Saturday, 30 August 2014
Backlash 2001 Review
This show has the hardest job in the world of having to follow the greatest Wrestlemania of all time. I don't know much about this show aside from a couple of the matches I've seen before so I'm looking forward to this. Let's get started on Backlash.
The Dudley Boyz vs X Factor
X Factor seems like the most randomly put together team ever, featuring Albert, X-Pac and Justin Credible. I'm pretty sure that X-Pac wasn't relevant anymore anyway. Six man tags are usually a good way to fire up the crowd and this one did that well, although this crowd seemed to be obsessed with tables for some reason. It could have been longer and could have had a better finish that didn't deflate the crowd, but it was a fun tag match while it lasted and a good way to open the show. The crowd got their wish for tables in the end. **1/2
Rhyno vs Raven
The Hardcore Title is on the line. This is starting to feel like an ECW show. Well the Invasion was just around the corner. Kane lost this Title very quickly, but then again this is the Hardcore Title so it's probably changed hands hundreds of times over. This was actually a damn good match and better than I was expecting. I did like some of the spots like the involvement of the stacked up steel steps outside of the ring, and Rhyno goring the shopping cart looked cool as well. Hell there were even some nice nearfalls too. Good stuff from these guys. ***
Chris Jericho vs William Regal : Duchess of Queensbury Rules
Regal brings out the Duchess of Queensbury who has been shown backstage all night. Couldn't we just let these guys have a standard match? They performed fine in a normal match at Mania. The rules to this one aren't explained until the time limit for the first round apparently runs out when Jericho's about to win. Is this really needed here? Also apparently submissions do not count which seems strange since Regal tried them a couple of times. Regal didn't look too good here as he needed the Duchess to stop him losing three times. The match itself wasn't bad purely thanks to the talents of both athletes, but this really needed to be a different gimmick match. **1/4
Kurt Angle vs Chris Benoit : Ultimate Submission Match
Benoit and Angle with a guaranteed thirty minutes against each other? Hell yeah! I'm gonna need some popcorn for this one. These guys had one of the best matches at Wrestlemania and Benoit wanted some revenge after Angle had to cheat for the win. This was very similar to their Mania match as it started off with some nice mat wrestling with Benoit constantly trying for the crossface but it didn't take long for the punches and the chops to be thrown. This was an awesome match and seeing these guys trying to outdo each other with their signature submissions (and even their opponent's submissions) was just a lot of fun. Any time these guys lock up it's a match worth talking about and this was no different. Easily the Match of the Night. ****
Shane McMahon vs The Big Show : Last Man Standing
I guess the McMahon vs McMahon storyline just had to continue. Show had decided to stay in the WWF with Vince instead of going to WCW. I guess this was before the Booker T vs Buff Bagwell match that stopped any chances of that happening. I did like the story here with Shane trying everything he could to keep the giant down, including a hell of a lot of weapon shots and even using chloroform to try and knock him out. I don't think the interference was really needed and it did disrupt the match quite a bit. The finish was awesome with Shane's death-defying drop from the top of the stage. Shane won but Show still looked strong in defeat. Pretty entertaining match overall. **3/4
Eddie Guerrero vs Matt Hardy vs Christian
The European Title is on the line. Matt only won the Title three days previously from Eddie. Don't know why Christian is involved then. Plus shouldn't Edge and Jeff be at ringside for their partners? Well they ended up doing the run ins at the end of the match so I guess that makes up for it. A short match but it was pretty good while it lasted and it even featured some innovative spots thanks to the athleticism of all three guys. Matt hits the Twist of Fate on Christian to retain the Title. **1/2
The Two Man Power Trip vs The Brothers of Destruction
This is a Winner Takes All match as the Power Trip is putting their IC and WWF Titles on the line and the BOD are putting their Tag Titles on the line. The winners will be ruling the WWF with all the major Titles unless it ends in a crappy DQ, but thankfully they didn't go down that path. This was a long match lasting around twenty-five minutes but surprisingly it never really became boring until some of HHH and Austin's heel heat segments but that was about it. It did get a bit overbooked at the end with some McMahons running interference but it was still a pretty fun match overall and a solid main event. ***1/4
6.5/10. A pretty good show here but it does feel like a bit of a letdown after a fantastic Wrestlemania. Still I'd say it's a show worth watching for a good main event and the Ultimate Submission match is definitely worth checking out although I'll admit it won't be to everyone's taste. There are no bad matches aside from a confusing Jericho/Regal match so it's a show worth wasting three hours with.
Friday, 22 August 2014
Wrestlemania X-Seven Review
When I started doing the 2001 PPV series, I couldn't wait to get to this show again. I've already reviewed it a couple of times but I wanted to do a final, definitive one. There's not much more to say so here's Mania 17, the PPV equivalent of the Flair/Steamboat trilogy. (Rumble is Chi-Town Rumble, NWO is Clash of Champions, and this Mania is Wrestlewar).
And Limp Bizkit's My Way is still intact! Oh this is gonna be fucking awesome.
Chris Jericho vs William Regal
The IC Title is on the line. This must have felt like a let down to Jericho after having two classic IC Title matches in a row on PPV only to have this one given seven minutes. Still they both tried hard to give us a good opener. It may have been short but this was a fun match with some nice shoulder psychology on the part of Jericho and there was even some good storytelling with Regal's exposed turnbuckle coming back to haunt him in the finish. Good stuff to open the show with. ***1/4
Right To Censor vs The APA & Tazz
Not really much to say about this one as it was obviously just a filler match to get as many stars involved as possible for a Mania payday. I think Tazz was having neck problems so that explains why he looked a little sloppy. I will say that Bull Buchanan's athleticism was impressive. A short, energetic tag match that was pretty forgetful but it wasn't offensive to the show in any way at all and it got a good reaction out of the crowd. *3/4
Raven vs Kane vs The Big Show
The Hardcore Title is on the line. I've seen this match quite a few times now and it's one I always enjoy watching each time. It's just got a charm to it. Plus it is definitely one of the better Hardcore bouts at the time (until RVD came along). Raven took a nasty tumble through a window and it did sound like it hurt. The part with the golf carts was hilarious even though they apparently nearly shut down the power to the entire building. Just about the entire match took place backstage and it was a lot of fun. A good car crash match. ***
Eddie Guerrero vs Test
The European Title is on the line. Man this match is a lot harder to watch now, especially now knowing that Eddie went to rehab soon after this. RIP to both guys. This is definitely one of Test's better matches in the WWE thanks to the work of Eddie. Test did look very motivated as well. Another short match but it was another entertaining one save for a lull in the action in the middle portion. It did pick up again quite quickly thankfully. A good match with Eddie using his lying, cheating and stealing to win the Title. **3/4
Kurt Angle vs Chris Benoit
Oh yeah this is what I want! I'm pretty sure that this is their first meeting and, thankfully, not their last. Their feud isn't really explained, but who cares? It's Angle and Benoit for crying out loud! The mat wrestling sequence to start was incredible and I'm surprised that the crowd was really into it. This was the first time mat wrestling like that was really seen in the WWF and it's the kind of main event style that would eventually take over. Soon they were fighting back and forth with suplexes and it was awesome. Both guys trading each others submission moves was a brilliant sequence as well. The abrupt finish kind of ruins it a bit but at least it set up future matches between them, and everything that came before the finish was great anyway. A terrific contest. ****1/4
Chyna vs Ivory
The Women's Title is on the line. Well I guess the show had to go downhill somewhere didn't it? This is also the same match that brought down the Royal Rumble show and this one was just as bad, though luckily kept short. Thankfully Chyna would be leaving soon and wouldn't return again. This is pretty much the same match as before so I'll give it the same rating and reaction I gave the last one. DUD
I'm gonna end up using that video way too much in the future but it's just too funny. Anyway let's get the show back on track with some McMahon drama!
Shane McMahon vs Vince McMahon : Street Fight
Mick Foley is the guest referee. It's been a year since the McMahon in every corner at Mania 16 and the McMahons are still going at it! Just like Stephanie vs Trish at No Way Out, this is one of the best booked matches ever. It is totally overbooked but in a good way that masks the limitations of both participants. Shane's elbow drop and Van Daminator are always impressive to watch. One of my favourite parts of the match is Linda McMahon rising from her chair because the pop she receives from the crowd is just insane. Vince took another kick in the balls for the company and it was totally fun to watch. Just an entertaining match from start to finish. ***1/2
The Hardy Boyz vs The Dudley Boyz vs Edge & Christian : TLC
The Tag Titles are on the line. I would have thought that following up the first ever TLC match at Summerslam would have been nearly impossible, but these guys actually managed to surpass their last effort and gave us one of the greatest tag matches in wrestling history and probably the most amazing spot-fest of all time. Even the run-ins from Spike Dudley, Lita and Rhyno were well done as they all brought something to the bout and even added some spots of their own. Edge's 20ft spear to Jeff Hardy is one of the best spots ever and one that is still played on highlight packages to this day. The finish spot with Matt Hardy and Bubba Ray going through a bunch of piled up tables was fantastic as well. A Wrestlemania classic and in my opinion the greatest ladder match ever and I don't think it will ever be topped. Amazing stuff. *****
Gimmick Battle Royal
Oh yeah now this was a lot of fun! The actual match itself wasn't anything special aside from Sgt. Slaughter giving Iron Sheik the cobra clutch, but the entrances were the best part of this match. It was so much fun to watch all the silly gimmicks (some not silly like Sarge) coming to the ring and it was great for nostalgia. Heenan and Okerlund was funny to listen to as well. If I had to rate this I'd give it * for the match and about **1/4 overall with the entertainment value added.
Triple H vs The Undertaker
The first of a great trilogy of matches at Wrestlemania. The biggest complaint people have about this match is about the referee being out for way too long, but it let these guys go all the out into the crowd to brawl so it's fine by me. This was also the first real time that Taker's Streak was really mentioned by the commentators. This was just a fantastic brawl from start to finish and it was so entertaining to watch. Both guys came out of it looking like main eventers. It might even be Taker's best match under the biker gimmick. Just an awesome match from start to finish. ****
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs The Rock : No DQ
The WWF Title is on the line. This match came around at the perfect time, as Rock had firmly put himself as the top guy of the company, but Austin was still seen as #1, so it was time to see who was the very best between the two in this epic confrontation. They started off straight away trading punches, and it never slowed down at all. I enjoyed the submission parts of the match like Austin breaking out the Million Dollar Dream and Rock putting Austin in a sharpshooter in a throwback to the Mania 13 classic between Austin and Hart. I didn't mind Vince coming out either and it even made for some great nearfalls and proved that Austin needed help to truly beat the Rock. An all time classic match that should be watched by all professional wrestling fans. Possibly the best main event in Mania history and definitely one of the greatest matches of all time. *****
10/10. And so the greatest trilogy of PPV matches ever comes to a huge finish. Nothing surpasses this show and the only thing that comes close is the 1989 Great American Bash. The undercard was pretty damn good but it's once the show hits Angle/Benoit that the fun really begins. Chyna/Ivory is a lone dark spot but it only lasts about five minutes so it doesn't do too much damage. How could any fan pass up a PPV featuring Jericho/Regal, Angle/Benoit, Shane/Vince, HHH/Taker, a TLC match and Austin/Rock? You'd have to be absolutely insane to pass up a show like this, and if you haven't seen it I would highly recommend watching it as soon as possible. It doesn't get any better than this.
Thursday, 21 August 2014
No Way Out 2001 Review
After I finished the Rumble review I couldn't wait to start this one. I have watched it all the way through before but that was about two years ago so it'll feel fresh when I watch it again. Plus after this I've got Wrestlemania X-Seven to look forward to! And after that they stop trying because all the competition is dead. This has got to be the greatest PPV trilogy in wrestling history. I'd love to see anything else that comes close.
Anyway here is my take on the WWF's No Way Out 2001.
Raven vs The Big Show
The Hardcore Title is on the line. You can always expect some shenanigans during a Hardcore Title match but that's what makes them fun I suppose. This was almost a rematch at Mania except it had Kane added in. I was enjoying the story of Raven trying to use as many weapons as possible to take down Show, but the run-ins started very early. It was still pretty fun to watch but I'd have preferred it with just Raven and Show. A throwaway opener to start the night off. *1/2
Chris Jericho vs Chris Benoit vs Eddie Guerrero vs X-Pac
The IC Title is on the line. Replace Waltman with Rey Mysterio and you have a five star match on your hands. Jericho and Benoit have still got to be feeling bruised after that war at the Rumble. This was shorter than I would have liked it to have been at only around twelve minutes, but they still managed to give us a fight to remember. The action started off quite fast and furious and got even better once Eddie and Benoit started fighting each other. Things got even better from there as the pace managed to quicken even more and there was a ton of counter-wrestling and nearfalls. An awesome match that comes close to stealing the show. ****1/4
Stephanie McMahon vs Trish Stratus
On the list of the most surprisingly good matches in wrestling history, this one has got to be near the top somewhere (probably right next to Hogan/McMahon). Trish wasn't wrestling full time yet so this had no active wrestlers competing in it. Steph's clothesline from the railing was impressive. It wasn't a technical clinic or anything like that, but you could feel the intensity and the hatred between the two and it made for a fun match with non-stop action. Regal's involvement was funny as he couldn't decide who should win then just decided to take out Trish. A good match! ***1/4
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Triple H : 3 Stages of Hell
First fall is a standard match, second fall is a Street Fight, and the third fall is a Steel Cage. If you needed any reason at all to see this show, it would be this match. These guys had been feuding for ages and it was finally time to end it. Austin won the first fall which showed he was the better wrestler, and HHH won the Street Fight which showed that he was the better brawler. Probably should have been the other way around but at least it was unpredictable. Both falls were fantastic by the way with the Street Fight being a real highlight and the best of all three falls. I thought it was a bit weird that HHH was the winner since Austin was in the main event of Mania, but he looked as if he just got a lucky win as he landed on top of Austin after being knocked out and got the pin so it wasn't too bad. Definitely a career highlight for both men and could be either mans best match ever. One of the best of all time and a definite must see. Freaking amazing. *****
Enter a contest to co-host an episode of Fanatics with Mick Foley! That sounds pretty fun actually. If only it weren't thirteen years too late.
Steven Richards vs Jerry Lawler
I feel so bad for these guys having to follow that masterpiece. It is the perfect choice for the toilet break match though so it's got that going for it. As usual Jerry is fighting for the ladies and the Kat gets naked if Jerry wins. Go Lawler! This was pretty much a nothing match but it was pretty fun while it lasted and the crowd was surprisingly lively during it. Not bad. Lawler loses so Kat is still fully clothed. *1/2
The Dudley Boyz vs Edge & Christian vs The Brothers of Destruction : Tables Match
The Tag Titles are on the line. Man the BOD look like an unbeatable team. We're only one PPV away from tag team perfection with TLC 2. Table matches have never really appealed to me but this was a good one. Well they are usually good when the Dudleys are involved. It was fun when the Dudleys fought Edge and Christian, but Kane and Taker did bring the pace down a bit when they got involved in the action. Still it was a good match that the crowd was into the whole way through. **1/2
The Rock vs Kurt Angle
The WWF Title is on the line. Angle's first run as the Champion wasn't really anything special, but it was about to go out on a high note with this match. It was pretty obvious that the Rock would win since Austin was the Rumble winner, but that didn't stop these guys from putting on a dramatic match. Angle looked intense during the bout and that may have been the first time he did it and it would become something he was known for doing quite often. Even though Angle lost he still looked good in defeat and looked like a main event star. This was an awesome back and forth match that never had a dull moment and gave the Rock a big win leading to his epic confrontation with Stone Cold at Wrestlemania. Earl Hebner did screw up the finishing pin and the Rock was visibly pissed, but it didn't hinder things too badly. Easily Angle's best match up to that point in time. ****1/4
9.75/10. Definitely one of the best PPVs of the 21st Century as the WWF are on a terrific role at the start of 2001. Austin and HHH put on a classic battle that no one will ever forget, Rock and Angle put on one hell of a main event, there was a surprisingly great women's match, and a fantastic match for the IC Title. What more do you need?
Monday, 18 August 2014
Summerslam 2014 Review
Oh man I've been looking forward to this event for months and I've heard mixed reviews so far, so let's see how this year's summer extravaganza holds up.
We start off with Hulk Hogan coming down to the ring. It's starting to feel like Wrestlemania all over again. He plugs the WWE Network as usual. They really missed a trick by not mentioning that the audience already has to pay about $55 for a single PPV. If they did that then the Network would sound like a much better deal.
The video package was pretty cool as it looked and sounded like a Robert Rodriguez movie. Especially Machete.
Dolph Ziggler vs The Miz
The IC Title is on the line. I really wasn't looking forward to this one as Miz had just won the Title so I didn't think he'd drop it here, but holy crap was I surprised by the result. Ziggler finally got a big win! As for the match itself, it was great and much better than expected. I wish it had been longer because these guys showed chemistry. Ziggler was awesome as usual and even Miz looked pretty damn good. A fun match with a good story as Miz's overprotectiveness of his face was his downfall. A great opener with a hot crowd and a good finish. ***1/2
We get a recap of the stupid storyline with Daniel Bryan apparently cheating on Brie with his trainer. At least it makes me want to see Stephanie get her ass kicked.
AJ Lee vs Paige
The Divas Title is on the line. I was looking forward to this one seeing as it felt like they held back in their Battleground match, but they finally became enemies. This time it was freaking intense and Paige was awesome as the heel. I need to make that shot of Paige crawling over AJ my new screensaver. AJ's flying clothesline to the outside was awesome too. Paige's DDT finish was great. Another match I wish was longer, but what we got was good and I'm looking forward to the rematch. **3/4
We get the Sting commercial for WWE 2k15 and it still looks fantastic.
Jack Swagger vs Rusev : Flag Match
The winner gets to fly their country's flag proud. A lot of people seemed to be complaining about the fact that this wasn't a proper flag match, but I hate those kind of matches anyway so I'm happy with pinfall and submission rules. There was some nice psychology here as Rusev sold his injured leg well and Swagger sold his injured ribs well. This was another good match that exceeded my expectations. The dramatic finishing sequence was great and both guys signature submissions made for some tense moments. Swagger looked good in defeat as he never tapped out and Rusev still got a dominant victory. Everybody wins! A good match and Rusev continues to look like a monster. ***
Rusev kicks Zeb Colter after the match to look like even more of an asshole.
Seth Rollins vs Dean Ambrose : Lumberjack Match
I think everyone has been looking forward to this one for months and a lot of anticipation dropped when it was announced as a Lumberjack match and even I was skeptical of the idea, but I shouldn't have doubted these two future World Champions. The match was a ton of fun to watch and even the lumberjacks were used well, even if they were a little restrictive at times. I absolutely loved this as it was just so much fun to watch and I cannot wait for the rematch. The crowd was right. This was awesome. I also loved Ambrose saying "I love you" to Seth and then having a look of regret and sadness when he hit Seth with the curb stomp as if he wishes that the past two months never happened. That's some great storytelling there. A terrific contest. ****
Bray Wyatt vs Chris Jericho
I have to say that I loved Jericho's classic countdown back in his entrance. Finally Bray gets a big win on PPV! I was beginning to lose hope. I wasn't really looking forward to this one after their disappointing Battleground match, but they managed to improve on it a little bit. The crowd was into it and the action was never really boring. I did enjoy Wyatt's line of "I cannot die for I am already dead!". Sounds badass. A good match with the right guy winning this time. ***1/4
Brie Bella vs Stephanie McMahon
I'll admit that I was really looking forward to this one as I was dying to see Stephanie getting her ass kicked after almost a year of acting like a bitch. The Raw segments weren't that great but at least they still made Steph look like a witch from hell. I am disappointed that Stephanie won, but I'm sure she'll get her just desserts at some point. I know a lot of people were predicting that Nikki would turn heel on Brie, but I never thought it would actually happen. This was actually a solid match and Stephanie looked great and wrestled better than most of the other divas on the main roster. A surprisingly good match. **3/4
Roman Reigns vs Randy Orton
This is another one I wasn't too interested in, as it felt like a generic feud and I'd rather have seen Reigns take on Triple H, but I guess that will happen at a different show. This one started off quite slowly but once they started building up a bit of momentum I was really digging what they were selling. Orton's RKO was insane and I can't believe that Reigns kicked out of it. That was an awesome false finish. Reigns is definitely a future star and this was his biggest win so far. Great stuff and delivered beyond my expectations. ***1/2
Even if the main event ends up being a disappointment this will still have been one hell of a show.
John Cena vs Brock Lesnar
The WWE World Heavyweight Title is on the line. Last time we saw Lesnar in the ring, he defeated the Undertaker and ended the legendary Streak to the shock of millions. This time, he destroyed John Cena like no one ever has before. This guy is more than just a monster or a beast. He's something even worse and I freaking love him for it. Lesnar getting the F5 straight away was awesome. So many German suplexes! Lesnar doing Taker's sit up after taking an AA and laughing at Cena like a demon from hell was just sublime and one of the coolest moments I've ever seen in wrestling. Lesnar is just something else. This was truly something special and I'm still shocked after watching it. I've seen it twice now and it even holds up the second time. One of the most unique main events in WWE PPV history and one that will be remembered for a long time. ****1/2
9.25/10. I was expecting a good show but nothing this good! I still prefer the 2013 and 2002 editions but this has got to be up there somewhere in the top 5 or even top 3. There was nothing bad to be found here at all and all matches delivered in my view, and some even delivered beyond expectations. We got an exciting opener, two very solid divas matches, a very good Reigns/Orton match, a good Wyatt/Jericho match, a terrific Lumberjack match, a fun flag match and a main event to remember. This'll end up being one of my favourite shows and it's definitely one worth watching over and over again.
Tuesday, 12 August 2014
Royal Rumble 2001 Review
So since I've been struggling with what shows to review next, I thought I'd start reviewing the shows of certain years, starting with 2001. Don't ask me why, I just fancied doing it. I'll also do the shows I've done before like Wrestlemania 17 and Summerslam since I've not done them in a while. I won't do Invasion since I did that quite recently so I'll just put the link to that one in the show that comes after it (Summerslam I think). So here's a show I've wanted to do for a while.
Edge & Christian vs The Dudley Boyz
The Tag Titles are on the line. God I wonder how many times these teams have faced off against each other. Not that I'm complaining because they always had damn good matches and this one was no different. The Dudleys wanted revenge for E & C attacking them and given them both concussions with the conchairto. This was a well worked match as D-Von was the face in peril and got the crowd worked up and ready for a tag to Bubba. Once the hot tag came around, things were kicked into a higher gear and it was so fun to watch. I only wish it had been a bit longer but what we got was very good. ***1/4
Drew Carey has arrived.
Backstage, Triple H doesn't want Trish Stratus and Stephanie McMahon to ruin his chances of winning the WWF Title. Drew Carey interrupts and Stephanie sends him to meet Trish.
The APA are backstage in a card game drinking some beer. They show each other their Rumble numbers. Bit of a pointless segment.
Chris Jericho vs Chris Benoit : Ladder Match
The IC Title is on the line. This feud has been going on for close to one year and it is definitely one of those rare feuds that could have gone on for years without becoming boring. I do think that this is one of the better ladder matches in history, due to the fact that it wasn't a spotfest. Don't get me wrong there are some big spots, but these guys were mostly focusing on trying to beat the shit out of the other guy. This felt like a war and you'd never believe that these two were best friends in real life. The most brutal part of the match is when Benoit attempts a suicide dive and Jericho hits him with a vicious chair shot. It's harder to watch now than it was at the time. A tremendous ladder match that would go down in history if not for tragic circumstances. Absolutely one to check out if you haven't seen it before. ****3/4
Backstage, Vince McMahon enters Drew Carey into the Rumble match.
Billy Gunn tries to talk Chyna out of competing. Oh if only he had succeeded. Has Chyna's voice always sounded that silly?
Chyna vs Ivory
The Women's Title is on the line. Well I guess not every show can be perfect. This is reminding me of Mania 17 as this is the only blemish on the show, and it involves the same two women. This was just a squash match for Chyna as Ivory got no offense at all and only won due to Chyna hurting herself. This was all bad, including the post-match stretcher job. DUD
Only one way I can describe it:
Now let's get back to the good stuff. I really wish I'd used that video for Halloween Havoc 2000 though.
Kurt Angle vs Triple H
The WWF Title is on the line. It's hard to book a heel vs heel match (Shield vs Wyatts not withstanding) but these two guys definitely managed to do it well. The crowd wasn't sure who to cheer for at first, but once the women got involved (guess that pep talk didn't work for HHH) and the overbooking started, they were really into it. It was a tad overbooked but these guys worked hard to put on a great match and it was a lot of fun to watch. A great WWF Title match for sure. ***1/2
The Royal Rumble Match
Oh yeah this is easily one of the better Rumble matches in history. It's biggest highlight used to be Kane's record for the most eliminations as he took out eleven men, but Roman Reigns broke that record this year with twelve eliminations. Kane's record lasted thirteen years, so I'd say that it is still an impressive feat. It was a bit obvious that either the Rock or Austin was going to win, but Kane still made it look like he had a chance of winning when it came down to Austin and himself. Even Drew Carey's involvement was fun and the Honky Tonk Man's elimination was a funny moment. A fantastic Rumble that never had a dull moment and gave Austin his third and record-breaking win. ****1/2
9.5/10. A fun opening contest? Check. An all time classic match? Check. A World Title match that delivered the goods? Check. A great Rumble match? Check. Yes this has all the ingredients of a classic show and that is exactly what we got. It is close to perfection but the Chyna/Ivory debacle drags it down a little bit. Thankfully that part didn't run on for too long. A suberb event that comes highly recommended and is definitely as good as the previous year's show.
Saturday, 9 August 2014
Alberto Del Rio: Greatest Hits
Well this one felt rather necessary all of sudden. I wasn't going to do these kind of posts anymore except on
special occasions and I think this counts as one of them. The next one will probably be in November in honor of Eddie Guerrero.
So here are the former Mexican Aristocrat's Greatest Hits. Shouldn't take too long.
The 2011 Royal Rumble Match
The biggest Royal Rumble ever with 40 participants. Well about nine of those spaces were taken up by the Nexus and the Corre so it did need those extra spots. This seems to be a love it or hate it Rumble but it's definitely one of my favourites. It was cool seeing Punk and Bryan going out first and it was their first real altercation in the WWE. John Morrison just about stole the show with his Spiderman performance and I was kind of hoping that he would win at the time. The segment with Hornswoggle and Cena teaming up did drag on quite a bit, but it did get back on track soon enough. The returns of both Booker T and Diesel still give me goosebumps, even if Nash's return led to some bad stuff later on in the year. Santino coming back right at the end and almost eliminating Del Rio was an awesome moment and it really felt like he could have won the entire thing. Del Rio wins in one of his biggest matches ever. Great Rumble. ****
Alberto Del Rio vs Kofi Kingston
From Elimination Chamber 2011 and it's the Rumble winner vs the IC Champion. I wish they could have found someone other than a champion to feud with Del Rio before Mania but I guess I should be used to WWE jobbing out their secondary champs by now. The crowd was hot for this one which helped it a lot. A good match with some nice nearfalls towards the end. Del Rio was looking good heading into Mania. ***1/4
I'll avoid Mania 27 and Extreme Rules 2011 since they didn't really end well for Alberto.
Rey Mysterio vs Alberto Del Rio vs The Miz vs Evan Bourne vs R-Truth vs Alex Riley vs Jack Swagger vs Kofi Kingston : MITBFrom 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 its 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 the next couple of years, so I'd say he was a good choice. A 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
At Summerslam 2011, Del Rio would cash in his briefcase to take away CM Punk's newly won Undisputed WWE Championship. I won't rate it since it only lasted about five seconds and only involved one kick. Del Rio would then lose the Title three weeks later at Night of Champions to a certain Superman.
Alberto Del Rio vs John Cena vs CM Punk : Hell in a Cell
From Hell in a Cell 2011 and the WWE Title is on the line. Outside of Edge/Taker and Taker/HHH, this is probably my favourite Cell match of the PG era. I really do hate the ending though as Del Rio got his Title back two weeks after losing it. What the hell was the point of him losing it then? We were right back where we started except that Del Rio had now lost most of his momentum that he gained at Summerslam. WWE booking ladies and gentlemen. Punk took a couple of bad bumps against the Cell and one really cut his back open. I did enjoy Del Rio's strategy of locking Cena outside of the Cell. It was still good when it was just Punk and Alberto as there were some nice nearfalls between the two. Overall a great Cell match that fun to watch the whole way through. ****
Alberto Del Rio vs John Cena : Last Man Standing
From Vengeance 2011 and the WWE Title is on the line. These guys have to fight in a ring that Mark Henry and Big Show destroyed. Awesome. At least it's different and it gave the match a kind of unique feeling. There were even some spots they were able to do that couldn't be done with a normal ring like Cena throwing Alberto straight out to the barricade or Alberto using the ring post to crush Cena. The second half of the match took place backstage. Del Rio burying Cena under the backstage equipment was a cool moment and I'm surprised that Cena got up from it. This was a damn good match and quite a forgotten gem thanks to the forgettable show it was on. There were some nice memorable spots and it was just a generally entertaining match to watch. Worth checking out. ***3/4
Alberto Del Rio vs Sheamus
From Night of Champions 2012 and the World Title is on the line. And Del Rio's momentum would fall once again as he took three losses in a row on PPV to Sheamus. It didn't help that the feud was incredibly boring. At least the matches were good and they only got better as they went on and this was the best one. A great match that featured some nice work on Sheamus's arm and Sheamus sold it well. These guys also knew each other well and countered each other quite a lot so you never knew what was going to happen next. A great end to a long feud. ***3/4
Alberto Del Rio vs Randy Orton
From Hell in a Cell 2012. I have no idea why these guys were feuding. I guess neither guy had anything better to do. Del Rio would be a face soon enough anyway. This was going along well until a bad botch from Orton as he missed a dropkick while Del Rio was coming off the top rope and it did hurt the match a bit. Still it was good and these guys worked hard to keep the crowd entertained. Plus the RKO at the end looked awesome. Good effort here. ***1/4
Alberto would turn face shortly after this.
Alberto Del Rio vs The Big Show : Last Man Standing
From Smackdown on the 8th of January 2013 and the World Title is on the line. This probably should have taken place on Raw so that more people saw it and it could have been better advertised as I had no idea it was taking place at the time. Then again I never know what's happening on Smackdown. Del Rio looked like a great face here as he tried to come back from everything that Show threw at him and he prevailed in the end, winning the World Title for the first time. Show tried every move he could think of but he couldn't keep Alberto down. A great match and a great moment for Del Rio. ***1/2
Alberto Del Rio vs Jack Swagger
From Wrestlemania XXIX and the World Title is on the line. I think Swagger was originally meant to win this one but being caught with drugs in his car probably stopped that from happening. The racial storyline did cause a bit of controversy for WWE but as usual the media was just grasping at straws. The match itself is pretty good. I did enjoy the story of the armbreaker vs the ankle lock. The crowd only seemed interested in having Ziggler cash in, but they got into it by the end. A good match that could have been better with more time. ***
Alberto Del Rio vs Dolph Ziggler
From Payback 2013 and the World Heavyweight Title is on the line. It's a shame that Del Rio couldn't really keep his heel heat after this night because he became the most hated man in the WWE after this match. I think we were all expecting a good technical match at the time, but we got so much more than that. We received the best double turn since Wrestlemania 13 and some epic storytelling. Ziggler came out looking like a guy who wouldn't go down without a fight and Del Rio looked like a beast who would do anything possible to win the Title, even if it meant injuring a man. This was something different and it was awesome. The work to Ziggler's head was sick and made him very sympathetic. A fantastic match. ****1/4
Alberto Del Rio vs Christian
From Summerslam 2013 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. ****
Alberto Del Rio vs Batista
From Elimination Chamber 2014. I thought I may as well include this as it was the only thing of note that Del Rio did this year outside of being in Battle Royals and a Money in the Bank match. I'll admit that I was entertained by the booing of Batista at first, but as the match went on I kinda started feeling bad for the guy. Especially now I know that he can be a funny actor. He didn't show as much ring rust as I thought he would, so that's a plus. He even made Del Rio look pretty good here. Thankfully Bryan was added to the main event of Mania so that it wasn't a disaster. Not a bad match. **
Wednesday, 6 August 2014
Royal Rumble 2014 Review
Ok so I have been struggling to decide which shows to review since every PPV ever is on the Network and it is just so hard to decide! So I've come up with a plan: since I'm a big fan of Scott Keith's reviews I thought I'd just type in 'smark rant' on Google and just review the first thing that comes up. That is unless you guys send me a request and I'll definitely do those as soon as possible if I receive them.
So this was the first one that popped up and I know that it's quite recent but it is one that I had planned on re-doing at some point now that some time has passed and some decisions were changed inside the company.
I got a few comments on this one featuring people calling me crazy and having low standards for actually liking most of the content. Well I'm here to see if I still like it and I may like it even more now that many months have passed.
So without further ado, here is the 2014 Royal Rumble, AKA; The Night the Crowd Fought Back.
Daniel Bryan vs Bray Wyatt
If there was any reason to love this show it would be this freaking match. It's now even better in hindsight since it's one of Bray's only dominant victories and he's not really had one since unless you count the Shield. As usual the crowd is freaking nuts for Bryan. They have no idea how disappointed they'll be later on. Bryan was on top of his game here as he took out all of his anger on Bray. Bray was terrific here too and at his psychotic best. Bryan definitely brought out the best in Bray. That Sister Abigail into the crowd barricade was a brutal spot and resulted in a deserved 'holy shit' chant. An incredible match with a red hot crowd. Match of the Night for sure. The crowd was deflated with Wyatt's victory and it may have started off their own revolution. ****1/4
Brock Lesnar vs The Big Show
What a waste of Lesnar. I was actually looking forward to this match before the show as I knew that these guys could have a good match, but they didn't even try to have a match. The entire segment was basically Lesnar destroying Show with a chair and the actual match was only two minutes long
. This was the wrong way to build him up for Taker as he should have just destroyed Show with his bare hands instead of looking like someone who was out of his depth. The F5 did look very impressive though, so for that I'll give it 1/2*. Still a disappointing match and moment.
After the match Lesnar continues to attack Show with even more chair shots and it just goes on way too long.
John Cena vs Randy Orton
The WWE World Title is on the line. These guys must hold a record for the most matches against each other on PPV. I was actually looking forward to this one as I enjoyed it more than most others when it first aired and I'll admit that after another viewing I still think it's an underrated match. The crowd shat all over it sure, but these guys managed to overcome that obstacle. Seeing them use the other's finishing moves was awesome and felt fresh. Hopefully these guys don't have another PPV match together as this would be a great way to end their LONG rivalry. A great match that definitely deserves another look if you didn't enjoy it the first time as the last ten minutes or so were just awesome. An underrated gem for sure. ****
I'm sure that rating will open up a huge can of worms.
The Royal Rumble Match
The most controversial Rumble match ever? Probably. I think the actual match was fun and pretty damn good, but the fact that Batista won and Bryan didn't makes people sick. I've certainly gotten over it now. This is also Punk's final match (ever?). Reigns was definitely the MVP of the match and broke Kane's outstanding 2001 record as he eliminated an amazing 12 participants including Ambrose and Rollins. Hell we even saw a small beginning to the Swagger/Rusev feud. They really held back on the legends this year as Kevin Nash was the only one that made an appearance. Sheamus's return was good and he got a nice pop from the crowd, even if they ended up booing him later on. The crowd reaction is so fascinating after Rey Mysterio's entrance as they just completely turn on the match. They do come back a bit when it comes down to Batista and Reigns, as they were entirely behind Reigns at that point. A good Rumble as Drax the Destroyer comes out as the two time winner. ***1/2
Before I rate the overall show, I just wanted to say something. I think that Batista winning the Rumble was the best result. Now before you all come over to my house with pitchforks and torches, let me explain myself. This is all meant in hindsight. I was just as disappointed and angry as all of you at the time and thought that Daniel Bryan was definitely short-changed. But if Bryan had won, would he have gotten the huge reaction that he received in the lead up to Wrestlemania? Sure he still would have been cheered, but the fact that he was our pick and not the company's made us love him even more. I mean we all fought to see him in the Mania main event and it felt like our hard work had paid off and made the moment at Mania even sweeter. Plus we can look forward to him winning his first Rumble in the future if he does return.
8/10. This was a great show without a doubt and a great start to the PPVs of 2014. The Bryan/Wyatt match stole the show and delivered to expectations, Cena and Orton delivered what I would call the most surprisingly great match of the year and the Rumble was great. It may have disappointed at the time but it lead to an amazing Wrestlemania main event which definitely makes up for the disappointment. I know there are people that will really disagree with the rating and praise, but I think the show deserves it. A show worth checking out again.
Sunday, 3 August 2014
Rebellion 2002 Review
After reviewing two dreadful WCW PPVs, I think I have to finally watch a good show, so I went with a nostalgic favourite of mine.
The event took place in Manchester, England almost directly after the No Mercy event. British PPVs (Summerslam 1992 not included) aren't known for being the best shows but I think this one is the prime example of how to do it right. Well it might be since I haven't watched it in about ten years. So let's get started on Rebellion 2002.
This is a Smackdown only show by the way.
The General Manager of Smackdown, Stephanie McMahon, makes her way to the ring to a nice pop from the crowd. She says that the Undertaker will not be able to make the show as his baby is being born at that moment. Crowd doesn't like that one.
Booker T vs Matt Hardy
Booker was still a Raw star but Stephanie brought him in as a nice surprise for the live crowd and for us watching at home. I think Matt had only just started his Version 1.0 gimmick. This was a good opener as both guys seemed motivated and they looked like they were just having fun out there. The crowd was also fired up and these guys managed to keep them entertained. They built up to a fun finish with a couple of nice nearfalls until Booker hit the scissor kick for the win. A good way to start the show off. ***
Booker gives the crowd a spinaroonie before he leaves.
Paul Heyman is backstage looking pissed off. He heads to Stephanie's office to complain about being in WWE Title handicap match where he could accidentally lose Brock's Title. Stephanie thinks that it's what Heyman deserves for all the crap he has committed with Lesnar by his side.
Billy Kidman & Torrie Wilson vs John Cena & Dawn Marie
Cena was still wearing his goofy looking ring gear but he wasn't far away from starting his rapping gimmick. Unfortunately the storyline for this match was the long and pointless tale of Dawn going out with Torrie's father Al. It would only get worse as it went on. The match itself was better than expected and even the ladies weren't as bad as they usually were. It was pretty short but I think it was given the right amount of time for what it was. It was weird to watch Cena attacking a woman as well. I bet he doesn't look at that fondly now. **1/4
Backstage, Edge says that he is ready to walk home as the new WWE Champion.
Funaki vs Crash Holly
I had no idea that Crash was still in the WWE at this point. This seems like the definition of a filler match. They started off with a nice quick pace that the crowd appreciated. Crash puts on a Japanese headband to make fun of Funaki. That seems racist to me. This was a surprisingly fun match while it lasted as they just threw everything out there in the short time that they had. **
Jamie Noble vs Tajiri vs Rey Mysterio
The Cruiserweight Title is on the line. Elimination rules apply here which I love already. More mutli-man matches need to have elimination rules. Tajiri was out quite quickly after a Tigerbomb from Noble. This did start off with a quick pace but once Tajiri was out it did slow down quite a bit with Noble in control. It did pick up a bit once Mysterio got his comeback but the abrupt finish did ruin it a bit too. Not as good as I remember. **1/2
Backstage, Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit have some conflict between themselves.
Val Venis & Chuck Palumbo vs D-Von Dudley & Ron Simmons
Well this is quite a random mish-mash of wrestlers. D-Von was still in his unsuccessful reverend gimmick but he'd be back with Bubba soon enough. Why isn't Ron known as Faarooq? Wasn't the APA still a tag team? This was pretty much a nothing match that was just there as filler for the crowd. A very short, forgettable contest. 1/2*
Rikishi vs Albert : Kiss My Arse Match
The loser has to kiss the other guy's ass. I wonder who's gonna be losing this one? This one was given way more time than it probably should have. Albert seemed like he was working hard out there but Rikishi was just dragging everything down. Just another nothing match here as Rikishi picks up the victory. *. Afterwards Albert refuses to kiss Rikishi's ass, but after some fighting Rikishi gets him to perform the dirty deed.
Los Guerreros vs Kurt Angle & Chris Benoit
The New Smackdown Tag Titles are on the line. Oh hell yeah this is what I'm looking for! Anytime the Smackdown Six were involved in matches against each other you knew you were in for something special and this was no exception. The crowd seemed to be in love with Angle here. Can't really blame them, he was awesome at this point. Just the terrific back and forth tag match you would expect from these teams, complete with some exciting nearfalls and a fun finish. ****
Edge vs Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman
The WWE Title is on the line and if Heyman is pinned, Brock still loses the Title. A rare confrontation between Edge and the one in 21-1 and I also think that this was the first time that Edge challenged for the WWE Title. Edge looked great going against the monster that took out legends like The Rock and Hogan. There were slow moments like Lesnar's long bear hug, but it was exciting for the most part and Edge looked like a legit threat to Lesnar. A great match that made Edge look good and great way to end the show. ***3/4
7/10. This was a pretty damn good show. The two main events delivered big time and the undercard was good with many solid performances throughout. Check this one out if you get the chance as it's a nice distraction for two and half hours.
Saturday, 2 August 2014
nWo Souled Out 1997
I've heard that this is an awful show so thank you to Harry Broadhurst for the request from the awesome Yes! Yes! Yes! Facebook page.
It would have to be fucking dreadful to be worse than Halloween Havoc 2000.
Well this is an nWo show rather than a WCW so it least it's something a bit different. I'll admit that I did like the opening video with the nWo on garbage trucks in black and white with sirens in the background. It did look rather cool.
Eric Bischoff and Ted Dibiase of the nWo are commentating so I'm guessing they're gonna be snarky all night. There's also an unknown ring announcer praising the nWo members and taking the piss out of everyone else. Not sure if I like that or not.
Chris Jericho vs Masahiro Chono
You can usually expect something good when Jericho is opening up the show, especially against someone from Japan with all the history he has there. Jericho is still in his boring face phase. It looks like all refs are gonna be nWo members. There were some strange camera tricks being used that were a bit distracting. The match wasn't really anything special and wasn't very memorable outside of a nice table spot at the finish. Not a bad way to open but not a great way either. Just an average match. **
It's time to crown Miss nWo. Is there really any point to that at all? Apparently they're going to be checking back with the women all night. Yay.
Hugh Morrus vs Big Bubba : Deathmatch
I thought Morrus's name was bad until I heard the name General Rection. Poor guy. Bubba is also known as the WWF's Big Boss Man. I actually didn't realise until halfway through that this was a Deathmatch. The referee is going to be annoying if he keeps guaranteeing the nWo's victory in matches. The match itself was pretty boring and didn't need to be a Deathmatch at all. They only used one weapon with the chain and then Bubba 'ran over' Morrus with the motorbike. It did look very phony though. A completely forgettable match. *
Speaking of boring we are heading back to the Miss nWo competition. Good god I hate this show already. Where's that vodka?
Jeff Jarrett vs M. Wallstreet
Jarrett is just one of those wrestlers that I don't like at all. Anytime he's on I just want to skip the match. Wallstreet is also known as IRS in the WWF. I guess they just copied the gimmick over. The match itself wasn't bad at all actually. There wasn't anything that special about it, it was just a solid match that was entertaining to watch. The cheating ref and the camera angles were a bit annoying but it was still a pretty good contest. **1/4
And we're back to the Miss nWo contest. I'm just gonna count these as bathroom, food and drink breaks.
Just to be clear I really am drinking vodka. You guys think I joke about that stuff?
Scotty Riggs vs Buff Bagwell
Bagwell is another guy I don't really enjoy watching in the ring. Apparently Riggs became a transvestite after this. I really have nothing to say about that. This one started off with a nice fast pace but it quickly slowed down once Bagwell got on offense. When a match starts feeling long you know that it's went wrong somewhere. Finally Riggs got his comeback and proceedings pick up again. A LONG match but it was pretty enjoyable I'd have to say. **
Drink break time.
Diamond Dallas Page vs Scott Norton
If there are any on-going storylines tonight, I have no idea as there have been no video packages and the commentators haven't explained anything, including for this match. And whoever keeps pressing that 'loser' button is gonna be on my worst enemies list soon. Norton was pretty bad out there but DDP seemed motivated. The nWo turns up trying to recruit DDP but he refuses and runs into the crowd causing a countout defeat. The match wasn't really going anywhere anyway. 1/2*
The Outsiders vs The Steiner Brothers
The World Tag Titles are on the line. Hey our first Title match of the night! This one had the potential to be the first properly good match of the night, but unfortunately it disappointed. It was just boring most of the way through and the crowd never really reacted to it. The Outsiders were in control most of the time and that just doesn't suit the style of the Steiners. Dull match up until the finish. Bischoff would reverse the decision the next night anyway so it didn't really matter. *
Eddie Guerrero vs Syxx : Ladder
The US Title is on the line. Finally something I can sink my teeth into! Thank goodness for Eddie Guerrero. For those that don't know, Syxx is also the WWF's X-Pac. This is the only saviour that this show has at this point. Finally we get a match with some workrate as these guys were just flying around the place with high-risk moves at a nice pace. The ladder spots were good as they didn't try anything too fancy and just beat the hell out of each other with it. I liked the finish with both guys grabbing the belt down and having a tug of war to try and claim it. A great match that was a lot of fun to watch. ***1/2
It's time for the results of the Miss nWo contest. I skipped this so you'll need to find out for yourself who won if you're really desperate to see.
Hollywood Hogan vs The Giant
The WCW World Title is on the line. Well there goes any chance of a good main event with these two guys involved. The Giant seemed quite motivated but Hogan was just boring to watch and really slowed things down to a snail's pace. Seeing the Giant coming off the top rope was cool though. It doesn't help that we got the usual WCW run-ins and the screwy referee as well. A bad main event. 1/4*
2.5/10. Well at least it wasn't as bad as Halloween Havoc 2000. It still was an awful show though. The Miss nWo contest was just pointless and so uninteresting to watch and outside of the great Ladder match, you could skip every single match here and you would miss nothing at all. It was a bit different since it was an nWo PPV instead of a WCW one, but that just led to bad announcing, bad camera angles, and a very annoying ring announcer. Definitely avoid this one but check out the Ladder match if you can.
Halloween Havoc 2000 Review
This one comes at the request of Joshua Strangle from the awesome Facebook page known as Yes! Yes! Yes! (definitely check it out). I've not reviewed a WCW show since the mediocre Slamboree 2000 so I'm looking forward to this one.
I know nothing about this one (or anything about WCW in general) so I'm not gonna have any factoids about anything happening at the time unless the video packages give me something to go on.
Live from Las Vegas!
Boogie Knights vs NBT vs The Filthy Animals
The World Tag Titles are on the line. Those are some awful tag team names. Even TNA would say no to those ones. Thankfully Rey Mysterio and Billy Kidman were involved so there was always a chance of it being pretty good. I had forgotten that Rey had his mask off at this point so it was strange to watch him work without it. This was a good choice for the opener as the action was frantic and fast-paced and never became boring at all. It did turn into a bit of a clusterfuck at the end but it was still fun to watch. Good start to the show, let's just hope they can keep it up. ***1/4
And before we even have time for a quick break the Hardcore match is about to start.
Reno vs Sgt AWOL
The Hardcore Title is on the line. Sounds like a direct rip off of the WWF to me. I don't know either of these guys but what kind of a name is Sgt AWOL? Even NXT would call that fucking ridiculous. This match was just all weapon shots with no rhyme or reason to them at all. The spot with two tables being used looked pretty cool though. It definitely should have been the finish and Reno should have sold it more instead of getting straight up and fighting again. A completely forgettable match that went on for too long. *
Shawn Stasiak & Chuck Palumbo vs Corporal Cajun & Lt. Loco
And again with the bad ring names. One of those strange names is Chavo Guerrero Jr. Apparently this is an impromptu match. Sounds just like WCW to give us a match that wasn't announced before the show. It seems like there are way too many matches on this show. Anyway this was just a generic tag match that had nothing special going on. It wasn't that entertaining to watch and it's only purpose was to set up the split between Stasiak and Palumbo. Another forgettable match that went on for too long. *1/2
Shane Douglas & Torrie Wilson vs Tygress & Konnan
Torrie was dressed up as Wonder Woman for some reason. Konnan didn't appear at the beginning of the contest as he had been taken out by Jindrak & O'Hare, but he finally appeared after Tygress had gotten her ass kicked. Torrie was pretty awful in there and even worse than she was in the WWE. Shane was good in his role as a complete asshole, going so far as to punch Tygress in the face. Another bland match except this one had a pretty fun finish to save it from being a complete failure. 1/2*
This show went downhill in a hurry.
David Flair vs Buff Bagwell : DNA Match
They never explained but apparently this is just a first blood match. Why not call it that then? A DNA match just sounds idiotic. I don't even know why these guys are feuding or why this match is necessary. David tried copying his dad's spots, but it really didn't look good. This wasn't a long match thankfully but it was still awful. There was no drama to whatsoever and David never once looked like a threat. The finish came out of nowhere and no one seemed to know what they were doing. Just like WCW in general I guess. DUD. That is one of the worst things I've ever watched.
David still manages to get Buff's DNA sample gives it to some lab doctors. WHY???
I wish I wasn't watching this in the morning so I could start drinking.
Mike Sanders vs The Cat : Kickboxing Match
Seriously? You have the Cruiserweight Champion and you can't give him a standard match that might have been good? When has anything involving boxing or kickboxing been a good idea in wrestling? Never! That's why it shouldn't be done! The Cat just dominated this entire thing and it still ended with the usual WCW crap as Cat is counted out while fighting Shane Douglas outside the ring. I wouldn't normally rate something that wasn't a wrestling match this one deserves a big fat DUD for even existing.
December to Dismember isn't looking so bad right now.
Mike Awesome vs Vampiro
Vampiro, to me, seems like one of the most overrated wrestlers ever. Then again I've never really seen his stuff outside of WCW. I'll just take Jericho's word for it. What the hell is with Awesome's 70s gimmick? It looks awful. I thought this could have been the match to get the show back on track, but it really wasn't. It started off well enough with some high flying from Awesome and some brawling through the crowd, but once they were back in the ring it slowed down to a snail's pace and was pretty hard to watch as it turned into a sloppy mess. Plus they failed to mention that this had Falls Count Anywhere rules. This showed potential and just turned ugly in a hurry. That's about five bad matches in a row for this show. 1/4*
Lance Storm & Jim Duggan vs General Rection
And if I thought that all the other names tonight were bad, Rection's just took the fucking cake and won the top prize. I thought that Lance Storm could stop this one from being truly awful and he did try his best to keep things entertaining, but unfortunately he wasn't working with very good workers. Duggan really shouldn't be an anti-American character. Just a very uninteresting match here, and it doesn't help that Rection completely missed his finishing moonsault as well. This'll be forgotten very soon. 1/2*
Sting vs Jeff Jarrett
I think this feud is based on Jarrett calling Sting a has-been, washed up wrestler. Well there's a perfect example of the pot calling the kettle black. Sorry Jarrett but I prefer Drew McIntyre as my Chosen One. Apparently this is No DQ. Thanks for telling us guys. Someone dressed as the old Sting comes out to distract the real Sting for some reason. Another Sting appears. Oh God this is gonna happen a lot isn't it? This entire match is just Sting fighting imposters. FIVE Sting's in total make an appearance and Jarrett hits the real Sting with a guitar for the win. Fuck this match. I've never given negative stars before but I guess there's a first time for everything. One of the worst things I've ever had the displeasure of watching. -***
Booker T vs Scott Steiner
The WCW World Title is on the line. These guys had a pretty good match on the final episode of Monday Nitro so I was hoping to God that this would have been good. Unfortunately I was disappointed yet again. Booker tried hard here but Steiner was just bad. Steiner just dominated Booker for almost the entire match and Booker never really got a proper comeback before the stupid DQ finish. Why would Steiner get himself DQ'd if he wanted the Title? Goddamn it WCW just do something good! At least it's the first match that's not truly terrible in quite a while. *1/2
Goldberg vs Kronik
This match has been built up to all night long, so of course it's only a three minute squash. I really have nothing else to add to this except for DUD. I'm so damn relieved to be finished with this show.
0.5/10. WOW. Freaking WOW. That's the lowest rating I've ever given any show and I don't think it'll ever be beaten. This is just the worst of the worst. The opening tag match is good but not worth going out of your way to see and just about everything after that ranges from bad to absolutely fucking dreadful. Never make a drinking game out of this one where you drink everytime some awful happens becuase you'd be dead after the first hour. Just unbelievably bad and should never be watched by any sane human being.
Friday, 1 August 2014
Wrestlemania XXVIII Review
I know I've done this one a couple of times now, but I hate the original review and I find the re-done version quite messy so I'd rather just do it over properly this time. Besides after the nightmare that was December to Dismember I'll need something to remind myself that wrestling is awesome.
Sheamus vs Daniel Bryan
The World Title is on the line. Bryan goes to give AJ Lee a kiss and one Brogue Kick later we have a new World Champion. Quite obviously this rubbed a lot of people (including myself) the wrong way at the time and it is still talked about to this day as one of the biggest disappointments ever. However, I would say that it is now quite a positive moment as it led directly to the Yes! chants becoming a thing, and starting off the Yes! movement that would go on for another two years. If this match hadn't taken place or if it had been an average contest who knows what would have happened to Bryan. I'm not gonna rate it since it's only 18 seconds long, but it's a match I now enjoy.
Randy Orton vs Kane
This riveting feud started when Kane attacked Orton randomly on Smackdown. Well I guess feuds have been started for worse reasons. The assumption was that this would be a boring match but these guys actually showed some chemistry and attempted to put on a good show, even with a still pissed off crowd chanting for Daniel Bryan. Truth be told this was pretty fun and I enjoyed it. It was also Kane's first good match in a while. Kane gets the upset win with a chokeslam from the second rope. A surprisingly entertaining contest. ***
Cody Rhodes vs The Big Show
The IC Title is on the line. This doesn't sound like a proper Wrestlemania match, but the build up for it was actually very good. The story focused on Rhodes bringing up Show's most embarrassing Mania moments and there were quite a few of them. There was a nice bit of storytelling in the match as Show tried to embarrass Cody by giving him a stink face. The match was pretty short but it was entertaining while it lasted and Cody looked pretty good too. Show has a nice emotional moment as he wins his first IC Title and becomes a Grand Slam Champion. **
Eve Torres & Beth Phoenix vs Kelly Kelly & Maria Menounos
And here we have our celebrity match for the evening. Hey at least it's not Snooki and someone that is actually a big fan of wrestling. Plus I heard that she had cracked ribs going into this match which shows just how dedicated she is to the sport. Any other celebrity would have backed out so I have to give her props for that. This was a surprisingly good divas match as Eve and Kelly were both very improved at this point and Beth was always awesome anyway. By divas standards this was pretty damn good. **
Triple H vs The Undertaker : Hell in a Cell
It's the End of an Era. I still don't get what that means but damn if it doesn't sound cool. By the way the fact that the Cell got its own intro music featuring Metallica is AWESOME. At the time I wasn't sure if this one would live up to the hype, but once those two locked eyes with the Cell coming down around them and Shawn Michaels looking on, I knew that we were about to see something special. This was an absolutely epic war between two titan-like figures and it blew away everyone in attendance and those watching at home. HBK was terrific in his role as the referee as he respected both men and didn't want them to destroy each other. The superkick into a Pedigree might be the greatest nearfall of all time as even I thought it was over at that point, but these guys were far from finished. They tore each other to shreds with chair shots and more signature moves until the Deadman finally came out on top with a second Tombstone. All three guys embracing after the match was something special to watch and a fitting end to their long story. One of the greatest matches in wrestling history featuring just about everything you could want from a wrestling match. *****
Kofi Kingston / Great Khali / R-Truth / Booker T / Santino Marella / Zack Ryder vs Dolph Ziggler / The Miz / David Otunga / Mark Henry / Jack Swagger / Drew McIntyre
Ah yes the 'Get everyone who doesn't already have a match a payday' match. These guys had absolutely no chance following that stunning classic. This is Team Johnny vs Team Teddy with the winner gaining the General Manager job over both brands. The crowd was obviously pretty dead here. The match was a bit of a clusterfuck at times as there were way too many guys involved, but it was pretty fun to watch towards the end. Everything leading up to that was boring. The stuff with Zack Ryder at the end still pisses me off as it signaled the end of any push he may have had. The most forgettable match on the show, but still a nice cool down from the Cell match. *1/2
CM Punk vs Chris Jericho
The WWE Title is on the line. This has now got to be my pick for the most underrated Mania match ever as it used to be HBK/Jericho but everyone seems to be realizing how awesome that one is. It did have a hard place on the card as it was just about sandwiched between two unforgettable encounters, but these guys showed why they're both known as The Best in the World as they turned a near silent crowd into a very loud one. I love the story for it. Jericho tries to get Punk DQ'd by angering him, but Punk shows that he's strong enough to keep it together, so Jericho switches his strategy to wrestling starting with a massive dropkick out of the corner and then a vicious suplex from the apron to the floor. He puts Punk through so much pain but Punk still fights on and out-wrestles Jericho and makes him submit to prove that he is the Best in the World and a true WWE Champion. This is why I'm a wrestling fan folks. You won't find stories like that anywhere else. ****1/2
John Cena vs The Rock
"Once" in a lifetime. All kidding aside this is one of the biggest (if not the biggest) matches of all time and was built to spectacularly. We the fans had over a year's worth of anticipation for this epic confrontation and it delivered on all fronts. They gave us a superb battle worthy of some of the biggest matches of all time as they fought for thirty minutes, building and building to a brilliant crescendo in which The Rock came out victorious. Some people don't like this match, some like it and some love it, but you have to admit that you were all excited to see these two faces of two generations colliding. Sure it may feel a little less unique with their sequel at Mania 29, but it still feels special on its own. A fantastic clash between two of the biggest stars ever and one of the greatest Mania main events of all time as well as just being one of the best matches ever. Hercules conquers The Marine. ****3/4
9.5/10. No doubt about it, this is one of the greatest Wrestlemania events ever. Some may frown upon the undercard, but I found it to be a lot of fun. The Yes! Movement was started here, Kane and Orton had a surprisingly fun match, Big Show had a nice moment and won his first IC Title and the divas match was surprisingly decent. The three main events speak for themselves as three of the best Mania matches you will ever see. A Once in a Lifetime event.