Tuesday, November 25, 2014

NHO Podcast Episode #2 - Survivor Series Recap, Final Battle, King Kong Bundy, Sting, and more!

The NHO Podcast returns! This week, Adam and Brian break down Survivor Series, figure out where Sting fits in to the WWE and theorize who could have main evented WrestleMania II besides King Kong Bundy. Then Brian discusses what's been announced for ROH Final Battle and some upcoming events he's attending. Finally, the hosts chat how Impact Wrestling will fit in to their new home, and then look at some upcoming episodes.

The show is also available in MP3 format for download!

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Monday, November 24, 2014

2001: A WCW Odyssey - WCW Monday Nitro 1/15/01

The night after Sin … what sins were committed last night?

Speaking of sins, the first portion of the show had Flair, Luger, Bagwell, Steiner, Jarrett, and Animal rambling on and having a funeral for Goldberg’s career that went through the first commercial break. Then, after all that, there was Kevin Nash coming out dressed all in denim, yelling at Scott Steiner and challenging him for a match. Then out came DDP, followed by Rick Steiner who everyone in the world had forgotten about. Nash, Scott, and Flair bicker some more and after all that, The Cat comes out, makes Nash vs. Steiner as the main event and brings and end to a never ending intolerable segment that was just plain brutal to watch.

1. Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Crowbar - 4
2. Rey Mysterio Jr. & Billy Kidman vs. Shannon Moore & Shane Helms - 2

As of this point, it’s 26 minutes into the show and we finally get the first match. Last night at Sin, Chavo retained the Cruiserweight title and it defending it here against Crowbar, who I’m not sure meets the weight requirement. The gist here is that Crowbar was comissioned by Ric Flair to show that he’s more than just a hardcore wrestler. In that aspect, I’d say he did a fair job here. There was a good nearfall by Crowbar off of a northern lights suplex followed up by a running splash off the apron. The end featured Chavo smashing Crowbar into a chair on the floor that was called a “slingshot face jam” by Scott Hudson on commentary that was followed up with a brainbuster and Chavo retaining the title. Better match than I expected it to be but the crowd was not into it at all. Tag match started off with all four guys going at it and this trend continued through the majority of the bout. Moore took a nutty bump on a backdrop off the apron, over the ringpost, and straight down to the floor. There were zero, I mean absolutely zero tags here as it was just a four man free-for-fall and a bunch of highspots that went about four minutes. Afterwards, there’s a Mike Awesome run-in … well, more like a jog-in and Lance Storm issuing an edict for Awesome to face Kidman in a hair match later on.

3. Kronik vs. Sean O’Haire & Chuck Palumbo - 4
4. Hair vs. Hair Match: Konnan vs. Mike Awesome - 4

Tag titles were on the line next and not even a minute in Bryan Clark hits a fucking running somersault splash off the apron on Palumbo for absolutely no apparent reason. Later, Adams, not to be outdone, hit a fucking JUMPING MULE KICK! What the hell got into Kronik? O’Haire’s intensity is just off the charts, screaming and hollering and being a general crazy man but Palumbo was basically forgotten about and lost in the shuffle. End was really sloppy as Adams hit one of the worst superplexes on Palumbo as he landed completely out of position and O’Haire, who was perched on the opposite corner and hit a Seanton Bomb allowing Palumbo to get the win. Where was Bryan Clark in all this you wonder? Why he was busy getting a lame beatdown from Shawn Stasiak and Mark Jindrak who had wandered down to ringside. Let’s stop for a second and think about something … Konnan is in a hair vs. hair match. Konnan, who is completely bald, is in a hair vs. hair match. However, I guess the fact that he’s defending Kidman’s hair is acceptable. Nice quick start and then Awesome just got smashed with a rolling clothesline. Wild spot where Awesome got the ring steps and tried a running springboard off of them which resulted in Konnan throwing a chair into his face in mid-air. Good nearfall by Konnan off a facebuster. Sloppy and awful looking top-rope DDT on Awesome polished this off. Awesome seemed to be on auto-pilot for most of the match but did hit a nice top-rope splash. This was a fun little match although I probably would have liked to have seen them get some more time.

5. The Cat vs. Bam Bam Bigelow - 1
6. Shane Douglas vs. Gen. Rection - 2
7. Scott Steiner vs. Kevin Nash - 4

Before his match, Cat issued an open challenge and out came Bam Bam Bigelow of all people wearing a black button-up shirt with no sleeves. Cat got smashed early on a few times in the corner to start with but aside from that, there was nothing much here. A superkick polished off Bigelow in about two minutes. Douglas and Rection was a rematch for the U.S. Title from Sin. Douglas in his pre-match promo says the U.S. Title is “16 pounds of gold” and that he’s “fulfilling his destiny”. I’m sure that when he was growing up as a kid, his ambition was to become the U.S. Champion and feud with a guy named Gen. Rection. Rection missed a big elbow drop and so far I’ve found this a bit more enjoyable that the match they had on the PPV as they weren’t distracted by random stipulations. Douglas went for a chain in his boot and got a huge press slam for his efforts. Interference by Chavo by hitting Rection with the chain that Rection through away and the referee looked completely clueless. Main event was for the WCW Title and Nash got clobbered with some smashing forearms and chops to start and hit with a big belly-to-belly suplex from Steiner. This is the liveliest this crowd has been the whole show. Both guys hit their normal offensive moves but I’ll be damned if they didn’t have a bit more juice to them that they normally did. From the beginning it was a stiff, hard hitting slugfest. Everything was going good right up until the end when Luger, Bagwell, and an assortment of others interfered and beat down Nash until DDP, Cat, and Rick Steiner made the save. I’m deducting a point for the end but otherwise this was a lot of fun.

2001: A WCW Odyssey Master List

Thursday, November 20, 2014

NHO Podcast Episode #1 - Survivor Series Preview, Diesel, TNA, and more!

It's the debut edition of the Never Hand Over Podcast! In this episode, hosts Adam and Brian chat about the 11/17 Raw, Bellator and UFC from 11/15, preview the upcoming Survivor Series PPV, play a game of "If not Diesel, then who", discuss Lucha Underground, what happens if TNA goes six feet underground, and preview upcoming episodes.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Bobby Roode vs. MVP

Bobby Roode vs. MVP - TNA iMPACT! 11/5/14 - 3

I'm not sure anymore what to believe in regards to TNA's impending fate but if you buy the current rumor this'll be one of the last-ever televised main events (or, at least on Spike, who knows?). Anybody else find it a little strange Roode wasn't even booked on their equivalency to WrestleMania (Bound for Glory) last month? Roode's just not that likable to be a face "ace" champion -- not even remotely warm or personable in fact. Bobby's bump into the steel ring steps was a tenth as gnarly as Gail Kim's earlier in the show. I'm hoping for a run-in from Stephan Bonnar's masked associate, not to promote Bellator's big show on the 15th, just to make this less milquetoast. Saw an MVP versus CM Punk bout off an '08 SmackDown! the other day that smoked this like RVD's water bong filled with Paul Heyman's Kool-Aid. Roode Bomb finishes this. I guess he's finally settled on that as a finish? A fireman's carry neckbreaker slam? Now that doesn't say ace champion to me. That says JAPW midcard finish. MVP threw a couple decent downward elbows in a transition but this was farcical. Guess I'm going to go run this match in Fire Pro now or finish watching Alexander Nevsky.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

2001: A WCW Odyssey - WCW Sin

The first PPV of 2001. Scott Steiner defends in a four way against Sid, Jeff Jarrett, and a mystery opponent, Goldberg’s career is on the line in a tag match against Lex Luger and Buff Bagwell, plus lots more!

1. Shane Helms vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr. - 6

We open up with the cruiserweight title on the line. Some feeling out to start and then it started to really pick up. Scott Hudson on commentary really oversells a headscissor take over by asking if Chavo lost an ear or is still conscious. Chavo kept things pretty grounded and brought some subtle aggressiveness by throwing some hard crossfaces and smashing Helms face with a forearm on a pin attempt. Helms got a good nearfall off a German suplex, to which Hudson said Chavo got folded up “like a pair of pleated pants.” Both guys hit huge cross body blocks from the top rope to the floor, Helms got a nearfall on a super sunset flip from the top rope. Really good ending sequence with Helms reversing a tornado DDT, a counter exchange, and then Chavo getting the win with a brainbuster. Really good match to kick off the show and there was more good stuff that I didn’t even cover. Neither guy really got an advantage throughout the match and it was a constant back and forth.

2. Big Vito vs. Reno - 6

The story here is a grudge match between two brothers and it’s a giant brawl from the start. Reno just dominates with punching and kicking and Vito comes back with a vicious clothesline. Huge superplex from the top rope just rocked the earth with its impact. These two have just absolutely destroyed each other thus far with hard hitting blows and it came across and a complete hate-filled, hard hitting fight. Vito hit a mafia kick that just wrecked Reno’s night. Reno controlled the majority of the match but Vito came back with a big double underhook suplex and a top rope elbow which got him a good nearfall. These two were just worn out a gassed by the end and it was very visable. Reno got the win off a Roll of the Dice. This was a fun match with these guys going full bore into each other for seven minutes.

3. The Jung Dragons (Kaz Hayashi & Jimmy Yang) vs. Evan Karagias & Jamie Noble - 6

Lots of history between the Dragons and the former Three Count. Noble was once the masked man of the Dragons while Karagias was formerly a part of Three Count. Plus, this is an unadvertised bonus match! The flying started early with the Draongs hitting a big double Asai moonsault. Kaz Hayashi tried a dive from the top rope and was met with a dropkick in mid-air by Karagias. All four of these guys work really well together and even the random pairing of Karagias and Noble works really well. Kaz just absolutely KO’ed Noble with a brutal kick to the face. If this was UFC, the kick was so brutal that the ref would’ve called it off. There was a nice cool down section right in the middle but for the most part this was nothing but action from start to finish. Yang got a big nearfall off a sit-out powerbom from the top rope. Hudson reference Karagias using a “firebird splash” for a nearfall. Yang completely over shot Noble on what looked like it could’ve been the finish but quickly countered into an inside cradle. Quite the fun little match and so far I’ll say this show is 3 for 3.

4. Mike Sanders vs. The Cat - 3

This is probably the 15th match for the commissionership in the last three months. Before we even begin, there’s a bunch of useless talking. Sanders has decided to wrestle in a sleeveless “Natural Born Thrillers” shirt. I think that all Sanders knows how to do is basic offense as he did a lot of punching, clubbing blows to the back, and generic heel stuff. The sunset flip he attempted looked really awkward. Theres some intereference from Jindrak and Stasiak who are then jumped by Kronik. Kronik then blatany jumps in the ring and gives Sanders a double powerbomb that Cat follows up with a giant kick for the win. Not a whole lot notable here, more story than match, but it was entertaining.

5. Penalty Box Match: Rey Mysterio Jr., Billy Kidman, & Konnan vs. Lance Storm, Elix Skipper, & Mike Awesome - 4

Jim Duggan is the special referee here based on the fact he turned on Team Canada late in 2000. The stipulation is that if someone breaks a rule, then they are thrown in the penalty box. Tony calls Konnan’s shades “like something out of Mad Max” as he looks like he just came off the street cruising around in his low rider. Duggan explains the rules and we’re off. Awesome and Skipper are the first in the penalty box for bumping the referee and interference, respectively. So far, while the action has been good, it feels like the penalty box stipulation is hampering this. Skipper hit a few nice offensive moves while in with Konnan including a walking top rope dropkick and dodging a clothesline Matrix style. The scrap between the ladies on the outside felt really forced. Kidman and Storm had a nice exchange with Kidman getting a nearfall on a sit-out powerbomb. Awesome has spent more time in the penalty box than actually wrestling, but in the mean time he managed to destroy Mysterio with a sick Awesome Bomb. Storm got a tap-out from Kidman to pick up the win. As was mentioned earlier, this was really hampered by the stipulation and the special referee. There were numerous times were Duggan would stop the action mid-stream to issue a penalty, which in turn would kill the momentum. Not a whole lot here that was interesting.

6. Hardcore Match: Terry Funk vs. Crowbar vs. Meng - 4

Funk just shows up in the most random places at the most random times, including here in the dying days of WCW. We start off with a brawl between Crowbar and Terry Funk that wandered into the restroom. Meng brings an element of toughness and brutality to the match whereas if it was Crowbar and Funk, it may have just been a meandering brawl. Big spot of the match was Crowbar jumping off the first row of bleachers with a leg drop and putting Funk through a table. Funk found a random snow shovel and started pummeling Meng and Crowbar and then slammed Crowbar through a length of guardrail. Holy shit, did I just see Meng jump off the top rope with a splash? You’re damn right I did and it completely flattened Crowbar. First bit of this match, Meng seemed as a afterthought but once the action eventually made it back to the ring, Meng was more of a focus of the match. Ending was odd with Crowbar hitting Funk with a chair and then Meng getting the pin. Wasn’t much of a hardcore match and felt sort of aimless at times. A historical sidenote though, the appears to have been the last televised defense of the WCW Hardcore Title as the next week after this show, Meng re-debuted in the WWF as Haku in the Royal Rumble.

7. Sean O’Haire & Chuck Palumbo vs. Kevin Nash & Diamond Dallas Page - 4

Before the match, Mike Sanders tries a power play to switch out competitors in the match as he sees fit. However, Ric Flair comes out and pretty much tells him and the rest of the Thrillers to fuck off and not to interfere. DDP and Palumbo start this off and Page gets a really close nearfall off a urinage that Schiavone incorrectly called a “chokeslam”. Really enjoyed seeing Nash and O’Haire tie it up. Nash hit a stiff big boot but O’Haire got the momentum back by doing an insane parkour style move running up the turnbuckles, backflipping over Nash from the top rope, and drilling him with a side kick. Palumbo drilled DDP with a stiff elbow as Page was charging into the corner. O’Haire and Palumbo did a good job of double teaming and isolating Page. Palumbo goes for a tombstone of all things and is reversed by Page. Nash comes in and just completely destroys the Thrillers. What the fuck is Lex Luger doing out here? Then, there’s a Buff Bagwell run-in dressed as some sort of auto mechanic who KO’s Nash with a wrench. Thanks to all this bullshit, O’Haire is able to hit the Seanton Bomb for the win and gain the tag titles. Some decent stuff here and O’Haire probably looked the best out of everyone involved. Felt sort of bland in the middle as the crowd was pretty dead and only popped when Nash got tagged in. Probably could’ve done without the run ins at the end though.

8. First Blood Chain Ladder Match: Shane Douglas vs. Gen. Rection - 4

This is for the U.S. Title and what a completely horrible stipulation. You can use the ladder to get the chain that hangs above the ring but if you’re bleeding, you lose. The was just a basic brawl, nothing notable in the first part. Rection tried to bust open Douglas by repeatedly hammering hit in the head. Rection went for a moonsault and Tony theorized on commentary that Rection was going to try to jump from the turnbuckle to the middle of the ring to get the chain. Somehow, I don’t think that would be possible. Early on, felt like they were really pre-occupied with the first blood stipulation. Smart move by Douglas to work over the General’s knees to try to prevent him from climbing to reach the chain. Lame ending with Rection retreiving the chain, a ref bump, and Douglas pulling a chain out of his boot and hitting Rection with it to barely make him bleed. This probably would have been better without the wacky stipulation but it was decent.

9. No DQ Match: Lex Luger & Buff Bagwell vs. Goldberg & DeWayne Bruce - 4

In the pre-match video package, it was still never explained how or why Goldberg is teaming with the head trainer of the Power Plant and a guy who last appeared on pay-per-view six years prior as a member of jobber tag team The State Patrol in a battle royal. The stipulation here is that if Golberg’s team loses, then Goldberg must retire. Goldberg has the biggest and best reaction thus far of anybody on the show tonight. Luger gets completely mauled by Goldberg in the opening as Bagwell looks absolutely terrified on the apron. Bruce gets the tag and is nearly immediately worked over by Luger and Bagwell. Sorry to say that Bruce didn’t show any fire at all. Goldberg gets the hot tag, destroys Luger and Bagwell, and get maced by a fan. What the hell? Luger introduces a chair, lays in a few choice shots, and a sloppy looking super Blockbuster allows Luger and Bagwell to get the win. Not a great match, especially when Bruce was in and the only person who actually seemed to care was Goldberg. The crowd at the end though was in complete shock when Goldberg lost as they expected him to mop the floor with these two buffoons. Sort of a comparable reaction to when Brock Lesnar beat Undertaker at WrestleMania.

10. Four Corners Match: Jeff Jarrett vs. Sid Vicious vs. Scott Steiner vs. Mystery Man - 3

Flair comes out before the match and says the Mystery Man will show up when he feels like it. Well, alright then. I supposed it’ll be a three way match. This was essentially a handicap match as Steiner and Jarrett double teamed him. Sid’s double suplex on both guys looked absolutely awful as he dropped them both right on their heads. We get a cut scene to the back where Flair gets the Mystery Man and this is the point where Sid’s leg break happens as once they cut back to the arena, Sid is down and barely moving. A quick finish once the Mystery Man shows up as Steiner pins Sid and the Mystery Man unmasks as Road Warrior Animal. Well, that was not quite who one would expect under that goofy costume

Overall, I’d say this was a pretty good show. While not great, it’s certainly one of the better offerings that WCW put out during its dying days. The first three bouts were really good but then things started to sort of fall off the cliff. The Penalty Box Match was not good, neither was the main event. Everything else was watchable but not notable.

2001: A WCW Odyssey Master List