Wednesday, January 25, 2012

WWF 1990 Intercontinental Title Tournament

1st Round
1. Tito Santana v. Akeem - 3
2. Mr. Perfect v. Jimmy Snuka- 3
3. Dino Bravo v. Brutus Beefcake- 2
4. Rick Martel v. Roddy Piper - 3

5. Mr. Perfect v. Tito Santana - 5

I'm typing this tired, which i guess you should never do, or is that drive while texting, or swim after eating? who knows. While many wrestling pundits laughed at Akeem, i have to admit, his theme song and wrist gyrations always brought a smile to my face. This thing just started cooking when it ended abrutply and I loved Akeem just screaming his head off like a pissed off kid waiting on a layover in an airport.

Snuka and Perfect were playing off each other like coked out jazz musicians in a fun piece of business. Perfect was selling and jumping all over the place and as great as he was, it reminded me how hard that style took on him. This thing lost some steam though leading to the finish

Bravo and Beefcake was a lot of posturing, some really bad hair styles and a pace so languid Terrence Malick would be bored. When you're big spot is a punch to Bravo's midsection going for a axhandle, you know you're in the shitter.

Piper is such a lanky weird built guy but man, as soon as that bell rings, he's on and in character. This was kind of a fun matchup and without being hampered by bad TV booking, I bet this would be a great way to kill 10 minutes if it was featured at your local house show back in this time. Wild brawl ended it and if that's the finish at least i can get behind it if it's entertaining.

Finals were pretty much what you would hope to get from these two, Tito's prime seemingly should have been over but he is there every step of the way with Perfect. I loved the go behinds where they kept reversing the other like two kids running circles around each other. This got about 9 minutes but they did a lot with it, although being a heel winning a title in this time has to have your token interference, but it didn't need it even though Heenan coming out as the manager was a big deal.

Monday, January 23, 2012

ECW November to Remember 1997

Back finally after two months or so and jumping right in to another ECW pay-per-view.

1. Tommy Rogers vs. Chris Candido - 4
On paper this sounded like a good match but in execution I don’t think it panned out as well as it possibly could have. No one seemed to have recognized Rogers, even though he was one half of the Fantastics back in the 80s. Sad really. First portion of this was very by the numbers with a suplex spot off the apron on to the floor was probably the highlight of the first half of this. The thing that knocked this down a notch for me was that Jerry Lynn and Lance Storm randomly interfered and the referee turned it into a tag match with Rogers & Lynn against Storm & Candido. My question is who gave him that authority to do so? The tag portion of this was really spotty with no tagging in at all and was a complete free for all.

2. Justin Credible vs. Mikey Whipwreck - 3
This felt more like a sprint as they just kept hitting move after move with little to no selling. Mikey’s ringpost frankensteiner was pretty cool. Credible has a rough looking mustache … looked like a kid who hit puberty trying to grow his first ‘stache and impress his friends. Top rope whipper-snapped was a wild looking finish. Not really a lot here to get incredibly excited about.

3. Pitbull #2 vs. Taz - 1
I’d forgotten this was even on the show until I looked back at my notes. This was so quick that if you went to the fridge for a snack, you’d probably miss it. Taz was a beast. That’s pretty much it.

4. The FBI (Tracy Smothers & Little Guido) vs. The Dudleys vs. Balls Mahoney & Axl Rotten vs. New Jack & Kronus – Four Way Elimination Match - 3
This started off like a very low level indy match with Balls and Axl hitting chair shots from behind and then doing rope spots. Things get convoluted and messy as soon as New Jack and Kronus hit the ring, accompanied by blaring hip-hop music. So much exaggerated selling on New Jack’s weapon shots, almost cartoonish selling really. Can you imagine New Jack dumpster diving for all this shit the night before the show? I can. Bubba’s dive spot was fun to watch but I saw it coming. Best part of the whole match was Tommy Rich’s selling of a New Jack guitar shot that he sold like a headless, wandering zombie. Powder spot was pretty ridiculous as Bubba initally sold it but then somehow managed to see well enough to do a 3D on Devon. Finish was completely awful with a ref bump and then a crooked ref making a fast count. The rating on this sunk faster than the Titantic.

5. Rob Van Dam vs. Tommy Dreamer - 4
I used to think that RVD and Tommy Dreamer would be a good match. However, I’ve seen numerous RVD/Dreamer matches in recent years (including this match) and I’ve been really disappointed. I keep looking for a classic hardcore battle and I’m always left wishing it was better. This match was no exception to that either. This took forever to get going, much like that terrible Green Lantern flick from this past summer. Weird instance where the match skipped ahead at one point and RVD was bleeding from the eye. I guess we’ll never know how that happened. Dreamer looked really lethargic. Watching this I became bored waiting for this to get going into the next gear which never happened. They were doing ECW vs. WWF here and there seemed to be no heat, even when Furnas and Lafon interfered at the end, not that Furnas and Lafon were going to elicit a big pop anyway. Best thing I saw in this was RVD doing a great sell of a shitty Dreamer piledriver. Second straight shit finish with four ref bumps and about a dozen low blows.

6. The Sandman vs. Sabu – Tables and Ladders are Legal Match - 3
Right near the beginning Sandman carelessly heaves a ladder on the floor and I know this is going to be amusing. Not amusing in the fact that it will be a good match, but amusing in the fact that it’s going to be a huge sloppy mess much like a Manwich. Sandman looked worse than Anthony Bourdain after a night of drunken escapades. I could go on and on and detail every botch here but there were just so many. Loved the spot where Sandman just completely broke his ass diving through a table. Sandman’s sloppiness made Sabu’s offense look tolerable. There was a somersault off a ladder that I described as a miracle since it was the few major spots that actually came off clean. I liked Sabu’s wild dive through a table at the end. Such a sloppy mess but I couldn’t stop watching out of mere curiosity as to what they were going to try next.

7. Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Shane Douglas - 5
Since this show is outside of Douglas’ hometown, Bigelow comes across as the default heel. Saw a number of things here I thought I would never see in a Douglas match, the first being that he’s playing a resilient face. Had a hard time wrapping my head around that one. Second, he took a very wild bump ribs first on the exposed metal part of the turnbuckle. Last, he took a crazy bump straight to the floor from a Bigelow gorilla press slam, very similar to Spike Dudley. Bigelow was tremendous here as a monster heel, just beating Douglas from pillar to post and powerbombing him through a table. Bigelow’s control section went on a bit long for my taste and the finish was rather abrupt with a belly-to-belly through a table and a fast count from the ref to give Douglas back the title.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Guess Who's Coming to Dadaism?

Brandon Bonham vs. Nigel McGuinness (Block A Quarterfinal) - PWG Battle of Los Angeles 2008 Stage 2 - 4

Nigel just outclassed Bonham with the chain wrestling leaving Brandon looking more foolish than Barkley in drag on SNL. If back then you would have told me Nigel would be retired from injuries in less than three years I would have done a spit-take with my green tea all over your face. Sick air by BB on a somersault dive into the crowd -- came off like Mike McGill doing the McTwist 540° mute grabbed aerial back in '84 turning the world of skateboarding on its head. This was shorter than Earl Boykins.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Mickie Knuckles: A Redneck Woman Part 2

I'm back and still dissecting Mickie's best, had a lot of fun with part 1 let's see what other sick surprise she has in store for us

1) v. Ann -Thraxx - 3
You have to love watching matches like this where they're filmed so up close, it puts you in the ring. These women are completely aware too because they are laying in everything. Ann using a sloppy pendulum hold in a really ugly spot. Flying shining kick gets Mickie the win and looked like a overweight spot from "Kickboxer", remember that flick from the 80's? Does anyone out there from the 80's blog?

2) v. Rain- 2
Every Mickie match seems to start the same, like every Star Wars movie with a text scroll, this is a mundane crowd brawl where the crowd isn't even following the women; strange since one is sort of scantily clad and they always follow the guys. Nothing much in the ring, out of the ring horrible announcing. The shining Kick could use some buffing.

3) v. Rain (Falls Count Anywhere Match)- 4
This match didn't have much executed well but it was a fun watch. You get the sense early on ( because Rayne is such a bad actress) she wasn't in any pain at all. They brawled outside onto a trailer and both took some ugly falls. Punk was on commentary and proves to be just as entertaining as he was in the "E". He even interferes for fun spanking Rayne with a belt. There's no one in the crowd; kind of like how they never went back to the ring.

4) v. Portia Perez- 1
Portia is totally a minor here. The announcers don't buy it and the crowd isn't buying Perez's meager arm work keeping Mickie down for this 3 minute stretch.

5) v. Daizee Haze- 4
I've never been a Daizee fan, like at all. Not even a little. Here she shows off some fun transitions with the playful glee of some Rolad Dohl dialogue. Mickie not only competes but one ups her as the match progresses. They hit some brutal strikes too, just to give the match a wholesome feel and I dug it for the 8 minutes they were allowed to work.

6) v. Hailey- 3
I'm a guy. I like boobs. They're great, I like them just as much as any other guy. But these announcers literally sound like 14 year old boys calling this, not calling moves but how Hailey's wrinkled melons fit in her shirt. There's some mark out moves here too, a sloppy suplex into the crowd, an Exploder stiffer than anything Akiyama's broke down body has been able to deliver in years but you would think this is a poorly written Cinemax late night movie they way it's being announced.

7) v. Ian Rotten- 4
Ian Rotten is the ugliest thing God ever created. This is a death match and I find it funny how the IWA faithful and wrestlers came to Mickie's defense when she was brutalized by that schmuck but dear god blasting her in the face repeatedly with a water bottle bat is a little far. I don't know what kid Ian gave $5 and some Combos to create some of these machinations but they have issues. Giant light tube creations just bursting all over the ring there's def. some drama here, and the announcers are actually putting this over big which helps when you're watching at home.

8) v. Rachel Putski (Taipei Death Match) - 3
I guess Rach here is Scotty's daughter, there's not really much you can do with the Taipei rules not in Hollywood, but they did it here. The match took place around ringside, and they bludgeoned each other.

9) v. Mercedes Martinez- 5
This was a title match that actually felt appropriate. Mickie will actually impress you with her scientific skills, not that she's great but that she's willing to use it. Mercedez is right there with her too as they spend about 6 minutes going through drills. Someone makes a comment about her grappling with Hero and Ian for hours. The finish really came off flat though after all the build they were doing.

10) v. Daffney- 4
Daffney was in some hideous green one piece with fluff balls hanging off of it; she looked like something you'd find in a roadside market off the highway in Arizona. Liked how they were pushing Mickie's forearm as a match ender; sort of silly how she purposely avoided it the whole match. Liked a Northern Lights suplex Daffney pulled off but with the good came the bad and in bad, I mean a Booby Biel toss. Yeah it's just as stupid as you can imagine.

11) v. Tank- 4
12) v. Chuck Taylor- 2
13) v. Roxie Cotton- 2

The last 3 bouts should be watched (if you're going to, i'm not recommending them) together as when you watch them back to back you have Mickie fighting a near 400 pound hardcore freak, an affeminete goofball and a scream queen with glass taped to her hands. the reason to watch them back to back is almost like a social experiement as she beats Tank and stands toe to toe with him, in all aspects incl. the much overused Necro chair sitting spot. So why does she have any trouble at all with whiny Taylor (with a terrible ending involving pock marked BJ Whitmer) and Roxie (who looks like they've dumped chocolate on their faces).

Mickie is a fun performer to watch as if she has one great quality it's that she seems to really try and make something great out of her performances. Too bad Ian's bankrupt again.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Selections from Jeff Jarrett: King of the Mountain Disc #1

This is one of easily hundreds of DVDs I've had sitting around I've meant to get to but "Patience is a Virtua" (no that's not a misspelling -- just remembrance of a stupid marketing campaign for one of the Virtua Fighter games my brother was obnoxiously counting down the days to that I ripped mercilessly). I've never been the biggest Jarrett fan so this is an opportunity to reevaluate a lot of his post-Memphis/WWF/WCW work.

Right off the bat I'm glad there's some documentary stuff to pad the 11+ hour run-time. I'd assumed it was just stock match after match. They interviewed a ton of different people for this and it builds up Jeff's backstory good enough that you actually start (in some of your cases begrudgingly) building some sort of respect for his career. Out of all the discs I guess I'd say I'm most interested in this first one as I've seen everything else at least once off of the other three and there's a couple things from the earlier years that'll be new to me. Here's a few selected matches off of it:

2002: Jeff Jarrett and the first ever TNA Pay-Per-View - NA
2002: Jeff Jarrett vs. Scott Hall - 4
2002: Jeff Jarrett vs. Ron Killings - 5

First segment is an edited version of the "gauntlet battle royal" (Royal Rumble rules basically) that was the finale to their first-ever PPV. Jarrett was the first entrant was I was surprised how effective he was playing some sort of de jure "bad ass" tossing guys like Bagwell, LeRoux (who took a hell of a bump on his elimination), Smiley, etc. out. There was also highlights shown of another event where Ken Shamrock was taking on Japanese journeyman Takao Omori and Jarrett came down to ringside and raised hell including trying to singlehandedly take on a couple guys from the Tennessee Titans team who swarmed on him like like divas on diet pills.

The match vs. Hall I've seen dubbed a "Challenge" match, not sure on the specifics, but it was basically a wild brawl with little regard to rules, there was also a stretcher they used repeatedly, but not the typical type, this one was pea green and looked like a prop from the set of M*A*S*H. Jarrett didn't come off looking particularly good, as a wrestler you're supposed to subconsciously perform, leaving no distinction between you and your persona. The problem with Jarrett to someone who watches closely like me is he's often the opposite, in that, you can see him consciously thinking and internalizing and "working". He has a handful of bad tendencies but they fade in and out, sometimes in the span of the same match, so it's interesting to see his varying performances. I didn't like his selling during the bulk of this as he was constantly being a pinball, which is fine to set a pace, but when he was constantly popping back up for another shot it made Hall's offense come off as weak. Hall, while pudgy, and slower, when it was finally his turn to eat some offense, made Jarrett's stuff look far superior by contrast, actually taking time to emote lending his sells more gravity. The brawl backstage felt more chaotic than the sterile crowd brawls that would become a staple in Jarrett's Orlando work. There was run-ins by somewhere around nine people so that killed this dead. I won't keep a running tally but it's a safe assumption almost every match on this set either has interference, a crowd ball, a "fuck finish", or in many cases multiple if not all of these things.

Next match I liked much better. It was for the NWA championship and had a back-and-forth tempo where both guys would take turns at the lead. Lots of punching, Jarrett looked better here, as some of Killings' offense is borderline preposterous but Jeff was trying to take it and make it look effective. Since punching was the main course both guys did a pretty good job of reeling from shots, although, felt like "Truth" didn't really change up the way he was eating punches by the end of the match where he should have been hurt more and more over time. Yes, this had a crowd brawl too, highlighted by Ron coming off of a balcony onto Jarrett through a table. Finish was also overbooked but not a mess like the last bout, here we just got a goof in a white get-up (billed as Mr. Wrestling III) who stood around the ring with a guitar (poorly milking it) before finally deciding to smash it on Killings. The masked man? Russo with a grey beard.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

UFC Tonight 1/3/12

I typically wouldn't write anything on essentially a "talk show", but since this is the first of its kind UFC has produced, and since nobody gets Fuel, and I'm an MMA fanatic, I felt like I'd talk real quick about the debut episode. Dana White opens talking about how excited they are to finally be doing their show their way. Program looks very good in HD, nice graphics, sound quality could use improvement (Florian's mic levels were off), but overall presentation a "B+".

The hosts are Kenny Florian and Todd Harris (former WEC commentator -- glad he didn't have to get a job at Popeye's Chicken & Biscuits). Clips of Overeem punishing Lesnar. I called the result of that fight from day one -- first round KO FTW! I mean, come on, Alistair's been undefeated since Nov. '07 and I've seen all his K-1 and DREAM fights. K Flo talks about dissapointment in Brock saying, "hopefully he didn't just go out there to collect the pay check". Ouch! Cerrone vs. Diaz a fight of the year candidate? Great war, but not in my opinion, too one-sided with Nate breaking the UFC record of most significant strikes landed with 238. KO of the week? Hendricks KO'ing Fitch in 12 sec. Loved that shit. Big Hendricks fan, dig the WEC guys, plus he's got an epic beard like me and that's bonus points. They bring in Dana and go over UFC 141 again.

UFC 101 is next and why does absolutely every MMA show have one of these "how to" segments (I can think of three others besides this one). Dan Henderson beats up dough boy Jay Glazer. Ariel Helwani up next discusses error of Cerrone's ways fighting 6x in 2011 and gives the scoop Aldo has brought in Maynard to help train for his headlining Brazilian fight with Mendes at UFC 142. Can't wait for that!

Chael's Corner is up next and this is why you need to watch this show every fucking week! He gives out gifts to some fighters:

Listerine for Machida since he drinks his piss every morning! I loved bugging NHO writer Jessie's cousin Chris, a huge Machida mark, about his urine drinking back when he was relevant.

A subscription to Washed Up Fighters Magazine for Wanderlai! Great stuff. I won't spoil the rest but watch the show and see them. Chael goes on to say after beating Munoz he's cashing in his title shot not at Anderson but either GSP or Jones.

Speaking of Jones, the hosts award him with Fighter of the Year for his four devastating finishes in '11 and Hendo vs. Rua as Fight of the Year. Good first episode and think the show will only get better. Find a way to see it!

Monday, January 2, 2012

WWE Raw 01/02/12

My first text of the new year, before i say goodbye to satellite let's review a Raw for old time sake
(BTW: Raw 1993 project main events is about to start from me and possibly adam, look for it)

1) Cody Rhodes v. Daniel Bryan - 3
Yes they're selling these punches but I can't help have flashbacks to 1999 (and remembering waiting in line for Phantom Menace and handjobs in swimming pools, those are two seperate incidents) Like Bryan's flying knee attack outside but damn such a flaccid finish for two of the company's brightest

2) Wade Barrett v. Santino Marella- 1
We get a Miz - Laurinatis exchange in the back that was a black hole of creativity and passion.
Santino still gets more to do than a lot of guys and he's been on comedy duty for like 4 years. Barrett has good presence but his words are flat (i'm truly, truly hurt you don't care about how my 2011 went). What a nasty kick to Santinos though; wonder if he left the seat up?

3) CM Punk v. Dolph Ziggler- 4
This would be higher if not for angle to finish it. Reminded me of a lot of 80's stuff, like Punk shaking his head 'no' after a kick out. Ziggler is desperately trying to channel Curt Hennig; if you feel the coke habit coming through the afterlife, leave it be Ziggs. His bumping looks so freakin natural and love the "Heel" tights. Vickie has been toned down; guess when a 40+ year old woman gets more heat than over half the roster you're doing you're job too well. These guys should have a good match at Rumble if it gets more than 10 minutes

4) the Bella Twins v. Eve/ Kelly Kelly- 1
Besides that hot ass (and hot ass) moonsault no need to waste the 90 seconds i did watching this. Bellas are the most inconsistent characters on WWE tv in years and that's saying something.

So, The End Begins; Jericho is back and none of it makes a damn bit of sense. Thought Jericho was either channeling himself starting in Winnipeg with cheap face heat tactics or Bono with that jacket

5) Big Show/ Zach Ryder/ John Cena v. Mark Henry / Jack Swagger ( Elimination Match) - 2
Someone tell me who this helped? Wasn't the fans, sure as hell wasn't Zach, who was made to look like a goof here, ain't Cena, who beat Swagger easier than he does his nephew at NBA '12 for the 360. Kane's back and he smothers people now (by the way, that's murder) but whatever. So he drags Zach under the ring, then where? It's not like it's the Hole. Goodbye Raw

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Burger Kang #13: Like the Desert Needs Madison Rayne

1. Madison Rayne vs. Miss Tessmacher - TNA iMPACT! 8/4/11 - 1

First match reviewed on Never Hand Over in 2011! It barely goes two minutes and only highlight was Tessmacher aping Rikishi's "Stink Face" although the move is robbed of its power when you replace Rikishi's bulbous buttocks with a super model's. She was in WWE for a cup of coffee (anyone remember Extreme Exposé?) but hasn't turned a lot of heads thus far in TNA. Her getting a win over a former champion in Rayne goes a small way in helping build her credibility, but the roll-up finish wasn't exactly empowering, and seemed to be overshadowed by the post-match hijinks surrounding Angelina Love and Winter's attack on Mickie James.

2. The Miz and John Morrison vs. Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho - WWE Raw 5/5/08 - 3

Michaels is selling during his pre-match shtick so he's coming into this one injured. Jericho busts out a textbook vertical suplex (too bad I was snoozing like him on the set of Math for Hindus). Jericho sells the Flying Chuck kick like he just got sprayed with Joker's toxin. HBK made his one in-ring moment count hitting a surprised Morrison with Sweet Chin Music which lead to a Lionsault and a win for the makeshift duo. Short and mostly angle fodder but sacrificed the company's main tag team in doing so.

3. Shadow WX and The Winger vs. Takashi Sasaki and Yuko Miyamoto - BJW 10/13/2008 - 4

This had boards with fluorescent lightbulb tubes on them in the corners. Pretty small gymnasium and they had pulled their production truck right into the building so of course Winger had to do a back senton off of it in a spine-tingling spot. Winger has the most bush league get-up in puro. My sense of BJW history isn't the most sound but when watching a lot of 2010 stuff Sasaki and Miyamoto seemed like THE team but here they were subservient with WX going over in the end with a lariat that didn't have much mustard on it. Some great bumps but that's par for the Big Japan course and lacked any drama late to push its score up.

4. K-Kwik and Too Cool vs. Tazz and Kaientai - WWE Raw 1/15/01 - 4

'01 Raw is a strange beast. Funaki's hair is long and silken. I hate to say it but whenever I stumble upon old Too Cool stuff (like during our boss SmackDown! '99 project) I can't help but think they're underrated. Taz's get-up makes him look like a custodian. I loved Taka and Funaki celebrating post-doubleteam on Sexay. Taz is all over Sexay like he would be over a corned beef and rye in an NYC deli. Christopher may not be one-quarter of his father but his histrionics are a hoot. Can't believe R-Truth was doing the exact same shtick ten years ago -- hasn't changed up his game at all. Taz gets hit with the worm (the 2 Hotty move not Heyman's pet name for his pasty cock). K-Kwik gets choked (read "choked" not "coked") out. Too short to rate higher but a lot of fun.

5. Satoshi Ishii vs. Fedor Emelianenko - DREAM Fight For Japan: Genki Desu Ka Omisoka 2011 12/31/11 - 1

I'm sick of these vanity fights for Fedor. Dude was blown up as best heavyweight in the world, finally comes to the states, dodges UFC where the toughest fights were, then gets beaten like a Detroit streetwalker twice, flies back home, and is back punishing nobodies. Ishii, go back to judo, dog, dude went down on the mat faster than April O'Neil does a dong. Happy New Year's!