Monday, May 23, 2011

OVER THE LIMIT 2011 REVIEW

SPACE IS THE PLACE
Since I'm heading on vacation, I'm not going to do a Smackdown review this week. To make up for it, I'll be doing a review of the PPV. FREAK OUT!

R-TRUTH vs. REY MYSTERIO
R-Truth not having any music is kind of cool. This kind of reminds me of the Dudley Boys in ECW when there'd be no music and then they'd get in the ring and cut a promo on every one. Truth's promo goes back and forth between being really good and kind of corny. The way Michael Cole repeats "Shut Up Little Jimmy!" feels like the kind of thing that would make Dave Chapelle give up $50 million and fly to Africa. It just made me felt really uncomfortable when he did  it.

Solid as hell performance. Mysterio brought the goods with the outside hurricanrana and the bull dog off the top rope. Truth kept up and looked impressive with his win. They kept a great pace and told a nice story. Booker was a real MVP on commentary during this match and some how he and Cole are working together way better than they ever have on Smackdown. Booker really helped build the story of the match and the character of R-Truth.

Great Start.

INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
WADE BARRETT vs. EZEKIEL JACKSON
The second the bell rings you can hear a I guy yell "boring!"
There's something weird about both Zeke and Wade. Their auras don't seem to go beyond themselves. It's a big contrast to Truth and Rey who feel like larger than life human beings. The match suffers from that but it has some decent work.

Zeke getting pops off of repeatedly bodyslamming Wade was awesome though. I think he actually may have had a breakthrough with that moment, because it truly felt like he connected on a large scale with the audience. The fact that they were starting to chant "One more Time" at a bodyslam in 2011, blows my mind and Zeke should get huge props for pulling it off.

The DQ ending was fine, as I think this could be drawn out a little longer on Smackdown.

WOAH WHAT HAPPENED!
Your mustache is crooked.
Punk is giving Mason some pointers when they come across their fellow NEXUS members beat up backstage. Punk tells Ryan to chill out because it means they're under their skins. Mason Ryan should also not talk anymore. Punk ends it by telling Otunga and Perfect Jr. to walk it off.

SIN CARA vs.CHAVO GUERRERO 
After the dive to the outside Sin Cara seemed to get a little lost. It felt like he didn't know what was next or where Chavo was. There were a couple of times where Chavo seemed to slow it down to regroup. I can't tell if it's Chavo's fault or not because he seemed to legit ding up his knee after the headscissors to the outside. Just not a good showing for either guy at all. Really disappointing match.

Also they need to cut it with the crazy special lights. Especially with the dives outside, where you can't see what the hell is going on.

WWE TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH 
KANE & BIG SHOW vs. MASON RYAN & CM PUNK
I miss Alberto Del Rio on Smackdown. His stuff before the match about sneaky Canadians cracked me up.

Decent match with Punk doing the lion's share of work. Ryan didn't look nearly as bad as he did on RAW against Kane, but he wasn't really required to do much anyway. I had a feeling Punk would come through with the Randy Savage references and he did. Decent work from Kane and Show. Big Show's comeback at the end had tons of fire and was a highlight.

KELLY KELLY vs. BRIE BELLA
I used the bathroom during this. My son watched it because Kelly Kelly was in it. He looked bored. Soooooooo.....

WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH
CHRISTIAN vs. RANDY ORTON
MATCH OF THE FUCKING YEAR.
This is the moment folks. This is the moment when Christian officially became a Main Event guy. Orton was amazing. Christian was amazing. The crowd was fucking amazing. Best crowd reactions the WWE has had in YEARS. This is it. This is fucking wrestling. They played on each other's moves set in an amazing way and retweaked the counters from the first match. I haven't seen two wrestlers fight over a WWE title in a long time that looked so desperate to retain or regain. It makes the belt look incredibly important, and it makes the outcome feel like a huge deal. Go watch their first match and then watch this and thank Christian and Randy Orton for making your life better.

I think some one's been reading my blog. I miss Doink too.
JERRY LAWLER vs. MICHAEL COLE
Thankfully the match was quick. The stuff afterwards was decent, and didn't feel overly long. Especially since everyone came out and just did their thing. Bret Hart coming out was awesome especially as a nod to his Foot Kissin' Match with Jerry Lawler from the 90's.

The only downside is that Cole is still alive.

I QUIT MATCH FOR THE WWE CHAMPIONSHIP
JOHN CENA vs. THE MIZ
Wow. This was horrible. Miz is an awesome Dungeon Master though.

John Cena. You've walked into a tavern where a Level 7 Orc has a leather strap. You must roll a 16 or higher on a 20 sided die to avoid getting whipped. Of course, you could just say "I quit" and we can go play XBox instead.

John, a young boy is at ring side,  he hands you the Elixir of Boramoor to replenish your health to 10 pts above your normal HP.

But seriously, big props to Cena for taking some nasty stuff, but his Cinema Style matches are generally pretty bad and this is one of the worst ones. Long and boring, and despite all the different situations Miz put him in the drama was really low.

OVERALL THOUGHTS:
It's pretty much a one match show. Rey/R-Truth was pretty good but I'll bet you'll see this on RAW tonight or next week. Sin Cara/Chavo was clunky disappointment. Zeke came out of his shell a little bit, but everything before the finish was flat.

This show is all about Christian and Randy Orton. So if you can find that, get that and enjoy it. It's amazing. Skip the rest.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

THE WEEKLY SMACKDOWN REVIEW 5:20:11

I SAID SHUT UP AND PUT THE BAG OVER YOUR HEADS


CHRISTIAN vs. SHEAMUS
Christian, much like Kane and at times Matt Hardy, can get great reactions with his punches. I think it's great when a guy can just do a punch and get a nice pop from the crowd. Christian's cat and mouse formula is one of the best in wrestling and Sheamus is more than good in playing his role as Cat.

I'd like to point out that Michael Cole, of all people, said "Christian is a great WRESTLER." I know people love talking about the banned words and thought they'd love to dissect how Michael Cole could say such a thing.

Even in winning I feel like Christian still kept Sheamus looking strong while showing that he can eek out a win on anyone. Very cool match and an awesome way to start the show.

After the match Mizark comes down and joins Sheamus in a beat down on the #1 Contender. Orton comes out and chills for a spell before deciding to run down and help out. Christian hadn't noticed and thanked Randy for the assist. I really like that.

BRIE BELLA vs. NATALIA NEIDHART
This is a pretty solid Diva match. Natty is pretty damn slick in how she moves. She's very clean and very precise. Brie takes quite a bit of punishment and keeps a good pace, but I don't find her particularly engaging as a heel wrestler.

Earning that paycheck.
EZEKIEL JACKSON SUPER ULTRA MEGA PROMO TIME
Ezekiel Jackson gets promo time to talk about his story with the Corre. I think this would have been better if it was 10 seconds long and just him growling and posing in a taped interview backstage. Won't be shocked if we don't hear many more promos from Zeke again. At least not in front of a live audience.


JACKSON, BIG SHOW, & KANE vs. THE CORRE
No joke, Heath Slater is a performer in the best way possible. I loved him breaking up a pin by the Big Show and practically jumping into the crowd to get away. He's kind of like Shawn Michaels when Shawn started his singles run away from Jannetty. The way he launches himself into Kane for a failed Choke Slam and later a Kane Punch, makes it look like he's really going for something instead of looking like he's a guy who's launching himself into a counter.

Big Zeke finishes it up with a Torture Rack, which is one of my favorite moves. When he actually gets into it looks awesome, but he needs to work the move as soon as he gets Gabriel up. It's like he's moving him around on his shoulders and then posing in the ring before he does it. It's about a 7 on the Luger Scale

CHAVITO vs. DANIEL BRYAN
Chavo says he's going to beat Daniel Bryan in under 5 minutes which is 1/3 less time it took Sin Cara last week with Chavo's help. The Clock IS ON!

Chavo really is a class act. They have a solid 5 minute match with Chavo hitting 3 Amigos and a Frog Splash with Daniel Bryan kicking out to make it the full 5 minutes. That's two weeks he's been protected while they build this feud despite being a secondary character. Sin Cara comes down to save the day. This really is a decent story so far, and I'm excited to see how they work at Over The Limit.

TED DIBIASE vs. TRENT BARETTA
No Jokes. I just wanted to say that I want that tie, please.
I have no idea why these two are together now, and I honestly don't care. In terms of their relationship, this makes no sense and is poorly explained by the announcers. However the promo itself is pretty fun stuff. The match is too short to matter. Go watch Trent Baretta vs. Tyson Kidd from Superstars instead. It's really good.

THE GREAT KHALI vs. JEY USO
Ahhhh yes. The Uso guy we got in the draft. Uso seems to hold his own until Jinder comes down and tells Khalie to get in there and take care of business. Khali steps in and chops Uso down and gives him the choke bomb. Uso's brother, the other Uso, comes in and and gets a chop to the ol' noggin for being so concerned. This really is moving a long nicely. Can't wait to see how Ranjin Singh responds to this, as he wasn't out there during the match.

RANDY ORTON vs. MARK HENRY
Mark is still working at a solid level. Before the commercial break, Randy hits a drop kick and all I could think was that he doesn't get nearly as much elevation as he used to. Then they come back from the break and he throws another dropkick to prove me wrong. Randy can throw a really good standing dropkick.

Sheamus comes down to muck up the match and Christian pulls an Orton, stretching out on the entrance before running down to make the save. When they clear everyone out Orton is pissed that Christian gave him a taste of his own medicine. Then the heels come in again and Orton RKO's Mark Henry to make everyone happy.

Then this happened:

So yeah. That happened.

OVERALL THOUGHTS: Another really solid show with the main stories progressing nicely. Cody Rhodes deal with Teddy really makes no sense whatsoever but he still gives a 100% in his act, which is good for now. I actually find myself wanting to know what happens next week, which isn't always the case with WWE TV. It's nice to want to watch because they're telling me a good story as opposed to watching out of habit.

Friday, May 20, 2011

THE NEW GENERATION ERA PROJECT: SUPERSTARS REVIEW 4/17/93

CRUSH vs. GLEN RUTH
Crush's music is awesome. It's one of my favorites. Crush busts out a torture rack and then drops to his knees. I've seen this move a lot and I really like it, but for some reason when Crush does it, it looks so soft and lame. Actually a lot of what he does is soft looking. For whatever reason he decides to apply a bear hug on a jobber. That seems like such a bad guy move, and the crowd goes dead for it. He does bust out a nice tilt-a-whirl back breaker before crushing Glen Ruth's head, but overall it's a weak showing from the big guy.

To be fair, the camera was dressed like a cup cake.
THE HEADSHRINKERS vs. JD STRYKER & RON PRESTON
Oh man The Headshrinkers rock this mother out. Both guys look so crisp in with their moves. Fatu breaks out a nice super kick and then Samu tops him with a spin kick to JD Stryker's FACE. Just an awesome kick that flipped me out. Fatu's splash from the top really is impressive looking considering how much air he gets. Fun squash match.


BRET REVEALS THE TRUTH ABOUT NARCISSIST 
During the Headshrinkers' match Vince brought up that Jack Tunney was ordering a medical examination and X-Ray of Lex Luger's right forearm. Jerry was incredulous wondering what they thought they were going to find. Vince responds with, "Who knows?"

After the match we go to the event center with Mean Gene where the show some promos between Lex and Bret. In Bret's promo he actually says "The Narcissist...he likes to run into people with his steel plated elbow." It's too bad he didn't use those psychic abilities in Montreal.

MR. PERFECT vs. BARRY HARDY
Perfect is killer in this. After hitting his leapfrog/running drop kick spot, he backs Barry Hardy into the corner and yells "SO YOU WANNA BE A WRESTLER, HUH?" He then proceeds to chop his chest and go through his move list before finishing him off with the Perfect Plex. He was just on fire and the crowd was loving every bit of it. When they announced him as the winner he jumped off the middle rope and crossed his legs before landing. He's a slick one that Perfect.

OWEN HART vs. BAM BAM BIGELOW
This is the first time I've seen Owen not wearing his High Energy Pants. I love his new tights. He's insane in this match. So fast and so crisp. They work so well together. They do a nice spot where Bammer applies a bear hug and Owen slips his arms in and starts to break it. When he gets a little room he tries to quickly snap a body slam but Bammer is ahead of him and uses the momentum to crush poor Owen under his weight.

At some point, I believe it was really early after the enziguri Owen messed up his knee. Towards the end of the match he tries to counter a turnbuckle whip by leaping up to the top rope but his knee totally gives out. They go for it again but Owen can't even run on it so Bigelow just bodyslams him and nails the top rope Headbutt for the finish.

In Bret's book, he says this match was supposed to be the beginning of an Owen Hart push, and I think Owen was going to go over before he blew his knee and they called an audible for Bammer to win. This match was really solid work until the incident and it's a real bummer that we'll have to do without Owen for a little while. He just looked awesome.

YOKOZUNA vs. CHRIS KATOWSKI
Chris Katowski looks like he's about 16 years old. Yoko just murders him. He grabs Katowski by his throat and throws him on his neck. Then he turns the kid inside out with a nasty clothesline. Just utter destruction, and probably the nastiest Banzai Drop EVER. Yoko usually hits his feet first on the drop and this time his feet slip out from under him and he just drops all 500 lbs on this poor kids stomach. Poor kid had to have shit himself. Just nasty...

Here's the Finish:

OVERALL THOUGHTS:
Really good show. The Crush match sucked, but the Headshrinkers and Yoko were awesome in their respective squash matches. Owen and Bammer was shaping up to be one of the best matches of the year until the blow out.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

LEARNING OTTO WANZ 4. WANZ HARDER

THE WANZ GOES TO DAS BOOTCAMP

That's right, I'm watching the big German take on Sgt. Slaughter. For perspective, Slaughter had joined the WWF earlier in the year and was feuding with Bob Backlund over the WWF Heavyweight Championship when this match took place in July.


SGT. SLAUGHTER vs. OTTO WANZ 07.09.1983




THOUGHTS:

This is a pretty fun brawl. I love the stalling by Slaughter early on, and how they created a story about who could leave the other out of the ring. The crowd and the announcer really add to the brawling on the outside. The rules seem so stringent that when they start slamming each other into tables, it feels like this is the wildest shit anyone has ever seen.

Slaughter is a really good bump guy and some of his offense looks pretty good, but he gets a little repetitive in the final stretch- almost like he's filling time. I really like his elbow off the apron to a prone Otto on the second rope. For some reason that felt really cool to me.

Besides the brawling and the excitement of the crowd, I really like that there's no round system in play. The other matches I've watched have 3-5 rounds, so there's a break in the action. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Seeing Otto wrestle with out the rounds makes me feel like that's definetly the way to go.

Otto's cross body finish was probably one of the more satisfying finishes of any of the matches I've reviewed. I think this totally fun and worth checking out.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

THE NEW GENERATION ERA PROJECT: RAW REVIEW WEEK 12

04/12/93

We kick things off this week with Money Inc. paying to Beverly Brothers to tell them everything they know about the Steiners. Beverly Bros, who wrestled them last week explain that you gotta take their legs out and avoid the Frankensteiner. Money Inc look really worried at the news they're hearing. This was  neat way to build a match. Let's see if Irwin can put any of this info to good use.

I.R.S. vs. SCOTT STEINER
This one is only a slight let down, but it's supposed to be building to an eventual tag match between Money Inc and The Steiners. There's a cool shoulder block, shoulder block, drop toe hold, head lock counter to hammer lock, sequence that I really really like.

Ted does great work on the outside. He's wearing his white suit and at the first sign of a fight with Rick he snaps the entire thing off in like 15 seconds.

This is one of the first matches Scott has been in where he doesn't dominate or get to use any of his big time throws. I think the only suplexes he gets in is a standard snap suplex. He does nail a Tiger Driver for the finish, but gets nailed by DiBiase before the ref can count to 3.

After the match The Steiners go for the Steiner Line but the Beverly's run down to assist. Unfortunetely they end up nailing DiBiase on accident and the four teams argue while the Steiners walk off. This leads to a kind of face turn for the Beverlys.

TATANKA vs. VON KRUS
Von Krus is the former Skull Von Krush from the early ECW days and later Vito from the Baldies. He also was Vito in the WWE where he was in their version of the Full Blooded Italians. You may also remember him wrestling in a dress.

Tatanka busts out a Japanese Armdrag, and it looks pretty ugly. Can't tell if it's the way Von Krus does a flip bump or what. Von Krus also enjoys taking whips to the turnbuckle that he bounces off of and does a back bump.

It's a decent match, but Krus is pretty green. His bumps looks like he's getting hit and then deciding to take a bump, instead of looking like a guy who's getting knocked down.

Doink randomly comes out and squirts some water and people before leaving. This is similar to when he debuted, where he'd periodically come out and muck with the crowd while the wrestlers wrestled.

LUNA VACHON  MAKES HER RAW DEBUT
Luna made her first appearance at Wrestlemania beating up Sherri Martel. Luna is solid on the mic talking about herself as a true "Woman of the 90's...Strong Sleek and Sensual"

She also says "I am a bandit from the wild untamed future. A Place that was before and will be again. I am the  ultimate female of the ring. I am the woman that rules the squared circle and I will wipe you all over the mat like a fine PiCasso." That's brilliant folks.

I think Luna is walking in on this guy's Beer Ad Photo Shoot.
Sherri responds, "Hey, I've stood up to bigger men than you'll ever be woman." Sherri then does a high kick around Bartlett that connects with Luna's face. It's actually really impressive looking. They start brawling and Sherri suplexes Luna on the floor. Eventually they end up tearing their clothes off a little AND THEN go into the crowd, which delighted some of the male fans. Sherri actually threatens to break Luna's bra strap to a great reaction. Macho finishes the interview where Sherri says if Luna wants a piece of Sherri she can get one anytime she wants "Ohhhhhh yeah!". This was a pretty cool segment and both of the ladies were awesome on the mic.

PAPA SHANGO vs. SCOTT TAYLOR
The Fink actually says "Skip" Taylor while the graphic reads "Scott" and you can kind of see Scotty's face fall when he realizes what the Fink just said. Thankfully he does a great job. He gets all kinds of air on a hip toss, and the shoulder breaker looked extra nasty. Shango does the head butt to the abs which really looks like a flying Blow J, but other than that it's an okay squash.

THE DEBUT OF FRIAR FERGUSON vs. CHRIS DUFFY
Dude. I don't even remember Friar Ferguson. For those who don't know, Ferguson is Mike Shaw, who would later become Bastion Booger. This match is pretty lame. BUT it does have a funny exchange between Macho and Vince.

VINCE: I would suggest Friar Ferguson with an unfair advantage considering whom is managing the Friar.
MACHO: You talkin' about Hulk Hogan?

Ferguson's gimmick is so goddamn goofy. He not only has to dress like Friar Tuck from Disney's Robin Hood, he also decides he needs to hike up his robe every once in a while and do the little wobbly knee dance. He even stuffs Chris Duffy's head up his robe and rubs the fabric all over his face. END THIS PLEASE.

Friar splashes Duffy and apparently there's a three count but they call it a two. The crowd boos. END THIS PLEASE

The cut to Rob Bartlett at ring side, who's been made up to look like he has a black eye. Vince urges him to flex for the camera. END THIS PLEASE.

The crowd actually starts to chant "WE WANT BRET." Which is awesome. They look just completely lost out there. After Duffy goes for a sunset flip, Friar just sits on him for a three count. This match was four and a half minutes. It felt like 8 hours.
Putting smiles on kids' faces for years.

OVERALL SHOW
A couple of decent matches and a fun Luna/Sherri segment makes this a decent show. The Ferguson debut was pretty brutal.

NEXT WEEK:
BEVERLYS vs. MONEY INC! VIRGIL vs. RAZOR RAMON! Should be a fun show.




Sunday, May 15, 2011

THE WEEKLY SMACKDOWN REVIEW 5:13:2011

TAKE YOUR DIRTY HANDS OFF MY UMTHONDO WISIZWE! 
Another week another Smackdown. Last weeks show, which was awesome, scored some low ass ratings, and was met with a twitterwave(I made that word up. I'm like the media) of backlash because of it's title change. Let's see how the WWE responds.


CHRISTIAN TELLS HIS PEEPS TO CHILL OUT
Very awesome video package of Christian's rise and fall opens the show leading into Captain Charisma coming out in front of the live audience to talk about stuff.

Chirstian tells the crowd it's all good and that Teddy was just doing his job and that he looked forward to defeating Orton at Over the Edge in a couple of weeks. Sheamus comes out and challenges Christian. Mark Henry comes out and makes fun of Sheamus and challenges him to a match. Sheamus then challenges Mark Henry to team up with him to beat up Christian. That Sheamus.....he's a crafty one. Also pretty sure he referred to the DUBLOONIVERSE during this. I want to live there.

They go to beat up Christian but Mr. RKO runs down to even things up. Teddy makes a tag match for later.

...I don't think anyone got what they wanted out of that. Except for Teddy, HOLLA HOLLA HOLLA.

DANIEL BRYAN vs. SIN CARA

It's too bad that Daniel Bryan is finally in the ring with some one smaller than him and he's gotta put him over. DB is still aces here. He keeps a fun pace that has some creative mat work with quick spurts of action. Bryan also has a slight heel attitude that really gets the crowd behind Sin Cara, but it's not a drastic change. It's really subtle so the the crowd can get behind him after the interference. Chavo was fun on commentary talking about Sin Cara learning everything from Chavo tapes. Daniel Bryan stays protected here with Chavo's interference and   Sin Cara getting pissed at the interference moves this along nicely. Really solid match worth checking out. Sin Cara looked good two weeks in a row. I'm sure it's mostly him being paired up with good opponents that can compliment his style, but I think he's also starting to get the style down a little.

COLE IS A D-BAG
Cole interrupts Layla's interview about hurting her knee and talks trash about Jerry Lawler and the Divas. Kharma interrupts Cole and attacks Layla and then scares Cole back into his hole. Josh Matthews actually says that when Kharma comes out the Divas freeze with fear in the ring. This explains why Divas usually just chill out in the ring until Kharma destroys them. Kharma is magic.

WADE BARRETT vs. KANE (COLE IS STILL A D-BAG)
Poor Booker talks about Gabriel and Slater not having manager licenses to stand around the ring. Cole has to be a douche about it and make fun of such an idea.
....I find my mind wandering to Justin Gabriel's hair. I like his hair. I think Kane is making a comeback. You guys ever notice how cute Justin Gabriel's little grin is before he goes for a 450? It's cute but devious. He looks like a little rascal up there. Hammer-lock by Wade Barrett. Justin Gabriel's smile is like Mr. Fuji's. You know how Fuji would smile and for a split....top rope clothesline by Kane....and for a split second you'd think he was just a cute and cuddly old man? Then he'd....DQ Win for Kane....then he'd do something evil like feed a guy a dog or something.....Oh.. the match is over. Well... it was okay. How many stars is okay?

Post match stuff with Big Zeke was pretty good. He looked like a beast when he got in there, and The highlight was definitely when....

Evil Boy 4 Life, Yebo!

THE KHALI KISS KAM OR, AS I CALL IT, THE K K K.
Khali kisses a plump little lady and Jinder Mahal comes out and starts slapping Khali upside his head. Khali gets pissed but does nothing. You know what? This is straight up the most interesting thing Khali has ever been apart of. It's like his big bafoonish cartoon character was made for this angle. I really like it. I have no idea if I want to actually see this play out in the ring, but so far the story is a good one.




TED DIBIASE vs. CODY RHODES
AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Ted doesn't even get an entrance or anything. He's just out there. He is Trent Baretta now. Cody comes out and crushes another promo.

GODDAMMIT COLE FUCKED THIS MATCH IN THE FACE. Ted was even putting on a good show out there. Everything he did was explosive and full of fire. I guess he's been watching Chris Masters matches. It's kind of wild that they just threw these two out there for a mildly competitive squash match. Feels like they don't think very highly of Ted at all if he's not going to be Cody's next program. It's not like Rhodes has anything else going on. Check this match out if you can, but hit mute before it starts.
Coming this Fall to NBC: REAL BLACK COP & REAL WHITE COP
RANDY ORTON & CHRISTIAN vs. SHEAMUS & MARK HENRY
We've got our four main event guys wrestling a match and Cole is still putting himself over during it. Jesus some one shut him up. It's gone...over the limit. Booker tried to play Denzel to Cole's Runaway Train but couldn't stop it from wrecking my ears. Josh Matthews played Josh Matthews and sat by playing Angry Birds on his iPhone.

Anyway, the match is a really solid tag match. I almost can't believe that Smackdown's Top Guys are these guys. It's kind of a random group but it's an awesome group. Much like last week this match actually goes far in making Christian look like he belongs in the main event scene. He was heavily featured in the match and even had a spot where he was protecting Randy Orton on the outside. The more the WWE shows him working strong with main event guys the more it'll condition people to believe he's a top guy. I don't believe people believed in it. At least not everybody. Hell, I still have trouble buying into it. But I'm starting to get that feeling that he belongs, and it's awesome.

The finish was rock solid and gave Christian a chance to look like a threat to Orton, as he pretty much saved his ass. Henry and Sheamus were just really awesome in their role and had impeccable timing. Really check this one out.

OVERALL THOUGHTS:
This is a step down from the last show, but the last show was pretty stacked and not something we'll see often. This felt closer to what the format of the show feels like, and it wasn't disappointing. We got a couple of good lengthy matches between some awesome wrestlers, and we got some interesting angles like Chavo/Sin Cara and Khali/Jinder playing out in the midcard. Cody still doesn't have anything going on but he continues to be entertaining on the mic and in the ring, so at least it's good filler. The CORRE/Zeke stuff looks good, but I'm not into Zeke as a face. Hopefully Skip Sheffield is due back and he can come over to SD and vanquish him for his old Nexus pals.

So yeah, a good show with some decent brick laying to build some stories.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

THE WEEKLY SMACKDOWN REVIEW

FILL THE ROCKET SHIP WITH THE ROCKET FUEL TO TAKE IT AS FAR IS WANTS TO GO.

With the draft being over and things settling into a groove after Extreme Rules, I thought it would be a neat time to start reviewing Smackdown every week. If you don't know, I'm a die hard Smackdown fan. An enthusiast, if you will. I only watch The Blue Brand and I take the brand split pretty seriously. I'm weird that way. From the Smackdown 6 Era, to the Matt Hardy Weekly Wrestling Clinic, to the present, Smackdown will always be where the real action is. And I'm excited to embark on a new era featuring a vastly different cast than we've had in the last few years.

I am Peeps. And He is Peeps.
Previously Smackdown was the home of stars like Rey, Batista, Edge and The Undertaker. Now those guys have retired or moved to RAW, and we're left with some cats who have made most of their fame working for the Red Brand. Guys like Randy Orton, Sheamus, and Daniel Bryan have been developed the most via RAW. Even Sin Cara, who has only been on TV for a few weeks, made his biggest impacts on Monday Nights. It'll be interesting to see them work in a very different environment than the one they're used to. Many wrestlers seem liberated when they join Smackdown, and I think that this will be the case for the new members of the roster. At least I hope so anyway. They may just wrestle worse. Like John Morrison did.

But enough history. Let's get into the now.

CHRISTIAN'S FIRST LESSON AS CHAMPION:
Be prepared to get interupted. A lot.

It's crazy to see Christian as World Champion. He doesn't quite look like he should be carrying the title, but that's really part of the appeal here. He should be, but he is, and it's enjoyable.  His quick exchange with Mark Henry was pretty funny. Khali trying to inject himself into the world title was laughable, but I'm actually a little interested in him being a contender again. I liked him better when he killed people with the Khali Chop and the jobbed to Dolph Ziggler. Now they need to build him up again so he can job to Heath Slater.

Teddy must be feeling lazy because he was in a pretty good spot to do a Smackdown Beat The Clock Challenge, but instead he's just, "What do y'all want? Randy Orton? Yeah sure that's fine. Holla holla holla"

Orton looked like a pretty massive super star compared to everyone else in the ring, including Captain Charisma. I have no idea if Christian can ever achieve that feeling, but if you watch Bret Hart's first run, you might find your self asking how he ever became a great WWF Champion, too.

SHEAMUS VS. DANIEL BRYAN
Super solid match. I haven't seen much of Sheamus, but what I have seen has been really pleasant. He really looks snug and hard hitting with what he does, and The American Dragon is a good guy to pair him with. Obviously I'd love to see Daniel Bryan win matches, but it was competitive and he still came out looking good. Loved the finish to this match and they had some fun creative spots, like their apron work.

I actually expect Byran to be like Matt Hardy when Hardy came over to Smackdown after his Edge feud. A dude getting over by working the best matches on the show.

CODY RHODES TALKS WORDS
I think it's pretty certain that Cody Rhodes will be the top heel of this show. If you compare mic time, he gets more time on the stick than probably anyone on the Smackdown roster. He cuts a decent promo here, but it feels like filler until they determine who he faces next. I love the paper bag masks being handed out to members of the crowd. I find it funny that he does and funny that people wear them. At least the accept their ugliness.

THE BIG SHOW vs. THE BIG ZEKE
Zeke better thank Show everyday of his life for giving him so much. Zeke looks like a MONSTER here doing body slams and back body drops. Even beating him with a lariat, sounds insane. This is the same guy that beat the whole S.E.S. and couldn't get pinned after eating finishers from 6 guys in that awesome 4-Way in January. Fun match over all. Also, if you're watching this, don't let Heath Slater's bump into the barricade go unnoticed. Even when he's just taking a toss from The Big Show he gives it his all.

LAYLA vs. ALICIA FOX 
Post-LayCool Diva Division is a sad place. No Flawlessness, no Smelly Kelly to beat up every week, it's depressing. But hey, at least Alicia Fox takes a good bump on the neck breaker.

Kharma comes down and drops the bomb on poor Fox too. I'm thinking Layla vs. Kharma could be awesome. Layla is kind of an anti-hero. She's still the same bitch who made fun of Piggy James, Manly Beth Phoenix, and Smelly Kelly. Her being the last survivor of this horror film could be awesome. Plus she's one of the best, if not the best Diva, in the entire company so the match should be pretty good.

ZEKE GET'S DUMPED
Yeah, who needs a guy who's arm is bigger than his head?
CORRE beat the snot out of Ezekiel Jackson. Because who wants a guy that can lift up The Big Show so easily on their team? Cole gets to fit in "excommunicated" again. Booker saves the day by telling it like it: "That was a beat down, dog. That's what that was. Straight up." Thank goodness for Booker T. He's gotten truly awesome at commentary.

SIN CARA vs. TYSON KIDD
Tyson Kidd was a good pairing. This is one of the first matches were Sin Cara looked like he was in rhythm with his opponent. He definitely shined more here than he had in some of his other matches where he looked a little clunky.

Chavo on commentary was great, building a story around him and his family as innovators of the style that Sin Cara is using. It's really the best use of both guys if they move forward with this as Sin Cara's first long term feud.

I also want to point out that I don't think Sin Cara's special match lighting do him any favors. He doesn't have any facial features so he needs to utilize his body for his selling. Dimming the lights the way they do kind of hurt his ability to connect effectively to the audience during beat down segments.

CHRISTIAN'S SECOND LESSON AS CHAMPION:
First reigns suck for pretty much everyone these days. At least yours is over now.

This main event was just plain great. Both guys work really well together and really this match did a more in making Christian look like a big deal than his title win. He held his own with a 7 Time World Champion, and didn't look out of place. Randy seems so much more exciting and motivated than he did on RAW recently. He looks like a guy who's not taking for granted his opportunity to be the Top Dog on a Brand without John Cena to overshadow him.

So much good stuff in this, my favorite highlight might be how they set up Randy Orton's rope assisted DDT. It's one of those moves that can feel forced in its set-up and they fit it in very organically here.

Just really good match that you need to go out of your way to see.
"Wait a second...this bottom rope isn't regulation....I WAS SET UP!"
OVERALL SHOW
Lots of good wrestling from all kinds of people. Zeke/Show was good. Bryan/Sheamus was really good. And the main event was great. Sin Cara's match was probably his best so far and Cody Rhodes continues to shine with his promo work. There's some fun stories getting launched like Jinder Mahal and Great Khali as well as Chavo and Sin Cara.

I've got no idea where Christian goes from here, but I believe this isn't over by a long shot and could be the start of something really cool. Especially if it leads to more matches between he and Randy Orton.

This was a VERY strong show to kick things off with the new roster and even though Christian loses the World title in his first match, I'm still very excited in the direction of the show.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

LEARNING OTTO WANZ RETURNS!

PART 3: TURNING FAKE JAPANESE
So this was something I started forever ago. I have no idea who Otto Wanz other than he's big, German and ran a promotion in Germany. He's got an awesome collection of opponents, so I thought it would be cool to learn more about this guy who's wrestled some many big names from all over the world.

You can go back and check out Part 1: vs. Fred Ottman and Part 2: vs. Vader if you want to.

Todays match up is from 1988 and is against The Great Kokina, who would become Yokozuna in the WWE. If you're following my blog, you know I've been watching a fair bit of Yoko, and I'm pretty into the guy. I can't say I saw much of anything from him before his WWE tenure, so I'm very interested to see him in a different environment.

Let's get into it, shall we?
OTTO WANZ vs. THE GREAT KOKINA 12/18/1988
PART 1

PART 2

PART 3

The first thing that strikes me is how small Yokozuna is compared to how everyone usually remembers him. He looks to be about Umaga's size in this. He's faster and a little more spry, and his body language is just as good as it is during his WWE days. Seriously, Yokozuna has some of the best wrestling body language ever. Also his hair is down and when he whips it around after getting forearmed it looks tremendous.

Otto does some little things that I really like. This match is a whole lot of nerve pinching and I think Wanz sells the nerve pinch(while in the move) better than anyone. He'll clutch at his arm like the nerve pinch is giving him the tingles, and he'll beat at his chest like he's trying to get his blood flowing. It's really awesome. However, I don't really like how fast he is at getting up when Yoko releases the nerve hold. He just pops right up. It's a selling quirk that drives me crazy and Otto does that kind of stuff in every match I've seen so far.

This one goes a little too long. The stuff before the big finish feels like they've run out of stuff to do and are just chilling to extend the match. The final few minutes are pretty hot though, I only wish the producers didn't go to the sky cam for Otto's offensive flurry. It really kills the impact of the moves.

Overall this is the best Otto Wanz match so far.

Monday, May 2, 2011

THE NEW GENERATION PROJECT: SUPERSTARS REVIEW(4/10/93)

April 10, 1993
North Charleston Coliseum
North Charleston, SC

HACKSAW JIM DUGGAN vs. BARRY HOROWITZ
This is Hacksaw's return, after getting his chest caved in by Yokozuna. He starts off wild and crazy tossing chairs into the match before the bell. I LIKE THAT. Duggan hits a suplex and starts yelling "Yokozuna" and shaking the ropes. I LIKE THAT. He follows Horowitz and starts pushing the steel steps around like a madman. I LIKE THAT. Barry gets finished off with a three point stance and this bad boy is over. I can't remember enjoying WWF Jim Duggan as much as I did in this.


JACK TUNNEY LAYS DOWN THE LAW
The big controversy from Wrestlemania was that Yoko and Fuji claim that the Hogan match wasn't official as there was no contract. Tunney nips that in the bud saying that there was an oral contract(Fuji challenged, Hogan accepted) and a WWF official was present. So Hogan is officially the champion. I love this stuff. It feels so official like. Sometimes Bischoff tries to fit this kind of stuff into TNA and I love it when he does that. Then everything else in TNA happens and it looks like poop.

PAPA SHANGO vs. DAVID CLEMENTS
Clements sells forearms to the chest like Red Foxx sells a heart attack on Sanford & Son. Actually he sells everything like that. Skidmarks from this season's Tough Enough could try to be more like David Clements. Papa Shango's offense was really good here. Just tossed the dude around. I like his suplex face buster deal, and his back body drop was nasty looking. One of his better outings so far.

EL MATADOR vs. BROOKLYN BRAWLER
DREAM MATCH.
These guys go soft as hell. Tito is hardly connecting with anything and Brawler's punches STINK. Can't take it. And the flying forearm doesn't work for me when the guy is bent over like a Booker T Axe Kick. You disappointed me TITO AND BRAWLER.

But a true highlight came when Jerry Lawler got to draw something on the screen with his "Magistrator." He's got Tito dancing with Chiquita Banana.

I think Earl wants to cut in.
PROMO TIME WITH MEAN GENE
Gene interviews Yokozuna.and Fuji and they're ready to beat up Hacksaw Jim Duggan, before getting back to Hogan. He moves on and Shawn Michaels comes on to talk trash about Mr. Perfect(who he dumped a trash can on at Wrestlemania 9). He says the following:

HBK: Did you see Mr. Perfect with his head sticking out of that trash can? You know what he reminded me of? Grover. From Sesame Street.

Well....there you have it folks.

LEX LUGER vs. DALE WOLFE
They're pushing the idea that Luger can knock out anyone. Vince even blames Bret's loss to Yoko on account of him getting KO'd by Luger at a brunch that weekend. Luger is a total a-hole in this and he sits up his KO Elbow like a Pounce. After he hit it, he shrugged his shoulders and said "It's Over." It was like Erkel saying "Did I do that?"

So...yeah. Luger is awesome. I hope he never changes gimmicks.

KAMALA vs. DWAYNE GILL
Damn, how much longer is Kamala going to be employed with this company? Gill's back bumps are crazy. They're almost Ziggler-esque. Kamala keeps trying to pin Gill on his back. Because that's apparently still funny. Slick should teach him how to do a submission instead. Like an STF or a Bow and Arrow. That way we don't have to see this same crap OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER.

I AM A MAN!

MR. HUGHES vs.JD STRIKER
This is Mr. Hughes debut from Wrestle Challenge. Some good power man work. He gives a good back breaker that looked almost legit the way Striker bent over his knee. Ouch. His power slam looks awesome until impact, then it feels light as a feather. May need to mean that up a touch, what with Rick Steiner bringing the thunder with his. Hughes does a kind of Sky High/Boss Man Slam thing for a finish and I really like that.

Overall he's a 5 on the Mark Henry Scale, but he has room to improve.

BOB BACKLUND vs. ANTHONY HOWARD
Bob schools Howard on the mat and rolls him up in a minute. After the match Backlund gives the kid a little pep talk and walks him to the back. That's so nice. Other than that piece of business there's nothing special here.

OVERALL SHOW:
Better than the last Superstars. Hughes and Hacksaw both looked pretty good. And Luger was still awesome with his character. Still, nothing really standing out here as "must see". Needed more Doink.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

THE NEW GENERATION ERA PROJECT: SUPERSTARS REVIEW

04/03/1993
So I'm going backwards just a hair as this aired the day before Wrestlemania. But it's got some interesting matches on it so I had to watch it. DEAL WITH IT.

MR. PERFECT vs. DWAYNE GILL
Gill is so good at throwing his body with everything he's got when he bumps. He just launches himself into it. Pretty elementary squash, though I do have to say that both guys looked totally excited to be doing it. Some wrestlers go through the motions in their squashes, and Perfect was in high gear here.

MEGA-MANIACS PROMO
This promo is freaking long and boring. But then Hogan starts talking about how they tested Beefcake's facial durability and he says ..."and after that, I finished tearing down what was left of the Twin Towers and the only thing I couldn't bust up was Brutus' mug." ...Hulkster is all class.

Coincidentally I'm watching this after hearing about Osama Bin Laden's death. Crazy how that shit happens.

BAM BAM BIGELOW vs. GLEN RUTH
Maybe the Attitude Era began here.
Bammer goes nuts with the headbutts. Then he busts out a double underhook back breaker. Twas pretty sick looking. Lasted about a minute so nothing special worth hunting for. I was mildly disappointed because Glen Ruth has been a solid job guy for the Steiners and I was hoping for him eating some more offense.

After the match we cut to HBK chilling poolside in Vegas. Nothing much to say about that...

TATANKA vs. BARRY HARDY
Barry was a tag partner to Dwayne Gill in another show I watched. They have, hands down, the worst hair in wrestling.
Tatanka's "Hulking Up" is almost as good as Hulk Hogan's "Hulking Up." I find it totally strange that he still does it with Hogan being back, but it makes me love him even more. If this was WCW, Hogan would just send Kevin Nash in there to kill Tatanka during this spot.

DOINK vs. DALE WOLFE
Doink ain't messin' around here. We just get a Side Belly to Belly Suplex(which is actually one of my favorite moves) and then, after having a little fun riding Wolfe's back, takes him out with the Stump Puller. After the match Dale gets a pie to the face.

Bobby Heenan is solid here, trying to figure out who the hell Doink is. They plant the idea that he's a schizophrenic nut job, who slips into different personalities. This would have been so cool if they built off of that. We could have had something like the Three Faces of Doink.

VIRGIL vs. GIANT GONZALEZ
The coolest thing about this match is Virgil going to the top rope during the "Test of Strength Spot" and Gonzalez  dominating him back to the mat. It's a neat visual and I feel like Rey should have done this with Khali.

The choke slam in this match is terrible. No height from Virgil and Gonzalez looks like he's struggling. WEAK.
For once, Virgil feels like a big man.

THE STEINERS vs. TWO GUYS
Your usual Steiner squash stuff. Belly to Belly? Check. Tilt-a-whirl-slam? Check. Awesome Rick Steiner Power Slam? Check

BRET HART NEEDS SOME R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Show ends with a music video showing Bret Hart kicking ass to Aretha Franklin's "Respect". And hey, thanks guy on youtube for uploading it:



....now that's how you hype a PPV.

OVERALL SHOW: Whatever man. The stuff I wanted to see was too short, and the stuff I didn't want to see was too long.