting cousin. So, I thought this a perfect time for his analysis.

1) Innovation- 7

Lynn's contributions to innovation in the wrestling world are sometimes underplayed, mainly because they haven't always affected the industry as a whole. When he first started in professional wrestling, there was no junior or cruiserweight division to speak in the States (Japan was already promoting the smaller athletes) until he and Sean Waltman (the Lightning Kid) began a feud down in Texas that really encapsulated what smaller men were capable of doing inside the ring. Probably one of the more respectable things to come out of Global (we won't talk about Mike Davis' moon rock). Then in the midst of the biggest boom in wrestling history, in a small fed running out of Philly, Lynn and RVD start a feud that everyone in the world turns their attention to mainly because of the style of matches they were having. And of course, Lynn was there in the hey day of the X division and helped birth that style as well, with the likes of AJ Styles and Low Ki.

2) Conditioning- 7

Lynn has never had a bodybuilders physique but that's okay because I don't think his body would look right with it. He wasn't built to carry that kind of weight. He has really high stamina and previously a long, lanky physique, now padded in the midsection as all men do as they grow older. He's worked tons of longer matches in his career and can hold his own in a longer paced match. If steroid or drug use was part of his career, I don't think it's factored in very much.

3) Skill- 8

Lynn is a great worker, and has excelled in match quality, above all else in his career. His work ethic is very strong and he knows how to implement lots of little things in matches to help the overall quality. I'd say his lack of charisma doesn't always help point out these intricacies but as far as his in ring performances, usually very high quality. He sells pain very well, and takes great bumps and is not afraid to take a risk for the overall sake of the match. He works well with a great many number of opponents, although smaller workers around his size is his forte. He works very well from underneath and doesn't mind doing a job to put someone over. He's a great journey man competitor and an invaluable backbone player anywhere he works.

4) Psychology- 10

Experience counts for something in this business. Lynn has picked up tricks of the trade wherever he goes, whether it be from his trainer Brad Rheignens, former opponent Lance Storm, or former fellow Heat jobber Scotty 2 Hotty. Lynn knows how to implement great psych into his matches, such as nagging injuries from previous matches, desperation comebacks, and moves that can finish someone. He doesn't have a giant ego, or a Superman physique, so he knows his limitations and works within them, in a realistic sense. Lynn is a fan of near fall pins (as am I); his only down fall is not sticking to the age old adage, "less is more" and tries to combat the younger talent with a barrage of innovative moves when a good old fashioned small package near fall can pop a crowd more if done correctly.

5) Interviews- 5

As with most technically proficient athletes, Lynn's weakness is on camera although he's not as bashful as most, but he's also not very polished. Lynn can cut a feud fueling promo, but not a money one. Not one that will get the crowd behind him or the people watching on TV at home behind that feud and think "I need to go pay money to see this match when they come near us!" His obsession with death metal always seems to creep his way in to his earlier work and I really was appalled at some of his TNA stuff, playing up as being like the grandfather of the X Division, but I guess it worked for him, oh that's right, it didn't,he got canned so Pacman Jones could stand on the ring apron like an idiot for 3 months.

6) Character- 5

Jerry Lynn has pretty much always played Jerry Lynn, a hardworking guy who loved to compete. We've seen flashes of a sadistic side to him, such as painting his chest with blood like war paint which has been done to death now. Other than that, he's been a face nearly all his career, except that wretched run with Cyrus as a guy who only competes in main events. As my cousin Melissa used to say when she was a teenager, "Gag me with a fork."

7) Fans- 5

It's hard to judge how a real crowd would react to Jerry these days after seeing him in the TNA Asylum so long. There are only 150 people there and they drone like zombies to whoever comes out so that's not a good indicator. I would say he is a recognizable guy, but not overtly so. I think the fans appreciate his hardwork over the years and would get a great reaction due to respect. But, he is not a guy that's going to draw waves of fans to see him, not a money player at all. I'd say large scale crowds and fans would be indifferent to him, maybe even shit on his wrestling style were he to be in front of a WWE crowd again, just as they did when he was there the first time.

8) Basics- 9

Lynn has a great understanding of most basic wrestling holds and when to apply them in a match. He's definitley old school in that he doesn’t just fall on the mat and grab a body part, that when he cinches in an armbar he knows exactly where to put the pressure at to make it look real. He can work a training school match pretty well I would say, but I really hate the way he hits the ropes. It's pretty exposing because he looks like he is afraid of getting hurt and as a fan, I watch and wonder "that shouldn't hurt should it?" his punches are decent (actually I think he's a forearm guy.)

9) Feuds/ Matches- 7

Lynn has had 2 feuds that will be remembered once he is long gone, the first one being with Sean Waltman. Their matches in Global were unlike anything that was around in the States because they were working a New Japan Juniors style that hadn't been brought to America yet. TNA capitalized on this feud nearly 20 years later, bringing both men back in for a long awaited return match and even though both men's best days were behind them, they put on a 4 star match that was among the best in 2005. His 2nd was with "Mr. Monday Night" Rob Van Dam. RVD was known as a showman and loved to put on the best matches of the night, but when Lynn started hitting his stride in the land of Extreme, fans took notice and clamored to see these two go at it, which they did many, many times. They seemed to have a chemistry together that was far beyond that of any other 2 men in the promotion and the feud caught the attention of wrestling fans worldwide during the height of wrestling's mainstream popularity. I would say this feud is among the many reasons ECW propelled itself out into a bigger spotlight at the time. He also had minor feuds over the years with Justin Credible, AJ Styles, Low Ki, and more recently Chris Sabin. Lynn unfortunately has missed out on many great matches with top superstars over the years that surely would have been treats, so his rank is a little lower than most.

10) Gutcheck- 7

In an interview on a TNA DVD release, Lynn basically said he just loves to compete and that's what drives him. It's not the money,(although without that, who would really be doing this job?), or the fame, or the women it was the desire to compete and have a better match than his last. If that is what drives the man, there are certainly worse things. I think my finding his name amongst a small local indy show in PA proves that point. Lynn has never acquired superstar status in the industry, he's had few t shirts, or action figures, but he has been a World Champion (ECW) and he has put on some classics to be remembered. He's a quiet figure on the wrestling landscape, but certainly a positive influence for younger competitors and a treat to watch for fans.

Final Score: 70
Ranking: Superstar
PO: thumbs up

The Retro Raw Recap: WWF Raw - 1/3/94

The "Retro Raw Recap" is a new on-going series looking at the year that was 1994 on Monday Night Raw. What better way to start than with the first episode of the year!

WWF Monday Night Raw - 1/3/94 ...

Taped in Poughkeepsie, NY. Your hosts are the always dapper Vince McMahon and Johnny Polo.

1) Yokozuna vs. Dan Dubiel - 3
From the get-go, Polo is hamming it up on commentary with such witty comments as "Dubiel or not Dubiel, that is the question". Vince pulls him back on track as Yoko takes some massive liberties on the scrawny youngster Dubiel. Hard kicks to the face and a bonzai drop that crushes Dubiel's larnyx ends it. The match was nothing but points are awarded for the sick bonzai drop.

2) The Smoking Gunns vs. Bam Bam Bigelow & Bastion Booger - 3
I guess you could call this the marquee match-up of the night. Booger can hardly move and looks pretty much repulsive. Polo quips about Booger's "hump" on commentary. The Gunns were still fairly new to the WWF at this point, having only been there about six months or so. It was painfully obvious when Bart severly botches an over-the-top spot. The finish sees Luna massaging Booger's hump (ewww!) and then Booger hugging Luna and the summarily getting beat-up by Bam Bam.

3) Jeff Jarrett vs. John Chrystal - 2
Chrystal gets in the most offense I've ever seen from a jobber in a three-minute beatdown. He gets at least three near-falls on Jarrett in the first two minutes. I guess good ol' Double J took him kinda lightly. Jarrett rebounds and wins with a sloppy DDT. The match itself was solid but nothing notable. Afterwards, the 1-2-3 Kid and Marty Jannetty challenge the Quebecers to a tag title match next week.

4) Shawn Michaels vs. Brian Walsh - 3
It's main event time! Walsh is sporting a teal ring jacket with stones and I will refrain from homosexual jokes here. Michaels has his way with the young jobber. Walsh gets in a bit of offense but winds up on the wrong end of a superkick and a sick piledriver.

Closing out, Vince hypes next week's show as the one-year anniversary and announces Kid & Jannetty vs. Quebecers for the tag titles and Bam Bam vs. Bastion Booger.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Performer Analysis: Scott Hall

4 time WWE Intercontinental Champion
7 time WCW Tag Team Champion
2 time WCW US Champion
1 time WCW TV Champion
1 time AWA Tag Team Champion
1 time USWA World Champion

1) Innovation- 8

When Hall showed up on WCW Nitro back in June of 96, the wrestling world stood up and took notice. What followed was arguably the most successful wrestling "angle" of all time, the New World Order. To make it work, it took Hall and Nash as the backbone of the group, on camera, to be stirring the pot. What happened is they created a whole legion of fans who thought they were the real stars of WCW. They had the cool catchphrases, they were trendy, they were fun and they were innovating every week. Now, we know there came a time when the NWO got staler than the bag of potato chips under your bed, but for a long time, they were on top and Hall was at the forefront of that. Hall was apart of the new trend of revealing what was going on behind the curtain, to show the fans that everything wasn't as real or fake as they thought it was. And don't forget he helped popularize the ladder match with Shawn Michaels after their historic Wrestlemania encounter.

2) Conditioning- 4

If you've seen Hall on a recent edition of TNA Impact, you know what i'm talking about. The guy used to be ripped and have some stamina, but that has all but disappeared. What we have now is a near 50 year old man trying to compensate for the tools he used to have. Hall's physique is gross and his stamina is near non existent. His addled drug and alcohol abuse have taken a horrible toll on him and have dampened his stature amongst the wrestling community, especially in light of all that has happened in the last year.

3) Skill- 6

Hall is a competent perfomer, or at least he was for most of his career. He knows how to pace himself and not burn out everything he can do in the first few minutes of a match. He has had some really great matches with a wide variety of opponents over the years. He used to take some serious bumps in his younger years, but i don't think that's relevant anymore. On occasion, he is known to "over sell" and over act to the utmost degree, which is completely ridiculous. Even a two year old can determine he looks more like a cartoon character than an athlete when he's in that mode. Hall had some really devastating moves that he used regularly, especially the Super Back Suplex and the Razor's Edge.

4) Psychology- 7

Hall has a great psych game. His limited offense only goes so far, and that's when you need time and skill to build a match upon. Hall knows exactly how to pull a crowd into a match, whether it's against him or for him. He also is very adapt at working over a body part and making it look halfway legit. He doesn't sell pain well on his face and his over the top comedy act gets pretty redundant, but he strays over to the comedy side quite often, especially now since he's getting older, he's having to use more tricks up his sleeve.

5) Interviews- 10

"Hey, yo!" That one line has made him a lot of money. Hall has been using his Scarface-wannabe accent for years and it has always paid off. He has a quick wit that makes him fun to listen to and an unpredictibility that makes him fun to watch. It could be argued that Hall is more entertaining when he's talking than when he's wrestling. Hall has always had a handle on his Cuban trash talker gimmick and lived it up to it's potential, therefore nearly adapting his own persona as Scott Hall into a Cuban.

6) Character- 8

As Scott Hall, in his early days, he pretty much floundered. As the Diamond Studd, he failed miserably being a character who nobody really knew what he was supposed to be. As Razor Ramon, he flourished under the guise that i'm sure many Cuban refugees who came to America pretened to be: Tony Montana, a tough guy, a guy that was going to get his and become rich and powerful. It was pretty identifiable and i'm surprised WWE didn't have a bigger following down there because of Ramon. Hall played this part better and more convincing than he does as himself, which is saying something. Hall teters between face and heel most of the time, easily able to bat between the two roles, as his is pretty much undefined.

7) Basics- 5

I know early in his career Hall was pretty well versed in the basics but ever since his first WWE run that has pretty much went out the window. His abdominal stretch is pretty sweet though. He has a great punch, although it has a tendency to turn into a blantantly open hand slap a lot of the times. His ring style has slowed down to a lethargic crawl these days, but that doesn't condemn him with a low score.

8) Fans- 9

Hall gets a reaction, everywhere he goes. He's a big name in the sport, due to his run in WWE and in the NWO. Fans love a catchphrase too, and Hall has several in his aresenal to unleash each and everytime he returns. I'd say Hall makes returns more than anything because he only ever has a short run no matter where he turns up. Even as a heel, Hall will still get cheered simply due to the NWO association when that kind of fan response was so common.

9) Match/ Opponent- 7

Hall will forever be remembered for his ladder match at Wrestlemania XX with Shawn Michaels which was a classic.
But, he has had some other great matches and feuds with the likes of Bret Hart, Kevin Nash, Jeff Jarrett, Goldust, and Sting. Hall has gotten to compete with the biggest names in the wrestling world during his career and has held up decently with most of them. I don't know the last really great Scott Hall match i've seen and i'm sure he doesn't either ,but he's still had a handful of great matches with some of the biggest names in the business.

10) Gutcheck- 3

Very few guys stick around the wrestling business because they have a honest passion for it and love doing it. A few more guys stick around because they have never done anything else and like the traveling, the backstage gossip and the comraderie. But, i'd say 90% of performers that stick around past their prime do it because of the money or hope of money and i'd put Scott Hall in that category. Despite all the great things he's done for the business, he's also been one of the blackest eyes on it with his famed drug and alcohol abuse. It's even been the subject of numerous wrestling storylines. I think there should be another factor when weighing a performer's grade in this category and that is Integrity, and call me out if i'm wrong on this one, but Hall has zilch as far as i'm concerned.

Final Score: 67
Ranking: Superstar
PO: Thumbs down

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Cryme Tyme vs. Chris Masters and Viscera - (WWE Heat 5/4/07) - 3

This is only a few months old, so it’s kind of surreal that only one of these guys still is employed by the WWE. This is Viscera pre-suspenders, so he’s still rocking the silk pajamas that very effectively showcase his lovely non-lady lumps. There wasn’t much of note here, but a few things did catch my eye, namely Shad’s excellent sells of some Masters kneedrops, where he screamed and squirmed displaying pain better than any of the victims in Saw movies. There isn’t any notable bumps or stiff shots, the storytelling’s basic, but outside of those limitations it’s a fairly inoffensive bout. I look forward to seeking out soon some videos of Masters matches in-front of 250 people in poorly organized independent shows. Next time your boss leaves the immediate area, don’t go lusting after girls you’ll never touch on MySpace, but instead, hit up the wealth of wrestling footage available for free on the WWE site, as in the canon of quality wrestling, Heat’s going to go down as one of the most unappreciated gems.

Friday, November 23, 2007

World Class Championship Wrestling presents David Von Erich Parade of Champions Memorial Show- 05/09/86

1 Butch Reed v. Chic Donovan- 2

Chic belongs in the Mullet Hall of Fame, hands down. This match is pretty short and standard squash fare, although Donovan does get in a fair amount of offense, including his neck cranking headlock special that used to be the finishing move of those old WWF action figures. Donovan also has a great looping right hand that he uses effectively. I've always heard so much shit about how good Reed was, but he looks lost in this match. He has a severe time even finding the ring ropes at one point to bounce off of. Reed hits a flying tackle for the finish in this dud which was rather unimpressive, much like Vince McMahon's overhyped dork.

2 Great Kabuki v. Kimala- 3

Don't ask me how, but I actually got into this one….a little. Kabuki's physique is as asthetically pleasing as roadkill. This match is about two monsters getting it on. Kabuki's chops are feared like anthrax and Kimala sells his fear accordingly. Kabuki has some great kicks and he's really not afraid to shoot them into the Ugandan Giant's belly repeatedly. Kimala hooks on a armpit/ side boob nerve hold for the better part of 5 minutes and I've honestly never seen that before, but I bet it god damn hurts! Kabuki grits his teeth and shows some emotion, after he brushes his hair out of his face like Fabio would at a romance novel cover photo shoot, subsequently taking 5 or 6 shots of man goo to the face from the severly disturbed camera crew. This ends in manager interference so we will never know who was the fattest, oldest monster heel with face paint. Somewhere Ron Howard says "Gosh Darn it!"

3 Junkyard Dog v. the Missing Link- 2

I almost gave this a 3 because the Dog was pretty funny, but I'd be hard pressed to really tell you about anything he did in the ring that could be considered athletic. Link was bumping through the ropes looking like the stretchy Judge Doom from the final fight in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" This was a battle of who had the strongest head. Well, when it's straight up head to head combat, go with the black man (I'm sure there are some really perverted connotations to this) as Dog gets on all 4's and repeatedly ram's Link square in the cranium. Link finds his weakness and realizes his head can hurt any part of JYD's body except his cranium so he wins with a shitty flying headbutt. Link must have had a migraine because he was gripping the side of his head as he did the finish. The fans were into it, as with most of Dog's matches, but from a techincal standpoint, this was bottom of the barrel wrestling, probably much like Kevin Nash's in ring return at Genesis will be like.

4 Iceman King Parsons/ Buck Zhumhofe v. Super Destroyers- 1

You hardly ever see a Tag Title match with faceless, masked jabroni teams as the challengers, but that's what we have here. Buck is way too energetic and is desperately trying to be noticed by this humongous crowd. I'm guessing his wife just left him and his kids told him he smells like garbage. Anyways, this match is COMPLETELY PITIFUL. No tag work at all and 3/4 of the participants look like day 1 Rookies in a ring. The crowd isn't even buying this and there's 50,000 people there. You would think there would even be a little noise if 2 monkeys were slapboxing in the middle of the ring but no one cares about this shit.

5 Fritz/Kevin/ Mike Von Erich v. the Freebirds- 2

I love classic Rock n Roll songs and while "Stranglehold" by Ted Nugent is in that category, I would rank "Badstreet" probably right up there with William Shatner's rendition of "Rocket Man" Besides that, this match was a joke. Mike was selling like he had that voodoo curse dead Bernie had on him in that Sequel to Weekend at…the aforementioned Bernie's. It was really over the top. Kevin was his usual stiff self just flying around and punching people really hard. The sad part is he was barely in the ring. All 3 Freebirds were being complete bitches for Fritz, especially Gordy doing two flips across the ring from a right hand from the old corpse…and that was before he was dead. The way it was booked reminded me of a McMahon ego stroke and I really despised this match.

6 Ric Flair v. Kerry Von Erich- 5

This was the match that was supposed to be David's title win, but it was pushed to Kerry, who arguably deserved it just as much. Flair sold big time for Kerry, really landing awkwardly and hard for his picturesque dropkicks. He also loved kneeing Kerry in the junk, as Flair perpetrated that very move at least 4 times during the match. Flair's psych was off though; he really didn't attempt to work Kerry's legs at all, opting to use shoulderblocks and snapmares as the majority of his offense. Didn't make much sense. Kerry had some really good crowd pleasing spots that worked, but his mat technique leaves much to be desired. Several times he just kind of held onto Flair's arm on the ground like a kid to the safety bar on a roller coaster, really nothing behind it. The finish was well conceived, but it was pretty apparent Flair was going to be beltless long, especially after he barges into Kerry's victory party and pretty much tells him that.

7 Chris Adams/ Sunshine v. Jimmy Garvin/ Precious- 3

This match was all about the ladies going at it, but neither of them could wrestle or had chesticles that were visually appealing so already this match has a lot dragging it down. That said, Adams' work was really crisp and Garvin has great heel tendencies. He suffered as his fellow World Class cohorts did that night of major overselling and it wears him out. Not a lot to say about this except why the hell was it main eventing over a World title switch?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

RF Video Shoot Interview - Koko B. Ware

This shoot was a far cry from the recent Too Cold Scorpio shoot I watched. In the Too Cold interview, Scorpio detailed a lot of dirt from the different scenes he was a part in, and didn’t hesitate to bury other guys and call people out. Ware was much more humbler, his memory a bit foggier, and made it clear he wasn’t the type to hold grudges. They spent a good amount of time discussing all of his different territorial runs before getting the call from Vince to join the WWF. The juiciest story from his early days was one in which Steve Kiern suckerpunched Ware in a locker room shower.

Koko talked a lot about all of the different people he worked against and with in the WWF. He didn’t have much to say negatively, outside of not enjoying being on the receiving end of a Headshrinkers splash, as they never held back. He talked very fondly about WrestleMania III and it was obvious it was one of the highlights of his life. He told the origins of his mascot bird Frankie. I won’t get into details, but he discussed over a dozen of the company’s top performers from that era, and if you’re a fan of that period you should seek this out. He talked about an incident while touring in Europe where he beat the shit out of one of McMahon’s executives, which played a major factor in his being released by the company.

Near the end of the interview, Koko talked about being discouraged about not being contacted by Jarrett to do anything with TNA, and how he just wishes WWE would give him the opportunity to walk down the aisle in Madison Square Garden one last time. The video ends with a solitary tear running down Ware’s face as he gets choked up. This wasn’t acting, it was real emotion, and the incompetents at RF Video couldn’t have scripted something this sincere if they tried. I genuinely hope Koko is inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame one day, as he deserves his due, and seems to be one of a few from that era who’s heart is bigger than his head.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Miz vs. Matt Hardy (WWE Smackdown! 5/25/07) – 6

This was really good I thought. Pretty early on, Hardy ate a couple nasty Miz back elbows and took a bump backwards, snapping his neck on the way down against the middle rope. From that point on, Hardy acted concussed, really selling the disorientation and head trauma. Miz took control, working over Hardy, cinching a great cravate, rolling through to keep a hold of it, etc. Hardy’s comeback was believable, and featured a great near fall where you thought Miz was definitely done. The only minor quibble is Miz sold the “Twist of Fate” like a reverse neckbreaker, but that aside, this was real solid and told a good story.

WWE Survivor Series '07

Miz vs. CM Punk vs. John Morrison - 5

This was a fairly good, fast-paced opener that was lacking in build and storytelling, but made up for it with an up-tempo pace and the support of a lively crowd. Punk was in the corner when he delivered a brutal straight kick to Miz's face that he ate like a burger. Portions of the crowd were very hot for Punk, and he did a decent job of being a leader here, even if the majority of his offense is blatantly stolen from KENTA.

Beth Phoenix, Jillian Hall, Layla, Victoria, and Melina vs. Torrie Wilson, Mickie James, Maria, Michelle McCool and Kelly Kelly - 2

Melina botching her entrance was a real laugh, as was the majority of this eyesore of a bout. They kept it relatively short, thankfully, but it still induced some cringes. Torrie's been wrestling part-time for almost a decade and still doesn't appear to have a clue. When Mickie James entered she was full of energy and woke up the crowd. Her making out with Melina was about as appetizing as the soufflé of shit Scott Hall swapped for Sunny's room service dinner years ago.

Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch vs. Cody Rhodes and Hardcore Holly - 4

Being a regular OVW watcher, it's obvious that thus far Cody sticks largely to what he knows, thus his weapon of choice, often a side headlock. Holly delivered some mean shots, per usual, and this was moderately good for a match with little fan interest surrounding it. The story was fine, that Cody's inexperience led him to be distracted enough to get quickly pinned by Murdoch, but if I have to see Trevor attempt the "Canadian Destroyer" again I might gouge out my eyes.

Mr. Kennedy, Fit Finlay, Umaga, MVP and Big Daddy V vs. Jeff Hardy, Rey Mysterio, Kane, and Triple H - Survivor Series Match - 7

I'll say assuredly that this was one of the better traditional Survivor Series styled matches we've seen in quite a long time. I wouldn't necessarily say everybody got a chance to shine, but for the most part everyone did their part well, and they gave it a decent amount of time to build and tell a tale. I won't go into details about the particular eliminations, but suffice to say, most of them were solid and I was especially happy to see Kane eliminated first. Finlay didn't get utilized a lot until the last section, but in that time, took some quality bumps and worked hard in his role. Big Daddy V came off looking like a legit monster. I was really pleased with this.

Hornswoggle McMahon vs. Great Khali - 0

This was a festering piece of garbage that we could all see coming from miles away. At least after they got past the entire pre-match hullabaloo it was kept mercifully short. It'll birth a Finlay versus Khali feud surely, but if I have to watch anyone wrestle Khali, it may as well be one of the company's better overall workers.

Randy Orton vs. Shawn Michaels - 8

This was a phenomenal match and featured two top-notch performances. They did a lot of mat work early, more than you'll typically see on a WWE show by far, and while the crowd live may have not got into it, I thought it was fantastic. Michaels actually looked credible on the ground. Michaels busting out Bret Hart, Chris Benoit, and Kurt Angle's patented submissions was a real treat, too. Orton's selling seemed to be a bit toned down, as sometimes he borders on the absurd, although I did love his post-match facial with the glazed stare after eating "Sweet Chin Music." The psychology of the finish, where Michaels' hesitation caused him to be on the receiving end of "RKO" was brilliant.

Undertaker vs. Batista - Hell In A Cell Match - 7

This was a bloody battle, and in the context of their feud, was a great capper. Jumping to the ending, the surprise interference from Edge hurt its overall impact, but was probably a smart move booking wise. The match itself was a war, with some believable brawling throughout, nasty chair and steel ring steps shots, and a breathtaking table bump. While this isn't their best work together, it still maintained the feeling of a major match, and was a fairly unobjectionable closer to one of the more enjoyable pay-per-views of 2007.

Friday, November 16, 2007

WWE Smackdown! house show (Wellington, New Zealand 3/04/06) Co-Review

1. Road Warrior Animal vs. Matt Hardy - (J:1 B:2)

Jessie: man, Animal has fallen far from grace. I was just watching a tape the other day where he could put the tips of his boots in a guy's face with a dropkick. In this match, he's lucky to hit Matt's small and curlies. Hardy brings stiff and realistic punches to Hobbitland, as he does everywhere else. He plays up a leg injury, one of his signatures and Animal makes it look shoddy as an invention from the Dad from "Gremlins." He botches a dragon screw leg whip for the finish and barely covers Matt. Really disappointing.

Brian: At this point, Animal had a harder time trying to fit into an XXL t-shirt, and likely put more efforts towards such activities than he did having competent matches. Hardy generally works hard to add touches of realism to his sells, but I’d rather watch him as teenager taking awkward bumps on a trampoline than participating in the further diminishing of a legend like Animal in a throwaway bout.

2 Finlay vs. Lashley - (J:4 B:3)

Jessie: Before the match, we are treated to a really funny Lashley segment where he seeps charisma, For the 1st time in recorded history. He walks down to a beach and says "Hogan, The Rock, Bobby Lashley" as a pickup line and this large chested Kiwi girl practically throws herself on his large black cock. As far as the match, Finlay during most of 2006 was paired with Lashley in a feud to school Lashley, which was pretty effective. In this match, the Irishman would rather play folly to the loud and obnoxious crowd. There were some good exchanges from them and you can see the familiarity helping Lashley feel comfortable with Fit. The match isn't very hard hitting, and is short, but what they did was believable.

Brian: I’m with Jessie and that I was really amused be the video package showing Lashley beachside being smooth. The match itself is fairly decent, as Lashely was in full pupil mode, soaking up the knowledge of veteran statesmen Finlay. This wasn’t bad, per se, but doesn’t fair well when compared to some of their actual televised bouts, thus the weaker grade.

3. Orlando Jordan vs. Boogeyman - (J:1 B:1)

Jessie: OJ looks bad, but Boogey far surpasses him. He can't even brawl properly. He can't splash in the corner. He can't sell a punch without shaking like a fool. He can't wrestle. But he goes over. I won't insult your intelligence and ask you to explain.

Brian: I was in a minority that saw some potential in Jordan, but he squandered his opportunity, deeming it more important to take drunken pictures in photo booths with other gay men than being at shows. Boogeyman has improved at this point, as evidenced by some of the recent ECW stuff, but at this point he was one of the worst workers in the business. While still limited, he’s now acquired the knowledge to try to make his stuff compatible with an opponent’s, and pacing issues, etc. I wouldn’t be surprised if later that night Jordan tried to put Boogeyman’s “worm” in his mouth.

4. Booker T v. Chris Benoit - (J:4 B:4)

Jessie: These guys have had wonderful matches in the past, even during this run, but you could call this match a Fed Ex death match because this was mailed in from way back in America. Booker is usually one of the few guys to take Benoit's Germans like a real man, but here he settles for half assed, comedic sells. Benoit doesn't even bring the stiff and you can see his desire to hurt his family in his eyes. Don't you wish he just would have taken out his rage out on The Miz, or even Vince? Wouldn't have been so tragic. I honestly don't remember the finish because this was a plain match that didn't suffer from mistakes just didn't benefit from passion.

Brian: These guys have built a legacy of stellar work together, sadly, this ranked near the bottom of their omnibus. Booker seemed distracted, probably crunching numbers in his head, wondering why $5 goes missing at his urban clothing shop back in Texas every time Jerome closes. Benoit ate a scissors kick nicely at one point, and seeing Booker tap cleanly was a pleasant way to end this forgettable bout.

5. Randy Orton vs. Rey Mysterio - (J:5 B:5)

Jessie: The only match that seemed to put it in 2nd gear. Orton's selling these days is masterful and you can see hints of it here in this match, after his awesome sell of a tornado headscissors. Rey can look lethargic now with all his added steroid weight, but his offense calls for him to put something into it, or else he gets hurt, so even his half- assed stuff looks pretty good. I don't think these two styles mesh well but both are great workers and put together a match that's almost worth seeking out.

Brian: These guys had a match on Smackdown! in ’06 that was unanimously praised as a MOTY candidate. I don’t necessarily agree with Jessie that their styles don’t mesh well, as Rey as of late, much like Shawn Michaels has throughout his career, has made it his modus operandi to adapt to other guys. This didn’t have the drama or storytelling of their aforementioned classic, but was still largely good under the context of being a house show match. Orton’s sells were extreme, bordering on the asinine, but just finding that perfect balance before slipping over the edge.

6. Kurt Angle vs. Undertaker vs. Mark Henry - (J:4 B:4)

Jessie: Everytime I see Angle wrestle now and unload with his barrage of 5000 punches per match, I can't help but think of Brian's review where he likened his motion to that of a grade school child applying a Slap Bracelet to their wrist. The resemblance is uncanny. Mark Henry was a big ole' tub of mutated lard. He was slow and didn't really add anything to this match. Angle and Taker had some good spots together by now, but they don't really blend in well with a thrown together 3 way. Taker looked pretty focused, but what can you do with a gorilla and a coke head in a foreign country? Well, you can't watch "Two and a Half Men" and go to bed early, I know that.

Brian: I don’t think Henry’s as useless as most, just like Orton he had an unbelievable match with Rey Mysterio on Smackdown! in ’06, and just the other night I saw him make a Batista spear look absolutely vicious. Still, nothing was there to save this retched excuse for a main event. Undertaker and Angle had some ridiculously good singles matches together; both forcing the other guy to rise to another level, but none of that passion or dedication was showcased here. These guys were on autopilot, so much so that in fact, they metaphorically wrecked this thing right into a building. There were some decent reversals of Angle’s submissions, but most of the exchanges in this match were hackneyed, and the finish was a complete mess with a unrealistic ref bump, etc.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

WCCW TV - 1/15/83

1) Buddy Roberts vs. Brian Adias - 2
2) Michael Hayes vs. Al Madril - 3
3) Andre the Giant vs. Terry Gordy vs. King Kong Bundy vs. Bugsy McGraw vs. Wild Bill Irwin vs. Kerry Von Erich - Six Man Elimination Match - 4

Well, this was basically just a Freebird showcase. Adias was about as pasty as a ball of dough at a cake shop. Roberts wasn't really impressive but had a nice look about him. Afterwards, a video of Bill Mercer visiting the Freebirds at home and asking questions about the finish of the Flair/Kerry cage match from Reunion Arena. While it was a fun little package, the background music was edited over which left some of the dialogue hard to hear.

The bout with Hayes and Madril was a little more action packed than the opener but still wasn't much more than a showcase for Hayes. The reason this gets a better grade than the opener was because the selling from both guys was way better than the first bout. Hayes hit a piledriver and pulled Madril up from a pin followed by an attack from Jose Lothario who challenged Hayes to a match.

A six-man match like the main even was a rarity back in the day. It was basically a six-man battle royal but the talent array was so interesting that it warranted a decent rating. Also, seeing Andre in World Class was a treat as well. The main story of the match was focusing on the Gordy/Von Erich issue that had spawned from the finish of the Flair/Von Erich cage match the previous week. Andre dominated Gordy who eliminated Kerry early on. The match dragged at points but was still cool to watch with the talent involved.

Overall, this episode focused mainly on building the Freebirds up as threats to the Von Erichs with the main point being the finish of the cage match from the previous week. The Freebirds/Von Erich feud would eventually turn World Class into the hottest territory of the 1980s and all the seeds that were planted in the previous episode were expounded upon here. I would definitely recommend watching the Flair/Kerry cage match before viewing this in order to know exactly what's happening.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

RF Video Shoot Interview - Too Cold Scorpio

I’ve been a big fan of Too Cold since the early 90’s so I was excited to watch his shoot interview. Overall, I definitely enjoyed the experience, laughing out loud several times throughout, but I also think it could have been a lot better. Too Cold is candid, not afraid to speak his mind, and never seems disinterested or gives half-assed answers.

Let’s talk about the pros and cons. The pros are somewhat covered above, but to go into more detail, I really enjoyed Scorpio not holding back, as well as hearing behind the scenes stories and his thoughts on the people he enjoyed working with. There was also a ton of drug chat, which I found hilarious. The cons were that it only ran roughly 90 minutes, was void of any in-ring footage, and glosses over a lot of shit, especially his WWF stint, which was treated as an afterthought.

Here are some highlights from some of Scorpio’s comments for those that don’t want to shell out cash to see it firsthand:

WCW – He said Bill Watts was a racist. He said Buff Bagwell was a bitch and if he saw him in public he’d beat his ass. Said Sting was upset that Scorpio had a scorpion on his tights. He kept hinting towards heat with Pillman, but didn’t want to disrespect the dead. He talked about the Arn/Sid scissor incident. He said Missy Hyatt, after all the cosmetic surgery, still looked like shit. His first impression of Paul E. Dangerously was that he was a bitch. Talked about the “cocaine party”, and how, while touring an island, Steamboat and Flair’s wives wanted his dick. Said it wasn’t his fault Foley lost his ear. He said he beat Road Warrior Hawk’s ass in Korea in a brawl. He said Flair conspired to have him fired.

Mexico – Said Mil Mascaras was a prick, El Canek and Santo were cool, and he liked working with guys like Negro Casas, Silver King, and the Villanos. Said it was real easy to get drugs there. Said he worked Andre the Giant, and after only one Andre punch he was nearly knocked out, so afterward he respected everything he had done in the business. Said he’d hang with Yokozuna down there because he could roll the best blunts.

ECW – Said the drug scene there was completely crazy. He enjoyed working with The Sandman, who he said was crazy as hell, and enjoyed knocking the shit out of people. He also gave props to Sabu, Jericho, the Pitbulls, and Rob Van Dam. He noted on Shane Douglas never doing a job for him, and said he was a piece of shit. He talked trash about Curtis Hughes. He said Tommy Dreamer didn’t belong in a ring. He said Taz lived his gimmick too much, and was deserving of the broken neck he got. He said Heyman still owed him money, but overall, he said it was one of his favorite places to work.

Japan – He talked about his early days there in the New Japan Dojo being a “young boy.” Talked about his early matches, including getting beaten down by Eddy Guerrero, Finlay, and Benoit. He put over guys like Misawa and Taue as legends, and said of the young breed, he really enjoys watching Marufuji and KENTA. He was real proud of NOAH.

WWF – He said Shawn Michaels could kiss his ass. He said most of their guys are overrated. He had to leave WWF originally due to a lot of personal problems, stemming from issues like his marriage, drug abuse, etc. He enjoyed getting the opportunity to work against Vader.

Overall, this was a really entertaining shoot; I got to see a different side of Scorpio, and had a lot of fun listening to his stories. It’s been awhile since I’ve really cared to seek out shoots, and only ever seen a handful, but after viewing this one, I’d like to see more. I’d also like to see Scorpio’s allegedly gigantic cock inside Stephanie McMahon for her father giving Too Cold a raw deal.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

WWE Vengeance '02 Co-Review

1. Bubba Ray and Spike Dudley vs. Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero - Tables Elimination Match (J:3 B:6)

Jessie: So this is what we have: Eddie at his greasiest, Benoit at his most roided out, Bubba, not being obese, and Spike, just there (like the rest of his career) It's so weird to see these two on a team and know five years later they're both dead and one is disgraced. With that said, they are basically dissecting the Dudleys throughout this match. They have great team work and Eddie has legit heel heat from the crowd. This match is basically an extended squash for the first ten minutes or so. Bubba was taking some great corner bumps and was letting the heels pound him well. These scientific guys have a hard time with the tables, with Tazz even calling Guerrero out saying "he's having a hell of a wrestling match with this table" Eddie yelled back at him even. Eddie looks like an inept Church fundraiser organizer, just botching the table setups left and right. All you need to know is all of the table spots are really sloppy. Spike puts himself through a table as Eddie's chin hits like he was falling asleep in study hall. Benoit drops Spike violently through some wood from a press slam, then Benoit goes ass first through a table with a Bubba Bomb, yeah, it looked uglier than it sounds. The Heels were really aggressive, as was Bubba, but there was a lot of dead air in this match, and the technicians definitley struggled with the concept of setting up tables. I have a feeling as a regular match this would be better, but since it must be graded as a tables, they failed badly at the notion.

Brian: I obviously enjoyed this a lot more than Jessie. My only complaint, and the reason it doesn't warrant a higher grade, is the table bumps that the match was based upon weren't that special. But, the bulk of the match was really enjoyable for me, it had energy and pacing that really reminded me of an old ECW Arena match. They gave it some ample time, and the guys didn't seem real concerned about squeezing in excess stuff. I think Jessie nailed it when he said the team of Benoit and Guerrero were "dissecting" their opponents, as they were just ruthless, being real aggressive and dominating. I agree with Jessie on Bubba Ray taking some good bumps throughout, eating a lot of stuff right on his face, and Spike took a bump into the stairs like a trooper. I think the difficulty setting up tables wasn't a real distraction, as I've seen ECW originals like Sabu and Sandman waste way more time. As Jessie noted, once the tables started smashing, things took a turn for the worse. It would have been nice to see Benoit eliminate Spike using one of his more patented moves, as just doing a press slam seemed like a waste of a big spot. Still, my quibbles with it aside, this was arguably the most fun match to watch of the entire show.

2. Jamie Knoble vs. Billy Kidman (J:5 B:5)

Brian: This was good, both guys looked prepared and as if they knew each other well before this. As it progressed, there were some great near falls. Kidman's arm got worked over a bunch, which he sold commendably, including a sick bump into a ringpost. Some of Kidman's strikes were weaker than the daiquiri it'd take nowadays to get Torrie Wilson to let you pee on her spread open buttocks. As it continued, things started seeming less cool because of their smoothness, and actually worse for it, as parts looked more like telegraphing than fighting. The tigerbomb finish was a nice touch.

Jessie: Huh? Right at the beginning, both men tumble out of the ring. Okay, I'll pretend that didn't happen. These guys have some good chemistry and Noble works a neat spot where he uses Nidia as a distraction to try and break Kidman's arm. Kidman's Crash Test Dummy-like spill into the post was pretty swank. Kidman is selling his arm pretty well, acting as if it hurts, but not as bad as Knoble thinks. I'd agree with Brian as the match begins to feel like a training school spot session more than a PPV match as everything they do seems nice and easy, no aggressiveness to it. I think that was always Kidman's biggest flaw: no aggression. They botch a Tornado DDT type move that the announcers even acknowledge, but the ending sequence works well and you had the feeling either guy could have won.

3. Jeff Hardy vs. William Regal (J:2 B:3)

Jessie: Regal was being deliciously evil in this , with some neat knee drop variations and such. Hardy was all over the place, walking around like the drunk guy you are sure is going to walk right through the bonfire at a party. Regal's stuff is supposed to look painful, but Hardy can't sell it the way it needs to be sold; his facials scream "I just hurt myself on a dare to jump a garbage can with a pogo stick" painful, not "my head just absorbed another man's boot!" They botched some really silly stuff outside and Regal looked noticeably pissed. A strange arm drag move and a roll up later and it's over. These styles went together as well as sweaters and chainsaws.

Brian: Jeff Hardy's hair was greener than Doc Samson's. Regal was dishing out some stiff clubbing shots, but later, his "half-nelson back throw" as Tazz called it was insipid. Regal blocked Hardy's "Swanton Bomb" by putting up his knees, subsequently, Hardy sold it like a kid disdained by opening up his fridge to no Mountain Dew Code Red left in it. Hardy got the quick victory with a roll-up, keeping some of Regal's heat, but still turning in a stinker. This was designed to be a throwaway match, but that doesn't mean it couldn't have been good.

4. John Cena vs. Chris Jericho (J:5 B:4)

Brian: This was pre-hip-hop Cena and his 1st PPV match. Cena was still green here, and instead of being a ring general, Jericho seemed bored and lackadaisical. But fuck, we didn't want laissez-faire we wanted some action! Jericho was in the corner when he blocked a Cena splash by hitting a superb dropkick off the 2nd turnbuckle. John Cena sold a bulldog like Daniel Stern in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Cena countered a cocky submission with a quick roll-up to score the upset victory. I'd like to see these guys work together again, but you can avoid this like would an ROH fan in public.

Jessie : I give this an extra point for the crazy dropkick Jericho pulled off that exploded Cena's stomach like an atom bomb! A really cool spot. Cena was really green in his Ohio State colored trunks (yet they were in Michigan and he was the face?) and a lot of what he did was telegraphed big time. Jericho took his time to get the crowd behind the near falls but he pulled it out in the end with a good upset finish. Jericho brought nothing top shelf, hell even really middle shelf and pretty much used his most basic tools to help guide Cena through this one. His sleeper drop looked like someone slipping while ice skating and grabbing the person next to them for support. Yeah, Cena's faces are the most over the top thing since Weird Al did that Amish music video.

5. Rob Van Dam vs. Brock Lesnar (J:4 B:5)

Jessie: Remember when RVD was stiff? I know it may take a memory jog, but it was around the time Bill Clinton got sucked off like a siphone. Well, Lesnar remembered too because he did a decent job of making RVD's kicks look ferocious. His forearms..there's just no hope there. Lesnar is frighteningly strong and the crowd "OOH's" and "AAH's" at his feats. He was a great Vader in this, just completely monstrous but also selling as if RVD was really putting the hurt on him. RVD gets thrown over the top post and completely acts like a woman, protecting himself from a really cool, hurty bump. Heyman loves to scream to remind you to boo him, then you remember he created ECW and you boo him anyways. DQ finish hurts the grade but the aftermatch stuff was pretty standard stuff too.

Brian: This had the feeling of a much bigger match. Jessie did a good job of covering most of its details. I often can't tell if RVD is being lazy or just high. Turn up the volume and listen to this crowd go bananas for the "5-Star Frog Splash." The beer vendor probably had a heart attack, that's if he still had a soul after spending so much time being a trifling piece of sewer shit. Heyman got Brock disqualified, which led to Charles Robinson throwing some of the worst fake punches I've ever seen, faker than Rena Mero's (or is it Lesnar now?) fun bags.

6. Big Show vs. Booker T - No DQ, No Countout (J:4 B:4)

Brian: Both of these guys were a lot thinner then, especially Big Show, who looked relatively fit compared to his latest stint in ECW, where he looked bereft of guilt and like a giant pile of sweltering dung. No, Smash TV isn't just the name of a shitty video game, now it has a new definition, as Booker smashed a monitor on Show's despicable face. Booker T did a scissorkick on Show that drove them both through a table, in a spot that looks even weirder in reality than it does typed in print. I really dug Booker busting out the "Houston Hangover" for the finish, as I always got my jollies watching him try that one. Outside of kudos for that one move, the rest of this was atypical tame hardcore stuff, like mediocre usage of weapons, etc.

Jessie: Booker certainly is a King, King of the Awesomely Entertaining Because That's What We Do: We Entertain, We Don't take Muscle Enhancing Drugs, We Put Smiles on People's Faces…well, I digress, But, his facial expressions are the Bomb. Big Show is really not giving anything to Booker, the guy's work ethic is absolutely horrible. In theory, that scissors kick was probably a good idea in the backstage area, but it played out like a choreograped scene in a USA original Van Damme film. That Hangover has to be one of the most accurate he's ever pulled off, and i agree it was the sole bright spot in this slow, tepid brawl. Smash TV was an awful game, regardless of the half naked chicks in it. This whole show was all about one experienced guy who gave a shit leading someone who either didn't know what they were doing or were too concerned with what snack they were going to eat froma vending machine then defecate onto Dawn Marie's flabby stomach.

7. Anti-Americans vs. Edge and Hulk Hogan (J:4 B:4)

Jessie: J to the Yizzo! R to the Ezzo! I love watching his younger WWE-work because he used to take so many killer bumps for no reason. Right out of the gate, he spills to the outside from a Hogan shove like a guy that ran off the top of a 3 story parking garage. Hogan has a good, simple offensive set and his punches are very No Holds Barred-ish, well, shit, that reference doesn't work very well. Hogan on defense is as shoddy as New Orleans Disaster precautions. Storm bumps everywhere all over the place, but his face is completely blank as if nothing hurts him. Edge works the last half of the match really stiff, but the first half was really weak. The match is fine, except for the overbooked Jarrett finish where Test, Rikishi (wearing a shirt with his large ass on the back) and Jericho interfere.

Brian: This was a big, bolstering piece of work to further diminish Hogan's appeal in the eyes of most. Storm looked more robotic than Rosie the Robot Maid from The Jetsons, with none of the latent sexuality. Christian still hadn't found his niche, and Edge was in the shadow of Hogan, whose inability to move at a normal speed makes him look really sad somehow. This was void of hurty bumps or solid storytelling.

8. Undertaker vs. The Rock vs. Kurt Angle (J:6 B:5)

Brian: I think Jessie will likely handle more of the details of this match, as I walk away from viewing it with little to say outside a small rant. This definitely brought me back to an era of WWE I despise, specifically WWE main events, and the lack of substance therein. 85% of this match was composed of guys punching. The punches weren't even that damned good! And, even if they had been, fit them into the context of the story you're attempting to tell, don't make them the key ingredient. But no, we've got Rock's theatrical swipes, Angle snapping off his rights like he's putting on a slap bracelet, but alas, we get no leopard print arm décor here, just unbelievable fighting by three grown men who should know better. Don't even get me started on everyone kicking out of everyone else's finishers, and then doing the other guys' finishers, repeat ad nausea, etc. I demand more out of my main events.

Jessie: This match was constantly moving with a lot of high impact stuff the whole way through. But, as Brian said, all three of these guys were so theatrical in their sells. That's usual for Rock, but Angle and even Taker were so animated; everytime they got hit they flopped like Gumby in a windstorm. They used the "we'll use the other guy's finisher on him!" sequence and did it pretty early. They should know by now that only marks like those spots and true fans know it's more a lack of having nothing else to do in a match. Angle bled a little, nothing too severe and since he didn't win, it didn't really up the drama quotient. The crowd was going bananas and loving every single spot. They got serious towards the end and Angle's submissions spots were really well timed and well executed, except for when Taker obviously slid his head from in between Angle's triangle. The finish kept building and building and finally just ended abruptly with Rock going over. The incessant punching was tiresome and the whole goofy selling really bogged down my enjoyment of this. I think the level of quality of guys in this match also hampered the score overall because they are capable of much better storytelling. I think overall i liked this more than Brian as I enjoyed the energy of the participants and the crowd a lot, just drop the Vaudeville comedy act and get down to bizniz!

Friday, November 9, 2007

ROH: Glory by Honor VI - Night 1

This is a review of a live show; now keep in mind, most shows, especiall ROH play differently live than they do on home video or digital disc, so these scores and opinions could vary from a viewing of this show at home. Let's get into it!

Dark Matches:

1) Sugarfoot Alex Payne v. ?- 2

This was indy shlock at it's finest. Payne was a scrawny cocky kid that looked fresh from a Junior High school swirlie. The only thing of note was a spinning back fist that would make Shonie Carter envious.

2) Shane Hagadorn v. "Rhettski the Jettski"- 3

Hagadorn is bald, but he ain't stiff! Rhett looked like someone who just stepped off of a Wave Rider game in a local arcade and decided to transform his life into that person. They did some fun armdrags and basic stuff and actually had a fe near falls, but it only lasted probably 6 minutes or so. Rhett's character stands out among ROH's stable of bad asses and wannabe's.

The Card:

3) Kevin Steen/ El Generico v. Hangmen's 3 (Brent Albright/ BJ Whitmer) - 5
Steen was really over and BJ was really broken out with acne. The crowd ate up Steen although he rarely got in the ring with Albright, who are both big bruisers. Generico and the heels built up a great first few minutes of the contest. This was an exciting tag match that had a ton of near falls and built pretty well toward an ending. There was some miscommunication when everyone was in there and a lackluster finish stopped this one dead in it's tracks on it's way to an above average score.

4) Claudio Castanogli v. Hallowicked- 3

Claudio has a really out there look and he's got a very peculiar build but it all works for him. He took the masked goofball through some good matwork and sequences throughout the first few minutes, but after that, the match kind of fell flat and finished early. Hallowicked didn't have any power or stank on anything he was throwing and Claudio's uppercuts could use some polish.

5) Davey Richards v. Delirious- 5

I'm a fan of Richards, even though he isn't the most botch proof guy in the fed. Delirious can be good but his offense against these stacked powerhouses looks so forced. They had some really good counters for each other's offense but the pointless ringside area brawl was as meandering as a path in the forest. I loved the clean submission finish and the key lock Richards used looked like it could break adamantium.

6) Briscoe Brothers v. Rocky Romero/ Roderick Strong- 6

I don't get the challenger tag team at all; you got vanilla skinned Roderick who looks like he only shops at American Eagle, then you got Romero, who looks like he was an extra in a really bad Jet Li movie. But, they were both in shape. This match was pretty exciting, as both teams exhibited some deadly double team moves. I wish the Briscoes would stick with some patented double team moves; seems as if they have something different every match, which I give them points for being innovative. NRC's knees in the corner spot was as brutal as anything I've seen lately, with the exception of Stallone's "Driven." Jay's karate man chops are entertaining, but have no effect on anyone. This match also didn't drag out like a lot of Briscoe matches, but I don't think they have the chemistry with this team that would have helped garner this a higher grade.

7) The Age of the Fall v. The Vulture Squad- 3

This was really fun while it lasted while at the same time being completely devoid of any psychology at all. It was just a good old fashioned spot fest. The Age's ring music is bloodcurdling and awesomely original. I actually thought there was a women being raped, probably the only one in the crowd or backstage who wasn't willing (if you saw some of the fans I did, you know what I mean) The Age had some fantastically innovative double teams that were just wowing me and Ruckus was just flying all over the ring as if on a Hollywood stunt wire. Evans was grounded mostly and Black and Jigsaw were largely invisible. And then there is Necro Butcher; This guy is an act not to be missed! His punches are freakin' hilarious because they are pretty real looking but slower than Harley Race on Perkisets. He was pretty stiff and fun to watch. As far as the late 2000-ECW spot fest of planchas that took place afterwards, me and my buddies shit all over it. What a bunch of shit that we've seen so many times before and just gets old; it was as worn out as Sara Del Ray's jaws after sucking off Gabe Sapolsky's little chubby.

8) Mitch Franklin v. Ernie Osiris- 1
I know I saw this on the card but did it even happen? There was exactly no spots, little selling and it went about 4 minutes long with a title change for a sports store trophy. What a waste.

9) Austin Aries v. Bryan Danielson- 7

Danielson came out of the curtain to a true star's welcome. He is my pick for Wrestler of the Year and he and Aries,who can be hot or cold, had a tremendous match. Danielson is one of the best wrestler's to counter another's top moves and it's so fun to watch. Aries long hair doesn't really work for him, but Danielson's facial expressions work wonders for him. He was in Terminator mode in this one. A great last few minutes, including the 2 finishers Aries hit to get the upset. The only thing that holds this back is the length, going barely 15 minutes. It could have had that Match of the Year feeling if it was given more stock.

10) Nigel McGuiness v. Chris Hero- 1

This match can deep throat my balls. Hero is a shitty backyarder with vinyl trunks. His little flabby gut and zombie-white skin couldn't possibly make any woman horny, maybe the mindless, grease filled, fat ass, chicken dinner, pudgy, blowhole that sat behind us and yelled loud, stupid, insignificant chants all night (Ex. 30 seconds into the Main Event, he yells "Match of the Year") but that guy would be it. Hero has no psych because he didn't even go after Nigel's arm, just kicked him for 7 minutes on the ground. Nigel had to feel like shit; he's the new champion and he basically got shit all over for the 108th guy to use his initials with the Superman logo on them. Very original. The Dusty finish with Hero winning had me regretting the almost 10 hour drive it took us to get to Philly but made the CZW fan boys around us soak their panties with delight. All we wanted was to see Misawa, not this WWE-lite bullshit.

11) Noamichi Marufuji/ Takeshi Morishima v. KENTA/ Mitsuharu Misawa- 8

This was why we drove through three states, to see the Green and White wearing Warrior do battle on American soil. Misawa was a man we had watched for 10-15 years on videotapes from all the usual suspects of tape pirates on the net and now we had the chance to see him. He was definitley not in his prime, but he was right in front of us and it was awesome. We actually were searching for a while for a hotel and quickly pulled into an ugly little shitbox called the Summit. Why? It was painted (years ago) in peeling white and green décor. It was a sure tell sign it was meant for us. I digress….

Speaking about the match, it was mostly all about KENTA v. Marufuji, and they were absolutely on fire, like it was NBA Jam in '93! They were the stars of the match and I see this rivalry being the Misawa v. Kawada feud that ruled All Japan for so many years. Morishima was pretty Beastly in this as well, absolutely crushing KENTA in a reversal of a German where he basically sat down on the young man's stomach. It was devastating. Misawa worked very snug and took some of Morishima's best shots. He didn't look very spry but he was definitley up to the task. The Draw gimmick worked in some ways and didn't work in others, as being very telegraphed. The fans chanted "Bullshit" after a legend in Japan flew some 18-20 hours to come to America and fight in front of 1500 fans when he's used to 40,000. Yeah, I guess that was bullshit of him. Anyways, I thoroughly enjoyed the match and thought it was really stiff in a fun way and lived up to the hype. If you're looking for us on the home video release, Brian, myself, and Didge (in that order) sat right on the aisleway and slapped the backs of all the hard workers that night. Long live Misawa.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

WCW Wrestle War '90: Wild Thing Co-Review

Brian: During the show's opening there's a ridiculously bad "rap" song. Jim Ross and Terry Funk are our commentary team. This should be fun.

1. Kevin Sullivan and Buzz Sawyer vs. Dynamic Dudes (J:4 B:4)

Jessie: At first glance, you may think you've seen Buzz down at your local trailer park, but no, he's dead as a dodo. anyways, Sawyer is the magnet of this match; his mannerisms are so strange you keep your eyes on him, even though Sullivan is sporting a long green ponytail made of neon shoestrings, when they were still popular. The heels have no real teamwork per se but Ace throws a mean dropkick. The pace is all off in this thing because you have two different styles here and neither are bending to help the other team out. The heels are pretty bland in their facial expressions and there are really no big spots to speak of. Sawyer's limp splash is the finish, which kind of comes out of nowhere. not very good.

Brian: Buzz was definitely uglier than I recalled. I dig how Sawyer wrenches his headlock, and later, he takes a tasty spill to the floor between the ropes after a dropkick. Ace does a plancha that I was feeling. Buzz suplexes Douglas on the floor, and later, delivers a wicked belly-to-belly suplex. Ace attempted a headscissors on Sawyer but botched it. The finish saw Sawyer get the win after a big splash off the top. Story is the old rugged dicks versus young hopefuls. The heels were mean and stiff, and the Dudes could have potentially been a decent team, as they ate stuff well and were sympathetic, but it was never to be.

2. Cactus Jack Manson vs. Norman the Lunatic (J:5 B:4)

Brian: Norman's sporting one wrestling boot, one dirty Reebok. Cactus takes his first patented floor bump randomly off of a pinfall kickout by Norman. On the floor, Jack no sells his head being smashed into the apron. Then, Cactus gets backdropped over the guardrail and onto the concrete floor. Guess he let that night's prostitute do all the work. Cactus does a reckless dropkick off the apron that the cameras hardly capture. Back in the ring, Norman's corner splash looks better than Sting's ever did. Terry Funk drops a Farhat reference. The end comes when Jack's piledriver is reversed, he attempts a sunset flip, but Norman blocked it and sat on Manson's face for the finish. Norman is way better than Eugene who reminds me of a contemporary version. I guess those years in Stampede did the trick, it's just too bad he never got to work a program with Triple H and we had to sit through Eugene's. Norman was very audible when selling which I thought was terrific. The story was that they were both crazies.

Jesse: Compared to the opener, this match succeeded. Jack took numerous sick bumps, but all reasonably within the realm of the story. i was thinking watching it that how many guys during that time killed themselves to get over Norman the Lunatic? Probably as many that saw "Grindhouse" in the theaters. Norman was pretty expressive in his sells and was really good paired with Cactus because he has a lot of dirty tricks to use. The finish made absolute sense and Kudos to Foley for selling it. That hooker had her work cut out for her that night, Brian.

3. Rock 'N' Roll Express vs. Midnight Express (J:5 B:5)

Jessie: While I enjoyed this match, it was not without it's share of problems. The Midnights being embarrassed section was pretty lengthy and knowing these two teams had fought so many times before, it felt like a rehash of stuff and spots used over and over again. That being said, these two teams worked like oil in an engine together, just knowing each other's spots, great timing, and the heels were bumping great. All 4 had solid strikes and the Midnights had wonderful double teaming stuff. The hot tag to Gibson worked better than Cornette's viagra and the false finish with the tennis racket was pretty unexpected. The finish was a botched hot shot that the R & R's reversed and it came off looking pretty bad. I know these guys have better matches in them together, and for the record, i've always enjoyed the Midnights and the Fantastics matches better.

Brian: I agree that this wasn’t one of these teams’ better matches pared off against each other. Jim Cornette and the referee paired off early on, which was one of many cheap heat antics used to get this crowd molten. Eaton and Morton both go over the top to the floor, then Stan Lane slammed Morton on the ground, which guaranteed at least one extra pain killer later that night. Midnight Express sold stuff largely well, like Lane after a fistdrop. Long build to a Gibson hot tag, which lead shortly to the finish, as he rolled up Lane as Morton tackled Eaton. This was satisfactory but not something you need to see.

4. Road Warriors vs. Skyscrapers - Chicago Street Fight (J:3 B:3)

Brian: I've been to Chicago three times and never saw anything like this. Masked Skyscraper (a last-minute replacement for injured Dan Spivey) eats a big boot from Hawk. Later, Hawk does a clothesline from the apron outside onto Mark Callous (Undertaker). Ron Simmons and Butch Reed (later known as Doom) show up at ringside in tuxedos. Both of the Road Warriors' clotheslines and dropkicks looked tremendous. Callous is thrown outside and decides to just walk away. The Warriors hit the "Doomsday Device" on Masked Skyscraper for the relatively quick victory. Afterwards, Theodore R. Long gets in the ring and the Warriors chuck him out over the top rope at Reed and Simmons like a Nerf ball. This leads to a big, wild brawl that featured little cooperation. There's a great visual of Hawk ripping open Butch Reed's tuxedo top and doing a number on his chest in the corner. This was fun, but about as substantial as a meal from McDonald's.

Jessie: This was a short brawl that the Warriors pretty much dominated. Feel bad for the Masked Skyscraper, whatever big, juiced out dude was hanging around the back, eating a chili burger, hoping to get squashed by Ranger Ross, then he gets thrown to the lions. Yeah, the Dropkicks were spot on and the clothesline on Taker outside was a highlight. Doom was looking awfully spiffy in their white tuxes and that brawl was just all kinds of unprofessional. Simmons was hit with his own foreign object, but it had as much effect on him as a paperwad.

5. Tom Zenk and Brian Pillman vs. Fabulous Freedbirds (J:5 B:5)

Jessie: This seemed to run pretty long. Hayes on offense is pretty limited, even though he can dance well and shake his cottage cheese hips. Garvin's hair was as preposterous as OJ's "If I did It" book. Pillman and Zenk were all over their much older counterparts as far as offense and the energy they put out carried much of the match's momentum. All the girlies in the crowd were practically already pregnant by these two. But, the match dragged out way too long and with Zenk on defense, it felt eternally agonizing. His selling was really awful, as he either adjusted his trunks or wiped the sweat from his eyes, as if he was working hard laying on his ass in a rear chinlock. I'm not sure why this match was decided to go this long but it suffered from it and during the finish, all 4 guys were confused and stumbling around like they were trapped in that stupid house from Saw 2. Moderately recommendable.

Brian: I don’t have many notes on this one, because as Jessie noted, it wasn’t the easiest thing to watch. I don’t mind matches that run long, as long as it fits the context and helps propel the story to that next level, but this just sagged during the second half like any of Jerry Lawler’s failed marriages. I do recall Pillman getting caught with a deliciously stiff Michael Hayes straight left punch in the corner. A flying crossbody by Pillman on Garvin lead to the end, putting this thing away quicker than this weekend’s local indy worker puts away Pillman’s kids now so he can spend six minutes sweating on top of Pillman’s old lady.

6. Stiener Bros. vs. Ole and Arn Anderson (J:5 B:6)

Brian: The crowd is hot early for the Stieners. Scott Stiener botches an atomic drop, forgetting to leave a knee out, leaving nothing there for Arn to drop on. Ole cranks his headlocks like the cagey vet he is. Scott does a wild suplex on Ole where he holds him in mid-air, kind of cradling him, and then just tosses him over his head. Arn eats a back elbow by Scott and falls out to the floor. Arn ignores Scott's attempt at ramming him into the stairs, then dodges a Stiener clothesline, leading to Scott's arm drilling the ringpost in an ugly spot. The Andersons both do a lot of work on the arm. Scott executes a breathtaking Frankenstiener. The Andersons whip Rick into the ropes, duck to presumably bodydrop him, but he puts on the breaks, kicks Arn, then does a quick roll-up on Ole for the surprise victory. While this is neither team's top shelf stuff, it's largely inoffensive, and especially recommendable for fans of the Steiners.

Jessie: Brian pretty much covered the majority of the big spots in this match. The Steiners were apparently pretty hyped up to whip on the old boys because they hurt Sting. Arn was pretty entertaining in this, outsmarting Scott and giving himself to be destroyed by Rick in an early spot. I loved one part where Rick punched Ole, but he dropped down hooking his legs onto Rick's ankles then kind of basked in what he had done as Rick desperately reached out for the tag, but coming up short. They had been building towards a finish, but it still came pretty suddenly. Arn was just young enough to bump well and hard for the Steiners and Ole was just old enough for me to wonder why he was still wrestling. overall, decent stuff.

7. Lex Luger vs. Ric Flair (J:5 B:6)

Jessie: As good as Flair is, I still say Luger had his prime in a series against Pillman. This match was long, longer than a story from your grandmother and had it's moments. The announcers even admitted it was booked on the fly due to Sting's injury, and you could tell because Flair transformed into Larry Zybyzsko by stalling for large amounts of time here. He did a lot of work with an armbar and Luger did some chinlock that was as boring as a Sunday church service when you're 5 years old. A really lame countout finish while Luger badly brawled with the Andersons left a real sour taste in my mouth and i was not pleased with this look into the past. On the positive side, Flair showed some really good psych by letting Luger build to his power spots, and i thought the crowd seemed pretty into it. But, overall this didn't jump out and grab your attention, nor did it really use that slow burn effect to make you unknowingly really get into this match despite it's long ring time. I enjoyed their Bash 88 match much more as they both showed more passion rather than a lackadasical attitude, even though their was another lame finish to that one.

Brian: Speaking of old ladies telling stories, did anyone ever find that shit hackneyed in Edward Scissorhands? I think I dug this more than Jessie, but very much akin to the earlier Rock ‘N’ Roll versus Midnight Express match, this wasn’t their best stuff by far. Luger’s neon green trunks were stunning. Flair picked apart Lex like a surgeon; funny story, Flair was once called Dr. Giggles in Greensboro after he dropped acid with a chesty waitress and seduced her in a trashy motel. She found out that night “Space Mountain” was in reality much more like “It’s A Small World After All.” Lex sells a back suplex like he woke up from a nightmare. There was some kind of botch on a powerslam where Luger fell on his ass like a chubby girl at a skating rink. A Luger powerslam led to the pin, but Woman reached in and slapped Lex like she did Benoit as he was choking the life out of her. Story is Lex had the title won, but abandoned it to fight in the aisle with the Andersons in an attempt to save Sting. The crowd helped make this match a little more memorable.