Sunday, July 31, 2011

THE NEW GENERATION ERA PROJECT: RAW REVIEW WEEK 18

05:24:1993
It's time to see how they follow up a historic Raw. The first match is a great start:

KOTR QUALIFIER
DOINK THE CLOWN vs. MR. PERFECT
This may be my favorite match of the year so far. It's at least Top 3 or 5 material. After a disappointing effort on Superstars, Perfect and Doink tear the mother down. They start with some great brawling, which Doink wins out. He plays the game of keeping Perfect on the outside so that Perfect can never get into rhythm. Eventually things go to the mat where it evens out, with perfect getting in some awesome leg work and Doink working the arm. Doink's selling is awesome to because while it's kind of clownish, it feels like it legit bothers him. The twin magic sequence was well done. I thought Perfect sneaking a Perfect Plex on the fresh Doink was believable since it is a very protected hold, and the fresh Doink wasn't really prepared for what to expect. Great GREAT match. Watch it now(keep an eye out for the moment Doink jumps stomps Perfect in the Jaw.):
 

MONEY INC. vs. MIKE BELL & TONY DEVITO
Before the match Ted offers $100 to an audience member to shine his shoes. Some kid comes in and does the job. When it comes time to pay, Schyster puts the breaks on and says you gotta take taxes out first. He deducts 70 bucks for Uncle Sam(Yikes. And you think we've got it bad now...) and hands the kid the rest. The kid doesn't care, it's 30 bucks and he's on TV. He can probably go buy a copy of Mortal Kombat II with that.

The match is pretty boring. Lackadaisical work from Ted and Irwin. It also goes way to long for a match against to jabronies who shouldn't be allowed to lace up boots. 

CRUSH vs. BOBBY WHO
Crush busts out a rolling solebutt, and I don't think he should ever do that again. Vertical Suplex? Fine. Clotheslines? Fine. Clumsy spin kick he saw Jason do on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers? Leave it in the drawer. Crowd was kind of dead for this, and I don't blame them. Face crush is more often than not, really boring. 

RAZOR RAMON BRINGS DA MONEY
Razor Ramon offers up $2500 dollars to face The Kid again. The crowd starts to get into the 1-2-3 chant throughout. Razor's promo is solid. Bret comes out, for the first time in forever, to say that Razor can't even beat an "underneath guy" so how can he expect to beat Bret at King of The Ring. The crowd chants 1-2-3 some more until commercial.

ADAM BOMB vs. PHIL APOLLO
How did ECW fans buy this guy as Raven?
Before the match Bobby is flipping through channels like he usually does and he lands on one with JOHNNY POLO who says, "Bobby, don't touch that dial. Get ready. Get set. Because here comes Adam Bomb!"
Bomb looks impressive, and he handles Phil easily. Nothing too exciting. After he nailed the Power Bomb, Macho Man said, "VICIOUS." which made me think of our Master and Ruler of the World. Decent debut. 

OVERALL SHOW THOUGHTS:
It's a one match show, and it's a great match. The Adam Bomb debut (w/Johnny Polo!) wasn't very special. Money Inc and Crush were both boring. The Razor segment was good, but it felt weird when they turned it into promoting his match with Bret at KoTR. It makes sense on paper, but it just happened very awkwardly. 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

SMACKDOWN REVIEW 07:29:11

Oh man, I'm so excited. This next week I'll have some more puro reviews, some NGE Project stuff, and for the first time - Lucha Reviews. The best part? Most of them are already written, I was just waiting for today to write up this show.

Fun Fact for those who are new(because apparently I've got lots of new readers, thanks for stopping by) I actually watch Smackdown with out reading the spoilers in advance. So it's usually a surprise for me when anything happens on the show(Like the time Del Rio tapped out Rey in his debut. Had no idea that was coming.)

Anyway, enough BS let's get rolling

TRIPLE HAITCH BRINGING RAW TO SMACKDOWN
Trips recaps the CM Punk/Cena situation, and then gets interrupted by Captain Charisma, or as Josh Matthews calls him, The Smarmy Champion. After Triple H let's it be known that he doesn't like Christian and his attitude, R-Truth comes out to continue his and Trip's conversation from Monday. Mr. H tells him he'll be wresting Smackdown's Randy Orton tonight, and then informs Christian that he'll be facing the Raw's John Morrison.

Damn RAW guys sneaking on to the show like bugs. If R-Truth and John Morrison get a match this week and Cody Rhodes is left with a promo about people being ugly, I'ma gonna be pissed.

CHRISTIAN vs. JOHN MORRISON
Before the break, Z-Ryder gets told he's Teddy Long's new assistant....I'll take that. It's not like he's actually a RAW guy.

Reason #5,042 why this commentary team sucks. John Morrison is returning to action for the first time in a month or so. And Michael Cole spends the first few minutes explaining to Booker T about his contract, while Josh Matthews makes excited noises at the match. Booker tries to tell him there's a match going on and it doesn't stop. We start talking about Cole dressed as Triple H.

After the break the match picks up and they do some really fun stuff. Christian looked really good in his control sequences, being pretty ruthless with Morrison's neck. He came off looking like a genius the way he picked apart the Shaman of Sexy. John Morrison's standing C4 was pretty sick, and the both had some fun counter sequences.   Morrison looked a little off in his pacing. It seemed like he was often out of position to get momentum for running the ropes and he'd bound off looking slow and clunky. It's still a solid match with a good over all story.

WADE GETS TAPPED
Barret's new direction promo was fine, setting up his character for the future. The Daniel Bryan stuff would have been great with out Michael Cole talking over it. He ruins everything. It's not entertaining and it helps no one. I liked Bryan getting the LaBell Lock on Barrett. Even though it wasn't a match it still proves he can take down anyone.
I thought this looked pretty badass until I saw the big fruity drink.

JUSTIN GABRIEL COMES HOME
This is a great piece on Justin Gabriel. It let's us get to know the person and where he's coming from. It honestly does more to develop him than anything they've done for him in the past. Now we just need to ramp it up a little. Gabriel technically has the tools, and has a pretty attractive look. The South African back ground makes him interesting in the same way being English makes Wade Barrett interesting. Now they just need to differentiate him from the pack through a feud. I wouldn't mind a Cody Rhodes/Gabriel feud at this point.

NATALYA, AJ, & KAITLYN vs. ALICIA FOX, ROSA MENDES, & TAMINA
It's frustrating. There's almost some really good work in this match, but the execution is just off by everyone. Tamina looked good and tough. Alicia Fox almost looked good until she did that sloppy scissor kick. I think AJ did a shining wizard, which looked pretty good too. That's it.

MARK HENRY vs. BOBBY HOWARD
Earlier in the night, Teddy Long told Mark that no one wanted to wrestle him, which is awesome. Ryder, Teddy's assistant, said he'd get him an opponent. He gets Mizark the very small hometown guy Bobby Howard. I have no idea who Bobby is. Mark Henry eats this kid alive, and kudos to Bobby for bumping around for the monster.  Some decent selling that I'd wager wasn't all selling, if you know what I mean.

The post match stuff was AWESOME. Teddy played it up perfectly saying that no one wants to work with him because he's too dangerous. Sheamus coming out was PERFECT. The swagger, the pure glee at such a challenge, he was world class. These guys are going to bring it folks. It can only get better from here.

Booker: Some one get some A1 Sauce in here, man.
THE USOS vs. THE NEW NEXUS
The Usos had a neat entrance, but they needed some pyro to set it off at the end. I didn't like this match, but I liked the potential. Otunga looks a lot smoother in the ring than the last time I saw him, and the Usos have grown on my quite a bit. Their dynamic is great and they look good in the ring. Jey does that great running hip crush in the corner that Rikishi used to do, but despite being half Rikishi's size he still makes it look devastating. The ending was creative, and a decent way to protect the Usos. I'd like to see them go a little longer. Still can't get a read on Hennig's kid.

EZEKIEL JACKSON vs. CODY RHODES & TED DIBIASE JR.
Thank goodness these two won. I would have been upset. Decent work, as the numbers were just too much for Jackson. Everyone comes out okay in this, but I'm a little afraid of Cody feuding with Zeke....unless it ends with him being Intercontinetal Champion.

RANDY ORTON vs. R-TRUTH
Really good match. These two had a great pace and energy about them. Orton's act is still awesome. I love it. He's crazy and deranged and it's like he's got THE MADNESS, but with a homicidal edge. I think the ending was a great way to build up the "No Holds Barred" match at Summerslam, keep R-Truth strong, and further this Orton character that has some serious anger issues. It's really well booked and worth checking out. Truth pulling out some Masato Tanaka shit with the shotgun stunner was a highlight, too.

OVERALL SHOW:
Some GREAT stuff from Mark Henry and Sheamus. Jeezey Creeezy that's going to be awesome. I'm down like a clown for that. Daniel Bryan was stuffed in there, hopefully next week he'll get more time with less Triple H. Same goes for Cody Rhodes. Rhodes and Bryan and Sheamus are the future of the brand. Sheamus has a great angle now, we just need to get the other two rolling.

But for all the good from Mark Henry and Sheamus, there was some boring stuff. I don't care about having RAW guys come over because it doesn't lead to anything. Morrison coming over and losing means nothing. He goes back to RAW, the end. Same for R-Truth. They take up time that other guys on our roster could use. Why not have Barrett vs. Orton in the main event? Christian vs. Justin Gabriel? It just makes for a boring show when you know the two of the competitors are guys you won't see again, if you're a Smackdown guy like me. Now if they moved Truth and Morrison over like they did Zack Ryder, I'd be okay. Well...sort of. I'd rather have Dolph Ziggler, Drew Mac and Del Rio back instead.

I'm still looking forward to Daniel Bryan's push and Sheamus/Mark Henry, but everything else has no drama or has gotten stale(Orton/Christian).

THE DEVIL MAY CARE SMACKDOWN POWER RANKINGS
1. Mark Henry - Henry is legit the most fun thing about Smackdown right now. His matches are fast and mean, and his character looks unbeatable.
2. Christian - Christian had a really good match with Morrison and continues to be one of the best wrestlers in the world.
3. Randy Orton - Really fun match with R-Truth improves and a crazy character makes Orton a must watch for me.
4. Sheamus - If his work with Mark Henry continues to stay awesome he'll be in the top spot, I'm sure.
5. Daniel Bryan - If this were last week, he would have been #2, but good performances from Christian/Orton and a lackluster segment for Bryan puts him at 5.
6. Heath Slater - He no showed this week, but he's still one of the more entertaining guys on the roster.
7. Cody Rhodes - Lack of anything to do for one of the most talented guys on the roster is starting to take away from his matches. A total waste.
8. Justin Gabriel - Just his video about him going to South Africa makes him more interesting than some of the roster. Which says more about them than him.
9. The Usos - This tag team is totally good, and since there aren't many good tag teams in the WWE they look like one of a kinds. Great dynamic and some solid ring work make them worth watching.
10. Wade Barrett - Can't seem to get good traction since coming to Smackdown. I want to like him but it's just not sticking.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

THE NEW GENERATION ERA PROJECT: RAW REVIEW WEEK 17

05.17.1993

Before the show gets rolling, we get a recap of the Shawn/Mr. Perfect brawl in the streets from last week. Afterwards, Lord Alfred Hayes says that he saw some one come to the arena in a disguise and we'll be surprised when we find out who it is. Exciting.

THE SMOKING GUNNS vs. TONY VADJA & GLENN RUTH
My god, The Fink never saw it coming.
Billy and Bart make their RAW debut, firing off six shooters and million dollar smiles. Glenn Ruth has some new gear, which is exciting, but absolutely awful. The Gunns work fast, almost too fast. Lots of quick tags and high energy, especially from Billy who looks AMP'D UP. You can already see the potential for him to be a big deal in the company. Some nice power and some big time fire. The Gunn's finish is pretty crazy, too. Billy Back Body Drops a guy into Bart who delivers a pile driver. Solid debut, and a great addition to a pretty sweet tag division.

VINCE INTERVIEWS SHAWN MICHAELS
Shawn gets to deliver another interview in the ring with Vince. He's now starting to refer to himself as "The Heartbreak Kid". He says that he'd put up the title any where any time. "A fan" enters the ring to take him up on it.. Shawn doesn't seem to worried about the fan and tells him to take a hike. The Fan takes off his sunglasses and hat to reveal his identity.....IT'S MARTY JANNETTY!!!!!!!!!!

Vince and Marty put HBK on the spot about whether he's truly a man of his word, and Vince declares a title match for tonight, MARTY JANNETTY vs. SHAWN MICHAELS!

RAZOR RAMON vs. THE KID
No more Kamikaze. No more Cannonball. Now it's just The Kid. He's still wearing his "L.KID" tights. The crowd is very pro-Razor and he eats it up. He eats up Waltman too, who takes some great bumps in this. But you all know the angle. Razor goes for a splash in the corner and hits his head on the post. Kid jumps to the top rope and hits a Moonsault for the shocking 1-2-3. The crowd goes bananas and starts chanting "Loser" at Razor.

This angle is a pretty special angle and is one that anyone who watched wrestling during this era remembers it. I remember I became a fan of The Kid instantly after he pinned Razor Ramon, and apparently so did everyone in the Manhattan Center. No one suspected it and it caught everyone by surprise. Just an awesome moment that has to be among the top moments of this Era.

TATANKA vs. SCOTT TAYLOR
Tatanka goes nuts on poor Scotty 2 Hotty, chopping the kid all over the place. Taylor is one of the better bump guys and makes Tatanka look big time. Tatanka is basically cranking up the intensity because he wants to show Bam Bam Bigelow what's going to happen to him. Decent squash.

During the match Vince, Heenan, and Macho are all talking about The Kid's big win, and Vince declares him the 1-2-3 KID. And so the gimmick is born.

KAMALA vs. YOKOZUNA
Yoko just watched John Cena beat Rey Mystero for the Title on RAW
Add this somewhere near the top of the Kamala matches pile. The anticipation for these guys colliding is tremendous, and when they do it's epic. Kamala does some goofy selling, but for the most part this one is a solid big vs. big match up. The crowd being really into it helped, and this crowd is pretty much hot for everything tonight. I think that's two good Kamala matches in a row, which must mean he's going to be fired soon.....

INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE MATCH
SHAWN MICHAELS(c) vs. MARTY JANNETTY
Another classic match. Jannetty is firing on all cylinders in this. He's got an cool spot where he does a baseball slide to the outside, skins the cat back into the ring and immediately planchas on to Shawn. I'm not sure if I like this as much as their Royal Rumble match, but it's pretty freaking great. The crowd was buying nearfalls off of slingshots into the corner and stuff. And it really built off of stuff Shawn had been doing for weeks. At one point he tried to grab the title and book but when he got to the curtain, Mr. Perfect was waiting for him and walked him back to the ring.

Some great spots, a sprinty pace, and a great crowd, make this a must see. But if you've been watching the WWE for any amount of time, you already have.

OVERALL SHOW:
This show is important. It's a manifesto of this generation. Shawn is obviously positioned as the future. A young highflyer who can get heat and work hot main events. He's been in the best angles for weeks now. The Smoking Gunns are a hot new tag team, who've got muscles but are quick and agile. Waltman, who physically fits in with the likes of fellow jobbers Justin Credible and Scott Taylor gets a win off an amazing aerial maneuver. And most importantly the crowd ate up every second. This was the hottest RAW crowd of the year. To me this is the moment when The New Generation really becomes visible as the true future of the company.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

JAE LOVES ALL-JAPAN! REVIEW: B-BANQUET 284 & 285

IMPETUS
Like I said a few posts back, I'm going to start adding more non-American stuff. All-Japan is my favorite puroresu promotion today. While they don't consistently have the highest end wrestling, they do have some of the best booking in wrestling - world wide. Over the last few years they've produced some awesome rookies, and developed one of the best junior divisions in Japan with guys like Hiorshi Yamato, KAI, Minoru, Kaz Hayashi, and BUSHI. In terms of heavyweights, they have a strong variety with guys like Ryota Hama, Keiji Mutoh, Masakatsu Funaki, and Minoru Suzuki. SUWAMA, their Triple Crown champion, has developed into one of the best pure heavyweight style wrestlers in the country.

I'll certainly be covering other companies from Japan(and eventually Mexico) but for the most part they'll be sporadic reviews. With All-Japan, I'm going to try and cover everything. Right now, my first task is to try and review my way up to the present, by starting with their first show of the year. Hopefully I can achieve that before...you know...the next year starts.

JANUARY 2nd, 2011
Korakuen Hall
2100 No Vacancy

B-BANQUET 284
This year the New Year's shows are being split up onto episodes of B-Banquet, as opposed to getting their own special. Which is fine by me as long as the good stuff airs, I don't care how they do it.

TAKUMI SOYA DEBUT MATCH
TAKUMI SOYA vs. MANABU SOYA
Takumi is Manabu's brother, and I've got to say, I kind of dig him too. After he gets passed the rookie phase of his career he might actually grow into something. He's got some good facials, some nice basics, and some decent  fire. It helps that Manabu gives him quite a few chances to show off, but it's just as important to note that Takumi made quite a bit of those opportunities. Worth checking out, as I think he shows the potential to make a mark on All Japan Pro Wrestling one day.

MAZADA & SUPER HATE vs. HIROSHI YAMATO & SHUJI KONDO
This is the debut of "Super Hate" which is just "Hate" dressed in gold. I thought he stunk before and he just Super Stinks now. He has poor coordination, poor timing, and is easily the least athletic looking person on the roster. He and Mazada combine to form one of the most uninteresting tag teams ever. Thankfully the match is short and fast, and it has Yamato and Kondo in it, who are both cool as hell. Skip it though.

ALL JAPAN JUNIOR HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH
KAZ HAYASHI (c) vs. MINORU
Kaz broke the all time Jr. title defense record after defending the title 17 times. One of those defenses, the very FIRST actually, was against a freshly signed Minoru back in March of 2009. That match was one of my favorite matches of that year. It's extra special because it was a Juniors match that went over 30 MINUTES and didn't suck, but I thought it was a lot of fun and had an amazing finishing stretch.

This match isn't nearly as good as that one, but it is pretty fun. The opening 10 minutes are really great, with Kaz pretty much owning Minoru at every turn. Their counters are crisp and well executed and Kaz brings a lot of passion. The story seems to be that he's going to go hard early and not let this turn into a marathon. I loved his tope, as he didn't rebound off the ropes, he just made a snap decision to go for it.

Where the match falters is the 3rd quarter. They start hitting some bombs and the desperation and story isn't quite there. It just felt a little threw the motions. However they some how pulled me back in for the final stretch, which had some decent nearfalls. I actually didn't see the finish coming, as I didn't think Kaz would go out like that, but it was pretty sweet.


B-BANQUET 285


SUWAMA, SEIYA SANADA, & KAI vs. KEIJI MUTOH, MASAKATSU FUNAKI, & MINORU SUZUKI
They all pair up in the feeling out stages. Sanada ends up with Mutoh and comes out on top, out wrestling the Genius Wizard forcing him to tag in Funaki. Once Suwama comes in the vets start showing some of their strategy by pulling him to their corner and Triple Teaming the Triple Crown Champion. It's little things like three vets feeling a need to triple team a guy to gain control that really puts a guy over as a big deal.

The meat and potatoes of the match is pretty fun, especially when Mutoh catches up with Sanada and works his leg. They tease some tension between Suzuki and Mutoh, but the younger team can't take advantage of it. The Vets lock everyone into subs, and Suzuki hits his Gotch Pile Driver on KAI for the win.

Overall it was a really fun match. Some crisp work from guys like Funaki and Sanada. Sanada in particular is one of the best sellers in the company and his work with Mutoh made me really want to see a singles match between the two.

BUSHI & NOSAWA RONGAI vs. TSUYOCHI KIKUCHI & MASANOBU FUCHI
BUSHI used to be T28 waaaay back when, and I thought he had some raw talent that needed to be refined. He went to Mexico and refined it big time, changing his name and donning a mask to complete the transformation of awesomeness.

He knows that ref is checking out his ass.
They keep a good pace, with BUSHI doing a great job of getting the crowd into the match and then letting Kikuchi and Fuchi take over. All of them are highly entertaining people and while this isn't a technical masterpiece, it's a nice reprieve between the more long and serious type matches.

RYOTA HAMA vs. YASUFUMI NAKANOUE
Nakanoue made his pro wrestling debut on January 2, 2010, exactly a year before, against Shuji Kondo. I haven't really gotten a good read on him yet, as he's shown plenty of athleticism and energy, but his personality is bland. Not that I'm going to pass judgement yet, he's a rookie and most rookies are like that. I remember think Hiroshi Yamato seemed like he'd be the lesser to KAI, or that Seiya Sanada and Manabu Soya were boring. All Japan seems to have a track record for churning out some fun rookies.

I don't care for Hama's look these days. As cool as the shirt is, I liked the singlet better. With the bleached hair and the shirt, Hama now looks like Axl Rotten kind of. Nakanoue gets a lot more in, but doesn't show much more than some should blocks and elbow strikes. He does kick out of a gross butt drop before taking the loss, but he's still not much to write home about.....for now.

HEAVYWEIGHT BATTLE ROYAL
The yearly battle royals are mostly for the comedy and this one provides a few laughs, mostly from Mutoh being so sneaky. He wins after helping Hama counter a sunset flip into a butt drop on Sanada for the pin and then hitting the sumo with the shining wizard for the win. Fun times.

OVERALL THOUGHTS:
These first two January shows are really fun ways to start off the year, with some decent wrestling, and the battle royals. This first night had some good stuff from Kaz/Minoru and the six/man tag. There's also some fun prospects to keep an eye on like Takumi Soya, and Nakanoue who may start to break out a little later this year.

UP NEXT: The New Year Shining Series 2011 continues with the January 3rd show where we get the All Asia Tag Champions(Sanada/Soya) defend against Kikuchi and Tamon Honda(sweet), the World Tag Champs(Kea/Akebono) defend against KONO and KENSO, and the Junior division has their battle royal.


Here's the six-man tag, if you're interested. It's a pretty good cross section of the kind of stuff you get from the company:

Sunday, July 24, 2011

SMACKDOWN REVIEW 07:22:2011

HI MY NAME IS RANDY ORTON
Remember when Dolph Ziggler used to say that? Well, he didn't say "Randy Orton", he said "Dolph Ziggler" because he's Dolph Ziggler. And Randy Orton saying "Hi my name is Randy Orton" to open the show reminds me that he's not one of my favorite wrestlers in the world.

Anyway, I have no idea how much longer these two are going to doe-si-doe, but the story surrounding these two has gotten stale. The matches are still pretty good, the one from Over The Limit, being a frontrunner for my Match of the Year, but much like Kofi/Dolph, these two are getting run into the ground.

EZEKIEL JACKSON vs. CHRISTIAN
Remember that time Wrestlemania was main-evented by an Intercontinental Champion facing the WWF Champion? Good times.

Christian and Zeke had some good matches back when they were on opposite sides of the good guy/bad guy spectrum, and it's fun to see them with their roles reversed. Zeke's face run has been hit and miss for me, but most of that was because he and Wade Barrett are poor dance partners. I think my biggest problem with him is that for as big as he is, he looks really weak a lot of the time. Goldberg worked underneath lots of guys, but when the match was over, you thought you had just seen that baddest man on the planet. When Zeke sells he replaces his badass aura with Yoshi Tatsu's. I don't get it, but it happens here in a big way. He just doesn't feel nearly as impressive as his body looks. Decent match overall, and it made Christian look great....Zeke...not so much, and he's really some one that should be better protected.

THAT JACKET IS AWESOME.
DANIEL BRYAN: WRESTLEMANIA MAIN EVENTER
Remember when Daniel Bryan was amazing? You should because he's amazing all the damn time. His response to Michael Cole's constant douche baggery was a great way for him to get more fans, and to let people know just who the hell this guys is. Him saying that he's cashing in at Wrestlemania is awesome and I hope it really happens. It gives him time to build real character momentum, and it's a concept people can relate to. Who wouldn't cash it at the biggest stage of them all? Hell's yeah. Heath Slater coming out and getting some mic time, was nice. He's not horrible, he's just annoying, which is perfect for him.

DANIEL BRYAN vs. HEATH SLATER
These guys TORE IT UP. I've been a fan of Slater's for a while, (I was on TV with a lame "Heath Slater Rocks" sign during the NXT episode with the Keg race) and he didn't look out of place at all with D-Bryan at all. He's one of those young guys that really puts in 110% every second he's on TV. This had a great pace, had solid athleticism and had the crowd rocking by the end. More performances like these will get both of these over big time with the crowd. I could go for a rematch. Make sure to hit this up on the Youtube, or Hulu.

WADE BARRETT vs. SHEAMUS
There's a really neat story in here that they build around trapping each other in the ropes. It's also two guys kicking each other's ass. The count out finish was the right way to go, in order to set up some thing in the future, and both guys came out looking pretty tough. Sheamus as a face might work really really well, as he seems to know how to get face sympathy with out losing his badass aura. I think this will be much better than Wade's last feud.

STREET FIGHT
KANE vs. RANDY ORTON
I had waning interest in this. These two really don't work together very well. Orton is a fascinating person to watch because he does some of the weirdest stuff in wrestling, but it feels like we're seeing his real personality. He's just plain weird as hell. Kane did most of his best work in the first half, but it was still weak by his standards. The finishing stretch was slow and plodding, and the RKO on the chair had a weaker looking impact than the regular RKO. But enough about this let's get to the real highlight:

GO AHEAD AND WALK AROUND ON IT
I freaking love Mark Henry. The stuff that comes out of his mouth is gold, and he's really looking good dominating all the other monsters in the company. I actually feel like he'd be a more interesting World Champion than Christian at this point. I can only hope that this is leading to SKIP SHEFIEILD coming back and Lariat-o'ing his ass.


OVERALL SHOW:
One really good match with some decent ones tossed in. Daniel Bryan calling his shot at Wrestlemania was the biggest story of the night, but there's still not something inspiring about the other stories, especially the super stale main event program with Christian and Orton. It also doesn't help that this has to follow the red hot CM Punk angle every week. The booking still feels a little lazy and overly reliant on just throwing wrestlers out there to wrestle with no long term plan to get me excited.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

THE NEW GENERATION ERA PROJECT: RAW REVIEW WEEK 16

05:10:1993

It's mad hot in Chicago these days. My keyboard is dripping off my desk.

BRAWLIN' ON THE STREETS
Before the show, Shawn Michaels was outside the Manhattan Center, running his mouth about how he's going to beat Duggan tonight. Then Mr. Perfect shows up and they brawl into the street. Perfect even tosses him the Heart Break Kid, breaking the windshield.

Nice energetic way to start the show, very Attitude-y.

KING OF THE RING QUALIFIER
BAM BAM BIGELOW vs. TYPHOON
This had an ECW crowd kind of feeling. Lots of pro-Bam Bam chants, and I'm pretty positive there was a dueling chant at one point. There was at least one point where some guys were going "BAM BAM"(clap clap) and some kids would yell "SUCKS" while they were clapping.  Pretty crazy.

This wasn't as good as some of their other matches. It unfortunately got hit by a commercial break and when it came back they just went to the finish. Bam Bam looked impressive taking his spot as one of the toughest big men in the company.

YOKOZUNA vs. PJ WALKER
Before the match, they hyped the title match between Yoko and Hogan. In reference to Yoko, Heenan says "I hate the way he got jobbed [at Wrestlemania]". Hilarious.

What's an "Iron Mike"? Can I be "Iron Mike" Jae Renfrow?
Justin Credible got some fancy new titghts since we last saw him. Black with some neon yellow accents. Complete with HIP TASSLES. He also looks like he put on a little more weight. Changes nothing though, as Yoko squashes him dead, which is fun 100% of the time.

MR. PERFECT vs. "IRON" MIKE SHARPE
More crazy chants from the crowd that I can't even make out, this is definitely becoming a prototype for the typical indy show crowd. This match was pretty sweet, until they cut to Bobby Heenan changing channels, which I guess is supposed to prove this is live. Just as the match was heating up with some strike exchanges they cut to him doing that for a looooooooong time and then when they cut back it's Perfect Plex time. Lame. That's two matches that had the 3rd quarter cut out.

MR. HUGHES vs. THE CANNONBALL KID
Last week he was the Kamikaze Kid, this week he's the Cannonball Kid, both weeks he's worn tights with lighting bolts all over them. They actually bring it up that he had a different name last week and Macho says "It's not going to do him any better this week, Vince." Hughes, now employing Whippleman as his manager, dominates him. Waltman bumps great and Hughes looks impressive. That's pretty much it. One highlight is Heenan saying that Waltman should change his name to "The Heart Break Kid." Can you imagine?

LUMBER JACK MATCH FOR THE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP
HACKSAW JIM DUGGAN vs. SHAWN MICHAELS (c)
Duggan immediately hits the ring and shoves Yoko, who's the only lumber jack not wearing a flannel shirt. Shawn comes out on crutches, selling the beat down from earlier, but Perfect comes down and tosses him in the ring. Shawn, beside himself, jumped around kicking the ropes, showing that he was obviously okay. The match is on!

There's so much to talk about.....

The Lumberjacks. So many amazing visuals. First off Mr. Perfect's Lumber Jack Shirty is tied in a knot at the bottom. It's hilarious. Mr. Hughes put his on OVER his shirt and tie. Bob Backlund's is so big that it looks like he's not wearing anything else but the shirt. And from the look of Tatanka's face, the irony of him dressing up like someone who makes a living cutting down trees did not pass him by.

Perfect sets up Micheals for Bob Backlund's Sequoia  Special
The Match itself. It's actually pretty good and significantly better than their singles match from the week before. Duggan murders Shawn through most of the match and they stay at a high gear through most of the match. Shawn does pretty much what I had hoped and bumps his ass off for everything. It honestly makes Duggan more threatening than he has for most of his WWF career.

The Crowd. It's insane. They're all over the place, but totally behind Duggan. Plenty of "Shawn is Gay" chants, and I'm pretty sure they did a Tomahawk chant at Tatanka for whatever reason.

The Ending. Duggan gets dropped to the outside on Yoko's side(he has his own side of the ring just for him and Fuji.) Yoko drops a massive leg drop on the floor and rolls him in. Shawn puts his foot on Duggan's chest but before Bill Alfonso can count to 3, Perfect storms the ring and clotheslines Shawn for the DQ win. This leads to a massive Lumberjack brawl with everyone in the ring. For some reason, Iron Mike Sharpe runs down and gets involved. Duggan grabs the 2X4 and clears the ring to end the show. It's actually a pretty sweet ending to the show.

OVERALL SHOW:
A very interesting show from a quality and historical perspective. The crowds at the RAW shows have been interesting, but never this crazy. By this point, ECW was 8 episodes into its Hardcore TV run and I can't help but wonder if it was already an influence on this crowd.

The wrestling was solid, with a Yoko squash, a Perfect match, Waltman showing up again, and a pretty good Lumberjack Match.

The format of the show felt different. It had a strong story to it, starting with the HBK beatdown and tying together 3 feuds (Duggan/Yoko, Perfect/Shawn, Shawn/Duggan) through out a show. Definitely a RAW worth looking for.

Friday, July 15, 2011

THE NEW GENERATION ERA PROJECT: SUPERSTARS 05:08:1993

A FEW WORDS BEFORE WE BEGIN
I'm straight up about to go begging for money on Michigan Ave. downtown. I'm heading down there anyway for the awesome Marilyn Monroe statue unveiling(only the legs have really been visible). The reason to beg for money? I want to go to Money In the Bank. My original plan was to sell some stuff on the ebay that would have gone off today and I'd be able to buy me a ticket off of the stubhub. But I couldn't find my gee dee camera to take some gee dee pictures of the gee dee merchandise. 

I might be crying somewhere Sunday night if I miss this. I put full blame on the stupid City Sticker for my car I had to buy today.

Also, as you may have noticed I ended up missing 3 Smackdown reviews. I seriously haven't watched Smackdown since my last review. Sadly, I'm apathetic towards catching up. Hopefully I will catch up, and get back on track with those reviews, because those suckers were getting me some traffic.

And finally, I'm going to start reviewing some more stuff in general. I've been actually watching a lot of wrestling lately, I just ain't told you about it. I'm going to stop keeping it from you. For one, I'm going to be tossing in more Puroresu reviews. For two, I'm trying to get into Lucha Libre and I figured I'd post my experiences for fun - because I've hardly watched that stuff ever. AND FOR THREE, I've got some indy shows I've been hankering to review. I'd specifically like to spot light some NON-ROH/DGUSA/CHIKARA/PWG type feds. So if you're a wrestler or a promoter and you want me to check your fed out; hit me up with some youtube linkage. I'm not hard to get a hold of.

And I just might be experimenting with some audio....Maybe.

On with the show!

SUPERSTARS
05:08:1993
TUSCON, ARIZONA
CONVENTION CENTER

MONEY INC & MR. HUGHES vs. THE NASTY BOYS & KAMALA
DiBiase starts off with Kamala and offers Kamala some money to get the hell out of here. Kamala takes the money and gives it to Slick. Slick tells Kamala to whip his ass and so he does. That deal stunk. Vince justifies it by saying that money is going to Slick's church. 

After some awesome bumping and selling from IRS and DiBiase, Mr. Hughes comes in for the big showdown with Kamala. It's actually pretty awesome and Kamala, having a monster to fight with, looked impressive for once when he knocked the big man down.

The trio of Kamala & The Nasties is actually pretty formidable. They rarely ever lost control of the match for more than a 10 seconds. The only downside was that Kamala once again failed at pinning a IRS. And because of his confusion, Schyster was able to school boy Kamala for the win. Not a bad match at all and I was happy to see Kamala's confusion benefit his opponent.

YOKOZUNA vs. SEAN DAKOTA
Dakota kids killed. The end. Yokozuna is just plain amazing. His finish is legit one of the best in the history of wrestling. It looks horrific. Besides that every move he does looks like instant death. The more I watch the more he moves up my All-Time Favorite Wrestler's list.

CRUSH vs. STEVE VEGA
His mother says she's proud, but his father just tells him to fetch another beer.
Pretty decent squash from Crush. He just came in and dominated and showed a lot more energy and fire. The crowd definitely helped out, because they were really into him. His face work has improved but he's way behind other midcard guys like Tatanka. Actually, now that I think about it, I wouldn't mind seeing a heel crush feud with Tatanka.

LUNA/SHERRI RECAP
They do a recap of the ongoing feud between Luna and Sherri that ends with some new promos. Luna's crushes it, talking about haunting Sherri's breath and becoming the goddess of the squared circle. She's amazing. Sherri, answers with some strong fire, with her best line being that she's "The Woman that invented mean." This is honestly one of the best feuds in the company on promo work alone. The only one that comes close is Lex/Bret, that is basically reserved for house shows.

KING OF THE RING QUALIFYING MATCH
RAZOR RAMON vs. TITO SANTANA
They didn't get nearly as hot as they could have, but it was a decent short TV match. Razor's has elite level body language. His cockiness early on was so nasty, you couldn't wait for Tito to clock him. They do an interesting bit where Tito applies an arm wringer and Razor threatens to punch him but the ref tells him no closed fists. They do this a couple of times, and then Razor whips him to the ropes, Tito ducks a clothesline and punches Razor in the face so that he can reply the arm wringer. For some reason I found that kind of thing awesome.

Tito comes back with some body slams and goes for a flying cross body but Razor rolls through and pulls the tights for the win. I'd love to see these guys go longer. They really seem like they could play off each other really well.

ROUGEAU INTERVIEWS GONZALES AND WHIPPLEMAN
Whippleman promises to eliminate the Undertaker and then hypes next weeks KOTR qualifier with Tatanka. Oh man....that could be pretty rough. Still, this is a pretty weak note to end the show on. Especially since we got a Whippleman promo in the middle of the show hyping Gonzales' match at the Meadlowlands with Savage. Too much Giant Gonzales makes the baby go blind.
Taken 5 seconds before he realizes what he's wearing and kills everyone in Arizona.
OVERALL SHOW: Not bad. We got Yoko killing a jobber, a decent trios match that involved Kamala, and a good Razor/Santana TV match. We even got some good promos from Luna, Sherri, and even a Lex Luger promo questioning why he thinks it's absurd that he has to qualify for the King of the Ring.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

THE NEW GENERATION ERA PROJECT: RAW REVIEW WEEK 15

05:03:1993


INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE MATCH
SHAWN MICHAELS vs. HACKSAW JIM DUGGAN
Shawn cracks me up with some stalling. The crowd is chanting USA and he tells the ref to make them keep it down because he can't concentrate with all this noise. Another "Shawn is Gay" chant breaks out. Once he gets in he goes into bump mode eating clotheslines and punches. It kind of middling once Shawn takes over. It just never felt like it was going to get out of first gear. Eventually he makes a run for it when Hacksaw makes a come back. Duggan catches him but ends up clotheslining him over the barricade for a double count out.

After the match, Duggan gets on the mic and says this is garbage and demands the match be restarted. He then throws some chairs into the ring and has the first ever sit down strike on Raw. But unlike other strikes this one goes nowhere and after a commercial break Duggan is gone and Doink is on his way out.

DOINK THE CLOWN vs. KAMIKAZE KID
Oh shit I didn't know this was coming at all. Sean Waltman's first appearance on RAW. What a fantastic surprise. It's not much more than your basic squash, but it does have an awesome Belly to Belly suplex from Doink on the Kid. Doink finishes him off with the stump puller which looks a little worse than usual because he falls onto his back, while still keeping it locked on.

I'm so excited that Waltman is going to start showing up. It improves the undercard quite a bit.

BOB BACKLUND vs. DWAYNE GIL
And the hits keep on coming. They do Bob's deadlift spot and it still looks awesome. Backlund is so cheezy but there's something endearing about him, especially how badass he looks when he picks up dudes and out wrestles them.

After the match Duggan comes out for an interview and a rematch has been signed for next week, but this time Shawn can't run away. Jack Tunney has officially made it a Lumber Jack match. They plant the seed that Yoko might be among the men around the ring but Hacksaw isn't sweating it. Can't wait.

THE HEADSHRINKERS vs. JAY SLEDGE & JIM BELL
Before the match the one and only Capt. Lou Albano, makes his first WWF appearance in 6 years by coming out and doing guest commentary during the match. It's pretty awesome too as he's all over the place.

Mmmm tastes like HGH and horse tranquilizers
Jay Sledge gets eaten alive to start, beginning with a double flap jack. Albano says he wishes they'd stick to the rules and stop all this brutality. Jim Bell gets tagged in and he plays crash test dummy too. Fatu's top rope splash is one of the best ever. After the match they rip up Jim Bell's singlet. The atmosphere during this match is kind of crazy. Between Albano putting them over in his manic way, Afa dancing at ring side, and The Headhshrinkers killing jobbers, it feels like you're watching one of the baddest tag teams in the world. They should be tag champs now.

KAMALA vs. RICH MYERS
This isn't so bad. Slick isn't there, so Kamala wrestles a little differently. He's meaner and does some fun stuff like a couple of choke bombs. He actually chokes the guy a lot. It's kind of refreshing. He still does the pin a guy on his stomach stuff, but he doesn't waste a lot of time with it. Probably the best Kamala match since his stuff with Doink.

After the match we end the show with Heenan interviewing Shawn about the lumberjack match next week and how unfair it is. Shawn finds it ridiculous that Duggan can just call Jack Tunney whenever he wants but the IC Champion doesn't even have the president's home phone number. Shawn says that it's not all bad because he's got some friends of his own that might be there at ring side.

OVERALL SHOW:
Pretty damn good show. We got a decent title match, Waltman bumping for Doink, Backlund rasslin', the Headshrinkers whipping ass with Albano on commentary, and a non-shitty Kamala squash. One of the better shows from top to bottom of the year, I say.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

THE NEW GENERATION ERA PROJECT: SUPERSTARS 05:01:93

UNDERTAKER PROMO
We kick off with an Undertaker promo, where he tells Harvey Whippleman he can't destroy what can't be destroyed. Good times.

THE HEADSHRINKERS vs. SCOTT BAZO & BOB YOUNG
Bob Young, in red, starts things off and gets owned. Headshrinkers take a page out of the Foundation's book and use a version of the Hart Attack. Then they toss Young to Bazo for a tag. Cuz they don't care.

What follows is one of the greatest nut shots of all time. Bazo stumbles into the ring and before he can say "Blueberry Pancakes", Fatu superkicks him in face. Bazo back bumps and Fatu's leg, that just kicked Bazo in the face, comes down on Bazo's ballzini's. Welcome to the big time, buddy.

I bet they walk around their apartment with cardboard replica titles.
Anyway, they hit him with that Double Stroke Maneuver, and Fatu hits the top rope splash for the in. Fun times. Fun times. After the match they show the replay of the testicle stepping, complete with audio of Bazo crying in pain. I LOVE IT.

VIRGIL vs. WHITE SHADOW
Holy balls Virgil almost fooled me into thinking he was good because he looked so motivated in this squash. But then you watch him deliver a DDT or a Russian Leg Sweep and realize he still stinks. Nothing special here, though I'm still trying to figure out who White Shadow is. Any one know?

KING OF THE RING QUALIFIER #1
DOINK THE CLOWN vs. MR. PERFECT
I didn't realize this but Doink has really long hair, and his hair was falling out the back of his mask the whole match. I guess he didn't notice it until he got out there, because he got distracted by it quite a bit. I kind of liked it because it made him look even crazier.

This is pretty good, but Perfect seemed a little off. There was a point where he couldn't decide if he wanted to do an inside cradle or a Perfect Plex, so he kind of did both. Also, I didn't like the time limit draw is it came out of nowhere, and felt like they just ended the match at a random interval. I'd like to see these two go a little longer, with out the time limit finish.
There's probably 40 somethin' dudes laying under his floor boards.

TYPHOON vs. LARRY LUDDEN
Ludden got tossed around and dominated by Typhoon. Nothing special other than Typhoon looking pretty damn solid. I wish they'd give him something new to do. He could have been Mark Henry before Mark Henry was Mark Henry.

LEX LUGER vs. TERRY ZELLER
The mirror is set up in the ring and Luger checks himself out. When he walks away Zeller steps in and checks himself out. Luger gets pizzed and forearms him. Knock Out. Luger rolls Zeller out of the ring and the ref checks on him while Luger continues to check himself out. That's it. The End. It's kind of brilliant, really.


OVERALL SHOW: Slightly disappointing as my expectations for the Perfect/Doink match was too high. BUT we did get the Bazo Ball Shot, so it kind of evens out to good.