Thursday, April 14, 2011

THE NEW GENERATION PROJECT: WRESTLEMANIA IX REVIEW

WRESTELMANIA IX
CESAR'S PALACE
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
ATTENDANCE: 16,891

Snap into it!
INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE MATCH
SHAWN MICHAELS vs. TATANKA
Shawn comes out with Luna Vachon(making her debut) and Sherri follows out Tatanka. She totally reminds me that at the last PPV it seemed like the Marty/Shawn feud was just warming up, and it's totally disappeared. I wonder if the original plan for Mania was their rematch and Marty messed it up. Either way I'm down for Tatanka getting a shot. Their interactions leading up to the match have been great.

For the most part these two don't disappoint. They work some really fun technical spots and they keep things interesting for most of the 18 whopping minutes they got. There's some down points like when Tatanka is in control. He didn't seem to have to many great ideas on how to work an arm. And Shawn stops selling the arm which wasn't awful if you had watched the match with the commentary off. But Heenan is selling the idea that HBK's arm had been dislocated in the 6-Man on RAW, and the whole time Tatanka is wringing it they bring up how much pain he's going through. Then when he goes on offense he's pretty much using that arm the whole time.

The finishing stretch was awesome, but the ending was crap. Tatanka was hot and it just felt really disappointing for it to end in a count out, especially after such a good exchange. Besides that, it was a good match for both guys.

After the match Shawn walks off and Luna sticks around to beat up Sherri. It's weird - there wasn't any interaction between Shawn and Luna. It's like she wasn't even with him. It's as if she just followed him down there and everyone assumed she was his valet.

THE HEADSHRINKERS vs. THE STEINERS
You can tell the Steiners like the Headshrinkers because Scott doesn't immediately come in and start tossing them around like bitches. As a matter of fact, they really get dominated for most of the match.

Early on Scott takes a sick bump. Samu went for a hotshot and kept backing up and Scott just missed the ropes all together. Looked like a lawn dart dropping to the floor. From then on it's him getting the shit kicked out of him. When he finally gets the hot tag, Rick comes in on a roll but the Samoans take control on him eventually. This leads to what will have to be the spot of the night. They set up Rick for a Doomsday Device and when Samu flies off the top Rick catches him with a Power Slam off Fatu's shoulders! Insane. Scott gets tagged in and nails his Frankensteiner for the win.

So far two really good matches. And up next is DOINK!!!!!

CRUSH vs. DOINK THE MOTHER F'N CLOWN OF WRESTLING MANLINESS
I'm mildly disappointed and it's mostly because Crush just isn't so hot as a face. Doink takes the beat down just fine, and his control section is cool - he just starts doing top rope fists to the head to try and keep the big man down. Doink's piledriver was gross because Crush's head gets SPIKED. I like that Doink completely changes his style so that he doesn't totally outclass opponents who are supposed to get over. When he's wrestling whimpies, he's schooling them with all kinds of stuff, but with Crush he keeps things simple with top rope punches.

This man hates you so much.
I just realized watching this that they could have had Matt Bourne wrestle as himself and as Doink. He could have had this crazy Andy Kaufman gimmick where you think he's Doink but then he wrestles Doink as himself. I dunno.Have you seen Man In the Moon? Do you know what I'm talking about?  Anyway, it could have been epic. So much missed opportunity.

RAZOR RAMON vs. BOB BACKLUND
This was cute. Razor does a HBK special and bumps around like crazy for Bob Backlund. Then he shocks him with an inside cradle for the win. That was pretty much the only offensive maneuver he pulled off the whole match. I'm a little disappointed, but I think it's cool that they went in there and did something different. Four matches in and they've all been very very different, but mostly entertaining.

TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH
MEGA MANIACS vs. MONEY INC.(c)
Hogan's eye is messed up in this. It's blood red and stitched up over the brow. The rumor is that Macho Man decked him the night before, but must have done it with a lead pipe or something. Or maybe he has hands of stone.

This is actually a neat match. for the most part. I don't care for the Beefcase mask that allows him to not feel any pain, but whatever. The best part is Hogan getting knocked out by the Million Dollar Dream and then Beefcake running in while the ref is distracted and putting DiBiase to sleep with the sleeper. When the ref turns around both guys are out and essentially on even footing. It's kind of brilliant when you watch it.

The problem is the finish is dumb as hell. Hogan uses the mask as a weapon after the ref is laid out(how was this mask even legal to wear if it can deal such damage?) and then pins DiBiase. The ref is knocked out so what do we do? Well we just have Jimmy Hart turn his jacket inside out(because the inside is striped like a referee shirt, which in his mind automatically makes him an official) and have him count the fall. Eventually another ref comes down and says "What the F is going on down here? Disqualify these red and yellow assholes." And they do.

So they threaten to beat the ref's ass. Jimmy tells them not to and they listen. Then Jimmy takes the ref and tosses him out of the ring. What a bunch of douche bags.

But don't worry, fans. They open up Money Inc.'s Briefcase, which is loaded with cash, and start giving it away to members of the audience. So we love them again. MONEY!!!!

LEX LUGER vs. MR. PERFECT
Luger's entrance is IMMENSE. Hot chicks holding mirrors that shoot fire works. So great. The commentary guys are playing up his forearm and how he's knocking people out with it, but this the first time I've heard of it since his debut. And I've watched a lot of this stuff so far.

This match is really solid. They work a fast pace with little to no rest. Mr. Perfect is just a demon in this one. It's also really worth watching for the commentary too. Heenan is outstanding in this and the combination of him, Ross and Savage might be my favorite one ever. Luger looked like hot stuff the whole match and neither guy came out bad.

The finish was a little wonky, especially when you've got a ref coming in and reversing a decision in the match before, and a ref coming down trying to clarify that there were two Doinks in the Doink match. But no one comes down to say Perfect's feet were in the ropes.

Perfect gets pissed and runs to the back to get Luger but is beat down by Shawn Michaels. I guess Shawn and Perfect move into a feud now.

GIANT GONZALEZ vs. THE UNDERTAKER
Who thought this was okay? There's kids in the front row.
This should have ended a minute in when Giant Gonzalez punched the Undertaker straight in the dick while Bill Alfonso watched. I don't think anyone would have minded. Gonzalez is pretty bad. His selling is horrible and his spray painted ass crack is distracting in a big way. Undertaker tries to make this watchable and he's pretty great at working his act. Just the way he moves keeps the audience interested.

They muck around with trying to choke each other until Gonzalez smothers him with a chloroform rag for the DQ. And that's it. He just put him to sleep like Michael Cane in Cider House Rules. He didn't beat him up any extra, he just put him out of his misery where he can dream about one day marrying Michele McCool. Who was 13 during this match. 13 years old. Gross.

The crowd starts chanting for Hogan to help out, but then Undertaker, who had been stretchered out, comes back to the ring and whips his ass. Undertaker's face as he walked back up the aisle was some scary shit. Like scarier than The Ring scary.

MACHO MAN LINE OF THE NIGHT: "Gonna have to change Giant Gonzalez' name to 'What Happened?' because that's all we can say."

Preach it, Macho.

WWF WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
YOKOZUNA vs. BRET "HITMAN" HART
They recap Yoko's path of destruction and then introduce Hulk Hogan to cut a promo about his pep talk he gave to Bret Hart. Yeah, I bet that went really well.

These guys work amazingly well together. Bret wrestles with a game plan to try and get this bastard on the ground and Yoko is just so good at what he does. Every move he hits looks like a match ender, and Bret is one of the best underdog wrestlers ever. Not a fan of salt knocking out Bret for the pin, as I'd rather he take a Banzai Drop too, but it's whatever. Neat match for what 8 minutes and I really want to see them get together again.

WWF WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
YOKOZUNA vs. HULK HOGAN
Then things get shitty. Hogan comes out to help Bret and Fuji challenges yellow belly Hogan to an impromptu match. The bell rings, Fuji throws salt in Yoko's eyes, and Hogan hits the big f'n boot and drops the big f'n leg to win the title. SUCKY. I mean that Earl Hebner sat and watched all these shenanigans with the salt and just let it go. I'm thinking he set up Bret for Hogan. That damn Hebner. It's always him.

Everyone in the crowd loved it, but this was dumb as hell. It felt so forced to challenge Hogan so Hogan could just get the title back. Even when I was a kid, all I could think was "Bullshit."
CROSSIN' THE LINE, BROTHER.

OVERALL SHOW:
The wrestling on this show is great. Several different styles of matches that all(well except for Gonzalez) have people busting their ass. The problem was that nearly every match had weird, messed up finishes. It was like each match existed in a bubble, and when you put them altogether, you wonder where the hell they get all these awful referees. Rules enforced in one match aren't enforced in another. One ref will overturn a decision while another will just say "Hey, there was two of them damn Doinks' out here, you messed up buddy. Crush is still a loser, though"

And for me great matches get brought down a lot in my eyes if the finish sucks. And this show was a lot of sucky finishes. A really disappointed thumb in the middle.

4 comments:

  1. "A really disappointed thumb in the middle' is the best review I've ever seen this show get.

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  2. Well the wrestling from bell to right before the bell was good in just about every match. So it wasn't a total wash. If there's a match on the card where Brutus Beefcake looks halfway good, it can't be all bad.

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  3. Ha, very true. A pre-Attitude era "bad" show is usually still a lot of fun. I've been watching Wrestling Challenge on wweclassics.com and the match quality is awful, but the amount of fun I have watching it is really high.

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  4. The WWF Tag-Team Championship Match was originally supposed to be the blow-off to the feud between Money Inc. and the Nasty Boys, culminating with DiBiase and IRS retaining their titles, but Knobbs and Saggs were taken off the card for Hogan and Beefcake. The Nasties would leave by May and return to WCW, where they would spend the rest of their careers.

    The whole thing is sort of ironic, as it was just two years earlier in late 1990/early 1991 that the Nasties jumped from WCW and screwed up the scheduled push of Power & Glory heading into Wrestlemania VII, so in a way, this was a taste of their own medicine.

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