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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

ECW December to Dismember

December to Dismember Review

I was in the mood for some torture and something bad to watch, so this sounded like a perfect way to go. I think my Battleground review may have been a little too positive as well so I think some negativity is needed. Only two matches were actually promoted for this show: the opener and the main event. I've never seen this the whole way through so I'm looking forward to seeing how bad it is. Let's review DTD.

I've just noticed that the show is only 2 hours and 14 minutes long. This is looking bad already.

The Hardy Boyz vs MNM
What a great to start off the very first (and the only one) of the ECW brand PPVs as four WWE brand guys have what may be the longest match on the entire show. Great idea guys. To be fair it may be the show's only good match and the closest thing to a savior it has. I did enjoy the classic story of the younger team trying to show that they were better and quicker than the veterans, only for the veterans to show that their experience was greater. MNM still looked good in defeat. Twenty minutes seems like way too much time for these teams but they used it well and it helped to build to an exciting finish. A great tag match to open the show with. ***3/4

And I bet it's all downhill from here.

Matt Striker vs Balls Mahoney
Good god I forgot that Striker used to be an active wrestler. That didn't last long anyway. These guys tried to have a wrestling match out there but Balls really shouldn't be trying to have matches like that that are over two minutes long. The crowd couldn't care less either. Boring match with dull psychology that really had no place on PPV. 1/4*

Backstage, Sabu has been attacked and is out of the main event. The fans quickly start the bullshit chants. I'm sure we'll be hearing more of them later on.

Elijah Burke & Sylvester Terkay vs The FBI
Burke is pretty bad on the mic. Terkay has a pretty awful name for a wrestler. Sounds like something they'd give to an NXT wrestler today. I can already tell that this doesn't belong anywhere on a PPV. This was yet another dull match that the fans didn't care about and seemed entirely pointless and forgettable. I think the crowd's "change the channel" chant tells the whole story. 1/2*

Daivari vs Tommy Dreamer
I don't recall Daivari ever having a good match. I guess the Great Khali's skill rubbed off on him. No wonder why they didn't advertise most of these matches as the buyrate may have went even lower if that was possible. I would have thought that Dreamer would have had a more important match on the show as well considering that he was the face of ECW. I need to get a thesaurus to find a different word for boring and dull I'm gonna need them a lot tonight, including for this bout. It got a little more interesting towards the end as Dreamer seemed quite motivated but then Daivari got a cheap pin for the win and sucked out any joy that may have remained in the crowd. That's three bad matches in a row. 1/2*

You guys really weren't kidding about how awful this show is. Battleground 2013 looks like Mania 17 compared to it.

Hardcore Holly is picked to replace Sabu in the main event. Yay. Ok I think it's time to start drinking. Also why was Holly in his wrestling gear when he didn't have a match scheduled?

Mike Knox & Kelly Kelly vs Kevin Thorn & Ariel
Kelly was pretty awful on the mic before the match. How the hell did she keep her job for another six years? Thorn's vampire gimmick might have worked a couple of years after this. They could have thrown glitter over him and told him and Ariel to show no emotion whatsoever (yes I'm a Twilight basher can you blame me?). Yet another meaningless, drudging (thank you thesaurus) match and the fourth one of the night. No amount of Tequila in the world could make this entertaining. At least the women are sexy and like showing their stuff. Yes it's sexist but it's the only positive thing I can find here. Knox leaves Kelly on her own to the shock of no one and Ariel beats her easily. God give me strength to get through the rest of this. DUD

And here comes the Sandman to try and revive the dead crowd and it does work. He canes Thorn for a bit and finally we have something slightly entertaining on the show.

Bobby Lashley vs Big Show vs Hardcore Holly vs Test vs Rob Van Dam vs CM Punk : Extreme Elimination Chamber
The ECW World Title is on the line. You'd think that having weapons in each of the pods would have made things more exciting but they added nothing at all. They had two guys in Punk and RVD that could have brought some life back to this show, but they were two of the first three eliminated to leave just Test, Lashley and Show. And I thought this couldn't get any worse. Heyman originally wanted Punk to win the match, but Lashley was picked over him. I guess hindsight is 20/20 guys. A dull match with barely any memorable spots and easily the worst Chamber match in history. Lashley spears Show to get the anti-climatic finish and the Title. ECW is dead. *1/4

1.5/10. Well that's officially the worst show I've ever seen. If you bought this show I feel so bad for you right now. The opening match is worth a watch but once that's finished just turn the show off and never mention its name again and pretend that it doesn't exist. How the ECW brand lasted another three years after this first PPV will forever be a mystery to me. A horrifically bad show overall.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Battleground 2014

Battleground 2014 Review

The Usos vs The Wyatt Family : 2/3 Falls
The Tag Titles are on the line. I enjoyed their match at the Money in the Bank show and when I heard that this was 2/3 Falls I really couldn't wait. After the first two falls were over with, the match was going quite well, but my god that third fall was off the freaking charts. There were so many crazy nearfalls where it looked as if it was over and it just carried on. I had no idea who was going to win and that just made it all the more exciting. There were some nice spots too; Harper's suicide dive is always awesome to see, Rowan's double superplex looked cool, and the double splash at the finish was a great way to end this war. A MOTYC for sure and I think the show may have already been stolen. A modern tag classic. ****1/2

One match in and this show is already better than last year's.

Seth Rollins against Dean Ambrose is about to take place when Dean attacks Seth backstage. HHH kicks him out of the arena and the match isn't taking place. It better freaking take place or I'm gonna be one unhappy wrestling fan.

AJ Lee vs Paige
The Divas Title is on the line. I was looking forward to this one since these are the only interesting divas on the roster. The match wasn't bad at all. There were a few sloppy moments like the sunset powerbomb from the second rope but the finish was still exciting with both ladies going for their signature moves and failing to get the win. Hopefully they're holding back for a rematch at Summerslam which seems to be inevitable with the story they're telling. **1/4

Jack Swagger vs Rusev
Hey Swagger works well as a face. Who knew? I've been looking forward to this one since their first confrontation on Raw. The match was pretty good with Rusev beating Swagger down most of the match, only for Swagger to come back and almost defeat the Bulgarian Brute. I think the countout finish was fine as both guys are kept strong and it sets up a potential rematch in the future. A pretty good match overall. **1/2

After the match Rusev crushes Swagger. Oh yeah there's got to be a rematch after this and I'm looking forward to it.

Stardust and Goldust are awesome. Case closed.

Seth Rollins comes out to be announced as the winner of his match via forfeit and to have his hand raised. But Ambrose returns to ambush Rollins and we've got a brawl on our hands. They fight through the crowd and come back to the ring area to fight some more. Ambrose is taken away by security by he frees himself and then launches himself right at Rollins. Now HHH is here to sort things out. Ambrose is taken away by security again and this time Rollins attacks. This is an awesome brawl and will be worth it if we don't get the match later on. Looks like another Summerslam match is in the works.

Bray Wyatt vs Chris Jericho
I'm not sure what the story is with this feud but damn that video package was awesome and made it look like an epic rivalry. Jericho showed no signs of any ring rust. Every time he comes back he always seems to be better than ever. There was one botch but it wasn't a big deal. Bray was his usual awesome self as he constantly taunted Y2J and gave us his creepy spider walk. I was really surprised that Jericho got the victory but I guess that means that the feud continues. Wyatt's stock has been falling for a while though. I did enjoy the match even if the crowd wasn't that into it. Wyatt looked good up until the abrupt finish. ***1/4

Outside in the car park Ambrose assaults Rollins once again. I cannot freaking wait until the Summerslam match between these two. Rollins manages to get in his car and speed away from Ambrose. This feud has been well built and it may be the most hyped match going into Summerslam. I guess a cash in is out of the question then?

Intercontinental Championship Battle Royal
It was awesome to have Bad News Barrett come out to give us some bad news. There have been a few different predictions on who was going to come out as the champ with guys like Sheamus and Cesaro being the favourites. I personally wanted Bo Dallas to win because I Bo-Lieved in him. Also why does Heath Slater still have his 3MB music? That seems a little cruel. Can Sandow stop wearing goofy clothes as well please? The action between Cesaro and Kingston was awesome and a nice continuation of their feud, and I have no idea how Kofi keeps coming up with these amazing spots in over the top rope matches. This was a ton of fun and I was on my feet by the time it came down to Sheamus and Ziggler. I marked out when Ziggler eliminated Sheamus and had completely forgotten about the goddamn Miz. That bastard! Still a match that delivered beyond expectations. ***1/2

I guess this sets up either some sort of unification match between Sheamus and Miz or Ziggler taking on Miz at Summerslam.

Flo Rida will be performing on Raw tomorrow night. Yay?

There's still 35 minutes left of the show so this is either gonna feel way too long or it'll use that time well.

John Cena vs Roman Reigns vs Randy Orton vs Kane
The WWE Title is on the line. It was pretty much a forgone conclusion that Cena was leaving as the Champion seeing as his match with Lesnar at Summerslam has been advertised for a month now. This started quite slowly but became more interesting once Orton and Kane turned on each other. Seeing Reigns and Cena finally fighting one on one was awesome with the crowd behind Reigns. It should be noted that Reigns looked like a freaking beast here. Even with Cena being the obvious winner this was still a great match that kept things exciting the whole way through and was so much better than I was expecting. There were even moments where I thought Reigns may have won. All four guys performed brilliantly and gave us the best match they possibly could. A terrific way for the show to end. ****

What no Lesnar? Bummer.

8/10. Last year's Battleground can kiss this Battleground's ass! What a great show this was to continue a run of great shows for the company. The great thing is that there was nothing bad at all to be found. Sure it was a little disappointing that Rollins and Ambrose didn't have their match, but their brawls left us wanting more and that's exactly how we should feel about it. The Tag Match was the best I've seen since The Shield and The Wyatts at Elimination Chamber, the divas match was solid, Rusev and Swagger had a nice battle, Wyatt and Jericho performed well, the Battle Royal was one of the best I've seen from the match and the main event delivered beyond expectations and gave us a fun  match.

All in all a terrific show that helps to set up what might be one of the greatest Summerslam's of all time. A highly recommended show that you should watch as soon as possible if you haven't already.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

The Greatest Hits and Misses of Summerslam

The Greatest Hits and Misses of Summerslam

For 26 years, Summerslam has been a special event for wrestling fans. Once Wrestlemania has passed us by, we always look ahead to what Summerslam will bring us. It's an event that has given us countless great matches and moments such as CM Punk and Brock Lesnar's battle from 2013, or the first ever TLC match in 2000. That's not to say that it's always great as there have been many bad moments as well. I think Diesel vs Mabel, and Undertaker vs Undertaker speak for themselves.

The first part of this review will deal with the greatest matches and moments in the pay-per-view's history, whereas the second part (which will come right after John Cena vs Daniel Bryan) will look at the worst moments and matches in the event's history.

So sit back, relax, and relive 26 years of wrestling history. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed compiling it.

The Greatest Hits

The British Bulldogs vs The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers

From the 1988 edition. The first ever match in Summerslam history. These teams have a bit of a backstory as it was said in Bret Hart's book that Dynamite Kid had been acting like an ass backstage to the Rougeaus and one of them punched Kid right in the mouth causing him to lose some teeth. I'm not sure if that happened before this or after this match though. This was a nice, old-school tag match that was exciting from start to finish and had the crowd's interest the entire way through. I wish it would have had a definitive finish instead of a draw, but I guess they had to keep both teams strong. Still it was a great tag match. ***1/2

The Ultimate Warrior vs The Honky Tonk Man
From the 1988 edition. I'm not a huge fan of squashes in wrestling, but this may be the only exception. This was a fantastic moment that did two things: it pushed Warrior way up the card and finally ended the WAY too long reign of Honky in a perfect end to his Title run. The match is only thirty seconds long so I'm not gonna rate it, but it's a match worth watching and a great moment for the late Warrior.

The Mega Powers vs The Mega Bucks
From the 1988 edition and here we have Savage and Hogan taking on Dibiase and Andre. I could replay Miss Elizabeth taking off her skirt for years on end. I assume that this is Dibiase and Andre trying to get revenge for their defeat at Wrestlemania. Jesse Ventura is the referee for some reason. The crowd was very hot for this one. This match was a hell of a lot of fun and all four guys seemed motivated. A very good main event that ensured that more Summerslam events would take place in the future. A match that will make you feel like a kid again. ***1/2

The Brainbusters vs The Hart Foundation
From the 1989 edition. Two of WWE's greatest ever tag teams going at it on PPV? Yes please! This match is non-title for some reason. If the Hart Foundation lose then they don't get a Tag Title match for another year according to Jesse Ventura. This match seemed different from most formulaic tag matches at the time and it gave this one a nice, unique feeling to it. A terrific tag contest that had non-stop action from start to finish, and a great example of how to have a tag team match. It might even be the Match of the Year for the WWE. ****

The Ultimate Warrior vs Ravishing Rick Rude
From the 1989 edition and the IC Title is on the line. No offense to the late Warrior, but Rick Rude had to work his ass off to make him look like a good competitor. Rude had stolen the Title from Warrior at Wrestlemania, so this was Warrior's chance for revenge. This is easily Warrior's best match up to this point in time. Why wasn't Warrior DQ'd for hitting Rude with the belt? A strange bending of the rules. The crowd was hot for this one the entire time. The drama towards the finish was awesome. A great match and great job by Rick Rude to make the Warrior look like a star. ***3/4

The Hart Foundation vs Demolition : 2/3 Falls
From the 1990 edition and the Tag Titles are on the line. These teams also had a good match during the first Summerslam event, but I thought that this one was even better. This might also be Demolition's best match ever and it also almost started the dream feud between Demolition and the Road Warriors, but it wasn't to be. Demolition hit their finisher to win the first fall. A DQ gives the Foundation the second fall. The referee looked dumb when he didn't notice Ax replacing Smash to cheat. They don't look very similar. A great tag match though that never became dull or boring during its entire runtime and featured a hot crowd and an exciting finish. Bret rolls up Crush to win the Titles. ***1/2

Bret Hart vs Mr Perfect
From the 1991 edition and the IC Title is on the line. A lot of people prefer the King of the Ring match these guys had in 1993, but I personally think that this match is the better one. Perfect performed brilliantly considering that he was supposed to be having surgery to fix his injured back. Hart was even allowed to kick out of the perfectplex, showing just how much respect Perfect had for Hart. This was a technical classic as these guys went back and forth in a battle for the gold and there were some awesome dramatic nearfalls as well. The ref kind of screwed up the finish by calling on the bell too early, but that's just a minor point to what was a fantastic contest. A great job by both guys. ****1/2

Randy Savage vs The Ultimate Warrior
From the 1992 edition and the WWF Title is on the line. A rematch from Wrestlemania VII except both guys are babyfaces this time. The storyline here was that one of these guys had joined up with Ric Flair, but it wasn't revealed. In fact I don't think it was ever revealed. This would be Warrior's last WWF PPV appearance until 1996. The crowd was behind Warrior and some were against Savage. This was a long one but a good one and the crowd was hot throughout. It did get a little overbooked at times with Mr Perfect and Ric Flair, but it was still an awesome match overall as these guys have incredible chemistry. ****

Bret Hart vs The British Bulldog
From the 1992 edition and the IC Title is on the line. Quite possibly the best match in Summerslam history and even one of the best in 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 of the Bulldog who wasn't ready for a match of this caliber. The huge crowd helps as well and they were loud for the entire contest. Just an amazing technical match, that made Bulldog look great and made Bret look like the best in the world (sorry Punk). Amazing match that led to Bret winning his first WWE Championship a few months later. A timeless classic. *****

Bret Hart vs Doink The Clown
From the 1993 edition. This was meant to be Bret vs Jerry Lawler, but Lawler came out with crutches and said he couldn't compete as he was injured due to a car crash, so Doink is out to replace him. Lawler is just awesome at drawing heat. This match was pretty solid with Hart getting distracted due to his hatred for Lawler and that gave Doink the advantage at times. Bret managed to get the upper hand until Jerry came in to cause the DQ and showed that he wasn't injured. **1/4. And this leads us to...

Bret Hart vs Jerry Lawler
Jack Tunney immediately orders this match to take place since Lawler just proved that he wasn't injured at all. The crowd goes nuts for that decision and Bret beats the crap out of him. What an awesome story this is. The intensity for this is off the charts. It was very short but it got the job done and told a great story. The match itself is about **1/4 but I'll give the whole segment ****. Just fantastic.

Tatanka & The Smoking Gunns vs Bam Bam Bigelow & The Headshrinkers
From the 1993 edition. These really don't seem like six guys (besides Bam Bam obviously) that could go out there and have a great match, but here we are. The pacing was surprisingly quick as the action was just non-stop throughout. A terrific forgotten gem in which everyone performed spectacularly. How come this was the only time they ever had this amazing kind of workrate? Anyway an awesome bout worth watching. ***3/4

Bret Hart vs Owen Hart : Steel Cage
From the 1994 edition and the WWF Title is on the line. The best steel cage match ever? Quite possibly. The best one without any blood? Absolutely! The drama was amazing as the crowd went crazy whenever either guy would try to climb out of the cage. Their brilliant chemistry together showed as well and every single move hit perfectly. The superplex from the top of the cage looked fantastic and safe as well which was great. Another terrific contest from the Hart brothers and a MOTYC/all time classic to boot. Absolutely amazing stuff. *****

Shawn Michaels vs Razor Ramon : Ladder Match
From the 1995 edition and the IC Title is on the line. I have to admit that I prefer this one to their Wrestlemania match. The original is more memorable but I do think that this was the better contest. The ladder bumps were just as good as the original match, but this one had a lot more psychology to it thanks to Shawn's injured leg. In fact I would have given this one the full five stars if it wasn't for Shawn's temper tantrum at the very end as he can't grab the Title belt. Kind of ruins it for me. Still this was an excellent match and probably the best one on one ladder match ever. ****3/4

Shawn Michaels vs Vader
From the 1996 edition and the WWF Title is on the line. Apparently Vader was supposed to be winning this match and the Title, but Shawn threw one of his infamous temper tantrums backstage and thus the result was changed. 90's Michaels is an asshole, but damn he put on some classics, including this one. HBK was a perfect opponent for someone like Vader as he always performed well against smaller opponents like Sting and Ric Flair. Just a terrific big man vs small man match and even Vader was bumping very well. The multiple match restarts towards the end were a bit annoying but they weren't too distracting from what was a great match. ****1/4

Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs Mankind : Steel Cage
From the 1997 edition. I think this feud had been going for a while at this point and they had just had the match at Canadian Stampede where they fought all around the arena. After that it was time for this feud-ending match. Mankind's elbow from the top of the cage was awesome and a nice tribute to the Snuka splash that inspired Foley. Mankind taking the cage door to the head looked brutal and he may have been concussed after it. A very good cage match that had the crowd hot for the entire duration and their best match until the year 2000. ***3/4

The Undertaker vs Bret Hart
From the 1997 edition and the WWF Title is on the line. Shawn Michaels is the guest referee. One of the most historical matches of all time as it led to the first ever Hell in a Cell match, which in turn led to the Montreal Screwjob. This was a very long match clocking in at almost half an hour. It started slowly but it really built up to a great finish. Taker was the first guy to kick out of a sharpshooter here which was cool. HBK cost Taker the match and set up their great feud. Great match that would be topped at One Night Only. ***1/2

The Rock vs Triple H : Ladder Match
From the 1998 edition and the IC Title on the line. Two years later this could have main evented any show in the WWE. These guys were still mid-carders, but this was the match that showed that they would one day become superstars. An exciting ladder match that was a ton of fun all the way through and the fans at MSG loved it too. A show stealing performance from both guys and a match that will go down in history as one of their best. The next time they'd steal the show would be at Backlash in 2000. ****1/2

The Undertaker vs Stone Cold Steve Austin
From the 1998 edition. Billed as the Highway to Hell, here we have the two biggest stars of the time (or even maybe all time) going at it for the top prize. This one had a lot to follow after the ladder match, but I think they managed it fine. It seemed like Taker was carrying Austin here. Taker's leg drop through the announce table was awesome. Just a great match between these two megastars and an appropriate main event for Summerslam. Weirdly enough it's the only really good match between the two. ***3/4

Shane McMahon vs Test : Greenwich Street Fight
From the 1999 edition. This was billed as a "Love her or Leave her" match. If Test wins he stays with Stephanie, if he loses he leaves Stephanie. I think this might have been the first time that Shane used the elbow drop through the announce table. Man, Test would never be this over with a crowd again. RIP big guy. A surprisingly intense match that might be the best in both guys careers. Definitely Test's best anyway. Test looked great here and just when he looked to be beaten he would always get up again and fight. A great match. ***1/2

Chris Jericho vs Chris Benoit : 2/3 Falls
From the 2000 edition. This is definitely one of the best feuds during this time period as they always managed to top their last performance. This was their best yet and even this was topped at the Royal Rumble. You would never believe that these two were best friends because they looked like they had such hatred for one another. An awesome match that had a fantastic pace from start to finish. The arm psychology was very well done too. The match ended 2-1 to Benoit. Incredible stuff. ****1/2

Edge & Christian vs The Hardy Boyz vs The Dudley Boyz : TLC
From the 2000 edition and the Tag Titles are on the line. Here we are, the first ever TLC match and it was in the Hardy Boyz's hometown. Still makes me wonder why E&C won the thing. This could be the greatest TLC match ever. It's between this and the TLC at Wrestlemania 17. I never wanted this match to end. It feels much shorter than 15 minutes thanks to how much fun it is to watch. Edge and Christian win after taking out all other competitors. Amazing is the word to describe this. Easily the match of the night, and maybe the match of the year. *****

Kurt Angle vs Triple H vs The Rock
From the 2000 edition and the WWF Title is on the line. This was Angle's first real shot at the top and he would stay there for the rest of his WWE career. This is mainly remembered for Angle suffering a head injury as he was pedigreed through the announce table and had to be taken to the back. Luckily he was able to come back for the second half of the bout. Great match as Rock and HHH already had awesome chemistry, and Angle added a lot to the contest too once he came back to the ring. Fun stuff. ***3/4

Jeff Hardy vs Rob Van Dam : Ladder Match
From the 2001 edition and the Hardcore Title is on the line. This must have been a dream match for its time. These guys had already stolen the show at the Invasion PPV, and they looked to do it again tonight. Hardy's Whisper in the Wind to the outside of the ring looked fantastic. I guess they didn't need ladders to wow the crowd. Naturally the ladder spots and high spots were over the top considering who's in the ring, but that didn't stop them from being awesome. A terrific ladder match that's kind of forgotten but so worth checking out. ****

Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Kurt Angle
From the 2001 edition and the WWF Title is on the line. Now this is one hell of a forgotten gem. This one made Kurt Angle look like an absolute star. It may have ended in DQ but the DQ worked in terms of storytelling as Austin got himself DQ'd because he knew that he couldn't beat Angle on this night so he had to take the easy way out and attack all the refs. Angle kicked out of three stunners for god's sake! That was unbelievable to see. A fantastic contest that definitely deserves more recognition. A classic and one of the best in Summerslam history. ****1/2

Rob Van Dam vs Chris Benoit
From the 2002 edition. The winner of this one would take the IC Title back to their respective brand: Benoit for Smackdown and RVD for Raw. I think this is the only PPV match they've had together which is a shame because this was an awesome contest. There was some nice innovative offence here like Benoit's multiple northern lights suplexes and RVD putting on a crossface. RVD hits the five star frogsplash to win the title. An impressive showing for both competitors. ****

Triple H vs Shawn Michaels : Unsanctioned Street Fight
From the 2002 edition. I don't think anyone was expecting the quality of match that we received on this night. Shawn had been out for over four years with a major back injury, and everyone questioned whether or not he would be able to even go a full match. We needn't have worried. Shawn showed us that he was better than ever before and it seemed like he had never been gone and showed no signs of ring rust. Amazingly, Shawn would give us another eight years of classic matches and moments. The match itself is absolutely fantastic with HHH working on HBK's back most of the time and he looked like the biggest heel in the company. An all time classic and possibly the best Summerslam match ever. *****

Brock Lesnar vs The Rock
From the 2002 edition and the Undisputed Title is on the line. Up until this year's Wrestlemania, I would have said that this is Lesnar's biggest win of his career. I think it has been relegated to the second biggest win. The crowd was totally behind Lesnar here and against the Rock as he was heading back to Hollywood. An exciting, fast paced contest and Lesnar looked like Rocky's equal the entire time. A sure sign that it was his time to become the man. A fantastic match as Lesnar once again comes out looking like an unbeatable monster. ****

Brock Lesnar vs Kurt Angle
From the 2003 edition and the WWE Title is on the line. Angle returned from injury for the Vengeance PPV and won the Title. Now Brock had finally turned heel again and wanted his prize back. Weirdly enough, while this was a great match, it wasn't as good as their Mania match even though both guys were injured during that one. This started a little slowly but once Lesnar started getting angry it became very good. I didn't really see the need for Vince's involvement but it didn't affect the match too much. A great match with an exciting finishing sequence. ***3/4

Randy Orton vs Chris Benoit
From the 2004 edition and the World Title is on the line. At the time it did seem pretty obvious that Orton was going to leave with the Championship but that didn't stop this from being a great contest. It was a great moment for Orton (even if it doesn't exist in the mind of WWE) but unfortunately he didn't do much after this win and wasn't a major player until 2007. Orton applying his own sharpshooter was pretty cool and I'm surprised that the Canadian crowd didn't completely turn on him. A well paced match that started with some mat work and built to an exciting finish as Orton hits the RKO out of nowhere to win the Title. Fantastic main event. ****

John Cena vs Chris Jericho
From the 2005 edition and the WWE Title is on the line. This would end up being Jericho's final PPV match until Armageddon 07. This was also the first PPV in which Cena was booed by about half the audience, something that would continue almost ten years later, so I guess you could call that quite a big moment for him. These guys had a nice back and forth match and Jericho made Cena look like a star as Jericho seems to be a star-making machine nowadays. Great stuff. ***3/4

Shawn Michaels vs Hulk Hogan
From the 2005 edition. Here we have Icon vs Icon and pretty much a dream match come true, even if only one of the combatants is in fighting condition. I think the story is that Shawn was originally booked to win, but Hogan used his politics to change that decision and give himself the win. Shawn got his own back by completely overselling Hogan's offense and it was hilarious to watch. I think the match itself was really good and very entertaining, mainly thanks to Shawn wrestling himself. Good stuff and I hope that Hogan is happy with his victory. ***1/2

Mick Foley vs Ric Flair : I Quit
From the 2006 edition. Two completely opposite superstars colliding here. These guys have no love for each other and it made for a heated battle and a surprisingly brutal one at that. You could feel the hatred. Foley is always known for taking huge bumps but I've also got to give Flair props for some of the bumps he took in this match like the barbed wire board to the face or taking a body slam onto thumb tacks. He is one crazy son of a bitch. The finish was kind of lame with Foley quitting to protect Melina, but this was still an awesome match while it lasted and one of the most brutal I've seen in the WWE. ***1/2

John Cena vs Randy Orton 
From the 2007 edition and the WWE Title is on the line. This is the first time these two guys have went one on one at a PPV and the first time they have fought for the WWE Title and would fight for it multiple times in the future (felt like dozens and it probably was). They would also fight two years later at the 2009 Summerslam, just with a different result except that that match sucked. Great match and quite possibly their best with one another as Cena made Orton look like a star for the first time in a while. Cena hits the FU to retain. ****

John Cena vs Batista
From the 2008 edition. 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 power against power contest with both guys trying to prove that they were always the better man. ****

Undertaker vs Edge : Hell in a Cell
From the 2008 edition. The final match for one of the best feuds of 2008. This is very close to being their best match, but I'd have to give the edge (no pun intended) to their Wrestlemania match. This match did have some awesome spots like the spear through the announce table and the chokeslam through two wooden tables. Taker finally giving Edge his comeuppance was awesome and beat him using moves that Edge used against him, such as a spear and hitting him with a camera. Fantastic match overall and the first of the only two truly great Cell matches in the the PG era. ****1/2

CM Punk vs Jeff Hardy : TLC Match
From the 2009 edition and the Worls Title is on the line. One of the best feuds of 2009 hits its breaking point with a TLC match. Jeff Hardy's specialty matc . Nice to see they got the main event spot, even though nothing could have followed them. Jeff being dropped onto a set-up chair looked brutal. The superplex on the ladder looked very sick and dangerous. Jeff's swanton onto the announce table was the holy shit moment of the match and still looks insane. One of the best one on one TLC matches ever. Incredible stuff. ****1/4. After the match the Undertaker returns to let Punk know that he's coming for him.

Team WWE vs The Nexus
From the 2010 edition. This marks Bryan's first WWE PPV appearance, as he was stupidly fired for strangling Justin Roberts on TV. This was also Bret Hart's first Summerslam match since facing the Undertaker in 1997. Bryan received a nice pop from the crowd and looked great during the match as he was only eliminated by nefarious means, and got a couple of eliminations himself. The crowd was hot for this one thanks to the great build-up leading up to it. A tremendous tag team match, even if it ruined the Nexus in the long run due to SuperCena making an appearance. ****1/4

Randy Orton vs Christian : No Holds Barred
From the 2011 edition and the World Title is on the line. A fantastic feud ends here in spectacular fashion. This is my favourite match from this feud (although the Over the Limit match comes very close). It's easily Christian's best singles match and one of Orton's best as well. This was insanely entertaining and exciting all the way through and they used the No Holds Barred stipulation well as they used a ton of weapons and Christian went through a total of three tables. A fantastic match with a sick ending as Christian is given an RKO onto the steel steps. ****1/2

CM Punk vs John Cena
From the 2011 edition to decide who the Undisputed WWE Champion was. There was no way in hell that these guys were gonna be able to replicate the MITB classic, but they damn sure tried their best. Both guys being Champion made things interesting, and their insane chemistry only added fuel to the fire. HHH wasn't needed here though. The counter wrestling was great and kept the match unpredictable until the controversial finish as Cena had his foot on the rope for the final pin. A classic match that really deserves more recognition. ****1/2

Brock Lesnar vs Triple H
From Summerslam 2012. This was billed as the Perfect Storm and it was pretty much anything goes as HHH told the referee not to step in at any time. I was excited to see these two go one on one at the time as it was a kind of dream match, but it was a bit disappointing. It was still a very good match but I was expecting a brawl considering the storyline between the two. It seemed like they were keeping the best stuff for Wrestlemania, but that match was more disappointing than this one. Still I'll give it props for a fun start and an exciting finish, but it did drag in the middle quite a bit. It is one that looks better after each viewing. Lesnar makes HHH tap to the arm lock. ***1/2

Christian vs Alberto Del Rio
From the 2013 edition and the World Title is on the line. Sadly this one seems destined to become a forgotten gem in the future, but I'm gonna keep it remembered here as it was a terrific match. The two main events on the same night completely overshadow this one, but on any other night this could have been the show stealing match. The match was well paced and was highly entertaining all the way through as these guys seemed very motivated and determined to have a good match. The nearfalls were well done and the arm psychology was sound. A fantastic World Title match. ****

Brock Lesnar vs CM Punk : No DQ
From Summerslam 2013. I've already heaped so much praise onto this match, but I'm gonna add some more, because this is my hundredth 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 main event. Absolutely fantastic stuff here and Brock was finally used properly. *****

Daniel Bryan vs John Cena
From the 2013 edition and the WWE Title is on the line. 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, even if it was ruined by Orton. *****

The Biggest Misses of Summerslam

Time for my fun to end as I now need to watch all the awful matches.

The Ultimate Warrior vs Rick Rude : Steel Cage
From the 1990 edition and the WWF Title is on the line. This one is here more for disappointment than anything else considering how great their match was the year before. This really showed that Warrior was not ready for the main event scene. It did start off quite energetically, but that quickly died down. Even Rude couldn't save this one from mediocrity. The fans seemed to be enjoying it but I think they were the only ones. Not the kind of thing you would expect from a Summerslam main event as it was just very forgettable and the finish was dull as well. *1/4

Hulk Hogan & The Ultimate Warrior vs Sgt. Slaughter/Colonel Mustafa/General Adnan
From the 1991 edition. The infamous story behind this one is that Warrior held Vince up for more money just hours before the show which in turn led to his quick firing after the show and he wouldn't be seen again until Wrestlemania VIII. For some reason Sid Justice is the referee. This was just a slow, plodding match and even Warrior couldn't bring any energy to it once he was tagged in. Just a boring match overall. *

Legion of Doom vs Money Inc.
From the 1992 edition. Usually you would expect the opener of a big show to be highly entertaining so that the crowd can be fired up for the rest of the show. That's not what we got here. Hawk was pretty much out of it thanks to meds he took which he was known for doing at the time. The crowd was pretty hot for this but that didn't really help it all that much. A slow, boring match as everyone just seemed to be making sure that Hawk didn't hurt himself in some way. A disappointment. 3/4*

Shawn Michaels vs Mr Perfect
From the 1993 edition and the IC Title is on the line. I think this one deserves to be here just because of how disappointing it was. Here you had two of the greatest performers in the WWF at the time going at it on a big stage and it really just didn't live up to expectations. They just didn't have chemistry and it led to some sloppy moments and bad timing. Don't get me wrong it wasn't a bad match at all and there were some good moments, just not enough to make it memorable. The countout finish doesn't help it either. **1/4

The Undertaker vs Giant Gonzales
From the 1993 edition. As if their Wrestlemania match wasn't bad enough they somehow just had to have a rematch at the second biggest show of the year. Gonzales is just the worst wrestler in WWE history. Yes even worse than Khali. I don't know why he wasn't DQ'd for using a chair. Taker tried to make this as entertaining as he could but he had no chance in there. A very slow match with Gonzales on offense most of the time which was just so boring to watch. Paul Bearer's return was the only good part of the contest. DUD

The Undertaker vs The Undertaker
From the 1994 edition. I've really not been looking forward to this one. I've never seen it before but I've heard so many bad things about it. Undertaker took time off after the 94 Royal Rumble and Ted Dibiase introduced a new Taker that obviously wasn't the original. The original Taker came back and wanted a battle with the faker. Well that was a dumb idea. The fans started off hot but they became silent when they realised just how dumb this all was. An awful match that was just awkward to watch and went on for way too long. Stay the hell away from this one. It may be the worst in Summerslam history. Maybe. SUPER ULTRA MEGA DUD

I'll be back in a second, I'm gonna need some alcohol to get through the rest of these matches.

Diesel vs Mabel
From the 1995 edition and the WWF Title is on the line. It's no wonder Diesel's Title reign was such a failure considering he had to go through matches like this. Mabel? Freaking Mabel?! Out of all the superstars on the roster Mabel was the one that deserved a Title shot on the second biggest show of the year? Well now I know why 1995 was the worst year in company history. Diesel looked like he was trying, but Mabel was just not the right opponent for him. A very boring match that felt way too long for what it was and one of the worst WWF Title matches ever. DUD

More booze please.

Kaientai vs The Oddities
From the 1998 edition. This is a 3 on 4 handicap match. This is really just a bad comedy match that featured very little actual wrestling and went on for what felt like ages. I really don't have anything else to say about it. A bad match. DUD

The Kat vs Terri : Stinkface Match
From the 2000 edition. I was going to avoid putting divas matches on this list since they are generally bad anyway, but this one was a special kind of bad. Who the hell came up with a stinkface match anyway? The thongs do redeem it a bit but not enough to actually warrant the match. Whatever 'wrestling' that was in the match was awful. Well the match was just awful anyway. Shitty stuff here. DUD

The Brothers of Destruction vs Diamond Dallas Page & Kanyon : Steel Cage
From the 2001 edition and it will decide the Unified Tag Champs. This storyline had been going on for a while as DDP was stalking Taker's wife, Sara. The whole feud was just a way to bury DDP (including this match) and I don't think we ever saw Kanyon again. The match felt way too long and it was just a squash for Kane and Taker. A boring match that could have easily taken place on free TV. Well even then it would have been shit. *

Shane McMahon vs Eric Bischoff
From the 2003 edition. Really? This was a main match on the second biggest show of the year? It's no wonder why everyone hates the year 2003 in WWE. Shane was pissed off at Eric because he apparently slept with Linda McMahon. I think that's the whole story. Obviously the match sucked and the only highlights were a stunner from Austin and Shane's usual awesome elbow through the announce table. A contest that really didn't need to exist at all. 1/4*

Hulk Hogan vs Randy Orton 
From the 2006 edition. Billed as the Legend vs The Legend Killer. Should have been the Rising Star vs The Rising Star Killer. Why Orton didn't win this is an absolute mystery to me. Why did Hogan need the win so much? Poor Orton floundered around the mid-card and tag team scene until the middle of 2007 after this. The usual Hogan crap you would expect really. 1/2*

Batista vs King Booker
From the 2006 edition and the World Title is on the line. This is Batista's first chance to win the World Title back as he has been injured since the end of 2005. These guys never had good matches together as they just had no chemistry together. I think they had heat backstage so that probably had something to do with it. It didn't take long for the boring chants to start. Booker's chinlocks went on for way too long and started putting me to sleep. The fact that it ended in DQ doesn't help it in any way. It did get a little better towards the finish but not enough to save the whole thing. *

Batista vs The Great Khali
From the 2007 edition and the World Title is on the line. Oh yeah Khali was the World Champion at that point. I'm glad to have been reminded of that nightmare-inducing fact. This doesn't seem like a World Title match worthy of any PPV ever (well maybe December to Dismember). A dull, crappy match that also featured a DQ ending. Yeah as if we didn't need another 'Fuck you' from this whole situation. Just hurry up and give Batista the Title back already. DUD

Kane vs The Great Khali
From the 2009 edition. These are two guys that we didn't really need a PPV rematch from. I'd have thought that they'd have learned their lesson after Taker/Gonzales but I guess not. Sadly they wouldn't even learn their lesson from this one and gave them a rematch at Breaking Point. Just the slow plodding match that you would expect from the giants. It wasn't DUD bad but it was still bad. 1/4*

Bonus Match

Seeing as we all know the main event for Summerslam this year, I thought this match would be appropriate for review:

Brock Lesnar vs John Cena : Extreme Rules
From Extreme Rules 2012. It had been eight years since Lesnar had been in the WWE, so it was exciting to see him back again. Everyone was wondering what the match would be like since it was Lesnar's first in a long time, but I don't think anyone was prepared for what we got. The whole match felt real, as if it was a shoot fight. Every move looked painful (yes even the AA) and the first ten seconds gave us one of wrestling's most shocking moments when Brock legitimately busted Cena open. Cena winning is still dumb and I still don't know why they went with it. Still apart from a dumb booking decision this is a must see battle. ****3/4

Let me know if you think I missed out any great matches or any bad ones. I hope you enjoyed the read.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Invasion 2001

Invasion 2001 Review

Okay so maybe it wasn't goodbye after all. More like a vacation from writing. I promise there will be no more goodbyes. I've been feeling the itch to write ever since I said that 'fake' goodbye and watching this particular show just put me over the edge.

I've never really had an opinion on the Invasion angle as I wasn't watching at the time so I didn't experience it. I just took it by everyone else's word that the angle was a failure and a disappointment. After watching this show I can now say that those people (all wrestling fans I guess) were right. Let's get started on Invasion.

Edge & Christian vs Lance Storm & Mike Awesome
Jim Ross says that Storm and Mike are representing ECW here. Why? Weren't they both in WCW during its final year? Doesn't make sense to me. This match was a good start to the show as it had the classic formula of the face in peril and the exciting, chaotic finish with many nearfalls and tons of action. Sadly it wouldn't be long until Edge and Christian's inevitable break-up. A good match to start off the show and it's all downhill from here folks. ***1/4

Nick Patrick vs Earl Hebner
Mick Foley is the guest referee. After that opener I was starting to think that this would be a good show until I saw the graphic for this match. To be fair to these guys the match wasn't that bad as the crowd was really into it for some reason and there was some intensity to the action. It didn't last that long and was pretty fun while it lasted to be honest. Nice work referees. *. After the match Nick receives a dental check-up from Mr Socko.

APA vs Sean O' Haire & Chuck Palumbo
It's the WCW Tag Champions against the WWF Champions. Sounds more interesting on paper than in reality. Sean and Chuck looked quite impressive, but the APA seemed quite unmotivated during the match, especially Bradshaw. I don't think the APA should have gotten the win either as the younger guys could have used it more. Besides, the WWF is now at three victories in a row. So much for making the opposition look like a threat. A dull match overall. *1/2

Billy Kidman vs X-Pac
The Light Heavyweight Champion against the WCW Cruiserweight Champion. I find it quite strange that the WWF guy was getting booed more than the WCW guy. I guess X-Pac was just an unlikeable guy. The match was a little disappointing as I was expecting a faster pace, but it wasn't bad and had some nice moments like X-Pac's counter into the X-Factor and Kidman's shooting star press is always great to see. Finally WCW get a victory. **1/2

Raven vs William Regal
Man did this one suck. The crowd wasn't into this one at all and these guys just had no chemistry together. It led to some sloppy moments and miscommunication and it just had no real flow or story to it. I think the crowd was thrilled to see Tazz interfering as it led to the end of the match. A terrible match between two guys that I know are capable of so much more. DUD

Hugh Morrus / Shawn Stasiak / Chris Kanyon vs Albert / Big Show / Billy Gunn
Big Show and Billy Gunn had a tag team? When the hell did that happen? I think this was just an example of getting as many guys on the card as possible. I really don't have much to say about this one as I almost dozed off watching it. Maybe that tells you how good it is. It just seemed to be all over the place with no flow at all and no real point to it. Another blunder. 1/4*

Tazz vs Tajiri
Hey a decent match! Haven't seen one of those in a while. I'm not sure if this match was set up before the show or if it was made up on the spot. Shouldn't Tajiri be a member of the ECW team? You know what, I'm just gonna stop asking questions about this angle. The match didn't have much of the start but it got good towards the end with Tajiri throwing his kicks everywhere and Tazz suplexing the hell out of the Buzzsaw. Not bad guys. **

Jeff Hardy vs Rob Van Dam : Hardcore Match
The Hardcore Title is on the line. Holy shit what an awesome match this was! The crowd was just hot for this from start to finish and these guys just completely stole the show. No wonder RVD quickly became a babyface after this. This was just so much fun to watch with both guys showing their incredible athleticism as they were just flying all over the place. Jeff's fall off the ladder was very scary to watch and I'm surprised that he wasn't too hurt by it. An incredible contest and RVD definitely deserved that win. Match of the Night. ****

Torrie Wilson & Stacy Kiebler vs Lita & Trish Stratus : Bra and Panties Match
Well I'm sure this will be a five star wrestling clinic. Thankfully it wasn't the wrestling I was focusing on. Mick Foley is the referee again by the way. The match was as good as you expect it to be. Don't get me wrong it wasn't awful, but Torrie and Stacy didn't have the same wrestling skill as Lita and Trish. Seeing Torrie and Stacy stripped earns the bout extra points. 1/2*

Stone Cold / Undertaker / Kane / Kurt Angle / Chris Jericho vs Booker T / DDP / The Dudley Boyz / Rhyno : Inaugural Brawl
Team WWF vs Team WCW. The WWF side seems far superior to the WCW side.Apparently the future of the WWF is on the line. Angle got a pretty awesome pop from crowd during his entrance. This started off well with a fun brawl on the entranceway and the momentum never really stopped. The crowd was really into it too. A chaotic match that was a ton of fun to watch and made for a great end to the night. The WCWECW team looked quite dominant in the end as they managed to defeat the WWF team. A great match that's worth a watch. ***3/4

5/10. Well this was a bland show. The Invasion angle didn't look like a complete flop yet as the WCWECW team looked good at the end of the night, but it would all go to hell soon enough. The opener was good, the main event delivered and the Hardcore match was fantastic, but just about everything else was either complete crap or very mediocre and forgettable.