Friday, October 16, 2009

WrestleMania 18

1) William Regal v. Rob Van Dam (IC Title)- 3
2) DDP v. Christian (European Title)- 3
3) Maven v. Goldust (Hardcore Title)- 1
4) Kurt Angle v. Kane- 3
5) Undertaker v. Ric Flair (No DQ)- 7
6) Edge v. Booker T- 5
7) Steve Austin v. Scott Hall- 3
8) Billy & Chuck v. APA v. Dudley Boyz v. Hardys (Tag Title)- 4
9) Hollywood Hogan v. The Rock- 6
10) Jazz v. Lita v. Trish Stratus (Women's Title)- 3
11) Chris Jericho v. HHH (Undisputed Title)- 5

First flurry in the opener was a blur of human body appendages, followed by RVD staring up at the hideous construction site-like structure at the entrance ramp while waiting for a knucks spot. This was all of RVD's signature spots mashed into a 6 minutes affair: hard kicks and nasty bumps on his neck. Regal's suplex was spot on as well, although as he sets himself up for RVD's planned spots it just looks forced. Finish was an add on and hurt the match.

Page looks dastardly in his middle-aged-ness, but pulls off a gutbuster sure to have Christian barfing up his egg roll lunch. Silly and pointless spill outside, hate when guys leave the ring for no purpose, just to kill a minute or two. They have some nifty sequences together and doesn't feel like they're following a foot map of the Boot Scoot Boogie like the previous match. Page has a nice writhing on the ground sell. Ending was mistimed and as flat as Mischa Barton.

Liked Goldy roughing up the rook with punches, crazy Bulldog sell outside and I was genuinely surprised. Dropkick with garbage can was botched beyond belief and the crowd was ravenous in their "You fucked up" chant. No, they weren't referring to that stupid cougar head tatt on Maven's right shoulder either, although would fit. He flails all over on his bumps and clearly could have used 6 months more training on indy shows before making it to Mania. Hardcore nonsense ensues.

Wow, a hit with the ring bell to start? Where do you go from there? Kane's normal punches look like he's trying to get some snot off his hand. Liked how Kurt held onto the ropes before a chokeslam, shows common sense. His suplexes look really impressive on Kane, who's doing the lion's share of bumps. Hate those obvious suplexes from the top rope just to do it, match has only been going 4 minutes. No story here just a collection of moves, speaking of, Why did Kane kick out of the Angle slam if Kurt wins anyways? Just because it's Mania? dumb. Kane shows some aftersell from the ankle pick though, finish blew, a theme in Toronto.

Wild brawl starts here, potatoes left and right, should give Idaho their own football team now, Boise Bladejobs in honor of this match. Flair has to redo his turnbuckle flip and eats a nasty boot to follow. Bulk of beginning is punches, but at least they all look like they hurt. Flair's face is a plasmic mess, as expected. Both guys know how to run a blood feud, nasty chops, nasty lariats, Taker breaks out a superplex that's the highlight of this evening as far as bumps. Taker is just relishing his heel persona here and as Brian has pointed out in the past, gives him far more range to play with and is sometimes more engaging than the Dead Man character. Flair gives best facial of the night as well, when Taker sits up from Figure Four leglock, crowd heat is blowing the roof off the place, An Arn Anderson cameo is never a bad thing, but why blade? Flair can't hit a money chair shot nor does he get his flabby body up for the Last Ride. Hatred done right for a change.

Lot of tight work and snug punches but they start going for broke early. Everyone looks back on this period of Edge fondly, but all I think of is PA early 90's indy, full of Reckless Youth spots and 8 moves strung together with no destination. Damn stiff spinebuster by the Book. Top rope hurricanrana was a little rusty and could have hurt someone. Edge's leg attacks (heel kick, dropkick, spin kick) all are as pansy as Bobby Fisher, but his arm strikes have been solid. Leap frog spot near end worked. The offense heavy match with close calls works better for Edge than Booker, but the vet adapts.

Why has every match started with a brawl before the bell? Typical Austin tenacity drives heart of this match even if his isn't in it, chops are working, very un-Stone Cold like. Hall still has great punches and stomps too. They give Nash several spots, but he does nothing noteworthy with them. Lack of dynamic offense from either man makes this feel like less than 100% effort. Austin is never really in trouble here, so it just doesn't work like his '98 run. 2 Stunner for the win but Hall sells like he's drunk on a trampoline, which i'm sure he was at some point that weekend.

It's clear Chuck had no idea what his character was supposed to be, he's completely lost, jauntily pointing his fingers in the air in a dance no one has ever done in a nightclub. Billy has it down though. Bradshaw continues his rep as a bully, delivering a completely unnecessary neackbreaking suplex to Chuck within the 1st minute. After only 4 60 second intervals, the badasses are out in a complete mess of work during elimination. Palumbo sells a Hardy double DDT like a kid in 1st grade learning how to tumble. Stacy gets her ass spanked hard, then shown rubbing it 3 minutes later in a good bit of aftersell having nothing to do with this match but I just wanted to arbitrarily bring up Stacy's ass. Bubba does that foot on crotch spot in the corner, which is dumb, because he gets knocked out of the ring, then has to either choose to sell it or not and if you sell it, you kill momentum you had in the ring because Jeff's incapacitated too, but if you don't, you ignore a huge bump outside. He did both. Nobody has tagged another team except twice, with 4 teams it's supposed to be a chance to mix it up, but nothing of the sort has happened. Matt does nearfalls well, fin is convaluted as hell but Jeff's nearfall after the Fam-asser is righteous.

This has to be one of the most vocal crowds in Mania History. Basically the premise is Hulk instantly turns face after getting a huge reaction from the crowd because of his greediness to still matter. Rock is booed from the building basically but doesn't let it bother him. First Hulk goof up is trying to go over the ropes but only give a 1/4 effort so he just flops to the mat and rolls out. Rock is bumping BIG ( tom hanks BIG) for Hulk, including a massive chokeslam that was really cool and new to Hulk's moveset. While the match begins to meander with several brawls outside, the crowd is ridiculously behind Hogan, like if instead of McCain running against Obama, it would have been OJ Simpson, that's the ratio of cheering he's getting. Rock protects Hulk on spinebuster. I dug Hulk's crazy eyes when he brought out the weight belt and the Hulk up was a great spot, took the crowd to it's apex, Rock got them back with People's Elbow, basically worth seeing for crowd reaction alone, as the work is nothing special.

Jazz has nice snap on her punches and a better legdrop than the Yellow and Red fool from the previous match. Trish takes a gnarly bump outside, Lita's offense makes as much sense to me as Cottage Cheese with Porkchops, which is to say I don't get it at all. Another nasty bump through the buckle from Trish as she's clearly working her ass off, even though she could use some more ring time at this point. With a more seasoned Trish and a replacement for Lita, this could have been really good.

Of all that is holy in this world......HHH is at his most bulky and most deep fried: he resembles a fucking fritter from the carnival. High back drop starts out on high note, along with 2 really hard clotheslines from Trips, which is unusual. Jericho takes a bump into the crowd that hurt way more than how good it looked. Like how the leg became the focal point of match and Trip's selling of it after each move is accurate. Steph takes a huge tackle from the ropes and I'm surprised she was game. Annoying as she is, she's effective here, but also marking one of few times I'm praying a female second's breasts DON'T pop out of her loose top. Nod to Bret with Figure Four around post, although only slightly better than Cody's. There's a really dumb spot in the heated part of the match where Jericho just runs at HHH and falls down, they then do a spinebuster right after which I guess they missed. Trips takes a car crash bump outside and grabs the leg again.....(applause.) What's with the finisher copying? 3 matches it's happened in now. Finish is a pedigree not even out of a reversal, clean as Canada's sidewalks but out of nowhere. Match had more heat in beginning than end, possibly cheered themselves out so for a main event needed more support from the fans but was a well executed match for the most part.

XIII= 49%
XIV= 44%
VIII= 43%
II= 43%
XII= 43%
XVII= 43%
X= 42%
III= 39%
XVIII= 39%
VII= 34%
V= 34%
XI= 34%
IV= 34%
IX= 33%
I= 32%
VI= 32%
XVI= 30%
XV= 29%

1 comment:

Brian said...

interesting to re-read my lengthy analysis on Y2J v. HHH and then read your take.. i had it noticeably higher although it undoubtedly had issues