Tuesday, 28 January 2014
Monday Night Raw 27/1/14 or 1/27/14
It's been a while since I've done a Raw review, but after the controversy that Sunday's Royal Rumble caused, it seemed like a good time to bring it back. So let's see what's going to happen in the aftermath of the Rumble. Please god let this be a smarky crowd.
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon are here, and the crowd is cheering a bit, so I guess we're not getting our smarky crowd. They should have stayed in Pittsburgh. Now the whole crowd chants Yes! Thank goodness for that. And HHH precedes to mock the crowd for complaining about not getting what they want. Yeah that's a good idea, make fun of people that payed for your show to see what they wanted you massive twat. Stephanie announces that the WWE World Heavyweight Title will be defended at Elimination Chamber. No shit Sherlock. And here's our lord and saviour Daniel Bryan! Such a huge reaction for the guy. Bryan sarcastically tells the fans to stop chanting his name. HHH tells Bryan he gave a good little effort in his match. Bryan mentions the YesMovement. There's no way that Bryan isn't going to the top now. Stephanie asks Bryan if he thinks the only reason the fans came is to see him, and that gets a resounding Yes from the audience. Bryan wants in the Elimination Chamber match. He doesn't get an answer, but he gets the Shield.
Bryan grabs a chair, but Roman Reigns manages to take him out. Here's Sheamus for the save, followed by Cena. This was a great segment that hopefully puts Bryan back in the Title picture, and it ended with a fun brawl that'll probably end up as a tag match later in the night.
Sin Cara & Rey Mysterio vs The Real Americans
The signs that the Real Americans bring with them are tremendous. Nice to see Mysterio and Cara tagging again, especially now that Mistico has been replaced by Hunico. The Americans may have showed some signs of a break up which makes me a sad panda. The build up to Mysterio's hot tag was done well. This was a solid tag match and the Real Americans got the surprise win. As usual Cesaro impressed, and the Luchadors didn't look bad in defeat. **3/4
The six man tag featuring Cena, Sheamus and Bryan vs The Shield will happen tonight, and the winning team will qualify for the Chamber match. I wonder who's winning this.
We will also have a Tag Title rematch from the Rumble.
Bad News Barrett is here to tell us that we're getting to see The Miz vs Dolph Ziggler. Seeing the Miz is bad news. Barrett says that both guys are losers and so is the audience. Well that was pointless.
We get a sneak preview of the Monday Night War show that will be on the WWE Network. One of the interviewees is Undertaker, so that has me interested already.
It looked as if we were getting Summer Rae for a match, but unfortunately it's Fandango.
Fandango vs R-Truth
The commentators keep mentioning Fandango's elimination from the Rumble at the small hands of El Torito. I'm sure that'll get him over. Xavier Woods is also on commentary and has shaved all of his facial hair, and now looks like a cast member of High School Musical. Pretty much a nothing match here. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't good either. *
Next up, Randy Orton has arrived.
Brad Maddox introduces Orton. Is there even a point to having a General Manager anymore? He seems more like a glorified announcer. Orton says that it doesn't matter how he won at Royal Rumble, all that matters is that he's the champ. Batista comes out and surprisingly doesn't get booed out of the building. He gets more of a John Cena reaction with the women cheering and the men booing. The Daniel Bryan chants start up and Batista is visibly pissed. He says he's walking out of Wrestlemania with the Title and that brings out the beast Brock Lesnar. Things are getting interesting now! Quite the OVW reunion here. Brock wants a Title match against Orton, and so does the crowd. Brock wants an answer tonight, or else. This started off badly with no one really caring about Orton or Batista, but Lesnar's appearance made things interesting.
Dolph Ziggler vs The Miz
This is billed as the Battle of Cleveland as both guys are from Cleveland. I suppose it wouldn't be a proper WWE show without something losing in their hometown. For some reason the crowd prefers Miz to Ziggler. I think we found the new bizarroworld. Decent match while it lasted with both guys showing some chemistry. Just way too short. Ziggler hits the zig zag to win. *1/2
Apparently the WWE app has been downloaded 10 million times. Stop showing us how to download it then!
The Usos vs Ryback & Curtis Axel
I enjoy seeing the Usos in action, but at the same time I don't really enjoy seeing Ryback and Axel in action. This was pretty bland up until the hot tag to (I think) Jimmy Uso. The Usos get the win with a big frog splash to Ryback. Just a standard tag match that was boring to start with but became better towards the end. *1/4
We're gonna find out who's gonna be the next inductee into the Hall of Fame. My guess is Jake Roberts.
Kofi Kingston vs Alberto Del Rio
They make sure to show us Kofi's huge leap in the Rumble match. It was a damn impressive move. Poor Del Rio hasn't had any direction since his World Title feud with Cena ended. He just randomly hates Batista. The crowd becomes bored of the match and starts chanting for Randy Savage and JBL. JBL takes it all in. I would feel bad for the guys in the ring, but it is pretty boring. This one did get better as it went on with some nice nearfalls, and the crowd gained some interest. It did end quite abruptly with Del Rio kicking Kofi in the face for the pin. **1/4
The Rhodes Brothers vs The New Age Outlaws
The Tag Titles are on the line. I'm still trying to figure out why the Outlaws won the Titles, but if it leads to Goldust and Cody splitting up and setting up a Mania match I'm all for it. Goldust looked fitter than most of the guys on the roster. This one was going well until Brock Lesnar decided to interfere and cause the DQ, and gives an F5 to the former tag champs. **1/2
Lesnar and Heyman are waiting for an answer from the Authority, so Brock desides to attack the Rhodes Brothers with a steel chair.
AJ Lee / Tamina Snuka / Alicia Fox / Aksana vs The Funkadactyls & The Bella Twins
Here's the obligatory divas match for the evening. Well it wasn't as bad as I thought it might have been, as they were given more time than usual, and it didn't seem as sloppy as other divas matches. Naomi pins AJ to possibly set up a Divas Title match in the future. **
I was right about Jake Roberts joining the Hall of Fame. I think he deserves it more than Warrior but I don't other people will see it that way. Congratulations to Jake.
We get another sneak preview of programming on the WWE Network. This time it's Wrestlemania rewind and it looks like an interesting show.
It's now time for the main event!
John Cena / Sheamus / Daniel Bryan vs The Shield
I can't really see the Shield being in the Chamber match, but Roman Reigns could look like a star in there. It's nice to have Sheamus back after taking that ugly bump at Money in the Bank. Reigns gets his own chant from the live crowd, and no wonder why. Have the Shield ever had a bad six man tag match? I don't think so, and this one was absolutely no different. An awesome tag match that showed off the talents of everyone involved. The Wyatt's interfere and the faces are announced as the winners. ****
Well the first segment and the final match were both awesome, but there wasn't much in the middle except for a couple of solid tag matches and an interesting Lesnar angle.
Sunday, 26 January 2014
Royal Rumble 2014 Review
AKA: The night the fans let their voices flow freely.
Daniel Bryan vs Bray Wyatt
I wasn't sure what to expect here since Wyatt isn't exactly known for stellar singles matches, but man did he bring the goods here. The very loud crowd made the match even better with huge Yes chants. The back and forth action was awesome, and they were given plenty of time to build up a great contest. I'm fine with Bray winning since he looked very strong coming out of this, and Bryan will still have his massive crowd reactions no matter what, so the loss won't affect him. Great stuff here and a great way to open the show. ***3/4
Brock Lesnar vs The Big Show
I don't really know what to make of this one. I was looking forward to it beforehand and thought that Lesnar would come out of it looking like a beast, but he didn't. It doesn't help that guys like Orton have been able to have a normal one on one contest with Show, and yet Brock didn't even try to match his power, and instead resorted to cheating. The F5 was pretty impressive though, even though it looked more like an AA. For the whole thing I'll go with 1/4*. Disappointing, and the chair beating went on way too long.
John Cena vs Randy Orton
I love how the entire video package was talking about this being one of the most anticipated rematches in history, and the live crowd decided to shit all over it with chants of 'End this Match' and 'Boring'. I kind of felt bad for both guys as the match was damn good and one of their better matches for sure. I did enjoy both guys using each others finishers to try and win, and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens with the Wyatt's interference to cost Cena the match. Overall a great bout, made even better by a snarky audience. ***1/2
The Royal Rumble Match
First of all, where the hell was Jake Roberts? Everyone was expecting him and he doesn't show up? I was kind of disappointed that Jeff Hardy never showed up either. Just goes to show that you can't trust wrestling news sites. Not putting Daniel Bryan in this match was a dumb decision, as the crowd immediately turned on the match as soon as Mysterio came out as #30. Batista's victory seemed to backfire too, as the crowd kept chanting 'No' after he won, and obviously wanted Reigns to win. I'm pissed that Reigns didn't win. Congratulations to Reigns for surpassing Kane's elimination record. Reigns should be a star after this Rumble, and I look forward to seeing the reaction of Ambrose and Rollins on Raw. Some other parts were good for starting storylines, such as Goldust accidentally eliminating Cody, and Kane eliminating Punk. Overall I'd say it was a great Rumble outside of an insulting finish. ***1/2
7.5/10. Another good show from the WWE here, and hopefully they now realise that we want Daniel Bryan at the top, and we won't shut up until he's there. The opener was awesome, the WWE Title match was surprisingly great, and the Rumble was a lot of fun. The Lesnar vs Show match sucked so you should have your bathroom break during that bout. Overall a very good start for WWE PPVs in 2014.
Thursday, 23 January 2014
Royal Rumble 2007 Review
Glad to finally get back to doing PPV reviews, and with the Rumble coming up pretty soon, here's a Rumble from the past! How does it hold up seven years later? Let's find out.
The Hardy Boyz vs MNM
If you wanna start off a show in style, you get two high flying tag teams to fight each other. MNM wanted some revenge after the Hardys destroyed his face in a Ladder match at Armageddon. To be fair they should have been mad about that seeing as Joey looked like Bane with his mask. These guys were given plenty of time for the match and it was pretty damn good because of it. It was mostly formula, but it was still fun and got the crowd fires up. Jeff hits the swanton to win the match. ***1/4
Bobby Lashley vs Test
ECW Title is on the line. On paper this looked pretty bad. When put into practice (no disrespect to the late Test) it was bad. Saying that both guys weren't known for carrying matches is a bit of an understatement and it showed here. It didn't help that the ending was incredibly dumb with Test walking out causing a count out. Just a bad match here. 1/2*
Batista vs Mr Kennedy
The World Title is on the line. Kennedy may seem like a strange choice for a World Title contender, but at the time he was on a role, and had apparently beaten six former World Champions in the past year. Whether that's true or not, I don't know. The knee psychology used on Batista was sound and he sold it throughout the match. This was better than I expected, and it made Kennedy look good in defeat. Batista hits the powerbomb for the victory. ***
John Cena vs Umaga : Last Man Standing
The WWE Title is on the line. At New Year's Revolution these two had a damn good match, but with a match that had no rules they put on a show stealing performance. This is easily Umaga's best match during his time in WWE, and it was a sign that Cena could wrestle and put on a great match. An awesome no holds barred style of match, and Cena managed to pick up the win and still made Umaga look strong in the process, since he had to be made to pass out with the ring ropes around his throat. Great stuff here and one of the best Last Man Standing matches I've seen. ****1/2
The Royal Rumble Match
This was billed as the most star-studded Rumble in history. While it does have a lot of stars, I don't think anything will ever beat the 1992 Rumble with the amount of stars in it. Everyone knows this match for one thing: the final two showdown between hometown boy Shawn Michaels and the Deadman, The Undertaker. These guys had a ten minute mini-match that was a great preview for their Wrestlemania 25 classic. Everything before the final two was pretty average except maybe for a chokeslam through a table outside the ring to Sabu, but this was all about the final two. Both guys would end up in both the World Title matches at Mania anyway. A great Rumble overall. ***3/4
8/10. This was a nice surprise. The only thing really holding it back is a bad ECW Title match, but the opener and the World Heavyweight Title matches were good, the Rumble was great, and the WWE Title match is a must see. If you haven't seen the WWE Title match or HBK vs Taker in the Rumble, then you need to see this one. Recommended show.
Monday, 20 January 2014
Batista DVD Review - Disc 3
Discs 1 and 2 were pretty enjoyable so let's see how disc 3 rounds off the set.
Batista vs King Booker
From Survivor Series 2006 and the World Title is on the line. These guys had a few matches around this time period, but they were never really able to deliver a good match. I don't know if that's because they didn't have any chemistry or if it's because of their personal problems backstage, they just couldn't couldn't deliver. The finish is kind of confusing too since Batista had to cheat to win. Unless he was trying to channel Eddie Guerrero, I don't get it. Just a really bland match here. *1/2
Batista vs King Booker vs Finlay
From Smackdown on December 1st 2006. The World Title is on the line. Putting Finlay in there should hopefully make things more interesting. Not sure why he was getting a Title shot though. As is usual with long TV matches, the commercials were annoying and broke up the action. This was a very good triple threat match. Sometimes guys were out of the ring for a long time, but that's just a common problem with multi-person matches. It was given a lot of time and it used it well, as it was rarely boring. ***1/4
Batista vs The Undertaker
From Wrestlemania 23 and the World Title is on the line. I remember thinking at the time that this would be a major bore, but oh man was I wrong about this and so were a lot of other people. These guys totally stole the show on this night and this would also be the start of Taker's run of amazing streak matches at Mania. Batista earned more respect with that performance. Excellent power match and it's probably my favourite match featuring Batista. ****1/4
Batista vs Edge : Steel Cage
From One Night Stand 2007 with the World Title on the line. Taker was injured so he dropped the Title to the new MITB holder Edge to start a feud with Batista. And then shortly afterwards, Edge would be injured and Khali would be brought into the picture. What a bad year. These two guys have surprisingly good chemistry together, and this may have been one of their better bouts. It did start slowly but the pace picked up as it went along. Great cage match. ***1/2
Batista vs The Undertaker
From Cyber Sunday 2007 and the World Title is on the line. Stone Cold is the guest referee. This was quite the anticipated bout since this was their first match together for months, and they had only had great matches up to this point. A lot of people think this is their best bout together. While it's certainly an awesome match I still think the Wrestlemania bout is the best, but that's just my opinion. Batista looked great here since he managed to get a clean win over the Deadman. Very few people can say that. One of Batista's better matches as it seemed like a war was being waged here. ****
Triple H / Ric Flair / Batista vs Randy Orton / Edge / Umaga
From Raw on December 10th 2007. A bit of an Evolution reunion here. Even Orton is there except he's a heel so he needs to be on the opposite team. Quite a bit of star power in this one. It doesn't really matter though since the match only lasts a few minutes before ending in DQ. Still it was pretty fun while it lasted. *1/2
Batista vs John Cena
From Summerslam 2008. This was a pretty huge match at the time, since these were two of the biggest names in the WWE, and yet they had never really had any fights, except for the ending of the 2005 Rumble. They showed with this match that they had great chemistry together, and would go on to have a good feud in 2010 as well. Batista did injure Cena here though and put him out of action for a few months. Still it was an excellent contest. ****
Batista vs Randy Orton
From Armageddon 2008. Not really sure why these guys were feuding. I always thought that these two had more matches against each other, but they never really did outside of a short lived feud in 2009 that was cut short due to Batista's injury. Damn good match between the former teammates, and the crowd was into it which always helps. Orton's chinlocks did slow the pace down as usual. Still it was a great back and forth match. ***1/2
8/10. I would say that I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of this set, since I was expecting just an average release. The documentary was much better than I was expecting. There are some excellent match choices here, but there are some choices that let the set down a bit, such as his early PPV work and his match with Booker T. Overall this was a great set and one worth checking out, especially if you're a Batista fan.
Batista: I Walk Alone DVD Review - Discs 1 & 2
I've had this one in my collection for a while, and if ever there was an appropriate time for a review of it, it's now. I'd like to get this one finished before his return on the 20th. So here is the first of this two part review.
The main feature runs for an hour and a half, which I would say is an appropriate amount of time for a guy like Batista. I've never heard about his early life before, so it was interesting to hear about his childhood and how he lived in poverty, and how his mother raised him. That only lasts ten minutes before it goes to wrestling school. Batista's never had a lot of charisma, but he was still interesting to listen to when talking about his life. He looks a lot like Ross Gellar from friends when he was a teenager. It's cool that they managed to get a few of his old friends and even his mother to do some talking head secctions. Hell they even managed to get his ex-wife. Turns out that Batista cheated on his then-current girlfriend. I'm surprised they put him in a pretty bad light, but he does seem to regret what he did. Batista really makes the WCW training school sound like a piece of shit with a really bad instructor. I never knew that it was Afa of the Wild Samoans that taught him how to properly wrestle. I've got to say that the time is pretty much flying by while watching this which is obviously a great sign. I'll admit that I was almost in tears when it came to talking about Eddie Guerrero's death. I won't mention everything here since it won't make much sense unless you're watching it too. This was a much better documentary than I was expecting as it delved into his real life more than I thought it would, and it was all the better for it. A great documentary that had a lot of work put into it, and it deserves to be watched. Great stuff overall. 8.5/10
There are a few extra stories in the Special Features menu that are quite interesting to watch.
Time for the matches!
Leviathan vs Doug Basham
From OVW in 2001 and the OVW Title is on the line. Victoria is also here as Doug's manager. I'd rather have had an OVW match featuring someone like John Cena or Brock Lesnar, but it's still nice to have an early match for Batista. Batista looks a lot like Goldberg here. Pretty entertaining match here, and Batista did show some potential. The small crowd was into it too. It was more of a standard bout, but it was still enjoyable. Powerbomb wins Batista the Title. **1/4
Kane vs Batista
From Armageddon 2002. This match is a little historical, seeing as it's Batista's first match on PPV. I have no idea why these two are feuding. I'm guessing that it may have something to do with Katie Vick due to the time period. I hope not. Not the best debut for Batista, but at least he beat quite an accomplished star in Kane. Sloppy match with a sloppy finish. 1/2*
Shawn Michaels vs Batista
From Armageddon 2003. This feud started at Survivor Series when Batista cost Shawn the match with a powerbomb. Batista was still green at this point and hadn't had a lot of PPV matches, but if one guy could give him a good match, it would be HBK. HBK has a good record of great matches with big guys. This was quite slow due to Batista's offense, but Shawn made it as good as he could. Solid match. The ref did seem to ignore the fact that Shawn's shoulders were down during the pin. Still, it was a good effort. **3/4
Batista & Ric Flair vs The Dudley Boyz : Tables Match
From Royal Rumble 2004. Tag Titles are on the line. Batista and Flair won the titles unfairly at the Armageddon PPV, and the Dudleys wanted them back in their favourite kind of match. The match was very short and seemed very sloppy at times. It didn't help that the Coach got himself involved. Not the best opener for a show that's for sure. 1/2*
Batista vs Chris Jericho
From Vengeance 2004. In four years time this would be a main event match with the World Title on the line. I'm not sure as to why their feuding. I think Jericho was meant to continue his feud with Christian, but he was out with an injury. Pretty good match, but it was really slow at times thanks to Batista's heelish offense. Jericho managed to bring things up to speed though. Batista wins even though Jericho has his foot on the ropes. **1/2
We get the Rumble match from 2005 from the point that Batista entered. I'll probably end up reviewing this PPV soon so I'll keep my match rating for that since this isn't anywhere near the full match anyway. I remember it being a fun Rumble. The ending between Cena and Batista was awesome as you didn't know who would win, and this was a huge moment for The Animal.
Batista vs Triple H
From Wrestlemania 21 and the World Title is on the line. We still get a pretty bad Motorhead performance of HHH's theme. This was Batista's big make or break moment to see if he had what it took to get the fans behind him and become a top guy. I think he did pretty well with that. Bit of an understatement I know. This wasn't the best match ever, but it did it's job and made Batista look like the next big thing. The match was pretty solid with HHH trying everything he could to keep Batista down, but Batista fought his hardest to win. **3/4
Batista vs Triple H : Hell in a Cell
From Vengeance 2005 and the World Title is on the line. Their standard matches weren't very good, but in the Cell environment, both guys shined. This is where Batista truly became a big star. He was the first guy to defeat HHH in a Cell, nevermind the fact that it's the third time in a row he had beaten him. There were some brutal spots like the sledgehammer to HHH's jaw, and the barbed wire steel chair deserves a mention. Excellent Cell match and one of the better ones from history. ****1/2
Batista vs JBL : No Holds Barred
From Summerslam 2005 with the World Title on the line. JBL makes it rain money before the match. The no DQ stipulation helped, since these two didn't have much chemistry in normal matches. Match was actually pretty short and pretty enjoyable. JBL didn't appear in many World Title matches after this. Batista retains with a powerbomb onto steel steps. **1/2
Batista vs Eddie Guerrero
From No Mercy 2005 and the World Title is on the line. Sadly this is Eddie's final PPV match. Batista and Eddie were good friends in real life and you could see that Batista was devastated when Eddie passed away. This was one of Batista's better singles matches thanks to the skill of Eddie. It was strange seeing the spinebuster used as the finish though. I thought a Batista bomb would have been more appropriate. Great match overall. ***1/2
Stay tuned for part 2!
Sunday, 19 January 2014
Best PPV Matches of 2013 Blu Ray Review - Disc 2
Well part 1 of this set was a ton of fun, but I'm pretty sure this disc will be much better. Let's begin.
CM Punk vs Brock Lesnar : No DQ
From Summerslam. I've already heaped so much praise onto this match, but I'm gonna add some more, because this is my fifth time watching it and it's still one of the best matches I've ever seen. The intensity is off the charts, and both guys looked extremely motivated. Lesnar deserves more credit for his work in the ring, such as his trash talk because it can make a match that little bit better, and it was awesome here. It's just a shame that the Punk/Heyman storyline didn't end here and ended up going on for way too long with guys like Curtis Axel and Ryback. Anyway this is still quite easily the Match of the Year and the only other match coming close is the next match on the set. Absolutely fantastic stuff here. *****
John Cena vs Daniel Bryan
From Summerslam. I feel so bad for not calling this the Match of the Year, but it definitely deserves like a runner up prize or a very honourable mention. What can I say about this match that hasn't already been said? This was Bryan's moment in the sun and he went over Cena completely cleanly and made himself a huge star in the process. It definitely helps that this was an amazing back and forth battle that felt like a war was being waged. Fantastic match and a fantastic moment as Bryan wins his first WWE Title. The Orton cash in is also included on the DVD. *****
Rob Van Dam vs Alberto Del Rio
From Night of Champions. It still seems strange to me that RVD got a World Title shot one month after he wasn't able to win the freaking US Title. I didn't like this match at the time, not from a match quality standard, but just because the PPV hadn't started that well and then we got a World Title match that ends in DQ. This was a much better match than I remembered, as it was a fun back and forth contest. Del Rio won't let go of the arm breaker, so that leads to the DQ. ***1/4
AJ Lee vs Naomi vs Brie Bella vs Natalya
From Night of Champions. I remember feeling terrified that Brie or Naomi would win the Title just to promote Total Divas, so fortunately that never happened. I wouldn't have minded Natalya winning since she's a great wrestler. Even though AJ was meant to be the heel in this storyline, she still got the biggest cheers from the fans. Natalya's double sharpshooter, as usual, was awesome. Not really sure why this is on the DVD, as it wasn't that great. Better than most divas matches though except for a bad crossbody botch. *1/2
Cody Rhodes & Goldust vs The Shield
From Battleground. I never watched this PPV because it didn't look good (apparantly I was right), but this is the one match I've really wanted to see from the show and I've been lloking forward to it. This storyline is awesome as Cody and Goldust managed to get sympathy from the fans, so everyone was rooting for them to regain their jobs. This was an awesome tag match and there was so much emotion put into it thanks to the stipulation, and seeing all three Rhodes hugging at the end was a great moment. Such a great match here as Cody hits the crossrhodes to win the match and regain their jobs. ****
John Cena vs Alberto Del Rio
From Hell in a Cell. Poor Del Rio wasn't given a chance in hell of winning this one. Cena was making his return after missing two months of action, when he was actually supposed to miss six months. That's SuperCena for you. At the time I was expecting more of a squash, but this was a good match and Del Rio looked pretty good coming out of it. Unsurprisingly, Cena hits the AA to win the World Title. ***1/4
Daniel Bryan vs Randy Orton : Hell in a Cell
From Hell in a Cell (obviously). Shawn Michaels is the guest referee for this one. I'd forgotten how much of a clusterfuck the ending is. I think just about everyone called the finish with HBK causing the finish somehow. This is the last Title shot Bryan has had, but judging by his recent crowd reactions, he will definitely be back there soon. This was a very good match and the Cell environment was used well. Bryan and Orton have amazing chemistry together, so they'll always put on a good match, and this was evidence of that. A good way to end a long feud. ***1/2
Blu Ray Exclusives:
Kofi Kingston vs Dean Ambrose
From Extreme Rules and the US Title is on the line. I remember at the time thinking that it would be great to see Ambrose as a singles competitor, and that he could have brought a little prestige to the US Title, but he's defended it about three times since he won it nearly a year ago. This was a fun match, and it's a shame that these guys haven't had more matches together, because they showed some chemistry here. **3/4
CM Punk vs Chris Jericho
From Payback. I can't believe I've only watched this match once. It seems like the kind of match I would back and watch again and again. I hope this isn't the last time we see these guys square off because they seem to get better and better each time they fight. This was Punk's return after a couple months away, and what a way to return in his hometown of Chicago with a huge reaction. He was also sporting the Wolverine look he still has today. I loved the finish with Punk hitting two Go to Sleeps to win. Terrific match and easily one of the best matches of 2013. Excellent stuff. ****1/2
The Shield vs The Usos
From the Money in the Bank Pre-Show and the Tag Titles are on the line. This is another one I haven't seen before, but I've heard good things about it. You don't usually see pre-show matches on DVD so it must have made an impression. The commercial breaks are annoying and break up the action. The combined powerbomb and superplex was freaking awesome. A short match but it was a ton of fun while it lasted. ***
Christian vs Alberto Del Rio
From Summerslam. I really feel sorry for this match, because it'll be mostly forgotten thanks to the two classic main events. On any other show this would probably be the Match of the Night, but because it's on this show it's only third best. Still this was an awesome match that deserves a watch, thanks to the great back and forth battle between these two. Great arm psychology and some nice nearfalls too. ****
The Rhodes Brothers vs The Usos vs The Shield
From Hell in a Cell and the Tag Titles are on the line. This was easily the best match from what was a pretty bland PPV. These three teams are the best in WWE right now, and I wouldn't mind seeing them in action every week. This match kicked all kinds of ass, and one of the best tag matches of 2013. Check this one out immediately! ****1/4
9/10. Unless you already have all of 2013's PPVs on DVD, this is a set worth getting. You're getting some of the year's most amazing matches like Punk vs Taker, Lesnar vs Punk, and Bryan vs Cena. There's only one match I wouldn't recommend watching and it's just a short divas match. If you can, go for the Blu Ray since you get Punk vs Jericho and the Triple Threat Tag Match. Pick this one up if you get the chance.
Thursday, 16 January 2014
Best PPV Matches of 2013 Blu Ray Review - Disc 1
Don't worry the Batista review will come soon. I have five free days to myself so it shouldn't take me that long. I've never bought a 'Best of PPV' DVD before and this one had some great looking matches on it, even if I've already got Mania 29 and Summerslam on DVD. I know that in America there was no Blu Ray release, so here are the matches that are Blu Ray Exclusive and will be on the second part of my review:
Kofi Kingston vs Dean Ambrose - Extreme Rules
CM Punk vs Chris Jericho - Payback
The Usos vs The Shield - Money in the Bank
Christian vs Alberto Del Rio - Summerslam
Triple Threat Tag Match - Hell in a Cell
So now it's time to look back on the year and see if I overrated or underrated any matches.
The Rock vs CM Punk
From Royal Rumble and the WWE Title is on the line. I always thought that their match at Elimination Chamber was better, but who knows, maybe I was wrong. I originally gave this match ***1/2 which seemed to be a lot lower than what others gave it. I was really tired when I watched this so it could be because of that. This match was pretty huge at the time and was pretty much a dream bout, so big that it came after the Rumble, and it definitely deserved to with a good build up. Punk's amazing 434 day Title reign came to an end here. The ending with the Shield interfering did hurt it a little bit, but this was still a great back and forth match that had that big match feel throughout. Rock hits the People's Elbow to win the Title for the first time in over ten years. I still stand by my original rating as there were a few slow moments. ***1/2
John Cena / Sheamus / Ryback vs The Shield
From Elimination Chamber. I think this was only the Shield's second match in history, and they proved that they didn't need a gimmick match like TLC to have a great match. At the time I was sure that the face team would win since Cena was in the team, but surprisingly the Shield got the win, and they've done so well as a team ever since. One hell of a tag match here, so just the usual from the Shield then. The Shield looked awesome here, and the losing team still looked good. Great work from everyone here. ***1/2
The Undertaker vs CM Punk
From Wrestlemania. Nice to see The Living Colour's performance is kept in. Almost a year later and this is still one of the best matches of 2013. For the past seven years, the Deadman's streak hasn't failed to deliver and this is no exception. Punk looked terrific in defeat as he seemed to take Undertaker to the very limit and even outsmarted him at times, sometimes with help from Paul Heyman. Undertaker looked amazing for a 'broken down old man' as some people seemed to be calling him. An awesome match worth watching again and again. ****1/2
John Cena vs The Rock
From Wrestlemania and the WWE Title is on the line. The slammy award winner for Match of the Year. I wouldn't agree with that, but it's a phony award so it doesn't really matter. I've said in the past that I seem to have a guilty pleasure with this and the rematch, and that still holds true: I love this match. People complain about the slow start, but I think it builds well to the finisher fest towards the end. Ok it was quite boring at times to start with, but it did get much better as it went on. Cena hits a third AA to win the Title. Awesome match. ****
Randy Orton vs The Big Show : Extreme Rules Match
From Extreme Rules. I think this may have been an impromptu match but I'm not sure. Weirdly enough it's the only Extreme Rules match on an 'Extreme Rules' PPV. Orton was in his hometown here, and so there is a good crowd reaction. This did seem like a filler match, but it ended up being pretty damn good. It's just a shame they couldn't have a match like this at Survivor Series. The spot with Show landing on a ladder and crushing two chairs was sick. Both guys were motivated and it led to a very good match. Nice to see the punk kick again too. ***1/4
Triple H vs Brock Lesnar : Steel Cage
From Extreme Rules. I really didn't enjoy this feud and it became tiresome, but this is definitely the highlight of the whole debacle. It started off with a bang thanks to HHH attacking Lesnar during his entrance. I can't help but think that this would be better with a bit of blood. I think this took place during the time of Bret Hart bad mouthing HHH, and so HHH locking in the sharpshooter was a fun 'fuck you' moment. The leg work on Lesnar was very well done too. A great way to end a pretty bland feud. ****
The Miz vs Wade Barrett vs Curtis Axel
From Payback and the IC Title is on the line. I'm pretty sure Fandango was meant to be in this. I remember at the time, I said that Axel could have what it takes to make the IC Title prestigious. Pretty damn wrong on that one wasn't I? Anyway this triple threat was exciting all the way through. There was a point in the match where Wade was out of the action for a long time, but that's just a common problem for multi-man matches. Appropriate that Axel won on Father's Day. Good match. ***1/4
AJ Lee vs Kaitlyn
From Payback and the Divas Title is on the line. It's kinda sad watching this match now. At the time it looked like the divas were finally gonna be given more attention, and more time for high quality matches, but we're still stuck in a shitty Total Divas rut. The storyline was a little silly with the secret admirer stuff, but the mic work by AJ was spot on. It has to be said that the cleavage in this match is off the charts. This is still the best divas match of 2013 by far. Great work by both women. ***
Dolph Ziggler vs Alberto Del Rio
From Payback and the World Title is on the line. This is more commonly known as the night that Del Rio became the most hated guy in the building. I came into this one expecting a good match, but I received even more than that. What we got here was quite simply a storytelling masterpiece. Del Rio was the face, Ziggler the heel, but Del Rio left as the brute doing anything to win the Title, and Ziggler left as the guy who just wouldn't go down without a fight. This was something different than what we're used to, and it was amazing. Del Rio hits a vicious kick to the head to win the Title. ****1/4
Cody Rhodes vs Damien Sandow vs Dean Ambrose vs Fandango vs Wade Barrett vs Jack Swagger vs Antonio Cesaro
From Money in the Bank. Poor Sandow. Looking back now, he deserved more than to just lose to an injured Cena. I'm sure he'll get their someday. Anyway this match was quite strange as everyone in it was a heel. The fans picked their own favourites like Ambrose and Rhodes. Rhodes was very impressive here and he had his face turn thanks to the finish with Sandow, and that turned out to be a great idea, as he's had a great run as a face. It was impossible to tell who was gonna win this one. I had my money on Ambrose. This reminded me a bit of TLC at Mania 17, where the interference made the match more entertaining. Exciting, fast-paced match showing off the talents of all involved. One of the better MITB matches. ****1/2
An awesome start to this set and I can't wait to start on the second and final disc of the set, which starts off with the two best matches of the year from Summerslam. Stay tuned for the second and final part!
Straight to the Top: MITB Anthology Blu Ray Review - Disc 2
Rey Mysterio vs Alberto Del Rio vs The Miz vs Evan Bourne vs R-Truth vs Alex Riley vs Jack Swagger vs Kofi Kingston
From Money in the Bank 2011. This one had the difficult task of having to follow up the amazing Smackdown ladder match, but it managed to escape it's shadow and deliver a great contest. I liked the start of the match with everyone bringing in a ladder to defend themselves with. I've got to admit that the Miz looked like a trooper coming back to the ring after what looked like a bad knee injury. Del Rio did seem like the most obvious guy to win it, but it has helped him into the main event scene in recent years, so I'd say he was a good choice. Another match with some great spots like Bourne's shooting star press off a ladder, and Del Rio taking off Mysterio's mask to win. Hell of a match. ***3/4
Dolph Ziggler vs Christian vs Tyson Kidd vs Tensai vs Cody Rhodes vs Damien Sandow vs Santino Marella vs Sin Cara
From Money in the Bank 2012. I remember at the time thinking that if either Tensai or Santino won the match, I'd go crazy with anger. Luckily that never happened. Christian and Ziggler were the clear favourites here, and Ziggler finally looked like he was heading to the top with his big win. Unfortunately that didn't work out too well for him. Tyson Kidd was impressive here, showing off his in-ring technique, and an awesome sunset powerbomb to Ziggler. Santino's fear of heights was a funny moment. An awesome ladder match overall. ****
John Cena vs Chris Jericho vs Kane vs The Big Show vs The Miz
From Money in the Bank 2012. This is the least amount of guys in a MITB match so far. The Miz was a nice surprise contestant. The match didn't look very promising on paper, but it definitely surprised everyone, as it was a pretty great ladder match. There was no way that Cena was losing here though and that did hinder the match a bit, but it was still fun. Nice to see the return of Show's huge ladder. This one wasn't filled with big spots like other MITB matches, but that's what makes it nice and unique. It's nice to see a MITB match that's filled with a little more story than the others. Overall a great match. ***3/4
Cody Rhodes vs Damien Sandow vs Dean Ambrose vs Fandango vs Wade Barrett vs Jack Swagger vs Antonio Cesaro
From Money in the Bank 2013. Poor Sandow. Looking back now, he deserved more than to just lose to an injured Cena. I'm sure he'll get their someday. Anyway this match was quite strange as everyone in it was a heel. The fans picked their own favourites like Ambrose and Rhodes. Rhodes was very impressive here and he had his face turn thanks to the finish with Sandow, and that turned out to be a great idea, as he's had a great run as a face. It was impossible to tell who was gonna win this one. I had my money on Ambrose. This reminded me a bit of TLC at Mania 17, where the interference made the match more entertaining. Exciting, fast-paced match showing off the talents of all involved. One of the better MITB matches. ****1/2
CM Punk vs Daniel Bryan vs Rob Van Dam vs Christian vs Sheamus vs Randy Orton
From Money in the Bank 2013. This was billed as an All Star MITB and it was definitely that, as everyone here has a definite star and had a good chance of winning. It also had the very highly anticipated return of RVD, and he showed absolutely no ring rust here. The clear cut favourites were both RVD and Bryan, so it was quite unexpected to see Orton pick up the win. We all know how that turned out. This match is relevant for starting the Heyman/Punk feud that had it's very high points, but also it's low points. Sheamus suffered a pretty bad leg injury that has kept him out of action for some time. Everyone in this match looked awesome, and just about all of them took some painful looking bumps. Awesome match, and almost as good as the original. ****1/2
I won't rate most of the cash-ins because they're not really proper matches, but I will say that they are fun to watch over and over again, and it's nice to have most of them in one place.
John Cena vs Rob Van Dam
From ECW One Night Stand 2006. Here we have the first cash-in that was announced for a full match. Well the fans absolutely loved Cena here as they gave him gifts of toilet paper and wouldn't accept his shirt because they thought themselves unworthy of it. Just kidding, I don't want to be killed in my sleep. Very good match here, that was helped by a raucious crowd, but most of it is edited out because this is a PG release. The match with the crowd reactions is ***3/4.
John Cena vs CM Punk
From Raw 1000. This marks the first time a MITB winner unsuccessfully cashed in a briefcase. This wasn't the usual awesome Punk/Cena match, due to the fact that there was barely any time left on the show, and the fact that it ended with Big SHow interfering, but it was still a pretty good match. This also led to Punk's heel turn that lasted almost a year, and set up his feud with The Rock. ***
9.5/10. Based on match quality alone, this is one of the best sets ever. It doesn't become tiring watching the same gimmick match over and over again, and the time just absolutely flies by. The Blu Ray Exclusives are a great addition too, giving us every cash in from Edge in 2006, to Dolph Ziggler in 2013. A set worth owning for sure.
Tuesday, 14 January 2014
Straight to the Top: MITB Anthology Blu Ray Review - Disc 1
I bought this for a very good price, and I'd rather do this than the Batista set right now, but I'll get to that later on in the week.
Money in the Bank is easily one of the best wrestling creations of the 21st Century, as it revitalised the Ladder match concept and made a great way of making new stars. It's still one of the most highly anticipated matchups of the year, as well as it's own PPV which seems to be more popular than most other PPVs, including some of the Big Four. This Blu Ray gives us every MITB match so far, and almost every cash-in (Sandow's and Orton's came a little later after the set was released). So how does it all look in one place? Let's find out.
Miz is the host, and we even get to see Jericho's proposal for the match on Raw.
Kane vs Chris Benoit vs Edge vs Christian vs Shelton Benjamin vs Chris Jericho
From Wrestlemania 21. The saying goes that the original is always the best, and this case, it's totally true. No MITB match has been able to beat this, and it might even be the best Ladder match of the 21st Century. It's tied with the HBK/Jericho match for me anyway. Of course some Benoit commentary has been edited out which is completely understandable. An amazing match with some very memorable spots, including Shelton running up a ladder and knocking Y2J off another ladder. They even managed some psychology with the work on Benoit's arm. Awesome match that needs to be seen. Although you'd be better off watching another version due to all the edits. ****3/4
Matt Hardy vs Shelton Benjamin vs Finlay vs Bobby Lashley vs Rob Van Dam vs Ric Flair
From Wrestlemania 22. It's hard to follow up a classic, but this one did very well with that. Shelton Benjamin once again stole the whole match, and RVD's offense made things very entertaining. Bobby Lashley didn't bring much to the match except for some crappy climbing, but he took his big powerbomb like a champ. Everyone performed well here, and major props to Flair for getting in there with the younger guys. All in all a great match and the fans were happy with RVD winning. ***3/4
Mr Kennedy vs Edge vs Randy Orton vs Jeff Hardy vs Matt Hardy vs CM Punk vs King Booker vs Finlay
From Wrestlemania 23. Looking back at this one today, it featured a ton of talent, including many former World Champs, and two hall of famers in Edge and Booker. Poor Kennedy remains the only guy never to have his shot at a World Title with his briefcase, as Edge would win it off of him in a match on Raw. This has always been one of my favourite MITB matches as it's a ton of fun from start to finish and features some great spots, like Jeff's huge leap off of a ladder onto Edge outside the ring. Orton's RKO to Punk off a ladder was pretty awesome too. A fantastic ladder match overall. ****
CM Punk vs Chris Jericho vs MVP vs John Morrison vs Shelton Benjamin vs Carlito vs Mr Kennedy
From Wrestlemania 24. Also the first HD match of the set. One of the better MITB matches in history here. It's a total spotfest, but it's just so much fun to watch. I thought only having two faces was a bad idea, but the most recent World Title MITB match had nothing but heels! An awesome match and just about everyone had something to bring to it. The Matt Hardy interference was very well done too and got a huge pop from the live crowd. Some other great spots include Morrison's moonsault with a ladder, a combined sunset flip and superplex, the return of the liontamer on a ladder, and Benjamin being thrown out the ring and onto a ladder, just to mention a few. Punk deserved the big win, and even if his first reign wasn't that good, he'd still have his day in the sun. I think I'm gonna have to give it a higher rating, as I've seen it so many times and it still amazes me everytime. Love it. ****1/2
CM Punk vs Kane vs Christian vs Shelton Benjamin vs Finlay vs Mark Henry vs MVP vs Kofi Kingston
From Wrestlemania 25. I never watched the live version of this, so I didn't see the botches that people complain about when talking about this match, as they have obviously been edited out. Also why was Mark Henry here? I love the guy but there was no way that he would make this match any better, except for his awesome world's strongest slam to Kingston. Even with that stuff in mind, this was still a very exciting match to watch thanks to spots like Benjamin's senton off a ladder and some great athleticism from Kofi. It's quite a historical match too as it was the first time someone had won it twice, nevermind back to back. Punk wins it to start him on the road to his awesome heel turn a few months later. Great match. ***1/2
Kofi Kingston vs MVP vs Shelton Benjamin vs Kane vs Jack Swagger vs Dolph Ziggler vs Matt Hardy vs Evan Bourne vs Christian vs Drew McIntyre
From Wrestlemania 26. Ten guys looked like way too much to have in this match, but I think they handled it pretty well, and it makes the match that little bit more unpredictable. This is the last MITB match to take place at Wrestlemania and out of every MITB there's ever been, I'd say this might be worst of all of them, but that just shows how great the MITB concept is, because even though it may be the worst, it's still a ton of fun to watch. Swagger turned out to be a bad decision for the winner, but at least they gave him a shot. There are a few great spots here like Bourne's shooting star press from the ladder, and Kofi's stilts made from ladder parts. The latter is particularly innovative. Great stuff. ***1/2
Kofi Kingston vs Dolph Ziggler vs Christian vs Cody Rhodes vs Matt Hardy vs Drew McIntyre vs Kane vs Big Show
From Money in the Bank 2010. Here we have the first MITB match not to take place at a Mania, and this was a great match to start the new tradition with. A hell of a lot of talented guys in this one. I loved that Show had to have his own reinforced ladder because the ordinary ones were too weak for him. His ladder looks awesome and should definitely be used more often. It's probably safer to use than the other ladders too. I also loved Kofi's boom drop off the ladder to Drew who was on the announcer's table. Kane was a good choice for the winner as he had the biggest storyline on Smackdown as he hunted for Undertaker's attacker, and he managed to keep the Title until December so that's pretty impressive. Kane's also the only guy to cash in on the same night he won the briefcase. Great ladder match overall. ****
Randy Orton vs Edge vs The Miz vs Chris Jericho vs Evan Bourne vs John Morrison vs Mark Henry vs Ted Dibiase
From Money in the Bank 2010. Now this was a hard match to predict. Aside from Mark Henry and Ted Dibiase, everyone looked to have a winning chance. At the time, I personally had my money on Evan Bourne, but look how that turned out for the poor guy. I think this match proved that you could have two of these matches in one night without it becoming stale, mostly because it's a hard match to screw up entertainment-wise. This one wasn't as spot-heavy like most of the other matches, but this was still a highly enjoyable match, mainly thanks to the great talent in the ring. The Miz grabs the briefcase to help set up a boring Mania main event. Awesome match. ****
Sheamus vs Daniel Bryan vs Wade Barrett vs Kane vs Cody Rhodes vs Heath Slater vs Justin Gabriel vs Sin Cara
From Money in the Bank 2011. Yes this match had the honour of opening up one of the greatest shows of all time, and boy did it do a great job of that. Looking back now, it seems strange to think that it was almost impossible that Daniel Bryan would win the thing. I was personally rooting for him to win, but in the back of my head I was almost positive that Sheamus or Wade Barrett would win it. Needless to say, I did mark out like a kid when Bryan won, and it still gives me goosebumps today. Anyway the entire match was awesome, the spots were well done, and it was never boring at all. Exciting all the way through and one of the better MITB matches. ****1/4
Well this has been an awesome set so far, and I think the average match rating is around four star which is incredible. I can't wait to get started on Disc 2. Stay tuned for part 2!
Monday, 13 January 2014
Here we have the final part of this DVD review. I've enjoyed splitting up this DVD into different parts so I'll be doing that from now on. The DVD has been pretty decent so far, but can the third disc end it on a high note? What will be my overall score? Let's find out.
Beth Phoenix vs Laycool
From May 14th. Beth was in her hometown here, so, of course, she was going to lose her Title. This was originally meant to be Beth versus Rosa Mendes, but Vickie Guerrero changed it around. Beth lifting up both women was pretty awesome. Apart from that, there's really nothing else to this match. Silly finish as well with Beth and Michelle clashing heads. Layla pins Beth to win the Title and that would leave to the double divas champions storyline. 1/4*
Rey Mysterio vs CM Punk
Also from May 14th, but I doubt it'll be as bad. This was probably the best storyline going on at this time period, mainly because of the awesome PPV matches they were having. Punk was in his last week of having long hair. This obviously wasn't much of a match seeing as they were facing off at Over the Limit in a weeks time, but this was still a fun match thanks to the great chemistry between both guys, and the back and forth action throughout. ***
No.1 Contender's Battle Royal
From June 4th. The winner of this would become the fourth participant in the Fatal 4 Way World Title match. Undertaker was originally the fourth wrestler in the match, but he was put in a vegetative state by (major spoiler alert!) Kane. Taker probably should have stayed in that state seeing as the rest of his in-ring year wasn't so good. It's hard to rate battle royals, but this was boring until the fun finish where you didn't know if either Mysterio or Kane was gonna win it. Personally I wanted Kane to win at the time because I was a Kane mark during that period, but it wasn't meant to be as Mysterio won the thing. **
Drew McIntyre vs Matt Hardy
From June 25th. There are a lot of McIntyre matches on this set. They must've thought that he was a star in the making. I can't complain though, as I'm always happy to see a fellow Scotsman in the limelight. This was practically Hardy's final feud before leaving the WWE for good. The match was ok, but it was really slow at some points and lost my interest. McIntyre did hit some nice top rope moves to bring the interest back. It did pick up towards the finish with a couple of nearfalls and the fans getting behind Hardy. **1/4
Rey Mysterio & Big Show vs Cody Rhodes & Jack Swagger
From July 2nd. What is it with Mysterio and Show being randomly partnered all the time? Funny how both guys would end up facing Rhodes at the next couple of Wrestlemanias. Well it's kind of interesting. A little bit. Anyway this was a classic Teddy Long-made match, as these four guys fought to start the show, and so a tag match just had to be made. Pretty generic tag match here, but it was fun while it lasted, even if it ended on DQ. **
We come to the July 23rd, and Kane is the new World Champ after cashing in his MITB briefcase at the PPV. I'd forgotten how long his reign was as it didn't end until December. Kane has strange background music while he talks. He tells of his victory in the MITB ladder match and then his World Title win. He also says that he went to his brother's bedside and felt shamed that he couldn't celebrate with Kane. He vows to track down his brother's assailant. Pretty good promo from Kane. It probably helps that he's a very intelligent guy in real life.
Christian vs Drew McIntyre
From July 30th. I don't think there's any story behind this one. The action outside the ring was pretty brutal with Drew taking a painful looking dropkick into the side of the ring, and Christian's shoulder took a bad bump against the ring too. This was a very good contest with some sound arm psychology that makes it one of the best matches on the set so far. Christian gets the small package for the win. ***1/4
Rey Mysterio vs Jack Swagger : No DQ
Still on July 30th. Things would only go downhill for poor Swagger after this feud with Mysterio. I think Mysterio may be Swagger's best opponent, as Mysterio made him look good and they had some good matches together, including this one. This was more like a Falls Count Anywhere match since they went all around the arena and even outside the arena. The match didn't have an ending as it ended with both Mysterio and Swagger in the sea. Still it was fun while it lasted. **1/2
Dolph Ziggler vs Kofi Kingston
From August 6th. The IC Title is on the line. When I say that these guys fought a lot during this period, I'm not exaggerating. This was like match number 50 in their series of bouts. The match wasn't that great and mainly featured rest holds and offense from Ziggler working on Kofi's arm that never really led to anything. It didn't make Ziggler look too good since he needed Vickie's help to win the Title for the first time. *1/2
'Dashing' Cody Rhodes gives us some beauty tips on eyebrows. Thank god he had better characters in the future.
Alberto Del Rio vs Rey Mysterio
From August 20th. This is quite a historical match now that Del Rio has some World Titles to his name, as this was his official in-ring debut, and he did it in grand fashion by beating the Smackdown No.1 babyface Rey Mysterio and made him tap cleanly. In fact even today the cross armbreaker is considered a powerful finisher. Well by me at least. It was a short match but it showcased Del Rio greatly and made him look like an instant threat. Good match. ***
Drew McIntyre vs Kaval
From September 10th. Of course Kaval is more widely known as Low-Ki. He was right to leave the WWE when he did, as I don't think he would have become much more than a glorified jobber, as evidenced by this match. It was his debut match and they gave him a loss. He did look pretty good, but he could have at least won the thing. Match was very short but it was good while it lasted. *1/4
We get a video package showing the history and the current feud of Kane and Undertaker.
Undertaker vs CM Punk
Still on September 10th. Sadly the Straight Edge Society wasn't far away from it's demise. Seems appropriate that these two finish the set off, since their feud started it off. Undertaker probably should have just taken a year off after Wrestlemania 26 instead of feuding with Kane, because it wasn't very good at all. It wasn't all for nought though, as this match was great and probably the only good match of Taker's return during this time period. Punk looked great and Taker showed that he was still the Phenom. Best match on the set. ***1/2
6/10. Overall I'd say this wasn't a bad set at all, but outside of maybe the final match, there's nothing really spectacular to see. It's great for anyone that wants to relive this particular time period and for anyone that wants some matches that haven't been released before. A fun set to watch but it's not must-see.
Sunday, 5 January 2014
Here we are with the second part of this review. The first disc was a mixed bag of good and average, will this one be better? Let's find out.
We start off on February 5th, with the winner of the Rumble, Edge who is hosting the Cutting Edge for the first time in a while. He talks about overcoming his injury, how he's happy to be back, and his plan to win a World Title at Wrestlemania. He mentions that the WWE Champion, Sheamus, attacked him on Raw, and that brings out his future Mania oppenent, Chris Jericho. They trade some insults and for some reason that brings out the Straight Edge Saviour, CM Punk. Punk says he's better than everyone and is the only man to make the Undertaker submit. The lights go out and Taker's here to kick some ass. Everyone is left lying except for Edge, who stares the Deadman down and makes the belt gesture. Not a bad segment but I don't know what it's doing on a Best Of release.
John Morrison vs R-Truth vs Dolph Ziggler
From February 26th. The winner of this match earns a spot in the Money in the Bank match at Mania. R-Truth is accompanied by David Otunga who was an NXT rookie at the time. Thank god NXT has taken the new direction of being more like an indie show, as it's now the best wrestling show on TV. Anyway back to the match. Truth looked like he injured himself coming off the crossbody outside the ring. This was a good triple threat match, and Dolph Ziggler came out of it looking pretty damn good. ***
Edge vs The Miz
Still on February 26th. Don't know why Miz came over from Raw for this one. Maybe they had some sort of mini-feud going on. It's not explained. Miz is one half of the Tag Champs and also the US Champ. This was great while it was going, but for me it was a bit too short. They showed their chemistry and had an entertaining back and forth match, with Miz showing his potential. Edge hits the spear to win. **3/4
We head to March 12th, as Rey Mysterio brings out his family. It's his daughter's birthday and sings Happy Birthday to her which is kind of awkward, but I don't think anyone knew how awesome this segment was going to become. The Straight Edge Society interrupts proceedings as Punk is pissed off that Rey cost him a chance in MITB. Punk already looked like a huge dick for interrupting the segment, but he took it to the extreme by slapping Rey in front of his family and singing the creepiest version of Happy Birthday that you will ever hear. If not for the Summer of Punk a year later, this might have been Punk's best mic segment ever. This deserves to be on the DVD.
Undertaker vs Drew McIntyre
From March 19th. I love the Undertaker, but by my countrie's law, I have to root for the Scottish guy. Drew looked pretty confident going against the Deadman, but that didn't seem to do him any good in the long run. This was just a squash match as Drew barely got any offense and it was over in two minutes. Way to make the IC Champ and an up-and-coming star look good. I suppose Taker needed it more going into Mania. 1/2*. Afterwards HBK appears and gives Taker a superkick. That's probably why it's on the DVD.
Kane / Dolph Ziggler / Matt Hardy / Shelton Benjamin / Drew McIntyre vs Christian / MVP / Jack Swagger / Evan Bourne / Kofi Kingston
From March 26th. This is a Raw versus Smackdown match featuring every guy competing in the MITB match. Out of all those guys, does Swagger really look like the guy that will win the thing? This was obviously to build up the MITB, but I don't think it needs a build up. It kinda sells itself. A solid tag match that descended into chaos like most tag matches do. Drew gets the win for Smackdown. **1/2
Now it's time for the Swagger era. Good god that sounds stupid.
It's April 2nd and Jericho is out in his suit to tell us that he's still the World Champ. Not for long. He's pissed at how cowardly Edge was after their match, as he speared him off the announce table and through the barricade. Jericho insults the fans and that brings out the Rated R Superstar. Edge wants a rematch tonight. Jericho tells him to leave the ring, but that just makes Edge attack him. One spear later and Jack Swagger comes out to cash in his contract. He hits the gutwrench powerbomb and we have a new World Champ. I think we can all agree that Swagger was the worst MITB winner ever. Fun moment though.
Jack Swagger vs Edge vs Chris Jericho
From April 16th. The World Heavyweight Title is on the line. When your World Champion doesn't look like he belongs in there with his challengers, then you have a problem. They did try to make him look good by having him win this and by having him beat Randy Orton at Extreme Rules, but it just didn't work out for the guy. This was a good triple threat match, but for some reason the crowd was pretty quiet. Maybe because they were in London? Who knows. Anyway this was a very good match and Swagger looked pretty smart with his victory. ***1/2
We arrive on April 30th, as Edge arrives. Edge had just been drafted to Raw, so this was his goodbye to Smackdown. Edge says he's sad to leave Smackdown because he felt like it was his show. Christian comes out and we see E&C in the same ring for the first time in a while. Christian surprises everyone and says that Edge is talking crap and just using the WWE Universe to get what he wants. Surprisingly Edge says that's exactly what he did. Guess the face turn is over quite quickly then. He says he enjoyed making the fans dance around and cheer for him. This ends in a fist fight between the two. Good segment, even if the crowd seemed confused by it.
That's all for disc two, disc three coming soon! And I also realised that I have Batista's DVD in my collection, so I'll probably do that in time for his return. Thanks for reading!
Friday, 3 January 2014
The Best of Smackdown 2009-2010 DVD Review : Disc One
Instead of packing a whole three disc set review into one post, I've decided to divide it up into three seperate posts. That way you guys get these reviews faster, and it's easier for me to take short breaks between discs. Anyway, time for the review.
I had totally forgotten that I had this and the Best of Raw 2010 in my collection, probably because it's hidden inside an annual boxset. Anyway I've always enjoyed these sets and I never see many reviews for them, so I'll do this and both the Best of Raw 2009 and 2010 sets. So how was this period in Smackdown's history? Let's find out.
We start off on the Tenth Anniversary special as we get The Rock live via satellite. The Rock was pretty good here, treating the promo as a movie scene with multiple retakes. He takes a shot at Dolph Ziggler's name (it was definitely silly at the time). After the retakes the Rock gives his classic promo. He also takes a shot at CM Punk. They should have used this in the build up to their Rumble match. Fun promo from the Rock and it was appropriate for the occasion.
John Cena / Triple H / Shawn Michaels / The Undertaker vs Legacy & CM Punk
Still on the Tenth Anniversary. This was billed as the biggest tag team match in Smackdown history. Well there certainly are a lot of stars in there. And Ted Dibiase. I kid, I kid. This was pretty big since all three Cell matches at the PPV were represented here. I loved the small staredown between Undertaker and HBK, hinting towards their eventual rematch at Wrestlemania XXVI. This was a very fun tag match, akin to something you would see nowadays with a long heel heat segment and an exciting finish. A tombstone piledriver gives the good guys the victory. ***1/2
CM Punk vs The Undertaker : Submission Match
From October 23rd 2009. Punk gives a good heel promo before the match. Straight Edge evil Punk is awesome. World Title is on the line. Punk has the referee Scott Armstrong and Teddy Long on his side, so another submission victory over Taker could happen. In the end the matches between these two in 2009 would be nothing compared to their Mania match. Solid match to end the feud and Taker also got his revenge on Armstrong. This was better than their other submission match at Breaking Point. Hell's Gate gives Taker the win. **1/2
John Morrison vs Dolph Ziggler : 2 out of 3 Falls
From November 20th 2009 and the IC Title is on the line. 2009 was a great year for the IC Title in my opinion. Rey Mysterio and Chris Jericho had some amazing matches for the Title, and Mysterio and Morrison put on a MOTYC at the time of Mysterio's suspension. This time period was Ziggler's first real chance to show off his skills, and he did a good job of that. The first two falls ended a bit too quickly for my liking, but a good third fall made up for it, as Ziggler looked good and so did Morrison. Morrison hits starship pain to retain. ***
I guess nothing much happened in November since we're now on December.
Mickie James vs Beth Phoenix vs Natalya
From December 4th 2009. Holy shit this is like a dream match for me with these three amazing divas in the ring. It would be perfect if not for the horrific Piggie James storyline creeping up on it. The winner gets a shot at the Women's Title. Enjoyable match while it lasted as Mickie pins Natalya for the win. **. Afterwards, Mickie attacks Laycool, but Laycool gets the best of her until Maria comes out to even the odds.
Rey Mysterio vs Undertaker
I doubt that this took place on Christmas Day. This match should be a nice Christmas gift though. The World Title is on the line. This was becoming well done big man versus little man match until Batista decided to interfere and end the match in a no contest. Mysterio looked great afterwards as he took out the two big men. Mysterio and Taker would get their match at the Rumble anyway. I'll give the whole thing **
Now it's time for the 2010 portion of Smackdown.
Rey Mysterio vs Batista : Steel Cage
From January 15th 2010. The winner faces the Undertaker at the Royal Rumble with the World Title on the line. This was one of the better feuds of 2009, as the heel turn reinvigorated Batista and made him interesting again. I did like the story of Mysterio not being able to hit the 619, and so he had to improvise. Batista's overconfidence was a nice part too. The finish seemed to come out of nowhere, but it was still a good cage match, and a good end to the feud. Mysterio escapes to win. ***
On January 22nd, CM Punk comes out with Luke Gallows who is holding a chair and a slammy. Punk gives his usual preachy Straight Edge promo and yes it was great. I wish the Straight Edge Society lasted longer than it did because it was genius and great for getting heat. Serena makes her debut here and has her head shaved bald. Great visual there.
That's the end of Disc 1 and a mixed start to the entire set. Disc 2 review is coming soon.