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.

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