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Tuesday, 30 April 2013

For All Mankind : The Life and Career of Mick Foley Blu Ray Review

                                                                   My signed Socko and Mankind Blu Ray

For All Mankind Blu Ray Review

This documentary has been long overdue. I've never really read any of Foley's books, but I suspect that most of the stuff talked about here was featured in his books. There were a nice mix of talking heads like wrestlers that you rarely see in these segments such as Vader, Mike Rotundo and Terry Funk. The modern day superstars were good too, especially the ones who witnessed the HIAC bump. They even included others such as a childhood friend of his, Dee Snider from Twisted Sister and even his daughter. Most aspects of his career are well covered, from his WCW days to his ECW days, his Mankind days to his Dude Love days. All the way up to his stand-up routine. Foley himself is very interesting to listen to the whole way through this documentary. Overall a fantastic feature that Foley has deserved for a long time. 9/10.

Disc 1 Matches:

Jack Foley & Les Thornton vs The British Bulldogs
Here we have Foley's very first match in the WWE. Strange to think that he had his first match here when there had only been two Wrestlemanias. He looks pretty damn skinny. Short match, but it is a jobber match. Mick did suffer some injuries from some stiff shots from Dynamite Kid. 1/2*  This match also comes with alternate commentary.

Cactus Jack & Gary Young vs Scott Steiner & Billy Travis
At the start of his career, Mick dreaded the thought of having to face off against any of the Steiners, since they were known for being very stiff competitors. Steiner did deliver the most offense in this bout. That was until the finish when he took a shoe to the head. Really short match and it was ok while it lasted. Too short to mean anything. *

Cactus Jack vs Brickhouse Brown
I'm not sure who Brickhouse Brown is. He does remind me of Rocky Johnson though. Not a lot of action involved in this contest, but it's still pretty entertaining. The time limit expires to end the match. Not bad. **

Cactus Jack vs Keith Hart
Foley said he picked this match for the set because he wanted to show that he could dish out a beating instead of just taking one. This was basically just a squash match, but it was a fun one. Foley's flying elbow was especially impressive. That wins the match for Foley. 3/4*

Cactus Jack vs Sting : Submit or Surrender
From Power Hour 1991. These two had an awesome match at Beach Blast, so there's a good chance that this'll be awesome. Sting was Foley's first real high profile feud in wrestling. I think this is basically like a submission match, except that there's also ten counts. It started off with a really fast pace, but it really slowed down in the middle. Cactus passes out while in the scorpion deathlock to end it. **3/4

Cactus Jack vs Van Hammer : Falls Count Anywhere
From Clash of the Champions XVIII. Van Hammer was a heavy metal wrestler. Kinda like Y2J before he came around. Sunset flip from the apron was pretty cool. Foley took a few bumps here, like falling off the rampway. Unfortunately there is a commercial break. Pretty fun match as Jack pins Hammer to win. **1/2

Cactus Jack vs Sandman : Barbed Wire Match
I always thought that Sabu and Terry Funk had the only Barbed Wire match, since Paul Heyman thought that the match was way too brutal to show again. This wasn't as bad as that match, but it still had its brutal moments, like Jack taking a front suplex on the wire. Quite the spectacle. Jack wins with a DDT. ***

The next match features alternate commentary from Mick and Joey Styles.

Cactus Jack vs Shane Douglas
Foley came in saying that he was too drunk to wrestle. Pretty funny stuff. It's weird to see Foley wrestling with jeans on. Really doesn't suit him. The additional commentary is very entertaining to listen to. Pretty fun brawl here. Typical of ECW. ***

Mankind vs Rocky Maivia
Very early match between these two and they obviously went onto bigger and better things. Rocky was still in his really annoying babyface phase. Mankind didn't get a lot of offense in. The fans never really seemed interested. Mandible claw wins the match for Mankind. **

Mankind vs Hunter Hearst Helmsley
From Canadian Stampede. These two have had so many good matches together, and this is another one of their critically acclaimed contests. The crowd was certainly fired up for this one. Great choice for the opener of the show. Unfortunately the match ends in a double countout. It was a lot of fun while it lasted though. ***1/2. Both guys continue to brawl after the match, which might be why it is mostly remembered.

Disc 2 :

Dude Love vs Rocky Maivia
I never knew that Mick fought the Rock as anyone other than Mankind. At this time, Rock had stolen the IC Title from Stone Cold, so he wasn't officially the champ. This wasn't their best match together, since they didn't get a lot of time to work and the fact that it ended in DQ. *1/4

Undertaker vs Mankind : Hell in a Cell
This is the first match that I've seen the match unblurred since 1999. The match that made me a wrestling fan. The image of Mankind being thrown off the cell and then through the cell will stand the test of time as one of wrestling's most enduring images. Possibly the most brutal match of all time thanks to just two spots. Don't forget about the thumb tacks that came later. Incredible. ****1/2. The alternate commentary makes it worth watching the match for the millionth time.

Mankind & Kane vs The New Age Outlaws
The tag team titles are on the line. I had totally forgotton that Mankind and Kane were once tag champs. Shawn Michaels was also on commentary for this bout. Mankind and Kane would go onto have their own HIAC match a month later. Overbooked match, which was usual in this period. Kane hits the tombstone to win the titles. *1/2

Mankind vs The Rock
From Rock Bottom. At the PPV before this one (Survivor Series), The Rock had turned on the fans and screwed Mankind out of the WWE Championship. Mankind wanted redemption. Mankind took a nasty fall to the outside. Not the worst match they've had on PPV, but not the best either. Overbooked. The nearfall was pretty awesome though. Mankind wins the match, but Vince reverses the decision to keep Rock the champ. **3/4

Mankind & The Rock vs Triple H & Shane McMahon
The only match featuring the Rock N Sock Connection on the DVD set. HHH had only been in his first WWE Championship reign for just over a week at this time. Tag titles are on the line. Short match but pretty fun. Billy Gunn interferes to help Rock N Sock retain. **

Mankind vs Al Snow : Hardcore Match
Foley likes to make fun of Snow, but I'm pretty sure they're actually good friends. I would hope so anyway. Basically just your typical attitude era brawl. Always loved that bowling ball shot though. Snow is pinned to end the match. *3/4

Triple H vs Cactus Jack : Hell in a Cell
If Cactus loses this match, his career must end. I don't think this is the five star classic match everyone calls it, but it's still an awesome match. Cactus falling through the cell will be an image that will live on forever. The stuff with the barbed wire bat was pretty damn cool as well. HHH wins with a pedigree. Foley started his career with Cactus Jack, and he ended it with Cactus Jack. ****1/4

Blu Ray Exclusives :

Sting's Birthday Cake

No Ear Surgery

Barbie  (This is his promo leading to his fantastic match with Randy Orton at Backlash. Amazing promo.)

Cutting Edge

Relevancy with CM Punk

These are all worth a watch.

Also included in the Blu Ray Exclusives is a huge list of additional stories. These are definitely worth watching and are just about worth the price of the set!

8.5/10. Well the match selection was a little disappointing, but you still get a lot of rare ones, and some great alternate commentary on 3 of them. What really makes this set great is the documentary. It's easily one of the WWE's better features. The blu ray exclusives are fantastic as well, with some promos like the one with CM Punk or the one leading to Backlash 2004. The extra stories told are also an incredible addition. No doubt about it, this set is worth your money.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Survivor Series 2007 Review

Survivor Series 2007 Review

If anyone's wondering why I picked this PPV to review, I asked a friend of mine to pick one at random for me to review, and he picked this. Looking forward to watching it again.

To me, this is the PPV that the WWE picked up it's momentum with after the Benoit tragedy. To me, this is when the WWE was back on track.

CM Punk vs John Morrison vs The Miz
Who would've known that five years later, Punk would become the biggest phenomenon in the business, Miz would be a former WWE Champion, and Morrison would leave without having any big accomplishments. Anyway the match itself is very entertaining with all three guys putting on a nice performance. It looked like there were some stiff shots in there too. Punk hits the GTS to retain the ECW Title. ***1/4

Mickie James / Maria / Torrie Wilson / Michelle McCool / Kelly Kelly vs Beth Phoenix / Jillian / Melina / Victoria / Layla
This isn't a traditional Survivor Series match, which means it's one fall to a victory. I think I prefer that because it means it'll be shorter. Quite a mixed bag of divas. Not a bad divas match actually. Entertaining. Mickie gets the win with a kick to the head of Melina. *1/2

Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch vs Cody Rhodes & Hardcore Holly
Rhodes and Holly were a strange team together. Rhodes would go onto bigger and better things, and I have no idea what happened to Holly. Not a bad tag match here, just unspectacular. Murdoch's finisher was pretty cool though. Cade and Murdoch retain their titles. **

Triple H / Jeff Hardy / Rey Mysterio / Kane vs Umaga / Mr Kennedy / MVP / Big Daddy V / Finlay
Here's the only tradition Survivor Series match this evening. Matt Hardy was originally meant to be on HHH's team, but MVP took him out on Smackdown. An elbow from V eliminates Kane. Rey Mysterio eliminated with a samoan spike. Down to 2 on 5. Twist of fate takes out MVP. V accidentally helps HHH eliminate Kennedy. Double DDT takes out V. Pedigree eliminates Finlay. Combo of a pedigree and swanton bomb takes out Umaga which ends the match. A very good elimination match. Not the best, but still very good. ***1/2

Hornswoggle vs The Great Khali
Who thought this was a good idea? Just awful, with only the Finlay run in being of any interest.  DUD

Shawn Michaels vs Randy Orton
HBK isn't allowed to use the superkick or he will lose the match and won't get a rematch. If Orton is DQ'd or counted out, he will lose the title to HBK. This match was great because both guys had to go against their usual strategies. It was great to see HBK busting out submission moves like the ankle lock or the crossface or the sharpshooter. The psychology was brilliant. HBK tries to go for a superkick, realises he can't, and eats and RKO for his hesitation. Awesome match. One of the best of 2007 and the match of the night. ****1/4

Batista vs Undertaker : Hell in a Cell
Here is a feud that deserved the cell. There was some brutal stuff in this match like the chair around Batista's neck being rammed into the ring post and the Batista bomb through a table. Edge interferes in the match and hits Taker with the conchairto and puts Batista on him for the pin. Quite an underrated match from a fantastic feud. ***3/4

8/10. This was a great Survivor Series. You had a hot opener, a great traditional match, and two awesome main events, with the WWE Championship match being the best and is definitely worth a watch. To think that things would only get better the next night with Chris Jericho's return. Recommended PPV.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

The Best of Raw and Smackdown 2012 Blu Ray Review

The Best of Raw and Smackdown 2012 Review

After watching the excellent 2011 version of this set, I've been waiting patiently for this one. Lets see how good this one is.

As is usual, I will only review the matches and list the other moments. The overall rating will be for everything featured on the set.

Disc 1 Matches :

Kane vs Zack Ryder : Falls Count Anywhere
This angle killed all of Ryder's momentum. In fact I don't think it did anything for anyone except maybe Cena. I think it was just to give Cena something to do before facing the Rock at Mania. This was just an extended squash with Kane destroying Ryder. The match ends as Kane chokeslams Zack through the stage. *1/2

Not the best opener for the DVD, especially after the other great opening matches we've had for these DVD sets.

CM Punk vs Daniel Bryan
This was the first time that these two would have a one-on-one match in the WWE, so there was a lot of anticipation for this bout. Both guys were World Champions at the time which made it even more interesting. It did kind of guarantee a wonky finish, but that didn't stop it from being a great match. Chris Jericho runs in to cause the DQ, but before that it was a great back and forth contest. ***3/4

Wade Barrett vs Randy Orton : No DQ
Orton wanted revenge after being thrown down a flight of stairs by Barrett. These two would go on to have quite a few matches during 2012. Orton going through the table was pretty cool, kinda like Barrett's revenge for their tables match at the TLC PPV. Overall it was a very entertaining match as Orton wins with an RKO on a steel chair. ***

Sheamus / Big Show / Randy Orton vs The Miz / Cody Rhodes / Daniel Bryan
Strange to think that the face team will be teaming again at Wrestlemania. Although this match could build this team better than 3MB ever could. Really entertaining match and everyone got a chance to show off during it. Good stuff as Orton hits the RKO to win. ***1/4

Santino Marella vs Jack Swagger vs Dolph Ziggler
At the time, I was begging for either Swagger or Ziggler (preferably Ziggler) to take the title away from Santino. My wish didn't come true. At least not for another five months anyway. The crowd was heavily behind Ziggler. The match didn't last long, but it was a lot of fun which it should have been. Santino retains with the cobra. **

Kane vs Randy Orton : No DQ
A rematch from Wrestlemania here, and this ended up being better than the actual Mania match. Funny how sometimes the rematches are better. The two also had a great No DQ match in 2011. Orton being DDT'd on the stage looked painful. Good match as Orton hits the RKO to win. ***

CM Punk vs Mark Henry : No DQ
These two had an awesome non-title match on the Raw after Mania, mostly thanks to the crowd. This time the title was on the line and there were no rules. This was a great choice for the opener of the show. The fans were really into it. All in all a fun match for the title. Punk retains with a flying chair shot. ***

Kofi Kingston & R-Truth vs Primo & Epico
Tag titles are on the line. This was at a time when it seemed that the WWE were putting their tag team division back together. Obviously that never happened, except for Team Hell No. I'm surprised they didn't edit out the commentary about AW. Match was short but fun with new tag champs crowned. **

Randy Orton vs Sheamus
I was sure that at some point in the year, these two would have a World title match. Hell I thought they would have one at Mania 29. It's a shame they didn't because they had good chemistry, as this match showed. Great back and forth match, as both guys were trying to prove who was better. Sheamus got the win with a roll up. Very entertaining match. ***3/4

Dolph Ziggler vs Christian vs Jack Swagger vs The Great Khali
Elimination rules apply for this match and it's to decide a No.1 Contender for the World Title. Only Christian and Ziggler seemed like they had a chance of winning. I don't think anyone wanted to see Khali win. Khali eliminated pretty quickly with a frog splash. Killswitch takes out Swagger. It really became exciting when it was down to just Christian and Ziggler. Dolph hits the zig zag to win. ***1/4

Heath Slater vs Vader
The first of many of Slater's matches with past legends. Vader was an awesome choice. Strangely these really put Slater over to the audience. Just a lot of fun as Vader gets the win. *

Sheamus vs Dolph Ziggler
These two had a few great matches in 2012, such as their PPV Heavyweight Title match or the match they had on Raw at some point. They certainly have great chemistry and they showed it again in this match as they had an awesome back and forth encounter. Ziggler looked great too. Sheamus hits a brogue kick out of nowhere to win. ***1/2

Daniel Bryan vs Alberto Del Rio vs Rey Mysterio vs Kane
At the time, I wanted anyone to win except from Del Rio. Unfortunately he went on to win it. He had already faced Sheamus and so I wanted someone new, especially Mysterio. Could have been a great match. This was to decide a No.1 Contender for the World Title. Great fatal four way though with each guy getting to show off his moves. ***3/4

Ryback vs Tyler Reks & Curt Hawkins
Nice to have one of the many classic Ryback squashes on this set. Short match but pretty entertaining. Ryback hits the shell shock to win. *

Other moments on Disc 1 include :

Chris Jericho "Speaks"

John Cena has some Choice Words for The Rock

The Rock Concert

Brock Lesnar Returns

Daniel Bryan Tells off AJ

John Cena & Brock Lesnar Confrontation

Big Show goes on a Rampage

Santino Marella hosts "Sign of the Night"

D-Generation X Reunites

So far the set has been really enjoyable, lets hope Disc 2 can keep this up.

Disc 2 Matches :

Rey Mysterio vs Cody Rhodes
Wrestlemania rematch here. These two usually have good matches and this one should be no exception. I think Cody was pissed off at masked wrestlers here. Was there any explanation for that? And yes another good match between the two with some nice back and forth action. Mysterio hits the sunset flip to pin Cody. ***

John Cena vs Alberto Del Rio : Falls Count Anywhere
The two No.1 contenders for their respective World Titles going at it, and with no rules! Unfortunately we miss the start of the match due to those damned commercials. Cena countering Del Rio's top rope manoeuvre with a dropkick was a rare sight. The crowd was hot for this one, and it was a good match that used the stipulation well. Del Rio gets the win thanks to interference from Punk. Great little match. ***1/2

Damien Sandow vs Randy Orton
Good god Damien is amazing. Luckily this isn't the last match that will feature him on this set. As an added treat, we have Dolph Ziggler on commentary. The match was going well until the finish, when Sandow decided to run out of the arena, resulting in a count-out. **1/4

Dolph Ziggler vs Kofi Kingston 
I think these two have had enough matches together, but they're always so good, so I'm not arguing! This did start off pretty slowly, although it did get faster and soon they had the crowd in the palm of their hand. Some great counters, nearfalls, and back and forth action. Ziggler hits the zig zag to win. ***1/2

Beth Phoenix vs Natalya
This is the only divas match on the DVD, and boy they picked the two best divas in the WWE. I'm really surprised that these two didn't have more matches against each other. It's the only divas match that looks good on paper and is actually good. Nice match and Natalya even got to kick out of a glam slam. Beth rolls up Natalya to win. **1/2

Ryback vs Tensai
Ryback was working towards his big push at this time. He did get to show off his strength in this match. Tensai was pretty game as well. This was amazingly short. Enjoyable while it lasted though, just like Ryback's push. 1/2*

Sheamus vs Damien Sandow
Sheamus was capable of putting on great matches with guys that were smaller than him. Daniel Bryan for example. Team Rhodes Scholars had just been formed at this time. Very good match with some great heel work from Sandow. This might be Sandow's best match in the WWE so far. Brogue kick finishes the match. ***1/4

Daniel Bryan & Kane vs David Otunga & Alberto Del Rio
The only Team Hell No match on the set (unless you count the match from the Blu Ray Exclusives, but I don't). I was gonna say it's a star filled match, but then I realised that Otunga's in there too. Not as fun a match as I thought it might be, but it wasn't bad. Hell No gets the win. **

CM Punk vs Dolph Ziggler
Quite a strange contest since these guys were both heels, but they usually have kick ass matches together so it's fine by me. The crowd didn't seem to care about what was happening. Short match, but it was a lot of fun with some great wrestling. Punk hits the GTS to win. ***

CM Punk vs Vince McMahon
This was pretty damn awesome at the time. Kind of a dream match too. This was Vince's first match since Wrestlemania 26. Punk mimicking Vince's commentary was great. The stuff with the kendo sticks was great too. When Ryback attacked Punk, the ovation was huge. It's hard to rate but I'll give it  **3/4. Unfortunately they don't show Punk backhanding a fan.

Daniel Bryan vs Dolph Ziggler
These guys had a fantastic match at the 2010 Bragging Rights PPV. Lets hope they can give us another. Bryan managed to lock in a figure four which was quite cool. As usual there was great wrestling and Ziggler sold like a trooper. Really fun match overall. Ziggler hit the zig zag from the second rope to win. ***1/4

John Cena & Ryback vs CM Punk & Dolph Ziggler
Ryback was really over with the crowd at this point. This one took place in the UK. It was usually good when Cena was in the ring, since he has great chemistry with both Punk and Ziggler. The heat segment was pretty boring though, since we all knew Cena wouldn't be beaten by it. It was fun when Ryback was in though. Ryback pins Punk to win. **

Randy Orton vs Alberto Del Rio : Falls Count Anywhere
I honestly can't remember why these two were feuding at the time. All I remember is a very sloppy match at the Hell in a Cell PPV. They did use the FCA stipulation well though. This is probably the best match these two have had together. Very entertaining match. Orton hits the RKO onto steel steps for the win. ***1/2

Blu Ray Exclusives :

Santino Marella vs Jack Swagger
I know the US title isn't considered an important title, but I think it hit a low point when it was being held by Santino. At the time, the title win was exciting, but he only defended it a couple of times within five months, making it pointless. The match was very short, but the ending was a lot of fun. 3/4*

CM Punk & Sheamus vs Daniel Bryan & Kane
This took place before the whole anger management, hugging it out, and Team Hell No stuff. Really entertaining tag match, and all four guys seemed to be on their A-game. Punk and Bryan were especially good. Punk & Sheamus win with a GTS and brogue kick combo. ***1/4

The Miz vs Christian 
I can't believe that this is Christian's second match on the whole set. Surely he had more great matches? Anyway, Miz had won the IC Title from Christian at the previous Raw (1000). The original match was fun but this one was a lot better in my opinion. Great little gem between these two with some nice nearfalls. Miz rolls up Christian to retain. ***1/2

Sheamus vs Daniel Bryan : Street Fight
These two had a match of the year contender with their 2/3 falls match at Extreme Rules. This wasn't as good as that, but it was still a lot of fun. The other choices to vote for were Falls Count Anywhere, or No Holds Barred. They're all basically the same thing anyway.

Next up we have the Smackdown debut of Miz TV. I really couldn't be arsed watching this.

Randy Orton vs Wade Barrett
What a better way to end the set that by the two guys that seemed to have the most matches against each other in 2012. I forgot that Orton had a full head of hair at this point. Looks like 2007 again. If you've seen one of these matches, you've seen them all. Pretty entertaining but you wouldn't want to watch it again. **1/2

8/10. I've always found these kinds of DVD sets to be underrated and this was another great one. You get some nice non-wrestling moments, and a ton of great wrestling to go along with it. There are a couple of stinkers, but matches like Punk/Bryan and Sheamus/Ziggler make up for it. I'd recommend it.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Survivor Series 2003 Review

Survivor Series 2003 Review

This was the first ever PPV I watched all the way through. Well either this or Fully Loaded 1998, but I don't even remember any of that. I may be a little biased with the ratings due to the nostalgia but I'll try my best not to be.

John Cena / Chris Benoit / Bradshaw / Hardcore Holly / Kurt Angle vs Big Show / A-Train / Nathan Jones / Matt Morgan / Brock Lesnar
These elimination matches are always a great way to kick off a show and this was no exception. Holly is immediately eliminated by DQ. A-Train quickly follows after a clothesline from hell. Bradshaw taken out with a chokeslam. 1 minute in and there's been 3 eliminations. Morgan taken out with an angle slam. Nathan taps to the ankle lock. Angle taken out with an F5. Angle's time in the bout was way too short. Lesnar surprisingly taps out to the crossface.Cena hits the FU to win the match. Fun match to open the show. ***

Austin and McMahon share a funny moment backstage.

Lita vs Molly Holly
The Women's Title is on the line here. This was five months before poor Molly would end up being shaved bald. The women's matches were noticeably funner than they are ten years later. The difference here is that fans actually react to the match. Molly gets the win with the exposed turnbuckle. Entertaining match. **1/2

Kane vs Shane McMahon : Ambulance Match
This was voted the worst feud of 2003. I don't know about you, but I really enjoyed it. Maybe it's because I'm a mark for Kane. I enjoyed both this and their Last Man Standing match. I thought both were a lot of fun and I still think that. Underrated. Right at the start of the match, Kane seems to land right on his head. Some brutal bumps take place next to the ambulance. Kane wins after a tombstone. Fun match. ***

Los Guerreros vs The Basham Brothers
This match showed signs of the split of Los Guerreros that would take place shortly after this PPV. They really were a good tag team. Just a shame that Chavo didn't really have a great singles run. Shaniqua is a pretty scary looking gal. The S&M gimmick of the Basham's was just wrong. Unspectacular tag match but it was entertaining. Bashams win with a roll up. **1/2

Shawn Michaels / Booker T / Rob Van Dam / The Dudley Boyz vs Chris Jericho / Christian / Scott Steiner / Mark Henry / Randy Orton
Now this is a classic elimination style match. Shawn gives us an amazing performance, although what else would you expect? Steiner eliminated first with a book end. Booker follows quickly, after geing slammed by Henry. The 3D and five star frog splash eliminates Mark Henry. RKO takes out RVD. D-Von eliminated next. Unprettier takes out Bubba. 3 on 1 now. Superkick eliminates Christian. Roll up eliminates Jericho. Awesome match, and HBK deserves some sort of acting award. Batista interferes to cost HBK the match. Great stuff here. ****1/4

Undertaker vs Vince McMahon : Buried Alive Match
If you want to sit down and watch a match that mainly features Vince McMahon getting his ass handed to him, then this fight is for you. Vince barely got any offense in here until the end, but that was the point. Fun just to watch Vince being beaten up. Taker's final match with the biker gimmick. Kane interferes to bury Taker, leading to his Deadman return at Wrestlemania XX. *

Goldberg vs Triple H
It was obvious at this point that the Goldberg experiment just wasn't working out. It felt like these two had had too many matches against each other, and I think this was only the second. Just felt boring. The Austin/Bischoff match should have been the main event. This felt more like a Raw match. Very sloppy too. Goldberg hits the jackhammer to retain. *1/2

6/10. Not the great event that I remembered, but it was still enjoyable. The two Survivor Series style matches were enjoyable, with one being a must-see match. The ambulance match was a lot of fun too. The lackluster main event brings it down as well. All in all an entertaining event.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Wrestlemania XXIX Review

Wrestlemania XXIX Review

Seems to be a lot of different opinions on this show. Most are negative. My view isn't.

Randy Orton / Sheamus / Big Show vs The Shield
At Elimination Chamber, I predicted the Shield to lose. I predicted that they would lose this match too. Looks like I need more faith in the Shield. The match was a great way to kick off the show, with a mostly fast pace and everyone got their chance to show off. Roman hits Orton with a spear to end the match. ***1/4

I do wonder where the Shield go from here though. Maybe try and go for the WWE Championship? I could see Seth and Roman doing everything they can to get the belt on Ambrose. That would be pretty cool. And by the way, the crowd absolutely sucks tonight. They could only be heard during Taker/Punk and Rock/Cena. I was expecting more from New York.

The stage setup looks fantastic though.

Ryback vs Mark Henry
I was really looking forward to this one, but it failed to live up to my expectations. I was expecting a back and forth power match, but Ryback never really seemed to get any offense in until the match was over. Seeing him pick up Henry was impressive mind you. Henry picks up the win after a failed shell shock. *

Team Hell No vs Dolph Ziggler & Big E. Langston
I almost had a heart attack with the throwback to last years World title match. Amazing thing to do though. I knew that Bryan and Ziggler would be awesome, but I wasn't sure about the big guys. Turns out they were on their A-game tonight. Really good match as Hell No retain their titles. ***1/4

Fandango vs Chris Jericho
Huge moment for Fandango here, as he gets his debut at the Showcase of the Immortals. He did quite a good job and got to show off some of his moves. Biggest of all, he was able to beat Y2J! The match was very entertaining throughout, but I think Jericho may have injured his leg at the finish. Fandango rolls up Jericho to win. ***

Alberto Del Rio vs Jack Swagger
I really wasn't looking forward to this match before the show, but they genuinely surprised me with a really good contest. Swagger made himself look like a contender for once. I especially loved the switches between the ankle lock and the cross armbreaker. Del Rio retains by making Swagger submit to the armbreaker. ***1/4

The Undertaker vs CM Punk
These streak matches seem to be the biggest matches at Wrestlemania now. Before the show, most people said that this match wouldn't be very good or that it was too predictable. Well they were certainly proved wrong. I was actually very surprised at Punk kicking out of the tombstone. Awesome match and a great finish with each guy trying to get their finisher with Taker coming out on top. ****1/2

Triple H vs Brock Lesnar : No Holds Barred
Wow, the dead crowd really killed this match. Seriously it was almost complete silence except from a few pops from the bigger moves like the suplex through the announce table. The match itself was damn good. Brock Lesnar looked like an absolute beast. The Shawn Michaels parts of the match were well done as well. The final moments of the match were the best, with both guys arms being the focus of attack. HHH hits a pedigree on the steel steps to win. ***

I have a feeling I might piss a few people off with my views on the next match. Maybe some people are just way too negative about something they say they're a fan of.

John Cena vs The Rock
No way did I think this would be the best match on the show. I was wrong. The counters in this match were amazing like the spinebuster into an attempted STF, or a rock bottom into another rock bottom. This was what a Wrestlemania main event should be, with both guys giving their best performance with some great nearfalls. Cena is able to finally overcome the Rock and win the WWE Title with an AA. Awesome match and, in my opinion, one of the best ever. Phenomenal stuff. ****1/2

8.5/10. Awesome Wrestlemania and so far the best PPV this year. Only one match was sub-par and even that was a bit of a spectacle. The Diddy performance was also awful but it didn't last too long thankfully. The main events delivered, even with a dead crowd for HHH/Lesnar, and the other two even exceeded my expectations, especially the main event. All in all, a fantastic show worth ordering if you missed it.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Bret Hart : The Best There Is, The Best There Was, The Best There Ever Will Be - DVD Review

Bret Hart DVD Review

At the time, this was an historic DVD set, as it was something that many fans thought that they would never see. Before the documentary starts, Vince McMahon himself thanks Bret for taking part in this project, which in itself is pretty huge. The feature itself is one of the best ones that the WWE has ever produced. Definitely up there with the Rise and Fall of ECW, the more recent Stone Cold documentary, and CM Punk's. Anyone who has read Bret's brilliant autobiography will already know most of these stories, but it's nice to hear them from Bret's own mouth. Amazing stuff.  9.5/10.

Disc 1 Special Features :

Bret Talks About the Origin of the Name "The Dungeon"

Bret Talks About being away from Family on Halloween

Bret Talks About how well the Hart Foundation got Along

Bret Talks About Learning the Sharpshooter

Bret Tells Story about Owen Hart crank-calling Stu Hart

Family Tree

Learning the Ropes


Being a Villain

Dean Hart Tribute Video

Tribute to Bret Hart's Wrestling Colleagues who have Passed Away

The Hart Foundation vs The British Bulldogs
These two teams have had countless matches against each other, and they never cease to be entertaining. Three amazing technicians and one very underrated wrestler in Jim Neidhart. A very good tag match here, and the guys really got the crowd invested into the contest. Unfortunately the time limit expires to end the match. ***1/4

The Hart Foundation vs The Killer Bees
The Killer Bees were a very under appreciated team around this time, as there were many other teams that had the spotlight. This match helps show that they were a great team. The video quality wasn't great. The heat segments were well done, and the match was very entertaining. The match ends with the time limit expiring, which is a shame because the finish sequence was great. ***3/4

Disc 2 Matches :

Bret Hart vs Ricky Steamboat
This match was meant to take place at Wrestlemania 2, but was changed. This could have made Mania 2 better than it was, but at least we got to see the match here. If they were in their primes, this could have been a five star bout. It is an excellent match for it's time. Made Bret look like a great singles competitor. Steamboat reverses a crossbody to win. ***3/4

Bret Hart vs Ted Dibiase 
I think this was a dark match. There was no commentary for the match, but it really didn't need it. Right from the start the guys cut a fast pace. I did think that Dibiase's sleeper hold was on for way too long though. A very good match here though. Match ends in a double count out. ***1/2

The Rockers vs Hart Foundation 
I love this match. It may not have a clean ending, but everything before that was amazing. Just an amazing back and forth match that cut a fantastic pace. This ends in a double DQ thanks to Demolition, but this is easily a  **** match and is worth watching many times.

The Hart Foundation vs The Nasty Boyz
From Wrestlemania VII. This was the Hart Foundation's last match, as Bret would go on to have his very successful singles run after this. I've never really been a fan of the Nasty Boyz. The match was good though as the Nasty Boyz got the victory and won the tag titles. ***

Bret Hart vs Mr Perfect
An all time classic for the IC Title here. Unlike most people, I prefer this to the KOTR match. Perfect was coming in with an injured back and was in a lot of pain, but he really wanted to put Bret over because he respected him. And because of that, we got this classic battle. An awesome technical battle, even if the ref kind of screwed up the finish a little. Classic stuff. ****1/2

Bret Hart vs British Bulldog
Quite possibly the best match in Summerslam history and even wrestling history. Bret says that this is his favourite match, and it's not hard to see why. Bret basically carried this whole match and managed to get an all time classic out it. The huge crowd helps as well. Just an amazing technical match, and even the botches seem to make it better! Amazing match that led to Bret winning his first WWE Championship. *****

Bret Hart vs Bam Bam Bigelow
In my opinion, Bam Bam had his best matches with Bret. These two also had a great finals match for the King of the Ring crown. This match features Spanish commentary. It doesn't detract from the match though. This was another great match between the two, with Bam Bam showing how great a big man he is, and Bret gaining the fan's sympathy. Bret rolls up Bigelow to win. ***1/2

Bret Hart vs Mr Perfect
Part of the KOTR Tournament. This is similar to their Summerslam match, although I do prefer that match. This match is probably superior to that match, but I like the historical aspect to that match. This is the better technical bout though, with both guys giving a classic performance. Fantastic match as Bret reverses a small package to take the win. Arguably the best KOTR match ever. ****1/2

Bret Hart vs Owen Hart 
Without a doubt, the greatest opener for any PPV ever, and also one of the greatest matches of all time. No brother vs brother feud will ever beat these two. Many have tried and failed. Every move in this match is performed perfectly and every move is there for a reason. A classic Wrestlemania match and a classic match overall. Might even be the greatest match of all time. Owen gets the upset win with a victory roll. *****

And there's still another disc to go! If it was just these first two discs, then the set would probably get either an 8.5 or 9/10 rating. And we still have some classics to go.

Disc 3 :

Bret Hart vs Owen Hart
This was the main event match for the debut of the Action Zone. Great choice for a main event.  It doesn't come close to their Wrestlemania match or Summerslam match, but it's still a great contest. What else would you expect from these two. Just a great back and forth match that these two could pull off anytime. Bret retains with help from the Bulldog. ***3/4

Bret vs Hakushi
The very first match in In Your House history, so it's historical in a sense. This is probably Hakushi's best match from his time in WWE. Bret managed well with Hakushi's athletic skills. At the time, Hakushi was undefeated. Great match to start off the IYH PPVs. Bret rolls up Hakushi to win. ***3/4

Bret Hart vs Diesel : No DQ
These two had an awesome match at that years Royal Rumble that's worth a watch. This time there were no rules. This is Diesel's last match as a face and, thankfully, the final match of his way too long title reign. Bret's work on the leg of Diesel was great. I think this was also one of the first times that the announce table was used as a weapon. Awesome match as Bret rolls up Diesel to win the title. ****

Bret Hart vs British Bulldog
Quite a forgotten classic here. Over three years since their classic Summerslam bout and they were still putting on amazing matches. This time there's not really any historical value, but theres enough action to make a highly recommended watch. Just the fantastic technical match that you would expect from these two as Bret retains. ****1/2

Bret Hart vs Stone Cold : Submission Match
I have never seen this match rated at lower than five stars and I'm not about to change that. This match is known as not just one of the greatest matches in Wrestlemania matches, but also one of the greatest of all time. It is arguably the best wrestling match of all time. This was a brutal match, and Austin bleeding while locked in the sharpshooter is one of the most iconic images in wrestling history. It can be argued that this is the match that led to the Attitude era, thanks to the popularity of Austin. Bret wins as Austin passes out from the sharpshooter. Just incredible and almost impossible to surpass. *****

Bret Hart vs The Undertaker
From One Night Only 1997. Bret considers this his last great match in the WWE. True. He even considers Undertaker to be his final opponent in WWE. Even though Hart was the heel here, he was still cheered by most of the fans. Awesome match, it's just a shame it ended in DQ, or it could have had a higher rating. Still a great match though. ****

Bret Hart vs Chris Benoit
Owen Hart's tribute match. Also arguably the best WCW match ever and arguably the best free tv match ever. Additionally, one of the most emotionally charged matches ever, all in tribute for the late great Owen Hart. It doesn't matter how good the match is, considering it's all for Owen, but I definitely consider it an all time classic. Bret wins with a sharpshooter. *****

10/10. In my opinion, this is the best multiple disc release that the WWE has ever made. That isn't just bias because Bret is my favourite wrestler, it's just how good this set really is. You get a fantastic documentary with some added extra interview moments, and then you have the matches. Not one bad match in this set and most of them are all time classics. No doubt about it, this is a must have DVD set.