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 d├ęcor 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!

No comments: