Tuesday, March 31, 2009

'Mania Match of the Day #20

WrestleMania XX
Chris Benoit vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H - 8

The story of each person going into this bout was excellent. Shawn was in the middle of a heated feud with HHH and what better way to get one up on your hated rival than to take his title from him. Benoit, the old veteran, who had been told numerous times that he would never win the “big one” laster over an hour in the Royal Rumble match to win his title shot. Triple H was the dominant champion, the man who had defeated each opponent that had come after him. Benoit’s chops echoed throughout the arena like gunshots. The action spills to the outside early on where Michaels does a crazy moonsault that takes out both HHH and Benoit. Michaels is bouncing all over the ring for both guys and the exchanges between HHH and Benoit are crisp. Michaels gets busted open after being dropped face first on the top of the ringpost. Benoit and HHH go to the outside where Benoit is thrown rather violently into the ring steps. HHH clears out Michael Cole and Tazz and tears up their table. All three men start trading punches on the Spanish announce table where Shawn and Trips execute a double vertical suplex and drop Benoit very hard through Cole and Tazz’s former table in a very, very sick spot. This match hasn’t let up once and I’m loving every minute of it! Shawn gets a pin attempt on HHH and Benoits flies in to break it up. That was wild! The crowd pops for the sharpshooter and then gasps when Shawn beheads Benoit with a superkick. In the final moments, Benoit sends Shawn flying out of the ring and reverses a Pedrigree into the Crossface. HHH finally taps and Madison Square Garden goes wild! I haven’t watched this match in ages and it definitely holds up after five years. Another match I would be proud to show anybody.

Monday, March 30, 2009

WWE Monday Night Raw- 02/13/1997 from SkyDome in Toronto

1) Vader v. Stone Cold Steve Austin- 2
2) Flashfunk v. Savio Vega- 4
3) British Bulldog/ Owen Hart v. Doug Furnas/ Phil LaFon (WWF Tag Title Match)- 5
4) Crush v. Goldust- 4
5) HHH v. Marc Mero (WWF IC Title Match)- 5

The opener never got started because Bret Hart came down and started pounding the snot out of Austin; Vader stepped in and he & Bret went at it. Finally the match started and it was nothing but punches with no one selling them and Vader landing some stiff clotheslines. Ended in a Double CO outside, pretty lame. Funk & Vega, both athletic guys,one with a legendary boner, one not, Funk threw some cool kicks and landed a 180 splash that got a good near fall. The ending sequence was just downright insulting; Vega layed on the mat for a good 4 minutes, as Funk went up, splash the Nation outside, kicked D'Lo's head off, then got back in went up top and missed a moonsault and that pinned Funk. Shitty ending.

Tag Title match was really well planned out; cool old school lay out with Furnas having a 104 degree fever and getting pounded, but also getting pinfalls as the heels distract the ref for a moment. All 4 men were extraordinary workers so even lull periods have some good moves in them; La Fon looked really great for the comeback, hitting some cool kicks and suplexes. Finish lagged though, Owen feinged a knee injury and Bulldog did the laziest powerslam in recorded history after a Dusty finish. Goldust actually worked Crush's arm quite a bit here, didn't all look good, but he tried to slow it down. Crush actually looked worse on offense than he did on defense; bungling a stun gun attempt and looking awkward trying to hit a running clothesline. Hope they didn't bury him in that horrid attire he was wearing.

Helmsley and Mero was another well done title match, especially for TV. Helsmley was a good foundation wrestler who had a good move set, some power stuff, but could keep a match going. Mero was a little crazy, doing a lot of high risk, even Ross commented that was his big downfall. The near falls near the end (sunset flip and Mero-sault) were both pretty good but the DQ finish blew away a better score it could have rested on had it ended cleanly. Main event of this show was Undertaker & Ahmed Johnson v. Faarooq & Mankind in a No Holds Barred, which I was dying to see, unfortunately the tape cut out and went to a infomercial with a bunch of acne-infested women. Needless to say, it sucked but I guess that's what you get for a dollar.

Other Angles:
- Vince interviews Peta Wilson (La Femme Nikita) in the front row
- Jim Ross interviews Sid in ring
- Owen & Bulldog diffuse Royal Rumble tensions in the locker room
- Ahmed makes some comments in back and gets grabbed by the throat from Undertaker
- Blackjack Lanza at a campfire talking about the Blackjacks riding again, creepy black & white vigentte
- Tiger Ali Singh signs contract
- Vince interviews Shawn, which prompts Bret Hart to come out; stand off with belt in the middle hyping for Wrestlemania

'Mania Match of the Day #19

WrestleMania XIX
Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar - 7

This had a really epic feel going into it, as most WrestleMania main events do. This one was different, though. It was the first time either of these guys were put into the main event slot on the biggest pay-per-view of the year. Brock hadn’t even debuted at last year’s WrestleMania and Kurt was in the middle of a meaningless feud with Kane. My how the times change. The best thing to describe this would be like a cross-breed between amateur wrestling, sports entertainment, and a dash of Japanese strong style. Kurt’s reversals were a thing of beauty when he would hook in the ankle lock from nowhere. Brock’s suplexes were vicious, especially the two belly-to-belly throws. Angle’s reversal of an F-5 into an ankle lock was totally tits. I also remember Brock feasting on a stiff elbow from Kurt as he charged into a corner. Another thing I must mention is that Tazz’s commentary really added to the match. He sounded like he was calling an MMA fight with the way he was describing the moves and holds and such. Think Joe Rogan, sans crack. Lesnar hits a powerful F-5 and proceeds to climb to the top turnbuckle for the now famous botched shooting star press. Brock lands flush on the back of his head but you can’t really tell the extent of the damage from the camera angle they used. Cole said that Angle moved out of the way. I call bullshit on that, friend-o! Brock, who is pretty much out on his feet, hits a glassy eyed F-5 for the pin. Afterwards, they show a reverse angle of the shooting star and Tazz’s reaction is priceless: “He landed on the back of his head! How is Lesnar not dead right now?!!”.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

'Mania Match of the Day #18

WrestleMania X-8
The Undertaker vs. Ric Flair – No DQ Match – 7

I didn’t feel like reviewing Rock/Hogan again so instead I chose this match. Why did I choose this match? Two reasons … one, it’s the only time these two have squared off in a high profile one-on-one PPV match and two, I wanted to see if it was as bad as I remember it being. Flair starts off strong with some hard punches and great brawling on the floor and right into JR’s lap. Then Taker gets control and gives Flair one hell of an ass whipping. I’ve honestly never seen Flair take so much punishment from someone like this. I noticed early in the match, Flair had trouble doing his trademark flop over the top turnbuckle. Moments later, he got it right but ate a giant boot from Taker. Taker gets a cut on his cheek but that’s nothing compared to the gusher that Flair starts spewing halfway through the bout. Taker delivers one of the damndest top rope superplexes I’ve ever seen and Flair’s agonizing selling of it makes me cringe every time. Flair chops Taker ultra-hard and makes him scream in pain. Flair regains the offensive and Arn Anderson runs in to nail Taker with a trademark spinebuster. Flair locks in the figure-four and the crowd goes apeshit. Taker gets an evil glare and proceeds to beat down Flair even harder than he did before. He botches a Last Ride attempt but manages to get Flair up for a sick Tombstone to go 10-0 at ‘Mania. A stand out match on an otherwise bland card and nowhere near as bad as I remember it.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

ECW on Sci-Fi 3/16/09

1. Christian and MVP vs. Mark Henry and Shelton Benjamin - 4
2. Evan Bourne vs. Jamie Noble - 4
3. Fit Finlay vs. Paul Burchill - 4

I loved, loved this show--just great free TV, awesome, fast-paced matches, and fun in spades. If the opening tag match is any indication of the rumor that the three WWE "brands" will merge permanently then count me in as a a huge fan of the idea. MVP started and let the heels get some good heat on him, bumping well, and being a good base for Shelton's stuff while Henry was fantastic as the menacing monster on the apron. When he did tag in Christian, things changed, and Christian started rallying a comeback which was well-done. A distraction led to a surprised Christian getting hit with Shelton's patented "Play Dirt" to end things. It was smart to get heat on the heels, especially with them losing the night previously on Raw, while saving face for Christian with them only being able to stop his momentum by nefarious means.

The big, bad Bourne boy is back, baby! That's a Shattered Glass reference for all of you Hayden fans out there--you lunatics. So great to see Evan back, and even better against fellow former ROH mainstay Noble. I loved how this wasn't just a pure showcase for Bourne, and that, Jamie fought with viciousness and didn't just serve as a warm body for Bourne to walk on. They showed TJ Wilson watching in the back, the idea of him and Bourne working together made me give my cat a "Burning Hammer" in excitement. The "Shooting Star Press" looked gorgeous as always. The main event was a lot of fun, just a smash-mouth, hard-hitting fight, with Finlay controlling Paul and Burchill (glowing stylistically with new ponytail) bumping well for the Irishman. My favorite spot was Burchill leaping to the floor, only for Fit to crotch him with the ring apron, then belt him hard in the chest, which then saw Paul take a huge rolling back bump on the floor. It was nice to see Fit get the clean victory on St. Patrick's Day.

'Mania Match of the Day #17

WrestleMania X-Seven
Gimmick Battle Royal - 3

What happens when you take 18 old-timers, throw them in a ring, and have two legendary commentators call the match? You wind up with the outlandish Gimmick Battle Royal. Mean Gene and Bobby Heenan are the guest commentators for this one. Just a few of the notables in this bout are The Iron Sheik, Sgt. Slaughter, Earthquake, Michael Hayes, Brother Love, Nikolai Volkoff, Hillbilly Jim, and Jim Cornette. Each competitor gets his own introduction, which takes longer than the actual match itself. Gene and Bobby toss out a bunch of clich├ęs like “you can cut the electricity with a knife”, among other things. Heenan throws out some memorable lines like “By the time the Iron Sheik gets to the ring, it’ll be WrestleMania 38!”, or in reference to a Sgt. Slaughter video, “that was ten years ago, now he’s shooting blanks”. The action wasn’t much because none of these guys save for Duke Droese, Michael Hayes, and possibly Slaughter could work. Sheik wins by tossing Slaughter over the top rope. Slaughter then climbs back in and applies the Cobra Clutch to Sheiky-baby to make everybody happy.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling (09/01/1982)

1) Jack Brisco v. Paul Jones (Mid-Atlantic Title Match)- 4
2) Joe LeDuc v. ? Kiniski- 4
3) Mike Rotundo v. Greg Valentine- 5
4) Roddy Piper/ Wahoo McDaniel v. The Gladiator/ The Medic- 3

The opening match was billed as the big main event title match and Caudle was flabbergasted they got it on the show. It was an exercise in leg work, Brisco methodically but tenaciously just tore apart Jones' leg for nearly the whole match. While it's clear he knows the basics, Brisco's style can come off a little silly in his theatricized movements, same for brother Gerry. But as I said, the technique was there. Jones looked like a Merrie Melodies character with his large agape mouth and ridiculous way to fall down. He got the win and the title in a surprising upset with a "karate" thrust to the throat that was believed to be illegal. Le Duc is a ugly honkin' lumberjack and my god was he stiff! A squash was never better named than when this ugly pile was brought in, just thunderous forearms and chops all over Kiniski's body, bloody knuckles to the face. Kiniski got fired up at one point, probably from taking such an ass whipping and fired back with some legit punches, but Le Duc was barely fazed. He blocked a dropkick with a big boot in a devastating spot. You could see that completely deflated Kiniski and took all his fight away.

3rd match featured two technical greats and they also weren't shy about laying their stuff in. Valentine, for such a large box-shaped dude, would bump his ass of for the other guy and did so here. He also took to the leg in this match, but wasn't as good as Brisco's work earlier in the show. He put a thumping on Rotundo who threw a great dropkick in his young days (and wore a great gerricurl haircut as well.) Really hard hitting and clean reversals made this the most entertaining bout of the night. Wahoo looked like a woman with that bowl cut and his pudgy nose looked like a decayed mushroom. Piper was a mean som' a bitch and beat Gladiator down like Roy was going to do to Jim in that one episode of The Office before Dwight maced him. Faces offensive run was dull and considering they didn't give the heels a chance to get any offense, can't grade this too high. Medic barely tagged in (god they really overdid that gimmick back in the 80's jobber days. And what medical service provider ever wore a whole mask to cover their face?) Regardless, I enjoyed this TV show; all action, guys not holding back and some entertaining interviews.

Other Angles:
- Bob Caudle interviews The Briscos, Wahoo, Kiniski, Greg Valentine, Paul Jones, Oliver Humperdink
- video of Abdullah brutalizing some scrub

'Mania Match of the Day #16

WrestleMania 2000
Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle vs. Chris Jericho – Two Fall Triple Threat Match – 6

This is the WrestleMania debuts for all three men. The first fall of the match is for the Intercontinental Title and the second fall is for the European Title. Angle gets jumped while he’s de-belting and here we go. This should be non-stop action all the way through. Jericho gets knocked off the top rope and eats the Spanish announce table. What is it with those guys that seems to attract people to their table? I know it’s not Hugo Savinovich’s good looks! There are no rest holds being applied at all as this just seems to be a giant conglomeration of spots and suplexes. Benoit is on his game as usual and just obliterates people with his clotheslines and chops. Angle hooks a nice chicken wing submission on Jericho but Benoit breaks it up. Angle gets tossed into the crowd and Benoit pins Jericho to win the first fall. The second fall starts immediately and Benoit goes for the quick win. There is a nice tease of a triple suplex spot but it ends up being Benoit suplexing Jericho rather painfully to the mat. Angle misses a picture perfect moonsault. Jericho wins the final fall by hitting a Lionsault on Benoit. Everybody’s moves were very crisp except for the small foul up Benoit had on a German suplex bridge. One thing that really hurt the score was the length of the match. They did good for the time they were allotted but had they been given another ten, this could’ve bordered on “8” territory.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

'Mania Match of the Day #15

WrestleMania XV
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Rock - 5

Commissioner Shawn Michaels comes out before the match starts and institues Mike Chioda as the referee for the match due to some chicanery that happened earlier on. Almost instantly, this bout spills to the outside as they brawl on both sides of the crowd. Austin does a leap off the hockey boards and lands a terrible double-axe blow. Now we go up the aisleway and into the technical area. Rock gets whipped into the hockey boards and eats a hard clothesline on the rebound. They jockey for position and Rock backdrops Austin, who lands knee first on a light standard. To the other side of the tech area where they trade some more punches near the boom camera. It’s been like almost five minutes since the bell rang and they’ve hardly been near the ring. Finally, they get back to the ring and settle down with Rock working a side headlock. I’ll give Rock credit, his selling during the crowd brawl and outside nonsense was top-notch as usual. Rock pulls the ref in the way of a chair shot and now it’s starting to get sloppy. Ten bucks says we get another ref bump in a few minutes. Tick … tick … tick … Rock Bottom to referee Tim White. Come on now, fork over the cash, people who welch on a bet around here are forced to watch 12 straight hours of Bertha Faye matches. Tell ya what, double or nothing. Earl Hebner runs down and gets stunned a few minutes later for his efforts. Hand over the 20 or your getting strapped down to watch the best of Outback Jack. Anyway, Vince comes out and helps Rock double team Austin. Mankind comes down and refs the last few minutes of this foolishness to give Austin the win.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

'Mania Match of the Day #14

WrestleMania XIV
The Undertaker vs. Kane – 5

This had intensity written all over it during the feud but was let down in that department. However, in terms of physicality, this had its fair share. Undertaker spent most of the match covering up from Kane’s punches. The backstory in this was more convoluted than the L.A. freeway system and would probably take me a few paragraphs to explain it logically. Let’s just say it involved a fire, a funeral home, and Paul Bearer. Anyway, Kane hit a pretty cool move where he did a springboard from the top rope and dropped a forearm onto the back of Taker’s neck. I say it was pretty cool because it’s not everyday you see a 7-foot tall dude springboard off the top rope. Kane controls pretty much the entire match. At one point, Taker throws Kane to the outside and tries for a suicide dive but misses and goes through the Spanish announce table. Back inside and Kane goes back to the punching and Taker goes back to the blocking. Taker scores an offensive move with a chokeslam and then a Tombstone but Kane kicks out. Another Tombstone and Kane kicks out, well it was more like a twitch, but you get the point. A top rope clothesline and a third Tombstone finishes off Kane. The main thing of this match was Kane being built to look like a monster and that Undertaker was powerless to stop him. I would comment on the selling but there really wasn’t much of that happening. Kane gets his heat back afterwards by giving Taker a Tombstone on a chair. As Pete Rose said in his pre-match segment, “HOW BOUT IT!”

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

WCW Monday Nitro- 02/13/1997

1) Ultimo Dragon v. Ray Mendoza jr.- 4
2) Glacier v. Billy Kidman- 3
3) Ice Train v. La Parka- 3
4) Harlem Heat v. Steiner Brothers- 4
5) Mike Enos v. Dean Malenko- 5
6) DDP v. The Renegade- 2
7) Alex Wright v. Super Calo- 3
8) Konan v. Chris Benoit- 3
9) Jeff Jarrett v. Steve McMichael- 3

This edition of Nitro was held in the infamous Mid-South Coliseum. Excuse me, Ultimate Dragon came out in a dazzling pink number that I'd never seen. Mendoza, I think, was Villano IV, same build, same red/gold boots, and his black singlet had a IV on it, wonder if it was him. Well, match was well done for a squash; they pulled off some really cool armdrag exchanges, and Mendoza ate a suicide dive hard into the guard rail. Sick Dragon suplex to finish as well. Glacier was taking some liberties on young, bowl cut Kidman here who probably would have done anything to be noticed, not just by the wrestling fans but by most women. You could see Glacier's side kick on Kidman, who was jumping from the top rope, a mile away, but it was still devastating. Big Ice Train,he looked like such a goof and I was reminded of his limo driver character years later; this match was odd; Train did nigh any selling here, just taking Parka's cool offensive kicks and such and falling backwards flat, like a good trainee. Pace was all off and Train seemed lost at most points on offense; but what he did was devastating, including catching La Parka from a top rope crossbody, nearly dropping him to the mat then hoisting him back up for a powerslam. Showed some sick strength. Finishing normal splash was too Warrior-esque in it's delivery for my liking.

I think the Harlem Heat was the first team since Doc & Gordy to challenge the Steiners in physicality; that's all this was, just 4 big brutes blasting each other as hard as they could. Side kicks, powerslams, powerbombs, crazy impact on almost all the moves. Unfortunately, this turned into a messy brawl with Public Enemy & Faces of Fear. I edged this match ahead of everything else simply because I was starved for some of Malenko's awesome in-ring skills. He showed off his mastery here against a sub-par Enos who got in a good bit of offense also, Dean just controlling him like a puppet throughout the match. He worked over the arms but used a really cool cradle for the win. Syxx came to ringside and stole his Cruiserweight Title during the match, but didn't detract too much from it. Page made quick work of poor Rick Wilson (who we immortalized back in '99 with a tribute backyard show in his honor) with a pretty cool Diamond Cutter from the top rope.

Das Wunderkind & Calo were a complete mis-match of styles; they went together as well as Fritos & Turtle Car Wax as an appetizer. This was the longest match of the show, but not for the better. I noticed Wright was trying to get his stuff off even though it completely broke up the context of the match, like trying to use that flying headscissors after he had just taken a devastating superplex and gotten right back up. Calo was just off too; normally has cool offense and can work with anyone but he was not with it in this match. Konan beat Benoit's ass right off the bat like he took the last Churro at family supper, but Benoit's comeback was as aggressive as I remember him, brutally chopping Konan's wife-beatered chest red after attempting to get him on the top rope after 3 tries. Sick superplex from Benoit right before Sullivan interefered and ened this prematurely. Main was nothing to write home about but Jarrett kept Mongo on his toes, hitting a pinpoint accurate dropkick on the big dumb animal and later, clotheslining Mongo over the top rope. That spot was a riot because being such a rookie, Mongo went full out over the top and lost control and toppled down neck first, letting out a jibberish yell that made Heenan mark out big time; Me as well. But again, more intereference ended a main that I wasn't too entirely pysched about, but it was supposed to be Luger v. Jarrett, so pick your poison.

Other Angles:
- Hollywood Hogan in ring promo, accompanied by Ted Dibiase & Vincent
- Lex Luger jumped in backstage by the Outsiders with pipes
- Mean Gene interviews the Horsemen
- Mean Gener interviews the Dungeon of Doom
- After DDP's match, he is surrounded in the arena at various places by the Outsiders, Sting, & Randy Savage
- Roddy Piper shows up to accept Hogan's challenge and beats him & Eric Bischoff up

'Mania Match of the Day #13

WrestleMania XIII
Bret Hart vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin – Submission Match – 9

This is by far one of my favorite matches of all time and it’s one I’ve been wanting to review for a long time. The first time I ever saw this match was on an old tape called “Cause Stone Cold Said So” and I fell in love with it instantly. Ken Shamrock is the referee. Austin spears Bret and we’re off and running. Bret gets crotched on the rail and into the crowd we go were we get some crazy ass brawling with Bret taking a header into the hockey boards and Austin getting backdropped in the bleachers. Back inside the ring area, the action cools down, if you want to call it that, as Bret goes to work on Austin’s bad knee and the Austin hits a stunner from out of nowhere. Bret goes to get a chair and the ring bell and sets Austin’s ankle in the chair. Austin gets up and knocks Bret off the top rope with one shot and then absolutely kills Bret’s back with another. There are no chair shots being pulled here as both of them are beating the living hell out of each other and we’re only eight minutes in or so. Austin does a great job of selling the knee that Bret worked over earlier, probably because it’s legitamitely hurt. Austin works in a couple of submission holds and the action spills to the outside where Bret sends Austin into the rail, busting him open. This, as it is said, is where the plot thickens. Austin is gushing blood moments later when Bret gets him with a knee drop. The end of the match saw a sick superplex, Austin choking Bret with an extension cord, Bret clocking Austin with the ring bell and then applying the Sharpshooter from which Austin passes out. Truly an amazing and remarkable match and one match that I would be proud to show to anybody. Bret definitely was on top of his game and switched up his style from the standard textbook match that he normally has. As for Austin, well, I think we know what this match did for him.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Predator vs. Bobby Lashley - (IGF 8/15/08) - 4

This is really fun and features odd pre-match interviews from both. Lashley says that he may be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, and, to add to that, he will never lose. Predator cuts an even goofier promo, ranting about Japanese fans, balmy weather, and (Necro) Butcher. Terkay comes out doing the Brody bit, complete with vest, bushy boots, and swinging chain, chasing all the docile fans. The match is pretty good, at first, Bobby doesn't realize how exactly "shoot style" is done as his lame WWE strikes are quickly annihilated by Predator's brutal forearms, knees, etc. They find their footing and work through a decent big man match, with Lashley getting the win via spear.

'Mania Match of the Day #12

WrestleMania XII
Rowdy Roddy Piper vs. Goldust – Hollywood Backlot Brawl – 6

This match is broken up into two portions … part one being the stuff in the backlot and part two being the stuff in the arena, just so you can follow along at home. Piper literally beats Goldust bloody in the backlot portion. Piper’s weapon of choice was a real, legit baseball bat and proceeded to use said weapon by busting out windows and headlights on Goldust’s brand new gold caddy. Piper laid in some stiff shots to Goldie’s cranium and sprayed him down with a fire hose. Goldust got a low blow on Piper and then hit him with the Cadillac. Piper chases after him in a white Bronco. To transition from the backlot to the arena, they used the OJ police chase footage. Once the got in the arena, Goldust dominated part two and laid a few rough shots in while choking Piper with athletic tape. Piper gets pissed at Goldie’s shenanigans and rips off his one-piece to expose Goldust in a corset and nylons. That is a visual I did not need under any circumstances. The backlot portion of this match is really cool and really felt like a legit fight while the stuff in the arena was about as terrible as the last time Ryan Seacrest and Lance Bass got into a scrape on the set of “My Queer Brother”.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

'Mania Match of the Day #11

WrestleMania XI
The Undertaker vs. King Kong Bundy - 2

I didn’t remember this match being this bad. The whole focus of the first few minutes is ‘Taker trying to get the urn back from Ted DiBiase, who had it stolen at the Royal Rumble. Bundy and ‘Taker exchange some shoddy punches and kicks to begin things. Did I mention that the special referee for this match is American League umpire Larry Young? Wait … who? I’ve studied baseball for as long as I’ve studied wrestling and I have no idea who that dude is. Anyway, Taker winds up on the outside and takes the urn back from DiBiase and gives it to Paul Bearer. In a pretty cornball moment, the two pose as Bundy just stands in the ring dumbfounded. Kama runs down, steals the urn back from Paul Bearer and says he’ll melt it down. Bundy’s shabby offense is an embarrassment. Vince was randomly name-dropping football players saying they were watching this match intently. Yeah, right. Like Reggie White is going to take lessons in linebacking from King Kong Bundy. Taker body slams Bundy and hits him with the running clothesline for a win in a match nobody remembered six months after it happened.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

World Class Championship Wrestling- 05/07/1983

1) Kimala v. The Great Yatsu- 1
2) The Mongol v. Mike Reed- 2
3) The Fabulous Freebirds v. Kerry Von Erich/ Iceman Parsons/ Chavo Guerrero (Penalty Box Match)- 5

This was atrocious, uglier than Renee Zellwegger's prom dress in Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning. This was uglier than Janet Jackson's right tit. Both guys had managers interefering, Kimala no sold everything and his splash is a damn joke. Looks like a guy trying to lay down comfortably on a bed of nails. Great gimmick, horrible worker. Mongol's squash was a little better. Mike Reed looked like he dealt cards at the local bar & casino during the weekdays, spending most of his meager pay on overpriced booze & carpet munching strippers. At least on the weekends, he gets to release some aggression- he got in some offense- a few lopsided punches, Mongol just jerked back a few times to signify he was "selling" them but he was doing some big power moves just fine. He tried a few diff. moves for his finisher until he found one he liked.

Main was kind of crazy, Hayes slowly stripped down from his ring gear like he was Liv Tyler in an Aerosmith video (how creepy is it that Steven Tyler had his own daughter getting naked in his video?) Just a crazy brawl for the whole thing, kept in kind of an orderly fashion. All the Freebirds were really going balls out with these exaggerated bumps that looked like cowboy stunt doubles from an old Western movie, it even looked kind of hokey when Chavo was bumping Gordy around like a tennis ball. The only strange thing about this kind of match is how strict the rules have to be to keep the gimmick relevant; once you break the rules, your in the penalty box for 2 minutes, so guys were getting thrown in for throwing closed fists, not holding the tag rope on tags and other stuff that has long since went by the wayside, sadly. Another cool thing is you had Kerry v. Hayes, the clear top players in this feud, but they didn't dominate the spotlight; Chavo Guerrero eventually got the pinfall after over 20 minutes of sweat-filled brawling. And the crowd was on fire, just blowing up at every face punch and kick. Pretty cool to do such a big match to show on regular TV, really gives you your money's worth.

Other Angles:
- Skandor Akbar cuts promo about his stable Devastation Inc. at on back porch of house
- Referee David Manning talks about the dangers of the Penalty Box; Bill Mercer won't let him out of the box

'Mania Match of the Day #10

WrestleMania X
Randy "Macho Man" Savage vs. Crush – Falls Count Anywhere Match – 4

So many choices from this show … should I have picked Bret vs. Owen? How about the famous ladder match? I declined both of those choices in favor of the Macho Man’s final WrestleMania appearance. Savage rushes Crush in the aisle and we’re off. Once you score a fall on your opponent, they then have 60 seconds to get back in the ring or the match ends. Crush dominates Savage in the aisle by giving him a backbreaker and dropping him on the railing and scoring a fall. The tease where Savage barely got back into the ring was tremendous. Back in, Crush continues to control and loads up some powder to throw in Savage’s eyes. Damn, Crush’s shots in the corner are weak. Savage reverses it and knocks it into Crush’s eyes and mounts an offense. In a somewhat ridiculous moment, Savage wants to pin Crush in the ring but then rolls him to the outside for the fall. Fuji helps Crush get back into the ring and the match continues. They brawl into the crowd and to the backstage area where some type of rigging is set up in a blocked off area. Savage gains the fall and ties Crush to the rigging so he can’t make it back to the ring in the alloted time. A decent match for the period but not really worth remembering though, just like Vince doesn’t remember Savage at all. "Randy who? Oh, you must mean that one guy who kicked my head in. "

Friday, March 20, 2009

Nikita Koloff, Sting, and Steiners vs. Super Invader, Vader, Rick Rude, and Jake Roberts - Elimanation Match - (WCW Clash of the Champions XX) - 5

I noticed some timing miscues early with Rick and Vader. Both Steiner brothers are just launching huge suplexes which is always a treat to witness. You can clearly see a large, bushy mustache underneath Super Invader's tight, red mask. Jake's jawing with the ringside fans and doesn't see somebody being whipped into the ropes and takes an inadvertent bump to the floor in a comical moment. Koloff is being pinned and clearly both Steiners start entering the ring to break the cover, then presumably realize it's actually the finish, so bow back out which makes no sense logically. Fuck yes! Rick kills Vader with a nasty German suplex. The Steiners try to do a "Doomsday Device" but Rick can't stand with Vader on his shoulders, so he basically kneels underneath him with Vader's nutsack and phallus on top of his head while Scott does a flying clothesline, this causes Vader to do a backroll upon impact and fold over Rick's body. Steiner is disqualified for jumping from the top rope. Vader tries to powerbomb Rick on the floor, but Rick reverses with a backdrop, but again, isn't powerful enough so sort of drops to his knees and imitates a backdrop while Vader just flips himself forward. Rude runs around and gives Rick a "Rude Awakening" on the floor--don't see that often. 3-on-1 against Sting. Vader gets disqualified for coming off the top, makes him look like an idiot, seeing as how Scott was just booted for the same reason. Roberts ends up taking advantage of a smashed Sting and pinning him after a DDT. This was fairly good, for a TV main event, but the eliminations seemed like sloppy afterthoughts, sort of like the two prostitutes Jake paid to fuck each other while he jerked off on them later that night.

'Mania Match of the Day #9

WrestleMania IX
The Steiner Brothers vs. The Headshrinkers – 7

Ah yes, WrestleMania IX. The one WrestleMania that everyone says is the shits. I am inclined to disagree with that particular statement because the first half of this show was a fun watch. A particular example being this physical tag team war. It should be noted that Jim Ross makes his WWF debut on this show and calls every clothesline that the Steiner use a “Steinerline”. Scott starts it off by slugging it out with Fatu and delivers a crazy clothesline that flips Fatu. Headshrinkers fight back but the Steiner counter with a double top rope clothesline. Headshrinkers gain the upper hand when they dump Scott on his head outside the ring in a super sick fall that I replayed a couple times. Then, to add insult to injury, Afa wails on Scott with a kendo stick. These two teams really mesh well together because the offense from both team is nothing but high impact. Scott Steiner gets beat on and tries to fight back by jamming Fatu’s head in the mat but gets superkicked for his efforts. A missed top rop from Samu enables Scott to tag Rick who cleans house but eventually gets caught in a double headbutt. Rick gets hoisted up in the air but counters a Doomsday Device attempt with a sloppy powerslam. Scott makes the blind tag, comes back in, and polishes off Samu with a really bad hurracanrana. A really fun and physical match with a lot of stiff kicks from the Headshrinkers. The Steiners used a lot of their normal offense, in particular the powerslam from the opponents shoulders. Had the hurracanrana from Scott been a little crisper to finish, it would’ve gotten another point.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

'Mania Match of the Day #8

WrestleMania VIII
Hulk Hogan vs. Sid Justice – 5

I reviewed this particular WrestleMania not long ago so it was definitely hard to pick a match from this show and re-analyze it. This was promoted as Hogan’s final match and Sid was doing the schtick any heel going against Hogan normally said … you know, how they’re going to kill Hulk-A-Mania and all this other stuff. Anyway, Sid controlled for at least 80 percent of the match by doing holds and knuckle locks. Hogan would get a offensive move in here or there but it was all Sid. It probably seems like I’m not being very descriptive here but honestly, there’s not much to describe unless you want a thorough analysis of how Sid was using his intermediate and distal phalanges to work over Hogan’s superior tranverse ligaments. Sid breaks out one of the shittiest powerbombs on record and Hogan sells it by flopping like fish out of water. Hogan kicks out and starts his hot comeback with his trademark punches. He slams Sid and then gets him with the patented legdrop which Sid kicks out of. Harvey Wippleman interferes and the ref calls for a DQ. Papa Shango runs down and double-teams Hogan until the Ultimate Warrior runs down to make the save. Hogan and Warrior pose as the show ends. An interesting tidbit about this match, from what I’ve read, Sid wasn’t supposed to kick out of the legdrop. The reason he did was because Papa Shango was late on the run-in. As I said in my review of this show, the match wasn’t much but it gets a bonus point for the surprise appearance of the Warrior.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

WWF Smackdown!- 12/21/2001

1) Edge v. Kurt Angle (IC Title)- 3
2) Rikishi v. Lance Storm- 2
3) Undertaker v. Matt Hardy (Hardcore Title)- 4
4) The Rock v. Test- 3
5) Chris Jericho v. Big Show (Undisputed Title)- 1
6) Steve Austin v. Booker T (1st Blood Match) - 6

Angle v. Edge, okay, i'll fire up the VCR for that; unfortunately, this is TV, so it only went about 4 minutes, but Angle really took to that Benoit theory of killing yourself on every bump and sell. His instincts are so good too, just bred to be a pro wrestler, he gives Edge all kinds of offensive spots to show off with incl. a really silly looking belly to belly overhead. DQ finish and Angle snaps and anklelocks the hell out of Rated R. God, forgot how putrid Rikishi's ass looked. Seeing him jerk his head back on weak ass Storm punches was not a fun way to kill 3 minutes. Styles just didn't work together at all, Test interferes and no one's into it; weak superkick for the Canuck win.

Hardy was one of few "B" level guys featured on the show and he took a real ass whipping from Taker. Biker Mark was, in some ways, a more complete wrestler, more selling, more expression but felt like just another WWE-style main eventer. He takes a few big spills for Hardy but really puts him through the ringer; Matt just gives his body away to Taker like Lita does for her other band members in the Luchagores when she's in the mood for anal. Really brutal spill over timekeepers table looked gross. This was another of Test's big pushes; he was the guy who couldn't be fired; he pushes ref's around and such. Rock wasn't too on here, but he did this crazy scream when he was in a chinlock, just a really expressive sell for such an odd move. Test's reportoire was pretty limited, but decently put together, good vertical suplex. Lance "I hated "The Wrestler" because I'm better than all those has-beens" Storm came out again and took the old manager's flip over the top rope bump. Rock overcame the odds and hit a Rock Bottom for the win. One thing I noticed about Test was he doesn't know how to take bumps; he got backdropped and flew sideways over and landed on his shoulder and knee. Great way to hurt yourself; no wonder no one tried to stop him.

God, to call this a World Title match was a joke; Jericho's cherry dipped ponytail would be a fashion faux-pa at the gayest of night clubs. Show looked lumpy and out of shape; his offense was so varied it didn't make sense for a big guy; the Nightmare on Helm Street? Give me a break; a backwards powerbomb? Show nearly shattered his own tailbone trying it. This was a bad period for Jericho's usualy steady work too; he was wearing some pink leopard pants that would make Perez Hilton look straight. The main was really fun, in a lot of ways. Austin came out all pissed off and was doing the crazy brawls with not all meaty strikes but throwing Booker all over ringside and enjoying it. Booker in control played a little too much and seemed to be at a loss for moves, but he layed the chops in hard and heavy on Stone Cold. They had good chemistry though; ring work and comedy spots. I own this tape and was surprised when Big Bossman showed up and nightsticked Austin in the forehead busting him open. Ref was out so Austin just waylayed Booker for a little while afterwards until ref saw the blood and called the match. Pretty cool finish although I think it was the same as when Kane won the title from him years back. Didn't stretch it too long which was a major problem for a lot of those Austin brawls circa 98-00 but longer than most TV matches so it worked perfectly.

Other Angles:
- Ric Flair gives Booker T a big money contract
- Booker waits for Vince to arrive in limo, then hugs him thanking him for contract; Vince is confused; Flair set it up
- In Ring Rock promo- "the 12 Days of Test's Christmas"
- Booker asks Kane if he could borrow his mask for his 1st Blood match with Austin- funny stuff - Taker heel turn video package
- In ring promo with Jericho; RVD interrupts and beats up Jericho
- William Regal does interview from home; nose was shattered by Edge the week before

'Mania Match of the Day #7

WrestleMania VII
Randy "Macho King" Savage vs. The Ultimate Warrior – Career Ending Match – 6

Where to begin with this one. Savage and Warrior had been at each other’s throats since late-1990 with Savage causing Warrior to lose the WWF Title to Sgt. Slaughter. Now, both men were put into a match where the loser would be forced to retire. Warrior is the obvious crowd favorite since Savage in right smack in the middle of his Macho King character. One thing that really, really bothered me throughout the match was Sherri’s blatant interference. There were times she would interfere right in front of the referee yet he wouldn’t do anything about it or she would randomly enter the ring during the match. I can understand the referee not wanting to end the match on a disqualification but it was ridiculous. Speaking of the referee, why was he so animated? A kickout or a shoulder up on a two-count would cause him to flail about like he was having some sort of seizure. Savage’s limp selling of Warrior’s offense was ridiculous as well. It made Savage look like an imbecile. The most ridiculous part of the match was when Warrior hit his trademark slam and splash combo and Savage kicked out of it. Then, Warrior looked up as if he was getting a message from the almighty and walked out of the ring. Seriously? Savage kicks out of your finisher and your diety tells you to take a hike? Savage blindslides Warrior and Sherri holds him on the rail as Savage climbs to the top turnbuckle. Savage flies off and eats rail in a pretty sick spot. Moments later, Warrior nails some more shoulder blocks and pins Savage. Following the match, Sherri is livid and starts kicking Savage for losing. Then, from out of nowhere, Elizabeth jumps the rail and saves Savage and clears Sherri out of the ring. What follows is one of the most emotional moments in WrestleMania history with Savage accepting Liz back and hoisting her up on his shoulder to the delight of everyone. Within the span of 30 minutes Savage went from hated to loved in a tremendous moment. The match itself was so-so but it gets a bonus point for the Savage/Liz stuff at the end.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Memphis Power Pro Wrestling 5/2/98

1. "Mr. Personalities" Derrick King and Kid Wicked vs. Lance Jade and Bobby Bronze - 2
2. Paul Diamond vs. Ashley Hudson - 2
3. Tony Falk vs. Spellbinder - 2
4. Tracy Smothers vs. Jerry Lawler - 1
5. Jet Jaguar vs. "Handsome" Jimmy Valiant - 0
6. Billy Joe Travis vs. Brian Christopher - Stretcher Match - 5

This show aired on Saturday mornings and they toured a bit in Arkansas, Mississippi, etc. It was done in a tiny makeshift TV studio. It’s apparent that it’s ’98, as the flea market Tommy Hilfigger and NASCAR gear are a dead giveaway. King, who back then looked like he weighed 98lbs. is doing a gimmick impersonation gimmick. This week he is doing WWF-era Jarrett which is kind of amusing. His partner, Kid Wicked, looks like a chunkier realtive of AJ Styles. Pretty basic stuff, with the only development coming out of it was Wicked knocked his own partner's foot from the rope in effect costing King the match.

After watching a lot of AWA lately this isn't the Paul Diamond I remembered--he's put on some excess weight and grew some facial hair. Billy Joe Travis, who was at ringside gabbing with the announcers, smashed a ukulele over Hudson's (faux-Australian dude) head on his way to the back leading to a Diamond victory. Paul would return the favor by interfering in two matches himself throughout the show, which even confounded the announcers who had no idea what or why Diamond was routinely interfering in seemingly unrelated matches, wearing his warm-up sweats to boot.

Falk is a longtime Texas veteran that looks completely clueless in neon green spandex that looked like they were designed by his six-year old nephew who thought Bart Simpson was just the coolest. Spellbinder had a decent, athletic look, even got him a short-lived (two matches total) stint in the WWF. A complete throwaway.

They put up little graphics whenever guys come down to ringside, one of the stats being "Years Pro" but strangely that was left off when Lawler made his entrance--guess they didn't want to remind people the top face had been doing the same shtick for two decades. They're pushing his hard as ECW vs. WWE/PPW. Lawler cuts this really self-absorbed promo pre-match, showing the weekly Cleveland Indians newsprint publication he subscribes to, his trophy girlfriend, etc. Smothers comes out in a bootleg ECW t-shirt, says that if this were ECW he'd take Lawler's girlfriend Stacey and powerbomb her through a table. Tracy's taunts come off like playground bravado. The match itself is complete shit, allegedly these guys have renewed the old school in the last year or so and had a share of decent matches (individually, not together) but none of that motivation can be seen here as Lawler does little else then roll-up a distracted Smothers.

Jimmy Valiant is just a gross human being. He looks like an ex-biker turned homeless miscreant, sort of like this ragged dude I saw fuck Sasha Grey (is there anything she won't do? Which leads me to a second, equally important question, to not have a gag reflex, blessing or curse?) in this gnarly porn scene I acquired last year. He gets jumped pre-match so this is tossed out.

The main event is terrific, I mean, it's a studio wrestling show, but just trivially interesting enough to me to get some bonus points. A random stretcher match? Billy Joe dressed up like a twelve-year old girl's mother that's taking her to a Backstreet Boys concert and is trying to fit in? The rest of this show you're better off just downloading anything BattleArts-related and doing without, but I might give this a mercy recommendation just for how surreal it is. Brian Christopher, never more than a popcorn fart in WWE, being your biggest babyface and savior instantly gives your company zero credibility, and seemingly, they don't realize this, no, embrace it even. Memphis is a fucked up place...

'Mania Match of the Day #6

WrestleMania VI
Andre the Giant & Haku vs. Demolition – 5

In the pre-match interview, Mean Gene makes poop jokes toward Andre and Haku by calling them the “colostomy connection” and saying they’re “not your regular guys”. This is Andre’s swan song in the the WWF, as his body was pretty much shot by this point and he was very, very limited in what he could do in a match. Haku worked the whole match by himself with Andre interfering from the apron. Demolition’s offense was pretty crisp and Haku worked well with both of them. The little bit Andre contributed made a major impact. Just one shot from him could change the entire tide of the match. At one point, he wrapped a tag rope around Ax’s neck and the visual of Ax’s eyes bulging out of his head is one I will remember for a while. Haku was in control when he went for a side kick and accidentally caught Andre. Ax and Smash double-teamed on Andre and tied him up in the ropes and followed that up with the Decapitation manuever to win the tag team titles. The post match saw Bobby Heenan verbally berate Andre until Andre grabbed him by the collar and wailed away on him. Andre threw Heenan and Haku off the cart that went back to the locker room and stood tall with the people cheering. A fitting send off in Andre’s final televised match.

Monday, March 16, 2009

'Mania Match of the Day #5

WrestleMania V
Mr. Perfect vs. The Blue Blazer – 5

Talk about a totally random choice! The Blazer, as we all know now was Owen Hart under a mask. I believe that this is the only time that these two faced each other on television, although I’d have to check the records to be sure. Perfect is rocking a neon-green singlet as only he can. There were a few sloppy moves that come to mind. First, when Blazer stumbles on his landing after reversing a Perfect hip toss attempt, and when they both release an Irish whip into the buckle too early. Aside from those few minor flaws, the crowd was definitely “oohing” and “aahing” and Blazer’s offense, including a pretty awesome crucifix pin. Perfect nailed Blazer with a sick forearm that led into the Perfect-Plex for the victory. The match itself was only around six minutes and both men would go on to have pretty stellar careers.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

HWA Wrestling- 05/26/2002

1) Chad Collyer v. Matt Dillenger- 4
2) Chet Jablonski/ Darren Neikirk v. Cody Hawk/ Tony B- 2
3) BJ Whitmer v. Timebomb- 2
4) Horace Hogan v. Nigel McGuinness- 3
5) Johnny the Bull v. Lance Cade (HWA Title)- 3

Opening match was completely by the book, with Collyer allowing Dillenger to practice his hiptoss/armdrag/armbar spot. They never stepped up into 2nd gear, probably because Dillenger couldn't, but this is Collyer's game, so a basic match with basics doesn't hurt either guy. The tag match was pretty sloppy for what it was, Neikirk was obviously a rookie, mistimed some basic double team stuff and his punches looked like someone trying to throw a plastic bag at the wind. Hawk look withered; his partner "Ice Cream" Tony B showed a lot of fire though, probably more than any other guy on the show and did a good false finish with some brass knucks. But ultimately this was messier than manager Brock Guffman's wardrobe and his underpants. Timebomb (who I had the disservice of attending Miami University with) is a sweaty little grunge who dreamed of being a pro wrestler; problem is he isn't in shape, nice to look at, or seemingly even that bright. Whitmer isn't quite the ring leader he needs to be here but does his best at showing off Timebomb's offense which is pretty limited. A bulldog was his best looking move, but he tried a moonsault when he had the advantage, and made Bam Bam's look like Heaven comparatively. Went a little longer than it needed to.

The following was basically a squash for Hulk's nephew, although not a very impressive one. Strange to see Nigel bowled over so easily here, now that he's one of the best in the world although he had the best spot of the night; ducked under a clothesline then instead of anything else he could have done, he decides to hoist his big frame up for a dropkick, looked great. Sloppy ass Death Valley Driver got the win. Cade & Bull was supposed to be this titanic fight for respect but instead ended up as a trade-off move for move match with no heat whatsoever. Cade looked strangely more like a woman in this, long parted hair and very feigned movements. Bull was kind of reckless here; big jump kicks, bounding off the top buckles backwards, he ended up being screwed by one of Cade's comrades then hit with a superkick undeserving of the prefix "Super-" I know Clark Kent wouldn't be happy. You wouldn't like him when he's unhappy.....I think that's someone else's line.

Other Angles -
Patrick Black (commissioner; looks like "Shades" from That Thing You Do) receives video from Matt Stryker in parking lot

- watches video and sees Stryker's nemesis, Dean Baldwin getting into a workout with Chris Benoit , while supposedly being injured; slaps lawyer

- Lance Cade "Pillmanizes" Race Steele before Title Match, taking his place
- Les Thatcher "hangs with" Rey Mysterio jr

'Mania Match of the Day #4

WrestleMania IV
Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant – 3

The ‘Mania III match would’ve been too obvious a pick for that show, so instead I picked the match from the following year. We get a video package of all the major events in the Hogan/Andre feud, including the finish of the match from February 1988 where Andre beat Hogan. That match set up the WrestleMania IV world title tournament and this was a second round match in said tournament. Not to say their WM 3 match was great, but this makes it look like a 5-star classic. Hogan gets Andre tangled in the ropes early and does his famous shirt rip. Andre gets back and puts nerve holds, or chokes as Gorilla called them, on Hogan. DiBiase, who came to ringside with Andre, grabs a chair and tosses it in. They fight over the chair, Hogan gets it, and cracks Andre. The referee grabs the chair, then Andre wins another fight for the chair, and lays a solid shot into Hogan. Referee calls for the bell and we get a double DQ. Hogan chases DiBiase and Virgil down the ramp and gives Virgil one of the shittiest suplexes I’ve ever seen.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

'Mania Match of the Day #3

WrestleMania III
The Honky Tonk Man vs. Jake "The Snake" Roberts – 4

This match was set when Honky Tonk attacked Jake on an episode of “The Snake Pit” and leveled him with a stiff guitar shot. Jake starts it off by attacking Honky from behind and pummeling him before he can even get his “Elvis Suit” off, as Ventura called it. Honky eventually gets the suit off and gains control of the match. Jake is seconded to the ring by Alice Cooper. You know … that one guy who did that one song about school being out … yeah, you know the one. Anyway, ol’ Alice honestly looks totally lost at ringside and tries to actually help Jake back to his feet on the outside while he’s selling the kicks from Honky. Jake makes it back in as Gorilla takes a shot at Alice’s wardrobe by saying “looks like something Adrian might drag out of the closet.” That’s probably a lost reference for the majority of you but I won’t explain it here. The finish sees Jimmy Hart, Honky’s manager, distract Jake so Honky can roll him up from behind for the win. Afterwards, Jake takes a wild swing and destroys Honky’s guitar on the ringpost and throws the snake on top of Jimmy Hart. Nothing here that I really cared for.

Friday, March 13, 2009

NHO E-Mails: Not Just For the Trash Can Anymore #2

hey guys,

just got done watching some footage.. - i was in the mood for six men.. - six-man tags, that is!

davey richards, roderick strong, and bull buchanan vs. aoki, taue, marufuji - 3/1/09 NOAH
really good stuff.. - the ROH guys look a bit unnatural on defense, be it placing, transitions, etc. but really shine on offense.. - match seems to be about pairing up.. - richards gets marufuji.. - davey being the most expressive of the americans.. - strong and aoki square off.. some of the more spirited exchanges.. - that leaves taue and bull.. - less said the better there.. - taue is plodding along and has an empty expression like the one my ailing grandpa often has.. - some nice explosiveness, decent stiff strikes, etc. - the ending is cool.. davey is alienated and eventually succumbs after a killer combo of a naomichi shiranui/taue chokeslam..

warlord, vampiro, jericho vs. onita, tenryu, bam bam bigelow - 7/94 WING
just wild stuff.. - funny, only one guy (warlord) is in our HoF.. - could make cases for all the rest sans vampiro.. - match plays out as follows.. tenryu is an ornery, old ass beater.. end scene.. - jericho and vampiro both come with some light stuff that tenryu simply shrugs off and then belts their asses with brutal chops.. - bigelow keeps calling out warlord.. they do one short sequence together which saw a fine lariet by warlord.. - highlights, besides tenryu owning all, is warlord slamming tenryu on a table that doesn't break and a powerbomb/neckbreaker by tenryu/onita on jericho that goes awry and almost kills Y2J.. - vampiro fears tenryu.. can't blame him..

now i'm downloading a few more before bed.. - some Kensuke Office.. - the 2/11 KENTA vs. Nakajima (think Spoon pimped this--I also have the 3/1 NOAH re-match with the GHC Jr. title change) and a Kensuke/Ibushi vs. Akiyama/Ishimori match.. - getting some K-Dojo, too.. - you know i'm a sucker for Dragon and TAKA offshoots.. - currently DL'ing dick togo/TAKA vs. ibushi/madoka.. - next on my list will be Apache Pro.. never heard of them previously but they appear to be a seedy BJPW offshoot.. - hooray for Mammoth Sasaki and Jun Kasai still getting paychecks..

'Mania Match of the Day #2

WrestleMania II
20-Man Invitational Battle Royal - 4

They invitied a bunch of football players to take part in this, maybe they should’ve painted some hash marks in the ring so they could feel at home. Technicalites aside, most of the football players seemed to hold their own with Russ Francis as one of the final four men in the ring. Earlier in the show, there was an interview to set up an angle with Bill Fralic (who?) and Big John Studd. I don’t know why it was necessary as both men were booed on their way to the ring. The famous “Refrigerator”, William Perry, had some nice exchanges with Studd that were hard-hitting. On the wrestlers side, there were a bunch of undercard guys and some veterans including Pedro Morales, Bruno Sammartino, The Killer Bees, Hillbilly Jim, and The Hart Foundation, in what is Bret Hart’s WrestleMania debut. Did I mention Andre was in this match? Anyway, once it comes down to Andre and The Hart Foundation, you’d be a fool to bet on Neidhart winning it. Speaking of which, Andre cracks him with a headbutt and sends him sailing over the top rope. Andre grabs Bret off the turnbuckle a gorilla presses him on top of Niedhart on the floor. A fun match but really the only thing that ever came out of it was William Perry being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame 20 years later.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

All Star Wrestling- 02/25/1981

Show begins with acid washed graphics with a surf rock tune blasting behind it. Vince with a mop top introduces the show.

1) The Hangman v. SD Jones- 1
2) Yoshiaki Yatsu v. Frank Savage- 3
3) Rick McGraw/ Dominic DeNucci v. The Moondogs- 3
4) Angelo Mosca v. Jose Estrada- 1

Our opener really, truly deserves a 0, for there were no redeemable qualities about it. The first 6 minutes are all throwing punches and no selling them, neither man is, in fact, they are going out of their way to act like they didn't hurt. SD jukes and jives but Hangman takes control with some nicely exectued judo throws & a sloppy body slam, all which SD promptly stands back up and sells not a damn one of them. Then, they go to the arm bar for the remainder of the match which ends in a 10 minute draw. Felt like a damn hour. Tremendously bad performances. Yatsu was a Gold Medalist in Freestyle wrestling at the Pan-American Games back in 1980 and he shows off some moderate skills here, using a really cool transition with a takedown rolling over the big man into a headlock and back to the ankle. Savage is a grotesque dude, looked like he could have played Grendel in a production of Beowulf in some shoddy hole in the wall English production. Some of his stuff is really exposing but other shots are decent. Yatsu gets the win out of nowhere by pulling into Savage's attempt at a bodyslam into a cradle. Patterson was putting him over big time on commentary.

I've not really enjoyed anything of DeNucci's that I've watched in the last year and this continues that trend. Interesting to see the ref lose control of the legal men here and completely break down and force everyone to their corners to work it out. Such a far cry from the messes we get every week now in tag situations. McGraw came in a house of fire and pulled out some really great moves including that crazy dropkick that no one was using but got so wound up, he fell down backing into the ropes. I liked Lou Albano with some cheap shots outside but the 'Dogs weren't anything to write home about. Main was basically giant bruiser Mosca dealing out slow power moves to Estrada, who was a capable hand in his time; even Vince comments we aren't getting to see any of Estrada's great moves, which was disappointing.

Other Angles:
- Fred Blassie cuts a long winded promo about his man, Killer Khan
- Black Demon takes Sgt. Slaughter's Cobra Clutch challenge but runs away scared; Pat Patterson tries to interview Slaughter, but gets slapped like a prostitute so he jumps in and takes Demon's place. Some really great technical wrestling moves Patterson was using to escape and Slaughter was hanging on; the crowd was eating it up like free Pasta Alfredo. This was, far and away, the best thing on the program.

'Mania Match of the Day #1

In honor of the 25th anniversary of WrestleMania, starting today and ending on the day before WrestleMania (April 4th), I will be posting a "Mania Match of the Day". Now this match could be a long forgotten opener or a fantastic main event or anywhere in between. Some of the matches I've picked out are logical choices but some matches, especially ones from the early WrestleManias, were picked from the undercard. Each day will feature a new match and I will be going in chronological order, starting with WrestleMania I. And now ... our opening contest ...

WrestleMania I
Greg "The Hammer" Valentine vs. The Junkyard Dog – 4

This was pretty basic with JYD gaining the early control that culminated with a nice punch to the face after he caught Valentine’s kick. Valentine came back and began to work over JYD’s left leg in an effort to soften him up for the figure four. Valentine went for it and got kicked off into the corner. A great job of selling by JYD as he hopped around the ring on one foot. Jimmy Hart took a seriously sick bump off the apron and smacked his head on the unprotected floor when JYD rammed him and Valentine together. JYD came out with a flurry of punches but Valentine took JYD down and hooked the ropes for leverage to gain a pinfall. Then, Tito Santana runs out, tells the ref what happened and the ref counts Valentine out of the ring to give JYD the win by count-out. This may not seem like a huge description for this match but believe me, you’re not missing much if you miss this. JYD’s offense what pretty cool but the odd finish destroyed any shot this had at a semi-recommendable rating.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Xtreme Gladiators of Wrestling

Fellow NHO members Didge, Jessie, and Adam, as well as mutual buddy Steve, along with myself, have a new website:

XGOW - Xtreme Gladiators of Wrestling

XGOW is a turn-based, dice role playing game about professional wrestling. The earliest incarnations of this game date back to roughly '98 or thereabouts, with XGOW proper having its heyday around 2001. We recently resurrected it for a fun way to kill Sunday afternoons when we're feeling burnt out on watching Bill Dundee, Jimmy Jacobs, Hercules, and others embarrass themselves on our TVs. The site is our hub for the roster, rankings, pictures, etc.

FCW TV 2/15/09

- colt's on commentary and is gold
- says he had a "bro-date" on valentine's.. watching a taped football game with some dudes proving how "bro" they were

1. Sweet Papi Sanchez vs. Tyson Tarver - 2

- sweet papi comes out with a brown, paper sack
- sanchez is passing out candy to all the ringside rubes
- tyson looks like a shoot fighter
- his manager looks strangely like an angry president obama
- tyson slaps away the handshake
- papi tries again, another slap, followed by a push
- tyson dodges some slow, shoddy shots and clotheslines to dish out some gut punches
- huge hiptoss by sanchez
- club to the back that tarvel sells huge
- jesus, tarver just sold a kneelift by jumping backwards eight-foot
- both guys all in black, in a studio with black painted walls.. not a good luck
- sanchez spin kick none of the pizazz of savio's
- bryon saxton is the name of tarver's second
- saxton gets knocked off the apron inadverntantly
- sweet papi gets the pin with a splash.. somebody call ricky ortiz for finisher theft
overall: sanchez looks like a tubby savio vega clone.. - tarver has more potential, but is still awfully rough, awkward movements, potentially dangerous bumps, etc. - could go somewhere.. but then again.. we all said the same about elijah..

- some bizarre video airs silhouetted by a pink heart.. playing painfully bad music.. - apparently colt had a crush on "the girl from mexico" which was clearly a dude in a purple jumpsuit and bad lucha mask.. - of course, the mask got ripped off, proving that goldman kissed a man.. - not sure what that was all about but josh matthews is having a good time ribbing colt..

2. Alicia Fox vs. Tiffany - 2

- two of ECW's brightest starlets..
- fox working the arm early
- tiff counters and takes her down where they roll about looking for leverage
- tiff ducks under a spinkick and gets a schoolgirl roll-up
- sunset-flip doesn't look bad but fox gets out at .01 so forget that
- fox working a dragon sleeper-like submission but loose and looking confused
- fox dropkick not bad
- tiffany forearms don't cut the mustard when i just watched sara del rey work last night
- tiff crossbody from second rope but nobody home
- fox gives her the big axe kick for the victory, advancing her to the finals of the queen of the fcw tournament the following week
overall: diva's lite.. - none of the built-in fan interest from the big shows.. - just a display of moves sans much emotion or technique.. - alica has a hell of a look, though.. with seasoning she could be a real star..

3. Sheamus O'Shaunessy vs. Johnny Curtis - 2

- jr blew sheamus on his blog a couple weeks back.. just eww..
- scotty says sheamus has a tapeworm.. - looks like some sort of magic marker tattoos of parallel lines in random places on his pale body..
- curtis one-half of fcw tag champs, wearing ace darling's old ring vest
- never know what you'll find in jersey thrift stores
- now sheamus' tatts called celtic war paint.. - still lame..
- curtis mounts in corner but gets dropped face-first
- cabana calls him "real-life zelda"
- matthews asks if zeld took place in ireland?
- no, in hyrule you dumb, frosted hair fuck!
- back to the action.. - heidenreich-esqe headlock control section by sheamus
- decent forearms to face by johnny
- sunset flip, two-count by curtis
- big knees by SOS.. - boring chant..
- colt says the "big time" of being on WWE tastes delicious.. - hope he has a good memory as he won't taste it ever again..
- nice clothesline in the corner by curtis
- not sure what or who curtis is supposed to be.. just looks like a jock with anger issues in standard issues tights
- top-rope clothesline looks like it hurts curtis more than SOS
- some douchebag interferes, dubbed ryeback, then a guy looking like christopher york hops in.. - ugh..
overall: not a stellar outing by SOS.. albeit the hype.. - curtis threw some snug forearms.. but needs a look/persona..

4. Dylan Klein and Jon Cutler vs. Kris Logan and Johnny Prime - 1

- cutler and klien come out cocky with a blond..
- ugh.. prime and logan come out in blue trunks and match brown hair-dos.. - everybody in FCW has the same build, fake tan, muscles, and generic looks..
- cutler has a blue mohawk, klein has two shades of hair.. - at least they are some distinguishable from the pack..
- klein directly ripping spots from orton ppv matches.. not good
- cutler with a reverse ddt/russin leg sweep combo
- northern lights by logan on klein with zero aftersell
- damn, man.. if this is the farm league for the WWE our children are going to be watching some real shitty wrestling..
- i don't want the fcw machine to spit out a bunch of guys with the same exact athletic look
- give me a fat slob like jerry blackwell or an ugly ass backwoods bunkhouse buck.. - something, anything different..
- finish was a vertical suplex/springboard crossbody by logan/prime
- did colt just make an elix skipper reference?
overall: this rubbed me the wrong way.. - fcw is especially exposed when they do tags or multiple-men matches and you see several guys that look like clones of jim powers

5. TJ Wilson vs. Kaval - 7

- sorry, kaval, or low ki.. is one of my all-time favorites.. - not going to take notes on this one.. just kick back, drift into a frighteningly calm trance-like state, and study the fuck out of this motherfucker (i forgot how fun cussing is! being twelve again rocks)
overall: fuck yes.. - i'll give this a bonus point for just coming out of nowhere and soaking the collective sweatpants of the 'net fans.. - the somersault off the elevated announcing station by tj was so '99 super indy and lovely.. - low ki's tidalwave kick from the top and later, rolling koppo kick, never looked better.. - wilson used the "hart lock" a modified sharpshooter allegedly but looked like a head and arm triangle choke to me.. - i liked that while kaval tried to break it tj just kicking him in the face like a real bastard a few times.. - i was floored by ki's bump and sell of getting knocked off the top turnbuckle and falling throat first on the top rope.. - he just completely went for it and fell with all of his weight face-first on the rope, whip lashing his entire body and dropping him.. - the warrior's way from the top for the finish was just devastating.. - if you haven't downloaded this, take a break from porn and find it..

Monday, March 9, 2009

WCW Monday Nitro- 09/13/1999

1) Chris Benoit v. Dean Malenko- 6
2) Erik Watts v. Disco Inferno- 1
3) Silver King v. Norman Smiley- 2
4) The Bluebloods v. The Windham Brothers- 4
5) Harlem Heat v. Brian Knobs/ Hugh Morrus (Tag Title)- 3
6) Insane Clown Posse v. Lenny & Lodi- 3
7) Rick Steiner v. Chris Benoit (TV Title)- 3
8) Eddie Guerrero v. Perry Saturn- 4
9) Berlyn v. Buff Bagwell- 4
10) Sting/ Lex Luger v. Bret Hart/ Hulk Hogan- 4

Our opening match was far and away the best thing on this show. While it didn't get much time, they filled it with non-stop WRESTLING! Reversals a plenty, almost got ahead of themselves there were so many. I'm glad they didn't try and pull off all those old Eddie-Dean ECW ones , instead just using really good, clean technique. Of course there were suplexes too, good ones. Saturn & Shane Douglas, the other Revolution members, came down to ringside but I didn't like their attempt at manufactured crowd heat; who cares what those two clowns think anyways? This match was supposed to be for a World Title Shot later on that night, so they made it feel like that. Really cool reversal to a superplex caps this TV classic off. 2nd match was all about cool new age offense.....and making it look like shit. Watts made a powerbomb into the corner look as effective as a People's Elbow. Both guys were preening & posing throughout this turd too; grab a hold and wrestle, you jerk stains. Sid, mercilessly, came down and beat up both guys. He did the same thing in the next match, which mainly only featured Silver King throwing some wicked kicks, & Norman getting his Big Wiggle on. Get down, girl, go ahead, get down.

The next match featured a lot of stuff I love (tag wrestling, Barry, the bluebloods) okay, I love everything in it except Kendall Windham. There were some mis-communications but not much, Bluebloods controlled nicely with Kendall in at one point & Barry had some flashbacks to the glory days of '87 with missed elbowdrops and arm drag reversals. Curt Henning (smiling big in full Redneck regalia) needlessly interefered for the win. The Heat versus the Nastys back in mid-90's was a great feud; this match was not. Stevie Ray didn't look thrilled to sell for big Hugh on power moves at all, thing I liked is they kept Booker out of the ring while they worked his brother, so when he came in at the end for the big comeback it worked nicely. Knobs must have smelled like Cheetos & KY jelly because Heat tried to avoid him at all costs. What a novelty; the ICP wrestling! That'll sell some tickets. Guarantee Bischoff didn't even know he had them on the payroll at the time. The Lenny/ Lodi thing was good at this time, and WWE probably could have gotten some good mileage out of it, but not this fed; they jobbed them out to really, really, really, really, really, really, really bad recording "artists (used lightly)." Violent J's clothesline were as wooden as Tree-beard's cock. Tony Schiavone claming Shaggy 2 Dope was a great cruiserweight made me want to stick a medieval battleaxe in my ear. Violent J's moonsault was almost as much of an eyesore as his ridiculous getup. All in all, Lenny pulled them through a passable match.

Well, looks like Benoit won't get that World Title match after all, due to the main event. Nice way to swerve your fans. Benoit v. Sting really tickled my taint but this looks just as good. Steiner is giving Benoit the business with a brutal powerslam and a release German suplex that most assuredly contributed to Benoit snapping & murdering his whole family. Crappy rollup gives Benoit the TV belt (if anyone was counting). Eddie & P-Sat both have their posse's down with them and the match is fairly enjoyable. They try some reversal stuff too, like the opener and for the most part have a good flow. Best spot was Eddie rolling up into a cradle out of a German suplex attempt. Berlyn is another in the long list of overhyped people WCW tried to use, but in the end he's still Alex Wright, so there you have it. He & Buff daddy put together a complete TV match, with the requisite resthold spots, gaudy punches & outside intereference. That being said, good for what it was, a platform for Berlyn to get over. Finish was really weak though; a falling neckbreaker- how are we supposed to believe that could beat anybody?

Main event featured four top stars probably of all time. Luger is wearing jeans & a t-shirt, another shot in the arm for WCW's credibility. Hart worked at top level here, but he's the only one. All his moves were crisp, whether it was a simple legdrop, his rope running, or a chinlock, all looked good. Sting sold big for him too, but he was supposed to be a heel here but made absolutely no attempt at getting any kind of heel heat. Hogan was just kind of there, not really a factor, although he was doing these little rabbit punches that resembled my 1 year old daughter getting excited and flailing her hand, about the same force. Luger's bumps were downright ugly. Now, the finish: There's a lot of little legendary moments in wrestling within our group of friends and one of them is Sting getting his face ripped off by a bat shot from Elizabeth back at Starrcade 1999. Luger breaks up Bret's sharpshooter with a bat shot to the face here and it's just as devastating. And the camera is right there next to it! It's unbelieveable. Crazy ending to a so-so Nitro from a period when so-so was frickin' outstanding.

Other Angles Featured:
- Ric Flair returns, cuts a great promo, gets beat up by Sting & Luger
- Berlyn arrives with 3 limos & entourage
- Nitro Girl contest, hosted by Rikki Rachman, Kimberly Page, & Spice (V-man's favorite Nitro girl)
- J.J. Dillon finds out Lex Luger lied about being cleared to wrestle
- Long Sid promo after interrupting 2 matches
- Goldberg interrupts Jerry Flynn to call out Sid, then spears & jackhammers him to hell & back
- Revolution video
- Really good Sting montage of his whole career

Friday, March 6, 2009

Survivor Series Showdown 1990

1) Sgt. Slaughter v. Tito Santana- 4
2) Rick Martel v. Marty Jannetty- 5
3) Earthquake v. Big Bossman- 4
4) Bret Hart v. Honky Tonk Man- 3
5) Texas Tornado v. Smash- 3

This was a fun show, I always remember looking forward to these go-home shows for the PPV's. This one featured members from opposing teams going against each other, & then promos with both teams afterwards. Best one has to go to the Dream Team: Dusty, Hart Foundation & Koko. Koko doesn't speak during his little promo; he sings in a really bluesy kind of way. Also funny when Dream is rambling on and says " At the Survivor.....Series, that is" like he forgot the name of the show. The theme of the show was to do long-drawn out matches which happened in nearly every one. Slaughter and Tito, two certifiable legends, went the distance in this one and while everything they did technically was fine, the match lost a lot of steam from unnecessary stalling throughout. Tito's punches are a force to be reckoned with, they look so brutal and Slaughter could bump like a crazy man when motivated. Martel & Jannetty had arguably the best match of the show, although it didnt' vary in pace or content much from the rest of the matches. I think I gave it bonus points for Martel's sleaziness, Jannetty attempting to the work the leg and the creative albeit silly finish of Marty missing a sunset flip over the ropes and Martel simply covering him.

Bossman & Quake gets points simply for Bossman's punches, some of the best of all time, the quickness, the brutality, made you actually believe he could be a prison guard, punching inmates in their cocksuckers' when they got out of line. Give Quake credit, he takes a handful of them to the mouth. Heenan came down & got invovled as he & Bossman were running a program together, & Monsoon was great at giving Heenan shit all over the show. Dumb finish but otherwise enjoyable. Bret & Honky, at least on paper, looks to have the most potential of all the matches, but it was pretty paper thin. Honky's overselling and complete disregard for selling in other places turned me off. Bret was doing some good selling though and made some of Honky's silly offense look halfway decent. Heenan & Monsoon were great here; doing a bit where Heenan "accidentally" called Jimmy Hart a runt, but then tried to cover it up by saying he was trying to cough; so the whole rest of the program you hear Heenan doing the coughing, just stretching it as far as it would go. Kerry looked quite "smashed" coming out to the ring, always seeming to be gazing off to the stars, Smash (I guess) was wearing a black hood so you didn't know who was under there but the match proved less offensive than I thought. Von Erich had his big spots (the claw & the discus punch) and he certainly did those well. The long claw hold was a good piece of business here, but Smash really uncreatively escaped by some lame kicks. Big Schmaze ends this one and we see the show closing with Warrior (sans makeup) hovering over Kerry's defenseless body; looked like a male porn. Overall though long matches isn't even necessarily a bad thing, even if I can't recommend them highly, still a nice treat.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Josh Barnett vs. Tank Abbott - (IGF 8/15/08) - 1

Barnett looks the part, big and athletic, but Abbott is clearly there just to collect his check. It’s a worked shoot, but at least try to offer a semblance of realism, right? Not Tank, I’ve seen elementary school children spar harder in karate classes. I feel especially bad for Barnett, having to go down on a couple occasions, selling these phantom shots like they’ve rung his bell. Barnett has a flurry of strikes, mostly open hands, in the corner but most of this is just bullshit posturing. Barnett gets the win after a few minutes, on a leg submission that was synched in about as loose as a porn star’s anus after a shooting session. From what I’ve seen, Inoki’s IGF is a huge joke, but I’ve yet to watch the series of matches The Predator and Necro Butcher had together, here’s hoping my opinion of the product will improve then.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Affliction: Banned (air date 02/19/2009)

1) Antonio Rogerio Noguiera v. Edwin DeWees- 3
2) Andrei Arlovski v. Ben Rothwell- 5

Well, March is TV month so i thought I'd start with an episode of Affliction, the Trump backed MMA promotion that's running way behind UFC. This will also be my first MMA review. let's give it a whirl.

Nogeuira is the twin brother of former UFC Heavyweight Champ Minotauro and the similarities are ridiculously similar. They're basically like clones. His style mirrors his brother's as he lays back and waits for De Wees to come to him, but Edwin gets a good number of strikes in there. He's smart though because he doesn't try to take it to the ground. This Nogeiura actually seems to be better with his hands and let's fly a flurry (that almost sounded like a Dusty phrase) all over DeWees late in the 1st round and gets the TKO. Actually seemed like this was kind of a mismatch but DeWees didn't do too bad. Arlovski, when he wants to be is just an all out badass and can knock anyone out. Rothwell was supposedly Tim Sylvia's old training partner, hope that doesn't speak on his figthing; No, Rothwell can throw a mean hand and clocks Arlovski several times during the 1st round, as does Andrei. Good measured and lethal hands from Andrei who gets a back leg trip but winds up on bottom under a mammoth grotesque dude. Rothwell lands some devastating elbows, but eventually they have to stand up and Andrei closes the round with a brutal flurry of punches that likely would have KO'd Rothwell had he not been nestled firmly in the corner. 2nd round begins and ends almost as quickly as Andrei pegs him with an uppercut Don Flamingo would be proud of and that's the ballgame. Pretty good episode and looking forward to discovering more hidden MMA on my cable provider.

Monday, March 2, 2009

VIDEO: Sabotage vs. Rage

Sabotage vs. Rage - UWO Championship match
UWO Strangle Your Neighbors '07




TNA Impact - 2/19/09

1) Jay Lethal & Consequences Creed vs. Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley – Street Fight – 4
2) Brutus Magnus, Matt Morgan, & Sheik Abdul Bashir vs. LAX & Shane Sewell – 3
3) Taylor Wilde vs. Angelina Love – 2
4) Petey Williams & Eric Young vs. Robert Roode & James Storm – 4
5) Kurt Angle vs. Sting – Empty Arena Match – 5

The first bout up on this episode of Impact was the street fight. Both teams engaged in some interesting uses of some steel chairs, including a pretty nice double-team Van Daminator from the Guns. Creed busted out a swank flip over the top rope a few moments into the match. Lethal took a serious bump onto a ladder that was bridged between the railing and the ring. The finish was Sabin nailing Creed with the X-Division title belt allowing Shelley to get the pin. Two things I didn’t like about the match … one, the minimal selling by all parties involved, save for Jay Lethal and … two, despite the intriguing uses of the chair, the final shot to get a pin was with a title belt? The six-man tag was pretty messy. Legal man issues were abound within the first 90 seconds with all three members of the heel team coming in and out as they please. Sewell ate a sick boot from Morgan. I’ve never really like Morgan all that much to begin with. His look is that of a generic big dude with no discernable emotion during his bouts, wooden promos, and an entrance tune that sounds like a local band wrote it. If by calling Morgan the “blueprint”, they mean he’s the blueprint for basic big man heel wrestlers, then they actually got something right. Hernandez issued a sick border toss to Bashir which was followed up by a sloppy elbow from Sewell.

While the knockouts can usually be depended upon to deliver decent bouts, this was a thorough disappointment. Both girls seemed to be on cruise control and the extra-curricular activity took away any points the match had of being decent. The stuff with Roxxi and the Governor at ringside defiinitely detracted from the match. The tag match was the first in the series of “off the wagon challenges” where the loser of the fall has to leave TNA. Petey and Eric still had good chemistry from their days in Team Canada. Young was getting some serious height on those top-rope cross bodys and you could geniunely tell that they were having a good time. The finish came when Petey tried to give Jacqueline the Canadian Destoyer piledriver but was caught by Beer Money and pinned, forcing him to leave TNA. Finally, the main event was a racuous good time where Sting and Angle traded some hard shots throughout the arena. They brawled up in the bleachers where Sting threw Angle 15 feet from the side of the stands. Angle then tossed a trash can into Sting’s face really hard. This would’ve gotten into the “6” range if they didn’t have the bullshit non-finish where Nash and Steiner broke it up. Sting’s promo after the match was gold where he was really intense and made me believe that he hated Kurt. Overall, a fun episode of Impact. It dragged a bit in the middle but if you watch anything from this show, check out the empty arena match.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

WWE Smackdown! 2/13/09

In March we’ll be celebrating TV! No, not television in general, nor a look at its founding fathers like Philo Farnsworth and Paul Gottlieb Nipkow, but wrestling on TV! Yes, both big companies and small, found TV a great way to market their wrestling product and reach the masses. Our goal is to shine a light on an oft-overlooked component of the world of wrestling… the invaluable TV show!

1. Chavo Guerrero vs. M.V.P. - 2
2. Carlito and Primo vs. The Miz and John Morrison - 5
3. R-Truth vs. Ezekiel Jackson - 3
4. Michelle McCool vs. Maria - 3
5. Triple H vs. Big Show vs. The Undertaker vs. Vladimir Kozlov - 4

The thing coming off this episode you’re really going to want to get a hold of is the tag team match with Miz and Morrison versus the Colon bros. WWE doesn’t give tag team wrestling its justice these days, relegating tag matches to mere afterthoughts on TV, and routinely leaving them off big pay-per-view shows completely. But here, battling for a date with the lovely Bella Twins, both teams got the opportunity to work a match that lasted two segments, kept a good pace, and was full of nicely executed sequences and entertaining spots.

The rest of the show you could likely go without seeing void of much concern, although the main, a four-way match, featured some neat moments, getting some of the brand’s biggest stars (literally and figuratively!) together, and Undertaker particularly shining going for his modified gogoplata on two occasions which I enjoyed. R-Truth over Big Zeke was fun, including some rather nasty bumps for such a short match, but didn’t have enough meat to warrant a recommendation.

Maria typically gets a bonus recommendation point from me just on pure hotness alone. Here, she did a good job selling leg damage from McCool, who’s developing into a pretty strong heel, busting out some nice submissions and being a bitch. The ending with Eve drawing the distraction didn’t do it any favors. And lastly, the shitty opener, where Chavo and M.V.P. awkwardly worked through a heatless match that the crowd was completely quiet for, save from a few scattered “M.V.P.” chants.