Sunday, January 22, 2012

THE NEW GENERATION ERA PROJECT: THE EXCLUSIVES PART 3

For those that don't remember, I'm lumping all the exclusive matches that were on WWF All-American and WWF Mania, and reviewing a few at a time.You can check out Part 1 and Part 2. by...um... clicking those links that I just typed out.

KAMALA vs. BAM BAM BIGELOW (MANIA 5/8/1993)
Not too shabby. If you remember these two were supposed to wrestle each other at Wrestlemania, but alas, we were denied.  Bam Bam really takes over and controls the Ugandan Giant with headbutts and clubbing blows. Bammer went up top for the flying headbutt but Kamala shook the ropes causing Bam Bam to crotch himself. Man that was a lot of man to come down on the top rope. Kamala couldn't capitalize on the splash because he still can't figure out how to pin a guy, and Bammer got him with a roll-up for the win. One of the better Kamala matches so far. Which isn't saying much of anything.

CRUSH vs. BLAKE BEVERLY (ALL-AMERICAN 5/15/1993)
Another pretty sweet singles performance from Blake. He did a little flying clothesline off the aprong to the floor that I loved. As per usual, Crush utterly blew it with his selling and you could hear the crowd die when Blake got into control. There was a fun spot where Blake slapped on a Boston Crab and crush used his powerful legs to kick out of it. This sent Blake flying out of the ring to the floor. The cool part was when Crush got up to go check on him and Blake had quickly ran around to the other side of the ring. So Crush is standing there and Blake comes running up behind him for a sneak attack but gets kicked in the guts instead. Crush sensed his presence. Like a Jedi.

TATANKA vs. TERRY TAYLOR (MANIA 5/22/1993)
I'm a little disappointed as this one was JIP with Terry controlling Tatanka already. These two really worked well together. Terry was great at cutting off Tatanka's advances and Tatanka was great at looking desperate to get out of his predicament. It was taped infront of the RAW crowd, and they really aided the match by being nutso for Tatanka. Anyway check it out:


VIRGIL vs. DOINK THE CLOWN (ALL-AMERICAN 5/23/1993)
They did this really bad spot where Doink had Virgil in a single leg crab near the ropes Doink would use his other hand for "leverage" while Virgil's other leg was under the ropes. I feel like it was supposed to go on longer, but Hebner got up and said "This looks dumb" and broke the hold. There was some good leg work from Doink, other than that moment, but the match was really kind of a mess. The finish was Doink getting a flower from his jacket and spraying Virgil with it for the win. And of course Hebner caught Doink trying to put the flower back in the jacket and failing. It would have been a fun match but the execution was just bad.

OWEN HART vs. MR. HUGHES (MANIA 5/29/1993)
Yikes. I really thought these two would go together, but Hughes must have got the note to not sell shit for Owen. Owen spent the early bulk trying to do some arm wringers and arm locks but Hughes just kind of stood there and let him go at it like it didn't matter. And really, it wasn't the right game plan for this match anyway. I can't remember the timeline but this may have been around when Owen came back too soon from his blown out knee, so he may not have had the legs to do some of fun cat n' mouse work that this match seemed to call for. Disappointing.

BOB BACKLUND vs. BAM BAM BIGELOW (ALL-AMERICAN 5/30/1993)
I need to watch these guys wrestle more. It was taped in front of those hot RAW crowds who were pretty vocal in their support of Bam Bam Bigelow. Eventually the Backlund fans started adding "Sucks" to their "Bam Bam" chants. Just some solid work with Backlund wanting to over come the Beast but Bigelow is just too big. Some fun teases for a body slam, and some great bear hug/back breaker work. It ended in a time limit draw with the crowd begging for 5 more minutes. It looked like they were going to give it to them but then Bigelow blindsided Backlund before it could start and left the ring. Really fun match, check it out(Keep an eye out for how hard Backlund fights for that sunset flip):


I wonder where people rank Bob Backlund? I really dig him and look forward to every match I see him in.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

WWF NEW GENERATION ERA PROJECT RAW: REVIEW WEEK 26

07.19.1993

THE MOTHER F'ING LEX EXPRESS IS ON THE WAY
We kick off the show showing Lex Luger meeting with kids saying that being patriotic is cool and that America is awesome. The then show a nice shot of the big ass bus that's going to be barreling down the highways and byways of this great nation, spreading the seed of America all over people's faces.

INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE MATCH
How dare that van use the right lane to pass the Lex Express?
SHAWN MICHAELS(c) vs. MARTY JANNETTY
I wouldn't say this was as good as the Rumble match or the big Raw title switch, but it's still pretty good. The energy just doesn't seem there. Marty is fired up early but loses it as the match goes on and Shawn looks a little disinterested. Still, these guys threw down some pretty neat stuff. The final three minutes or so had some tremendous near falls that had the crowd rocking.

The finish was pretty interesting. Marty went for a flying forearm, missed, flew over the top rope to the floor. Diesel then picked him up immediately and rolled him in the ring to get pinned. Marty really sailed and took a nasty bump to the floor, and the idea that he lost because he didn't have a 10 count to recuperate from the fall is a cool one. It reinforces the risky nature of going to the outside, and reinforces why there's even a 10 count in the first place.

Note: The crowd kept chanting "Woop There It Is." Fantastic.

MONEY INC. TALKIN' SMACK ABOUT THE BAD GUY
Ted and Irwin play down loosing to the Steiners by saying they're not as bad as Razor Ramon who lost to the scrawn punk, 123 Kid. This of course brings Razor out. DiBiase tells Razor that it's all good and that since they've got big hearts they're willing to offer Ramon a job working for them. Razor tells them he works for nobody. Ted, and this is the best part, shows him some $100 dollar bills and tells him to think about it, before SLAPPING HIM IN THE FACE WITH THEM. How bad ass is that? Dude just smacks another man in the face with a stack of hundreds.

Razor loses his cool and ends up tossing both DiBiase and IRS before leaving. Ted, incensed, tells Vince that he's going to embarrass Razor Ramon by beating up the 123 Kid and showing him how a real man gets it done. Great segment.

MEN ON A MISSION vs. HANK HARRIS  & RICH MEYERS
Crowd was really into the team. Mo and Mabel came through bring lots of energy, and Oscar was good at setting the tone with his MC act. There was one dumb flub on the directors fault where they focused on Oscar talking to the camera instead of capturing the finishing maneuver. They didn't even replay it. Basically Mabel bodyslams a guy and stands in front of the turnbuckle. Mo then jumps from the top rope onto Mabel's back and they both come crashing down on the victim. Fun.

BASTION BOOGER vs.SCOTT DESPRES
Booger wins after dropping his balls on Scott's face. Yep.

JERRY LAWLER CHATS WIT TINY TIM
WWE: Putting Smiles on Faces. And Balls. Fat man balls.
Jerry Lawler rips into Tiny Tim with some singers. Eventually the crowd starts chanting "We Want Bret." Jerry Lawler then tells Tim about how these clowns call him the Burger King, asks Tim if he thinks Lawler is a "Burger King." Tim responds, "You're not a Burger King. You're a Dairy Queen.". Lawler responds by breaking his ukulele. Because that's how he rolls.

123 KID vs. CHRIS DUFFY
Kid dominated this one, not doing any of the underdog stuff, and it's a good thing too. He's moving up the card and he needs to show he can handle people effectively with his moveset. Kid's kicks were killer and we got to see those unique legdrops. During the match, Money Inc came out to watch and Razor came out to watch Money Inc. Kid didn't really lose focus, and took Duffy to school before finishing him off with a great top rope legdrop.

OVERALL SHOW: Decent show. We got a good match from Jannetty/Michaels who put in about 17 minutes or so. Men On a Mission look fun and the crowd is digging it. And we have an interesting angle revolving around Money Inc/123 Kid/Razor Ramon. It's almost reaching a point where you wish there was more time so they could fit in more wrestlers.

NEXT WEEK: We get Bret Hart vs. Bam Bam Bigelow in a rematch of the King of the Ring finals. AWESOME.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

RESISTANCE PRO: RISE LIVE SHOW REPORT 01/13/2012

SECOND CHANCES ARE HARD TO COME BY
Well it's been a little over a month since Resistance Pro made it's debut in the world of professional wrestling, for those of you who read my report on it HERE, you probably remember me not being too pleased. Well the good news is I had a much better time at this show.

To start things off I decided that the third tier crap was for the birds, I found myself a spot on the guardrail and stood the entire show. It got kind of tiring, since I've been running around all day, but it's certainly better than bending over a rail looking at the top of wrestler's heads.

Another difference was the kids. Lots of kids in the VIP section with great seats. I kind of hate the VIP section because it is the best seat in the house and goddamn it, why does Billy Corgan get to sit in the best seat in the house? I mean, really. Doesn't that kind of make anyone else angry? I want those seats. To learn more about my quest to get in to the VIP section, follow me on twitter @OccupyResistanceProVIPSection. Don't actually do that. That would be dumb. For one, it doesn't even exist. Yet.

Let's get to it.

D'ARCY DIXON HAS A BODY
To start things off D'Arcy Dixon came out and showed off her well sculpted features. I found it pretty enjoyable, but, you know, I'm a dude. D'arcy was the broad who came out at the last show to manage The Briscoes. She got on the mic to say she was scouting other teams and that she had big plans for The Briscoes, they just needed to listen to her. I have no idea why they actually do listen to her. Their relationship doesn't really make any sense. Melanie Cruise came out with her bizarre ass entourage. Melanie Cruise is your Resistance Pro Women's Champion. Her entourage is a woman with high boots and a riding crop and another woman with a dog. I'm not kidding. D'Arcy kind of shows herself out as Melanie wanted to get her title defense out of the way. This section actually played out really well, D'Arcy was away more entertaining on the mic, and Melanie Cruise's weird ass group is fascinating.

RESISTANCE PRO WOMEN'S TITLE MATCH
MELANIE CRUISE (c) vs. SERENITY
I got a soft spot for Serenity. For one, she's the only girl I could remember from the last show. She played a kind of heel at that show, but her she had to play face. I think I liked her as a heel better. This match was a little sloppy but was kind of a long squash to build up Melanie as a bad ass champion. the bumping was a little awkward and they should really tighten up their striking. Everything looked way too soft. Other than that, it never over stayed its welcome and got the job done in building Cruise. I think I dig both girls enough to continue seeing them. Serenity seems like she could be a lot of fun if she was in something a little more competitive.

THE DAIVARI BROS. vs. ROBERT ANTHONY & MR. 450 
They cut the "Hammet" part of Mr. 450's name, so it sounds so much better, but... yeah, I've still never seen that guy do a 450. It's kind of like Rob Schneider in Surf Ninjas. Remember that movie? His friends surf, and he has a surf board, but he never surfs. He just waxes his board and pretends he was just about to hit the waves by the time they're done. It's a good flick. Anyway, that's Mr. 450. And to prove my point, a guy next to me said he's seen Mr. 450 six times and he's never seen him do it either.

Anyway, Anthony and 450 are a great pairing. Hilarious heels, with Anthony saying the weirdest funniest shit. "Shut your mouth or I swear I will come down there and pee all over you." OR "Keep the camera on me or I will kick you in the penis." The Daivaris were a really fun team as well, doing this fun loving Persian thing.

This match was really good. They did the ol southern tag formula with the heel's isolating one of the brothers until a hot tag. The cut offs were solid, especially when 450 elbow dropped Arya, who we all thought was going to finally make the tag, and he told everyone in the front row how sorry he was for putting a stop to it. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, this was the best Mr. 450 performance I've ever seen. He was just killing it and was a huge ball of energy the whole match.

The Daivari's won with  top rope splash/leg drop combo that looked really nasty. I'd say all four of these guys kind of stole the show. I don't know how it'll play on DVD, but check this one out.

EL GENERICO vs. PAC.... ALMOST
This started off well enough, with both guys being very respectful. They'd trade some counters, one guy would win out, they'd shake hands and do it again. They started to really tell a story, with PAC being the first one to start showing the frustration. I started to feel like I was about to see something special and then.... and then Petey Williams happened....

THE KILLING OF A MATCH PART 1 In which Petey Williams Waltzes In
Petey Williams shows up rocking his Canadian Destroyer gear and acting like he's not Petey Williams. He says that this match can't be about the two best high flyers if he's not in it. He says they should make it a three-way. I say, "I was kind of digging what we had going on here, come back next time." But no, they make it a 3 Way.

Petey then hits the ring and bails out and tells them to fight. They're like, "Sure, that's what we were doing a minute ago." And before they can lock up he sneak attacks one of them. Then he bails. They go back to wrestling and he sneaks attacks the other. Eventually they're like, "Oh yeah, we can climb out of the ring." and they hit the outside and beat Petey's ass. When they head back to the ring, MATT CROSS jumps the railing and grabs a microphone.... oh man...

THE KILLING OF A MATCH PART 2: In Which Matt Cross Takes Advantage of Our Good Will
So Matt Cross comes in and basically says he wasn't even booked for the show, despite Resistance Pro announcing that he'd be on the show and despite him saying, "hey see you all at the show!" on Twitter. Despite all that, he wasn't booked, Terry, and since the crowd was into booking matches, would anyone mind if he turned this bout into a four way. Sure, why not. It's kind of like someone serving you a filet mignon and just when you get it, your buddy runs in and asks if he can have it, and then spits on it before you can answer. Sure, eat the whole damn thing now.

MATT CROSS vs. THE CANADIAN DESTROYER vs. EL GENERICO vs. PAC
The bulk of this was boring. Once Matt Cross got involved him and Petey joined forces and just isolated Pac or Generico with kicks and stomps. You could see the collective thought bubble over the crowd's head thinking about the simpler times when it was just two guys trying to show each other up. Now it's... it's this. Thankfully Pac blew up all over there faces and just started hitting stuff only Pac can do. There were people around me who had never seen him wrestler that were kind of gobsmacked at how effortlessly he'd flip off of Generico's back. The finishing stretch was really great, with everyone hitting something wild. I can't remember who it was but Generico just about killed someone with a Michinoku Driver for a near fall. It looked horrific.

Eventually my main amigo Generico connected with the top rope brainbuster for the win. After the match Generico held up Pac's hand and the crowd showed a ton of respect. The guy definitely won over some people and I think several were hoping Generico and Pac would hook up and enter the tag tourney. I'm 100% behind this idea.

The whole thing just felt like a bad idea, and though the finishing stretch was really good, I think many of us were left wondering about what we missed out on.

JAY BRADLEY vs. STEVEN WALTERS
Steven Walters was the guy who played the cheerleader in the gauntlet match at the last show. This match was bad. Just awkwardness. Miscommunications. Awkward bumping. Poor flow. It kind of felt like filling time but neither guy knew what to do with that short amount of time they had. I spent most of the match chatting with a couple next to me about what the hell is on Bradley's arm. One of the worst damn tattoo's in wrestling. Think about how much ground that covers. Anyway, Jay wins and then says some stuff about how he's called "Lonesome" kind of like a fat kid is called Tiny. We were all confused. I guess he's got friends. Then he said "Winning makes the whiskey and the women go down easy." Then we all got it. He's not lonely because he bangs a lot of whores who bang him because he's a winner. Get it? And in reality, he probably is lonely because the women don't actually care about him, so this gimmick just got all kinds of deep. DEEP.

COLT CABANA vs. DAVEY RICHARDS. 
2nd Best Davey Richards match I've ever seen, behind his match with SHINGO at DGUSA. They started off with a little comedy schtick and Davey was actually pretty funny, which makes his tough guy cosplay act even more apparent. The more competitive parts of the match were pretty solid. Davey kept spamming the ankle lock which was drawing groans from the people around me, but for the most part he stayed pretty low key, and I thought that was refreshing. Really Cabana was the one who got crazy, doing this sick fireman's carry move off the top rope.

The finish was great too, with Davey going in low, presumably to pick a leg and go for the ankle lock again, but Cabana DRILLED HIM IN THE FACE with his knee. Davey was KO'd and Cabana quickly went down to pin him for the win. So satisfying. I'd say this and the Daivari Bros. tag were the best parts of the show. Another one worth checking out.

DA SOUL TOUCHAZ vs. GRINGO LOCO y HEROS
Before the match Willie, Marshe, & Acid Jazz played rock/paper/scissors to determine who wrestled the match. Willie and Marshe won. By the time the match was over they probably wish they'd lost and just sent C-Red in there.

It was awful.People who know me, and read my blog, know I love these guys. I've talked them up everywhere. There one of my favorite acts in wrestling. But I'm telling you right now, you will see Heros and Willie Da Bomb Richardson on a Botchamania soon. It was like quicksand. It started with this weird botch where Heros completely missed Willie's head for a hurricanrana and just landed on one shoulder, and it just got worse from there. Twice I thought Heros was going to have a broken neck. I was standing next to Da Soul Touchaz corner and I could just see the desperation to get this thing back on track on all their faces.

Eventually Acid Jazz hit Heros in the balls so Willie could drill him with a Pounce. The Pounce was so awesome that I think it almost erased the some of the sucky match from their memories. If that wasn't enough, Da Soul Touchaz beat up Gringo and Heros some more, and eventually Willie hit his top rope leg drop, which got a "Holy Shit" chant. They got to at least go out on a high note, so that's something, but I bet they would have liked a "do-over" on that match. Brutal.

CHEERLEADER MELISSA vs. SASSY STEPHIE
This match may have been ruined by a guy in the crowd who could not stop yelling "MELISSA" at the top of his lungs. He'd had a lot to drink and was filming most of the match on his camera. This guy was bringing the creep in a big way, so I hope Melissa makes it out of Chicago okay. It was really kind uncomfortable. They did some okay work, nothing mind blowing, but I think a lot of the crowd, myself included, was just getting really tired. We'd been standing around for a long time at this point with no break or intermission, Add in Melissa's stalker making a spectacle of himself and you've got a recipe for a weird match.

Melissa had the match wrapped up after a curb stomp but Cruise's goons came down and ran interference, allowing Stephie to pick up the win. This was for a title shot at the next show, so we have a decent story developing with Cruise manipulating who challenges her and essentially ducking Melissa. It's a decent angle that has me intrigued.

RESISTANCE PRO HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH
KEVIN STEEN vs. HARRY SMITH vs. THE SHEIK
Before we move forward, I have to point out something that I haven't talked about yet. Through out the night we kept getting reminded that after the show we can pay for a photo op with Billy Corgan and the new Resistance Pro Champion, whoever that may be. That's important because it comes back later.

ALSO, their belt is almost exactly like The Big Gold Belt(you know the one Daniel Bryan is rocking these days) except it has a big light blue "R" in the middle of it. I mean, if you told me it actually was the Big Gold Belt and they just hot glue gunned an "R" on it, I'd believe you.

Anyway, this match was kind of weak. Steen had talked to some kids in the VIP section prior to the match, and I don't know what he said but they didn't stop chanting "Kevin" the entire match. And I mean the entire match. He played his usual douche bag self, with all kinds of funny jokes. He's actually pretty funny, but holy crap did it ruin the drama of the match. He basically decided to team up with the Sheik, and they beat up Harry the whole time. It was pretty boring, and I think Steen's comedy stuff, while entertaining on its own, was counterproductive to the match. It also didn't help that it felt very similar to the four way from earlier, with two heels beating up a face for the majority of a match.

Harry eventually made the big comeback and locked Steen into a Sharpshooter for the win. Smith looked great in this match. He busted out some nice stuff, including a pretty nifty armbar that required more agility than you'd think he'd have. His selling is great and all of his moves look like they have great impact.

Sheik was utterly forgettable, playing second banana to Steen, and I honestly can't remember anything that he did in this match. At the last show it seemed like he was positioned as a top heel, and now he just kind of looks like a clown.

POST MATCH PHOTO OP: HARRY MEETS HIS NEW BEST FRIEND HIS NAME IS RHINO
So it was time for the photo op, and Rhino hustled over and said he bought a ticket. RHINO. He said he didn't want to fight(yet), he just wanted to be friends with Harry. What followed was maybe the weirdest, most interesting mic work of Rhino's career. He said that when one falls from grace it gets really lonely on the bottom, and that he wanted to be friends with Harry. Rhino said that since Harry was a man, he'd be cool with giving Rhino a title match, too. He then asked for the photos to be taken. At first all three of them stood together, awkwardly, and then he told Billy to get out of the picture. Rhino then took Harry's belt and put it over his own shoulder. The photographers took the pictures. He told them to take more pictures. They did. He said, "No, keep taking more pictures of this." Finally Billy stepped in and told him they'd think about his proposition  and that this had gone on long enough.

Then Rhino lost his shit.

He said the only guy to ever kick him out of a wrestling ring was Vince McMahon and that if Billy didn't leave he'd punch him in his teeth so hard he'd never sing again. Then he told the champ that while Harry was hanging from a tit and pissing his diapers he(Rhino) was making guys bleed. He then picked up a bag and said that he had a belt too. He didn't pull it out, but I guess he was referring to the ECW title, which I had no idea he still had. He told Harry that he'd kick his ass before leaving.

I loved this. It was such a weird angle, but it all made sense, and Rhino was kind of perfect as this guy a ways away from his glory days, who was kind of desperate to get in on a young kid's spotlight. It feels very different and I think it's going to be a great angle to build around. Honestly, Harry Smith vs. Rhino may just be a dream match that I didn't know I wanted until tonight. Getting Harry away from Kevin Steen will do wonders for his character and putting him with Rhino just may be the best way to begin this reign.

OVERALL SHOW:
Some really good matches, some really bad matches, but really I think this is a superior show to the first one. The Rhino/Harry Smith angle, is a huge positive in my book and is enough to get me to come back to the next show. Cabana knocking Davey Richards was so fantastic, I hope they got a good shot of it on video because I want to make a GIF of it and sport it on the DVDVR Board(where you can usually find me chatting about all kinds of dumb stuff)

There were obviously some problems, some of them were the wrestler's fault like the Soul Touchaz match and some of them were the booker's like the set-up for that 4-way, which had the same structure as the main event. I do feel like they learned from their mistakes, and with that in mind I have a little higher hopes for the next show. This promotion isn't reinventing the wheel. We learned that at the last show. They're treading where the ground is well worn. But if they keep learning, then it might just be a company worth going out of your way for. They're not there yet, but they could be. I certainly have more hope after tonight's show than I did after their first one.