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Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Random Network Review: Bad Blood 2003

Bad Blood 2003 Review

Here we are with the first of many Random Network Reviews. Before I start, I just wanted to say that I finally have my new laptop so the uploads will be way more frequent.

I thought I'd go with this show because it is one of the shows I remember having on DVD as a kid, but it has been such a long time since I've watched it. I don't remember it being a particularly good show but it has that nostalgic factor for me.

I believe this was the first Raw brand PPV, not including the UK shows like Insurrextion. Smackdown had the amazing Vengeance 2003, and Raw had this. Let's see if this show holds up at all.

The Dudley Boyz vs Rodney Mack & Chris Nowinski
I only remember Rodney Mack from the Smackdown: Here Comes the Pain video game and the fact that no one ever used him. This is a storyline I don't remember as it looks like D-Von is having trouble taking orders from Bubba and the fact that he's white makes it worse for him. Okay then. Pretty standard tag match that was good up until the deflating finish. The Dudleys were doing their thing and the crowd was solidly behind them until that weird storyline came up and Nowinski managed to hit Bubba with his metal mask for the win. Almost a good opener if not for the bad finish. **1/4

Coming up tonight we have the Redneck Triathlon between Stone Cold and Eric Bischoff. Oh God I don't have good memories about this!

The first event of the Triathlon is a burping contest. This was about as entertaining as you think it would be. Austin wins the contest.

Test vs Scott Steiner
The winner of this match wins Stacy Kiebler's managerial services. No matter who wins, she loses. I think the only thing everyone remembers about this match is Steiner's glorious botch as he tries to jump on Test outside of the ring and just completely misses and falls on his ass. It's worth checking out for that alone. The match actually wasn't that bad and was kept short. There was even a nice nearfall at the end. Test totally carried the whole thing though. Not a bad match and pretty entertaining. **1/4

Christian vs Booker T
The IC Title is on the line. This is the first IC Title singles contest on PPV since No Mercy 2002, when they removed the Title from the company. They eventually brought it back for Judgment Day 03 when they realised it was dumb not to have a midcard championship. This is also Christian's first PPV with his new haircut. This was a good match up until the crappy finish with Christian getting himself intentionally DQ'd. The fans were rightfully chanting 'Bullshit' at that one.Still though it was a good match up until that point and the crowd was red hot with Booker being in his home town. **3/4

It's time for round 2 of the Redneck Triathlon and it's a Pie Eating Contest. Not cherry pie or apple pie mind you, but poontang pie. I think we could all see where this joke was going. Of course it leads to Mae Young coming out and I won't write what she does. Austin gives her a Stunner and we're one a piece on the triathlon.

This show has just been like an episode of Raw so far.

Rob Van Dam & Kane vs La Resistance
The World Tag Titles are on the line. This would end up being Kane's last PPV with his mask on until the 2012 Royal Rumble nine years later. Just another standard tag match but it wasn't as fun as the last one and it deflated the crowd again with La Resistance getting the win and becoming the new champions. Not much to say about this one, just very forgettable. *3/4

Goldberg vs Chris Jericho
Well these guys certainly have a bit of history. In fact I think it was Jericho's feud with Goldberg in WCW was the catalyst that sent him to the WWE, as he hated the way that the booking staff at WCW booked the feud and thought it was PPV worthy. These guys also had a backstage fight in WWE that Jericho apparently won and I believe that took place before this match. Pretty good match here and the best of the night so far, but Jericho carried the entire match and it looked like Goldberg didn't know what to do at some points. At least Goldberg sold his arm injury well. This is probably one of Goldberg's better matches. ***

Shawn Michaels vs Ric Flair
I think this was just about a dream match at this point and they were only five years away from putting on the most emotional match in WrestleMania history.The storyline here is Ric accusing Shawn of being a 'Ric Flair Wannabe' and turned on him on an episode of Raw. I was really digging this one up until the table spot which kind of came out of nowhere seeing as this match was built as the two best technical wrestlers ever going at it and it just felt out of place. The ending was fine though with Orton costing HBK the match and setting up their program for the next couple of months. Overall it was a fun match that probably should have been longer. The best of the night so far. ***

It's thankfully finally time to end this damned Redneck Triathlon. Eric Bischoff badly sings his theme song and Austin stops him because he sucks. Austin spins the wheel again and it lands on Pig Pen Fun. We all know how this is ending. That's what you get for WCW Eric. Of course Austin destroys Bischoff and throws him into the pig crap, finally ending this big pile of shit.

Triple H vs Kevin Nash: Hell in a Cell
The World Title is on the line. Mick Foley is the guest referee as they needed something to make this match seem interesting aside from the Cell itself. Foley was pretty much the main focus of the video package before the match and made Kevin look like an afterthought. The Cell really wasn't needed for a feud like this and that's probably why this one isn't as well remembered as others. If someone at this time said that HHH and Nash would have a Ladder match nine years after this, I'd consider them insane. It wasn't too bad of a match, as the weapons definitely helped it, and it got better as it went on. Foley did seem to be the main story here and how he would factor into the finish, but at least it kept the match a little more interesting. There was also an awesome nearfall towards the finish as HHH kicked out after taking a Jacknife Powerbomb. Better than I remembered and the best of the night overall. ***1/4

4/10. This was almost the definition of a mediocre show as there was nothing really terrible (outside of some of the Redneck Triathlon) but there was nothing worth going out of your way to see either and even the Cell match would be a stretch. Definitely not a show worth watching unless you're a Goldberg fan.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Extreme Rules 2015

Extreme Rules 2015 Review

I've never done a live review while a show is actually going on, but it should be fun so let's get started.

I didn't see the whole pre-show match between Neville and Barrett, but it looked like a **3/4 match to me.

Dean Ambrose vs Luke Harper: Chicago Street Fight
We're in Chicago so the crowd is very hot tonight. A hot crowd is always awesome. This feud is continuing from WrestleMania when Harper put Ambrose through a ladder and took him out of the contest. This match was pretty awesome while it lasted and they took the fight all the way to the back where Harper hijacked a car and drove away with Ambrose inside as well. I have no idea if the match is over or not so I'm not sure if I should rate it. What I saw was about **1/2. Hopefully we'll see more.

Dolph Ziggler vs Sheamus: Kiss Me Arse
I was really cringing when I saw the name of this match, but it turned out to be pretty damn good. At first I wasn't sure about Sheamus taking a loss seeing as he just returned, but I was fine with it once the aftermath took place. Hitting Dolph in the balls and then with a brogue kick to make him kiss his arse was a great moment for his bully character. So Sheamus looks good in defeat and Ziggler got a nice win. Plus it helps that the match was good with Sheamus dominating and the crowd begging for Ziggler to make a comeback. Good stuff all around. ***1/4

New Day vs Cesaro & Tyson Kidd
The Tag Titles are on the line. I'm actually starting to love New Day's gimmick of intentionally getting the crowd to boo them. It's entertaining and I hope it goes on for a while. Cesaro & Kidd get a face reaction from the audience. Cesaro managed to catch Big E in mid-air. His strength always amazes me. The fact that he isn't a star always amazes me. This was an insanely fun tag match with not one dull moment to be had and a hot crowd to go with it. Cesaro & Kidd work very well as a face team and I'm not mad that they lost the Titles here. I'm hoping the plan is for New Day to keep the Titles for a little while until The Lucha Dragons are ready to take them. Great tag match. ***1/2

New Day are interviewed backstage by Renee Young until Ambrose and Harper return to the building for their match.

Dean Ambrose vs Luke Harper cont.
Both guys get back to the ring and about two dozen chairs are brought into the ring. After a bit of brawling and a nice nearfall with a powerbomb on a chair, Ambrose hits Dirty Deeds and gets the pin, and also his first PPV win in almost a year. I'll put the rating up to *** since it was a fun idea and a fun match overall.

John Cena vs Rusev: Russian Chain Match
The U.S. Title is on the line. I'd say Rusev has a 0,5% chance of winning this. I've liked Cena's run as U.S. champ so far as he's given a few midcarders a chance to show their stuff on TV, even in a losing stance. This is a four corners kind of match which I hate as they're rarely good. Unfortunately, this wasn't an exception. It was pretty dull all the way through up to the predictable ending with Cena hitting the AA and retaining. I have to wonder where both Cena and Rusev go after this. At least Rusev has still only been pinned once so he still looks like a monster. The first disappointing match of the night, although I wasn't expecting much to begin with. **

Nikki Bella vs Naomi
The Diva's Title is on the line. When the hell did the Bellas start getting face reactions? I can't wait for Charlotte to get called up to kick both of their asses. Naomi's heel turn kind of came out of nowhere, but the again so did AJ Lee's retirement. This was a pretty good match. I've always liked Naomi with her athleticism, and it looks like Nikki's been training and learning some new stuff. Looks the the 'Give Divas a Chance' movement is working out. Nice match. **1/2

Roman Reigns vs The Big Show: Last Man Standing
Oh please God let this be the last match that these two guys have together. It's getting to ridiculous Kingston vs Ziggler in 2010/11 levels. This was either gonna be surprisingly good or as dull as I expected. Fortunately it wasn't surprisingly good; it was surprisingly great. It was mainly a spotfest, but it was a fun one in which both guys were motivated and the crowd was hot for it. The table spots were all well done, especially the finish with Reigns lifting up the announcers table to bury Show. Great match and Reigns is really growing on me. ***1/2

Bo Dallas is here as I guess we need to waste some time. He basically just shits on the audience and it is glorious. This brings out Ryback for the beatdown. One Shell Shock later and this segment is over.

Lana and Rusev are backstage as she informs him that he will face Cena at Payback in an I Quit match. This feud is really continuing? Sorry Rusev but you have no chance. Cena never loses that match.

Randy Orton vs Seth Rollins: Steel Cage & RKO Banned
The WWE World Title is on the line. Oh yeah I've been looking forward to this one. I really enjoyed their WrestleMania match and Orton getting the win was the right idea as it immediately made him look like a Title threat and gave Rollins something to prove. Not sure how I feel about Kane being inserted into the story, but if it ends with him getting his mask and wrestling gear back then I'm all for it. This started off quite slowish, but once they started hitting the big moves things really got going. Orton hitting a pedigree was awesome and a great nearfall. The finish was dramatic as I couldn't tell who Kane was going for. Rollins hitting an RKO was a great ending and I'm sure the feud will continue. A great main event here. ***3/4

7.5/10. A damn good show here and much better than what I expected. The two main events delivered and the undercard was very good. The only disappointment for me was the Cena/Rusev match, so skip that one. All in all a very good show that's worth a watch. Nothing groundbreaking but it's a good waste of time.

Monday, 20 April 2015

WrestleMania XXXI

WrestleMania XXXI Review

It has been so long since I posted anything here, but I've got the bug for writing again and I thought the latest Mania was a good place to start on.

I'll also include the pre-show matches since I haven't watched them yet, and only saw the end of the battle royal.

By the way, I watched this event in a bar full of wrestling fans, and apart from being at the event itself, it is definitely the premier way to watch Mania, as the atmosphere is just electric and everyone has their own personal favourites. I don't think I could ever watch a PPV live from home again.

This Mania hardly had the best build but neither did Mania 19 and that's considered one of the best ever. So without further ado, here we go with the Showcase of the Immortals.


The Usos vs Cesaro & Kidd vs Los Matadores vs New Day
The tag titles are on the line. Surely the Ascension would have been a better choice over Matadores? Cesaro & Kidd definitely got he best pop and reaction from the crowd. This started off like a simple tag match, but once everyone started getting involved, it turned into a a non-stop thrill ride. The action was all over the place and it was glorious to witness. The best spot of the match was the double electric chair into superplexes. I would say that this was good enough for the main show. A great tag match and good work from everyone involved. ***1/2

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
This didn't feel like as big a deal as the last one was since it's on the pre-show. Everyone stopping to eliminate Curtis Axel was a pretty funny moment. Hideo Itami got a big reaction from the crowd and had a nice moment, but I was disappointed that he wasn't in there longer. Cesaro had another great
showing and had the crowd behind him. Mizdow's moment was amazing and received a huge reaction from the crowd. Big Show then ruined it by winning the thing. Good battle royal though. ***1/4

WrestleMania 31

Let's skip all the intro stuff and get to the matches.

Daniel Bryan vs Luke Harper vs Stardust vs Bad News Barrett vs Dolph Ziggler vs R-Truth vs Dean Ambrose : Ladder Match
The IC Title is on the line. I still have no idea what Truth was doing in there. I don't think I enjoyed this one as much as everyone else did. It's still a good match and the great thing about these kinds of matches is that you can go back and watch them over again quite easily. Bryan did seem like the obvious winner here, but I'd say that Ziggler and Ambrose were favourites too and Ziggler did come close with his awesome headbutt battle with Bryan at the end. The only moment that shocked me was Ambrose taking a powerbomb through a ladder which did look very painful. A good car wreck match which it was intended to be. ***1/2

Randy Orton vs Seth Rollins
I'll admit that I like Orton's new look with the elbow pads. Before the show I thought this would be the show stealing match and while it didn't exactly do that, it was still one of the better matches of the night. I think the point of this match was to make Rollins look good even in a clean defeat and I would say mission accomplished on that one. Rollins looked like a star here and that he belonged in
the ring with a veteran like Orton. Hell, he even got to kick out of an RKO and not many people can say that. Overall this was a great match with a great finish as Orton hit one of the biggest and best RKOs I've ever seen. Great stuff. ***3/4

Sting vs Triple H
As a fan of the Terminator movies, I did enjoy HHH's entrance no matter how cheesy it was. I freaking loved this match. It had that same feel as Rock vs Hogan, where the in-ring stuff wasn't that great but the atmosphere and the entertainment value was just off the charts. DX and the nWo interfering was awesome and just brought more entertainment to the match. The nearfalls were great and I love just about everything in this match except for two things: the ending and the aftermath. Sting should have definitely won this and I don't get the point of HHH winning and it just about deflated the crowd. Why the hell would Sting shake his hand afterwards too? Just some weird storytelling there. However I do love this match and I'm probably overrating it, but I'd call it must-see. ****1/2

We got a mini concert after the match and I'm skipping it because it's very boring.

AJ & Paige vs The Bella Twins
Does this count as AJ's final match? If so then I think it makes it quite historically significant for the future. The match wasn't anything special but it was better than most divas matches you see on tv (obviously outside of NXT). Why the hell was AJ knocked out for so long though? A weird part of the match. Anyway let's hope that the divas start getting more attention in the future because it could really do them some good. So-so match. **

John Cena vs Rusev
The U.S. Title is on the line. I loved Rusev's entrance coming in on a tank. Looked awesome. However I would call Cena's cringe worthy as someone who isn't American and I heard that a lot of American fans found it cringe worthy as well. The match was pretty good but I was disappointed that it wasn't as good as their Fastlane match which I found to be a great match. Plus Rusev only took one AA and it pinned him? Quite the anticlimactic finish but Rusev still looked like a beast up to that point. Cena's springboard Stunner was awesome and the bar I was in erupted in a 'Holy shit' chant until dying down and calling Cena a wanker once again. Still, a good match and I like Cena as U.S. Champ so good stuff all around. ***1/4

I won't go over the Ronda Rousey segment since everyone knows what happened, but yes it was great and everyone in the bar (myself included) went nuts as soon as Ronda jumped over the barricade. The Rock was in good form as well, as was Stephanie McMahon. A cool segment that will hopefully set up something for next year's Mania.

The Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt
Let me just pre-face this by saying that I am a huge Undertaker mark and a match between him and Wyatt is something I dreamed about for two years, so no matter how this went I was always gonna enjoy the hell out of it. And it actually wasn't a bad match at all. The match was only fifteen minutes so it didn't last too long and Taker was looking good for fifty and I have confidence that he'll look good next year too. A good match here with Wyatt looking good in defeat, and that moment where he did the spider walk and Taker sat up was just awesome. Good match and great to see the Deadman back in action. 22-1! ***1/4

Roman Reigns vs Brock Lesnar
The WWE World Title is on the line. This is a match I wasn't looking forward to up until the point when Lesnar signed a new contract. After that it felt unpredictable and that either guy could walk away with the belt. The match was fantastic with Lesnar living up to all the names that Heyman gave him and gloriously destroyed Reigns. Reigns looked good too, especially towards the end when he looked so close to winning. Rollins' cash-in was fantastic and I lost my voice from shouting too much when he pinned Reigns. A brilliant finish to an amazing match that made everyone look good coming out of it. A Wrestlemania classic and one of the better Mania main events in history. It's the Match of the Year for me. ****3/4

9.25/10. An amazing Mania event and I don't think anyone thought it would be anyone near as good as it was. It had just about something for everyone like the car crash Ladder match, entertainment matches like Sting/HHH and Taker/Wyatt, a brawl in the main event, good wrestling matches in Orton/Rollins and Cena/Rusev, a decent divas match, and even great non-wrestling segments outside of the concerts. Hell, even the pre-show was awesome! One of the better Mania's of the past decade and it'll definitely go down in history as one of the best. Highly recommended viewing.